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Q:
Whats the best deer hunting caliber? and gun? im brand new to hunting so any advice is appreciated.

Question by thunderdog512. Uploaded on December 21, 2009

Answers (20)

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

There are almost as many favorite guns and calibers it seems as there are opinions!

I like scoped, bolt action rifles. For you as a beginner I'd recommend a short action rifle chambered for .308 Winchester or 7mm-08. Both of these calibers are very capable and are relativley mild in recoil with the 7mm-08 getting the nod for being the most gentle. Rifles chambered in either round tend to be light and fairly handy. A good start up rig would be a Marlin XS7 with a good 2-7 X 33 scope. Leupold, Burris and Nikon have scopes to fit the bill.

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from shermanator wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

i shoot a savage 270 and love it cause there isn't a whole lot of recoil and is has great range but you have to look and see for yourself cause everyone is different

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hobob wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Remington 700 bolt action 3006 with a Leupold 3x9. worth every penny and all you will ever need. imho

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from naten wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

i think ruger, remington, or savage all are great maufacturers. i would choose either a 30-06 or a 270 they both are good calibers and are some of the most common guns especially when looking for ammo. i would go talk to some guys at the local outdoor store and see what they have to say

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from steve182 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I myself shoot a .30-06, though i admit it is overkill(if there is such a thing) for deer. The .270 or 7mm-08 in my opinion are IDEAL deer cartridges. As are the .25-06, .243, or .308. My wife is "buying" me a rifle for Christmas, and i believe the .25-06 will be my new go to deer rifle. I'll post a review on the Marlin XL7 as soon as i shoot it.

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from Brittle wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

a great website for firearms is www.ableammo.com it can categories the rifles by caliber and has some great guns
i would suggest a mossberg model 100 ATR bolt action .270 it is $400 and has a great review
or a savage 111fcxp3 .270 bolt action it is all set up and has great qualities

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunterD wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

brand new as in never hunted anything before? many hunters never hunted their whole life and can hunt well starting with deer. but i would recommend doing some practice on small game with a 22 caliber first. also you may want to start with a semi-auto as it is a little more challenging to shoot and reload with bolt action.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bljstn125 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

A remington 870 is all i use and it works like a champion. Its all they allow were i live. Its not to exspencive and it will last u a life time. Put a red dot on it and u could take deer down all year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I sold my 300 Win Mag back in 80 and replaced it with a 25-06 and never regretted it!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I've shot deer with shotguns, flintlock, caplock and in-line ML's and many different calibers of center fire rifles from 6mm to 350 Rem mag. Can't think of anything that performs better than a 25-06. BTW the 257 Wby is too hot in my experience.
I believe Beekeeper is right about the Marlin bolt gun but also a big fan of Kimber.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from tony167n wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I think the .30-06 is just about perfect for deer hunting, it doesn't kick too bad and you dont notice the recoil when your shooting at a deer anyway...and it hits the deer hard, up to 400-500 yards. but i wouldn't suggest those far of shots until you practice a lot and know your bullets trajectory at those ranges. A nice rifle is the savage 110 with accutrigger and a nikon 3-9 power scope. i too would suggest practicing your marksmanship and hunting skills on smaller animals such as squirrels with a .22 rifle

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from thunderdog512 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Thanks guys! Ya im gonna pratice with small game first but i was just interested in what deer gun i should look at once im ready to start deer hunting.thanks again

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from firehawk532 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE IS REMINGTON 7600 CHAMBERED IN 270. 270 AND 243 ARE MY 2 FAVORITE CALIBERS THEY ARE BOTH FLAT SHOOTING ROUNDS WITH LITTLE RECOIL AND EITHER ONE WILL WORK VERY WELL FOR HUNTING DEER.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

in my op for deer
1. 25-06
2. 30-06
3. 270
brand is up to you

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from IanS wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Tikka T3 270 win

