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Old November 5, 2012, 09:19 AM   #1
HAMMER1DOWN
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Good all around caliber to use for Mtn. Lion

Hey ya'll, this coming January I am going on a mountain lion hunt and am just curious what would be a good caliber rifle that is going to put it down without doing an excessive amount of damage with an exit wound? I will put a list of my center fire rifle calibers below.

-.223 (AR platform)
-.22-250 (heavy varmint rifle)
-7x57 Mauser (standard Ruger m77)
-.308 (heavy profile rifle)
-300 Win Mag (standard profile)

And just to cover my bases...
-.50 caliber black powder muzzle loader (caplock)
-12 gauge shotgun
-.410 shotgun

I am leaning towards the 7x57 with hand loaded 110-120 grain bullets that will not penetrate to far.
Thanks for your time and input.

Robert
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:30 PM   #2
Ole 5 hole group
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If you're talking about a fair chase mountain lion hunt, good luck with that - carry the lightest weight rifle you can find, as I seriously doubt you'll see one. Now if you're using dogs, which most outfitters do - then the cat will be in a tree when you get there and a 22 lr will do the trick.

The 7X57 will be just fine - get a heavy jacketed bullet, as not to damage the hide. Good luck and enjoy the experience.
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Old November 6, 2012, 04:48 PM   #3
jmr40
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The lightest I owned that I could shoot well out to 50 yards or so. No need for larger calibers. In your case either the AR or the 7X57.

I'd bet you get complete penetration with any load in any of those rifles. I wouldn't worry to much about the exact load.
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Old November 6, 2012, 05:57 PM   #4
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Lions go down pretty easy when hit. I think the 223 is enough.
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Old November 6, 2012, 06:24 PM   #5
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The Black Hills is getting hit heavy with mountain lions lately. Raising heck with the deer and elk populations. Not to mention live stock.

One as been hanging around here, we seen him a couple times from the kitchen window. It Wyoming its legal to kill lions harassing stock but to keep the hides, you have to have a license.

Wife is afraid for her horses so we got her a tag. I'm too old to chase those suckers but I don't mind shooting one in the yard.

They ain't big by a long shot, smaller then deer. Not like we're talking 600 lb tigers or African lions. Wife plans on using her 243, she can shoot it and its plenty heavy enough for those little cats.

A 223 would work fine, except I figure the wife would be better of with her rifle, one she is familiar with and can shoot.
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Old November 6, 2012, 06:28 PM   #6
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I'll disagree a bit with some of the earlier wisdom. If I'm hunting a predator who could quickly turn the tables, I'm not interested in a 'fair fight'. I'm interested in a shot that's close being a kill shot. That usually translates to a larger caliber / cartridge, or more rapid fire capability.

.300 Win Mag or the .308 is about the minimum I'd want to go with out of your list.
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Old November 6, 2012, 11:45 PM   #7
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I will side with TXAZ on this one.
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Old November 6, 2012, 11:51 PM   #8
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BUT, the ar allows much quicker follow up shots. Plus they make those varmint rounds that dont exit (i think).
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Old November 7, 2012, 12:31 AM   #9
doofus47
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At the end of the day, a mountain lion is, on average, about a 200lb animal.

7x57
.308
.223
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Old November 7, 2012, 04:38 AM   #10
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Good luck, I would probably go with the .223.

You say you don't want an exit wound. I guess you plan to keep the hide or something like that? Consider your choice of bullet and how it expands in the event you do have an exit wound.

Also don't know if you have thought about it, but from what I hear about it... Mountain lion is supposed to be pretty tasty, white meat that is sort of similar to pork. Mountain lion, the other other white meat.
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Old November 7, 2012, 08:21 AM   #11
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BTDT. Definitely tasty meat. One of my friends barbecued a couple of hams from a cougar. Yummy.

Per a friend of mine who killed several cougars in south Texas, a .223 is as good as anything. Treat it like deer hunting, insofar as bullet choice and range limitation.
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Old November 7, 2012, 09:26 AM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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As Kraigwy says, these aren't African Lions or Siberian Tigers. I've seen people (hunting shows) shoot them out of trees with a bow. Whatever you use will be fine.
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Old November 7, 2012, 12:20 PM   #13
HAMMER1DOWN
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Alright so it looks like I will be going with my AR, I have plenty different bullets I can load for it and will be using dogs. So I guess I will just carry a couple 5 round magazines with a couple different loads. Makes sense to me, thanks for the input guys.
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Old November 7, 2012, 04:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
At the end of the day, a mountain lion is, on average, about a 200lb animal.
On average they are closer to 100 pounds. A 200 pound mountain lion would be very big indeed.

