Good deer hunting rifle for me?


Joe Black
November 16, 2009, 06:45 PM
I have the itch for a bolt action gun used to hunt primarily deer and varmints second. Black Friday is coming upon us and I'm hoping to pick one up then. I need some advice on caliber.

I will prob be shooting 300 yds max and 150-200yds avg. What would be a good caliber to get? I like the ballistics of the 300 win mag and 22-250 but would like to hear your responses.

If you enjoyed reading about "Good deer hunting rifle for me?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
November 16, 2009, 06:52 PM
The .300 win mag would seem to be overkill for both deer and varmints (what are we talking about, coyotes?), while the 22-250 seems a bit light for deer. I would look at something in a .243, .270, or even a .308. No need to get into the magnum calibers for what you want to do, and the ammo will cost too much $$. .308 win. will have the cheapest ammo of those I've listed. I personally have all three calibers in bolt guns. But like I asked before, what kind of "varmints" are we talking about?

Joe Black
November 16, 2009, 07:00 PM
Varmints would primarliy be coyote. I would be shooting hogs as well.

November 16, 2009, 07:03 PM
Black Friday? Do they have good deals on guns then too? I know most stores have big savings but I didn't think guns would.

Joe Black
November 16, 2009, 07:03 PM
Apparently cabelas and academy have heavy discounts on guns
in stock.

November 16, 2009, 07:04 PM
7mm-08 is another option. 25-06 also.

I'm a big fan of the 7mm-08, but anything around the 6-7mm range should work just fine.

November 16, 2009, 07:09 PM
Deer, hogs, coyotes- .308, .243, or .270 would be great. .243 might be light for deer if you are in the northern half of the U.S. Where are you located?

For what you are wanting to do, just stay away from the magnum calibers and anything over .30 caliber or smaller than .243/6mm. .257 Roberts, 7mm-08, 6.8spc, or just about anything in that range would be great as well.

November 16, 2009, 07:24 PM
.243 or 2.70 good power low recoil very accurate and cheap ammo

November 16, 2009, 07:25 PM
My personal favorites are the .270 Win and the .30-06. I have shot a .270 for 18 years now and love it. It's a little faster and flatter than the 06 but the 06 seems to hit a little harder. I personally would not shoot a .243, my cousin and best friend both shoot them and it seems like they need help to find every deer they shoot even with perfect shot placement. The usually don't go to far but they just don't bleed regardless of what bullet they are shooting.

November 16, 2009, 07:28 PM

November 16, 2009, 07:36 PM
ditto.... 25-06 , .270, 30-06 pick one ..... reloading will make any of them even more fun.

November 16, 2009, 07:39 PM
7mm-08 as stated above, .257 wby or the 25-06.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 16, 2009, 07:44 PM
A. Rifle choice is more important than caliber choice - how much do you have to spend? Does that include optics (scope, mount, & rings), sling, and ammo too? Or just rifle only? Fit of the rifle to you, having the featured desired, and the accuracy needed for your use are the most important considerations. Gotta know budget to know that.

B. Having said that, as for caliber for an all-around big-gamer, I'd look to the 'sweet spot' at one of the very-popular (for good reason) mostly-non-magnum 'goldilocks' bottle-necked calibers from .243 Win up to .338 Federal. .22-250 would be a downright terrible choice, and a .300 maggie, while a much better choice than .22-250, is overkill for most anything, except for large game taken with the longest of shots across the steepest of non-flora'd canyons out West, IMO. So IMO, you should be looking at cartridges IN BETWEEN your two "extreme choices".

Since you said hogs, too (tough critters), I'd look at a .25 caliber minimum, and look closely at these calibers:

.257 Roberts
.25-'06 Rem
.260 Rem
6.5x55mm Swedish
6.5-.284 Norma
.270 WSM
.270 Win
7x57mm mauser
.284 Win
.280 Rem
7mm Rem Mag
7mm WSM
.30-30 Win
.308 Win
.30-'06 Spfld
7.5x55mm Swiss
8mm Mauser
.338 Federal

With the ones you'll most likely be happy with in the long run bolded. The "no-brainer" best choices for most people are the 4 bolded & underlined ones, in addition to a fifth that is on the light side a bit - .243 Win. These have CHEAP & commonly-available factory ammo, and are ubiquitous for good reason - they work very very well without unnecessary blast/flash, recoil, and ammo cost.

The 7mm Remington Magnum (in the list above), though a little more expensive to shoot, is an extremely popular round for very good reason, and very flat-shooting and hard-hitting, although with a little too much blast, and too little cartridge efficiency for my taste. .25-'06 Rem is also a very flat shooting round, and good all-purpose round.

FWIW, my own "long-range hunting rifle" is chambered in .280 Remington, arguably the perfect goldilocks caliber. A LOT can be said for the very similar 7mm-08 as well. You can find 7mm-08 at places like Academy & Bass Pro Shops now (But not most Walmarts), so it's bordering on being a "mainstream caliber" at this point - very popular.

