Deer round opinions

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Deer round opinions

Postby ivegotthefever » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:13 pm

Hey everyone, I am looking into trying my hand at some Colorado deer hunting this year with my grandfather as he may not have much time left in the woods, if you know what I mean. Anyways I have been looking at different calibers for deer and don't really know which way to go. I have shot rifles, shotguns, pistol all that I just don't have enough time behind the glass trying to take a deer to know which would be ideal for that situation. I am considering .308, 7mm, or 30-06. These seem to be the standard. What are your experiences, recommendations, comments, etc? Should I look at something else? I want to get the rifle now so that I can get it sighted in and practice all summer.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby devildog28 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:33 pm

Do you have an idea what can of worms you've opened? :lol3:

A .308 would be my pick. It can take anything up to an elk easily. The rounds are cheaper as well. A 30-06 is going to be able to take just about anything in North America. A 7mm is somewhere in between but more towards the upper end of power depending on which one you get. A 7mm-08 is almost identical to the .308 whearas the the 7mm mag is a beast. Another reason I'd go .308 is because you mentioned your father is getting frail and the kick of the other two might cause some damage.

Just be prepared to hear from the .270, .243, and 30-30 guys on this :rolleyes: :biggrin:

Those rounds are good but shot placement becomes more important with smaller bullets.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby GroundSwatter » Tue Mar 10, 2009 7:24 am

30-06 would be my pick. It is probably one of the more versatile rounds out there and it can kill any game animal in North America. Because of its popularity, there is a large variety of store bought loads which is handy if you don't plan to reload. I went through a similar decision on my last rifle purchase and ended up with a Ruger. Great gun and its killed everything I've shot with it.


All that being said, if this gun is for an older gentleman, recoil may be an issue, so you may want to look into something with less felt recoil.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby REDGUN » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:36 am

ivegotthefever wrote: I am considering .308, 7mm, or 30-06.


Any of these would work just fine, as would many others you will likely hear about.

The 308 would be a short action rifle and can be had in a lighter overall gun. If you are going to be hunting in the mountains, gun weight should be a consideration also. Most every manufacturer makes a "mountain rifle" or lighter weight counterpart to their standard rifle. Might be worth looking into. :thumbsup:

Good luck on your upcoming hunt.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby devildog28 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 12:23 pm

GroundSwatter wrote:30-06 would be my pick. It is probably one of the more versatile rounds out there and it can kill any game animal in North America. Because of its popularity, there is a large variety of store bought loads which is handy if you don't plan to reload. I went through a similar decision on my last rifle purchase and ended up with a Ruger. Great gun and its killed everything I've shot with it.


All that being said, if this gun is for an older gentleman, recoil may be an issue, so you may want to look into something with less felt recoil.


Yeah if the gun was for me I woulda got the 30-06 so I agree totally with you. But since it is for a frail man the .308 or 7mm-08 is probably his best choice. I do think .308 ammo is a couple bucks a box cheaper than 30-06 and has the same selection of round types.

Still waiting for the ".243 can take down an elk" crowd :moon: :biggrin:
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby Kurt » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:36 pm

Who cares about the price of ammo that should be a none factor you should shoot the best so it is going to cost any way. I shoot a .308 and it will get the job done. But the .270 will do it just as good as will the .243 not that i would take it on a hunt but proper bullet placement and bullet constuction are of more importance than cal. I think the .270 is better than a .308 more ft.lb and flatter shooting is what the ballistics tell me.

