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Hurteau: The Elite Eight of Whitetail Cartridges

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March 31, 2010

Hurteau: The Elite Eight of Whitetail Cartridges

By Dave Hurteau

Now things should get interesting.

It’s been clear sailing for the top seeds so far, as the .30-06 (1), .308 (2), 7mm-08 (3), and .30-30 (4) all advanced easily in the first round of Division II. Now, with only eight cartridges left standing, the matchups get far more compelling.

Those of you itching for an upset should be salivating over this round of play, with the .270 WSM facing the .25-06 and a pair of classics squaring off in the .308 vs .30-30 matchup—which should be an absolute barn-burner. Here’s a complete list of our Elite Eight, as originally seeded by SHOT Business contributing editor Christopher Cogley:

Division I:
(1) .270 WSM — By improving on the ballistics of the original .270, this could be the best deer round in the woods today.   
(2) .270 Win. — The standard bearer in deer cartridges. It is cheaper to shoot than the .270 WSM, but its ballistics aren’t quite as good.
(3) .25-06 — Gentler on the shoulder than the .270, but not quite as much energy or overall performance.  
(4) .243 — It’s small. But light recoil helps you put shots exactly where they need to go.

Division II:

(1) .30-06 – It’s hard to argue against the 06 being the greatest hunting cartridge of all time. Deer included.
(2) .308 – Not quite as much speed or energy as the .30-06, but arguably more accurate.
(3) 7mm-08 – Flatter trajectory and more long-range energy than the .308, but with less recoil. Because it’s not as popular as the .308, however, ammo is slightly less available.
(4) .30-30 – Its ballistics aren’t the most impressive, but no one can argue with the historical results.

All eight teams will play in this round. Vote for your preferred cartridge in each matchup below to determine which cartridges will advance to the Final Four.

 

Enjoy.

Comments (117)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

What do you have against the 7-08? I love the 7-08 but even I would vote for the '06 against it. And the .270 vs. the .243? Come on Dave! If I were into conspiracy theorys I'd swear your ultimate goal was to match up the '06 and .270 Winchester in the final pairing...

You have to develop a loosers bracket. Too many good cartridges are getting rolled to easily...

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

Sweet, next round. The 30-30 V. .308 surprised me.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from jscottevans wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

come on Bee, "There can be only one!", winner that is.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I don't think it matters what the 06 is up against around here. Also, the 308 v 30-30 is kind of an odd matchup. A sniper round against the slow 30-30? At any rate, the lever action rifle is one of the coolest guns ever so I predict the 30-30 the clear winner.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Beekeeper,
I feel your pain. My .260 Rem was an 8 seed that got thumped in the first round. And personally, I'd take the 7mm-08 over the .30-06 any day of the week--not to mention the .25-06 over the .270 WSM all day long. But hey, thems the breaks. I'll tell you what, next year we'll drop the top 4 seeds and play for "The Fifth-Best Whitetail Round of All Time."

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

How did the .30-30 beat out the .308?? I demand a recount? Did everybody get a fair chance to vote? Were there any hanging chads? What about Florida? This has to be a vast right wing conspiricy!! Sorry, got carried away for a minute there. .30-30 over a .308???? Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The 30.30 is no slouch if loaded right. The 270WSM has the same balistics as a 270WBY and if I were to hunt just deer and not have to run into any thing that bites it would be a 270 Win with a 130 or 140 Partion you could take elk deer sheep goats and anything else without sharp teeth. Nothing against the 308 I have one and it drives tacks and it will also do anything the .06 will do with bullets up to 180 with less powder which is why I dont use my .06 anymore. So ok guys let me have it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

007,
The voting has only just begun for this round. Keep checking in. The .308 may catch up yet.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

50/50 on the 308 v 30-30!! I agonized on that one, my marlin lever gun in 30 30 or my sako 308. Which gets kicked under the bus?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Tough choices indeed! Dave I think the "5th best whitetail cartridge of all time" sounds GENIUS!! Was hopin' the .243 would at least make it to the final four, but it ain't gonna' happen against my beloved .270. Glad to see the .25-06 puttin' the 'over-seeded' WSM in it's place. The .270 WSM sounds like a great cartridge on paper, but no.1 seed?? Come on, now.

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

7mm-08 is probably the best of the Elite Eight. Everyone knows, or at least should know, but obviously don't care, that the .30-06 is just overkill for a whitetail. But like I said before - what does logic have to do with it?

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Northern Coyote wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I really would have guessed that the .243 would hold its own better than it is at the moment compared to the .270, i mean, i have yet to hear of a deer fallin prey to a capable shooter with one of these bad boys in their hands, as well as being a top gun for younger/smaller shooters. But really, i have to give it up to the .30-30, a highly popular deer killer that as stood the test of time, and is in serious contention to beat out the .308, the new "favorite" with todays tactical minded shooting crowd.

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

I hate to see the 243 losing so early. It seems like it has drawn a bad seed going up against the 270. I wonder how it would fare against the 25-06 or the 270 WSM. My top four would be the, in no particular order, the 308, 270, 243, and 30-06. Sure, they're the most common, but there's a reason for that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sanjuancb wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

.30-.30 simply has more history killing whitetails than the .308 does. I'm not saying that the .308 won't do it better; it just doesn't have as much class. I voted for the .30-.30 as an ode to tradition.

But I'm still rooting for the .30-06 overall!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

We should remember to be sensitive we are voting on the best White Tail cartridge, not the best for what ever else we might wish to hunt.... Just a thought. Feel most voters are from the east coast, and serious white tail hunters. This is their game. Excuse me Texas, and the Midwest. Best to all, have enjoyed this.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

MLH: Ya the .30-06 is a lil over kill. I hope the '06 does not win. It is a great cartridge. But not for a gun that will only be hunting whitetail. I think people are just voteing for cartridges they like and not thinking that this is a just for whitetail cartridges.

Go .270 Win!!!

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

Happy Myles: Dang you, you pulled the trigger before me. I guess great minds think a like after all.

+1 for ya for beating me too it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sad to see the .243 take such a beating but the .270Win is a tough draw. Wow, the 30-30 is giving the .308 a run for it's money--I think the .308 will pull away now that it's almost bedtime for most of the old traditional guys. LOL

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Of course in much of the East we are shooting our Ithacas. I have killed more deer with a shotgun and my late wife has killed more deer than I have because I'm duck hunting, with her @0 ga Ithaca MOD choke. Back in the day, you hunted with what you had, not with what them city slickers used! We used to have shotguns, rifles were not legal and we just killed deer with what we had. If they are close, they're dead.

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

I am wondering if some people are voting more on what they think is good for everything, vs what is a good strictly for whitetail. Lets face it, you don't need a 200gr bullet to kill a deer, a 130 will do quite fine. Sure the '06 is a great round, but is it really better, just for deer?

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

Sorry Happy Myles, I didn't read your post before I wrote mine!

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

NolanOsborne: The more people that post what you said the better. You and Happy Myles are right. Deer are not big animals.

And since Clay Cooper is not here to do this, I will for him.

Once again 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.”

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

hey, you know what? Im okay with the 6.5x55 getting reamed on the first run, but .30-06?!?! Don't get me wrong, its popular for a reason, but way too much noise for the velocity and the ballistics you get. However, whether .243, 6.5 or .264, .257 or .270, the deer still dies, its just a what range the shooter is comfortable shooting, and thats a rifle debate, not a round debate. Whitetails aren't much tougher than a human, after all!

