caliber question

FlatsMatt96FlatsMatt96 ChuluotaPosts: 1,142 Officer
Hey yall, I am back again with another question. Right now I hunt with a .308 win bolt action, it is my primary and I have it all decked out for long range shots and short range shots. I love this gun so much. However, I dont have a backup gun. I feel like its always important to have a backup gun. I love lever actions as well. I was thinking of a 45-70 for my backup gun. Do yall think thats too big for florida? I know the idea of "use enough power to kill humanely". I get that, but do you think that caliber is too big for florida deer. Will it ruin a lot of the meat? I was thinking of 6.5 creedmoor bolt action or a 45-70 lever.
If youre going to burn a bridge, dont just burn it, use C4 and make a statement. 
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Replies

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 11,206 AG
    I think a 45-70 is way overkill for any deer in Florida.   Even for hogs that's a lot of gun.   a .308 or .270 is more than adequate for anything.  
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • th19999th19999 Posts: 162 Deckhand
    Maybe a .357 or 44 mag lever action? I have a ruger 77/357 bolt action carbine that is a great back up-type gun although it is limited to under 75 yards. Ammo is inexpensive and is fun to shoot, it even accepts 38 special and recoil and sound is minimal
  • arrowheadhuntarrowheadhunt Posts: 204 Deckhand
    If you just want a backup, buy another rifle in 308 Win.

    If you want another caliber, 243 and 270 are good and ammo is common.

    Something fun but less common is 7mm 08.

    In lever action you can go with the common 30-30.
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    I use a 30-30 Lever, works well for me.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • ChonggChongg Posts: 711 Officer
    edited October 2018 #6
    Gun writer Chuck Hawks has a great article about this topic. https://www.chuckhawks.com/rifle_battery.htm

    Here's the reader's digest version: His philosophy would be that your .308 serves as the centerpiece of your arsenal. 30-06, .270 and 7mm would also fit that duty. This gun can do it all in North America, but isn't the most precise fit for everything.

    A step below this would be a rifle for medium size game, including the white tails and pigs you find in Florida. Here you get a gun that still shoots flat but with less recoil. Creedmoor would fit the bill, as would a .25-06, which I own and love. My dad has a Remington 700 in Creedmoor. Great hunting rifle and bench shooting toy.

    That 45-70 falls into the big bore rifle category. I wouldn't hunt deer with it, but do whatever you can afford and makes you happy. 
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,711 Captain
    edited October 2018 #7
    Choice of caliber is, to a large extent, a matter of personal choice.
    Have been hunting in Florida for over 1/2 a century. I have also hunted many times in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Maine, and New Mexico. I have used, and am very familiar with, .308, 7mm Mag, and 45-70. 
    My experience with each of the above:
    .308  Extremely powerful, not too much kick, great for long and short range shots. Excellent for deer hunting.
    7mm Mag  Flat shooting, very fast - excellent for extreme long range shooting.
     PROBLEM:
    Without that so called 'perfect shot,' larger game will often have a tendency to run. 
    45-70  My caliber of choice for deer, and even more so for hogs. Don't ever let anyone tell you a wounded hog will not charge... They will!  During the days of the old west the 45-70 was very popular among buffalo hunters. Today, it remains extremely popular. Why? Because it puts them on the ground and keeps them there. It plays NO games! 
    "Will it ruin a lot of the meat?"  Shoot them in the head & it makes NO difference what caliber is used. A lot of Florida is heavy brush , swamp, thick woods, hunting that requires a quick shot. The heart lung area is often the target. With anything less than a perfect shot, that deer or hog will run. With my .308 & 7mm Mag I have trailed wounder deer & hogs by following blown out lung tissue.  I have been using a Marlin 1875 Stainless 45-70 Guide Gun for over 25 years. It's small, very dependable, and packs one heck of a wallop; a wallop on both ends. Your shoulder will let you know you are shooting a BIG boy.
    No wonder the 45-70 Guide Gun is a favorite among Alaska bush pilots:
     
    The number of deer or hogs I have had run with my 45-70 I could count on one hand and still have fingers left over. QUESTION:  Is it better to ruin some meat, or have an animal run off, in Florida swamps, never to be found?
     "but do whatever you can afford and makes you happy."
    Great advice! The best caliber, best gun, is the one the hunter feels most comfortable with. 
    Choice of caliber is, to a large extent, a matter of personal choice.
     
