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Old 05-30-2004, 14:22   #1
Shaner
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Deer calibers

Hi ya'll ;z

I will be looking for an rifle for deer hunting soon. The gun I'm looking into is an remington 7400 synthetic or an remington 700.

What calibers are the best for whitetails? I will probably be making some long shots and I want alot of power.

Thanks,

Shane
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Old 05-30-2004, 20:45   #2
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There are several good calibers for deer hunting.Some of the more popular calibers include 270,308 30-06,7mm-08,and far reaching(upper end power)7mm mag and 300 win mag.There are many others--- all the new short mags,offering basicly the same power as the belted mags in a shorter action--lighter rifle,but they dont have a million different loadings like the older belted magnums. If you want a lot of power,the 7mm mag and 300 mag will not leave you lacking.^c What ever you get,shoot it like crazy before you go afield.
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Old 05-30-2004, 22:04   #3
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What calibers for deer?

If you have to ask that question then take my advise and dont even speak of taking long shots. The list of whitetail capable calibers is long indeed but you best stick to the shorter range numbers. I dont care if you are a military or police sniper you undoubtedly aren't up on the ethics of hunting. Dont be taken in by all the hype and tripe you hear on these sites by psuedo marksmen and limit all shots to within sane limits. Deer aren't paper targets or humans who can seek medical treatment. If you wound one with a stupid shot they either die a slow miserable death or go through life maimed. Dont ever take an iffy shot just so you can tell so and so about it and be the big hunter. Real hunters know their prey and then adjust to the situation. The situation,ethically, never demands a extremely long shot and yes I have hunted "out West". My longest shot to date was approx. 425 yds at a running wounded antelope someone else wounded with a stupid shot. I dont care if your using the newest Mach 3 magnum you still have to be sure of your shot and abilities or ethics demands not taking a shot. Magnums still require precision shot placement as do the old standards which is the secret to good kills anyway. Go with a capable caliber of which there are hundreds and good bullets and plenty of practice then you might be ready. Dont think just because you've worn out a credit card on the latest gadgets that that makes you a hunter. Learn more about your quarry and decide to be an ethical practician and leave the long range stuff to the pseudo hunters who are more talk and less hunt.
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Old 05-30-2004, 23:01   #4
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^6

Firminw hit the nail on the head on all counts.

As for caliber; .243 or .270 and lots of practice.
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Old 05-31-2004, 06:10   #5
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Good post by Firminw,

To answer the original question about deer calibers,

I prefer a caliber that can be found at any walmart or sporting goods store.

Some of the most popular choices are 30-30, .308, .30-06, .270, and .243.

If you really are set on shooting at long ranges the .308, 30-06, and .270 are your best choices.

But really any of the rounds I listed will work out fine to 200 yards. And 200 yards is a long ways for a novice deer hunter.

I'm a big fan of the 30-06 for a rifle, I bought one about 25 years ago because most of the other guys in deer camp used it. Funny thing, I still have that rifle and have never shot a deer with it. A few years after I bought it I got a TC Contender in .44 mag and have shot the majority of my deer with that. I've also shot several during Black Powder season. But all of the deer I've shot have been within 100 yards. Never really had a need for greater reach.

I think there's a lot more challenge getting within 50 yards of a deer than there is shooting one at 300 or 400 yards.
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:55   #6
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If I am using a rifle instead of my normal revolvers to hunt whitetail...
I prefer the old bush busting calibers: 35 Remington, 444 Marlin, 45-70 etc.


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Old 05-31-2004, 08:24   #7
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I've used 25-06 for years with success, but it's all about shot placement.
This year though, i did get on the 'Short Mag' bus;f and picked up a Winchester 25 WSSM to take the place of my 25-06.
The only time i will be using it though, is if i can't hit it with my S&W 500, and i have that sighted in at 100 yards so far^c
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Old 05-31-2004, 12:48   #8
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Look at the .280 remington, I use a 7mm Remington Mag, but also have the option of Elk in Oregon to, so I use it for both. You couldnt go wrong with a 30-06 or .270win either, plus you should be able to find a good used rife, in a 700 or 7400 in .270, .280, or 30-06. Theres alot of good bullets out for those peticular rounds, and all are great deer rounds.
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Old 05-31-2004, 14:11   #9
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Firminw,

I was not talking about shot placement, I was simply asking which is the better caliber for the dollar to get. I don't even have an deer rifle yet, Just an .22 and an hand me down shotgun.

I also don't have a credit card.