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

all good rifle cartliges

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

There's no such thing as overkill MLH. Dead is dead.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from cas0905 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

dont know how you can argue with the 270win here

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

Of these, I'd shoot a .243 then .30-30 and go "meh" about the rest. The best ones are already gone.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt,

What do YOU THINK is the best load and why? Don't care much for other folks's reasoning based on myth and camp tales.

Best regards,
WAM

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt you have chosen wisely!

And may I add, What those lack in Marksmanship, they make up in firepower! Kinda like adding *iagra to there gun/ammunition because they either lost their ability or never had it! LOL!

One day at a Turkey shoot,we all got or ass kicked by some Old Fart shooting a .38-40 Winchester with open sights, GO FIGURE!

It's not what you got, it's what you can do with it that counts!

-5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

NolanOsborne, as on person put it best; all you have to do is let the air out like archery!

Some will argue that the 22-250 is there best Whitetail and Mule Deer rifle over the Big Bore Magnums they also own. Once again, good Marksmanship, training and being in good health are the real players here not using a 30 cal Thunder******!

-7 Good Comment? | | Report
from KyleKortright wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Go 30-30!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Now the '06 is overkill? This is for whitetails right? What about that ten point standing in the edge of a 400 yard pasture or beanfield? I carry the 7mm that was kicked by the '06 but I would want one or the other for deer hunting alone. When I get the opportunity for a good buck, I don't want to kick myself because my gun won't reach it.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from herbie57_57 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I have to agree with huntnow, its all up to how you hunt, I own a .243, .30-.30, and '06. I use them depending on how I'm going to hunt because each one has a place where it shines, but my go to is my '06 because its the gun I'm most comfotable with and it will reach out where the other 2 won't

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

WAM: I think the .270 win or .25-06 are the two best cartridges for whitetails alone. The reason being is because the bullet weights are good and they are flat shooting. I am not a rifle cartridge or whitetail expert by any means, but if I am gonna buy a rifle JUST for whitetails it will be a .270 win or .25-06.

huntnow: There are rounds out there that will get you to 400 yards with a lot less drop then the .30-06 (factory loads). With all due respect what are you doing shooting at 400 yards anyway? I like to hunt the deer, not just shoot it.

Now I am not saying the .30-06 is bad. Its one of the best cartridges out there for all around use. But for just whitetails? Nope!

Best Regards.
lovetohunt

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

It also depends where/how you are hunting like herbie said.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

"I like to hunt deer not just shoot it." What does that even mean? If your in a blind on a hill and see your deer step out into the open is that not hunting? It is the same no matter how far away it is. What am I shooting at 400 yards? Anything I want with a capable rifle.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

C'mon 7mm-08!

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

huntnow: It means I like to get close to the animal. I guess Im used to hunting thick swamps and what not. But at 400 yards you could sit in a blind with a radio on or something. Sitting in a blind is hunting, but when the deer is 400 yards away you don't even have to be careful of moving into shooting position or worry about bumping the gun on the wood of the blind or any thing. Hence my "not just shoot it". Now put that deer inside 250 yards, now your hunting. Now im not one to tell anyone how to hunt. But personally I like getting as close as possible. Nothing gets the heart pounding like a big buck with in bow range.

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

If lovetohunt is part of our next Generation, all is not lost.

GO LOVETOHUNT!

-4 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntnow wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

400 or 40, with a capable gun, it's dead. That's the point that I'm trying to make here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Skeeb wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Well, the .308's pulling away now. But I think that the 30-30 is a more time tested round, responsible for more deer on the ground than the .308, or any round on here at that. They are both great cartridges don't get me wrong, I love the .308 but it's just not as traditional as the 30-30.
JMO

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Ozark Hunter: I like to consider myself part of the next generation. Im 17 years old.

huntnow: I agree. But The point im trying to make is 40 yards is hunting and requires hunting skills. 400 yards is shooting and requires shooting skills and not much hunting skills at all.

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

Lovetohunt,

Good answer! I was interested in your opinion and your reasoning for the cartridge(s) you mentioned is solid. I agree with you, the .30-06 may not be the best whitetail only rifle. It's one of my go-to rifles since most of my hunts are combination hunts for deer and elk and there are critters with claws and fangs around. But there are no degrees of dead.

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

WOW! The .270 WSM in a buzzer beater with possible OT with the "beloved" .25-06!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jakenbake wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Just a procedural observation, but generally doesn't the 1 seed face the 4 and the 2 face the 3? That would change the match-ups a bit, no?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tmbryant wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Where and how you hunt has more to do with cartridge selection than the size of the cartridge. I deer hunt the Texas panhandle and most of my deer have been shot with a 7 STW. Shots can range from 75 to fairly long range. The last buck I shot with the STW was at 288 yards and was a simple shot with it. It could just as easily been done with a .270, '06 or just about any of the cartridges except maybe the .30-30. An accurate rifle with enough power to get the job done is all I ask and shoot it enough to know the trajectory. A flat shooting rifle makes it easier to know the trajectory. However, the last deer I shot was with a Mathews Switchback. The up close and personal is more of a thrill than shooting at longer range, but you'll probably shoot a better scoring deer with a rifle as you tend to pass up more deer when rifle hunting than when bow hunting.

I figure the top two will be between the .270 and .30-06. To me there's not much difference between the two rounds, two peas in a pod. A .270 with a 130 gr bullet or a .30-06 with a 150 gr bullet are about the same. Who would select a 200 gr bullet in an '06 for hunting deer at least you do have that opportunity with the '06 if you want? No need in my part of the country as the deer here are about 200 pounds or so live weight.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from EMN wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

i would like to see the .270wsm make it at least to the final four. where i hunt i have the possibility of a 400 hundred yard shot though i dont normaly have to shoot that far i have confidence if i do my part the bullet will hit the trarget. i do practice at that range and no exactly where i have to aim to make the shot count.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Massena154 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Aargh, you've got the .30-.30 listed, but no mention of the .300 Savage. What's up with that? .300 Savage, 150 grain, pointed soft point. Just slide that cartridge into the champion slot:)

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

lovin' these tight races, can't wait to see how it turns out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Too bad we don't have records of this shootout going back every 10 years. Hopefully, F&S keeps this up for many decades to come.

.270 WSM pulls ahead by a grain! This could be a surprise upset. Well, at least a surprise to me. But even if it doesn't make it to the Final Four the votes for the WSM says it is here to stay.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Frogboy wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Most likely it will be a head to head match: The warbird Aught verses Jack O'Connor's favorite.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntPA wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Why both the 6.5x55 and 7x57 got voted off the island is beyond me. And I was going to get a 257 Bob as my next deer rifle. And a 300 Savage just for fun.

Asking to crown the Whitetail Cartridge Champion is just plain silly. There is a place and time for all these cartridges - because ballistics are great, it was your dad’s rifle, you took your first deer with it…..There must be something more important we could discuss here ;-)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dirtysailor wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

It never gets any promoters, but the 7-30 Waters is a favorite of mine.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The .270 WSM better not win. That would surprise me if it did. Its not that much faster then the .25-06 and bullet weights are pretty close. People are just voting for it because it says "WSM" after it.

