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  1. #1
    Gun Wizard
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    Too Much Gun?

    Enjoyed 700's Safari Rifle challenge. The big rifles have an attraction and can be fun to shoot for some. However, over the years I have cut back on the more powerful rifles. I hunt deer. I hunted deer with a 270 for many years and it destroyed more venison than I like. I don't get that many long shots where the 270 shines, so I sold it. I have a Mauser I worked over in 8mm. Kind of attahed to it as I did work it over. Still more rifle than I like for white tails. Tried the 45-70 for a while but saw no need to watch the lead pot drop everytime I cast one bullet. They are not really that destructive, but the 38-55 does the same thing with less recoil and lead use. Easier to shoot.

    Shooting is a personal thing. I enjoyed shooting the 243, lost a deer with one and even though I think it was my fault as I shot it running and it was a downward angle shot that would have worked had it been level. I lost the deer. Also stupidity on my part in tracking. Should have waited for a while until it bled out more and weakened. Have not tracked one for quite a while. Kind of lost confidence in one but may try the 243 again as they are fun to shoot and I did kill a few with one. Just will use top quality bullets and will try some Barnes monolithic bullets. I also enjoy shooting the 35 Remington, 30-30, my old 303 and the 6.5 Creedmoor. The 6.5 Creedmoor is for me about the perfect cartridge. Good range and excellent performance.

    What is too much gun? Some believe that a bigger one compensates for poor hits. Up to a point maybe. But it may be an extreme. Finding a gut shot deer after hitting one with an arrow is a challenge. With the 270 it was possible, but when party hunting I noticed some still got lost. Know some that think 300 mags are about right for deer and the 338 is an ideal elk or moose rifle. Maybe bigger. In Africa the 9.3X62 made quite a name for itself. Its similar to our 35 Whelen but generally loaded with heavier more large game oriented bullets. Over the years I have not seen the advantages of the bigger guns and just enjoy the smaller ones. For me, on deer the ideal is the 6.5CM/260Remington/257 Roberts/6.5Swede class cartridges.

    DEP
    Last edited by northmn; 06-14-2019 at 09:08 AM.
    turbobug, M700, 4mynra and 15 others like this.

  2. #2
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    I see it as more of a "too much load" vs. "too much gun" My philosophy has always been heavier and slower ruins less meat than heavier/faster, lighter/faster. It seems to me that if I produce a load where the gozinta is caliber and the gozouta is ~4X caliber...that's the limit....example...with my 45-70, I want no more than a 2" exit hole. My 30-06 I want no more than a 1.5" exit hole. The larger the hole....the more meat you've removed/damage. The deer is just as dead...true....but what is your goal? Mine is to keep as much freezer meat as possible.

    Yes...I at one time had my loads cranked up where I had 4-5" exit holes from my 30-06....but it left me with about 10-15 lbs of unusable bloodshot meat....so what was the point?

    This is all to say...I never shoot more than 150 yards...its a personal limit I set on myself. Sometimes a lighter/faster bullet is required....especially when reaching out 200+ yards. But again this is a variable where I won't put myself in that situation. So...for me...heavier/slower is the way to go.

    redhawk
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  3. #3
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    Well, mostly I hunt with a 25-06 and a 30-06, and mostly I hunt mule deer, with an occasional bear or elk, and an antelope every couple of years if I can make it to Wyoming.

    I treasure the 25-06 for the mild recoil, accuracy, flat trajectory, and quick kills. With the 30-06, I get a little more recoil, but it tosses a little bigger bullet too.

    The 375? That's just for fun. I wanted one. Now I've got two. That Safari Rifle Challenge was a great excuse to do some loading and shooting with the 375, and I hope I always have one. It is one heck of a cartridge.

    Shoot what you'd like, and shoot well friends!

    Regards, Guy

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  5. #4
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    I've used everything from 243 to a 338 Win Mag on Antelope, Deer, and Elk. The high velocity rounds cause the highest level of meat damage by far. My 338 Win does next to no meat damage shooting a fairly slow 200gr Barnes bullet into elk. 243 and 300 WSM cause bruising up to a foot away from the impact area though.

    To me, I want a round that can penetrate far (depending on the game obviously) in case I get that shot of a lifetime that is not the best angle. Only shooting deer I would not be as concerned with a heavy caliber rifle that needs feet of penetration as they're thin skinned and often much more slender.

