Best Rifle for all Deer hunting

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Bullsbar, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. bilmcc

    bilmcc AH Enthusiast

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    Get a 358 Winchester and you will be ready for black bear, too.
     

  2. Savage Hunter

    Savage Hunter AH Fanatic

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    when it comes to a new rifle......... "want" is translated to "need".
     
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  3. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    Anything that has been around 50 or a 100 years and still has a strong mainstream following is obviously up to the job. Adequate is adequate.

    Easy ammo availability has value. Call up a handful of gas stations in the most risky-dink towns you can find and see what ammo they have on the shelf. I might just love a 280 Ross, but I can buy 308 ammo in Bob's Beer 'n Bait all day long. (for the record, I don't shoot either, I shoot a 30-06 because where and when I grew up, grown men shot a 30-06.)
     
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  4. lcq

    lcq AH Elite

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    that is about as sound and practical analysis as I've seen so far
     
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  5. ufg8r93

    ufg8r93 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I have a 243, a 7-08, a 308, and a 338 Fed. I love the 7-08 for deer - out of a 20" TC Encore barrel that shoots my 8208/SST handloads into a ragged hole at 100. Slightly above 2700 FPS as I recall. When I'm hunting with my sons, the 7-08 is always one of the first two guns chosen. Could easily dial it up with TTSXs, AFrames, or GMXs for Africa. I'd also own a 260, but I chose a 6.5x55 instead.

    Like someone else said, "want" and "need" are different things.

    For all-around single deer rifle, I'd agree with 270 Win, 30-06, 308, or 300 WM. Can certainly find that ammo just about everywhere. My first choice would be 308 due to low recoil, admirable ballistics, and ammo cost/availability.

    I have a 270 WSM and to be honest, I wish I'd purchased a 270 Win and wasn't so hell-bent on a short-action bolt gun.
     
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  6. Savage Hunter

    Savage Hunter AH Fanatic

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    I am glad I bought by 300wsm, but my son-in-law got a 270 wsm and I wish he had asked me first.
    You can get all sorts of ammo for mine, but his is a different story.
     
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  7. colorado

    colorado AH Fanatic

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    I gave my two sons my BDL (RH) and my father-inlaws (LH) BDLs in 270. Mine was purchased in the late 60s. Both shoot nickel sized groups with 150g Partitions to this day. I bought myself a used Mark V in 270 Weatherby. It shoots lights out but I just can't find myself wanting to take the gun hunting. I like the 270 Win better too. So I elk hunt with my 500 Jeffery. It works :)
     
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  8. James Cook

    James Cook AH Veteran

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    me neither
     

  9. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I shot everything from springbuck to eland with a 300 ruger compact mag. I hand loaded 180gr. nosler partitions to a little over 2800fps in 20in, barrel.
     
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  10. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    For discussion's sake I'd like to split hairs with you. The 358 Norma Mag is a fantastic caliber, so is the 35 Whelen. There is no doubt that the 358's velocities are about 75 fps faster than the Whelen's for almost any given bullet weight. The fly in the ointment is that it takes an additional 10 grains of powder to do so. Expressed another way the Whelen's velocity is 97.3% of the 358's with 15.6 % less powder. This info was taken from Nosler's loading data based on a 225 Gr. bullet and 4895 powder. That combination is the only one with common components. IMHO the reduction in recoil is worth the loss in velocity. Just recently I was looking at purchasing a 358 Norma Mag off gunbroker.com, but considering that I already own two Whelens decided that other than getting a new rifle, there was no point in doing so. But as the saying goes, "that's why they have horse races."
     
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  11. Dwight Beagle

    Dwight Beagle AH Enthusiast

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    What is the best wine to pair with steak?
     
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  12. Guy.G

    Guy.G AH Member

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    I have taken the game in your example with a model 70 35 whelen with good results, but I believe a 8x68 is worth serious consideration.
     
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  13. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    IMO either the 270 or 270 wsm or a 300wsm. You can cover all bases in NA with these calibers. Should you have to reach out and touch em the extra velocity will surely help. There's really no "right" answer here. Personally I ve taken more game with my old 270 than anything I own.
     
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  14. bilmcc

    bilmcc AH Enthusiast

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    Another vote here for the 270. Works in NA. Works in Africa.
     
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  15. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    @Bullsbar , I have shot up to a Tsessebe with a 22-250, I have also used .243, .223, and .338WM for the larger antelopes (and a .375HH for a Springbok), so I would say that the .308 would be adequate.

    In your case I would give more consideration to ammunition availability/price, and wether you find a firearm which fits you and has a decent price, more than its caliber. If you place your bullet correctly, they will go down.

    Good luck with your search, and welcome to AH !
     
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  16. Longwalker

    Longwalker AH Enthusiast

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    I'd vote for .308. I have used the .308 more than any other cartridge on our Canadian game, up to moose in size, and have never found it lacking anything. As for this quote - "a single reason NOT to recommend the 30-06 as the perfect non-dangerous game cartridge. It has it all: historical appeal, versatility, killing power, mild recoil, velocity (especially with handloads) and widespread availability."
    I would never say the 30-06 is not a good choice, it's just that the .308 has all the attributes above, except "historical appeal" which is just another way of saying cultural bias for our friends in the USA. The .308 has even lower recoil and is therefore slightly easier to shoot for a beginner, is available in a wider variety of rifles, and enjoys just as much "widespread in availability" - maybe more.
     

  17. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    What kind of steak? Lol!!!
     

  18. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I own & love both..... the .308 typically stays under the 180 gr. And that's on the very high high side! The 06 is very productive above & below 180.....
     
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  19. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim AH Elite

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    If you've not shot a lot, or unless you plan on doing a lot of shooting before you go hunting, magnum cartridges are probably not for you.

    With that out of the way, just about anything in the 30 cal or 284 caliber family will do nicely, and without any punishing recoil (for new folks, this is a thing).
    so, in no particular order...
    30-06
    .308 Winchester
    7mm-08
    280 Remington
    7x57IS mauser.

    All of them will get you comfortably out to 300 yards on most game, but make sure you are using quality ammo - Barnes and Nosler are great. I like Hornady myself, but quality ammo is very easy to obtain for all of them, and the price won't break your wallet, either.

    As @Art Lambart II says, the 35 Whelen is also an excellent choice. There are several other 35 caliber cartridges, but I would avoid them unless you want one for maybe your 4th or 5th rifle into a collection of rifles.

    Also, you don't need to spend a fortune on the rifle, either. There are lots of fine-shooting rifles chambered in those cartridges that cost less than 1000 USD, even less than 700 USD. Put a good scope on your rifle - quality scopes can also be had for $500.

    Above all, practice before you go. A lot. 20 rounds is not a lot of practice. At the end of the day, a rifle is simply a tool. YOU are the weapon. You could spend your life's savings on a really high end rifle, and top it off with Zeiss or Swarovski optics, but if you don't practice, you'll miss your target, or worse, wound it and have it run off and die in misery.
     
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  20. David Middleton

    David Middleton AH Senior Member

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    I recommend since you are going to Africa you have an opportunity to get a new gun past the wife! Most of the PH carry 375HH good bet.
     

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