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Old March 19, 2006, 09:15 PM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: February 20, 2006
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 2,299
alternative calibers for deer

Hi, After reading yours and some of the other replies I would first recommend going to a hunters safety course (no offense, but it doesn't sound like you or some of the others have that much experience around guns or hunting). Also, it never hurts to go down to the gun shop (not walmart, kmart, etc..) or shooting range and pick the brains of those out there. You might also want to take note of some of the rigs that other shooters have.

When searching for a good readily available (good chance of finding at a gas station or baitshop if you foreget your ammo when on a hunting trip) caliber that is good on deer/coyotes/prairie dogs/varmint I would go with .243 or 270 . A lot of people will say that a .243 is too small, but I started out with a .243 and had my gunsmith work up some 95 grain barnes x bullet loads that will drop a good sized mule deer or large white tail at 200+ yards. Another good caliber is .308 . It is readily availiable and a very good "middle" load.

As far as the rifles are concerned I would not go with any of them. I would try and get my hands on a Remington 700 (not the new SPS's which are poor at best compared to the 2004 models) or a Savage Model 10FP-LE2A . If you are going for cheap and don't plan on shooting much I would agree on a remington 710 (combo package with bushnell scope can be gotten for around 350 -400). Also, don't believe the hype over barrel break in check out the link . Gale McMillian who is arguably the best long range shooter and maker of match quality rifles and accesories goes into length detail about how using abrasives and other items actually can ruin a barrel. There are also comments from some armalite techies as well.

One piece of advice, never, ever sell your guns or reloading equipment, unless it is a piece of junk or you are starving. I sold my first deer rifle (custom job match quality Mauser 98 in .243) when I was young and dumb for about 500 bucks. I recently managed to get it back, but ended up paying over 2500. Believe me, you will regret it.. Thank god my parents bought all my other guns off me when I was in my "fast cars and faster women" years. It was much cheaper to buy those back.
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