    Find a caliber that you shoot well and a load with acceptable accuracy that you like. We all want to bring as much meat to the table as possible and not through it away, but shoot what you like or what makes you comfortable for an ethical kill.
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  6. #5
    Wrangler
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    shoot a hornady 220 gr bullet out of your 375 H&H at 2200-2400 fps, kills dead with out blowing up.

  7. #6
    Esteemed Sharpshooter
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    Right northmn. ..............Loved my 270. Started my serious hunting/loading with it as a kid in a wonderful BDL. (Jack O'Conner disciple) Truth, destroyed a lot of meat. Just could never stay out of that timber ............hell, still can't!
    Bearcat 74 and no primers like this.

  8. #7
    "Opinionated Texan" Super Moderator
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    couldn't agree more with you on the 257 roberts.
    i have two of them. great all around cal for the stuff i hunt.
    too much gun depends on who you ask...
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  9. #8
    Gun Wizard
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    I like shooting and it's easier to shoot a lighter kicker. I have a place where I shoot 400/600/800yds and when I go I typically take my 223 and 243. Occasionally the 30-06 and 7wsm get brought out but with the effort it takes to get there and get setup I don't want to shoot 20 rounds and head home. I can work through 50-100 rounds of 223 and 50+ rounds of 243 easily. I worked through 40 rounds of 30-06 and 30 rounds of 7wsm in one day. 70 rounds of those 2 from hunting weight rifles, with heavy high B.C. bullets, prone off of a backpack was not much fun.


    When it comes to hunting I've killed deer with slow and fast big and small. With smaller cals I am a fan of really good bullets, mono's, bonded, etc. The 80 Barnes and the 80 GMX turn the 243 into another animal.


    If you can spin a 105 Hornady BTHP it's another bullet that opens bigger doors with the 243. The bigger/longer bullets excel at longer ranges but will also work well up close.


    I am a fan of the 260 Rem, which is more or less a 6.5CM, which is more or less a 6.5x55. I've came to realize cartridges are more alike than they are different.

    From what I've seen a lung shot deer with a .223 Rem (good bullets), 243 win, 260 Rem, 708 Rem, 30-30, 35 Rem, 358 Win, 30-06, 308 Win, muzzleloader, etc will run 40-100yds

    A deer smacked through the shoulders with the above will go about 3 feet.

    I think it makes people feel good knowing they have a bigger bullet but with deer sized game from a rifle I've not seen where it pays off. Picking a bullet that works and holds up makes more of a difference than what you're shooting. Hitting them where you're supposed to makes an even bigger difference.

    A lot of people shoot bigger rounds to make up for poor shooting. All the talk of "knockdown power", they can't understand there is no such thing. The recoil you feel is the same amount of "power" the bullet delivers. Any bullet that lifts and animal off its feet would also do the same to the shooter, it's called physics, lol.


    For me bigger animals need different bullets, animals that eat you have a totally different set of rules.


    I'm a shoulder shooter as I think tracking is way overrated. I can deal with a few pounds of lost meat over losing and animal, because weird things happen when they run. When they can't run, well, weird things don't happen.


    People like what they like and there's nothing wrong with that. Shooting what you're comfortable and confident with goes a long way.


    Hunters are bad to judge on what their brothers cousins sisters uncles aunts grandpa said or when an animal is lost it's the rounds/bullets/broadheads fault. I've lost a couple deer with archery equipment, one was stolen by another hunter, but the other 3 were poor hits plain and simple. I did not make the correct shot.

