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My personal opinion, after having used a lot of different calibers and a lot of different rifles to kill deer, is that a hunter should use whatever he or she wants, so long as it's up to the task at hand (cleanly killing deer!) ,is accurate enough and with that hunter having plenty of experience with said rifle/caliber to be effective with it.

Calling any rifle cartridge too much gun is a slippery slope, best left alone. Just where is the line to be drawn? At .223, .243, .250 Sav, .257 Roberts?? They all are well known deer killers (no, not necessarily my choices, perhaps) that are well under the venerable 30/30 in both caliber and bullet weight. I've carried rifles from .257 Roberts to 45-70 personally for deer hunting and have killed a bunch of deer with over 20 different chamberings in that mix. My experience has also told me that some of the heavier calibers have also shown to be the quickest killers. As far as the "bloodshot meat" reasoning, the worst case I've ever experienced was with a .308 Win, right between your chosen 30/30 and 30/06, actually.
 

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I use a .270 as well as a lot of people on here & I can tell you a .270 or a .300 are not over kill the .270 & .30-06 are two of the most popular calibers
& it is about ethical kills
my 12 ga slug does a heck of a lot more damage to a deer then my .270
I would say if you are shooting at a deer with a weapon that puts a hole in it the size of a softball you have gone way over the overkill line
just my opinion

just asking in your opinion what animals do you think a .270 or .300 should be used for?
 

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I hunt with many different rifles. My favorite deer rifle is a .270. but have played with different bullet weights.. The 130 grn do not do as much damage as the 150s. My 30/30 goes to the deer woods often, but using the leverevolutions has turned that rifle into a 200 yd gun. I use a .223 (5.56) AR for thumping hogs, which seems to be not enough gun for some people. I hunt with guys in georgia that are using 7mm mags and 300 win mags. But they won't shoot over 200 yds.i think in that aspect , they are overkills. that is a whole lot of gun to not utilize to its full potential.
 

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Paraphrasing my old Elk Guide opinion on rifles for Elk

I am lucky to have been able to hunt twice in Idaho with a quality outfit. During the 10 days of the hunt the discussion always gets going about what rifle cartridge we should be using to go after Elk. Both times it was about 1/2 of each group of hunters carrying their regular Deer rifles that they use in their home States. The other hunters had bought a new magnum that they also may now use for hunting Deer back home. At the end of each discussion there was agreement in a couple of areas.

1. The guys carrying magnums, 7mm, 300Win, 300WM, 338Win, 340WM have the option of taking any shot that might present itself over the hunt.

2. Those of us carrying our standard calibers 270, 308, 30-06 need to be aware of what range limitations we must consider.

3. On the first hunt a guy with a 7mm mag made a great shot at 450yards hitting an Elk. It was later finished off at closer range. I would not have attempted the shot he took. My personal limitations and those of my 30-06 rifle would have made me pass on the shot.

4. My outfitters liked to see Magnums, both lead guys loved the 338 Win mag. But only if the hunter had chosen to use heavy controller expansion bullets. Even with the other magnums they want heavy for caliber controlled exp bullets not standard construction ones.

5. My outfitters also were frustrated with the number of hunters that either can't shoot, or are scared of their rifles. More than once the outfitter said I would rather have the shooter bring less of a rifle if they can shoot it.

6. I did get a smaller 4x4 on my second trip, at around 150 yards the 30-06 with a 180gr Nosler Part did its part. Not a tough shot and not very far away. A magnum was not needed for the shot I took.

Karl
 

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This will be my first year hunting and I have a DPMS AP4 308 Win that I will be using. Is that too much rifle? I just want a clean kill. Something that doesn't just injure the animal and leave it in pain, but also, something that doesn't knock a softball sized hole through it either.

Thanks
 

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This will be my first year hunting and I have a DPMS AP4 308 Win that I will be using. Is that too much rifle? I just want a clean kill. Something that doesn't just injure the animal and leave it in pain, but also, something that doesn't knock a softball sized hole through it either.

Thanks
308 is perfect for whitetails.

viking thats fine not gonna annihalate the deer at all. hypethetically there isnt a firearm that could put a hole that big that is legal.
Well...50BMG very well could put a hole that big through a deer.
 

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Be careful about your choice of ammo in .308 Win

It sounded like from your email that you are new to Deer hunting. Your .308 Win is a great cartridge and is perfect for Deer. Two things that you have to be careful of.

