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Choosing a rifle caliber

Old 10-05-2017, 09:26 PM
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As boring as it sounds, I have to recommend the .30-06 as well.... I like to play with different things, but always have a .30-06 packed no matter what or where I'm hunting....

I've got loads currently ranging from 110grain, to 220 grain, and most options in between as well. Although a quality 165 or 180 would work just fine as a "do it all bullet" for your "do it all rifle"

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Old 10-06-2017, 11:14 AM
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A do it all rifle for what range shooting? I could argue/defend a few calibers but if doing any sort of long range shooting, I would vote for the 7mm mag (or WSM).

If big game is the primary target with hogs and small game as the lesser included, I would vote for the 338 Fed or Win mag.

Nothing wrong with a .300 mag (or WSM) though either as a happy-medium. So many good options! That's why nobody owns just 1
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:28 AM
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The .308 calibers are always going to be the kings of going from light to heavy no doubt. I do prefer the 300 win mag over the 30-06 for more versatility but not everyone shoots longer range. The 300 win mag in the wrong gun fit will punish you. The 30-06 is cheaper to shoot and will do everything you want with in reason. The 30-06 has been a go to caliber for a lot of reasons but for a all around North American caliber it's probably #1.

Now going back to Flags post. If only shooting at reasonable ranges there is something about just knocking the crap out of animals with the 375 H&H. That's a whole other world of kinetic energy.
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Old 10-07-2017, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Blackelk
If only shooting at reasonable ranges there is something about just knocking the crap out of animals with the 375 H&H. That's a whole other world of kinetic energy.
I hope to find out how 45-70 does this year.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:53 AM
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There are 5 deer and 8 wild hogs that can attest that the 45-70 takes no prisoners. I use Leverevolution 325 grn rounds. I shot a 154 lb hog last year right behind the shoulder and he went down right now. He is not the hog pictured, that one was ahead shot, I rarely take a shoulder shot because of ruining meat but I was impressed how fast he went down. I did lose the bottom half of the shoulder on the exit side and also killed a small pig that was standing on the far side and I couldn't see it, about 12 lbs.

Last edited by Oldtimr; 10-07-2017 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Berserker
I hope to find out how 45-70 does this year.
I have a 450 Marlin and it is a real thumper, but it is more of a specialized short range round. I use it for elk in heavy timber and it is also my bison rifle. It isn't an all purpose round since it has the trajectory of a bowling ball at more than 200 yards which is why my nod goes to the 375H&H.
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Old 10-08-2017, 06:26 AM
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Should find yourself on the road, early on a Sunday morning, with first light fast approaching, in an isolated rural area, and realize that your ammo bag is on the kitchen table two hours behind you, there may still be hope.

Most rural gas stations will have a couple of boxes of 22 long rifle, 12 gauge buck, slug and bird shot, 30-30 and 30-06.

Ask me how I know.
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:43 PM
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Your instinct for a .308 is a good one. Just a touch less than a 30-06 (maybe 50 yards), but a very smooth shooting rifle. I find it more pleasant to shoot than a 30-06 and much more pleasant to shoot than some of the more powerful cartridges mentioned in the good advice above. The 7mm-08 is a nice round (a necked down .308) but is hard to find in heavier bullet weights.

There are some fine recommendations from others here, but the .308 does not punish you for shooting it. Some of the larger and magnum calibers would discourage me from practicing enough. I had a 30-06 (my second choice) and sold it, shot a 300 Win Mag once (once was enough) but...I'll admit I am not a power shooter like others may be. I use 165s for everything and have but a single hunting rifle but know it well.

If you get a bullet drop compensating scope with range dots on it, you can zero the scope for elk/deer loads. Then, buy some subsonic .308 rounds (they make them) and see which range dot puts them on target at shorter ranges. My Nikon is the 5th one down at 50 yards.

That way I can hunt with a big game round in the chamber but can rack a round and shoot grouse or small game with a subsonic round without blowing up the game using the correct aiming dot in the reticle.

It is a very versatile setup. The third round is another high powered round for follow up shots on big game (which I have never needed, but need to be prepared for).

I live in the Colorado Rockies hunting deer, elk, and pronghorn, and my second choice would be a 30-06, as so many others have mentioned. But, I have never found subsonic rounds for them (though they probably exist).

Best wishes as you decide.

Last edited by paveglass; 10-21-2017 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:23 PM
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30-06 for all the reasons mentioned above.

That said, the 308 will do the jobs you want nicely

If you wanted that plus a little more zip, a 7mm mag does that job and is also popular enough to have well distributed and relatively cheap ammo

Last edited by txhunter58; 10-22-2017 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:43 PM
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When I started hunting I lived in Northwestern Colorado and I asked the locals that I worked with this same question. At that time the only game that I knew that I would be hunting were Mule Deer and Elk. They advised me to get a .270 Win or .30-06. I chose the .30-06 and for about 10 years, I used it for everything from prairie dogs to elk.

For many years I wanted a 7 mm Rem mag, but I couldn't see that it was any better than the standard old .30-06.

Now, 50 years after I bought my first centerfire rifle (30-06), my favorite rifle is my .300 Weatherby that I wish I had bought 40 years ago. My safe now also holds rifles chambered in .223, .22-250, .257 Ackley, .270 Win, 7mm Rem mag, .30-30, .308 Win, .30 Gibbs, and .375 RUM. I shoot some of these more than others, and while most of them have big game notches in them (figuratively speaking), I usually only pick one of them for a specific animal.

Todays gun market is full of a huge variety of cartridges, but for the average North American hunter, I think its hard to beat the .30-06.
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