The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 13, 2011, 08:23 AM   #1
Cascade1911
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2011
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Posts: 450
Best Cartridge for New England White Tail

One more time

Got my trusty Ruger Model 77 in .270 Win about thirty years ago (16 yo at the time). Spent a lot of time deciding on the cartridge. Had dreams of hunting antelope out west (never did) and did use it for long range chuck hunting. Mainly though I use it for white tail. I've never seen a deer here in New York more than fifty yards and most I've take between 25 and 40 yards. Last year was my closest shot at about 10 yards.
Now the .270 drops them in their tracks but sure makes a mess. I usually loose the better part of a front shoulder to blood shot. On the other hand I've never lost a deer and never had the opportunity to test my untried tracking skills. On the other hand, at the ranges I'm talking about I'd guess I'd have to make a pretty poor shot not to drop them even with the 30/30 or my grandfathers favorite the 303 savage (in a sweet model 99).

So the question for all my neighbors here in the northeast. What rifle/ cartridge you like for white tail?
Cascade1911 is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 08:55 AM   #2
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,781
The 270 you've got is as good as anything else and better than most.
jmr40 is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 09:22 AM   #3
Sea Buck
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 9, 2008
Location: Maine
Posts: 224
The .270 is a great caliber.I used a .30-06 for years and it puts them down from all angles. I went to a .243 this year and it worked the same: DRT. Not as much damage.I going to stick with it for awhile.Good for 'yotes also.
Sea Buck is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 09:31 AM   #4
bswiv
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 4, 2006
Location: NE FL.......
Posts: 1,081
This is not meant to be a criticism but rather a suggestion.

Seeing sense the shots tend to be as close as they are that takeing a little more time with placement could be a solution??

The rifle you have is a very good one and it appears from the fact that you've never lost one that you are a good shot and not prone to letting fly when there is a question.

With those positives maybe just a little more faith in your skill and maybe a few seconds more patience now and then and start putting the shot behind the shoulder. Even a .270 will not mess up meat if it passes through the ribs only.

Granted the deer may run a ways but not far.........

And in this instance you get to keep a very good rifle that you are very familiar with.

On the other hand, if you are set on replacing the rifle, what you'll need to do to reduce meat damage ( without changing shot location ) is to go big and SLOW. Pick something with a large bullet that punches a big hole, breaks bones and goes all the way through, but does not travel so fast as to create a lot of hydrostatic shock to the surrounding tissue.

45/70, .44 mag......that kind of thing......

Personally I use a old .35 Rem which kind of splits the difference in that it does not do a lot of meat damage and it goes through the average deer here in Fl......hogs too.

The 30-30 and the .300 Sav will cause a lot more meat damage than you think.
bswiv is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 09:44 AM   #5
Cascade1911
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2011
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Posts: 450
I appreciate the sentiment bswiv. I do shoot generally behind the shoulder. The shoulder I usually loose is the one on the exit side. I've thought on maybe a .35 remington, many seem to like it. A 45-70 is also a thought.
Cascade1911 is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 11:49 AM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,338
7mm-08

It's the best cartridge for hunting in North America. < Notice the period.
__________________
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 online now  
Old November 13, 2011, 12:35 PM   #7
Cascade1911
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 27, 2011
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Posts: 450
The question however is the thick woods of New England not the endlessly varied terrain of North America. (even your section of our state has a lot more open terrain then the eastern Adirondacks and northeast Columbia county where I do most of my white tail hunting......)

Last edited by Cascade1911; November 13, 2011 at 12:43 PM.
Cascade1911 is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 12:41 PM   #8
black mamba
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 13, 2011
Location: O'Fallon, MO
Posts: 547
I will second the "big and slow" suggestion. A .44 mag carbine shooting 240 - 300 grain gas-checked LSWC or WFN bullets would be perfect. Complete pass throughs from any angle with little meat loss from high velocity shock.
black mamba is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 01:20 PM   #9
sc outdoorsman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 23, 2009
Location: Western SC
Posts: 208
Around here if the shot distance is limited to under 40 yards a lot of people use 12 ga. shotguns with 00-000 buck and full chokes. The meat damage is a lot less with buckshot. You may not be used to this type of hunting, but we have stands that are set up similarly and that's all we use when we hunt them.
sc outdoorsman is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 01:31 PM   #10
Daryl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2008
Posts: 2,350
First, the solution may be more simple than you think.

I blew big holes in our little whitetail deer (coues deer) here in Az for some time, simply because the only bullets that my local shop carried for reloading were Sierra Game Kings.

