What caliber for new hunter


December 27, 2008, 10:40 PM
Well I'm thinking about getting an all around hunting rifle. So far I think either .308 or 30-06 will do nicely. what do you think would be better. I figure it'll be hunting anything and everything in Tennessee. That includes the occasional Big cat [not exactly sure what they are, besides massive]. Also would would be better price wise?

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December 27, 2008, 10:45 PM
30 30

December 27, 2008, 10:45 PM
Love the good old .308. It always does what i ask it to. If you hand load its also a great cali!

December 27, 2008, 10:56 PM
I like the 30-06. IMO Anything the .308 will do the, 30-06 will do better... except fit in a short action rifle.

The 30-06 has a clear advantage when handloading, espc with bullets 180gr and heavier (which the .308 can't take). Plus it's a classic US rifle caliber and store bought ammo is availiable anywhere.

Anything bigger than the .270Win will adequately take any game in the US if you know what your doing shot placement wise. .270Win, .280Rem, 7-08, 30-30, 30-06, .308, You really can't go wrong with any of the classics. Pick one your comfortable with and go hunting.

December 27, 2008, 11:01 PM
If you're only going to be hunting in the South, you would do fine with a lighter cartrdige like the .30-30, .243 win, .257 Roberts, .260 Rem, etc. Lighter recoiling cartridges promote better accuracy. However, if you plan to come out this way and take big mule deer bucks or Elk, the .30-06 would be a wise choice. It is the most widely available rifle cartridge in the US as well.

December 27, 2008, 11:45 PM
25-06, 7mm-08, 308, 30-06, 308 marlin express

December 27, 2008, 11:58 PM
i like .308..

December 28, 2008, 12:02 AM
I would go with a .243 or if you want a little more oomph a 308 or 30-06...

December 28, 2008, 12:13 AM
30-06 Is the best all around rifle cartridge made.

December 28, 2008, 12:27 AM
I hunt mainly in west Tennessee and my 270win has always served me well.

December 28, 2008, 12:30 AM
What kind of big cats are in TN? At least acknowledged by the state?

December 28, 2008, 02:00 AM
Okay between all of the above cartridges which is the best price wise. as soon as i get a chance I'm going to start reloading.

December 28, 2008, 02:11 AM
308 or 30-06...both are excellent. I'd say that the 30-06 gets the nod for larger game at greater distances, but the 308 is practically the -06s twin and can be used even more accurately and reliably than the -06 for medium and small game over great distances.

BUT...don't listen to that baloney that someone posted ahead of me about 308 bullet size limitations at only 180gr....I personally handload 200gr Noslers and Barnes TripleX for my Browning BLR (lever gun) 308 and it "takes" the stuff spectacularly IE there ain't no problem getting yourself a 200gr bullet and handloading it for your 308 if you need something heavier for something...well...heavier.

If you are only going to use factory storebought loads, then it's true that you can't currently get anything heavier than 180gr for the 308, though.

I chose 308 over -06 years ago and have been nothing but pleased. If you really need something with bigger whack than 308 in 200gr then you probably need more than the -06, too. Which is why I have a BLR in 358 W, too, as well as a 7mm Rem Mag and a 338 WinMag...

But if I were to pick a great all around caliber it would be 308 or 7mm Rem Mag.

December 28, 2008, 02:12 AM
I would say the .308 ive had a win model 70 youth about 12 years and it has slain many a varmites over the years and will still drive nails at 100 yards !

December 28, 2008, 02:14 AM
You can handload 308 up to 200gr bullet weight with Barnes TripleX and Nosler Partxns. I know because I do it myself (so ignore the preceding poster who said you can't get bigger than 180gr for the 308)....it is true, though, that in storebought factory ammo the heaviest bullet for the 308 currently available is 180gr.

December 28, 2008, 03:56 AM
I'm going to throw my opinion towards a 30.06, not because its so much better than the .308 but because of the round availability and many platforms available. Its nice to be able to chuck 220 gr if anything with claws is the target. Thousands of bolt actions available, a few levers, several semi's, not to mention ballistic charts and such for long range work. I'm not a huge fan of the recoil 30 caliber rifles give, but I do like the results.

December 28, 2008, 08:52 AM
I use my .308 more then the 06 but that's only because it is a lever action. Otherwise there is really not much difference twix the 2. And there is nothing in TN that either one wont drop.

December 28, 2008, 10:08 AM
Gotta agree bigtime with "Yenchisks"... the .30/30 and the rifles it is chambered in have "Tennessee" written all over them like cheese on pizza.


December 28, 2008, 11:17 AM
If I were new and I was buying one rifle what I'd like (and doesn't exist so someone should make it), is a Remington 760 carbine, stainless, in 7mm-08. Maybe a good synthetic or laminated stock. Let's see... ghost ring sights and when needed a compact scope like a Burris Short Mag. Why isn't that being made, would I be the only buyer?

December 28, 2008, 11:25 AM
Hunting in the East or West, a 270 Win. is hard to beat. 7MM-08 a close second.


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 28, 2008, 01:41 PM
The best price-wise, both in terms of acquiring the rifle, and buying the factory ammo, is either .30-30 Winchester (typically a lever action rifle), or 7.62x39mm Russian.

the .30/30 and the rifles it is chambered in have "Tennessee" written all over them like cheese on pizza.

Yes, sir.

December 28, 2008, 02:39 PM
what kind of performance does the 30/30 get at longer ranges [past 100yds]. I'm not really sure if I'll be doing any target shooting with said rifle in the future.

P.S i'm a 1 gun gun of person. i've got 1 shotgun. and 1 .22. so i hope to kinda keep that going for sake of price :). plus fear the man with only 1 gun. :D

December 28, 2008, 02:47 PM
You can't go wrong with either the .308 or '06. When I went looking for my first hunting rifle, I had a bunch of surplus boxer primed LC ammo I liberated from my supply sgt. in the Marines, I handload, so it made sense getting a .308. With lighter bullets to about 165gr, the 06 gives you no advantage at all. For example, I can sqeeze about 3025fps from my .308 Weatherby Vanguard with 150gr bullets, and haven't eclipsed 3075fps from my Winchester '06 with the same bullet. After that, however, the '06 really can push those heavier bullets.

My '06 just sits in the safe with my 7mm mag. The .308 is what I use for everything. I also like the fact that it's a short action cartridge. No magnum frenzy here.

I load 220gr Partitions for my .308, so you can go very heavy if you handload. These are fun to shoot, and 2300+fps ain't nothin' to sneeze at.

I've toyed around with getting a .325 WSM, or a .338 Federal. But I always come back to "what is the point?" My .308 does everything I need it to, it's killed elk, deer, bear, coyote. Plus it's a sub-MOA rifle. Brass is also plentiful and cheap.


ds mccolly
December 28, 2008, 02:55 PM
Having hunted with various calibers over the years I've now settled on my 7mm 08. It's a great caliber for deer and works on elk but may be a bit light. I've only shot one elk with the 7mm and that was when I had a good broadside shot. The rest have been shot with an '06.

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