Your Top Three

snake284snake284 Senior MemberPosts: 20,939 Senior Member
edited May 29 in Hunting #1
What are your top 3 deer cartridges? And give your reasons they're your favorites. If you don't have a top three, give your top 2, in other words your top choice up to 3 choices.

My first is my .270 Winchester. Why? It has good velocity and is flat shooting and it has served me well through 52 years. It's also supposed to be mild in the recoil department, however my particular rifle not so much. On the bench it will make you want to quit shooting. It slaps the hell out of you, especially after 3 or 4 rounds. However, I shoot full house hand loads and my rifle for a full sized deer rifle is rather light. However, as with many other rifles you don't notice it in the field.

One big gripe about the .270 seems to be bullet choice or lack of it. However through the years that has grown from about 3 different bullet weights, 100 grain, 130 Grain and 150 grain to as many as 7, all the way up to as heavy as 170 grains. And actually, that's 5 more than I'll probably ever use (unless I build a long range .270). Although I have shot 140s out of mine, I usually stay with 130s or on rare occasion I'll use 150 grains, depends on what and where I'm hunting. Once about 45 years back I went hunting on a ranch in South Texas and the deer down there are larger so I took some 150s. I had that box of Remington Core Lokts up until a few years back when I gave them to a friend who bought a new rifle and she needed some rounds to sight it in with..

There's a lot of hoopla over the 100 grain. I bought some once just to say I tried em, but wasn't impressed and I didn't see a purpose for them. They're fast but they won't last. If I want a varmint round I have a .22-250, a .223, a .243, and a couple of .25s that will do that job with less recoil and barrel wear.

My second choice is the .280 Remington. There's a dozen bullets for it, but here again, I can do with 2, maybe three. My go to bullet for deer is 150 grain. It's sort of a half step up from the .270 and if I think I need more bullet mass I like the .280 with 150 grain bullets. However, 140s work great for deer. I just started out loading 150 grain bullets because a friend sold me  400 7mm Nosler Ballistic Tips cheap and I've been using them for the last 11 years. I've also used Sierra 160 grain HP Game Kings but I'm not impressed with the velocities.

My third choice is my .250 Savage just because it's sweet. It's accurate and out to 300 yards its everything I need for deer and pigs. With 115 grain Combined Technologies Ballistic Tips its deadly on deer and hogs.


There's more cartridges I use and love but for my 3 go tos these are the ones.

What's your top three?






Daddy, what's an enabler?
Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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Replies

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,185 Senior Member
    edited May 29 #2
    .223 Remington - Defense/Varmints /Plinking/Distance Shooting (800yrds)/Medium Game/Slaying MONSTERS
    It is inexpensive to shoot (comparatively) and it will slay monsters  (with proper bullet placement).  What's not to love.?

    .243 Winchester - From light to heavy for caliber.....it does it all.  from kid to adult.  It does it all.  From close to far.  It does it all.  What's not to love?

    .308 Winchester - What can't it do?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 9,901 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    .223 Remington - Defense/Varmints /Plinking/Distance Shooting (800yrds)/Medium Game/Slaying MONSTERS
    It is inexpensive to shoot (comparatively) and it will slay monsters  (with proper bullet placement).  What's not to love.?

    .243 Winchester - From light to heavy for caliber.....it does it all.  from kid to adult.  It does it all.  From close to far.  It does it all.  What's not to love?

    .308 Winchester - What can't it do?
    Given the parameters, I cannot disagree with this for a top three, or the reasons stated.

    Just to relate that to what I actually have, I will mention 7mm-08 and .30-06. The 7mm-08 is a very nice, soft recoiling take-off of the .308 that kills deer and hogs every time, with a decent shot, and it works really nice for my AR-10 style hunting rifle. I bought the .30-06 because the rifle I wanted was chambered for it, and I knew there wouldn't be a speck of difference between it and the .308 168 grain loads that I like. The .30-06 actually has a little more versatility than the .308, for those who like heavier bullets with increased recoil. I like .25-06, too. although the loads I shoot in it have much more recoil than the 7mm-08 loads I shoot.

  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 948 Senior Member
    I have more of a tendency towards a certain rifle than a cartridge. My 30-06 is a Rem700 stainless/polymer and servres for bad weather. My 308win is a family heirloom and would likely be overly protected from moisture.

