The Best Overall Rifle Caliber


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Mr. T
March 27, 2010, 02:35 AM
I'm just wondering what the opinions are out there on the best overall rifle caliber; things to consider:
* Best Overall Hunting Capability (widest range of game to hunt)
* Accuracy
* Widest Range of Ammunition
* Home Defense Applications
* Possible Military Applications
* Manageable Recoil
* Ballistic Charactersitics
* Cost of Ammunition

I know that there are a lot of calibers out there that I've possibly overlooked in my poll. If you feel strongly that they should have been considered, please list the caliber in your response and why. I have also considered that the .308 Win and the 7.62 NATO -- .223 Rem and the 5.56 NATO are equivalents, recognizing that there are slight differences in specific debates.

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Mr. T
March 27, 2010, 03:02 AM
If you select "others", could you please comment on what caliber and why; just good for all to hear your opinion/philosophy.

Oregun89
March 27, 2010, 03:49 AM
You can't be serious...

Big_E
March 27, 2010, 04:04 AM
Each of the round you mentioned has their own specific uses. As for caliber, I would say .264 seems to be the most versatile.

Bobarino
March 27, 2010, 05:54 AM
i would have voted for .260 Remington if you had that option. instead i voted for 6.5 grendel, with .308 being a close second. a 139 grain Scenar in the 6.5G would be preference out of the ones you have listed.

Bobby

SwampWolf
March 27, 2010, 06:16 AM
Though I picked the .308 Winchester, I think the poll might have been easier to vote in if the op had better defined the hunting category. It's one thing to consider the variety of game found, say, in North America, and quite another thing when you start comparing elephants with woodchucks.

On the other hand, that might well have been the op's diabolical intent! And, given the possibility that such is so, I re-evaluated my choices and this time picked the 7.62 NATO...:neener:

NG VI
March 27, 2010, 06:20 AM
I missed all the Defense-Military parts of the question, and gave a hunting answer. .30-06 it is, from sabot .224 bullets to 200 or so grain heavies, the .30-06 gets it done.

C-grunt
March 27, 2010, 06:22 AM
I was gonna pick .308 but I decided the ability of the 30-06 to push heavier slugs will give it more use for large game hunting.

So its 30-06

Rexster
March 27, 2010, 08:36 AM
Indeed, .30-06 beats the .308 because it can better handle heavy bullets, so it covers the most bases. I might have voted "other" for the 375 H&H, a personal favorite, but it only really applies to the wide range of hunting applications, and is not a leading contender in any of the other listed considerations. I went with .30-06, even though it would be a bit much for home defense where I currently live. It is fortunate that I don't have to live with just one cartridge to do everything; I own rifles in five chamberings.

earlthegoat2
March 27, 2010, 08:56 AM
I really like the 303 and 7x57 for the all purpose rifle load. I do understand that these are dying and/or not gaining in popularity in the US. For all intents and purposes though these can be substituted with the 30-06 and 7mm-08.

To best qualify with the criteria you laid out though there can be no other choice than the 308.

Mr Woody
March 27, 2010, 09:41 AM
I took the question to mean the most useful in the largest number of situations. That means the .06 and its ability to be loaded for most any goal. However, in the last year and half my 30.06 has been hanging out in the closet in favor of a new 6.8 SPC.
Woody

iamkris
March 27, 2010, 09:44 AM
No such thing.

andy*
March 27, 2010, 10:15 AM
With the 30-06 I can hunt anything in North America. Of course some calibers are "better" in some ways than others. If I go after Deer or Black bear where I live, my Savage 219 in .30-30 is a excellent choice due to the terrain. When out for grouse and rabbits a .22lr rifle is my gun of choice.
My Mauser 98 in 7x57mm is a hoot to shoot and will get the job done on almost any animal in North America.
If I had to choose only one rifle caliber it would be the .30-06. Luckily I do not....
Andy

Water-Man
March 27, 2010, 10:27 AM
What you want doesn't exist. Otherwise, .30-06 & .223.

susquehannaslim
March 27, 2010, 10:36 AM
I'm a big fan of the 308 Win. But I would think the 338Win Mag would top the list. It will anchor any four legged animal on this continent.

uspJ
March 27, 2010, 10:37 AM
i didn't see the military aspect of the poll so i picked the 300 win mag, but with the military aspect thrown in i'd have to go with .308.

NCsmitty
March 27, 2010, 10:44 AM
Hands down, the 30'06 is the most versatile round of the bunch.



NCsmitty

skifast
March 27, 2010, 11:22 AM
7.62x39

20 cents per round
soft points for hunting deer
AK platform inexpensive and reliable
Excellent terminal ballistics for self defense distance
Plenty accurate for self defense and hunting

Driftertank
March 27, 2010, 12:17 PM
My reasoning for my choice: if I could have only ONE gun, in one caliber, for anything I might ever need it for, I would go with a .308.

joed
March 27, 2010, 12:23 PM
There is no best caliber or cartridge, that's why there are so many produced. You have to look at the intended use and choose from there. If you were going to hunt deer in brushy terain where underbrush is think, then it's the .30-30 in a lever action. Going to hunt deer out west, well then you need a cartridge and rifle capable of long shots.

For my purpose a bolt action .25-06 works for me. It worked so well that it was my only rifle for almost 30 years.

