New Guy probably asking old question


Nov 5, 2012
Hello all. This is officially my first post on any forum anywhere. Please forgive any edicate mistakes I will surely make, as well as my terrible spelling as I generally hide behind "spell check" which I have not found here. I came acros this site while GOOGELING and stumbled on to a thread posted to this site. It was a conversation (arguement or p!$$!%& contest perhaps) that was started by Sully2 with replies from ScotE and Korhil78. The topic was .260 Rem vs .264 WinMag. Obviously some folks were upset, but good information was still passed along and at the end everyone was at least content. Because of that I chose to join this forum. I don't want to read a bunch of ball busting; although fun to read, I am here to learn and have fun. That being said, let me lay out my question. To me, at least in the area I live and hunt the most (Maryland), long range hunting is about 300 yards, really more like 200 yards. Most of the deer I have killed I could hear walking through the leaves and munching acorns before I picked out a tuff of hair on their neck and............. well you know the rest. Bang-flop! Needless to say, I have lost very few due to a poor shot. I also bow hunt most of my gun stands. We, for the most part are limited to front stuffers and slug guns. These two items I have nailed down as perfect as I can. My NEF Ultra Slug (does anyone have any input on or about Tarhunt slug "rifles"??)and my Encore 50 cal are "tuff of hair" deadly out to 150 yards, 200 yards is doable without much sweat and 300 is rare, but for the muzzle loader only. My rifle, or lack of one is my problem. While it is not legal to hunt deer with a centerfire, it is legal to hunt other "stuff" with one. By stuff, I mean starlings, sparrows, ground hogs, fox, squirrels, bunnies, ect..... My rifle for these used to be a Remington 700CDL in .300 WinMag. Over the years my back has gone from bad, to worse, to totally trashed and while a few shots with my big game only guns is bearable, I simply can't enjoy shooting a hundred shots from a .300 over an afternoon. I have a Marlin 338MX which I use to hunt hogs and other big game while away from home, as well as a Ruger Deerfield .44 RemMag (for the same things) and a Mini-14. None of these are what I would concider long range precision tools. I sold the CDL and purchased a Springfield Armory NM M1A. It is a very accurate rifle and recoil is in my comfort range but at over 11lbs it is just too heavy. Again, spoiling my fun. The M1A is for sale BTW. What I am looking for is a light but very accurate rifle and caliber that is capable of cleanly killing deer sized critters (when on the road) out to 4 or 500 yards and accurate enough to score hits small "stuff" at the same ranges. I would prefer a short action rifle with a cartridge that won't beat me up so I can have fun. Dare I say I have become recoil sensitive? I have and I have to face it. I do handload, but would much prefer a cartridge that is readily available with nice bullets in premium factory loadings. I work a lot, have a family and would rather be shooting than sitting at a loading bench. While I will load my own, I don't want to have to. All this being said, I think a .260 Rem is the way to go! It is a fairly new offering and I have not found to many guns chambered in it yet. One that I have found is the Cooper Model 54. Wow, what a gorgeous rifle! I'm pretty sure I want one (I mean MUST HAVE ONE) and would like some input on my choice of gun and caliber. I would appreciate any input anyone is willing to offer and I'll thank you in advance. I'm sorry for the long winded post, but I think I have given enough information as to give a good idea what I am looking for. I also know that ideally I should get TWO rifles to more properly fit my prey, but I like the opportunity to pratice a lot with my "long range" deer rifle by shooting at "stuff". OK I think thats it for now
260 should be a great choice for what you described and the limitations you mentioned.

One thing, if it's a gun that will shoot small game and varmints on a regular basis, but only used on deer once every year or two.........perhaps the 243 would be a better choice. Less recoil, ammo is easier to find, and it's cheaper to shoot. There's also alot of lightweight varmint style bullets available in 243 caliber.

Or, like you mentioned; get two rifles:). Get a 260 or 7mm-08 for deer AND get a 204, 223 or 22-250 for varmints.