    I've had such good sucess with my Hawken caplock it's a viable option if I can get close. No cartridges needed. Same with handguns. Good for close up because of my mediocre skill and easy to carry. If it starts with a 4 its out the door.
  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,368 Senior Member
    Not sure I have a favorite. I’ve shot deer with many different rounds, and all have worked. I keep thinking maybe I’ll have a “go to” deer rifle/cartridge, but considering I haven’t for the 25 years I’ve been hunting, I don’t reckon I’ll start now. 
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,244 Senior Member
    My most used is a .308 ... I can reach across fields if needed with decent confidence. Then a .30-30 ... to me the best brush gun for my area ... light, compact and for “in brush” distances iron sights works great. For a third I’ll go over kill with a .30-06 but the main reason is it was my Grandpa’s and I have to keep his memory going each season with taking one deer.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,077 Senior Member

    The .243 has to be in the list.  After that, it changes.  That's kind of like asking who my favorite kid is.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,182 Senior Member
    I guess I'm just old school, 
    1) .30-06 with 180gr. Rem. Bronze Point
    2) .358 Win with 225gr. Sierra SBT
    3) .270 Win. with 140gr. SBT
    Why, because they always do the job.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Posts: 1,658 Senior Member
    Easy pesy:

    1. 243 Winchester
    2. 270 Winchester
    3. 1894 Marlin .44 magnum
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
    Life member of the American Legion, the VFW, the NRA and the Masonic Lodge, retired LEO
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,077 Senior Member

    Wow!

    At least 3 votes for Snake's favorite .270 Winchester.

    It's been nice knowing you guys.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 17,075 Senior Member
    1) 6.5 Grendel Low recoil, all the "legs" I need, small, compact rifle
    2) 223: Is now the quietest hunting rifle I own. Big enough for the small deer around these parts
    3) 7x57: Been killing everything from elephants on down for over 125 years

    I expect my 300BO to replace one of them (probably 223) some time in 2019
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,402 Senior Member
    Assuming we are talking about deer,,,,,,,,,,,
    Sako Vixen in 222 ( 50gr psp)
    Tikka T3lite in 7mm08 (Sierra 120 and 140gr sp)
    3rd is a tossup between the Tikka TX in 243 or the Howa 204. Taken more deer with the Howa........but thats because I have only had the 243 for about 8 mths.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,764 Senior Member
    6.8 SPC......stalking rifle
    .300 Win. Mag.....wheat/bean field rifle
    .308 Winchester....anything else rifle
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,192 Senior Member
    1) .30-06
    2) .308
    3) kind of up in the air. Maybe .454 Casull or .44 Mag
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 7,599 Senior Member
    edited May 31 #15

    1.  .223 Remington

    2.  tie between .30-30 Winchester and .45 Colt (lever action)

    3. 30-06 Springfield

    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 20,939 Senior Member
    edited June 2 #16

    Wow!

    At least 3 votes for Snake's favorite .270 Winchester.

    It's been nice knowing you guys.

    Hey, do I have to research the archives and dig up your old posts? I've seen you say the same thing. You know you have, now Cowboy up and admit it! LOLOLOL!!!


    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,182 Senior Member
    We have many calibers based on the 06 case from the .22-06 thru the .40 Whelen, all of which are fine cartridges according to this forum, with the exception of the 27-06, you dont like the number 27,  fine I like the .270

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • shootbrownelkshootbrownelk Senior Member Posts: 1,998 Senior Member
      .243  30.06 and .375 H&H because that's what I have.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 17,075 Senior Member
    We like EVEN numbers 24, 26, 28, 30
    27 is just ODD

    ;)

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,185 Senior Member
    Hey!  .33 and .35 are cool too. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 17,075 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Hey!  .33 and .35 are ODD too. 
    FIFY, and Yes, yes they are :rotflmao:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,182 Senior Member
    knitepoet said:
    We like EVEN numbers 24, 26, 28, 30
    27 is just ODD

    ;)

    But ya like .25, .33, 35, & 37 -06

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 17,075 Senior Member
    Notice I didn't mention any of them??

    :p
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,077 Senior Member
    snake284 said:

    Wow!

    At least 3 votes for Snake's favorite .270 Winchester.

    It's been nice knowing you guys.

    Hey, do I have to research the archives and dig up your old posts? I've seen you say the same thing. You know you have, now Cowboy up and admit it! LOLOLOL!!!



    Busted!

    I have to admit that I like the .270, but it's more fun to tease others.  As I've stated before, I've taken javelina, whitetail deer, antelope, mule deer and elk with this puny cartridge.  Dead is dead, and that's about all anyone needs to say.

    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 203 Member
    Seeing as how I have only taken white tail deer with a .30-06 and 6.5x55, I guess those would be my top two so far.  Hopefully this year I can add a .45 caliber to the list.

    Now if we throw Red Deer in there I can go with .243 and .22-250 as options.  Well at least I think it was a .22-250 as it was an estate rifle and I only used it for one day.

    Does it still count against you if you purchase a .270 caliber, never fire it, and swap the barrel to a different caliber??  Is the .270 WSM somehow less despised than the standard .270?  
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 20,939 Senior Member
    edited June 3 #26
    mitdr774 said:
    Seeing as how I have only taken white tail deer with a .30-06 and 6.5x55, I guess those would be my top two so far.  Hopefully this year I can add a .45 caliber to the list.

