How much gun is too much?

Talk about the best guns and ammunition for deer hunting!
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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby danesdad » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:40 pm

I think a 30.06 is actually too much for whitetails at close range. I'd bet the 7mm 08 would be ideal but I dont know if anyone makes lever guns in that caliber. I have a remington 7600 in .243 that is a joy to shoot, but it might be a bit small for all situations. Not sure why you are avoiding bolts but if it is because you are left handed then the 7600 may not be the way to go (even tho it is a pump) because it has the safety on the back of the trigger guard and it is right handed. That safety is the only thing I dont like about the 7600 (I'm a lefty).
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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby willypete » Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:00 pm

This question has a lot of variables and your own opinion.

My take on it is that for a deer a 30-06 it to much. I have seen what it does and it is just too much for me. I want it to go down quickly on a good shot and still die on a bad shot. For me my .270 does just that. On a good heart or lung shot thing wont go 20yards and if gutshot maybe 50yards. But the big thing is if i hit a shoulder or a leg it wont blow it up. I can still salvage part of it unlike with a 30-06 shot where it will be a goner,

But like i said that is opinion. If you hunt near a fence or on a really small property and almost require a very quick kill then maybe a 30-06 is needed. But for me I am happy with my .270

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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby shaman » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:53 pm

I don't mean to be pickin' on you. In fact, I just want to agree with you-- it is all mostly going to be subjective.

A 270 with a 140 gr factory load compared to a 30-06 with a 150 gr factory load at close range are going to be just about even in everything that's important. Both are going to be devastating. Both are going to expend most of the energy in the ground behind the deer. There is going to be a slight difference in recoil, but that's about it. Even that could be overshadowed with a different fit to the stock, or a few ounces of total weight to the rifle.

My point is that you're absolutely right. The whole idea of " too much" is very subjective.

Take my buddy's 300 Win Mag. Every time I've shot 300 WM in the past, I've always gotten quite a whallop. I was always shooting fairly light hunting rifles. My buddy, SuperCore, brought a new-to-him rifle to camp this past year. It was a German-made monster -- total package weiged 9.5 lbs. The rifle fit me like a glove and I took a chance to try it out off-hand. Wow! Very nice shooting rifle-- no worse than my '06's with full-house loads. I was impressed.

Is 300 WM too much for deer? Nobody really NEEDS a 300 WM for deer, unless they are hunting open country and taking long shots. The average whitetail is taken inside 100 yards (probably more like 80). Too much? I could have easily used that rifle last season and not complained. The only downside would have been the 9.5 lbs. If I'd taken that same rifle to Colorado and had to schlep it up and down the side of a mountain, you can bet I'd have been saying "too much!"

If you took any of my 30-06 deer rifles and knocked off 4 inches of barrel and turn them into deep-woods brush guns? I'd be complaining. Short barrels mean lighter rifles mean louder noise and more recoil. The deer wouldn't notice a whit, but I sure would.
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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby polaris754 » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:19 am

yup best bet within 100 to 200 yd ranges , 7mm 08 ,or a 308 both will get the job done with no problems,low recoil cept for the 08 ammo not hard to find . last but not least, the 30 30 , u just have to watch ur ranges, good luck
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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby JRB@AB » Mon Aug 27, 2012 4:58 pm

Deebz wrote:Nice kell...
I know a lot of guys who use the 30-06... My brother's 45-70 lever action would definitely kill a deer, but I could also see where it would do a ton of collateral damage as far as meat is concerned.

I gave the .45-70 a try last year for my second Doe tag. Needless to say the caliber worked, but what suprised me most was the LACK of damage done to the meat. It was as if the bullet (300 grain Federal PowerShok) had punched through without expanding, causing very little meat loss. Truth be told, I have lost more meat too such smaller calibers as the .270 and .30-06.
If I were you I would shoot whatever caliber comes in your favoured rifle. Doesn't matter if it is a .243 or .45-70, they will all do the job if the shooter does theirs.

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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby joe12180 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:26 am

I've got a maybe different take. You can't over kill a buck but you can underkill him. it sucks if you kill a nice buck but cannot recover him because he ran off to die in parts unknown and hasn't left a viable blood trail. A hunter can never go wrong by choosing a bullet or caliber considered on the big side for killing a buck. There are lots of adequate calibers that will kill deer nicely 99% of the time if the hunter waits for a perfect shot and has the luck to place the shot perfectly while shooting through brush and timber. Those long sleek calibers are popular because folks have a thing about long range shooting but in my experiance in the area where I hunt I have never, in nearly 50 years of hunting, had a shot much past 200 yards, 210 being about my longest shot ever and the vast majority of shots being under 100 yards.

I'm a stalker, stillhunter, tracker and honestly I don't often get those perfect shots that those stand hunters are so often offered. The requirments I have for my hunting rifle is that it must be of a caliber with sufficiant diamiter to leave a good blood trail from entrance wound only, bullet must expand uniformly but must not disintigrate if it hits a small branch nor explode at close range, penetration must be deep and reliable and must reach the front of the chest cavity when shot in the ham, should exhibit pronounced knock-down power, and not deflect easily in brush. strictly speaking the larger the diamiter the bigger the entrance hole and the more blunt the nose shape the more knockdown power, the greater the bullet wieght the less the bullet will deflect in brush and deeper it will penetrait.

