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All around varmint/deer caliber?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Leonard23, Jan 16, 2011.

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  1. Leonard23

    Leonard23 Member

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    Hey everyone i will soon be purchasing my first rifle: a marlin xl7/xs7. I really like the looks of this rifle but i can't decide on the caliber. I will probably use it for some varmint hunting and i want to get into deer hunting also. The cailbers i'm looking at are
    .243 winchester- this looks like a great cartridge for varminting but i'm just not sure if it has enough power for a beginner deer hunter
    .25-06 remington- i also like the looks of this one but i am a little worried about the availabilty of factory ammo for it since i don't reload
    .270 winchester-i am leaning slightly towards this one as it has plently of power for deer but can be loaded with lower power 100 gr loads for varmints however it still might be a little much even with the lighter loads
    All of you thoughts/experiences would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance
     
  2. TXiceman

    TXiceman Member

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    I like the .25-06. heavier bullets for deer and lighter ones for the pest.

    Ken
     
  3. Sideburns

    Sideburns Member

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    Out of those 3 I'd go with the .25-06 or .270 and it would come down to if you are the type to buy alot of ammo online once in a while (200+ rounds at a time) or if you are the type to go buy a few boxes each time you go out.
     
  4. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Member

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    308 I think would be good.150 to 180 for deer and not sure which for varmint. Guess it depend on twist. Good luck!
     
  5. JDMorris

    JDMorris Member

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    I think .308 or 7-08 are "do all" rounds.
     
  6. Durty

    Durty Member

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    I have killed around 15 deer with a .243. And my dad, 2 uncles, and grandfather have killed more deer than me with the same rifle. In total, I would estimate this old 700 BDL has taken 50 or 60 deer since the early 1980s when my grandmother gave it to my grandfather for his birthday. It still has the old school Bushnell fixed 4 on top! I have killed and witnessed deer killed WELL with a variation of bullets from 80 grain soft points to 100 gr polymer tips. While it may not be the best, the .243 is a reliable deer cartridge and it is well-known that many people use it for varmints. I like it for it's low recoil.
     
  7. Durty

    Durty Member

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    Also- keep in mind that while you CAN shoot light bullets through a 270, the rate of twist may not stabilize them well. You should look into this before purchasing.
     
  8. Leonard23

    Leonard23 Member

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    Ok will a 1:10 twist rate stabalize a lighter .270 bullet?
     
  9. bpl

    bpl Member

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    Questions...

    Do you have a rifle chambered in .22lr? If not, this should be you first rifle purchase.

    Do you expect to buy another centerfire rifle within the next few years or will you truly be using only this one for both varmints and large game? If you truly expect to use just one centerfire rifle for both varmints and deer for a number of years as well as learn to shoot well with this one rifle, then you would be best served with a .243. Low recoil, accurate and inexpensive ammo to practice with.

    If you plan to buy another centerfire rifle within the next year or so, consider getting a .223 now for the varmints, low recoil practice and low ammo cost and then later getting a 270/308/30-06 for large game.
     
  10. Leonard23

    Leonard23 Member

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    Yes my dad owns a .22lr and i have and do enjoy shooting it but i would like something a little larger so i can go deer hunting but still take out smaller game and i don't see myself purchasing another centerfire rifle real soon.
     
  11. Gasitman

    Gasitman Member

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    I love how people want to spend other peoples money. Get a .22 first or you will shoot your eye out kid. Same crap on motorcycle forums, buy a 250, then try to unload it. My first bike was a 1200 and I never wrecked or got hurt because I used my brain. Sure the power was there, but use it accordingly. He can hurt himself with a .22 just as much a .308

    You know what, but what you want, hell buy a .50 cal Barrett and take out a heard. No reason to spend money one something smaller. It is like telling someone to go buy a bicycle to drive from Florida to Montana because they are only 16 and not alot of miles under their belt.

    .270 is a great all around gun, and you can pretty much hunt deer, or even elk with it.
     
