Still new to hunting, looking at deer in Virginia


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MJRW
November 28, 2008, 11:27 PM
I've previously posted about appropriate clothing for deer hunting and got excellent and informative responses. I'm now beginning to contemplate what exactly I should be seeking for a deer gun of my own. I'm seeking input based on several guiding points and questions:

1. A friend, who will likely be my general all purpose hunting buddy, has a Remington 700 in .30-06. We generally seek ammo compatibility for ease of going to the range and because it just became fun to do. Both of our ammo stocks are 9mm, .357, 12g, and 7.62x39. For this reason, .30-06 is appealing. I've also enjoyed firing his Remington.

2. I'm interested in .270 as it apparently has a very flat trajectory. Being new to hunting, I don't know how versatile this would be as compared to some other calibers I'm considering (.357, .30-06, 30-30). What potential game types could I miss out on with .270 as compared to others? What might I gain?

3. Lever actions are also of interest, but I'm not quite certain what the platform offers as benefits over bolt action. Also, same questions as above. What do I miss out and what do I gain?

4. If I consider going for .357 in a rifle, am I still firing with sufficient power to seek a relatively humane kill or am I opening the potential for simply wounding an animal and never actually taking it?

5. Cost effectiveness is something that ranks very high on my list of priorities. Not just in platform, but also in cost to feed. That said, what I choose must still work. This might be best summarized by saying I like Glocks, AKs, and 870s. Given all of these points, is there some super awesome option that I am unaware of?

I thank all of you in advance.

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Tang419
November 29, 2008, 12:01 AM
Savage Arms. Probably one of the most accurate rifles out of the box that are made today. You can even get them with a scope and a sling already mounted.

Me personaly, if only getting one rifle, I'd go with a 7mm Rem Mag. Can do everything the .270 and .30-06 can do and probably more. Loads from varmint to bear can be had almost anywhere ammo is sold.

Something I hunted with and rather enjoied, was a rifle borrowed from a friend awhile back. A Ruger M77 Compact in .308. Very light and very manuverable in tight places. Handles similar to a lever gun in my opinion.

The .357 in a Lever Gun will be plenty if shots are kept at 100yds or below.

Cost effectivness, the .308 is a great value, then again so is the .30-06 and .270. But definetly give Savage a look.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 29, 2008, 12:25 AM
1. A friend, who will likely be my general all purpose hunting buddy, has a Remington 700 in .30-06. We generally seek ammo compatibility for ease of going to the range and because it just became fun to do. Both of our ammo stocks are 9mm, .357, 12g, and 7.62x39. For this reason, .30-06 is appealing. I've also enjoyed firing his Remington.

Although it's a tad overkill for bambi, the ammo commonality is a good enough reason, and it's certainly a great caliber, so run with .30-06 I'd say for the commonality with your friend.

2. I'm interested in .270 as it apparently has a very flat trajectory. Being new to hunting, I don't know how versatile this would be as compared to some other calibers I'm considering (.357, .30-06, 30-30). What potential game types could I miss out on with .270 as compared to others? What might I gain?

6 of one; half dozen of the other. You won't miss out on anything. You'll get *ever so slightly* flatter trajectory than a .30-06, and *ever so slightly* less recoil than a .30-06 - not enough to notice for hunting reasons. But I'm a huge fan of the .270 Win caliber, even though it too is overkill for bambi. Do a search for "deer rifle" or "deer caliber" here and in the hunting forum, and you will find many many threads offering good advice on the best deer calibers, some quite recent.

3. Lever actions are also of interest, but I'm not quite certain what the platform offers as benefits over bolt action. Also, same questions as above. What do I miss out and what do I gain?

You don't miss out on much other than looks/nostalgia (and perhaps a few thousands of a second in cycle time - not enough to matter). When in doubt, go with a bolt action - many many people myself included love turnbolts for many good reasons. Do a search for bolt actions for details.

4. If I consider going for .357 in a rifle, am I still firing with sufficient power to seek a relatively humane kill or am I opening the potential for simply wounding an animal and never actually taking it?

Mehhhh......I'm of the opinion that it's still a humane kill with stout louds - you can send 158 grainers to 1900 fps+ - that'll do the job.

5. Cost effectiveness is something that ranks very high on my list of priorities. Not just in platform, but also in cost to feed. That said, what I choose must still work. This might be best summarized by saying I like Glocks, AKs, and 870s. Given all of these points, is there some super awesome option that I am unaware of?

No, the super awesome option is a turnbolt rifle - the cheapest rounds are actually the .30-30 Winchester, but .308, .270, and 30-06 are not too terribly much more. But unfortunately, not a lot of turnbolt rifles anymore (none?) are still made in .30-30 win. CZ does make a rifle in 7.62x39mm which is similar, but has very limited factory hunting ammo selection. But a levergun in .30-30 Win is always an excellent choice for a deer rifle.

arsuf
November 29, 2008, 12:28 AM
I would go with the .30-06 if you liked your friends, excellent all around cartridge. No real need for the 7mm mag on the east coast, plus the blast and kick is not the best for regular practice. The savage is an excellent value, remington's are nice, ruger makes some good ones, beyond that there are tons of other options. For VA a 30-30 lever would serve you very well if you don't mind departing with your friend.

