The Firing Line Forums

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

Closed Thread
Thread Tools
Old February 17, 2011, 03:19 AM   #1
Join Date: February 17, 2011
Posts: 35
'Low' recoil deer caliber recommendation?

I really hate to stir up this kind of 'this round is better then that round' debate, but I'm looking to buy something higher power then my .22lr's for hunting and need some input.

My original thought was leaning toward .243 as I am a small guy and would really love to not blow out my shoulder. Yes, that's an exaggeration, but I've many of my Dad's rifles and I just can't handle more then 5 rounds out of a 30-06 before I've had enough. Maybe I'm just spoiled on being able to put 1000 rounds of .22 downrange in a single outing without having a bruised shoulder when I get home.

That being said, I started thinking about .243, but then I starting drifting toward something .270 ish and then up to 30-06 before coming back to .243 and now I'm getting fed up thinking it over and would like some other opinions.

What would I be hunting? I'm down in the South East and the only thing I really have interest in is deer. That being said, I do have family up North and out West and would love to have something that I could use if I go visit and get told, "Hey, bring your rifle, we'll go hunt xxxx while you're here!"

So, based on that, is there a lower powered round that you would recommend for me? I'd also prefer something that isn't exotic, I don't want to have to special order every time I want to go to the range, and would love for said round to be cheap enough that I can PRACTICE enough with it that shot placement becomes second nature.
sneasle is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 03:42 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: South Texas
Posts: 797
I think your right on track with the 243. If the 30-06 is uncomfortable for you to shoot, then the 270 isn't going to be much different. With 150 and 165 gr bullets out of the 06 is not going to be much different than 130 gr bullets out the 270. There's not a deer alive that the 243 can handle cleanly. Another choice would be the 25-06. It's hotter than a 243, but not too much more recoil. Although I don't like to get into ammo availability arguments, the 243 will be somewhat easier to find than the 25-06.
trooper3385 is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 04:49 AM   #3
Junior member
Join Date: August 21, 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 214
My Howa 30-06 has a Hogue OverMolded stock and the recoil pad on that is so soft I can't see it ever hurting my shoulder. Maybe a padded shooting jacket and/or recoil pad is in order?
Win_94 is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 05:59 AM   #4
phil mcwilliam
Senior Member
Join Date: July 18, 2007
Posts: 573
Go get your 243 & learn to shoot it accurately. Its the perfect step up from a 22 & will sort you from varmits to deer. The 243 is flat shooting & hard hitting with little recoil & I remember when it was considered a good all round caliber(excepting dangerous game), before the arrival of a multitude of "new" calibers.
phil mcwilliam is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 08:30 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 11,629
If you can't handle recoil, I guess the .243 is your best avenue.
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Kreyzhorse is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 08:40 AM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: December 24, 2010
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,117
Low recoil deer caliber? Well.

.243, .260, 7mm-08, .30-30, .250 Savage, the list goes on and on. Make sure you invest in a good recoil pad. I like Limbsaver or Pacmyr Decelerator. The newer pads are really good at soaking up recoil.

Seriously, I put a Limbsaver on my .30-06 and where I could only fire about 10 shots without feeling the pain, now I'm good for 40 or 50.
Dennis Dezendorf
PawPaw is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 08:50 AM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
.243 is perfectly adequate for deer, even elk if you know it's (and your) limits. Me, I would look toward the .25-06 and 7mm-08. The 25-06 in particular offers worthwhile energy and ballistics advantages over the .243 without much extra recoil. The 7-08 does the same again over the 25-06, but it is a fair bit more recoil than the .243 and the .25-06, though still substantially less than a 30-06.