1. The most important thing is to be sure to not use Military style FMJ (full metal jacket) loadings. These are sold everywhere for the .308 Win and are only good for target practice at the range and for pests like Coyotes.
Use non hollow point pointed soft point expanding bullet ammo.

2. Verify by checking your States DNR regs about magazine capacity limits for a semi-auto used in Deer hunting. Some States require a semi-auto only use 5 round magazines. There are places to look for the hunting magazines like gunbroker.com, cabellas, and gander mountain.

Karl
 

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Good post Karl! I still have to get the new/old pre 64win 88 to the range, in what caliber? 308 win. :yes: I have to admit this is the first 308 for me and in the old win 88 lever action should be a great PA combination. From what I've read the 165 gr bullets perform well in the 308?
 

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I also use the 165gr in everything .308 cal except Elk

I am jealous, I always wanted a Winchester M88 in .308 Win. If I can have all my wishes it would also be a carbine version with the 19inch barrel. I think that Winchester is using a 1 in 12 twist for that rifle and you should get good accuracy up to 180gr. That is as heavy as you would want to go anyway with it's case capacity. How is your trigger on your M88, I have handled a couple that were not the greatest. I admit to being a trigger snob.

Karl
 

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will head to the range soon and see how things stack up. I've wanted a 88 for a long time and hopefully the wait was worth it. I've got to decide on what scope to put on it asap. It came with a leupold 1.75x5 that I took off and installed on the 870. I've got an old Redfield 2x7 that just may fit my needs for this rifle. Tomorrow is an off day so setting up a scope is on the bucket list of to do's.
 

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"something that doesn't knock a softball sized hole through it either."

I have a Mosin-Nagant in 7.62x54R (only fractionally larger than a .308)(.308 = 7.62x51) and use a bronze tipped round when hunting. I will admit to rushing the shot when the 8 pt buck stopped for just a moment from chasing the doe he was after, but that moment's pause was all I needed. It may not have been a softball sized hole, but I could have easily put my fist in the exit wound. I put the round directly into the right front shoulder, instead of slightly above and behind . The bronze tipped round drove through both shoulders leaving the left front leg barely attached by the time I finally found the buck.

Oh, the range? My hunting spot is a deer crossroads and I have several paths that criss cross my property. The "spot" is about 95 - 100 yards away, but the path these two were on was only about 50 yards away. So the buck was maybe 55 yards away at most when I pulled the trigger.

So just what is "too much rifle"? For the distance, I probably could have used a bow and arrow and it might have been too much. But you just never know when and where the crazy critters are going to show up. "Too much rifle" will always be subject to discussion and a personal preference.

I for one will not stick my nose into what other hunters use, because that's one of the joys we have here in the states, the ability to choose.
 

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will head to the range soon and see how things stack up. I've wanted a 88 for a long time and hopefully the wait was worth it. I've got to decide on what scope to put on it asap. It came with a leupold 1.75x5 that I took off and installed on the 870. I've got an old Redfield 2x7 that just may fit my needs for this rifle. Tomorrow is an off day so setting up a scope is on the bucket list of to do's.
Good luck at the range & that scope sounds like a perfect companion to me. My M88/.308 wears an M8 4X Leupold now and it shoots 165gr Hornady Interbonds very well. The load is from HSM (Hunting Shack.com) and is rated at around 2650 FPS. Not a screamer, but about the most accurate load I've used in that rifle @ 1 1/4".

You're gonna love that rifle!! :thumbup:
 

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Not all hollow points are the same...

I understand after looking at the link you had for the Winchester ammo that their's is a hunting bullet but most hollow point ammo I have seen in .308 Win has been target ammo. Those hollow point bullets do not belong in your rifle during hunting season and that is what I was warning him about. In many ways my Nosler Ballistic Tips that I like are hollow point bullets with the plastic tip added. The main difference is that the jacket is designed for expansion in a Deer. Some warn that my Ballistic Tips expand to fast on Deer, I have not seen it personally but would not recommend it for Elk. You magnum shooters should probibly always stay with controlled expansion bullets just because the velocities you are getting wreck havok with standard constructed bullets.

Karl
 

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I personally use a 308. It by far my favorite to hunt whitetails with. I also have a 25-06 that I am quite find of. Both guns will drop deer in there tracks and as far as damage goes it depends on what type of bullett you use more than caliber.
 

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My Dad has dropped lots of big deer, well big for our area = anything over 225lbs using a .243. He has a .270 but swears by the smaller rifle. But hes always dead on usually he blows the heart of out everything so with that kind of accuracy a .22 would probably work lol.
 
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