whitetail guns


Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2009
Central Texas
i want to do a tactical bolt build based on a savage 10fp action in .308. i just feel like this might be a little too much bullet for whitetail though. everyone i know uses .270 or 22-250 or even .243. should i do a build based on a smaller round? i still want something i can shoot paper at long distances though, like out to 700 yds if i feel like it? thanks for the help
are those easy to get and relatively inexpensive?

i saw a box of 20 .308 for $39 the other day...thats too much for me right now since i dont reload yet
If cheap and common is what you're looking for you can't go wrong with the .308, I doubt there is anywhere in the country that you won't find at least 1 box of .308 ammo. Best advice I can give you is bite the bullet, put the money out to purchase a good single stage reloading press and associated tooling and start reloading. Factory ammo isn't gonna get any cheaper and there are lots of benefits to reloading that you'll never realize until you give it a try. The .260 Rem and 7mm-08 are both based on the .308 cartridge but you get IMHO a better selection of bullet weights as well as better ballistic coefficients and sectional densities from those calibers vs the .308 which equates to better long range performance on game. If your plan is to stick with factory ammo I'd say stick with he .308 as well due to the availability issue.
ok then i think thats what ill do. i was just hoping to find something i can use on whitetail but also on things like coyotes. a .308 is just plain overkill for coyotes, you can get away with a .22 on yotes. would a .243 be a better choice for both worlds? does savage make any actions in .243?
Well, if I were in search of a jack of all trades I'd go with the .260, but then we are back to the issue of availability. It's not that I think you'd have a hard time finding .260 ammo, but .308 is certainly gonna be the easier of the two to find. Price is gonna probably be about the same for factory ammo. the .243 is gonna be a good choice too, definitely up to the task as far as deer if you choose your bullets carefully and more than enough for varmints like coyotes.
i think .243 would be a better choice for me, seems like a more versatile round than .308 imo. i mean you CAN shoot a coyote with a .308, but who wants to pick up the pieces? lol
As has been said in other posts on here,

"you can't use too much gun" when it comes to whitetails..

I personally have shot them with rifles chambered from the 240Wby thru the 300RUM, at ranges from 50 yards to over 400. The only one, yes one, that dropped at the shot was hit with a 270Win, thru both shoulders, at 200 yards, using a 150 gr. Nosler partition bullet.

So go figure, I don't know the majic caliber to get that job done.

all of your mentioned calibers will take down white tail no problem with proper shot placement. All of your mentioned calibers will shoot paper at 700 with practice, a good rifle and quality ammo. In SD we have BIG DEER, not just nice racks, but BIG DEER. My recent 3x3 weighed in a 220lbs field dressed and headless when I dropped him off at the locker. A .243WSSM and 75gr VMAX dropped him in his tracks at 397m, the doe took a similar hit and wobbled about 20m before passing out from blood loss. The antelope i got in Oct was taken at 683m with the same ammo and same results.
absolutely nothing wrong with the .308 or the 270 or 260...anything from .30 to .243 for that matter. just get to know what your weapon likes, and practice. I will admit, i was nervous about using a 75gr 243 bullet, my dad uses 150gr 7mm and my cousin uses 175gr 308, and we all have had the occasional deer run a hundred yards after a good shot, deer are tough.
Whether a .308 would be "overkill" for Coyotes or anything else would be determined by your bullet choice. A tougher constructed bullet will do less damage, others such as Ballistic Tips will cause a bit more mess. Personally, I consider the .243 a varmint cartridge, have never appreciated their ability as a deer cartridge.

I cannot think of a sentence where I would use this word.

agreed. unless you plan to sell them, (and around here people get between $5-$10)
So if you dont want the hide...blow the **** out of them. .223 is over kill for prairie dogs too but it's fun to see them pop.
There are a TON of hunters I know here in coastal NC that hunt with a 243 and absolutely swear by it. Kill both deer and coyote with it regularly. And it's accurate enough to do some decent bean/field work for the average NC deer and particularly coyote. My only question on the caliber for deer is downrange energy. If you're talking reasonable distances, IMO, deer @200-250 and less, should be no problem. Coyote, a walk in the park! And I know there are people who can stretch and accurately exceed that range .....but that's when I feel the need to reach for a 270 or 30 caliber.
You might wanna grab that 308, some reloading equipment and homemade bullets tailored for whatever you're after that day and go hunting!!

Pick a spot...a LITTLE spot...squeeze!
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