Choice of Hunting Caliber


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RmB
August 5, 2012, 07:55 PM
For Deer hunting, which is a better caliber?

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meanmrmustard
August 5, 2012, 07:59 PM
For Deer hunting, which is a better caliber?
In general, or between several you're interested in?
What is the mean range you will be hunting?
What location do you frequent? Fields, woods, mountains?
What are the average size of the deer you hunt? Your location in the US can have an affect.
Are you recoil adverse?
Do you reload? If not, what is your max for spending on a box of rounds?

Let's get started.

H2oPumper
August 5, 2012, 08:13 PM
That's a loaded question. Of the three, one will only make deer dead, but the other one will make them deader, and the last will make them the deadest. Either way, you got meat in the freezer. I'd just get the same caliber my buddy has and shoot his ammo at the range. You can learn windage and trajectory from any of these calibers, which will only vary slightly. All of them should have enough energy to kill a deer out to 600+ yards; if you can make the shot. Factory ammo cost to shoot any of them is the same.

OhioChief
August 5, 2012, 08:16 PM
well that's not a lot of info to go on. I assume you hunt in a state that allows rifle. I prefer .308 Good for the limited amount of shots I can get at 200 to 300 yards. But also effective and accurate from 100 to 200, which where I hunt is about all you get a clean shot at. Pay as much attention to the ammo as you do the gun. Quick expanding .308 at 150 yards puts them down pretty good.

Craigman
August 5, 2012, 08:24 PM
They are all VERY close. I voted .308 because I don't shoot over 200 yards and I prefer short actions. The 270 would be best for even farther than that but if you learn your rifle, you will never tell the difference between the 3 on deer. Larger game, larger/smaller bullets, different discussion.....

RmB
August 5, 2012, 08:29 PM
Ok, I am in Arkansas, and the range i will be hunting atmostly under 150 yards. I will be in the woods. The white-tails here are good sized, depending. I've seen good sized bucks, and some large does. I have absolutely no adversity to recoil. The max amount I am willing to spend doesn't particularly matter. In a without rule of law situatioln, I've been told that .308 is abundant since it is a NATO round.

Abel
August 5, 2012, 08:32 PM
This is not a loaded question. The answer is, it doesn't matter which of those three you use.

beatledog7
August 5, 2012, 08:35 PM
All three are lethal to Bambi if you make a good shot. Doesn't even have to be a great shot.

HOOfan_1
August 5, 2012, 08:36 PM
Trick question....7mm-08 and 6.5x55 are not included :p

Seriously of those you listed none is really better than the other for plain old deer hunting.

meanmrmustard
August 5, 2012, 08:48 PM
Ok, I am in Arkansas, and the range i will be hunting atmostly under 150 yards. I will be in the woods. The white-tails here are good sized, depending. I've seen good sized bucks, and some large does. I have absolutely no adversity to recoil. The max amount I am willing to spend doesn't particularly matter. In a without rule of law situatioln, I've been told that .308 is abundant since it is a NATO round.
Then I suggest one not listed.

30-30 Winchester. Inexpensive, readily available, and light kicking. It's deadly to deer within the range you've specified. The other three, well, they're good but not really necessary.

.243 Winchester. Same as above, but offers more range if needed. Short action, light, and handy rifles make this one shine.

7.62x39. 30-30 ballistic equal (sort of), and is also cheap. Hunting capable fodder can be had at most LGSs, and it penetrates well inside of 150 yards.

But, having to choose from your 3 listed, I went .308 win. Lesser of three evils.
Okay, so I added more than one.

wlewisiii
August 5, 2012, 08:54 PM
7x57 Mauser or .30-30 depending on if you like bolts or levers.

303tom
August 5, 2012, 09:04 PM
For Deer hunting, which is a better caliber?
The .30 caliber...............

mshootnit
August 5, 2012, 09:10 PM
wanted to mention 270 wsm. Haven't shot anything with it yet but stoked about the possibilities.

meanmrmustard
August 5, 2012, 09:13 PM
wanted to mention 270 wsm. Haven't shot anything with it yet but stoked about the possibilities.
My lifelong friend shoots wsm. It tears deer up, but death is really quick.

