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#2890081 - 03/16/09 Rifle for Mule Deer
Landkiller Offline
Member

Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 134
Loc: North Carolina
If you had to choose between these three for mule deer, which would it be? 7mm.Rem.Mag, 257 Wby Mag. and 25-06. I know that there are plenty others out there that will work, just curious about these three.

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#2890084 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Landkiller]
Toolelk Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/04/08
Posts: 554
Loc: Montana
Which ever one I shot the best as they are all excellent choices for Mule Deer.

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#2890097 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Toolelk]
Jordan Smith Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 7860
Loc: Calgary, AB, Canada
IMHO, 7Mag is more than is needed for any deer, and the .25-06 or .257WM would be better suited. In fact, I think the .25-06 would be ideal for mule deer. BTW, that's what I use as my mulie gun ;\)
_________________________
"Others are happy to hit the rock, or maybe the dark spot on the rock. I wanna head shoot the mite clinging to the pubes on the left nut of the fly that's sitting on the black spot on the rock."

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#2890138 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Jordan Smith]
Tturbo Offline
Member

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 77
Loc: South Okanagan
ALL OF THE ABOVE WOULD DO!
I'd say the 25-06 Fast, hard hitting and easy to shoot, but if one of either the other two is a better shooter well then there is your answer

Just my 2 cents.

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#2890151 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Landkiller]
lodgepole Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/25/05
Posts: 1011
Loc: 38 km SW of Paradise
I think the 7mm Rem Mag is the best choice because where you find muleys you often find a lot of wind and a good 160 gr. 7mm bullet bucks the wind better than anything you can shoot with the other two you mentioned.
_________________________
" A little solitude is a mighty precious thing "

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#2890243 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: lodgepole]
T_O_M Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 4371
Loc: State of Jefferson
I'd probably go with the 7mm mag.

I used to be a .25 fan. I lost a good buck well hit with a .25-'06. I found the carcass a few days later still intact enough to determine entry/exit points. It should have been DRT, or within 40-50 yards anyway, it should not have gone full-steam over a ridge 400 yards away. I lost a lot of confidence in the smaller calibers right there.

Tom
_________________________
Anyone who thinks there's two sides to everything hasn't met a M�bius strip.

Here be dragons ...

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#2890269 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: T_O_M]
olhippie Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 1736
Loc: Georgia
...A beautifully flat shooting 7mm that can be rolled up into a lighter easy carry rifle than required by the 7mm Rem Mag is the Winchester 284. The compact and efficient 284 hits with authority and shoots as flat as the 270 Winchester.

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#2890341 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Landkiller]
Eremicus Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 03/01/01
Posts: 18881
Loc: Placerville,CA,USA
It would depend on the rifles involved and, more important, how I was hunting them.
I've got a 6 lb., 14 oz. .25-284 which is ideal for back pack and rough, open country hunting done on foot. A 7mm Mag in such a light rifle wouldn't be a good choice for me. Kicks too hard, etc.
For a guy that packs a heavy rilfe, say 9-10.5 lbs., doesn't walk very far, and has lots of long range shooting under his belt, a 7mm magnum has it's adavantages. Bucks wind better, hits harder at the longest ranges, etc.
The .257 Weatherby is kind of a special case. Nothing shoots flatter. Recoils considerably less than the 7mm mags. E


Edited by Eremicus (03/16/09)

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#2890436 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Landkiller]
Mark R Dobrenski Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/19/01
Posts: 28277
Loc: Bozeman, Montana
All 3 of the rounds you mention will do you just fine. For me, it would be about which rifle they were coming in and which one felt better to me than it would be about which round.

Good luck to ya

Dober
_________________________
"True respect starts with the way you treat others, and it is earned over a lifetime of demonstrating kindness, honor and dignity"....Tony Dungy

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#2890438 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: T_O_M]
Jordan Smith Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 7860
Loc: Calgary, AB, Canada
 Originally Posted By: T_O_M
I'd probably go with the 7mm mag.

I used to be a .25 fan. I lost a good buck well hit with a .25-'06. I found the carcass a few days later still intact enough to determine entry/exit points. It should have been DRT, or within 40-50 yards anyway, it should not have gone full-steam over a ridge 400 yards away. I lost a lot of confidence in the smaller calibers right there.

Tom


Sounds like you had insufficient bullet performance, not an insufficient cartridge! ;\)
_________________________
"Others are happy to hit the rock, or maybe the dark spot on the rock. I wanna head shoot the mite clinging to the pubes on the left nut of the fly that's sitting on the black spot on the rock."