Some of you need to read DEP's "the truth about high velocity hunting bullets" its in the rifle section. I found it a darn good read.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from uncletom01 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I asume that each of us can shoot well and can hit a deer at will. There are no degrees of dead. How then can one rifle kill better than another? All of the guns in the brackets will do the job given a good shooter. The 30-30 has killed more whitetails than any other caliber in the brackets.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from robstatetx wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

In 20 years the 6.8 SPC will be on the list. No kick, accurate, cheap to reload. Same energy at 300 yards as the 243 using less powder.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Charliel wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Ok guys and gals. Even though the 30-30 has killed more game than any other US cartidge and the 30-06 and 270's are so loved and have also taken much game worldwide, you can't argue with the .308. Preferred choice of countless sportsmen, Military the world over and the US special forces. Plus, less recoil and more accurate than both the 270 and 06, so if you want to or have to have one gun, you can teach your kids well and even if your wife is a tiny little thing, they can handle any .308. I hunt with big weatherby's .300 and .340 and the 3 hardest kicking rifles I have ever encounter have been a bolt 30.06, a pump .270 and bolt 7mm mag. So, with all that said the only choice is the .308 Protecing and feeding the world accurately and reliably for decades!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Lovetohunt, the 270WSM will do everything the 25.06 will and then some imo it has far better vel and energy and it does it with heavier bullets. I just hope to hunt with my 308 this year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dave Hurteau wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Hey!
You crazy people voting for the .270 WSM over the .25-06 are messing up my bracket. I want you to stop that nonsense right now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mock1 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I know you can't really call it a cartridge, but the 12 gauge slug gun has put alot of deer on the ground drt (dead, right there) and I think it has a serious space for contention soewhere on the list

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

idduckhntr: The velocity of the .270 WSM is only 215 fps faster with a 15 grain heavier bullet then the .25-06 (winchester ballistic silvertips). The only thing the extra fps will give you is more wasted venison.

"I’ve never been able to find any correlation between bullet speed and sudden animal demise." David Petzal

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt

215 fps with a heavier bullet IS significant. Is the extra velocity and energy required to shoot 95 pound whitetails? Not really, but when you push the range way out there, it does make a difference. Extra fps does not always equal wasted venison if one can shoot... JMHO

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Another thing this is not a "will do anything or more bracket" Its just whittails.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from QuietPaths wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

With gentle words I must dare
These simple truths to share,
About these cartridges elite eight
That we so passionately debate.

One shot on deer rightly placed
As the hunter's heart wildly raced,
Brings meat, or the trophy we so desired,
It matters not which of the eight we fired.

I have but three of these elite eight,
.243, .270, and .30-06, but not the .308,
Nor the 7mm-08, nor the .25-06, for shame,
Nor the .30-30 of great and mighty fame.

What I do know is simply this,
(a source of comfort and sweet bliss!),
Whitetails care not what you choose
Of the elite eight we hunters use.

Perhaps my three will not win,
Even so, they are like good kin.
I will add what I miss of the eight,
Then shall I say more and debate.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

WAM: Ya if your talking way the heck out there it will. But inside reasonable ranges witch pretty much every one on her aggrees that its about 300 yards (ive seen lots of posts about it and people said that). The .25-06 only has 2 inch more drop. And if one can shoot and puts the bullet where it is supposed to, the back of the front quarters will be bloodshot from the shock of the bullet no matter what you are useing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Thats good QuietPaths.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Hey 'lovetohunt'

I am not trying to start an argument over the best cartridge to do whatever. I was just pointing out that the velocity difference is significant (maybe not necessary). There is not a bad round in the bunch! If the .270 WSM is too much for whitetails then maybe so is the .270 Win and .30-06 which have similar power when loaded with similar bullet weights.

Where is the .300 Savage in all this? LOL

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

my first rifle was a 30-30 marlin. Hard to beat it if u know your trajectory

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chubar wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Traditional or not- the venerable .30-06 is still the best- for white tail or whatever else on the North American continent. From 110 grain to 220, with all of the Nosler's in between- it will do the job. For that matter- with all of the AR's out there- and most white-tails less than 150 pounds- why not the .223 with a 75 grain or so? Sure, it's marginal in many cases, but so is the .30-30 over 150 yards- not for knock down but for the parabolic geometry to get it there. Whatever floats your boat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

WAM

I guess I read your post wrong. I read it like an argument kinda. lol. My appologies.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dukkillr wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Chubar,

The 30-06 is not the optimum whitetail cartridge, and we all know it. It's unnecessary. As for the 30-30, with the LeverEvolutions it is more than capable out to 250 yards. The reason it's so popular is that you can get cheap ammo, mild recoil, decent ballistics for woods hunting, and a very handy sized rifle all in one package.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt

No apologies necessary! I applaud your passion for deer hunting! I just applied for my Colorado deer license myself! Hunting 2 states is better than one!

I once read that the .30-06 is not the best at any one thing because it is so good at many things! LOL

Best regards

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

This is great - I am having way too much fun reading all this. The next round should be even more fun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jenks wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

WAM - 95lb whitetails? Where are you from? I am not trying to be rude but I live in Saskatchewan and a 95lb deer would be a yearling so I am just curious. Shooters are usually in the 250-300lb range where I hunt. I only wish that I could afford to take the fall off and go hunt the different regions of the whitetail and even then I am sure that I would still not be able to pick one perfect caliber as there are never two situations that are exactly the same. For example, on last years hunt we pushing bush. I started out with my 30-30 becuase it is usually the perfect gun for the bush. As we did our first drive the deer broke way earlier then expected and was way out of my comfortable range and so my sisters boyfriend got it with his '06. I then switched to my '06 for the "just in case" factor. We got to the next bush and my deer calmly stood up at like 75 yards so my 30-30 would have been perfect there. As long as we are getting out and enjoying our outdoor heritage the gun does not matter. Hope everybody else is enjoying this as much as I am. Good Hunting!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from TFrymyer31 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The .270 win is the daddy 5 of the reaming.
That can only mean one thing!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt, 25.06 120grain Nosler 3000fps, 270WSM 3100fps with a 160grain bullet the vel is about the same but you will do it with a heavier bullet which gives more down range energy. Not to start a war but where I live shots at deer can be and up to 400yrds and yes a 270WIn or .06 will do the job I just dont like shootin light bullets at 3000fps at something that weighs 200plus pounds.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 82BUCKEYETOM wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

QuietPaths,you are exceptional poet and talented wordsmith.

I have hunted with 4 of the caliber contestants 30-30, 270, 308 & 30-06 and they all have a place in the woods for hunting deer. But here in the land of the big bucks (See OH non-typical story) we have a choice of slugs, arrows, bolts, pistol and black powder. So how about a vote for my pistol-shooting cartridge, the 41Mag! Yeah I know, nobody had heard about it and even less knows there is a 41Mag but It's my favorite when the old 12Ga gets a little heavy lugging arround i the woods in OH Inside of 100 yards, the 41Mag is deadly. I just wish it didn't cost so much to practice.

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from dbarry wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

ditto to all you guys w/ the pro 30-30 whitetail comments. Sure, from ballistic point of view, these other cartridges can shoot 3 pointers from downtown all night, but the 30-30 has brought more deer home than likely all the others combined. This old-timer is still bringin home the venison. It is the "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar" of the whitetail cartridges. #1 baby.

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from shooter223 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

well guys, you all know that the 270 win. is the best medium game cartridge invented, but i predict the 3006 will win on sentiment alone how's that for fightin' words? :p

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from RVanta wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The most cost effective rounds are the 30-30, 270 Win, 308 Win, and 30-06 Sprg. For Whitetails, a bullet weighting about 150 grains is super and the recoil manageable. In the end, it is goes back to the O'Connor debate, i.e., the 270 Win. vs the 30-06 Sprg. Dropping the 30-30 because of poorer trajectory, One could not make a mistake with the other three for Whitetails. However, the 30 calibers with a 180 Grain bullet is better for larger game and big things that might bite !

