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Old November 25, 2006, 12:58 PM   #1
AZ Hunter
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Which caliber is best???

I wanting to get an exellent Pronghorn/Deer rifle. My options are 6mm Rem, 243, 25-06, 257 Roberts. I hunt in the wide open spaces of Arizona so distance is a concideration. I want something that has a very flat trajectory and a lot of punch out to 200-300 yds. Is this possible? How is Ruger in any one of these calibers?
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Old November 25, 2006, 02:13 PM   #2
rem33
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All good calibers. If I was hunting deer at those ranges I think I'd pick the 25-05 because of heaver bullets than the 24's and a little faster than the 257. None are a bad choice. I use 30-06 and feel confident to 300 yards if I have a good rest and can hold steady.

Last edited by rem33; November 25, 2006 at 03:21 PM. Reason: rest
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Old November 25, 2006, 03:13 PM   #3
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Ever thought about the 270 or 308. Both are good long range calibers.
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Old November 25, 2006, 03:27 PM   #4
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I think that out of that bunch the .25-06 is the best and then the .243. If you want something that shoots as flat and hits harder you can take up .270 Winchester.

I compared the ballistics at the Remington website and...

A 100 grain core-lokt in .243 a 120 grain in .25-06 and a 130 grain in .270 are almost identical.

The trajectories out to 300 yards are so close that youll never notice the difference in a real world situation. (If you wanna split hairs the .270 wins)

The energy of the bullets is also very close within reasonable distances. The .25-06 and .270 are very close and the .243 falls a little bit behind in this class.

Out to 300 yards the .270 has a edge in velocity but after that the .25-06 takes the cake.

Basically whatever round you choose will have you well armed and the deer and pronghorns wont be able to tell the difference in what hit them.
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Old November 25, 2006, 04:03 PM   #5
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I agree with most people on this post that out of the choices you give .25-06 is the best with .243 second. If you want harder hitting calibers then I also agree with the .270 Win as a good choice but if you hand load I'd probably pick the .280 Rem. The .280 has better choices of bullets for the hand loader than the .270. Both the .280 and .270 will retain more energy and veloicty down range both staying over 1000 ft lbs past 500 yards as well as over 2000 fps. Plus if you ever get an AZ Elk hunt you will definatly have enough gun with the .270 or .280.
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Old November 25, 2006, 06:36 PM   #6
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Thants for the insight. I do do all my own handloads and currently have a Ruger M77 MKII in 7mm Rem Mag for my elk hunts (which hasn't let me down yet). Now I have more calibers to concider.
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Old November 25, 2006, 06:55 PM   #7
fairview mick
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Flat shooting rifle

If you are hand loading, you might want to take a look at the 7mm mag in a light bullet. I think somewhere in the 130 to 140 grain range. it's been a while since I loaded for that caliber, but it was hot, flat and had a good bit of energy at 200 and 300 yads. I shot it out of a Ruger M77 with a 3x9 Luepold
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Old November 25, 2006, 07:26 PM   #8
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Out of your choices I would go with the 25-06. Serious long range accuracy is possible with the 25-06 as well as a bit more "poop" than the others.
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Old November 25, 2006, 08:28 PM   #9
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Since you roll your own loads I'd seriously consider the 6mm Rem. Build yourself a nice rig with a 1-10 twist in the barrel and you have yourself a great rifle. I love the .243 but the 6mm has more case to fill so you could build yourself some really great loads. There are some other cases as well that could be a lot of fun to play with such as the 6mm-284, .260 Rem, and 6.5-284.
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Old November 25, 2006, 11:57 PM   #10
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AZ i have the same rifle and caliber, why not use that at distance. At 300yards a Federal Nosler Ballistic tip is pusing 2700fps rance and 2100 Ft lbs of energy at 150grain.
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Old November 26, 2006, 12:22 AM   #11
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Go with the 25-06

Out of the 4 you listed, the 25-06 is the flattest shooting with trajectories being almost the same as the 7mm magnums. The .25 hits pretty hard and if you are into reloading you can get even more out of it. All things considered, a real good long range round. As far as Ruger is concerned, I have a M77 chambered in .35 Whelen and it is a very accurate rifle. I would expect the same from any Ruger.
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Old November 26, 2006, 02:25 AM   #12
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AZ, I'd probably go with the .25-06. But even better would be a caliber like the .270 Win, especially for the deer. The added weight of a 130 or 140 grain .270 will help with the deer, especially if you hit bone. Out to 300 yards, most any caliber is pretty good, and the .270 is well known for flat-shootin'.

Edited to add: for prongs and deer, I'd stick with the .270 over a magnum caliber. The mag will be heavier, more expensive to load, louder, and will recoil harder. If you examine this ballistic table for the .270 Win. and the 7mm Rem Mag, both do very well out to 300 yards; the .270 only drops 1.6 inches more than the 7mm Mag.

How about this idea: a .257 Weatherby Mag?!? I've hunted with a buddy who used one. Now that would be a cool long-range prong/deer rifle. My buddy took a deer with it, and it is tough on deer!

