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View Poll Results: Best deer cartridge
243 Winchester/6mm Remington 7 3.83%
250 Savage 3 1.64%
257 Roberts 8 4.37%
25-06 Remington 16 8.74%
6.5x55 Swedish/260 Remington 21 11.48%
270 Winchester 46 25.14%
7mm-08 Remington 19 10.38%
30-30 Winchester 23 12.57%
308/30-06 40 21.86%
Other 16 8.74%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 183. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 10-13-2009, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsr76 View Post
I don't understand the popularity of the .270. Not my cup of tea. 30-30,.308,30-06 are all great. I've killed with the .243, 25-05, .257 weatherby, 12 guage, plus the previously mentioned .30's. Arrows also and .50 cal. muzzleloader. That being said, my specialty rig would be built in either 25-06 or .257 Weatherby, if I could build a custom DEER gun. Still, I'd use the .25's on anything less than dangerous game.
It was written about and glorified by a great writer/hunter. Other than that, it's a good all-around cartridge for the lower-48 (everything up to elk for sure). it's in between the .25 and the .30, both of which you think are OK, and it's based on the .30-06 brass, which the .25-06 and the .30-06 you like, so it should be OK too, right?
  #22  
Old 10-13-2009, 04:59 PM
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Well interesting, i have also noticed most anti .270 guys love the 30-06 along with the .25-06, would make more sense if they liked all three, 25-06 for antelope .270 for deer and 30-06 for elk and moose. .338-06 for grizzly? or a .35 whelan? hm. i do agree that the .270 is a little over rated, but it has its niches.

For an all around deer cartridge, in this area of the PNW i would go with my 30-30 which i can kill deer out 200 yards, and have never had to shoot one over 50 here. If i lived in colorado or wyoming i might prefer my .338 win mag.

Last edited by BarkBuster20; 10-13-2009 at 05:02 PM.
  #23  
Old 10-13-2009, 05:20 PM
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The 308 Win and 06 are very close in real world performance, like a lot of these picks.
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Last edited by .300WinMag; 10-13-2009 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Babbling
  #24  
Old 10-13-2009, 05:53 PM
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I voted .270Win. mainly because I have killed more deer and pronghorn with that than any other. That said, I'd take just about any 7mm and could have duplicated any of my shots on deer. I still like the venable 7x57mm Mauser cartridge and would vote it the most unappreciated, great deer cartridge of all time.
  #25  
Old 10-13-2009, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .300WinMag View Post
The 308 Win and 30-06 are so close in real world performance nobody on this site would know the difference in killing power.
If you had said, "...nobody outside of this site would know the difference in killing power." I could maybe agree with you. I think most of the people on this site, or those who can read and understand a ballistics chart, are likely to be aware of the difference between the 51mm .308 and 63mm '06. That would be more than a 20% increase in case capacity...a rather significant improvement, particularly when shooting the heavy-for-caliber bullets.

To all of the gentlemen who love the flat or round-nosed bullets at moderate velocity for deer hunting, I agree that they are very effective at ranges out to 200, or maybe even 250 yards. To date, I'm sure no cartridge has killed more white-tailed deer than a 30/30Win. However, smaller, faster calibers kill just as well at those ranges, and have the energy AND trajectory to go another 150 beyond that.

I probably already stated this, but I believe the "magic" that has made the .270 so popular is how 130gr bullets are fast enough to kill in spectacular fashion on thin-skinned critters like deer, while a well-constructed 150gr bullet has the sectional density and energy to penetrate very well on heavier, tougher game animals, like wild hogs and elk. The .270 Winchester has unquestionably earned its reputation for being a tremendous all-around big game cartridge...as much as, or perhaps more so, than any other commonly used American round.

As Sierra pointed out in one of their older reloading books, there is a reason only one other .277 diameter round was commercially available for more than 70 years!
  #26  
Old 10-13-2009, 07:49 PM
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The trajectories on everything but the .30-30 are nearly identical to 300 yards or so with typical bullet weights and loadings, FYI.....
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  #27  
Old 10-13-2009, 08:44 PM
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I would say anything from the .243 win to the 6.5-06 which will hopefully be my new favorite caliber when I get my barrel installed this weekend! Current favorite deer caliber is the .243 win.
  #28  
Old 10-13-2009, 09:01 PM
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Numbers dont really mean much when it comes to killing, it always surprises me how fast my 30-30 expires deer. I usually use corelokts and once in a while i will recover a bullet, usually one that has had to penetrate from an angle, the mushroom is about double the original diameter. It wouldnt be my first choice of cartridge in an area presenting 2-3 hundred yard shots.

as a side note, i think a perfect 8 cartridge arsenal would be
25-06 .308 norma
.270 .338 WM
.280 .358 norma
30-06 .458 WM

