7mm the smallest?

Discussion in 'Rifle Opinions' started by TXVAshooter, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. TXVAshooter

    TXVAshooter Super Member

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    Hey guys and gals-

    Been a bit since I've been here. Reading up, and noted that sure seems the 7mm family gets a lot of love here. Several have noted that a first rifle for lady or child in order to deer hunt (I believe it was a 7mm-08 mentioned.) Now I've got nothing against a 7mm family of calibers, I'd like to get one eventually, but I'd like to ask howe many of you folks used a .243 or 6mm type of caliber to take your deer? Locale, I am sure, has a lot to do with it. I hunt West Texas, have a .243 SAvage 110 lefty from many moons ago with a Leuopold (sp) 2x7 scope. Granted I don't shoot over 200 yards, but that caliber will drop the deer dang near stone dead everytime, IF I do my part. I'm still hooked on the .243, what do you guys say about the 6mms of the world?

    TXVA
     
  2. uglydog

    uglydog Super Member

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    As you say, how applicable the 6mm/.243" family of cartridges varies by locality. I've got a 6mm and I am not very enthusiastic with these cartridges for all around deer use up here in the north country. I like having an exit hole to create a blood trail to help in recovering the animal. Except on broadside shots, this does not happen on a regular basis with 100 gr bullets though the use of Nosler Partitions or Barnes X-Bullets seem to increase the odds of this happening. I think the close ranges that most deer are shot is a contributing factor, over 100 yards is often considered a long one. This puts a lot of stress on the bullet and the typical factory load comes apart under these circumstances. The deer in this area are fairly large, 120# field dressed is roughly the size of a yearling buck or 2 year old doe. Adult bucks regularly top the 200# mark; the local "big buck" contest is regularly won with deer around 250#. Use of the 6mm family seems to be more common where the deer are smaller and/or are taken at a greater distance which decreases the strain on bullet design. I've used mine in Montana a fair amount and it has done adequately but still not to my full satisfaction. Penetration with premium bullets is consistantly deeper due to the typically greater range but still not to my liking.
    I think many recommend the 7mm class due to the availabilty of calibers that are relatively low recoiling and adequate for deer across the whole gamut of conditions. I think it is hard to beat the 7mm/08 (or even 7x57) as a beginner's gun due to ammo availability and effectiveness. I personally think the .25 caliber/115 gr bullet is a good minimum, the 250/3000 and 257 Roberts I think are great choices but not as common anymore. The 25/06 is a good cartridge but I think has a bit more recoil than a new shooter needs. The 260 Rem and 6.5x55 are also good rounds but still have availability problems in areas.
    These are one person's opinions, others wil have different ones and that is good, it gives the arms manufacturers reasons to design new guns and us to buy them.
     

  3. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

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    Tom,
    I reckon I get to go the other way on this one. I bought an Interarms MarkX about 22 years ago and can't remember all the deer that I,ve killed with it. In my opinion its the perfect round for hunting deer. Very light recoil, good velocity and Excellent penetration. Of course the deer here don't hold a candle to some of their northern brothers. A big deer here may go to 200 lbs. 9years ago I got to shoot one of this size. One shot and he was done. He went about 50 yds.The bullets that I load are the 100 gr Hornady round noses. All but 5-6 deer have been shot with this very load. I've never been able to recover a bullet from any of them . All shots have been complete pass thrus.

    HWD
     
  4. TXVAshooter

    TXVAshooter Super Member

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    1 vote apiece! Keep 'em coming! Shoot, if we get enough talk on the 7mm series guns, I might have to go get one. HWD, you need a huntin partner down the way in Va?
     
  5. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Txvashooter I love the 243 and would not hesitate to use it on any white tail in the country,I reload for the 243 for my BLR and have teken many deer with it,however,with the mule deer I may hesitate a bit,the last one I shot went 290 on scales with guts and heart and lungs out,empty cavity,so the butcher said on the hoof the mule deer would have easily go 340-350.I would like to use the 243 but only in the hands of a marksman,the 7mm08 would give me a bit more confidance I think,I still may try the 243 cause every thing I shot with it died either on the spot or a few yards away.The antelope went about 70 lbs,and the 243 went through and tore up everything in between but on a 250-350 lb animal I feel better with a bit more power like the 7mm08 or even better the 270.I have killed a mule deer with a 270 and a 140 gr bullet and you can't die any quicker.Thats my point for white tail deer and antelope 243 reigns king but on larger animals I will go larger.Drop-Shot
     
  6. uglydog

    uglydog Super Member

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    I'm not against the 243/6mm for deer, just that it may depend on the situation and the shooter. Large game at close range and all angles is asking a bit much from these cartridges though they are very effective on smaller animals at moderate distances. I think they can be adequate for the larger animals when in the hands of disciplined shooters but I feel one should be prepared for the "not so great" opportunities that occur, especially if things go wrong. This is the main reason I prefer a bit larger gun than many people, I think I owe it to the animal to be able to kill it regardless of the circumstances. I still use my 6mm for deer, just not at close range in the thick woods. I'll also use it when filling out antlerless tags, I have yet to see a doe that weighed over 150# on the hoof and they are common enough to pass up if the right shot doesn't present itself. I do use premium bullets, 100 gr Nosler Partitions and Barnes X-Bullets, for most of my deer hunting usage; old Remington Core-Lokts, now called Core-Lokt Ultra, are the best of the standard loads.
    As stated above, I prefer a bit larger gun than many but if recoil is really a problem, the demands on the gun and/or bullet are moderate, and the shooter is capable of waiting for a high percentage shot then a 243 class caliber would be fine.
     
