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Thread: Deer legal

  1. #1

    Deer legal

    This may have been discussed before, but am I the only one that thinks that a smaller calibre rifle (I am thinking of my .223) is a better option for Roe in the sub 150 yd woodland environment?

    I ask because I took one recently with my .308 and nearly blew the animals shoulder off. I have started taking my .243 out but am led to believe, with it being a much faster round, it will create the same, if not greater, damage. Your thoughts please.


  2. #2
    In order to kill an animal you need to create tissue damage. I would sooner it was down and dead quick and I lost 1 shoulder than running off in pain.


  3. #3



    However you bend it the damage is a thing to live with unless you are just going to take a handfull of deer each season & want to be hyper critical of 100% broadside rib to rib shots at under120m.

    We all know in the real world that there are alot of variables with hunting & they stand quatering on or away, not just quite right or to far for a safe humaine neck shot.

    The 308 is dropping them cleanly than I would continue to use it & prehaps look at a bullet change in order to cause less damage.

    We process up to 20 bodies a week ay the moment & see most types of damage having been shot with many different rounds & the round that causes consistently low damage is 6.5x55mm.

    I shoot 243, 270wsm & 30/06 & Ian shoots 7x64mm & quite often the 243 will cause more damage than the others if a shoulder bone has been hit by the bullet.

    Regards Lee

  4. #4

  5. #5
    When I was a kid it was common to use army issue FMJ on duiker in South Africa. Saved meat and there where plenty trackers available.
    Nowadays especially in densly populated Europe one must be much more discrete and put em down quick. No good having a wounded deer running onto neighbours land or crossing the main road. If one manages to avoid a leg or shoulder, then the meat loss is mostly not bad even with a 308 soft point.
    How about a 22-250 for roe, just has a bit more punch than a 223. But you'll also have meat damage.
    Less damage = more chance of a runner.

  6. #6

    Deer legal

    Hugh, over the years I have used a .243 and then a 6.5x55. I have found that some heart shots produce a lot of meat damage and the next one shot at a similar angle has little. Sections of rib flying through the body don't help but as others have mentioned, better to be down than running.
    Velocity has a lot to do with meat damage and someone said before "Let the bullet spend some time in the animal".

  7. #7
    I agree with Techman, but also the type of head you are using will have the most affect, some bullets are designed for rapid expansion and these would create the most damage to a carcass, I would say a 22-250 from my experience makes a hell of mess! But we were using v-max heads so no surprise.

    Unless youíre neck shooting then meat damage is par of the course and there is no way around it. As you know from each gralloch you do there is always a different amount of damage regardless of bullets and angles etc, thatís nature itís not predictable!!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by clivecleaver
    Unless you’re neck shooting then meat damage is par of the course and there is no way around it.
    Quote Originally Posted by ejg
    Less damage = more chance of a runner.
    Maybe people should read the link I posted.

  9. #9
    I am NOT CONDONING OR SUPPORTING neck shooting Iím just pointing a out a fact, if you shoot something in the neck then there would be far less meat damage to the important cuts.

  10. #10
    I think Lee has put it best, with cup-and-core bullets it is sometime neccessary to experiment a bit before the right bullet bullet is found, both in terms of accuracy and terminal effect.

    I use 30 cal BTSP speers at 308 velocities in my 06 but found the expansion on rather small animals, a CWD and fox so not exactly a statistically significant sample, was a bit much.

    I checked on speer's own site and found that they make the boat-tails a bit softer than their standard hot-core bullets as they envisage that people will be using them at longer ranges, with attendant reduced impact velocities.

    I will be trying a gamekings and interbonds pushed to about the same velocity to see if that reduces the meat damage.



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