The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Hunt

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 14, 2005, 03:08 PM   #1
Trxxx
Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 47
Most overrated deer calibre?

Been reading the thread about under-rated deer calibre and it got me thinking about the other side of the question... what's the most over-rated deer calibre?

I'll put my cards on the table right away and say that I am firmly of the view that modest power and gentle recoil are the way to go for deer. I've taken hundreds of deer with modest calibres like the .243 and the 6.5 x 55 - they are easy to shoot, consistently accurate because they don't induce flinching, and more than adequate to put down any deer with decent shot placement.

I know in advance I'm going to get flamed for this - but my vote for the most over-rated deer calibre is the 7mm Remington Magnum.

Why? Because it doesn't give more than a marginal improvement in ballistics over a hand-loaded 7x57, or a .280 - a chronograph would make most 7mm Mag owners weep. What marginal improvement it does give comes at a disproportionate expense in extra powder, recoil and muzzle blast. And most 7mm Mag owners I know would be a lot more accurate with a .243. One guy was recently bragging to me about his 7mm Mag having the trajectory of a laser beam, but he couldn't put 3 shots into a 10" circle at 100 yards...

Anyhow, that's my vote, interested to know what others think!
Trxxx is offline  
Old August 14, 2005, 04:40 PM   #2
Twycross
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,187
30-06. There's not much it can do that a .270 Win can't do with a lighter kick and flatter trajectory.
__________________
The test of character is not 'hanging in' when you expect light at the end of the tunnel, but performance of duty, and persistence of example when you know no light is coming.
- Vice Admiral James Stockdale, USN (ret.)
Twycross is offline  
Old August 14, 2005, 05:32 PM   #3
Long Path
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 31, 1999
Location: N. Texas
Posts: 5,888
Twycross, with respect, I'm afraid I'll have to disagree with you there, sir. They're just two different calibers with different windows of use that have a good sized overlap. The .270, as I'm sure you know, is based on the .30-'06 necked down. The case capacity is almost identical, so the energy of a 150g '06 load will of course be the same as a 150g .270 load. They'll both do a fine job on any deer that ever lived.

But suppose you're hunting swamps or thickets or close cover and might get a shot at a bear? Suppose, like our Member Keith Rogan, you're hunting on Kodiak Island for deer, but would like to have a bit more persuasion for the indiginous coastal browns of fame in the area? Well, at that point, you're going to want a 180g or better-- perhaps even a 220g load. Once you step up to the 180g '06 loads, you're doing things that the .270 can't quite do.

But perhaps I digress-- the thread title did say "Most overrated deer calibre." My point is that it does things as advertised.




Let's see: My vote for "Most Overrated Deer Caliber" has to be the .220 Swift. The Swift is a cartridge with a lot of energy that often makes kills on deer that are nothing short of spectacular. But it's a hypervelocity .22, and when you hit a shoulder or a rib at Mach IV, it has an unfortunate tendency to create a horrible fist-size wound on a deer that runs off. I know-- I've seen it and had to help hunt for the results. All together, now: "The Swift is NOT a deer caliber." There. I feel better.
__________________
"Welcome to The Firing Line, a virtual community dedicated to the discussion and advancement of responsible firearms ownership."T.F.L. Policy Page
Will you, too, be one who stands in the gap? ____________ Better and Better, the blog. _____
Long Path is offline  
Old August 14, 2005, 06:51 PM   #4
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
 
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX, USA
Posts: 22,540
I'll vote for the .30-30. Not because of the cartridge itself so much as the mystique about it, and the generally crappy sights and triggers on such as the Win 94.

People don't realize the trajectory isn't the flattest, and will take overly-long shots. Couple that with the problems inherent from the sights and trigger and you have a lot of wounded deer.

I"ve killed deer with both the .270 and the '06. There's not a nickle's worth of difference between the 130-grain of the one and the 150-grain of the other. But, like Matt said, when you get on up toward larger critters, the 180s and 200/220 loads give a heckuva lot more penetration or bone-breaking power.

Art
__________________
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old August 14, 2005, 07:12 PM   #5
Night Watch
Registration in progress
 
