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Old January 23, 2022, 04:49 PM   #1
Wildernesshunter
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Maybe the perfect Whitetail round?

Both the rounds below are 100gr, one being the venerable .243 Win and the other being the 6.5 Grendel.

Now... when I say the 'perfect round'.... maybe I am referring to the perfect round for myself. You see, I had a bad motorcycle wreck four years ago, basically bouncing my body off a set of cattle corrals, after I avoided a ranch dog running across the road near a homestead. It took a full 18 months for my thoracic to heal enough where I could start lifting weights again. I just don't like the recoil of the big fire sticks any more.

Heck, if you shoot the Hornady 123gr SST's, they are running at 2,000 fps and have over 1,000 ftlbs of energy at 400 yards. And it is delivered with very little recoil.

Is anyone like me.... the older I get the more I want guns that are pleasant to shoot and hunt with?


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Old January 23, 2022, 05:05 PM   #2
GeauxTide
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Bought a Grendel and it was my first rifle that would print 5 into 3/8". They were 123SSTs at 2400. I have 100s and 120 Gold Dots, but I think that I'm going to put them in my 260. I wouldn't go past 200 on a deer, and many of our plots go well past that, so I'll stick with the 280. At 73, I'm having more trouble with arthritic hands with my 45 Colt.
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Old January 23, 2022, 06:36 PM   #3
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I like the discussion of Hornady SSTs. Neither of those bullets are SSTs, however.

Depending on your perspective, every cartridge is a compromise and every cartridge is a solution. It just all depends on the variables you want to pick in order to make your point.

I only hunt with 6.5 Grendel. It works for me, but there are a lot of very good cartridges out there and several with very similar performance. I also like a nice heavy rifle to help absorb recoil.

My average shooting distance is just over 105 yards with pokes out to 360 that I have taken hogs. A nice gentleman watched my YouTube vids and did the statistics on my my shooting, which was pretty cool. I actually thought my average distance would be higher as I don't like to get close to hogs (something about the wife not pleased with me getting charged once) so usually I try for 75-150 yards as being the sweet range. Shot a hog last night at 280+ yards, on the move and moving away from me that ran in a spaghetti pattern after being shot and collapsed at 265 where I finished it off. Ammo? Factory Hornady SST 123s.
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Old January 23, 2022, 07:46 PM   #4
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I've said for a while that a 243 might be the ideal deer cartridge. It can be used on bigger game but would be less than ideal IMO. I see no reason why the 6.5 Grendel wouldn't be at least as good, maybe better.
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Old January 24, 2022, 12:37 AM   #5
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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257 Robert's would be my suggestion. Real easy on the shoulder.
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Old January 24, 2022, 09:57 AM   #6
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I've never been a fan of big kicking rifles. I'm not afraid of them, just don't like them. I have a .375 Ruger, .300 H&H, and .338-06 but the rifle I have that beats me to death the worst is my .30-06 that weighs 7 lbs. However, the rifles I shoot the most are .223, 6X45/47, 6mm Creedmoor, .300 BLK, and .270 Win. I purchased a .308 last year and it's becoming a fast favorite of mine using 130gr TTSX bullets.
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Old January 24, 2022, 03:02 PM   #7
reinert
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I've got a 6MM Remington in a Ruger 77 I've had since '79. It's killed lots of deer, both whitetails and mulies, along with a fair number of antelope taken, too. I even killed my first elk (a spike) with it back in 1980. Very similar to the .243, both are great calibers, especially for deer. I use the 87 grn. Hornady S.P. for the bullet in the reloads for the rifle, a great deer killing bullet. The recoil on the rifle is quite tame. It's topped with a great old Weaver K-6, which has exceptionally clear glass.
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Old January 24, 2022, 04:04 PM   #8
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Deer gun

I'm an older hunter as well with medical issues.

My T/C Contender in 7x30 Waters (20" BBL) has delivered decisive one shot kills. Recoil is quite minimal and the cartridge is inherently accurate. I reload using 139gr Barnes TTX bullets which also work great on wild hogs.

PM me if you need reloading info.

