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  #1  
Old 12-17-2009, 06:01 AM
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Best caliber for long range mule deer?


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Looking to add a gun to my collection for "longer" range shots on mule deer and antelope. I mostly hunt the plains of colorado, so shots can get long at times. I was looking at a magnum caliber such as a 270wsm or 257 weatherby. Any advice?
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  #2  
Old 12-17-2009, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedtf View Post
Looking to add a gun to my collection for "longer" range shots on mule deer and antelope. I mostly hunt the plains of colorado, so shots can get long at times. I was looking at a magnum caliber such as a 270wsm or 257 weatherby. Any advice?
Either of those would be fine and you might also consider a 260 or 280 Remington. Any of the above would allow ~350 yard shots and still carry enough energy to get the job done, at that range.
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  #3  
Old 12-17-2009, 06:19 AM
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Yup, most of the 6.5mm cartridges should do the job very well... 6.5x55SE (warm loads), .260 Remington, 6.5mm Rem Mag, 6.5-284, 6.5-06, or even the big .264 Win Mag (I've actually been seeing a few of those in stores lately).
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  #4  
Old 12-17-2009, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedtf View Post
Looking to add a gun to my collection for "longer" range shots on mule deer and antelope. I mostly hunt the plains of colorado, so shots can get long at times. I was looking at a magnum caliber such as a 270wsm or 257 weatherby. Any advice?

What do you consider long range? 300, 400, 500 yards or are we talking farther?
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2009, 06:41 AM
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Look no further than the .257 Weatherby Mag. or the .264 Win. Mag. End of story for game you listed. End of story for anygame in fact!
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2009, 06:51 AM
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Any thing fast in .284 / 7mm and you are in. So many good choices, on either side as well.

good luck
GF
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2009, 07:08 AM
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Lots of calibers work there, 308, 30-06, 270, lots of the sundry belted and short magnums. My personal fave for long range deer would have to be the 7mmRemnington Magnum but that's just because I've got a rifle (acquired in the late 70s) in that caliber that has really amazing accuracy and have had some success with it over the last several decades.
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2009, 07:22 AM
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Talking

If you reload because 25-06 ammo can be hard to find this is one heck of a long range caliber for Mule deer sized animals. The 117 grain bullet at 3200 FPS is devastating on Deer sized animals. The 257 Weatherby mag is a great caliber but the ammo is really expensive and I don't think you need to eat the added recoil over the 25-06 to get the job done.
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2009, 01:57 PM
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.270 wby mag.
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2009, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shane256 View Post
Yup, most of the 6.5mm cartridges should do the job very well... 6.5x55SE (warm loads), .260 Remington, 6.5mm Rem Mag, 6.5-284, 6.5-06, or even the big .264 Win Mag (I've actually been seeing a few of those in stores lately).
Yes I saw a .264 magnum in a gun store in northern MN, never heard of it before so I immeadiately went to the ammunition area to take a look at the round. Looks interesting but possibly another "designer" round? Or maybe it's been around awhile and is resurfacing?
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  #11  
Old 12-17-2009, 02:30 PM
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Yeah, the .264 Win Mag has been around a while (longer than I have been alive) and may be seeing some renewed interest.
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  #12  
Old 12-17-2009, 02:35 PM
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I don't think 25/06 ammo is hard to find anywhere in the West, its one of the most popular calibers.

Anyway, what do you consider long range? The high plains in Southern Colorado can be 2-5 miles of open prairie. Wyoming and Montana can yield 10+ miles of open prairie, you'd need my brother and his helicopter for that.

Mulies are pretty dumb late in the season, I've literally walked right up them from 700 yards out to within 100 yards. Virtually any of the calibers that have been listed are plenty adequate.
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  #13  
Old 12-17-2009, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by shane256 View Post
Yeah, the .264 Win Mag has been around a while (longer than I have been alive) and may be seeing some renewed interest.
I'm considering one myself, in a Sendero like my .300 RUM.
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2009, 03:21 PM
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I'm not really a fan of the of the .264 Win mag. My brother in law has one in a pristine pre'64 model 70. Pristine except for the barrel. His uncle (who shot it a little) "willed" it to him and Davey proceded to work up a load and used it a good bit up until a couple years ago when it started shooting terrible then gradually worse. So he took it to the local gun doc and it was pronounced "shot out". We can't be sure how many rounds have gone down the tube but probably less than 1000 and likely less than 750. To make a long story short, now Davey has a pristine pre '64 .264 Win mag lamp holder.

While my 300RUM is more than up to the task. I'd leave it at home and opt for either the 30-06 with 165 grain Hornady interlocks or the 7mm Rem. mag with 140 grain Sierra Gamekings.

Not that I'd want to try the 300RUM on antelope, but I've seen what it will do to such small, lightly constructed, thin skinned critters and it ain't purty.

But seeins' as how you are looking at a new rifle, I'd get a 25-06 for the reasons Matt stated, plus it can double as a wicked varmint rifle later.

RJ
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  #15  
Old 12-17-2009, 03:25 PM
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RJ, usually you and I share views, but here I disagree. If he were to get a .25, I'd opt for the .257 Wby Mag. Probably the king of all .25's without being terribly overbore.


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Last edited by Tang; 12-17-2009 at 03:29 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2009, 04:03 PM
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IMO, the .257 Weatherby is also a barrel burner. But then I'm not really a fan of Wetherby's anyway.

If a feller was goin' to go with a "hot" 25 caliber I'd go for a 25-06 AI.

RJ
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2009, 04:05 PM
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25-06 would be my vote, if 'long range' is around the 400 yd mark (would go larger in caliber if considering longer than that). Load some 120 NP's in it and you're good for muleys and antelope. And, it serves nicely for rockchucks with 75 gr Hornady HP's at 3500 fps. If looking for something different, 257 Wby if not concerned about the dent in the wallet for ammo! Reloading would help this a lot though. If a custom rifle is in the running, take a look at the 6.5-06, which is really nice with 120-140 gr bullets.

I've never had a 264 WM, but would like too. In a pre-'64 Mod 70, they are outrageously expensive, but you could have one built. I wouldn't use less than 140 gr bullets in this cartridge.
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2009, 04:07 PM
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Out past 400yds or so, the .264 Win Mag is supposed to beat out the .257 Weatherby Mag in velocity and power.
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2009, 04:24 PM
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I sure like my 25-06 Ruger #1V. I'd feel comfortable, as Shawn said, out to at least 400 yards.

I shoot at a steel buffalo that sits right at 360 yards. It's about the size of a large boar. My bullet drop (from a 175 yard zero) is only about 9", give or take an inch.
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  #20  
Old 12-17-2009, 04:24 PM
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270 WSM has a pretty good range, also.
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