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Looking for a new caliber

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Shadow Shock, Aug 19, 2007.

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  1. Shadow Shock

    Shadow Shock Member

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    My dad and I are looking for a new caliber to hunt deer and hogs with. We stress shot placment to the max, we dont use huge calibers to cover up for lack of skill, because we can shoot very well (plus it's completley unethical). We have been using our Remington 700 in .223 for the last six years. Three years ago, we added a Rossi single shot .243 to our collection. Neither of these calibers have ever failed us. We've filled our tags (5 per person here in TX) every year, and never had a deer run off on us. However, my dad wants to upgrade to something bigger. I've taken deer at 300yd with the .223, and he;s taken one at 450yd with the .243. Now we want something that has a lot more knock down power at longer ranges. My dad told me to post here with the criterea of what he's looking for.

    Personally, I'd rather a .308, but my dad made it clear that I have no choice in the matter. He told me to ask strictly about calibers, not to worry about the guns (although I know it will be single shot or bolt action). .30 caliber cartriges are out due to recoil. I'm 15, but I can handle the recoil no problem. However 8 years ago, my dad broke his neck, and excessive recoil hurts him a lot. He's looking for something preferably in the .260 to .280 range. We need it to be flat shooting for long range accuracy, and have the power to knock the piss out of a deer or hog between 50yd, and 500+yd. We've been using cartriges that kill cleanly, but we'd like something that is a bit overkill, so as to make sure beyond a doubt that when a deer or hog goes down, it wont be getting back up. We cant use some obscure cartridge, because we need relatively avaiable ammunition. We hunt a lot of Piney Wood Rooters (super-tough hogs) over in East Texas near a ho-dunk little town that doesn't even sell earplugs. So were not likely to find a box of .25-06 or .280 out there. Plenty of .270 though. My dad wants to know, what caliber would yall recomend, what weight, type of bullet, etc. I think .270 is our best option, but if yall would recomend this, what weight? Soft points or hollowpoints? What brand of amunition? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Bartkowski

    Bartkowski Member

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    A .308 win. isn't a bad choice. They have a little less recoil than a .270 according to chuck hawks recoil table, and a larger bullet diameter. Since its so popular finding ammo is no problem.
     
  3. Orr89rocz

    Orr89rocz Member

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    well i think pushing a 243/6mm out to 400 yds on deer is abit pushing it...thats a far shot for such a light bullet.

    a 270 is a very nice choice. my choice would be a 270 WSM. if recoil is a problem, then i'd might stay away from it as it probly has abit of a kick to it...probly like an 30'06 or more... i'm not sure i've never shot it. in a good gun tho, it could be tame. a 7mm mag would be great for really long range but abit heavy for close range stuff. I've shot one and its not bad but closer ranges just kills the meat on deer, my friend has had the experiences.

    25 WSSM seems nice, gives performance like that of a 25-06 and winchester makes a coyote model 70 with a bull barrel on it and varmint type stock for under 600 bucks. probly a very capable gun out to 500 yards on deer. still on the light side but with great shot skill, it can kill deer.

    7mm-08 remington is a very nice piece as well. mild on recoil but flat enough out to 400-500 yards. delivers better performance over the 308 too out past 400 yards. that be a great choice.

    most factory guns tho dont have very good thick barrels for long range shooting. If you make a custom rifle with a heavier barrel then look into the 270 WSM. it will be mild behind a properly built 8-9 lb rifle. FLAT shooting too.
    Else i'd try the new 25 WSSM or 7mm-08. those be my choices for a mild recoiling gun that still can get the job done at long range.

    problem with the WSSM and WSM its fairly new and a few private shops wont have ammo. you'd have to stock up or else go something else.

    with teh 270 winchester, i'd go with a 130 grain and shoot a ballistic tip for long range stuff. Winchester ballistic silvertip, nosler ballistic tips, hornady SST, swift Scirroco bonded, etc, those are all good bullets and loads.
     
  4. W.E.G.

    W.E.G. Member

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  5. Jimmy Newman

    Jimmy Newman Member

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    I love 7mm-08. It has been perfect for me on deer in TX. I shoot the Hornady light mag 139gr SST. I've never recovered a bullet because I've never had one fail to go through. This load is 100fps slower than the Hornady light mag 140gr load for the .270.

    It's 3000fps/2777ft-lbs at the muzzle, according to Hornady's website. Some people claim that 1300ft-lbs is the least energy you should hit a deer with, and this load stays above that out past 500 yards.

    If you want more than 500 yards range, you're going to be looking at a pretty serious rifle, both in terms of cartridge power and in terms of cost to get a rifle that shoots consistently enough to make good shots (as well as a LOT of practice).
     
  6. eliphalet

    eliphalet Member

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    With what you've said maybe a 270 using a 130 grain bullet. Fills what your asking and is available nearly everywhere. A good recoil pad will do wonders for your dad's shoulder, and felt recoil, neck I am not sure.
     
