Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

AnswersASK YOUR QUESTION

Answers

Q:
What is the deal with all the talk about tiny calibers and big game? Sure, deer have been killed with a .223 and good shot placement, but why? Why would I grab my .223 or .244(6mm Rem) When I could reach for my .270, .308, .35 rem, .32 Win Spc., or .30/06? Why use a varmint caliber when I have so many deer calibers? I understand that some people only have one rifle, but most don't. So what is the motivation to go little for something big???

Question by shane. Uploaded on April 01, 2009

Answers (19)

Top Rated
All Answers
from shane wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

And don't tell me that you want something that shoots flatter. If a .270 or .308 or .30/06 doesn't shoot flat enough for you, you should probably give up hunting.

And if this is about recoil, well...you need to eat a few more venison steaks every week.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Reid Jones wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

good point. for me, i see it as important to be accurate. i love accuracy. when people ask me what i shot my deer with, i want to be able to tell them i shot it with a .223, or a .22-250. i don't like shooting deer with a big old 300 or a 30-06. i don't see it as necessary. another reason, is so you can teach kids to hunt. most kids wouldnt feel too good shooting a 30-06 once, twice, or even five times. by that time, they won't feel comfortable pulling the trigger because of all of the recoil that they are expecting. they might jerk their heads, be afraid to pull the trigger, etc. being accurate is a good way to teach kids hunting. shooting a smaller bullet teaches them shot placement, and ethical kills. some people don't have the money to own a bunch of rifles. this is my opinion, and the reason why i personally like a smaller caliber on deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Reid Jones wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

i didn't include this. but a kid would rather shoot a smaller gun with less recoil. they feel a lot more comfortable, and confident with their shots. and this isn't only for kids, even adults could have the same problem. they're expecting the recoil, and it screws up their shot. to teach a kid to hunt deer or antelope, etc. i would go with a 22-250, 223, all the way up to about a 25-06. my opinion guys.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from platte river rat wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

well if you think you need to shoot deer with a 22 caliber gun, so be it. Remember to use deer size bullets not something for coyotes or other little things. Nosler makes a 60 gr partion and Barnes makes 53 gr TSX FB, BOTH OF THESE ARE REAL HUNTING BULLETS.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from prairieghost wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

i prefer the recoil of my .243 to that of my 30.06. pure, plain and simple.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I constantly wonder this question, I just feel better and more secure with a bigger gun. The recoil doesn't bother me much because i'm confident enough I'll only need one bullet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from teufelhunden wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I have never seen anywhere that "deer" calibers were written, required, commanded. I shoot the rifle I feel like shooting. When I hunt whitetails I see no reason togo big. I am comfortable with anything above a 22-250. It has nothing to do with fla trajectory or felt recoil. It mostly just happens to be the gun I felt like shooting that day.

They are just as effective and deadly as the cannons some people prefer. So until I see some visible evidence that it is improper or unethical I will continue to shoot "varmit" calibers.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

shane

Have you ever gutted a Mullie that’s been shot with a 22-250 55 grain soft point at 400 yards? The lung cavity is nothing but soup!

ken.mcloud said it best!

“So, I think that the superior killing power of larger rounds is largely in our heads.(likely testosterone induced) A flat-shooting round that you can accurately place will produce as many if not more "bang-flop" kills as a heavy caliber round.”

Bottom line
If you must be satisfied shooting mice with a 50 BMG or even 700 Nitro Express nock yourself out! LOL!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

shane

Why should I shoot a 300 Win Mag in competition when I can do better with a 308 at 1000 YARDS!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Good question shane, it must be a macho thing in reverse.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Shane, i'm with you, but i have never shot a deer with my .22-250. I guess i shouldn't knock it till i try it. If guys think i have a macho complex because i shoot deer with a .30 caliber rifle, it's ok, i don't care. The recoil only seldom bothers me at the range, never in the field. I'd rather not have one get away and wonder...If only i'd brought enough gun. And don't tell me about shot placement! I know where to place my bullet and am capable of doing so. To little or too much? Error on the side of gluttony, always.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I've shot deer with everything from a 6mm X 284 Win (85 gr part. at 3400 fps) to a 350 Remington Magnum. They all do the job but as Elmer said with the big bore "you can eat right up to the bullet hole". I never feel recoil shooting game. It's only at the range that recoil is a factor. That said my current favorite is the 25-06.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

"YOU GUYS, CRACK ME UP "!

Had a hunter tell me that 6mm was too small and 243 was just right!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I am not suggesting that I need a .30 cal to kill deer. This is what i was given, and have always used, with good results. Old habits die hard. As i get older and recoil sensitive, i will undoubtedly buy a smaller bore rifle for deer. The .22-250 will probably still be used on coyotes instead of deer, not that it's not capable. Though you guys have got me curious enough to try it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Shane it is always about bullet placement and what one can shoot comfortably. That said I've also seen what happens when a sudden puff of wind at long range pushes a light bullet a little off course or when the animal makes a sudden movement even at close range. Larger, heavier bullets buck wind better and they make up for an unforseen slight change in angle that makes that perfect shot an imperfect one. Ruark said, "Use enough gun." Those three words speak volumes.

