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The question of which of the many available cartridges is ideal for deer has been debated numerous times. Let's put a different twist to it this time around. In your opinion which of the following cartridges is "ideal" for whitetail in heavy cover, and which of the same cartridges have you seen and/or used to make spectacular kills on whitetail:
30-30/32 Win.; 35 Rem.; 358 Win.; 356 Win.; 444 Marlin; 45-70 Govt.; 450 Marlin; 375 Win.; or 44 Rem. Mag. ?

Thanks for your contribution to this post,
Timberwolf
 

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Hey Guys,

I've used the .35 Rem very successfully.  I had an 8 point buck drop at impact.....heart/lung shot ....he didn't so much as take a step, just dropped on his chest and stayed.

Most of my hunting has been done in the laurel and rhododendron thickets of West Virginia.  If I was going into the really thick stuff, I'd carry a 12 guage loaded with slugs.

Lobo in NM
 

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45-70 with 405 grain Remington JSP at 1930 fps is about as good as it gets for whitetails in heavy cover.  Six shots, six whitetails, none went more than 20 yards.
 

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Timberwolf,
     I'd pick the 44 Mag with a good cast bullet. Low recoil, little rifle, plenty of punch and penetration.
       I'd have to admit that this is theory on my part. I've only shot deer with 12 Ga, .243, 7mag, .308 and 30-06. But I've read enough from many experienced hunters to have confidence in my pick!                  IDShooter
 

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I am a .35 caliber guy all the way but...

I would like to hear from anyone using a .30 caliber anything and 130 gr. bullets. I have heard the 125 Sierra's and Speers are quick killers on whitetails. I have certainly found the 170 grain flat nose bullets to be very useful in the .307.
I know of several hunters swear the 7-30 Waters is the greatest cartridge ever invented.
I prefer big holes.
 

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I have used the 35 Rem., .375 Win.Big Bore and the 45-70 on eight deer and all worked vary well. The only one that ran over 30 yards was young 4 pt. whitetail buck i shot at about 175 yds. in the lungs with the 45-70. Bullet didn't expand and the deer ran 100 yds. before it fell.
 

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Timberwolf,

Yes, any of the above, absolutely!

Never shot a Whitetail, in Utah we have, I believe, the only state which is virtually exclusively Mule Deer.

But, I have shot several Mule Deer with .45-70,  .35 Rem., .44 Mag., and a .358 equivalent (.35 Krag).  All animals shot with the first three went down in their tracks, all were in the area of 15-35 yards.  I'm satisfied with any of them.

The .45-70 were with a cast (457122, 30:1 over a duplex BP charge) .35 Rem. a handloaded Silvertip, .44 Mag. 94 Marlin with a Speer 240 fpsp, and the Krag uses the Hornady 250 RNSP.
 

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Timberwolf,

I have taken 4 whitetails with my .307 Winchester.  All handloads using the Nosler 170 grn Partition (2), Hornady 170 grn F/N (1), and Speer 170 grn F/N (1).  All one shot kills with one whitetail managing 15 yards before dropping, the other 3 fell in their tracks.  All shot at ranges from 60 yards to ten yards.
I know that this caliber wasn't on your list, but just thought I'd put my 2 cents worth in.  If you come across one of these don't pass it up.  It's a fantastic woods gun and I've had no trouble getting 2" groups off the bench at 100 yrds with this carbine.  I'm sure more serious load work and time could trim those groups down.  

Just thought I'd pass along the info.

Good Hunting
 

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Timberwolf,

The primary calibers I have used on whitetail have been the 30-30,30-06 and 44 mag.  By far the 30-06 has put the most venison in the freezer and with bullet weights between 125 and 180 grains.  I have never had to make a second shot with it.

The 30-30 has also worked well for me and I enjoy toting my 94 in the woods as much as anything.  I have not had good experinces with the 44 mag. on whitetail and due to that no longer own a 44 rifle.

One of my hunting buddies used to hunt with a 45/70, but nearly refuses to now.  He feels it is simply to much gun for whitetails and just makes an unneccessary mess of them.  He once hung one up to clean and had the front leg with the exit wound basically fall off!

I plan to hunt with a 357 model 92 and a 356 94BB next year.  

Slim, I have used the 125 grain bullets in the 30/06 for whitetail and it was always a quick killer.  No deer hit with it went much beyond 25 yards.  On the downside, it did make cleaning a mess and really ruined a LOT of meat.  Exit wounds were horrendous.  The 180 grain corelock, while more bullet than really needed, has impressed me greatly in recent years by dropping some big whitetails in their tracks.
 

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My woods gun is a 358, and I highly recommend it, for whitetails or anything else.  They can tell that they have been hit, and it shoots farther than the other cartridges that you have mentioned.  I have to cross a field or two, on the way to the woods.  A few times i have saw a good sized one on the other sdie of the field, while armed with a 444,or 35 rem.  Just a bit outside.

Everything that i have shot with anything 35, i have not had to track.

Good hunting,

Steve
 

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Don't see anything wrong with any of the calibers under the conditions you specify.  The 30-06, is left off you list, I can only imagine that you want to limit the choice to tubular magazine actions.  In that case, my preference is the 45-70.  Does anyone see Winchester releasing the 1895 in 45-70?  That would beat the heck out of the 405 in my mind, both from a practicality and a sales viewpoint.
 

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TIMBERWOLF,

Realistically all of the cartridges you mentioned will give superlative results on close-range whitetails when the bullets are put in the right place. That's the key. If by "heavy cover" you imply ranges under 100 yards, go with the .44 Magnum carbine.
More than enough oomph to do the job from any angle of attack on even really big whitetails, in a lighter firearm than the others you mentioned.
 
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