Better bullets make a huge difference. You may want to try shooting a load that uses better bullets; bullets designed for limited expansion, rather than quick expansion like so many do these days. You can even buy factory fodder that's loaded with premium bullets, and they'll make a big difference in the amount of meat damaged.

If, however, you're determined to try another rifle (nothing wrong with that notion, either), and your shots are close, I'd suggest something along the lines of a rifle chambered for a handgun cartridge. Something like a .44 mag, .45 Colt, or even a .357 mag would do fine. A short barreled lever action carbine is fast handling, hard hitting, and plenty accurate enough for the type hunting you describe.

I have a 16" barreled Win '92 in .45 Colt that would be just the ticket. I use it for calling bears in thick brush, but it'd work just as well on close range whitetails.

Daryl
Daryl is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 01:39 PM   #11
upstate81
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 20, 2011
Location: NY
Posts: 243
From one new yorker to another .35 whelen lever gun fills the void quite well. And is a blast to shoot. i cant use mine in 8F thats why i travel after the regular season is done I have plenty of DMP to fill on the farm with a spot light and the 06
upstate81 is online now  
Old November 13, 2011, 01:42 PM   #12
TGDKY
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2009
Posts: 135
30.06.
__________________
‘‘To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them...’’

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
TGDKY is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 03:25 PM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascade1911 View Post
The question however is the thick woods of New England not the endlessly varied terrain of North America. (even your section of our state has a lot more open terrain then the eastern Adirondacks and northeast Columbia county where I do most of my white tail hunting......)
Don't matter.

Most of my shots at deer are bow range. Very few over 50 yards. In fact, of over 30 taken with a gun, I've killed TWO over about 50 yards.
Just because a gun CAN kill deer at 500 yards doesn't mean it's not a good 50 yard gun.

7-08. Plenty of power, mild recoil, works well with popular 22" or so barrels, handloads down to 110gr at a blistering 3,300 fps from a 24" barrel, factory ammo at 2,850 and 140gr.

If I could pick any cartridge for big game, it'd be either 25-06 or 7-08. 7-08 if I plan to ever hunt bigger than deer big game and whether or not i reload, 25-06 if its forever a deer gun AND I reload.
Brian Pfleuger is online now  
Old November 13, 2011, 05:10 PM   #14
Buzzcook
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 5,604
Try different bullets.

At the ranges your talking about a shotgun would work to.
Buzzcook is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 05:50 PM   #15
Daryl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2008
Posts: 2,350
Quote:
Just because a gun CAN kill deer at 500 yards doesn't mean it's not a good 50 yard gun.
This is exactly right; however, high velocity with fragile bullets can cause massive meat damage, especially at close range where velocities are highest. This was the OP's complaint.

Quote:
7-08. Plenty of power, mild recoil, works well with popular 22" or so barrels, handloads down to 110gr at a blistering 3,300 fps from a 24" barrel, factory ammo at 2,850 and 140gr.
Very good point, but the issue was meat damage. Light for caliber bullets at high velocity are bad about just that, although they do kill well. A well constructed 7mm bullet at the above mentioned 2850 fps might work very well, although likely no better than the .270 Win with equal bullets.

Quote:
If I could pick any cartridge for big game, it'd be either 25-06 or 7-08. 7-08 if I plan to ever hunt bigger than deer big game and whether or not i reload, 25-06 if its forever a deer gun AND I reload.


peetzakilla
The difference between the 25-06, 7mm-08, and the .270 Win are minimal. I'd not buy one of the others if I already owned one of the three. I like most cartridges based on the .308 and '06 cases; they perform well in the game fields, but performance differences, and differences in damage done on target are minimal, and vary mostly from the type and construction of the bullet used.

Of course, all bets are off on meat damage if large bones are hit with a high velocity bullet. To prevent this type of damage, a larger, slower bullet can be just the ticket; especially at closer ranges.

Daryl
Daryl is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 05:55 PM   #16
stu925
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 942
6.5x55 Swedish Mauser is my pick. Mine was handed down from my father and is my absolute favorite whitetail cartridge. With my reloads it'll group into <1" at 100 yds and drops deer like there's no tomorrow when I do my part. My longest shot at a deer was in the neighborhood of 100yds, shortest about 15yds. I'm actually considering picking up a couple of the CZ rifles in 6.5x55 for my boys for when they are old enough to start hunting I like the cartridge that much. All that being said There usually is some meat loss around the wound but generally not too bad, I imagine that if hit in the shoulder you'd lose most of that shoulder. I think you're probably going to lose meat no matter what cartridge you use if it penetrates the shoulder but I could be wrong.

