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Thread: Lightest rounds used for big game

  1. #21
    Member smarion's Avatar
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    I ordered but have not received a new rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor for my sins to start on.

    I have a buddy in Nebraska who guides for whitetails on their family ranch and he HATES the .243. He has seen lots of animals shot with that caliber. Kills them fine, but too slow and too sparse of a blood trail. As Walt said, it's a waste to kill but not recover.

  2. #22
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    This is one of those threads. Small centerfires work and have worked for a long time. There's always something bigger that would work better in a larger variety of situations. Fact.
    Plenty of animals lost with all calibers of rifles. Big and small. Plenty killed with all calibers. A good shot with a small gun is better than a bad shot with a big one. Blah blah

    I was impressed with a 223 shooting tsx on caribou. Impressed with a 243 on moose/caribou/black bears. Disappointed with a 378 wthby on bears.
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  3. #23
    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    I've seen plenty of moose dropped with the 243 and 100 gr Barnes. They were all under 100 yards and broadside, but they work. Everyone that started with the 243 has moved up to a 308 now, but I wouldn't hesitate to pull it back out if need be.

  4. #24
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    My girls and wife have taken moose and caribou with a .280 Remington '06 reach but less recoil. 165g does quite well.

  5. #25
    Member Mammoth Hunter's Avatar
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    I took a caribou cow and blacktail spike last year with a AR-15 .223. Was not impressed with the lack of knockdown power that I was used to with my 300. It took a few hits to knock down both. I now use a AR-10 .308 and took a caribou this year with much better results. However for kids I can see the AR-15 being a good starter gun, just get the best bullets you can. I used 75gr and was disappointed. The big guns will spoil you with immediate knockdown power and no need for blood trailing.

  6. #26
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    How do you feel about the AR platform? If you like it, look into an AR-10. Not a lot of recoil and it's a great shooter.

  7. #27
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    If you're gonna use small calibers, don't trust it to be one and done. Keep blasting away until whatever you're shooting is on the ground.

    I firmly believe in using a big enough caliber to knock it down in it's tracks. It doesn't always work that way though.

  8. #28
    Member JR2's Avatar
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    I have a 10mm carbine arriving soon, I plan to shoot a deer and maybe a black bear with it.

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  9. #29
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    In starting my nephews out to hunt I found that getting a gun that fits them well and having them hunt with open sights and or a low power scope with good eye relief is just as if not more important than the caliber. I think with most new shooters the reason they feel like there is a lot of recoil is because the stock is typically too long for them and they are straining to get close enough to the scope be able to see the target and it is uncomfortable for them. Then when they are in that position straining to see through the scope they start worrying about getting scope checked. I had them starting out with a 223 and a 270. I wouldn't let them hunt deer with the 223 and they did just fine with the 270 after I changed the scope out for them.

  10. #30
    Member Trappnguns's Avatar
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    I have pretty extensive use of the 223, 300blk, and 243 fordeer. I am what BRWNBR calls a “Kodiak Beach Banger”

    223- I load for it. 65gr btsp sierra gamekings, but I forgothow fast. I developed the load years ago. It does wonders on deer. Not always athrough and through, but IF you hit it in the bread basket (even through rib orthe shoulder blade) they drop like rocks. You hit the shoulder bone; you willneed a follow up. The dropping like rocks is due to the massive hydrostaticshock in the chest cavity. At least, that is what I believe. Usually, there isa soupy mess in there. Most recovered rounds are mushroomed with about 70%weight retention. Very few have fallen apart, probably from striking bonelarger than the rib. I doubt I would use this round on Bou, but they are greatfor deer.

    300blk- Very impressed with this round. 110gr barnes tac x m/lebullets designed for the 300Blk. I load them maybe a little hotter than theVORTX commercial rounds, around 2600fps. All have been through and throughexcept for my daughter’s deer this year. Her deer was at 200yds quarteringtowards us. It went in through the shoulder blade, through a rib, traveled downthe body coming to rest in the hind quarter near the joint. If puncturing thelungs didn’t kill this deer, it was from the femoral getting hit. That is somepretty good penetration from a light bullet. Weight retention was near 100%with a perfect sharp bladed flower of a bullet. I would totally use this roundon Bou within 200yds, and if she draws a moose tag, she will use it as well. Iwill be there for back up of course. 150yd or less shots only.

    243- Commonly thought of as the minimum for deer. I load95gr sierra pro-hunters for this rifle. Deer are exactly what you would expect.It is a very adequate round for them. It will also put down Bou at 250yds(furthest my son shot.) For moose, I would have to get a better bullet. A solidcopper job would be suitable for sure.

