Game/Deer Rifles and Cartridges

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  • teratos

    My hair is amazing
    MDS Supporter
    Patriot Picket
    Jan 22, 2009
    59,631
    Bel Air
    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.
    So, your mentor likes the sausage made before it’s field dressed? Lol.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    14,478
    Glen Burnie
    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.
    I just read an article comparing the 6.5 Swede to the 6.5CM. The consensus was that if one wanted to be really nitpicky, the 6.5CM comes out the winner, but not by much, and from a practical standpoint as a hunting round, there's no discernable difference.

    Gun guys, much like musicians, like to argue about and perseverate over the minutia of gear selection, but at the end of the day, it's the shooter/player that makes the most difference, and in any kind of real situation, most of the finer points get lost anyway.

    As others have pointed out, Bambi doesn't really care when the bullet is large enough, fast enough, and placed well, but I have to admit that I do enjoy the discussion.
     

    teratos

    My hair is amazing
    MDS Supporter
    Patriot Picket
    Jan 22, 2009
    59,631
    Bel Air
    I just read an article comparing the 6.5 Swede to the 6.5CM. The consensus was that if one wanted to be really nitpicky, the 6.5CM comes out the winner, but not by much, and from a practical standpoint as a hunting round, there's no discernable difference.

    Gun guys, much like musicians, like to argue about and perseverate over the minutia of gear selection, but at the end of the day, it's the shooter/player that makes the most difference, and in any kind of real situation, most of the finer points get lost anyway.

    As others have pointed out, Bambi doesn't really care when the bullet is large enough, fast enough, and placed well, but I have to admit that I do enjoy the discussion.

    It's a funny argument. People try to pick one right answer out of a pile of right answers.
     

    engineerbrian

    JMB fan club
    Sep 3, 2010
    10,147
    Fredneck
    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.

    A friend of mine use to hunt with a 280. He said getting good hunting ammo was always a headache. I think thats why he finally switched to another caliber.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    14,478
    Glen Burnie
    It's a funny argument. People try to pick one right answer out of a pile of right answers.
    EXACTLY! I've never heard it put that way before - I'm going to use that!

    A friend of mine use to hunt with a 280. He said getting good hunting ammo was always a headache. I think that's why he finally switched to another caliber.
    I can see an advantage for a person who reloads, but for guys who don't, I can see how something more common would make a difference.
     

    Uncle Duke

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 2, 2013
    11,565
    Not Far Enough from the City
    I just read an article comparing the 6.5 Swede to the 6.5CM. The consensus was that if one wanted to be really nitpicky, the 6.5CM comes out the winner, but not by much, and from a practical standpoint as a hunting round, there's no discernable difference.

    Gun guys, much like musicians, like to argue about and perseverate over the minutia of gear selection, but at the end of the day, it's the shooter/player that makes the most difference, and in any kind of real situation, most of the finer points get lost anyway.

    As others have pointed out, Bambi doesn't really care when the bullet is large enough, fast enough, and placed well, but I have to admit that I do enjoy the discussion.

    Yep. The questions inherent to this discussion have been bantered back and forth for well over a century without definitive answers. They won't be answered today either.

    Each of these cartridges has pros and cons. All have somewhat unique and interesting stories. The 6mm Rem for several reasons never gained the acclaim of the .243 Winchester. It is in most ways a superior cartridge to the legendary .243 Win. The .30-30 was once revolutionary as a smokeless centerfire, and was considered a high velocity cartridge. Nobody chooses it for it's ballistic attributes today, though the lever action rifles most commonly associated with it remain to this day the short and well balanced joys of a fast handling rifle to carry and hunt with. The .270 is a .30/03-30/06 derivative. The .280 by another name is a 7mm-06. But of all of the cartridges mentioned, when it comes to effective deer hunting and long range and comfortable shooting? Kinda like 3 bears and porridge. Too cold, too hot, and just right. It isn't hard to argue for a 6.5 being "just right." There will never be a rifle made that doesn't compromise something.
     

    sbowers

    Active Member
    Jun 15, 2012
    225
    Yep. The questions inherent to this discussion have been bantered back and forth for well over a century without definitive answers. They won't be answered today either.

