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walt1980

Calibre decision for deer

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Been asked by a local farmer to remove some deer from his land, muntjac, roe, fallow with the possibility of a red as they very occasionally pass through every year or so. 

I used to use a .243 but get rid of it as it wasn’t getting used, now have a bit more time to shoot. 

So, do I go .243 again, and leave the reds, or is there another calibre which I could use?? Or would .243 be enough on a red? 

Realistically I doubt I’d be taking any reds, a 30-06 was suggested but think it’d make a bit of a mess of the Munties and Roe (the most likely to be taken) although it’s be more than enough for a red. 

Any suggestion from more experienced people??

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Get a 2506 brilliant round fast flat you have from 75 to 120 grain bullets at  good velocity, available  in a many different rifles.  

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Just been reading up on Basc site, minimum muzzle energy needed for a red is 1700ft/lb and a 75gr soft point .243 should produce 1900ft/lb. 

I always thought a .243 wasn’t enough to shoot a red???

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.243 is more than enough Deer Act 1991 states  minimum calibre and minimum muzzle energy (.240" and 1700 ft/lbs) for the lawful shooting of Deer in England. But for fallow red and sika in Sctland and northern ireland you need 1700 ftlbs n ireland 100 grain and scotland 1750ftlbs and 2450 fps 100 grain.

.243 will do the job but these are minimum requirements in law here, you can go bigger and have more choice in bullet weights bullet construction and performance.

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Posted (edited)

,270 rem if you want fast

.308 always been a good calibre for reds.

You could go with .243 and see if you do get any reds, if plenty and they're close enough great take one  them. If not think of getting a cheap .308 or similar 7mm.

Edited by figgy

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The .243 is a calibre that will do all that you want, with a great choice of cost effective rifles new and second hand and a wide range of ammunition off the shelf. 

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Thought about a 308 but wondered if it’d make a mess of a muntie? 

Mum leaning towards a 243 still at the minute, availability of ammo is a very good point as well! 

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Posted (edited)

6.5x55 best of all worlds... big enough punch for reds, recoil more akin to a 243, easy to find ammo, suitable for use as a fox/deer rifle too as per the home office guidance... so pretty good as an all rounder.

Find PRVI ammo and it’s sub £17 per box of 20.

Only downside is that there is less second hand when compared with the 243. 

Edited by Tford

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Posted (edited)

Any deer legal calibre, the differences are fairly academic really. 

Find one that you are confident with and you easily can get ammo for locally. 

They will all kill Reds and there is no reason why they would make a mess of Muntjac, that's more about bullet type than calibre. 

 

Edited by ClemFandango

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Posted (edited)

one of those threads where you will get a hundred different answers, usually suggesting exactly the same calibre that the responder uses.

I would suggest it all depends on whether you want to home load or buy ammunition 'off the shelf'?

Most gun shops will stock .243,  .308,  and possibly 6.5 x55, .270 and 30-06

Other calibres are generally more difficult to obtain off the shelf, but if reloading appeals to you then a huge range of calibres become an option.

 

So, weigh up the differnt options........................then get a 6.5 x 55 like me ☺

Edited by scolopax

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8 hours ago, B B said:

Get a 2506 brilliant round fast flat you have from 75 to 120 grain bullets at  good velocity, available  in a many different rifles.  

Great cartridge for all of our deer if you do your job.  Just a note, there is nothing 'flat' as Isaak Newton proved when the apple hit him.  In field conditions the difference out to normal deer shooting distances is irrelevant as most of us couldn't hold to it and the deer will not notice the difference.    Another 'Quarter Incher' rarely seen in the UK but a superb deer round is the 257Roberts, far better than the 243 Win which was made famous by writers in magazines and became fashionable.

If I was to start out shooting deer again and needed just one rifle,  then I would choose the 6.5 x 55, the old Swede takes a lot of beating as an all round deer slayer and again you have a choice of bulets particularly if you reload.100 to 160 grain. 