130 gr tsx., .380 B.C. .270 win

Range (yards) Muzzle 50 100 200 300 400 500
Velocity (fps) 3026 2899 2776 2540 2316 2103 1902
Energy (ft.-lb.) 2643 2426 2225 1862 1548 1277 1044
Trajectory (200 yd. zero) -1.5 0.5 1.5 0.0 -6.9 -20.3 -41.5
Come Up in MOA -1.5 -1.0 -1.4 0.0 2.2 4.8 7.9

150 gr.tsx, .420 B.C. .308 winchester

Range (yards) Muzzle 50 100 200 300 400 500
Velocity (fps) 2775 2667 2561 2356 2161 1976 1800
Energy (ft.-lb.) 2565 2368 2184 1849 1556 1300 1080
Trajectory (200 yd. zero) -1.5 0.8 1.9 0.0 -8.2 -23.8 -48.4
Come Up in MOA -1.5 -1.5 -1.8 0.0 2.6 5.7 9.2
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby apexhunter » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:53 pm

Depending upon the exact terrain I would choose a lightweight gun in .308 (something like an A-bolt Medallion or other lightweight "mountain rifle") with NICE optics. If the area has the potential for a much longer shot then definitely look at a similar rig in .270 or 06 as they do have a little flatter trajectory...depending upon projectile choice. That said, in the chart above comparing the energy of a .270 to the .308 from the muzzle they are practically the same as there is less than 3% difference...and the trajectory is within a "practical inch" to 300 yards. For what the .308 gives you out the front, the rewards are better than the 06 or .270 on the back end as recoil is lighter. Not to mention the larger cross section of lead slamming into the boiler room of a large bodied buck.

Personally, I'd consider getting him a BLR in .308 topped with a Leupold 3.5x10 40 mm. From years of experience, his rig is very lightweight, compact, easy as heck to carry, is extremely accurate and the lever is fast & easy to cycle if a follow up shot is needed. I shot many 1/2" groups with factory loaded Federal Premium 150 gr ballistic tips and game king loads from mine with little to no tinkering.

I hope you both get a nice buck...but even if you don't score, just the opportunity to spend time afield with your grandfather should create memories you'll cherish forever.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby bgoldhunter » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:34 pm

Out of those choices, the 7-08 is a no brainer.

Less recoil for an older gentlemen than a 30-06, and a head above .308.

I'd run a 120gr TSX for deer, 140gr TSX for larger critters...although the 120 TSX can easily do the job on the big boys.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby devildog28 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:13 pm

apexhunter wrote:
Personally, I'd consider getting him a BLR in .308 topped with a Leupold 3.5x10 40 mm. From years of experience, his rig is very lightweight, compact, easy as heck to carry, is extremely accurate and the lever is fast & easy to cycle if a follow up shot is needed. I shot many 1/2" groups with factory loaded Federal Premium 150 gr ballistic tips and game king loads from mine with little to no tinkering.


Yeah but you're going to pay a lot more for that BLR than a Marlin. I've held both and own the Marlin .308; the Marlin is lighter and I think has a smoother lever action.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby devildog28 » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:15 pm

bgoldhunter wrote:Out of those choices, the 7-08 is a no brainer.

Less recoil for an older gentlemen than a 30-06, and a head above .308.

I'd run a 120gr TSX for deer, 140gr TSX for larger critters...although the 120 TSX can easily do the job on the big boys.


How do you figure the 7mm08 is that much better than a .308? I compared the cartridges and looked at ballistics and they seem pretty equal. the 7mm is flatter shooting and a touch more power.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby side-slippin » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:26 pm

all three are great rounds (i own all three), one round that i have been really looking into lately is the .260. super flat shooting round with good distance. i think it will be a great deer round, but probably not to great for anything much bigger than a mulie.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby Kurt » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:41 am

devildog28 wrote:
apexhunter wrote:
Personally, I'd consider getting him a BLR in .308 topped with a Leupold 3.5x10 40 mm. From years of experience, his rig is very lightweight, compact, easy as heck to carry, is extremely accurate and the lever is fast & easy to cycle if a follow up shot is needed. I shot many 1/2" groups with factory loaded Federal Premium 150 gr ballistic tips and game king loads from mine with little to no tinkering.


Yeah but you're going to pay a lot more for that BLR than a Marlin. I've held both and own the Marlin .308; the Marlin is lighter and I think has a smoother lever action.


