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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While working up loads for my .308s for this upcoming deer season got to pondering this question. Got to googling a lot of questions and mainly just got a LOT MORE QUESTIONS.

1. What level of accuracy does it REALLY take to reliably make a clean kill on a whitetail deer from average distance ?

2. What IS the average distance of most whitetail kills ?

Starting with #2 general consensus is most encounters are under 100 yards, with the average being between 50-75. Now before someone jumps in and says I routinely take them out to 200-300 and have at even longer ranges, no doubt it does and has happened. Even here I can sit on a 40, 80 acre field or bigger and have those shots also, BUT WHY ? More deer are in the timber, and I know where, so that's where I, and seems where most other people hunt also.

So back to #1....What level of accuracy does a given gun have to shoot to take a whitetail at the average distance of under 100 yards ? Checking wildlife sites, looking at the structure of a whitetail body, the answer is ....
a 4-6" circle. This is assuming you make a body shot at the vitals (heart and lung area).

These thoughts came to mind as I sit here looking at the result of my loading of first rounds for my new .308. A cheap (my many standards) single shot. I sold my Rem. 700 bench .308 a while back to fund purchases of other firearms. I have never needed more than one shot brag just fact. With factory rounds and iron sights it shot under 2" groups at 50 yds. With a 9X scope and reloads just over 1" at 75. AND I WANT I sit here and am thinking ....WHY !!!

What is a Sub-1 MOA gonna get me ? Where I hunt All my shooting lanes are from 25 to 90 yards average. My favorite has 1 lane out to 12 years I have shot "ONE DEER" out there. All others average about 70. I have found over the years if the .308 is on at 50, it is at 75, at 100 and at 125....ENOUGH TO MAKE EM PLAY DEAD !!!

It is fun to shoot those groups at the range, but I have never and never will have to put a group like that in a deer.....:p I HOPE. So I will load up some more, shoot them and if they stay at what they were to start I'm good to go and will move on to the other two guns for my grandsons.
Factory rounds would be just as good, they were for a lot of years, but I enjoy loading them myself, and they are cheaper, and better.

I will leave the SUB MOA game to the .223 bench gun and paper punching....:D

1,966 Posts
I have to agree.
I hunted the Allegheny National Forest in Pa. back in the '70s. I was fortunate enough to harvest 5 bucks in 8 years. The longest shots were at an estimated 125 - 135 yard range. Most shots were from 40 - 100 yards.
Here in Ohio where center-fire rifles are not allowed, the maximum allowable shots are 100 yards or less with shotgun slugs, muzzle loaders and handguns.
I have enjoyed a many a day at the range where I would shoot sub MOA groups on paper, just for fun and bragging rights. From a hunting perspective, MOA groups are good if your rifle is capable, but it's not a must.
My personal guidelines for a large game hunting rifle is 2.5" group or less at 100 yards. Any rifle that won't hold that group is sold or traded. The MOA requirement does, however, hold true for varmint rifles.
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