12 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 06/02/2002
Posts: 4
Rifle selection

I am new to big game hunting and need advice on rifle selection. I have a .243 and a 7mm Rem. Mag. Can shhot both well. Any suggestions? Shots will be within 300 yards. Also which grain shell. Thanks in advance

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Rifle selection

newbie, since you posted in the antelope, mule, and whitetail lists; I assume that you want to know which (243 or 7mm) is best for all three animals.

In my experience, the 243 with nosler bullets has been fine for all deer and antelope. As a matter of fact my first big game hunt was for a pronghorn with a 243.

The 7mm, in my opinion, isn't necessary for the antelope. Make a bad shot with that 7mm on an antelope and you will destroy a lot of good meat. But it could be used for the deer. A good shot is advised on the deer too. :smile:

The 243 should be fine out to at least 500 yards, assuming a good shot. The 7mm will give you more distance, although I haven't hunted with one much, so I wouldn't know exactly.

Now if you go for elk, you might get by with the 243 (can you say head/spinal shot?) but the 7mm would be a more "ethical" choice.

Offline
Joined: 06/02/2002
Posts: 4
Rifle selection

Bitmasher
Thanks for the information. I think I will use the .243 for both deer and pronghorn and reserve the 7mm for elk. By the way I may be in the market for a new rifle soon and was wondering what you would recommend. If I use the 7mm for elk, what do you believe is the best caliber for antelope and deer or maybe just deer as I will use the .243 for antelope? Thanks again for your input.

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Rifle selection

I use a 100 grain bullet with the 243 and 85 hollowpoint for coyotes. The only 243 I have ever used is a Winchester (and it has been a good rifle). I don't know much about other makes of 243, but I recommend the Winchester.

Not much help with the 7mm either (as far as models go). I have just shot friend's 7mms at the target range, but not while hunting.

If you do use the 7mm for elk, then go for a heavier bullet (175) grain. Some people won't even think about hunting elk with anything less than a .308 (30-06) which get up to around 220 grain bullets.

Hope the info helps...

Offline
Location: wellsville,ny
Joined: 09/07/2002
Posts: 35
Rifle selection

I guess the big thing is, SHOOT,SHOOT,SHOOT! know where your rifle hits, at all ranges, get used to ACCURATELY estimating ranges or buy a laser rangefinder. The bullet will most likely do it's job, if it is put in the right spot. As far as rifle? I love the Remington 700's, and put a Leupold scope on top.Caliber? your .243 will put a hurtin' on deer sized game, no problem. I prefer a .300 win mag for the bigger game, but a 7mm mag is no slouch if you use the right bullet and shot placement.

2506deerslayer's picture
Offline
Location: Nebraska
Joined: 12/24/2002
Posts: 118
Rifle selection

I think everyones info is good and agree totally,, that's all I do is shoot to get good,all that makes the kill is shot placment, I know a lot of guys who shoot deer with a 22-250 and have had good luck cause they hit the vitals, if you hit a deer in the guts with a 7 mag. he will run a long ways!!!!!!

Offline
Location: Alamosa,Colorado
Joined: 01/06/2003
Posts: 8
Rifle selection

243 or the 7mm are excellent rounds what ever one you shoot best. My self cant wait til the draw I have 7 pref point for unit 82 and ther is some really big bucks. I am waiting to use my 264wm 129 gr Hornady SST, if I get lucky this year.

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Rifle selection

Good Luck Jsalsa, hope you draw out.

I hunted antelope in northwest CO years ago with success. What part of unit 82 are you targeting? South toward alamosa or north toward Poncha Pass?

Offline
Location: Alamosa,Colorado
Joined: 01/06/2003
Posts: 8
Rifle selection

Bit masher. I hunt Mt. Blanca I have applied for a antelope license for 7 years and have yet to draw for unit 82. Hopefully this will be my year. I have been waited to take one with my 264wm, seen some very nice bucks. I always hunt unit 82 mostly by the blm wood cutting areas. There is some really big bucks my dad killed a nice 4x4 that had a 34" spread. just last week I saw two bucks that had to be at least in the 44" range. I hoping I can get they shed this year.

[ This Message was edited by: jsalas68 on 2003-03-11 18:15 ]

bitmasher's picture
Offline
Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Rifle selection

Oh ok, so your down near the southern part of unit 82. Those do sound like great bucks! Good luck finding the sheds.

I think antelope are pretty neat. One year I was hunting with my Dad and my brother for antelope in unit 2. We sat on this ridge overlooking a wide basin from well before dawn. As the light came in the white game came into view and they had no idea we were there. There were probably 50 head in this basin and they were milling around in seperate smaller groups. Every once and awhile a buck would full out sprint between groups or up a draw for no reason at all and it was amazing to watch them move at full speed.

Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/27/2003
Posts: 17
Rifle selection

I am not rich so I only own one rifle. A 300 Win Mag, you don't have to load to maximum loads. Tone them down a bit and they will still be effective. That's why I chose this caliber, it is very versatile.

Related Forum Threads You Might Like

ThreadThread StarterRepliesLast Updated
Rifle selectionnewbie1906/14/2004 12:09 pm
New to hunting looking for advise on Rifle selectionNewbienCal4404/04/2013 17:14 pm
Help... First RifleTETAGOUCHER708/07/2006 16:03 pm
My new toy! What do you think?hoser902/27/2006 10:35 am
Arrow Selectioncomulies09203/30/2010 10:07 am