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Varmint/deer caliber selection....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 14:02
Leonard View Drop Down
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Hey everyone i will soon be purchasing my first centerfire rifle: a marlin xl7/xs7. I really like the looks of this rifle but i can't decide on the caliber. I got some great help from you guys on the scope decision and i know that i posted that i wanted a .25-06 then but i have rethought that and this is how i stand. I will probably use it for some varmint hunting and i want to get into deer hunting also. The cailbers i'm looking at are
.243 winchester- this looks like a great cartridge for varminting but i'm just not sure if it has enough power for a beginner deer hunter
.25-06 remington- i also like the looks of this one but i am a little worried about the availabilty of factory ammo for it since i don't reload
.270 winchester-i am leaning slightly towards this one as it has plently of power for deer but can be loaded with lower power 100 gr loads for varmints however it still might be a little much even with the lighter loads
All of you thoughts/experiences would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 14:41
Johnny View Drop Down
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The 243 is supposed to be this dual purpose caliber for varmits and deer. I know many people that use it for deer hunting and it's an easy cartridge to shoot well. IMHO you need two rifles!
The 270 would be great for deer and shootable for varmits with 100 grain bullets. It has too much muzzle blast for alot of varmit shooting in one day, I think.
You will probably shoot more at varmits than deer, so perhaps the 243 makes the most sense for you.
Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 15:00
mike650 View Drop Down
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A .243 would be great choice hunting both varmint and blacktail in Kali.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 15:18
mlv2k5 View Drop Down
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Any of the calibers mentioned would be more than adequate. If you plan on shooting A LOT at varmints, you should probably look into a specific rifle for that purpose and designate this rifle as you deer rifle in either .243 or .270. If you are only talking about occasionally shooting varmints then I would buy the .243 and be done with it. Don't let anyone tell you that you are undergunned for deer with a .243-shot placement is far more critical that rifle caliber.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 15:19
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Shouldn't have a problem finding 25-06 ammo, its alittle more expensive than .243 though.  Both are great calibers, though I feel the 25-06 leans more towards big game.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 15:49
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.25-06 no question.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 16:00
helo18 View Drop Down
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243 would fit those requirements. A 257 roberts would do great to.

I have a couple rifle for varmint hunting, but I use my 270 for varmints as well. Shoot 140 gr for deer and elk. Shoot 110 gr Vmax for varmints. Works great.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 16:02
stickbow46 View Drop Down
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+2.....25-06
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 16:07
mike650 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by helo18 helo18 wrote:

243 would fit those requirements. A 257 roberts would do great to.

I have a couple rifle for varmint hunting, but I use my 270 for varmints as well. Shoot 140 gr for deer and elk. Shoot 110 gr Vmax for varmints. Works great.



+2 on a .257 Roberts. My brother uses one while hunting for blacktail here in Kali.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 18:30
powderburn View Drop Down
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Leonard you don't really mention what kind of varmint hunting you plan on doing. Here in the east we lean towards groundhogs ( marmots) and or coyotes neither of which require high volume shooting like prairie dogs. Under these circumstances either the 243 or 25-06 s/b just fine. The 270 just seems too big to me for much varmint action and yes I have one and yes I like to varmint hunt just not with a 270. I have a 243 and have killed a couple of deer with it and both dropped like they had been hit with Thor's hammer i.e. it is plenty. I also have a 257 Roberts which is close to the 25-06 and is my all around favorite rifle. Pick out the rifle you like and don't look back as either will be fine for you. I will say the 243 will probably be cheaper to shoot if you don't reload.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 19:36
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25-06 for sure
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 21:07
pyro6999 View Drop Down
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Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

Originally posted by helo18 helo18 wrote:

243 would fit those requirements. A 257 roberts would do great to.

I have a couple rifle for varmint hunting, but I use my 270 for varmints as well. Shoot 140 gr for deer and elk. Shoot 110 gr Vmax for varmints. Works great.



+2 on a .257 Roberts. My brother uses one while hunting for blacktail here in Kali.

you all know i love the roberts, and under any other circumstance i would highly recommend it. problem with the roberts is that its not the most popular caliber out there. your chances of pulling into a shop in small town usa and them having a box of roberts shells would be slim compared to the .243 and 25-06. there are 5 places that sell ammo in the town near me with any size, i would guess that only one of them has a box of roberts ammo on hand, granted this shop carries a lot of ammo (for some reason) in odd calibers. when i first bought my 6.5rem mag i went there, they had 2 boxes of factory ammo for it. i guess there is always that exception to the rule. in general though unless you reload, you cant honestly be certain that any shop will carry roberts ammo. i started hunting big game with a pre64 m70 .257 roberts, loved  that rifle wish it was mine, i think my uncle will get it when my grandmother dies though.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 21:21
neilbilly View Drop Down
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Makes life difficult trying to do everything with one gun/scope set-up.

I know money IS an object for the majority of us. You're young enough that money is likely a huge factor in your decision. Thus far you have asked good questions, and have been really receptive. Let's look at a few things.


1.  Do you live in town or in the country? If in the country, far enough out to shoot without anyone objecting to it?

2.  How often are you going to be able to shoot?

3.  You did point out that this will be your first Centerfire rifle. How much trigger time do you have with rimfire rifles?

4.  Define varmit? Big Smile and at what range are looking to dispatch said beasties?


5.  If memory serves me, you are 14 correct? How big are you? "recoil might be an issue, as could eye relief on a scope"


Everything could line-up and you could very well get away with one gun and scope for both. The .243 is a versatile round, recoil is not bad at all,  and the most cost effective of your choices. With bullet weights ranging from 55 grains to 105 grains it can be suitable for lots of different animals. With this scope

http://swfa.com/Burris-45-14x42-Fullfield-II-Rifle-Scope-P3584.aspx  you could varmit as well as deer hunt. It's not the ideal scope for either but a decent compromise in my opinion. 







Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 21:40
Corndawg View Drop Down
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.243 - Great little round! Low recoil, just right for yote's, and don't think it won't fold a whitetail up in it's tracks.
.257 Roberts - Another fine round, but try finding them at your local Wal-Mart.
25-06 - Good deer round, a little big for varmints, but still good.
.260 - I really like this one, compact/short action.
.270 - Really good deer round, more knockdown than above listed, but I'd go smaller for splitting game like you want to do.
6mm/06 - Cool azz round, but you got to roll these yourself.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 22:11
supertool73 View Drop Down
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My dad and I have killed quite a few elk with .243s.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/17/2011 at 22:47
Roy Finn View Drop Down
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No flies on the 243 for what you are looking to do. IMO, the other rounds are a bit much for varmints.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/18/2011 at 13:32
powderburn View Drop Down
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I agree with Pyro I love my 257 Roberts but I haven't shot 3 boxes of centerfire factory ammo in the last 10 years. The Roberts while one of the best balanced cartridges out there imho is definately a reloaders gun , and there isn't anything it will do that a 25-06 can't.
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