The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 1, 2020, 09:53 PM   #1
jackstrawIII
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2016
Location: Upstate NY.
Posts: 674
Big & Slow vs. Small & Fast

Hey guys,

I have a simple question for you all:

At 200 yards or less, would you rather shoot a deer with a 243 Winchester or a 358 Winchester? Which (do you think) would put the deer down faster, assuming hits in the same exact location?

There are a lot of ways to think about the big and slow vs small and fast question, but this should break it down and get rid of a lot of variables. Same case, vastly different projectile sizes and speeds.

Very interested to hear feedback from my fellow hunters. Even if you haven’t used these exact calibers, I want to know based on your experience where you stand on this classic question.

Thanks.
__________________
In God we trust.
jackstrawIII is offline  
Old July 1, 2020, 10:13 PM   #2
ms6852
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,215
I've shot many deer with small and fast and the one thing I did not care fore was how much meat can be wasted with a fast bullet. Now I've hunted with my 45/70 and surprisingly there was not much meat wasted.
__________________
ONLY TWO DEFINING FORCES HAVE GIVEN UP THEIR LIVES FOR YOU. ONE IS JESUS CHRIST FOR YOUR SOUL AND THE OTHER IS THE AMERICAN SOLDIER FOR YOUR FREEDOM.
ms6852 is offline  
Old July 2, 2020, 06:10 AM   #3
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 10,002
It's lot more complicated than that, bullet construction and penetration is far more important than caliber, weight or speed.

But generally speaking faster impact speeds put game down faster as long as they have enough bullet weight and proper bullet construction to reach the vitals. If not you may get a nasty wound with little if any damage to major organs

Heavier, slower bullets MAY give deeper penetration and MAY kill more reliably, but there is a better chance of the animal staying on it's feet longer after a killing shot.

Deer ain't hard to kill and don't require a lot of penetration. At 200 yards on deer size game I'd take the 243 every single time over a 358. Just don't use varmint bullets in it.
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old July 2, 2020, 06:40 AM   #4
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 5,404
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackstrawIII View Post
Hey guys,

I have a simple question for you all:

At 200 yards or less, would you rather shoot a deer with a 243 Winchester or a 358 Winchester? Which (do you think) would put the deer down faster, assuming hits in the same exact location?

There are a lot of ways to think about the big and slow vs small and fast question, but this should break it down and get rid of a lot of variables. Same case, vastly different projectile sizes and speeds.

Very interested to hear feedback from my fellow hunters. Even if you haven’t used these exact calibers, I want to know based on your experience where you stand on this classic question.

Thanks.
I am going to take the Elmer Keith approach, Big and fast.
Seriously, my answer 30 years ago was big and slow. With bullet evolution, my answer has definitely changed to small and very fast. If what I am shooting can eat me, my answer is still Big and fadt.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old July 2, 2020, 09:07 AM   #5
Oliver Sudden
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 201
On deer with all things equal I prefer big and slow. Having shot and been with others at the shot a heart lung shot with a good size bullet always works. The only complete failure I’ve seen was with a light fast bullet that failed to get deeper then the ribs. And that one was put down with a follow up shot with a 243 at that!
Oliver Sudden is offline  
Old July 2, 2020, 10:57 AM   #6
jackstrawIII
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2016
Location: Upstate NY.
Posts: 674
Quote:
It's lot more complicated than that
It certainly is, which is why I like hearing people's thought processes.

I've shot a handful of deer with rifles, but most of you guys have shot a lot more and it's helpful to hear your experiences. Thanks.
__________________
In God we trust.
jackstrawIII is offline  
Old July 2, 2020, 03:15 PM   #7
huntinaz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 21, 2010
Location: az
Posts: 1,319
At 200 yards or less you should have a pile of dead deer with either of those