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from hunt and fish wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

un fair rakings most every one just votes for the hight ranked round witch is stupid. so it doesn't really matter what people voter for cuz whatever the person who made this rankes them as is what the will place at

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from wohalliburton wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

There is no doubt that we're talking about many good cartridges here, but what I don't hear anyone talking about in the 7mm Rem Mag. I've owned 3 of the contestents here, and by far, for the combination of range, versatility, and lethality it can't be beaten. For example, it outperforms a .270 Win with velocity and trajectory, as well as having a wider bullet weight range. People talk about recoil but I've shot both and really can't tell the difference. People also talk about tearing-up meat, but with a well-constructed bullet there shouldn't be a problem. Oh well, need to get off the soapbox!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I tell'ya, you can say what ever you want about what is best. But the bottom line and the truly true is, it's that toothless Old Fart who drives that banged up Ford Pickup with holes in the muffler spewing smoke out the back as if he was spraying for bugs with that battered up old rifle with dings and pings that brings home the backstrap despite what that fancy fella driving that Hummer shoots. LOL!!!

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from shadillac wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Who cares? I wish I was in the woods with any of these cartridges instead of sitting here at work!!!

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from spartan88 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

COME ON .30-.30 PULL THROUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I tell'ya what, you can have any cartridge you want, I'll enjoy using my Bow more with 151 days to hunt ;)

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

spartan88 that dirty thirty with those new Hornady bullets is no punk, in act it was never no punk!

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from Mike Mancuso wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I am thrilled that the .243 Win. caliber of my Vanguard Dlx made the Elite Eight. It knocked down three Texas Hill Country whitetails over a weekend a few years back with 105 gr. handloads from 30 to 270 yards. I'm okay with a Top Ten finish. Yes, sir. Because I can also handload 55/60 gr. for varmints and get near 4,000 fps.
Best of both worlds, but that's another vote. To all you sportsmen out there, have a wonderful Easter.

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from Deadeye13 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Guys are voting for the caliber "they feel more comfortable with or their deer gun"
-.270 WSM.....too much recoil & too much firepower for this animal
-.270 for all the Oconnor believers that never handloaded a .308
- 30.06 too much recoil, use a.308, almost the same results, less recoil= more comfort
ALL things considered, comfort(less recoil), range, power,availability of shells, the .308 should be the winner, BUT the reasons above it will be between the .270/30.06

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Isn't it Spring Deer Season in Arkansas or somewhere?

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The 270wsm can do anything those other calibres can do just a little bit better. it reaches out there with heavier bullets like a 7mmremmag with light bullets like a 257weatherby, precision on par with or a few milimeters better than the 308, kicks like or less than a -06 and can varmint like the 243 any day with handloaded 85 grainers explosive bullets. all in on package u can use for anything u want it for, all with one barreltwist etc. Ill even bet that point of impact drifts less with temperature variables than its original gramps the 270win or -06 for that matter cos of more consistent ignition..
And its the youngest of the bunch.. No traditions to build on etc. and it went viral from its inception like none of the calibres above ever did, except from maybe the -06 cos of a world war :P
And with the huge differences in types and sizes of deer and hunting situations its the one calibre u can just switch load and do a sight-in to make it perfect for just your current hunt..
"270wsm for da win"(sound of cheering!!!)
:P

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I truly believe Marksmanship should be the real issue here. It's not what you got, it how you use it what counts!

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

so say the ladies when they wanna make theire man happy :P'
Markmanship works the same for any given calibre :D

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

270wsm and the 257weatherby are very fine cartridges, but for Joe The Common Shooter feeding that horse is extremely expensive! Just coming up with the cash for a Friday night out with the Wife is financially straining for most!

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

And the 270 wsm is about 1/4 of the price of a 257 weatherby :P

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen

Only your urologist knows for sure! ;)

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

:D
Well she should know :P

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I wish I had a dollar for every Magnum Shooter I came across who could not hit the ground with both feet! LOL!!!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen

YOU CRACK ME UP!

Hows the weather over on the far side?

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from McAllister96 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I was somewhat intrigued by this at first, but after the results of round 1 and the way the votes are going in round 2, it's hard for me to see this as anything more than a popularity contest. They may as well give it to the 30-06 right now.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Oh i dont like magnums, kicks way too much. but the 270wsm only kicks like a 3006:
.270 WSM (150 at 3000) 8.0 18.9 12.3
.30-06 Spfd. (150 at 2910) 8.0 17.6 11.9
.30-06 Spfd. (180 at 2700) 8.0 20.3 12.8
And that i can shoot well, so i think im good ;)
.257 Wby. Mag. (120 at 3300) 9.25 15.1 10.3
Is up at the same lvl too so i should shoot it well too :P
But right now i dont have monetas for a new rifle so ill stick with my 308win so far, untill i can afford the weatherby vanguard in 270wsm ive had my eye on for a while now :P

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

sunny springweather here and so disposition ,especially today, the old baggy wintherclothing comming off and a few skirts to see this very day so life is good and beer is cold :P

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from Gaedtke Outdoors wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

All of these cartridges are impressive but I have to give the overall nod to the 30-06. The 243 and 7MM-08s are great cartridges along with the 308 but when you look at overall reloading options and factory loading options it is pretty hard to beat the 30-06. Next is the cost of buying a box of ammo, the 06 excels again in value and availability. Again I want to say that I like most of the other cartridges in this competition (I have owned and hunted with quite a few of them) but it is hard to argue the versatility and value of the 30-06.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

ingebrigsen: Ok maybe you can use the .270 wsm for anything you want. But this is JUST FOR WHITETAILS!

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Dave,

I feel your pain over the .260 Remington and my beloved 6.5 X 55. Perhaps a new Best of Short Action Cartridges?
What do you think?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Egads! This Ozark fellow really knows how to impeccably immitate the writings and ramblings of a former poster on the blog. Just as profilic too!

Say, were you two in the Air Force together, related, or just drink the same well water up there in Arkansas? LOL

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Woops! FFF = "prolific"

Gave myself a minus one.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Well lovetospooge the .270wsm should be most excellent for whitetails too :P

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from 007 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Go, .308, and go, Mountaineers!!

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIsrDmWA5BQ

The 270wsm`s victory song :D:D:D

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Let's end this thing before ACORN of AR stuffs the ballot box!

LOL

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from 007 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Good one, Mtnhunter!

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from WeatherbySven87 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

things are getting more interesting indeed. now the heavyweights are slugging it. still think the 7mm mag should have made it farther. the roberts too. in fact the roberts has been tested by time and proven itself just as well as the 30-06 or the 30-30. why did it get slaughtered?

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from WeatherbySven87 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

.270wsm ftw!

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from kelly wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I didnt see the 300 savage even mentioned? I have dropped over 30 white tails with my ol model 99 over the years and just wondered why it wasnt in the running? Mabe like me its just outdated Kelly MO.

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from Harding7 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I don't that much hunting, but I've always used my 1945 Enfield Mk % Jungle Carbine in .303 British, iron sights, good to 250 yards - it brings 'em down just like the more common rounds - and the rifle cost me $29.95 in 1962.

I'm buying my last rifle this year - a Savage 16FLHSS in .300 RCM. That will take care of any game in North America.

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from fisherus wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

This is supposed to be a way to avoid contraversy betwen gun owners? Gimmee a break!

