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Deer Hunting

What is the best caliber for deer ?

Uploaded on August 04, 2009

I Think that 30-06 or.270 is the best because they have the knock down power and you can find the ammo any where.

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from TJ wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

25'06 is better than either for deer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Reid Jones wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

25-06. fast like a 243 and has the punch of a 270. flat trajectory. great bullet. 25-06

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NYhunter wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

AGAIN????????????????? .243 ,.270 ,30-30.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

The "Best" caliber is the one you can shoot with accuracy and confidence under less then ideal conditions in the field.
While the "Ideal" caliber for deer has been debated on this blog before, I like a minimum of a .243 caliber, the .270 and .30/06 have got to be the most widely used for deer with a history of fine results. But really, it comes down to you the shooter as to what caliber you feel comfortable with.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Anything that shoots a 100 grain bullet or larger faster than 2,000 fps will do if the shooter can hit the vitals.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from 82BUCKEYETOM wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

The best caliber for deer is the gun that you shoot a lot and you know where the bullet will hit at every distance. Make sure the bullet size is legal in the state you are hunting in. For some of us, that means lots of practice with a shotgun.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Swagger501 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

They're both practically the same cartridge. The .270 is just a 30/06 case necked down. I personally favor the 30/06. True, the .270 will give you more velocity, but the 30/06 will give more bullet selection and probably more range because of the heavier bullets available.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from keen one wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Amen to Ralph the Rifleman. Personally I use an '06 when the law permits.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I would say the 25-06 for my self but also like 30-06

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Thank ya, Keen one!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I usually hunt deer with my '06 for one main reason: I hunt a combined deer and elk season and I never know which species will present an opportunity first. Usually, I have my .35 Whelen and .30-06 since I always take a backup rifle on a long trip. Never know what might happen in a week. If it is a deer only hunt in fairly open country, the .257 Roberts with either the .308 Win or .300 Savage as a back up for the same reason. If hunting the timber near home, it is an unscoped Savage 99 in either .358 Win or .300 Savage.

'Ralph the Rifleman' nailed it squarely in his post 4th from the top of this thread.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from JHawes wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

A .243 will be sufficient for deer but if your looking for a caliber to use on multiple types of game go with the .270 it will do everything the 30-06 can do and give you flatter trajectory.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

Hey-Thanks for Kudos boys-
JHawes-
I gotta agree with ya on that .270 statement, but the .06 has a very loyal following for good reason. Besides it's the daddy of the *ss kicking .35 Whelen...among other offspring including the .270!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

O'HELL guys, sound like you need a 700 NITRO EXPRESS!
From 223 to 35 cal, whatever you can hit “MOP” with!
Shot more deer with my 22-250 than all my other rifles combined and all with BANG FLOPS!

From Clays archives of bookmarks, places, information and things to read

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 hunting080189 wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

I like the .243, 30-06 or.270 is all you need for deer

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Clay Cooper:
Why not a crew-served weapon? Share the fun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

For my style of hunting, close evergreen forests, I prefer the Winchester Model 94 30-30. Fast handling, light weight and very deadly on whitetails.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I let the particular setting (stand or blind) I'm hunting dictate the gun I take.

Thickets, tight woods - Contender(pistol) in 7-30 Waters or 45 Colt(hot handloads), OR Winchester 94 30-30 or Puma 92 in 454 Casull

open lanes w/food plots, beanfields, pasture (long flat shots) - T3 .270WSM, Ruger #1 7mm Rem. Mag, T/C Encore 7mm Rem. Mag.

late season meat hunting/culling does - T/C Encore w/22-250 barrel, AR Varmint heavy barrel in .223

The real right answer is what YOU like and what works for you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from keen one wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Somewhere between 0.24 and 0.35.
Unless black power is the propellant then I'd say the caliber ranges 0.44 to 0.54.

Lots of good choices. It's great to have choices.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from silvrtung wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

ITS ABOUT THE SHOOTER NOT THE RIFLE!!! in kansas i would shoot my .223 if i could i can put three rounds in a pattern the size of a quarter, and i bet u that my 55grain ballistic silvertip will do as much damage as your .270 without tearing up as much front quarter.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie1 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

So! Is there a book or phamplet on which bullet to use on a certain animal?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

silvrtung A +1 for your Sir!

