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

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    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

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    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

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    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. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    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

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    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

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    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

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    .270 Winchester
  8. Tony22-250

    Tony22-250 New Member

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    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

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    30-06,,,,just saying
  10. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck New Member

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    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

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    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. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    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

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    I was going to mention the 7mm Mauser but I didn't want to steal USMC's thunder.
  14. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    You're too kind Tim...
  15. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

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    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.
  16. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

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    Amen.
  17. Teejay9

    Teejay9 New Member

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    Yep. If it doesn't go down with that, you need something with wheels;);). TJ
  18. Lotsdragon

    Lotsdragon New Member

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    Well the thing about the '06 is you can use it for about anything really specially if you reload, I can make 68 grn sabot's to 220 grn blasters............
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2009
  19. Suwannee Tim

    Suwannee Tim New Member

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    The 'ol '06 is my main-most caliber and you can't beat it for versatility. I can't remember the details but I used to have some 250 grain boolits which I loaded and shot and they worked just fine. I have some Remington Accelerator loads, 55 grain boolit. I have some old Hornady steel, yes, steel, magnet sticks to it, 220 grain round-nose boolits that are suitable for dangerous game such as elephant, they don't make them anymore. I have shot squirrels with cast boolits and backyard plinking load with 2 grains Bullseye and a Speer 100 grain half-jacket, shoots about 700 fps and deadly on loose dogs if you hit them up side the head but you didn't hear it from me.
  20. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    id go 7mm mag... i had a remington in that caliber and it was a nice gun. the others i dont have any experiance with, but from the situation you propose, i'd say it would be the best choice since it would bring down a deer well, and moose and bear
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