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Thread: Looking for deer caliber

  1. #1

    Default Looking for deer caliber

    I'm thinking of getting and new barrel for my Thompson Pro Hunter for deer. Not sure what would be the best caliber. Thinking either 22-250 or maybe 243. Just hunting Blacktails in Oregon, so no worries of bears. I have other calibers for hunting up at home. Just looking for options. What's everyone think.

    Thanks Mark

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    Default deer caliber

    I do not know much about blacktails but here in louisiana my two favorite calibers for whitetails are 308 and 7mm08.My shots all average under 200 yards but I would not hesitate reaching out to 300 with either caliber,I just can't see that far in the swamps I hunt.We moved here from alaska in 06 and in the last three seasons me and my daughter have shot 16 deer and lost none, some dropped in their tracks and some ran a little before they fell.I use 150gr core lokt in the 308 and my daughter uses 140gr core lokt in the 7mm08,the core lokt always leave good bloodtrails and usually good exit wounds on double lung shots.I have never shot the 243 or the 22-250 but alot of deer are killed with both around here.My uncle shoots a 22-250 and he has killed more deer than blue tongue,some out past three hundred yards,so he says Hope this helps.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by orhunter View Post
    I'm thinking of getting and new barrel for my Thompson Pro Hunter for deer. Not sure what would be the best caliber. Thinking either 22-250 or maybe 243. Just hunting Blacktails in Oregon, so no worries of bears. I have other calibers for hunting up at home. Just looking for options. What's everyone think.

    Thanks Mark
    Back "in the day" when I was hunting blacktails in that area, the 308 was an ideal round. No 7mm08's back when I was doing it in the 70's, but that would suit me to a T too. Either offer plenty flat trajectory and plenty of oomph if all you have is a raking shot- which is often the case on departing blacktails. The 243 would be okay for broadsides, but I never saw many of those in blacktail country. And the 22-250 is ideal for coyotes and ground squirrels on the open ridges down there.

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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    For mid-west whitetails, a 30-06 is hard to beat. I have never had one run far. 165 grain shots flat and far with enough energy to put them down..... Good luck on your quest......

    Ron

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    Default Caliber

    Another one that would work is the 25-06. That way you could use the barrel for other critters. A nice 120 grain bullet that is pretty flat for most deer hunting. I am a fan of the 7mm-08 also.

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    Default +1

    For the 7mm-08 or 308. Either has plenty of poop at responsible ranges for hooved animals upto and including Elk & moose.

    but neither of them will tear up meat, or kick the snot out of you.

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    Member Valley Trash's Avatar
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    I got a .280-rem for my T/C Encore, worked well on a white-tail last fall. Check out the custom shop on their web page, several calibers not available on most guns. If you are not a handloader, the .243, .270-win, .308 win, and 30-06 are all popular deer hunting calibers with the best availability of ammo. I think one of the attractions of getting the T/C is being able to get something different, however. LH shooters like me are really limited with bolt actions.

  8. #8

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    I might go with the 25-06. I have a 300 win mag, but i'm just looking for a nice mellow low recoil option. i will most likely be using this same caliber for Antelope in eastern Oregon. So it will need to be able th reach out there a ways. The deer down the west side of the state aren't huge bodied like the mule deer over east either.

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    If you are looking for a caliber that is strictly for deer, I'd sure go for one that is a bit smaller. The 25-06 is an awesome round for deer, as is the 6.5 Swede, or anything in between. I'm not sure which calibers the T/C offers. Stay smaller, and get the trajectory. You'll shoot a smaller round more, too.

    Take care.

  10. #10

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    25.06, 6.5.06, 260 Rem, 264 Win Mag, 6.5 Rem Mag, 270 Win, 7mm-08, 308, take your pick

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    Hands down the 7mm-08

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    I can't say enough nice things about the 25/06. It provides a sufficiently flat trajectory for any reasonable range, it is light of recoil, and you have excellent options in either a 100 or 115-120 grain bullets depending on animals and terrain. While it has more recoil than the .243 class cartridges it is not at all objectionable and the 25 creates much bigger wounds than the 243/6mm. while I have not used the 25/06 on animals bigger than mature southern whitetails 175-200 pounds I have consistently found it the best combination of shootability and terminal performance for that sized game.

