Smallest legal calibre advice

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Hi guys - your help would be appreciated.

I seem to be going in circles with the choice of calibre for my new rifle.

The problem is I want one rifle to cover fox control, stalking and European sport - boars in particular.

I don't want to go OTT - and having found that the 6.5x55 I was going to opt for isn't legal for boar here or abroad - I want the next option up.

Im guessing this would be a .270 or 7mm 08.

Do either of these calibres have any particular positive or negative points?




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I assume from your calibre suggestions that you'll be shooting in France, and therefore denied the obvious .308/.30-06?


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7x57 is frequently quoted as a minimum calibre for Boar on drives in Europe.

That is also known as a .275 Rigby - a gorgeous soft shooting, heavy hitting, deep penetrating round.

Of course, it was a classic stalking round - it could never be popular nowadays. With all those benefits, it does make you wonder why?

Rgds Ian


Well-Known Member


Im told 7mm 08 is the minimum requirement overseas and you're dead right about the military rounds, hence my dilema. I thought .270 was big enough but is it .275?

Maybe I should go for 300wm!

A nice quandry to have, choosing your rifle calibre - but it does take some choosing when you have the FLO to consider too.

I think i'll think some more!




Well-Known Member
When looking for a bigger calibre I also wanted to use it for boar in France. After shooting one I went for the old .270. They are loud and unmoderated kick a little but if you drop on a mod it sorts most of this out. I am happy shooting mine and I am a recoil wuss. If do some research you will see the 270 performs very well, flat and fast. Also if you want it for roe you can buy controlled recoil rounds but to be honest I don't bother. I suggest you try one with a mod you will be pleasantly surprised.



Well-Known Member
Look at 7 x 64. Only ever a sporting round so no problem with Johnny Foreigner.

Approach with FLO is for Deer as prime and Fox as secondary.



Distinguished Member
IanF suggests 7x57, unfortunately still regarded as a military calibre in France I think (not absolutely certain).
.270 and 7x64 are good choices and very similar balistically. I would go along with the 7mm-08 suggestion.


Well-Known Member
Of 7x57mm and 7mm-08, my heart says the former but my head says the latter - the 7mm-08 offers a slight edge on performance


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7-08 sounds good.
Very efficient, least powder for the oompf. Which means it is easier to moderate. Short action!
Nothing really wrong with the others mentioned.


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I'm really not sure that I would want to be shooting foxes with something in the realms of a 7x57, I know someone said there is no such thing as too much rifle but hang on a minute. I once romanced that I could get away with one versatile centre fire calibre and now I own 3, I wouldn't really want to go shooting foxes with my 6.5 knowing what energy that has, so I stick to my .223! I think you need to be realistic with the amount of shooting that you are going to be doing and try to suit your calibre to the majority of your shooting requirements.



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If you are shooting aboard then consider if you will be able to get ammo for it, you will find 270 ammo pretty much any ware be it UK or Europe, the other rounds are all great but while you can get ammo for you metric calibres in Europe you will find it harder to get hold of in the UK.

Best rgds



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I have no complaints about my 7-08, The range of bullet weights is great,provided the rifle has a nice tight twist.
Lots of down range power from heavier bullets like 165gn. High velocity from low weight stuff like 120gn.
I even got a couple of boxes of federal premium from my local gunsmith.
You're best off reloading if you get one of these,because it's more an American chambering than European. Also if you were to go somewhere exotic,I wouldn't rate your chances very highly for getting ammo off the shelf.
Still,in the UK a lot of the bigger gunshops will have ammo in stock whereas they might not,if you had a slightly more unusual european calibre.

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
7x64 - legal every where - flat shooting with 140 gn bullets, but with enough capacity to shoot 176 grain bullets at good velocity for big stuff. Was referred to by the Brits as 275 Magnum

Popular all over Europe and no probs getting ammo, albeit not in as many varieties as say .270 or .243.

7x57 is an ex military calibre and not legal in France. But it has a great range of bulet weights 140 gn up to 176 gn - Bell used the later in solid form to account for many hundreds of elephants.

7-08 - very good with 140 gn, but you don't have a big bullet option as in 7x64.

270 very popular the world over, but max bullet weight is 150 gn.

I currently use .243 for everything, but not big enough for overseas and boar. Thinking of going to 7x64 for general deer / big game and fox if I happen to see one when stalking and a .222 or .223 for foxes and close range Roe.

paul k

Well-Known Member
Pete E said:
Who says the 6.5x55mm is not legal for boar here in the UK?

Although it's not strictly law the Home Office guidelines recommend .270 as a minimum for boar.


Well-Known Member
Heym SR20 said:
270 very popular the world over, but max bullet weight is 150 gn.

160gn Nosler Partiton available in 270, they work well on all big game.

7x64mm excellent round, you could use the American version:- the 280 or 280AI both would be reload only job though.

Best rgds



Well-Known Member
Further to the calibre question.......

Hi guys

Interesting thread and I found your comments really useful.

I spoke to my FLO today, and this might be something you have experienced too - I was told that a .243 was fine and a 6.5x55 was fine for the land im shooting, but not a .270 or 7mm 08.

I'll say from the start that it was a nice conversation, and the FLO is a decent bloke, because it could be misinterpreted.

I explained that I wished to have one gun to cover all the species im going to shoot - and that apart from the deer and fox etc on my permission land, I want to enjoy boar shooting here and abroad.
I also explained that like a lot of working Joes, I can't afford two good rifles and two good scopes etc - hence the one good rifle option, rather than 2 not so good rifles.

Also, the land I shoot is nothing but backstops and safe shots - so the calibre is not a major issue with regards to safety.

This was politely but firmly poo pood as the land I have permission on doesn't have boar.

What he did say however, was that I should apply for a .243, then book a sporting holiday or get written permission from a land owner with boar -and apply for a variation on my certificate for a larger calibre. This would be ok.

Seems a bit Kafka-esque to me - but hey!

So today - .243 applied for, and in Feb when I have some spare cash im booking a sporting break somewhere in Europe to shoot boar and getting my variation - and the end result is basically what I wanted, but its costing a lot more than I wanted!





Well-Known Member

No doubt some in here will be up at arms against the "authorities" on here.

Just work the system. Yes it may "cost" you, but you will still get what you want.

Buy a .243 you don't really want. Don't shoot it. Trade it in for what you want, once you've got your variation. (work with your chosen RFD)

Your FLO has been helpful. Read the subtle signs.

Here in Lincs I have achieved everything I want. Takes a little time to demonstrate "need". (14 months to get 2 6.5 x 55 mm + 1 9.3 x 62 mm + 1 "double" 12 g/30-06) from scratch.

Despite what some may feel there isn't any "right" to arms, just an approval based upon demonstrable need. All we refer to is the Home Office Guidance. Bottom line decision comes down to the Chief Constable based upon his current local priorities.

The choice of "winning" is firmly in our own homework before application.



Well-Known Member
I agree with Heym on 7x64 having used one.

I'm a massive moderator fan now but if you are shooting driven boar overseas I gather they affect your swing a bit..?


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There aren't many, if any, places in Europe that allow Mods, although some of the places shooting takes place nobody would know what you use!!!
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