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Hornady American Whitetail Review: Easy on Your Wallet, Not on Your Deer

Hornady American Whitetail Review

Hunting season is upon us, and you know what that means! It’s time to get the fields ready, the club dues paid, and start buying up the best hunting ammo you can find. If you’re working on the last part, you’re in the right place.

Hornady American White Tail ammunition is one of the most popular deer hunting cartridges you’ll see on gun forums and hunting pages.

However, knowing whether this ammo is right for you is the key to taking home the buck of a lifetime. If you’re ready to check this task off your to-do list, pick it up HERE. But if you’re still deciding on this season’s hunting ammo, keep reading!

Hornady American White Tail Ammo Overview

If you’ve ever used Hornady’s defensive rounds, you know that the deer-hunting ammunition is going to perform exquisitely. The company began manufacturing ammo in 1949 and has maintained an excellent reputation with hunters ever since.

Furthermore, Hornady’s extraordinary ability to craft effective hunting ammunition with scarce resources began shortly after the end of WWII. Today, the American Whitetail ammunition line carries on the company’s reputation.

The Hornady American Whitetail ammunition line is packed full of amazingly engineered features that will save you hours of tracking an injured deer though thickets and thick brush. One of the biggest factors for choosing hunting ammo is controlled expansion. Thanks to the Hornady InterLock bullets, we get that with the American White Tail line. The jacket and core will stay together on impact piercing the hide, then expand to create deeper wound channels.

The Hornady American Whitetail rifle ammo retains about 70% or more of its weight on impact, lessening your chances of merely wounding your prey. What’s better, these bullets expand adequately up to about 500 yards (1,900 fps). While I personally wouldn’t take down a deer that far away, many long-range deer hunters at least want that option.

Hornady wanted to ensure every deer hunter has access to these affordable and effective hunting cartridges. So, it comes in multiple popular hunting calibers. You’ll find the Hornady American Whitetail ammo in everything from 7mm to .308 and even some shotshells.

Overall, the Hornady American White Tail ammo line has everything you need to stock the freezer. The InterLock ring, brass casing, Boxer primer, and design make them perfect for hunting American White Tail in the USA, all for a great price. Of course, they’re also perfect for reloading, which adds a little more value to these hunting bullets.

Our Hornady American White Tail Review

Hornady American Whitetail 243 Win ammo

If you’re wondering what sets Hornady American Whitetail apart from all of the other hunting ammo out there, you aren’t alone. To put it in layman’s terms, I wouldn’t classify Hornady American Whitetail ammunition as the best there is, but it’s far from the worst.

The American Whitetail is the deer hunting ammo you can buy on a budget and still stock the freezer. It’s specifically engineered to hunt white-tail deer ethically. But it’s also great for big game too.

Naturally, hunting bullets are going to have a higher price tag than those we use for target shooting and competitions. Whereas the latter is designed to stay on course and hit a target, the former must perform after hitting the target to create sufficient terminal performance. The Hornady American Whitetail is a great combination of the two; they have a high B.C. (ballistic coefficient), high muzzle velocity, and they’re designed for controlled expansion.

This deer season is my son’s first chance to take down a buck, so naturally, I want a reliable cartridge that’s affordable enough for the range and effective enough for the hunting field. Ultimately, I landed on the American Whitetail because it meets all of my criteria. We’re getting tight groupings (sub-moa in our hands at 110 yards) and effective terminal performance. What’s better is that they're typically in stock, so we won’t have to switch ammo mid-season.

Moreover, they’re cheaper than some of the deer hunting ammo we often use, like the Hornady ELD-X or Nosler Ballistic Tip ammo. If you’re a novice hunter or you’re just looking to save a little money this season, Hornady’s American Whitetail ammunition is an excellent choice.

These cartridges tend to be my go-to choice for the kids because they’re cheap enough to practice with and perform really well. They have the design and terminal performance to bring home medium-sized to big game.

What is it Best for?

Not all ammo is created equally. Clearly, the Hornady American Whitetail ammo is specifically designed for deer hunting. However, they can also take down some big game in the right conditions.

They’re a great low-cost option that you can take the same loads to the range and to the hunting fields. Although they are factory loads, you can still reload them next year. They are one of the best options for taking down medium-sized game like deer and hogs.


There are better rounds out there for Elk and other big game animals. Personally, I wouldn’t use these on big game, but outside of that, it’s hard to think of many disadvantages.