    Having said all that you can't go wrong with either the 7mm-08, 270 Win, 280 Rem, etc. Choosing the 25/06 gives you the same type of performance on deer sized game with less recoil.

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default deer rifle

    I would choose either a 7mm-08, or a 6.5X55. the 7-08 ammo might be easier to find if you don't reload, but with the lack of ammo on the shelves, any caliber might be hard to find.


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

  14. #14

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    A broadside shot into the boiler room with a 22-250 will tear the motor clear out of them. However trying to get to the boiler room from any other angle with the 22-250 might just screw them up enough so the buzzards get them in a day or two!

    The 243 with a good 100 grainer is close to perfect for any deer!

  15. #15

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    So most of you are really talking up the 7mm-08. What makes this such a great round. I've never been around one so you've peaked my intrest. Would this be a good one for caribou as well. I'm not a handloader so factory rounds are what i'm stuck with. I shoot 180gr tsx out of the 300 win mag and they shoot great. Thanks for all the info, this really helps out. I've been a archery hunter for the last 20yrs so i'm just getting back into rifles.

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    Member raoul duke's Avatar
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    Default new caliber for you

    270 wsm is my go to round for deer and anything short of a moose although i havent tried any of my 90 grainers out i think they will be effective on coyotes with minimal pelt damage.? ill know next winter. jm2c

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by orhunter View Post
    So most of you are really talking up the 7mm-08. What makes this such a great round. I've never been around one so you've peaked my intrest. Would this be a good one for caribou as well. I'm not a handloader so factory rounds are what i'm stuck with. I shoot 180gr tsx out of the 300 win mag and they shoot great. Thanks for all the info, this really helps out. I've been a archery hunter for the last 20yrs so i'm just getting back into rifles.
    It's just the right mix of bullet weight, sectional density and velocity, all in a compact package. Not too much and not too little. Blacktail shooting like you're setting up for involves everything from close quick shooting in thick cover (like whitetail) to wide open ridges or clearcut blocks (like mule deer). You need a round and a rifle that handles quick and penetrates well on raking shots while also providing the flat trajectory and precise shooting for long range. The 7mm08 and 308 both provide those features. Rounds like 243, 25-06, 270WSM and others are great for the long shooting but will hamburger deer on short range raking shots.

    At the time I was shooting blacktails, the 308 provided the best compromise on all those factors in guns that shot close and far equally well. The 7mm-08 factory round wasn't even a gleam in anyone's eye at the time, even though wildcats were being produced. I shot the 7x57 Mauser then, but never had one in a rifle that was good for both close and far, though I reloaded it to ballistics much like the 7mm-08 (had to, because factory rounds were puny, underpowered concessions to older model rifles).

    If the 7mm-08 had been around then, I'd have been all over it like stink on a politician's promises. I've got lots of sentiment tied to the 7x57 after shooting it for over 40 years, but most of that sentiment is tied to handloads producing the ballistics you can buy off the shelf today with a 7mm-08. Go for the 150 grain load, especially with a Nosler Partition, and you'll be set ballistically. Put it in a rifle with a 20-22" barrel that doesn't weigh a whole lot, and you'll have a new favorite rifle for everything from blacktail to caribou, and even moose with some careful shooting. I guarantee it.

  18. #18

    Default deer cartridge

    .243 vs 22-250

    My opinion..... both are bad choices, and you will have to go find the deer that you shot as I have so many, many times with my .243. Both calibers create much wasted bloodshot meat. These statemants are from my expierence.

    The other fellas choices all seem good.