     
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    I need to get me one of those.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,711 Captain
    edited October 2018 #9
    Don't think you will be disappointed. Love the stainless!  My Guide Gun is 25+ years old; still looks like new. 
    If you are a... 

    you will really appreciate the Old West tradition. 
  • fish_stixfish_stix Posts: 1,335 Officer
    I've been hunting in FL for almost 70 years; I'm 74. I've also hunted out West for elk and mulies and even those California "Wild Boars." BTW, what if a "Wild Boar' is a sow? In CA we ran them down with dogs and cut their throats; no gun necessary. Your chances of being attacked by one of those wildass FL "Boars" is about negligible although if you hunt with dogs you're about guaranteed to get hog bitten on occasion. You don't need a "buffalo" rifle to kill them; I hunt hogs with a .22  or .22 Magnum and head shoot them. If you want a backup rifle for whatever reason, go buy the 7mm-08 that someone else mentioned. Just be careful with your frequency of using it because it will probably become your favorite rifle in short order.
  • FlatsMatt96FlatsMatt96 ChuluotaPosts: 1,142 Officer
    Thanks for all of the information and input guys! I think I am drawn to the 45-70 because of its history. I also shot one and love the massive recoil its just a lot of fun to me! 7mm-08 and 6.5 creedmoor were mentioned a lot. I am not a fan of the 7mm-08 because I am weird and dont have legitimate reasons for disliking it even though I know its an excellent caliber. That being said...does anyone have a 6.5 creedmoor they would be willing to sell for a decent price? 
    If youre going to burn a bridge, dont just burn it, use C4 and make a statement. 
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,711 Captain
    edited October 2018 #12
    "I think I am drawn to the 45-70 because of its history."   Me too!
    A perfectly placed head shot  with a .22 or even .17 will kill any hog. However, in the real world, the opportunity for that perfectly placed shot may or may not materialize. Kinda hard passing up a real trophy because a head shot is not possible. With that so called "buffalo" rifle the chances of putting that chance of a life-time trophy on the ground and keeping him there is much greater.  
    I Shot a BAR 7mm Rem Mag for years. Unfortunately Florida real  trophy boars like to stay in heavy cover. I have had many really big boys run for hundreds of yards after being hit hard with my 7mm Mag. A 7mm-08 is a cut down .308 with much less knockdown power than a 7mm Mag. As a result, shot placement, in the real world, is more critical. 
    In my younger days I loved to stalk hunt or drive ever so slowly down old logging roads. In either case, hogs were often running; perfect head shot... Forget it!     
    A wounded hog tends to be a 'little' unhappy with us, and does not mind telling us so. Fortunately I have never been cut, but I have been knocked down on numerous occasions. One time I shot this really big, bad, boy from by truck on an old logging road. I hit him hard in the chest with my 7mm Mag. He immediately charged, knocked be back into my truck, ran around back, and returned to the front looking for me. Huge mistake! He will never do that again.
     Heard so much about the put them on the ground & keep them there Government 45-70; decide to look into it. The 45-70 was developed in 1873 by the U.S Army's Springfield Armory. 
    Per Wikipedia: "As is usual with military ammunition, the .45-70 was an immediate hit among sportsmen, and the .45-70 has survived to the present day. Today, the traditional 405-grain (26.2 g) load is considered adequate for any North American big game within its range limitations, including the great bears, and it
        DOES NOT DESTROY EDITABLE MEAT     on smaller animals such as deer due to the bullet's low velocity. It is very good for big-game hunting in brush or heavy timber where the range is usually short. The .45-70, when loaded with the proper bullets at appropriate velocities, has been used to hunt the African "big-six". The .45-70 has been loaded and used to hunt everything from birds to elephants and the cartridge is still undergoing new development work."

    My 405-grain ULTRAMAX even comes in a 'Cowboy' box:

    "I think I am drawn to the 45-70 because of its history."   Me too!
     
  • FlatsMatt96FlatsMatt96 ChuluotaPosts: 1,142 Officer
    @harbison Yeah its a very interesting caliber. The only issue I have is ammo availability and cost. It is a very cool round though. I think with proper bullets it wouldnt destroy too much meat. Like you said though proper shot placement is key. 
    If youre going to burn a bridge, dont just burn it, use C4 and make a statement. 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    If you've ever seen harbison, you know he's a gentleman, but shooting that cannon, I think he's Superman!  One tough dude.

