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Hi all,
Im keen on shooting some feral pigs and occasionally deer. I was just wondering what would be a good gun for these to animals something that is cheap to run and not really hard to get a licence for and strong enough to kill them.
cheers fox hunter.
 

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a .308 would do a good Job. Learn to reload and it could be much cheaper to shoot. Forget the Centrefire .22's . Maybe a .243 could be considered a reasonable minimum for Deer n Pigs
I prefer bigger Bores and love the 45.70, it can be loaded from mild to wild. Factory ammo can be expensive but Reloading brings costs down to reasonable levels
regards Jacko
 

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There are few pigs that won't drop when hit by a good .243 load.
The other advantage about .243 is that it's extremely flat shooting and has a long range.
All grades of factory ammo are available and handloaders have an even wider range of projectiles.
243 is also ample for fallow deer.
308 Win is fine too & it's certainly easy to get ammo for but the 243 edges out in terms of range, ay least IMO.
I'd personally avoid 45-70 for pigs unless all of your hunting is done at closer ranges.
Certainly it's really powerful but it lacks range unless you load it hot.
Other suitable cals are 6.5x55 (ammo availability is good) and 7mm-08 (more of a handloaders cartridge).
7mm-08 is excellent in fact, as it's a great deer cartridge for any species, but ammo availability & cost
is it's downside.
But the 243 is easy to shoot, cheap to feed & very long shooting.
 

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Not sure what the rules are in Austrailia for buying firearms or what ammo is easy to find and some rounds are chearper than others in different markets.
Any of the WWI or WWII Military rounds with a soft point bullet would be a good choice. or any of the up or down calibers of those rounds.
So to start with the WWI / II rounds, 303Brit, 8X57, 7X57, 6.5X55, 6.5 Carcano, 6.5 Japanese, 7.7X58 Japanese and 30-06.
Desendants of the WW ctgs 308, 243,358 Win, 270, 35 When, 6X57, 6.5X57
Then you have all the European, English, and American hunting rounds like 7mm Mag, 300 H&H, 300 Win Mag, 35 Remington, 338 Fed, 338 Win, and even the tried and true 30-30.
All of these ctgs will carry enough energy to kill a pig from 150 pounds to 300 out to 300 yards if you are able ot shoot that far. The cheaper the ammo in hunting bullets the more you will be able ot practice and the more confidant you will be at longer ranges.
I know that some will offer 223 or other small bore, small case option. And they work. I just prefer a heavy for caliber bullet.
My personal favorite Deer and g caliber is 308Win with 180 grain soft points where legal and 150 grain lead free where I have to use lead free projectiles to save the Stupid condors :eek: .
 

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i would say it depends on the terrain
and distance you intend to shoot.
here in these bottoms and thickets
a shot might be several steps or 50
yards. most often i've been using
shotguns with buck or slugs or a
1894 marlin .44 mag. farther west
or south where the ranges stretch
farther i'll use a .308 blr or 30/30 lever
with a low power scope.
good luck
 

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I've re-examined Fox hunter's original brief and I need some clarification from him before making a final call.
The accepted most flexible round for rabbits, hares, foxes, goats, pigs and smaller deer species here in Oz is .243 Win, and for good reason.
It's light on the shoulder, usually quite accurate, has an effective range beyond 300yds , ammo is inexpensive and is widely available in a wide range of bullet weights, components are cheap & plentiful, and rifles are also plentiful in all price brackets.
Probably most important though is its performance.
It is an excellent penetrating & killing round.
BUT, and this is most important, if Fox hunter is planning on hunting deer in
Victoria or NSW it may not be the wisest choice, especially if he's in Victoria.
Sambar deer, the biggest species in Australia, are very common in Victoria but the minimum calibre is .270".
So he needs to make a decision on whether he'll limit himself to smaller deer species or instead gets a .308 Win, the next most flexible and inexpensive cartridge.
Personally I think buying a 270 Win a bad move even though it's quite cheap to buy & run.
They're harder to shoot and less flexible IMO.
 

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Again, lever guns are great for pigs but I'm getting the impression Fox hunter only has a few rifles if 2.
I know a lot of guys hunt pigs up close.....like as close as 5 feet.
But others are out at well past 200yds and when you bring deer in the equation you'll want a rifle which happily puts them out to 300yds without holding 6 feet over.
I've personally been through the whole "this cartridge is definitely capable of taking pigs or deer or goats."
You end up second guessing yourself.
At the end of the day you want a cartridge that is not capable, you want one that is perfect in as many situations as possible.
30-30 isn't my definition of perfect in that many situations.
But, hey, just my opinion, having hunted this game in Australian conditions.
Other Aussies who have different experiences may disagree but I doubt they'll disagree with my logic.
 

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kombi1976 said:
There are few pigs that won't drop when hit by a good .243 load.
Sorry Dude, unfortunately I found the 243 lacking punch on the big Wild Boars and Fallow Bucks. That's why I went up a 1mm in bullet diameter to the 7mm-08; a great performer on large Boars, Fallow, Rusa, Red and Sambar.

