The only thing better than a caliber thread or a poll thread is....


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 1, 2009, 10:33 PM
.....a caliber thread with a poll.

I keep going round and round in circles for my ONE primary all-purpose go-to, lightweight North American (Non-Alaska/Canada) hunting rifle & caliber (above .243 win), as a result of some unexpected acquisitions taken in trade - this has resulted in my getting back to too many calibers and hunting rifles (again), and something's got to go so I can just continue to try to get better & better at one main hunting rifle, and reload primarily for one (or two) rifles. But before I simply part with the obvious choices of the recent trade aquisitions, I thought I'd run caliber choice through the old High Road feedback algorithm one more time.

I'm keeping my .243, so this is the rifle one step up in power from that, but one step down in power from Canada/Alaska/Africa rifles in 9.3x62mm, .45-70, and 12 ga slug.

The calibers are in the poll, and are in my case obviously inseparable from the rifles I have chambered in these. But I want you to vote in the poll "in a vacuum" for caliber only, and then come in here and post if your answer as to which rifle/caliber combination I should choose, if it's different from your "caliber in a vacuum" poll selection.

In fact, I'm not going to post the rifle list until I get some votes on caliber, in a vacuum. I have definitely narrowed it to these however.

As you can see in the poll, here are the caliber choices:

.260 Rem (6.5mm-08)
7mm-08 Rem
.280 Rem

I'm very torn, as they all have their pluses and minuses, and all would be excellent choices.

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September 1, 2009, 11:05 PM
Doc, I'd stick with something in the short action category if you want to keep it light. That would also mean getting a true short action rifle. I think the .260 or 7mm-08 would best fit your needs. I voted 7mm-08 BTW but it's really too close to call between those.

September 1, 2009, 11:07 PM
.260 Rem is very versatile cartridge for anything from long range varmint to moderate range deer/pig...I agree with jp, but went with the .260 due to the betterlong range ballistics and nearly identical short range capability. :)

jim in Anchorage
September 1, 2009, 11:10 PM
I like the .280 Rem. Works in a short[22 inch] barrel, every bullet weight/style available, and seems to be the optimum case capacity for 7MM. Little flatter shooting than a 06, but just as much punch.

September 1, 2009, 11:10 PM
geez Tad, being that the world economy is going to crash like, next week, dont you think something a little more common might be in order? :evil:

In all the assault rifle threads, etc those calibers just look, archaic.

and yet refreshing. I would go with the 6.5 x 55.

September 1, 2009, 11:19 PM
Personally I like the Swiss 6.5 in milsurps. Really accurate rounds in my experience.

Uncle Mike
September 1, 2009, 11:44 PM
Well...let's see. 4oz. difference between a long and short action. Big whoop!

As for the calibers you list... there aint a spit of difference in killing authority in them...

As I tend to lean towards it's better to have the power and not need it than to need the power and not have it... I voted for the .280.

Hey, it works in hehehe

For real though... Stainless Synthetic 30-06...Any weather, any critter (within reason)
beat it, bang it wipe it off, put it away....

I do love the 7mm-08, have hunted with one for years...till my oldest daughter took it for her deerzeblatzen...

September 1, 2009, 11:52 PM
Location: Under Here...Mike did you crawl under the table for that post? :neener:

September 1, 2009, 11:56 PM
No .308?

September 1, 2009, 11:58 PM
Cant go wrong with pretty much anything in 6.5

September 2, 2009, 12:08 AM
I voted .260 Rem. because it's second best to a .308 Win. :neener:

Uncle Mike
September 2, 2009, 12:14 AM
Yea...I did! hehehe

What...??? lol

Float Pilot
September 2, 2009, 12:23 AM
Hmm, this is a cartridge poll, not caliber poll.

September 2, 2009, 12:39 AM
Ugh...I'm not voting...

Why? I have no experience with any of these calibers. With that said, I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. They all are great calibers, especially for deer, and all look extremely appealing when looking at ballistics.

I'm leaning for either the 6.5x55 or .280. I want a 6.5x55...and own a 7mm Rem Mag, which is just a hotter .280.

September 2, 2009, 12:44 AM
all purpose includes the small stuff, squirrels, pdogs, small varmints, etc.
you can download the 260 , with some light fast bullets, and get some laser fast trajectories out to 300 yds.

