Which caliber for deer hunting ?

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Copper BB
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Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:23 am
PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:53 pm
My friend isn't sure which caliber to buy

Deer hunting only, in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Absolutely hates the 30-06, says it kicks too hard and isn't fun to shoot.

Beginner hunter, this will be his first rifle

I have the 30-30 and love it. He isn't sure if he wants something with a little more power than 30-30 ?


How do the calipers rank in order ? The 30-30 being the least powerful. And if 30-06 was the most powerful, which calibers are in between to choose from ?

.270 WIN
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Location: Kentucky
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:36 am
Any of the 25 or 26 calibers will kill any deer on the continent reliably and humanely without beating the stuffings out of the hunter. I prefer and use the .257 Roberts but I've used it for years and hand load. The .260 intrigues me although I cannot cite empirical data to recommend it. I have taken several deer, including my largest ever, with the 6.5X55 Swedish Mauser which is a crackerjack round. I would certainly not overlook the .243. Hope it all works out.

When I cited 25 or 26 calibers, I should note I am speaking of modern calibers and not ones introduced at the beginning of the previous century.

.270 WIN
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:36 pm
Location: Panhandle Idaho
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:33 am
I agree, for a beginner the .243 will suffice for a minn brush gun as well as reach out and touch a whitetail in the wisc wheat field.

44
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:15 am
My favorite deer getter is the .30 WCF out of my Winchester Model 1895 in the woods and brush of
Pennsylvania...

.270 WIN
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Location: Northern California
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:10 pm
As p.d. I also use a .257 Rob'ts and would recommend it over the .243 Winchester. The .30-30 when fired in a '94 style gun has,in my mind, more recoil than an '06. If he hand loads or can get Hornady amo then a 7X57mm with 139-140 gr. bullet is a good choice and there is nothing wrong with the .270 Winchester either.
Too old to be nice, never too old to learn!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 9:18 am
Recoil is a perception...some are acutely aware and expect it...others just roll with it.

I'm in the latter camp...

.270 WIN
Posts: 145
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Location: Panhandle Idaho
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:14 pm
While I've never shot a 257 robts I inherited a lot of 257 ammo/components. I have shot a 243 and found the recoil to be less than a 308(my personal choice for hunting).

Personally, whether perceived or not, recoil is the most cited factor in a beginners opinion about enjoying hunting, shooting or the sport. A followup shot is much easier if you dont need to recompose yourself.

44

.410
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 5:02 pm
Location: The shoreline of Lake Erie before the Great Black Swamp was drained
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:33 am
I shoot a 260. Easy to find ammo
In my area 257 r is impossible to find on the shelf
I am one gun away from Happy

.22LR
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:18 pm
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:08 pm
On the subject of recoil, I have a question about the difference between wood and plastic stocks.
I've owned old 308's with wood stocks and never had a problem with recoil.
Even owned a 303 Jungle carbine (They kick) and never flinched.
One day I thought I should enter the 21th century and bought a new Tikka T3 in 308.
I appreciate that they are technically an excellent rifle, but I just could not make myself like it. Part of my problem was that the recoil was nasty.
I have a theory that wood softens recoil and plastic simply transmits it straight at you.
How's that sound ?
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20g
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Location: Central Louisiana
PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:30 pm
Talking nasty recoil......my 1928 Winchester SRC 30-30 goes high on the nasty chart.
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.22LR
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:18 pm
PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:36 pm
A mate of mine has an old short Winchester (Unknown) 30-30.
I've never fired it but by the way he gets pushed around and the profanities that come from his direction.... I think he agrees with you !
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.410
Posts: 62
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Location: Cocoa, FL
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:54 pm
Recoil is lessened for beginners with the use of a shoulder protector like any of these at MidwayUSA (and others):
https://www.midwayusa.com/recoil-protection/br?cid=688

There is no reason to "take the punishment" when learning to shoot. Use the Recoil Pad. After the first 1000 rounds or so, you just won't care anymore.

Take them duck hunting with a 12 ga. shotgun. After the first 3-4 shots at live targets, they'll get into it. After the 12 ga. all of the other calibers from 30-06, 308, 270, 243, 30-30 and down will be no problemo.

In your 12 ga., put a piece of "steel bar" up the stock, being careful to protect the nut and bolt up there. The added weight will dampen recoil. I did this on my H&R Pardner 12 ga. single shot Handi-rifle for my boys when they were learning to shoot ducks and it really helped. Shortly thereafter, they both wanted pump shotguns without the added weight.
If it was easy, anybody could do it.

.22LR
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Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:00 pm
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:27 am
for strictly woods hunting i like my 35 remington , in the fields my 270 has done the job for years

.410
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:39 pm
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:52 pm
I would suggest that you pick a caliber that has been around for a while. I've seen a lot of the hot items go wildcat and then disappear over the years.

It's been said that 6.5-7mm are the best hunting rounds and I don't dispute that.

My suggestion to you is that you stick to the basics. .270 or 30-06. If you're not open to a 20lb shoulder slam then the .270 is probably your best choice. I don't recommend you try this yet, but I took a big Wyoming Elk with one shot from a Model 70 .270 at around 400 yards. That was not in my comfort zone but I got the kill.

Today, I carry a Model 94 30-30, a Model 70 Featherweight 30-06 and a new Browning X-Bolt 300 WSM.

As for recoil.. Ask any true hunter and they'll tell you they don't remember the recoil when they're hunting only while at the range. I know what it feels like but I don't remember what it felt like. Get yourself a lead sled for the range.

.22LR
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:14 pm
I really like my 7mm-08 .
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20g
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Location: Central Louisiana
PostPosted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:06 pm
7mm is an interesting woodland round. I don't hunt, so I have no preference. 30-30 is popular in my neck of the woods.
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.270 WIN
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:50 pm
191185 This thread is now nearly 3 years old now, I would like to know what cartridge your friend chose and his opinion.
Too old to be nice, never too old to learn!
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20g
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:11 pm
Good to see on site again bob lewis. Looks like we are running on empty.

I am bumping oldies in hopes of having some activity.
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.270 WIN
Posts: 107
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:56 pm
Location: Northern California
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:40 pm
Redryder, it seems as though the sites I attend are all a little slow.
Too old to be nice, never too old to learn!

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