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CWM approved rifle calibers

27 Jan 2017
@ 12:18 pm (GMT)

Carsten Pedersen

Hi there,

I am re-applying for my QLD Conservation and Wildlife Management membership and am not sure what rifle calibers are used so hoping some of you are members too.

I am intersted in shooting Pigs, Goats, Dogs, Fox, Cats and Rabbit, there might be opportunities for Fallow Deer as well.

So, this is my dilemma, I don't want too many guns!

I currently shoot a Marlin 30-30 with peep sights and love the little thing and hoped CWM approves it as a rifle for above game?
I also shoot a 12G O/U.

There is room in my budget for a secondhand centerfire if I need an additional rifle for longer ranges, my preference would be for a small caliber though such as a .223, however if a larger caliber is needed, I would consider 243, 25-06, 260 and 7mm-08.

So my second question is what minimum caliber is approved by CWM and would you choose something larger from my list?

Thanks in advance


27 Jan 2017
@ 03:07 pm (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: CWM approved rifle calibers
I have no idea on this as I live in Canada, but I used and found this:

27 Jan 2017
@ 08:01 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: CWM approved rifle calibers
not sure about "approved cartridges" but the .223 is right on the money for those game species at sub 250 yards or more...pigs it will do and do well as long as you not after big tough boars,sows and young stuff piece of cake. a super soft varmit projectile for the small stuff and something along the lines of a 50 -55 grn speer for the rest....a handful of premium or barnes type loads for the bigger pigs or fallow deer and you wont go far wrong.
29 Jan 2017
@ 10:33 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: CWM approved rifle calibers
If you love the .30-30, then why not simply get a .308 bolt action to give yourself an extension of range and killing power with a bore diamter that you already know and trust.

The KB on this website is full of the information you need to make such a decision.

I am still no great fan of the .223, even though we use it ourselves with great success. There are too many ifs and buts. For example, we can use ours accurately over a pack in this hill country terrain. But if we had to shoot at distance over crops with sticks as many folk are forced to do, there is less room for error and a greater need for all out killing power. The same goes for the likes of the .243 when used on pigs. I received some wonderfully ignorant mail today from a reader that stated that I must not have tested the .243 as a normal 100 grain pill can easily pass through the shoulder of a wild boar. This is so typical of folk who write to me but cannot see beyond their own situation and local genetics. The species of boar we have in NZ have up to 1.5"or more of cartilage at the shield (the same goes in Australia. Europe and some but not all parts of the US). I have seen this arrest all manner of bullets and need not reiterate to NZ readers all of the culling era books which stated the same in detail with a range of pills up to the .303 in worst cases. I have also had bullets bounce off the head (Accubond) and bullets shatter on mud caked heads and shoulders (low SD frangible bullets). In other cases I have seen pills get through, but with low residual energy for killing. So when I write, I write for these worst case scenarios.

Anyway, thank goodness for the delete button. I could care less that when I write, it seems that I am describing an armor plated animal. The truth is- the true wild pig is armor plated because it has to WITHSTAND up to 3"of tusk penetration combined with up to 120kg weight or more multiplied by say 15mph attack speeds. It is what it is. I am not about to make excuses for cartridges that don't hold up to this.
30 Jan 2017
@ 06:40 am (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: CWM approved rifle calibers
gee I'm pleased that "sows n young stuff " was typed above LOL.
11 Mar 2017
@ 10:40 am (GMT)

Benn Harvey-Walker

Re: CWM approved rifle calibers
Hi Carsten,

Only just spotted this now ... So apologies for the late reply.

I'm on the CWM State Committee so I can help you with this.

CWM doesn't have any "approved calibers" as such. Our underlying premise is that members must behave ethically when it comes to hunting and should use calibers and projectile types that deliver "instantaneous insensitivity" appropriate to the feral animals being 'managed'.

In other words, definitely no FMJs and use a firearm that will do the job - one shot, one kill.

Whilst there's no 'approved calibers' as such, we do categorise membership by heavy and light caliber. Light is .223 and under. Heavy is above .223.

Members accredited in light caliber only (that is, used a light caliber to pass the marksmanship test) may be restricted from attending certain animal control projects because the stakeholder controlling the site (often govt) considers .223 and below insufficient to ethically cull certain animals, for example, feral pigs.

In other words, if you want the 'freedom' to attend any project, get accredited in heavy caliber and buy yourself something bigger than .223.

As Nathan said, .308 is an ideal choice. An excellent general purpose cartridge that will work for the vast majority of species we encounter - with the possible exception of scrub cattle (rare).

Personally, my go-to is a 6.5x55 and have a couple of 45-70s for scrub work and heavy pigs under 150 yards. I'm about to set up a 30-06 for long range, but that's a personal preference and by no means a requirement.

By the way, many of our projects focus on managing light animals like feral cats and foxes ... Marksmanship and rifle accuracy override caliber, so keep this in mind.


22 Mar 2017
@ 05:38 pm (GMT)

Carsten Pedersen

Re: CWM approved rifle calibers
Hi Nathan and Benn,

Thanks for your replies, they help in making a qualified decision.

My initial thoughts were to have one or two rifles, not a large arsenal in a safe I hardly use, that's just silly in my eyes.

I expect the 30-30 is good choice for close up hunting for most of the game available with CWM, I love stalking up close or calling in game.

I think it's going to be important to attend as many projects as possible to suss out the game and the range in which we are able to hunt and shoot before getting a second longer ranging rifle setup.

Thanks boys,
Looking forward to learning more



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