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Thread: Fox and Deer Rifles

  1. #1

    Fox and Deer Rifles

    I was talking to a colleague earlier on today about rifle selection and I wanted to open up the discussion. As I have said in the past I use a 6.5x55 for both deer and fox control, as my ticket allows me to do. I am in fact in the process of finding a more versatile scope and starting to handload to tailor the rifle to this role. My colleague on the other hand has a .243 yet is adamant this is his deer rifle and that he would not use it specifically for fox. Instead he has a .222 and is very dubious about the idea of dual purpose rifles.

    I understand some people don't feel comfortable lamping with a 100grain bullet due to risk of pencilling and the thought that it is less likely to break up upon hitting the target/backstop. Surely though if your backstop is in place and you are using frangible varmint bullets a 6.5x55 is just as safe as a .22 centrefire

    So any opinions on this- the deer/fox rifle vs the specialist fox rifle?

  2. #2
    I suppose some people perhaps don't like the idea of having more than 1 load per rifle, not wanting to complicate their shooting. For example I shoot my 7mm08 with either 140 or 175 partitions, nothing else, my .22-250 I use nothing but 50gr Vmax. Luckily I can afford / justify two rifles for 2 purposes, as I take both foxing and stalking just as seriously. But some, who are indeed comfortable with having a few different laods for one calibre, choose to do just that. My main stalking buddy has 7mm08 and shoots 3 different weight / purpose rounds through 1 rifle. He's had to spend a fair bit of time developing the loads to make sure they're virtually bang on the same zero at 100yds though, but is very happy with his set-up.

    Tom

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by tjwaines View Post
    Luckily I can afford / justify two rifles for 2 purposes, as I take both foxing and stalking just as seriously.
    This is an interesting point- keeping is (sort of) my livelihood, or at least a substantial part of it, and I would say 80% of the time I spend with a rifle in my hand it is with fox/vermin in mind. As such I take it very seriously indeed, but I do not feel I need to buy a foxing rifle to do it well. In fact I feel being very well acquainted with one rifle is a bonus. Also means I only have one centrefire at the moment, which may look better for when I want to apply for something a bit bigger for boar etc. That said I am open to persuasion, so I am interested in opposing opinions.

  4. #4
    My .222, .22-250, .243 and .308 are all cleared for Vermin, corvid, fox and and deer (legal species only with the .22's I hasten to add) although the .222 is set up for foxing, I will and have used it on Muntjac when the opportunity has arisen and although my nice new .243 is being built as we speak, it, as was my previous .243 will be set up for stalking roe and fallow although again ole' charlie will be taken as a target of opportunity.

    I am not at all adverse to having either one "dual purpose" rifle or a couple of "specialist" rifles for dealing with fox and deer seperately, the main thing is that the shooter is competent and accurate with their chosen kit.

    Remember the phrase "Beware the man with one rifle..............!!!"

  5. #5
    For a few yrs I only used one rifle for deer,fox,varmints & paper (sako 85) i used the same bullet (85gr hpbt) no deer were ever lost ,no fox ever got up after being hit ,not many varmints were missed & paper could sometimes get small neat holes in it .

    The benefit was confidence with this rifle knowing the things like trigger break, bullet drop ,wind age the comfortable feel when it hits your shoulder the scope and sight picture lining up straight away , almost muscle memory with its handling, pointing ,putting on sticks removing off your shoulder to line up the shot. It brought great confidence with this rifle through practice practice & practice .

    I still use this rifle but now have a dedicated deer gun as the Sako and the PMII was getting a bit knocked about on the stalks and could be a tad heavy so got a lighter stalking outfit.

    regards.....neil

  6. #6
    I think this is a perfectly sensible approach. I could happily live without my 22/250 if the cops would license my 260rem for foxes, which they absolutely will not. ( Of course then I would want a 20Tac for crows and magpies...)

    I would chuck 100gr BT's at 3300 fps at the foxes, and 120's or 129's at the deer. I know that my rifle will do both with the same zero.

    Can't be done here.

    If I was in England shooting foxes, munties, Roe and some Fallow, I could easily get by with only a 243.......
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler View Post
    I think this is a perfectly sensible approach. I could happily live without my 22/250 if the cops would license my 260rem for foxes, which they absolutely will not. ( Of course then I would want a 20Tac for crows and magpies...)
    .
    That's bizarre! Why won't they let you use your .260rem for foxes?

    Did you ask?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamus View Post
    That's bizarre! Why won't they let you use your .260rem for foxes?

    Did you ask?
    Tamus, the general position in NI is that they will only license 22 CF's for foxes and no deer legal rifle will be conditioned or variation issued based on foxes. End of.

    I know one guy definitely has his 243 licensed for foxes, but had huge hassle getting it. This particular guy owns land in excess of a 1000 acres, mainly hillside, you would not believe the bother he had. I am not aware of anyone else getting this, though I am happy to be corrected.
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler View Post
    Tamus, the general position in NI is that they will only license 22 CF's for foxes and no deer legal rifle will be conditioned or variation issued based on foxes. End of.

    I know one guy definitely has his 243 licensed for foxes, but had huge hassle getting it. This particular guy owns land in excess of a 1000 acres, mainly hillside, you would not believe the bother he had. I am not aware of anyone else getting this, though I am happy to be corrected.
    It's an ill divided world indeed.

    I'm almost afraid to tell you...
    All my centrefires are conditioned for deer, vermin, in connection with the management of any estate other wildlife, the humane killing of animals and the killing of animals for protection of other animals and humans, (and my expanding ammo likewise)... wherever I have the right/permission to shoot. Admittedly, the .223rem is restricted to Roe deer here in Scotland, but it can still be used for those other purposes and they may also all be used for zeroing (of course) and by implication of the wording of the remainder of my certificate testing and practice too.

    So, on occasion even the .30-06 has been used on hoodie crows, because it was what I had in my hands at the time and the opportunity presented itself... and the thing is, I know guys who think we have it tough here in Strathclyde.

  10. #10
    Sadly Brian, your .243 would only be conditioned for Fox in those English counties where a certain amount of knowledge is available in the F.L.O's offices, as for twenty TAC, for vermin?...... NAAH! only foxes buddy!...... vermin with a .308?????? you can't be serious?
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

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