T.R.
August 5, 2012, 09:22 PM
You left out 30-30. I'm guessing that 30-30 ammo sales are way up there compared to any other cartridges on earth.

TR

RmB
August 5, 2012, 09:31 PM
Then I suggest one not listed.

30-30 Winchester. Inexpensive, readily available, and light kicking. It's deadly to deer within the range you've specified. The other three, well, they're good but not really necessary.
Ok, I neglected to mention that I have a lever action 30-30, but I am looking at calibers for a bolt action rifle.

snakeman
August 5, 2012, 09:36 PM
I chose the 308. On paper the 270 is best. From personal experience I've had the best luck with 308. I like 30-06 and 270 as well. I've just taken more deer with 308 than anything else. It just fits me...you know?

meanmrmustard
August 5, 2012, 09:36 PM
Ok, I neglected to mention that I have a lever action 30-30, but I am looking at calibers for a bolt action rifle.
Apologies.

Then, .308 aside, for your uses I'd go 6-7mm for deer.

jmr40
August 5, 2012, 09:36 PM
For deer there is no difference. With the best loads any of the 3 duplicate the other. For larger game the 30-06 offers a tiny advantage.

Just for deer I'd pick the 308 only because it can be chambered in a smaller lighter rifle. But not based on performance.

RmB
August 5, 2012, 09:51 PM
Ok, to clarify, is 7mm too much?

jrdolall
August 5, 2012, 10:00 PM
Absolutely no reason to choose one over the other for 99.997% of deer hunting applications. All will reach out and kill a deer as far as you can accurately shoot it. Short action, long action, light recoil, heavy recoil, ammo types and availability, they all have an advantage or a disadvantage of some sort compared to the other calibers.

I chose 30-06 because, of the three choices it is what I shoot the most. I would be happy with a 308 or 270 if that was what was in my hand. My main two hunting buddies shoot 30-06 because that is what I ususally carry and we can exchange ammo.

meanmrmustard
August 5, 2012, 10:11 PM
Ok, to clarify, is 7mm too much?
No. But neither is 6mm.

RmB
August 5, 2012, 10:42 PM
Thanks guys, I got all the info i wanted. I am leaning toward a 30-06.

steve s
August 5, 2012, 10:50 PM
All the choices will work.

H2oPumper
August 5, 2012, 10:51 PM
I picked the 30-06, only due to the wide variety of loads you have available for it and if I was only to have one gun. There is nothing right or wrong with any of those calibers.

Flatbush Harry
August 5, 2012, 10:52 PM
I own all three calibers. If I'm going hunting in the western US, I'd use .270 Win 130gr for white tail and 140 or 150 for mulies, although a good 130gr bullet (I like Barnes TTSX, Hornady SST/Remington AccuTip or Nosler AccuBond) will get the job done. I like the flat shooting of the .270 for varying distances. I have had good results with both .308 and .30-06 with 150gr or 165/168gr bullets as well. Frankly, all three are stone killers with good shot placement.

FH

snakeman
August 5, 2012, 11:01 PM
Actually for deer the 243 would probably be my pick now if I were to go buy a new rifle as it is extremely accurate and light kicking.

Texan Scott
August 5, 2012, 11:46 PM
If you are SOOOO far away or the animal is SOOOO large that there's any chance of the difference between these three MAKING a difference, you need to get closer or go home.

cpt-t
August 6, 2012, 12:28 AM
RmB: I Have all 3 calibers, but I bought my first 30-06 in Seaside Calf right next to FT ORD in 1969 and still use it killed a deer 2 years ago, I didn`t go deer hunting last year. All three of the calibers you mentioned, are great choices for a hunting rifle. But if you were only going to have one rifle it would be a 30-06 IMHO. You can hunt any thing in North America with the 30-06, and find ammo for it at any MOM & POP store that sells ammo. At Wal-Mart you can find ammo for a 30-06 from 125 gr bullets to 220 gr bullets I have 4 30-06 rifles, I just prefer the 30-06 and I truley belive in and trust this caliber. GOOD LUCK TO YOU: ken

The_Armed_Therapist
August 6, 2012, 09:58 AM
Which of the following is most important to you?