  7. Orr89rocz

    Orr89rocz Member

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    depending on what rifle, Knoxx makes a compstock that has a recoil reducing spring inside. plus a limbsaver recoil pad and maybe even a muzzle brake or porting will do great on taming down a heavier load
     
  8. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    Pretty funny!!! And what do you mean by knocking "the piss out of a deer?" You want all this with low recoil and, I suppose you have something against muzzle brakes and wearing hearing protection?

    For flat shooting without a muzzle brake and with low recoil, I'd recommend a 22-250. For flat shooting with little recoil and more horsepower, I'd recommend a 7mm Remington Magnum with a brake. I don't know if they'll knock the piss out of anything but a lot of animals pee when they die if that's good enough for you.
     
  9. auschip

    auschip Member

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    Well, your requirements are a little unrealistic, but something that gets close to what you are looking for is the 6.5x55. It has a good ballistic coefficient out to the longer ranges, and you can hand load for it or buy ammo. You won't be able to find it at the local academy, but it isn't scarce either.
     
  10. halvey

    halvey Member

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    You answered your own question.
     
  11. sansone

    sansone Member

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    my personal favorite is .243 but since you are looking bigger, how about
    7mm-08? same case as .243+308 but bullet size fits nicely between the two. you kinda need to reload for it because popularity lags a bit. If recoil is not an issue then .270 would be my choice for long shots
     
  12. Orr89rocz

    Orr89rocz Member

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    i have a 6.5x55 and i like it but its definately 300 yards or less. it has way to much bullet drop past that. I just started using it for varmits at standard shots ranging from 100-200 yards but shots at 250-500 will present themselves and its just hard to dial that combo in if your guestimations in range is off.

    Plus it doesnt have good energy at those long ranges to take out a deer. neither do the fast 22's but i guess they are capable of enough penetration to kill one.

    knock the piss out of a deer at 400-500 yards? I'd go for a 300 ultra mag with some porting and nice heavy stock with good recoil pad. I have shot one on a bench, nothing special just a long barrelled factory remington 700. the recoil was mild in my eyes... just abit more than a 30-06. almost like my 35 whelen to be exact. a better pad and some weight to it, and its a light kicking gun lol
     
  13. kir_kenix

    kir_kenix Member

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    if you didnt mind buying ammo off the net i would say 6.5x55 swede. sounds to me that it would fit your bill in every single way. flat shooting, mild recoil, good availability of hunting bullets for the reloader...
    next best is pbly either 7mm-08 or the good ole fashion .308, the most versetile cartridge in the world.


    edited to add: orr beat me to it i guess!
     
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    How available does your ammunition have to be? If you want to find it in every old country store you’d better stick with the basics 243, 30-30, 308, 30-06 and 270. IMO .223 at 450 yds at deer/hogs is pushing it a bit, but if that works for you great. What then does “longer ranges” mean to you? If you are talking about 800yds +- finding what you want is not going to be easy. Having the necessary ballistics to be effective at that range and mild recoil is opposite of what physics teaches us. FWIW the 7-08 is all the rifle I’ve ever needed in east Texas. With the trees and terrain on the area we hunt its not often one can see 300yds.
     
  15. Picknlittle

    Picknlittle Member

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    I'll continue to stand by my "if I could only have one rifle" gun, and that is my .35 Whelen. Not too big for deer, but plenty for anything on this continent. Also, it's a ***** cat compared to my 06. Go figure!

    I trust it in my hands out to about 300yds. I only trust my 06 in my hands out to about 300 yds.
     
  16. xd45gaper

    xd45gaper Member

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    6.5x55 swede! that is going to be my next caliber for deer hunting in FL they dont get giant down here and long range shots where i hunt are really not needed. if ill be some where that requires shooting long range i have a .308.

    im looking at the CZ 550 FS in 6.5x55 swede
     
  17. Shadow Shock

    Shadow Shock Member

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    Thanks guys. Btw, I just put what my dad wanted me to put, I don't agree with it all.

    "What then does “longer ranges” mean to you? If you are talking about 800yds +- finding what you want is not going to be easy. Having the necessary ballistics to be effective at that range and mild recoil is opposite of what physics teaches us."

    Not that far! I would need a LOT of practice before I'd trust myself to make a shot like that. The thing is, at the property were we do most of our hog hunting, the place were we see the most hogs is a large feild with a few ponds and an earth ramp. From the best spot to sit, we frequently see hogs coming out of a corner at aproximately 550yd. We have been creeping up on them, but due to the position of the ponds (and often the prescence of cattle), it's hard to get much closer without getting noticed and have our prey run off. Also as to the availability of ammunition, I personally don't see why it really matters that much, because if we take 1-2 boxes of ammo with us, that'll more than last us.

    I'm still gonna work on my dad to try to get a .308, but in his words, "It kicks like a God damn mule!" I havn't shot one, but it cant be that bad, certainly not worse than a 3 1/2-inch magnum 12-ga shell. Also my dad is predujiced against semi-auto rifles for hunting so the FAL is out W. E. G. I havn't heard of 6.5x55mm before, but it seems good from what y'all say. I'll tell my dad y'all's suggestions when he gets back from work.
     