Good luck!
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Old January 24, 2022, 07:59 PM   #9
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The older i get, the less i like the hard recoiling rifles.

Probably my most grabbed rifle for deer & coyotes is my Ruger 77 MKII in 257 Roberts.
90gr Sierra BlitzKings for coyotes out to 400 yards.
100 & 115gr Nosler Ballistic Tips for deer.

I had to build my daughter ( who is extremely recoil shy) her own custom Mauser in 7X57 Mauser shooting the 120gr Ballistic Tip so i could get my Ruger back!
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Old January 27, 2022, 01:27 PM   #10
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I have nothing bigger than an '06, but find all my working whitetail rifles have gotten shorter and lighter. My dad's did too, now I know why,
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Old January 27, 2022, 04:12 PM   #11
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I'm 65 and still favor my 30-06.
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Old January 27, 2022, 04:44 PM   #12
Paul B.
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At my age, 83, recoil has reached the point where it is no longer fun. My really big bores are either retired or relegated to lighter cast bullet loads. I still use the .35 Whelen for elk although I'm in the process of working up an elk load for my 7x57 Mauser chambered rifles. I have a good 150 gr. Nosler Partition running right along with the 7-08 in velocity and accuracy is quite good. My rifles in 7x57 are all based on modern actions so loads at 7-08 levels should not be a problem.

I went this way toward answering the OPs question. I have shot a Remington M7 in 7-08 and found it to be tolerable. I was in a bad vehicle accident in a 2015 Ford F150. Hitting loaded dump trucks as 70 MPH does neither my truck or my tender bod any good. Still not quite right but can do some limited hunting if I can draw a tag. My thoughts are a 7-08 will work just fine on deer with a 120 or 140 gr. bullet and with a 150 work reasonably well on game up to elk size. Of the three rifles I have in 7x57, I'm favoring the M70 Featherweight over the other two because of its lighter weight and excellent accuracy.

If deer are the only option then one of the 6MM/6.5MM should work just fine. If something large mat also be an option? Well you have my thoughts on that.
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Old January 27, 2022, 06:00 PM   #13
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I like my 7-08 as an all-around for deer, antelope and even up to elk (although my 7mag does better on those bigger critters)
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Old January 28, 2022, 10:29 AM   #14
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I own more than one rifle as I hunt within different types of geography and terrain. But for deer within forests and foothills, I feel that a scope sighted 30-30 is tops!

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Old January 28, 2022, 04:53 PM   #15
Pumpkin
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I use everything from a 243 to a 30-06, but honestly something from .243 to .257 should do the job just fine. At least in Texas ;-)
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Old January 28, 2022, 05:37 PM   #16
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I've been using a 7X57 for most of the past 45 years. I found it to be extremely pleasant to shoot and accurate. I tried the big bangs, and I keep coming back to it.
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Old January 29, 2022, 10:50 AM   #17
mikejonestkd
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I too am a becoming more of a fan of mild recoiling rifles as I get older.

If I recall from reading " The Complete Book of Rifles and Shotguns " by Jack O'Conner, he referenced Capt Crossman's ideal deer rifle as being a .25 cal 100gr bullet at roughly 3000 fps.

100 years later that still rings true.
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Old January 29, 2022, 07:55 PM   #18
bacardisteve
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For me its the 257wby. We hunt across large hay fields and it helps to have a flat shooter. I have shot deer with everything from a 223 up to a 450 marlin but that little 101gr barnes moving along at 3600fps drops em like lightning.
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Old February 2, 2022, 11:03 PM   #19
Bowhunter57
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Here in Ohio, we are limited to straight walled cartridge rifles.
The 44 Mag. works great at reasonable yardages...inside 100 yards with good shot placement. Low recoil, light weight rifle, not a loud report and affordable.

The other end of the scale is the 450 Bushmaster. Plenty of range, knockdown power and reasonable recoil. Never lost a deer with this cartridge.
Others opt for the 350 Legend. A good cartridge, but compared to the 450 BM, it's a 20 gauge vs. 12 gauge debate. Use what you like and be happy.

