Need help

Need help

This is a discussion on Need help within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Some of my friends have been encouraging me to take up hunting. I am seriously considering it, but I don't know about what is used ...

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Thread: Need help

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Barbary's Avatar
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    Need help

    Some of my friends have been encouraging me to take up hunting. I am seriously considering it, but I don't know about what is used for deer hunting here in Kentucky. I have been looking at bolt action rifles in .308, 30-06, and 6.5x55 Swede. Help from the hunters on this forum would be appreciated, if you live and hunt in Kentucky, that would be a bonus. Thank you for your help.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I am not familiar with the conditions of Kentucky, but the 308 or 30-06 should be more than sufficient if not excessive. I am not familiar enough with the 6.5x55 Swede to comment on it.

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    I second Guantes' thoughts, but will add that the 6.5 Swede is about the best-balanced round available between .22 and .30 cal. Pretty flat shooting, plenty of oomph for deer, and mild recoil. If you don't anticipate reaching out past 300 yards, it's a great round. Ammo is not as common as the .308 and .30-06, but every Cabelas, Bass Pro and Gander Mtn has it. I like my '06, but a Swede is on the wish list. I actually started looking at the .257 Roberts, but the Swede does all the "Bob" does, and more.

    The hardest part is finding a rifle chambered in it! If you have time to look around, you may score a new but discontinued Ruger M77 or Remington 700 in 6.5x55 at the back of dealer's racks. In spite of its ballistic charms, it just doesn't have the popularity of the .270 and the 7mm, so you might find one gathering dust somewhere.

    That sales pitch notwithstanding, you can't go wrong with the .308 or .30-06, and if you go that route you will be pretty set for any North American game that wouldn't want you for dinner.
    Smitty
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  4. #4
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    The 6.5x55 is an excellent deer caliber especially if you reload for it. 140gr no problem. It's my go-to deer rifle here in Arkansas and has never failed me yet (twice on the game). If it's a cost issue....by all means, don't rule it out. I've personally never seen the need for a 30-06 even though some of my friends have used it effectively on game. The .308win is another good one that I like ballistics wise. If you're getting into a bolt action for the first time, you might look into reloading and save your brass! The 6.5 will be harder to come by than the 30-06 or the .308. The .308 will be cheaper on ammo if you can't support it reloading. Nothing wrong with the 30-06 though.........

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    I am not familiar with the conditions of Kentucky, but the 308 or 30-06 should be more than sufficient if not excessive. I am not familiar enough with the 6.5x55 Swede to comment on it.
    I've hunted all over United States. I'm with Guantes on this.
    A CCW is like a parachute; if you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again.

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    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of the .270. But it's hard to go wrong with a 30-06 either. They'll both take deer. A good shot should take one of your elk too.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

    "Our houses are protected by the good Lord and a gun. And you might meet 'em both if you show up here not welcome son." Josh Thompson "Way Out Here"

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    It depends on the platform for me.

    If I was going to use a Bolt Action I'd favor a .308 if my game was no larger than an Elk. If going for Buffalo then I'd up the ante and get the 30-06, if I didn't use something larger than that.

    If however you want to use an AR platform I'd look hard at the 6.5 Grendel. I'm fast becoming a fan of the round, and the AR platform for hunting applications. It will be a little "light" on elk, but will be fine for deer. Lots of elk have been taken with .243 and .270 caliber rifles.

    Biker

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    The 6.55x55 is a fine caliber for hunting deer or pretty much anything else you might find in Kentucky. The bullets have high sectional density and ballistic coefficients. Soft recoil considering the terminal effects. Finding a rifle chambered in it is an issue. Ammo is harder to find than 308 or 30-06. 308 is good for hunting as well and ballistically very similar to the 30-06 until you get into the heavier 30-06 rounds. The 30-06 has been taking pretty much everything in the lower 48 for over 100 years.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Can't go wrong with either a .308 or an '06.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbary View Post
    Some of my friends have been encouraging me to take up hunting. I am seriously considering it, but I don't know about what is used for deer hunting here in Kentucky. I have been looking at bolt action rifles in .308, 30-06, and 6.5x55 Swede. Help from the hunters on this forum would be appreciated, if you live and hunt in Kentucky, that would be a bonus. Thank you for your help.
    Not sure why this has not been mentioned. It is required depending on your age but the courses are useful for all new hunters of any age.
    If you are new to hunting, I would recommend that you attend Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Hunter safety education class. Not only will you learn about safe and legal hunting, you will be able to talk with experienced instructors and volunteers who will be more than helpful in suggesting the right firearm.
    http://www.kdfwr.state.ky.us/
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    The availability of the Swede ammo and bullet choice would be the only concerns for me. I don't care for unusual ammo that the factories only produce in a limited selection of bullets. If you reload, then it's game on, as I like to tinker with different loads. I'm not familiar with the Swede, but if you have intentions of ever hunting bigger game, you might wish to consider the larger calibers.

