Calibre of Choice
Firearms expert and journalist Byron Pace reveals to ‘County Deer Stalking’ his favourite calibre for UK deer stalking.
The calibre question is a long and worn debate. Everyone will have a favourite, and often this has little to do with any great logic. Some calibres are just endearing.
(Left: Could it be the 7mm Mauser?)
Confined to only UK hunting makes life a little more straight forward, but our spectrum from Chinese Water Deer to the mighty Red Stag means that a single choice has to cater for the largest of what’s on offer, knowing that it will also be able to take care of the smallest without any issue.
Hunters get very caught up in the actually cartridge, where as the calibre choice is actually very small. We are likely to be using a 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm or 7.62 (.308”). Whatever the case behind these, the same projectile is being pushed. The 6mm cartridges are a little under powered for bigger game, which leaves three options. From there, most debate is really academic. All will do the job, but some with more powder than others. Any of the Magnums are just overkill for the UK, and no serious hunter in the UK would use one on a daily basis.
For me I will forever be tied to the 7x57Mauser (.275 Rigby), due to the history and the fact it was my first rifle. I will likely always have one in the cupboard, having said that, for convenience, I now find myself shooting a .308Win’ more than anything else. It’s not perfect, but it will take care of anything here, including boar, with little fuss and with modern ammo and home loads, any shooter can hunt to 300yds with it without having to become a ballistics expert. Of course the other big plus, is that factory ammo and loading components are always available, and this is important for a day to day rifle which sees a lot of use.
To read more about the .308 Winchester click here: 308-win
To view more opinions take a look at the following link: what-is-your-favourite-calibre-for-uk-deer-stalking
For more on Rifle Calibres follow this link: rifle-calibres