The .26s calibers, such as .260 Rem and 6.5x55mm swedish, are also becoming increasingly popular as a good tradeoff in recoil & performance, for good reason. In fact, since you seem to be a big fan of laser-like trajectory, I also would not rule out a rifle in .264 Win Mag or .270 WSM for you - these have far LESS recoil than a .300 maggie, significantly MORE long-range performance than either a .300 maggie or .22-250, and ultra-flat trajectories. They may be just the ticket for you, if you're not shooting thousands of rounds through it to wear out the barrel, and don't mind more ammo expense.

If you're one of those guys that doesn't want to mess with anything remotely "oddball", but want super long range and all-around performance, then the caliber for you is the .270 Winchester - in my opinion. With .30-'06 Springfield bringing up a very close 2nd place.

If you like to get punished with recoil, and/or have a thicker wallet, then by all means step up to one of the many, many choices in .300 maggies, or to .325 WSM, or .338 Win Mag, .338-'06, or even go up to a .35 caliber, such as .35 Whelen. Or even to a big booming straight-walled round like the .45-70 or .444 Marlin. These will all do the job too.

Colton White
November 16, 2009, 07:46 PM
Howdy joe welcome to the high road. For a bolt gun that will take care of deer, hogs, yotes, and anything smaller that you dont want to put on the table... i say .308 its a handy round, flat shooter at your ranges and there isa wide selection of ammo from most factories but remember shot placement is most important of all the choices so far all of them will pop a deer heart like a water balloon. I say .308.

November 16, 2009, 08:00 PM
A guy on Sagecreek Forums has a new Rem700ADL synthetic in .308 for $375 + shipping.
Perfect deer rifle. Great price. Of course you'd have to join the Forum to be able to post a response. But they're good guys over there.

November 16, 2009, 08:05 PM
260 and 280.. buy 2 rifles..

Uncle Mike
November 16, 2009, 08:15 PM
Short action...7mm-08

Long action...280

November 16, 2009, 08:16 PM
243, 25-06, 260, 270, 280, 7mm-08, 308, 30-06

November 16, 2009, 09:38 PM
7mm-08 is another option. 25-06 also.

I'm a big fan of the 7mm-08, but anything around the 6-7mm range should work just fine.
Ding, ding, ding!!

25-06 sounds like what you want. Bullets from 70gr to 120gr with good speed and a flat trajectory. My next choice would be a commercial actioned 6.5x55.

November 16, 2009, 10:02 PM
I'd go with .270win, .308 or .30-06 for open areas up to 200+ yards, using more common calibers. In a wooded area or lots of brush I'd go with .30-30win. The .30-30 is also good out to 150 yards, which is about the limit for my shooting.

November 16, 2009, 10:06 PM
I use a 6.5x55mm Swede - very versatile round. My second choice would be a .308 and then a 7mm-08. Look at Tikka - a great gun for the money.

November 16, 2009, 10:08 PM
I think they covered it. If I wanted a do it all gun there is really only one I'd look at and that's a 30-06. A .308 would be very similar also but I think I'd pick the 30-06 over the rest as it's super easy to find ammo for and anything else.

The other two I'd consider for what you want are the 25-06 and the .270.

November 16, 2009, 11:33 PM
Some may laugh at this, but my favorite deer hunting rifle is my m91/30. While I haven't taken a deer with it yet, it did do a great job on a coyote the other day. Was kinda overkill for something the size of a coyote though...but it was effective!:evil:

Arkansas Paul
November 16, 2009, 11:39 PM
I would say get a the tried and true .30-06 if you weren't shooting varmints. The .25-06 would be an excellent choice. For me it would be in a Weatherby Vangaurd. You won't beat the accuracy for the money.

November 16, 2009, 11:45 PM
I prefer the 30-06 for deer and varmint. This caliber allows you to purchase of the shelf or reload down to 110 gr bullet for your varmint.

November 16, 2009, 11:49 PM
deer and varmints; there is only 1 cal for both, the unbeliebably awesome 243.
as for rifles, anything new by savage, marlin, t/c, remmy, wetherby/howa,smith/wesson, or remmy will fill the bill. I like an old mossberg in 243 as well.
but for really good, and old, look for a remmy 788, make sure you can handle it first, to test out the trigger. It should be the best factory trigger you have ever pulled, or don't get it.

November 17, 2009, 12:11 AM
What would be a good caliber to get? I like the ballistics of the 300 win mag and 22-250 but would like to hear your responses.Is your name really Joe (don't answer)? :scrutiny: sound a lot like a friend of mine. If it doesn't scream out the barrel at Mach 10, he doesn't want it...barrel life be darned.

I would skip both and go with something that is between the two. If you reload I would strongly consider a .260Rem., 6.5Swede, or perhaps a 7mm RM (shoot it before you buy). If not stick to a more common cartridge such as .270, .308, .30-06, or perhaps 7mm-08 (somewhat difficult to find, but worth it).


Mr. T
November 17, 2009, 04:59 PM
.270 Win without a doubt the most versatile calibers; excellent varmint round; AND the ammo is cheaper and readily available yet. Some things to consider in this ammo parched environment we've been living in the last year and a half.

If you enjoyed reading about "Good deer hunting rifle for me?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!