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> Calibers Used for Hunting, Thought I'd Get A General Discussion Started
rick308
post Feb 1 2006, 18:19
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For starters.... Let's assume/realize there is no "one" caliber for all hunting purposes!!

Say there is a hunter that typically hunts whitetail deer and wild boar in the midwest/southeast. He/she is interested in the occasional hunt out west/southwest for proghorn, mule deer and elk. This hunter does not have a budget for various hunting rifles and is looking for a good caliber to take this kind of game. He/she asked about the various WSM cartridges in 270, 300 and 325, but I don't know that much about them. For you experienced hunters of the above mentioned game, what calibers would you recommend to this person?? I've suggested various hunting magazines but the follow-up response I got was "everyone seems to have a different opinion". I'm curious, what's yours??

Thanks...
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tiggere
post Feb 1 2006, 18:54
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As far as opinions go...yes everyone will have one and more than likely they will all differ...For a good reference point...try this...look up the state laws for hunting deer and elk in (place your state here)...see what the minimum caliber to be used is for each of these species and stay above that by at least one caliber. This will give you a "range" of calibers to choose from...then you can make your choice based of things like recoil, cost of ammo, parts availability...ect. I use a .270 Winchester for deer/antelope/pig size game and love it...good flat shooting round with enough ummph to get the job done. For elk size animals you really need something larger and I would step up to my 30/06...a good compromise might be the 7mm Magnum or Weatherby Magnum...this should cover just about anything you want to hunt. Good luck...and it must be nice not to have a gun budget...does this "person" need someone to go with them on these hunts to show them the ropes...expenses payed of course (IMG:http://www.snipersparadise.com/sniperchat/style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif)
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cmshoot
post Feb 1 2006, 18:55
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I use .308 for most of my general hunting. It'll work on all the game you mentioned, but I personally would feel comfortable with something a little "heavier" for elk (which I have never hunted).

Other calibers that will work for what you are looking at are .30-06, .35 Whelen, .280 Remington, .270 Winchester, 7mm Remington Mag, .300WM, .338WM, the .270, 7mm, .300 and .325 WSM's, the Remington short mags, .264 Winchester Mag, 7x57 Mauser, 6.5x55, etc.

What I'm tryin' to say, is that the list of calibers that will work for what you want will take me all day to write out. Talk to 10 folks, you'll get 10 different calibers that will all work equally well.

FWIW, it's hard to beat the .30-06 for a good, all-around the US hunting caliber.
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tiggere
post Feb 1 2006, 20:16
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QUOTE (cmshoot @ Feb 1 2006, 19:55) *
FWIW, it's hard to beat the .30-06 for a good, all-around the US hunting caliber.


Capable of taking almost every North American game animal (grizzly excluded and maybe buffalo)

And the only reason I don't use mine for deer hunting is it does way too much damage on our 150 pound deer here in NC...thats why I went with the .270 as I mentioned above. If our deer were 200+ pounds then the 30/06 would be there instead...

And as opinions go...if the 50 cal. is king of the block...then the scaled down 30/06 has to be second! (IMG:http://www.snipersparadise.com/sniperchat/style_emoticons/default/eck05.gif)
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blaster4
post Feb 1 2006, 22:08
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decide which of the three critters he/she will hunt more. if it's pronghorn more than elk then go with the .270 wsm. if it's elk more than pronghorn then go with the 300 wsm. the mule falls right in the middle and it can be taken with either rounds just as easily. you can find bullet weights and designs to make the 270 wsm and the 300 wsm effective on all the game mentioned. at least that's what the voice's in my head are saying to me right now. LOL

--KJ
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mark russo
post Feb 1 2006, 22:44
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I believe Tiggere hit it on the nose. Its hard to beat a 30-06 for all around use. I,ve taken caribou & bear with one, and have a couple friends that have taken elk & moose with no trouble for years. Up in Quebec where I hunt caribou, about 80% of the people where using 30-06. Availability is a huge consideration if you run into problems such as losing ammo and have seen people remember there gun but forgot there ammo. If you have an exoctic caliber, your gun is no good. Due to general population in certain remot areas, you won't find Weatherby ammo because the locals are not going to spend the money, so thats a consideration. And most places have a minium caliber. The bullet that your using and shot placement is mostly the biggest factor, and practice, practice, practice!!! That cannot be stressed enough.
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Jimro
post Feb 1 2006, 22:54
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The WSM's are nice, but they do not offer much to an ethical hunter, there are some shots that just shouldn't be taken.

The tried and true 270 Winchester will take elk, but with proper bullets, that means Barnes X or Winchester Fail Safe, the solid copper will allow for adequate penetration and expansion without fragmentation. The failsafe has a lead butt for weight, but it is held in a steel cup.

There really isn't any one round that will do it all, but for light recoil and elk on down the 270 Win is an excellent choice. Ammo availability is also a factor, nearly anyplace that sells ammo will have a box of 270 win, as well as 30-30 and 30-06. The shortmags aren't so ubiquitous just yet.

