What is everyone favorite caliber for deer?

cynicrit

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
106
30-06 & 7mm-08. I still get the overwhelming majority of my venison with the first “deer rifle” I ever owned, in 30-06. Sentiment and frugality aside, the recoil, to me, is well within acceptable limits (I actually enjoy shooting that rifle) and I would not hesitate to say that the vast majority of shots on deer are well within its envelope. If recoil, or rifle size, are issues, 7mm-08. As a short action cartridge, which performs excellently in barrels as short as 20”, it lends itself to compact or carbine length rifles. The recoil is not bad and the effect on deer is gratifying. There are other calibers which are more suited to special circumstances, but these two will do anything you need, within their range.
 

redleg1013

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2012
Messages
146
257 Ackley
100gr TSX and 51 gr of H4831SC
With the brush and woodsy area I hunt deer in, I don't need any much more. Not one deer has walked away from it. The best one got was about 10 yards, leaping at impact, was likely dead before he hit the ground by the way he slid.
 

Zuma

Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2012
Messages
19
Location
El Paso Texas
My 2022 prediction is that the 25-06 will make a big come back. Similar to the turn-around of the 10mm in the handgun world.
I'm with you Whaler63 .25-06 is making a comeback and it is perfect for deer without blowing up the good eats. Browning's X-Bolt in .25-06 is awesome.
 

bengineer

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2011
Messages
21
Location
N WY
I have taken deer with cartridges from 223 to 500 s&w in a rifle, including 243, 257 bob, 25-06 “pistol”, 6.5 coolaid, 270, 7-08, 280, 300blk, 308, 338 win, 35 whelen, 375 jdj and h&h, 45/70 “pistol” and lever, 500 smith lever and likely a few others ive forgotten. Any softer, mass dumping bullet gets my nod on a double lung shot, up to 35 caliber. From 35 and up, a broad flat meplat gets my blood flowing. If that bullet expands, even better. I dont prefer monolithics in the sub 30 calibers. I would be happy with a 125-130gr mono in 308 and up. A soft .375 is simply spectacular, like the 300 Hawk spire .050 jacket. A .035 would be even better on whitey. The 500 smith lever needs no expansion, but a soft nose cast or a bullet like the 400 sierra would do bad things in a deer, even at 1800 muzzle speed. A 90 bt from a 243 or a 100 gameking from a 25-06 is tremendously effective, unless you make a quartering away meat hit or a texas heart shot. Ive killed more whitey with 308 and 165 hornady btsp than all the rest combined because it works. Hard hit, good bullet expansion, deep penetration on whitey and good energy transfer. That combo even works on the straight-away shots. But the 35 and ups hit the hardest without all the damage of the 257 Roy and friends.
 

.300 Dakota

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2018
Messages
121
Location
Moss Point, MS
I have taken deer with cartridges from 223 to 500 s&w in a rifle, including 243, 257 bob, 25-06 “pistol”, 6.5 coolaid, 270, 7-08, 280, 300blk, 308, 338 win, 35 whelen, 375 jdj and h&h, 45/70 “pistol” and lever, 500 smith lever and likely a few others ive forgotten. Any softer, mass dumping bullet gets my nod on a double lung shot, up to 35 caliber. From 35 and up, a broad flat meplat gets my blood flowing. If that bullet expands, even better. I dont prefer monolithics in the sub 30 calibers. I would be happy with a 125-130gr mono in 308 and up. A soft .375 is simply spectacular, like the 300 Hawk spire .050 jacket. A .035 would be even better on whitey. The 500 smith lever needs no expansion, but a soft nose cast or a bullet like the 400 sierra would do bad things in a deer, even at 1800 muzzle speed. A 90 bt from a 243 or a 100 gameking from a 25-06 is tremendously effective, unless you make a quartering away meat hit or a texas heart shot. Ive killed more whitey with 308 and 165 hornady btsp than all the rest combined because it works. Hard hit, good bullet expansion, deep penetration on whitey and good energy transfer. That combo even works on the straight-away shots. But the 35 and ups hit the hardest without all the damage of the 257 Roy and friends.
300gr Sierra is very soft in .375. Expands completely. Excellent for larger versions of the deer or bear species. Too much damage on swine and smaller deer.

I hope a .25-something regains popularity. I like the milder versions, and am building my own. I loved what a custom .250 Savage with 87gr Hornady SP would do to deer within modest ranges, when loaded down to around 2700 f/s. As they say, you could eat right up to the bullet hole!
 
Joined
Feb 20, 2018
Messages
5
Location
74008
Since the late 60's, my Model 70 Safari Grade in .264 Win Mag has been all I've needed. Whitetails are simply DRT when using Accubonds or Partitions at any range out to 500 yards. At over 50 yrs old, the barrel will need to be replaced soon. And I'm not sure whether to go back with the 264, or maybe step up to 300/338 WM, with a good brake. (I'm going to miss the open sights on the Safari barrel. They added "character".) Oh hell, I may just go buy a new rifle, and 'retire' the 264.
 

.338 RCM

Active Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
25
Location
North AL
Out of all of my rifles I like my .280 Remington, 7mm Rem Mag, .338-06, .338 RCM, .35 Whelen, and 9.3 x 62 best for whitetail deer. With the right grain bullets and proper shot placement none of them ruin the meat. None of them have unbearable recoil, and you can hunt out to 400 yards with all of them!
 

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