1.) Mid-Long Range accuracy (300+)
2.) Cost of Ammo
3.) Power

If it's #1, go with the .270. If it's #2, go with the .308. If it's #3, go with the .30-06. All three can't miss as long as you don't miss.

aka108
August 6, 2012, 10:23 AM
The size rounds he asked about sounds like he may be thinking of hunting mule deer out West. Anyhow, if I could only have one rifle for hunting anywhere in the US I'd own a 30-06. I would prefer the old 30-30 for hunting whitetail in the woods of the East and Southeast.

MrDig
August 6, 2012, 10:33 AM
Of the Calibers you have listed I voted .308 it has more versatility depending on the Gun. In short light "Scout or Hunter" style rifles it can be used in heavy cover. In a slightly longer Gun it can be used for greater distances effectively. Sometimes One Gun can effectively do both for you.
Two Calibers you might want to consider are .243 and or 30-30. I don't know what kind of area you will be hunting in so either of these might well be all you need.

mnhntr
August 6, 2012, 11:58 AM
If I had to choose between those three the .308 is it. They all kill deer equally, they all have good ballistics for longer range.

mdauben
August 6, 2012, 12:07 PM
I have a certain emotional attachment to the .270, mostly from reading the works of Jack O'Connor when I was younger. That aside, I doubt a deer would notice the difference between any of these out to 300-400 yards as they are all more than enough cartridge for CXP2 size game.

springfield30-06
August 6, 2012, 12:23 PM
They are all so close it does not really matter... I'd just go with what I liked better... and as you can see by my name I'd pick .30-06!

wyohome
August 6, 2012, 01:50 PM
I grew up shooting .308 Win, and own 4 rifles in that caliber. It is more than adequate for deer and elk sized game. I would say the same of the others had I been raised around them.

JEB
August 6, 2012, 02:03 PM
i voted 30-06. i wouldnt say its any better than the rest, i just like it.

JustinNC
August 6, 2012, 03:49 PM
Six of one, half a dozen of the other, and 2x3 of the next.





If you have to ask this question (and nothing wrong with asking, we all have to learn somewhere), then chances are, they are all equal to your abilities.

akodo
August 6, 2012, 05:26 PM
All 3 will kill a deer 'double dead'

All 3 will drop an elk at ranges twice as far as you suggest. Heck, one of those three can be effectively used on grizzly...with the appropriate bullet.

So pick whichever one strikes your fancy...OR consider getting a 243, 257 Roberts, 25-06 or something similar.

One_Jackal
August 6, 2012, 05:28 PM
The 30/06 serves me best in my area. It's been years since I have shot a deer over 75 yards away. The 230 gr round nose bullets in the 30/06 put deer down yet have enough pep to make a 200 yard shot should the need arise.

akodo
August 6, 2012, 05:30 PM
In a without rule of law situatioln, I've been told that .308 is abundant since it is a NATO round.

Yes, the fact that you could run scrounged up M240 ammo through a 308 bolt action rifle may have a SMALL amount of relevance for selecting a TEOTWAWKI rifle.

It doesn't matter a hill of beans for a hunting rifle though.

akodo
August 6, 2012, 05:34 PM
Ok, to clarify, is 7mm too much?

you mean 7mm remington magnum? Yea, too much. It'll kill a deer triple dead, so I guess if you need it dead beyond normal that's fine.

However, you are taking on more recoil, a more costly ammo, and lower overall magazine capacity to achieve this triple-dead status.

