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Hi Guys,

I know this is an age-old question that will likely provoke a thousand different answers, but here we go anyway ;) I've been exclusively bow-hunting for a few years, and I'm looking to break into gun season this year. I need to pickup a new rifle, but am a little lost in the vast array of caliber choices. I'm thinking it will come down to a choice between the .270, .30-06, and possibly 7mm-08? Anyhow, here are some things that I must consider:

  • Cost of target ammo (I'll need to do a good amount of practice)
  • Availability of both target and regular ammo
  • Power. I'll be hunting primarily Michigan deer but having the flexibility of a round that will take on larger game if needed would be nice.
  • Recoil. I'm a larger guy and have good tolerance to recoil, but I'll be shooting alot of target to practice and want something that will be easy to shoot in volume and not leave me too sore at the end of the day.
Is the .30-06 too much round? Is the .270 a good general choice? Should I even consider the 7mm-08? Any suggestions or feedback is appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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I have 2 of your 3 choices and both are great guns!

Have a Weatherby 7mm-08 which is awesome (now). I had a little trouble at first with the ammo I was using (little if any blood trail) but did a little research and made a switch. The last 3-4 deer I've shot with that gun have folded up and dropped in their tracks right where I shot them. The gun is an absolute tack driver.... even at longer ranges. Ammo can be a little tricky to find on short notice if you're not near a decent sporting goods store. I usually just make sure I pick up 2-3 boxes in the off season so I'm covered.

My Ruger 30-06 is only just a couple years old but what more needs to be said about a 30-06. Great gun, very accurate, able to take larger game and you can just about buy ammo in a 7-11 store!

The 7mm-08 has less recoil than my 30-06 but you can do a lot with most any gun to compensate for recoil. Ammo cost is kind of hard to judge these days. Availability and demand has a lot to do with it. As a general rule I can find 30-06 ammo cheaper than 7mm-08 ammo.
 

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.300 Win Mag!!!!! You can go with a smaller bullet weight like 150 gr. and it is devastating on deer. You can also bump up the grains if you hunt elk moose bear etc. The recoil is similar to 30-06 but the performance is greater. Ammo is readily available and the price is not overwhelming like some calibers. Good Luck and enjoy your new .300 win Mag

Ganzer
 

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I own all three calibers.

If your a handloader, I'd choose the 7mm-08 hands down, one of the best all around deer calibers out there.

If you don't handload, I'd go with the .270 out of those three calibers.

I'd go with a .308 win. before I'd buy an 06'.

.300 win mag for deer? Only for guys who can't hit where their aiming. ;):lol:


I'd also suggest that you find somebody with these calibers and actually shoot them before you pick one. If your in Northern Michigan, drop me a PM, I'd be happy to let you give each of them a try.
 

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I preffer the .280 then the .270 then the 30.06.
The magnum calibers should be left to larger game.
The .280 cal has great ballistics and down range energy.
I have never had a deer run more than 20 yards after being shot.
My .280 shoots 165 grain core lokt's amo very accurately.
 

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You might want to consider a muzzle loading rifle instead of a cartridge rifle.

- legal for all zones in both the firearms and muzzleloader seasons.
- a 54 caliber round ball rifle has plenty of power for game up to the size of elk and is cheap to shoot.
- You don't need to consider taking up handloading in order to make shooting affordable.
- If you are accustomed to bow hunting ranges, the 100-120 yard effective range of an iron sighted muzzleloader isn't going to be much of a handicap.

-na
 

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The .270 Win is a good choice, but why stop there? I have a 7mm. mag, 308, 270, 30/30, 45/70 and I want more. Good Luck on your choice, I'm sure it won't be your last.:lol:
 

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My personal favorite is a .308. Also have an 06 and .300 Win Mag. 300 is not neccessry for deer. More expensive ammo also.The 06 will have the cheapest factory ammo of the 3 you mentioned. No wrong answer here. You may also want to consider recoil. The 7mm 08 will be very pleasant to shot. This year I'm hunting with a new Marlin .35 Rem. Happy hunting. :)
 

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For what you describe, it's between the 270 and '06. If larger then deer was the primary target, I'd probably lean towards the '06. For what you describe, I'd get the 270. Ammo is as cheap as '06 and even cheaper in some cases. If a place sells ammo, it sells 270. I've shot dozens of deer with one and it's as good as it gets. For larger stuff, it'll do a fine job on them too.
 