    Most guys I know who've shot hogs over 600# use 243s.

    I like the handgun caliber guns and currently prefer a 357 mag (Ruger bolt) that is death on any deer or hog inside of 100 yards.  Gun weighs 5.5 pounds and has about 5 pounds of recoil.

    That 308 is a great gun, but other calibers are fun to shoot too. 

    Pick the one you want - it'll work just fine.
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 519 Officer
    I have a Marlin Lever in 357 that is my current favorite. Out to 100 yds it will get the job done
  • FlatsMatt96FlatsMatt96 ChuluotaPosts: 1,142 Officer
    The problem is I am on a college budget and cant really afford a brand new nice shiny gun so I have to find decently priced used rifles or decently priced new rifles.
    If youre going to burn a bridge, dont just burn it, use C4 and make a statement. 
  • pottydocpottydoc The thriving metropolis of Umatilla Posts: 3,486 Captain
    edited October 2018 #17
    Doubtful you’ll find a used Creedmore. They haven’t been on the market long. If you’re looking for something different, find a 260. Low recoil, fun to shoot, and will kill anything you’ll ever see in Florida. The only issue is ammo can be a little hard to find. BPS always has it, along with decent sized gun shops, and there’s tons of it on line, but you’re not gonna find it at Walmart or simular stores. 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Lostconch said:
    I have a Marlin Lever in 357 that is my current favorite. Out to 100 yds it will get the job done
    Do you reload?  I've got an amazing 158 gr XTP FP load that "just drops" most of the deer & hogs I shoot with it.  Can't wait to bring her out to the woods again.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,711 Captain
    edited October 2018 #19
    "If you've ever seen harbison, you know he's a gentleman, but shooting that cannon, I think he's Superman!  One tough dude."

    I try my best to be a real gentleman. I take pride in being a Florida native. To me sharing our Florida is payback for living a lifetime in paradise. I love promoting the Sunshine State and the wonderful people who live, visit, here. 
    45-70 could by many be considered an over-kill for hog hunting. However, once you have shot one, it kinda grows on you. Never forget the first time I shot my Marlin. I put a target up against a huge oak tree. It knocked down the target, and put a hole in the tree as big as a golf ball. Fire shot out the barrel as it kicked the living daylights out of my shoulder. Been shooting all my life; never shot anything like that before. To me the 45-70 is "fun to shoot too''! 
    Love the tradition. Did you know that the 45-70 was even used in the early model Gatling guns...

    Most guys I know who've shot hogs over 600# use 243s.
    Have hunted hogs from one end of Florida & Georgia to the other for over 60 years. Have NEVER seen or heard of a over 600# WILD  Florida/Georgia hog.   
    Except for...

    Hogzilla was a male hybrid of wild hog and domestic pig that was shot and killed by Chris Griffin in Alapaha, Georgia, United States, on June 17, 2004 on Ken Holyoak's fish farm and hunting reserve. It was alleged to be 12 feet long and weighed over 1,000 pounds. It was originally widely considered a hoax.

    .308 is one of many 'great guns'. Very true! My wife used a BAR .308 for many years. Tremendous round!
    .357 Ruger:  Have one... Love it!  
    "Pick the one you want - it'll work just fine."  Agreed 100%. 
  • FlatsMatt96FlatsMatt96 ChuluotaPosts: 1,142 Officer
    @harbison Ive seen that picture in my local feed store. I have always wondered if it was real or not. Now I know I guess. Yeah this rifle wouldnt be my primary it would be my pickup as well as another plinker.
    If youre going to burn a bridge, dont just burn it, use C4 and make a statement. 
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,711 Captain
    When 'Hogzilla' was first shown on the Discovery channel I knew it was fake. They have been advertising hunt where Hogzilla was shot. Nothing but a big $$$ hoax. 
    In my younger days I wanted a rifle suitable for hunting in virtually any environment all over the country. The 7 mm Remington Mag. worked out well. In Maine & New Mexico I was shooting from one mountain to another with it.  However, differently from hogs, the targets were still. 
    Hogs:  I found that with less than a perfectly placed shot, hogs will run on a 7 mm. Don't let anyone tell you 'I just shoot them in the head and they drop instantly.'  Great if he stands there and lets you shoot him. 
     Decided to try the 45-70. That ended the problem. 
    Pickup: The  Marlin Guide gun would be a great choice. It's very dependable, hard hitting, and short. 
    Plinker: The kick may discourage that. 
    The best choice is whatever the individual feels most comfortable with. Personally I prefer to pick a weapon and stay with it. It becomes almost part of you. By doing so you will become familiar with what it will, will not do, and act accordingly. My 7 mm. Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) & Marlin 45-70 Stainless Guide Gun have been part of me for many decades. Love the stainless; virtually no upkeep! 

