7mm mag, .308, or any other long range (300-400 yard shot) gun for deer hunting? which one?

I have a few open fields to hunt in but for the most part the bucks are staying away until dusk (naturally they are great and elusive creatures lol) but anyways I need a gun that will knock down a deer with 1 bullet from 300-400 yards and not run half a mile etc...

I live in tennessee, and bullet price doesn't matter I just would like some outside input on which gun would suit me best...the 7mm Remington 700 Mag, marlin .308 xlr i think, or any other comperable gun such as .300 winmag (not leaning towards this one though) I just need a flat shooting gun with minimal drop, I currently have a marlin 30-30 and marlin .17 hmr in the gun case

Thanks ( all suggestions appreciated) oh and what load sizes on the bullets and scope if possible, just not a scope thats more than the gun though, could be a package deal like walmart or marlin has

14 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I am a long time Alaskan hunter, trapper, long range military competition shooter and Certified Alaskan Hunter Safety Instructor.

    Your 30-30 and 17 HMR are not going to provide the marksmanship skills you need to pull off a 400 yard deer one shot kill. What you need is a rifle with enough power to do the job, and, will allow you to learn to be a good long distance shooter with it. Buy a rifle that is too powerful - you won't want to practice with it, and, you will never get good with it. This is what happens to people who only own one rifle - 7mm Mag, 300 Win Mag etc beat the crap out of them and when push comes to shove they cannot pull off a decent shot.

    My longest 243 Win shot was a Sitka Blacktail at 635 yards on Kodiak Island, Alaska back in 1996. Entered just behind the left ear and exited the nose - perfect head shot with no meat loss. I spent allot of time with that rifle on a 2,000 yard range the year before. Upside to the 243 - you can use it on smaller varmints like fox, coyote and wolf and not damage the hide.

    I use the 308 for winter caribou and military competition. It works just as good as the 243 from 100 to 400 but better than the 243 in 400 to 600. 308 ammo is easier to find and has allot more slection of bullet if you reload.

    The 308 and 243 - and similar sized calibers - are the best choice for the guy who only wants to own one high caliber rifle. With the right scope, load, and practice you can easily put five rounds in the size of a dime at 400 yards with these guns. I know lots of people who can do this. Give the same guys a 300 Win Mag and they are all over the place.

    My Fall and bear country rifle is a 338Win Mag.

    You do not need magnum power for a deer at 400 yards. It's when you start looking at elk and moose you need the extra power. Some of the new Winchester and Ruger short magnums could be a good choice for you - just that ammo is hard to find, and unless you reload there is zip for selection.

    Hope this helps. You cna email me questions.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I love my 7mm Mag, I dont really love the damn near $50 a box for the Hornady's I shoot, but I love the gun. I actually dropped 2 does last week with neck shots at about 150 yards. No meat wasted. I dont have anywhere to shoot 3-400 yards, but the guy who hunts land behind me does and he normally takes a deer every season at those ranges with the same gun.

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  • 2A
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Either is fine. A 30-06 and .270 is a too. 300-400yds is the max anyone should be shooting at deer. Your 30-30 and .17 is for 100-150yds max.

    Get a nice 165gr soft point and a Nikon or Leupold scope for under 200.00 at optics planet. A 3x9x40mm should work fine.

    Source(s): z
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  • Cubby
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I hunt with a 30.06 and have taken deer out to 450 yards with it with 150 gr. bullets, one shot. Where I hunt now I have easily taken deer at 250 to 280 yards, one shot. My buddy has a .308 and he says he wouldn't even think about taking those shots.

    By the way I reload my own shells and I have a good supply of the old Herter's Swedish Banana Peels, 150 gr.. They expand like the Winchester Silver Tips.

    Good luck in finding a suitable size rifle.

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  • larry
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Accurate bullet placement at that 400 yds is the key. As you specified deer only, a 270 with the 130 grain load will have plenty of power and accuracy at that distance, with modest recoil to not screw up your aim too much. Get a good trigger job.

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  • randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    everyone has a favorite. For me, it is the .270 winchester. It is one of the flattest shooting cartridges out there. Just ask Jack O'Connol, the father of the .270. He hunted every continent with one. I have used mine for black bear, elk, mule deer, white tail deer, antelope, hog and varmints. My load is a 150grain sierra boat tail SP and with it, it shoots farther,faster and flatter than the 30-06 with 160 grain. 300-400 yards is not difficult at all with tit, my longest shot on a game animal was a bull elk at 600 yards.

    I switched to the .270 over 30 years ago, and have never looked back.

    shoot safe

    Source(s): Retired Police Officer NRA certified police firearms instructor Competition shooter (ret) Avid hunter since age 9 with: Archery Black powder firearms Handguns Modern rifles Shotguns Trained at S&W, COLT and GLOCK Armorer schools I specialize in building 1911 pistols and AR 15 rifles And ran a gun shop for many years SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM. “If you want peace, prepare for war”
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  • mack_9
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    A .243 has enough energy out to 300 yds. Either the 7mm mag, or .308, or .30-06 are sufficient out to 400 yds. You will have to compensate for bullet drop beyond about 250 yds unless you sight in at 350 yds or so instead of the standard 2" high at 100 yds or at 200 yds. If you do sight in at 350 yds, you will shoot over a deer at 100 yds without compensation. My son has a mil-dot scope on his deer hunting rifle. At 440 yds with his .243 sighted in at 100 yds, you hold 1 1/2 dots high. A .308 should only have slightly more drop.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The 7mm Remington Magnum and the .308 Winchester are excellent deer hunting cartridges and possess good accuracy when you want to make those long distance shots.

    Source(s): I hunt deer with my .308 rifle
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  • 1 decade ago

    You'll find that 7mm08 will actually shoot a little flatter than 308, without wasting all the propellant in the magnum. And the good old-fashioned 270 Winchester will do quite nicely, as well. TN hunting, even if it's across fields, tends not to be that tough, except that TN hunters tend to shoot up too many 2-year-olds, leaving fewer mature bucks for serious hunters.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Stick with a cartridge choice that's common...... .270, .308 and 30-06 are perfect...... Forget .300 Win Mag -- Your not on an African Safari --- those 3 calibers I mentioned are fine...

    300- 400 yards?....

    The clear choice is 30-06.......

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