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Go to a local, well stocked shop and look over the inventory to find something within your budget that fits you. I strongly suggest a bolt gun as they are simplicity itself and usually more accurate and dependable. Stay away from the big stuff, eg. belted magnums, and look for something in the .308 or .30-06 family of cases. Once you settle on the rifle and caliber, try different bullet weights and brands of ammo combinations until you find the load that your rifle likes, not what strikes your fancy because of the scene on the ammo box. My personal favorites, all bolt guns, run the gamut from a .257 Roberts thru a 7mm Remington Magnum (specific application there, not general deer work). I just this year tried a Marlin lever action .35 Remington and liked it very much too but that too is a more specific application (deer drives). Hope this helps and doesn't create too much confusion. Good shooting and merry Christmas.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Lots of good advice above. It depends a bit on what terrain you hunt. If you are in thick timber something like a .308, 30-06 or 35 Rem may be in order. If you are hunting prairie, meadows and typical timber, I would recommend the 25-06. I used to shoot all of the above plus a .220 Swift, .270 and .243. I eventually got a 25-06 and it became my all time favorite. It smacks deer harder than anything I ever shot and has such low recoil that I enjoy shooting hundreds of rounds a day on a prairie dog farm. I never feel outgunned shooting running antelope or coyotes.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

As I have posted before, when I only owned one rifle, it was a Remington 700 in .308 Win. I hunted elk, deer, bears (before the peace treaty), etc with it. I know a bunch of folks that still use the .308 exclusively and will usually reply "Why?" if you ask them about getting another rifle. If I could only keep one rifle, it would be a hard choice between that one and my .30-06.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I would buy a good bolt action rifle ( my favorite is a Tikki T3 Lite ) in 308 and then put a good 3x9 x40 scope on it ( my favorite is Nikon Pro Staff or Buckmaster) Since you are new to shooting I would have a gunsmith put you a Sims Limb Saver recoil pad on the rifle. Plan to do alot of shooting, probably hundreds of rounds to get familiar ith the rifle. What will matter most is how well you handle the rifle and how familiar you are with the rifle. Be sure to enroll in a Hunter Education Course to learn the safety aspects of hunting and handling firearms. Try to find an experienced hunter to go to the range with you to help you at least for the first couple times to the range.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

.45/70. Stainless Encore or Contender.

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

There are almost as many favorite guns and calibers it seems as there are opinions!

I like scoped, bolt action rifles. For you as a beginner I'd recommend a short action rifle chambered for .308 Winchester or 7mm-08. Both of these calibers are very capable and are relativley mild in recoil with the 7mm-08 getting the nod for being the most gentle. Rifles chambered in either round tend to be light and fairly handy. A good start up rig would be a Marlin XS7 with a good 2-7 X 33 scope. Leupold, Burris and Nikon have scopes to fit the bill.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I've shot deer with shotguns, flintlock, caplock and in-line ML's and many different calibers of center fire rifles from 6mm to 350 Rem mag. Can't think of anything that performs better than a 25-06. BTW the 257 Wby is too hot in my experience.
I believe Beekeeper is right about the Marlin bolt gun but also a big fan of Kimber.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I myself shoot a .30-06, though i admit it is overkill(if there is such a thing) for deer. The .270 or 7mm-08 in my opinion are IDEAL deer cartridges. As are the .25-06, .243, or .308. My wife is "buying" me a rifle for Christmas, and i believe the .25-06 will be my new go to deer rifle. I'll post a review on the Marlin XL7 as soon as i shoot it.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Brittle wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

a great website for firearms is www.ableammo.com it can categories the rifles by caliber and has some great guns
i would suggest a mossberg model 100 ATR bolt action .270 it is $400 and has a great review
or a savage 111fcxp3 .270 bolt action it is all set up and has great qualities

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I sold my 300 Win Mag back in 80 and replaced it with a 25-06 and never regretted it!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from firehawk532 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE IS REMINGTON 7600 CHAMBERED IN 270. 270 AND 243 ARE MY 2 FAVORITE CALIBERS THEY ARE BOTH FLAT SHOOTING ROUNDS WITH LITTLE RECOIL AND EITHER ONE WILL WORK VERY WELL FOR HUNTING DEER.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from firehawk532 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE IS REMINGTON 7600 CHAMBERED IN 270. 270 AND 243 ARE MY 2 FAVORITE CALIBERS THEY ARE BOTH FLAT SHOOTING ROUNDS WITH LITTLE RECOIL AND EITHER ONE WILL WORK VERY WELL FOR HUNTING DEER.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Tikka T3 270 win

