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deer rifle caliber

Old 03-02-2004, 12:42 AM
Fork Horn
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Default deer rifle caliber

hey everyone. i am looking at getting my first deer rifle. i would like a gun with a flat trajectory, but that can shoot a heavy enough load in case i ever go for bigger game. I am considerin 270, 280, 308, 30-06. i may even look at 300 mag or 7mm mag if the price is right. any opinions? thanks!
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:59 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Default RE: deer rifle caliber

I shoot a 7MM RM, and I like it very much! If I had it to do over again, I'd opt for the .280 Rem.
With the .280 you get magnum quality at regular prices! Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:20 AM
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Default RE: deer rifle caliber

I used a Remington 742 in 30.06 for both moose & deer for years......Brampton Mike
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Old 03-02-2004, 05:31 AM
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Default RE: deer rifle caliber

Hi pointerDixie214,

I would think any rifle you happen to like in any of the calibers you mentioned would work! A couple of notes though. Find the rifle you like, that fits you, and you can afford. If it happens to be a short action.....then it's .308 by default. If you are interested in always saving a few dollars or more per box of ammo......then it will be a standard cartridge as opposed to a magnum. (Same goes for a little lighter rifle, less recoil, and slightly handier rifle........standard again.) The magnums are great cartridges......but seldom necessary for deer hunting. And there is always a price to be paid for the slight increase in performance. (See the above three reasons.)

If however the rifle you find is chambered for one of the magnums. You like it.....it fits you.....and you don't mind those characteristics as noted above.....then a magnum may be for you!

Any of the cartridges you've mentioned work well for what you've mentioned. And to a large degree the difference in their effect on game....is in the minds of the user!

Good luck in your selection!


P.S. The exception to that statement of course is a .300 Magnum with premium bullets of 200 grains or heavier. Then it acts more nearly like a true "medium caliber"........but is decidely not "a deer rifle" thus loaded!
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:25 AM
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Default RE: deer rifle caliber

Ditto...any of those would work fine. It's really up to you. My preference is the .280
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:18 PM
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Default RE: deer rifle caliber

I'm hooked on the .30-06 myself. It offers excellent ballistics, a wide selection of rifles and loads, and it's quite capable of taking any North American game. For the most part, I think that bigger is better, but there's really no need for the magnums until you start doing some long-range hunting.
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:41 PM
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:54 PM
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Default RE: deer rifle caliber

Like most of Life's questions the answer is "depends..."

Where do you hunt? Are long range shots the norm? Do you need a "brush" gun? Want a bolt action or a lever? We need more info to give you the best suggestions.

I hunt out west where the ranges can extend to 350 yards and beyond. I need a rifle that can kill out to 400 yards (my ethical limit for distance to shoot) and the bullet must fly fast and flat. Since I hunt deer and elk I want a bigger round so this may not apply for what you need. I'm glad to see you realize recoil is a consideration and are honest about it. To that end a 30-06 or 7mm are about the highest you'll want to try due to recoil. If you only hunt whitetail deer (generally smaller than mule deer and elk) a lighter caliber with lighter bullets will due. I'd probably recommend a .270 Win as great deer-only and smaller rifle. That is what my wife shoots and I hand load for it. I think it's great for deer size game. She hunts elk with it too but in my experience it's just a little light for elk. Don't get me wrong, she and several others in her family kill elk with 270's but I haven't seen really good results. All of the elk I've seen shot with it have been spikes and cows so it's probably adequate for that size but a huge bull I would choose something bigger myself.

Again, give us some more on the type of hunting you'll need it for and we'll give you some better advice based on your region and type of hunting you expect to encounter.
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:55 PM
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Default RE: deer rifle caliber

If you want a flat shooting caliber,, get the 7mm and use 165 grain boattail,, I use this combo and it has done fine..
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Old 03-02-2004, 02:12 PM
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Default RE: deer rifle caliber

I like the 30.06 as well. Couple of reasons; Ammo, huge selection and you can get it almost anywhere with plenty on the shelf. They are pretty cheap too. But having an 30.06 will allow you to hunt whatever. I will be using mine for deer, but i would not be afraid to use it for anything else in N.AMerica. IMO, it also shoots flat enough to be considered a long range caliber and you can get 150gr up to 220 gr bullets fairly easy. That being said, recoil is not that bad with a 30.06 either. I put a pad on my gun cuz i have a bad shoulder from years of weights and such but i have no problem with it.

Any of the calibers you mention are good for what you are looking for. I guess if i had only one gun it would be the 3006. it's truly versitile.
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