  18. Orr89rocz

    Orr89rocz Member

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    i love my 6.5 swede, it doesnt kick at allll and is very accurate but just isnt that flat shooting... its too slow and needs hot loads to get its potential. I'd rather have my 6 mm remington. it has more velocity, more energy and is alot flatter shooting than the swede.

    if you get a 308, get a varmit gun or tactical type 308. it will have some weight to it and the kick will be like the 6.5 swede. I have a BLR browning 308 and the kick isnt bad with 150 grain loads. its a fairly light gun too so a nice weight bolt action will be a TAME little rifle. Still think if you do that kind of shooting most of the time, i'd go with a short mag in 7mm or 270. table top ballistics out to those ranges and develop good energy. with a proper rifle it wont kick at all! my next gun may be a 270 WSM. I'd like to sell a few off first to make room
     
  19. B.D. Turner

    B.D. Turner Member

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    It sounds like the rifles you have now are doing the job. How many shots on deer do you get beyond 400 yds.? Not to poke you but your looking to fix a problem that could be fixed with a little more polishing of your hunting skills such as stalking.
     
  20. 35Rem

    35Rem Member

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    7mm-08
    Put a limbsaver recoil pad on whatever it is, and you might think you are shooting the 223...BUT the deer/hogs won't think so!
     
  21. kmrcstintn

    kmrcstintn Member

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    some smaller stuff with snot to them:

    .25-06, 7mm-08, .257 Ackley Improved, .257 Weatherby Mag, 7mm Remington Mag, 7mm WSM, et al

    good luck...

    about you comment concerning larger calibers being used to make up for lack of skill...pish posh...some people hunt in states that mandate minimums and/or require shotgun slugs...

    slugs make mighty big holes...guess we're bad shots!!! :neener:

    myself... short range & thickets -- .357 magnum lever action carbine or meduim/long range open areas --.30-06 pump action rifle or back-up 12 ga pump action shottie w/ rifled choke
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I've killed more deer with a .257 Roberts loaded to about .25-06 velocities than any other caliber. I hunt mostly with a .308 now days, but that .257 will get it done on ANYthing in this state except maybe some of the exotics like Nilgai.

    Some possibles with light recoil that I like other than the near extinct .257 Roberts would include....

    .25-06
    .260 Rem
    .7-08
    7x57 (had one of these, sweet caliber)
    .270 Win
    .280 Rem (I like this caliber being a reloader)
    6.5x55mm Swede


    Any of these are light recoiling and will kill anything in this state except that you'd want a .300 mag on something like a Nilgai. Hogs and deer at any reasonable range, no problem. Also, you're talking about long range. There is an ethics question you have to answer, too, no matter how good a shot you are, when you start talking extreme ranges. I like to keep anything I'm shooting at inside 350 yards. If I can't get closer, I'll pass the shot. Just too many variables to consider when you start getting out there, even if you're using a good range finder. Any of the above calibers has enough energy and flat enough trajectory for shots inside 500 yards theoretically. Within my personally hunting range limit, they surely do. Some of the eastern guys that have never hunted out west will scoff that shots shouldn't be taking over 200 yards or even 100, you should get closer. But, they need to go out west and chase mulies a bit. They'd change their mind. LOL! I will STILL consider anything over 350 too far and I'll try to get closer, though, even out in New Mexico's mountains.

    Another thing, if you'll look up ballistic coefficients on the 6.5 and 7mm bullets, they're about the best there is, which translates into less velocity loss which translates into flatter shooting. I've got a 7 mag because I liked the 7mm bullet variety and BCs and wanted a magnum rifle. It ain't very easy on the shoulder, though. You wouldn't wanna go there if recoil is a concern. LOL
     
  23. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    The 7mm08's 140-grain bullet is only l10 grains less than the most common .30s, but the muzzle velocity is the same as for a .308.

    I think I'd focus more on the absorptive quality of an after-market recoil pad, and the proper fit of the stock. That is the best way I know of to reduce recoil, besides using a heavier rifle.

    Art
     
  24. DogBonz

    DogBonz Member

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    I know that I bring this up a lot, but....

    The 6.5 Grendel. Although finding a bolt gun chambered in 6.5 Grendel may be a little tough, if you look at the numbers, it is a great cartridge. After 300-400 yards its ballistics are superior to those of the 308, but it recoils about only half as hard.

    The 7mm-08 is an excellent cartridge as well, and is far more popular, and is growing more and more popular. The 6.5x55 would also serve you well, especially if you reload.
     
  25. Shadow Shock

    Shadow Shock Member

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    "about you comment concerning larger calibers being used to make up for lack of skill...pish posh...some people hunt in states that mandate minimums and/or require shotgun slugs...

    slugs make mighty big holes...guess we're bad shots!!!"

    I'm sorry if it came accross wrong, but i wasn't meaning that all people who use large calibers are bad shots, I'm just stating the fact that a lot of really bad shots use majorly overkill calibers to make sure that if they hit the animal at all, chances are it will be dead or crippled and can be finished off with a point blank shot. A .22lr in the hands of an experienced hunter with excellent skills is better than a .30-06 in the hands of someone who doesn't know what the hell they're doing. Of course .22lr is illeagal to deer hunt with, but more deer have been killed with it here in Texas than just about anything else.
     
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