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Best Ar15 Caliber for Wisconsin Deer Hunting in Brush

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by mjo72090, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    If I wanted to build a fancy AR that could reach out there, I think I'd explore the 7mm Valkyrie. WHY, you ask? I have looked at it and it will do anything the 6.5 Grendel will do. But, I shoot a 7mm 150 grain Game King in my 7 mag and it has a BC of .535 an can reach out there. At 3200 fps, you'd best be at least 100 yards from your target. I've seen that bullet at close range do amazing meat damage and I've seen it fail to shoot through moderately sized whitetail deer at very close range. If I were to keep hunting with it in my 7 mag and didn't want to shoot longish ranges, I think I'd just slow it down. It's a very accurate bullet though. I shot a similar 150 match king from my Contender in IHMSA competition, very flat shooting. I think that bullet might be ideal at 7mm Valkyrie velocities, but the catcher might be the OAL. That's a long bullet in a short action. I have thought about it, though, just to show you I ain't pulling my opinions out of the ether. :rofl: This proposed load would take some research and experimentation. Not REAL sure it'd work due to OAL.

    In my 7 mag, I've decided the 160 Nosler Partition is how I'll go from now on. The Sierra is a might frangible for those velocities. The Partition doesn't have the BC, though, but I don't really need it anymore. :D If I use that cannon, it'll be because the target is big, Nilgai or Elk or something. :D
     
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  2. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I’m not familiar with that round. I looked it up hoping to find a wiki, but only found a forum with a pic showing it near a few common cartridges. Is it’s high performance due to a larger case capacity than the 6.5mm Grendel? Is it a staggered round or fat and loaded single file?
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Not sure what gives it its zap, but the numbers look good, all I'm sayin'.

    https://www.7mmvalkyrie.com/about.html

    It's a reloader's only case and requires case forming. Until brass is available, I'd likely opt out. :D Well, I mean, I'm not really interested anyway, but the round gives more pop than most, nearly .308 winchester velocities with a good BC. Takes a 24" barrel to really get optimum out of it, though, but the 20" numbers don't look bad.


    Velocity's

    26” actual data

    120 class 3000 130 class 3080 max
    140 class 2875 150 class 2670 not max
    160 class 2660
    168 Berger 2675

    24” actual data

    110 class 3075 not max 120 class 3000
    130 class 3000 140 class 2850
    150 long range ab 2700 160 class 2660
    168 Berger 2625

    20" Actual Data
    120 sierra 2860 not max 130 speer 2800
    139 sst 2690 145 speer 2630 not max
    160 fusion 2437 168 nosler 2416

    16” Actual Data

    110 TNT 2843
    120 sierra 2804
    130 Speer 2800
    139 sst 2700
    140 nosler bt 2600
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
  4. mjo72090

    mjo72090 Member

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    So i dont even remember posting this haha. I was just randomely searching the web and came across the post and realized it was me haha. With that said, I am much more knowledgeable then when posting this. I ended up going with the 6.5 fwiw. Imo its the best all around round for the ar15, especially for deer hunting. Also, atheris rifle company makes great products. Thats where i got my upper from for anyone shopping.
     
  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I am of the opinion that bigger holes kill game faster. Sometimes much faster. I like fast kills so there is not as much tracking and optimally no loss of visual after the shot.

    450 Bushmaster
     
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  6. mjo72090

    mjo72090 Member

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    While that is true, there are so many other factors involved. Ive seen a video of a deer killer by a 50 car that the bullet didnt actually hit the deer but the vacuum created killed it. Also there is such a thing as overkill. You could very easily destroy a lot of the meat with the 450 bm. You cant get any more dead than dead. 6.5 and even 223 has enough energy to kill deer drt. Its more about shot placement than caliber.
     
