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  1. #1

    OT: Deer Hunting Rifle

    I am wanting to get some recommendations on a deer hunting rifle. I have been hunting with a Marlin 30-30 basically my whole life and next season I need to change it up since my usual hunting location is changing. Where I was mostly "woods hunting", I will now be hunting down a powerline that is probably about 350-400 yards.

    I have been hearing 6.5 Creedmoor from several people, including my relatives. What is so good about it?


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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    I am wanting to get some recommendations on a deer hunting rifle. I have been hunting with a Marlin 30-30 basically my whole life and next season I need to change it up since my usual hunting location is changing. Where I was mostly "woods hunting", I will now be hunting down a powerline that is probably about 350-400 yards.

    I have been hearing 6.5 Creedmoor from several people, including my relatives. What is so good about it?
    It's not any better than any other 6.5 that hasn't had staying power. Go with a classic, .257 Roberts or one of the standards i.e .270,30-06, .308


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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    I am wanting to get some recommendations on a deer hunting rifle. I have been hunting with a Marlin 30-30 basically my whole life and next season I need to change it up since my usual hunting location is changing. Where I was mostly "woods hunting", I will now be hunting down a powerline that is probably about 350-400 yards.

    I have been hearing 6.5 Creedmoor from several people, including my relatives. What is so good about it?

    .308 Good enough for military snipers


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  4. #4
    I use a 7mm Mag and have no issues. Took one down at about 300 yards this past weekend.


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  5. #5
    Culinary Cowboy JesterB's Avatar
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    Remington 700 .270 30-06 .308 in no particular order


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  6. #6
    The 6.5 Creedmoor is a fad gun. Itís fast and flat with minimal recoil so I bought one for my youngest son. I like it for the most part and both deer heís shot with it didnít go more than about 50 yards. However, Iíve heard about folks losing deer shot with a 6.5 and I had a good buddy at my place shoot a 150+ 11pt a month ago that we never found. I would definitely suggest sticking with a tried and true 30 caliber bullet (308, 30-06 or 300 win mag). Ammo is plentiful, cheap and available at any Wally World.


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  7. #7
    7mm-08 or .308. Readily available, cheap ammo. Ive got a Ruger American 7mm-08. Its fairly small and lightweight. very easy to handle in the woods or in a stand. Very little recoil. kids and wife can use.


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  8. #8

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    30 06 may be an old style but it is a great gun. It will give you a good, health kick when fired. Mine has been in our family nearly 50 years. Love it.
    ​"Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner." LAO TZU


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  9. #9
    Compared roughly to the .270, .30-06, and .308 suggestions, the Creedmoor is going to be about 1.5 inches flatter at 300 yards and about 5 inches flatter at 400 yard assuming a 100 yard zero. The Creedmoor will also be carrying about 200 ft-lbs more energy at those distances. Now, the disadvantage is you may not be able to find Creedmoor ammo in a local store if you run out or forget your ammo on your hunting trip. The other calibers will be available at any store that carries any ammunition. Regardless what you choose, make sure you practice those 300-400 yard shots. Even with the Creedmoor you are going to be dealing with over 12 inches drop at 300 yards and over 27 inches drop at 400 (with a one hundred yard zero, these numbers change, of course, with a 200 yard zero). A quality scope (read ~$400 or more) is going to be necessary for those distances too. Whatever you decide, get out there and practice with it and have fun!


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  10. #10
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    I'd personally get something that's common. It will make your life easier down the road. I know the ballistics of a .270 aren't that of a 6.5 creedmoor, but you'll always have an easy time getting ammo for it. Same with 30-06. You'll always be around someone shooting those rounds

    If all you are going to hunt are WT deer in Mississippi, than anything between a .223 and a 300 win mag will do the trick. I don't see the value in getting something exotic unless you plan on going out West.

    I'd go to Gary's and buy a used Savage 270 and save all my money for good glass and rings.
    90 percent of college football teams do not cheat...the other 10 percent are ranked.


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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
    .308 Good enough for military snipers
    in times past ... now they use one of my favorites and I would recommend it here ... 300 Winchester Mag


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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by aTotal360 View Post
    I'd personally get something that's common. It will make your life easier down the road. I know the ballistics of a .270 aren't that of a 6.5 creedmoor, but you'll always have an easy time getting ammo for it. Same with 30-06. You'll always be around someone shooting those rounds

    If all you are going to hunt are WT deer in Mississippi, than anything between a .223 and a 300 win mag will do the trick. I don't see the value in getting something exotic unless you plan on going out West.

    I'd go to Gary's and buy a used Savage 270 and save all my money for good glass and rings.
    I've never understood the notion of shooting Mississippi WT with a .300 Win Mag.


