white tail rifle choices

Discussion in 'rifle related' started by Grumpy, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    selecting the rifle that best matches your particular needs, and one that best matches the game, the territory, terrain, the state game laws, that you hunt and your particular desire in action type, caliber, weight, etc, would be like trying to select the best wife, your input and thoughts on the mater will be critical.
    Almost ANY CENTER FIRE RIFLE in 25-45 caliber ,that will work for most elk hunts,and will be fine on most deer hunts!
    I can point out a couple factors, that might help you decide, ,but Id suggest you select a fairly common caliber, to allow you to locate ammo at reasonable prices unless you reload. and a few of the classics like the 25/06, 270 win 30\06, 280 rem, 358 win and 308 win, will certainly get the job done over a wide range of conditions
    (proper shot placement and a good knowledge of a deer's anatomy are the most critical factors here as whitetail deer are not particularly difficult to kill.)
    almost every year I have at least one of the younger guys, in our elk hunt club, ask me what rifle Id suggest for deer/elk hunting, and thats a bit like asking me to select the best choice in a girl friend for them, each of us is looking for slightly different things.
    yes most elk rifles might be a bit more powerful in some popular calibers , than required for much smaller deer, but they should all work ok.

    most white tail deer weight well under 220 lbs, especially in the southern states, so they are not nearly the size of elk.
    like most things you,ll want too match the tools used, too the job at hand!
    its your knowledge of the games anatomy and your skills at accurate shot placement,
    and proper bullet selection that counts more that the head stamp on the cartridge case!
    most white tail deer are hunted in rather tight or bushy cover,
    generally limiting the potential distance your likely too see deer to under 200 yards .

    Id point out that most white tail deer are killed at well under 200 yards
    and calibers with minimal recoil like the 257 roberts, 25/06 , 6.5 mm Swedish, or 270 win, 7mm-08 ,308 win,or 30/30 are perfectly adequate.
    or if you tolerate recoil fairly well, 444 marlin, 45/70, or even a 458 win mag work fine, or even a pistol caliber carbine in 357 mag, 45 lc, out to at least 100 yards, or a 44 mag carbine,will certainly be able to handle white tail deer out to ranges far past 200 yards,with the proper 265-310 grain hand loads,
    and in the hands of a good consistently accurate shot, they will work for elk.

    that being stated, Id prefer a bit more in bullet diameter, and weight, and I,ve had very good results from a 270 win, 25/06, and 30/06 Springfield, 308 win, 358 win and 45/70 on white tail deer,
    but a good 44 mag or 45LC carbine will work fine in most areas, on deer, but the pistol caliber carbines would severely limit effective range on elk and even deer, while its usually true, ranges they get shot at, tend to average in most areas well short of 120 yards.
    I have had good results with a 30/06 and 200 grain bullets,in a Remington slide action rifle and excellent results with a 250 Speer bullet used in a 35 whelen, in a Remington slide action rifle








    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  2. rlphvac

    rlphvac Well-Known Member

    I dont know what I'm going to use this season after last deer season I got a 45LC a 7mm08 and a 243. I know I'm going to use the 7mm08 not sure what else
  3. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    of those you listed the 7mm-08 is about the most versatile and close to ideal, especially with a bullet similar to a 154 grain, which has the weight and construction design to even allow it to take elk.


    45 grains of ww-760 and a 215 federal primer works great in my friends browning 7mm-08 BLR


    I've used a
    6mm rem
    257 Roberts,
    257 wby,
    270 win,
    308 win\
    30/06 sprng
    300 wby mag
    300 win mag
    358 win
    ,35 whelen,
    375 H&H mag
    378 wby mag
    44 mag,
    444 marlin,
    458 win mag
    on deer and they ALL WORK reasonably well,
    keep in mind that the, 375, 416, 44 and 45 calibers are especially well suited to,
    using cast bullets in cost saving hand-loaded ammo,
    that can significantly reduce the cost of ammo and allow,
    much more economical and extensive practice.
    especially with the moderately heavy for caliber gas check bullet designs
    pushed to 1300fps-1800fps velocity range.

    your sure to see magazines pushing the newer higher velocity cartridge,
    but older cartridges, like the 45/70 have successfully killed everything,
    that walks in north America for over 100 years with cast bullets that can be reloaded at well under 1/3rd the cost of factory ammo,
    and there,s nothing,
    in the deer family, a properly loaded 30/06 in skilled hands can,t easily & effectively kill.
    if the correct bullet is selected and used,
    and you know the games anatomy,
    its not the rifle that matters, its the skill, and experience of the guy using it,
    who understands the rifles limitations and strong points.
    yes there are some choices that are better than others,
    but I doubt you could hunt your whole life,
    and find something like a 270 win, or 257 wby were not up to the job,
    and in 45 plus years I've yet to see a deer or elk hunt where a 257 roberts, 270 win , 30/06, 450 marlin or 358 win would not get a skilled hunter a deer .
    Id certainly feel well armed with a browning BLR,x-bolt or BAR in 7mm-08, 308, 270, or 280.its not the rifle its the skill and experience of the guy using it that maters most!
    a properly loaded 270 win or 30/06 would never be a bad choice, in most areas.
    that being stated I,ve used a 340 wby, 375 H&H and 35 whelen and 45/70 for decades with excellent results.
    (but consider I generally hunt Elk in thick timber in steep canyon country.)


    or sako or ruger carbine

    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  4. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey Staff Member

    if your into deer hunting , this video may point out how effective a high velocity cartridge,
    like a 223 rem, 6mm rem,25/06, 270 win or 7-mm mag or similar higher velocity projectile combos, etc with a reasonably light weight, fast expanding bullet can be,

    provided your a good enough shot to hit the central neck/spine
    forward of the shoulders ,
    its not always instantly fatal,
    but it tends too anchor the deer at the bullet impact point,
    and not waste much eatable meat, the bad point is that if the hit is significantly offset from the spine the deer may eventually recover temporarily,
    enough to run off and die else-ware.
    Id certainly suggest a 270 win loaded with a good quality 150 grain bullet , or a 30/06 with a good 165 grain bullet as close to ideal, if white tail or mule deer,are the game in question, but an experienced hunter could collect a deer very easily with about anything from a 243 win to a 45/70
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017

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