    Now if we throw Red Deer in there I can go with .243 and .22-250 as options.  Well at least I think it was a .22-250 as it was an estate rifle and I only used it for one day.

    Does it still count against you if you purchase a .270 caliber, never fire it, and swap the barrel to a different caliber??  Is the .270 WSM somehow less despised than the standard .270?  
    You can take solace in the fact that it's mainly just this forum where the .270 is dispised and some of those dispisers I suspect have owned or own one but don't bring it up here. They'd rather just take shots at those of us brave enough to admit it. They either just keep them in the safe or they hunt with them and call them somethng else when discussing them here. I mean how you gonna know? LOL!
    And why would you change the barrel providing it was in good shape? Try it, you might like it.

    And yeah, I think I would love a .270 Short Mag. It would spit out 150s as fast as my regular .270 will push 130s. Not that you need them for deer, but for Elk or other larger species I think it's definitely a winner.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 20,939 Senior Member
    1. 0ww
      snake284 said:

      Wow!

      At least 3 votes for Snake's favorite .270 Winchester.

      It's been nice knowing you guys.

      Hey, do I have to research the archives and dig up your old posts? I've seen you say the same thing. You know you have, now Cowboy up and admit it! LOLOLOL!!!



      Busted!

      I have to admit that I like the .270, but it's more fun to tease others.  As I've stated before, I've taken javelina, whitetail deer, antelope, mule deer and elk with this puny cartridge.  Dead is dead, and that's about all anyone needs to say.


      snake284 said:
      mitdr774 said:
      Seeing as how I have only taken white tail deer with a .30-06 and 6.5x55, I guess those would be my top two so far.  Hopefully this year I can add a .45 caliber to the list.

      Now if we throw Red Deer in there I can go with .243 and .22-250 as options.  Well at least I think it was a .22-250 as it was an estate rifle and I only used it for one day.

      Does it still count against you if you purchase a .270 caliber, never fire it, and swap the barrel to a different caliber??  Is the .270 WSM somehow less despised than the standard .270?  
      You can take solace in the fact that it's mainly just this forum where the .270 is dispised and some of those dispisers I suspect have owned or own one but don't bring it up here. They'd rather just take shots at those of us brave enough to admit it. They either just keep them in the safe or they hunt with them and call them somethng else when discussing them here. I mean how you gonna know? LOL!
      And why would you change the barrel providing it was in good shape? Try it, you might like it.

      And yeah, I think I would love a .270 Short Mag. It would spit out 150s as fast as my regular .270 will push 130s. Not that you need them for deer, but for Elk or other larger species I think it's definitely a winner.

    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 20,939 Senior Member
    edited June 3 #28
    Ah JBC, you are a bigger man than most here. I knew you were at least once a .270 fan, I think you said one time you had one and it was stolen. But for my part, it's all good. No such thing as a bad cartridge. Our favorite cartridges are usually that because that's what we had and/or used growing up..
    With the right bullet and if we do our part, they all work.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,215 Senior Member
    edited June 3 #29
    1. .22 LR - for the little critters and plus it's just plain fun to shoot and plink with
    2. .243 Win - for deer hogs and most any four legged critter in NA that's too large for the .22LR!
    3. .308 Win - allowed me to reach out to grand when I used to shoot that far and can take any critter in NA, though if I were going for a Grizzly I'd want a bit more horse power and bullet size
    Honorable mention would be my .300 WSM for Griz and Big Shaggy's if I ever decide to hunt them again!

    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,098 Senior Member
    edited June 3 #30
    1. .243 Win (best deer cartridge ever)
    2. .260 Rem. (have never used, but want one)
    3. .308 Win

    Yup, a very common theme with a ton of overlap.... :*

    For some odd reason I have a love affair with the .25-06 also. Never had 1 or even fired 1. I just want 1. Will probably never actually get 1 though.

  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,063 Senior Member
    I really love my A-Bolt in .270 Win (with BOSS), because....well I've killed a lot of deer with it, a couple bison, an elk and all I've had to track was one deer that traveled 60 feet...unfortunately, through a blackberry thicket. With the exception of the bison, the only thing that required a second shot was the smallest deer I've ever shot. Still trying to figure that one out fifteen years later. But, if I wanted a "deer-specific" chambering, I'd pick the .243 Win if you don't handload, or a 6mm Rem if you do. I own a 6Rem, but have never shot it at a deer, though it has tumped over a few antelope out to a quarter mile, and a pdog or two at almost twice that. Problem with my 6Rem is that it was set up as a long range varmint rig and weighs a ton. Okay for stand hunting, but not much fun for hauling up and down mountains. So I guess my .270 A-Bolt is it, but if I had the same platform in .243 Win/6mm Rem, that would be my go-to deer rifle. That way I could save my .270 for the big stuff. Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
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