As a rule I like heavy for cartridge bullets that are tough
__________________
"When there’s lead in the air, there’s hope in the heart”- Hunter’s Proverb
"Feed me, or feed me to something. I just want to be part of the food chain." -Al Bundy
huntinaz is offline  
Old July 2, 2020, 04:43 PM   #8
mxsailor803
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 8, 2010
Location: Norfolk, Va
Posts: 1,292
Of the two you’re asking about, the .243win all day for me. So many people think they need these massive magnum calibers to kill a whitetail. I’d rather use a cartridge I’m accurate with and not have to deal with excessive recoil. I’ve probably killed 30-40 deer over the course of close to 30 years with a .243win in a Remington 700 and 788. Can they run after being shot? Sure. But they can also run after being shot with a big bore magnum as well. Plus I prefer the .243win for versatility between shooters. A seasoned hunter or a first timer can use a .243win without being beaten and making a bad shot is lessened IF the shooter is not expecting to get rocked from a big bore. As with any cartridge though bullet selection and shot placement is key.
mxsailor803 is offline  
Old July 2, 2020, 04:52 PM   #9
jackstrawIII
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2016
Location: Upstate NY.
Posts: 674
Quote:
So many people think they need these massive magnum calibers to kill a whitetail. I’d rather use a cartridge I’m accurate with and not have to deal with excessive recoil.
I agree. I've shot more deer with my 7.62x39 than any other caliber and they've all died within 20-30 yards from impact. So, it works.

Just curious to hear people's philosophy on the topic.

Thanks.
__________________
In God we trust.
jackstrawIII is offline  
Old July 2, 2020, 05:34 PM   #10
mikejonestkd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2006
Location: Brockport, NY
Posts: 3,439
.243 win in a heartbeat for hunting deer @ ranges under 200 yards. My family has taken 30+ deer with the little .243.
Pick a good bullet and use with confidence. Deer are not hard to kill and do not need a bullet whose main advantage is penetration.
__________________
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
mikejonestkd is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 09:02 AM   #11
reinert
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 514
To me, and to the question, it's all about shot placement (undeniable truth: time and time and time again), using any legal caliber where one lives. And, fast or slow, moving such heavy or light weight bullets out of the firearm used, dead is dead. A bullet through the heart of a critter will kill it quite quickly, making it quite dead, quite quickly. Yeah, and I've heard the age old stories how the deer was heart shot and ran half a mile, depending on the adrenaline... I've personally never experienced that phenomena. But then, there's American Bison stories in the wintertime.

I'll give three usages of different firearms that have worked very well for me on DEER for the past 50+ years of big game hunting, shooting BROADSIDE through the animal:

1.) J. Henry English pattern trade rifle (percussion ignition, 30" barrel), using a .58 caliber patched round ball (280 grns.) using 100 grns. of 2fg black powder: When hit in "The Lights," they don't go far, ever (some just go right down where they stand). Either the ball passes cleanly through the body, or the ball is flattened out on the off side of the hide from the entry of the ball. I've killed deer at 150 yds., cleanly, and quickly using this firearm. I've missed some, too... and a gut shot deer is never a good thing using any firearm (IMO).

2.) Ruger M77, 6mm Remington (.243 similar), using exclusively the Hornady 87 grn. S.P. bullet, and IMR 4350 (and now I have a great load using Varget, too) for propellant. I've shot quite a few deer at 200+ yards with this caliber and bullet, and again, a shot in "The Lights," has never failed me. They either go down where they have stood, or don't go very far from where hit... and a gut shot deer is never a good thing using any firearm (IMO).
(NOTE): sometimes the 87 grn. bullet frags, and sometimes the bullet passes through. Either way, the deer dies quickly when hit properly. I have found that the 6mm Remington I have is a very reliable deer killer. My sons will attest to that, too.

3.) M700 Remington, 30-06 Springfield, 165 grn. Hornady S.P. bullet, and IMR 4350 (and now I have a great Varget load, too) for propellant. I've shot a good number of deer at 150+ yards with this rifle and bullet, and as with the .58 caliber r.b. and the 87 grain .243 bullet from my other two firearms mentioned, the results are completely similar. Only with the 165 grn. bullet out of the '06, I've never recovered a bullet shooting broadside through a deer; always a pass through.

And a gut shot deer is never a good thing using any firearm...

And BTW, a 30-30 with a 150 grn. bullet works equally as well on deer at 150 yds. as anything else when hit properly. placement, placement. placement. Ditto with a 45/70 using black powder and a 405 grain cast bullet (20:1 alloy). The 45/70 with that particular load may be a bit of an overkill usage on deer. That load and bullet always passes through a broadside standing deer, even at 150+ yds.

Fun thread to think about; always good to reminisce on past hunts and results.