    I'd go with the 6.5 x 55 Swede and I have used them very effectively, you can handload up to 160 grains.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by orhunter View Post
    So most of you are really talking up the 7mm-08. What makes this such a great round. I've never been around one so you've peaked my intrest. Would this be a good one for caribou as well. I'm not a handloader so factory rounds are what i'm stuck with. I shoot 180gr tsx out of the 300 win mag and they shoot great. Thanks for all the info, this really helps out. I've been a archery hunter for the last 20yrs so i'm just getting back into rifles.
    Nothing magical about the 7mm-08 it is just an excellent compromise. The 7mm cartridges provide plenty of selection in bullet weight to match a variety of game from pronghorn to moose. The 7mm-08 pushes all these weights fast enough to be effective, but not so fast as to be punishing in recoil or muzzle blast. In addition, there is a wonderful selection of rifles for this cartridge. You can choose a leveraction like the BLR or lightweight bolt action, standard and varmint weight bolt actions or there are semi-autos if you prefer. While I prefer a 24 inch barrel on my rifles you will find excellent ballistics from a 22 inch tube on a 7mm-08 and even a 20 inch barrel will not handicap the ballistics too much. Recoil is noticeably softer with the 7mm-08 than a similar rifle in 270 and 280 class cartridges. While the cartridge is not as flashy as some, it provides more performance than most hunters will ever require from their rifle.

    I still prefer the 25/06 for the type of game you mentioned (pronghorn & backtail) including caribou, but if you are going to use the rifle on elk & moose I would probably lean to the 7mm since you can handload 160 and 175 grain bullets, but with the 150 grain factory loads (which is the heaviest bullet that is common) you are not going to see a lot of difference in the two cartridges even on the largest game and the 25/06 will provide a good bit flatter trajectory.

  20. #20
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    Default nothing wrong with any of them...

    but I'm a fan of fatter bullets....

    25-06 120 grain Nosler Partition @ 3000 fps (never had one)

    7mm-08 120 grain Nosler BT @ 3100fps
    7mm-08 140 grain Nosler BT, AB or Partition @ 2800+fps (personal fav)
    7mm-08 150 grain Nosler Partition @ 2750+fps

    308 win 150 grain Nosler BT, AB or Partition @ 2950+fps
    308 win 165 grain Nosler BT, AB or Partition @ 2800 fps (personal fav)
    308 win 180 grain Nosler BT, AB or Partition @ 2600+ fps

    This information is as referenced from the Nosler Bullets web page under "information" and "reloading". Personal experience shows the numbers to be accurate, at least in my rifles.

    If you want to compare trajectory... there are several "ball park calculators" on line. I use this one most, but verify with actual time on the range, record results and adjust accordingly.

    http://www.thebestofthewest.net/ball...mpensator.html

    sighted for a 6" MPBR, I have no holdover with my 308 out to 317 yards and my 600 yard aiming point is the "skinny to fat" point on the vertical post of my M8 6x32 Leupold. between 3 & 600 .... range him and hold on hair. Only time I've launched lead past 247 yards on an animal has been when they've already been hit and were trying to leave the zip code in a hurry..... like an antelope with his leg shot off by a drunk with a rifle. His shot was at 72 yards. Mine was @ 576 yards (ranged after he dropped in his tracks)......

    unless it was ferral dogs back home eating the live stock.... them d@mn things get hit where ever the bullet meets up with them. Longest single shot on a d@mn dog was 762 paces measured by a 14 year old's strides. He hit the ground on the run and slid 12 feet and never even wiggled. Yup, it was 75% luck... but the other 25% is what makes those kind of things possible.

    Close up... 165 partitions @ 2788 fps @ 15 feet on whitetails in N. Idaho. .308 hold going in & under 2" going out and everything in between... well, lets just say that's one of the easiest cleaning jobs I ever dun.

    Oh, and just for fun.... 125 grain Sierra's loaded down to about 2500 fps work wonders on deer under 150 yards and don't kick at all. Great load to introduce kids/new shooters with. Shoulder shot @ 75 yards didn't tear up much meat and the bullet was found in the off side ham just under the skin. Weighed 87 grains. Not bad for a "varmint" bullet.... just slow them down a bit and they "generally" won't explode on ya.

    For the record, I have personal experience with the .243 as well. the 100+ grainers have never failed me, however they do require a bit more selective shot placement & they do a fine job on coyotes WITHOUT ripping them to shreads.... deer will run a ways with the 85 grain HP's, but a poke in the lungs with one of those has always left me with meat for the freezer. Better to keep those for the wide open places though.... not getting an exit and generally have a 250 to 400 yard recovery.

    For bucking wind on longer shots, the 7-08 with 140 AB's and the 308 with 165 AB's or PT's gets my vote.

    Sorry for the long post, but it took this long to say what I had to say....
    Hope it helps.

    Mike

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