6mm  cartridges in the .243 Winchester class shooting heavy bullets are considered a reasonable minimum fallow cartridge.

Minimum Fallow Deer Cartridge


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Fallow buck - image BBC UK
Fallow buck – image BBC UK

Q: Some of my mates are convinced that cartridges such as
the .223 and.22-250 are adequate for shooting fallow deer. I am equally convinced that when it comes to deer cartridges, the .243 Win. and 6mm Rem. are a more sensible minimum, while the.257 Roberts, and .25-06 are close to ideal. What's your opinion on the subject?Errol King
6mm  cartridges in the .243 Winchester class shooting heavy bullets are considered a reasonable minimum fallow cartridge.
6mm cartridges in the .243 Winchester class shooting heavy bullets are considered a reasonable minimum fallow cartridge.

A: While I realise that new heavy .22 calibre bullets improve
.
the performance of various .22 centrefires on deer compared with the same cartridges loaded with bullets designed for shooting varmints, I regard any .22 calibre cartridge as being underpowered for deer. In a spotlight and under favourable conditions, they often kill deer cleanly enough, but conditions are not always favourable in the field. I agree with you on the subject - 6mm calibre is the minimum that should be used on fallow deer, and only with a stoutly structured bullet of 90-105 grains.


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Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey is one of the world's most experienced and knowledgeable gun writers, a true legend of the business. He has been writing about firearms and hunting for more than 65 years, has published many books and uncounted articles, and has travelled the world to hunt and shoot. His reloading manuals are highly sought after, and his knowledge of the subject is unmatched. He has been Sporting Shooter's Gun Editor for longer than anyone can remember. Nick lives in rural NSW, Australia.

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