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Old July 7, 2011, 09:48 AM   #1
pdt1793db
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Rifle for Antelope

Well after many years of applying I finally did it. I drew a hard to get Oklahoma Antelope tag in Texas County. So not having Antelope hunted before I must acquire equipment. My first item a new rifle Ive been thinking of a .243 because I want something thats flat shooting. If you guys have any specific recommendations it would be appriciated thanks.
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Old July 7, 2011, 10:02 AM   #2
Howard31
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Pronghorn Gun

It is hard to believe you waited so long for a tag and as of yet don't have a rifle .Time is awasting. To get a rifle , get it scoped, find the best ammo or work up a reload you are going to be right up on opening day. That being said. I would go for a 25-06 or a 270. Both have worked for me. Could use your deer rifle such as 308 or 30-06. Get good zeros for 300- 400 yards. Good Luck on your hunt.
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Old July 7, 2011, 10:10 AM   #3
603Country
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Yup, most of us would have bought a new gun before we even applied for the tag. Any excuse will do for me. As for caliber, I'm a 270 fan, but your choices are many.
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Old July 7, 2011, 10:11 AM   #4
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An old pal of mine got a Wyoming antelope at 300 yards with his 243. His was a Remington 788 and he was always very happy with the performance on deer as well.
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Old July 7, 2011, 10:16 AM   #5
AllenJ
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243 is an excellent chioce, as are the 25/06 and 270. Antelope are not tough creatures but they are wary, making long shots common. Good luck on you hunt and your purchase!
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Old July 7, 2011, 11:43 AM   #6
dgludwig
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A .243 would work just fine, as well as all of the cartridge options suggested thus far. My two favorites are the .257 Roberts and the .257 Weatherby Magnum. Though some criticize the Weatherby for being "over-bore" with the resultant shorter barrel life and the ammunition is more expensive and harder to find (if it's to be shot much, unless a person is pretty wealthy, handloading is a must for this round), not many rifle chamberings offer the reach this .257 Magnum does. Properly scoped ( I have a 4x12 mounted on mine), imo, it comes close to being the perfect antelope rifle.
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Old July 7, 2011, 11:47 AM   #7
Rifleman1776
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I have friends who hunt antelope with traditional muzzle loaders. And, on TV hunting shows they are attracted in by simple decoys, like a white cloth waving in the wind and shot with archery equipment. Apparently antelope are both curious and stupid. Why all the talk about long range rifles?
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Old July 7, 2011, 11:59 AM   #8
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I live in Wyoming and hunt them every year.
I have killed them with a long bow and a wood arrow, .62 cal flintlock, a .50 cal flintlock, a 44 mag S&W with a 4" barrel, as well as with 25-06, 30-06, 6.8SPC, 308, 270 Winchester and one with a 375 H&H (while on the way to hunt moose.)

Get REAL comfortable with having your belt buckle in the dirt and learn to stalk like a sniper. You'll do fine with about any firearm you want to hunt with. Resist the urge to look at the herd you are stalking. They have eyes that are beyond belief. But if you are below their line of sight, they are above yours. Note where they are and plan your stalk. Move under cover until you get to where you planned to be-- BEFORE you look again.
Keep low and use cover.

If you are going to buy a rifle as a dedicated "antelope rifle" the one to look at is a 25-06. It's got very light recoil and shoot flat. Zero at 250 and learn to shoot it well.
Happy hunting.
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Old July 7, 2011, 12:40 PM   #9
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Heck they all work, I usually use a .270 on down to the little bitty 6X47 Rem that I have. .223 and .22-250 might be legal in OK and they will work fine on pronghorn as well, like stated they aren't a tough animal to kill as long as you hit them properly. If you use a non-premium bullet go with the medium to heavy weight bullets. There isn't much to a pronghorn so you don't want a bullet to blow up on them and destroy a lot of the meat.

You really don't need a specialized rifle to hunt pronghorn, just a rifle you know how to shoot out to 300 yards. The largest cartridge I've used is my .375 Ruger next was my .338-06, both shots were inside 300 yards by quite a bit. If you work a little it is pretty easy to get inside of 300 yards.

When I decided to get a dedicated pronghorn rifle I went with the .25-06 and have never regretted the choice. It does double duty as a LR coyote and varmint rifle as well. I run 115-120 grain NBT and Sierra bullets through it most of the time and never have a problem taking down whatever I connect with.
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Old July 7, 2011, 12:58 PM   #10
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A 7mm-08 would be a very good antelop rifle very accuret and flate shooting.
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Old July 7, 2011, 02:29 PM   #11
a7mmnut
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In those winds, either the 120 gr, in .25-06, or the 140 gr. in the 6.5-06.

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Old July 7, 2011, 03:40 PM   #12
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I use .243 Win and .270 Win as my "standard" cartridges for Speed Goats.

The .243 is plenty of gun. I consider the .270 to be a bit of overkill, but it's my favorite rifle, and I stay more proficient with it throughout the year. Since I'm a head shot fan (on does), it only makes sense to use the most familiar rifle.

This year, I plan to use both: The .243 for my first doe tag (newly rebarreled M77 Tang Safety). The .270 for my second doe tag. However... I'm trying to talk my father into letting me use his .450 Nitro 3.25" double rifle for one of the tags... (I like to stalk in so close, I can pick which hair to put the bullet through. So, the double isn't really a handicap.)
I have only filled tags with .243 Win, .270 Win, and .30-06; but I never felt "under gunned" with .30-30, 7.62x39mm, 7.62x54R, .30-40 Krag, or .44 Rem Mag. Whatever you end up with, you just need to make sure you understand the strengths and limitations of that particular cartridge/rifle/ammunition combination.

