Originally Posted by gunguy453
What is the best gun to use for deer hunting?
What else besides the 30-30 would be good?
Probably been more deer taken with the 30.30 cartridge in the US than any other round ever made,
And it's still a perennial favorite with short and medium range brush hunters
World wide, I'd say the .30-06 or it's European copy (7.62x54) have taken more deer sized animals than any other cartridge.
My personal favorite is .270 although I still use a .30-06 from time to time...
I usually leave the magnums at home unless I'm hunting in bear country! Nothing like having a heavy mag, like a .338 when you are in bear country!
Since you are asking about rifles, consider your terrain.
Fat bullets with round noses will do a great job of pushing aside or blasting through brush to impact the target.
30.30 is so very popular because it is a hard hitting round that can push aside weeds, foliage and small debris, and the rifles that fire the 30.30 round are usually shorter and easier to wield in thick brush.
Current heavy pistol calibers will do the same for you when fired through a rifle.
Open sights are much quicker, more reliable and allow for leading a target that is moving.
If you are eastern 'Mountain' hunting, where your shot might be at shorter (longer than point blank) to medium ranges, then consider a pointed bullet fired from a shorter, lighter rifle with lower power optics.
(What lots of people call a 'Scout' rifle now.)
Pointed bullets give you longer accurate range,
Shorter, lighter rifles are more suited to brush & mountain hunting and are plenty accurate out to solid mid ranges,
And single power optics means no fiddling with knobs or adjustments before your shot, and your eye will focus on the target quicker with lower power optics.
Lower power optics pass more light, meaning you can hunt earlier and later in the day than you normally could.
If you are 'Prairie' hunting, then there isn't any such thing as a 'Point Blank' or 'Short Range' shot...
About everything you do will start at 200+ yards and go up from there.
Longer, Stiffer barrels, higher powered optics and longer distance chambering will be the order of the day.
(there is a reason western hunters invented the 'Magnum' rounds!)
Something should be said about chamberings...
Stay with a 'Popular' chambering. Don't stray off into the 'Wildcat' rounds for your first few rifles...
You will find some chamberings hard to find in certain parts of the country, or if you hunt out of the country, nearly impossible to find!
30.30, .308 (7.62x51mm) & .30-06 are pretty well universal, you can find them about anywhere,
About anywhere in the US will have .270 rounds also.
And if you want to practice a bunch, .308 & .30-06 are former military rounds, so they are CHEAP in surplus.
Buy up different weights and manufacturers ammunition and try them out in your particular rifle, some will shoot MUCH better than others!
(and you will be learning what the rifle will, and won't do with you behind it...)
Remember, practice brings confidence in your shot placement, and shot placement is EVERYTHING!
Originally Posted by stalkingbear
I'm solidly in agreement with rickrem. In my opinion the 7mm08 is THE most perfect whitetail round ever designed....
...It has more than enough oomph to cleanly dispatch any whitetail ever born at any reasonable range.
I agree with the 7mm06 assessment 'Stalking Bear' laid out.
The only part I disagree with is the 'White Tail' comment.
'Deer' can include anything up to very large Moose size animals, and while I agree with proper shot placement, the 7mm08 will cleanly dispatch a Moose,
I prefer to have a little more 'Meat' on the bullet...
You can just never tell when a shoulder blade or rib is going to get in the way!
I have taken many a goat, deer, both white tail and mule, and even some hogs with the 7mm08, I've seen others not cleanly stop Mule & Moose sized animals...
Good shot placement, just lousy luck hitting a bone and deflecting.
One of the most sickening feelings in the world to me is seeing a seriously wounded animal taking off!
Either that animal is going to die somewhere I can't find it,
or I'm going to spend the next 4 hours trying to find the darn thing!
Either way, I don't much care for that feeling!...