One cannot and never will be able to select the best rifle for hunting anything or any kind of game animal without getting an argument. I've got to admit, this concept is pretty sneaky. The contraversy starts with who paired what gun with which and created an unfair advantage with one over the other. Maybe one particular caliber should have been compared in the elimination to a closer styled caliber than it was so one of similarities would have made it to the final four.

The argument is always going to be endless but I can tell all of you one simple thing when it comes to the best caliber. It is the caliber of the legal gun that you can shoot the most accurately that is the best caliber out there!

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Post a Comment

from QuietPaths wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

With gentle words I must dare
These simple truths to share,
About these cartridges elite eight
That we so passionately debate.

One shot on deer rightly placed
As the hunter's heart wildly raced,
Brings meat, or the trophy we so desired,
It matters not which of the eight we fired.

I have but three of these elite eight,
.243, .270, and .30-06, but not the .308,
Nor the 7mm-08, nor the .25-06, for shame,
Nor the .30-30 of great and mighty fame.

What I do know is simply this,
(a source of comfort and sweet bliss!),
Whitetails care not what you choose
Of the elite eight we hunters use.

Perhaps my three will not win,
Even so, they are like good kin.
I will add what I miss of the eight,
Then shall I say more and debate.

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from Happy Myles wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

We should remember to be sensitive we are voting on the best White Tail cartridge, not the best for what ever else we might wish to hunt.... Just a thought. Feel most voters are from the east coast, and serious white tail hunters. This is their game. Excuse me Texas, and the Midwest. Best to all, have enjoyed this.

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from 007 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

How did the .30-30 beat out the .308?? I demand a recount? Did everybody get a fair chance to vote? Were there any hanging chads? What about Florida? This has to be a vast right wing conspiricy!! Sorry, got carried away for a minute there. .30-30 over a .308???? Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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from MLH wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

7mm-08 is probably the best of the Elite Eight. Everyone knows, or at least should know, but obviously don't care, that the .30-06 is just overkill for a whitetail. But like I said before - what does logic have to do with it?

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from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

What do you have against the 7-08? I love the 7-08 but even I would vote for the '06 against it. And the .270 vs. the .243? Come on Dave! If I were into conspiracy theorys I'd swear your ultimate goal was to match up the '06 and .270 Winchester in the final pairing...

You have to develop a loosers bracket. Too many good cartridges are getting rolled to easily...

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from Sanjuancb wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

.30-.30 simply has more history killing whitetails than the .308 does. I'm not saying that the .308 won't do it better; it just doesn't have as much class. I voted for the .30-.30 as an ode to tradition.

But I'm still rooting for the .30-06 overall!

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from herbie57_57 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I have to agree with huntnow, its all up to how you hunt, I own a .243, .30-.30, and '06. I use them depending on how I'm going to hunt because each one has a place where it shines, but my go to is my '06 because its the gun I'm most comfotable with and it will reach out where the other 2 won't

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Egads! This Ozark fellow really knows how to impeccably immitate the writings and ramblings of a former poster on the blog. Just as profilic too!

Say, were you two in the Air Force together, related, or just drink the same well water up there in Arkansas? LOL

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from jbumbaugh wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

There's no such thing as overkill MLH. Dead is dead.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

WAM: I think the .270 win or .25-06 are the two best cartridges for whitetails alone. The reason being is because the bullet weights are good and they are flat shooting. I am not a rifle cartridge or whitetail expert by any means, but if I am gonna buy a rifle JUST for whitetails it will be a .270 win or .25-06.

huntnow: There are rounds out there that will get you to 400 yards with a lot less drop then the .30-06 (factory loads). With all due respect what are you doing shooting at 400 yards anyway? I like to hunt the deer, not just shoot it.

Now I am not saying the .30-06 is bad. Its one of the best cartridges out there for all around use. But for just whitetails? Nope!

Best Regards.
lovetohunt

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from dukkillr wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Chubar,

The 30-06 is not the optimum whitetail cartridge, and we all know it. It's unnecessary. As for the 30-30, with the LeverEvolutions it is more than capable out to 250 yards. The reason it's so popular is that you can get cheap ammo, mild recoil, decent ballistics for woods hunting, and a very handy sized rifle all in one package.

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from huntnow wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Now the '06 is overkill? This is for whitetails right? What about that ten point standing in the edge of a 400 yard pasture or beanfield? I carry the 7mm that was kicked by the '06 but I would want one or the other for deer hunting alone. When I get the opportunity for a good buck, I don't want to kick myself because my gun won't reach it.

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from Dave Hurteau wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Beekeeper,
I feel your pain. My .260 Rem was an 8 seed that got thumped in the first round. And personally, I'd take the 7mm-08 over the .30-06 any day of the week--not to mention the .25-06 over the .270 WSM all day long. But hey, thems the breaks. I'll tell you what, next year we'll drop the top 4 seeds and play for "The Fifth-Best Whitetail Round of All Time."

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from jscottevans wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sweet, next round. The 30-30 V. .308 surprised me.

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from jscottevans wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

come on Bee, "There can be only one!", winner that is.

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from Deadeye13 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Guys are voting for the caliber "they feel more comfortable with or their deer gun"
-.270 WSM.....too much recoil & too much firepower for this animal
-.270 for all the Oconnor believers that never handloaded a .308
- 30.06 too much recoil, use a.308, almost the same results, less recoil= more comfort
ALL things considered, comfort(less recoil), range, power,availability of shells, the .308 should be the winner, BUT the reasons above it will be between the .270/30.06

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Hey 'lovetohunt'

I am not trying to start an argument over the best cartridge to do whatever. I was just pointing out that the velocity difference is significant (maybe not necessary). There is not a bad round in the bunch! If the .270 WSM is too much for whitetails then maybe so is the .270 Win and .30-06 which have similar power when loaded with similar bullet weights.

Where is the .300 Savage in all this? LOL

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Let's end this thing before ACORN of AR stuffs the ballot box!

LOL

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from Northern Coyote wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I really would have guessed that the .243 would hold its own better than it is at the moment compared to the .270, i mean, i have yet to hear of a deer fallin prey to a capable shooter with one of these bad boys in their hands, as well as being a top gun for younger/smaller shooters. But really, i have to give it up to the .30-30, a highly popular deer killer that as stood the test of time, and is in serious contention to beat out the .308, the new "favorite" with todays tactical minded shooting crowd.

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from labrador12 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Of course in much of the East we are shooting our Ithacas. I have killed more deer with a shotgun and my late wife has killed more deer than I have because I'm duck hunting, with her @0 ga Ithaca MOD choke. Back in the day, you hunted with what you had, not with what them city slickers used! We used to have shotguns, rifles were not legal and we just killed deer with what we had. If they are close, they're dead.

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from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I am wondering if some people are voting more on what they think is good for everything, vs what is a good strictly for whitetail. Lets face it, you don't need a 200gr bullet to kill a deer, a 130 will do quite fine. Sure the '06 is a great round, but is it really better, just for deer?

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from NolanOsborne wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sorry Happy Myles, I didn't read your post before I wrote mine!

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from jbird wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Tough choices indeed! Dave I think the "5th best whitetail cartridge of all time" sounds GENIUS!! Was hopin' the .243 would at least make it to the final four, but it ain't gonna' happen against my beloved .270. Glad to see the .25-06 puttin' the 'over-seeded' WSM in it's place. The .270 WSM sounds like a great cartridge on paper, but no.1 seed?? Come on, now.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

MLH: Ya the .30-06 is a lil over kill. I hope the '06 does not win. It is a great cartridge. But not for a gun that will only be hunting whitetail. I think people are just voteing for cartridges they like and not thinking that this is a just for whitetail cartridges.