As others have said - If long shots may have to be taken, practice a lot, and put some good glass on the rifle. My .243 wears a 6.5-20x50mm Leupold Vari-X III (used to be a .220 Swift, set up for long range varminting), and the .270 wears a 3.5-10x40mm Leupold VX-3.
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Old July 7, 2011, 04:42 PM   #13
JerryM
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I also have a .243 and .270. I have taken antelope with both, but I find the .243 as good as the .270. Whatever you have and can shoot with accuracy will do the job.
I found the 100 gr Sierra or Hornady bullets very effective on antelope, as well as mule deer.

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Old July 7, 2011, 05:01 PM   #14
SteelChickenShooter
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Can't say from my own experience. I understand that animal is not all that huge and is thin skinned. I've seen the taxidermy mounts, seen the photos, and heard all the stories. Prior to the hunt, my buddies were dialing in .243's. They have plenty of other choices, some of which have been mentioned here- but that's what they used for their hunt. And everyone bagged what they were going after.
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Old July 7, 2011, 05:08 PM   #15
pdt1793db
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Ok I HAVE a deer rifle but I convinced the wife this is a one time thing that will never never happen again so she gave me the ok. Im taking advantage of uping the numbers in the safe here also. I have a .308, 30-06, .270 but none will work catch my drift.
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Old July 7, 2011, 05:36 PM   #16
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You can explain to your wife that even golfers have to use more than one club...
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Old July 7, 2011, 05:53 PM   #17
pdt1793db
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The way I explained it to her is that the antelope has a thinner hide than deer. Also the shot will have to be farther away so I need something flat shooting. I explained to her that I dont want to mess up the meat with a caliber thats over kill plus I want something that moves faster that has less time for the wind to play with. Which is all mostly true. Im at least shooting for another Thompson Center Barrel here if not another rifle so a little help guys.
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Old July 7, 2011, 06:04 PM   #18
phil mcwilliam
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If you already own & are proficient with a .270, .308 & 30/06, you already have ideal antelope rifles. I wouldnt bother with a 25/06 if I already owned & shot well with a .270. I suppose if I was in your position, with your current line up of cartridges, Id go for something different either on the lighter side(such as 22/250) or on the heavier side (such as .375 magnum), just as a contrast to your current line up, which ballistically are all similar.
I mainly use my .308 for alround hunting, but occassionally I break out my Sako 22/250 which is a superb long range rifle for goat sized game. I recently returned from Zimbabwe where I mainly shot .375 H&H Magnum. The rifle was a CZ heavy barrel & felt recoil seemed the same as a 30/06. I would never had considered a .375 H&H magnum before this latest trip, but I had a lot of fun shooting this caliber. It has similar trajectory to 300 yards as a 30/06 & I can confirm the fact that the .375 has enough knock down power for all sizes of antelope.
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Old July 7, 2011, 06:13 PM   #19
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a 243 has always been great ,but check out a 6.5x55 or 260 .Less prone to move around in the wind at distance . It's a good excuse to get a new rifle if nothing else .
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Old July 7, 2011, 06:22 PM   #20
Kreyzhorse
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Quote:
Ok I HAVE a deer rifle but I convinced the wife this is a one time thing that will never never happen again so she gave me the ok. Im taking advantage of uping the numbers in the safe here also. I have a .308, 30-06, .270 but none will work catch my drift.

A .243, .270, .308, 30.06 or 7mm Rem Mag are all good choices. Antelope aren't particularly hard to kill if you make a good shot on them. If you still feel the need to buy one, you can't go wrong with a .243 or a 7mm Rem Mag.
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Old July 7, 2011, 06:26 PM   #21
flintlock.50
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I've killed several pronghorns with my .30-06, the last one at 402 yards. My son took his "goat" at 497 yards, also with an ought six. I hunted with someone who used a .30-06 to take one at 750 yards! (Got it on video too!)

The proliferation of range finders and the new scopes with ballistic reticles or elevation dials calibrated in yards (e.g. Leupold's CDS) take away some of the "flat shooting" argument. Also, my 150 grain load at 2870 fps and my 165 grain load at 2830 fps have the same ballistics out to 650 yards. Beyond that I don't care.

I can vouch that the CDS really works. This weekend I shot at metallic silhouettes from 215 to 545 yards; back and forth between four distances. While doing that I sent three rounds (not consecutively) to a paper target at 425 yards. Here is the result.



With your wife convinced you need a new rifle for this once in a lifetime opportunity, I don't think you can go wrong with whatever you choose. Your real challenge now is to convince her that you also need a new scope and range finder!
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Old July 7, 2011, 06:55 PM   #22
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375 H&H just to be sure
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Old July 7, 2011, 06:58 PM   #23
.300 Weatherby Mag
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.243, .25-06, .270 Win

Dad uses a .257 Weatherby... That thing is a speedgoat assassin!!
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Old July 7, 2011, 07:02 PM   #24
dave in maine
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look at the 6.5 creedmore an article in the nra mag hunter has a glowing report and i believe tc makes a barrel for it.
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Old July 7, 2011, 07:31 PM   #25
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While antelope (pronghorn, actually), are wary, they are also very curious. Hiding behind a good-sized clump of sagebrush, we would wave a large white piece of cloth. As long as the wind stays right, and you stay hidden, they'll come right up to you
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