Lets see, you use #4 buck shot on deer and what size is #4 buck shot and weight and velocity? Hell a 22 Long Rifle in the boiler room works just as well!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

'silvrtung'

So, are you saying that you can't put three rounds into a 15/16ths of an inch group (quarter size) with a larger caliber rifle? I guess a fellow needs to know his limitations.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shootbigelk wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

This topic has been around for years. It is always interesting because every caliber that I ever see posted are all fun to shoot. I think that every situation and person dictates on what caliber to shoot. Some will swear by some of the oldest rounds out there all the up to a 375 H&H. Some swear by the new short mags. I wish I had money to try them all personally. I usually shoot a 7mm Rem Mag and my wife shoots a 25-06 but I have shot deer with the ole 30/30 or a 45/70 even. One thing about it, at least we will always have something to talk or argue about around the crackling fire. Just Hunt!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

.250 or .300 Savage.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Anything the Model 99 is chambered for.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

shootbigelk - well said sir +1

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jonathco wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

It seems like this debate gets brought up continually on this sight and at deer camp. Ralph the rifleman said it best, it's what cal. you can shoot best. I know a guy that uses a 243 and wounds more deer than he kills ( bad shooter) every year, and I know another guy who gets a deer every year with a 243. It's all about what you can successfully drop a deer in one clean shot with, I personally use a 30.06 and sometimes a 7.62x54 or my 50 cal M/L.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kcarp1024 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

It doesn't really matter what caliber you use, as long as your a good shot! I shot a 8 point Texas Whitetail with my .222 Remington Gamemaster Pump and it only went 50 yards. But, I personally prefer my .30-06 Remington Woodsmaster Semi-Auto.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kcarp1024 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Just don't shoot a Rimfire at a deer! That's just plain RETARDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I have shot deer with just about everything from the .223 up to the .300 Mag. When shot in the proper place and they die they are all the best calibers for deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jhjimbo wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

The best caliber is the one you can beg and borrow for your first hunt. mine was a 30-40 krag with a .44cal cap and ball revolver.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dustin D Lisak wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I own a variety of calibers like .270, .308, .300 win mag, 30/30, 30/06. But all of these calibers do a number on deer. Whenever I shoot I one I can always count on loosing a quarter of meat and I'm not very pleased with this. I know there are different tips that can be used to alleviate this as well but just the shear mass if all these calibers I think is a little much. Now I've been looking at getting a 25/06 and just want to get some input from some people who may know about. I hunt exclusively with my family and none of them have ever shot that caliber cuz they are older and this is a fairly new caliber. Please give me some pros and cons and also any rang restrictions. Thank all

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from small game sportsman wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I like either the .308 or the 30-06 personally.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Deer are not very tough animals and anything from .223 to .375 H&H all knock them down pretty well. The smaller calibers tend to shock them more but they deflect wildly on impact with any brush on the way to the deer. The larger calibers tend to penetrate brush and trees better on their way to the deer. With a good 300g Barnes bullet, a .375 H&H will penetrate three medium sized trees on the way to a deer and still flatten the deer on impact.

I've shot lots of deer with lots of different cartridges but my favorites are:

1. If I am in really thick timber, I like the .35 Remington for 25 yard brush busting. It shoots through trees, limbs and brush and stays on target.
2. For all else, a 25-06 with 100g bullets is my favorite (120g bullets in the timber). It minimizes lead on running deer and it flattens them out to 500 yards. I've shot deer with just about everything and nothing flattens them like the 25-06. It also has such low recoil that I can shoot hundreds of rounds a day to become proficient without getting a sore shoulder.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

As I stated earlier I have shot deer with just about every one of the "normal" deer calibers and some not so "normal" and most of the deer that I have killed have been with a .308. Right now I don't have one because I gave it to my Grandson. The .308 is the most underrated caliber that we have today.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Watching the open hayfields, 200-300 yards, 7mm Remington magnum, .300 Win. mag, perhaps .308 Win., .257 Roberts or .338-06 A-Square, sitting around in the woods, leave out the belted magnums. Deer drives, toss a Marlin 336 in .35 into the mix. Point being, the perfect rifle/caliber depends upon the application or setting, just like any tool.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tuna0410 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

A lot of people around here use the .243, but I like the 30-30. I hunt mostly thick brush and rarely see a shot over 100 yards. When hunting outside of the brush in a stand it is hard to be the 30/06. It all kinda matters in what ranges your are hunting and what you are comfortable with.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Reply

from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

The "Best" caliber is the one you can shoot with accuracy and confidence under less then ideal conditions in the field.
While the "Ideal" caliber for deer has been debated on this blog before, I like a minimum of a .243 caliber, the .270 and .30/06 have got to be the most widely used for deer with a history of fine results. But really, it comes down to you the shooter as to what caliber you feel comfortable with.