Totally conflicting statements. Hope that helps.
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Old November 26, 2006, 11:44 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the input. It sounds like they will all be pretty good gun choices. I'll have to look at ballistics on all and make a choice. Again, thanks for everyones opinion.
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Old November 27, 2006, 01:20 AM   #14
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One More Vote

I built a .257 Ackley on a Mexican Mauser.My 30-06,7mag,30-338 rest in the rack a lot,especially for pronghorn and deer.
It is easy to shoot well with mild recoil,meat damage is not horrendous,and heart/lung shots just die.I use a 115 Ballistic tip.BC is around .435 vel is 3090.
I use a 6x42 Leupold and sight in dead on at 300.The upper hanging heavy crosshair tip is dead on at 100 yds and the lower heavy crosshair tip is right at about 420 at my 4800 ft altitude.Accuracy is MOA with a fwt barrel
The 25-06 duplicates this without forming Ackley brass.
As you have a 7mag,no need toward the heavier calibers.
Ballistic charts are a great tool,but better isn't always more.There are sweet spots.If you are staying in the 300 yd range,a regular .257 Roberts +P is a real sweet deer/antelope rifle.You are heading in a good direction.Enjoy
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Old November 27, 2006, 05:05 AM   #15
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Aren't we forgeting someone. Our old friend Mr. 30-06. IMO this is the best all around game round there is, its been used effectively on everything from coyotes to deer to elk and even gators and rhinos. I know this isn't one of your options but I just had to give props to this classic round.
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Old November 27, 2006, 09:06 AM   #16
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I'd run with .25-06 or .270 for plenty of downrange energy, if in doubt. But ANY of those are excellent long-range rounds. A lot of people out west (apparently) consider the .25-06 the consummate long range antelope rifle nowadays.
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Old November 27, 2006, 01:17 PM   #17
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the .270 will do what you want and more,I too live and hunt in AZ and over all it is hard to beat the .270 and the ammo is cheep and plentyfull. it will take elk if need be too.
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Old November 27, 2006, 01:44 PM   #18
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.243/6mm offers versatility

If you want a light multi-tasker rifle, .243 is a nice option. You can shoot 55 grain bullets for small game and varmints, and shoot up to 115 grain bullets for medium to large game. .243 is flat shooting, long range, low recoil. It also has a larger variety of ammo available than the others you mentioned. I shot a whitetail yesterday with 95gr Hornaday Light Magnum SST and it performed flawlessly (MV 3100 fps, ME 2027 ft. lbs).

Whatever caliber you go with, I would definately get a short-action rifle so you aren't lugging around extra weight. My Kimber Montana is only 5.5lbs and is a pleasure to hike/hunt with in the field.

More Info:
http://www.chuckhawks.com/friendly_6mm.htm
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Old November 27, 2006, 03:10 PM   #19
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Just about everything in life is a compromise. I feel the .257 in either version is a very nice compromise...........Essex
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Old November 27, 2006, 05:06 PM   #20
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Ruger makes an excellent rifle in whichever caliber you chose.

Personally I only have experience with .243. It's great for hogs, deer, song dogs, and varmints.

I don't even own a ruger rifle anymore, but before I had child support pyments I had a no. 1 in .308 and a 77 in .243. I've had winchester, weatherby (vanguards only, no mkIV ever), ruger, remington, and savage.

RUGER is awesome. Easily as nice as the winchester. I can't say enough about how nice of a rifle ruger makes.
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Old November 27, 2006, 06:28 PM   #21
Jseime
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Quote:
I do do all my own handloads and currently have a Ruger M77 MKII in 7mm Rem Mag
I know that you probably just want a new rifle but the 7mm Mag with a decent handload and a lighter bullet will outperform any of the calibers listed in your original post.

However if youre at all like me and just want a new gun i think that the .270 is still the best out of that group, just because i love it.

Get anouther ruger for the rifle though i love that controlled round feed and i really like mine with the laminated and stainless combo with a black scope.
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Old November 27, 2006, 07:38 PM   #22
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The 25-06 is a great deer antelope cartridge. I had one years ago and wish I had never parted with it.
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Old November 27, 2006, 08:39 PM   #23
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if your are looking for light kicking hard hittin flat shootin round take a look at a 257weatherby. Since you handload youll save a lot on ammo cost for it and it is like a supercharged 25-06. The vanguared line doesnt cost anymore then a rem700
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Old November 27, 2006, 09:20 PM   #24
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I grew up hunting the Ruby mountains, East Humbolt mountains, Mugollon Rim, Cedar Breaks, North Rim country. 30-06 with 180 gr Sierra spbt at 2850fps took every thing I could hold the sights on, from deer, cat and bear to Javelina and coyote. Sighted 4" high at 400 yards with a 6:00 hold on an 8" bull. I also used that same load for 1000 yard no-glass competiton.

We would load the 168s for rock chucks and such when in the lava beds.

Can you tell which one I prefer?

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Old November 27, 2006, 10:32 PM   #25
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Above I said .270 or .25-06. Just want to point out that of these two, for reasons that others mentioned, the .270 win is just about the perfect all-around choice for very long range on deer & smaller game, and so probably edges out .25-06 and others, in large part because factory ammo is so cheap, plentiful, and in varied loadings. 150-160 gr spitzers have good BCs for long range. Splits the difference between .25-06 and .30-06, which are also good choices. Still, in truth, the .243 or 6mm rem will do the job at reasonable hunting ranges, and kick less. .257 robts for that matter too. Bottom line, since your "short list" is good, you can't go wrong.
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