RmB
August 6, 2012, 06:46 PM
you mean 7mm remington magnum?.

Yeah not 7mm-08

threefortyduster
August 6, 2012, 07:56 PM
.30-06. It's the one most likely to be found in the local hardware or general store anywhere you go. Followed by the .308, then .270. For the record, I want to own a gun in all 3, currently have the .30-06.

One_Jackal
August 6, 2012, 08:39 PM
I have 4 rifles chambered for 30/06. I sold a .308 to get another 30/06 :neener:

Kachok
August 6, 2012, 08:55 PM
I have owned all three for years, the 308 is the best genral purpose deer cartrage of the three, the 270 is best for wide open country hunting and the 30-06 is the best if you throw elk and bear in the mix.

fastpat
August 6, 2012, 10:22 PM
I chose the .308 because it enables a short action rifle which is more compact, whereas the other two require a long action.

On the other hand, I own a Ruger RSI in .30-06 and it's quite short with its 18.5 inch barrel. A RSI in .308 would be even shorter.

As to performance of the three on deer, there's virtually no difference. All have more than adequate power, all are available in a wide variety of bullet weights and styles.

Robert
August 6, 2012, 10:27 PM
You can't go wrong with any of the three you listed. If it were me I'd go with the -06 but that is just me.

joecil
August 6, 2012, 10:34 PM
I agree with 30-06 or .308 but know little about the others listed. I have 2 rifles both lever type one in 45 Colt and 45-70 but thought long and hard on a gun for all game inside 200 yards. Hence went with the 45-70.

riflefan
August 6, 2012, 10:52 PM
I have one of all three and have taken a deer with all three. I would make my choice based on which was available in the particular rifle I liked best. 99.9% of us recreational hunters could not take advantage of the different strengths and weaknesses of each cartridge. Good Luck and Happy hunting.:banghead:

TreeDoc
August 6, 2012, 11:40 PM
As some have said, 30-30 for your situation would be about perfect. I have a winchester model 70 lightweight rifle. It is a joy to carry at under 6 lbs and is plenty accurate until the thin barrel heats up, rarely need more than 1 shot anyway. Still, my ol' marlin goes everywhere with me most of the time and has never failed me.

RmB
August 7, 2012, 12:23 AM
As some have said, 30-30 for your situation would be about perfect. I have a winchester model 70 lightweight rifle. It is a joy to carry at under 6 lbs and is plenty accurate until the thin barrel heats up, rarely need more than 1 shot anyway. Still, my ol' marlin goes everywhere with me most of the time and has never failed me.
Have a marlin 30-30. Also got a Winchester 94. Made in 1952. Sadly, it needs some work.

Savage99
August 7, 2012, 01:11 AM
A 308 would be good in a woods rifle so as to have a short action.

The 30-06 Springfield is my favorite all time cartridge. The 30-06 Won the only two world wars! No other cartridge even comes close in history. It was used in rifles, machine guns, airplanes etc.

The 270 is ok too if you like it. I have one and a magnum too but it's not something I care much about.

I got another really nice 30-06 a few years ago and I have been using it for most of my hunting.

http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/5697/1000102l.jpg

bpl
August 9, 2012, 05:31 PM
Savage99

That's a nice looking '06, can you give some details on it?

razorback2003
August 9, 2012, 11:58 PM
308 is an accurate round and does not kick hard. A lot of bullet choices and also a match round.

snake284
August 10, 2012, 01:05 AM
I have had a .270 Win. for almost ever. It has been very good to me. I have received a ton of criticism from .270 haters on the net, but as Jack O'Connoer said, most of these "EXPERTS" have never sh0t one. I have and YES I have never killed -any animal so fast and clean. They were mostly bang-flop spot on dead. But then I have done the same with the 30-06, though not as many times. But I have only had a 30-06 sporting rifle for about 5 years.