  • nofishtodaynofishtoday Posts: 1,273 Officer
    Lostconch said:
    I have a Marlin Lever in 357 that is my current favorite. Out to 100 yds it will get the job done
    Would you be willing to sell it or trade for something 
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,711 Captain
    Love the 357. If it's a Marlin, it's a good one! 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Harb - I know 2 guys who have shot 600-630# hogs w 243s and both were taken out of citrus groves.  I'd definitely give the edge to the 45/70 and would prefer the gatling gun in those instances.

    Biggest pig I've seen in the wild was around 300#. I slipped downwind of him and left that spot just for him.  He was actually trying to find me and kept working closer.  Had shotgun but was hunting ducks, not hogs.
  • FlatsMatt96FlatsMatt96 ChuluotaPosts: 1,142 Officer
    I love my .308 don't get me wrong. Its probably my favorite rifle and gun out of all of the ones that I have. I have thought about accidentally falling in love with another rifle and I just couldn't do it. I just need a decent backup rifle in a caliber that I like. Lol its not that they aren't plenty, I think I am just picky.
    If youre going to burn a bridge, dont just burn it, use C4 and make a statement. 
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,711 Captain
    edited October 2018 #26
    Harb - I know 2 guys who have shot 600-630# hogs w 243s and both were taken out of citrus groves.
    Have never seen anything even close to that. Saw a 300# boar that a woman shot at Buck & Boar, Madison, Florida. It was a monster. Would love to see a picture of one twice that big. 
    .308 Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was my late wife's favorite; tremendous caliber.
    She shot it for decades; was very good with it:

    "would prefer the gatling gun in those instances."   Me too!




  • tampaspicertampaspicer Posts: 399 Deckhand
    Check out the ballistics on the .444. I use to have one and loved that gun. It wasn't my primary rifle (30-06 is primary) but was perfect for walking around the woods with and areas that were somewhat thick. It's also a flatter shooting round compared to the 45-70.  
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 3,711 Captain
    edited October 2018 #28
    Thanks for the information. Looks like a tremendous round. The only thing lacking is tradition. The .444 dates back to 1964; the 45-70 to 1873.
    Per 'Terminal Ballistic Research': "Few cartridges have retained such long lived popularity as the .45-70 U.S Government. The .45-70 started life as a military cartridge and now, 135 years later remains an ever popular hunting cartridge."
    Must admit, being an Old-West Cowboy fan, I love the tradition of the .45-70. Regardless, the ballistics of the .444 are very impressive. And the best part... the .444 is, like the .45-70, available in a Marlin Stainless Guide Gun. Great guns!

    In a way I kinda wish you had not posted this... Now I want one!
  • FlatsMatt96FlatsMatt96 ChuluotaPosts: 1,142 Officer
    I would take .308 win over 30-06 or 30-30 or most other 30 cal rounds ecept for .300 wm
    If youre going to burn a bridge, dont just burn it, use C4 and make a statement. 
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,622 Captain
    pottydoc said:
    Doubtful you’ll find a used Creedmore. They haven’t been on the market long. If you’re looking for something different, find a 260. Low recoil, fun to shoot, and will kill anything you’ll ever see in Florida. The only issue is ammo can be a little hard to find. BPS always has it, along with decent sized gun shops, and there’s tons of it on line, but you’re not gonna find it at Walmart or simular stores. 
    I actually have one of the first .260s. A Remington Model 700 issued the first year the .260 hit the market. I'll never part with that gun. Amazingly accurate gun. 

    HOWEVER, its odd to me that of the many game animals I've taken with a .260, I've never once had it cause hydrostatic shock. All animals go about 50-100 yards before dying. I always find them. Even if poorly shot. I've tried all sorts of loads. Its just something about how the powder charge and bullet designs all come together to not cause brain hemorrhage during the hit. 
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 2,622 Captain
    The problem is I am on a college budget and cant really afford a brand new nice shiny gun so I have to find decently priced used rifles or decently priced new rifles.
    The .243 is a really great all purpose rifle...
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