I've killed deer with a .22 long rifle, .223, .22/250 and just about everything else up to a bore diameter of .458. Even a load of #8 birdshot. They all died.

Shoot what you can shoot comfortably and accurately, don't take risky shots and respect the game you hunt. I happen to prefer a little insurance, both for the animal and myself.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Clay - I hear the difference is about the same as the difference between 7.62 and .308.

I'm not suggesting magnums here, and I'm not saying you need a .30-06 to kill deer. I'm just saying that using a caliber that was made for prairie dogs and whistlepigs for deer is just a little silly. It seems to be getting more popular. When Petzal said you don't need something big for deer, he didn't mean get something small.

I'm not saying you can't do it. I just wonder why people do, and I'm not getting any answers. And don't tell me shot placement. You can make just as good of a shot with a larger caliber. I don't use larger calibers as a crutch. I use them as a club.

What's more effective? A .223 to the heart or a .308 to the heart? Ask the marines.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Make that Marines.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Sorry all, in my humble opinion, whitetail deer are mortal and they are not unusually tough. Any of the calibers mentioned here can be used to hunt them in one fashion or another. For the love of Pete, I shot one with an arrow last year with a bow set at 40 lbs. He didn't make it 70 yards. When I was a kid, a bad influence neighbor kid shot 16 straight with his .22 long rifle in one year (yes it was greedy and illegal but he really did it). And you would be shocked if you saw the size of some of them. I saw him deck two bucks in five seconds that had to be over 225 lbs each and had around 14 or 15 heavy points each. My 14 year old niece got hers in one shot at 150 yards with her .223 last year. He hit the ground so fast, it looked like someone dropped a safe on his head. I am ruthless with my 25-06 and I must admit I feel a little guilty shooting one with my .300 Dakota or my .375 H&H. If I do shoot one with these, it isn't because I don't think the .25 will not kill them, it is because I feel like shooting something else that day. From the arrow to the .375, if you are a good hunter and get the right distance and place the shot well, the deer will be yours. These are all deadly lethal weapons and they will all kill. Now you want to talk about something tough... try shooting a scared antelope... they can be CRAZY tough.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasfirst wrote 5 years 1 week ago

These are all good answers. That being said, I do not recommend .223 for deer, and sure as hell not for hogs. Shot placement is certainly what it is all about, but the size of the wound contributes to how fast the animal, particularly deer, go down. A good .30-06 bores out a sizeable wound, whereas the .223, while often inflicting a mortal wound, will not bring about death soon enough even with a well-placed vitals shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer

from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Shane it is always about bullet placement and what one can shoot comfortably. That said I've also seen what happens when a sudden puff of wind at long range pushes a light bullet a little off course or when the animal makes a sudden movement even at close range. Larger, heavier bullets buck wind better and they make up for an unforseen slight change in angle that makes that perfect shot an imperfect one. Ruark said, "Use enough gun." Those three words speak volumes.

I've killed deer with a .22 long rifle, .223, .22/250 and just about everything else up to a bore diameter of .458. Even a load of #8 birdshot. They all died.

Shoot what you can shoot comfortably and accurately, don't take risky shots and respect the game you hunt. I happen to prefer a little insurance, both for the animal and myself.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from teufelhunden wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I have never seen anywhere that "deer" calibers were written, required, commanded. I shoot the rifle I feel like shooting. When I hunt whitetails I see no reason togo big. I am comfortable with anything above a 22-250. It has nothing to do with fla trajectory or felt recoil. It mostly just happens to be the gun I felt like shooting that day.

They are just as effective and deadly as the cannons some people prefer. So until I see some visible evidence that it is improper or unethical I will continue to shoot "varmit" calibers.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

And don't tell me that you want something that shoots flatter. If a .270 or .308 or .30/06 doesn't shoot flat enough for you, you should probably give up hunting.

And if this is about recoil, well...you need to eat a few more venison steaks every week.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Reid Jones wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

good point. for me, i see it as important to be accurate. i love accuracy. when people ask me what i shot my deer with, i want to be able to tell them i shot it with a .223, or a .22-250. i don't like shooting deer with a big old 300 or a 30-06. i don't see it as necessary. another reason, is so you can teach kids to hunt. most kids wouldnt feel too good shooting a 30-06 once, twice, or even five times. by that time, they won't feel comfortable pulling the trigger because of all of the recoil that they are expecting. they might jerk their heads, be afraid to pull the trigger, etc. being accurate is a good way to teach kids hunting. shooting a smaller bullet teaches them shot placement, and ethical kills. some people don't have the money to own a bunch of rifles. this is my opinion, and the reason why i personally like a smaller caliber on deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Reid Jones wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