  7. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Wow....from a newbie asking about "which gun for deer?" to an expert on the perfect caliber for deer in a matter of just 10 months! I'm impressed!:thumbup:
     
  8. mjo72090

    mjo72090 Member

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    I have been bitten by the ar bug and became an addict haha. I dont even want to know how many hours ive spent researching all of this stuff. Im still by no means an expert but i have soaked in every ounce of knowledge possible and studied the different calibers like my life depended on it haha. Im really big on not having buyers remorse and i want to know every aspect of a big purchase before its made.
    Looking back at my own question from the op i would answer based on what your needs are. 450 bm and 6.8 would probably be the best if you were just deer hunting with it. if you wanted to run pistols or supressed, 300bo would be my answer. If you ever wanted to shoot farther than the traditional woods deer hunting ranges, grendel is the easy choice. If i was in a straight wall state i would probably go 350 legend personally. I just like the grendel the best because it does pretty much every. The biggest reason i went with grendel is you can get cheap plinking ammo and you cant with most of the other options. If wolf or Barnaul made steel ammo for the 6.8 i would say thats pretty the better of the 2. Just my 2 cents
     
  9. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I don’t think you can kill anything too dead but some bullets will cause more meat damage than others. That’s not very caliber specific though. I would expect more meat damage from a .223 V max than a 405 sp from a 458 socom.
     
  10. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    ^^^^^

    Guarantee this to be correct.
     
  11. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I don't eat the ribs anyway, and that's where I and my son shoot at deer. The 55 gr. V-Max usually jellifies the lungs, so if actual meat were hit, I suspect it too would be.
     
  12. mjo72090

    mjo72090 Member

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    What happens if you hit a branch before the deer? Isn't the vmax bullet going to be like bird shot basically by the time it hits the deer them? Have you ever hit one in the shoulder with vmax?
     
  13. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Had that ever happened, I 'd think it would deflect.

    I doubt even if it did hit something and deflect that it would come apart; even frangibles need a solid object on which to come apart.

    Nope. Heart and lungs shots only. I don't shoot unless I have a heart/lung shot, and yes, I have passed up a lot of deer because of that.
     
  14. mjo72090

    mjo72090 Member

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    I would assume it would not kill a deer if it did hit the shoulders. Why not go with a round like the Barnes tsx that you don't limit yourself with?
     
  15. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    I assume when you say that you've never shot any game over 150 yards that 90% of your shots are probably 80-90 yards or less; am I right?

    Do you have any restrictions for certain times of year? Straight walled, pistol only, etc.?

    Do you reload?

    Personally, it sounds like a 16" 7.62x39 would do fantastic for what you want. If you more reliably took game at the 150 yards and further I would say a 6.8SPCII (or the 6.5 Grendel or .277 Wolverine; I have no personal experience with these in parenthesis but the ballistics are close to the 6.8 SPCII).

    Given that I already have a 7.62x39; my next bigger bore AR15 caliber will likely be the .358 Yeti, if you study out the ballistics and energies on this one it looks like a powerhouse for the type of hunting you are looking at. But given the price of 7.62x39 ammo and availability of good commercial ammo for the x39 in the form of Federal Fusion and Hornady SST ammo this would be a definite plus over something like the 358 Yeti if you don't reload.


    There isn't a whole lot of difference between performance when a bullet hits brush on the way to target. The greatest effect on accuracy on intended target (in my opinion) is how far away from the intended target did the bullet strike brush/object; meaning if the deer is standing immediately behind the brush that the bullet strikes the brush will have little effect on accuracy. However, if the bullets strikes brush/object at more distance away from the intended target it will have a larger impact on accuracy. I do feel there is a minute amount of accuracy gain through brush (based on my research) using larger meplat, rounder and heavier bullets; but I don't think its enough to get caught up chasing by any means. It is far better to wait for a better shot, or move to a better shot than count on a bullet going through brush to the intended target.

    If you want to stay close to the recoil of the .223 then I would think the .458 Socom, 450 Bushmaster, 358 Yeti, 50 Beowulf would not be in the mix. I however, would challenge you on expecting the same recoil, there has not been any AR15 calibers that I've tried that are uncomfortable; but I'm used to more powerful rounds in my bolt actions, 308 Win, 30-06, 7mm, 300RUM, etc.

    Cartridges that are similar enough to the .223 would be 7.62x39, 300BO, .277Wolverine, 6.8SPCII, 6.5 Grendel.


    As far as cheaper ammo goes, along with your recoil requirements, and the distances you posted of 150 yards or less, the 7.62x39 is the clear winner in my book. Any greater distance and I would suggest 6.8SPCII wholeheartedly (or 6.5 Grendel).
     
