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medium game caliber choice.. please help

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by mrming, Feb 19, 2009.

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  1. mrming

    mrming Member

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    I've got some tax money back, and am trying to decide on what I'm getting.


    I already have varmint guns leaking out my ears, and am mostly after something for pig.. and I'm not fond of chasing things.

    I'm a southpaw, and want to stick to lever or semi-autos. I like bolts, I own several. But being a southpaw makes quick follow-up shots rather hard without fooling with a special order leftie. And then its still slower than the alternatives. I'm looking to stay within 250 yards regardless.


    What I can lay hands on...

    7.62x39 AR15
    308 marlin-express
    444 marlin
    45/70.

    I don't want to wreck meat and haven't seen results from the heavier two on the list. Other suggestions would be appreciated.

    (I do handload, and I can piece together AR's if you've got other standard-receiver options).

    Thanks!
     
  2. interlock

    interlock Member

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    how about 7mm08. I load 120 gr sierra prohunters for deer. I have also used 145 gr hotcors and the rifle would go up to 175 gr. This makes it very flexible and usable. 7mm bullets are common this is a short action round, uses about 45 gr of powder. It is a great hunting round. have a look at some of the data.

    interlock
     
  3. ~z

    ~z Member

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    Agree on the 7-08 out to 250. That is my go-to short range cal. Dont know if you will find one in the configuration you are looking for (lever/semi). The .308 Marlin will do just fine also. Dont believe the 444 will serve you as well to 250yds.
    $0.02
    ~z
     
  4. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    A Browning BAR in 7mm-08 would cover all your needs. They are available in a left hand version too.

    NCsmitty
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  5. whited

    whited Member

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    .

    I was thinking a Browning BLR in .308.

    :nod:
     
  6. retrieverman

    retrieverman Member

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    Though 7mm-08 seems to be a popular choice and which I agree is a great caliber, it was not a given choice.

    Of the choices given, I would lean toward the 308 ME. I have no personal experience with the cartridge, but I have read some rave reviews.
     
  7. John828

    John828 Member

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    Just wondering about the lasting power of the 308ME. Lots of cartridges have been flashes in the pan--lots of light, some heat, gone in a second though.
     
  8. a-sheepdog

    a-sheepdog Member

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    I would pick the 308 out of the calibers listed. Also an inherently accurate round and readily available at most locations. I second the 7mm-08, but it was not on your list.
     
  9. bad_aim_billy

    bad_aim_billy Member

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    for a lever, and for something a bit different, how about .35 remington? Probably a bit easier on the shoulder than a 45/70...
     
  10. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    The 7.62X39 and 308 ME are similar ballistically; I doubt the 308 ME will last despite "raving reviews" since it really doesn't do anything other .308 caliber cartridges don't do. ALL cartridges, by the way, get raving reviews when they first come out.

    In it's original form, the 7.62X39 came with a .311 diameter barrel. Barrels for this cartridge of U.S.A. manufacture may come with a .308 diameter barrel. The obvious advantage with a .308 diameter is a vastly greater selection of bullets to choose from. If your AR has a .308 diameter barrel, I would look no further.

    The 444 Marlin and 45-70 would kill very well at 250 yards but the trajectory may leave something to be desired.

    What many think is "big gun, big wound." That isn't true. How much meat damage there is has all to do with bullet placement, bullet construction and bullet velocity. I've shot Impala, Warthog and Blesbok with a 375 H&H Magnum and there wasn't much meat damage because the velocity was modest and the bullets were of heavy construction. I even shot an African Wildcat and a Jackal with the 375 using solid bullets and hide damage was minimal.
     
  11. Fisherman_48768

    Fisherman_48768 Member

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    Use the 45/70 with cast bullets.
     
  12. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Tenn is mostly heavily wooded; few long shots.

    Tenn pigs can get both big and mean, in my understanding.

    So, .45-70 lever action. :)
     
  13. 627PCFan

    627PCFan Member

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    Im also a fan of the 7mm's. 45-70 would be cool or maybe a 50-90 if you could get your hands on it
     
  14. mrming

    mrming Member

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    Ok, my assessment of responses so far....

    TN is mostly wood, but I do expect I'll go further afield for some of the pig hunting. Got a few contacts out towards texas and down in Florida so I wont be hunting just scrub brush and gullies. Then again parts of fl and tx don't look much different than TN.

    Fellow with me will most likely be hauling a dpms AP4 or a remington r25 (ar-10, 308). I'm trying to decide on something that'll complement, but still suit me free standing.

    7.62x39.. if I went AR, it'd be flattop. I've already got another and a few scopes on QD mounts. The caliber just sucks for distance. And , despite what was said, 308 ME has 4-500 fps over it I think.

