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looking at buying a new deer hunting rifle. I currently have a 300 WSM and it is just flat too much for deer. I am tired of having massive amounts of bloodshot meat, is that because of the velocity of the 300 WSM.I am considering the 270 WSM or 30-06. I am worried that the 270 WSM would bloodshot meat as well because it is still very fast, although I like how flat shooting it is, much like my 300 WSM. What do you guys think or share your experiences with me. My average shot is within 100 yards, but occasionally I have to make a 350 - 400 yard shot. I do not reload. Thanks for the help guys.
 

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The 30-06 offers many factory loadings and can be flat shooting with the right bullet, although not as flat as the magnum. The 350-400 shot is not impossible with the 30-06 and when the game is light like deer they are not too hard to dispatch. Many factors come into play at that range so I don't believe I would attempt such a shot. At the average range of 100 yards you will find the 30-06 will do you right on deer.

I can't comment on the .270 WSM but the 270 Win is just what the doctor ordered for deer.
 

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I hunted blacktails in California for about 15 years and helped dress deer that were harvested with 243, 30/30, 270, 30-'06 and even a 30 caliber M1 carbine. They are generally lighter and even more fragile than the mule deer and whitetails most of us hunt...they are not difficult to kill. Frankly, the 270WSM, 30-'06 and 300WSM are all too much gun for these little deer, IMHO. The best option, for someone who does not reload, would be the 30-'06 with 150gr loads and either cup n' core bullets or one of the bonded options, like the Accubond, if it can be found in a factory load.

To avoid bloodshot meat you really want a heavier bullet that will still open up, but not violently. I found a standard 270 with 140gr bullet, loaded on the mild side, killed deer faster and resulted in less bloodshot tissue, should your shot wind up in the shoulder instead of back in the ribs. My uncle used an '06 and was very frustrated by how poorly his 180gr bullets killed. The deer hit with that big slug had a .308 hole in and a .310 hole going out, with the deer showing little or no sign of being hit. When he switched to 150gr Core-lokt bullets he was much happier with the end result. My dad shot several deer with his .243 and they usually fell in their tracks or within just a few yards. He kept the bullets well back from the shoulder so there was no meat damaged. Out to 150 yards or so, the 30/30 with 170gr FP did the best job and ruined very little meat, but it would never give you those 350-400 yard shots.
 

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Saskshooter, I am shooting 150 grain winchester ballistic silver tips. What kind of bullet would you recommend to save some meat.
I bet if you moved to 180 grain bullets like the Nosler Partition, or something similar, your meat damage would be far less and deer will be just as dead. Shot placement also counts, of course.

I have actually found that one disadvantage of using heavier bullets in any caliber to reduce extreme bloodshot meat can sometimes result in fewer DRT incidents, if that is an issue for you. Trailing jobs will not, however, be very long, and should be easy with good blood trails.
 

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I agree with Sask, bullet selection matched with good shot placement should be the answer to your problem. If you drive similar bullets to what you use in the WSM out of a .30/06, you'll get a comparable amount of destruction. The .300 WSM offers only subtle velocity gains over the '06 and it would take a clever deer to know which he was shot with.

Perhaps a smaller calibre such as the .243 or .260 Rem would also help, but again, you have to choose an appropriate projectile.

M 2c,
 

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i think that broom is barking up the right tree, the wsm's are more than is necessary for most deer hunting in general in my opinion. as are all "magnums" in my opinion... for your situation a 308 or 7/08 or 260 would be perfect in terms of being reasonably flat shooting and not ruining a bunch of meat. if i were you i'd avoid anything that says magnum in the name and either gravitate towards heavier bullets in '06 based cartridges or moderate weight bullets in the 308 & 7/08... the 140gr bullets in the 260 would be awesome on deer and flat shooting as well... i have a hard time recommending the 243 for deer, it'll work and get used a lot but i think that there are better choices out there, as i prefer more bullet diameter and weight.
 

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.30-06 with a good 180 gr. bullet should get you less bloodshot meat. .308 Win with a 165 or 180 might would work just as well.
 

