I am trying to decide what I want to get. I want to start practicing to extend my range for whitetail hunting. 99% of my shots will be under 400 yds, but I would like the cartridge to be capable of a 500 yd clean kill if I put in the range time to do so.
I do not handload right now, I wont be able too for a couple more years so I am stuck with factory loads right now, so I want to choose a caliber is has alot of factory choices.
I am looking at .270 Win, 30/06, and .308 Win.
For under 500 yds, would the .308 have the power to cleanly kill large whitetails? Our mature bucks run 175-200 normally, but a 250lb deer is not that strange. Will the .270 or 30/06 do anything under 500 yds that the .308 wont do?
I am looking at .270 Win, 30/06, and .308 Win. Will the .270 or 30/06 do anything under 500 yds that the .308 wont do?
All 3 will serve you well and equally at 600 yards and under. Take your pick. I have all 3. I have loads for all 3 that I'd shoot any deer on the planet at 500 yards. Go find some factory Hornady ammo with the SST bullet or Remington with Accutip, or you could use any factory ammo with Btips or Accubonds. Lots of good choices in all 3 calibers.
I didn't see where you mentioned whether or not the rifle will also be factory or is it custom/semi-custom built?
for me i see, the more important question is not caliber. it is, if the choosen rifle has the accuracy the shoot that distance. a rem r-5, a remington sendero. a vanguard moa, weatherby accumark a tikka varmint. remington 700 vs , vssf.
The US Army considers the .308Win a 800 meter effective weapon(the Marines go a little further on distance). But I'm thinking their intended game animal is a little different then a whitetail....
I've use a Savage 10fp with a 20" tube on whitetails out to 550yards. That whitetail was only in the 150lb class(we don't have gaint deer here in Arkansas). The Berger hunting 175gr went completely through with a good sized exit hole, so some expansion must have happened(never found any projectile in the animal). White staggered about 20 feet from where he was standing and laid down.
Good luck with your choice.
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I'd go with the 270 and use 130 grain bullets. Better yet would be a .280 Remington, or a 30-06. A good rule of the thumb for deer is that you want 1000 ft. lb. of energy on impact ( I think it should be 1200 ft.lb.). I don't see a lot of difference in power between a 165 grain 30 caliber and a 100 grain 25-06, and all are pretty much done at 450 yards when it comes to the 1000ftlb. minimum. Of course if you used a .338-06 with a Speer 225 grain bullet at 2600 fps you'd be good for 650 yards or maybe more, and you'd also have a good elk gun to boot!