Game/Deer Rifles and Cartridges

The #1 community for Gun Owners of the Northeast

Member Benefits:

  • No ad networks!
  • Discuss all aspects of firearm ownership
  • Discuss anti-gun legislation
  • Buy, sell, and trade in the classified section
  • Chat with Local gun shops, ranges, trainers & other businesses
  • Discover free outdoor shooting areas
  • View up to date on firearm-related events
  • Share photos & video with other members
  • ...and so much more!
  • Biggfoot44

    Ultimate Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    32,490
    I'm the last one to ever talk anyone of buying another rifle !

    But the reality check is that you already have everything covered , with a 50% overlap ,especially since you handload .

    .25-06 is flat shooting , more than enough power for Bambi , and flexible to go larger .

    .35 Whelan AI is big enough for anything , except maybe having a gunfight in a phone booth with angry Grizzly .

    Handloaded 8x57 can cover all the middle ground .

    To meaningfully expand your experiences , look at either a Lever Action , or something AR-15 based , at least one of which is Straight Wall .
     

    wilcam47

    Ultimate Member
    Apr 4, 2008
    25,888
    Changed zip code
    I've been studying and reading - it seems like one of the things that everyone agrees on is that no one agrees on ANYTHING! LOL!

    There are some people who say that the 35 Whelen is too much bullet. Others say that the bigger, heavier bullet leaves less bloodshot meat. Some people want magnum performance, but I've read that the 300 Win Mag can be a bit much at shorter distances as well.

    It sounds like your shot with the 30-06 was a good shot with great bullet performance - it wasn't a through shot, but it almost was, and did exactly what it was supposed to...according to what I've read. I'm almost embarrassed that I have no firsthand experience of my own.

    300 win is basically a super hot 308...i dropped a deer 300yds in its tracks in idaho
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    14,478
    Glen Burnie
    I'm the last one to ever talk anyone of buying another rifle !

    But the reality check is that you already have everything covered , with a 50% overlap ,especially since you handload .

    .25-06 is flat shooting , more than enough power for Bambi , and flexible to go larger .

    .35 Whelan AI is big enough for anything , except maybe having a gunfight in a phone booth with angry Grizzly .

    Handloaded 8x57 can cover all the middle ground .

    To meaningfully expand your experiences , look at either a Lever Action , or something AR-15 based , at least one of which is Straight Wall .
    Guns I've got - I've got a Model 94 in 30-30 and a model 1886 in 45-90 - I'd never want to put a scope on either of those, but I could use the 45-90 with the Lyman No. 2 tang peep sight. I've also got an AR10 build planned - I just don't have it done yet. I have far more projects than I have money for! :party29::lol2:

    I'm actually very intrigued by this 8mm Mauser. Mom sold most of my Dad's guns, but for some reason I grabbed that one, and I'm not entirely sure why because I don't think Dad did the build - I think he found it and bought it that way because he found it cheap somewhere - that's how he got so many of his guns.

    With that said, the 8mm Mauser isn't a slouch of a performer - it doesn't have the velocity of some of the other choices like 30-06 or .270, but because I do reload, it offers some some interesting potential.

    I'll have to shoot it to see how it groups, but I think that a better scope and a trigger upgrade would really make that a cool gun for the field.

    300 win is basically a super hot 308...i dropped a deer 300yds in its tracks in idaho
    I tend to see it as a super hot 30-06. :cool: ;) Carlos Hathcock won the Wimbledon Cup with a 300 Win Mag - it's definitely the ticket for long shots.
     

    Archeryrob

    Undecided on a great many things
    Mar 7, 2013
    2,968
    Washington Co. - Fairplay
    Marlin 336a 30-30 with 184 grain flat nose bullets and 29 grains of 3031. Using iron sites

    Not yet but will have a Bergara B-14 in 30.06 working next year with a Leopold VX-3i on it. 165 grain very small meplat bullet. Still thinking if I will run 4198, 4227 or V120 through it. Thinking of the latter two as I can get 2500fps on a cast bullet as long as they don't lead the barrel. That come in spring time test rounds.
     

    308Scout

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Mar 27, 2020
    6,482
    Washington County
    Sweet rifles!

    My three primary deer hunting centerfires are:

    1. Mossberg Patriot in .270 (130gr)
    2. Ruger Gunsite Scout in .308, of course (150 gr)
    3. Ruger American Rifle (go wild model) in 30-06 (180 gr)

    I usually switch them up based on hunting locale or simply on what I feel like carrying with me on a given day. The Scout and American (in that order) get the vast majority of reps.