Happy 4th tomorrow, and God Bless America.
reinert is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 10:24 AM   #12
SHR970
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2011
Posts: 1,358
Even with the much better modern bullets I'll take the 358 over the 243 and here is why. A couple of years ago I had a nice shot lined up on a muley. As I started to squeeze the trigger he turned. What was a 3/4 broadside went to a 1/16 shot as the bullet left my 30-06. The 165 gr. X Bullet shattered his shoulder and went out his neck; he dropped right there. The Coup de Gras shot behind the ear with the 32 H&R was a formality as he had one leg twitching. Nonetheless he was down and out with that shot and had dropped where he stood. I didn't lose much meat due even from that much less than ideal hit.

Had that been a 243 I would have more than likely required that coup de gras shot. He might have been downed due to a blown out joint but I wouldn't trust it for the level of penetration needed to humanely end the hunt with that shot. For what it's worth my first several deer were taken with a 243 using a 100 gr bullet or a 32 Win. back in the 80's. The 32 was clearly more decisive and the shots never went past 150 yards.
SHR970 is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 11:23 AM   #13
mikejonestkd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 3, 2006
Location: Brockport, NY
Posts: 3,439
A plain old .243 Remington 100 gr coreloct will punch pretty much straight through a deer lengthwise. I personally use 95 gr NBTs and only take approx. broadside lung shots and have yet to recover a NBT, so even that bullet has more than sufficient penetration.
__________________
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
mikejonestkd is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 11:37 AM   #14
jackstrawIII
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2016
Location: Upstate NY.
Posts: 674
One phenomenon I've noticed is that deer react differently based on what they're hit with:

1. High velocity bullets (and arrows) tend to make a deer bolt away before expiring.
2. Slower bullets tend to make deer swoon or trot away before expiring.

Anyone else noticed this? Any theories on why?
__________________
In God we trust.
jackstrawIII is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 11:47 AM   #15
Nathan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2001
Posts: 5,013
350 Legend....small and slow.
Nathan is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 11:52 AM   #16
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 5,404
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackstrawIII View Post
One phenomenon I've noticed is that deer react differently based on what they're hit with:

1. High velocity bullets (and arrows) tend to make a deer bolt away before expiring.
2. Slower bullets tend to make deer swoon or trot away before expiring.

Anyone else noticed this? Any theories on why?
And fast enough, 3800 fps, makes them act like they got struck by lightning and a ton of bricks dropped simultaneously.

I have seen deer bolt and deer trot off. I have never noticed any relationship to what they were shot with.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 04:51 PM   #17
Jack O'Conner
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 11, 2005
Location: Manatee County, Florida
Posts: 1,924
I have observed deer pause briefly before staggering away after being struck through the chest organs with a 35 Remington. Yet same situation but with a 30-30 and the animal bounds away after bullet impact only to topple after a few jumps. Yet the 35 Remington is only slightly slower.

.243 is my all time favorite antelope cartridge because it shoots flat way out there and hits hard. I have discovered that 90 grain AccuBond bullets by Nosler are very accurate and produce deadly wound channels. For this reason I would select .243 over your .358 comparison.

Jack
__________________
Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
Jack O'Conner is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 05:06 PM   #18
dahermit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 28, 2006
Location: South Central Michigan...near
Posts: 5,870
If the deer is shot just behind the shoulder (not through the shoulder), it really does not matter what you use. A little high and the lungs are hit, slightly back, the liver is hit, a little low, the heart is hit.
The ribs have very little meat that can be damaged by a fast light bullet. The rib area is way too thin to stop a very poorly constructed bullet.
Getting close, waiting for that ideal shot is called "hunting", not doing that is called "shooting".
In sum...it does not really matter what you use if you put the bullet in the right place to begin with.
dahermit is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 08:01 PM   #19
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 5,404
Quote:
Originally Posted by dahermit View Post
If the deer is shot just behind the shoulder (not through the shoulder), it really does not matter what you use. A little high and the lungs are hit, slightly back, the liver is hit, a little low, the heart is hit.
The ribs have very little meat that can be damaged by a fast light bullet. The rib area is way too thin to stop a very poorly constructed bullet.
Getting close, waiting for that ideal shot is called "hunting", not doing that is called "shooting".
In sum...it does not really matter what you use if you put the bullet in the right place to begin with.
I guess I do my fair share of "shooting" then. Its been over 30 years since I have not killed a medium or large game animal I shot.

