For the adult that most often has the opportunity to shoot longer range most of these will be inadequate to his or her needs, although the .243, 6mm, 7X57 and the 7-08 can easily do it to 300 yards. It is common sense, really; the argument of one over another without the consideration of circumstances is a waste of breath.

It used to sicken me, when working at a check station during the deer season, to listen to a nimrod that wounded and lost a deer because he armed himself with a caliber that he thought would make up for his ineptitude in shooting, something that because of the speed it spat out the bullet or the size and weight of the projectile he believed would kill like the stroke of Thor with any kind of a hit.

Unfortunately those folks are still with us, those that still take to the deer woods with a rifle they have fired only a few times, and I see it regularly even now, especially with muzzleloaders. There is no substitute for practice, no matter what you heard or saw on TV from the latest “Pro-Team” hunter.

In handloading and hunting, as with all shooting, start sensibly, act reasonably and practice, and you will be successful.

There are some great resources on the internet for the handloader. Stay with the established and well-known sources, such as the powder and bullet manufacturers, and you will find that “one load” that makes your firearm the king of the deer-getters. Always keep it safe first, approach your handloading in a meticulous and careful manner, and check everything twice. Experiment and don’t be afraid to try new things; you just may surprise yourself.

This article appeared in the November 22, 2010 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine. To subscribe, Click Here.

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