What caliber to buy: Opinions Please

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by Red84, May 14, 2009.

  1. Red84

    Red84 New Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    Hey everybody, I know these kind of questions get asked all the time, yet I feel the need to because I am at a stand-still in my decision for a new rifle. I will mainly be using it for whitetails, I have three I am looking at, a 7mm Mag, 25-06, or a 7mm-08. There is also a possibility I might be leaning towards a multi-function rifle, for varmints too, but I have a 22-250 for that, so who knows. I know these calibers are totally different ends of the spectrum, but thats why I asked on here, I know I will get good info. Thanks
  2. OBrien

    OBrien New Member

    May 6, 2009
    Bangor Maine
    Do you have moose hunting in Michigan? If so or you think you might get the chance I would recommend the 7mm Mag. If its only whitetail and smaller the 7mm-08 is plenty and more than likely more affordable on the ammo if you like to put more than a box a year through it. Personally not a fan of the 25-06 for deer but it will work I just remember a little lost meat is worth a lot of dragging...especially where I tend to hunt lol.

  3. pkcgbifaid

    pkcgbifaid Member

    Nov 12, 2003
    Charleston, WV
    If you truly think you may use the rifle as a sometime varmint rig, you can work up some nice loads in 25-06 with the Nosler 85 grain ballistic tips. Very explosive on prairie dogs.
  4. Take a look at the 6.5-08 (.260 Rem. these days) or the 6.5x55 Swede. I think they are two of the finest rounds for either deer sized game or target work out there.
  5. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    West, TX
    Since you have a 22-250 for varmint hunting, I would choose the 7mm Mag. The 7mm Mag is sufficient for all North American game, including moose and bear. It is a very flat shooting cartridge when loaded with lighter bullets for whitetail, and if you ever hunt a heavier animal the only expense will be the range fee to sight in a heavier load......much cheaper than having to buy a 3rd rifle.
    If you know for a fact that you will never hunt anything larger than a whitetail or mule deer, then I would go with USMC's suggestion and buy a .260. The .260 has some very impressive ballistics.
  6. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Of the three, the 7mm-08 is absolutely the best choice for an all around deer rifle. My first scoped rifle was a 300 magnum which I soon regretted. I soon got a 30-06 which was much more practical. I still have the 300 and shoot it but the '06 gets a lot more use. The point is, if you are only going to have one deer rifle it should not be a magnum. Heavy recoil and expensive ammo. I think the 25-06 is a bit light for general purpose deer but it would work. I'm a believer in shooting your guns and you will get a lot more pleasure out of the 7mm-08 and shoot it more than a magnum. The 7mm-08 is adequate for mooses, at least the little mooses you have in Michigan. For the giant Florida mooses, I use a 375 RUM.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2009
  7. techoca

    techoca New Member

    Nov 3, 2008
    .270 Winchester
  8. Tony22-250

    Tony22-250 New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Snellville, GA
    I had a winchester model 70 in 7mm rem mag and it was a wonderful round. I recommend the 7mm rem mag just for sheer versatility and knock down power! But personally i would rather have a 300 win mag just for the little extra ballistic performance.
  9. Lotsdragon

    Lotsdragon New Member

    Apr 5, 2009
    Potosi, Mo
    30-06,,,,just saying
  10. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck New Member

    Oct 9, 2008
    Binghamton, NY
    I'm not sure how much it matters. They all are good multi-purpose rounds. There are varmint bullets for the 7's. I'm sure a prairie dog at 200-300 yards would all but completely disappear at the hands of a 7mm rem. mag. But, I guess the same would happen with the 7mm-08 as well. The 25-06 is a little light for big game perhaps, however, an awful lot of people love the 25's for deer and antelope. And the 25-06 is king of the 25's. I would say go with one of the 7's anyway, only because you already have the 22-250, and the 7mm would be a bit better for the bigger meaner game like bear and moose if you plan on those. But since you pointed out the 7mm-08 and the 7mm rem mag, you might be well advised and very happy with a .280 rem.

    Eh, like I've said before in other posts. Go with the gun you think is prettiest and holds the nicest for you. The caliber, as long as it's within reason, is pretty much secondary. In all reality any caliber ranging from the .243's all the way to the .338 mags are going to be good for deer and be more than capable. Some may be a bit light or heavy, but well placed shots cure an awful lot of problems.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  11. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    Just to expand on my previous post, it is very important to be able to shoot your rifle well. You are much better off with a non-magnum you can shoot well than a magnum you cannot shoot well. You will have a very difficult time mastering a magnum without getting a lot of practice with a non-magnum first. Difficult is optimistic, impossible is more likely. Here I am speaking from experience, both personal and people I have personally known and many people I have observed at the range. If you are looking to impress folks, like I was when I bought my 300 mag, get a magnum. If you want to kill deer, get a non-magnum. I'm all for powerful rifles, I have a 300 Win mag, a 375 RUM, a 458 and a 460 and they have their place. For a first rifle, no way. Get a medium bore, non-magnum, 25-06 through 30-06, or anything in between, 270, 280, 7mm-08, even 338 Fedreal or whatever you prefer. When you do get a magnum, get something that has no belt repeat, NO BELT. The belt was designed by H&H to headspace their highly tapered 300 and 375 magnums. It is unnecessary and a disadvantage in a cartridge of modern design. There are several non-belted medium bore magnums available, if I did not have a big investment in the 300 Win mag I would be shooting one of them.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  12. A-1 dead on correct. I'll also throw out a couple of other great and often overlooked deer rounds; the .257 Roberts and the 7mm Mauser.
  13. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

    Feb 11, 2009
    I was going to mention the 7mm Mauser but I didn't want to steal USMC's thunder.
  14. You're too kind Tim...
  15. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

    I believe that you will find the 7mm-08 to be more than adequate for your needs. It is the round I would choose from the options that you listed.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun Building one more AR pattern rifle before...you know. Caliber help please! Oct 17, 2016
Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun DPMS GII SASS .308 - Different Caliber Upper??? Apr 15, 2016
Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun Caliber question Jan 23, 2016
Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun Any recommendations would be great. Need to chooses right rifle/caliber for my son. Jul 31, 2015
Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun What center fire caliber would y'all recommend? Dec 10, 2014