Last edited by reynolds357; July 3, 2020 at 08:08 PM.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old July 3, 2020, 11:07 PM   #20
Double K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2020
Location: Colorado
Posts: 194
I've owned and shot deer with both the 243 and 358, I don't like either one of them for deer hunting here in Colorado but if I had to choose it would be the 358, bigger holes are always better.
I believe I've killed over 225 big game animals in Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas.
Mostly deer and antelope with just about everything you can imagine, pistols, vertical compound and crossbow and many different cartridges from rifles.
I like a minimum 6.5 caliber with a 140gr. bullet, a 7-08 with a 140gr. bullet being my favorite. Those bullets kill even big deer very fast without alot of meat damage.
My wife has this knack for shooting wallhangers, she killed this one last year with her model 7 remington 7-08 with one shot, he went about 10 feet.
Double K is offline  
Old July 4, 2020, 09:00 AM   #21
Kreyzhorse
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 12,339
I'd prefer something bigger than a .243 all things equal, but like pointed out above, there are other factors that roll into killing an animal.

I've put great shots on whitetails and I've only dropped one dead where it stood.

With antelope, I've exactly the opposite. Most drop dead where they stood, but I've had a few run a bit afterwards.
__________________
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson
Kreyzhorse is offline  
Old July 4, 2020, 09:39 AM   #22
jackstrawIII
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 20, 2016
Location: Upstate NY.
Posts: 674
Quote:
I've put great shots on whitetails and I've only dropped one dead where it stood.
My experience has been similar. I've never lost one (knock on wood), but I've also never had one drop on the spot. All lung shots.
__________________
In God we trust.
jackstrawIII is offline  
Old July 4, 2020, 10:09 AM   #23
Double K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2020
Location: Colorado
Posts: 194
I bought my my son a 243 when he was a teenager, he shot a couple of deer with it and it seemed ok, none of them dropped in their tracks.
Fast forward to when he comes home from basic training and we go antelope hunting.
We spent a good part of one morning stalking a good size buck crawling to 125yds, we wait a good while for him to stand up and he puts at Sierra 100gr. gameking right behind his front shoulder, I seen the hair fly on the perfect shot.
The buck stands there as if nothing happened, then begins to eat grass! I have him reload and shoot him again, same spot, he reacts this time by trotting about 50yds and laying down head up looking around, he did that for a few minutes before finally dieing.
I realize that was probably a once in a lifetime extraordinary hunting experience and it's not indicative of what happens 99% of the time with a 243 but its never happened with any other cartridge I've seen.
I came home from that trip and bought a 7-08 take-off barrel off GB and put it on a week later, I believe I still have that 243 barrel laying around somewhere.
That will never happen with the 358 with the right bullets, deer/antelope know when they're hit by a 200gr. 358 bullet.
Double K is offline  
Old July 4, 2020, 11:17 AM   #24
RaySendero
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 23, 2010
Location: US South
Posts: 836
Quote:
jackstrawIII:
One phenomenon I've noticed is that deer react differently based on what they're hit with:

1. High velocity bullets (and arrows) tend to make a deer bolt away before expiring.
2. Slower bullets tend to make deer swoon or trot away before expiring.

Anyone else noticed this? Any theories on why?
I shoot deer with small/fast, kinda in-between and big/slow.
So I don't see the same pattern you are. If they run off, they run.

Small Fast: 130 gr 270 and lighter about half the time they drop - half the time they run.

Same with in-betweens: 165gr 308, and 180gr 7.5x55, 30-06 & 303B- some run, some drop.

Now, I've had 2 spectacular Bang-Flops with the above,
1 with the 270 and 1 with the 7.5x55.



Big Slow: 200gr 8mmx57 , 200gr 35W - some run, some drop.
BUT my 9.3x62 shooting a 286NPT is 100% dead right there on deer and hogs!
They may kick a little bit, but don't get up!
__________________
Ray

Last edited by RaySendero; July 4, 2020 at 11:25 AM.
RaySendero is offline  
Old July 4, 2020, 11:32 AM   #25
pete2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 2,253
It depends on where the deer is hit. I know they do fall down faster when shot with a 130 gr .270 than they do with an 85 gr .243 but I consider this small and fast vs big and fast. Did shoot one with a 185gr round led ball once, fell in his tracks but it was a neck shot not a behind the shoulder shot. .50 ball at about 1700 fps.
pete2 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 10:10 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09630 seconds with 10 queries