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Favorite sub-.30 caliber rifle cartridges for White Tail Deer

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Lone_Gunman, Dec 24, 2008.

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  1. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I wanted to get some pros and cons on the sub 30 caliber deer cartridges. I have never fired one of these, and am looking for something easier on the shoulder than 30-06 or 308.

    I was considering 243 and 25-06. How do these compare? What other good choices are out there. I don't want anything uncommon. I would like to be able to walk into any Wal Mart or gun store and find ammo on the shelf.
     
  2. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    a 270 is proly the king of the sub 30 cals, and is much milder, in my opinion, than a 308 or 30.06. I had never fired a 270 before this year, in my whole life, but had done plenty of 30 cals and bigger. I was absolutely amazed at how much more mild the recoil was on the 270.
    That being said, if limiting yourself to deer, I believe a 243 is the perfect rifle, nothing more is needed, it is fast, flat and accurate. Loaded with 100 grain softpoints, it will drop any deer/antelope/elk , that you can put it on.
    to me, the 25.06 is just a faster/flatter 243, so the rounds are more expensive, but if you need a 500 yd shot, the 25 can pull that off...
    then you have 6.5's, and they are all great, plus the 257 roberts, another fab round. The 6.5 swede is a fabulous round, there are great new rifles made for it, by CZ, and plenty of swiss made milsurp rifles, and ammo out there as well. which will all be amazingly accurate. even the milsurp ammo is accurate; heck it is swiss made. and cheaper. The 6.5 will do anything you want as well, and is a long range shooters preferred choice with heavy bullets.
    It is a mild recoil as well, less than the 270, more closer like the 243.
     
  3. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I was sort of leaning toward 243, or maybe 25-06. Is there a noticeable difference in recoil between these two? Ballistics look fairly close. I don't think I would ever need to shoot longer than 250 yds max, and that would be a really really long shot.
     
  4. Schleprok62

    Schleprok62 Member

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    Ranger, I'd lean more toward the 7mm Mag being more popular than the .270. Not that the .270 is any kind of slouch, but mostly because I know more people with 7mm Mags, 7mm-08's, 7x57's, etc... The only other .270 I hear anything about is the 6.8SPC, and it's not as populr as it probably should be. But that's probably due to it's newness, and the lack of real support, and or lack of mass production/adoption... but either way, both the .270 and the 7mm classes are great deer rifles...


    Cheers...

    I personally have a 7mm-08 and love it... recoil isn't unmanagable, accuracy is excellent, ammo is available at all the WalMarts I've been to... I reload my own though... If you want the 30 cal, but without the recoil of the .308 pr 30-06, there's always the 30-30 Win. Marlin and Winchester both make great rifle for in that caliber....
     
  5. woof

    woof Member

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    I'd stay in the .308 family with 7-08 or .260. For woods and close range, the 7-08 managed recoil load with a 140 gr bullet has .30-30 recoil but much better ballistics. And of course full power long range loads are there, but I don't know that they have much less recoil than the .30s. Then there's .257 Roberts. I personally would like to see more rifles in 6.8spc.
     
  6. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I guess I should have reworded my post... I am more interested in 25 caliber rounds than 27 caliber rounds.
     
  7. Schleprok62

    Schleprok62 Member

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    Well, ok, there's the 6mm Rem and or the 260 Rem... but if you're leaning toward 25 cal, and being reasonably available pretty much anywhere ya go... the 25-06 is probably your best bet. Although, the 260 Rem is quickly becoming a very popular cartridge just about everywhere....
     
  8. stiab

    stiab Member

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    I feel your pain. I know this is not in answer to the question you were asking, but those new Limbsaver recoil pads in slip on or screw on configurations take the sting out of the .30-06. I was amazed, it is now like shooting my .243. They are a little pricey at around $30, but they do work.
     
  9. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom Member

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    If you're looking for something that much smaller, you probably won't find a better round than the .243.

    Easy recoil, good ammo availability means it can be found just about everywhere, and it's available in almost every rifle the .308 is.

    Incidentally, the rifle is every bit as important as the round. A five pound youth model .243 will feel similar to an eight pound .308.
     
  10. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    If you are leaning towards, the .25, go with the 250-3000, It is a very good cartridge, but have fun finding it on shelves.
    I like the 243 but prefer the 7mm-08.
    With todays loads anything between 243 and 308 is good for most deer, it just depends on what platform you are shooting it out of for the cartridge.
     
  11. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    243 winchester is perfect for deer.
     
  12. Heck

    Heck Member

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    .25-06 or .257 Weatherby Magnum which is now available in the Vangard. I personally do not care for the .243. From personal experience the deer just don't bleed. It makes tracking a deer 30-40 in a cutover or thick stuff a daunting task. MY .270 doesn't kill any better but they just bleed way more.
     
