Best deer Caliber choice

Best deer rifle cartridges if you had to pick just one.

  • 30-30

  • 30-06

  • .280

  • .270

  • .243

  • .308

  • 6.5 Creedmoor

  • 6.5 Grendel

  • 7mm

  • other


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300_whisper

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I was talking to a friend yesterday who built a 6.5 Creedmoor and then recently sold it because he shot two deer and could not find them.
I asked a friend who has a dog who tracks deer and I asked him a lot of questions last night. One of the questions is what round have you had to track the most deer. This year its been the 6.5.
I dont blame the round. Ive been trying to figure out why. I dont know if there are that many folks using the 6.5. Maybe its newer shooters choosing the 6.5 and not being efficient enough to make the shot. Maybe its folks who are smarter with their shots in smaller calibers think they are stepping up and just letting her rip because they have a new gun. Maybe the bullet is just too fast at the short distances we are shooting them at. Most of the ones Ive heard run off were less than a 100 and often 50-75.
Im intrigued by the round. Just find that this conversation has been brought up several times in the past day or so.

A 6.5CM will level deer. Super close the round dumps all of its energy and doesn’t exit, mid to far, the hunting rounds do what they are supposed to do. The tracking jobs and lost deer are probably from inexperienced shooter / hunters, who bought into the hype, shot way too far for their comfort / skill, and / or did not properly zero their rifles and had a clean miss. People rarely want to analyze themselves. It’s easier to analyze their cartridge, bullet type, gun, scope, etc, etc….

It’s like the case studies in the army about soldiers “shooting the enemy 20x and they still wouldn’t go down! Therefore the 5.56 is ineffective.” Well it turns out they shot 20x but only hit the enemy once in the arm.

Additionally, it’s super popular so there’s a larger pool of people using it so you’ll here more stories / have more data points. How many stories do you hear of guys losing deer to a 6 Dasher or 30BR? Lol
 

300_whisper

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Also, with the 6.5CM a lot of the factory stuff is Match ammo. If match ammo doesn’t strike bone it’s not going to have the rapid expansion all the guys who swear by them have experienced. In my dumb choice to use match ammo, all three times the bullet did not upset causing pencil throughs and long tracking jobs. That was in a .308 win 168 grain FGMM with SMKs. Pick the right bullet construction and you’re set.
 

JoKeR50

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Also, with the 6.5CM a lot of the factory stuff is Match ammo. If match ammo doesn’t strike bone it’s not going to have the rapid expansion all the guys who swear by them have experienced. In my dumb choice to use match ammo, all three times the bullet did not upset causing pencil throughs and long tracking jobs. That was in a .308 win 168 grain FGMM with SMKs. Pick the right bullet construction and you’re set.
This is interesting and somewhat refutes the claim that you can't hunt with match.


 

300_whisper

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This is interesting and somewhat refutes the claim that you can't hunt with match.



You can hunt with any bullet. They are all going to kill. The 3 does I shot with SMKs in the 2014 season all ran several hundred yards, no blood trails, and clean little pencil holes through them. So, 3 shots, 3 back to back results was enough for me not hunt with SMKs anymore. l just want them to kill quicker with lots of blood.

I haven’t hunted with the ELDM, but I have with with the ELDX and it’s an awesome bullet. I’m sure the M will have similar results on deer sized game.

I watched the videos they were good. I know ballistic gel is expensive but they need to run several hundred rounds for any statistical significance. The first results right off the bat we’re definitely impressive though.
 

Countryhunter87

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I was talking to a friend yesterday who built a 6.5 Creedmoor and then recently sold it because he shot two deer and could not find them.
I asked a friend who has a dog who tracks deer and I asked him a lot of questions last night. One of the questions is what round have you had to track the most deer. This year its been the 6.5.
I dont blame the round. Ive been trying to figure out why. I dont know if there are that many folks using the 6.5. Maybe its newer shooters choosing the 6.5 and not being efficient enough to make the shot. Maybe its folks who are smarter with their shots in smaller calibers think they are stepping up and just letting her rip because they have a new gun. Maybe the bullet is just too fast at the short distances we are shooting them at. Most of the ones Ive heard run off were less than a 100 and often 50-75.
Im intrigued by the round. Just find that this conversation has been brought up several times in the past day or so.
What is everyone else’s opinion on the Winchester Deer Season XP ammunition?
 

Willhangfire

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Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are. I listed the maximum number of choices for the poll, so if I missed someone's favorite I apologize. My main deer slayer is my grandfathers 30-30, but I've moved to Creedmoor lately.
It all depends on the environment you are hunting in. If you are hunting in the foot hills of N. Pa with lots of woods and brush a 30-30 is hard to beat. If you hunt in the open with vast fields there are many equally good choices.
 

bubonic

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What is everyone else’s opinion on the Winchester Deer Season XP ammunition?
After the pencil exit wound I got on a buck Saturday I will be exploring other options. I may just be brand loyal but I will try core lokts next. They've never failed me in 30-30, 308 etc. and I've dropped more then my fare share of deer.
 

yardboss1

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What is everyone else’s opinion on the Winchester Deer Season XP ammunition?

I picked up a box of them once when they first came out and looked them over. They certainly look impressive. I put them back down and got another box of the Winchester Power Points that shoot under 1 inch groups in my 308.
 
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