Which Caliber for deer? .224 - .264

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Spino, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. Spino

    Spino Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    195
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    I have read comments from other forums about the use of .224 calibers for whitetail deer. Some like the caliber & some dont. I'm undecided on which caliber to pick. I think the upper end would be the .260 ... This decision is for my daughter who is now 6, but would like to get her into hunting with us in the near future. I have read about using the small 22 with the barnes X 53gr bullets to the 129-140 gr. 260 remington. Battling decisions like: What about bullet placement - will I have picked out enough gun for her? Will there be too much recoil? Is the gun going to be too heavy? I reload so bullet choice can be expanded with caliber. Has anyone experienced what I'm up against? Also what's the best age to start a girl hunting? My daughter is not grossed out with blood and guts when I come home with a deer.

    Also, If there is a previous discussion in this forum that anybody knows of could you let me know? I would like to read what has already taken place. I didn't know what subject to search for....
     
  2. tylercleary

    tylercleary Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Spino,
    I am in the same boat and have thought about this quite a bit and I've concluded that a Thompson may be the best choice: You can modify a stock easily enough to fit her, add spacers as she grows, and change barrels to a larger caliber as she gets older.

    My caliber choice will be 223. It's just enough for light bodied deer as well as varmints and yet not enough recoil to scare 'em away from shooting.

    (leagal age here is 12 yrs old for deer).

    good luck with your selection.


    TAC
     

  3. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,854
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    I'm currently building my boys gun which he'll recieve and start to shoot next year for his birthday (3) the action is a TC Encore , and the first barrel will be a light conture 16" 22lr , as he gets older his his first deer caliber will be a 250 Ackley which offers a little more bullet weight than a 243 and bit more punch and with less recoil.

    The 243 is a great deer caliber loaded with a quality 80 gr bullet even marginal hits that kids often make will be fatal and more often that not offer a better blood trail than any 22 cal.
    I have shot a several deer with a 22-250Ai and have never lost one but I always waited for a good broad side shot and the only bullet I've had exit was a 60gr Nosler partition and even that diden't leave to much blood.

    so my vote goes to the 243 , the recoil will be very low and the power will be a big help with a un experianced shooter at the trigger
     
  4. Wild_Bill

    Wild_Bill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    744
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Hi i would go for a 243 or 260rem. you have a lot of better projectiles available for both suitable for deer over the 22's. with the 243 a good 85-90gr projectile will work well with the 260 you will have about the same recoil with a 100gr projectile as the bore diameter is bigger it will also have a larger frontal impact area and you can use reduced loads with a 120gr projectile around 2700fps and it will do anything required then when larger game is on the menu you can load it up with 140gr projectiles at the same velocity i would look at a Rem model7 youth it is available in both 243 and 260 but if you would like the rifle to last a longer time with more hunting possibilitits my vote would go with the 260 and reduced loads. The 260 can also be loaded with 85gr varmint projectiles at around 3000 fps for an easy to shoot varmint or preditor rifle. i would get the synthetic stocked versian when your child is older you can then have a larger stock fitted and they could keep it all ther life.
     
  5. sniper2

    sniper2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    948
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    If you don't mind wildcat round the 6/06 Ackley Improved is really nice round,I have killed dozens of southern whitetail deer with mine...
     
  6. Supermag

    Supermag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    213
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Another thought that goes just a shade bigger is the 7mm-08. I've never shot one but I hear that it's a very good cartridge for younger hunters or those that don't want the recoil. If it's anything like the 308 (which I have) the recoil isn't bad and the accuracy is great.

    As an aside, both of my brothers shot their first few deer with a 22-250 with 55 gr. Hornady's (I believe the old interlock type, NOT vmax). You need to put the bullet in right in the vitals (just like any other small cartridge including the 243) and not a shoulder/neck shot.
     
  7. 41mag

    41mag Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    752
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    I started my daughter out when she was 6 shooting a pump Remmy in 243, that I aquired second hand. I put up a full sized deer target and she went to it. Recoil never seemed to be much of a problem even with 100gr loads, as we only shot it around 6-8 times per outing. She was shooting 3-4" groups with it right off the bat.

    As luck would have it, we didn't get her on a deer till she was 9, and when the time came she waived off the .243, and took down her first little buck at 180yds with one shot from my 25/06.

    Since then, I have to fight her off it every season, so be careful of what you let him shoot or you might have to fight for it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    She took this one at just over 250yds from a kneeling position across our back pasture. Then was upset as the "big one" she was after slipped off through the woods after the shot.
    [​IMG]

    Good luck with your daughter, it is a total rush when the time comes for the first shot on game. I could hardly sit still wanting to help out, but at the same time trying to let her do it all.
     