I asked about LONG shots because the area I have to HUNT isn't exactly close quarters, there are alot of open fields and places that I wanted a bullet that wouldn't drop THAT much, I know I can look at an ballistics chart, but I was trying to get personal expirence.

And from what gathered you are suggesting I am a horrible shot?

I can beg to differ.
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Old 05-31-2004, 14:16   #10
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As for range, I was thinking more of like 100-150 yards, I have a good scouting area with RF binocs and I have gotten within 40 yards of some nice bucks too.
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Old 05-31-2004, 18:26   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shaner
As for range, I was thinking more of like 100-150 yards, I have a good scouting area with RF binocs and I have gotten within 40 yards of some nice bucks too.
WOW!! You saw some at 40 yards! Around here that would be a barrel stretcher!

Seriously, inside 100-150 yards (even 300) I'd be pretty happy with anything based on the .308/.30-06 cases. My personal one is a .260 Remington (6.5mm on a .308). No, I can't vouch for its effectiveness on game, but it is accurate as snot and easy to shoot. Different too.

Go for whichever one floats your boat and practice lots. Practice shooting offhand, sitting, kneeling, etc. Just get comfortable with the rifle. It should be an extention of your body by the time the deer settles under the crosshairs.

(Unfortunately for me, mine is always sitting in my lap when I see deer at 50 feet. Oh well.)
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Old 05-31-2004, 19:41   #12
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Okay already!

Shaner, dude, I never implied you were a bad shot. The only concern I had is you sounded a little green. I know it's easy to get caught up in the never ending parade of brags that hunters put forth. Hey I brag 'bout that 425 yard shot on that antelope all the time but when the dust settles it was just as much luck as it was marksmanship. Conditions were perfect, he was quartering away to the left and I guessed the perfect lead. That 270 Win. ended a bad situation cleanly and humanely. I would never make another shot at that range unless it was a similar situation and I used to be checked out to 600 meters. I recently killed a groundhog at 312 long steps with my Bushmaster V- Match souped up coyote killer and a coyote at 342 long steps but I wouldn't consider myself a marksman. On any occassion the conditions have to be exactly right or I wont take the shot. Learn ethics as well as all other necessary hunting skills and you'll be an asset to a very hallowed fraternity or be like all the other folks with all the latest gadgets and no skill that do irreperable harm to our sport. As to calibers go to the ballistics charts and pick among the ones that retain 1000 ft/lbs of energy at the range you choose as maximum. As for bullets stay in the .250 Sectional Density and higher. Put that power and sectional density in the right spot and you'll have freezer venison. If you use optics get as much as you can afford but there are quite a few good scopes normal people can afford. If your going to upgrade your rifle look at the bedding and trigger and get quality gunsmithing. I hope all this helps but as for caliber anything based on 30-06 or 308 will be plenty for good shots at sane distances.
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Old 06-01-2004, 06:36   #13
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Shane,

I've seen people buy .300 Win Mags as deer rifles because they think the extra power will make up for poor shot placement. They take the things to the range once and get beat to snot by the gun, they develop a big flinch and can't hit the side of a barn. After putting 10 shots through the gun they think they are sighted in and never shoot it again except at deer which they always seem to miss.

You didn't say what a long shot is in your area in you orginal post. I consider 100-150 yards a very reasonable distance shot. When someone starts talking about "Long Range" shooting I usually assume they mean distances of at least 250-300 yards.

Since you are fairly new to center fire rifles I'd look for a .243. Both the Remington 700 and 7400 come chambered in that caliber. It's pretty commonly available at most stores that sell ammo. It has low recoil and a history of being very accurate. It also can do double duty as a varmit gun with the lighter weight bullets.

If you can't find a .243 in your area a .308, .270, or .30-06 would be my recomendations pretty much in that order. .260 Remington is also a good choice, but ammo can be a bit harder to find.
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Old 06-01-2004, 08:17   #14
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if i were looking at a deer gun where i was shooting the longer than average shot, i would pick the .270 winchester.

where i hunt, early in the season, the max shot is about 75 yards because of the foliage but the last 2 weeks of season, there are 200+ yard shots in the exact same areas.

i hunt with a .308 but if i were shooting soybean fields regularly i would pick the .270 because its flat trajectory and proven performance.
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Old 06-01-2004, 10:17   #15
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I would avoid the .243. It is widely regarded as a marginal caliber. If you are buying a new gun, why not get something more versatile.

IMHO, the .30-06 is about as versatile as it gets. Go with a 700; you won't regret it.
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Old 06-01-2004, 11:21   #16
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At 150 yards, most deer rifle calibers will have very little drop.

