Caliber Choice


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I am looking forward to seeing this Forum running and the inforamtion it can provide.

I am new to stalking and trying to decide on a suitable caliber rifle. I already have a .17hmr and a .223. Which I use for rabbits and foxes respectively. I already reload so the cost of ammo is not a big factor. Therefore what are the forums views on the suitability of the .257 Weatherby for stalking - will it do the job, what is the recoil like and can it be carried for a day across country.

I would welcome any view plus recomendations for other calibers.

Many thanks



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I guess it depends on what our going to shoot.

Also the .257 whetherby case has a rolled sholder so maybe difficult to resize so you might want to check out how easy they are to reload and how many time you can re-use a case.

As for carrying it for a days cross country skiing well I think your just going to have to try a rifle for weight and might want to consider a stainless rifle.
Weatherby cartridges, especially the greatly overbore rounds like the .257 require at least 26 inch barrels to get any real advantage from the round over more "ordinary" cartridges like the .25-06. I don't believe the inconvenience of the extra rifle length is worth it.

If you like the .25's , then I would recommend the .25-06 or even the .257 Roberts as perfectly suited to most hunting situations in which any .25 is suitable for use. They will also come in much more "portable" rifles.

Will it "do the job"? What job do you have for it to do? With the right bullets, it is indeed a potent round for smaller big game animals.

To give it credit, the .257 Weatherby is likely the most potent .25 you can find. The rifles are pretty, expensive, and reasonably accurate. My only question is, do you really need it?


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I think you'll find this forum is full of 6.5x55 nuts such as myself. Excellent calibre plenty of different bullets and as I am told reasonably easy to reload. The british deer society reckons it is the best all round deer calibre. My FEO told me this on his last visit. .243 would be the other calibre I would look at. I know both are common but there is a reason for that they do job very well. .243 would be better if you are shooting in open flat country which encounters a bit of wind. If woodland stalking is going to be you main occupation then .308 would probably be better as it resists knocks from twigs on route to target than other calibres available to us for shooting deer. 6.5x55 would do both jobs more than adequately and then some. I hope this is of some use to you.


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[. "If woodland stalking is going to be you main occupation then .308 would probably be better as it resists knocks from twigs on route to target than other calibres available to us for shooting deer."

Who says that Aled?
Never had a problem with my 30-06.


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reply to alled


out of respect for your quarry and in the hope of a clean kill you should really be taking shots with clear line of site. Deflection of a round will occur with the smallest of twigs resulting in a misplaced bullet and possibly a wounded beast.

You'll find the 30-06 and 308 more than keep up with the .243 on open ground.

Shoot what your comfortable with Vapours, if you like the look and feel of the .257 go for it; it will do what you want it to. Not my personal choice though. :D :D


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I agreed with everything Blaser3006 says and will add, I choose .243 and a 30-06 as calibers of choice along with a .270.

The reason why I choose .243 and 30-06 is that if you look at the balistics of the two calibers the bullet trajectory are vertually identical. Either way I know when the cross hair are on an animal it'll be in the boot soon and at then end of the day that's what your looking for as well as thinking ahead to what you want to shoot and were. What I mean by the last statement is it's no good applying for a caliber of rifle like .243 if in two year time your going to want to go to Poland to shoot a wild boar or large red or take on a buff in Africa with it.


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Apparently the deer society talking to my FEO the other day he mentioned that they would like .375 H&H for use in woodland as it will resist better any small twigs that are unseen on the way to the target. Obviously this is not going to happen but in its place .308 and 30.06 would be preferable to say .243. My mentor who is in charge of controlling the deer on all army property also prefers .308 for woodland stalking because of this reason. He use .243 for all shooting on grassland and .308 for shooting in woodland. Its merely an observation not essential advice to follow. If I had not of plumped for 6.5x55 I would probably gone for .308 as my centre fire choice. I am of the same view as you that you should shoot with what you are comfortable with. Afterall rifles arent cheap are they.


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There is no legal maximum calibre for deer here in the U.K.
I know people who have 375 and larger on open ticket ,it`s all down to your local licensing dept. so they should be able to have there 375.
But to tell the FEO that it will resist any small twigs better than other calibres, seems to me they are trying any reason to have a 375.
As for twigs in the way, well,we all try to have clear line of sight, if not we don`t pull the trigger, thats basic comman sense,every time we raise a weapon, wether its a 22, 20 bore, 30-06 or 505 if we aren`t sure we can kill what its pointing at we dont pull the trigger.
I wouldn`t know the bush busting capabilaties of my 30-06 as I not into shooting bushes :lol:


rifle choice

Ok My tuppence worth.

The .243 winchester is a good round but (imho) it needs to be loaded with a softpoint bullet around 100 grains. for smaller deer.

The .30-06 is the one rifle calibre. it performs about the same as .308win in bullet weights upto 150 grains which are great for all deer, but if you have a chance at boar or feel you want heavier bullets for them big reds or them tough fallow bucks in the woods then it's ability in 180 grain bullets makes it a stand out choice. .30 cal bullets are really widely available. Dies are really cheap on



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Forget any Weatherby calibres as you will be buggered up for brass.
Previous sensible posts have said 6.5x55 or .30-06 .
I have had three .30-06 in a long lifetime and all were excellent.
.30 cals. are always best as such a wide range of bullets are easily obtained anywhere. [as is .308 or .30-06 brass.]
Where are you going to get Weatherby brass and at what excessive cost?


.30-06 magic

I went out to put some rounds down the range yesterday. With my .243 i could only manage a 2 inch group with the 105grain spitzers, although with 80 grains it was much better- funny becuase it ias a 1;9 twistrate which would make me think it would spin it fast enough.

I then got my parker hale .30-06 lightwieght safari out. It cost me £200 and has a £100 bushnell scope on it. I shot an inch group at 100 yards. It felt like coming home. So don't spend a load of money. Look for a decent older rifle that has had little use. .30-06 is an unfashionable calibre at the moment as is .270 winchester. unfashionable calibres are cheap but .30-06 and 270 are classic game getters. My .30-06 is my "go to" rifle and until i get some consistancy with the .243 then it will remain so.

I have some foxing to do. Lets hope i can get the .243 shooting better! I have some 95 grain partitions to load, hopefully they will be better. Alternatively i will load some 80 grain spitzers.



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Your might be right about the 105 grain bullets not spinning fast enough alternatively play around with the load or try using 100 grain bullets instead have had good results and have managed to get bullets touching at 100yrds using speer btsp. I've also loaded some 75 grains for my .243 and there super accurate and very fast.


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At least Swampy and Stag shoot proper calibres, the 30-06 :)
Have taken alsorts with mine, here and in Africa, and love it, it does what it says on the box.
I know when I do point it at something (without branches,twigs or bushes in the way) It won`t let me down.
I use 180 gr soft points and they work,I never change ammo, they work on everything, they expand well.
I suppose when I get old I may have to go to a "plastic pig" and a womans calibre :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: