View Full Version : What hunting scenarios do I use my rifles in?

June 8, 2012, 01:20 AM

So so far have 3 rifles: a 22lr, 6.5x55, and 8x57.

The 22lr is a Savage Mk II FV model which has the heavy barrel. It wears a Leupold 2-7x33 scope. I suppose its role would be target shooting (25-75 yds), varmint hunting, grouse and squirrel hunting. This caliber's role is clear.

Now the 6.5x55 and 8x57 are a toss up for me.

The 6.5x55 is a BSA CF2 wearing a Leupold 3-9x40 scope. It weighs about 8-8.5 lbs, but balances very nicely so the weight isn't apparent. With this caliber, I figure I can hunt pretty much deer, bear, elk, and moose?

The 8x57 is a Husqvarna FN 98 commercial mauser action that I left with the stock irons (rear leaf and blade with bead) as it felt much more balanced that way. I can also hunt deer, bear, elk, moose etc. with this rifle. I shot it for the first time on Tuesday, and with 198 gr FMJ bullets, I can hit a 9'' diameter gong at 200 yards. Is that good enough for hunting?

I suppose the biggest game I'd hunt is moose. Will these cartridges effectively and cleanly take a moose down with one shot assuming good shot placement? Or should I look into a magnum to ensure a one shot kill? I'd rather not get a magnum.

I'm in the Pacific Northwest where most of the hunting will be in forested coastal areas with intermittent flat pastures (farmland) etc. My rational was that the Mauser would be handy in the woods, whereas the 6.5x55 would be nice in the open terrain or dusk/dawn when there is low light so the scope will help. Is that logical?

Lastly, I am thinking that I need a caliber in between the .22 lr and the 6.5mm (.264) and 8mm (.323).

I'm a sucker for vintage cartridges, so I was contemplating the .243 Winchester. What do you guys think about this cartridge and the rifles that are chambered for it? Is this obsolete? This calibre was originally designed for varmints, but it can take small deer as well. Would all my bases be covered with this cartridge?

June 8, 2012, 02:07 AM
The 6.5x55 Swede will do everything you want it to and more. A well-placed 6.5mm pill will take down every big game animal in the PACNW with ease.

If a man is going to have only one rifle, it should be a 6.5mm. The 6.5x55 was the main military cartridge of many countries in Europe, therefore, it was and remains popular as a sporting cartridge.

I believe it was Sweden, could have been one of the other countries though, but someone over there had their Fish & Game conduct a study of moose hunts. They found that it didn't matter if the moose was hit with a .375 H&H or a 6.5mm, they all ran about 50 meters before dropping.

I would say to stick with the 6.5x55, and instead of buying another rifle, get yourself set up to reload/handload your own ammo for the 6.5mm.

June 8, 2012, 08:32 AM
I agree. Unless your hunting is going to include moose or grizzly, the 6.5 is plenty - especially if you get into handloading (commercial 6.5 rounds are a little mild for a strong modern action).

June 8, 2012, 08:38 AM
As far as a varmint round...243 would do...maybe 6mm...or 22-250....

June 8, 2012, 11:12 AM
One of the best rifles I own is a BSA Monarch in 30'06 that I liberated from my dad as a teenager. That thing is as accurate as any other that I own and gets some work every now and then. Since my dad passed it holds much more sentimental value to me than real monetary value.

You don't see to many of them these days, or at least I don't.

June 8, 2012, 11:49 AM
Here is my BSA CF2:


June 8, 2012, 12:28 PM
KOC...I like that rifle plus the caliber...

June 8, 2012, 02:47 PM
Thanks, I refinished the stock without sanding. Used BLO/Alkanet root to get the red hue and popped grain.

Bottom metal was scratched bad when I got it, so a gunsmith cerokoted it in Gun Metal Blue and it's great now.

Also sourced out some Williams guide sights to finish the look.

June 8, 2012, 03:38 PM
I can hit a 9'' diameter gong at 200 yards. Is that good enough for hunting?

Yep, that's good enough for hunting at 200 yards or less. The heart-lung region of a standard whitetail deer is about 9" in diameter. If you can hit that area, any time, on demand, you're golden for hunting.

I have a 9" gong hanging on family land and the grandkids have to hit that gong on demand before they're allowed to hunt with me.

June 8, 2012, 04:10 PM
The 6.5 Swede is still used for their elk hunting. What they call elk, we call moose, so yes, the 6.5 is more than adequate.

The cartridge can handle bullet weights from 85 grain to over 160

Cool Breeze
June 11, 2012, 12:42 AM
I can't relate to that metric stuff bro..........

but I personally recommend the venerable 30-06 which it seems you all need anyway

(hide behind couch here)

June 11, 2012, 12:50 AM
If it were me, I would use the 6.5x55 for deer and the 8x57 for elk, moose, and bear. If you want something between the 6.5 and the 22lr, go with the 25-06. Its great for varmits, coyotes, antelope, and deer.

June 11, 2012, 02:20 AM
I can't relate to that metric stuff bro..........

but I personally recommend the venerable 30-06 which it seems you all need anyway

(hide behind couch here)

The 6.5x55 Swede is roughly ballistically similar to the .260 Remington. Same 6.5mm bullet diameter, the .260 Rem is a necked-down .308 Win case. I believe the 6.5x55 Swede case is its own parent, meaning that the case was designed for that cratridge. I could be mistaken on that last one though.

Long story short: the 6.5x55 Swede will serve you well just about everywhere but the plains of Africa or the mountains and forests of grizzly country.

They've been using the 6.5x55 Swede to kill moose in Europe for many many decades now... A very effective and versatile cartridge, with the proper ammo selection.

Cool Breeze
June 11, 2012, 05:17 PM
YO......that sounds to be my kind of cartridge........

thanks for that .........I'm always looking for elk calibers...........

thumbs up

June 13, 2012, 07:12 AM
I somewhat disagree with most of the comments about the 6.5x55 being suitable for ALL the game listed. A lot depends on how good of a hunter you actually are. Can you close the distance before shooting and trail a wounded elk though the type of terrain you'll be hunting? I've never hunted elk in the NW but can assure you it might be a difficult trailing job in the dense, wet forest. Shooting an elk or moose on snow and following it up is a whole different situation.
Hitting a 9" gong under best scenario range conditions means your true hunting range should be limited to 1/2 that.
The 243 Win. is an adequate deer round but does depend on bullet construction more than a larger caliber. After some failures upon hitting a shoulder, we started using premium controlled expansion bullets in the 243 and had fewer problems in that respect. My daughter uses a 243 with Speer GrandSlam 100 grain or Nosler Solid Base 100 grain with good results. The 6.5x55 is a better deer round and you already have it.