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At what point do you Up your gun ? #7364171 12/02/18 02:50 AM
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txtrophy85 Offline OP
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Lots of threads and articles about calibers, bullets and the like.

Here locally ( the THF) we have opinions that range from im fine hunting everything with a .243 to the hunters with a wide range of weapons to choose from.

A thread awhile back showed that the majority of people would hunt everything in Texas with a .243, 270 or .30-06, even for animals like elk, aoudad and nilgai.

I shot a .22-250 and a .270 for many years. Now my collection has expanded to include a few magnum rounds and I find myself reaching for these guns in many situations, in large part due to increased confidence.


So, collectively, at what point to you choose a bigger bat? Shots over 400 yards, game over 500 lbs, once in a lifetime hunts,, etc?

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364189 12/02/18 03:30 AM
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I really don't know. I've killed elk in Wyoming, white tail in Michigan with the 3006 180 grn. I used to use it here using 150. Step down to 243 then went up to 270 150. Then bought 308, haven't used it yet. So that's all I can say.
My dad did most of his hunting in Michigan with a 32 spc.it did what was needed, I still have it just hard shooting it with open sights, bi-focal glasses.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364191 12/02/18 03:32 AM
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Originally Posted by txtrophy85


Shots over 400 yards, game over 500 lbs, once in a lifetime hunts,, etc?




I guess if that is the criteria, I would take my 338LM

That's the nastiest long range "Bat" I own.
Shots over 400 are definitely in its wheel house and it has plenty of night-night juice for larger game.

.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364195 12/02/18 03:42 AM
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Any excuse to buy a new rifle.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: TexFlip] #7364201 12/02/18 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by TexFlip
Any excuse to buy a new rifle.


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

For the Win!

.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364382 12/02/18 02:59 PM
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I had gotten very comfortable with the 7-08 162g to suit all my needs. This year Im hunting with a 6.5x55 with a 140g bullet. I now feel like I dont have enough gun. Its mental, both deer Ive shot this year have went down within sight. On at 100ish yards and the other at 510. Its in my head and its on me though to put together a 280ai for next season.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364430 12/02/18 03:52 PM
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I hunt with a wide variety of calibers. Bigger animals get a bigger gun. However I have found it mostly depends on how I feel that day. I find i take smaller rounds when hunting from a stand then if I decide to stalk. I can wait longer from a stand for a perfect shot. Bigger guns for when shot angles may not be perfect.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364435 12/02/18 03:54 PM
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I have a .223, 6mm, .270 and .280. The .270 gets used 90% of the time for all my hunting. I do not ever plan on hunting an elk, nilgai or aoudad.



Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364451 12/02/18 04:11 PM
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The thing most people don't want to admit is that there is almost no difference in what any of the modern day calibers do. Under ideal conditions, with everything else being the same, all of the popular rounds will do about the same thing. Stick with what you have and either develop a load that you can shoot one inch groups with, or keep buying different brands until you find the one that works the best in our rifle. Spend your money on a great trigger and a scope. And probably the hardest thing to do if you are unable to shoot one inch groups, take some classes and get some training. The Marine Corps can make anybody into a good shot, some better then others, which was huge for me. Breathing, trigger control and waiting for a cold barrel between shots at the range are more important then what caliber you are shooting if you want to improve your results while out hunting. Hang out with some competitive shooters at the range and see what they do. Worse thing in the world is to get into the habit of shooting off a lot of rounds with a hot barrel. You will never have a hot barrel when you take that first shot at an animal, and a hot barrel works totally different on accuracy compared to a cold barrel.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364566 12/02/18 06:19 PM
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For the record, I largely agree with EddieWalker.

That out of the way, I used to use a .243 WSSM for my hog hunting. Because of the gas system on the rifle (it was an AR), the muzzle velocities ended up running very low: my accurate 105-grain Speer HotCore load only went 2575 fps at the muzzle. For the record, I never lost a hog with the rifle, so it worked perfectly in that sense. On the other hand, when I field dressed larger hogs, I couldn't help but notice the mediocre penetration and the modest wound channel, especially when compared to the damage done by, say, a .30-06.

Put simply, at some point you really are better off using a bigger hammer. Would I have used that WSSM on a Nilgai with a $3500 trophy fee on the line? Heck, no! When the consequences of failure are more than just modest embarrassment, it's best to use every reasonable advantage.