  7. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Good call uglydog,I believe the same.I would use a 243 on a mule deer if the whole scene works out perfect,no super long shots and broad side.Otherwise something bigger would be more appropiate,but again I'm talking about mule deer.not white tail.In the right hands the 243 is the killingest white tail gun around,but this has only been my experience and my opinions.Drop-Shot
     
  8. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    243/6mm=coyotes on down...not a good big game round IMHO. 25 cal is about as small as should be allowed for big game in my opinion.

    I have always held to "More's Law":

    "If some's good, then more's better, and TOO MUCH is just enough!" :wink: In other words, too much gun is better than marginal... :idea:
     
  9. wwb

    wwb Super Member

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    A .243 will do the job on pronghorns, small-to-medium whitetails, or any other animal of similar size. It's a GREAT caliber for all manner of coyotes, woodchucks, prairie dogs, etc.

    As with any caliber, within reasonable limits, HOW you shoot is more important than WHAT you shoot. For bigger-bodied animals, a .243 with a heavier bullet (higher sectional density) of sound construction (like a Nosler Partition) will still do the job, but it's less than ideal.
     
  10. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Hey wwb what do you think of barnes 95 gr for deer?The accubond from Nosler will be out in 6mm soon .Drop-Shot
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    grimel here too lazy to log in on the other box.

    FWIW, a 7-08 chucks a 140gr at 2800. A 308 chucks a 150gr at 2800. If you are looking for low recoil 243. If it's "outgrown" swap to a 7-08/308 later.
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Your right grimel,it's all the same case,neck up and neck down,I pre fer the momentum of a larger bullet for anything over white tail.Now I have this 358 win,just a 308 case necked up for 35 cal bullets that I plan to use,from 180 to 250 gr.If I were white tail hunting and a nice mule deer was close and every thing perfect I may take the shot but broad side only and mabe,but the larger carrys more momentum for fast kills.Just my opinion,Drop-Shot
     
  13. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    The above was me, Drop-Shot
     
  14. 8pointduck

    8pointduck Super Member

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    Now guys this round is a great southern deer cartridge even up to 200# all the way out to 200 yds.. I have seen deer hit witha .243 at these ranges and they were just as dead as if you had shot them with 300 mag.
     
  15. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    I agree 8point,with all whitetails and antelope.You just can't die any quicker,of all the white tails I've taken with the BLR in 243,(alot)only one ran about 50 feet,all others died on the spot,and we were allowed 6 deer per year and some years extra doe tags.I think it's down to 3 per year where I used to hunt.It's only 250-350 lb muley that I would hesitate,withen 50 yards I would be tempted to mabe take a shot.but on double the size of a whitetail I don't know,If some one has done it let me know,but as of now I would use bigger on muleysDrop-Shot
     
  16. TXVAshooter

    TXVAshooter Super Member

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    Some great remarks here. To clarify a few things about my area of shooting- there are some heavy brush areas in the country I shoot, but mostly slightly open range, gentle rolling hills. Effective shots are no more than 200 yards, most of the time. If you were on a fence line maybe a chance to shoot up to 300 plus, but I don't think I could make that shot anyways, cause I've not practiced it enough.

    So it looks like locale is the main factor here, at least for me. The 243 does a good job. But I figure if I'm going to hunt elsewhere, I oughta look into grabbing a bigger caliber. It's been a habit of mine for the last year, trying to figure out what next to get. :D THe talk of the calibers is just as fun as getting it, I think.
     
  17. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Txvashooter thats right,for an all around cartdridge,it would be hard to beat the 7mm08,and if you ever get the urge to visit montana,I would have at least a 270 and the 30/06 is also a great one,30 cal makes good entry and exit wounds.I miss the times I hunted in colorado where we would visit all the camp sites on the front rows,we never went to the out of the way camps cause we smelled funny smoke,thats ok as long as I'm not around during the day and people are high.We would walk from camp to camp with a toddy for the body in hand and were always welcomed and could see what works for some people.A couple hours goes by fast and conversation was always nice,I miss being young and healthy,I may never walk the elkhorns again but thats ok,I can see them in Helena.Hunting season was a break from what we see all day here,sirens on all day and night,drive by shootings,breakins,murders we have it all here in the seattle area.But we will be saying by by about the last of march,my daughter and son in law will still be here for awhile so we will come back every now and then to see my daughter.Well I've rambled enough buddy,but I would get what ever your gut tells you to get,what ever it is.Drop-Shot