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  13. #13
    I have a Ruger M77 .270 that I usually use around here and a Sako A7 in 300 Win Mag that I have for hunting out West. Both are fine rifles. I really donít think the caliber is the most important aspect in selecting a good long range hunting rifle. Pick something you like with consideration for the type game you are hunting, make sure the barrel is free floated and the action bedded. Then spend most of your money on some top quality glass for it. I have a swaro on the .270 and a Zeiss Conquest V4 on the Sako. The Zeiss has the ballistic elevation turret and with some time and practice that thing will produce some shocking accuracy. Adjust your trigger down to something you are comfortable with ( about 2 pounds for me ) and your accuracy and confidence will skyrocket. There is no one caliber or model that is right for everyone, but doing your homework while making your choice is a lot of fun. I also have a Browning X bolt in 300 Win Mag that I like and it is very accurate too, but that stainless Sako 300 is my go too rifle when headed West for elk and such.


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  14. #14
    My adult son just got rid of a 6.5 creedmoor. Only had it 2 years. He's a very good shot (military marksman) but he lost 2 of 3 large bucks over 2 seasons with the 6.5. The one he did find, had to use a tracking dog because of lack of a blood trail. That deer ran 400 yards. He's gone back to shooting a .270 short mag. The 6.5 just isn't enough punch for a larger deer 200+lbs.


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  15. #15
    I would suggest a 30-06. Plenty of power and big enough lead to knock them down. I had one picked out and while I was waiting for my background check I found a Browning 7 mag with a Luepold scope and bought it. Wish i had waited. No knock down power. Oh well. I also have a 35 Whelen and that thing will knock their d*ck in the dirt.


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  16. #16
    Remington 270 or 30 06. always plenty of ammo at most stores. great range. good power. haven't had a problem hunting with either for years.


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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Wizard View Post
    I am wanting to get some recommendations on a deer hunting rifle. I have been hunting with a Marlin 30-30 basically my whole life and next season I need to change it up since my usual hunting location is changing. Where I was mostly "woods hunting", I will now be hunting down a powerline that is probably about 350-400 yards.

    I have been hearing 6.5 Creedmoor from several people, including my relatives. What is so good about it?
    Also, worry more about the scope than the rifle. The rifles are all decent. Invest more in the scope


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  18. #18
    houstonutsack's Avatar
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    I have a .270 and a 6.5 CM. For deer hunting either one is fine and it always comes down to the shooter and shot placement. I've had a .30'06 and it's a heavy kicker, the .270 less so and the 6.5 CM pretty mild. My 6.5 CM is a Thompson-Center Compass and is ugly but will put 3 shots under 1 inch at a 100 yards with a steady supply of less than 1/2 inch groups. The Compass is not an expensive rifle, $300, and for about $45 dollars you can self install a target trigger which I did. It is chambered in a variety of short cartridges and is my recommendation to you.
    "Inside every progressive, there is a totalitarian screaming to get out"
    @Horowitz39, David Horowitz


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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Cramden View Post
    I would suggest a 30-06. Plenty of power and big enough lead to knock them down. I had one picked out and while I was waiting for my background check I found a Browning 7 mag with a Luepold scope and bought it. Wish i had waited. No knock down power. Oh well. I also have a 35 Whelen and that thing will knock their d*ck in the dirt.
    I have no idea what type bullet you were shooting but bullet construction and point of impact were more likely the problem instead of the caliber. Lots of cheap cup and core bullets easily come apart on impact and donít give you a lot of penetration. Some of the bonded bullets and solid copper bullets will zip through a whitetail before they open up. Lots of bullet options to consider and while some may be great for one application, they may be terrible for another. I normally shoot Nosler Partitions for deer and the Federal Trophy Bonded tip for larger game. Great terminal results with either one. I think the Nosler Accubond is another great bullet for large game, but might not open up fast enough on a 100 pound deer. Hornady interlock has proved to be good for deer sized game. All part of the fun in seeing what bullet shoots good in your particular rifle.


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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
    Also, worry more about the scope than the rifle. The rifles are all decent. Invest more in the scope
    ^^^^^^ THIS ^^^^^^^^^


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  21. #21
    Don't overthink this. You've got a classic woods gun now. Add a classic food plot/open field/power line gun. Classic is not the latest and greatest 6.5. Classic is a .270 Winchester or .30-06, "maybe" 7mm. I'd go with the .270 for Mississippi white tails and .30-06 if you plan to also hunt out west. There's no right or wrong choice, but once again, why overthink things?
    Last edited by Joe Schmedlap; 01-23-2020 at 09:47 AM.


