Whitetails are the most popular big game in the country. More people flock to the woods to hunt deer each year than any other game species. So it only makes sense to have a plethora of cartridges to choose from. Here are five of the best.
The .243 Winchester has been one of my go-to rounds for years. The cartridge is considered a little light for some of the larger deer of the north. Use heavier grain bullets and the load is up to the task. By design, the .243 is one of the most accurate chamberings available. Its light recoil is a great choice for introducing young hunters to a centerfire rifle.
The .308 Winchester is a very accurate round with moderate to light recoil. I’m picking the .308 over the .270 because of bulk ammo availability. You can buy large quantities of surplus ammo and spend long-range sessions getting familiar with your gun. When it comes to long-range shooting, knowing your gun will make all the difference.
That’s right, I said it. The 300 Blackout is a very pleasurable round. Usually chambered in AR platforms, the 300 Blackout is the round that fills the void between .223 and 7.62X39mm. The real beauty of the cartridge is it uses the same magazines, lower assemblies and bolt as the standard .223/5.56 AR. The only difference is the barrel. This is another great choice for introducing young hunters to gun hunting. The semi-auto AR 15 platform greatly reduces felt recoil. Not to mention ARs look awesome and kids love them.
The .44 magnum is a very versatile round. Michigan recently changed its laws for southern Michigan shotgun zones to be able to use a straight-walled centerfire cartridge within a certain length. The .44 magnum fits these requirements. Whether the round is chambered in a handgun, carbine or lever action, the ballistics are outstanding for white-tailed deer. This chambering makes an awesome brush gun where shots are usually quick and close. The cartridge can even perform out past 100 yards with ease.
20 Gauge Slug
There aren’t many options for those of us who live in shotgun-only zones. It’s either a 12 or 20 gauge. I give the nod to the 20 gauge. Its ballistics are outstanding and deliver plenty of knockdown power at longer distances. The 20 gauge shoots flatter and is much easier on your shoulder. Today's sabot slugs are more efficient and deliver accuracy out to 200 yards.
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Guns and Camo. From the basic to the advanced, we will cover the world of firearms (and maybe the occasional slingshot and air rifle) in a manner that puts hunting and in-the-field practicality first. Editorial in the name of powder, steel, and ammo. Heck yeah.