Hornady American Whitetail 270 Win ammo

Pros & Cons


  • Accessibility
  • Affordability
  • Performance
  • Brass cases are great for handloads
  • Tight shot groups
  • High ballistic coefficient
  • Superb bullet weight retention


  • Low versatility - not ideal for big game like elk

Ballistics of Hornady American White Tail

These cartridges come in most of the popular calibers that we use for deer hunting in the USA. From the .308 Winchester to the newcomer 6.5 Creedmoor or the stalwart 7mm Remington Magnum, these rounds perform well at range since they have a high ballistic coefficient and excellent terminal performance.

If you want to know more about the ballistics of your favorite caliber, we’ve covered them here.

Hornady American White Tail 308 Review & Ballistics

Hornady American White Tail 308 Ballistics table

The .308 Winchester is my favorite deer hunting cartridge. And as stated above, Hornady American Whitetail will be my prime rifle ammo choice this year (last year, I chose Federal Terminal Ascent for different reasons).

Due to cost and performance, I wanted factory ammo that cost about $2.00 per round (at the time of writing). Of course, we’re getting our best groups on the range between 100-300 yards around 1-2 MOA on average.

Hornady American White Tail 30-06 Review & Ballistics

Hornady American White Tail 30-06 Ballistics table

If you want to go old school with the 30-06 Springfield, Hornady American Whitetail will give you excellent shot groups and phenomenal terminal performance. These 180-grain InterLock cartridges are affordable and perform well.

With a muzzle velocity of 2,700 fps, 2,913 ft-lbs of muzzle energy, and a round capable of sub-MOA accuracy, even a novice hunter should be capable of taking down a deer up to 300 yards with relative ease.

Hornady American White Tail 6.5 Creedmoor Review & Ballistics

Hornady American White Tail 6.5 Creedmoor Ballistics table

The 6.5 Creedmoor is a popular hunting caliber right now. It has a high ballistic coefficient, low recoil, and excellent accuracy. Load it with the Hornady American White Tail 129-grain InterLock, and you’re sure to make the most out of this year’s hunting season.

This rifle ammo has one of the highest ballistic coefficients you’ll find (.445) for a deer hunting round thanks to the sleek, aerodynamic 6.5mm bullet the cartridge fires. Combined with low recoil and a flat trajectory, and you've got yourself an extremely effective deer hunting cartridge for a wide range of shooters.

Hornady American White Tail 300 Win Mag Review & Ballistics

Hornady American White Tail 300 Win Mag Ballistics table

Finally, our 300 Win Mag readers will quickly notice the 180-grain InterLock bullets perform exceptionally well during deer hunting season as well. With the standard .338 ballistic coefficient and 3,275 fps muzzle velocity, you’re getting everything you need at a great price.


Hornady is one of those “you just know it’s going to be good,” manufacturers. From personal defense cartridges (you can check out handgun cartridges HERE) to long-range hunting bullets and everything in between, these rounds rarely disappoint.

The American Whitetail is a great middle-of-the-road cartridge that you can grab for a great price and get exceptional results.


Is the Hornady American White Tail worth buying?

Absolutely! This ammunition performs really well and is more affordable than the other premium hunting rounds. If you want great ammo for a great price, this is one way to go.

Hornady American Whitetail 308 Win ammo

What is the range of the Hornady American Whitetail ammunition?

This ammo will still expand at about 1,950 fps (about 500 yards). But more realistically, this isn’t long-range hunting ammunition. It’s better to keep your target within 250-300 yards.

Is the Hornady American White Tail a Soft Point (SP) cartridge?

Yes. It has a soft point tip rather than a polymer tip.

Where is Hornady American White Tail ammo made?

Hornady ammo has always been made in the USA. At the time of writing, it is manufactured in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Does Hornady make good varmint hunting ammo?

Absolutely. One of the best varmint hunting rounds you can get is the Hornady V-Max line. It has a high muzzle velocity, boat tail design to increase the ballistic coefficient, and terminal performance designed for small prey.

What is the difference between Hornady American White Tail and Hornady Superformance SST?

Superformance bullets have a polymer tip and are designed for higher muzzle velocities. It’s great for long-range and big game hunting. American Whitetail ammo is loaded with a boat-tail soft point (BTSP) bullet that works well out to ranges typical for deer hunting (under 500 yards).

Cassandra McBride
Written by
Cassandra McBride

Ammunition Reviews