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from IanS wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Tikka T3 270 win

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Lots of good advice above. It depends a bit on what terrain you hunt. If you are in thick timber something like a .308, 30-06 or 35 Rem may be in order. If you are hunting prairie, meadows and typical timber, I would recommend the 25-06. I used to shoot all of the above plus a .220 Swift, .270 and .243. I eventually got a 25-06 and it became my all time favorite. It smacks deer harder than anything I ever shot and has such low recoil that I enjoy shooting hundreds of rounds a day on a prairie dog farm. I never feel outgunned shooting running antelope or coyotes.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from shermanator wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

i shoot a savage 270 and love it cause there isn't a whole lot of recoil and is has great range but you have to look and see for yourself cause everyone is different

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hobob wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Remington 700 bolt action 3006 with a Leupold 3x9. worth every penny and all you will ever need. imho

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from naten wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

i think ruger, remington, or savage all are great maufacturers. i would choose either a 30-06 or a 270 they both are good calibers and are some of the most common guns especially when looking for ammo. i would go talk to some guys at the local outdoor store and see what they have to say

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunterD wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

brand new as in never hunted anything before? many hunters never hunted their whole life and can hunt well starting with deer. but i would recommend doing some practice on small game with a 22 caliber first. also you may want to start with a semi-auto as it is a little more challenging to shoot and reload with bolt action.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bljstn125 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

A remington 870 is all i use and it works like a champion. Its all they allow were i live. Its not to exspencive and it will last u a life time. Put a red dot on it and u could take deer down all year.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tony167n wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

I think the .30-06 is just about perfect for deer hunting, it doesn't kick too bad and you dont notice the recoil when your shooting at a deer anyway...and it hits the deer hard, up to 400-500 yards. but i wouldn't suggest those far of shots until you practice a lot and know your bullets trajectory at those ranges. A nice rifle is the savage 110 with accutrigger and a nikon 3-9 power scope. i too would suggest practicing your marksmanship and hunting skills on smaller animals such as squirrels with a .22 rifle

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from thunderdog512 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Thanks guys! Ya im gonna pratice with small game first but i was just interested in what deer gun i should look at once im ready to start deer hunting.thanks again

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

in my op for deer
1. 25-06
2. 30-06
3. 270
brand is up to you

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Go to a local, well stocked shop and look over the inventory to find something within your budget that fits you. I strongly suggest a bolt gun as they are simplicity itself and usually more accurate and dependable. Stay away from the big stuff, eg. belted magnums, and look for something in the .308 or .30-06 family of cases. Once you settle on the rifle and caliber, try different bullet weights and brands of ammo combinations until you find the load that your rifle likes, not what strikes your fancy because of the scene on the ammo box. My personal favorites, all bolt guns, run the gamut from a .257 Roberts thru a 7mm Remington Magnum (specific application there, not general deer work). I just this year tried a Marlin lever action .35 Remington and liked it very much too but that too is a more specific application (deer drives). Hope this helps and doesn't create too much confusion. Good shooting and merry Christmas.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I would buy a good bolt action rifle ( my favorite is a Tikki T3 Lite ) in 308 and then put a good 3x9 x40 scope on it ( my favorite is Nikon Pro Staff or Buckmaster) Since you are new to shooting I would have a gunsmith put you a Sims Limb Saver recoil pad on the rifle. Plan to do alot of shooting, probably hundreds of rounds to get familiar ith the rifle. What will matter most is how well you handle the rifle and how familiar you are with the rifle. Be sure to enroll in a Hunter Education Course to learn the safety aspects of hunting and handling firearms. Try to find an experienced hunter to go to the range with you to help you at least for the first couple times to the range.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

As I have posted before, when I only owned one rifle, it was a Remington 700 in .308 Win. I hunted elk, deer, bears (before the peace treaty), etc with it. I know a bunch of folks that still use the .308 exclusively and will usually reply "Why?" if you ask them about getting another rifle. If I could only keep one rifle, it would be a hard choice between that one and my .30-06.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 8 weeks ago

.45/70. Stainless Encore or Contender.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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