Deer Rifle Help
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:30 PM   #1
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Default Deer Rifle Help

Ok...I will try and ask this question with some details so I don't get too beat up by you seasoned gun hunters.

I am a veteran hunter (20+ years), but new to gun hunting. Been bowhunting most of my life so if you need help with that I am your guy.

Anyway, I am looking for a deer rifle for hunting the edge of fields and woods of northern Minnesota. Most of the shots will be under 100 yards and I do not plan on hunting elk, bear, elephant, Bigfoot, etc......just deer.

I read through some past posts and see that the 30-06, .308, 7MM, .270 and .243 were some good deer calibers. However.....I do enjoy my shoulder where it is now and would like to minimize recoil and not overgun myself.

I already have an idea of the maker of guns I like (Remmington and Marlin) and the action (bolt) so I got that covered. Its really down to caliber and since I have really never shot a deer rifle (other than shotgun) I have no idea what to expect, but would like a good starting point.

Recommendations on caliber? I know I have to test shoot a few, but would like some thoughts.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:40 PM   #2
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I'd go with .270 and above and buy a recoil pad if you are worried about kick. The kick is not that bad in newer makes in most of the calibers you mentioned. I'm not sure what you consider heavy recoil, tho. It's one of those things that are relative to the shooter.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:59 PM   #3
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I shoot .270, .243, 30-30, 30-06, 45/70, and .44mag.
I like all of the above. How big are your deer? Texas Hillcountry deer are smallish so .243 is great at the range you indicated, I like 100gr boattails. If you have big deer, .270 may be better. It's all really a matter of personal preference. You will get many answers and opinions here as all have personal favorites. Let us know what you wind up with and good luck!

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:32 AM   #4
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Thanks fopr the replies. I don't think I said "heavy recoil"...what I said is that I like my shoulder where it is.

I am just looking for a good balance between getting the job done efficiently and recoil. I'm not a "bigger is better" kind of guy.

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Old 09-01-2009, 11:06 AM   #5
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I would say it depends on what all you want to hunt with the rifle. If you only want to hunt deer or similar sized game a 270 would be a fine choice but all of the ones you mentioned will do well. I personally use a 30-06 because I wanted 1 rifle to use to hunt anything on North America. That and it's over 100 years old and still one of the most used calibers, very good history, very wide range of loads available from 130gr up 220gr and wider if you hand load.
If you are concerned with recoil, don't rule out a 30-30. That round has been taking deer for years and years. A Marlin 336 is a very good rifle, they can be picked up for under $300 used and the recoil is light.

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Old 09-01-2009, 07:03 PM   #6
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im getting my OWN first rifle this year as well. Im looking at either a 30-06 which is what ive been using or a 300 win mag. ill probably go with the bigger caliber, just to be on the safe side. Im going to use my rifle for hunting and for bear protection when i go camping.

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Old 09-01-2009, 08:56 PM   #7
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Agreed that the calibers you mentioned are all fine choices as is the 30-30. My preference is the .308. It's arguably the most inherently accurate round out there. Like the 30-06, it has a long and proven track record, and there is plenty of inexpensive surplus ammunition to practice with so you're not running through $30 boxes of ammo if you feel like making a trip to the range.

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Old 09-01-2009, 09:17 PM   #8
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i compared prices of a box of Remington 30-06 shells, and a box of 300 win mag shells. both boxes had 20 rounds and were the same price. $19.99.

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Old 09-01-2009, 10:48 PM   #9
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Why don't you check out the 7mm08? It's wickedly accurate, fairly flat trajectory, performs way out of proportion compared to it's size, and very easy on the shoulder. IMO it's arguably the best all-round whitetail cartridge ever designed. My daughter got 2 deer her 1st year with a 7mm08 at the age of 12.

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Old 09-02-2009, 02:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsmeShane View Post
im getting my OWN first rifle this year as well. Im looking at either a 30-06 which is what ive been using or a 300 win mag. ill probably go with the bigger caliber, just to be on the safe side. Im going to use my rifle for hunting and for bear protection when i go camping.
I would suggest shooting a 300 mag before buying one,there is nothing in North America that a 30-06 cannot handle. I personally like a 7mm08,308 and a 243 for deer sized game.
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