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Experienced Deer Hunters

Old 04-15-2020, 02:11 AM
  #1  
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Last night was one of those nights where I couldn't sleep so I lay there thinking about all the deer I've shot and all the firearms I used on them. (At my age that's just about all I do in bed anymore is think!!!)
As I reflected on the couple hundred or so deer (and antelope) I've taken over the getting close to 60 years now I've used a .243, .270, 7x30 Waters, 7-08, 30-30, 308, 30-06, 35 Whelen, 44 mag, and .45-70 all successfully. Using these chamberings and my opinion, and only my opinion, I've been the least impressed with the .308 for deer sized game. And as much as I like my 45-70s and my 7-08 for deer my opinion, hands down, for deer sized game from spitting distance to 500 yards if I had to have one choice, it would be the .270 Win.
I know there are going to be guys saying they feel their 7mm mag or 300 mag is better and that's OK. I'm not suggesting they aren't. Heck, I have a 6.5CM that I haven't taken hunting yet. What I am saying is based on my experience from the woods and farmlands in PA to the mountains and prairies of the west and heavy pine forest in the north there isn't much the 270 isn't capable of for deer size game without eating up a bunch more powder and giving you a harder recoil.
Those of you with a good bit of experience throw in your two cents. I'm looking for a discussion, not a debate. We just might help a new hunter decide on a firearm/cartridge.

Last edited by bronko22000; 04-15-2020 at 02:15 AM. Reason: added last 3 sentances
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:06 AM
  #2  
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If the .270 is great the .30-06 must be off the charts!

I'd have to agree though- with what you're asking "deer from 0-500" it's tough to beat the .270.

Off the top of my head I've shot deer with a .243,
.270, .30-30, .30-40, 7.62x54, .300sav, .30-06, .375 win, .44 mag, .45-70, .50, and 12 ga slugs.

The 12 gauge has been the best, most haven't even taken a step. But there are obvious limitations when using slugs. I was very impressed with the .45-70 and .375 Winchester. The others have all done well!

There's "better" in terms of performance, but they come at a higher recoil and higher loading cost. And you don't need "better" for deer.

When I set my wife up with a rifle, I went with a .270. and I've found myself carrying it several times now.

Most hunters don't need 0-500. Most need 0-75. But for a true all around "do anything deer related" rifle, a .270 is a great choice (and so is the 6.5 Creed, and a whole bunch of other options too.)

-Jake
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:28 AM
  #3  
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Strongly considering a .280 AI.

My feelings for that 270/.30-06 case, the 280ai probably gets the most out of it. and honestly if I'm hunting something that the .30-06 would do better than the 280, I'm going to just be using a bigger magnum probably.

speaking of 0-500yds... with all this BC talk...it's my understanding that high BCs really don't start to take over until after 500yds, so unless that's a critical choice in an upcoming hunt....
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Old 04-15-2020, 07:31 AM
  #4  
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I agree that the 270 win loaded with a quality bullet,
is about ideal on deer size game, and I've used it to kill one elk.
people that feel their favorite cartridge is vastly superior to something rather similar,
, in my opinion, tend to lack extensive out in the field time.
those cartridge comparison discussions might be fun,
but they are more useful in starting arguments than in any documented increase in your potential success.
that fact and the fact that most hunters are very bad at range estimation, past that 250-300 yard distance,
and decades of seeing guys claim 500-600 yard kills while having nearly zero knowledge of the rifles trajectory,
and knowing they sighted in dead on at 100 yards makes most of those stories rather dubious.
I've used a dozen or more rifles in cartridges like,
270 win,
30/06,
300 wby
375 H&H,
340 wby ,
45/70,
358 win,
257 roberts,
and 35 whelen etc
If the person carrying that rifle understood its trajectory and its potential limitations, and the anatomy of the game,
he found that with proper shot placement, and projectile they all worked just fine.
one gentleman, I hunted with for decades exclusively used a Winchester mod 70 pre-1964 in 257 roberts
used to constantly kid me about my use of a 340 wby that weighted several pounds more than his rifle and obviously kicked a great deal harder.
we both killed our share of game .

anyone who is a decent shot , and who understands both his equipment limitations and the anatomy of the game,
can use almost any centerfire rifle, with proper ammo and be successful.
BTW if your current rifle is not giving you the desired lethality, you might consider changing the projectile your using, it can make a huge difference.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 04-15-2020 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 04-15-2020, 12:01 PM
  #5  
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personallay I feel any caliber of proper energy and correct bullet type for the task at hand, YOU like,!~

will be all anyone needs for the game your after!

I have owned and shot thousands of rifles, and stacked up a ton of kills over my life time with many different calibers from 50 bmg down!

and bullet placement is # to all things, after that, its again, having enough energy and a correct bullet for the animal trying to be killed!

pick "X" caliber you like and have at , learn to use to and know its limits and YOUR"S

there is NO magic bullet or caliber period
, that kills things when your not hitting vitals
its a lot of splitting hairs and personal preferences when your dealing with so many calibers of like performance and stat's!

some folks will always like"X" better than someone else, and have difference results too!

some love chevy's some don't, same deal with many calibers and rifle brands IMO!
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:29 PM
  #6  
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ok, have taken my share, of the calibers I have used, which are, 223, 22-250, 6mm ppc, 243, 243 win., 6mm, 6.5 creed, 6.5 Gibbs, 25 wssm, 270, 7mm/08, 280, 7mm mag, 7mm stw, 7mm Allen Mag., 30 herret, 30-30, 308, 7.62x39, 348 win., 350 rem mag, 375 JDJ, and 458 socom. from the 243 to the 7mag I see zero difference. those rounds approaching 3500 fps mv do stand out. but for an average deer hunter, you won't see a difference, prove me wrong!
RR
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:37 PM
  #7  
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now, my current favorite deer cartridge for killing whitetails at <400 yards, a bone stock Remington 788 in 6mm loaded with 95 gr BT's.
RR
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:50 PM
  #8  
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RR, not a .30-06 in the bunch? That seems wrong.


-Jake
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:57 PM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Bocajnala View Post
RR, not a .30-06 in the bunch? That seems wrong.


-Jake
never impressed me, sorry, was a big 270 fan back in the day, then I learned better.
RR
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Old 04-15-2020, 04:06 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Ridge Runner;4374027 [b
was a big 270 fan back in the day, then I learned better.[/b]
RR
well have to ask, why you would say this
what did you find was wrong with a .270?
IMO its a great caliber, just like so many others are, !
I am NOT pushing a .270 either, I just have nothing wrong with one!
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