Last edited by BarkBuster20; 10-13-2009 at 09:03 PM.
  #29  
Old 10-13-2009, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunho1954 View Post
firstly i have never hunted deer.-in a lever action,would a 45/70 with a 405@1650 be over gunned?-ie,will it just punch holes. just curious.
That's what I use. My bullet is the Rem 300gr JHP loaded quite stout. Overkill? Nope. That hollowpoint does a job. My other bullet is the 350gr RN hornady and that will punch holes....but it's a big hole. The hollowpoints do a better job at anchoring on the spot. DRT usually.
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  #30  
Old 10-13-2009, 10:02 PM
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Well

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savorino View Post
"Best deer cartridge"
This one's easy, the one that's in your hands when the durned thing walks by!
Can't vote for just one.
How about .375 win? Opps picked a "woods" gun, Well I live in the woods. When I like my deer poached I used the 10/22, When I eat poached deer with my poached eggs, I smile and enjoy that the deer didn't know my gun was not the right choice! LMAO
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  #31  
Old 10-13-2009, 10:02 PM
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bah humbug.
The 308 is not a 30-06.
Sure you can load 110 grain bullets in both and they perform in both but once you get to 165 grains, the 30-06 takes off and the 308 drags a bit because of case volume and not being able to cram enough slower powder into its case.

Next.

What? No 7x57? Or 30-40? Unless you're just lumping them in with Other... Im shocked at the oversight.

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  #32  
Old 10-14-2009, 03:57 AM
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I voted for the 260/6.5x55 cartridges. I've killed more deer with those 2 than any other and they work very well. Hardly any recoil, amazingly accurate at all ranges, and kill WAY BEYOND their paper ballistics. Put the 260 in a nice compact gun and you have the perfect woods gun [under 200 yds] and put the 6.5 in a full sized sporter [Tikka T3] and you have a gun capable out to 400+ yds. What more could you ask for?
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  #33  
Old 10-14-2009, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmsbandit View Post
I voted for the 260/6.5x55 cartridges. I've killed more deer with those 2 than any other and they work very well. Hardly any recoil, amazingly accurate at all ranges, and kill WAY BEYOND their paper ballistics. Put the 260 in a nice compact gun and you have the perfect woods gun [under 200 yds] and put the 6.5 in a full sized sporter [Tikka T3] and you have a gun capable out to 400+ yds. What more could you ask for?
Bandit,

First let me say that I really appreciate the enthusiasm and obvious love of hunting that you show in this forum. Many of your posts get my attention because they capture the "romance" of hunting, and that means a lot, to me. However, what you wrote above just confused the heck outta me! I agree wholeheartedly that the 26 caliber rounds are great for deer...as are the 25's and 28's. Where I lost you was when you limit the 260 Remington to 200 yards or under, but then list the good ol' 6.5x55 as being capable out to 400+ yards.

The three loads shown below are 120gr 260 Remington, 130gr 270 Winchester and 140gr 6.5x55 Swedish. These are commonly accepted weights for those chamberings and yes, I realize the 140gr PSP does not have as high a BC as the 120gr BT. Also, this does not show a proper sight-in range for any of the loads, which unnecessarily limits their effectiveness in this comparison. Regardless, the velocity, trajectory, and energy of all three rounds are close enough that I would be reluctant to argue one was a better deer cartridge than another, out to 400 yards. Ironically, if I DID have to argue between the .260 and 6.5, the numbers below suggest the newer offering would have an edge over the old Swede.

Since you are a proponent of the .260, give that little cartridge its due! When comparing it to the 6.5x55, using 120gr pills, limiting its range by HALF, is simply not seeing the full picture. Load both rounds with the same bullet, to safe pressures and you could cover 'em both with a dish towel.

Velocity (ft/sec)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Premier® AccuTip™ 120 AT BT 2890 2697 2512 2334 2163 2000
Premier® AccuTip™ 130 AT BT 3060 2845 2639 2442 2254 2076
Remington® Express® 140 PSP 2550 2353 2164 1984 1814 1654

Energy (ft-lbs)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Premier® AccuTip™ 120 AT BT 2392 2083 1807 1560 1340 1146
Premier® AccuTip™ 130 AT BT 2702 2335 2009 1721 1467 1243
Remington® Express® 140 PSP 2021 1720 1456 1224 1023 850

Short-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 50 100 150 200 250 300
Premier® AccuTip™ 120 AT BT 0.1 0.7 zero -1.8 -4.9 -9.5
Premier® AccuTip™ 130 AT BT 0.0 0.5 zero -1.7 -4.7 -9.0
Remington® Express® 140 PSP 0.5 1.0 zero -2.7 -7.3 -13.7
  #34  
Old 10-14-2009, 05:19 AM
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Of course, the 6.5x55SE and the .260Rem use the same bullets and when the Swede is loaded to modern pressures (either through reloading or buying ammo from European factories... USA factories still load to the older pressures out of fear of litigation from someone stuffing a +P load into a rifle made in the 1800s), the two are almost identical with the .260 usually having a small edge (50-100fps type edge) using the 120gr and 140gr bullets while the Swede will enjoy about the same advantage over the .260 when using the 156gr/160gr bullets (from the reloading data I've seen).

