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The real caliber choice answer

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:55 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: michigan
Posts: 37
The real caliber choice answer

We all have our favorite but that isn't the question.
I think it has to start with recoil. A 6mm dust plume does the same damage as a 30 cal.(((what can you shoot well and- enjoy shooting -)))......

Impact energy (with the rite bullet) Which weight and impact speed will do the job. Example: for deer .243 win. 300 yrds. .270 win. 500yrds.MAX. aim for 1200 ft lbs at impact for a little comfort zone.

And i think the most ignored thing is bullet speed and drop. Mostly because it starts making alot of favorite calibers look a little weak. Distance guessing on the fly in hunting conditions accounts for more misses than buck fever i think.

Common calibers. Dont get fancy unless it will do you some good. $$ the more practicing the better.

Any help with my answer will be appreciated
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:59 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 125
Re: The real caliber choice answer

There are laserrangefinders to measure the distance to the target, so very flat shooting catridges aren't necessary anymore, to compensate for flawed guesswork.
Wind drift is an issue, so look for a caliber which allows for high bc hunting bullets, get a gun with a rifling twist for long bullets.
Recoil is a non-issue with a good muzzle brake while hunting.
(Get electronic ear muffs.)
Look for the bullet manufacturer's suggestions of minimum impact velocity and choose a case (volume+max pressure) according to your preffered bullets' BCs and max range.
More power did never hurt the chances to kill quickly.

Be reasonable, .50BMG or .378 Weatherby might sound nice, but do you really need those? Do you have the chance to practice often enough on ranges past 600 yards, to reliably hit an animal's boilerroom at extended distances?

Buy a .223 Rem and a .22lr for Training.

Last edited by Beng; 09-27-2012 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:17 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: S.E. Michigan
Posts: 3,448
Re: The real caliber choice answer

I agree with the 223... (Poet and didn't know it.....)

Having said that, I really like shooting my 338. It's not bad cost per round wise if you reload. The muzzle brake takes all the agony out of the recoil (recoils like a 270). Shoots flat as far as you can shoot in Michigan....

What could be better...

My 223 of course. It's real cheap to shoot with handloads, very accurate and no need of worrying about rebarreling anytime soon.
'It's not about me, it's about we'..........
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:32 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thunder Basin, WY
Posts: 1,788
Re: The real caliber choice answer

First off, I congratulate you on your "limitations" for a choice.
Everybody has favorites and most wont admit that recoil is a consideration. When it comes to how much and how often a person practices LR shooting and how quickly they're apt to get proficient at it, recoil and muzzle blast has a huge affect In my experience.

Can you give us a few more criteria??

What ranges (distances we are likely to need to shoot)??
Nobody on this planet needs to shoot a deer at beyond 700-800 yds. If they do, they need to become a better hunter or hunt a different area! Not touting ethics here, but this is about choices, which are usually based on needs or wants. Need or want is the factor......just curious which it is?

What weight rifle are you willing to consider? Weight has a huge affect on recoil impulse and our ability to get closer to the deer without wearing ourself out first.

Is this to be a dedicated LR only gun? If so, modern muzzle breaks greatly reduce recoil and increase our options, but they absolutely require hearing protection IMO. On the other hand, we can often get by without protection with non-breaked rifles in "all around" hunting situations. Are you willing to make this gun a dedicated LR only gun, and know for sure that you'll have plenty of time to put in/on hearing protection for any and every shot??

If your answer is yes, .......then our options just opened up alot, but not necessarily necessary. It's still about precision and accuracy.

Assuming deer size game, 1200 ft.lbs is more than needed if we can gaurantee a broadside lung hit with an expanding bullet, 800 ft.lbs with the proper bullet will give compete pass throughs, a decent exit wound and usually a blood trail too. Which circles right back around to your original statement.......a miss is a miss no matter how big the bullet. A leg or gut wound is still a miserable shot no matter how much energy the damn thing is transfering. Put the bullet in the boiler and he's going down within 100yds a huge% of the time, so long as the bullet does what it's supposed to do!! Nearly 30 yrs of guiding deer and antelope hunters has shown me this time and time again. Results simply dont lie.

It's all about the "high percentage shot" as Shawn Carlock describes it in his LR shooting videos. IMO, knowing what a high percentage shot is, only comes with practice and the more often we practice; the more accurate we can shoot..........That my friend is what increases the distance capabilities of our rifles. It's got little to do with the biggest badest magnum on the mountain. Big is only important if we can shoot it well. Once we reach the limit of the guns' , ammos' or our own precision and accuracy.......we're done anyway!! Doesn't matter how deep such and such bullet penetrates the side of the hill. If we can't put the bullet within a few inches of where we're aiming, it's not a high percentage shot on deer size game.

Sorry to rant, your post just inspired a little spark. LOL
If you give a little more criteria, I'd bet you'll get alot of responses.
Aim small = Miss small

Last edited by SBruce; 09-28-2012 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:05 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 119
Re: The real caliber choice answer

Originally Posted by Beng View Post
There are laserrangefinders to measure the distance to the target, so very flat shooting catridges aren't necessary anymore, to compensate for flawed guesswork.

Recoil is a non-issue with a good muzzle brake while hunting.
(Get electronic ear muffs.)

Buy a .223 Rem and a .22lr for Training.
I always muzzle brake my gun, even for 280 Rem Imp. I also use some kind of shoulder pad, PAST. I don't read about shoulder pad any more and wonder why.
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Old 09-28-2012, 07:23 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: N. Utah
Posts: 178
Re: The real caliber choice answer

I can't speak from experience in the LR part of this because im new to the 500+ game but I have seen plenty of game taken under the 400 yard mark and i agree with bruce 100% on deer sized game..... on an elk however I want alot of energy and a big bad bullet. I have seen a number of cow elk shot with a 243 and killed with 1-2 shots in the pump station, that being said I have also seen a handful of bulls take a barrage of good expanding bullets to the lungs and keep standing like they weren't even hit. I watched a friend shoot his bull 5 times with a 7mm 2 shots in the shoulder 3 in the lungs and we still had to track it a very long ways when we gutted it I was in shock that it was able to go as far as it did with both lungs totally destroyed.
not trying to ramble on but I mainly hunt elk and that's why I chose a heavy 30cal with a muzzle break to hunt with. If I were going to only hunt deer I would go with a 6.5 or 270
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:09 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 125
Re: The real caliber choice answer

I thought rubberpadding at the backend of the stock was standard?
I haven't seen a hunting rifle without it yet and thus I didn't consider mentioning it.

I'm european though and it might be different in the US.
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