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There are far better options out there for pigs and deer, and I personally would not bother with anything smaller than 6.5x55mm/260 Rem with a 120gr bullet. If you are not a hand-loader the pick for you would be the 270W, or for some extra punch, the 7mm Rem Mag or 30-06. If you are a handloader; the 260Rem, 6.5x55mm, 7mm-08 (my choice), are 280Rem are great flat shooters.
 

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I'll bow to you greater experience in the pig dept, drew, & recommend the 30-06 instead. I was seriously surprised to see how many guys are using them when hunting sambar earlier this month. Three out 4 of the guides used '06 as their rifle of choice. There's stacks of ammo available for them in varying weights.
 

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Hard to beat a .308 Win. or the 30-06 for ammo available worldwide and being versatile for med. to large game . From what I have read here on this forum the H & R handi rifle and the Baikal single shot rifles are easy to find and low cost in Australia and I hunt with them here in the US and they work fine for most.


jedman
 

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I agree with mcwoodduck, and my choice from his list would be the 303 British. Some boars might need that heavy bullet and bore.
 

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I have to disagree.
Yes, 303 Brit is a formidable hunting cartridge capable of taking game up to and including elk and black bear at distances out to about 250yds without hold over or under.
However, most rifles chambered to it are at least 60 yrs old and milsurp, some good shooters, some bad, some in original trim, some bubba'd horribly and a considerable minority turned into quality sporters.
Yes, there's the Ruger No1 but they barely rate a mention amongst the various Lee Enfield variants.
IF you have a Lee Enfield that shoots well you're well on your way but that usually involves hand loading the rounds & scoping the rifle.
If you rely on factory ammo even a scoped rifle probably won't shoot that accurately because no one (with the possible exception of Hornady) makes premium 303 ammo.
And gone are the days of cheap 303s.
A decent example with all military bits & no scope usually starts at $500 & goes up.
However affordable and premium ammo can be had for 243, 25-06, 6.5x55, 270 Win, 7mm-08, 30-30, 308 Win & 30-06.
Rifles start at about $500 and go up in these cals and most can be scoped & tuned to shoot 1.5"@100yds or smaller depending on ammo, scope and rifle.
My recommendation remains 30-06.
What DID you end up with in the end, Fox Hunter?
 

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Kombi, part of my reason for choosing .303 is because I like rimmed cartridges, and I have friend who has a beauty.
 

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I like 303 too, BUGEYE, and I own a 1942 Lithgow No1 MkIII* which I use for Service Rifle competition.
Once I develop an accurate load I'll probably try and smack down some game with it too.
I love the little Martini Enfield artillery Carbines in 303 and would love to trick one up as a stalking rifle, either with a custom scout scope mount or with some sort of aperture sight.
And I'd be very pleased to own a Ruger No1 in 303 British as it could be loaded to duplicate 308 Win.
And that's ignoring the great P14 and super cool Ross M1910 rifles.
However any 303 under $500 is unlikely to be worth the money and those in the $500 price range tend to be purely military rifles.
On top of that ammo isn't cheap like it used to be and components are not widespread either.
I tried to track down cases and projectiles at a big gun store in Sydney recently and they had neither......of ANY description.
Of all the "shooting some feral pigs and occasionally deer","cheap to run", "not really hard to get a licence for" and "strong enough to kill them" cartridges 30-06 stands out as the best.
A new Howa or Stevens are pretty cheap and cheerful and a H&R is even cheaper, all of which can be scoped.
Even Rem 700 SPSs are pretty affordable.
Ammo is available EVERYWHERE and if you were going on a hunt where accuracy is paramount (i.e. deer hunting) Remington, Federal and other firms make premium ammo of various weights.Seriously, 303 just doesn't stack up as an affordable & flexible choice, as sad as that is.
 

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303....for you down there


308 for me in USA
 

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20 years ago maybe.
Now availability of everything dominated by US trends.
It's easier to buy ammo in 223, 243, 308 Win and '06 than 303 these days.
 

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kombi1976 said:
20 years ago maybe.
Now availability of everything dominated by US trends.
It's easier to buy ammo in 223, 243, 308 Win and '06 than 303 these days.
OK 308Win it is. 8)

I just listed a number of CTGs that are capable of taking pigs. I mean taking pigs at hunting ranges. And depending on what you have already in your closet or safe when I mentioned the WWI and WWII military ctgs as many have old military rifles as well as sporterized versions.

If you have a old military rifle, then buying ammo for it and getting sighted in with the rifle will be far cheaper than buying a new rifle and getting it sighted in. Even if you say 303 is hard to find and rather expensive, buying a new rifle 200 to 800 USD and buying ammo at 20 to 50 USD a Box is going to add up pretty quickly even if you are paying 60USD a box for the old military rifle you already have.
 
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