  10. #9
    Gun Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearcat 74 View Post
    I like shooting and it's easier to shoot a lighter kicker. I have a place where I shoot 400/600/800yds and when I go I typically take my 223 and 243. Occasionally the 30-06 and 7wsm get brought out but with the effort it takes to get there and get setup I don't want to shoot 20 rounds and head home. I can work through 50-100 rounds of 223 and 50+ rounds of 243 easily. I worked through 40 rounds of 30-06 and 30 rounds of 7wsm in one day. 70 rounds of those 2 from hunting weight rifles, with heavy high B.C. bullets, prone off of a backpack was not much fun.
    When it comes to hunting I've killed deer with slow and fast big and small. With smaller cals I am a fan of really good bullets, mono's, bonded, etc. The 80 Barnes and the 80 GMX turn the 243 into another animal.
    If you can spin a 105 Hornady BTHP it's another bullet that opens bigger doors with the 243. The bigger/longer bullets excel at longer ranges but will also work well up close.
    I am a fan of the 260 Rem, which is more or less a 6.5CM, which is more or less a 6.5x55. I've came to realize cartridges are more alike than they are different.
    From what I've seen a lung shot deer with a .223 Rem (good bullets), 243 win, 260 Rem, 708 Rem, 30-30, 35 Rem, 358 Win, 30-06, 308 Win, muzzleloader, etc will run 40-100yds
    A deer smacked through the shoulders with the above will go about 3 feet.
    I think it makes people feel good knowing they have a bigger bullet but with deer sized game from a rifle I've not seen where it pays off. Picking a bullet that works and holds up makes more of a difference than what you're shooting. Hitting them where you're supposed to makes an even bigger difference.
    A lot of people shoot bigger rounds to make up for poor shooting. All the talk of "knockdown power", they can't understand there is no such thing. The recoil you feel is the same amount of "power" the bullet delivers. Any bullet that lifts and animal off its feet would also do the same to the shooter, it's called physics, lol.
    For me bigger animals need different bullets, animals that eat you have a totally different set of rules.
    I'm a shoulder shooter as I think tracking is way overrated. I can deal with a few pounds of lost meat over losing and animal, because weird things happen when they run. When they can't run, well, weird things don't happen.
    People like what they like and there's nothing wrong with that. Shooting what you're comfortable and confident with goes a long way.
    Hunters are bad to judge on what their brothers cousins sisters uncles aunts grandpa said or when an animal is lost it's the rounds/bullets/broadheads fault. I've lost a couple deer with archery equipment, one was stolen by another hunter, but the other 3 were poor hits plain and simple. I did not make the correct shot.
    We share similar experiences. I have been leaning to the shoulder shot for what you stated. To do so I have been looking at the all copper bullets that don't fragment but push through. As I rarely shoot over 200 yards and not much over I also lean to the slower cartridges and can say that the 35R makes a good shoulder buster.

    How far deer run seems to depend on where they are located when shot. I have seen deer drop on the spot when lung shot if in the woods. But if out on a field I have been amazed at how far they go to try to make cover. 100 yards is not unusual. About the most amazing was a doe shot with the 270 that left a long trail that looked like a red paint can was spread out. Another was shot with a 300 Savage that ran maybe up to 100 yards. When she dropped very close to the edge of the woods there was a big spray of snow. Rather a memorable situation. If close to cover they don't run as far. My son's friend bought a Barrett 50BMG when he was in the service. Hit a nice doe in the ribs with it and said it blew a football sized hole. Deer ran about 70 yards. He now hunts with 223 black rifles and claims good results with the heavier bullets. Posted the 50 cal deer on U-Tube under 50cal deer. You can see it run off.

    DEP
    Bearcat 74 and M700 like this.

  11. #10
    Gun Wizard
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    A kid I coached in football is a grown man now and we talk every couple of days, he's a gun nut like I am. He is a good shot but when it comes time to drill fur he kind of falls apart. He shot a deer 3-4 times with a 35 rem and about lost the animal. He moved to a 280 rem, 5 shots into a deer and it was finally down, moved to a 30-06 and 2-4 shots were needed. All these were 30-75yd shots

    He moved to a 7RM and then to a 300WM, the 300 required 2 shots on a small doe around 200yds. Why? Poor bullets with the fast movers and poor shooting overall. I've finally talked him into shooting more, getting more comfortable making shots and calming himself on critter killin'. He called last year and asked my thoughts on the .223 with good bullets on our deer. I told him hitting them where your supposed to with the right bullet you'll have no trouble.

    My phone starts blowing up from him in late November one day. I finally got ahold of him, he can't really talk, I was afraid he had fallen and got hurt.

    I was wrong, lol.


    13pts, 179lbs dressed, grossed 143 1/2" with a .223 Rem at 50yds on the point of the shoulder as he was seeking a doe. Total distance traveled after the hit, about 3 feet. Bullet busted the near shoulder, clipped the spine, pulped both lungs, broke some offside ribs and was found just breaking the hide right in front of the flank.

    Hard to argue that


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