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#2890445 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Jordan Smith]
prostrate8 Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 2412
Loc: North Texas
JB would love any of them, but if yer trying to keep it a surprise; this isn't the way.
_________________________
<<<<<<<<<<<SPACE FOR RENT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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#2890494 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Jordan Smith]
T_O_M Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 11/06/07
Posts: 4371
Loc: State of Jefferson
 Originally Posted By: Jordan Smith
 Originally Posted By: T_O_M
I'd probably go with the 7mm mag.

I used to be a .25 fan. I lost a good buck well hit with a .25-'06. I found the carcass a few days later still intact enough to determine entry/exit points. It should have been DRT, or within 40-50 yards anyway, it should not have gone full-steam over a ridge 400 yards away. I lost a lot of confidence in the smaller calibers right there.

Tom


Sounds like you had insufficient bullet performance, not an insufficient cartridge! ;\)

Give or take, I guess. I can't argue it one way or the other. I don't know how to tell those apart, two possible variables, just one equation which says "this didn't work."

What I know for sure was the carcass, when the buzzards lead me to it a couple days later, had a nick on a rib on the on-side and what looked to be a 2" diameter gap on the exit side so I presume the bullet expanded. A line between the two should have intersected the aorta. 120 grain partition, just over 3000 fps at the muzzle, 150 yards or a hair less.

I've shot quite a few deer with .25-'06 and especially .257, had a couple other close calls, but that was the only definitely hit deer I ever lost and it left me sorta sick at my stomach. \:\( That was one of two times in the last 30 years I've had to sit down and seriously think about whether I really wanted to keep hunting or give it up.

Tom
_________________________
Anyone who thinks there's two sides to everything hasn't met a M�bius strip.

Here be dragons ...

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#2890528 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: T_O_M]
Carolina Shooter Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 1341
Loc: Rock Hill SC
I know exactly what you mean. That's done it for me twice....Maim deer/question my role as a hunter. Once was a mercy shot gone wrong and the second was just a poor shot choice. In either case, a deer got seriously wounded.
It's only good if the deer dies right there and quick.

I would go with the 7 mag and I practice what I preach. My other go to deer gun is a 30-06. Not saying you can't kill deer with less, but why chance it.

David
_________________________
Proverbs
- A wise man feareth, and departs from evil: but the fool rages, in confidence.
- It is honor for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will meddle.
- Mischief is as sport to a fool: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.


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#2890548 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Carolina Shooter]
ncyotecaller Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 1069
Loc: North Carolina
I would go 25-06! I have a custom Remington that shoots 60gr or RL-25 and 100gr TSX's very, very well and it hits hard. Mine has a muzzlebrake and recoil is about like a .223 and I am pushing 3500fps + with this setup.

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#2890587 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: ncyotecaller]
utah708 Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 6244
Any one of those three cartridges would work fine, as others have already pointed out. So think about the other applications for the rifle. If you want it to double for antelope, go with the 257 Roy; if it doubles as an elk gun, go with the 7mmRM.

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#2890604 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: T_O_M]
Jordan Smith Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 7860
Loc: Calgary, AB, Canada
 Originally Posted By: T_O_M

Give or take, I guess. I can't argue it one way or the other. I don't know how to tell those apart, two possible variables, just one equation which says "this didn't work."

What I know for sure was the carcass, when the buzzards lead me to it a couple days later, had a nick on a rib on the on-side and what looked to be a 2" diameter gap on the exit side so I presume the bullet expanded. A line between the two should have intersected the aorta. 120 grain partition, just over 3000 fps at the muzzle, 150 yards or a hair less.

I've shot quite a few deer with .25-'06 and especially .257, had a couple other close calls, but that was the only definitely hit deer I ever lost and it left me sorta sick at my stomach. \:\( That was one of two times in the last 30 years I've had to sit down and seriously think about whether I really wanted to keep hunting or give it up.

Tom


Sorry to hear about that. Nobody likes to lose animals, but every now and then you get either a really tough deer that runs further than it should be able to with no internal clockwork, or just bum luck with regards to bullet placement. You make what should be a good shot, only to have the bullet narrowly miss (or just graze) the lungs, heart, AND spine, and leave you with a long tracking job. I'm not sure which of the two options happened in this case, but I do know that a 120gr PT moving along at nearly 2700fps at impact is more than enough to completely destroy the contents of the boiler room.

