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Old January 5, 2017, 03:47 PM   #26
ClaymoreAKM
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I would never go below a .223 for Whitetail.
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Old January 5, 2017, 03:51 PM   #27
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Dahermit. The Jordan buck was killed in Wisconsin and was the State record for eons until that buck was surpassed a long time later by a Canadian buck.
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Old January 5, 2017, 06:01 PM   #28
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Dahermit. The Jordan buck was killed in Wisconsin and was the State record for eons until that buck was surpassed a long time later by a Canadian buck.
Wisconsin near the U.P. border? Also, how could a state (Wisconsin), record be broken by a buck killed in Canada? Ask'en for a friend.
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Old January 5, 2017, 06:03 PM   #29
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I would never go below a .223 for Whitetail.
Why should we care? The original post did not ask that question. Read the O.P. again and get back to us.
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Old January 5, 2017, 06:23 PM   #30
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The Jordan Buck was killed in 1919 on the Minnesota/Wisconson line (got shot a little on both sides, but died in WI, to a WI hunter). It was a WORLD record, which stood until 1996, when Ed Koberstein shot a bigger one in Alberta. The Jordan Buck was indeed killed with a 25-20, but while it did kill the Jordan Buck, the deer soaked up something like 7 hits before it expired, IIRC.

The 25-35 much more potent than the 25-20. It is certainly adequate for deer, and probably no less so than the .30-30 out to about 150 yards.
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Old January 5, 2017, 08:07 PM   #31
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Seems to me this thread was asking for some honest opinions, but apparently some folks are using this as an opportunity to just start an argument. Sorry I put forth an opinion as it was obviously wrong.
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Old January 5, 2017, 09:07 PM   #32
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Seems to me this thread was asking for some honest opinions, but apparently some folks are using this as an opportunity to just start an argument. Sorry I put forth an opinion as it was obviously wrong.
To be honest, the original post was a trick question...one that you and several others did not get. If you read it carefully, and then read the posts that came after it, you may get it...or you may not. This is what it asked for:
Quote:
...pick a [minimum] cartridge and defend it with logic and data.

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Old January 5, 2017, 10:20 PM   #33
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Guess I was short of logic and data......my apologies...
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Old January 5, 2017, 10:48 PM   #34
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Actually, Old Stony, I think you were spot on for logic.

At some point we should all admit that it isn't a deer rifle, but rather a varmint rifle that we have pressed into service for deer. I reckon you're about right at .243 as well, though a .223 wouldn't give me pause in the Deep South.

But then I think that's part of why no consensus is ever reached on this topic in Internet forums. We are really talking about several different critters here. A 120lb southern doe isn't the same as a 300lb mountain west buck, and both have different requirements than a Couse Deer hunt. Throw in yardages from 50-500 and beyond (not to mention running shots), and it's really not a fair question.

I thought you answered well, even if there wasn't any data.
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Old January 5, 2017, 10:55 PM   #35
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...but what do I know? I'm just the (venison fattened) Johnny 6-pack that took the bait.
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Old January 6, 2017, 05:42 AM   #36
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Well said samsmix !
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Old January 6, 2017, 07:32 AM   #37
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Sam's mix, thanks for clearing up that Jordan buck story. It was indeed a Wisconsin State record as well as a World record that stood for decades. I have a book about the story....I'll have to dust it off and read it again. A .243 IMO with premium bullets is deadly on deer. I'll prove it this upcoming season I hope.
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Old January 6, 2017, 10:59 AM   #38
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Back about the time they hauled in dirt, I had a couple of boards in small elm tree, maybe ten feet off the ground. A doe wandered out of the mesquite and lay down at the foot of my tree and began chewing her cud.

A .22 Short would have been quite adequate.

Circumstance. No one size fits all.
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Old January 6, 2017, 11:30 AM   #39
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300 win mag for deer??? Are they wearing plate armor?