1 hour ago, Tford said:

6.5x55 best of all worlds... big enough punch for reds, recoil more akin to a 243, easy to find ammo, suitable for use as a fox/deer rifle too as per the home office guidance... so pretty good as an all rounder.

Find PRVI ammo and it’s sub £17 per box of 20.

Only downside is that there is less second hand when compared with the 243. 

Yep, less second hand because users seldom let them go and that says something.

The 243 Win with the wrong bullet will chew up muntjac like any other calibre.

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Posted (edited)

Any deer legal rifle will do the job it’ll do it best with the right bullet.  

As to 30-06 doing more damage than 243 to roe and muntie you’ve got that backwards big and slow does less meat damage than small and fast. 

308 or 30-06 are my go to rifles for any deer, 243 is hardly used and up for sale now I don’t do much park work. 

Which chambering is a never ending circle and depends on your choice and preference. 

Edited by welshwarrior

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Go old school and get 7x57, got a Ruger No 1 in this calibre and works well on all deer and fox. As above the .243 hardly ever goes out.

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Posted (edited)

 

As stated any of the above would do a good job with the right bullet.

I would base your decision on what ammo's available near to you.

 

Edited by Robertt

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1 hour ago, Robertt said:

 

As stated any of the above would do a good job with the right bullet.

I would base your decision on what ammo's available near to you.

 

You could narrow it down even more by reloading,  then ammo is always available no matter where you are.

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I use a 6.5 x 55, superb calibre for Deer and soft to shoot with a Mod.  Bullet weights 85GRN > 160 GRN so can be loaded as a potent frangible Fox round also if you desire.

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243 would cover all the bases but 30 06would be what I would go for on larger deer. Great round 

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308 with 180gr power point at 2650fps  controlled expansion and decent weight retention.

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Go for a .308  . 150 grain soft point bullet will kill anything clean that you will want to shoot . I know of three estates in Norfolk that insists on minimum calibre of .270 for all deer . 

Harnser

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As stated above any of the legal calibres will do the job, but one thing to think about is the price of ammo if you are not reloading. Not so much for when you are shooting a deer but more for when you are practicing, I've got a lovely 7mm Weatherby magnum on my ticket but at around £4 a pop (if you can find them) I don't shoot a lot of targets with it! But with the 243 and 308 its no big deal to use a box just to keep your eye in.

for Deer I mostly us the 243 as the 308 is set up for other things and has no mod on it, plus the 243 is good for foxes and long range crow shooting. There are better calibres but as a cost effective all rounder it takes some beating

the 25 06 is nice as is the 6.5 x 55

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If your eating the muntys then a 308 a bit heavy But your better being over gunned than under the mate bought 308 Now he doesn’t shoot muntjacs but he’s opinion is the 308 will take any deer and easy to get ammo in most gun shops But your choice you’ll probably think you won’t shoot reds but you can bet you will so good luck 

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Posted (edited)

Have used many calibres on Red Stag, even 22/250.

Every one I shot with a 243 was polaxed but I didn't shoot any with the 243, over 300y.

However, the big calibres can cause excessive damage on Roe and as mentioned using a heavier bullet can remedy this, i.e. a 165g in an '06.

But, having used 5 calibres on Stag, which all did a splendid job my go to rifle in your situation would be a .243 using a 100g Interlock or similar.

I found, the light recoil generated enabled you to see the strike, which is desirable.

Edited by Robertt

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Posted (edited)

.223 is more than enough for the smaller (or some larger) deer, but then there is the Law.

I have dealt will all UK deer except the CWD, none round here, they all fall down with the .243, including the Reds.  I have no axe to grind, I also have a .308, but that is almost exclusively Boar and Target these days, its a long while back I last took it out for any deer!

:good:

Edited by Dekers

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Should have mentioned the .22/250 was used in Rep of Ireland when then max calibre for deer was a non military .22 centrefire.

.22/250 and 5.6 x 57 were the common one's and neck shots only at sensible distances were the order of the day.

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