If you don't reload your own ammo, cost of shooting may be the primary factor. Ammo for the 243 is going to be substantially cheaper than the 25-06 or 7mm-08.
Still happily answering to the call-sign Peetza.
The problem, as you so eloquently put it, is choice.
-The Architect
He is no fool who gives what he can not keep to gain what he can not lose.
-Jim Eliott, paraphrasing Philip Henry.
Brian Pfleuger is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 08:55 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: February 1, 2008
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 107
243, yes your on the right track. My first jump from 22lr was a 270,then a couple days later found a great deal on a Savage in a 30-06.Big mistake!! I developed bad habits to this day that still haunt me.I finally broke down and got some professional help.I had developed the infamous mini flinch.I was told that is usually happens when you make too big of a jump from rimfire.Also don,t buy cheap optics. As discussed on this forum hundreds of time,You Get What You Paid For. Bring yourself along the right way.Just trying to help..
Stillhunter is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 08:59 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: June 14, 2004
Location: NY State
Posts: 5,676
6.5x55 and 7-08 .
However the "small guy" may be very significant.If the stock does not fit you properly then any recoil will be accentuated !! It may be much better if you have a 'youth stock ' with shorter length of pull .Or you could cut one to size . Work on that first ,that's more important than fancy buttpads.
And Watson , bring your revolver !
mete is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 08:59 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 09:19 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: January 7, 2011
Location: ARIZONA
Posts: 175
.243 no question about it.
PIGMAN is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 09:19 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: April 7, 2010
Location: Ohio
Posts: 181
I'm going to agree with the rest of the posts so far. Get yourself a .243. I am a big supporter of that round because it has a wide range of uses.
“We don’t have centralized data-gathering to know what people are doing with these (concealed carry) licenses, but anecdotally, we know they’re doing quite a bit of harm." Kristen Rand, Violence Policy Center.
Ludarue is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 09:50 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: April 4, 1999
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,884
I have killed deer with 300 Wby Mag, 7 MM Rem Mag, .270 WCF, and the .243.
Longest shots with .243 on deer were within 250 yards, However I have killed several antelope with the .243 out to 525 yards.

I have had a higher percentage of in the tracks kills with the .243 than any of the others. The bulets for the .243 are designed for deer size animals, and my handloads chrono at 315o for the 100 gr bullets. It is easy to shoot also, and that helps to hit where you aim.

I don't think you would ever regret going with the .243. I have a couple of friends who only use the .243 and 6MM Rem 9With factory loads). They have killed dozens of deer including large mulies. Neither has seen any reason to go to a larger cartridge. Personally I think I could kill as many deer and as quickly with a .243 as a 30-06.

If you hit them in the lung/heart area they will go down quickly.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 -CENSORED-¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 -CENSORED-For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
JerryM is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 10:17 AM   #14
Hunter Customs
Senior Member
Join Date: March 26, 2005
Location: Osborn, Missouri
Posts: 2,162
I would vote for the 243, it's a great caliber. I've used it for both deer and coyote hunting.
If you are recoil sensitive I would stay away from the ultra light rifles.

I would advise against the 270, all the 270 rifles I've shot had a worse kick then the 30-06 rifles I've shot.
The kick from the 270 rifles felt more like a sharp punch while the 30-06 felt more like a push.

Also synthectic stocked rifles with a good recoil pad seem to have less felt recoil.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
Hunter Customs is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 10:36 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: December 30, 2008
Location: WV
Posts: 271
243 and 7mm-08 are very popular here in mississippi....
pmeisel is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 10:39 AM   #16
Art Eatman
Staff Lead
Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
Posts: 23,051
I've tagged a couple of dozen bucks via my .243. So, yeah, I'll chime in and give it a thumbs up vote.

As far as recoil in general, note that shooting from most any field position causes less pain than shooting from the benchrest. Your body gives more, rather than being pretty-much fixed in position.

My first '06 was an old 1917 Enfield, steel butt plate and all. Misery at the bench, but Lord knows how many shots I took out in the pasture; hundreds. I was 5-11, 125 pounds when all that happiness began. Skinny kid with a big grin.