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Old February 4, 2022, 06:29 PM   #20
Kreyzhorse
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I'm 53 and still don't mind the recoil of 7mm Rem Mag or 30-06 for hunting. I've never wanted to shoot them all day long, but I enjoy the the stout recoil of a powerful hunting gun.

But ask this question again in 10 years.....
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Old February 4, 2022, 07:29 PM   #21
stagpanther
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I still shoot quite a few heavy recoiling cartridges and am well north of 60 years, I find that recoil on my shoulder isn't as much of a factor as my brain and teeth getting jangled by the concussive report.
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Old February 5, 2022, 08:43 AM   #22
603Country
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I don’t mind the recoil much if I’m deer or pig hunting, but I have parked the 270 for a lighter 260. My Dad went to a lighter rifle when he was in his 70’s, and I’ve followed his lead. My chosen bullet is the Nosler 120 gr BT, but if I needed a lighter recoil I’d go to the 100 gr BT, which seemed just as effective on deer and pigs as the 120 gr version.
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Old June 21, 2022, 01:47 PM   #23
reynolds357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildernesshunter View Post
Both the rounds below are 100gr, one being the venerable .243 Win and the other being the 6.5 Grendel.

Now... when I say the 'perfect round'.... maybe I am referring to the perfect round for myself. You see, I had a bad motorcycle wreck four years ago, basically bouncing my body off a set of cattle corrals, after I avoided a ranch dog running across the road near a homestead. It took a full 18 months for my thoracic to heal enough where I could start lifting weights again. I just don't like the recoil of the big fire sticks any more.

Heck, if you shoot the Hornady 123gr SST's, they are running at 2,000 fps and have over 1,000 ftlbs of energy at 400 yards. And it is delivered with very little recoil.

Is anyone like me.... the older I get the more I want guns that are pleasant to shoot and hunt with?


I agree on the .243 Winchester. I am not totally sold on the Grendal.
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Old June 22, 2022, 11:12 AM   #24
stagpanther
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Quote:
Both the rounds below are 100gr, one being the venerable .243 Win and the other being the 6.5 Grendel.

Now... when I say the 'perfect round'.... maybe I am referring to the perfect round for myself. You see, I had a bad motorcycle wreck four years ago, basically bouncing my body off a set of cattle corrals, after I avoided a ranch dog running across the road near a homestead. It took a full 18 months for my thoracic to heal enough where I could start lifting weights again. I just don't like the recoil of the big fire sticks any more.

Heck, if you shoot the Hornady 123gr SST's, they are running at 2,000 fps and have over 1,000 ftlbs of energy at 400 yards. And it is delivered with very little recoil.

Is anyone like me.... the older I get the more I want guns that are pleasant to shoot and hunt with?
If you are confident in putting the shot in the right place and don't necessarily mind tracking if necessary--you could also consider a modern 6mm which typically shoots very fast and accurately. The spin-offs of 6mm BR and the newer ARC come to mind, they are very soft to shoot.
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Old June 23, 2022, 03:01 PM   #25
stinkeypete
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The important thing to remember is it's a big county and what's perfect of the West is different from other terrains.

One thing I have learned though- it's not how big a hammer you used on whitetail deer- it's hitting the nail on the head.

Missing, no matter how hard you miss, is either a clean miss or the horrible feeling of wounding an animal and hoping you can track it down fast before it suffers too much.

.243 is the classic choice for a nice accurate bolt action rifle that doesn't kick too hard but can reach out and do the job. It's what I'd prefer to own.

All these new rimless cartridges seem to be for guys looking for some use for their semi-auto rifle roughly based on the you know what platform with a huge magazine hanging off it. If you need more than three shots, you really really did it wrong. Just my opinion.

Me? In the Midwest I have settled on 30-06 which I can load to a little hotter than 30-30 or as fast as I wish.. a nice semi-auto shotgun that's gentle with slugs, and perhaps bringing along a .44 Magnum Blackhawk that I load .44 Special Plus. Ranges are short in the hilly farm country or forests. Perfect for me, no one else unless by chance.
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