Is .308 too big for muntjac?

ssh mar spurts how big

ssh mar spurts how big - Credit: Archant

Is my .308 rifle too big for shooting muntjac? Will it ruin the carcass? Seasoned stalker Dom Holtam offers some practical advice on the matter

Q: I have recently picked up a new permission with some muntjac on it. I use a .308 for most of my deer shooting (mainly fallow and reds). Both a stalking pal and also my FEO suggested that it was too big a calibre to use on munties and would ruin the carcasses. Is this true?

Dom Holtam replies: If you were shooting munjac exclusively, you might not choose the venerable .308 Win as your first option. However, if you already require a larger calibre for the species of deer you are taking already, then I see no reason for you to go to the trouble or expense of buying a different rifle and scope specifically for the odd munty.

Of course, if the ground is deemed suitable for the calibre (or if you have an ‘open’ ticket, you deem it to be suitable), there is no legal reason why you should not use your existing rifle on the new permission. From an ethical perspective, the deer are unlikely to notice the difference either.

In terms of lost flesh, bullet construction, velocity and of course shot placement are all going to alter the equation. I have shot quite a few muntjac with a .308 and found that a traditional hunting bullet at modest velocities costs you very little in the way of lost flesh. I suspect that a smaller calibre shooting a lighter, more frangible projectile at higher velocity would cause more.