Go .270 Win!!!

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

NolanOsborne: The more people that post what you said the better. You and Happy Myles are right. Deer are not big animals.

And since Clay Cooper is not here to do this, I will for him.

Once again 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.”

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

huntnow: It means I like to get close to the animal. I guess Im used to hunting thick swamps and what not. But at 400 yards you could sit in a blind with a radio on or something. Sitting in a blind is hunting, but when the deer is 400 yards away you don't even have to be careful of moving into shooting position or worry about bumping the gun on the wood of the blind or any thing. Hence my "not just shoot it". Now put that deer inside 250 yards, now your hunting. Now im not one to tell anyone how to hunt. But personally I like getting as close as possible. Nothing gets the heart pounding like a big buck with in bow range.

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from 82BUCKEYETOM wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

QuietPaths,you are exceptional poet and talented wordsmith.

I have hunted with 4 of the caliber contestants 30-30, 270, 308 & 30-06 and they all have a place in the woods for hunting deer. But here in the land of the big bucks (See OH non-typical story) we have a choice of slugs, arrows, bolts, pistol and black powder. So how about a vote for my pistol-shooting cartridge, the 41Mag! Yeah I know, nobody had heard about it and even less knows there is a 41Mag but It's my favorite when the old 12Ga gets a little heavy lugging arround i the woods in OH Inside of 100 yards, the 41Mag is deadly. I just wish it didn't cost so much to practice.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

so say the ladies when they wanna make theire man happy :P'
Markmanship works the same for any given calibre :D

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from fng wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

hey, you know what? Im okay with the 6.5x55 getting reamed on the first run, but .30-06?!?! Don't get me wrong, its popular for a reason, but way too much noise for the velocity and the ballistics you get. However, whether .243, 6.5 or .264, .257 or .270, the deer still dies, its just a what range the shooter is comfortable shooting, and thats a rifle debate, not a round debate. Whitetails aren't much tougher than a human, after all!

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from huntnow wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I don't think it matters what the 06 is up against around here. Also, the 308 v 30-30 is kind of an odd matchup. A sniper round against the slow 30-30? At any rate, the lever action rifle is one of the coolest guns ever so I predict the 30-30 the clear winner.

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from cas0905 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

dont know how you can argue with the 270win here

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from BowtechWVU wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

all good rifle cartliges

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from Massena154 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Aargh, you've got the .30-.30 listed, but no mention of the .300 Savage. What's up with that? .300 Savage, 150 grain, pointed soft point. Just slide that cartridge into the champion slot:)

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from Douglas wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

50/50 on the 308 v 30-30!! I agonized on that one, my marlin lever gun in 30 30 or my sako 308. Which gets kicked under the bus?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt,

What do YOU THINK is the best load and why? Don't care much for other folks's reasoning based on myth and camp tales.

Best regards,
WAM

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt

215 fps with a heavier bullet IS significant. Is the extra velocity and energy required to shoot 95 pound whitetails? Not really, but when you push the range way out there, it does make a difference. Extra fps does not always equal wasted venison if one can shoot... JMHO

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Isn't it Spring Deer Season in Arkansas or somewhere?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Woops! FFF = "prolific"

Gave myself a minus one.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Dave,

I feel your pain over the .260 Remington and my beloved 6.5 X 55. Perhaps a new Best of Short Action Cartridges?
What do you think?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

C'mon 7mm-08!

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fisherus wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

This is supposed to be a way to avoid contraversy betwen gun owners? Gimmee a break!

One cannot and never will be able to select the best rifle for hunting anything or any kind of game animal without getting an argument. I've got to admit, this concept is pretty sneaky. The contraversy starts with who paired what gun with which and created an unfair advantage with one over the other. Maybe one particular caliber should have been compared in the elimination to a closer styled caliber than it was so one of similarities would have made it to the final four.

The argument is always going to be endless but I can tell all of you one simple thing when it comes to the best caliber. It is the caliber of the legal gun that you can shoot the most accurately that is the best caliber out there!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The 30.30 is no slouch if loaded right. The 270WSM has the same balistics as a 270WBY and if I were to hunt just deer and not have to run into any thing that bites it would be a 270 Win with a 130 or 140 Partion you could take elk deer sheep goats and anything else without sharp teeth. Nothing against the 308 I have one and it drives tacks and it will also do anything the .06 will do with bullets up to 180 with less powder which is why I dont use my .06 anymore. So ok guys let me have it.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Happy Myles: Dang you, you pulled the trigger before me. I guess great minds think a like after all.

+1 for ya for beating me too it.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

It also depends where/how you are hunting like herbie said.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

idduckhntr: The velocity of the .270 WSM is only 215 fps faster with a 15 grain heavier bullet then the .25-06 (winchester ballistic silvertips). The only thing the extra fps will give you is more wasted venison.

"I’ve never been able to find any correlation between bullet speed and sudden animal demise." David Petzal

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from seadog wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Sad to see the .243 take such a beating but the .270Win is a tough draw. Wow, the 30-30 is giving the .308 a run for it's money--I think the .308 will pull away now that it's almost bedtime for most of the old traditional guys. LOL

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from shadillac wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Who cares? I wish I was in the woods with any of these cartridges instead of sitting here at work!!!

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

And the 270 wsm is about 1/4 of the price of a 257 weatherby :P

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

:D
Well she should know :P

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Oh i dont like magnums, kicks way too much. but the 270wsm only kicks like a 3006:
.270 WSM (150 at 3000) 8.0 18.9 12.3
.30-06 Spfd. (150 at 2910) 8.0 17.6 11.9
.30-06 Spfd. (180 at 2700) 8.0 20.3 12.8
And that i can shoot well, so i think im good ;)
.257 Wby. Mag. (120 at 3300) 9.25 15.1 10.3
Is up at the same lvl too so i should shoot it well too :P
But right now i dont have monetas for a new rifle so ill stick with my 308win so far, untill i can afford the weatherby vanguard in 270wsm ive had my eye on for a while now :P

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

sunny springweather here and so disposition ,especially today, the old baggy wintherclothing comming off and a few skirts to see this very day so life is good and beer is cold :P

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Well lovetospooge the .270wsm should be most excellent for whitetails too :P

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIsrDmWA5BQ

The 270wsm`s victory song :D:D:D

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from Skeeb wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Well, the .308's pulling away now. But I think that the 30-30 is a more time tested round, responsible for more deer on the ground than the .308, or any round on here at that. They are both great cartridges don't get me wrong, I love the .308 but it's just not as traditional as the 30-30.
JMO

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from RVanta wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The most cost effective rounds are the 30-30, 270 Win, 308 Win, and 30-06 Sprg. For Whitetails, a bullet weighting about 150 grains is super and the recoil manageable. In the end, it is goes back to the O'Connor debate, i.e., the 270 Win. vs the 30-06 Sprg. Dropping the 30-30 because of poorer trajectory, One could not make a mistake with the other three for Whitetails. However, the 30 calibers with a 180 Grain bullet is better for larger game and big things that might bite !

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from huntnow wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

"I like to hunt deer not just shoot it." What does that even mean? If your in a blind on a hill and see your deer step out into the open is that not hunting? It is the same no matter how far away it is. What am I shooting at 400 yards? Anything I want with a capable rifle.