What about recoil and blast? Do you want a little or a lot?

I vote for a Remmy 700 in .308

I also vote that you then practise a whole lot of off-hand 100 and 200 yard shots. Take one shot, walk to target and mark the shot with a pen. Then walk back and take another shot.

For you to hunt at a particular distance, all your off-hand shots better be grouped around the size of your fist.

Why all the walking between shots? To get your heartrate up, and to realize that only one shot counts while hunting.
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Old 06-01-2004, 14:49   #17
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I like Ithaca_Deerslayer's drill a lot. I have often joked that if you want to practice your deer hunting, you should get up at 4:00AM, drive to the range, wait 4 hours, take one shot, score it and go home.

I like the ID of doing the walking. However, if you can shoot a fist-size group, off-hand, at 200 yards, you are a better man than I am.

I usually practice off-hand shooting by putting up 8" paper plates at 50 and 100 yards. I can consistently attain a 5-6" group at 100 yards.

I guess I need more range time if I supposed to be able to do the same thing at 200...

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Old 06-01-2004, 16:13   #18
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How much can I expect to pay for a Remington 700?
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Old 06-01-2004, 17:19   #19
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The ADL Synthetic can be had at Wal-mart for under $400. I think it is $379, or something like that.

It includes iron sites, which most models do not.
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Old 06-01-2004, 17:26   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by rhikdavis
How much can I expect to pay for a Remington 700?
A Wally-World 700 ADL synthetic stock will run you about $375+tax around here. The price varies about +/- $25 in different places. The prices on other particular models all go up from there.
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Old 06-01-2004, 19:20   #21
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The ADL Synthetic can be had at Wal-mart for under $400. I think it is $379, or something like that.

It includes iron sites, which most models do not.
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Old 06-01-2004, 19:34   #22
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Quote:
I've seen people buy .300 Win Mags as deer rifles because they think the extra power will make up for poor shot placement. They take the things to the range once and get beat to snot by the gun, they develop a big flinch and can't hit the side of a barn. After putting 10 shots through the gun they think they are sighted in and never shoot it again except at deer which they always seem to miss.
I have certainly seen this very thing with the 300 win mag. It's all I shoot at deer. My favorite is my ruger #1. It holds one shot, so, how many more do you need? i have NEVER "shot AT a deer". Take the shot you know you can kill him with...or don't shoot. I shoot that gun alot, some days, if i am not concentrating i might shoot two times and quit, i don't want to reenforce a any habits, like flinching.
I would suggest you take up black powder hunting first. (you get to hunt another season for one, and you have to hunt the deer.
I spend alot of time glassing hills, I have ranged deer that were 400 yards away that were tiny. I hear about a lot of folks killing deer at extreme ranges,I personally think it is not right to take a shot a that range. see the first post for an elegant explination of why.
If you want to hunt deer..then hunt them. If you want to kill deer at extreme ranges, buy paper deer targets and have at it.
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Old 06-02-2004, 07:28   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by lazarus
However, if you can shoot a fist-size group, off-hand, at 200 yards, you are a better man than I am.

I usually practice off-hand shooting by putting up 8" paper plates at 50 and 100 yards. I can consistently attain a 5-6" group at 100 yards.

I guess I need more range time if I supposed to be able to do the same thing at 200...
The whole point is I can't shoot fist size at 200 yards off-hand. That's what makes me realize 200 yards is too far for a good shot on a deer!

I'm pretty good at 100 yards, though. Even better at 50 yards!
;a

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Old 06-02-2004, 15:54   #24
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With my "The deer swallowed a volleyball" therory of bullet placement. 8 inhes, or a paper plate is close enough for offhand.
firminw- put the best point on it. Shoot=hit...or don't shoot.
I will make a comment about my #1 Ruger. It's real handy, its short even with a 26 inch barrel because it doesnt have an action. However, it's HEAVY! or I am getting old; or both...
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Old 06-02-2004, 21:29   #25
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I have a Rem. 700 VLS in .243 Winchester and have taken deer from 15 yards on out to almost 300. Results with 95 grain Winchester Ballistic Tips are usually that the deer drops in its tracks or only runs a few yards before collapsing with full through penetration, even on quartering away shots.

The important thing, as with ANY RIFLE when hunting, is to put that bullet RIGHT through the drum (vitals), the head, or spine and you should have no worries.

The .243 is a great caliber and I have many times had more success than my elders carrying .30-06's. Its just right, and quite accurate.

Enjoy!
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