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New hunter needs your help
Last Post 28 Dec 2008 03:10 PM by amp156. 8 Replies.
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ere1983
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14 Sep 2008 04:58 PM  
Hey everybody, i just bought a house in Vermont with a lot of land and my friends have talked me into hunting for deer this season. It is mostly woods with a few small open areas in it. I have never hunted before and pretty much dont know anything about rifles so i would appreciate some help on which rifle to choose. I was at a gun shop the other day and the person there tried to talk me into a remmington 223 which i now know would have been a mistake for deer hunting.  It looks like, from what i've read, that 243, 30-30 and 30-06 are pretty popular. Remember I have never hunted before so bullet placement is not something i can count on.  Could you suggest some deer rifles, calibers for me and let me know what i should be looking to spend. Thanks for the help
monsterbuck
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14 Sep 2008 08:51 PM  
i would look at 270 3006 308 walmart has very reasonable prices i bought a remington 770 in 3006 with bushnell scope for 300 bucks brand new some say not a very reliable gun but I like it its light and price is right... for a high end gun your gonna be looking at 400-700 bucks
tubby
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15 Sep 2008 03:04 AM  
I too would suggest something in the .270,30/06,308,7mm-08 or the Remington .260.
As far as models find one that fits you and your budget.
Tubby
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Dakota Danny
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15 Sep 2008 06:32 AM  
Don't overlook the price of ammo. The common calibers are frequently available anywhere.

223 is a good round, but a little light for some distances and bigger animals

243 is a good rifle - lower recoil than some of the bigger boys.

30-30 is a good round, I wouldn't shoot beyond 100 yards or so. It launches a big hunk of lead...usually on a short barrel resulting in what most call a "brush gun" easy to wield in the cover.

30.06 there are fewer rounds as famous as this. It has a multitude of loads. Meaning you can kill groundhogs up to any big game animal in the US.

270 is the same case as a 30.06. It has been decreased from a 30 caliber to a 27 caliber. Meaning it flies slightly flatter than a 30.06.

A big question to ask yourself and anyone helping you to hunt...how far will it be possible for you to shoot? Will you like to use the rifle for other animals?




rnwinter
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15 Sep 2008 10:42 PM  
There are many calibers that are awesome, but in my own opinion, I would stick with something in the range of a .270, 25-06, or 30.06. My reasons are that these calibers are very good for a wider range of hunting, while not falling into the magnum calibers (which can become a bit of work after several rounds.) The variations of bullet weights and loads will make them even more useful across the board, and ammo is generally pretty reasonable and easily found. Hope this helps a bit.
paulie
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17 Sep 2008 03:44 AM  
whatever caliber rifle you get, PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!! You have to be confident in your ability to make a clean, accurate shot. You owe it to the animal to make a quick clean kill!! If you dont feel that you can put a bullit where it needs to go, then, stay out of the woods. I dont mean to sound like a prick but, like I said we, as hunters owe it to the game we hunt to be proficient with the weapons we use (gun or bow)! The last thing you want to do is wound an animal and not be able to recover it. With all that said, once you feel good about your shooting, get out there and enjoy the hunt! I think once you experience it, youll be hooked. Good luck and happy huntin!!
btr568
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21 Sep 2008 03:54 PM  
ere....it all depends on what kind of money you want to spend on a rifle.
heres a list....
Browning... anything they make is a good rifle,but they ain't cheap
Remington...Models,7,750(I like the carbines best),770(read this months issue of Guns & Ammo,the 770,XL7,100 ATR's have a comparsion about them)
Marlin.....all the lever actions are good,solidly built.Then they have a new bolt action XL7(black stocks)XLC7(camo stock)be prepared to wait on a camo'd one,they are on back order,I've been waiting on mine for a month now.Right now all the Gun writers are going nuts about this rifle.
Mossberg...100 ATR comes in black&camo stock,also they have a 4x4 Laminate model,it even comes in a new caliber called 338 Federal
Ruger.....like Browning,it's all pretty good,but again they ain't cheap.I have a Ruger compact stainless steel.The compact has a 16 1/2 inch barrell,great for ladder stands and climbers.
Savage...well built rifles for the money
Howa.....again well built rifles for the money
Weatherby.... can be a little pricey,but basically they are a dolled up Howa,at least the barrels are made by Howa for Weathery
Calibers....there are way to many to list,some old,some new.But since your a new hunter I'd suggest you steer clear of the Magums and Mega Mags.But to help you out I'll list some that are used a good bit,243,6mm Remington,250/300 Savage,257 Roberts,308,7mm-08,6.8SPC(new),260,30-30,35 Remington,these are in a short action,little milder recoil than a standard(long)action
Long actions would be 25-06,30-06,270,338 Federal(I think,it may be a short,been awhile since I looked at this one)303 British(my hoggin' rifle ,cut down barrell,about like a 30-06),444,just to name a few that are common,and all the Mags are long action,unless you buy a WSM,WSSM
LOL,it gets confusing a little bit,but a real easy way to find what you want is buy any reloading book,it will tell you what every caliber can be used on.And I would not ask anybody in WallyWorld(walmart)anything about a gun or hunting,most of them haven't got a clue about either .
Taipan
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30 Oct 2008 08:46 AM  

Any of the calibers you've asked about are adequate for deer you will find in Vermont.

