Looking for a longer range rifle for deer

Thread starter #21
All I can say is 400 yards is a long, long, long, long way to shoot a deer.....for me at least.

It’s not the cartridge that limits the shot for me......it’s having a stready enough rest and the ability to see clearly that far.......and the practice at such ranges.
I’m fortunate that most of the stands on the long shot fields have rails to rest the gun on. The only way I would take a shot like that is from a rested position.
 
Several standard calibers, have a MPBR out to 275-300 yards, without the need to compensate for trajectory. That said, I’d go with a .270, 7mm-08, or a .308, if your wanting a bolt action. Both are very manageable from a recoil standpoint.

If you’d maybe consider a Browning Bar, I hunt with one in 30-06, and it’s easy on the shoulder, because of the semi-auto action. Same calibers mentioned above would be great in a Bar as well. The only magnum I’d personally consider, in a bar, would be a .270wsm. The 7mm rem mag, and the .300win mag, just feel too bulky to me in that action.

If you want the ultimate long range caliber, with relatively mild recoil, you might consider, the .257 Weatherby magnum. I have one in a Weatherby Vanguard. With the ergonomics of the stock, and the excellent recoil pad, the felt recoil isn’t bad at all.
 

GregoryB.

Senior Member
Lonewolf, the OP stated he likes to shoot 2 boxes of ammo each time he goes to the range. If he doesn’t re-load 2 boxes of quality 257 Weatherby ammo will get costly quick. I put a Bell and Carlson Medalist stock on my 257 Weatherby. Not bad on the shoulder at all.
 
Lonewolf, the OP stated he likes to shoot 2 boxes of ammo each time he goes to the range. If he doesn’t re-load 2 boxes of quality 257 Weatherby ammo will get costly quick. I put a Bell and Carlson Medalist stock on my 257 Weatherby. Not bad on the shoulder at all.
Yea, sorry I sorta misread that part. Saw where he said a box and a half hurts his shoulder, I didn’t realize he wants to shoot a couple boxes each time at the range. Thanks for the corrections. 😀

The .257 is an excellent flat shooting round, with minimal recoil, but it’s not economical to shoot at the range. I hunt with the Weatherby Brand Spire point bullets, which cost $39.99 a box. Not bad for a box of Weatherby Ammo, to hunt with, but still expensive for the range.

In that case, maybe the .308, would be best for cheap ammo, if you don’t reload. However All of them can get expensive if you don’t reload.

I personally sight in my hunting rifles, and I use several, with my specific hunting ammo, initially when I purchase a new rifle, then check zero each year. I only shoot multiple rounds if I need to make adjustments.

I do my plinking and practicing with 22LR, or .223, because I can shoot them so much cheaper. My deer rifles are like hunting tools to me, as I have several rifles to plink and play with.

I just rather not shoot my hunting rifles year round, with cheap or surplus ammo, all the time, racking up the round count, and getting the bore dirty. Then have to clean them thoroughly throughout the year, and before deer season. Just me though, I’m not knocking it, to each his own.
 

Buckstop

Senior Member
All I can say is 400 yards is a long, long, long, long way to shoot a deer.....for me at least.

It’s not the cartridge that limits the shot for me......it’s having a stready enough rest and the ability to see clearly that far.......and the practice at such ranges.
Definately takes the right set up and practice. We have some ag fields set up with shooting boxes that have 2”x12” along all rails and bags for rests. Just as stable as a bench. Understanding your rifle’s balistics at distance helps a bunch too.
 
Thread starter #27
I do typically shoot between one and two boxes when I take my deer rifles to the range, which is 3 or 4 dedicated times a year. I just want to make sure that when it comes time to harvest an animal, I know my weapon completely and it’s an extension of me.
 

Big7

Senior Member
I have or have had MANY rifles in lot of different calibers. My go-to is Remington's Big 7. It will do it all and has been in the top few "favorite" calibers since 1962. There is a reason for that.

Here we go. My understanding is you want a near perfect, low to moderate recoil, long range rifle and cartridge. No problem.

In a 6.5, I'd go with the 6.5 Swedish Mauser, AKA 6.5X55. It's near perfect BC has made it a top choice for long range competition and big game for well over 100 years. There is a reason for that. A favorite to this day in Europe and especially Scandinavia, for large Stag and Moose.

There are "modern" rifles chambered in this cartridge, plenty of them.
Good condition surplus will do the trick, especially if you like to tinker. Learn the brass disk. Find one with 1 punch mark for barrel grade. 1 mark = perfect, any barrel that don't make 3 mark are rejected.
Nothing wrong with a 3 mark, that's just an indication for desire for perfection.

