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Coyote/Deer caliber?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by DAP90, Dec 28, 2011.

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  1. DAP90

    DAP90 Member

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    OK, my 40th is coming up in a few days and I’m getting myself a combo deer/coyote gun. This will be the only center fire rifle in my collection. I have shotguns and rim-fires and a few handguns but no big game rifles.

    I live in Colorado but do all my hunting in Nebraska because that’s where I have the best access to land. Elk are not on the menu.

    The land has open fields but it’s hillier than you’d expect and has numerous pockets and canyons. I jump deer within 25ft all the time while pheasant hunting. I’m half convinced I could hunt deer with a shotgun. The coyotes I see typically present a longer shot.

    For rifles I’m looking at Savage, CZ, T/C, Weatherby and Howa. I have my favorites; I’m just looking for the right deal. What I can’t decide on is caliber.

    I’d like to keep it a common caliber if possible. The town has a Wal-Mart that stocks the main calibers only. I can get anything I could possibly want here in Denver but it’d be nice to be able to pick ammo up in Nebraska if necessary. I don’t reload.

    I’m leaning towards .243 but everyone (in the gun stores) keeps telling me it’s not enough for deer. 270, 308 and 30-06 seem like a lot of gun for coyotes. 7mm-08, 25-06 and the other intermediate calibers aren’t as easy to find.

    The coyotes hunting would be predator control. I’m not keeping the pelts.

    Anybody have any suggestions or advice.
     
  2. CSA 357

    CSA 357 Member

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    the 270 in hard to beat!
     
  3. Speedy1

    Speedy1 Member

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    If it's just coyote predator control, you don't have to worry too much about hide damage. Go with a larger caliber, .30-06 / .308 would be my first choices. It's plenty enough for deer.
     
  4. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    About anything would do on the Yote that kills a deer. The .25s shoot flat, .25-06 is a GREAT caliber for this. .243 isn't a bad choice, or 6mm Remington, but I like the .25s, a little more bullet for mulies and such. .270, .30-06, all the traditional stuff. The list of acceptable calibers is almost endless, just the .25s some to my mind. .25-06 shoots way out there on bigger game and has a light recoil if that matters.

    And, .243 is PLENTY for deer, but big mulies at long range I'd avoid with it. That's where I'd go with the .25-06 or more. I have a .257 Roberts that has taken deer out to 400 yards, whitetails that is. I'd use it for mulies, but the only mulie I ever killed was a 360 yard cross canyon shot with a 7 mag. I coulda done that one with the Roberts, 117 grain Hornady interlock at 3050 fps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  5. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    That's what I use. I think the 243 is a fun rifle to shoot and will do what you need it to for deer and smaller.

    Yeah I've heard that one too. It's BS.

    This is the truth. If you don't want a pelt, who cares what you shoot them with. You might look at the 25-06 or 270 as has been mentioned for better punch at longer distances. I shot a 7mm-08 awhile back and loved it. Or you could move up to 308/30-06, it really doesn't matter. If you think elk might ever come onto the menu, I'd go 270 or bigger. If deer is the biggest animal for sure...the 25-06 seems like a pretty sweet deer cartridge in my opinion.
     
  6. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    I like the 243 but out there I would use my 25.06 for deer. I also have a 270 that I use a heaver bullet in. Both will do all you want. GOOD LUCK
     
  7. heeler

    heeler Member

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    This is the very question I had in the mid 1970's,but my choices waxed and waned over the 6mm or 243.
    Frankly in small town America and Wal-Mart stores one will almost always find 243,270,308,and 30-06 ammo in abundance.
    My choice in this scenario would be the varmint and deer death call 243 or 308.

    Edit to add...Dont listen to those nabobs of negativism about the 243 not being enough for deer.
    You do your part and that cartridge will handle it's part.
     
  8. DAP90

    DAP90 Member

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    It seems to be a commonly held belief here in Colorado. I haven’t come across any 243’s in any of the models I’ve been looking at.

    I was just over at Dick’s Sporting Goods and they have a Browning A-Bolt Composite Stalker for $549. They have it in .270 and 30-06.

    Seems like a good price and the rifle felt pretty nice. I can probably special order it in any caliber I want. Anybody have or use one of these?
     
  9. heeler

    heeler Member

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    DPotvin,I grew up hunting in the very early 1970's listening to a bunch of experts not only in person but the general print media(hunting magazines) that sang the siren song(negatively) of the 243.
    Well as I got older in this deer hunting game I found that counsel to be total BS,as long as the person behind the trigger could shoot.
    A 243 or 6mm will get it done.
    It never hurts to have more gun but you asked about a rifle doing double duty as a varmint/deer hunting rig and a 243/6mm begs to answer that calling as they were specifically built pretty much for that purpose.
     
