Do You Really Need a Magnum Rifle for Deer Hunting?

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by GoBlue, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. GoBlue

    GoBlue New Member

    I'm probably going to go deer hunting for the first time this year. Got my hunters safety course taken care of and just need to get out there and do it.

    I was wondering if a "Magnum" rifle is really a game changer in the world of deer hunting. I don't remember every other rifle in the various gun magazines turning up as a "Magnum", "Short Magnum", or "Super Short Magnum" which seems to be the case these days.

    If I take to the woods with a used 30-06 that I pick up at the gun show am I going to be at some type of disadvantage or do people buy Magnum rifles because they want one gun that will kill both a white tail AND an elk, if they every decide that they are going to try for an elk tag and front the coin for such an expedition.

    I have a strong suspicion that this buying-more-gun-than-you'll-ever-really-need is more often the case than not, but maybe I'm wrong. Let me know.
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

    The .30-06 is God's Own Rifle Caliber. There is nothing in North America, short of possibly the Sasquatch, that you can't load for with that weapon and bring it down in a clean manner.

    You will be fine taking your "used .30-06" into the woods and bringing home some food.


    PS - The -06 is a long, or "Magnum", actioned rifle. ;)

  3. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    A 30-06 will do a GREAT job of hunting any of the deer/elk/moose in north america with the right bullets. For deer use 150-165 gr bullet loads and 180-200 gr strong constructed bullets for elk/moose. Too damn many people are "overgunned" these days-especially for whitetails.
  4. Biohazard2

    Biohazard2 Active Member

    You may also want to consider a 308, ammo is in the same price range, the rifle is more popular, and may be easier to find at the gun show.
    It will have the same stopping power with the right ammo, and less recoil.
    Do consider a 308.
  5. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Why, of COURSE a MAGNUM is mandatory! Until the MAGNUM rifle calibers were created, no deer was ever killed except by being hit by pickup trucks! The very thought that a 30-06 that can shoot through a semi truck, or a .270 that can drop a man at over 1000 meters would be adequate for deer is simply outrageous!

    Um- they DID tell you that GREEN type indicates sarcasm, right?:rolleyes:

    Take your pick, from 30-30 on up. The 30-06 is MORE than adequate for moose and bear, and small armored vehicles.
  6. Missileman

    Missileman New Member

    I would say that more elk has been killed by either a 30-06 or a .270 than all other cartridges combined...
  7. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

    HECK NO you don't need do magnum.

    People use MAGNUMS to take up the slack in their shooting skills.

    You can kill deer with just about anything from a 22lr to a 45-70 or 50bmg.

    Look a 30-06 is a very popular round for deer. So are just about everything that that cartridge as spawned. from the 25-06 to the 338-06 and more are all great deer rounds.

    My next deer rifle is going to be a 25-06. I love the 25-06 grew up shooting one and loved it. What ever a 6mm can do a 25-06 can do better. What ever a 270 or 277 can do a 25-06 can do with less recoil.

    Don't ever fell under-gunned with a 30-06.
  8. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

    If you need a multi-purpose firearm, then buy a magnum caliber for deer, bear, elk, moose, goats, etc. If your only going for whitetails at 150 yards and in, the 30-06 will suit your needs.

    Here in Wisconsin the average shot taken on a whitetail is 35 yards. You could almost kill them with a slingshot if you got lucky. Good luck, Joe
  9. joshfireart

    joshfireart New Member

    wants and needs. I always tell my wife i have to have this its the rules
  10. Recon 173

    Recon 173 New Member

    I would go with a .308 caliber rifle for a deer. It's a more accurate round which is why military snipers often use it and it comes in a variety of different weights too. It'll also drop just about anything on the North American continent with a well placed shot. So the .308/30.06 calibers are probably the best overall rounds for hunting deer. But you've also got to remember that the old lever action 30-30 has dropped a huge number of deer too. So pick your rifle type as in lever action (30-30) or a decent bolt action rifle in either .308 or 30.06 caliber. All three work and they work well.
  11. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    nope. 30-06 or .308 is all you need.

    i however use a .458 win mag winchester model 70 super express. i load it at 45-70 levels. do i need it for deer?? no. but i like 45cal firearms. of all my guns its my favorite. bought it in the late 80's been using it for huning since then. puts a nice neat .45 hole the deer goes no where with less meat damage than a 30-06 or 308. recoil is comparable to a 12ga 3inch slug. works wonders on hog.
  12. theicemanmpls

    theicemanmpls New Member

    More deer have be taken with a 30/30 then all others combined.

    Do you need a magnum for deer? No.

    Here, we can legally use a soft point .223. Bullet placement is critical.

    If you hand load the 30/06 is perfect. Heavy bullet, heavy charge for elk. Reduced charge and bullet for deer. Or use heavy charge and bullet for deer. Dead is dead. You get the idea.

    Don't be duped by the gun writers. Don't be fooled by sayings suchs as
    "carry the largest gun you can comfortably shoot".

    It has been, and always will be about bullet placement.
  13. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

    Not sure if that is 100% true, but I would also look at a .30-30. There are so many flavors of vg standard calibers. You may be able to find a different caliber such as a 6.5x55, 7x57 or 8x57 that will take deer and larger without issue. Calibers are like ice cream w/ more than 31 flavors. I really want a .257 Roberts next.
  14. opaww

    opaww New Member

    Magnum rifles are Boys guns...Because a man will shoot it once and put it down and walk away from it...A boy will keep shooting it insisting that it only hurts a little
  15. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Ref: most deer taken by caliber- The most popular deer rifle in the US is the Winchester 94, in 30-30. Second most popular? Marlin 336- in caliber 30-30.
  16. RairWeatherSmok

    RairWeatherSmok New Member

    A round here we use a bumper guard & skid plate and hope it doesn't get to the windshield.
  17. joshfireart

    joshfireart New Member

    well im a 49 year old kid just killed my deer one shot between the eyes at 235 yards with my hand loaded 77 grains of reloader 22 200 grain speer soft point it lifted and removed the whole top of its head GOSH i love my 338 win
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010