While most hunters don’t need this sort of performance is in their deer rifle, the 7mm Mag is a great cartridge for taking shots at ranges out past 250 yards. Bigger shot is preferred because it carries more energy downrange. The choke to use depends on the distance you are shooting. A Browning BLR in .358 with a low-power scope makes a great black bear rifle, but even better — and better-suited for all conditions — is the long-unloved .350 Remington Magnum. It’s known for having the right combo of speed, accuracy, and power. Here are Jim Carmichel's picks for the minimum, recommended and best calibers for ten different big-game species.

But it’s the minimum legal big game caliber in many states, and the .243 has proven itself to be capable if the biggest thing you’re going to be shooting at is an average-sized whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, and any other other small-bodied, thin-skinned critter.

With increased range and/or energy, you increase recoil. My rifle shoots wonderfully with Hornady's 160-grain FTX but equally well with Winchester's ancient 170-grain Silvertip.

But for my personal favorite, I'll go a step further: the .270 Winchester Short Magnum. Typically loaded up with 180 grain bullets, it’s still hauling enough energy to reliably take out a deer at a mighty 860 yards. It’s not completely ridiculous, but it’s more than most people like and a flinch can really ruin your accuracy. At the price of more recoil and a lot less barrel life, the 6.5-284 does everything the … But it’s the minimum legal big game caliber in many states, and the .243 has proven itself to be capable if the biggest thing you’re going to be shooting at is an average-sized whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, and any other other small-bodied, thin-skinned critter. I've used a lot of different scopes, and I suppose anything from 3-9X upward to maybe 4-16X is fine, but in the mountains I prefer an upper magnification of 12X or 14X, and I definitely want a trajectory-compensating reticle. If you’re going to buy a new rifle though, for the same 12 ft-lbs of recoil you could get a 270 and greatly increase both your MPBR and killing distance. Instead, some states restrict hunters to using shotguns during their modern firearm deer season. It’s ok mine didn’t make the list, even though I have used every one on this list at some time or another, love the 25-06. 25-06 Remington. Listed by caliber, here's a look at what big game rifle cartridges are trending upward, and which are not. Call it a generational thing. At close range, there are few other cartridges that can compare with the .45-70, especially if the owner also wants to hunt larger species such as bear, elk, and moose. • Small Predators (CXP1) – foxes, coyotes and bobcats are tougher than the other two small game and varmints. Shot placement is always the single most important criteria, so while I consider a .30 caliber the absolute minimum, you're better off with a. That extra power and range takes the recoil up to 15.7 ft-lbs, above the standard 15 that most men are comfortable with. All rights reserved. Many gallons of ink, and maybe even a little blood as well, have been spilled on this exact topic. My favorite .30-30 Winchester deer hunting loads are the Hornady LEVERevolution (with a 160gr FTX bullet), Remington Core Lokt (150gr SP), and the Winchester Deer Season XP ammo (150gr XP). Buffalo Bore also makes a standard load firing a 255gr Keith SWC and a +P load firing a 340gr LFN bullet. The .308 Winchester came along after World War II as a result of experiments conducted in an effort to replace the .30-06 Springfield as the primary service cartridge for the US Military. I don't actually have"http://www.ruger.com/products/no1/index.html?r=y" target="_blank">Ruger No. The top cartridges for new big game rifles shift from year to year in some categories as a few relatively new cartridges catch on while some old standby rounds fade away. In the .35s I've had great success with Remington Core-Lokt and 250-grain Sierras.€‰. For this reason I like bullets that will expand quickly and transfer a lot of energy. Thanks for your support. In more open country I want something with more reach — specifically for Coues whitetail, which, although smaller, are often taken at longer ranges. Geese are tough and shots are sometimes very long. Now, we could potentially take down deer sized game up to 600 yards away, but we’ve done it at a pretty great increase to recoil. For grizzly I think there's nothing better than a fast .33 — the .338 Remington Ultra Mag. The .300s can do a bit too much damage on a close shot, but I use them when I expect a longer-range opportunity, so accuracy is critical. Outdoor Life may receive financial compensation for products purchased through this site.
Some guns are easier to work with than others, but the Ruger American Rifle doesn't require an... A guide on how to pair .223 and 5.56 NATO rifle barrel twist rates with bullet weights.... Barnaul announced its .300 AAC Blackout ammo is now available in the U.S. My 7x57 shoots Hornady Interbond very well, so that's what I use in that rifle. Although very tall, moose are relatively slender through the shoulders, so you don't necessarily need the toughest bullets in the world. Add it all up and you’ve got an excellent all around cartridge for deer hunting over most of North America. ©2020 Outdoor Sportsman Group. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to create free content that’s useful to hunters like yourself. Available in a variety of bullet weights ranging from 55 to 105 grains, the .243 Winchester is well suited to a number of applications, especially deer hunting. Additionally, the .45-70 also has a manageable amount of recoil.

That being said, a moose is a big animal, so you definitely need bullets that are reasonably heavy for caliber and designed to offer adequate penetration. That cranks our max deer range out to over 700 yards and makes this the flattest shooting cartridge in this comparison. This is it, the biggest, baddest round that is offered in standard rifles. That makes it a practical choice for the majority of deer hunts, and shot for shot, will do the exact same thing that any of these other cartridges will. and the minimum recommended bullet sectional density (SD) is about .210 for small bore rifles (.24-.32 caliber), .200 for medium bore rifles (.33-.39 caliber) and .185 for big bore rifles (over .40 caliber). In Europe, the 6.5 mm Swede (A Latvian Eagle favorite) is preferred for moose hunting. My experience with the 6.5 Creedmoor has been incredible; so much so that I’ve been largely neglecting my trusty .30-06.