I took dmsbandit's post to reflect the rifle offerings themselves... it seems that the .260 is mostly available in compact/youth rifles (from Ruger, for example) while you can get the Swede in a few more styles (Tikka/CZ makes some, for example). In any case, though, with modern ammo in the Swede, the .260 and the Swede are practically twins... you shouldn't really be able to tell them apart on either end of the rifle. And in the case of the short barreled compact rifles vs. the full size rifles, it should really only mean 100fps or so at the muzzle but that still makes the .260 a viable 300+yds rifle, if you have the skill to shoot it that far.

Last edited by shane256; 10-14-2009 at 05:21 AM.
  #35  
Old 10-14-2009, 07:53 AM
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It was nice to see that the poll wasn't inundated with magnum cartridges. We all hunt with them from time to time, but they really aren't necessary for most deer hunting situations. After all....it's just a deer, not a charging rhino !!! I had a tough time deciding between the 26's and 27's. I chose the former. HD1

Last edited by Huntdaddy1; 10-14-2009 at 09:39 AM.
  #36  
Old 10-14-2009, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broom_jm View Post
Bandit,

First let me say that I really appreciate the enthusiasm and obvious love of hunting that you show in this forum. Many of your posts get my attention because they capture the "romance" of hunting, and that means a lot, to me. However, what you wrote above just confused the heck outta me! I agree wholeheartedly that the 26 caliber rounds are great for deer...as are the 25's and 28's. Where I lost you was when you limit the 260 Remington to 200 yards or under, but then list the good ol' 6.5x55 as being capable out to 400+ yards.

The three loads shown below are 120gr 260 Remington, 130gr 270 Winchester and 140gr 6.5x55 Swedish. These are commonly accepted weights for those chamberings and yes, I realize the 140gr PSP does not have as high a BC as the 120gr BT. Also, this does not show a proper sight-in range for any of the loads, which unnecessarily limits their effectiveness in this comparison. Regardless, the velocity, trajectory, and energy of all three rounds are close enough that I would be reluctant to argue one was a better deer cartridge than another, out to 400 yards. Ironically, if I DID have to argue between the .260 and 6.5, the numbers below suggest the newer offering would have an edge over the old Swede.

Since you are a proponent of the .260, give that little cartridge its due! When comparing it to the 6.5x55, using 120gr pills, limiting its range by HALF, is simply not seeing the full picture. Load both rounds with the same bullet, to safe pressures and you could cover 'em both with a dish towel.

Velocity (ft/sec)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Premier® AccuTip™ 120 AT BT 2890 2697 2512 2334 2163 2000
Premier® AccuTip™ 130 AT BT 3060 2845 2639 2442 2254 2076
Remington® Express® 140 PSP 2550 2353 2164 1984 1814 1654

Energy (ft-lbs)
Cartridge Type Bullet Muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
Premier® AccuTip™ 120 AT BT 2392 2083 1807 1560 1340 1146
Premier® AccuTip™ 130 AT BT 2702 2335 2009 1721 1467 1243
Remington® Express® 140 PSP 2021 1720 1456 1224 1023 850

Short-Range Trajectory
Cartridge Type Bullet 50 100 150 200 250 300
Premier® AccuTip™ 120 AT BT 0.1 0.7 zero -1.8 -4.9 -9.5
Premier® AccuTip™ 130 AT BT 0.0 0.5 zero -1.7 -4.7 -9.0
Remington® Express® 140 PSP 0.5 1.0 zero -2.7 -7.3 -13.7

The range stated was more due to the guns used by me. I believe a 260 is better suited to short action small flyweight guns like the Ruger compact or remington model 7. Short light guns are hard to shoot from field positions at longer ranges. There isn't any weight to steady your hold and the X-hairs shake alot easier. That's the only reason for my range sugestions. The 6.5x55 is better suited to full sized guns that have more heft to them. They hold better in the field, and make longer shots easier. Put in guns of equal size and weight, both are 2 peas from the same pod and are able to do anything out as far as you care to shoot.

Sorry for the confusion.
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  #37  
Old 10-14-2009, 07:52 PM
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I own many caliber rifles from varmint to the big bores,but use my 7mm-08 for deer in NY.
I shoot Hornady 139 gr SSTs light mag rounds.They are devestating on deer.Drop right where they are shot. Very pleased.
Have used 3 other calibers as well over the years with excellent results,but decided to use this caliber for my main purpose.
  #38  
Old 10-15-2009, 09:46 AM
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Well guys I voted for the .257 Roberts. Why? It works very well with little noise any almost no recoil.
  #39  
Old 10-15-2009, 10:37 AM
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Hot 24's, 25's, 26's, 27's, 28's, 29...err, 30's. Find one that feels right to you, shoots accurate loads and you just about can't go wrong. Killing a deer with a centerfire rifle in those calibers is only slightly more difficult than getting my kids to eat chocolate cake.
  #40  
Old 10-15-2009, 02:12 PM
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i would consider the .243 to be on the light side, with proper shot placement it works well, but its not an ideal choice for any deer weighing more than 160 pounds or so, IMO anyway.
I believe deer cartridges kinda start at .25 cal and when you get up to .26 cal and above it really starts to become ideal.
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