Hi I would like to get started in long range shooting of deer (400-500 yd), well thats long for me. I am a little stuck on which round to use as I am very recoil shy. I used to have a 7mm08 Ruger ultra light for close work and hated it. At the moment I am using a 22-250 for varments and that is fine. I was thinking of either 6mm like 243 or 6.5mm.
What do you suggest?
Welcome to LRH.
I don't know what calibers are popular in N Zealand, or what ammo you have readily availible, but a 25-06 shooting a Barnes TSX would meet your distance critiria easily. A 25-06 is a great caliber. There are numerous other calibers that fit the bill,but you might have to go to a slightly heavier rifle than an ultralight if you didn't like the recoil of a 7mm-08.
You really want to be thinking a bit further down the track. You will find shooting deer at 400 -500 yards quite easy and will pretty soon be wanting to stretch that to 600 - 800 yards. My advic is to go for a calibre that will reach out to 600 - 800 yards. Practice with it at 400 -500 yards and then start extending your range.
I recently re-barreled my 30/06 to 7mm rem mag, I couldn't be happier. Most of the game I have shot has been in the 300 -400 yard range, all have been one shot kills. DRT. But the 7mm mag means I can stretch the range out when I need to, it has taken a bull tahr at 630 yds and a fallow at 638 yds.
I would definetly recommend the 7mm mag, especially if you are in the South Island, ammo is common, recoil is not much more than 308/ 3006 and the BC of 7mm bullets is excellent.
it's a personal choice, but I'm not a big fan of 6mm and deer sized game at over 300 yards. I'd suggest a 25 cal-7mm range. However a well placed 243 round still kills game. I read here one place that rugers were really highly valued... as garden stakes lol! just kidding ;)
there will be a big difference in recoil when you add weight. some of my choices would include 25-06, 257 roberts, 6.5x55, 260, 270, 7-08. You may want to just take a look at a recoil calculator for a while and compare different calibers in various rifle weights to see what difference you will have. A good limbsaver or similar recoil pad is good too as is a muzzle brake. but brakes are LOUD!
I used to re-load but now I "hand-load".
-- Well, at least I try --
Thanks all, I had a 6.5x55 and it was great the main problem was it was a m96. I sold that for the ruger which was a mistake I think the main problem was the light weight and short barrel. I will look into a muzzle brake as well.
So no I am thinking 6.5x55, 260, or 25-06 with a heavy target barrel with muzzel brake, nice trigger etc.
In my opinion, the .243 is fine for deer at 400-500 yards or even a little further and recoil is pretty low especially in a typically heavier long range setup. A 6x47 lapua would be real nice or the stock .243 win. Unless you want to use a brake to tame the recoil on the larger cals.
Not to start anything here about minimum requirements to kill stuff but you might be surprised how well your 22-250 can work on deer. I have seen and have taken part in numerous one shot and drop deer kills with 22-250 and 220 swift AI's.