  16. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Because I choose the shots I take for an ethical, quick, clean kill. I don't shoot at running deer, nor head-on or "Texas heart shots" (Up the rectum). I will be working up a 60 gr. Partition load this year, been meaning to do that the last couple years.
     
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  17. mjo72090

    mjo72090 Member

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    I agree with everything you've said. I forgot I posted some of that stuff, a lot has changed since then. I ended up going with a grendel and I lied, I do is it for light plinking I've put probably 400 rounds through it in the last 2 months. If you could get steel ammo in the 6.8 I would've gone that route but the 25 cent ammo for the Grendel is hard to beat.
     
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  18. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    I'm sure the Grendel will work well for your intended purposes.
     
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  19. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    ^^^^^^

    This is sage advice and correct on every point IMO.

    Particularly how far behind the brush/deflector your target is. It makes all the difference. For instance if your target were one foot behind some brush and your bullet struck the edge of a limb...causing it to deflect one inch (over one foot of travel) then the point of impact has changed by only one inch. Probably makes no difference in it being a lethal hit.

    On the the other hand, IF the brush/deflector was 10 feet in front of your target and a similar strike to the limb occurred, it is reasonable to expect your bullet would/could be deflected a full 10 inches. This could result in a clean miss (hopefully) or worse...a badly wounded animal.

    As for bullet weight and shape (meplat) these two features can play a huge role in how much (or little) a bullet might be deflected. And let's be clear, ALL bullets (of normal hunting weights) can be deflected. But some shapes (spire points with sharp Ogives) are tailor made to find something other than the exact center-line of a branch or twig. Any resistance a bullet encounters other than in the Axial direction is going to deflect it to some degree.

    A bullet with a large meplat (frontal area) 'should' begin to cut through a branch farther (before reaching its Ogive) than a tapered bullet with a small meplat. Both would have no problem going through a piece of flat plywood and continuing on in a relatively straight path...but branches represent a round object of varying sizes. Very easy to hit an edge or strike the limb off-center.

    As for 'weight' I think it requires no argument to conclude that a heavier bullet (all else equal) has more momentum and thus tends to stay on course better. A heavy bullet with a large meplat might be caused to 'tumble'...but they are harder to redirect.

    I have one particular bullet for my SOCOM that I load for two express purposes.

    1. Shooting through multiple hogs.
    2. Shooting through brush that is very near the hogs.

    It is a 540 grain, hardcast bullet with a full 3/8" meplat (flat frontal area). It allows me to take shots I would never think of taking with my 7mm-08.

    It's just pretty much a 'Cookie Cutter' on everything I've hit with it to date. I try to avoid shooting into/through brush if at all possible...and that is my recommendation for hunting game animals (try not to do it). But if you absolutely have to...or expect it might happen accidentally, then some bullet types and weights are better than others.

    But the one's that do offer an advantage will be a great departure from your normal spire point deer hunting round.

    BB4.jpg BB1.jpg BB3.jpg BB2.jpg
     
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  20. <*(((><
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    <*(((>< Contributing Member

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    @Flintknapper you explained it in much greater detail than I, and I think its spot on.

    What's the velocity on that .458 SOCOM? My brother has an AR in that, would be curious to tell him about it. That is an impressive loading to be sure.
     
  21. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper Member

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    Depends on the bullet weight/type and whether you buy commercially loaded or hand-load. I load about 8-9 different bullets for the SOCOM.

    It will shoot anything from a 100 grain pill (yes 100 gr.) to 600 gr. bullets. The velocities (from my 16" barrel) range from just under 3,000 fps (100 gr. Lehigh) to right around subsonic or a bit over for the (540 grain). I can load the 540 to almost 1300 fps but it becomes unpleasant to shoot and it just isn't needed. I've never recovered a 540 gr. hardcast. I don't know where they stop. IMG_9646.JPG

    Most of my 300 gr. loads are around 1850 fps, my staple load (405 gr. jacketed soft point) has a muzzle velocity of 1680 fps. Of course, hand-loading I can play with the velocities (within safe pressure limits).
     

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