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Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364587 12/02/18 06:41 PM
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For whitetails, I don't need anything more than my trusty ol' .270 Win. out to 400 yards or more. I also have a .257 Wby Mag for similar duties. For elk, I break out the magnums. 7mm Rem Mag or .300 Wby Mag. If I'm hunting where shots will be 200 yards or less, then I'm good with a 30-30 or an AR in 5.56. I just don't see the need to kill my shoulder or obliterate meat with magnums when they're just not necessary.


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Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364661 12/02/18 08:34 PM
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The last month I have taken an 5x5 elk at 225 yds with Nosler 165 Accubond. Last week I took 3 wt's with my 7-08 and Barnes 140's. All 3 shots were 100 yds or less, I like the 7-08 because I am old and it is light plus low recoil. Those are my go to guns because I have confidence in them doing the job if I do my part. May be wrong but in my opinion, I think most hunters would be more successful shooting lighter recoil rifles, very few hunters are truly insensitive to recoil.







Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364704 12/02/18 09:34 PM
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I started deer huntign with a 30-30 when I got a rifle, most of the deer I have ekilled would have been just as dead if I had continued to use that round. As a young man I got to reading how it was not enough for deer and the rifle developed issues so I sold it and bought a Remington 788 in the then new 7mm-08. I could have stuck with that little rifle for all my hunting and been just as successful as I have been with many others. That bunch of otehr calibers has ranged from 22 Hornet to 7STW, 300 WBY, 350Rem, and 45-70.to name a few. I could have gone on a lot more big time hunts had I just kept and unted with the 7mm-08 and put that $ spent on guns on hunts instead, ah hindsight.

Most of the time when I pulled out the cannons for hunting was on hunts out of state for elk where a long shot might be the difference in getting something or eating an expensive tag and hunt. In reality of my 5 elk only one would I have felt any more confident with the magnum I was hunting with than the 7mm-08.

these days I hunt deer and hogs with a little handy balanced 6.5 Grendel, 357 Mag Marlin, handgun or bow. If I were to go on an expensive Western hunt again for elk or get onthat Moose hunt I would most likely carry a magnum but for the hunting I do whitetail or hogs inside 300 yards the little Grendel is plenty

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: kmon1] #7364727 12/02/18 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kmon1
I started deer huntign with a 30-30 when I got a rifle, most of the deer I have ekilled would have been just as dead if I had continued to use that round. As a young man I got to reading how it was not enough for deer and the rifle developed issues so I sold it and bought a Remington 788 in the then new 7mm-08. I could have stuck with that little rifle for all my hunting and been just as successful as I have been with many others. That bunch of otehr calibers has ranged from 22 Hornet to 7STW, 300 WBY, 350Rem, and 45-70.to name a few. I could have gone on a lot more big time hunts had I just kept and unted with the 7mm-08 and put that $ spent on guns on hunts instead, ah hindsight.

Most of the time when I pulled out the cannons for hunting was on hunts out of state for elk where a long shot might be the difference in getting something or eating an expensive tag and hunt. In reality of my 5 elk only one would I have felt any more confident with the magnum I was hunting with than the 7mm-08.

these days I hunt deer and hogs with a little handy balanced 6.5 Grendel, 357 Mag Marlin, handgun or bow. If I were to go on an expensive Western hunt again for elk or get onthat Moose hunt I would most likely carry a magnum but for the hunting I do whitetail or hogs inside 300 yards the little Grendel is plenty


This.

I've walked this exact path (except on whitetails the .218 Bee was my low end and .416 Rigby the high end). Truth be told, ANY of a wheelbarrow load of different cartridges will kill whitetails very dead at anything approaching responsible ranges for most shooters. Now there is no question that bigger critters can warrant bigger bullets, but that isn't anything APPROACHING a linear progression. Comfortable with 130-150 grains for whitetail but want 225-250 grains for elk? You won't get any argument from me...but it doesn't follow that I have to use 6-800 grains for Cape buffalo or multiple ounces for elephant.

I carry a bunch of different toys afield in the course of a year because they're just that...toys. But the plain truth is that if I picked one good middle-of-the-road cartridge (with one good bullet) and shot the heck out of that rifle 'til we "breathed" together, I'd have a combination that would serve for 95% of the shots I'd make in the course of a season (and on larger animals than we might think).

So long as it isn't a 6.5. The Luddite in me won't allow it!