Join Date: June 30, 2005
Posts: 369
I'll, also, vote for the 30-30 Winchester; however, the 35 Remington is right behind it for all the same reasons. Generally speaking I don't think it's a good idea to go after deer-sized game with anything less than a 243 Winchester; and, when you consider the wide range of bullet weights and loads that are available for the 30-06 Springfield, I have to wonder what about the 30-06 doesn't make it the best all-around centerfire rifle cartridge in the world!
__________________
'Things go wrong. The odds catch up. Probability is like gravity; and, you cannot negotiate with gravity. One other thing: God always has the last laugh. You need to remember that!'
Night Watch is offline  
Old August 14, 2005, 08:36 PM   #6
Twycross
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,187
Long Path - I agree that once we get into bear and elk sized game, the 30-06 has some undeniable advantages over the .270 Win. All I meant to say is that for general deer hunting, those advantages become unnecessary, and the .270's lighter kick and flatter trajectory come into play.
__________________
The test of character is not 'hanging in' when you expect light at the end of the tunnel, but performance of duty, and persistence of example when you know no light is coming.
- Vice Admiral James Stockdale, USN (ret.)
Twycross is offline  
Old August 14, 2005, 09:50 PM   #7
Smokey Joe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 14, 2001
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 2,064
.300 Wby Mag

I have a friend who never goes elk hunting or any other larger game. Just common whitetails. He "needs" the stopping power of the most powerful .30 cal out there.

He also whines about the cost of store ammo, but will not reload. Needless to say, he doesn't practice much.

But boy, does he have knockdown power when he sets the crosshairs on Bambi @ mebbe 75 yd.
__________________
God Bless America

--Smokey Joe
Smokey Joe is offline  
Old August 14, 2005, 10:35 PM   #8
chemist308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2005
Location: Pocono Mtns, PA
Posts: 587
Quote:
and, when you consider the wide range of bullet weights and loads that are available for the 30-06 Springfield, I have to wonder what about the 30-06 doesn't make it the best all-around centerfire rifle cartridge in the world!
I have the answer for you on that one. The existence of the 308 prevents 30-06 from claiming that
To tell you the truth some days I regret not going for an 06 simply because I know the ballistics and wide ranges of loads/bullets are better. I think the only reason I'd prefer the 308 is availability of cheap 7.62x51 ammo and slightly lower recoil at the range.

Oh and so as not to hijack the thread, I know of a guy who from time to time hunts deer with a 45-70.
chemist308 is offline  
Old August 14, 2005, 10:59 PM   #9
22-rimfire
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 19, 2005
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 4,603
I have to go with the 30-30 win. It is a great deer caliber, but it is over rated for the most part.

I also agree that the 30-06 is the best all around caliber ever even though I use a 270. I will just have to buy another rifle when and if the elk hunt materializes.

Trxx: Being from the UK, where do you hunt that you have taken "100's" of whitetails? Again, I don't mean to turn this thread to another subject, but I was curious???
22-rimfire is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 12:14 AM   #10
JohnKSa
Staff
 
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 18,409
A friend of mine owns a gun shop that specializes in semi-custom rifles and high-end optics. When he goes hunting he's got the latest magnum caliber and a scope/rifle combo that's about as good as it can be in practically every respect.

His son shoots a .260 (basically a short action 6.5x55--6.5-08 to be precise). Certainly nothing special in the muzzle velocity department--no one would call it a magnum by a long shot.

I've been in the shop more than once when he was ranting that his son's deer always dropped where they were shot while he always had to track his...

I think that more people lose deer by shooting a rifle with recoil/blast that scares/hurts them than they lose because they're "under-gunned." The recoil/blast cause flinching and inadequate amounts of practice. That has exactly the expected results.
__________________
Did you know that there is a TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 02:36 AM   #11
Trxxx
Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 47
Quote:
Trxx: Being from the UK, where do you hunt that you have taken "100's" of whitetails? Again, I don't mean to turn this thread to another subject, but I was curious???
22-rimfire: I said deer, not specifically whitetails. Mostly shoot red deer, sika deer and roe. Red and sika are approximately whitetail-size, roe are smaller. I shoot in Scotland and control deer on a professional basis - ie I get paid for it. This happy state of affairs means I get to shoot a lot, usually around 300 per year.

To move the topic back on the rails, I'll mention another calibre that is over-rated for deer - 300 Win Mag.

Was out shooting once with a guy who used one of these, and watched him miss an easy 100-yard shot on a red stag, a feat easily explicable by the fact that he closed his eyes about half a second before pulling the trigger. He said he needed a magnum for "stopping power" and was less than pleased when I pointed out to him that stopping power only works when the bullet is on target.
Trxxx is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 03:05 AM   #12
Rangefinder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 4, 2005
Posts: 2,017
All right, I'll jump in the barrel with this one... LOL Personally, my over-all favorite weapon is the 7mm. Is it over-kill on a deer? Absolutely! That's why I hunt with my 6mm most often. But in my experience it's a versitile caliber that can go through the large-game gambit with the best performance. OK, so as NOT to hijacl the thread with my 7mm babble, I'd say the most OVER-RATED deer rifle out there has to be the 30-06, IMHO. I think I've met more people that hunt with an 06 and SWEAR it's the only thing they'd even consider using that it must be taught in some grade schools somewhere. "2+2=4, Billy, and always use an 06 when deer season comes around..." LOL no offense to 06 lovers out there.
__________________
"Why is is called Common Sense when it seems so few actually possess it?"