Stu
stu925 is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 06:34 PM   #17
Goatwhiskers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 8, 2009
Location: Batchelor, La.
Posts: 461
How about a neck shot? Minimal meat damage. Goat
Goatwhiskers is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 07:10 PM   #18
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,338
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daryl
Of course, all bets are off on meat damage if large bones are hit with a high velocity bullet. To prevent this type of damage, a larger, slower bullet can be just the ticket; especially at closer ranges.

The solution is to stop shooting at "meaty" places and use bullets that DON'T fragment.

I shot a small deer last year at 40 yards with my 15" Encore in 7-08 loaded with 110gr Barnes TTSX. Granted, I "only" get 2,850 with 110gr in the 15" barrel but those bullets DO NOT fragment. I got complete penetration, excellent expansion (exit hole about 1") and ZERO meat damage (not counting ribs which I don't use).

Bullets that won't hold together should not be used. That's why I use the TTSX.

I've only found one thing to be constant, across bullet types and cartridge choices.... shoot meat, damage meat, don't shoot meat, don't damage meat.

If I had a 270 I wouldn't bother switching to a 7-08 or anything else for deer. I'd load Barnes TTSX and use the 270 and I wouldn't aim for "meaty" places. But, I don't (and wouldn't) have a 270. But the OP didn't ask that question, he asked what cartridge we like.

I don't understand shooting deer in the shoulder on purpose. Sure, I've put a bullet or three through shoulders but typical shots don't call for it at all. Even at fairly sharp angles you can hit both lungs and still miss the opposite shoulder.

I also don't buy the idea that large and slow makes less meat damage. By far, the vast majority of deer that I've killed with a gun have been with 12ga slugs. I have used slugs from 400gr at approximately 1250fps up to 300gr and 2100fps. They all destroy massive amounts of any meat they hit. No more, and no less, than rifle bullets that I've seen.
__________________
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.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; November 13, 2011 at 07:42 PM.
Brian Pfleuger is online now  
Old November 13, 2011, 07:22 PM   #19
ZeroJunk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 14, 2006
Location: Browns Summit NC
Posts: 2,471
If there is much fit to eat on a deer's shoulder I've never seemed to be able to find it. If I happen to ruin a deer's shoulder it is not a big deal. Two or three pounds of something that's only fit to grind in to burger anyway. A high shot messing up the loins is something to avoid. And obviously, if you hit him in a ham you really messed up.
ZeroJunk is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 08:04 PM   #20
camper4lyfe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2008
Location: Fairport, NY
Posts: 157
For the ranges you're looking at, a 12ga is perfect. Your 270 is way overkill.
camper4lyfe is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 08:08 PM   #21
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,338
There's not a snowballs chance in hell that I'd carry a heavy, bulky, high-recoiling cannon like a 12ga if I had a 270 in the safe that I could legally use. Not a snowballs chance.
__________________
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 online now  
Old November 13, 2011, 08:39 PM   #22
arch308
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2011
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 876
I agree with peetzakilla, I find rib to rib shots drop them quick enough, leave a good blood trail, and harm no meat. If I was hunting in your neck of the woods my trusty Marlin 30-30 would be the ticket, or my Rossi 45 Colt.
arch308 is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 08:44 PM   #23
stu925
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2010
Location: New York
Posts: 942
Quote:
If there is much fit to eat on a deer's shoulder I've never seemed to be able to find it.
I use all that shoulder meat in sausage. Actually venison breakfast sausage is one of my favorite foods so I'd be pretty upset if I ruined an entire shoulder.

Stu
stu925 is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 09:10 PM   #24
ZeroJunk
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 14, 2006
Location: Browns Summit NC
Posts: 2,471
Quote:
I use all that shoulder meat in sausage. Actually venison breakfast sausage is one of my favorite foods so I'd be pretty upset if I ruined an entire shoulder.

It's a where you are at thing I suppose. I usually don't even keep the shoulders. I pick them up with the loader, skin them down to the shoulders, cut the loins out and cut them off at the hams. I don't even gut them. If it is a great big doe I may decide to use the shoulders. Depends.

Here you can kill as many as you want, usually here on the farm or close by.

If you weren't killing them to eat you would be killing them anyway for destroying your crops.

If I lived where you could only kill one deer and that one was hard to find I would probably try to save every bit of it as well.
ZeroJunk is offline  
Old November 13, 2011, 09:24 PM   #25
Brian Pfleuger
Staff
 
Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,338
Wow. I thought throwing away the ribs (which we do) was kind of wasteful. There must be... 15%, at least... of all the meat on the front shoulders? The front legs are A LOT of meat.
Brian Pfleuger is online now  
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 12:15 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 0.13518 seconds with 7 queries