Best Rifle for all Deer hunting

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

  1. ZG47

    ZG47 AH Enthusiast

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    I agree that the 7mm-08 is similar in performance to the 7x57 but if you run it up to true, i.e. CIP pressures, you tend to have pressure-related issues, some of these being case-dependent. During the 14 years that I ran a club range complex, the centrefire chamberings most commonly related to extraction problems were, in descending order;
    .223 Remington, .243 Winchester, 7mm-08 Remington and .308 Winchester.
    This was due to a combination of excessively straight cases and overly enthusiastic load development.

    The 7mm-08 does work very well, if:
    (a) you are sensible about your load development targets;
    (b) you buy a rifle with guaranteed feeding reliability for .308 Winchester type cases, such as Sako, Steyr Mannlicher, etc;
    OR
    (c) you purchase a rifle that can be timed (tuned for reliable feed) and engage a genuine gunsmith to perform that task.
     

  2. BigKnuckle

    BigKnuckle New Member

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    Getting up in the elk/Kudu/eland range I'd prefer a .300 win mag or wsm. Mostly because we don't always get the perfect shot and I'd like to have a little extra power for those times on larger game. However 30-06 has many positives, such as ammo availability and cost.
    I recently discovered the 26 Nosler and find it interesting for anything smaller than elk. I'd prefer more than 130 grains for anything that size.
     

  3. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Well, I can't help the overly-enthusiastic reloader. Some cartridges can be goosed up a bit (6.5x55 SE comes to mind), some can't. But the simple fact is that the 7mm Rem Mag doesn't outperform the 7mm-08 by such a wide margin at under 300 yards that for most people, the magnum just isn't worth the extra baggage.

    I've got nothing against them, but they just have no real utility for me in the places that I regularly hunt. A lot of places that I hunt, my 45-70 loaded with 425 gr hard-cast lead give me more distance than I frequently need.
     
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  4. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Fanatic

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    Shootist... not to detract from your comments, as a matter of interest, are you aware that 90% plus of Elephant 'culled' were shot with a 7.62 ( .308) using military ball ammo? Frontal brain shots on Big Cows and Side brain on Bulls.
    The .303 and .308 I believe are underestimated.
    I've sure done a lot of killing with a .308
    My only other thought here is that to use a .308 or .3006 on Eland would be illegal on a paid safari in Zim.
    Thus as a client coming to hunt I'd look to a .338 or straight shooting .300 WM just in case that nice Eland bull presented itself!! As mentioned above a .375 H&H loaded with 200gr or 250gr is also a very nice plains game rifle
     
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  5. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    I'm in the same place...

    I own a 7 mag...

    But it really does come out of the safe much..

    Most places I deer hunt I'm lucky if I see a 200 yard opportunity, and rarely do I need to shoot past 100 to be honest...

    My short barreled .308 (18") is about perfect for mulies and white tail where I typical chase deer.. short, light weight, and plenty "flat" shooting, and plenty of ballistic capability for those distances..
     
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  6. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    On another thread, I said I wanted a 7-08 but as I already have a .243 and a .308 I didn't need one. Now you're making me want one more! I have a Tikka T3 in 7mm Rem Mag that my aging shoulder doesn't appreciate so much anymore, even though I love the rifle and always liked the caliber. I may have to consider trading it for it's little brother!
     
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  7. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Excellent! Just keep in mind that if you're reloading, as another poster already mentioned, don't get enthusiastic with experimenting on powder charges. An extra 50-100 fps of velocity isn't worth the downside of over-pressuring your rifle, especially on the long-for-caliber 160 and 175 gr bullets that are already incredibly stable. A 280 Remington would also be a good choice, being another .284 caliber rifle like 7mm-08 and 7mm Rem Mag. 280 Rem is a necked-down 30-06 like the 7mm-08 is a necked down 308.

    The only thing I'd add, and as much as I love my T3 in 6.5x55 SE, Tikka uses the same long action for all of their rifles, so the shortness of that 51mm case is negated in that rifle.

