This is a discussion on Why THIS CALIBER? within the Hunting forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Ok, if I post too much it's because I have lots of Questions, you guys have great answers.
DEER HUNTING SCENARIO.
Min Range-25yrds,Max Range-100yrds. Deer ...
Ok, if I post too much it's because I have lots of Questions, you guys have great answers.
DEER HUNTING SCENARIO.
Min Range-25yrds,Max Range-100yrds. Deer size is med to small.Weather is fair with winds gusting to 10kts.
Same Bolt Action Rifle, Same 3x9 High quality Scope.
Here are the Calibers-243win,270win,308win,30-06.I left out alot of calibers to keep the answers simple. Picture yourself looking at these 4 guns, why would you choose 1 caliber over the other 3 to take on this trip?
Im not looking for a "personal preference" Answer.
Thanks for your reply,
My answer depends on an unspecified variable- terrain.
For open area shooting, like fields, a .270 because it will get the job done and is a relatively flat shooter.
For more cluttered terrain, the edge of a field, or woodlands, I'd choose the .308. It doesn't shoot as flat, but the extra bullet weight will help prevent deflection if you shoot through some branches, grass, etc.
Both are on the list because they don't thump as hard as a -06.
.243 isn't on my list because despite the advancement of bullet design, I place more confidence in a larger bullet. This applies to both flight and terminal ballistics.
David E. Petzal wrote an article for Field and Stream that gives good info on various calibers, and I'd like to note that both .308 and .270 are listed, but in separate categories. .308 is listed in the light recoil, and .270 is listed in the "all-around, do everything" category.
The king of "only one rifle" was the .30-06 for it's range, power, and variety of loading options.
czruger, I probably wouldn't use any of the calibers in your list. With your scenario, a 30-30 is perfectly suited, however, using your "rules", I would probably go with the 243 or 308. I think your scope selection is way too powerful and limits you much more than the caliber of gun. Figure 1X per 25 yards for deer sized game. With a 3-9X scope, that makes the closest practical shot 75 yards and the furthest at 225 yards ... not even close to your range scenario. By selecting the right magnification, every shot within the distance parameters should view just like a 25 yard shot with open sights.
You should always hunt with your scope on the lowest setting just in case Bambi jumps up at a close range where you just don't have time to be farting around with the scope dials. With more distant shots, you usually have enough time to set your scope at the optimum magnification. An over powered scope at close range is just going to see hair ... could be the head, could be the ass.
For your scenario, a 2-7X would be a much better choice with any of your listed calibers.
.308 or .30-06; great for anything medium sized & up; universally accepted (lots of the stuff everywhere); I might opt for the .30-06 is I had any reason to shoot 'bigger' big critters w/ 220gr loads;
if it says anything, when I discovered that my 'almighty' .300 wsm bolt action w/ muzzle brake was seemingly too long for use on my ladder stand, I grabbed dad's 1973 Remington GameMaster chambered in .30-06 (we set him up with Remington reduced recoil loads due to his age...he didn't make it out for hunting this year due to some health issues);
if it says anything, my .300 wsm rifle/scope combo is in a shop on consignment & I am planning to get myself a Savage bolt action in .308 or .30-06 (I have a Savage in .25-06 setup for small/medium pests & I like it alot)
Last edited by kmrcstintn; January 4th, 2009 at 01:52 PM.
With the perameters you set I would choose a lever gun with an apperture sight. I had my Savage 99 in .308 set up that way. It now wears a straight power 4X scope on it. My eyes ain't what they used to be. The .308 is a great cartridge. But I do believe the 7mm-08 is better for deer.
.30-30 worked for me last year in pretty much that scenario. With aperture sights. Shortest shot was about 40 yards, though. Longest was a lasered 113 yds. Held dead on all of them with 160 gr. Hornady Leverevolution cartridges. Killed 'em all.
They all will accomplish the job, and those calibers are perhaps the most wildly used for deer hunting. For your situation, I wouldn't consider a 30-06, because I think the 30-06 is a little over powered, and your accuracy will be hampered due to the recoil. If the max range was 500m it would be a totally different story for this caliber.
As for 243win, 270win, & 308win, I would choose the .308 because you can buy the cheaper surplus ammo for days you just want to plink.
For just the scenario you described, I'd go off your list for the 30-30 mentioned earlier - cheaper ammo and gun availability/cost. Staying on the list, the .308 will be the most effective. 30-06 is definitely overkill for that situation, as is .270 - they're both good for really reaching out and touching something. 243 will down a deer, but would depend a lot on how clear a shot you would have. The smaller bullet obviously is effected by a branch much more than the larger .30ish bores.
Personally, I think overkill is overrated. I hunt a small pasture and I can't afford the have the deer go far after I shoot. Now I know they all react different when hit and I am not trying to offend anyone, but every deer I have shot with my 06 using 165gr Sp and a 2x7 scope have either dropped where they stood or traveled less than 20 yards. Shoot what you like, what you are comfortable with, and which you can make accurate, humane kills. A good hit is not going to cost you that much meat.
To answer the question as stated, I'd go with the .270. No problem knocking down deer within that range. Good penetration and killing effect.
But more accurately, I have to agree with the folks that said terrain is a an important consideration. I shoot both .270 and .308 and take the one that fits where I'll be hunting. I like the .308 for more dense cover.