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

Anything that shoots a 100 grain bullet or larger faster than 2,000 fps will do if the shooter can hit the vitals.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from 82BUCKEYETOM wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

The best caliber for deer is the gun that you shoot a lot and you know where the bullet will hit at every distance. Make sure the bullet size is legal in the state you are hunting in. For some of us, that means lots of practice with a shotgun.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

Hey-Thanks for Kudos boys-
JHawes-
I gotta agree with ya on that .270 statement, but the .06 has a very loyal following for good reason. Besides it's the daddy of the *ss kicking .35 Whelen...among other offspring including the .270!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from shootbigelk wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

This topic has been around for years. It is always interesting because every caliber that I ever see posted are all fun to shoot. I think that every situation and person dictates on what caliber to shoot. Some will swear by some of the oldest rounds out there all the up to a 375 H&H. Some swear by the new short mags. I wish I had money to try them all personally. I usually shoot a 7mm Rem Mag and my wife shoots a 25-06 but I have shot deer with the ole 30/30 or a 45/70 even. One thing about it, at least we will always have something to talk or argue about around the crackling fire. Just Hunt!!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from TJ wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

25'06 is better than either for deer.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Reid Jones wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

25-06. fast like a 243 and has the punch of a 270. flat trajectory. great bullet. 25-06

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from keen one wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Amen to Ralph the Rifleman. Personally I use an '06 when the law permits.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from JHawes wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

A .243 will be sufficient for deer but if your looking for a caliber to use on multiple types of game go with the .270 it will do everything the 30-06 can do and give you flatter trajectory.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

O'HELL guys, sound like you need a 700 NITRO EXPRESS!
From 223 to 35 cal, whatever you can hit “MOP” with!
Shot more deer with my 22-250 than all my other rifles combined and all with BANG FLOPS!

From Clays archives of bookmarks, places, information and things to read

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 silvrtung wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

ITS ABOUT THE SHOOTER NOT THE RIFLE!!! in kansas i would shoot my .223 if i could i can put three rounds in a pattern the size of a quarter, and i bet u that my 55grain ballistic silvertip will do as much damage as your .270 without tearing up as much front quarter.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from NYhunter wrote 4 years 36 weeks ago

AGAIN????????????????? .243 ,.270 ,30-30.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Swagger501 wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

They're both practically the same cartridge. The .270 is just a 30/06 case necked down. I personally favor the 30/06. True, the .270 will give you more velocity, but the 30/06 will give more bullet selection and probably more range because of the heavier bullets available.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kentucky Hunter wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I would say the 25-06 for my self but also like 30-06

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

Thank ya, Keen one!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 33 weeks ago

I usually hunt deer with my '06 for one main reason: I hunt a combined deer and elk season and I never know which species will present an opportunity first. Usually, I have my .35 Whelen and .30-06 since I always take a backup rifle on a long trip. Never know what might happen in a week. If it is a deer only hunt in fairly open country, the .257 Roberts with either the .308 Win or .300 Savage as a back up for the same reason. If hunting the timber near home, it is an unscoped Savage 99 in either .358 Win or .300 Savage.

'Ralph the Rifleman' nailed it squarely in his post 4th from the top of this thread.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hunting080189 wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

I like the .243, 30-06 or.270 is all you need for deer

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ruckweiler wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Clay Cooper:
Why not a crew-served weapon? Share the fun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from libertyfirst wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

For my style of hunting, close evergreen forests, I prefer the Winchester Model 94 30-30. Fast handling, light weight and very deadly on whitetails.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I let the particular setting (stand or blind) I'm hunting dictate the gun I take.

Thickets, tight woods - Contender(pistol) in 7-30 Waters or 45 Colt(hot handloads), OR Winchester 94 30-30 or Puma 92 in 454 Casull

open lanes w/food plots, beanfields, pasture (long flat shots) - T3 .270WSM, Ruger #1 7mm Rem. Mag, T/C Encore 7mm Rem. Mag.

late season meat hunting/culling does - T/C Encore w/22-250 barrel, AR Varmint heavy barrel in .223

The real right answer is what YOU like and what works for you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from keen one wrote 4 years 25 weeks ago

Somewhere between 0.24 and 0.35.
Unless black power is the propellant then I'd say the caliber ranges 0.44 to 0.54.

