Newbe needs help selecting caliber

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by winaa, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. winaa

    winaa New Member

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    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?
     
  2. trueblue

    trueblue Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

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    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.

    Stu.
     
  4. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    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!
     
  5. winaa

    winaa New Member

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    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.
     
  6. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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  7. Kevin

    Kevin Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. johnnyk

    johnnyk Well-Known Member

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    winaa,
    All good suggestions for ya. I know what you mean about that Ruger UltraLight. I bought my youngest son one chambered in .260 and I've never had or seen a rifle kick and beller so much! Weren't accurate for crap, factory or handloads. Both he and I hated it. I traded it for a Rem 700 LSS Mtn Rifle in .260 and what a lovely little rifle that is.
    I've always wanted a 6BR for close work on deer. The ones that I have seen are amazingly accurate. You'd probably have to get a fast twist barrel (1-8") and shoot 100+ gn bullets to get the needed thump out to 500yds. Savage has their Model 12 Long Range Precision Varminter in this calibler and is also available in .22-250 with a fast twist(1-9"). This would let you stabilize the 75gn Swift Scirocco. That bullet was made for deer sized game.
    For 500yds and less you can stay below the 7mm's and not have problems as long as you did your part and used the right bullets. I'd try to get a rifle with a varmint profile barrel to keep recoil down. JohnnyK.
     
  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    On the 243...

    My first rifle was a 243... I love the cartridge. The first deer I ever shot was with that rifle, a Rem BDL. I was going for a head shot on a young buck directly below me form my tree stand. Ididn't compensate for the line of site and bore difference and shot it through the jaw and neck. I tracked it and another guy joined the track and gut shot it with a 218 Bee. The deer ran off again and we found it again, and I put one through the boiler room at 10 yds. The deer ran off again into a residential neighborhood and was lost.

    The 243 can kill, but not my first choice for anything bigger than a coyote. For 100+ lb deer, my min cal would be a .277 with a good performing bullet. Lesser cals will do the job, but no guarantees.

    Just my $.02

    -MR
     
  10. Alfred Crouch

    Alfred Crouch Well-Known Member

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    I used to have what I now call a recoil fobia ...... i.e. always concentrating on recoil of various guns. I have learned you can adjust to reasonable amounts of recoil. You have to shoot a good bit and while doing it start with light loads or a smaller caliber and work your way up to the heavier loads and larger guns. You must make sure the gun fits you, get a little heavier gun, use a shoulder pad while practicing, use good hearing protection to eleminate the noise, install a good recoil pad on your gun and practice a lot. The more you practice the better. Noise intimidates most people and lighter guns just kick more ( I do not want any rifle that weighs less than 7.5 pounds and I prefer 7.75 to 8.75 depending on the caliber). The design on some guns just lend them to greater recoil. A good example is a 30-30 lever action. They just kick like the devil for the limited performance they produce. A bolt action 243 doesn't kick as much as a 30-30 lever acton and it produces more foot pounds of energy, is flatter shooting and has much longer range. You can greatly improve your recoil sensitivity if you work at it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2009
  11. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Getting the snot beat out of yourself is no way to go. I shot a Ruger ultra light in a 243 and it was the most worthless, kicking rifle I have ever witnessed.
    The 243 is real nice in a better rifle, it seems the 25's don't have the best BC bullets, I'm trying to get out there with a 250AI and the bullets seem to hold things up a bit. I got a 270WSM this year and it recoils nice its running 12 lbs, it had some punch but I put it in a B&C Medalist and it completelly changed the recoil. The stock design has alot to do with the felt recoil I learned.
     
  12. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Hands down, 260 remington. Use a short action put a 24-25" number 6 contour barrel on that puppy. Stock it with anything other than a fat grip extra wide for-end. You will have one sweet little long range deer slayer. No need for a brake just get a good pad. Launch 140 grain bullets, be happy.
     
  13. winaa

    winaa New Member

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    good stuff in here alright, pretty much put the recoil down to the rifle.
    Think I will get a 260Rem with a varmit barrel.
    In the mean time I will use my 22-250 as much as possible with lots of range shooting.
     
  14. Alfred Crouch

    Alfred Crouch Well-Known Member

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    I think you have the right idea. NOW ... good luck finding a 260. I am having one built. The gunsmith says it should be finished this week. The factories have dropped them from their listings and I really don't understand why. They seem to have a good following. I am anxious to get mine...... like a little kid waiting for the first red wagon at Christmas......EXCITED!!