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  • Post last modified:April 9, 2023

In this article, we'll be discussing the best 7 deer caliber under 300 yards.

These cartridges may not have the flattest shooting or the ability to buck the wind, but they're tried-and-true cartridges that have stood the test of time.

Rifle Calibers For Hunting Under 300 Yards

30-30 Winchester - A Versatile Cartridge

The 30-30 Winchester is one best deer round with a rim on the bottom, making it wider than typical cartridges. This design was meant to help with the firearm's feeding, especially in older designs of the cartridge.

30-30 winchester for hunting

Although it was invented in 1895, it's still found on every gun shelf ever. While it may not be the ballistic prodigy by today's standards, it's an incredibly versatile cartridge for up-close shooting up to 300 yards.


  • Cartridge dimensions: .30-30 Winchester (7.8x51mmR)
  • Bullet diameter: .308 inches (7.8 mm)
  • Cartridge case length: 2.039 inches (51.81 mm)
  • Overall cartridge length: 2.554 inches (64.89 mm)
  • Maximum pressure (SAAMI): 42,000 psi (290 MPa)
  • Bullet weight: 110-170 grains
  • Muzzle velocity: 1,890-2,450 feet per second (fps)
  • Muzzle energy: 1,000-1,900 foot-pounds (ft-lbs)
  • Effective range: 150-200 yards (depending on bullet weight and barrel length)

350 Legend - Perfect for Restricted States

The 350 Legend is a relatively new cartridge invented by Winchester in 2019. It features a straight wall, making it perfect for shooting in states with restrictions on bottlenecked cartridges.

350 legend for hunting

It shoots a big, wide 357 caliber bullet at a reasonable speed of only 2,200 feet per second, making it ideal for hunting deer up to 100 yards. However, it is just marginal for hunting deer-sized game at 300 yards.

winchester xpr 350 legend with vortex scope

While the 350 Legend is not very versatile, it serves its purpose in restricted states where hunters can use rifles instead of shotguns.


  • Cartridge dimensions: 350 Legend (9.0x43mm)
  • Bullet diameter: .357 inches (9.06 mm)
  • Cartridge case length: 1.71 inches (43.43 mm)
  • Overall cartridge length: 2.26 inches (57.40 mm)
  • Maximum pressure (SAAMI): 55,000 psi (379 MPa)
  • Bullet weight: 145-180 grains
  • Muzzle velocity: 2,225-2,300 feet per second (fps)
  • Muzzle energy: 1,734-1,817 foot-pounds (ft-lbs)
  • Effective range: 200-300 yards (depending on bullet weight and barrel length)
  • 308, 7mm-08, and 243 Winchester - The Perfect Trio

    The next three cartridges:

    • 308
    • 7mm-08
    • 243 Winchester
    308 243 and 7mm-08

    They all use the exact same case. While the 308 has the heaviest bullets with the largest frontal diameter, it also has the most recoil compared to the 7mm-08 and the 243 Winchester.


    However, the 308 is slower than the other two at 300 yards. If you're looking for something that's flatter shooting, faster, and lighter recoiling, the 243 Winchester is an excellent choice.

    On the other hand, if you want the slightly slower but heavier recoiling option, go for the 308. The 7mm-08 hits a sweet spot ballistically, making it a versatile cartridge for shooting up to 500 yards.

    243, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 25-06 - The Best Options for Deer-Sized Game

    If you're looking for cartridges that are perfect for hunting deer-sized game out to 300 yards with very low recoil, the 243, 6.5 Creedmoor, and 25-06 are the best options.

    The 243 is an excellent choice and will kill a deer without any problems. However, it may take an extra second or two for the animal to die compared to the 25-06 or the 6.5 Creedmoor.

    256 hunting caliber

    The 25-06 is a long and fast, but its bullet availability is limited.

    On the other hand, the 6.5 Creedmoor is more widely available and hits a sweet spot ballistically.