Cartridge for new hunter

nltr

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Apr 28, 2022
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Looking for some input here, which I know has been debated over and over. We’re looking to buy a rifle for a new smaller frame shooter (5’4”). I’d like to buy a tried and true cartridges that is not likely to “go out of style”. Not interested in 6.5 Creedmoor or 6.5 PRC.

Been looking at .308, .270, and .243. Thoughts? Suggestions?
 

rclouse79

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Dec 10, 2019
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I used to have a ruger .243 and a 7mm mag. My buddy wanted me to research a caliber and rifle brand for him to start hunting. My research led me to sell both guns and buy a .270 tikka for myself. I shoot a 130 grain Barnes ttsx for everything. It is super accurate and has worked perfectly for mule deer, black bear and elk. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I am sure there are lots of other good choices out there as well.
 

Deywalker

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Sep 18, 2021
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Just to save others the trouble, I'll start with it:
other than the .223 I would look at 6 Creedmoor or .243
 
OP
nltr

nltr

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What's the game species?

For deer, the 243 has been popular for decades. Bigger stuff? .308 or 270WIN have been there and done that.
Definitely deer, and antelope, possibly black bear. It would be nice to have something for elk also, but isn’t a requirement. .243 has been at the top of the list so far.
 

Tuckermt

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When my wife was first getting started hunting, we went with a ruger American youth model in .308 as she is only 5’2”. We went with this because we wanted a 30 caliber that didn’t kick too hard and a cheaper rifle in case hunting didn’t turn into a lifetime hobby for her. Where we live and hunt, we can shoot deer, elk, and bears, and this gun has killed all three very well.
 
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nltr

nltr

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Joined
Apr 28, 2022
Messages
21
I used to have a ruger .243 and a 7mm mag. My buddy wanted me to research a caliber and rifle brand for him to start hunting. My research led me to sell both guns and buy a .270 tikka for myself. I shoot a 130 grain Barnes ttsx for everything. It is super accurate and has worked perfectly for mule deer, black bear and elk. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I am sure there are lots of other good choices out there as well.
I’m in a similar situation right now. I’ve got a 7mm mag and didn’t even look at a .270. Wishing I would have now. However, my father in law, who’s a big reloader, pretty much only reloads 7mm for rifle, so they had a big influence on my choice.

All said, I love shooting the 7mm. The Tikka is lights out.
 
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nltr

nltr

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Apr 28, 2022
Messages
21
When my wife was first getting started hunting, we went with a ruger American youth model in .308 as she is only 5’2”. We went with this because we wanted a 30 caliber that didn’t kick too hard and a cheaper rifle in case hunting didn’t turn into a lifetime hobby for her. Where we live and hunt, we can shoot deer, elk, and bears, and this gun has killed all three very well.
Thanks for the reply. Did she get trigger shy at all from the kick? That’s one thing we’re both trying to avoid.
 

Mighty Mouse

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For a smaller new shooter, I'd go with either a 308 with reduced recoil ammo or a 243. A 308 would give you more ammo versatility down the road if/when he/she gets comfortable enough to shoot full power loads and heavier bullet weights.
 

AZ_Hunter_2000

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Never understood why some feel the need to dictate what cartridge “small framed” people in their lives should use. Let the individual decide as we are all different.

I know manly men that are recoil intolerant, small framed individuals that are recoil tolerant, and vice versa. However that is in the real world and not in the realm of Rokslide.

It is easy to use low recoil ammo, a Limbsaver recoil pad, a properly fitted rifle, proper training, and/or suppressor and the cartridge becomes less critical.

But the proposed options are interesting. The 308 and 270 have about double the recoil of the 243 (depending on recoil table of choice). The 25-06 and 7mm-08 are “better” choices from a recoil perspective but aren’t on your list. The Swede has been around forever, you get super elite membership to the WKR club, and the recoil levels are pretty good; sorry that’s a 6.5 so no bueno.
 

