Choosing a caliber for "short" long ranges

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by deermaster, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. deermaster

    deermaster Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    Hey everyone, new member here.
    I whitetail hunt, and I wanted to increase my effective range to what I thought was long, but after reading on here, what is long to me is a chipshot for some of you:D
    I hunt alot of fields, and I would like to increase my effective range to about 400 yds. That would cover 99% of shots I would have. But I would like the cartridge to have the potential to be a 500 yard killer if I ever am able to hunt big open land, and invest the time and money to increase my range to that.
    I am am thinking about the 30/06. There are several reasons. One, I dont handload, and there are many factory choices avaliable. Two, I dont own a .30 cal, and I feel like I am missing something by not owning a classic.
    So I guess my questions are:
    1) Is the 30/06 capable of accuracy and enough energy to kill 250lb+ whitetails under 500 yds?
    2) What factory loads would be good choices to start testing?
    3) I am thinking about a Savage 116 Weather Warrior. I am not much of a gunsmith yet, so I think a gun that comes with a decent stock and good trigger would be a good choice to start with.
    I'd really appreciate any info or advice.
  2. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    Yes a 30-06 will do what you want it to do. A good 165 gr hunting bullet like the Nosler Ballistic Tip is what you want. Federal Premium loads this bullet. You will have to learn the drop and will have to adjust your scope for 300 to 500 yard shots. I would sight in the rifle to hit 3 inches high at 100 yards. This will put you between 4 and 5 inches low at 300 yards. You should be able to hold in the center of the front shoulder on a buck from point blank out to 300 yards and kill him. For longer ranges you will need to dial the scope. You will have to do a lot of practice shooting at the longer ranges to see what your dial up will have to be and to see what the wind does to the bullet in different conditions. Past 300 yards you better take note of the wind or you will miss or put a bad shot on a deer. Practice makes perfect.
  3. elkaholic

    elkaholic Well-Known Member

    Dec 4, 2008
    I agree with 25-06 on his suggestions. One thing to consider though; if you are like most of us and quiclkey get the long range bug, you might outgrow the '06 in a hurry. Just something to think about:D......Rich
  4. Bearwalk

    Bearwalk Active Member

    Apr 9, 2010
    I agree with the advice above. The 30-06 will be more than enough cartridge for your plans.

    Other considerations, if you think you may want to "grow into" this gun for other long range uses, are the .300 WM, or one of the 7mm cartridges. The 284 win or 7mm Rem Mag may be options for you.
  5. 4th_point

    4th_point Well-Known Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    For 500 yard whitetail I'd look at a 270 or 25-06 myself, but would inquire from those with more experience with these cartridges, never having owned one myself. I like the low recoil, and paper ballistics, but I'm currently managing an infatuation with the 270 and 25-06. I'd like to add both to my safe. They don't have the greatest selection of high BC bullets, but seem fine for 500 yards. These seem to be the best magnums based on non-magnum cases (however that saying goes :D).

    I chose the 300 Win Mag for 400, 500, & 600 yards but I also hunt elk and mule deer. My alternate choice would be a 338 Win Mag. I just can't get excited about an 06 myself, but certainly respect anyone who chooses to use one and can't fault them for it.
  6. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    If you already had a rifle chambered in 30-06 I would say, "Yes, that will work.". As you are looking to buy a rifle, I would suggest a better cartridge for the job you have planned. Velocity is your friend as soon as you pass 200 yards as increasing velocity means less drop at any range. Fast cartridges are more forgiving when you may be off a little in range estimation.

    For deer to 500 yards, my choices would be: .270 WSM, 7mm WSM, 7mm Rem mag, and possibly either a .300 WSM or .300 Win mag. The first three are ideal for these ranges and either the .300 Win or WSM would also do the job well. As you get better any of these could also take a deer to 800 yards, if rifle, scope, and shooter are up to that. (Weatherby cartridges from .270 through .300 would also handle this job well but ammunition is more expensive & harder to find.)

    I would suggest you ignore the "ultra-mags" as what you have planned doesn't justify the weight, cost, noise & recoil of an ultra-mag.

    There are people who will hunt deer at 500 yards with a .308, .270 Win, or .30-06, but I would not consider those "the best" choices for deer at that range.
  7. Buano

    Buano Well-Known Member

    Nov 28, 2009
    Mt deer rifle of choice is normally a .25-06. It shoots flat as can be with minimal recoil. It's ideal to 400 yards but beyond that the bullets have lost a lot of energy. If planning 500+ yard shooting I would likely grab a .270 WSM or 7mm Rem mag — but I have that option with both sitting in the safe. Would I shoot a deer at 500 yards with my .25-06, yes, under the right conditions.
  8. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    DEERMSTER- YOU don't say where you are . 250 pound deer are huge for where i am. the 30-06 is a great long range round . it is not offered in the remington sendero. to take game a longer ranges you need a rfile capable of GOOD groups at those ranges with the ammo available to you. the rifle is more important than the caliber. a weatherby accumark, vanguard moa, sendero, rem 5-r, some of the savages, tikka varmint . you could go through a LOT OF FACTORY AMMO ( expensive) trying to find a load for a factory sporter that will perform .
  9. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2010
    The fact that you do not reload hurts this quite a lot. If you can not reload, then I have to say 300 win mag and have done with it.

    Now if you could reload, I would say 25-06 with a 115gr berger hunting vld. This would be good to go out to right about 600 yards. But then, You would probably Have to reload. A lot less recoil and drama than a 300 win mag :)

    Lots of good answers posted,
    Have a good one,
  10. DanielLudwig

    DanielLudwig Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    I would recommend a Weatherby Vanguard, and go with the .257 Wby Mag, I personally think that would work well for what you are wanting to do.
  11. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2009
    I am with others here on the 25-06. Flatter shooting than a 30-06 and easily capable of enough energy at 400 yds for whitetail or mule deer (assuming you hit the vitals of course). The nice thing about it, is that if you sight in at 275-300 yds, you are holding on hair out to 400 easily. No need to dial any knobs or anything that shooting beyond 500 usually requires. Hold a little low at 150-200, high shoulder at 350, top of the back at 400. The 257 Weatherby suggestion is good too, but ammo will probably be a bit more expensive if you are shootn factory.

    I've used nothing but 25-06 for Wyoming muleys and whitetails for at least 15 years now. Ive not shot at any deer beyond 500 with it, but have taken antelope beyond 500. Absolutely wonderful on deer at 500 and closer.!! If they are beyond 350-400, just try and wait for a good broadside shot presentation.

    Low recoil, affordable and enjoyable to shoot. If I could only have one rifle it would be my 25-06.

    Best of luck.