  8. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Messages:
    2,844
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2007
    My son has a 250 Savage AI and my daughter started with a 260 Rem. These are both specialty handguns and the 260 has a brake on it.
    Use 100 NBT's and 120 NBT's.
    I would go with the 243 or the 260 Rem.
    I wouldn't pass up the 250 Savage or 257 Roberts as good possibilities.
     
  9. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,193
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    I personally really like the 243 for deer. It also makes a great varmit cartridge
     
  10. Wild_Bill

    Wild_Bill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    744
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    Have a good muzzle break fitted aswell and buy your daughter a set of electronic ear mufs the Peltor Tac 6 are very good i use them all the time now. This way shee will keep her hearing longer even without a break you should have ear protection or you wil loose your hearing like most of us that have been shooting our whole life.
    With a break a 260 would be awsome and 120gr projectiles

    Cheers Bill
    Australia
     
  11. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,634
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    i bought my son an H & R handi-rifle in 7-08. gonna add a 22lr and a 20 ga barrels to it. anything he will hunt for a few years will be done with "one gun". and yes it's a single shot. in my book,that's a must for beginners. squirrels,rabbits, pheasants,turkeys,groundhogs, or deer he will use the same gun.they're short,easy to handle and work well with our brushy and treestand style of hunting back east.when he starts making money and wants something else, he can get whatever he wants.as far as 22's for deer they're deadly in the hands of an experienced shooter but i don't think a beginner should start out with one.a 6mm with heavy bullets is minimum for a beginner.
     
  12. Spino

    Spino Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    195
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Wow! What great feedback! I would like to thank all of you: TAC, JD Jones, wild bill, Sniper2, Supermag, Mike/TX, xphunter & Screech. I really do like reading your comments & support in other discussions. You all carry alot of experience & are willing to share and help out, thanks. Notes are taken and what I have also found in the Texas Trophy Hunter magazine in the youth section where you can see photos of young hunters there seems to be allot of young hunter shooting the .243 -Again JDJones, Wild Bill, Sniper2 mentions the 6mm, Supermag, Mike/TX, xphunter & screech you all mention the .243 Hmmmmm. With the same information coming From 2 sources I think it's obvious.

    One more question is that I have some hunting buddies that seem to have a bad taste in their mouth about the little ol .243 - you know how stories get started - they are saying things like I have heard of alot of deer running off from being shot from the .243 .. Do you think this is something they are making up and just jumped on the same band~wagon? My common sense tells me that a well placed shot within 300yds from this gun and it's lights out!

    Hey, Mike/TX - thanks for the picture! Tell your daughter I said ~ Awsome Deer! Did you guys get that one mounted? Nice long tines. That one score about 135-140?

    Thanks Again!
     
  13. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,854
    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    I think that its from poor bullet performance and poor shot placement. I've seen deer shot through the lungs with a 160gr FS from a 7mm-300Wby and run several hundered yards , the bullets just diden't have time to do its job on these little deer down here , yet I've dropped many deer with 243's and 308's with the right bullets.
    the few deer I've seen shot with the 95gr Nosler Ballistic tip diden't go far at all maybe 30-40yds and the bullet exited each time , it seems that it just hard enough to pass through but soft enough to open easly.

    it like some guys hate 280's but swear by 270 and 30-06's?
     
  14. Wild_Bill

    Wild_Bill Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    744
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2005
    The 243 is adequate for medium deer and have no trouble on small deer with a 87go Projectile on small deer i have had a lot of luck with the 87gr Sierra HPBT with H4831Sc for just over 3200fps and have used the 105gr Hornady Round Nose with a healthy dose of H4831 behind it to give just over 3000fps It is a good load that holds together. Dont get a solid type projectile use a conventional projectile made of copper jacket and lead core and you will have no troubles. The main thing is to allow plenty of time for your daughter to get used to the rifle. I would still put a break on it for her and use hearing protection and have her practice from improvised rests. Just concentrate with one load and she will likely do yourself and her proud. I dont know what rifle you are thinking of but i would definately look at a Remington Model7 Synthetic in 243 as it seems to be the calibre you are leaning for. Good Shooting

    The benifite of going with a Remington Shee can fit a custom stock later in life and a diferent trigger if shee wants and then change calibre to a 260 or 7mm08 is shee felt the 243 just was not enough in time when the 243 barrel is shot out.

    Cheers Bill
    Australia