September 2, 2009, 12:45 AM
I voted .260 Rem. because it's second best to a .308 Win.Keep dreaming...what does it do that the .260 can't...well other than have more recoil?

September 2, 2009, 12:46 AM
... assuming you are handloading, right. then def the 260. load some 160's for big , heavy long distance, or mulies and such, and some 100 grainers, or lighter if they are available, for a lights out varmint rig.

Uncle Mike
September 2, 2009, 12:55 AM
Well now...get yourself a Savage in 7mm-08!

Those short actions are sooooo loonnng that you'll be able to load Berger VLD's long and STILL get em' through the action.

then watch out....

September 2, 2009, 05:27 AM
I voted for 6.5x55.

But if 7x57 was an option that would be the one I would get.

September 2, 2009, 06:45 AM
What no, .257 Weatherby or Roberts, .250 Savage (.250/3000), .25/06, .264 Win, .270, .284, 7x57 and for the ones listed why no:
All of the Above
None of the Above...

What of the WSM, WSSM, RUM, RSUM calibers that came out?

I have at least one gun in each of the listed calibres although the .260s are configured for varmint shooting...

September 2, 2009, 07:05 AM
I voted for the 7mm 08 for only one reason. I have seen the ammo at Walmart.

September 2, 2009, 08:40 AM
I threw a vote in for the 280. It bridges the gap better between your 243 and your heavy rifles. Since your handloading I'd venture to say you'll be able to get more out of it than the other three (I don't know how you load, so I could be wrong). I recently made this choice myself and wen't with a 30-06 (only because I don't handload). I think the 260 (while a great caliber) is too close to the 243. I'm not too familier with the 6.5 so I'll refrain from comments about that. My second choice would be the 7mm-08.

September 2, 2009, 09:21 AM
I voted for the 280, the most versatile of the bunch, but I think the 7mm-08 will win this poll since 280 rifles are getting scarce.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 2, 2009, 09:58 AM
Interesting results so far.... 7mm08 is most popular.

beat it, bang it, wipe it off, put it away..

We ARE talking about guns here, right? :D :D

The rifles I either have or are considering for this poll are:
1. Win Featherweight, 7mm-08 (have)
2. Rem 700 "Mountain DM", .280 Rem (have)
3. CZ 550 FS, 6.5x55 (thinking of getting now in the classifieds from manofsteele)
4. Rem Model Seven, .260 Rem (don't have)

I guess the 550 FS doesn't really match up in terms of the lightweight criterion, so it's probably out. I just got the Win 70 FW though, and have heard a lot of mixed about accuracy problems - think it will be hard to get it shooting accurately? Unfortunately, this is not a new FN one - it's an older USRAC one.

Arkansas Paul
September 2, 2009, 10:44 AM
I'll go with the .280. It spits out the same bullet as the 7mm-08 but with quiet a velocity difference. When properly handloaded, the .280 is nearly as fast as the 7 mag. Notice I said nearly. The only disadvantage is that ammo at times can be hard to find for the .280. If you handload, that wouldn't matter.

September 2, 2009, 10:53 AM
I do not own one, however a friend owns one as his only center-fire rifle and he has never had anything 'run away'.
Shooting it is easy - no recoil - less powder for the reload - why not be normal.

September 2, 2009, 10:58 AM
I'd prefer a .30-06 for an all around North America or even light African rifle but if that wasn't available I'd try a 6.5x55, I've never used it but I've heard good things.

Loyalist Dave
September 2, 2009, 10:59 AM
I love the Swedish Mauser round. I have seen tests done with 140 grain fmj vs a .30-06 165 gr fmj... and the Swedish Mauser round went through double sand bags when the '06 did not. Thinner cross section did the trick. Highly accurate, and handloads can be made that will shoot very "flat" compared to the .308 out to 1000 yards. It's a good poor-man's 1000 yard round.


September 2, 2009, 11:40 AM
.280 since it is closest but not as versital as the grand old 30-06.

September 2, 2009, 11:55 AM
Dr. Tad,

I'd go with choices 1 or 2. I'd say that probably the .280 is the best choice as its a little bit better choice for elk, but all are great deer cartridges. But why, may I ask, can't you have them all? Those are nice rifles, I wouldn't get rid of them. Someday, I'd like to own a 6.5x55 and a .260, and a .280. I already have a 7mm-08 (two actually, ones a model 7 youth) and a 30-06, so I really don't need them.

