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help needed picking a gun to take deer hunting

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Old 08-25-2013, 10:01 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 18
help needed picking a gun to take deer hunting

So I have a 300 ICL ( weatherby improved ) loaded with 165 barnes x, 7mm rem mag loaded with 160 barnes x and finally a 6mm rem with 100 speer spfb, my dilemma is which round to use, shot seem to be with in 400 yard shooting up hill, on avg size mule deer, im not worried about the mags blowing the deer in half with the barnes bullets. just trying not to punish myself with recoil if i dont have to. the 7 mag is the heaviest and kicks the hardest, the 300 is the lightest but with the muzzle break its the longest by 4 inches, the 6mm is manageable with recoil but with the flat base its not going to carry the best past 300 yards. i can shoot the 300 and 6mm the best, the 300 shoots alot tighter than the 6mm, i know im loaded for elk with the mags but should that suffice for deer without being too overkill?
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:40 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Townsend, Montana.
Posts: 7,822
Re: help needed picking a gun to take deer hunting

Take the rifle you shoot the best (300) don't worry about damage just place the bullet in the ribs and all will be great. No such thing as overkill in my world, just rifles that fall short for some jobs.

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Old 08-26-2013, 06:49 PM
MHO MHO is offline
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Colorado Springs
Posts: 581
Re: help needed picking a gun to take deer hunting

I agree. If the 300 is what you shoot the best, then that is your answer. Plus you wont mind or ever feel the recoil when that big buck hits the ground.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:05 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Bend, OR
Posts: 3
Re: help needed picking a gun to take deer hunting

This is an age old issue. Is there a perfect bullet, caliber, powder or rifle? The answer is yes. The perfect combination is... The one that you shoot the most comfortably. If you are not comfortable with it, you wont shoot well. The rifle that I am most comfortable with and can get 2 in groups at 200yrds is not a good choice for a friend of mine that can not hit the 2ft piece of paper at 100 yrds with it. My rifle fits me and doesnt fit him. If you are more comfortable shooting the 300, then I would go with that. As one of the other guys stated, when you drop a deer, you wont feel a thing. Adrenaline takes over at that point. My personal favorite is my Savage 110 in .30-06. Is it the perfect rifle? Nope, but it works for me. I can use 165gr for deer and 180gr for elk. I have it sighted in at 200yds and can hit a 6 in group with both for either deer or elk. I am not going to driving tacks while hunting. I just want to get close because I know I will be ampted up.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:55 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 3,254
Re: help needed picking a gun to take deer hunting

No such thing as overkill. Take the 300 and be done.
I'm not gonna shoot here. I'm gonna shoot waaaaaaaay over there!
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:05 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maple Valley, Washington
Posts: 456
Re: help needed picking a gun to take deer hunting

There are a lot of reasons a guy might have for picking one rifle over another. In my case, I would choose the 6mm Rem for deer. In my opinion it is the perfect deer gun Ė but of course for my reasons. I was raised on venison and donít like wasting it and the 6mm makes them just dead enough. The bullet usually stops on the opposite rib. I have a Douglas barreled Sako 6mm Rem and Iíve shot the majority of a couple of dozen deer including mulies, whitetail and blacktail with that rifle using the 100 grain Sierra flat base or later the SPBT which has a decent BC.

I switched to the 6mm after my 30-06 hammered the front half of a little buck that I hit a bit too far forward. A friend of mine told me recently that he literally cut a deer in half with his 300 RUM and some factory loaded ammo with soft bullets. The fact that there was ďa lotĒ of meat loss did not seem to bother him all that much. I have no problem with a guy using whatever he likes for whatever reason he might have. As I said, my reason for my choice is I like them just dead enough. They usually stumble for 20 yards or so and go down. I canít think of any that went further. Said another way, I like to AVOID cutting them in half but Iím not a purist. The season before last I shot a whitetail over in Montana with my 338 RUM just to see what kind of meat damage I got with Barnes TTSXs. In thinking about how those bullets work, I expected the meat damage to be low and as it turns out, I was right. So I might take the 338 after deer too Ė but not without the Barnes bullets. Also when you start personally seeing grizzly in your hunting territory, the 338 takes on a new appeal.

I have switched over to the TTSXs in the 6mm Rem. Iím curious to see if it is enough gun using these bullets which will no doubt pass clear through meaning that some of the kinetic energy will not end up in the deer. That bullet is running 3,400 fps at the muzzle and groups around an inch at 200 yards so I couldnít resist loading up a batch. I will however switch back to the Sierras if deer go more than 20 yards.
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Old 09-03-2013, 07:45 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Posts: 151
Re: help needed picking a gun to take deer hunting

take the gun you are most comfortable and confident with. for me it would be the 6mm as im not big on noise and recoil. but if you can shoot the .300 the best go for it. confidence in your shooting is very important especially with uphill/down hill or angled shots.
Good luck
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