Guns only have two enemies: Rust and Politicians.
Rangefinder is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 05:57 AM   #13
mtnbkr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2000
Location: Manassas, Virginia
Posts: 911
Quote:
I think I've met more people that hunt with an 06 and SWEAR it's the only thing they'd even consider using that it must be taught in some grade schools somewhere. "2+2=4, Billy, and always use an 06 when deer season comes around..." LOL no offense to 06 lovers out there.
That was pretty close tot he truth when I lived in Tn (elementary through Jr High). It wasn't until I hit my late 20s that I realized how many other calibers were useful for deer.

Chris
mtnbkr is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 07:03 AM   #14
johnbt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 6, 1999
Location: Richmond, Virginia USA
Posts: 6,004
The .30-30 is overrated? I guess you guys don't like the .32 Special or the 12 ga. either.

I was going to vote for 7mm mag. Actually, I was going to vote for anything bigger than a .30-30 or .35 Rem.

One uncle of mine hunted Virginia whitetails with a borrowed .444 Marlin for 7 years. Then he went back to using his .30-06 BAR. He really hates to chase wounded deer up and down and around the mountain behind his house.

John
johnbt is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 12:14 PM   #15
artsmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 314
I think the 7mm Remington Magnum might be the ideal, all around deer cartridge for my type of hunting.

Adult deer I hunt start at 150 pounds live weight, I don't hunt out of a tree stand, but instead watch fields and river crossings where shots are more likely to be 150-250 yards, and most importantly, the wind likes to blow here in Nebraska. Mainly, it's the wind that makes me want to take a 7mm Remington Magnum out with me. Look at the Federal wind drift charts sometime, and see what a 10 mph wind can do, now have gusts up to 25-30 mph, and you will want a big, fast bullet.

The extra powder for four cartridges weighs about 1/10 of an ounce, I never notice the flash or recoil while shooting a deer, (in fact, I don't notice it while practicing), and I doubt I will live long enough to wear the barrel out on my deer rifles, and if I do, I'll screw a new one on, and consider it money well spent. If a person hasn't practiced well enough to shoot a 7mm Remington Magnum well,then he hasn't practiced epough to shoot anything well. My son used mine, and he weighs a whopping 86 pounds.

When I use a .300 or 7mm Magnum to push bigger bullets as fast as non Magnums, not to push the same size bullets faster.

As for overrated, I would say anything with a .224" bullet. There is no reason to use something that just gets you by when there are almost a hundred cartridges that are more than adequate.
artsmom is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 12:21 PM   #16
artsmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 314
/*and watched him miss an easy 100-yard shot on a red stag, a feat easily explicable by the fact that he closed his eyes about half a second before pulling the trigger*/

Why are you blaming the cartridge for this flinch? What makes you think he wouldn't flinch with a .243, since a flinch is (according to others who make big caliber rifles) 85% self induced.

This is akin to saying a .223 is bad because people shoot too fast with it. No basis for condemning either cartridge due to poor shooting fundamentals.
artsmom is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 12:55 PM   #17
zeisloft
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 2005
Location: Amarillo TX
Posts: 419
In my opinion, the most overrated cal. is the one that doesnt match the conditions. If you are hunting in an are where you dont expect a shot over 50 yds and bring a win mag...WRONG. But if you are expecting to bring down an animal at 300+ yds with a strong wind and dont bring one, thats just as wrong. There is no catch all do all rifle. However the mid velocity mid weight guns (06, 308, 7-08...) do come close.

My answer, a gun that is out of its element in that environment.
~z
__________________
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

Obviously, Occam was not a reloader
zeisloft is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 01:22 PM   #18
Lonestar.45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2004
Posts: 261
I was all set to say 7MM rem mag, or any larger magnum for that matter, however.... I think the most overrated deer caliber is the .243.

Why? Because so many folks recommend it for younger hunters, women, and those recoil-sensitive, and in my opinion thats exactly what they SHOULDN'T be shooting. Shot placement is everything, and the .243 would not be my choice in the hands of an inexperienced hunter. A marginal hit with a .243 will more often lead to a lost deer than a marginal hit with a larger caliber. In the case of a recoil-senstive or inexperienced hunter, match them with a larger but mild shooting caliber, with a higher grain bullet than the .243 (a .30-30 w/ a scope wouldn't be bad-it's not like you'll want them taking 200yd shots anyway, right?).