I would say for a side on lung/heart shot 223 is doable with the right bullet. Would prefer a step up for a quick clean kill, 7.62x39 is plenty.
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Old January 6, 2017, 12:40 PM   #40
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I think the magnums were more popular before the intro of rangefinders. You could shoot a Lil further without having to correct as much. We couldn't simply pull up a ballistics calculator on cell phones back then. None of us did much work on a bench. Everybody talks about the new technology of bullets but I find the new technology in optics alot more beneficial. Our fathers and grandfathers may have never even shot a magnum, but I'm willing to bet a fair number of us were told by them that (that deer is a Lil too far, maybe one of them magnums could shoot that far).

I have a long list of magnums and still occasionally hunt deer with them but they are not the super light plastic rifles being built today. We used them more as a heavy bean field type rifle. But it's very common for us today to want one rifle that we fill confident will cleanly take deer or elk. There are alot of people out there now that their blood pressure skyrockets as soon as they hear the word magnum.

If we took time to look at who buys most of the magnums it's usually young men that want power and range. Maybe if we weren't on here bashing people for shooting them and out there trying to help these young whoopersnappers learn to shoot we wouldnt have blood pressure problems? That's prolly because of bacon grease but if we can voice opinions on one's choice of cartridge he shoots we may as well take a blood pressure pill before we log on.
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Old January 6, 2017, 02:39 PM   #41
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Perceptions change...

The popularity of handgun hunting has moved the 10mm to stagefront center as an effective deer hunting round.

Looking a little further, recall the original 1880s black powder .38WCF, (aka .38-40), pushed a 180 grain .40 caliber bullet to nearly 1300 fps from a 24 " barrel. The old .38-40 was second only to the .44-40 as a popular and effective rifle round for deer hunting in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Well then, the amazing thing is, a 21st century 10mm pistol could be said to deliver the same ballistics as a 19th century Winchester .38-40 lever action rifle. Imagine that, an effective deer gun, so convenient, that it can be worn on the hip!
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Old January 6, 2017, 07:23 PM   #42
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Big slow bullets, small fast bullets whatever. Many will work. For a while belted magnums were the rage, then short magnums, now it's super accurate 6.5s and anything that can be fired in an AR. I have fit into many if not all of those categories at various times and in differing conditions. As for the smallest, I will have to admit to being a barbarian I guess.
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Old January 7, 2017, 01:15 AM   #43
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Ok so I'm over my rant earlier, sorry if I offended anybody. My personal smallest I've ever taken deer with is a 22-250. A well seasoned gentleman I worked with at the time was very fond of the 22-250. He was a very calm and patient kind of fellow and only took neck shots. I valued his opinion because he killed atleast one good buck a year and sometimes several. I have since learned that where you hunt means more than what you hunt with but I was young and impressionable then.

I bought a used remington in 22-250 just to try. When I finally got a chance to take a deer with it I was too scared to try the neck shot. I placed the cross hairs behind the shoulder and squeezed. Deer ran about 20 yards before I lost sight of it. All together it only ran about 40 yards. Bullet passed completely thru and blood trail was impressive. When I started bragging about my new deer rifle, everybody close to me started telling me how big of a fool I was for shooting a Prairie dog gun at deer. I sold the gun and felt ashamed to tell anybody else about it.

I've since killed quite a few deer with many different calibers. I've shot a couple dozen with a 300 weatherby and most didn't leave a blood trail like that 22-250 did. Please understand I shoot low and tight just behind the shoulder. I try to take out the top of the heart and as much lung as possible. Even if no blood trail the deer won't be far. I hated nosler partitions for years because they wouldn't expand on our Lil deer down here but I loved them for elk.

I have a weakness for the 264 winmag, 300 wsm, and 338 winmag. That said, I wouldn't feel under gunned with a 22-250 with a good bullet. Fact is after all the deer I've killed with all the different cartridges I can't tell the difference between a 243 or 338 winmag when it's a ribcage shot.
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Old January 7, 2017, 02:08 AM   #44
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OK, to answer the OP.

