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Rifle Caliber Recommendation

Old 12-31-2018, 05:22 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,079

If I were to buy a nice rifle I would want it to be versatile, not just a deer rifle. As several have said that would lead me to buy a 30-06. If the recoil is a problem put a limbsaver on it, they are great at reducing felt recoil.
My son has a 25-06 that he uses for deer and is well pleased with it. It is also a versatile caliber with less recoil then the 30-06. I am old fashioned and like the older calibers, 270, 243, 7X57, 6.5X55, etc.
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:51 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 515

Id recommend the 50 BMG
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 60

I really like the 7mm-08 low recoil and is deadly on deer .
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:44 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,282

I have a 270 and I really did not think it kicks very much. I have owned it for many years and the bullets are very easy to come by. They are all pretty good.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:06 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: texas
Posts: 1,201



lots of guys fall for the marketing on the NEWEST AND LATEST, being the best,
the marketing departments of most rifle vendors would have you think theres huge, improvements being made almost every year,
the truth here is that the nearly 100 year old 270 win is still very competitive,
with the newer calibers if correctly selected hand-loads with the newer powder and projectiles are used.
your more than likely debating a difference in recoil energy between about 16 ft lbs and 21 ft lbs depending on the ammo and rifle weight
even the higher energy 270 which gives you a significant advantage in range and power
with the higher recoil is a ridiculously low recoil rifle even my 12 year old grandson easily handles
don,t get the idea the 6.5 mm shoots significantly flatter than the 270,
if each cartridge has good hand loads and keep in mind easily 80% of all game is shot at well under 300 yards
within reasonable limits its not the rifle or caliber used that matter nearly as much,
as the skill , persistence and experience of the guy using it.

reload data

http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=270%20Winchester&Weight=All&ty pe=rifle&Order=Powder&Source=
figure 3000 fps 140 grain

http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=7%20mm-08%20Remington&Weight=All&type=rifle&Order=Powder& Source=
figure 2800 fps 140 grain

figure 2700 fps 140 grain

Last edited by hardcastonly; 01-03-2019 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:49 AM
Fork Horn
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 293

If you're planning to hunt the more open woods and fields of piedmont and western NC, any of the calibers listed will be fine. However, if you're hunting the eastern part of the state, especially southeastern coastal counties, you'll likely be in very dense woods with tons of underbrush and pine straw. Even if shot in a shooting lane or on the edge of a field, the deer will be in the rough stuff quick.

If this is the case, go with a caliber and bullet that will exit the deer and leave a good blood trail early. It's tough to find blood when the deer runs 70-100 yards barely dripping blood and doesn't leave a good trail until well into the brush.

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Old 01-02-2019, 02:03 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: West Central Illinois
Posts: 1,099

Originally Posted by JGFLHunter
Id recommend the 50 BMG
Has anyone seen the Keith Warren video where he harvests a deer without hitting it? Shooting a .50 caliber at the doe's head. It drops. Turns out he missed. However, the round passing that close to the head kills the deer. Amazing

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Old 01-02-2019, 02:11 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 141

If you don't reload I would pick the caliber that was easiest to find stocked in stores around you. That was my main reason for purchasing a 30-06. You can find ammo anywhere and cheap.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:09 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,358

I have both .30-06 and 7-08. Actually wife has the 7-08.

she's taken a 300 lb mulie a 200 lb mulie and 3 antelope, ranges from 200 to 75 yards, all one shot kills.

I'd get a 7-08 if I did it again.

she shoots 139 interlocks and they work just fine.
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Old 01-03-2019, 11:37 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,743

Originally Posted by rogerstv
Has anyone seen the Keith Warren video where he harvests a deer without hitting it? Shooting a .50 caliber at the doe's head. It drops. Turns out he missed. However, the round passing that close to the head kills the deer. Amazing

I will add this here since you bought up a 50BMG, I have owned and shot a LOT of them, I have killed deer with them as well as other things, they are NOT perfect killing machines that give 100% of the time instant drop right there kills even when in the boiler room!
I have seen (and it was on video too) while shooting a video series I was part of yrs back(late 90's) a 60-70 lb doe standing broad side , at MAYBE 75 yards or less!
, eating in a food plot, shot off a rest from inside a shooting house.blind,

get shot with a 50 bmg, a 750 grain soft point with about 11,000 FT LB of energy, take a hit in the shoulders
and that doe ran over 200 yards
when we got to the deer , there was a hole, large enough to throw a soft ball thru and NOT hit any part of the deer, guy in video actually stuck his fist and arm thru the hole, and THAT deer RAN after the hit!
after this I gave up believing ANY "X" caliber is ALWAYS a DRT deal
SO when folks bring up this military caliber for hunting deer with, it makes me laugh
as its NOT really the size or power of the bullet that kills, its destroying vitals that does, and even then some times dead things can cover some ground before stopping!(prime example is cut the head off a chicken and watch it go)
IMO< some deer, for what ever reasons , just have the ability to RUN dead on there feet!

and as for a guy using a 50 and to be TRYING to take a head shot (IF THAT WAS WHAT HE WAS DOING) was also Silly IMO!(didn;t watch this video)

and then to miss and use the gun/caliber/bullet was able to kill without hitting it?? DUMB luck at best, might of had a heart attack too and nothing to do with bullet passing near it at all LOL

back to topic, the average deer hunter and the AVERAGE hunters HONEST shooting skill set, MOST should NOT be shooting past 300 yards IMO, based on YRS of training shooters and being in the gun business and shooting sports
so with this, , any of the OP's calibers will be fine for most ALL deer hunters
don't get caught up in the marketing hype of needing so many things, there deer, not sci fi creatures that take special needs to kill them here, pick one of these 3 calibers and learn how to shoot the rifle you get it in!, practice practice practice, nothing beats hands on shooting time!
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