    More to consider: if you want a light-weight, flat-shooting, non-magnum, have a look at 260 Rem or 6.5 Creedmoor. The 260 is also a necked-down 308. If you reload, you might even consider the 6.5x55 SE that I got.
     

  8. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    ... and then the best scope ... and the best knife ... and the best off-road truck ... and the best wife ... damn, I was on a run there!
     
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  9. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    If you review the last six pages one cartridge that comes up time and again is the 7x57 Mauser. The 7x57 Mauser is even more popular in Africa and ammunition is readily available and the choice of bullet selections is excellent. In short, the 7x57 will efficiently kill any deer sized animal in Africa. If you hand load the choices are outstanding. The 7x57 is a cartridge that is easy to shoot, excellent range and plenty of knock down power. You simply can't go wrong.
     

  10. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    Thanks for the good info! I'm not a reloaded, so that's not an issue. The 260 Rem and especially the 6.5 Creedmore are really interesting but factory ammo is tough to come by in my neck of the woods. It's generally easy to find 7-08 Win though.

    I didn't realize that the T3 didn't come in a short action. Just assumed I guess. That certainly wouldn't be a deal breaker for me though as I love that Tikka. Just looking to reduce the recoil for my sore shoulder. Don't know why, but last fall when I shot my Julie from the sitting position with my 7 mag, my back started to cramp up after the shot. Don't know why, hopefully just a one-time thing.

    And here I thought I was all set for rifles for awhile! Lol.
     

  11. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Obi Wan Kenobi New Member

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    Honestly I use a .325 wsm for all African plains game and Ive had ALL one shot 1 kills with it. Personally I think it may be "too much" gun. I shoot Winchester Accubonds 200 grain. The 325 wsm is the answer for whats between the 300 win mag and 338.

    That being said my PH uses a 308 and has killed almost every plains game animal with it. In fact I killed my Gemsbuck with his 308 in 2014 it was a 280 yard shot.

    I hate to sound boring but a .270 with 150 grain bullets up to a 300 win mag will kill any "deer" or antelope plains game animal. The "toughest" plains game animal I've seen shot in Africa is a Zebra. Anything you can shoot comfortably between a .270 and 300 you'll be fine. To get really boring. Take a 30.06 180 grain partitions, accubonds or swift a frames and you can kill any deer type game.
     
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  12. sgt_zim

    sgt_zim BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Well, for about $400-500 US, you could get set up with reloading. The choices for .264 caliber bullets is mind-boggling. Lots of folks make 140 gr bullets. Nosler makes a long range partition in 142 grains, and Hornady has an ELD-X in 143 grains. At 2700-2800 fps and a zero at 225 yds, with the Nosler and Hornady, there's almost no elevation adjustment out to 300 yards. At 150 yds, you're about +2.5", and at 300 yards, you're at about -6".

    I know a guy in BC that hunts Shiras moose with a .264 SAUM. It's a bit hotter than a 260 or 6.5 CM, but it's still the same bullet.

    I think the 7mm-08 is an excellent choice. I got one (a Savage) for my son about 10 or 12 years ago. There's almost nothing in the .284 and .264 class that I don't like. Either would give you what you're looking for (without the thump of your 7mm Rem Mag). If you can get your hands on 7x57 ammo, that's also a terrific choice. I'd love one, but finding a lefty is a challenge.
     
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  13. David Johnston

    David Johnston AH Senior Member

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    I have used 30-06 on all plains game with no problem - shot placement is obviously key.
     

  14. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Enthusiast

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    If you want to keep the rifle and sst & corelokt bullets meet your needs, there are factory reduced 7mag loads available. 7mm08 ammo is one of the priciest standard cartridges in the stores so these reduced loads are in the same price point.
     
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  15. fiocchi

    fiocchi AH Veteran

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    easiest question ever! 7x57 or 30-06, either of them in a pre war oberndorf Mauser or 1909 DWM. There's literally nothing more to it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2017

  16. Ray B

    Ray B AH Elite

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    Before you buy-into some of the above advice you might want to review their vested interests and see what the posters are selling
     

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