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.308, 7MM-08, .280, .270,......they've all been round the block a few times and no deer or black bear is going to know the difference, if you hit em' right. I spent this year carrying a model 660 Remington in .308. Cool little gun. Hard to believe it's 50 years old.
 

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Thanks for the responses. I know the possibilities are endless and it won’t be an easy decision.

My dad has a “modest” gun collection. (100 guns) He has everything from a .225 to 6.5 Creedmoor to 25-06 to .338 Win to .444 Marlin and has killed deer with all of them. I know there is no right or wrong caliber for deer hunting provided the deer presents the perfect shot.

I’m someone who like to be prepared for every situation in hunting. I want to be able to make that 300 yard shot if need be. I want to be able to drive a bullet into the vitals from a bad angle. Certain calibers require perfect situations to make ethical shots and that is why I tend to shy away from the smaller ones. Nothing against them, I just want to be prepared...

Now I can get power level ammo for the Ultra Mag that will give me 06 or 300 Win performance but I just kinda want something different.

Sadly my grandfather passed away this last January and he passed his .308 and 250 Savage, both in Model 99. Problem is that they hold sentimental value for me and they are in pretty good shape for me to take hunting. I do like the 250 Savage but it is on the lower end of what I’m really looking for.

My sister shot a cow elk with a 7mm-08 but it is marginal, especially at longer distances.

I’m just a guy that doesn’t like to go with the crowd. No offense to the calibers and those that use them but I’m just not interested in 30-06, 30-30, .243, .270, etc. Now I know that the .308 is fairly common in the deer woods as well but it doesn’t seem nearly as common as those calibers.

And I’ll be honest, I’m a big Weatherby fan but the price of their premium ammo kind of kills the deal. I would love a .257 or .270 Weatherby and even a 30-378 but it’s just a pipe dream for now...

Thanks again for the suggestions and advice!
Jump right in then with something different- Sako Model 85 Bavarian Carbine in 308 - shorter Leupold VX-5HD on top and have at it. 300yds, no problem. Add CDS if you like or just the ballistic reticle for standard 308 ammo: :grin2:
 

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If you like "different" and "Weatherby" you NEED to be learning to handload.

I have a 7WSM for my daughter because she's a lefty and it was the right rifle in every way, but it was a bigger chambering. I load it to moderate 7-08 levels for her and she shoots it like a champ.

Loading a WBY round is not expensive at all, once you have brass and components. Yeah, it takes some serious powder to feed them, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not a lot more in dollars and cents than a 300WM or similar.

Heck, for the price of, say, 5 boxes of WBY ammo, you could likely be completely tooled up to load for it.
 

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I’m looking for a new deer rifle and need suggestions on caliber and perhaps make and model.

Right now nearly all of my hunting (deer, bear, elk) is done with my .300 Ultra Mag Model 70 Winchester. It’s a great gun in an awesome cartridge but it can get messy with deer if you hit bone...

I’m looking for something a little tamer but not too tame. I’m leaning towards a .308 or 7mm-08. I also have a .300 Savage in Model 99 Savage and it is a great round as well but I’m looking for a little more thump.

I’ll be up front about this right now...I am not interested in a 30-06. Nothing against it at all but I’ve always wanted to be a little different and literally every other hunter in the woods has an 06. It’s a great round and has killed many a deer but I’m just not into it.

So what do you think? Thanks for any suggestions.
What kind of deer do you think you cant kill with a 300 Savage? 308 and 7mm-08 are up their in the "just like everyone else" has. The 300 isnt so you have one that solves that problem.

If you want to just hunt deer there are thousands out there that fit the bill.

Ones you can find ammo in the store limit the selection, but 6.5x55, 25-06, 257 Roberts, start the search at the local ammo rack if you dont reload.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about whether or not this caliber or that caliber can kill a deer. They all can.

My Model 99 .300 Savage can kill deer just fine but it’s not a comfortable gun for me and I prefer bolt action anyway.

There is no “right” or “wrong” caliber here and I didn’t start this thread to cause a debate. Obviously the price or availability of ammo isn’t a serious issue with me. Ultra Mag shells cost me $60-70 a box. .300 Savage runs $30-40. I don’t shoot boxes of ammo a year, it’s usually a handful of shots at the range and then 1 or 2 at deer or bear.

When I say I like to have a caliber capable of making any shot that arises, I mean carrying something that can drive lengthwise through a deer quartering hard away or even straight away. I’m talking about having the energy to make the kill at 300 yards if need be.