Jerry D
November 29, 2008, 12:47 AM
I'd suggest a rifle a 7mm 08, a .308, a .270, or a .30-06.

All are popular and all have the killing power for deer sized game. People say and it is true that smaller calibers(243) can and do effectively kill deer, however a larger caliber will cause more damage if a bad shot occurs which could help. If the shot placement is good there will be almost no difference in effectiveness.

I would highly suggest a bolt action or "if" a lever action, I would go with the Browning BLR - I suggest bolt action because

#1 easy to use
#2 reliable
#3 generally quite accurate for normal hunting purposes
#4 are chambered in more powerful/efficient rounds with a longer range.
#5 you'd be surprised at the rate in which you can shoot/cycle the bolt.
#6 you don't need follow up shots unless you miss or there are more than 1 deer your shooting at at the same time.
My shots are generally 50-100 yards however I hunt in fence lines close to bush/feild edges. If though perhaps a deer presents itself at the far side of the field(250 yards) I know my .30-06 can touch him as long as I aim straight.

As for rifle recommendations I suggest a Savage if one is on a budget, the cheap remington 710s or whatever the new model is are GARBAGE. If not on a budget get something perhaps nicer. Whatever you like better. Tikka's/Ruger's/CZ/Howa/Vangaurd/Abolt/rem 700 etc etc etc etc etc...

cracked butt
November 29, 2008, 01:00 AM
Anything int he .308 class of cartridges are about perfect for whitetail: .243, 260 rem, 7mm-08, .308 with the .260 probably being the best of the bunch but the most difficult to find factory ammo for.

The .270 and 30-06 will kill anything that walks in North America, but for whitetail deer, they are more than you need.

W.E.G.
November 29, 2008, 01:07 AM
30-06 is hardly "overkill."

Last Virginia deer I shot was with a 30-06.

Four-point buck shot through the heart at less than 50 yards about 10 or 15 minutes before sunset.

That deer still ran far enough into a patch of laurels, I had to come back and track it in the morning. Huge blood trail when there was enough light to see the red color on the ground. The deer was about 75 yards from the spot where the bullet hit him.

Its nonsense to say 30-06 is overkill for whitetail deer.

cracked butt
November 29, 2008, 01:22 AM
The deer was about 75 yards from the spot where the bullet hit him.

That's just what deer do, it wouldn't have mattered if you shot him with a .22 hornet or a 300magnum, it would have trotted off to some extent anyhow. The 30-06 isn't necessarily too much gun for deer, but it is too much gun for a lot of shooters.

Tang419
November 29, 2008, 10:32 AM
It really comes down to what you want and can handle. In this area (Carroll County), the deer are pretty small, there is so much poaching going on around here (namely spot lighting), that they just cant grow. I still prefer my .300 Win Mag. I can shoot it all day long, and it is more than effective for anything I encounter. I could load it down to .30-06 level, but whats the fun in that ? :D

For the tight brushy areas, I use a Mossberg 535 with 24" rifled barrel and iron sights.


The best thing to do is try out some friend's guns. Shoot different calibers and see what you like and can handle. Then decide.

bang_bang
November 29, 2008, 11:00 AM
"I'm a huge fan of the .270 Win caliber, even though it too is overkill for bambi."

You gotta be kidding me. .270 is the smallest deer rifle I own, and my girlfriend took it over.

OVERKILL- a myth, you can't kill anything too dead.

.270 vs 30-06 is a pretty close match. The .270 is a bit flatter shooting, even out shooting the 300 Win Mag at long ranges. But the 30-06 has it beat on knockdown power with the 30 cal bullet.

Here is what I've gotten from the loads I use in my rifles to compare the factory ballistics in the .270 vs my 300 Win Mag, which is still a flatter shooting gun that the 30-06.

.270 Win 130gr Supreme Ballistic Silvertip Winchester Ammunition

FPS ft.lbs Short Long
Muzzle 3050 2685 - -
50 - - -0.2 -
100 2828 2309 0 1.4
150 - - -0.8 1.3
200 2618 1978 -2.8 0
250 - -- -6.1 -2.6
300 2416 1685 -10.7 -6.5
400 2224 1428 - -18.9
500 2040 1202 - -38.4


300 Win Mag 180gr Speer Hot-Cor Federal Powershok Ammunition

FPS ft.lbs Short Long
Muzzle 2960 3502
100 2746 3013 0 1.6
200 2542 2582 -3.1 0
300 2346 2200 -11.6 -6.9
400 2160 1864 - -20.3
500 1982 1570 - -41.0

The 30-06 with 150gr loads will achieve performance similar to the 300 Win Mag, but usually around -13 inches or so at 300 yards with a 100 yard zero. As far as flat shooting while hunting, not a big difference in the 30-06 and .270. Ammo seems to be relatively cheap for either one, with many different loads available at Wal-Mart.

conhntr
November 30, 2008, 03:59 PM
if you live in virginia you have to use a .243

conhntr
November 30, 2008, 04:00 PM
and you have to neck shot them

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