Looking for a longer range rifle for deer

Jester896

Senior Member
All I can say is 400 yards is a long, long, long, long way to shoot a deer.....for me at least.
400 yards can be a good poke for sure...what I find interesting is that probably most of the centerfires in my stable are capable of dropping a deer at that range....there are some exceptions...and in those exceptions you might find a Magnum or ??
 

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
A lot of good points and knowledge amongst all here.
But the debate is a lot like debating which type of gasoline burns faster.
And say pick you up middle-of-the-road long-range caliber and learn to shoot it well. 270 or 7 mag (easy enough on ammo availability and resale value if you don't like it) depending on how much recoil you really want to handle. You may not be shooting it much (other than sighting in and keeping sharp) if you're only hunting with it.
If you think the same gun may one day want to move up to bigger game (elk) or longer ranger (Pronghorn), then I would tend to stick with a magnum cartridge...
My two cents... Good luck!
 
400 yards can be a good poke for sure...what I find interesting is that probably most of the centerfires in my stable are capable of dropping a deer at that range....there are some exceptions...and in those exceptions you might find a Magnum or ??

Very similar here, too.

I've got a 270WSM, 270 Win, 30'06 and 7mm08 that I'm sure would tote the mail and deliver at 400 yards.

I've no doubt about the cartridges.

I simply doubt the other variables.....especially the loose nut behind my trigger. :rofl:

The shooting rail of the buddy stands and climbing stand aren't the most stable of affairs. I've had some tower stands that would work out great, though....real rock solid rails that were well positioned, too. In those cases, it would come down to the glass and my lack of practice at such distances.

Clearly, I need to shoot more often and do so at distances beyond the typical 100yd range sessions.
 
Very similar here, too.

I've got a 270WSM, 270 Win, 30'06 and 7mm08 that I'm sure would tote the mail and deliver at 400 yards.

I've no doubt about the cartridges.

I simply doubt the other variables.....especially the loose nut behind my trigger. :rofl:

The shooting rail of the buddy stands and climbing stand aren't the most stable of affairs. I've had some tower stands that would work out great, though....real rock solid rails that were well positioned, too. In those cases, it would come down to the glass and my lack of practice at such distances.

Clearly, I need to shoot more often and do so at distances beyond the typical 100yd range sessions.

That’s the thing Dub, there are several cartridges capable of 400-500 yard shots, but all of them have a MPBR under 350 yards. So that’s where the fun really starts. Having a magnum caliber that shoots flatter than a standard caliber does not tremendously help your odds at 400-500 yard shots.

I’ve owned or currrntly own 7mm Rem Mag, .257 Weatherby Mag, .270, and 30-06. On paper, the .30-06 is the least flat, but that’s what I carry the most and have made my longest shots with. In the defense of my other cartridges, I’ve never attempted a shot over 200 yards with them. With my 30-06 I have made more than a handful of shots In the 275-300 yard range, and I pushed one near 400 yards.

Also, my 30-06 is a semi auto Browning Bar, all my other rifles are bolt actions. My point is, it takes a lot of planning, and preparation if you want to be successful at longer range shots, above and beyond shots over the MPBR of a given cartridge. Once you get to a level of capable cartridges, and beyond the MPBR of all cartridges, the rifle is not the limiting factor.

At that point it comes down to preparation to range the target, make adjustments, and making a good steady shot. In most people’s case, including myself, I don’t carry a rangefinder, I don’t have a riflescope with a ballistic turret, or ballistic reticle, and I don’t practice shooting over 200 yards.

Bottom line, buy a 30-06! Ha no, buy a capable caliber that gives you confidence, and if you plan to shoot past the MPBR, buy the right equipment and practice, practice practice, at longer ranges.....
 
Last edited:

JeffinPTC

Senior Member
I like my 300 WinMag, but reality is I don't need the extra range in GA. The 308 bullet leaves the muzzle maybe 10% faster than the same 308 bullet from the WinMag. The load manuals will tell you that barrels wear out from the amount of powder burned thru them. The max load of IMR 4350 in 30-06 is 47 gr, and 300 WinMag is 73gr, so a simplistic answer is that your barrel will burn out 73/47, or about 55% faster. Of course, if you only shoot 20 rounds a season for sighting and hunting, your barrel will last a lifetime and the difference is insignificant to the manly man feeling of the WinMag .
Good article here:
http://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/extending-a-barrels-life/326755#
 
Hard to beat a .308 or .30-06 for an all-around deer rifle. Both will shoot accurately out a lot farther than I want to shoot.
and you can find ammo at any hardware or farm supply store that has any ammo at all.
 