TheGDog

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If you do go with the .308... sounds like you may want to consider using the 130gr Barnes TTSX to reduce recoil. It has very similar numbers to 6.5 Creedmor. Just slightly less oomph at the longer ranges due to a lesser BC of .350, if long-range is you're thing but I'm betting it's not for this application.

Realistically I'd say get her a .243 Win and that will be her one-and-done. Plus they have a lot of great lighter projectile loads for varmint/predators.

If I didn't just have to cough-up $2K to replace my single-speed pool pump that finally bit the dust, I was gonna consider going either .243 Win or 6.5cm for my next rifle so that my 15yo son could carry that when and if both of us go out together. And solo I'd likely just carry that.

But before I do I'm gonna give these 130gr 308's a try for a bit. My mistake was just getting into hunting 2014, I bought the .308 so I'd ensure ammo availability, (SoCal here, they make us go thru FFL, GRR!!) and because taking a black bear is definitely on my bucket list. Not knowing as much then, I knew for sure a .308 would take a bear. AND I bought the 168gr TTSX's because of that possibility. I don't particularly care for shooting those 168's. I've gotta lotta wear and tear from weights plus 2-wheeled sports on joints/discs.

Those heavy .308's you won't really notice as bad in the heat of the moment with adrenalin and such... BUT.. OMMFG.. if shooting prone while practicing? I have to tapout after about 40shots because of how my collarbone is very tented so the buttstock rests upon only about a Quarters-worth of surface area right upon my jacked up collarbone when prone. And starts to really smart after awhile. I know this is sort of a special case scenario... but now that I've started doing a lot more hunting with my .223 Rem for coyotes and stuff, I find myself really enjoying the milder recoil and not very loud report of the smaller cartridge. Hence the reason I'm trying to decide tween .243win and 6.5cm. I've been trying to observe the trends in ammo availability around here in these here "city-fied" parts I live in, hehe. In an attempt to determine if the .243 will stick around in my neck of the woods.
 

AZ_Hunter_2000

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Tongue in cheek

Only on Rokslide: women can give birth but somehow cannot handle a bit of recoil.
 

TheGDog

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If you do go with the .308... sounds like you may want to consider using the 130gr Barnes TTSX to reduce recoil. It has very similar numbers to 6.5 Creedmor. Just slightly less oomph at the longer ranges due to a lesser BC of .350, if long-range is you're thing but I'm betting it's not for this application.

Realistically I'd say get her a .243 Win and that will be her one-and-done. Plus they have a lot of great lighter projectile loads for varmint/predators.

If I didn't just have to cough-up $2K to replace my single-speed pool pump that finally bit the dust, and HAVE to buy the newer style and more expensive variable-speed pumps (CA, so enviro-nazis here, Grrr) I was gonna consider going either .243 Win or 6.5cm for my next rifle so that my 15yo son could carry that when and if both of us go out together. And solo I'd likely just carry that.

But before I do I'm gonna give these 130gr 308's a try for a bit. My mistake was just getting into hunting 2014, I bought the .308 so I'd ensure ammo availability, (SoCal here, they make us go thru FFL, GRR!!) and because taking a black bear is definitely on my bucket list. Not knowing as much then, I knew for sure a .308 would take a bear. AND I bought the 168gr TTSX's because of that possibility. I don't particularly care for shooting those 168's. I've gotta lotta wear and tear from weights plus 2-wheeled sports on joints/discs.

Those heavy .308's you won't really notice as bad in the heat of the moment with adrenalin and such... BUT.. OMMFG.. if shooting prone while practicing? I have to tapout after about 40shots because of how my collarbone is very tented so the buttstock rests upon only about a Quarters-worth of surface area right upon my jacked up collarbone when prone. And starts to really smart after awhile. I know this is sort of a special case scenario... but now that I've started doing a lot more hunting with my .223 Rem for coyotes and stuff, I find myself really enjoying the milder recoil and not very loud report of the smaller cartridge. Hence the intrigue about .243/6.5
 
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