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Choosing a rifle caliber

Old 10-30-2017, 09:05 AM
Typical Buck
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Originally Posted by txhunter58
A SIMs recoil pad will take a 30-06 down below 15 ft lbs of felt recoil. Or a 308 down to about a 243 perceived recoil

For one who has had 2 contisone shots in my neck, recoil is a BIG issue to me. For others, not so much.
I'm with you right there. I didn't think so much until just this year. Some jumbling of the regs here in Indiana this year motivated me to get out my old 870 and unpack a dozen slugs I'd saved "for no reason". After just a couple of those my old blown out disks from my neck down to my tail bone all felt tweaked and are still sore.

On the softer side, I can get out my old garand and shoot full power 30-06 all day like it was a 22. A year ago about this time I had a family event here and let all the kids try out the "old grampa gun" and taught them all how to load and shoot it. It was actually as big a hit with the teenage girlfriends as it was with the nephews. Especially when the started hammering those steel plates way out there just like every one else, even from standing positions.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2017
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love the 30-06. best ballistics and ammo available everywhere. 30 cal is proven, and in the 30-06 you could shoot 55gr sabots all the way up to 220gr heavy loads. i even saw tracers and AP at a gun show. versatile, available, and powerful.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wildbillb ballistics...
Not starting anything, just curious what you mean by that.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:06 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Kerrville, Tx. USA
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"I use 140gr. & I'm finding out they have 150's and 158's. I haven't tried them out yet, but very happy with the 140 partitions."

The more different bullets I try, the more I seem to come back to regular old partitions. They always seem to shoot better in my guns than just about any bullet, and they flat do the job when they hit something. Unless you have to use non-lead bullets, you just can't beat them.
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:50 PM
Fork Horn
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you know it's perfectly okay to have several rifles
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Old 10-30-2017, 01:53 PM
Typical Buck
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I haven't seen any to measure but I would imagine those 150-158 grain bullets for the 7mm-08 would start taking up some valuable cartridge space. To get those 10-18 grains would have to be in a bit of length and the 139-140 grain bullets are pretty much at the long end to compression loads. At least with the powders I use. Now if you don't hot rod your loads anyway, you may be able to get them in without compression or valuable space. Or you may use a smaller kernel type powder.

As far as the .308 vs the .30-06 argument, the .30-06 can and does outperform the .308 and the recoil is based on the rifles. Put the exact same bullet weight in rifles of identical weights and you would be hard pressed to perceive the difference. Rifle weight is a key factor in perceived recoil. Also stock fit and a few other factors. The size of the individual firing has little to no effect on recoil. Technique and form as well as rifle fit is all that really matters. Of course there are some exceptions to that like injuries as a couple have noted. Some are just highly sensitive to recoil no matter how well the rifle fits or how well they utilize proper form. Especially those that started out with a rifle well above their absorption ability to begin with. But even with all that, the difference between the .308 and the .30-06 is pretty much moot till you pass the 500 yard mark. Just like the .30-06 vs the .300WM. With comparable bullet weights and BC, there really isn't any difference until you start getting into ranges that your average hunter shouldn't be pulling the trigger at in the first place. From 500 yards and in, that deer or elk will be just as dead. With average hunters in mind, cartridge availability and price is the key factors to observe. And both the .308 and the .30-06 are pretty much available anywhere you look and the prices are pretty much the same. Factory ammo is beyond stupidly high so one must think seriously about reloading if one is serious about shooting without wanting to go broke feeding their passions.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:33 AM
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Blanca, Colorado
Posts: 30

Clearly the answer depends on the game, the conditions, the objective, and the user. Many of us have irrevocably crossed the threshold from practicality to the "art of hunting".

With that in mind, I presently plan on a new tactical plan for 2018. Using my fluted, heavy barreled 7mm STW with 30mm 4.5-14x ballistic milling scope. Perched over a meadow yielding possible 800 yard "opportunities".

This feels a bit questionable considering my minor background in triathlons and preference for climbing up and down hillsides in the past. It is more of an adaptation than becoming "light in the head". I have moved to an area offering exclusively steep and very, very rocky terrain. It it almost impossible to hike without making far too much noise. Strained breathing is counter-productive to accuracy. It also takes far too long to catch your breath at 10,000 feet when the game somehow shows up.

Crime is the reason that I don't simply drive to better and easier areas and camp for days at a time. I built a survivalist minded 8000' structure in an area with no neighbors within a couple miles. Then the "scary's" started showing up. Living in "illegal" straw bale compounds and spending all of their money on mind altering substances. They see my place as their personal hardware store. Thus relieving me of anything of value that is not locked or bolted down. Enough on those guys unless there is further interest....

Last edited by softdown; 10-31-2017 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Blanca, Colorado
Posts: 30

Originally Posted by flags

According to Chuck Hawes, who is a widely accepted expert on firearms and ammo, the felt recoil energy of a 308 Win with a 150 gr bullet is 15.8 foot pounds. In a 30-06 that goes all the way up to 17.6 foot pounds. A whopping difference of 1.8 foot pounds of energy. I offer the humble opinion that if 1.8 foot pounds of energy affects you that much you should spend some time in the weight room making your shoulder stronger.

Bottom line is that anything a 308 can do a 30-06 can do just a little better. And you can literally get 30-06 ammo anywhere in the world.

As always, feel free to disagree.
I may be inclined to argue that, many times, aerobic fitness is more useful than stronger shoulders. If we were all called to create the "perfect hunter", my suspicion is that more would call for endurance than shoulder strength.

Let us pretend that we are all guides and charged with the success of inexperienced groups. Groups with specialized athletic backgrounds however. I would certainly prefer the endurance athletes over the strength athletes.

Noted that hardly anybody called for a caliber exceeding .30. Recoil almost has to be a part of their reasoning. My .375 H&H, with 270 grain bullets, makes me flinch pretty hard without some padding. My .338/.378 does not have that affect per memory. I suspect the effective muzzle brake provides the needed difference. My .50 BMG is so heavy with such an effective muzzle brake that shooting is almost a pleasure. Too bad buying the ammo is not.

Muzzle brake additions are not always the answer. A friend had a gunsmith add "a slot" to his highly accurate Parker-Hale. Somehow destroying the accuracy. I wonder if that gunsmith swapped barrels.

Last edited by softdown; 10-31-2017 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 11-02-2017, 08:22 AM
Fork Horn
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ahamburg, You still here or checking-in???
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:12 AM
Nontypical Buck
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I recently decided to semi-retire all the rest of my centerfire bolt rifles in favor of having 1 go to, do all, hunting rifle. MY idea of a versatile hunting rifle, considering I hunt whitetails, elk, pronghorn, groundhog, coyotes, wild boar, & black bear is Browning A-Bolt 2, making a exhibition grade+ grade Claro Walnut stock chambered in 30-06, Nikon Monarch 5 3x-15x-42mm, and I've worked up 2 loads that will cover everything I hunt just fine, AND they both are surgical accurate, & impact with 1" of each other. The 1st load is Nosler 150gr Ballistic Tip, for whitetails on down, and Nosler 180gr Accubonds for elk & the like. It's all I'll ever need, but am playing with the idea of a fly weight 7mm08 exclusively for hard all day, days on end whitetails, weighing in the 4.5-5.5# range before scope, and will be shooting for (pun intended), 6.5# or less fully kitted & loaded.
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