I have the 7600 in .243. I killed two deer with it last year at the mind numbing distances of 12 and 16 yards. I'm pretty sure it's capable of shots far longer than this. I love it because it kicks like a .22. I could shoot it all day long. It may be a bit light for bears (I'd resort to the 30.06 for those), but it's a fine deer caliber. When I shot those deer last year so close, one walked off calmly as if nothing happened and I was concerned that the bullet had passed through so quickly that it didn't have time to expand. That deer only went about 150 yards and the last 120 of that was sliding down a snowy hill. I have a 7600 in 30.06, a Winchester 94 in 30-30. In most cases, I'd take the 243 hunting. I imagine that it would make a good varmit gun too.