Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
268 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello from Scotland

We often hear hunters in heated conversation about the "PERFECT" calibre for Deer. Well to take it a bit further, lets ignore the designated calibres, such as .257 Roberts,7mmx57,.308 Win etc.

I would like to concentrate on the "PERFECT"bullet diameter, imagine if you will that you were going to start from scratch and design your self a new calibre/case for Deer hunting ? What diameter bullet would you sit on top of your new round?

I personally like .30 cals as Minimum for Deer, although i am most impressed with both .35 and .338 as excellent Deer bullets. So my "PERFECT" Deer bullet would have to be some thing carrying a .338 bullet !

Whats your fancy ? Would like to hear your veiws ?

Regards ENGLANDER
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
872 Posts
Hello my good English Friend,

This is a subject that i have given much thought, as where i do hunt different things now and again, the majority of my hunting is for deer.  

Fortunatly, i am at a place and station in my life where i don;t have to settle on one rifle or calibre, and i tend to specailize my rifles and loads depending on the conditions of the hunt.  For example, in the fields, i shoot either a 130 Sierra boat tail in 270 win, or a 140 Nosler Ballistic tip in 7mm rem Mag.  In the field, i expect to be able to score on a 300 yard + shot, and be selective about bullet placement on the animal, as i normally see the whole animal, and can take my time.

In the timber, which here in kentucky is mostly hardwoods, and where i hunt -many, many brushpiles, i like to go a little heavier, and shoot a 358 Win, or a 350 rem mag with a 225-250 grain bullet.  My thinking here is that i cannot always pick the perfect broadside shot, and i like to have something that has the penetrative quality that i look for if i have to shoot shoulders, hips, ect.  The average shot i have made in the timber is around 50-65 yards, sometimes heading out to 100, but never any more.

Now, if i am still hunting, or hunting in a place i can see both fields and woods or don;t know the conditions where i am going to go , i'll take a medium 30 caliber, either a 300 savage, a 308 Win, or a 30-06, and shoot a bullet from 150-180 grains.

My preference lately is the big bullets, i like loading the heavy round noses, those things  really swat.

Have a great day,

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,934 Posts
An opinion from the 'Old Dominion'

When I first started hunting deer here in Virginia, I owned a 243 Winchester Browning bolt gun. I found that the Speer 105 grain round nose with 48 grains of IMR 4350 was pure death in our white tails.
Then I had a bullet get broken up by our thick under brush, mostly laurel.
At that point in time the Siamese Mausers were being imported and converted to 45-70 and 444 Marlin. I had a gunsmith make a 45-70 for me.
I've been impressed with that caliber ever since. I don't have to worry about bullets getting distroyed on the way to the target. I don't have to worry about the bullet reliably expanding, as it's already expanded. The bullet always makes two holes, for good blood trail should it be needed. I make all of my own bullets so I can practice all year around. With the 445 grain cast bullet I can put anything on this continent down. It's cheap to shoot.
The caliber that would come in second place for me would be my 375 Whelen, with a cast 300 grain cast bullet. The only reason this caliber comes in second is the rifle is heavier and the barrel is longer, but all of the above reasons apply to this caliber.
Jim
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
From a purely utilitarian standpoint, we already have what I'd consider to be the "perfect" deer cartridge in the .308 Winchester. A .30 caliber/150- or 165-grain bullet is just about ideal for anything short of elk and the cartridge gives plenty of velocity for 300-yard shots. It can be chambered in short, handy rifles of all types that work for just about any hunter regardless of stature and strength.



<!--EDIT|Bill Lester|Feb. 12 2002,18:37-->
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
5,220 Posts
The perfect deer bullet is whatever comes out of the end of the barrel of the perfect deer rifle.  And I think I've found the perfect deer rifle -- a Ruger No.1 RSI in 7x57.  It's short, light (but not featherweight), great balance and handling, and when handloaded it becomes a portable lightning bolt.  No hot loads necessary, just proper powder, primers and bullets.

By the way, it makes the perfect Dall Sheep rifle too.

Anyway, I like it.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
556 Posts
It may boringly familiar to you, but the .303 Brit is equivalent to the .300 Savage, which enjoyed a reputation in the States as the "perfect" deer cartridge.
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
1,118 Posts
Aleska,

Ooooo, good choice! I've really liked the 7x57 since I restocked an old Spanish Mauser years ago. As you say, it is a super cartridge and combined with the Ruger No. 1RSI one would have a tremendous hunting package.