I'd bet that more deer have been lost with the .243 than the 7mm Mag. Is the mag overkill? In certain situations, yes. But can you think of any deer hunting situation where the .243 is overkill? I can't. The .243 is usually either "enough" or "not enough", never ever "too much". And I'd rather have the extra power and not need it than need it and not have it. That said, I think the .270 is the perfect deer caliber.
Lonestar.45 is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 01:47 PM   #19
arthurrh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 2, 2004
Posts: 189
Re the .270 vs 30-06 discussion, it was said that the recoil is equal if you have the same gun with the same weight bullet at the same velocity.

But isn't it true that if you have cases with equal capacity and bullets of equal weight, but one is a smaller caliber, then the smaller caliber requires less powder than the larger? If so, then the .270 would still kick less than the .30-06 even with the same weight bullet at the same velocity.

My brief perusal of reloading manuals seems to bear this out. I can't remember where I originally learned about it, might have been Layne Simpson.
arthurrh is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 02:27 PM   #20
artsmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 314
Lonestar .45, I agree with you on your views on a .243 Winchester.

I am not entirely convinced on this "too much recoil" phenomenon, but if people are recoil shy, then whittle off the foot pounds of kick by using less velocity,(.30-30) not by using a lighter bullet (.243) for them.
artsmom is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 03:45 PM   #21
308LAW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 15, 2005
Posts: 210
any magnum, velocity only adds range not killing power, a 30-30 will kill a deer just as dead as a 30-378 Weatherby magnum at 100 yrds, and most deer are killed at under 150 yrds.
As for a specific caliber that is not a magnum IMHO I think the 30-06 is overrated (not a bad cartidge just overrated) the 308 has almost exactly the same velocity in a more efficent case and is much more accurate.
308LAW is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 04:25 PM   #22
Trxxx
Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 47
Quote:
Why are you blaming the cartridge for this flinch?
Artsmom: I am not blaming the cartridge. The cartridge is an inanimate object or a ballistic concept, depending on your definition, and can in no way be held culpable. I am blaming the shooter for choosing a calibre that he was not able to shoot properly.

Your point about poor shooting fundamentals is exactly right. My personal observations have led me to the conclusion that too many shooters attempt to compensate for poor shooting fundamentals (and consequently poor shot placement) with magnum power, on the basis that extra power will in some way compensate for not putting the bullet in the right place. Instead of improving the situation, the extra recoil and blast actually makes their shooting even worse.

As for your point about .243 - I know many professional deer hunters who use nothing else, and these guys probably shoot more deer in a week than most Americans will in a lifetime.
Trxxx is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 04:45 PM   #23
artsmom
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2005
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 314
/*As for your point about .243 - I know many professional deer hunters who use nothing else, and these guys probably shoot more deer in a week than most Americans will in a lifetime.*/

So, do they kill this many deer because they use a .243, in spite of using a .243, or is it totally irrelevant what these guys are using?

I have said before, that if someone said I had to finish out my days deer hunting using a .243/6mm Remington, it wouldn't faze me a bit. If they said I had to use a .30-30, I would scope it and single feed it spitzer bullets, and it still wouldn't faze me. Neither would a .338 Winchester Magnum.

However, since I can split hairs (and picking a .243 over a .300 Winchester Magnum or vice versa to ensure success for deer, to me, is splitting hairs), I would take a 7mm Remington Magnum if only allowed one deer cartridge, but that might be the rifle and its past successes more than the cartridge.

I agree that picking a magnum cartridge to make up for lack of practice is wrong. However, I think picking a .243 to make up for lack of practice is just as wrong, and lack of practice is what is at the root of most flinches and cases of being recoil shy. Anyone big enough to drag a deer out of the woods is big enough to handle the recoil of a .270 Winchester. If they can't, (barring some injury), then they haven't shot high power cartridges enough, and they are prone to miss with either a .243 or a .300.
artsmom is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 05:09 PM   #24
chemist308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2005
Location: Pocono Mtns, PA
Posts: 587
Quote:
I am not entirely convinced on this "too much recoil" phenomenon
Too much recoil is real. Anyone who uses a higher recoil gun and doesn't believe it, try this: Chamber a spent shell case, take aim and pull the trigger--notice your flinch in the crosshairs by as much as 12 inches. Yep the recoil did that.
chemist308 is offline  
Old August 15, 2005, 05:11 PM   #25
Trxxx
Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 47
Quote:
So, do they kill this many deer because they use a .243, in spite of using a .243, or is it totally irrelevant what these guys are using?

I wouldn't describe it as irrelevant. They have the choice of any legal deer calibre - basically .243 and upwards (30-30 is not a legal deer calibre in the UK) - and the fact that so many choose the .243 simply says that a lot of them think it is the best choice for the job.

We can speculate on the reasons why in another thread, if you like.
Trxxx is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14516 seconds with 7 queries