Tons of choices, Welcome to LRH.
Welcome, I would also suggest the 243 given all the facts but you really can not go wrong with either one. A fast twist 243 makes a wicked dear rifle and a vicious varmint rifle. Regarding the cooper........I do not know but someone is bound to give you there two cents. Since I don't know I'll save my pennies for next time.
260, 243, and 6.5 grendal would all be great choices. There is factory ammo for all of them. The only concern i have with the 243 is barrel life, not bad but not great either compared to the 260 and 6.5 grendal. Just my .002 cents (yes 2 hundreths).
Here's what you do. Get a 260. That is my minimum recommendation. Since you load, work up something with this rifle, especially since you can buy LAPUA brass!!! Find what the gun likes. This shouldn't take but a couple of days at a range. Load 200 rounds and you should be set for years. No more worries about family time or fun shooting. The 260 is more bang for your buck over the 243 in my opinion.

That said, my first deer caliber recommendation is and always will be the 270. Easy to load, easy to find ammo.
Welcome to LRH!

Wow, starlings, sparrows, ground hogs, fox, squirrels, bunnies with a 300 Win Mag huh? Got to admit I have never heard of that!

I would say this. If you think you are going to shoot mostly varmints and occasional deer, get a 6mm something. 243 Win is your best bet if you want to find factory loads. Be sure to get the right twist on your barrel so you can shoot the 105 weight range of bullets.

If you are going to do mostly deer with occasional varmint then go 6.5, 260 Rem, 6.5x55, 6.5x47. Again I would go fast twist so you can shoot the 130-140 grain bullets but if you are only shooting to 4-500 yards the 100 grainers may work which would require a slower twist and may open up a light bullet that you could use for varmints as well.

Good Luck!

Scot E.
Hey guys, thanks so much for quick and kind feedback. I'm sure there will be more coming too. Yes, yes, yes, I know a 30 cal mag anything is a bit much for for tweety birds but the method to my madness is the pratice. I like to be farmilar with my guns and loads and what is a better way to get that than shooting them at things other than paper? Things at unknown range that moves. A 300 super mega mag will not make the tweety bird any more dead than a rimfire, but if I am confident hitting a bird, or close to a bird at 400 yards a deer chest is no problem. My 338 ME lever gun (which by the way was one of the last good ones - the serial number does NOT start with MR I waited and looked and looked till I finally found a new one) is a crack shot at 150 yards on a deer or pig and capable "in my hands" to 300 yards, but as we all know further out everything starts to change. It makes me sick to injure/wound game animals, or any for that matter, so I like to pratice and be confident. After all, I kinda sorta like to shoot too.? A little bit at least :). The .243 idea I have tossed around a bunch to as well. While it will def do the job, I think something a bit bigger would be more ideal. I prefer a short action so no .270-.280-.264 mag-25/06-6.5x55 ect.. if I can help it. I do however have the 338 lever gun for anything bigger than deer if the opportunity did arise, but again, with myself at least, 300 yards is it. I'm sure it could do better with a better shooter. The primary intended use of the rifle will be deer, but "stuff"will be shot more regularly, again for the pratice of using the rifle, "stuff" is more available with less season restrictions and of course FUN. I have had dedicated varmint rifles I never really used (2 dif Rem VLS's that were great guns but just too darn big and 2 24'' Heavy Barrel AR's also great guns but no fun to lug around and a heavy barrel M77MKII 22-250 that went down the same road > I have had hundreds of guns. I'm not a collector. I get 'em play with 'em sell 'em and break even) that sat in the safe staying pretty and ultimately got sold. I'm not so impresed with standard production rifles these days and will be buying at least a semi-custom and don't want to screw up and waste cash I can't get back. This busted up lower back of mine is really getting me down too especially cause the .300 Mag worked so well for my "game" but I can't shoot that much anymore. Thats all. Thanks again and good shooting!!!
+1 on the 243
My first hunting rifle is a 243 (still have it), thinking back I can only remember one deer I had to shoot 2x with it, it's started both my kids out as well with that rifle and the only time they needed a 2nd shot has been because the 1st was bad. Never really thought about it much but that little 243 has racked up the highest percentage of one shot kills of any rifle I own, with the 270 following close behind. 257roberts,25-06 wouldn't be a bad pick either.
Warning! This thread is more than 12 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Recent Posts