Also, before hunting season starts, I have seen ammo in all the calibers you have listed at Walmart.

September 2, 2009, 11:57 AM
I have a stainless/synthetic stocked Rem 700 in 260 Rem. for deer hunting up here in the soggy Northeast. It's a tack driver and will readily dispatch a whitetail out to 300 yards. Not that I can ever see anywhere near that far in the woods.

I did not vote because I wouldn't call the 260 Rem or any of the other listed calibers an all purpose round. You need something heavier for elk or moose. I would say you need a .30-06 at a minimum to be "all purpose."

September 2, 2009, 12:13 PM
No .308?

My thought, exactly.

Of the choices, I would choose the .280.

September 2, 2009, 12:23 PM
These are all great caliber but only one was deemed accurate enough for Olympic competition, the 6.5X55!

I have hunted with it for over 30 years and could not be happier!

September 2, 2009, 12:35 PM
The 6.5x55 Swede does it all and does it well.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 2, 2009, 03:01 PM
Okay, okay, these are 'cartridges', not 'calibers' - got it; you knew what I meant! :)

Man I wish that the magazine on the Rem 700 Mountain DM had a "halfway in" notch. I'm leaning toward this one in .280 Rem. The Win 70 featherweight (pristine/like new) in 7mm-08 is in fact up for sale in a sale thread of mine right now - haven't bumped it in several days, but it's in there. It's a great candidate, but I think I like the Rem 700 Mountain in .280 as the best all-around choice of both caliber and rifle features. Fairly lightweight, good recoil pad, nice looking, 22" bbl, all-around caliber, Rem quality (some would argue that's a bad thing) & accuracy, and detachable mag keeps you legal but ready when vehicle carrying.

The 550 FS is a dark horse, since I don't actually own it yet, and I *want* it to be my choice, as it's the classiest, but it's a bit on the heavy side, and I dunno if the short 20" bbl can wring out of the 6.5x55 any more than you could get from a 20" .260 rem.

I should mention that I do also have a .30-06 but it's a beautiful NIB T/C Icon Classic, but I want to keep it pristine and unused for the foreseeable future, for some unknown gawd-forsaken reason. Just cannot bear to hunt with this beeyoot.

Zak Smith
September 2, 2009, 03:51 PM
I think you'd be hard pressed to find any practical difference between these cartridges within 300 yards on any type of game, provided you chose a good hunting bullet. I voted .260 because it's a great all-around cartridge and the 6.5's have been proven on big game in Europe for 100 years. However, if you already have a .243, there would be some overlap. In that light, the 7-08 might be a better choice to have more complementary than overlapping rifles.

In the .30-06 case, the .280 Remington is a great choice, but you could go .284 Winchester (ie, the .284 of 6.5-284 fame) for an alternative.

September 2, 2009, 05:36 PM
I have a 280 and a 7mm-08. The 7mm has a Hart 26" barrel and will make anyone look good. My 308 will be turned into a 260 this winter. The 7mm started out life as a 243.

Over lap is good.

Extremely Pro Gun
September 2, 2009, 11:46 PM
Don't care about those. I perfer my ammo to be on the shelves. I.e. 308, 556, 223, 9mm, 45, and 12 gauge!! :D

September 3, 2009, 12:57 AM
Don't care about those. I perfer my ammo to be on the shelves.Funny you mention that...all of the shelves around here have .25-06, 7mm-08, .257 Roberts, et cetera...but no .223/5.56, .308, 9mm, and .45...12Ga. is still readily available OTOH. :)

September 3, 2009, 01:01 AM
7mm-08 I have personal experience with and love it.

The 6.5x55 is probably the most under rated cartridge out there for big game.

September 3, 2009, 04:36 PM
I voted 6.5x55. Never even seen one but I just think it would be cool to have a round that not every one in deer camp has. And the guys who hunt with it seem to like it. That and it would make a sweet coyote rifle for the times when I don't want to pack an 11 pound AR.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 3, 2009, 05:56 PM
Well pretty clearly, I'm a maverick who likes to be different, and doesn't mind reloading or paying the extra for ammo. I also like the SDs and BCs of both the 6.5 and 7.0mm rounds, and the massive choices of the 7mm bullets. If the Rem 700 Mountian DM in .280 I ended up with will shoot under 1.0-1.25 MOA without too much effort, then I'm sticking with that gun. It's lightweight, nice to look at, nice recoil pad, and has a scope I like on it already. Thanks all very much. The Win Featherweight with Leupold VX-2 3-9x40 is up for sale. It's a like new / pristine one - check the classifieds if you want this one in 7mm-08.