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So to add and reinforce the many excellent calibers suggested thus far, I recommend the following in order of preference:

7 MM Mag - used worldwide and capable of most anything including African plains game. Flat shooting, long range and extremely accurate. I use Hornady Custom ammo.

.300 Win Mag - more recoil but very flat shooting with outstanding bullet choices. Works for deer, elk, moose, African plains game (what I used there) etc.

.30-06 - excellent deer caliber and more - used everywhere.

Good luck!
 

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7mm-08 can be used on anything in the Continental united States, good round all around, not abusive, even with heavy bullets. I use a 7mm-08 or a 250 savage for my deer hunting, for Elk I use either the 7mm-08 or my 25-06, but would not be afraid to use my 250. YMMV, Les
 

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I have several of the calibers listed above, and several that are not. And any of them will work for MI deer hunting.

But if your gonna buy one rifle for all-round big game hunting in North America, make it in 30-06. Alaska and Africa are a different story.

NB
 

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I own all three calibers.

If your a handloader, I'd choose the 7mm-08 hands down, one of the best all around deer calibers out there.

If you don't handload, I'd go with the .270 out of those three calibers.

I'd go with a .308 win. before I'd buy an 06'.

.300 win mag for deer? Only for guys who can't hit where their aiming. ;):lol:


I'd also suggest that you find somebody with these calibers and actually shoot them before you pick one. If your in Northern Michigan, drop me a PM, I'd be happy to let you give each of them a try.

Its just a 30-06 on steroids is all.

Ganzer
 

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.270 Excellent on thin skinned game. Shoots flat.
.30-06 Excellent all around mid-large size game round.

I don't think you can go wrong with either of these two cartridges.

If you are only going to shoot Michigan Whitetails with it, consider the .243 Winchester.
 

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Hey what the heck, I’ll throw in the 260 Remington as my perfect choice for deer. Mine is a Rugger M77 and you literally can shoot it all day and not feel the recoil. In that respect it shines. As well as the ballistics speak for them selves. Near perfect ballistic coefficient, and sectional density. Shoots flatter than most of the guns mentioned and has a surprisingly high energy retention. But the shells aren’t available very many places, not like the 30-06 or 270 that you can get at most up north gas station sport shops. But really as long as you don’t forget to bring your ammo box? How many shots will you take in a 15 day Michigan rifle season. The 260 Rem. is a heck of a deer round and it’s a joy to shoot.
 

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"Help choosing general deer rifle caliber"

Say's it all right there, "general". If your not going with a tried and true 30/30 then I'd have to say 30.06 would be the one.

"Exotic" calibers for the "general shooter" would be .243, .270 and possibly a .308 ;)

And as mentioned, in a pinch can be purchased at most party stores and gas stations north of the shot gun/rifle line. :D
 

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If your like me at this point in my life I only want one rifle/scope outfit. Therefore, I chose 300 win mag with zeiss scope. I use it for MI deer, and have found as long as you hit soft organs it comes out real clean and does minimal damage (if any) to meat (shot placement).

I am using in CO for elk the next two weeks, and all I did was switched my shells from core-loks ($25/box) to Hornady Interbond ($40/box). For me it is a great caliber that can be used for multiple game, can be affordable to shoot, and shells are readily available.

I also don't see how you could wrong with a 30-06.
 

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Many calibers that fit the bill,but,i'd have to vote for the 30-06.
 

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I strongly suggest getting a .308. You'll get (relatively speaking) cheap ammo, low recoil, and devestating performance at any reasonable range. It's a short action round which will save you some weight in your rifle. Factory ammo is widely available and in a large assortment of bullets.

Of the calibers you mentioned, it'd be a coint toss between the '06 and 270. If you're buying factory ammo, the 7-08 will beat you to death at the checkout.
 
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