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If bloodshot meat is something you want to avoid, I would not go with a .270WSM. The few deer I have seen shot with them were a mess. I have a 7mm WSM (a cousin with slighty bigger shoulders). It is unsavory with 150gr SPs unless you like holes large enough to pass a small fawn through. I have to use 160 Trophy Bonded Bear Claws even for deer. That should be an Elk bullet. I am going to load up some 154 Honady innerbonds and see how they treat me one of these years.

Those blacktail are pretty small. Something on the .308 family would be my suggestion (.308. 7-08, .260, or .243). A .257 Robert or .250 Savage would be good choices as well. Or a .25-06 if you think a very long shot is going to be tried.

A .270 WSM or .30-06 both seem like overkill. Of course if you handload, it is pretty easy to take a bit off a .30-06 load and get it to shooting like a .308.
 

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The Shadow (Moderator)
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I think most folks are close, but missed the specifics of the issue here.
1. Flat shooting is a non issue with ANY of these, for a Deer sized animal.
2. Bullet weight AND type, are the big ones. Although "premium" Tipped bullets are the fad today, they are improperly marketed. Unless you are target shooting, there are two main reasons for tipped bullets.
A. you are shooting something too far, and need help opening it.
B. you are shooting something too heavy, and need help opening it.

For 30-06, or 300WSM class rifles you should never shoot less than a 165Gr. for deer. Anything lighter is suited for slower cartridges.
While I have no issues with Partitions, you only need a standard SP(Pro hunter, Hornady, Hot Cor, etc...)
 

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For 30-06, or 300WSM class rifles you should never shoot less than a 165Gr. for deer. Anything lighter is suited for slower cartridges.
While I have no issues with Partitions, you only need a standard SP(Pro hunter, Hornady, Hot Cor, etc...)
Most of my 40 or so .30-06 kills have been with 165s. However, I have made a few very clean kills with 150 grain Hornady interlock reloads and Remington 150 Grain core-lokt factory loads. so I would not count the 150 grain .30-06 as too light for deer.
 

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i think that broom is barking up the right tree, the wsm's are more than is necessary for most deer hunting in general in my opinion. as are all "magnums" in my opinion... for your situation a 308 or 7/08 or 260 would be perfect in terms of being reasonably flat shooting and not ruining a bunch of meat. if i were you i'd avoid anything that says magnum in the name and either gravitate towards heavier bullets in '06 based cartridges or moderate weight bullets in the 308 & 7/08... the 140gr bullets in the 260 would be awesome on deer and flat shooting as well... i have a hard time recommending the 243 for deer, it'll work and get used a lot but i think that there are better choices out there, as i prefer more bullet diameter and weight.
Thanks for the endorsement. The 308 family of cartridges is perfect for blacktails, but I would pick a bullet that is light-for-caliber; 150gr in 308, 140gr in 7mm08, 120gr in 260. The exception would be the .243 where velocity is still very good with 100gr bullets and the mass is needed for what little penetration is required. However, I think what many of you are missing is just how small blacktail deer really are! I shot a 3X3 buck with a 24" inside spread that dressed out at 94 pounds, minus the left front shoulder! The 130gr bullet hit him right on the point of the shoulder and made jello out of the entire quarter. Fortunately he was angling toward me at the shot and the bullet came out well behind the right leg, or the off side would have been just as bad.

Just as the hot .22's are appropriate for the smallest deer down in Texas, the .243 is perfect for the vast majority of blacktail deer. Although they are not legal in CA, the centerfire .22's would be just fine for most of the blacktail deer harvested each year. I mentioned the 30 caliber carbine earlier: My dad shot a little blacktail in the neck with one and the thing ran 200 yards down a steep hill before expiring. After he got it back to the top of the hill he vowed to stick with his .243 from then on! :)

The only way to make bullets from an '06 or 308 open up reliably on these thin little targets is to use smaller, lightly-constructed pills, or shoot them at lower velocity, which takes away from the range you sometimes need in the wide-open spaces they can live in.

For the rain forests of Oregon, where BarkBuster hunts 'em, an '06 with a fast-opening bullet like the 180gr Partition, or 150gr BT may work well, but he chooses a 30/30 because at those ranges it is a better option. For the almost barren scrub-oak hillsides of central California, the 260Rem is perfect, with the .243 very close behind.
 