September 3, 2009, 06:20 PM
Well pretty clearly, I'm a maverick who likes to be differentMe too. :D

September 4, 2009, 12:00 AM
Someone already said it, but if you want all around performance in a light package, get the 280 in a Rem700 Mountain Rifle. Mine is an older model with the drop plate. I just spent some time loading up some rounds this evening for it. Some elk loads to try out, some deer loads that have proven themselves several time over on big Alberta Mulies, and a lighter varmint round. If that isn't versatile and all around, I don't know what is! My gun weighs 7.4 lbs empty wearing a leupold vx-II 3-9x40. Nice and light! The only thing is that you must take time to let the barrell cool at the range. The slim contour barrell heats up quick!

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
September 4, 2009, 12:18 AM
Yeah, I notice that that is ONE lightweight pencil barrel on my 700 Mountain DM, so I'd imagine some cooling time is in order. Set up a rimfire on the next bench and shoot 10 or 20 rimfires between each centerfire shot when sighting/testing. I have to agree, it's one super-versatile combo! 139/140s for deer, and 160/162/175s for big big game. More versatile on the low end than .30-06 and MUCH more versatile on the high end than .270 win.

Going to the range this Saturday (finally!) for some testing....

Hey what was your Alberta mulie load? Thanks.

September 4, 2009, 12:25 AM
Well, I voted 7mm-08 because the .260 Rem is too close to the .243 you already have and really know about the other two rounds. I always see the 7mm-08 on the shelves when my cartridges are sold out, so I figured at least you would always have bullets. I see you decided to sell the one of my choice, so my vote didn't count anyway.

Good luck with whatever you choose!


September 4, 2009, 12:48 AM
Just get the 6.5 x 55 and be done with it, sooner or later you end up with one anyway. :D If you want a light weight one get it in a Tikka T3 if you want a well made good looking classic style get the CZ.

I bought a Remington Model 7 in 7mm-08 years ago. It a good lightweight rifle but it mostly sits in the safe. Just doesn't seem to do much for me compared to pulling out a good old 6.5 x 55.

Uncle Mike
September 4, 2009, 01:42 AM
We ARE talking about guns here, right?

There are guns...and then, there are guns...! The latter often considered a mere 'tool'...if you will...!

You should see some of the battle axes that come through the, I think some guys use their guns for jack handles...or wheel chocks.

I'm just as guilty... I have pieces that when I have them in the wood, I cringe every time a limb slaps it... then there are the working meatzeeblastins I own... used when the going may be, or might happen to, or could get nasty! hhehehe

December 24, 2009, 12:37 AM just plain works

December 24, 2009, 05:03 AM
id go 280

December 24, 2009, 07:33 AM
Some nice calibers mentioned and not to put any of them down but surprisingly no one mentioned the 270 Winchester. A necked down 30-06, flat shooter, almost same dimensionally as a 280 Remington BUT, I can walk into any store to buy ammo in a variety of bullet weights and not pay with my arms & legs for it. This has been designated the caliber that can take all big game in North America. By the way, a 270 is a true 7mm (bullet diameter of .277). Why would anyone pick a round that when things get tough you know you can still can get ammo to shoot the rifle instead of using it as a club. But since you are set on these calibers I hessitate to pick the 280, but make that a 270 instead and you'll never go wrong (or out of ammo).

December 24, 2009, 07:42 AM
My first choice and my vote is for the 7-08. Weight savings might not be significant, but having handled the same rifles in both long action and short action (Ruger, Remington and Savage - .308 vs. .270), the short action guns seem more lively to me.

My 2nd choice would be the .280.

My "not on the poll" favorite is .308, because of ammo availability - dang near anywhere you go, you'll have a (theoretically) decent shot of finding ammo, including at Greasy Gert's Gas & Grub - where you'll stop after you got to deer camp and realized you left that box of ammo on the counter by your Rolaids and Advil.


twice barrel
December 24, 2009, 07:44 AM
I voted for 280 Remington because its closest to my favorite; the 270 Winchester.

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