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Choosing the perfect Caliber

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Choosing the perfect Caliber

Old 09-28-2010, 12:48 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Choosing the perfect Caliber

Hi guys, this is my first time on this forum and I would like to get your alls input on something. I need some help on deciding which caliber rifle I want to buy. Now, I did do some searching, and have learned quite a bit about which calibers are good for what I want to do, but I have an additional factor thats needs to be thought about. Recoil.

Here's where I'm at. I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Around here about the only thing you need a rifle for is whitetail or sika. So I had a Remington .280, and I loved it. But, the person I had entrusted the storage of my rifles too no longer has them, and I'm left having to start from scratch.

For around here, my .280 was perfect. It also was on the border of respect/fear as far as the recoil goes. See, soaking wet I'm maybe 145 on a good day. I'm a scrawny type dude, with little upper body strength. My .280 had just enough recoil that sometimes I could feel the scope barely touch the hairs on my eyebrow, but not enough to actually hit me.

What I'm looking for is a rifle that can successfully hunt anything in North America, without having more recoil that my .280, and ammo that is reasonable cost($20-40 for a box of 20). So, I'm thinking that I will certainly need a recoil pad for the stock, and a muzzle brake.

I had been leaning toward a .270 Weatherby Magnum, but after some reading on this forum I've decided that a .270 is too small for things such as elk. I have similiary discard a 7mm and 7mm Magnum, due to a 30-06 being ballistically superior with bullets weighing 180gr and above.

Right now I'm thinking that a 30-06 with a muzzle brake and recoil pad would be my best suited choice, but would like the input and suggestions of hunting pros such as you guys for any other cailbres and then a rifle suited to me in the decided-upon caliber.

Thanks!
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:24 PM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Nailezs View Post
What I'm looking for is a rifle that can successfully hunt anything in North America, without having more recoil than
my .280, and ammo that is reasonable cost($20-40 for a box of 20). So, I'm thinking that I will certainly need a recoil pad for the stock, and a muzzle brake.

I had been leaning toward a .270 Weatherby Magnum, but after some reading on this forum I've decided that a .270 is too small for things such as elk. I have similiary discard a 7mm and 7mm Magnum, due to a 30-06 being ballistically superior with bullets weighing 180gr and above.

Right now I'm thinking that a 30-06 with a muzzle brake and recoil pad would be my best suited choice, but would like the input and suggestions of hunting pros such as you guys for any other cailbres and then a rifle suited to me in the decided-upon caliber.

Thanks!
Whether the .270 is suitable for elk is a loaded issue and sparks fly every time it's bought up.....I'm going to recommend .284 caliber and larger.

Since you mentioned the .30-06, lets discuss it!!!!!

You didn't say you're a handloader so I will assume you could get someone to help with this.....

1. Barnes makes light bullets in .30 caliber that will have great success on deer and very light recoil. Problem is that you might want to reload them! I haven't checked them recently but will bet they have a TSX or TTSX in 120-130 grains which will be pleasant to shoot, have great trajectory, and light recoil.

2. When it comes to bigger than deer animals you have the world at your fingertips!....all the way to 250 grains if you wish.....

3. Install a 1" decelerator pad.....it's all you'll need for recoil protection.

The choice of .30-06 will never be a bad one....it's a superb cartridge and will stand up to anything in North America.....just use the right ammo in it!

Having said that, it's not my recommendation.....You had the best one first.....the .280 Remington.....search gunbroker for a used one or if it fits the checkbook, buy a used .30-06 and rebarrel it! The .280 is a very good choice for what you describe!
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:28 PM
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ditch the muzzle brake.
recoil pads are a good thing.

a .270win, .280, .30-06 is the same case essentially with different size bullets, so a 280 and '06 are so close IMO.

If you want a step up for an elk rifle, etc... my pick for you would be a .300wsm, anything less would be so close to what you already have so why bother.

A .300wsm could do all of NA well, minus some big brown bears I'd have to say.
I misread...thought you still had a .280, hmmm?

30-06 is the ultimate NA all around.
7mm Rem.Mag. is a good all around as well.

If you really wanted a .270wby mag, get yourself a .270wsm!
btw you can kill an elk with a .270

get a .270 WSM, 7mm Rem.Mag., or .30-06

Last edited by salukipv1; 09-28-2010 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:59 PM
  #4  
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7mm-08 or .308 will do all that you need to do...Others may do it past 300 yards, but most can't hit past there anyway...

Get a gun you love to shoot, become a great shot and caliber won't be an issue...

If you are staying in Maryland, get a .243, it will make you a much better shot because you can use it on crows, groundhogs, deer, coyotes and other varmints...
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Old 09-28-2010, 02:31 PM
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270 Weatherby magnum will give complete penetration on elk. I will be flattening another bull on November 2nd with mine.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:41 PM
  #6  
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A 308 Win would be a perfect round for your area. No need for a muzzle brake and you have a very good choice in bullet selection. A magnum is not needed for your hunting situation.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:50 PM
  #7  
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What happened that, the person who you trusted to store your guns no longer has them? Was it a family member, who might have thought they belonged to them?

The choice of the "perfect Caliber" is such a loaded question around here that bringing it up is sometimes frowned upon.

The "perfect caliber" is one that you are comfortable with and that you can shoot well
with.
I personally shoot a 7mm Rem. Mag. and a .243 Winchester equally well, it just depends on where I will be hunting on a given day, and how badly I want to lug around my heavy 7mm.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:20 PM
  #8  
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To me it's not choosing the perfect caliber but the perfect load in a caliber of your opinion. I say opinion because that's all it is. They all will get it done. Even a .243 will consistently kill elk. And if you can't kill elk every time with a .243 then you can't shoot. It's as simple as that. Sounds harsh but the debate of fire power has long grated on the marksman capability to put it where it belongs. The 270 win has became the standard minimum elk cartridge in the recent decades. So anything equal to or above should get a general consensus. I'd buy a 375 H&H if I had any doubts. HEHE
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:55 PM
  #9  
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Normally, I would say 7MM Rem Mag.

Once I heard worries of recoil, I suggest you get a .30-06 and work your way up through the lighter loads; until you have confidence in yourself.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:15 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Nailezs View Post
I have similiary discard a 7mm and 7mm Magnum, due to a 30-06 being ballistically superior with bullets weighing 180gr and above.
I'd take a 7mm Rem Mag over a 30-06 any day. Just sayin...

But anyways. IMO, just pick a 7mm or 30 cal that has enough oomph to it, and let the bullet do the talking. Good bullets are going to make the difference; not whether it's a 30-06 or 280. (though I'm a sucker for 7s)

Take a looksee at: Remington 700, Savage 111, Stevens 200, Ruger 77. I wouldn't have a problem gunning any of those, though I'd prefer the 700.
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