    My rifles have put down up to 30 deer these last few years.I love to take out my co-workers who have never hunted before and want freshwild game. My kids can shoot them well, especially the AR-15s because the stockis adjustable. As far as the “beach banger,” Sometimes you have to finish off abad shot made by inexperienced people. So I guess I am guilty of BRWNBR’scondemnation. This is really grocery shopping for us Kodiak residents. If Iwant to hunt, I head up the mountains. If I want to fill the freezer, I go beachbanging. As an aside… I haven’t lost a single deer from my boat, thanks in partto being able to rapidly put them down if someone makes a bad shot.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK SWAMPER View Post
    what about the 6.5 creedmoor ? its a newer round that has pretty amazing ballistics! its the rifle that I'm going to get my kids started with.
    I was going to suggest this too......I bought one this past summer and my daughter has shot both sheep and caribou with it at some pretty good ranges. I shot it a bit this summer cooking up loads for it and have to say, its a dang pleasant rifle to shoot. To me, it feels about like a .243 in recoil...maybe less....I just know its a very nice shooting rifle. If I were to buy another first gun for a kid....I'd pick this.

  12. #32

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    Ny son shot his first moose and musk ox with a 257 Roberts. Friend's daughter used 243 for her first moose. I use an AR15 in 223 as a sno go gun. Federal Premium with 55 TSX or Nosler Partions have killed dozens of critters.

  13. #33
    Member mtncowboy's Avatar
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    Here is another vote for the 6.5 Creedmoor. I have the browning hell's canyon speed model and it has a break on it. It has an extremely mild recoil and is super accurate! It feels about like shooting my 22-250, yet packs a lot bigger whop with the 140 grain bullet. But cheers to the .257 Roberts as that is what I used growing up and have more one shot kills with that than about anything else, even on things such as big bull elk.

  14. #34
    Member Ben XCR's Avatar
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    A .243 Win with 100gr. projectiles is a thumper for its diminutive size. Many an elk has been taken with that combo, among other things. You might even look into a 6mm Remington...same caliber (6mm) with a bit more behind it. I've got both and I don't notice any difference in recoil at all. They're both known to be tack drivers as well. I favor Partitions but any well constructed bullet will do the job, within reasonable range, on both caribou and moose.
    And the .257 BOB is another good suggestion as well. I just picked one up in a Mauser action a few months back and while I haven't shot anything but paper with it yet it's definitely mild recoiling and a good shooter as well. It's most likely going to be my wife's go to for caribou next year actually.
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  15. #35
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    I can't tell you how many deer my dad killed with his 257 Wildcat. His friends used to call it Albie's meat gun....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  16. #36
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    To the .257 Roberts. Got mine when I was 16. Mauser, Erfurt Germany. Williams peep sight, sling, 6-8 coats of boiled linseed oil hand buffed, had the bold bent and reshaped, 4x Weaver too. Unemployment, a wife and a baby and it was Auf Wiedersehen. Jack O'Connor had some pretty good loads written up or it. A woodchuck hit with a 75 grain HP at 3,300 fps was blown to pieces. 117 grainers for deer....... loved it.

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  17. #37
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    The quickest kill I've seen on a deer was with a 22 Hornet. About 60 yards in the ribs; dropped in his tracks.

  18. #38
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    To the .257 Roberts. Got mine when I was 16. Mauser, Erfurt Germany. Williams peep sight, sling, 6-8 coats of boiled linseed oil hand buffed, had the bold bent and reshaped, 4x Weaver too. Unemployment, a wife and a baby and it was Auf Wiedersehen. Jack O'Connor had some pretty good loads written up or it. A woodchuck hit with a 75 grain HP at 3,300 fps was blown to pieces. 117 grainers for deer....... loved it.
    Dads had a bird's eye maple stock with a rams head engraved in it. He used to shoot 118 grn reloads....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  19. #39
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    First moose I killed was with a 243 and it worked fine. I killed one a few days ago with a 7mm-08. It's all about shot placement.
    A 22 rifle properly placed would out perform a poorly placed shot from a 700 nitro mag.

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  20. #40
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    Apparently even a pellet gun CAN take down a moose, with a well (or not so well, in this case) placed shot.

    "According to a report filed with the Kenai District Court, at about 11:30 p.m. July 16, Rice used a Beeman Model R9 pellet gun — a .177-caliber firearm that shoots at approximately 1,700 feet per second"

    "After shooting the moose it ran a few yards, fell down and died."

    https://redoubtreporter.wordpress.co...e-moose-death/
    "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle." - G.I. Joe

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