  13. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    My favorite sub-.30s for deer are (in order of preferrence) 7x57mm Mauser,7mm-08 Remington and 7mm Rem.magnum. The first two for mild recoil and the magnum for extended range shots.
     
  14. Seafarer12

    Seafarer12 Member

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    I like the 7mm's personally. I have a 7mm-08 and a 7-30 Waters. If you reload you can load them how you like. A 243 is a good round and cheaper to shoot I just like to throw a little bigger chunk of lead at deer.
     
  15. bpl

    bpl Member

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    I think the .243 or the .25-06 would be fine for your needs. I have a .243, but I currently hunt deer with a 7mm-08 or 30-30. At least where I live, .25-06 ammo is much less available than .243 though. That might be different where you live though. .243 ammo is generally cheaper as well. For deer inside 250 yards and most shots much less, .243 is fine. If you were expecting shots on the longside of that range regularly, .25-06 might be preferred.
     
  16. bpl

    bpl Member

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    You should skip the 7mm mag if you already have a 30-06 and you are looking for something easier on the shoulder. Also, if you are shooting at ranges of less than 250yards, the 7mm mag offers you nothing that a lesser recoiling, flat shooter like .270/.25-06/.243 does.
     
  17. Loggerlee

    Loggerlee Member

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    I've got a 280 (7mm Remington express)
    Ruger Mark 2 stainless,shoots good,seems to kill stuff better than it should.
    Rangerruck is right about the 243 if all you are shooting is deer,IMO it's the best of the "deer rifle" rounds.
    Accurate in everything I've shot it in,and plenty of power for deer.
    .223 is okay too,just have to be sure before you drop the hammer.
     
  18. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    "...I am more interested in 25 caliber rounds... "


    As you probably know, the three most common .25 calibers are the .250/3000 (aka .250 Savage), the .257 Roberts, and the .25/06.

    All of them are very, very good deer calibers out to at least 300yds.

    Factory ammo for any of them is generally available but not to the same extent as ammo for the .243 or .270 or 7mm calibers.

    The .25/06 will be available in a wider variety of rifles and models than the other two.

    The .25/06 really requires a 24" or 26" barrel to be notably more than the .257 Roberts.

    The .25/06 and .257 Roberts will do an (arguably) better job of handling the larger .25 caliber bullets (100gr. - 120gr.) than the .250 Savage.

    The .25/06 is close to the .270 in recoil. Its' muzzle report is quite loud and sharp.... notably more so than the other two .25s.


    Good Luck !
    :cool:
     
  19. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    .

    As Shawnee noted, there is a slim difference between a 25'06 and a 270.
    You probably would be happy with a 243 for deer. You would be happier with a 260 or 6.5x55, because of the amazing BC & SD of these bullets. The performance of the 6.5 caliber gives you an edge on angling shots over the 243 and is still easy shooting on the shoulder.
    Regardless of your choice, proper bullet and shot selection is the key to success.

    NCsmitty
     
  20. TAB

    TAB Member

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    don't forget the 257 weatherby mag.
     
  21. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    I think one of the requirements I had specified was easy to find ammo... Some of the choices I am seeing look like it might be hard to find ammo in small stores or Wal Mart.
     
  22. woof

    woof Member

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    I think ammo availability is often over-rated in threads. I would think one would enter hunting season with plenty of ammo. I can't really imagine needing to find it on the spur of the moment at some small store. I wouldn't base a rifle or cartridge choice on ammo availability. Likewise, I'm not shooting thousands of rounds a year from a hunting rifle so ammo cost would not be a factor for me. By the way another .25 not mentioned is .25-35, a cartridge that I'd love to see make a comeback.
     
  23. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    "I think ammo availability is often over-rated in threads. I would think one would enter hunting season with plenty of ammo."


    Gotta agree with "Woof" on that one. The old "it's sold in every backwoods gas station" is just outdated holdover "knowledge" from Jack O'Conner talking about the .30/06 back in the 1920s.

    Three boxes of ammo will last a deer hunter a very long time.


    :cool:
     
  24. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Member

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    What if you don't have them with you? I went hunting a couple hundred miles from home a few years ago. Want to take a guess what I forgot to bring? It was nice to be able to find 30-06 ammo everywhere. So I think its an issue, at least for me. I would rather have something common.
     
  25. Schleprok62

    Schleprok62 Member

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    Most of the cartridges mentioned are availabe at walmart to some degree... might not carry every brand or every option, but you can find at least one or two boxes of just about everything mentioned... Today would not be a good time to go look... as deer season just ended (rifle season) and everyone is in a panick buy due to the President Elect... go figure...

    Good luck...
     
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