    444 -- brass is a pain to obtain
    45/70 -- can get brass, but it arcs like a freakin moonshot and sheds energy pretty quick
    308 ME -- brass is rare. But, seems to duplicate 308win in a lever gun.

    30/30 - 35 rem: already have an sks. If it comes down to a used lever gun in one of those, I might as well just haul the sks and eat 100 fps. Not like I'd drop much of anything in accuracy.


    7mm~08 is a good caliber. But I'm rebuilding a savage into 6mm BR and gonna pickup a 270 sooner than later. I feel like I'll have the scoped longer-range bolt gun angle pretty well covered.

    BAR's.. are unfortunately rare around here. I think I've seen two up for sale in the last decade. As an alternative, I could just nab a garand from the cmp.


    I'm inclined to drop the 444 marlin at this point. So I guess I'm down to a garand, a ar in 7.62x39 (for the sake of eeking out 200 some odd yards effective), 45/70, or a BAR in whatever caliber turns up locally.

    Any thoughts? Thanks for the help so far guys..
     
  15. jbkebert

    jbkebert Member

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    My favorite medium game cartridge has always been a .270 win. Mine has anchored everything I have ever ask it to.
     
  16. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    The purported velocity advantage in the 308 ME is with factory loads with a proprietary powder not available to handloaders. If you're going to use factory loads then there may be an advantage. If you're going to handload, I believe the velocity advantage will evaporate.
     
  17. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Well yes and no - it's very flat to 125 yards or so. If 125 is longest shot, then it shoots plenty flat enough. If you don't want to screw with holdover, and might shoot at 150 plus, then look at a bottlenecked cartridge. And also, .444 bullets have the same BCs, so it drops equally fast at distance.

    I'm not keen on the .308 marlin (even though I like Marlin), since it's just a re-invention of the .307 winchester, which also didn't last.

    I'd look at a Remington 7600 pump or maybe a Browning BLR, in the caliber of your choice, if you're going to run with a bottlenecked.

    I'd ask yourself first, "Do I really want a manual repeater (7600, 336, 1895, BLR etc.), or do I really want a semi (BAR, AR15, 7400, Garand, etc.)?" Remember, the manual repeater is likely to be more reliable in the field (and on the bench). After that's narrowed down, it'd be an easier choice.
     
  18. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    7.62x39 is exactly what you are looking for. Krochus took a deer with his at 275 yards last year.
     
  19. mrming

    mrming Member

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    Sounds like a good line Grumulkin, but hodgon has published load data using imr 4895 and varget that appear to duplicate factory performance in a SP.

    Yes, I know I can't load a tube full of them. But I could have a SP in the chamber and flats in the tube, or just one SP in the tube.

    Data I'm lookin at for 150 gr'ers is showing...
    30/30 -- 2390 fps
    308ME -- 2600 fps
    308 WIN -- 2820 fps

    So, just about split the difference between 30/30 and 308 win.

    While I might put a peep sight on a lever gun, I won't scope one. I also wouldn't try and scope a garand.

    So I guess let me put it on its ear. Does 45/70 have a useful, non-meat annihilating advantage over 30~06/308ME within 150 yards? Or am I already into the gross-overkill levels for 300 lbs of porky?
     
  20. Myles

    Myles Member

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    Winchester Big Bore 94 in .375Win. is my choice for 200 yards or less. Handy brush rifle, and lethal on hogs. DRT if you do you job.

    Ammunition has gotten scarce and pricy, though. Brass can be fire-formed from .30/30. They are offered up pretty regularly through on-line auctions.

    The 444 Marlin has it's fans, for good reason, as well.
     
  21. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    if you don't mind the cost the 444 is excellent as is the 45-70 for pigs and deer
     
  22. M'bogo

    M'bogo Member

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    I am a fellow lefty and I found that a Savage 99-E in .308Win works just fine for me. You might want to look for a nice used one or if you have to have a new rifle take a look at the Browning BLR in .308Win. With a good .308Win you can take over 90% of the huntable game on Earth.

    I have never understood the .308 Marlin Express. What good is an almost a .308Win when you can have the real thing? Winchester, Savage, Browning and Sako have made/make lever rifles in .308Win. Good luck find .308ME brass and loaded rounds in 5 years. The .308Win is here for the long haul.


    M'bogo
     
  23. interlock

    interlock Member

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    how about not worrying about it and just getting the .270 you are after? There are few better medium game cartridges available to you. or check out the ballistics 7mm08 v .270 and then choose.

    interlock
     
  24. mrming

    mrming Member

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    the 270 I was intending to setup as more of a stand gun.

    The one I'm trying to figure out here was more for a stalking gun.
     
  25. Kentucky Windage

    Kentucky Windage Member

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    I vote the Browning BAR in 308 (scoped) concept.
     
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