i didn't include this. but a kid would rather shoot a smaller gun with less recoil. they feel a lot more comfortable, and confident with their shots. and this isn't only for kids, even adults could have the same problem. they're expecting the recoil, and it screws up their shot. to teach a kid to hunt deer or antelope, etc. i would go with a 22-250, 223, all the way up to about a 25-06. my opinion guys.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from platte river rat wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

well if you think you need to shoot deer with a 22 caliber gun, so be it. Remember to use deer size bullets not something for coyotes or other little things. Nosler makes a 60 gr partion and Barnes makes 53 gr TSX FB, BOTH OF THESE ARE REAL HUNTING BULLETS.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from muskiemaster wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I constantly wonder this question, I just feel better and more secure with a bigger gun. The recoil doesn't bother me much because i'm confident enough I'll only need one bullet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Shane, i'm with you, but i have never shot a deer with my .22-250. I guess i shouldn't knock it till i try it. If guys think i have a macho complex because i shoot deer with a .30 caliber rifle, it's ok, i don't care. The recoil only seldom bothers me at the range, never in the field. I'd rather not have one get away and wonder...If only i'd brought enough gun. And don't tell me about shot placement! I know where to place my bullet and am capable of doing so. To little or too much? Error on the side of gluttony, always.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I've shot deer with everything from a 6mm X 284 Win (85 gr part. at 3400 fps) to a 350 Remington Magnum. They all do the job but as Elmer said with the big bore "you can eat right up to the bullet hole". I never feel recoil shooting game. It's only at the range that recoil is a factor. That said my current favorite is the 25-06.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from prairieghost wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

i prefer the recoil of my .243 to that of my 30.06. pure, plain and simple.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

shane

Have you ever gutted a Mullie that’s been shot with a 22-250 55 grain soft point at 400 yards? The lung cavity is nothing but soup!

ken.mcloud said it best!

“So, I think that the superior killing power of larger rounds is largely in our heads.(likely testosterone induced) A flat-shooting round that you can accurately place will produce as many if not more "bang-flop" kills as a heavy caliber round.”

Bottom line
If you must be satisfied shooting mice with a 50 BMG or even 700 Nitro Express nock yourself out! LOL!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

shane

Why should I shoot a 300 Win Mag in competition when I can do better with a 308 at 1000 YARDS!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Good question shane, it must be a macho thing in reverse.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

"YOU GUYS, CRACK ME UP "!

Had a hunter tell me that 6mm was too small and 243 was just right!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

I am not suggesting that I need a .30 cal to kill deer. This is what i was given, and have always used, with good results. Old habits die hard. As i get older and recoil sensitive, i will undoubtedly buy a smaller bore rifle for deer. The .22-250 will probably still be used on coyotes instead of deer, not that it's not capable. Though you guys have got me curious enough to try it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Clay - I hear the difference is about the same as the difference between 7.62 and .308.

I'm not suggesting magnums here, and I'm not saying you need a .30-06 to kill deer. I'm just saying that using a caliber that was made for prairie dogs and whistlepigs for deer is just a little silly. It seems to be getting more popular. When Petzal said you don't need something big for deer, he didn't mean get something small.

I'm not saying you can't do it. I just wonder why people do, and I'm not getting any answers. And don't tell me shot placement. You can make just as good of a shot with a larger caliber. I don't use larger calibers as a crutch. I use them as a club.

What's more effective? A .223 to the heart or a .308 to the heart? Ask the marines.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Make that Marines.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 5 years 2 weeks ago

Sorry all, in my humble opinion, whitetail deer are mortal and they are not unusually tough. Any of the calibers mentioned here can be used to hunt them in one fashion or another. For the love of Pete, I shot one with an arrow last year with a bow set at 40 lbs. He didn't make it 70 yards. When I was a kid, a bad influence neighbor kid shot 16 straight with his .22 long rifle in one year (yes it was greedy and illegal but he really did it). And you would be shocked if you saw the size of some of them. I saw him deck two bucks in five seconds that had to be over 225 lbs each and had around 14 or 15 heavy points each. My 14 year old niece got hers in one shot at 150 yards with her .223 last year. He hit the ground so fast, it looked like someone dropped a safe on his head. I am ruthless with my 25-06 and I must admit I feel a little guilty shooting one with my .300 Dakota or my .375 H&H. If I do shoot one with these, it isn't because I don't think the .25 will not kill them, it is because I feel like shooting something else that day. From the arrow to the .375, if you are a good hunter and get the right distance and place the shot well, the deer will be yours. These are all deadly lethal weapons and they will all kill. Now you want to talk about something tough... try shooting a scared antelope... they can be CRAZY tough.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from texasfirst wrote 5 years 1 week ago

These are all good answers. That being said, I do not recommend .223 for deer, and sure as hell not for hogs. Shot placement is certainly what it is all about, but the size of the wound contributes to how fast the animal, particularly deer, go down. A good .30-06 bores out a sizeable wound, whereas the .223, while often inflicting a mortal wound, will not bring about death soon enough even with a well-placed vitals shot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post an Answer

bmxbiz-fs