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Hunting & Fishing Ground >> .338 for deer?

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1/4/09 12:08 PM
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GaydarBlane
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I was thinking about taking up hunting a little bit, but I really don't have any rifles for anything other than small game. I wanted to get a versatile big game rifle. I've heard 338's are the best big game rifle for North America, but is it overkill for deer? Even with 180 grain cartridges? I'd prefer to only have to get 1 rifle for anything I'd hunt.
1/5/09 10:23 AM
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wheeels
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overkill for deer, unless you are shooting them at long range :)

you might want to check out a .300 RUM (rem ultra mag).. they offer ammo in 3 stages (power levels).

Otherwise just go with a 30-06, 300 winmag, 7mm, etc
1/5/09 3:42 PM
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Robert Wynne
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 ^agreed
1/5/09 4:18 PM
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GaydarBlane
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Even with 180 grain cartridges? I wanted to be able to hunt moose and possibly elk, but I didn't want to have a separate rifle for everything.
1/5/09 8:40 PM
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wheeels
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you're assuming that you're going to get accuracy with 180 grainers from a .338.. that might not be the case.

like I said, the 300 rum is more what you're looking for.. the 3 stages are equivalent to 30-06, 300 winmag, 300 ultra mag.. I'm not overly fond of the 300rum as it's inefficient.. but I'm nitpicking.

a 30-06 or 7mm mag will drop an elk/moose with no problems with a properly placed shot. Remember more Moose have been taken with a .303 British (northern Canadian natives gun of choice) than with any other caliber.

I'd recommend going with a 300 winmag. I shoot long range with mine and took a whitetail last year at 750 yards with 180's and took a mature cow Elk this year at 500 yards with the 208 grain rounds I now shoot out of it.
1/9/09 12:20 PM
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GaryG
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Chances are you're going to be hunting deer a lot more times than Elk and Moose.

While any of those calibers might work a 30-06 would be my choice.

"I'd prefer to only have to get 1 rifle for anything I'd hunt."

What's the fun in that?
1/10/09 8:00 PM
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undericeking
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The 30-06 is your best choice for the variety of different loads plus every small gas station in the land sells '.06 ammo
1/20/09 3:25 PM
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The Turkey Sandwich
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 you can't go wrong with the 30-06, or .308 for that matter.  They're likely the two most versatile big game rifles you're going to find and you don't have to worry about being over/underpowered.
2/21/09 12:18 AM
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HellfireMk
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I have a .338 Ultra Magnum (2 actually) and I've killed 2 deer with it. I used 185gr loads from Federal. Overkill? Maybe, but I didn't have to do any tracking either.

I had the same idea that GaydareBlane has. I wanted 1 rifle that I could hunt anything in North America with and not be underpowered.

.300 Ultra Magnum is also a good choice for that. Also, less powerful, but often overlooked .35 Whelen would also be a good choice.

All 3 of those cartridges are expensive though. .30-06 is a really good choice for deer and even elk with a heavier bullet and much less expensive. If hunting moose or brown bear is a legit possibility then you should get at least a .300 winmag

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