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Thread: Calibre to shoot deer.

  1. #1

    Calibre to shoot deer.

    Can anyone tell me what calibre you use to shoot deer.
    I had thought 243 but my FEO said that some estates wouldn't accept that and to use a 308.
    I don't want to buy a gun and find I can't use it.
    Is it true that you can use 223 to take roe in Scotland but not in England and why?

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Nairn, Inverness-shire
    A .243 is legal with 100gr for taking all deer species in UK, what is your intended species?

    I have not heard of the .308 clause on Estates before.....So long as it's legal, shouldn't be a problem. I know some would PREFER something larger, for example, if you are shooting Thetford Reds at 350lbs, obviously a larger caliber would be "More Gun". If you are only going to have 1 rifle, then I'd go for a .30 Calibre, purely for the reason it will chuck 110gr upto 180gr bullets and you can shoot Boar with it, some places specify a .30 Cal, although .270 is the minimum.

    Yes, in Scotland you can use a .22 CF to shoot Roe, so long as you are using 50gr or heavier. Why? It's legal. In England you can shoot Munty and CWD with a .22 CF BUT NOT Roe. Why, that's what the Law stated.

    Position and hold must be firm enough to support the firearm
    The firearm must point naturally at the target without any undue physical effort
    Sight alignment (aiming) must be correct
    The shot must be released and followed through without disturbing the position

  3. #3
    The only cases of estates not allowing the .243 that I'm aware of are in Scotland where for long range shooting for reds on the hill some estates prefer the knock down power or the .270 and .30 derivatives and do not allow the .243 but having said that a lot of professional deer managers are quite happy with using a .243 themselves.

    I've never come across an estate in England or Wales not allowing a .243 as at the shorter ranges it is a very destructive cartridge and the guy I stalked Devon reds with (every bit as big as the Thetford big boys) was quite happy with me using my .243 as I could group within 1" at 100 metres and most importantly I am comfortable with it.

    Having said that I absolutely agree with TJ that if you are going for one rifle and intend to shoot reds or boar you'd be better off with a .308 or .30-06 as they're OK for everything.

  4. #4
    I suggest you buy a good book on starting stalking, I can think of no better than Lewis Potter's Deer Stalking And Management, or buy the DSC1 Handbook. They will answer all your questions and more.

    Bear in mind what species your Firearms Department will let you use your centrefire for. In West Mercia the largest calibre they allowed me for a first rifle for deer and fox was a 6.5x55, I now have a larger calibre rifle for both deer and fox as well as the 6.5. Not all Firearms Departments will issue the Home Office & ACPO guidelines of "any other lawful quarry" as a condition on your FAC, a lot make up their own conditions. Or perhaps you only want to shoot deer? Just remember that a keeper/ghillie/stalker may take it kindly if you rid him of a fox, and if you do not have this on your FAC conditions you will be in breach of the law if you were to oblige him.

    Unfortunately not all firearms departments use the same standard or sing from the same hymn sheet, but if your FEO is willing for you to have a .308, and will give you AOLQ, I can think of no finer calibre than the .308, other than (perhaps) the 30-06. You will have to ask him to explain the policy which his department goes by for the quarry you want to shoot before making your purchase/calibre choice.

    As for the difference in law between Scotland & England on calibres for shooting roe, who knows??!! There is no sense in it whatsoever! .222 is the effective minimum for roe in Scotland, and for CWD and Muntjac in England.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  5. #5
    I do believe that BDS had a hand in the centre fire ,22 argument. The law was up for review and we are allowed CWD and Muntjac south of thhe border but BASC made representations to the relevant comitte to keep iit at .240 for Roe. No sense?
    Well have a think about where your membership fees go next time. I left BASC as they cost us the right to use 6.54 on Boar by a comittee decision that made its way into Home Office guidance. Its not even law yet they can revoke your ticket for not breaking a law but a reasonable (in their eyes) condition.

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