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from Dave Hurteau wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

007,
The voting has only just begun for this round. Keep checking in. The .308 may catch up yet.

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from wlewisiii wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Of these, I'd shoot a .243 then .30-30 and go "meh" about the rest. The best ones are already gone.

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from spartan88 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

COME ON .30-.30 PULL THROUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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from KyleKortright wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Go 30-30!

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from shooter223 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

well guys, you all know that the 270 win. is the best medium game cartridge invented, but i predict the 3006 will win on sentiment alone how's that for fightin' words? :p

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from jenks wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

WAM - 95lb whitetails? Where are you from? I am not trying to be rude but I live in Saskatchewan and a 95lb deer would be a yearling so I am just curious. Shooters are usually in the 250-300lb range where I hunt. I only wish that I could afford to take the fall off and go hunt the different regions of the whitetail and even then I am sure that I would still not be able to pick one perfect caliber as there are never two situations that are exactly the same. For example, on last years hunt we pushing bush. I started out with my 30-30 becuase it is usually the perfect gun for the bush. As we did our first drive the deer broke way earlier then expected and was way out of my comfortable range and so my sisters boyfriend got it with his '06. I then switched to my '06 for the "just in case" factor. We got to the next bush and my deer calmly stood up at like 75 yards so my 30-30 would have been perfect there. As long as we are getting out and enjoying our outdoor heritage the gun does not matter. Hope everybody else is enjoying this as much as I am. Good Hunting!

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from McAllister96 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I was somewhat intrigued by this at first, but after the results of round 1 and the way the votes are going in round 2, it's hard for me to see this as anything more than a popularity contest. They may as well give it to the 30-06 right now.

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

270wsm and the 257weatherby are very fine cartridges, but for Joe The Common Shooter feeding that horse is extremely expensive! Just coming up with the cash for a Friday night out with the Wife is financially straining for most!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen

Only your urologist knows for sure! ;)

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I wish I had a dollar for every Magnum Shooter I came across who could not hit the ground with both feet! LOL!!!

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from HuntingKS wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I hate to see the 243 losing so early. It seems like it has drawn a bad seed going up against the 270. I wonder how it would fare against the 25-06 or the 270 WSM. My top four would be the, in no particular order, the 308, 270, 243, and 30-06. Sure, they're the most common, but there's a reason for that.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Too bad we don't have records of this shootout going back every 10 years. Hopefully, F&S keeps this up for many decades to come.

.270 WSM pulls ahead by a grain! This could be a surprise upset. Well, at least a surprise to me. But even if it doesn't make it to the Final Four the votes for the WSM says it is here to stay.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

This is great - I am having way too much fun reading all this. The next round should be even more fun.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Lovetohunt,

Good answer! I was interested in your opinion and your reasoning for the cartridge(s) you mentioned is solid. I agree with you, the .30-06 may not be the best whitetail only rifle. It's one of my go-to rifles since most of my hunts are combination hunts for deer and elk and there are critters with claws and fangs around. But there are no degrees of dead.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

WOW! The .270 WSM in a buzzer beater with possible OT with the "beloved" .25-06!

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt

No apologies necessary! I applaud your passion for deer hunting! I just applied for my Colorado deer license myself! Hunting 2 states is better than one!

I once read that the .30-06 is not the best at any one thing because it is so good at many things! LOL

Best regards

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Lovetohunt, the 270WSM will do everything the 25.06 will and then some imo it has far better vel and energy and it does it with heavier bullets. I just hope to hunt with my 308 this year.

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from idduckhntr wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt, 25.06 120grain Nosler 3000fps, 270WSM 3100fps with a 160grain bullet the vel is about the same but you will do it with a heavier bullet which gives more down range energy. Not to start a war but where I live shots at deer can be and up to 400yrds and yes a 270WIn or .06 will do the job I just dont like shootin light bullets at 3000fps at something that weighs 200plus pounds.

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from 007 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Go, .308, and go, Mountaineers!!

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from 007 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Good one, Mtnhunter!

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Ozark Hunter: I like to consider myself part of the next generation. Im 17 years old.

huntnow: I agree. But The point im trying to make is 40 yards is hunting and requires hunting skills. 400 yards is shooting and requires shooting skills and not much hunting skills at all.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The .270 WSM better not win. That would surprise me if it did. Its not that much faster then the .25-06 and bullet weights are pretty close. People are just voting for it because it says "WSM" after it.

Some of you need to read DEP's "the truth about high velocity hunting bullets" its in the rifle section. I found it a darn good read.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Another thing this is not a "will do anything or more bracket" Its just whittails.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

WAM: Ya if your talking way the heck out there it will. But inside reasonable ranges witch pretty much every one on her aggrees that its about 300 yards (ive seen lots of posts about it and people said that). The .25-06 only has 2 inch more drop. And if one can shoot and puts the bullet where it is supposed to, the back of the front quarters will be bloodshot from the shock of the bullet no matter what you are useing.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Thats good QuietPaths.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

WAM

I guess I read your post wrong. I read it like an argument kinda. lol. My appologies.

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from lovetohunt wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

ingebrigsen: Ok maybe you can use the .270 wsm for anything you want. But this is JUST FOR WHITETAILS!

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from Harding7 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I don't that much hunting, but I've always used my 1945 Enfield Mk % Jungle Carbine in .303 British, iron sights, good to 250 yards - it brings 'em down just like the more common rounds - and the rifle cost me $29.95 in 1962.

I'm buying my last rifle this year - a Savage 16FLHSS in .300 RCM. That will take care of any game in North America.

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from Mike Mancuso wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I am thrilled that the .243 Win. caliber of my Vanguard Dlx made the Elite Eight. It knocked down three Texas Hill Country whitetails over a weekend a few years back with 105 gr. handloads from 30 to 270 yards. I'm okay with a Top Ten finish. Yes, sir. Because I can also handload 55/60 gr. for varmints and get near 4,000 fps.
Best of both worlds, but that's another vote. To all you sportsmen out there, have a wonderful Easter.

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from ingebrigtsen wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The 270wsm can do anything those other calibres can do just a little bit better. it reaches out there with heavier bullets like a 7mmremmag with light bullets like a 257weatherby, precision on par with or a few milimeters better than the 308, kicks like or less than a -06 and can varmint like the 243 any day with handloaded 85 grainers explosive bullets. all in on package u can use for anything u want it for, all with one barreltwist etc. Ill even bet that point of impact drifts less with temperature variables than its original gramps the 270win or -06 for that matter cos of more consistent ignition..
And its the youngest of the bunch.. No traditions to build on etc. and it went viral from its inception like none of the calibres above ever did, except from maybe the -06 cos of a world war :P
And with the huge differences in types and sizes of deer and hunting situations its the one calibre u can just switch load and do a sight-in to make it perfect for just your current hunt..
"270wsm for da win"(sound of cheering!!!)
:P

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from uncletom01 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I asume that each of us can shoot well and can hit a deer at will. There are no degrees of dead. How then can one rifle kill better than another? All of the guns in the brackets will do the job given a good shooter. The 30-30 has killed more whitetails than any other caliber in the brackets.

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from Mock1 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I know you can't really call it a cartridge, but the 12 gauge slug gun has put alot of deer on the ground drt (dead, right there) and I think it has a serious space for contention soewhere on the list

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from chubar wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Traditional or not- the venerable .30-06 is still the best- for white tail or whatever else on the North American continent. From 110 grain to 220, with all of the Nosler's in between- it will do the job. For that matter- with all of the AR's out there- and most white-tails less than 150 pounds- why not the .223 with a 75 grain or so? Sure, it's marginal in many cases, but so is the .30-30 over 150 yards- not for knock down but for the parabolic geometry to get it there. Whatever floats your boat.

