Perfect Deer Cartridge?

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Jun 3, 2020
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I have a 300WSM that I love and I’m thinking about something smaller for Whitetail, Antelope, pigs and varmints. Trying to decide between a 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 Creedmoor and 6.5 PRC, any suggestions?
 

Anschutz

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Mar 19, 2017
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Fairbanks, AK
From what you listed the 6 or 6.5CM will do fine. Personally for me I'd leave hogs to the 300WSM and get a 243 or 25-06 for whitetails and antelope.

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Sekora

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Jun 4, 2017
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I'm not a fan of the 6.5's. I'll take my 7/08 or my 280 any day for what you described.
 

hodgeman

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Delta Junction, AK
Any of those will make a nice whitetail /varmint rifle. I'd probably opt for the smaller end if varmints are really your thing- 6.5PRC will be pretty hot for prairie dogs and gophers.

I think the 6CM or 6.5CM is a real sweet spot for whitetails with the occasional groundhog or coyote.
 

TN2shot07

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Dec 19, 2020
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The 300 wsm will kill the hell out of deer but why not pick up another rifle…

Personally, I’d find a 25-06 or 270 and have as good of a deer rifle as you could ask for. If you really like your short action find a 7mm-08 or 243.
 

Desk Jockey

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Apr 5, 2015
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I went to a 308 after my 300 WM made a mess of some eastern white tails. Lots of meat damage. The 308 was fine but a bit of a kicker with the heavier bullets it liked.

bought a tikka in 6.5 creed. It is soft shooting. I wouldn’t say my magnum is retired, but I doubt I would ever pull it out for white tail or anything smaller, again. I just think calibers in that 6.5 zip code (243, etc.) are just cheaper and nicer on my shoulder and the meat.
 

Actual_Cryptid

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Sep 16, 2021
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I've never shot antelope, google says they're smaller than a whitetail on average. I can drop a whitetail with a .30-30 without issue, so you're probably right the .300WM is overkill.

I'd go with the .308 but that's just me. If you're worried about punching paper or knocking gongs at a klick, look at the 6.5 creedmoor or the PRC and the other toasty new ones, but otherwise the .308 has all your options for bullet weights and constructions. Sig Cross is on the shelves again if you want high speed low drag, in 6.5 Creedmoor as well. Can't go with with any of the Tikkas or a Ruger American if you're on a budget.

If you want less recoil and you're shooting 300 and in the 6.5 Grendel might be the way to go. Howa mini action or an AR, it'll do the job. Ruger's got them as well. Low recoil, decent bullet selection, nice ballistics, and while some will sing the praises of the .223 in whatever incarnation the 6.5 gives you a little more margin for error. I use it out of a Encore "pistol" with a 15.8" pipe.
 

carsonkeys

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Oct 27, 2016
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6.5 CM shooting your choice of ELD-X or -M with an impact velocity of >1800 fps gets my vote. My sample size is relatively small (two WT, two elk, a bobcat, a javelina, and a ~100lb pig), but as of today I’m stupidly impressed with that combo. I know a 13 year old girl who's got countless whitetail, an oryx, and several African plains game species with it too and all have been drama-free, as far as I know.

The recoil is laughably tame, I like being able to spot impacts sub-100 yards, I like that I can get a new shooter/hunter behind the gun and know they can handle it, and I can’t argue with the results I’ve had.

B8BC3EA8-1286-4830-B324-20027191B454.jpeg
Elk shoulder exit - through onside shoulder and this hole was with the offside quarter removed. The hole only extended partially into that shoulder.
27F9A271-E038-47C9-8956-266D0A1B296C.jpeg
whitetail exit - crunched onside shoulder, exited behind offside shoulder
 

Anschutz

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Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
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Location
Fairbanks, AK
6.5 CM shooting your choice of ELD-X or -M with an impact velocity of >1800 fps gets my vote. My sample size is relatively small (two WT, two elk, a bobcat, a javelina, and a ~100lb pig), but as of today I’m stupidly impressed with that combo. I know a 13 year old girl who's got countless whitetail, an oryx, and several African plains game species with it too and all have been drama-free, as far as I know.

The recoil is laughably tame, I like being able to spot impacts sub-100 yards, I like that I can get a new shooter/hunter behind the gun and know they can handle it, and I can’t argue with the results I’ve had.

View attachment 351058
Elk shoulder exit - through onside shoulder and this hole was with the offside quarter removed. The hole only extended partially into that shoulder.
View attachment 351059
whitetail exit - crunched onside shoulder, exited behind offside shoulder
I was less than impressed with the ELD-X on the Caribou I shot. It did the job and dropped it in it's tracks but the amount of bloodshot meat was more than I had ever experienced and the bullet came apart inside the animal. I'll probably use them again because they were 3/4 MOA out of my M70 Extreme .270 Win. Other people seem to like them so maybe my experience was an anomaly.
 

SEtoNWHunter

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Feb 17, 2017
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150
Location
Central OR
That 300wsm with carefully chosen bullets can do anything in the lower 48 and a lot beyond that, but you already know that...

Since you have a 300wsm, I'd lean towards the lighter end of the spectrum.

6mm something... Creed is nice because of the fast twists readily available.

A 6mm nicely bridges the gap of varmint to medium game. Great for long range target shooting too. Almost no recoil. Great gun for kids and new shooters. Along those same lines, there are some ways to make a .22 caliber a medium game rifle too...
 

Anschutz

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
96
Location
Fairbanks, AK
That 300wsm with carefully chosen bullets can do anything in the lower 48 and a lot beyond that, but you already know that...

Since you have a 300wsm, I'd lean towards the lighter end of the spectrum.

6mm something... Creed is nice because of the fast twists readily available.

A 6mm nicely bridges the gap of varmint to medium game. Great for long range target shooting too. Almost no recoil. Great gun for kids and new shooters. Along those same lines, there are some ways to make a .22 caliber a medium game rifle too...
Good advice. As much as it pains me to say, unless you have a .243 already and are set up to load it with a 1-8 or faster rifle, your best bet is to get a 6 Creedmoor. The 6CM and 6.5CM are what the .243 and .260 would have been designed as if designed today. I've got a .243 with 1-8 barrel, dies, and a decent bit of brass so I'll be sticking with the .243. If my house burnt down tonight, I'd replace it with a 6CM. I'm not sure about your area but the Sportsmans in Fairbanks has had snot loads of 6CM and .243 doesn't even warm the shelf before it's gone.
 

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