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OK, I have no experience with blacktails and no experience with a 300 WSM, but I do have a 300 Win Mag, and from my experience those ballistic tips in 150 grain are shredders and they destroy meat. My 300 likes 165 grain hornady SST's, but again they are shredders. So I went back to pointed soft points. Speer Hot Cors (150's and 180's) (hornady -165 grain) (Nosler Partitions- 180's) All these have done well, punch a little whole on the way in, and a little bigger hole on the way out. Way back I bought 500 .277 caliber Barnes Bullets that I am using in my .277 calibers. These bullets are expensive but they are awesome.

I have pretty much given up on the ballistic tips for hunting in all my rifles. Except for my 32 Win Special. I use the new hornady lever revolution with that FTX bullet.
 

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i ll agree with some of the postings.. a 30 06 w 180 grn will get you out to 300.
after that its gonna depend on whether feeding the family is top priority..
if that was the case, ethical shot be dang..im taking what ever chance i get to feed the family..some think that won t happen in this country.. some know it already has ..jmo slim
ps good luck hat ever gun you choose.
 

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interesting, i had no idea that blacktail were so lightly built... i too have a 300winmag that i really like a lot but i consider it extreme overkill for most deer hunting.
my experience with the tipped bullets has not been terribly positive. oh the deer have definitely been dead but too much lost meat to suit me. the one exception was a 162gr sst fired from my 280. it was both decisive and clean killing in terms of meat loss. i do think that with a bullet like the tsx or gmx they are fine and i have a couple boxes of those bullets to try on deer next fall.
 

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Thanks for the endorsement. The 308 family of cartridges is perfect for blacktails, but I would pick a bullet that is light-for-caliber; 150gr in 308, 140gr in 7mm08, 120gr in 260.
Those are all considered the 'perfect' bullet weights for whitetails. I prefer to use heavier bullets because they tend to be slower and they tend to be tougher so they hold together better. Both of which seem to cause less meat damage. I used to use 180gr in .30-06 as well. Of course, slower means less flat shooting so those are at odds. The main thing, IMO, is to pick a round that will deliver the bullet at the ranges you expect at around 2000fps to 2500fps or so. If you go for a fast bullet so that you can hit that velocity range at 500yds, it'll be flatter shooting, but close shots will probably be messier. Pick one that does this at 50yds and it won't be flat shooting.

From the five deer I got with my .260 REM using 140gr this year (first time I ever used that cartridge), all had less meat damage than I expected. All were complete pass through (even through leg bones) and left amazing blood trails, although none were needed as all fell within sight (less than 30yds from where shot). I wouldn't hesitate out to 300yds with my .260 with those 140gr bullets. The product claims 2750fps at the muzzle for that bullet/load and it shoots just a little flatter than the 180gr PSP .30-06 at 2700fps. Obviously, a 6.5x55SE would also be a good choice since it's basically a ballistic twin (when loaded hot) of the .260 REM. Factory loads for the 6.5x55SE are a little slower but it's still very effective.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I haven't shot a blacktail but our central Texas whitetails aren't very big. Lots of them are less than a hundred pounds.

165gr. Partitions in my .30-06 work just fine on deer that are small enough you don't have to put the tailgate down, you just lift them over the side of the bed :)

My .257 Roberts works great on them, too, as does the .250 Savage. That wasn't the original question but I can endorse those lighter guns as being fine for deer. 6mm Rem also. Those are three that I have direct experience with, you can figure out what else will work in that power range.

It still deer season here for properties that are on the MLD and I will probably take my son out this weekend with his .250 Savage and see what we can find.

You can always slow down the bullets a bit if you are reloading. Just a thought.

Good luck.
 

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With most species of deer, the bigger the body generally mean bigger the antler potential. For example, in canada where whitetails are regularly 300+ pounds it isnt uncommon to find very large antlers, now go down to mexico and hunt couse whitetails, very small bodys and very small antlers, same with mule deer. Blacktail are different though, areas that produce the largest antlerd blacktails also produce the smallest body sizes. Around here i have had good bucks hang at 135+ lbs, not huge, but very good size.

If your hunting in thick cover, dont handicap yourself with a bolt action rifle with a 20+ inch barrel is my recomendation. If your hunting in open areas, get yourself a whiz banger with a 26 inch tube, bolt action of course.
 
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