However, if your friend really wants a shortmag, the 270 or 7mm WSM fits his hunting requirements perfectly, the 7mm moreso than the 270 since it can handle the heavier bullets for elk. Since the 7mm has a better bullet selection than the 270 and the ammo will be just as rare, it makes sense to go with the 7mm WSM.

The 300 WSM is great for elk, as is the 325 WSM, but they would cause just even more meat damage than the 7mm WSM. All in all I recommend the 270 Win, it'll do everything your budget minded friend wants, and cheaper than any of the WSM's.

I see a lot of nice 270 Win's on Mauser actions for around 300 bucks regularly, and that is a setup that can't be beat. However, a new Savage is priced around the same, and they are pretty darn good hunting rifles too.

Jimro
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seppos
post Feb 2 2006, 3:42
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For me the current battery is: 45-70 and .338LM for moose and 6mm PPC or 220 swift for black grouse and
capercaillie.
The 45-70 is good in short distances as well as humane and meat preserving cartridge.
.338 is a combination for hunting and training... Good from the distance as well as gives the opportunity to train while hunting.
6ppc as well as .220 are good for small targets from the distance.

I know that there are better solutions out there... My battery chances according to my preferences.. This happens to be the one at the moment...

S
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Cooper Phoenix
post Feb 13 2006, 18:38
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Old school: 6.5x55mm
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Guest_hunteradam2001_*
post Feb 13 2006, 19:10
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QUOTE (tiggere @ Feb 1 2006, 21:16) *
QUOTE (cmshoot @ Feb 1 2006, 19:55) *


FWIW, it's hard to beat the .30-06 for a good, all-around the US hunting caliber.


Capable of taking almost every North American game animal (grizzly excluded and maybe buffalo)

And the only reason I don't use mine for deer hunting is it does way too much damage on our 150 pound deer here in NC...thats why I went with the .270 as I mentioned above. If our deer were 200+ pounds then the 30/06 would be there instead...




I would have to agree. This rifle has such a wide variety of bullets that you can go from prairy dog hunting with light plastic cased rounds right up to black bear with 200gr bullets. For hunting she (my .30-06) is my "getter done" rifle.
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Sergeant
post Feb 15 2006, 12:59
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I like my 45-70. I am good to 300 yds with iron sights and it's alot of fun. Hits hard.
Steve
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Johnnybravo351
post Feb 15 2006, 18:44
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If I had to pick a single rifle for the types of hunting I do every year, it would be either a 7mm Rem Mag, or the 300 WM I use for elk now.
Either can be up or downloaded with proper bullets to cover the entire spectrum of North American big game.
Either one will cleanly take everything from varmints (though a bit heavy, even with the lighter 125'ish bullets), up to the largest of the bears we have around here and can hunt.
I tend to hunt bigger game, so if I had to choose just one it'd probably be the 300.

That being said, it's nice to have the freedom of choice, and have different guns for different needs. (Maybe even a couple for each). (IMG:http://www.snipersparadise.com/sniperchat/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

God Bless America.
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Powermac
post Feb 21 2006, 7:33
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I would suggest 308, 6,5 Ackley imp, 7mm rem, 7mm wsm, 7 STW, 300 wsm, 270 wsm or 270 win,325 wsm, 338 win mag.
The best overall is to go with either the 7 or 30 mags
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bodark
post Feb 21 2006, 19:41
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For whitetail deer in NC Kansas, I usually hunt with WW2 era rifles.
8mm, 303 Brit, and 7.62x54r work very well.

But any of the regular calibers 3006,308, 270 etc should work fine.

This post has been edited by bodark: Feb 21 2006, 19:42
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M700
post Feb 22 2006, 14:17
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Elk are big, strong and tenacious. They are however, not bullet proof!

A good solid deer cartridge, with good bullets, will handle elk just fine. We've got so doggone many cartridges available to choose from, it' nuts. If all a guy had was a .308 or a .30-06, he could hunt anything in North America, with the possible exception of the great bears up north.

I've seen the big Alaskan Brownies up close, and although I'm sure my .30-06 would do the trick, something much bigger would be my first choice.

I like much of the advice offered above. We all have our favorite cartridges, but frankly, we don't really need 'em all. They're just fun to mess around with. I've shot deer with everything from a .223 to a .45-70, and a .50 cal muzzle loader. They all died, very quickly. All of 'em were just as dead, the ones hit by the bigger, more powerful cartridges were not "more dead." Weird huh?

For bigger, heavier game, where penetration is key, just use good bullets designed more for penetration than expansion. All will work out just fine. Shot placement and good bullets are a lot more important than exactly which cartridge is chosen. Me though? For an all-around rifle I'd stick with one of the 7mm or .30 cals, such as the 7mm Rem mag, 7mm WSM or the .30-06 or .300 Win mag. Something on the smaller side would be appropriate if deer were the main quarry, and something on the bigger end of the scale would be the logical choice if elk were primary.

FWIW, Guy

This post has been edited by M700: Feb 22 2006, 14:18
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