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Discussion Starter #1
Deer season is approching quickly and would like to broaden my knowledge of long gun calibers for hunting game. I probably wont ever hunt anything larger than a good-size buck, so keeping that in mind what calliber do you guys recommend. I have been looking at the 308 Win since i heard its a good, flat shooter, but i also heard 7mm magnums are great shooters. Well all info will be helpful as i plan to buy a rifle soon.

Thanks-Medic1

PS: I almost forgot is 308 Win the same as 308 NATO. If it isnt whats the difference
 

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Yes, the .308 is a great medium-sized big game (deer, black bear, etc.) cartridge. It is for all practical purposes identical to the 7.62 NATO (7.62x51) cartridge. It is a much more manageable cartridge for the casual hunter/shooter recoil-wise than any of the 7mm Magnums. Rest assured you don't need a Magnum of any bore diameter for deer hunting!
 

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You may as well ask which is better - Ford or Chevy. I'll start this round by throwing my 2 cents worth in.
I can find no better rifle for hunting than the Savage 110 in .270 caliber. You can buy one for about $325, put a $200-$300 scope on it and for around $600 you can hunt almost anything in North America, certainly any deer that roams our lands. It is a good caliber to reload, with a lot of different bullets available. I own rifles that cost twice as much but only shoot half as good as my two Savage rifles.
You are probably going to get replies praising everything from the .243 to the .460 as the perfect deer caliber. Good luck sorting all of this out and making a decision.
 

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you might also look at the 30-06 cartridge. a little more "umph" and a veritable "plethera" of factory cartidges; including a .22 bullet (i believe it is about 80 grain)in a sabot in front of the 06 cartridge. very, very high velocity. the only thing left of a coyote at about 100 yds. was the head and the tail. i would agree on the savage rifles; they are as good as anything on the market and are available in about all calibers. my thoughts on the 7mm mag. is that you need a shot beyond 300 yds to make them worthwhile. at closer ranges, the bullet passes thru so fast it may take the animal several hours to several days to die and they are unlikely to be found. the 06 will even do elk out to 300/400 yds. mcole

[This message has been edited by mcole (edited 11-07-2001).]
 

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I'll add another vote for a .270. For me, every bit as effective on whitetail as my old '06 but lighter recoil.

One other thought, if you hunt heavy brush like I do in western pa, I'd suggest that a 45-70 is a nice choice. Great for busting through the thick stuff.
 

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I'll chime in for the 30-06. There is such a wide variety of factory loads that you can hunt any animal in north america with this cartridge. I have used the 30-06 accellerator rounds (22 sabot mentioned above)for coyote with good success (although they recoil a heck of a lot more than a .223!)

For deer, the 30-06 is plenty flat enough for long range plains shots and is heavy and powerful enough for shorter range brush shots too. Overall, a very well-rounded hunting cartridge.

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Byron Simpson

[This message has been edited by GrandmasterB (edited 11-07-2001).]
 

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Put my vote for .308. I actually use either an '06, or a 45-70, but if you don't have a long gun, I'd suggest .308 for the versatility and availability of ammo.
 

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Here's a link you might find useful, although it's geared more towards military, defense, and competition use. Says some good for both calibers, praising both the utility of the .308 and the versatility of the .30-06.
http://www.snipercountry.com/higrnd05.htm

I own rifles in both calibers, and find myself choosing to shoot the .308 far more often, although that has more to do with economics than ballistics.

/TCP

PS: How do you guys post renamed links so the whole URL doesn't show in the post??? Neat trick...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies, I looked at the savage 110, not bad at all for the price(thanks Houston1944). I have narrowed it down to a 308,30-06,or 270. Is there any importance that the 308 is a short action where as the latter two are long action rifles?
 

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I'll play Devil's advocate.....in other words, I'll be the flame bait.


Even though I fall into the bigger is better camp most of the time.

What about the lowly .243? Sure it isn't manly, but if deer is the largest game, it'll suffice with shot placement and it can be used on game much smaller as well, without doing too much damage to the game. Shoots flat, is accurate,,,,can do the job.

Plus, it doesn't kick as much as some of the other calibers/rifle combos.


UUGGGHHHH,,,,I can't believe I just said that,,,when I purchased a .300 Win Mag not long ago.


Like I said most of the time, I'm in the bigger is better camp, but I had to throw it out there with the upper-end listed as deer.

Thanks,
H4444
 

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I use a .243 100gr and have no problems with 1 shot kills. Only guys from Detriot go to the UP with their .300 Ultra Mags
BTW , .308 is an excellent round. Have a Win MDL 100 in .308 that has taken many deer.
 

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What's a good size buck where you are? Mule deer where I live are a lot bigger than whitetails.
Any of the calibers mentioned will work great on a deer sized animal. Given you might want to hunt something other than deer someday (elk, bear, moose) I'd consider something larger than the .243 if you're only buying one rifle.
 

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medic1, I'll vote for the 308 Win. (a.k.a 7.62 NATO). I just returned from my annual trip to the Texas Hill Country for opening day of deer season. I have an old Remington 788 in 308 Win., and it has a number of one-shot kills to its credit. I killed a nice 8-point on opening morning with the old 308 and Remington 150gr Core-Lokt. This combination works like a charm every time.
 

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My vote would be for the 30.06. If you are not loading your own rounds you can find a wide variety of rounds up to 220 gr. I have one that has taken several deer in Louisiana and know of one individual that got an elk with theirs.
 

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[This message has been edited by cgwahl (edited 11-08-2001).]
 

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One more vote for the 308. The difference in power between it and a 30-06 is not enough to make me take the shot where I would consider it iffy. A hand loaded 308 will usually run withing 100-150 fps with the same bullet weight on an 06. You end up burning 20% more powder for a 5% velocity gain. As to the 270 Win., the most popular bullet seems to be the 130 grain. The MPBR difference using a 130 grain 308 is a whopping 5 yards. Plus, the 308 is a short action-supposedly more rigid than standard length, but that one I think is more academic than proven in a hunting rifle. Any way you choose, don't lose any sleep over it. A 270/308/30-06 in a quality rifle will serve you very well in the field as well as the range.
 

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Another vote for the 30-06. It is a more versatile cartridge than the 270 or 308. As was said before, all will work fine for deer. Many hunters who were "only deer hunters" changed their stories after being bitten by the bear and elk bug. The 30-06 is the best choice if you even think you may hunt larger species in the future.

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I'd get a 7-08 or a 308. The 7mmMag is a great round, but for deer, you don't need it. The 7-08 is flatter than the 308 and I've seen it used with good sucess. The 308 is good if you want to have some surplus ammo on hand.

When I went through this issue, I opted for a 30-06. But if I had it to do over, I'd get the 308. I'm not into ultra-long range shooting. In fact, I usually carry a pistol or a 45/70 and get close.

tjg
 

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Moving to Long Arms.
 
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