My choice as to minimum cartridge for deer I choose the 41 Rem. Mag. My reasoning is that the state of Washington used to have a minimum requirement of 24 cal. And it had to generate at least 1,000 ft lbs of energy at 100 yards. I studied several cartridges and there ballistics when deciding on a handgun for hunting. The 41 was the smallest I could find that met those requirements, and only with a few loads. Furthermore I want a complete pass through on a broadside shot. Chuck Hawks has a chart that show penetration test results of many handgun cartridges into ballistics gel. The least powerful load that made it over 16 inches with a hunting bullet was 41 mag.

I am not one to settle for the one that barely passes muster, so I purchased a 44 Rem. Mag
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Old January 7, 2017, 08:15 AM   #45
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.17 HRM?

In post #4, std7mag stated that the .22WRM "might/could" have been used (and I take it) in his home state of Central Pennsyltucky, but that would've been illegal for deer. Here in Wyoming, and has already been stated, the .223 Rem is legal for deer as long as one uses a 60 grn. bullet as minimum in the ammo. I have one, and may try it sometime on a doe whitetail once I've settled on a handload for it.

Now in Montana, I'm pretty sure there's no caliber restriction to hunt anything one wants to hunt whatsoever. So, if one would want to hunt deer in Montana with the .17 HRM, he or she could have at it. I can't imagine that someone up there didn't try that out. I'd sure like to hear/read that performance report, but then again, I can't imagine that I would, will or want to...

I do suppose that a .17 HRM, with the right angle behind the ear, would/could do the job. I've never owned one, and probably never will, as my .22rims suffice just fine for plinkin' and rabbits. Back on the family farm, and a long time ago when I saw it more times than once, a .22 short was all it took to start the butchering process on a yearling steer. That was an absolute shot-controlled situation there, though, and the performance of the .22 short was totally adequate in that application.
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Old January 7, 2017, 08:28 AM   #46
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I killed two deer with my 44 MAG carbine shooting 240 grain 44 Special ammo. The bullet was a semi-wadcutter design. Distance was approx 35 yards and in each case the bullets were discovered curled back under the hide on opposite side of entrance wound. 44 Special has no power for distance shots but up close its a serious cartridge.

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Old January 7, 2017, 04:35 PM   #47
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The statement that rings closest to me is Scorch's, "I am not prone to judging other people's choices, but there are some cases where you can look at their choice and say with certainty that it would not work in your case". Because I lean towards the "have enough gun" side what works best for me is the 30-30. Because I have 2 moa SKS I may bring that as a back up. The reason I pick the 30-30 is because it has a history of getting the job done in Michigan and it carries well.
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Old January 7, 2017, 07:40 PM   #48
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My Minimum

6.5 Grendel with a 123SST at 2500fps. Shoots 1/2" from my Alexander Arms AR.
Handgun - 44 Special with 255 at 950fps, or 45 Colt with 280 at 1050.
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Old January 7, 2017, 08:07 PM   #49
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Boogershooter, you had made good points. Gave me something to think about on my end.

I kind of have an automatic kick reaction when I hear of people using gargantuan magnums on deer. Stems from growing up in the south and listening to so many morons brag on about the giant gun they use to kill #80 does along with how many bud lights they drink while sitting in the elevated blind, they they rattle on about how great of a hunter they are. That aint hunting to my, thats harvesting. Aint nothing wrong with harvesting especially if you have a family to feed, but it aint hunting. To me.
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Old January 7, 2017, 09:02 PM   #50
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I was pretty much thinking what RMcL posted. Seems like most of the under powered deer cartridges were used heavily before the 1940's. I have used my .22 HiPower for deer with out a problem. Although they do not come right out and say it, most Gunwriters insinuate that it is not adequate for deer. I don't doubt they have never held one, let alone fired one. What we have here is nothing more than a campfire discussion. None of the "Facts" are provable. Nothing new to be learned.
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