  10. DAP90

    DAP90 Member

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    They are.

    In Nebraska I have a huge amount of private land to hunt on right outside the door (it’s my in-laws farm), access to ATV’s, a place to process animals, 11+ years worth of personal knowledge about where the deer are, etc. The only drawback is the out of state fees.

    In Colorado I don’t have any of that. I’d have to find a spot, scout it and spend time traveling back and forth. Hunting trips would likely be camping trips. I also don’t have a garage at home so processing would be tougher or more expensive.

    If, someday down the road, elk become a target then I’ll look at another gun. Right now I’d rather have a gun that’s suitable without having to put up with extra recoil just because I might someday hunt something bigger. That’s why I’m really leaning towards 243.
     
  11. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Although I would not recommend a 243 for Elk,I personally know of at least two guys who have used them on Elk under 150 yards and both used very premium grade bullets such as a Nosler partition which Federal does load for the 243/6mm.
    But honestly for deer and varmints the 243/6mm are pretty damn good from my own experience.
     
  12. kludge

    kludge Member

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    7mm-08 would be my choice. If you take a look I bet you can find ammo. I could go with a .260 Rem.

    You said you don't reload, but if this is your first centerfire rifle, it's understandable. I bought my first relaoding kit shortly after my first bolt rifle.

    As an aside, and it's not you, DP, it's a common thing... I don't quite understand the whole ammo availability thing. I mean, is it really that hard to buy a few boxes in preparation for a hunt? Where are you going to find time and a place in the middle of a hunting trip to sight in your rifle for whatever load that they happen to have on the shelf at the local hardware store or WalMart? Do people buy their hunting boots when they get to where they are going? Are they afraid of forgetting their ammo at home or running out? My goodness, what do your do if you forget your rifle? I could inderstand if people are flying to their hunting destination and the airline might "lose" the ammo. But isn't the ammo packed in the gun case? I dunno, maybe I'm just overthinking it.
     
  13. SouthernWake

    SouthernWake Member

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    Out of what you said you were looking for a .270 is the best choice. You will find it just about anywhere, plenty of knockdown power for deer, extremely accurate at long ranges (I've shot ground squirrels that have been annoying me deer hunting on my way out from accross a field (~160 yrds) and since you aren't keeping the pelts why worry about having too much gun?
     
  14. DAP90

    DAP90 Member

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    In Denver it’s pretty much all available locally. As to the wanting to have it available in the local town – I don’t know, it just seems like something that could be handy. Truthfully, I almost never buy ammo there. As you say, I bring my pheasant or dove loads with me when I go.



    They actually do have a 100 yard range set up out there. It’d be easy enough to re-zero real quick.

    I’ve considered 7mm-08 and 25-06. It’s weird to me that there’s not a really popular and readily available choice between 243 and 270 or 308 or whatever the next level would be.
     
  15. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    When you consider the fact that lots of folks are killing deer with a .223 these days I cant imagine that a .243 is inadequate for the task. Just use a good premium bullet yes they cost a bit more but how many are you likely to use in a season anyway.
    As for rifles check out a Savage American Classic mine has been a tack driver with zero modifications. Top it off with a Nikon Prostaff and you are good to go at a quite reasonable price. Good glass is worth the cost regardless of the rifle you choose dont settle for a package deal that looks better than it is.
    Just my .02 good hunting.
    T
     
  16. kludge

    kludge Member

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    Yep, those would be the two most popular, in my estimation... the 7-08 and the .25-06. Ammo selection at the local WalMart will probably go something like this... .223, .30-06, .30-30, .270, .243, 7.62x39, 7mm Rem Mag, .308, .25-06, 7mm-08, .300 Win Mag... and then it's anyone's guess.

    The .270 probably has the edge in effective range over the 7-08 and the .25-06 on deer. That said, being your first centerfire rifle, you'll need a lot of trigger time behind either the .25-06 or the 7-08 before you as a shooter will exceed the "limitations" of either cartridge.

    The vast majority of deer are taken and ranges of 250 yards or less, and the majority of hunters probably should think twice before taking shots longer than that. The .25-06 and 7-08 have an effective range of 350-400 yards. I'm not likely to ever get good enough in my lifetime to ethically attempt 400+ yard shots from field positions, in other words, the rifle will always exceed my ability.