In any case, you have to use whatever gun YOU have the most confidence with. Almost any high-powered rifle will kill deer. What matters most is where you put the bullet (and which bullet you choose!), and you have the best chance of putting the bullet in the right place when you shoot it out of the rifle you have the most confidence in.
_________________________
"Others are happy to hit the rock, or maybe the dark spot on the rock. I wanna head shoot the mite clinging to the pubes on the left nut of the fly that's sitting on the black spot on the rock."

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#2890649 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Jordan Smith]
Reba Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 08/17/06
Posts: 980
Loc: Central Coast
The way I look at is just maybe the biggest buck mule deer of anyones life time steps out at 400 yards, what would I want?

I would want to be shooting at least a 140 grain bullet at 3100 fps or better.

So of those three choices the 7 Mag wins hands down.

As stated any of them would work.
_________________________
When the tailgate drops the BS stops.

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#2890654 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: T_O_M]
HunterJim Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/29/03
Posts: 6836
Loc: Santee, CA, USA
I remember a story about a caribou hunt that Famous Gun Writer (not anyone who posts here) wrote wherein he put three bullets from his .25-'06 through the ribcage of a caribou at considerable range. He was startled that #1 and #2 did not put the beast down.

I killed my first big mulie buck in Idaho with a 7mm RM and the old screw-turned 160 gr Nosler Partition back in 19(mumble). It killed the buck right there: he was facing me and went airborne and landed on his back where he had been standing.

jim
_________________________
LCDR Jim Dodd, USN (Ret.)
"If you're too busy to hunt, you're too busy."

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#2890665 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Reba]
Jordan Smith Online   content
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 03/30/06
Posts: 7860
Loc: Calgary, AB, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Reba
The way I look at is just maybe the biggest buck mule deer of anyones life time steps out at 400 yards, what would I want?

In that case, make mine a .340 Weatherby shooting 200gr BT

Even if the biggest mulie buck in the world stepped out at 400 yards, I'd have NO hesitation about nailing him with a 100gr TSX out of the .25-06. Like I said, it's all about confidence because any of those guns will work just fine.

BTW, my first love is the 7mm Rem Mag, and my second is the .25-06, so don't think that I'm a .25-06 slut. After using the 7Mag on quite a few deer, from close to far, I've just decided that it is a lot more gun than is needed for WT and mule deer. IMO it's about perfect on elk, moose, mountain goat and bear.
_________________________
"Others are happy to hit the rock, or maybe the dark spot on the rock. I wanna head shoot the mite clinging to the pubes on the left nut of the fly that's sitting on the black spot on the rock."

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#2890666 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: HunterJim]
StrayDog Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/17/04
Posts: 5876
Loc: Texas
I have done most of my muley hunting with a 7 RM and still love it. Some guns are lighter than others, and I wouldn't want a heavy rifle. I have also used a .270 Win. they work!

All the calibers you mentioned could be fine mule deer rifles if they are not too heavy, a 25-06 will be slightly heavier than a larger caliber with the same outside barrel contour.

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#2890669 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: HunterJim]
163bc Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 08/18/03
Posts: 3304
Loc: virginia
7mm mag without a doubt for me. 163bc

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#2890682 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: 163bc]
ncyotecaller Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 11/29/08
Posts: 1069
Loc: North Carolina
I had a .340 Weatherby and that was one bad dude! Factory load with 200gr B.T at 3221fps is no joke!

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#2890683 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: 163bc]
STA Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 3574
Loc: Swamp East Missouri
I would take the 280Rem. Crap thats not a choice...lol... then make mine the 7mm mag shooting 140gr TTSX or 150gr E-Tips. \:\)
_________________________
randy..

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#2890751 - 03/16/09 Re: Rifle for Mule Deer [Re: Jordan Smith]
StrayDog Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/17/04
Posts: 5876
Loc: Texas
 Originally Posted By: Jordan Smith
 Originally Posted By: T_O_M
I'd probably go with the 7mm mag.

I used to be a .25 fan. I lost a good buck well hit with a .25-'06. I found the carcass a few days later still intact enough to determine entry/exit points. It should have been DRT, or within 40-50 yards anyway, it should not have gone full-steam over a ridge 400 yards away. I lost a lot of confidence in the smaller calibers right there.

Tom


Sounds like you had insufficient bullet performance, not an insufficient cartridge! ;\)

+1
I had a 25-06 and it liked Hornady 120 Hollow Points and they blew all the way through whitetails with ease, I am confident they would do the same on mulies.

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