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Thread: Caliber advise needed..

  1. #1

    Question Caliber advise needed..

    Hi guys,

    So I've been target shooting .22 for over 6 years now, along with occasional "hunting" with PCP and SG. I have a 170 acre permission on farmland, mostly crop fields with bunnies and pigeons but I've seen foxes and the farmer assures me he's seen deer...

    One of the fields is over a mile long, (would make a great target range), and one is in a reclaimed quarry with 30-40 foot high rock walls on 3 sides.

    The issue I have is I'm overwhelmed by the amount of different rounds/calibres available and don't know what to put on my variation.


    I can't use my target rifles for hunting. Not because of their restriction on my FAC, but because they're target rifles... Just wouldn't work. So I need a small calibre for bunnies, but maybe something a bit harder hitting/longer range than .22LR .22WMR? (I'm discounting 17HMR on the basis of what I've read here)

    I also want a CF for the bigger stuff, foxes and (phantom) deer but it'd be nice to be able to use it more regularly for bunnies without vaporising them... I know that's an expensive way to shoot bunnies, but this is a hobby for me, not a business. Can the smaller rounds like .223 be downloaded to be "bunny safe"? Is that even necessary ? Should I even be looking at .223? Maybe .22-250? .22 Hornet? To many choices...

    I would like to do some deer stalking (other than the ones allegedly on my permission) so I know I'll need a larger CF as well. .243? .308? But that is for the longer term.

    How many can I put on a single variation before the FLOs fall over laughing? The guidance states there should be no time limit before buying, but I don't want them asking why I've asked for so many rifles all at once...

    I've narrowed it down to a short list of..

    .22WMR (maybe 2 of them, bolt and SA)
    .223
    .243
    .308

    and I know I don't need all of them, but don't know which to choose. Or are there better options?

    I have other questions, but this post is long enough already..

    Thanks
    Karyn.

  2. #2
    22LR cause you might as well Reason Vermin

    17Hornet reason Fox (and use for long range bunnies )

    Deer anything you like over .243" (std ones like .243 or .308 etc will be cheap to buy from a lrg pool new and second hand and cheap n easy to feed factory ammo if you dont want to home load ) Reason Deer Will also cover longer range fox and bunnies if you fancy it

    you should get AOLQ on all of them

    you might as well get them all conditioned for target as you shoot that

  3. #3
    lot of rifles for 170 acres
    not that that is a bad thing...but "they" will be thinking the same so have your good reason lined up

    WMR is a great round, I would personally also always have a .22lr for the quiet stuff

    I see no difference between 223 and 243 except English law on roe deer
    ditch the .223 and use the .243 for fox and deer

    .308 is largely redundant unless you are separating the species on your ground into large and small
    I have ground with roe and sika - when sika are potentially on the menu I always go gunned for the largest quarry. thoughts of facing a huge Sika stag and having a .222 in my hands are more than I can bear!

    if that scenario is likely for you then why not do you foxing with a .270 or a 6.5 of some description
    no "phantom" deer will be off limits then.

    Whatever you choose get your reasons in iron clad, non-negotiable, belt and braces format BEFORE you apply

    include all the reasons on energy, humane killing, trajectory, bullet choice, safety etc etc

  4. #4
    .22LR , .22 hornet and 6.5x55

    or just

    .22 hornet and 6.5x55

  5. #5
    204 for foxes & long range bunnies

  6. #6
    Echoing what Bewsh mentioned 2 rifles will really be all you need.

    .22LR for bunnies as nearly every thing else will cause massive trauma. Even if hit in the head. Plus it can be quiet. Very little point buying a .223 and loading subsonic rounds. You will just have a very expensive .22 projectile possibly slightly heavier.

    This combined with a .243 would be a good package to cover animals on your ground. There are endless cartridge and bullet combinations but these two will provide effective and economic shooting for your stated quarry.

    I use .22lr .22-250 and .308. I find this covers UK quarry effectively. But this is just my personal preference. Need and want are different. I'd quite like a .300 WSM also.

