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Choosing a rifle caliber

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Old 10-03-2017, 06:33 AM
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Default Choosing a rifle caliber

Iím going to purchase a rifle, and I know how cliche this may sound, but I want one that can do it all. I want to be able to hunt anything from a hog up to a bear. From what Iíve seen, a .308 can do this, but any other suggestions? Also, I do know, any bullet will really do the trick as long as you place it in the right spot.
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Old 10-03-2017, 07:05 AM
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If you want one rifle to do it all on this planet, then get a 375 H&H. You can take everything from rabbits to elephant with it. Use solids for the very little stuff and the very big stuff and softs for everything else.

Now if you take Africa off the table then get a 30-06 and have at it. Problem solved.
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Old 10-03-2017, 12:36 PM
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270 win, 280 rem, 280 AI, 30-06

7mm-08, 308 not bad choices either.

Last edited by salukipv1; 10-04-2017 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ahamburg View Post
Iím going to purchase a rifle, and I know how cliche this may sound, but I want one that can do it all. I want to be able to hunt anything from a hog up to a bear. From what Iíve seen, a .308 can do this, but any other suggestions? Also, I do know, any bullet will really do the trick as long as you place it in the right spot.
Since you're not listing your state yet are talking hogs, I'm guessing you're in the lower 48. If you're referring to black bear only, you're pretty much in the ballpark with a 308 and could also use anything from 270 on up.
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Old 10-05-2017, 07:58 AM
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Assuming bears doesn't include ones that may just try to eat you, I'd suggest either of: .30-06, 7mm-08 or .308


All good bullet selection (though 7-08 is sometimes scarce in New England, but getting better)
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:56 AM
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The classic answer to that question is the .30-06. More widely available ammo. More range of bullets in commercial loads. The .30-06 has an advantage over the .308 ballistically. While some would argue this difference is marginal and/or insignificant, it is never said that the .308 has a ballistic advantage over the .30-06 -- chew on that for a minute.
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Old 10-05-2017, 11:09 AM
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There really is no "do all rifle." You end up with a rifle "just big enough" for the biggest of game - which then puts it "far too [email protected] big" for smaller game.

The 308win is as "right" of answer for the Americas as anything. I'm not really a fan of the 308win in general, favoring 30-06 with a heavy bias from when I was younger, and for anything but the heaviest of game like brown bear, moose, and bison, I'd prefer the 7-08 over the 308... But any of these are right answers for the task.

If a guy is financially able to visit Africa, they're easily capable of purchasing a second rifle, so while a 375 H&H is capable of punching bunnies, there's not much point in doing so other than to be able to say you can and did, or to "prove" you can get more utility out of your DGR than just African Game. Kinda like pulling a pony cart with a 20 horse team... While not as extreme, frankly the same over-powered sentiment can be said about the 30-06 or 308win for anything smaller than whitetails. It's no coincidence you hear so many guys talk about 3 and 4 gun batteries to suit world wide game hunting.

Where you live in the US makes a big difference in what rifle will best suit you as a "do all rifle." If you live in a state with larger game like Elk or bear, where you'll have a realistic opportunity of regularly drawing or buying large game tags, you need more rifle than you might in other states where the largest game available is a mule deer. A guy who owns ONE rifle might do well with a 7-08 in Nebraska every year, then be able to employ the same rifle for elk or moose in the rare opportunity it arises. Alternatively, someone who lives in Montana where an elk tag might be common fare would be better served in owning a 7rem mag or 30-06.

Similar to what I mentioned above about financial ability and African hunting, a guy who lives in a state where his "every year" game is no larger than a whitetail, going out of state typically costs enough, if a guy is capable of making it happen frequently, they're capable of purchasing another rifle, at least temporarily, if and when that happens. Too many folks from whitetail/mulie only states have been lured into buying bigger rifles than they'll ever use because they have dreams of one day hunting larger game in far away states or countries...
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:44 PM
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Like NoMercy I too am not a big fan of the .308 even though I have 2 of them. I prefer the 7mm-08 for deer and the 30-06 for everything else I hunt up to and including moose. The 06 has never disappointed me and neither has the 7-08. Just remember to use a bullet suitable to the task.
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Old 10-05-2017, 05:33 PM
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30-06. Basically a 308 Win with a turbo charger. Shoots the exact same bullets but 100-200 fps faster. A little more punch and a little more range. Ammo is the easiest to find of all big game rifle calibers.
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Old 10-05-2017, 06:26 PM
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Lots of good calibers out there. For me 30-06 is a do it all. But so are others. 30-06 is easy to find ammo, lots of choices.


People will tell you about animals shot with smaller calibers and being just as dead. True. But 30-06 is alot more forgiving. No I am not advocating poor shots, which is what they say. I practice quite a bit, and have been lucky to only have taken good shots so far.

Over 30-06, cost will be an issue.

This year I bought a 45-70, which can be loaded mild to wild. Can shoot long range, if you know the range, and you round, but is not usually chosen for such. Unless you want to kill a million buffalo. But unless you load your own, expensive. Even then 30-06 i cheaper with more components on the shelf.

People have shot black bears with smaller calibers. But if you are buying a new rifle, and not utilizing an existing rifle, why go small?

7mm magnum and 300 win mag are probably popular for deer, elk, and bear rifle too.
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