Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Advice For Beginners

One rifle for rabbits and deer?

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--- Quote from: kzogsylvania on September 04, 2013, 05:46:34 PM ---This is true. The hornet has never been my go to for rabbits and squirrels. Honestly even when I had the opportunity to grab it I never did. Just instinctual to grab the LR. Now I want to give the lower velocity rounds a try and see the results. And yes buck fever can cause some poorly placed shots but that could happen with the 8mm Mauser too. I know for a fact though that soda cans can be hit very reliably at 300 yards.

Are you serious about the .17 HMR thing? That is a little ridiculous. Do you know of anyone that was successful? What did the wounds look like?

And personally from what I have seen out of a good buddy's 243. Every time was an extremely effective hit. In fact compared to my 30-30 which is my normal choice. It was always kind of messy. The worst was a shoulder through shoulder shot. The whitetail back peddled on the report and took it in the shoulder. When we walked down the exit was about the size of one of those small basketballs you win at fairs. Nothing but shattered bone and mangled meat.

--- End quote ---

In SC, there are 2 sets of regulations. 1 for all state land and private lands in the western part of the state, the other for private lands in the eastern part of the state. The first being set by the dnr, the latter by the state legislature. On private land in the east, you can basically use anything that goes bang, including 22lr to hunt deer. They also run deer with hounds. In the rest of the state 22lr, as well as fmj bullets, are prohibited, but the law says "22 caliber rimfire is prohibited during still gun hunts for deer" hence, it only prohibits 22short, 22long, 22long rifle, and 22 magnum.

Kansas if i remember correctly prohibits anything smaller than 6.5mm(.270).

The only deer I know of shot with a 17hmr was DRT, but it was a 20 yard shot to the back of the head from a treestand. He hit right where the spine connects to the skull and honestly a strong pellet rifle would have worked.

I hunted the season before last with the 223 almost exclusively, and harvested several deer, but I passed on a lot as well. I also used non standard ammo, 75gr hornady tap, waited for broadside or quartering away shots, restricted my range to 100 yards or less, or made head shots.

My preferred cartridge for deer sounds like overkill to the extreme, 375 H&H mag, 300gr softpoints, but it ruins a lot less meat than a 30-06 or a 308. Because it was intended for much larger critters, the bullets barely expand, but still deliver a tremendous amount of energy, and since there is no violent expansion, there is no mangled meat. 375 in, 45 caliber out and a chest cavity with nothing but goo inside. Unless i hit a leg bone there is no meat loss. Plus I really love the rifle, so I would probably carry it even if it ruined as much meat as my 308.

Rossi offers a trifecta package with 22lr, 20g, and 243 barrels.

Here is a link to the youth model for 269. Not sure of your location but you should be able to find a similar price close to you.
Also consider the 22lr/20g combo that comes in a good bit cheaper at 170. The youth models I find are great for our ideal use. The overall length is shorter thanks to a shorter length of pull(back of stock to trigger measurement) which allows for a slightly easier to store or pack size.



Personally I would highly suggest picking up a Maverick 88 in 20g should be around $200 out the door, and then saving for a single shot 243 or 270. You can go the 30-06 or similar size calibers, but in the lower end single shots they are light and kick like a frickin mule! lol 

 the only way I can think to do it right a rifle with an interchangeable barrel from any company

Without yet reading all of the replies...I want to suggest a lever action 38-357 magnum rifle. Though a bit of over-kill for rabbit with 38's.It is a powerful 125 yard deer gun in an easy to carry and maintain package. Look at 357 rifle ballistics and compare to 30-30 and many other non-magnum rifle class rounds...PLUS the 38 and 357 rounds are less costly and easier to find during the ammo shortage of our current times. I also like the 12 gauge shotgun for low cost,available ammo and multi-use by ammo selection...but it is a bit tough on rabbit and light for other than close range deer.

+1 on 12 gauge.  Specifically, a single shot 2 3/4" 12 gauge is hard to beat for versatility and ease of carry.  For deer you can use Brenneke KO slugs out to 60 yards. For rabbit you can use #4 shot with an improved cylinder choke or a .22 adapter:  In a pinch it can even be used as a muzzleloader:


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