He wanted a accuarte gun, lever action guns are not accurate and the marlin .308 in infieror to the the winchester .308 from what i have seen. 7mm-08 smokes the marlin .308 in lever action
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby apexhunter » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:43 am

First off, with the mention of 7mm in the original post I assumed he was referring to 7mm mag. If the 7mm-08 is an option I would definitely recommend it alongside the 308.

Secondly, I am not saying the BLR is THE gun for his needs, but it is a good option. As far as lever guns not being accurate and having the Marlin preferred over the BLR- these are different guns and different cartridges. Since the BLR uses a box magazine it is chambered in standard rifle calibers and the 308 Winchester has excellent long range ballistics compared to the 308 Marlin round. Plus, the BLR action is as accurate as many bolt guns (I have shot smaller groups with my BLR than with a Rem 700 and Winchester 70 and it held it's own against an A-Bolt and a Savage). Just in the past few months there have been several articles in G&A about lever guns and most were reported as "dependable and accurate". Many of them, with the right round for the particular gun are MOA or better rifles and even the worst groups I've read about and seen are definitely "minute of deer" guns (to use several authors' phrase).

On the weight issue, the BLR in 308 Win is 6#8oz and the Marlin in 308 Marlin Express is 7# even...so the BLR is actually lighter...granted they are more expensive, but there is no free lunch with rifles.

Again, I'm not saying the BLR is the only choice in a lightweight, small size rifle as there are many bolt guns that fill the bill just fine...just throwing it out as a viable option.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby bgoldhunter » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:39 am

devildog28 wrote:How do you figure the 7mm08 is that much better than a .308? I compared the cartridges and looked at ballistics and they seem pretty equal. the 7mm is flatter shooting and a touch more power.


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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby devildog28 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:48 pm

Kurt wrote:
devildog28 wrote:
apexhunter wrote:
Personally, I'd consider getting him a BLR in .308 topped with a Leupold 3.5x10 40 mm. From years of experience, his rig is very lightweight, compact, easy as heck to carry, is extremely accurate and the lever is fast & easy to cycle if a follow up shot is needed. I shot many 1/2" groups with factory loaded Federal Premium 150 gr ballistic tips and game king loads from mine with little to no tinkering.


Yeah but you're going to pay a lot more for that BLR than a Marlin. I've held both and own the Marlin .308; the Marlin is lighter and I think has a smoother lever action.


He wanted a accuarte gun, lever action guns are not accurate and the marlin .308 in infieror to the the winchester .308 from what i have seen. 7mm-08 smokes the marlin .308 in lever action


Lever guns not accurate!!! Have you lost your mind!!!!

Image

This was with open sights at 100M :thumbsup: :yes:

The .308ME is VERY marginally less than the Winchester .308. I got the Marlin because I light how it feels to me and it's lighter than a bolt action. That comes into play when humping through mountains.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby jrockncash » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:24 am

Dont get worked up over guys that have not shot lever guns buddy! Sorry but if you can get within 300 yards of an animal then you have no worries about the performance of your gun. If your shooting farther than that your lazy. Ha! :hi:

1" moa at 100 yards gets you in the heart of anything you want to kill at 300 if you can sneak and shoot.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby Kurt » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:06 am

If that group makes you happy then thats what counts. 300 yds is average shot when you get out west
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby devildog28 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:15 am

It was more of a friendly jab jrock. But I will defend to the end that I can be as accurate as someone with a bolt/scope vs lever/open or lever/scope. A couple years ago when all they had was rounded bullets I woulda thought different.

It amazes me at the range how poorly people shoot. People get so worked up because I group better than they do with open sights.

