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Need a Caliber Recomedation

Old 09-17-2010, 05:43 AM
Fork Horn
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Default Need a Caliber Recomedation

I currently have 4 rifles... a .22 LR, a .223 Rem, a 30-30 Win and a .35 Rem (that I had purchased for my now deceased Dad). I have the .35 Rem "on the market" (it's listed in the classifieds if you're interested) and would like to replace it with another rifle to round-out my collection. I am leaning toward a .308 Win, but I am concerned that I am underpowering myself with regard to what will be the heavier end of my rifle battery. In reality, this new rifle will primarily be used for whitetail and black bear, but I wouldn't want to regret the purchase should I ever get the opportunity to go after elk or moose (Maine NOT Alaskan). The alternative I would be considering, although I am open to other recomendations, is the 30-06 Sprg.

I'm interested in hearing opinions/perspectives on the choice I face.

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Old 09-17-2010, 06:21 AM
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The 308 and 30-06 will get stuff done, even though I'd greedily take a 7mmRM instead
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:27 AM
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There use to be a saying in the technology business that nobody ever got fired for buying IBM. So I would say the equivalent in rifles would be a 30-06. I got a 30-06 nearly 20 years ago just to have the one gun that could hunt anything in North America. Of course I haven't actually hunted more than whitetails with it so far, but hopefully that will change.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:47 AM
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When I was getting that first "do-it-all" gun, I got a .30-06. I have since added a .223, a .243, a 7mm-08, a 7mm Rem Mag., and a .308 to the collection... If you're considering either a .308 or a .30-06, either will do what you've described. So will pretty much any modern cartridge of greater than .277 caliber... i.e. .270 Win, .280, 7mm-08, 7mm RM, etc., etc., etc...
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:09 AM
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First off that .35 Remington was built for deer and black bear.

Go with the .30-06 and you will never feel undergunned and always be able to find a wide variety of ammo.
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Old 09-17-2010, 10:30 AM
Fork Horn
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30-06 would be perfect. A 308 would work but with the 06 wider bullet selection better yet get both lol
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:33 PM
Fork Horn
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There ya go... I'll get both. But then I'll have the same dilemna - - which do I take into the woods...LOL!
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:38 PM
Fork Horn
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You wrote that you bought the 35 Rem from your dad...once you sell it, you'll never get that gun back. i recommend that you keep it and sell the 30-30.

as for a new caliber, i'd go 7mag.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:11 PM
Fork Horn
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Originally Posted by ths78
You wrote that you bought the 35 Rem from your dad...once you sell it, you'll never get that gun back. i recommend that you keep it and sell the 30-30.
This sounds like a pretty good idea. I would agree to keep the 35 Rem, I have a special place in my heart for lever guns as well as the deal with your father being attached to it.

Now as for cartridge choice, 308 or 30-06 will both serve you well.
check out my 308 review of the new Marlin XS7 I just posted.

Get a Marlin XL7 in 30-06 or a XS7 in 308. For the price I think hard to beat right now.
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:51 AM
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Um - my first rifle was a Remington Gamemaster 760 - 35 Remington - and it was a bolt action gun.

The 35 Remington and the 30/30 Winchester has almost identical ballistic's for a 150 gr bullet. There is no advantage of one over the other and there is no reason to hunt with a 35 Remington unless you are only going to hunt white tail deer at very close range. It would be almost worthless on Elk or Moose or Black Bears...

The .308 Winchester was a military round which was designed to replace the 30-06 govt, due to the fact that the 30-06 govt required the gun to have a longer action to accommodate the round and it kept the shooter from carrying as many rounds because the 30-06 round was longer and weighed more - because the shell held more powder.

The .308 uses a faster burn powder - but not as much to do the same job. Both has the same ballistics for a 150 gr bullet. The kicker comes in when you try to use a 180 gr bullet in the .308

Because the shell is shorter in the .308 and because when you use a bigger bullet, it displaces room inside of the shell, you can't put as much powder inside of a .308 and so it fails miserably when you move up to a 180 gr bullet. Also the 30-06 has a couple more feet of reach downrange then does the .308, which means if you want a good all around gun, you would buy the 30-06 and not the .308

This is not to say that manufacturers has not improved bullet construction over the past 30 years or that you couldn't use a 150 gr bullet to kill a elk or a bear, just that I wouldn't want to use it in my opinion. I had a model 88 - .308 Winchester rifle and it was a very sweet shooting rifle.

Probably the best choice for a all around rifle for doing everything would be a 7 MM Remington magnum or a .300 Winchester magnum.
I have had both and I can attest to the fact that I have made shots with both rifles that amazed even me. With the optics on my Browning pump rifle - 300 Winchester, I can hit a pie plate at 800 yards with no problems. It is not unheard of - to hear of people who have used the 300 Winchester Magnum to shoot as far as a mile away. The US Army used that round at one time as a sniper round with much success and their shooting teams had special purpose built 300 Winchester rifles that they used for competition.

The goal should be to have a round that does not knock you into next week when you pull the trigger and that is accurate enough that you can hit everything that you aim at and that is economical to shoot as possible and a round that you can walk into most any Walmart at 3 AM in the morning, the night before hunting season and buy a box of shells.

This pretty much excludes rounds such as the .270 WSM and the 300 WSM and the Weatherby rounds that are out there.
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