Yeti

The perfect "deer/varmint" gun for American shooters?

Don Fischer

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Well reality is on his list of animals, if it were legal, theres not one animal on it that could not be taken cleanly with the 223 IF you did your part. Then again even the 338 Mag would not be overkill for any of them either IF you do your part. John Jobson wrote about over kill years ago. It is when the earth is scorched for 20 mi around where the target was standing. Under kill, dead is dead no matter what you shot it with. Everything about shooting cartridges and equitment is a matter of preference! I have a 308, used one for a lot of years. Never shot a gopher with it though! Or a moose for that matter but use it right and either animal is going down right where it stands!
 

MarvB

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I think Mr. Tom is kind of humorous; he’s not combative and gives a little but takes a lot 😬.

Something to do in the shoulder season, akin to calling bowling a “sport” 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Don Fischer

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I think I already posted here but don't remember. Looked at the OP's list and it occurred to me there is another normal mistake. he ask's about the perfect deer varmint gun. Does he mean gun or cartridge? Seem's it's cartridge! Right answer depends on who you are and your experience with different cartridges and guns! Could also depend on where you hunt I suspect a lot might think but, a 300 mag will not kill a deer any deader in Oregon than a 30-30 will. So I guess it also depends on how you hunt were ever you hunt. You like bolts, pumps, single shot, semi autos! Any could be perfect depending on the person. I'm a bolt guy. Every rifle I have except a 22 RF is a bolt! I think I've had a number of different bolt actions in different cartridges that could easily fill this bill so my though is the perfect rifle/cartridge boils down to who's using it! My favorite would have a barrel length of 22" max, I like the way they balance in my hands. And would probably pick a cartridge based on the 308 case. For sight's one of two scope's wither a fixed 22 3/4x or a 2-7 variable, could deal with either. Love my 25-06 but much more than I need for deer and varmints. probably narrowed to one gun, I wouldn't shoot a lot of them except in practice. Of what I have right now I'd either go with my 243 which I actually think there are better choices but none that kill any deader, or more likely my 6.5x55. The 6.5x55 seems to me to have a good bullet advantage to the 24's and 25's. In my 243 about the only reasonable deer bullet's, I think are from 87gr to 100gr. In the 6.5x55 from 120gr to I think about 156gr. The 100gr 24 cal bullet and the 156gr 6.5 bullet will both work on sage rats with good bullet placement! :) If for some unknown reason an elk hunt came along I have killed three with my 6.5x06 and 140gr Hornady Interlock and would bet the 6.5x55 would also.

Of course if you prefer something other than one of those, you too may be absolutely right! John Jobson wrote years ago there's no such thing as over kill unless the earth is scorched for 20 mi around. If you can handle the recoil, any cartridge will work. Up in Montana years ago I had a 338 Win mag. Shot 225gr Hornadys SP out of it. had to shoot is quite a bit to be able to handle the recoil so shot it a lot at gophers, killed them fairly dead. Even took it out for deer one time and darn near had the scorched earth effect. Hit the shoulder and darn near split the deer into two pieces. That ended that and went back to my 308 and 7x57! Long as the rifle feels good to you and the cartridge can kill the game and you can handle the recoil most anything will work. All personal opinion!
 

ImBillT

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50bmg? Why hunt in a state that won’t allow it? No such thing as overkill. Americans know bigger is better. The perfect thing for big stuff and small stuff is obviously whatever kills the big stuff the best. The small stuff will just be deader, and perhaps pre-tenderized. If you want to save hides, there is no FMJ as deadly as a .50cal FMJ.

If you’re gonna be a looser, snowflake and hunt somehwere that won’t allow a 50BMG, the answer used to lie somewhere between a .243 and a .25-06. Someone came out with the 6.5CM, and despite seeming to be just about right, it will only kill paper. Go figure.
 

Don Fischer

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Perfect deer/varmint gun depends on who you are! Years ago I had a 338 Win Mag I used to shoot gophers with. Reason was if I didn't shoot it a lot, handling the recoil was almost impossible! Killed a lot of gopher's and a few deer with it, pretty hard on the deer! Then I like my 243's but I view them as varmint cartridges. Better cartridges in my opinion for deer. And if all I had was a 223 and freezer was MTY I guarantee you it will do a first class job on a deer, but then again so will a 22 LR! If you simply don't shoot all that well probably any cartridge can give you a problem! If you do shoot well and understand bullet placement, most any cartridge will work.
 
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