The 7mm-08 and the 308 are the best choices getting back on topic.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby GroundSwatter » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:04 am

I would say, if you granddad can't handle a 30-06, the .308, 7mm-08, and .270 would all work.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby DiscoDuck » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:15 am

I think we're missing something, unless I'm mistaken. The rifle isn't for Grandpa, it's for him. That being said, i'm not sure that the recoil is such an issue. I don't think you would go wrong with any of those calibers. It's going to become a personal preference issue. Check the balistic tables, and the ammo availability around you. Any of those are standard though, so should be readily avail. I think I'd draw straws... :biggrin:
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby REDGUN » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:19 am

devildog28 wrote:
Lever guns not accurate!!! Have you lost your mind!!!!

Image


Nothing personal, but I do not/will not own a deer rifle that wouldn't keep 5 shots WELL INSIDE that green dotted inner circle. My current favorite deer rifle will put 5 shots under 1/2" from a bench.

I will say that I haven't shot a deer rifle with open sites in decades though. Most of my pistols even have some form of scope on them.

I guess accuracy is in the eye of the beholder.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby Kurt » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:05 pm

devildog28 wrote:It was more of a friendly jab jrock. But I will defend to the end that I can be as accurate as someone with a bolt/scope vs lever/open or lever/scope. A couple years ago when all they had was rounded bullets I woulda thought different.

It amazes me at the range how poorly people shoot. People get so worked up because I group better than they do with open sights.

The 7mm-08 and the 308 are the best choices getting back on topic.


Whenever you want to bring the leveraction scope or no scope i will pt my rem 700 up aginst it any time. We will start at 500 yds and go from there. No benchs just a pack like you would have in the field. Shooting 12"x12" steel targets five shot groups.
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby OkieHunter » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:15 pm

In 308 I like 150 grain BT's
In 30/06 I like 165 grain bt's
and My absoulute favorite is 140 grain Accubonds in my 7mm mag
I really like the 7mm because of the B.C. of the bullets
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby devildog28 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:49 pm

Kurt wrote:
devildog28 wrote:It was more of a friendly jab jrock. But I will defend to the end that I can be as accurate as someone with a bolt/scope vs lever/open or lever/scope. A couple years ago when all they had was rounded bullets I woulda thought different.

It amazes me at the range how poorly people shoot. People get so worked up because I group better than they do with open sights.

The 7mm-08 and the 308 are the best choices getting back on topic.


Whenever you want to bring the leveraction scope or no scope i will pt my rem 700 up aginst it any time. We will start at 500 yds and go from there. No benchs just a pack like you would have in the field. Shooting 12"x12" steel targets five shot groups.


Gee I was just looking for some miday humor :sad: I didn't mean that you sir shoot poorly. I more refering to the newbies jerking the trigger on a fresh out of the box rifle their parents just bought them.

hmm as for your hypothetical I would love to do that it would really give me an idea of how good this particular round is. I really meant that in seriousness. I think we would be even till about 700M then the remmy .308 (guessing that is what you have) would have less of a drop because the extra 100 fps of velocity would mean something. I've never used a pack to shoot off of. The most stable position I ever got in was an unsupported prone. I'm not sure about needing a scope of not. I'd have to see if the front sight would cover the target. I remember in the Marines the front sight post on the M-16 started to cover up the target at 500M and it was slimmer. But in the end I think your Remmy with the Winchester .308 would be easier to group with compared to my lever action with a slightly less powerfull charge. I do however think a BLR that shoots the same exact round would be something to really see :lol3:
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Re: Deer round opinions

Postby devildog28 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:54 pm

REDGUN wrote:
devildog28 wrote:
Lever guns not accurate!!! Have you lost your mind!!!!

Image


Nothing personal, but I do not/will not own a deer rifle that wouldn't keep 5 shots WELL INSIDE that green dotted inner circle. My current favorite deer rifle will put 5 shots under 1/2" from a bench.

I will say that I haven't shot a deer rifle with open sites in decades though. Most of my pistols even have some form of scope on them.

I guess accuracy is in the eye of the beholder.


In my defense this was the first day I got the rifle and previously the only rifle open sights I had used were peep sights. Now some may say that all open sights are the same, but there really is something different to get used to. But I am sure that with practice I could "tighten" it up.
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