Mark


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Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364800 12/02/18 11:33 PM
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I have taken WT., Mule Deer, And Elk. I have guided hunters for many types of exotics. Each of the exotics that were taken could have been taken by me. Non were outstanding shots so if I had been the shooter I would have been the one in the picture. I have not killed a WT in a few years. Now I just shoot a Axis every year to make sausage.. And even then I only take one that I think I can load and take to the house. Usually spikes or at the most 2 year olds. Don't get me wrong most would be sick at the size of the Axis I have passed up get one that meets my weight requirements.I used to hunt with a Rem. Model 760 in 270. It has taken plenty of animals. A great rifle. Now when it is time to make sausage I us a Ruger American Compact 223. I take my time and shoot them in the neck and then the work begins.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364823 12/02/18 11:45 PM
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I hunted for about ten years with a 223, but I wouldn't take shots at many deer away from the feeder that were 200 yards or so..
So I got a 243, then the deer moved to 300 yards.
So I have a 308 now and use it almost exclusively.
I would only use a bigger caliber now for bigger game. But I have shot red stag, oryx and gemsbok with no problem with the 308.


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Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7364853 12/03/18 12:13 AM
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I leave my 22-250 at the camp house. Thats what I uaually shoot if Im hunting out of a blind. When I was walking canyons and shooting deer I was a 270 fan and still am. The farthest I ever shot a deer was 482 yards from some rimrock with a 243 and I had to shoot him 4 times and shoot at him 6 times. Im just not a magnum guy.
My old hunting partner I used to guide with was a big fan of the 300 win mag. We killed a herd of javelina one day while mule deer hunting. We were in a bowl canyon and the javelina kept circling above us. He was shooting the 300 with a muzzle break and I was blasting away with the 270. I was deaf for a week after that. The buddy that let us mule deer hunt his place told us we could hunt and kill whatever we wanted as long as we killed every javelina we saw. We had to go into town and get more ammo twice.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: kmon1] #7364992 12/03/18 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kmon1
I started deer huntign with a 30-30 when I got a rifle, most of the deer I have ekilled would have been just as dead if I had continued to use that round. As a young man I got to reading how it was not enough for deer and the rifle developed issues so I sold it and bought a Remington 788 in the then new 7mm-08. I could have stuck with that little rifle for all my hunting and been just as successful as I have been with many others. That bunch of otehr calibers has ranged from 22 Hornet to 7STW, 300 WBY, 350Rem, and 45-70.to name a few. I could have gone on a lot more big time hunts had I just kept and unted with the 7mm-08 and put that $ spent on guns on hunts instead, ah hindsight.

Most of the time when I pulled out the cannons for hunting was on hunts out of state for elk where a long shot might be the difference in getting something or eating an expensive tag and hunt. In reality of my 5 elk only one would I have felt any more confident with the magnum I was hunting with than the 7mm-08.

these days I hunt deer and hogs with a little handy balanced 6.5 Grendel, 357 Mag Marlin, handgun or bow. If I were to go on an expensive Western hunt again for elk or get onthat Moose hunt I would most likely carry a magnum but for the hunting I do whitetail or hogs inside 300 yards the little Grendel is plenty



I bought my youngest boy a Grendel.

How do you like it?

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7365021 12/03/18 02:27 AM
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270 with hand loaded ammo has always got the job done on WT,Mulies and 3 elk. rifle

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7365252 12/03/18 12:44 PM
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It's easy to get caught up in the "I need more guns" mode.
I also went through the reloading stage until the panic ammo shortage caused by the hoarders happened a few years back that broke me of that cycle.
I'm back to the "do I really need all these guns phase," so it's a heck of a lot less expensive and
I still get enjoyment out of my hunting, and bigger or better, isn't always the best.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: EddieWalker] #7365483 12/03/18 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
The thing most people don't want to admit is that there is almost no difference in what any of the modern day calibers do. Under ideal conditions, with everything else being the same, all of the popular rounds will do about the same thing.


C'mon, almost no difference? That's laughable.

And how often do we get to hunt and have shots "under ideal conditions, with everything else being the same"? For me, that's pretty much never.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7365506 12/03/18 03:58 PM
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I keep a rifle with me 52 weeks a year. I decided a 7mm-08 A.I. would do anything I needed, and it does. When I go to country with possible long shots, and/or bigger animals, I step up to the 7 Rem Mag with 180's. Those two rifles are probably all I need for the continent. But I have more than that because I can.


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Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7365523 12/03/18 04:08 PM
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If the distance I'm shooting with a particular caliber wont hold the necessary foot pounds of energy, then I up the caliber.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: txtrophy85] #7365604 12/03/18 05:37 PM
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Most people I see up the caliber when they wound something. Its usually their own fault but they blame the caliber. They try to overcome shot placement with more power.

Re: At what point do you Up your gun ? [Re: JCB] #7365650 12/03/18 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JCB
Most people I see up the caliber when they wound something. Its usually their own fault but they blame the caliber. They try to overcome shot placement with more power.


That is often very true.


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