Whitetail Deer in thick Timber, .308, 338-06 or?

Discussion in 'Hunting Forum' started by Sgt. Mike, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. Sgt. Mike

    Sgt. Mike New Member

    I am considering chambering an old Mauser. Mostly it is going to be used in timber. The calibers I'm looking at are, .308 Winchester, 35 Whelen and the .338-06. I realize much is on bullet placement and practice and all of that is done. Which caliber would you choose? I'm leaning .338-06 or the .35 Whelen but I'm wondering if they are too much gun. Any gunsmiths that you know do a barrel change on a Mauser for a reasonable fee? Thank You, Michael
  2. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

    I've got a 35 Whelen that I absolutely love.
    I shot a large doe with it last season using 250gr Hornady Pointed Interlocks.
    Doe was at about 100yds. The bullets impact was off my point of aim by about 5 inches, but smashed through the upper lungs and spine before exiting and burying in the ground.
    I wondered what caused the difference in aim/point of impact.
    I looked back where I shot and noticed I failed to see the 1.5 in branch at 60yards the bullet had passed through.
    It was my fault not noticing the branch, but the whelen covered my A$$ and made a possible miss or wounding shot into an instant kill.

    My cousin also bought a Whelen last year, shot a big doe last year as well, he floored the doe with a perfect heart shot, exiting through the far shoulder. Internal damage was severe, heart/lungs were shredded, but meat damage was negligible.
    Big heavy bullet, medium bore diameter at medium velocities seem to penetrate and expand, but the lack of hyper velocities seems to keep meat damage to a minimum.

    My opinion, effective, accurate and powerful? ----yes
    Too much gun?----No

  3. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

    Michael, If you are thinking of re-barreling an 8x57 for thick brush hunting that would not do you any justice. The term Mauser is pretty broad. What is the action? 93,95,96,98?? For a small ring, hard to beat a 9.3x57. Large ring, 9.3x62. 9.3x62 is a dangerous game cartridge in Africa. Here in the states a 250gr would be a great brush or mid range elk cartridge, 400 yards. But, the 286 gr. in x57 or x62 is a great killer.
    I shoot a 9.3x57 96 action for brush/woods/ 150yard here in NH. W/ open express sights it is an awesome rig. I also use a 8x57 98 action w/ express sights and a side mount scope, I can use either without removing the scope. I find that 160..180gr do the job in brush or open areas to 300 yards without batting an eye. It will go much further, but it is all I need here in the N. East.
    You should also look at a 6.5-06. It is so close to a 6.5 mag and is kind to the barrel. It is an outstanding round. A 160gr 6.5-06 buries a 220gr out of a 30.06. Out performs it in every way.

    Edit: pics
    8x57 1955 Husqvarna(1947 FN receiver, 1 of 10000 built over 14 years)

    9.3x57 1943 Husqvarna M46b

    6.5x55 1962 Husqvarna 1600
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  4. hunter Joe

    hunter Joe New Member

    If your not planning on shooting through trees any of the above will work for whitetails. If your hunting trees, use a chainsaw.
  5. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    The .308 or 7mm08 will be plenty for any shot within reasonable range. It's a popular misconseption that bigger bullets will "buck brush" better when in fact ANY bullet short of a .50 BMG will be deflected by even small limbs. Having said that I LOVE a 35 Whelen. You can eat right up to the bullet hole.
  6. Tuner

    Tuner New Member

    Two things you may want to consider. What was said in other posts here about "Mauser " actions is accurate. What you can use will depend on wehather you have something like a 93, 96, etc. or a 98 type action. Then weather it is an intermediate or a long action. If you don't know take it to a reputable gun store and they will probably be able to tell you.

    Second is in regards to a "brush" caliber. I read a test a bunch of years ago where the author attempted to prove or dissprove the "brush" theory. He used such calibers as .243, .270, .30, .44 and a 45-70 with 500 gr. bullets. He shot through a bunch of dowells at a target that was placed a "brush" distance away. I do not remember the distance. The bottom line I do remember was that nothing performed satisfactorly and if there was an advantage it went to a heavy for caliber bullet (High BC) like a 100 gr. 243, 120 gr. 25 Cal., etc. His findings were 180 degrees out from popular theory.

    Based on his findings probably the best thing a hunter in the brush can do is to have a scope on their rifle, pick your shooting lanes and use the advantage the scope provides to avoid hitting limbs.
  7. edritchey

    edritchey New Member

    thick cover

    Well if your not shooting a real long distance and you're in thick cover I would go with a shotgun with a rifled barrel and some Hornady saboted shells. Drops them like hot potatos. :)
  8. davemccarthy707

    davemccarthy707 New Member

    The 6.5x55 is a darn fine moose caliber around here. I would say it would be great on whitetails.
  9. brandy

    brandy New Member

    "Thick Timber" means 100 yards max so

    a 12 bore semi-automatic shotgun with a rifled barrel shooting Brenneke Golds carrying a 1-4X scope is difficult to improve on.
    NO rifle cartridge is a "brush buster" as has been proven in countless tests in Rifle, Handloader, etc.
    A 12 bore 1&1/8 ounce Gold will penetrate and kill from any angle as they were designed for 600 pound wild boars which are a tad harder to kill than any deer.