    I've taken more deer with 100 or 125 gr broadheads than with the above three combined though. :D
     

    SkiPatrolDude

    Ultimate Member
    Oct 24, 2017
    3,287
    Timonium-Lutherville
    I hunt with a TC Compass in 308 with a Vortex Viper 4-16x on top.

    Considering ammo availability, cost, and the fact that the longest shot I'd take on a deer is under 250 yards (more like inside of 150), the 308 does well for me.
     

    Harrys

    Short Round
    Jul 12, 2014
    3,296
    SOMD
    Deer/Bear/Elk/Moose

    45/70 Lever action rifle with 380 grain HCFN hand loads or 45/70 325 grain Hornaday FTX hand loads

    50 Caliber S&W Magnum revolver with 325 grain Hornady FTX hand loads or 375 grain HCFN hand loads

    I use to have a Ruger M77 30/06 which I used over 40 years ago however I have shot far more deer with my 30/30.
     

    BUFF7MM

    ☠Buff➐㎣☠
    Mar 4, 2009
    13,575
    Garrett County
    Depends for me, this year I’m using a 300 Blackout suppressed with 190 grain sub-x Hornady ammo, and please don’t assume I’m hunting in Maryland because I don’t.
    I normally take a 308, but I might also throw in the 300 win mag, 22-250, or the 243.
     

    teratos

    My hair is amazing
    MDS Supporter
    Patriot Picket
    Jan 22, 2009
    59,631
    Bel Air
    Depends for me, this year I’m using a 300 Blackout suppressed with 190 grain sub-x Hornady ammo, and please don’t assume I’m hunting in Maryland because I don’t. ��
    I normally take a 308, but I might also throw in the 300 win mag, 22-250, or the 243.

    No 7mm?
     

    steves1911

    Ultimate Member
    Dec 2, 2011
    3,005
    On a hill in Wv
    It really depends on the type of hunting im doing. Last 2 years ive been using a 257wby at the farm. Handloaded 101gr barnes lrx @ 3670fps lazer beam on deer. Great for sitting over big fields. If im hunting more wooded areas i prefer something a little more compact usually a ar10 or 20" bolt gun in 308 with handloaded 168gr amax or eldm @2600fps. Inside 300yds it does anything you could possibly need in a deer rifle. I have killed lots of deer over the years with that combo ever since i started handloading 8ish or so years ago. My brother in laws both use that combo one from an m&p10 the other a savage axis.
     

    Bisleyfan44

    Ultimate Member
    Jan 11, 2008
    1,743
    Wicomico
    Rifles? I've taken deer with 6mm Rem, 6.5x55 Swede, 270 Win, 280 Rem, 30-30 Win, and .30-06. Especially loved the performance of the Swede, but all the others worked just fine. These days, I always grab the Win 94 in .30-30 if I decide to take a rifle. I almost always hunt with one Blackhawk or another now, though.

    Of your rifles, the .25-06 is an amazing deer caliber with a lot of range. The 117 gr bullets will serve you perfectly for deer, you can use lighter bullets for varmints. Your others, like my '06, are kinda overkill for most deer if there is such a thing. They'll work just fine, just more recoil. Deer aren't hard to kill. Pick an appropriate bullet in whatever caliber you choose and you'll make meat.
     

    Mini14tac

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    May 14, 2013
    2,143
    North County
    In shotgun only areas I used to hunt with my 870 pump with cantilever rifled barrel. Semi retired due to the straight wall cartridge deal. Now use my 1895 in 45-70. In rifle areas my go to is my model 700 in 7mm mag. I do occasionally take my Winchester model 88 in 308 as it probably one of the finest quick handling deer rifles of all time in my opinion.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    14,478
    Glen Burnie
    This is great stuff everyone!

    It's kind of an interesting deal with the rifles I have. I got the 35 Whelen because I absolutely loved the gun, and I commented to our fellow MDS'er at the time that if he ever had a hankering to sell it, I'd gladly buy it. 5 years later he PM'ed me and sold it to me. I figured if nothing else, it'd be potent medicine for boars and feral hogs. If nothing else, I also have bragging rights of owning one heck of a custom 03 sporter.

    The truth is, I really don't need another gun. Would I like one? Certainly! Having said that, lots of guys really favor the .243 for deer, and the 25-06 out-performs the .243 in just about every way other than recoil. It certainly took down Bambi last weekend for the friend I loaned it to.