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  22. #22
    flat shooting, perfe3ct size deer round. Accurate way out past 400 yards. Inside 250 id go with 30 06. At 400 6.5 creed all the way


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  23. #23
    7mm-08 or 300 wsm


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  24. #24

    7MM Mag, I don't like trailing deer.

    nm
    I don't always drink but when I do I become a message board genius**


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  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by coach66 View Post
    nm
    I have a cabinet full of rifles and love messing with all of them. However, if I had to give all of them up except for one that would have to suffice for everything from a100 pound doe to a 700 pound bull elk in Grizzly country, that one rifle would end up being a 300 Win Mag, a 300 WSM, or a 7 Mag. I am partial to the 300 Win Mag, but any of those 3 options will quickly dispatch anything in North America. My affinity for the big 300 comes from my experiences elk hunting in NW Wyoming. Grizzlies in that area have learned that when they hear shooting to head in that direction. They are all over the place and have been protected so long that they are no longer afraid and looking for an easy meal. The best idea is to quarter that elk as quickly as possible while someone stands guard with a can of bear spray in one hand and a 300 in the other. A true wilderness elk hunt on horseback is one of the best adventures you can have. Sorry for getting a little off topic, but I love this stuff.


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  26. #26
    30.06 with a 180gr pointed soft point.


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  27. #27

    Elk Hunt was on my bucket list**

    nm
    I don't always drink but when I do I become a message board genius**


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  28. #28

    .35 Whelen is the bomb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Cramden View Post
    I also have a 35 Whelen and that thing will knock their d*ck in the dirt.
    This times a million. First deer I shot with my .35 Whelen dropped like a rock and when I dressed him, all his vitals were obliterated.
    If you sense rejoicing over Freeze's resignation, it's centered around the satisfaction of a sanctimonious person receiving his comeuppance. If judged on hypocrisy alone, Freeze would be the kind of five-star recruit that'd get Ole Miss in trouble.


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  29. #29
    Dawgbite's Avatar
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    There is no magic bullet for killing deer at 400 yards or even 1000 yards. A 30-30 is a little inadequate at those ranges but just about any cartridge based on the 308 case , the 30-06 case, or any of the magnums is sufficient for a killing shot at 400 plus yards. The following are more important than what is stamped on the cartridge rim. A good range finder, knowing the range by pre ranging trees or poles or the ground at 50 yard intervals prior to making the shot is very important. A good trigger, 2-3.5 lbs, is also important. At longer ranges a bad trigger pull will spread shot groups entirely too far to consistently make kill shots. Good glass is a must for these ranges' as a rule, for every dollar you spend on a gun, spend an equal amount on glass. Practice at multiple ranges so that you know the bullet drop at any given range. This will give you the experience to know where to hold the crosshairs at any given range. Light and fast shoots flatter but sometimes loses sufficient energy at long ranges. Heavy and fast retains energy downrange but has a large parabolic arch to contend with, it's a trade off. Practice with a 308 or a 270 will always out shoot the newest super duper magnum flavor of the month cartridge.


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  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderman View Post
    .308 Good enough for military snipers
    ďGood enoughĒ is all that it is. Military snipers use what is issued and because 7.62x51 is a standard round that is already in the supply line, that is what they use. Logistics plays a much bigger role in the reason the military chooses any single piece of gear than performance. Donít use military standards to choose what is best for you.

    6.5 Creedmoor is a great round. Itís not the end all be all, but it does outperform the 308 by a pretty wide margin at the range. As a deer rifle? Meh... It will shoot flatter and will probably penentrate better because of itís better sectional density, but a deer wonít know the difference.

    For the ranges the OP is talking about anything from the 6.5 Creedmoor to a 300 Winchester Magnum will work with great effectiveness as long as the shot is placed correctly. Iíd personally lean towards 7mm-08, 6.5 Creedmoor, 308, 25-06 or 270 due to ammo availability and light recoil. Everybody is going to give you their opinion based on what they are familiar with. Iím going to tell you to pick almost any common cartridge and go to the range and shoot the piss out of your rifle until you can put 10/10 rounds into a pie plate at 500 yards. If you canít do that, back it up to 400 yards and try. Keep bringing the target closer until you donít have any rounds outside of the pie plate. Thatís YOUR effective range regardless of the cartridge you select.


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  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by coach66 View Post
    nm
    Coach, not sure if you were serious about the buck list elk hunt, but most of the better States / areas require you to buy preference points so that you can obtain a license for a quality area. I am not an expert but I have gone a few times and have a elk hunt booked for this year and an antelope hunt booked for next year. You have to plan for and book into some of the better areas several years in advance. If you want to plan a hunt I will be glad to share what I have learned over the years if it would be helpful. Regulations and licensing in most Western States are a bit complicated. Sure there are still places, like large parts of Colorado, where you can just go buy an over the counter license and head out, but for the most part they are not quality hunts. Actually more like a 3 ring circus most of the time. PM me if I can be of service in any way.