You really have to ask yourself a couple of questions in selecting your caliber and type of firearm. What kind of shots will you be taking? What size animal are you hunting? What can you afford?

If you're a woods hunter you wont be taking many shots over 80 yards. A majority of the shots fall within 100 yards because the woods are fairly thick here. That's not to say you can't find a stand that offers 100+ yard shots in the woods. All of my deer have fallen in the woods and all within 65 yards of me. That being said, if you're a woods hunter any of the three you've asked about would be adequate. The 30-30 is an awesome firearm for up close shots on deer that may be in thick brush such as cedars or swamp thrash. It's accurate, kills well, and reloads quickly in a lever action model. The 30-30 can perform out past 100 yards but loses accuracy fairly quickly past 150 yards. There is a new longer range round for the 30-30 but I have yet to shoot it.

If you're field hunting and might take long shots (you're inexperienced so I'd greatly advise against it) the 30.06 will outperform the .243 and 30-30 hands down. I'd suggest a .270 Winchester over the 30.06 due to flatter trajectory (if you might field hunt in the future I'd suggest learning about a bullets flight).

My only open concern is with the .243. I know it's a successful caliber and many hunters enjoy its abilities. I fear it's bullet is too light, in grains, to retain its mass and ability to pass through the deer. If you're new to shooting and an error in shot placement could occur I would be increasingly concerned with the use of the .243. This is my first post here and I'm afraid I'm not making any friends with my banter about the .243! It comes down to your ability to accurately place your shot. I'd also be worried about the energy lbs/ft that the .243 carries compared to the other calibers you've questioned. And to add more caution about the .243 I'd be concerned about the bullet tumbling if it hit any brush between you and the deer.

The idea is to either incapacitate the deer by hitting the spine, the lungs or heart, or by bleeding the animal out. I prefer a scapula shot (that's an entirely different subject). The best way to bleed the animal out is to put two holes in it -- entrance and exit -- the bigger the better in theory*. The best way to ensure a complete pass through of the bullet is to select a round that retains its weight while expanding in a controlled manor. Also, the larger the caliber size, the more likely it will come in contact with lung, heart, or spine. The larger the caliber the larger the permanent wound cavity-- if paired with a good expanding bullet. Ask yourself, would you rather have a hole the size of a dime punched in you or a hole the size of a quarter. Which is more likely to hit more blood vessels and arteries on its way through?

*The theory is ignored or broken when we consider table fare. You don't want to destroy more meat than you have to. The .243 comes in nice for leaving a lot of meat undisturbed but you have to consider the range its used and where the deer is struck. Like I've said, the .243 works well and many people rely on it every season. It works in Vermont but I, personally, would advise against it. I'd also suggest staying away from ballistic tipped ammunition. Unless you're hunting monsters on the Canadian border, ballistic tips are overkill for whitetails in this region.

The 30-06 is a wonderful round. It's readily available in many configurations and can take deer, bear, and moose. All popular game animals in Vermont. By configurations I refer to the weights and bullet design-- most important being bullet weight. The 30.06 is readily available at "back country" general stores and large chain stores. I cut meat for a few years and cut up a number of deer as a side job. I've seen some pretty gnarly damage produced by the 30.06. It can be a very devastating round in terms of wasting meat. But so can the .270 or any other caliber if shot placement is off.

I hunt with the .270 Winchester. My firearm, Weatherby Vanguard, makes wonderful 1-1 1/2" groups with regular old inexpensive 130 grain Remington Core Lokt bullets. Before I purchased my Weatherby I hunted with a Remington 7600 chambered in .270. I used 150gr PSP Core Lokt and harvested deer with it. I have never had a deer take more than one step after being hit by the .270. I credit that mostly to shot placement, but the caliber amplifies the effect. It's like a bolt of lightning has struck the deer -- bang-- down.

The .270 recoil isn't that bad, sharp and quick. I weigh in at 150lbs and can put about a box and a half through my rifle before I start to become irritated by the recoil. I tend to throw a folded towl over my shoulder if I plan on shooting more than a dozen shots. However, percieved recoil is different for everyone. It depends greatly on the style of firearm and your technique. The 30-30 has what I'd call a very nice recoil. It's like a heavy push. I could shoot the 30-30 all day long and never flinch. 30.06 has a bit of a punch but it's not crazy recoil.

Many Vermonters have .270s 30.06 and 30-30. I'd be willing to bet top dollar that one of your friends owns one of these and would let you fire it. I'd suggest firing the .270, 30.06 and 30-30. After you've shot all three then you should decide which best fits your hunting style and which you were most comfortable shooting.

 

 

 

I'm rambling... 

Final word before my vote. The 30-30, 30.06, and .270 will all dispatch deer well at 100 yards.

 

All else considered, my votes in order:

.270

.270

.270

30-30 (if you never intend on using the firearm for more than deer hunting)

30.06

.243

and a big zero on the .223

 

Best of luck and be safe out there. Blaze orange isn't required in Vermont... but I'd HIGHLY suggest wearing it!!!

-T³

amp156
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28 Dec 2008 03:10 PM  
I live in and hunt in CT.... similar to Vermont.  I use a .30-30 and sometimes my .243.  The .30-30 has nice nockdown power, but only affective to about 150 yards.  The .243 is nice.  It shoots flat and has no recoil but either way with all the trees they are going to have to come in to about 50 -75 yards.  I would personnally choose a .30-30. 
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