    Bigfoot44 hit the nail on the head - I've got nice overlap with these 3 bolt guns and can do everything from prairie dogs, to black bear, elk and moose if the opportunity arises. I can't wait to get that 8mm Mauser to the range though - I've never fired that rifle, so I have no idea how it shoots or groups. It's going to be fun to see what it will do. Something else to consider, it's a small gun - I measured the pull on it earlier today and realized that it's pretty short at 13.25" vs the 14.5' on the 25-06. Dad was a pretty big guy with long arms, so no doubt the 25-06 was sized specifically for him. I'm also 6'1" with long arms, so it feels pretty short when it's up on the shoulder. That's not a big deal though - if I want, I can always restock it.
     

    steves1911

    Ultimate Member
    Dec 2, 2011
    3,005
    On a hill in Wv
    I think if I was going to buy a gun specifically for Bambi, both of those would be high on my list, with maybe the 270 edging it the 308. I'm also interested in the 280 Remington.

    280ai is chambered in a few factory rifles now. Would make a wonderfull bambi slayer and be fun if you ever want to get into long range. Its an excellent cartridge.
     

    Biggfoot44

    Ultimate Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    32,490
    Back in the day , there were a couple of truisms :

    Whatever the question , .30-06 is probably a good answer.
    If you only have one ( centerfire) rifle , it should be a .30-06 .

    Ironically , two of my bucket list calibers that haven't quite been right place , right time ( yet) are .25-06 and .35 Whelan .


    Historical perspective -

    My father had one Hunting Rifle - a M721 converted by Roy Weatherby himself to .300 W'by .
    To him , it wasn't One rifle , but a half dozen . Was a .30-30 or .300 Savage appropriate ? Load it the appropriate velocity . A .30-06 called for m Load .300 to appropriate velocity . 700 plus yard shots ? Full throttle loads .

    Back in the Golden Age , there were fewer specialized Rifles , but a major motivation of handloaders was to have plethora of specialized Loads .

    One of Dad's mantras was " I can always Load Down a high velocity ctg , but you can't ( usually) load UP a slobber ball ."
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    14,478
    Glen Burnie
    280ai is chambered in a few factory rifles now. Would make a wonderfull bambi slayer and be fun if you ever want to get into long range. Its an excellent cartridge.
    I like the idea of a 280 Remington - on paper it looks like a peach. However, the 270 is SO popular, it's hard to deny the sheer amount of great factory ammo on top of the plethora of bullets available for reloaders.

    There are so many awesome options out there for both cartridge and rifle - it's no wonder hunters never really agree on it.
     

    Uncle Duke

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 2, 2013
    11,565
    Not Far Enough from the City
    Rifles? I've taken deer with 6mm Rem, 6.5x55 Swede, 270 Win, 280 Rem, 30-30 Win, and .30-06. Especially loved the performance of the Swede, but all the others worked just fine. These days, I always grab the Win 94 in .30-30 if I decide to take a rifle. I almost always hunt with one Blackhawk or another now, though.

    Of your rifles, the .25-06 is an amazing deer caliber with a lot of range. The 117 gr bullets will serve you perfectly for deer, you can use lighter bullets for varmints. Your others, like my '06, are kinda overkill for most deer if there is such a thing. They'll work just fine, just more recoil. Deer aren't hard to kill. Pick an appropriate bullet in whatever caliber you choose and you'll make meat.

    Interesting mention by Bisleyfan44 of 6 different and classic cartridges. Of the six mentioned, the one with plenty of thump for Bambi in season, and with the added bonus of both excellent terminal and long range capability? And importantly I'd suggest if one is a blend of hunter and shooter, a round that you'd actually enjoy shooting during the majority of time you won't spend hunting, if that time is to be spent in shooting quantity in extended sessions and off a bench?

    One could make a darned good argument for putting a circle around the various flavors of 6.5. As much as I hate to agree with the nowadays oft-mentioned thought, the Europeans figured this out long before we did.
     

    sbowers

    Active Member
    Jun 15, 2012
    225
    I recently bought a Cooper Excalibur in 6.5-284 and topped it with a Swarovski Z5 to be my primary deer rifle. This year I’m still hunting with my Stainless ABolt in 300 wsm.

    I’m relatively new to hunting, 3 years, and have killed 5 deer with 4 different guns. What I’ve found is that deer don’t really care. The most important factor is shot placement, but bigger holes also help.

    My hunting mentor prefers taking cannons into the woods: 350 rem mag, 338 win mag, 325 WSM.
     

    Users who are viewing this thread

    Latest posts

    Forum statistics

    Threads
    274,225
    Messages
    7,228,003
    Members
    33,183
    Latest member
    kdsadie

    Latest threads

    Top Bottom