  12. sappyg

    sappyg Member

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    hey leonard,
    a couple of questions for you:
    do you reload? if not i would scratch the 25 06 of my list.
    which type of hunting will you do the most? sounds to me more like varmit.
    regardless, shot placement is everything and as long as you're patient with you're shot selection the 243 would be fine for a 1st rifle. my first rifle was a 243.

    i have to admit that i haven't hunted deer with it since i got a 308 years ago. the difference is that the 308 is more purpose built for a specific job.
     
  13. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Id say , a 243 is hard to beat for a beginner rifle. Less flinching and very accurate round.
     
  14. ADKWOODSMAN

    ADKWOODSMAN Member

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    Having grown up in the 60's with an inherited Model Remington 721 in .270 Win. I was in hog heaven. I could kill chucks out to 200 yards with the 2 /1/2 to 4 1/2 power weaver scope that came with the gun. When deer season came along the rifle was ready for deer.

    With college out of the way I started reloading for that gun, 110 Sierra for chucks and 130 Nosler 130 for deer. Had all of fun of reloading and shooting whatever presented itself.

    I vote for a ,270 Win.
     
  15. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    243 - ammunition is available almost everywhere at reasonable cost and excellent factory loadings are available for both varmints and deer. Additionally, as your first rifle the 243 with factory ammo should recoil a fair bit less than the 270.
     
  16. ogie dogie

    ogie dogie Member

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    My first rifle was a 270,but if I could do it over again,I would have started with a 243.Get experience first, before jumping to larger calibers. IMO the 243 is exactly what you need.I just love my 243.Guess what? It,s a Marlin XS7.
     
  17. wingman

    wingman Member

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    If I could only own one rifle it would be a 243....
     
  18. red rick

    red rick Member

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    My vote goes for the .270 WSM, as long as you are not hunting rabbits or squirrels.
    It will be the best deer caliber you can choose, IMO and as long as you are not eating the varmits, they will not know what hits them.
     
  19. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    Hornady is loading some very interesting rounds for the .243. They have a hot varmint load (VMax 58 grain) and some "Lite" magnums in their premium lines (95 grain Superfomance SST) that will do quite nicely. Lapua has a "natural solid" that is heavy enough to whack big hogs with. .243 is available at every Wally World and it's often on sale. Maybe .223 is cheaper, but I don't think by much. Graf has Prvi Partizan on sale for $15 box for 100 grain. It's a great all a round gun unless you are going for bigger game (Elk or Moose). By the time you are ready for one of those hunts, you'll be onto CF Rifle number 2 :)
     
  20. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Yes, start with .243 then move on to .270 or .300 6. You got everything covered.
     
  21. Robert Wilson

    Robert Wilson Member

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    Interesting for me to see the home state listed for many of the .243 fans here. The .243 is indeed a great cartridge for the miniature deer in Texas and other hot weather states. If the OP lives there, the .243 is a fine suggestion. But if the OP lives in Saskatchewan, the .243 is an absolutely awful choice for hunting deer and the .25-06 would be a sensible minimum.
     
  22. SimplyChad

    SimplyChad Member

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    7mm-08 or 3030 the 25-06 is also a great choice. Now with that said 30-06 has a hugh range of rounds and loads. Rabbit slayers to bear fodder
     
  23. Leonard23

    Leonard23 Member

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    I live in northern California and i don't reload as i am only 14, what i am hearing is to go with the .243 but i am just not sure if it is enough muscle with me being a begining deer hunter and if i get a little nervous i might pull the shot a little and wish i had something a little bigger. Also would it be bad to get the .270 even if it is overkill just to have enough and not worry about destroying the varmints? Thanks everyone and please keep the replies coming
     
  24. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    My first deer rifle was a Savage 110 in .270Win; took my first deer with it when I was 11 years old. Honestly, I'd probably have fared better with a .243 and while I've hunted with it and a 30-06, my deer rifle of choice these days is a .260 because I don't like recoil.

    Shot placement and a quality bullet is MUCH more important than bore diameter...
     
  25. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    My hunting is moving to mostly coyotes with the occasional deer, I am looking towards mostly .243.
     
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