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from huntnow wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

400 or 40, with a capable gun, it's dead. That's the point that I'm trying to make here.

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from EMN wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

i would like to see the .270wsm make it at least to the final four. where i hunt i have the possibility of a 400 hundred yard shot though i dont normaly have to shoot that far i have confidence if i do my part the bullet will hit the trarget. i do practice at that range and no exactly where i have to aim to make the shot count.

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from Dave Hurteau wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Hey!
You crazy people voting for the .270 WSM over the .25-06 are messing up my bracket. I want you to stop that nonsense right now.

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from copperhead wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

my first rifle was a 30-30 marlin. Hard to beat it if u know your trajectory

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from dbarry wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

ditto to all you guys w/ the pro 30-30 whitetail comments. Sure, from ballistic point of view, these other cartridges can shoot 3 pointers from downtown all night, but the 30-30 has brought more deer home than likely all the others combined. This old-timer is still bringin home the venison. It is the "Kareem Abdul-Jabbar" of the whitetail cartridges. #1 baby.

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from jakenbake wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Just a procedural observation, but generally doesn't the 1 seed face the 4 and the 2 face the 3? That would change the match-ups a bit, no?

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from tmbryant wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Where and how you hunt has more to do with cartridge selection than the size of the cartridge. I deer hunt the Texas panhandle and most of my deer have been shot with a 7 STW. Shots can range from 75 to fairly long range. The last buck I shot with the STW was at 288 yards and was a simple shot with it. It could just as easily been done with a .270, '06 or just about any of the cartridges except maybe the .30-30. An accurate rifle with enough power to get the job done is all I ask and shoot it enough to know the trajectory. A flat shooting rifle makes it easier to know the trajectory. However, the last deer I shot was with a Mathews Switchback. The up close and personal is more of a thrill than shooting at longer range, but you'll probably shoot a better scoring deer with a rifle as you tend to pass up more deer when rifle hunting than when bow hunting.

I figure the top two will be between the .270 and .30-06. To me there's not much difference between the two rounds, two peas in a pod. A .270 with a 130 gr bullet or a .30-06 with a 150 gr bullet are about the same. Who would select a 200 gr bullet in an '06 for hunting deer at least you do have that opportunity with the '06 if you want? No need in my part of the country as the deer here are about 200 pounds or so live weight.

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from TFrymyer31 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

The .270 win is the daddy 5 of the reaming.
That can only mean one thing!!!

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from Frogboy wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Most likely it will be a head to head match: The warbird Aught verses Jack O'Connor's favorite.

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from jenks wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovin' these tight races, can't wait to see how it turns out.

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

spartan88 that dirty thirty with those new Hornady bullets is no punk, in act it was never no punk!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I truly believe Marksmanship should be the real issue here. It's not what you got, it how you use it what counts!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

ingebrigtsen

YOU CRACK ME UP!

Hows the weather over on the far side?

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from hunt and fish wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

un fair rakings most every one just votes for the hight ranked round witch is stupid. so it doesn't really matter what people voter for cuz whatever the person who made this rankes them as is what the will place at

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from WeatherbySven87 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

things are getting more interesting indeed. now the heavyweights are slugging it. still think the 7mm mag should have made it farther. the roberts too. in fact the roberts has been tested by time and proven itself just as well as the 30-06 or the 30-30. why did it get slaughtered?

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from WeatherbySven87 wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

.270wsm ftw!

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from HuntPA wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Why both the 6.5x55 and 7x57 got voted off the island is beyond me. And I was going to get a 257 Bob as my next deer rifle. And a 300 Savage just for fun.

Asking to crown the Whitetail Cartridge Champion is just plain silly. There is a place and time for all these cartridges - because ballistics are great, it was your dad’s rifle, you took your first deer with it…..There must be something more important we could discuss here ;-)

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from Dirtysailor wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

It never gets any promoters, but the 7-30 Waters is a favorite of mine.

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from robstatetx wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

In 20 years the 6.8 SPC will be on the list. No kick, accurate, cheap to reload. Same energy at 300 yards as the 243 using less powder.

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from Charliel wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

Ok guys and gals. Even though the 30-30 has killed more game than any other US cartidge and the 30-06 and 270's are so loved and have also taken much game worldwide, you can't argue with the .308. Preferred choice of countless sportsmen, Military the world over and the US special forces. Plus, less recoil and more accurate than both the 270 and 06, so if you want to or have to have one gun, you can teach your kids well and even if your wife is a tiny little thing, they can handle any .308. I hunt with big weatherby's .300 and .340 and the 3 hardest kicking rifles I have ever encounter have been a bolt 30.06, a pump .270 and bolt 7mm mag. So, with all that said the only choice is the .308 Protecing and feeding the world accurately and reliably for decades!

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from wohalliburton wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

There is no doubt that we're talking about many good cartridges here, but what I don't hear anyone talking about in the 7mm Rem Mag. I've owned 3 of the contestents here, and by far, for the combination of range, versatility, and lethality it can't be beaten. For example, it outperforms a .270 Win with velocity and trajectory, as well as having a wider bullet weight range. People talk about recoil but I've shot both and really can't tell the difference. People also talk about tearing-up meat, but with a well-constructed bullet there shouldn't be a problem. Oh well, need to get off the soapbox!

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from Gaedtke Outdoors wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

All of these cartridges are impressive but I have to give the overall nod to the 30-06. The 243 and 7MM-08s are great cartridges along with the 308 but when you look at overall reloading options and factory loading options it is pretty hard to beat the 30-06. Next is the cost of buying a box of ammo, the 06 excels again in value and availability. Again I want to say that I like most of the other cartridges in this competition (I have owned and hunted with quite a few of them) but it is hard to argue the versatility and value of the 30-06.

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from kelly wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I didnt see the 300 savage even mentioned? I have dropped over 30 white tails with my ol model 99 over the years and just wondered why it wasnt in the running? Mabe like me its just outdated Kelly MO.

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I tell'ya, you can say what ever you want about what is best. But the bottom line and the truly true is, it's that toothless Old Fart who drives that banged up Ford Pickup with holes in the muffler spewing smoke out the back as if he was spraying for bugs with that battered up old rifle with dings and pings that brings home the backstrap despite what that fancy fella driving that Hummer shoots. LOL!!!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

I tell'ya what, you can have any cartridge you want, I'll enjoy using my Bow more with 151 days to hunt ;)

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

If lovetohunt is part of our next Generation, all is not lost.

GO LOVETOHUNT!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

lovetohunt you have chosen wisely!

And may I add, What those lack in Marksmanship, they make up in firepower! Kinda like adding *iagra to there gun/ammunition because they either lost their ability or never had it! LOL!

One day at a Turkey shoot,we all got or ass kicked by some Old Fart shooting a .38-40 Winchester with open sights, GO FIGURE!

It's not what you got, it's what you can do with it that counts!

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from Ozark Hunter wrote 4 years 2 weeks ago

NolanOsborne, as on person put it best; all you have to do is let the air out like archery!

Some will argue that the 22-250 is there best Whitetail and Mule Deer rifle over the Big Bore Magnums they also own. Once again, good Marksmanship, training and being in good health are the real players here not using a 30 cal Thunder******!

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