Experienced hunters advise to stay with larger shot for big ducks, even over decoys. Steel shot is lighter and harder than lead. .243 Winchester Have fun hunting this bird with a smaller shotgun. For others, the debate goes on. Though it is only effective out to about 30-35 yards, buckshot is a great choice for shooting a moving deer (like when using hounds) or when hunting in areas with very thick vegetation. And when you look at the MPBR’s of these cartridges, you’ll quickly realize that the difference in “flatness” is incredibly small. The options in. Over bait, probably less than 100 yards, but low-light conditions are likely. Take that case from the 25-06, and imagine it with a slightly wider bullet. Buy an excellent muzzleloader for hunting here. I wanted to evaluate a broad range of modern bolt action big game calibers suitable for “medium” (also known as Class 2 or CPX2) and/or “large” (also known as Class 3 or CPX3) game. © 2020 The Sportsman’s Guide, Inc.   1-800-882-2962  |, Transitioning Your Summer Sleeping System, NEW to SG: WeatherTech® Vehicle Accessories, Wilderness Survival: Why Everyone Needs At Least Two Knives, Babe Winkleman – Good Fishing / Outdoor Secrets, Bryan Oliver – Quick Hits, Videos, Memes, For a fine selection of shotgun ammunition, click here…, These Upland Game/Waterfowl Guides, and Caliber/Game Usage Charts will help get the beginning or inexperienced hunter off to a good start before he or she steps into the woods, fields, sloughs, or on the range.

There are 2 factory loads that Federal has in their ballistics program: a 150 grain loading, and a 180. It kicks out bullets of the same weight faster than popular non-magnum calibers like the .270 Winchester or .30-06, and the 7mm Mag is great choice for hunters who want a hard-hitting, flat-shooting rifle for long range shots. 223/5.56 vs 300 Blackout vs 308 Winchester: Which Is Best? However, my favorites are the Barnes VOR-TX (with a 150gr or 168gr TTSX BT bullet), Remington Core Lokt (150gr or 165gr SP), and the Winchester Deer Season XP ammo (with a 150gr XP). Its small, lightweight bullets aren’t a good choice for big-bodied animals like elk. Find the Hunting Gear guy on YouTube, on Popular Hunting Cartridge Ballistics Shootout, Vortex Diamondback HD 10X42 Binoculars Review. Up close, the .45-70 is awesome, and I love the .348 Winchester. To learn more about the muzzleloaders, powder, primers, and bullets I recommend, check out the articles below: 9 Of The Best Muzzleloaders For Hunters In 2019, 5 Best Traditional Muzzleloaders For Hunters In 2019, 15 Of The Best Muzzleloader Primers For Igniting Your Powder. BIG CALIBER PELLETS. Because range can be involved, a 3-9X scope is a good choice. Many products featured on this site were editorially chosen. Before I get started, please understand that the purpose of this article is not to bash anyone’s “pet” cartridge. I consider the whitetail to be extremely tough pound-for-pound, and I want a bullet that will expand and do some damage. American big game hunting pioneer, Jack O’Connor championed the merits of the .270 nearly 100 years ago and killed big game ranging from Coues Deer to Dall Sheep to grizzly bears with a .270. If you really love lever action rifles and you want to increase your range, you can always check out Hornady’s LeverEvolution ammo that uses a soft, rubbery tip to give their bullets MUCH better range. By modern standards, the 30-30 is a complete joke. All of these cartridges will get the job done with good shot placement, they’re all available in a number of high quality firearms, and the major ammunition companies like Barnes, Browning, Federal, Hornady, Nosler, Remington, and Winchester all make a wide variety of factory ammo loads for these cartridges. But if you prefer a .375 Ruger, that's fine with me.

Pocket carry, as a method of concealed carry for a defensive firearm, can be a practical option when done right. MeatEater’s .270 Winchester Big Game Bullet Choice: Federal Premium 130 grain Trophy Copper. That extra bullet weight greatly increases recoil from the low range to the mid-range, reduces speeds, and greatly increases maximum ranges game can be taken at. 1 in .270. Less than 15 pounds in weight. For more information about the .30-30 Winchester, read the article below: The .30-30 Winchester: Still Relevant A Century Later. Buy some great .270 Winchester hunting ammo here. Additionally, using buckshot (the name is no accident) a hunter carrying a 12 gauge shotgun is ideally armed for a close range encounter with a deer. Hornady LEVERevolution ammo is available in .45-70 Government (with a 250gr Monoflex or a 325gr FTX bullet) and so is Remington Core Lokt ammunition (300gr JHP or 405gr SP). Hornady makes a handgun line of their LEVERevolution ammo in .44 Magnum (with a 225gr FTX bullet) along with their Custom Handgun ammo (with a 200gr JHP). I killed my first, and biggest bull elk with a 7mm-08 with a single shot through the shoulder blade at 200 yards. Finally, we’ve got the .300 Winchester Magnum, which is definitely near the top of popularity list when it comes to American big game cartridges. Subscriber Services.

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