Share Thread:  
What caliber rifle do you use for deer hunting and why?
I am trying to understand the different mid to larger caliber rifles and what may be their best uses.

I thought one area to dive into would be deer hunting rifles.

If I recall correctly in Pennsylvania it is lawful to hunt deer with the smallest caliber being .22-250 and heading up from there.

I hear people using .30-30, .30-06, .308, .270, 7MM, 7MM-08, .243 (there are others but these appear to be most common).

What caliber do you use to hunt deer with and what made you go with this choice?

If you are a person that does not hunt and has experience in shooting various calibers in this range, please, add your thoughts so I can get the complete picture.


God bless!!

Proud to be a member of since 11:18 PM Sept 7, 2012!
.303 Brit because I like the nostalgia of using my Enfield from the tree stand or blind.

30/30 for my brush gun, because the Marlin 36SS is light & easier to carry on drives.

7.62/54R is a possibility as I've been tempted to take my Chinese Carbine Mosin Type 53 out on a drive or two this year. & a friend uses his Mosin M91 from the stand or blind.

& my most recent deer was taken with a .50 pure lead conical during muzzleloader season.

Accuracy & shot placement is more important than caliber or cartridge.
I use a .300 Win Mag, cause I wanna (Insert Dirty harry Voice) blow their heads clean off" Big Grin

Actually....I use that cause I got a good deal on it since the previous owner for some reason only shot it 4 times....Dodgy, and my friend already had one and could reload for me

for me personally it's not about caliber choice, other than I like to use the .32 Win Spl for really brushy areas....

I have no trouble using the .243 if one of the kids isn't using it. Ive smacked a few deer with it and they don't run far, if at all. And since one of them bought his own this year, the odds are getting better, LOL

the 300 is the only one I have bought, the .32 came from Grandpa, the .243 from Mom, so until that I just used what we had, and they worked just fine, biggest reason I stopped using the .243 for deer and got another gun was the fact that I topped it with a 6-24 target scope for popping chucks, which has since been dropped back to a 3-9 so my kid and nephew could use it for deer

Truthfully one you get above the .243 it doesn't really matter much, bad shots will still wound deer, and good ones will drop them where they stand. But these of course are only my opinions, and everyone elses will be different, LOL

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined." -Patrick Henry
I've always hunted deer with 12 gauge 3" magnum slugs, either Breneke or Sabot.
Valorius;48312 Wrote:I've always hunted deer with 12 gauge 3" magnum slugs, either Breneke or Sabot.

Those Breneke slugs are affordable (I think I got 5 slugs for $3 and some change a year ago) and highly accurate. My Mossberg 500 with 28" vented barrel and improved cylinder choke gets very tight groupings with them out to 50 yards. I only had a few slugs on me, so I didn't get a chance to shoot at any greater distances.
[Image: pa_zps59e4c512.png?t=1379682235]
In Pa 50 yards is plenty for most hunting spots.
I do know that shot placement is ultra important.

But I was curious as to how each person ended up with the caliber that they use.

Was it handed down through the family, a gift, or you wanted to get a deer rifle so you took what you heard others using.

My wife grew up on a farm and she always deer hunted with a Remington .22-250.

It was her grandfather's gun.

Her Dad always used a .30-06.

I was wondering if cost, firearm availability, recommended caliber, or recoil played a part into anyone's choice.

I do think it is great to hear of using the mil surp guns for hunting.

Make them "earn their keep."

I know there are many calibers usable for hunting and I am really curious as to how each hunter ended up with what they use.

Thanks everyone.

God bless!!

Proud to be a member of since 11:18 PM Sept 7, 2012!
30-30 20" barrel

I'm not one to sit in a tree stand all day like a sniper. I like to stalk and we live in a young forest (used to be a christmas tree farm back in the day) with lots of multi-flora rose bushes, thorns, poplar trees etc. So lugging around a 24" barreled .308 bolt action with a huge scope just isn't practical for me.

Also I don't feel the need to carry around extra ammo in my pockets with the 30-30 since the 7 round capacity is all I feel Is needed, so that just simplifies things even more for me.
PPP - I'm kinda in the same boat as you. My thread has some of the same questions you have, along with a lot of good info from the members here.
I was able to look at your thread.

Yours is more regarding a financial limitation ($250-500) and looking for a specific model and caliber where mine question is strictly caliber and what drove them to obtain it.

I have been looking at all these calibers in "deer hunting range" and wondered how the different hunters chose what caliber they are using.

There are so many in that range and the cost of ammo is really negligible when it comes down to it so that should not effect choices.

kbcobra26 made a good point where his .30-30 has a 7 round capacity and so there is no need to carry additional ammo while on the hunt.

I have always heard the .30-30 is a great brush gun and has a normal range of out to 200 yards.

I don't see any one caliber as being "the caliber."

Thanks for linking yours.

God bless!!

Proud to be a member of since 11:18 PM Sept 7, 2012!

Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Looking for a bullpup home defense rifle ByblosHex 2 826 04-24-2016, 08:19 AM
Last Post: Mr_Gixxer
  IWI to resurrect Galil rifle in the US market das 3 1,289 08-16-2015, 09:15 AM
Last Post: Rosco the Iroc
  A Carbine in a Backpack–TNW Survival Rifle Review das 4 2,699 04-09-2015, 11:51 PM
Last Post: Emptymag
  The Sniper Rifle to Beat: FN SPR A3G in .308 Review das 3 1,495 02-25-2015, 06:19 PM
Last Post: csmith
  The New Ruger Gunsite Scout .308 Bolt Rifle – Full Review das 3 1,572 12-21-2014, 11:29 PM
Last Post: Emptymag

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Software by MyBB, © 2002-2015 MyBB Group.
Template by Modogodo Design.