Lots of good choices. It's great to have choices.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie1 wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

So! Is there a book or phamplet on which bullet to use on a certain animal?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Clay Cooper wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

silvrtung A +1 for your Sir!

Lets see, you use #4 buck shot on deer and what size is #4 buck shot and weight and velocity? Hell a 22 Long Rifle in the boiler room works just as well!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

'silvrtung'

So, are you saying that you can't put three rounds into a 15/16ths of an inch group (quarter size) with a larger caliber rifle? I guess a fellow needs to know his limitations.....

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

.250 or .300 Savage.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

Anything the Model 99 is chambered for.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 24 weeks ago

shootbigelk - well said sir +1

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jonathco wrote 4 years 23 weeks ago

It seems like this debate gets brought up continually on this sight and at deer camp. Ralph the rifleman said it best, it's what cal. you can shoot best. I know a guy that uses a 243 and wounds more deer than he kills ( bad shooter) every year, and I know another guy who gets a deer every year with a 243. It's all about what you can successfully drop a deer in one clean shot with, I personally use a 30.06 and sometimes a 7.62x54 or my 50 cal M/L.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kcarp1024 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

It doesn't really matter what caliber you use, as long as your a good shot! I shot a 8 point Texas Whitetail with my .222 Remington Gamemaster Pump and it only went 50 yards. But, I personally prefer my .30-06 Remington Woodsmaster Semi-Auto.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kcarp1024 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

Just don't shoot a Rimfire at a deer! That's just plain RETARDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

I have shot deer with just about everything from the .223 up to the .300 Mag. When shot in the proper place and they die they are all the best calibers for deer.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jhjimbo wrote 1 year 19 weeks ago

The best caliber is the one you can beg and borrow for your first hunt. mine was a 30-40 krag with a .44cal cap and ball revolver.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dustin D Lisak wrote 1 year 18 weeks ago

I own a variety of calibers like .270, .308, .300 win mag, 30/30, 30/06. But all of these calibers do a number on deer. Whenever I shoot I one I can always count on loosing a quarter of meat and I'm not very pleased with this. I know there are different tips that can be used to alleviate this as well but just the shear mass if all these calibers I think is a little much. Now I've been looking at getting a 25/06 and just want to get some input from some people who may know about. I hunt exclusively with my family and none of them have ever shot that caliber cuz they are older and this is a fairly new caliber. Please give me some pros and cons and also any rang restrictions. Thank all

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from small game sportsman wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

I like either the .308 or the 30-06 personally.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from DakotaMan wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Deer are not very tough animals and anything from .223 to .375 H&H all knock them down pretty well. The smaller calibers tend to shock them more but they deflect wildly on impact with any brush on the way to the deer. The larger calibers tend to penetrate brush and trees better on their way to the deer. With a good 300g Barnes bullet, a .375 H&H will penetrate three medium sized trees on the way to a deer and still flatten the deer on impact.

I've shot lots of deer with lots of different cartridges but my favorites are:

1. If I am in really thick timber, I like the .35 Remington for 25 yard brush busting. It shoots through trees, limbs and brush and stays on target.
2. For all else, a 25-06 with 100g bullets is my favorite (120g bullets in the timber). It minimizes lead on running deer and it flattens them out to 500 yards. I've shot deer with just about everything and nothing flattens them like the 25-06. It also has such low recoil that I can shoot hundreds of rounds a day to become proficient without getting a sore shoulder.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sarge01 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

As I stated earlier I have shot deer with just about every one of the "normal" deer calibers and some not so "normal" and most of the deer that I have killed have been with a .308. Right now I don't have one because I gave it to my Grandson. The .308 is the most underrated caliber that we have today.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 007 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

Watching the open hayfields, 200-300 yards, 7mm Remington magnum, .300 Win. mag, perhaps .308 Win., .257 Roberts or .338-06 A-Square, sitting around in the woods, leave out the belted magnums. Deer drives, toss a Marlin 336 in .35 into the mix. Point being, the perfect rifle/caliber depends upon the application or setting, just like any tool.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tuna0410 wrote 1 year 17 weeks ago

A lot of people around here use the .243, but I like the 30-30. I hunt mostly thick brush and rarely see a shot over 100 yards. When hunting outside of the brush in a stand it is hard to be the 30/06. It all kinda matters in what ranges your are hunting and what you are comfortable with.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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