Regardless of what you do, go ahead and spend some extra bucks for one of these new, modern butt pads. They're far superior to even the best of the old-days Pachmyrs.
You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
Art Eatman is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 11:23 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: April 4, 1999
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,884
Second Art's advice on a good recoil pad. I have them on all my centerfire rifles. Hard butt plates are uncomfortable for me on any rifle or shotgun.
I admit to being recoil sensitive, so I do what I can to offset it.

I remember when I shot skeet, and some guy would say "Recoil doesn't bother me." Then if he had a squib load or a misfire he would nerly jump off the station. I would tell him that "For someone who isn't bothered by recoil you sure do have a bad flinch."

Ecclesiastes 12:13 -CENSORED-¶Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 -CENSORED-For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
JerryM is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 11:30 AM   #18
Join Date: February 17, 2011
Posts: 35
Thanks guys, I do appreciate the input.

Someone mentioned stock size at one point and I want to address that. Yes, I'm a small guy but my upper body/arms are rather long, so I 'fit' must full stocks pretty well. That being said, I was originally looking at a Remington Model 7 in .243 for this as I through it to be a good fit.

My big thing is practice time. When I go to the range I'm typically there all day, which I love as I don't wear out with my pea shooters. I want to be able to work with the rifle so I know it and my round well.

Yes, I will invest in good glass, but thanks for the reminder.

Most of what I've shot of my Dad's stuff hasn't been on the bench. Mostly off hand or off the back of a bed of a truck out at the farm, that kind of thing. If I have shot it off a rest, it's been years and I don't remember.

Yes, a good recoil pad is always in order.
sneasle is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 11:33 AM   #19
Join Date: February 7, 2011
Location: Newnan, GA
Posts: 76
.243 or 7m-08. will get the job done, but i like .308 and it doesnt hardly recoil at all, but i do have a mcmillian stock and it helps.
Si vis pacem, para bellum-"If you wish for peace, prepare for war"
trustygun25 is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 12:31 PM   #20
Alan Duke
Senior Member
Join Date: September 1, 2009
Location: Tomball,TX
Posts: 111
Why not try the recoil pad on your dads 30-06 first and go from there?

Just my 2 cents, but other than that I say .243 also.
Alan Duke is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 12:59 PM   #21
Join Date: February 17, 2011
Posts: 35
I'm not local to my dad anymore, don't have access to it. If I go visit at some point before I decide to buy, I'll do that though. Thanks for the suggestion.
sneasle is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 02:57 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 7,747
.243 Win should do nearly anything you want.

I would avoid using it on Elk, should the occasion ever arise - unless you have enough experience to make the proper ammunition and shot selection choices.

If you think Elk or Moose could be a possibility in the near future, I would step up to .308 Win or .270 Win. (You would still need proper bullet and shot selection, of course.)

You'll be better off in the long run, if you learn to soak up the recoil of larger cartridges, anyway.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is online now  
Old February 17, 2011, 03:31 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: February 27, 2006
Location: Lane County Oregon
Posts: 2,547
+1 on a new recoil pad for the 30-06

And try out the managed recoil 30-06 ammo. My son and I shot up a couple of boxes and it is very nice to shoot. It is very nice, as my reloads are sighted a 2" high at 100 yds, and using the managed recoil puts it dead on at 100 yds for him, so I don't have to monkey around re-sighting everything.

Never mind, just figure out you don't have a 30-06.....
U.S Army, Retired

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. -Potter Stewart
davlandrum is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 10:14 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: February 10, 2009
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 705

not a 30-30
Catfishman is offline  
Old February 17, 2011, 10:31 PM   #25
Join Date: February 17, 2011
Posts: 35
Not a fan of the 30-30 eh?

I'm kinda fond of lever guns so I figure I'll end up with a 30-30 eventually.
sneasle is offline  
Closed Thread

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 02:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2015 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13266 seconds with 7 queries