Charlie,

Gotta agree with you on the .303 too. Love 'em, have owned two military Enfields before my current No. 4, Mk. 2. I'd love to find a Winchester 95 so chambered.  I'm seriously considering getting another SMLE and transforming it into a sporting rifle circa 1900 with shortened magazine, express sights, nice wood, etc. Add some Hawk 210-grain bulleted handloads and I'd tackle anything short of a grizzly in the alders.



<!--EDIT|Bill Lester|Feb. 09 2002,13:48-->
 

·
The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
Joined
·
36,223 Posts
Perfect deer bullet - I choose the BTB .44 280gr. WFNGC.

Perfect deer "rifle" with which to launch said bullet... a Ruger Super Blackhawk!  Yeah I know it's not a rifle, but you can shoot this bullet from a .444 also and considering the performance in a handgun, it ought to be devastating in a rifle.

OK if I have to use an actual rifle I like my M70 .30-06, and for bullets I use 165 gr. Nosler Partitions.... not because that's what it takes to kill a deer, but because we have a lot of wild hogs in TX and if I see a hog while deer hunting, I generally shoot it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Boy you can't argue with any of your choices, for me, I decided last year to build the deer rifle that does everything I need. Caliber-.375/284 Win., action 722 Remington, bullet 225 Hornady SP. The barrel is a Winchester 375 H&H chamber cut off  used a 6.5/284 reamer for body then the H&H for the neck. Results 61 gr. IMR4320=2623fps,have taken one fair 4x4 mulie at apx. 150 yds. Bullet performance was perfect,dead as a wedge and absolutly no blood shot meat. I enjoy venison too much to make it into high velocity jelly. What's reall neat is none of us are wrong, and we all are right..good hunting      Lynn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I like all these answers because they're all tailored to the game and terrain where they'll be used. It's hard to beat a .30 caliber for bullet selection, but the 7MMs come a close second. I find the 7MM-08 to be as near a perfect caliber as can be found for light big game but I still love the old 7 x 57, which is nearly identical in performance to the 7-08. For the woods hunting I am accustomed to I have great faith in the .35 calibers. I've killed more game with the .35 Rem than any other caliber and have never had one get back on its feet after being hit with a 200 grain bullet in this caliber. Because I shoot it in a bolt action rifle, I'm able to handload to perform almost to .358 Win performance. It gives complete penetration without causing bloodshot meat. I've got a lot of rifles and love them all but when I head to the woods with deer in mind it's either the 7MM-08 or the .35 Rem that I carry.
 

·
Beartooth Regular
Joined
·
5,220 Posts
Today's selection of cartridges for any given caliber makes this an interesting question.  From the 25's through the 45's you can have adequate power levels for deer or like sized game at any range.  Find a rifle you like and chances are you find a really, really good deer cartridge chambered in it.  If bolt actions are your thing and you hunt the wide open places, take your pick.  If you like levers and hunt the timber, take your pick.  If you like levers and hunt the great wide open, well, Browning's BLR handles some mighty flat shooting cartridges.  On the other end, there are some incredibly short bolt actions these days for swampers and thicket hunters.  I guess what I mean is to match the rifle to yourself, the way you hunt, where you hunt and the game you hunt and there will be an adequate caliber for just about any and every occassion.  Whistle pigs to Elephants.

I've said I like the Ruger No. 1 RSI in 7x57, and can tell you whole heartedly its because of the rifle.  The mauser is a great round, don't get me wrong, but I'd find another cartridge for the No. 1 if the only way to get the 7 Mauser was I had to lug it around in a 10 pound full length bolt action.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
If I was buying a rifle strictly for deer hunting, I would go with the .257. .25-06 115 grain Ballistic Tip. However I am in-between .25-06s at this time and when I did own one, I never harvested anything bigger than a coyote with it. So, the caliber that has served me as the perfect deer cartridge is .30. .30-06 150 grain Hornady Interlok at just under 3000 fps. I have found this to be an awsome combination for mulies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
I like the 308 with 165 grainer best for mid-long shots in heavy country. For close up shots you can't beat a 44 mag in a little trapper, or Marlin 1894 and if the country is too heavy to get a rifle through without making noise, the the 44 mag revolver is nice. In open country, I will choose my 270 with good factory 130 grain pills, or better, 140 Hornedy hand loads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
Tough question.
Personal opinion thing.
They can only get so dead

I hunt in the west and in open country. I like a 6MM Remington using 100 gr.sp., or 95 grain Nosler partition. If I was hunting in thick stuff, and making short shots I might opt for something bigger around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
The perfect deer bullet is the one that contains sufficient mass, is properly constructed to hold together upon hitting the relatively fragile shoulder bone of a deer, traveling at a velocity to achieve penetration past the opposite lung, and exit the animal. This question is like asking, "What is the perfect woman?" There are an almost infinite number of opinions about that. The most important aspect of forming an opinion (about bullets or women) is having the experience with as many as possible. I'm still (at 48) in the learning stages of both topics and and need more trials to make an educated recommendation, but Partitions and blonds have worked so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,936 Posts
I have always thought, and found that .308 cal, 165 gr expanding bullets at .308 to .30-06 velocities to be perfect medicine for deer. Any good expanding bullet with a comparable sectional density and velocity from 7mm up to 8mm is just as perfect IMO.