The_Armed_Therapist
August 10, 2012, 09:40 AM
I have received a ton of criticism from .270 haters on the net

That's just ridiculous to me! :banghead: No "expert" would ever do that. Heck, I'm basically a beginner and realize that it's the equivalent of the .308 and the .30-06. How much "dumber" does someone have to be to actually think the .270 is deserving criticism? LOL

DM~
August 10, 2012, 10:12 AM
I don't use any of those choises, but all three of them will work just fine, along with many other cartridges you didn't list.

Only thing i will comment on is, the 30-06 is probably the greatest cartridge ever designed. Properly loaded, it will work fine on everything in north america, including big bears. If you are looking for the best all around cartridge for NA, 3006 is your choise.

DM

Savage99
August 10, 2012, 11:16 AM
bpl,

Thank you for the compliment on my 30-06.

I got the rifle a few years ago after being satisfied that the old M70's and 99's were the best.

It's a 1909 Mauser action with a fine walnut stock and a 22" octagon barrel. The rifle is unsigned by it's maker however most smiths here in CT think it's by Detrick Apel. However a dealer at a show had a similar rifle that he said was made by Klaus Hiptmayer of Quebec, Canada.

The rifle is quite accurate. I made my longest shot ever on the buck shown above. Presently it has a new Swarovski 3-9 on it. The photos show a Leu 2.5-8 in Conetrols.

I am loading the 155 Berger VLD 'hunting' in it.

http://img687.imageshack.us/img687/595/1102x.jpg

The Bushmaster
August 10, 2012, 11:23 AM
I voted .30-06 because you didn't have the venerable .30-30 (or .30 WCF). I keep both in my golf bag for the closeups and the distant shots. .30-30 for the timber and brushy areas and the .30-06 for the open areas.

jrdolall
August 10, 2012, 11:23 AM
If it were only this easy.
If I walk into a store and they have one of each rifle, exactly the same, price, stock,etc then I would probably buy the 30-06 ONLY because of ammo availability pretty much anywhere you go. It will NOT kill a deer any deader than a 308 or 270. It will not be more effective at 300 yards than the other two. I have killed deer with all 3 cartridges and they all died. Some ran a bit and some dropped in their tracks.
Find a good gun that you are comfortable with. Since 99% of the deer I have shot only required one shot I don't really care about long action, short action or even recoil. Put the bullet where it is supposed to go and all three will kill the deer within 10 seconds.

lefteyedom
August 11, 2012, 01:20 AM
All three are more than you need for Deer.
260 Remington in a Model 7 Remington with a good piece of glass is about perfect for a deer rifle

tahoe2
August 11, 2012, 02:12 AM
I voted 06, cause it will do everything the other two can, and more!
130-150 grains for Deer & Antelope, 165's & 180's for Black Bear, Elk & Caribou, and 200 grainers for Moose and the Big Bears !!
not to mention it is the round used in reference that everything is "compared to". It's a handloaders dream !!

finnwolf64
August 11, 2012, 07:28 AM
Pick either of the calibers you have listed in a rifle that fits you the best and you won't be disappointed. I voted .308 cause I hunt with one, but I would be equally happy using 30-06 or 270.

Scrumbag
August 11, 2012, 07:58 AM
My choice would be the .30-06 for bullet weight flexibility. Light rounds (130gr) it shoots very like the .270Win. up to heavy bullets (220gr) are really good for sitting down pigs in thick cover.

One of the most popular deer sized game cartridges in world. Used by PHs and Guides in the Americas, Africa, Europe and Oz and NZ.

Best selling hunting ammo chambering in Germany, the land of Brenneke, Mauser and Bock and they knew a thing or 2 about designing successful rounds.

CaliCoastie
August 11, 2012, 11:26 AM
Like others sounds like 30-30 is right on the money, all three you have listed are good cartridges put them on a wall and throw a dart. Or if you are looking for three biggest (caliber and overall size) get the 06. Good luck, I didn't vote, my vote is for the 30-30, our if you hand load a savage 99 i'm 300 savage would be sweet...

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