http://www.scirecordbook.org/cougar-or-mountain-lion/

Quote:
DESCRIPTION (male) Adult North American cougars are 6-8 feet (1.8-2.4m) in length, including 28-36 inches (71-91 cm) of tail. Shoulder height 26-30 inches (66-76 cm). Weight 100-150 pounds (45-68 kg), occasionally much more. Females are about 40 percent smaller than males. Chromosome count is 38. (North American cougars are somewhat larger and darker than those in South America.)
http://dnr.state.co.us/newsapp/press.asp?pressid=2081

Quote:
Theodore Roosevelt set the state record for the largest mountain lion killed in Colorado more than 100 years ago, but that record was surpassed in January 2002 after the kill of possibly an even larger mountain lion.
The 2001 mountain lion was killed in December just northwest of Pagosa Springs. The lion weighed 220 pounds before being field dressed or gorged and was 8 feet from nose to tail. The final Boone and Crockett score was 16 0/16, which beat the previous record of 15 12/16 set by Roosevelt in 1901.

The mountain lion that Roosevelt killed in February 1901 northwest of Meeker was said to weigh 227 pounds. “This is a reputed weight because it’s not known whether it was gorged or field dressed when it was weighed,” said Dick Ray, the outfitter who was on the hunt for the 2001 mountain lion.
Pumas that get real big do so by avoiding contact with humans.
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Old November 7, 2012, 05:26 PM   #15
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Oh boy in Custer (SD) about 26 miles form here killed a lion on his porch Monday.

Getting bad in the Black Hills. SD is releasing tags to kill off another 100 or so. Even letting out tags to hunt mountain lions in the Custer State Park.

Still though, I think just about any normal hunting rifle will do the trick. But like anything else, from squirrels to elephants, you got to hit them in the right spot.

Nah, I don't have any qualms about my wife using her 243 Win.
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Old November 8, 2012, 03:22 PM   #16
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I would not use the muzzleloader

do you tree them with plotts or something?

maybe a slower/heavier bullet that won't get easily knocked out from trajectory by branches and stuff?
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Old November 10, 2012, 01:41 AM   #17
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Hammer1

I like your choice of 7x57 mauser, but I would go heavier on the lead, 160grn or 175 grn, definite big game stoppers.
Next choice .308 with 165 grn or 180grn, but you said that was a heavy barrel rifle, I would rather carry a faster handling rifle on that hunt.
And I wouldn't worry about an exit wound too much.
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Old November 10, 2012, 06:45 AM   #18
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Well, Jim Corbett used a 7x57 to shoot quite a few man eating leopards and tigers. But he was probably also one of the greatest hunters that ever lived and when he was concerned he took a 400/450 NE double....

I reckon you'd be fine with the 7x57.

Enjoy your hunt!

ATB,

Scrummy
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Old November 11, 2012, 12:13 AM   #19
Zorro
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Middle power rifle with a sub 3000 FPS Bullet.

7x57 Mauser (standard Ruger m77) is your best choice.

Really a .30-30 is a pretty optimum Cougar Rifle.

Personally I would use a Marlin .44 Mag carbine because it weighs 5 pounds but also has a powerful but not very high velocity bullet.

Seen too many very badly damaged animals from Magnums up close.

223 might work but you have a problem of a REALLY light big game rifle with a 3200 PPS Slug up close.
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Old November 11, 2012, 03:01 PM   #20
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The only way to hunt Mountain Lion is with Hounds. Any of the Guns you mentioned would work fine. Myself I would take the 7mm Mauser. But just because its light weight and cool. Good luck,, OOps I missed the part about exit wound. Thats kind of tricky without using a .22 Rimfire, or some kind of self defense pistol ammo. and that may be a little unsafe. Be Carefull.
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Old November 11, 2012, 04:37 PM   #21
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If you could take a lever action in .357 I'd say load that with HP defense ammo and that's the ticket.

In the guns you already have I'd probably opt for the AR with a varmint bullet under 50 gr in weight. Shoot it from a little bit of distance if you can.
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Old November 11, 2012, 07:19 PM   #22
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If and when I go it'll be my Savage 110, .270 winny that'll get the nod.
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Old November 11, 2012, 08:56 PM   #23
liberty1
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I've killed one back in 97. It weighed in at about 160 pounds and just made the record book.

I carried a S&W 625 in .45 Colt since I didn't feel like dragging a rifle around all day and with dogs you will be shooting them in distances measured in feet not yards.

One shot with a 250gr XTP was all it took and lodged under the skin on the off side. 4" barrel and less 900fps.
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Old November 11, 2012, 09:20 PM   #24
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7x57 or .308.
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Old November 11, 2012, 10:23 PM   #25
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meow

Try a single shot rifle in 7 x 30 Waters with FMJ bullet
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