    Each of these cartridges has pros and cons. All have somewhat unique and interesting stories. The 6mm Rem for several reasons never gained the acclaim of the .243 Winchester. It is in most ways a superior cartridge to the legendary .243 Win. The .30-30 was once revolutionary as a smokeless centerfire, and was considered a high velocity cartridge. Nobody chooses it for it's ballistic attributes today, though the lever action rifles most commonly associated with it remain to this day the short and well balanced joys of a fast handling rifle to carry and hunt with. The .270 is a .30/03-30/06 derivative. The .280 by another name is a 7mm-06. But of all of the cartridges mentioned, when it comes to effective deer hunting and long range and comfortable shooting? Kinda like 3 bears and porridge. Too cold, too hot, and just right. It isn't hard to argue for a 6.5 being "just right." There will never be a rifle made that doesn't compromise something.

    Agreed, that’s why I want to buy a whole bunch of them and then worry about which one I want to choose on any given day. I have a 300 WM, 300 WSM, 308, 30.06, 6.5-284, 30-30. And a Sako in 270 is on the short list.
     

    Uncle Duke

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 2, 2013
    11,565
    Not Far Enough from the City
    Agreed, that’s why I want to buy a whole bunch of them and then worry about which one I want to choose on any given day. I have a 300 WM, 300 WSM, 308, 30.06, 6.5-284, 30-30. And a Sako in 270 is on the short list.

    Oh, but you need some .17's', some 20's, some 22's, some 24's, some 25's, and then some of the all important "tweeners!"

    Hell, you're just getting started!

    Enjoy the madness! (I mean rationalization.) :)
     

    teratos

    My hair is amazing
    MDS Supporter
    Patriot Picket
    Jan 22, 2009
    59,631
    Bel Air
    Oh, but you need some .17's', some 20's, some 22's, some 24's, some 25's, and then some of the all important "tweeners!"

    Hell, you're just getting started!

    Enjoy the madness! (I mean rationalization.) :)

    Yeah, but what's he gonna use in Africa? Need some H&H magnums that start with 3, and them some 4's and even 5's.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    14,478
    Glen Burnie
    Yep. The questions inherent to this discussion have been bantered back and forth for well over a century without definitive answers. They won't be answered today either.

    Each of these cartridges has pros and cons. All have somewhat unique and interesting stories. The 6mm Rem for several reasons never gained the acclaim of the .243 Winchester. It is in most ways a superior cartridge to the legendary .243 Win. The .30-30 was once revolutionary as a smokeless centerfire, and was considered a high velocity cartridge. Nobody chooses it for it's ballistic attributes today, though the lever action rifles most commonly associated with it remain to this day the short and well balanced joys of a fast handling rifle to carry and hunt with. The .270 is a .30/03-30/06 derivative. The .280 by another name is a 7mm-06. But of all of the cartridges mentioned, when it comes to effective deer hunting and long range and comfortable shooting? Kinda like 3 bears and porridge. Too cold, too hot, and just right. It isn't hard to argue for a 6.5 being "just right." There will never be a rifle made that doesn't compromise something.
    I was just looking at another article that talks about the 260 Remington - seems to me that might be an overlooked diamond in the rough, and since it's a necked down .308, brass for reloading would always be easy to come by.
     

    teratos

    My hair is amazing
    MDS Supporter
    Patriot Picket
    Jan 22, 2009
    59,631
    Bel Air
    I was just looking at another article that talks about the 260 Remington - seems to me that might be an overlooked diamond in the rough, and since it's a necked down .308, brass for reloading would always be easy to come by.

    I have a bench gun in .260 Remington. Similar to 6.5 CM, but better....:innocent0

    No problems out to 1000 yards. I plan to build a Rem 700 for hunting with it.
     

    akalma

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Nov 24, 2008
    716
    МоКо
    I have a bench gun in .260 Remington. Similar to 6.5 CM, but better....:innocent0

    No problems out to 1000 yards. I plan to build a Rem 700 for hunting with it.

    Friend has AR10 in .260 rem, it works pretty good but commercial rounds are *really* expensive. Reloading is more acceptable, not sure the .308 brass can be resized easily.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    14,478
    Glen Burnie
    I have a bench gun in .260 Remington. Similar to 6.5 CM, but better....:innocent0

    No problems out to 1000 yards. I plan to build a Rem 700 for hunting with it.
    So many choices, so little time! :D (or money, for that matter!)

    Bringing this back around to my quarter bore - the 25-06 - I think it was interesting that my Dad was building that gun at a time before the 25-06 Remington became a commercially produced gun and cartridge. He'd certainly done some thinking about what he wanted, and he must have really liked something about the properties and versatility of that particular cartridge.

    I remember as a kid him showing me how he created the brass for it by necking down 30-06, and trimming to correct length. He had lots of 30-06 too - I'm not sure how he managed it but when he was in the Coast Guard in the early 1950s, he managed to get his hands on several big boxes of once-fired military 30-06 brass, although I know he did buy some legit 25-06 ammo for it at least few times because some of my ammo I managed to keep for it has 25-06 headstamps.