So .284 to .323 is my perfect range. Larger is not needed IMO. And, I have been on some long tracking expeditions thanks to a few shooters using smaller calibers that I felt wouldn't have been near as long with proper .308 sized bullet. (one from a .25-06, two from .270s, and one from a .243). Yes, in three of those cases the shooting could have been a bit better. But proper penetration and terminal performance due to impact angles was also an issue. That's an issue I have never had with my .30-06/.308s on deer. I have never lost one.

In the fourth case, a 150 gr .270 SP spitzer failed to expand on what should have been a solid 2x lung shot. The deer went a long ways and was not found until it spoiled. I suggested to that hunter that he use 130s and he has had no such problems since. Still, a 150 SP should have got the job done. Smaller diameter bullets (<.284) just seem to be a little more problematic IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Now if you want to know what is recommended as good deer bullets then first ask your self, will you hand load, buy expensive factory ammunition, or do you want to pick up some ammo at Wal-Mart? If you choose the last choice, listen to this piece of wisdom,

Bird dog says,

have always thought, and found that .308 cal, 165 gr expanding bullets at .308
to .30-06 velocities to be perfect medicine for deer. Any good expanding bullet
with a comparable sectional density and velocity from 7mm up to 8mm is just as
perfect IMO.”

He continues. “So .284 to .323 is my perfect”

I would include the 270, but the question remains why he does not?
The answer seems here,

“150 gr .270 SP spitzer failed to expand on what should
have been a solid 2x lung shot. The deer went a long ways and was not found
until it spoiled. I suggested to that hunter that he use 130s and he has had no
such problems since.”

I think the point here is the bullet can be too hard for its impact energy, a factor of speed and since the 308 at 165 grains has good speed but more surface area, it causes the bullet to expand, the less expensive factory ammo does a good job on deer. The 284 on a 140 grain will do about the same in a 7mm-08 and a 270 should work well with 130 grain corelokt at a longer range and I see no reason that it would not do the same as the others at 150 grains if the range was about the same as found by the 180 grain 308 at medium close range or a 165 grain and long range.

It also should be known the tough bullets, great for Elk, might not expand on a deer and sometimes one needs to a softer bullet to expand properly on these animals.

O think one does hedge their bets when using a 308 with a 165 grain pill for deer and if you have a 280 or the 7mm-08 then 140 to 150 grains are going to work very similar. The 270 is great as a long range deer gun and can take an Elk with 150 grain Nosler partitions, but does its best work on deer close up with a softer bullets. I found the Sierra Gameking, Nosler Balistic Tip 130 grain, the Hornedy 140 grain spire point and the factory Remington corelokt to be both super deer rounds.

My picks 308 165 grain as the all purpose deer round
The 270 130 grain gameking as the best long range deer round. Closer shooting, try a 150 grain Nosler ballistic tip. Now that is sound advise!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
I prefer the 243 win cartridge myself, but dont carry it much anymore as I have loaned it to the children, and they kill deer every year with it, at 50 or 350 yds. But if I had to pick one caliber it would have to be the 30-06 for which all other calibers are measured, it can be loaded down for varmints or loaded up for Elk, sure there are better for smaller and better for bigger but we are talking about 1 gun here. Either the 30-06 or 308. Everybody carries multiple selection in ammo or brass and bullet choice is abundant. But after its all said and done, just like the woman you choose, you better like her, because she's still there in the morning.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,768 Posts
wyonative said:
The perfect deer bullet is the one that contains sufficient mass, is properly constructed to hold together upon hitting the relatively fragile shoulder bone of a deer, traveling at a velocity to achieve penetration past the opposite lung, and exit the animal. This question is like asking, "What is the perfect woman?" There are an almost infinite number of opinions about that. The most important aspect of forming an opinion (about bullets or women) is having the experience with as many as possible. I'm still (at 48) in the learning stages of both topics and and need more trials to make an educated recommendation, but Partitions and blonds have worked so far.
The most perfect woman was Liz Taylor at 25 years old, hubba,hubba

The best deer cartridge and the one I still compare all my others to still is the 270 Win.
I bet O'Conner would agree on the cartridge and the woman!
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top