What is the best caliber to hunt Deer with?

22 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It really depends on a few things; your state, what are the laws for firearm hunting for example some states and areas of states are shotgun only / and some states have a limit to the size of caliber used to hunt deer. Next is purpose, is this firearm to be used for deer only, or are you looking for a good all around, span the gambit rifle. Cost and availability of ammo. And then don't forget about how you hunt, do you hunt open areas, brush areas, or both. Also if you will be using a scope, does your state have a magnification limit.

    I recently went through this same issue, I had opinions suggested to me ranging anywhere from the 22 magnum up to the 375 H&H. I narrowed my choices down to 4 rounds (270 win., 300 win. ultra mag, 7mm remington magnum, and the 30-06). I ended up getting the 7mm rem mag. (Remington model 700). The ammo is priced on the high side of moderate, and the round is devistatingly accurate with ranges up over 250 yds. It will take anything from varmint - buffalo.

    By far the most widely used and greatest ammo availability would be the 30-06. Which also helps in keeping the ammo cost down.

    I've shot both 30-06 and 7mm rem mag. and my 7mm hits me harder at the same grain than my buddy's 30-06.

    Good luck and happy hunting. -Jim-

  • H
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    A .270 Winchester will serve you well for deer hunting. Use at least a 130 grain, quality hunting round.

    I favor the .25-06 Remington myself but that is a tad lighter than the .270 and should only be used with 100+ grain bullets. I consider the .243 Winchester the minimum caliber for deer and only with the 90+ grain bullets. The .308 Winchester (same case as the .243 with wider bullet) is also good as should be the brand new .338 Federal round. That is a .308 necked up to .338 and should make an excellent gun for deer-size and larger game.

    Good luck.


  • 1 decade ago

    Any caliber from a .243 to a 7 mag will get the job done but you'll find it easier to find a wide array of ammo for the 30-06, .270, and .380. All will get the job done. However, in my opinion the best caliber is a 25-06. It's plent big without being to much and will kill anything in North America.

  • 1 decade ago

    A lot of responses here have recommended a .30-30, and yes this round has dropped probably more deer than any other round simply because it's the oldest centerfire cartridge still in use today. I've dropped a deer with one myself. But if you are looking for the BEST cartridge for deer, get a .308 or .30-06. The .30-30 has HORRIBLE ballistics (meaning the bullet drops very fast), and at longer ranges may not even have enough power to drop a deer with one shot (250+ yards). Most deer are shot much closer than that but you'd be real bummed out when a 12 pointer hangs just out of range of your .30-30 down a long logging road then runs out of sight! Also with a .30-30 you are limited to round nose or flat nose bullets since most rifles chambered for it are lever action and pointed bullets or ballistic tip hollow points can set off the primer of the bullet in front of it in the tube. Good luck!!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The choice is a matter of where you hunt. If you're jump-shooting in thick woods, a handy little lever action or autoloader shooting a pistol bullet like the 44mag, or the classic 30-30 may be best. For long shots across Carolina beanfields or western plains, a bolt gun in a flat shooter like the 270 Win, 280 Ackley or 30-06 may be best.

    Most find something in between fits their needs. My personal favorites are a 7x57 Remington mountain rifle (bolt action) and a Winchester model 71 lever gun in 348, and I've outfitted my family with a variety of bolt guns in 7mm08.

  • 1 decade ago

    The best is a personal preference for you, what you would like. So there really is no right or wrong answer. Some states don't allow Rifles and can only use Shotguns with single projectile and/or Buckshot (with shot size limits), and all states allow Muzzle loader Rifles of some type. (note: some states don't allow In-line Muzzle loader) and have specific seasons).So you need to begin with the hunting regulations for you area, ex. Method's / Weapons used for hunting deer. This will be located in your states Deer Hunting Guide.

    Then you can chose you weapon and caliber.

    Good Luck



    Source(s): 30+ yrs hunting experience Kentucky Hunter Education Master-Instructor National BowHunter Education Master-Instructor Host of REAL HUNTIN' TV Series http://www.darkwoodsoutdoors.com
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, no, Shale, DEER, not Teddy Kennedy. Did I say that out loud?

    Anyway, the .270 and .30-.30 are both great calibers, and at the average distance that deer are shot, i.e., 75-100 yards, you can almost forgo the scope and just buy a lever-action with iron sights.

    Keep it simple. If the terrain in your hunting area is more flat and open, go with the .270 and a decent scope. Hilly and brush-thick, .30-.30, iron sights.

  • 1 decade ago

    The 30-06

    Here's why:

    It has the most types of ammo readily available than any other rifle in North America.

    If your hunting brushy country where your shots will be close you can get heavy, round nosed bullets

    If you're hunting fields or plains you can use 150-165 grain spitzer type bullets for longer shots

    Or anything in between, depending on where you live and hunt

  • randkl
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Pretty much anything in .30 cal. In specific, the good old .30-06. Still to this day the most popular all around hunting round in the US.

    Second to that in the rest of the world is the venerable .303brit. Pretty much every ex-commonwealth citizen who hunts uses one.

    In terms of sheer, all out commonality, the .30-30 is a great brush gun round. The 7.62x39 is it's twin. The .308 for longer range shots. The 7.62x54r etc.

    You can't beat .30 cal for all around hunting.

  • 1 decade ago

    .30 caliber,300 Win Mag works beautifully

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