    There are many threads evoking emotions from people particularly attached to calibers, often the more exotic the stronger the argument appears to be.

    There will always be arguments comparing ballistics and what shoots flat (nothing).

    Choose whatever you fancy, that is half the fun!

    If you want to have a chat over a beer I'm in Lincoln. Send me a PM.

    Best,

    J

  7. #7
    If you stick to popular calibres you will avoid problems buying ammunition and have more choice. If you search on guntrader - rifles - bolt action you can see how many of each calibre are for sale.

    22LR is a no brainier because you can use almost silent subsonics. But I use HMR so much more.

    243 686 some think a bit light for the biggest deer, particularly in shorter barrels.
    270 109 some think excessive noise and kick
    308 441 some think trajectory loopy but you can use light bullets to compensate
    6.5x55 97 some think penetrates well but I have the impression velocitys lowish.
    50BMG 1 some think excessive.

    Get expanding ammunition on your licence and a moderator.

  8. #8
    One of my permissions is a similar size. For that I have 22LR (quiet and accurate to 100yds..ideal bunny tool); 223 (intended for munties & fox) and because I use it for target work, plus one 308 to cover Roe (dense woodland margins) and target. I'd personally argue against a 243 on the grounds that you may find other permissions and you can load a 308 light and fast if you like plus ammo costs are very reasonable. Heavy and slow also can do less trauma to the meat than the zippy 243 but I guess it all depends on the end goal. For pure vermin control, any of the suggested calibres in this thread above will work well for you. No such thing as overkill where deer are concerned, and I'd happily use a 308 on all deer species, loaded appropriately for terrain and quarry. It's a very versatile round which is partly why it remains so popular. The sensible starting point has less to do with acreage and more to do with quarry and end use for the rifle. As I shoot target too, I considered that the potential for shorter barrel life from a 243 to be the clincher for the 308, which I consider to be the better do-it-all calibre. Others will have a different opinion. Don't discount the sweet shooting 6.5 x55 swede either. That'll do fox plus all deer species and is a cracking target rifle calibre too.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by simonl View Post
    204 for foxes & long range bunnies
    +1 on the .204 - hell of a calibre - .22wmr will never leave my cabinet (might be good for you as your rimmies will be opened up before your Ctr Fire (probably) and you may well get more permissions the more you shoot) - .22lr is a must have for anyone and no one should deny themselves the pleasure of owning a little Anschutz in this calibre.....

    One stop shop for Ctr Fire - if I had to choose I'd go with the 6.5 as it has a massive range of bullet weights it'll blat out to its hearts content.

    Trouble is, I didn't just stop there.........!
    For Gods sake - don't tell her how much I've spent

    Ctrl-Alt FACT

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by ChesterP View Post
    One of my permissions is a similar size. For that I have 22LR (quiet and accurate to 100yds..ideal bunny tool); 223 (intended for munties & fox) and because I use it for target work, plus one 308 to cover Roe (dense woodland margins) and target. I'd personally argue against a 243 on the grounds that you may find other permissions and you can load a 308 light and fast if you like plus ammo costs are very reasonable. Heavy and slow also can do less trauma to the meat than the zippy 243 but I guess it all depends on the end goal. For pure vermin control, any of the suggested calibres in this thread above will work well for you. No such thing as overkill where deer are concerned, and I'd happily use a 308 on all deer species, loaded appropriately for terrain and quarry. It's a very versatile round which is partly why it remains so popular. The sensible starting point has less to do with acreage and more to do with quarry and end use for the rifle. As I shoot target too, I considered that the potential for shorter barrel life from a 243 to be the clincher for the 308, which I consider to be the better do-it-all calibre. Others will have a different opinion. Don't discount the sweet shooting 6.5 x55 swede either. That'll do fox plus all deer species and is a cracking target rifle calibre too.
    Like he said. Especially the swede.
    22LR with moderator and subsonic rounds for rabbits
    .223 for foxes and muntjac
    6.5x55 for all deer - lovely calibre, low recoil, lots of ammunition, easy to home load. Also good fun for target shooting out to long range. What's not to like!

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