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Marginal rifle versus marginal shooting skill

I estimate my maximum accurate range that I'd be comfortable shooting at is 400 yards. My basis for this is I shot several 1-inch groups at 300 yards with my 7mm Remington Magnum, those groups inspire a lot of confidence.

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Marginal rifle versus marginal shooting skill

Yes, I agree that leaves and grass don't pose a threat.

What I was referring to though was heavier brush where the probability of hitting a small limb that is at least an eighth or half the size of the bullet is possible. True in theory a bigger bullet should do better in holding the line, but enough can go wrong shooting through a mildly obstructed view that it is just gambling, imo. With all the talk given to using wider, faster, heavier bullets for ethical reasons, it just seems a little more than ironic that the same fellow will then turn around and shoot through brush.

In my experience, it seems like every year I'm presented with a shot on game that has its vitals partially covered by brush. I mean you can still see the vital zone but you can also see little blury lines of brush when glassing them. It seems to happen more often than not.

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Marginal rifle versus marginal shooting skill

Pyrokrazy, Your response is is an excellent example of OVERestimating your Rifle's ability.
I certainly wont dispute Granddads accounts as I have the utmost respect for my elders. You can probably HIT a deer at 1/2 mile with a ton of luck but you'll never kill em.

Facts are facts and the fact is that a 150 grain 30.30 win cartridge lacks the needed minimum 1100 ftlbs to kill a Whitetail Deer out to just 200 yards. A 170 grain also lacks the killing ftlbs at 200 yards.
Couple this with the severe bullet drops of the 30.30 win and you have the recipe for a missed or, worse even, a non fatally wounded animal.
A 300 win mag 150 grain only has 1098 ftlbs at 500 yards, barely enuff to kill a whitetail deer.

Here are the facts from my Shooters Bible Ballistics charts:

30.30 win 150 grain bullet has 858 ftlbs @ 200 yards. When zeroed in at 100 yards the bullet drop at 250 yards is 16.5", at 300 yards its 28.8". Thats 2 1/2 feet of drop at 300 yards. No accounting for aiming error or windage factors.

Now a 170 grain 30.30 win bullet has only 989 ftlbs @ 200 yards, still below the minimun needed to kill a whitetail deer. When zeroed @ 100 yards the bullet drop is 17.1" at 250 yards, at 300 yards its 29.9".

I hate it that recoil hurts but thats what you'll have to learn to accept when you begin to hunt cause you'll need to start with a rifle that'll atleast allow for a kill at a decent distance. I still stick with the answer of larger calibre over lite calibre rifle that offers accurate range shooting because of recoil.
one last note: a 30.30, 30.06, .308, .300 and 7.62mm are ALL 30 calibre bullets. The difference is in the cartridge not the bullet.

[ This Message was edited by: JTapia on 2003-12-10 19:28 ]

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Marginal rifle versus marginal shooting skill

I'd say be loose in your definition of ideal deer cartridge. Any of the all-around cartridges pack plenty of wallop for whitetail deer, which are definitely not armor-plated. A 6mm, 25-06, 260, 270 Winchester, the 7mm clan, the 30-06, and 308 are ideal deer cartridges. Bigger numbers like the 7mm Remington Magnum and the 300 magnums, while they do work for long range shooting, are not ideal deer cartridges. Even when shots are likely to be 400 yards, a 270, 280, or 30-06 will do the job very nicely, and these have significantly less recoil than the 300 magnums, and are much less likely to cause the shooter to flinch.

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Marginal rifle versus marginal shooting skill

PS, the shot I killed my buck with was with a 160 grain Nosler Partition 7mm Remington Magnum bullet, it passed through bone pretty much the whole way through the deer, and exited with no expansion. That bullet was never intended to be a deer bullet, it was intended for animals 600 lbs and over. The light build of a whitetail deer was no challenge whatsoever for that bullet.

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Marginal rifle versus marginal shooting skill

The 1100lbs rule is a guideline, not an absolute fact.

According to the same "rule" you need 2100ft/lbs of energy to drop a moose, yet lots of "old-timers" back home take a moose every year with a 30/30 which only generates that kind of energy at the muzzle (if then). I admit I would never reccomend hunting moose with a 30/30, but it's hard to argue with success.

Even the other (more popular) old faithful is the .303 which barely breaks the 2100 barrier, and by 200yds is well below. I'll garuntee you that it kills thousands of moose every year.

I don't reccomend 300yd shots with a 30-30. In my humble opinion 200yds is it's limit. Too many things can go wrong after that. But I don't doubt for a second that even carrying the 500-600lbs of energy that it would kill a deer.

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Marginal rifle versus marginal shooting skill

Ok let me say that the question was which would be the best choice for a begining shooter, a lite calibre cartridge that offers accurate shots under range conditions by virtue of less recoil even though said calibre was "marginal" for deer or a large calibre cartridge that was less accurate under range conditions by virtue of larger amount of recoil.

I absolutely love my 30.30 rifle and have killed some fine deer with it.
As I stated above, there is a direct connection with distance of shot and calibre and cartridge size. At some point EVERY calibre in every cartridge becomes "marginal" for killing a deer using this law of physics.

IMO a 30.30 becomes marginal after the distance becomes greater than 150 yards. Not that it wont kill a deer out farther but only that chances of something going wrong increases with distance that the calibre and cartridge cannot overcome in and alone by itself. Other factors of the shot such as crosswinds, heavy brush and shooters state of mind only decreases the distance that the calibre and cartridge becomes "marginal".

As it has been stated here a 30.06 is acceptable out to 400 yards is a classic example of the cartridge being the deciding factor and not the calibre as both the 30.30 and the 30.06 are .30 calibre bullets.

My last post dealt entirely with the overestimating of the distance that a 30.30 is effective and not that a 30.30 is not an excellent deer cartridge when used within its limits.
I'll go to my grave believing without a doubt that most, if not all, hunters consistantly miss judge the distance of their shot, myself included. Next time you go to the range carry a 3-D deer target and set it up at the 500 yards marker and you'll be surprised at just how far 500 yards really is. Now shoot at it and hit it with 1 shot.

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