    In any case, that always seemed to be the rifle he grabbed, whether it was heading to the prairie dog town, or going on the occasional deer hunt.

    Friend has AR10 in .260 rem, it works pretty good but commercial rounds are *really* expensive. Reloading is more acceptable, not sure the .308 brass can be resized easily.
    I'd tend to think it was the same process Dad went through to create 25-06. I've read that it's easier to do in several steps, but I don't recall Dad doing that - I seem to recall that he simply ran a properly lubed 30-06 case up into a full-length 25-06 die. Make no mistake - it was work and took him some effort, but I don't recall that it was difficult. Necking down the .308 to .264 is less of a jump than .308 to .257.
     

    teratos

    My hair is amazing
    MDS Supporter
    Patriot Picket
    Jan 22, 2009
    59,631
    Bel Air
    Friend has AR10 in .260 rem, it works pretty good but commercial rounds are *really* expensive. Reloading is more acceptable, not sure the .308 brass can be resized easily.

    .308 is easy to resize.
     

    trickg

    Guns 'n Drums
    MDS Supporter
    Jul 22, 2008
    14,478
    Glen Burnie
    Here's a video of a guy necking down 30-06 directly to 25-06 with a Forster Co-Ax press.

    [YT]R9eiSDOPKL4[/YT]
     

    Uncle Duke

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Feb 2, 2013
    11,565
    Not Far Enough from the City
    I was just looking at another article that talks about the 260 Remington - seems to me that might be an overlooked diamond in the rough, and since it's a necked down .308, brass for reloading would always be easy to come by.

    I have a bench gun in .260 Remington. Similar to 6.5 CM, but better....:innocent0

    No problems out to 1000 yards. I plan to build a Rem 700 for hunting with it.

    Arguably the sweetest of the 6.5's, at least in my opinion. The .260 Remington (properly handled upon introduction) would almost surely have been the wildly popular Creedmoor that we have now. The 6.5mm .260 Remington has a story much like the 6mm Remington that few know or remember from yesteryear. Years ago, the 6mm Remington is the one that also should have been the golden boy vs. the world famous .243 Winchester.

    Brass is available, up to and including Lapua, if right needs to be really right. So is reasonably priced ammo when times are normal. Federal Fusion comes to mind as comparatively inexpensive and good quality hunting rounds that of course would yield once fired brass.
     

    Doco Overboard

    Ultimate Member
    I'm using a 30/40 tonight for a woods hunt near a fire lane.
    Sometimes I use a 44 or a 35 if I'm not in a stand or in a cut over.
    Because there is some bull pines I can see a little more than 100yds in a couple different directions.
    I like it because there is no kick, kills good with 180's and shoots a little flatter than both the previous if you go on walkabout up to a field edge or something.
    (Harder to judge distance towards dark/easier to pick up empties)
     

    GSuders

    Active Member
    Dec 13, 2017
    148
    Keymar
    I used my dad's Marlin 30-30 for a good many years until I was able to buy my Savage 270. We typically hunt a lot of open fields so the .270 is perfect for shots I would take as I'm not not sniper, but will take shots under 300 yards given the right situation. I also have a 30-06 as a back up gun that I bought cheap since everyone seems to love a 30-06. My wife has a .243 but hasn't hunted with it. If I were to buy another gun I'd probably get a 350 legend that way if I'd ever needed a straight wall cartridge gun I'd have one. I always wanted a Savage 220 slug gun, but since straight wall cartridges are now allowed I'd go that route.
     

    Melnic

    Ultimate Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 27, 2012
    15,197
    HoCo
    When people talk about a flatter bullet. What is really the difference at 200 yards vs 100 yards anyway?
    Every time I looked around, I saw not much difference.
    I have used 308 on deer but never took a shot beyond 110 yards.
    And what's the big deal about needing it flatter if you know your gun can range your kill beyond the 100 yards?
    Is the 30-06/308 bullet going to be more affected by wind than a 270/6.5mm bullet?

    When I went on a hunt in Tx and the possibility existed that they were out to 200 yards, I ranged my gun and scribbled my turret settings or dots for various distances. Whether I adjusted the elevation turret or just used the dot, I was fine.
    Maybe a flatter bullet helps with "buck fever" and one forgetting to do that and just aiming on the center cross hairs? You'll have to forgive me cause I do/did most my hunting with crossbow and I for sure needed to test my crossbow and get the ranges of the lines set up and measure distances from my stand so I knew which to use.
     

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