    I'd rather not put up with more length, weight, or recoil than I had to, and a .25 WSSM or .260 seems about perfect to me, but the .25-06 and 7-08 get the nod (by a wide margin) for ammo availability. The .25-06 does best in a long barrel. Most come with 24" barrels, but 26" isn't too long. That takes me right back to the 7-08 which will do fine out of a 20-22" barrel, and with the short action you are saving almost another inch.

    Some will argue that the .270 is flatter shooting... but within 300 yards there's not enough difference to even mention.
     
  17. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    [​IMG]
    -
    [​IMG]

    For deer and coyote and you like T/C rifles? The 204 Ruger; it's all you'll ever need.
     
  18. heeler

    heeler Member

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    Although it is quite true most of us dont have a problem buying several boxes of hunting ammo ahead of time some calibers are still not that popular even at a Wal-Mart.
    My brother and I have this little game that when we stop at a small town to buy something we always check and see what kind of ammo the local grocer or hardware store carrys and more times than not you will practically never fail to see the 30-06,30-30,270,308,and of course 243.
    What I dont see a lot of is 25-06 and 7mm-08.
    Way back in the mid 70's a guy I hunted with bought the then relatively new and rare Remington 700 in 25-06.
    His wife packed his things while he was at work and knowing nothing about ammo she placed his 270 ammo in his bag instead of the 25-06.
    Upon discovering this during the first mornings hunt we set out to Uvalde Texas and scoured every place that we could think of for ammo.
    Zero 25-06 to be found.
    He used my back up rifle in 30-06 that weekend.
     
  19. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    If I could only own one centerfire hunting rifle, it would be a .30-06. There is little you can't do with one.
     
  20. BigN

    BigN Member

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    I've never seen a deer that a 243 wouldn't take down. Maybe it's a moose you're shooting at :evil:
     
  21. NCdrummer

    NCdrummer Member

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    7mm-08 versus .270

    Tough choice! Both are great. Edge to the .270 for velocity, but it shimes with 130 grain bullets. 7-08 shines with 140s, so you have a bigger bullet, but it's going a little slower. Academic to the deer or coyote whose vitals you just punched... it really comes down to whether you want a short action or long action receiver. 7-08, being based on the short and efficient 308 Winchester case is available with a short action receiver and generally on a smaller rifle, 20-22 inch barrel. .270, being .30-06 based, is a much longer cartridge and requires a long action receiver, hence a generally longer rifle, although not always. Summary: If you're hunting in tight places like box stands or will carry your rifle a long way I would get the 7-08. If not, the .270 is a great choice. BTW, same for the .25-06. Great choice, but only available in long action. Good luck!
     
  22. Skyshot

    Skyshot Member

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    The .243 is your answer, I have killed a ton of deer with it and few black bears and hogs. It's going to be cheaper to shoot and easier to shoot accurately than any of those long action calibers mentioned. Nothing wrong with anything mentioned its just that the .243 is such a pleasure to shoot. Recoil is almost nill, accuarcy is top shelf, if they sell ammo they'll have .243 in stock. You can't go wrong with this round!
     
  23. bachekermooni

    bachekermooni Member

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    .243 is just fine. Today's rounds use very effective bullet technology that will drop anything deer size in its tracks. There are also plenty of varmint load offerings for this caliber. I shoot a TC Encore PH handgun (15" barrel) in this caliber and have not had any issues with dropping a deer.
    There are a lot of myths and old hunter's tales out there. Turn a deaf ear. Be sure to do your reaserch on the rate of twist of the barel you choose (1:10 should be fine). A slower rate of twist (higher number) might have difficulty stabalizing the heavier/longer bullets (95 - 105 gr). Please note: heavier does not always mean longer and lighter does not always mean shorter.
    I dislike long heavy barrels for walking around type hunting. Pay particular attention to the type of hunting you do, how long your shots are, how hard the wind blows, how far you walk with the rifle, and how much recoil you are willing to take. Most important of all: practice, practice, practice the type of hunting you will do. Walk a typical distance, use the rest you would use, and take shots at the ranges you expect to hunt. You will be amazed how quickly a sub-moa rifle at the range becomes a 6 moa rifle in real life hunting after a 1 mile hike in the hills with the wind gusts at 20 MPH and your heart rate at 170 bpm when you see that 10 pointer.
     
  24. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Member

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    well then ill be the first to say 6.5x55 from squirrels to moose you covered.
     
  25. DAP90

    DAP90 Member

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    You were pretty close. They didn’t carry the 25-06 or the 7mm-08 the last time I was in there, and I think they had some 45-70, but they had everything else on your list.
     
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