Based upon my requirements I have choosen the .444 Marlin as my hunting rifle and with flat nosed bullets in 240 grain or above it is unbeatable for my use. I prefer 265 grain however. I realize that some think it kicks too much and me with a bad shoulder I had an Encore made with the flex tech stock and limb saver pad that makes recoil more than manageable. But it's not for everyone I know so let me say that for my requirements a minimum cal bullet combo would be a .35 rem loaded with 200 grain blunt nosed bullets, its a fine deer rifle with manageable recoil for all. Of course other great ones might be the 35 Whelen, 358 win, 405 winchester, 45-70, 450 Marlin, all will do the job.

The .243 while adequte for deer is intended primarily for long range varmit shooting and lacks charactoristics that I require as stated above. Personally I couldn't stand to see the buck of a lifetime and not be able to pull the trigger because he didn't offer the perfect shot and I didn't have enough gun regardless if I were on stand or hunting as I normally do. Just my thoughts on the subject. With that said though if a hunter has a rifle in any cal that he KNOWS he will have a gut job when he pulls the trigger he has the right gun.

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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby Dan Salmon » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:33 pm

Too much gun, not enough gun, they're both rhetorical questions.

The idea is to hit vital parts. Heart, Lungs, Central Nervous system or to cause enough tissue damage and hemorrhaging that blood loss leads to death.

It's not the arrow, it's the Indian.

If the person behind that is utilizing said tool (rock, knife, bowling ball, hub cap, rifle, shotgun, bow and arrow, etc.) can't direct it to the place where it will cause one of the previously mentioned things to happen, it's not the fault of the tool.

People, as well as animals, have been know to seriously hurt/kill themselves or others just by chance and/or good/bad luck, sometimes with nothing more than the clothes/hides on their backs.

I think that a lot of times we tend to make a big deal out of little or nothing at all.

That being said, .270 Winchester, .280 Remington, .308 Winchester and/or .30-06 Springfield are probably the cream of the crop for one size fits all compromise cartridges.

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Cut N Run
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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby Cut N Run » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:48 am

Here's my $0.02; A big questions is where do you intend to hunt and what other game animals do you intend to hunt with that rifle?

In heavy cover it is not necessary to use a flat trajectory, bottle necked, ultra-high speed caliber. Just like you would be handicapping yourself with a flat nose lever action straight walled round if you planned to hunt over a giant agricultural field. If you were considering using that same rifle for Moose, Elk, or Bear hunting in the future, that would also come into play.

A .30/'06 will, can, and has killed every big game animal that walks the North American continent. The different factory loadings for that cartridge vary in bullet weights from a light as 90 grains to as heavy as 220 grains .Each suits its purpose well. The.30/'06 is the most versatile cartridge that I know of. It does some serious damage to deer and I would consider it overkill...unless you tamed the loads down with some lighter hand loads.

I am a big fan of the .308, not only because I'm not a big man (5'9" 170 lbs.), but because it pushes a .30 caliber bullet at factory speeds right about 100 feet per second less than a .30/'06. It does a great job of putting deer down fast without quite as much destruction as the '06. The military uses the .308 at 1,000 yard targets with great accuracy. I will never shoot at a deer at half that distance, but it is nice to know the caliber could handle it if necessary. That 7mm-08 is a great deer cartridge as are the 300 Savage and the .257 Roberts in most deer hunting situations. The .30-30 can also handle the job if you have limited range and you don't need to worry about getting recoil headaches from shooting it.

I've killed nearly as many deer with arrows as with bullets and to echo Dan Salmon's post, it is all about shot placement. A well placed bullet or arrow does the job quickly with minimal suffering to the animal. Ultimately, that is our objective. A bad shot is a bad shot with anything.

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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby PHVET12 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:54 am

I have a .300 WIN MAG that I bought inWA state to hunt elk with. It did a great job taking down elk with 1 shot. My question is will it tear up a deer? Should I trade it down to a smaller caliber rifle or can I just drop down to a smaller grain shot? I haven't hunted deer for 15 years and just moved to NC. There aren't any elk here lol.

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Re: How much gun is too much?

Postby shaman » Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:33 am

A 300 win mag IS too much for whitetail, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Try and stay away from the shoulder, and slip one into the boiler room. The deer will fall down nicely-- about the same as a a 30-06.

But shaman!!!! This is a 300 Freakin' WIN MAG!!! Yes, but it's only a whitetail deer. The bullet is going to expand, just like on an elk, but it will be in and out of the deer before all of its energy is transferred to the the deer. Most of all that tremendous energy will end up in the dirt.

I advise folks not to go out and buy a 300 Winnie just for deer. It really is a lot of recoil and a lot of extra cost for no appreciable gain. Elk? Sure thing! Sign me up! However, deer just are not that hard to kill. If you like your rifle and are comfortable with it, I would not change. In fact, I know guys who hunt with a 375 H&H just because it keeps them ready for their safari. The deer are not going to mind.

If you reload, use a 150 grain bullet, and knock down your load to about 10% of MAX and use H4895. You'll end up with a round that is more like a hot 30-06 load. It will be much less recoil than factory 300 WM.
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