No need to reinvent the wheel. If you want a 6.5, a modern rifle is what you want unless you just want to tinker as mentioned above.

6MM, AKA, .243 Winchester is the way to go if you like a 6. So many bullets. Just as many as 7MM or .30 CAL. (not as heavy) obviously.

Those two would be my near perfect low recoil, long range cartridges for to many reasons to list here.

ALSO.. Buy good cartridges. Some US mfg. won't load to spec. S & B and PriviPartisan are premium, full power loads from across the pond.
Just an FYI.
 
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Darkhorse

Senior Member
I would get another 7mm Rem. Magnum. Preferably in a good Model 700 action and put a Limbsaver recoil pad on it. https://limbsaver.com/pages/recoil-pads-showcase

The pad on my old 7 mag. had gotten hard and was starting to hurt after just a few rounds. I installed a Limbsaver and it made a world of difference. I can shoot 2 boxes of shells with no problems now.
 

nmurph

Senior Member
^^^ this^^^

Additionally, several other cartridges mentioned above have recoil similar to the '06 & 7mm. If you want accuracy, reduce recoil and use a bullet with a high BC. This pretty much describes the 6.5CM/260/6.5X55. Throw a blanket over these and pick one. The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge has the largest commercial distribution. The .260 is the fastest from the factory. The Swede has a loyal following but factory loads are limited as is availibilty.
Not all cartridges that use the 6.5/.264 bullet are mild. There are variations of these calibers that produce 30-06 levels of recoil.
 
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It’s hard to have your cake, and eat it too, per say. The absolute best long range hunting cartridges, that shoot flat, and will deliver the most down range energy, will mostly be in magnum calibers.

Keeping in mind, the minimum recoil preference, will knock out many of the heavy bullet hard hitters. The 7mm rem mag, .270wsm, .264 Winchester mag, .257 Weatherby mag, are a few somewhat common ones, that are manageable in recoil.

When you factor in the preference for a cost effective practice rifle at the range, in the off season, you pretty much have to scrap the magnums, altogether.

That being said, there are a couple hand fulls of standard calibers that are great deer hunting rounds and capable of longer distance shots. .270, .280, 30-06, are 3 common Long action calibers. 7mm-08, .308, are a couple common short action calibers. All of these are manageable in recoil, common to find ammo, at a reasonable price, and MPBR of ~ 275-300 yards.

In conclusion, to have the best long range hunting caliber, manageable recoil, and cost effective practice ammo, it’s hard to pick a clear winner? All the above cartridges are hunting capable, some have slight advantages such as, less recoil, cheaper practice ammo, flatter shooting etc. But, usually to excel in one area, you have to give in another. There is no free lunch.

When all is taken into consideration, it’s possible that the folks screaming 6.5 creedmore, may have a valid point. It’s a very efficient, long range capable round for target practice or hunting. It’s also very recoil friendly. Initially, the only drawback has been the limited amount of hunting ammo available, as well as cheaper practice ammo. As it has gained more popularity, the hunting ammo is more available, and cost effective bulk ammo, is on the horizon as well.

So, I don’t have the clear answer for you, but yea don’t rule out the Creedmore either. 🦌
 
I do typically shoot between one and two boxes when I take my deer rifles to the range, which is 3 or 4 dedicated times a year. I just want to make sure that when it comes time to harvest an animal, I know my weapon completely and it’s an extension of me.
That's a good practice to have ! I wish more hunters would do the same, too many shoot a few rounds to get on a pie plate at 100yds,, and then don't shoot again till they see a deer, or they sighted it in with one brand of ammo a few years ago, and since have bought a different brand, but same bullet weight, and assume its all good.
 
a lightweight .308 will have some recoil, but a heavy barrel rifle will lessen the perceived recoil a good bit, if recoil is a factor then maybe the 6.5cr or a 7mm-08 would fit the bill better, I've always like the 7mm-08, but never owned one, used to shoot my Dad's when working up loads for him, its a flat shooter,
 
.308 rifle.

You can get cheap ($0.70/ rd.) reloaded or imported ammo for plinking and range practice, and high quality ammo (still only $1.50 a shot) for trying to get dime-sized groups from the bench, or hunting out to several hundred yards if you are skilled enough.

The 308 is miles ahead of your 30-30 Winchester in a long range performance and kinetic energy.
 
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