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Old 03-23-2012, 09:35 AM
CJ from IA
Posts: n/a
Default New deer hunter here, looking for the right caliber

I'm new(er) to deer hunting, with a rifle that is. I am looking for a good rifle with less recoil but packs a lot of punch. I have been reading that the 30/30 Winchester and the 7mm-08 Remington are both good choices. I have also read that the 30/30 is better for shorter range shooting and the 7mm-08 can cover both short and longer range (>200yd) shots with ease. Are either of these good choices? I am about 6'1" and 200lbs so I am pretty sure I would be ok handling them.

I also know that the gr of the ammo and the weight of the gun also has a lot to do with things. Any help is appreciated!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-23-2012, 05:05 PM
B&C 140 Class
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 849
Default Welcome to the forum, we will offer our recommendations

In the past, most new hunters started with the 30-30 in a lever action rifle using iron sights. I always recommend that a new shooter/hunter start with a scoped bolt action rifle in a standard caliber. You could handle any of the standard calibers .308win, .270win, 30-06 without a problem. If you want a little less recoil than the standard ones the 7mm-08 is a wonderful Deer chambering. It will kick less than the .308win which is its parent case and fly flatter in the process. At one time the .243 was considered the perfect rifle for someone recoil sensitive, I think the 7mm-08 has taken over that slot. It is capable of better performance without any downside. The only advantage the .308 would have is if you forget your ammo, any Mom and Pop store that sells rifle ammo in Deer Hunting country stock it. The 7mm-08 while popular is not as popular as the trio 308,270,30-06. It is usally said that the 140gr loading for the 7mm-08 is the standard choice for Deer, companies also like to offer it in either 145gr or 150gr. Rifles have a mind of their own and if I was to buy one in 7mm-08 I would try it in 140gr and then one of the others to see if it prefered
heavier bullets. The Deer won't know the difference between any of the three from 0-200 yards. Try to save around 150.xx from your budget for a quality scope, you won't regret quality optics. Besides a good trigger I have to have a quality scope. You can't kill it if you can't see it. You owe it to the Deer to kill it clean and that takes a good trigger. I know some really smart Members are going to chime in with their input, enjoy...

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Old 03-24-2012, 06:41 PM
onehorse's Avatar
B&C 140 Class
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 798

Here's my answer that sticks to the choices you gave in your post. I would highly recommend the 7mm-08 over the 30/30. In spite of it's history and the fact that it probably has taken as much, or more, game than any other caliber, the 30/30 just doesn't measure up to most "modern" cartridges. The 7mm-08 is MUCH flatter-shooting, exceedingly more accurate, has more power, with a much longer range capability, and is very reasonable on recoil. I don't own one, but my favorite rifle, that I have used for over 20 years, is a very close match - .280 Rem. It shoots the same .284 bullet at a slightly faster velocity than the '08, but not that much. With that bullet, I have killed cow and bull elk, antelope, and deer at ranges from 15 yards to about 400. I would not have been able to kill half those animals if I were shooting a 30/30. Get the 7mm-08.

Last edited by onehorse; 03-24-2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:14 PM
WisconsinDeer's Avatar
B&C 140 Class
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 820

Can't go wrong with a 7mm-08 or a 308 (same case, different diameter bullets)
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Oregon, Ohio
Posts: 8,374

of the two, 7mm-08 hands down no comparison. However, there are so many bullets to look at that I'd slow down my decision and take a look at several before I'd make my choise.
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:22 PM
B&C 100 Class
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 68
Default Too many decisions

I personally like the 30-06. It does kick a little. I am 17 and about 125 pounds. I can handle it just fine! If our that worried about the recoil then Remington makes managed recoil rounds. It can also be used for anything in north America chug makes it a very vecitile gun. Also you can't go wrong with a .270. Best of luck with your decision

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Old 03-27-2012, 02:29 PM
CJ from IA
Posts: n/a

Thanks everyone for their thoughts and opinions. I went with a 7mm-08 Savage in bolt action. Should be getting it in a couple of days and I will let everyone know how it turns out. I should have an opportunity to get some practice time in with it in the next few weeks. Thanks again!
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Old 03-27-2012, 05:38 PM
B&C 140 Class
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 849
Default Congrats on the new Savage--

Which model did you decide on, and what scope are you placing on it?
We really like pictures if possible.

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Old 03-27-2012, 09:13 PM
B&C 160 Class
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: new york
Posts: 1,115

Great round choice its been said the best for game under 600lbs.Good luck with your purchase i own three savages and i know it ll shoot.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:20 PM
CJ from IA
Posts: n/a

Went with a Savage Axis bolt action synthetic black. It is coming with a scope already mounted and bore sighted, so how the scope performs is yet to be determined. I should be getting in from the dealer in the next day or two, so I will throw out some pics when I get it.
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