Robert28

Senior Member
and you can find ammo at any hardware or farm supply store that has any ammo at all.
That used to be a reason for me when picking a certain caliber, it’s not anymore though. Now what I’ll do is when I find the ammo I want for a caliber I have I’ll buy all they have. I order a lot of ammo online too because most stores around me don’t carry the brand I’m looking for.
 
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,
My brothers and I have gone away from the 7-08 in exchange for the 6.5 cm . Both are great manageable recoil rounds.
 
That used to be a reason for me when picking a certain caliber, it’s not anymore though. Now what I’ll do is when I find the ammo I want for a caliber I have I’ll buy all they have. I order a lot of ammo online too because most stores around me don’t carry the brand I’m looking for.
it is hard to order ammo when you are 2000 miles from home, going to a hunt camp and find that your ammo was lost, stolen or forgotten. or even when you are 2 hours drive from home and find out the moron who packed your stuff (you) left the ammo on the dresser top in the bedroom.

It happens all the time
 

Robert28

Senior Member
it is hard to order ammo when you are 2000 miles from home, going to a hunt camp and find that your ammo was lost, stolen or forgotten. or even when you are 2 hours drive from home and find out the moron who packed your stuff (you) left the ammo on the dresser top in the bedroom.

It happens all the time
Oh absolutely.
 

Buckstop

Senior Member
and you can find ammo at any hardware or farm supply store that has any ammo at all.
Someone told me that as a good reason not to buy a 25-06 I was interested in long ago. Went with a 270 win instead, and not that it worked out bad, but I’ve been waiting for 30 years for the time I forget my bullets. Forgot my boots once back in 89’ though, and some minor items since. But rifle and corresponding ammo are at the very top of the checklist.
 
Last edited:
Whatever you choose, the most important thing is you knowing your equipment and how to use it. You need to have practiced, and know how to adjust for variables while shooting. Wind, distance and so on.

I’ve hit 800m targets. With a gun I never shot before. The thing was that the guns owner, a friend, dialed in the drop and windage and made it so I just had to put the + on the target.

My point is, You have to know how to use the gear. Many guns, make and caliber, and a good scope, will get the job done. But you gotta be the brains behind the operation.

If you’re affraid of recoil, find something you are comfortable with. If you run some mega magnum but jerk things around with every shot, big, fancy, expensive is useless.

I am sure many of the calibers and guns above can get the job done, but if you don’t work it right, that’s where the issues will happen. You can’t blame the hardware.

Good luck with whatever you choose. Don’t skimp. On the gun, scope and most importantly range time to ensure you can compensate for the variables when shooting longer ranges.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
One thing to consider on long range shooting. More energy at the muzzle doesn't always translate to more down range.

If you run the numbers, a 338 win mag has a lot more energy than say a 7mag at 100 yards maybe even to 300-400 yards. At 500 yards, the 7mag is carrying more. That fat bullet just slows down faster (lower BC).

Seems like many "experts" recommend 1000ft lbs of energy at impact on white tails. If that is what you are hunting, make sure the cartridge you choose is carrying that at the maximum range you plan on shooting. Also make sure you know the ballistic tables for that cartridge so you can adjust your scope or "kentucky" windage it with a BDC scope.

Rosewood
 

nmurph

Senior Member
I was never clear from the original post whether or not the he was looking for a gun that kicked less or not. He seemed to indicate he was looking for something with less kick, then he seemed to indicate that he regretted selling a 7RM. If he is looking for something with less kick, anything from a .243 to a 7-08 would be a good choice with something in a .264 caliber being the sweet spot. He also has the options of a .30-06 or .270 or 7RM if recoil is less of a concern
 
Reading through this thread, almost every centerfire cartridge available in a modern bolt-action is a good choice. With the ammo selection we have today, it's mostly true. The shooter will be the biggest variable.

On a long shot, I wouldn't want less than a 6.5CM or .260 but I also would't want a magnum unless I was hunting something bigger than whitetail.
 
Thread starter #60
I was never clear from the original post whether or not the he was looking for a gun that kicked less or not. He seemed to indicate he was looking for something with less kick, then he seemed to indicate that he regretted selling a 7RM. If he is looking for something with less kick, anything from a .243 to a 7-08 would be a good choice with something in a .264 caliber being the sweet spot. He also has the options of a .30-06 or .270 or 7RM if recoil is less of a concern
Less recoil would definitely be a plus, but getting the most efficient rifle for the job takes top priority. I did try out a .280 one time and it seemed to be a pretty decent compromise.
 
Top