    Back in '76, I chose the .30-06 over the .308 for the simple basis of it can handle a heavier bullet, up to 220 grains (with the faint hope of hunting the big stuff in AK). That bullet would have to be seated too deep for the .308 to be effective. Having made that choice, I've never loaded heavier than 200 grains. The ballistics between the two are close enough to be called "relatively" identical.

    I loaded every thing from 130 grn HPs to 200 grn spitzers in the .30-06 and all have performed very well, on ground squirrels to moose. I will still give the edge, however slight, to the .30-06, but either of the 30s will perform well on deer if you put rounds on target.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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  12. #12
    Member Array Striker543's Avatar
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    I've got a Remington 700 in 30-06 and am very happy with it. It groups less than an inch at a hundred yards every time. They can be picky on what ammo they like though. For example, when I first got it, it grouped Fusion great. Then, one day after it sat in the safe during the off season, I took it out to sight it in and it would barely hit the paper with fusion, let alone group. I put winchester in and it went back to 1" groups. Now, it shoots Remington Core Lock'd great. In fact, my dad and his friend both have M700's and have experienced the same issues with the gun being picky about ammo. Some seem to be more picky than others.

    I would recommend the 30-06 for several reasons: 1) It's versatile - aside from deer, theres plenty else that it's big enough to ethically harvest (including elk)
    2) It's common - you should have no trouble finding ammo, and in a wide array of options at that
    3) It's reasonably priced - I saw one at walmart the other day for around $400. Keep in mind however that you're going to want to put a good scope on it. Everyone has their own opinions, but I think the Leupold VX-3 3.5-10x50mm is a great scope for a great price (still expensives, but not the $1,000+ Swarovski's). It has great low light vision, and since you often see the biggest bucks in the first and last 10 minutes of the day, having a good scope for low light conditions is a necessity.

    A .270 is a great round too, just not as versatile in the sense that you're going to want a bigger gun if you hunt game bigger than deer sometime in the future. Personally though, I like to resist the hype of all these new and specialty calibers and stick with the basic's (.270, 30-06, .308, etc.).

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I am from and live here in kentucky and am an avid deer hunter. The 30-30 is the only deer cartridge needed here. I usually hunt with an open sighted hand gun. The conditions here range from rolling wooded terrain to hilly thick terrain. There are many open areas, but most of that is pasture land, and a 270 or even 243 will work better here. But you will more than likely find yourself in thick brushy, steep forrested areas where the advantages of a scoped bolt gun are not utilized. I have never seen the need for anything more than a good 30-30, scope optional. Most shots are under 60 yards, with the farthest being 150 in the eastern part of the state.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    Also, minute of paper plate at 100 yards is accurate enough for white tail deer, although even a properly tuned 30-30 will do 1-2 inches at that range. Don't listen to nimrods who tell you that you need a 7mm mag with the Hubble telescope on it for deer hunting. Also a 30-30 is good for any animal in north America, once you get proficient with it.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Cuda66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    The availability of the Swede ammo and bullet choice would be the only concerns for me. I don't care for unusual ammo that the factories only produce in a limited selection of bullets. If you reload, then it's game on, as I like to tinker with different loads. I'm not familiar with the Swede, but if you have intentions of ever hunting bigger game, you might wish to consider the larger calibers.

    Back in '76, I chose the .30-06 over the .308 for the simple basis of it can handle a heavier bullet, up to 220 grains (with the faint hope of hunting the big stuff in AK). That bullet would have to be seated too deep for the .308 to be effective. Having made that choice, I've never loaded heavier than 200 grains. The ballistics between the two are close enough to be called "relatively" identical.

    I loaded every thing from 130 grn HPs to 200 grn spitzers in the .30-06 and all have performed very well, on ground squirrels to moose. I will still give the edge, however slight, to the .30-06, but either of the 30s will perform well on deer if you put rounds on target.
    Actually, the 6.5 Swede is a very capable round, and is often used to take moose in Scandanavia...and if it'll do a moose, it'll do for pretty much anything short of brown bear here in the states.

    As for ammo availability--you have a good point. Unfortunately, US shooters have never warmed to the 6.5mm round, even when it's renamed as a .260 or .264; which is too bad...

    (Yes, I have a 6.5; a Swede '96 built in 1917 that is a sweet shooter...)
    There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men.--RAH

    ...man fights with his mind; the weapons are incidental.--Jeff Cooper


    There is a reason they try and make small bullets act like big bullets--Glockmann10mm

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