I have the Ultra Mag for bear and elk so I don’t need anything else in that department. In fact, 95% of the deer that I shoot with it are clean, through and through shots that leave no mess and simply put deer down. I use the Remington Premier bonded factory loads and they work admirably. My furthest kill was a bull elk at 350 yards. If I happen to hit bone though, it can turn into a mess. One of the does I shot this year was quartering toward me pretty hard and the bullet entered just below the shoulder, shattering her leg bone and blowing a hole the size of a basketball from brisket to just behind the shoulder. It continued on, through the heart and lungs, stomach and lodged in the hindquarter in a perfect mushroom, just like every other one if

There is nothing wrong with the caliber at all but the amount of energy it has at close range on thin skinned animals can be devastating. I’m simply looking for something that still has plenty of energy at all effective ranges.
 

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I have a Remington SPSS in 7-08, it is VERY accurate and has killed many deer over the years, recoil friendly, and knocks the deer down without the damage, as we butcher our own deer and have been keeping an eye on what caliber does as far as damage.
 

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Personally i think if your looking for something different go with the .300 H&H, it's different enough yet not overly explosive as factory ammo is only slightly faster than the typical 30-06.

You can either pick up an old Pre-64 Winchester Model 70, Remington 721 or go with something modern like a Browning X-bolt.
 

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Many, many options suggested. Of course I'll add to the already spoken .270. My Browning X-bolt drives tacks and has plenty of knock down at long range. Your selection of bullet will go a long way when comparing knock down for deer v. Elk or whatever your hunting. The deer I've shot with Winchester 150gr. Powerpoints hit the deck. Shot a nice sized doe from over a hundred yards quartering away, drove from behind back rib and out the chest. Deer dropped and rolled down the hill. Two deer I shot this year dropped in their tracks. Angle shots that "shocked" the spine on both. One was quartering toward me, through the point of front shoulder, shocked the spine and lodged in the lungs. All things considered pretty minor meat damage too.

All the posters have good suggestions on rifles and calibers. What it comes down to really is what you want and matching ammo for the game you hunt.
 

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Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t about whether or not this caliber or that caliber can kill a deer. They all can.

My Model 99 .300 Savage can kill deer just fine but it’s not a comfortable gun for me and I prefer bolt action anyway.

There is no “right” or “wrong” caliber here and I didn’t start this thread to cause a debate. Obviously the price or availability of ammo isn’t a serious issue with me. Ultra Mag shells cost me $60-70 a box. .300 Savage runs $30-40. I don’t shoot boxes of ammo a year, it’s usually a handful of shots at the range and then 1 or 2 at deer or bear.

When I say I like to have a caliber capable of making any shot that arises, I mean carrying something that can drive lengthwise through a deer quartering hard away or even straight away. I’m talking about having the energy to make the kill at 300 yards if need be.
$60-$70 a box wow I am out of touch with ammo prices. I must have been reloading for longer than I thougth.


As for your any deer, any situation, at distance - my experience is limited but a .300 Win mag will fit that bill. 300 yards or more isnt a problem, odd angles not really a problem. Don't hit the shoulder though you will lose a lot of meat. I shot a doe at 300 yards last year quartering away. I went in through the front shoulder and out the neck. Lots of damage and a giant exit. I am actually shopping for a bit less gun to help with excessive damage from the .300 win. With the .300 win mag I have yet to have a bullet not pass through the deer.
 

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My suggestion is a .280 Remington. I bought one last year (Browning X-Bolt) and I'm never looking back. They are very flat shooting, I have my sighted in that at 300 yards it only has a 3 inch drop. The recoil is very minimal. Also, if you handload, I have read folks being able to push 7mm ballistics and still be safe.
 

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My suggestion is a .280 Remington. I bought one last year (Browning X-Bolt) and I'm never looking back. They are very flat shooting, I have my sighted in that at 300 yards it only has a 3 inch drop. The recoil is very minimal. Also, if you handload, I have read folks being able to push 7mm ballistics and still be safe.
My personal favorite round. Awesome round, if you wanna take the .280 to the next level get the chamber recut for .280 Ackley Improved, 7mm mag performance with less powder, less blast, less recoil, longer case life, shorter package.
 

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My personal favorite round. Awesome round, if you wanna take the .280 to the next level get the chamber recut for .280 Ackley Improved, 7mm mag performance with less powder, less blast, less recoil, longer case life, shorter package.
Nice, I'll have to look at that sometime, maybe down the road. One issue I did run into this year was the one deer I shot was only 10 yards from me and the bullet I used didn't expand due to the amount of speed and the range. That wasn't an issue with the caliber, but more an issue of bullet selection. It was still a kill shot and I recovered the deer.
 

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The bullet didn't expand because it was too close....?

That doesn't make sense. If anything, it woudl over-expand and disintegrate.

What bullet were you using?
 

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The bullet didn't expand because it was too close....?

That doesn't make sense. If anything, it woudl over-expand and disintegrate.

What bullet were you using?
I was using a 150 grain Nosler Partition. The exit wound was the same diameter as the original bullet size.
 
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