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  32. #32
    You really can't go wrong with a Remington 700 or a Browning X-Bolt in .308 or .30-06. 7mm-08 is a great round as well.

    I have a CZ-USA .308 that I love. Not American-made, but CZ makes some great guns. Beautiful finish as well. Like someone mentioned above too..... a quality scope is as important if not more important that gun brand or caliber.
    "State can only hope to reach the level of success that southern cal, florida, alabama, lsu, and Mississippi reach year in and year out" - KurtRambis4


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  33. #33

    Thanks Pilgrim appreciate the info and just like about everything these days you

    get what you pay for. I hope to retire in a few years and I may look you up.
    I don't always drink but when I do I become a message board genius**


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  34. #34
    King Edward catvet's Avatar
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    .270 or 30-06. Kills everything in the deep South and ammo is easy to find. I have Browning X bolts in both with Leupold scopes. Runs around 1300 for the set up of each. Couldnt be more pleased with the results


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  35. #35
    I have been shooting a 260cal browning with a leupold 3-9 40mm varix 2 for 15yrs+. The 6.5creedmore vs the 260; they are basically the same. I shoot mostly short distances 175yrds and shorter. Iíve shot literally dozens of deer with this gun. Does and 200lb+ mature bucks. Iíve never lost one deer due to knock down power of this caliber. I agree that the 260 entry and exit wound of the deer Iíve shot do not compare to my 270, 7mm or 45-70.

    I originally bought this gun for then my 14yr old daughter. I originally had planned to purchase her a 243 but was talked out of it due the smallish bullet and the knock down power. Daughter never got to keep the gun due to the flat shooting and reduction of recoil compared to other caliber guns that I had been shooting. On the bench this gun is tack driver at 100yrds+. I love this gun!


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  36. #36
    PineGroveBully's Avatar
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    Hard to beat a 30-06 with a 3x9x50 scope around here, 180 grain core lokt
    When I lose my cool other guys go looking for it. - PGB


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  37. #37
    I have a Marlin 336SS 30-30, a 53 year old Browning BAR in 30-06, and I just bought a Tikka T3x stainless hunter in 6.5 Creedmoor just because I wanted one.

    They all kill deer. I’ve used the 30-06 most of my life and have never lost a deer if I put a good shot on it.

    I bought the 6.5 this year and while sighting it in, shot a .75 inch 3 shot group at 100 yds. It seems to be a very accurate caliber and rifle. On 01/07/2020 I shot a mature 180lb 8pt at 30 yds with it. The buck ran about 20 yds and died. Not a large sample size, but it seems the 6.5 will do just fine on deer.

    Honestly though, deer aren’t that hard to kill. If you put .223 and up caliber round in the boiler room, the deer is going to die. They don’t wear Kevlar vests.

    I’ve come to enjoy shooting guns that don’t rattle my teeth when I pull the trigger. ie. 300 win mag
    Last edited by M R DAWGS; 01-25-2020 at 09:18 PM.


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  38. #38
    I currently own several caliber deer rifles. All are Browning except one I bought my son 3-4 years ago. It's a Tikka T3 Stainless 308. It's by far the best gun I own. I love to grab it when he's not using it. My other deer rifles in order are Stainless Stalker 300 WSM, Gold Medallion 270 & lever action 308. I like the 300 WSM caliber, its flat fast & can use out west if you ever go. But that Tikka is a good feeling rifle. The triggers can be adjusted yourself in minutes & are 10 times better than any Browning triggers. I have it paired with a VX-L (3.5x10) 56mm Leupold, it's hard to beat. Any of my future rifles will defiantly be a Tikka.


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  39. #39

    People want to pimp the 6.5 Creedmore,

    because it is the new long range darling , being pushed by the manufactures (to sell more stuff).

    It just wont do all that long range stuff, with hunting rounds... which should be used for deer.

    Like someone posted, it's a fad.

    ----------------------

    For deer hunting, IMO, 7mm08, .308, .270 win, 30-06, and maybe 7mm Rem Mag, if you have to.
    (or somewhere in between those))

    Go check the recoil stats on a 300 Win Mag.

    Oh Well, get what you want.
    Last edited by karlchilders; 01-22-2020 at 05:31 PM.
    Jack may be gone, but he is "EVER PRESENT"


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  40. #40
    If you hunt deer with anything other than a big, green stick, youíre a big ole pu$$y***


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