Jackal
March 27, 2010, 01:20 PM
.243. Can hunt most game with it, light recoil, great ballistics.

R.W.Dale
March 27, 2010, 01:22 PM
8x56R

duh!!!!

Art Eatman
March 27, 2010, 01:27 PM
In the lower 48, the '06 is as powerful as is needed for any legal hunting. It's readily capable of sub-MOA in a hunting rifle. Squib loads for squirrel; light bullets for varmints. It's better than the .308 if one desires the use of heavier bullets for better penetration in the larger game animals.

It's not the best for varmints; it's not the best for long-range big-game. But, as an all-around adequacy, "'twill do, 'twill do."

Wickens
March 27, 2010, 02:12 PM
I'm surprised to see all the 308--30-60 votes. as an outfitter in Mt. we hardly ever see either one. the 06 once in a while. Never a 308, not a great round hear they tend to fall out of the sky at any distance. 280, 280 IMP. 7 mag-270-25-06 ,300 win mag. great for this country.

skiking
March 27, 2010, 02:15 PM
I had to go with the .300 Win Mag. It one ups the 30-06 by pushing bigger bullets faster while recoil is still manageable, is used by the military, same range of game for hunting but hits the target harder, factory ammo can be had at less then $1/round and reloading costs are very close to 30-06.

rcmodel
March 27, 2010, 02:19 PM
I'm surprised to see all the 308--30-60 votes. not a great round hear they tend to fall out of the sky at any distance.Ah!
That must be why the 30-06 won every long range rifle match it entered for about 70 years. And then the .308 took over.

Don't confuse the trajectory of the 30-06 or .308 with shooters lacking rifle shooting skills.

rc

Wickens
March 27, 2010, 02:35 PM
Target shooters and military rifles not the same as hunting. Sorry

CornCod
March 27, 2010, 02:35 PM
As far as "best all-rounder" the .308/7.62NATO may not fulfill all roles perfectly, but nearly all adequately.

Maverick223
March 27, 2010, 03:02 PM
Chose other, because dependant upon the quarry (assuming hunting/survival is the purpose) I would choose either a .22LR, .223Rem., .260Rem., .280Rem., .30-30Win., .375H&H, .45-70Govt. in accordance with my views expressed here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=492156&highlight=hunting+cartridges). Not reciting the reasoning here because most folks don't want a 500 word post detailing the logic used for the choices, and a brief synopsis wouldn't do them justice.

If I were forced to choose one it would probably be a .45-70Govt. lever gun or perhaps a .30-06 bolt or lever rifle, due to the outstanding versatility of each.

:)

SwampWolf
March 27, 2010, 04:13 PM
If I were forced to choose one

I think that's the gist of it...:scrutiny:

rcmodel
March 27, 2010, 04:32 PM
Target shooters and military rifles not the same as hunting. Sorry May be.
But the four most popular hunting calibers in the U.S.A. according to sales, all started out life as military calibers.
.223, .308, 30-06, and 45-70.

rc

Wickens
March 27, 2010, 05:13 PM
This is fun, as you can see I'm not a big poster. There are things that can drive shooters crazy-- talking about the "best". That said, I own and have taken game with all the calibers you just metioned. This is 2010 and bullets,Powder and optics are much improved and if you reload the sky is the limit. I was hunting with Ron Colburn owner of Savage Rifles this fall and ask him why the 280 Rem wasn't in their line of rifles--you know the answer sales. So I see a forum like this of shooters and it's 308 and 30-06. Young shooters and new shooters read this and what do they buy? There are so many rounds out there- Lets do what our fathers and granfather did move on. If you like recoil and poor performence then settle for 308 or 30-06. That should light up the air waves! Wickens Gunsmithing .com

rcmodel
March 27, 2010, 05:17 PM
Most new shooters would be better shots and harvest more game with .308's & 30-06's they could handle the recoil from, rather then the big Maglem's they can't.

There is also the issue of buying ammo for the Manglem's to practice that cost near twice as much as those two "old" calibers.
And lets not forget barrel life if you actually shoot the rifle a lot.

rc

Chief Engineer
March 27, 2010, 05:19 PM
Not on the list, but I'm going to go with Jack O'Connor on this one,(only because I own one and agree) the 375 H&H.

Wickens
March 27, 2010, 05:31 PM
Rcmodel you've missed the point 308's 06's are everywhere mostly on used rifle racks. Let's move on new flatter shooting less recoil rounds they are more fun. I rebarrel a lot of those off the used rack-- to 280 280imp. 25-06 270 257imp.----------------

Geno
March 27, 2010, 05:33 PM
The .30-06 Sprg will secure any big game in the lower 48. It produces consistently accurate groups, and has a wide variety of loads available.

Geno

rcmodel
March 27, 2010, 05:33 PM
308's 06's are everywhere mostly on used rifle racks.Well, maybe.
But around here, I see a lot of almost new 7mm & .300 Magnums on the used gun racks too.

Folks buy them and then find out all that noise & recoil ain't something they are willing to deal with.

rc

Maverick223
March 27, 2010, 05:37 PM
Well, maybe.
But around here, I see a lot of almost new 7mm & .300 Magnums on the used gun racks too.

Folks buy them and then find out all that noise & recoil ain't something they are willing to deal with.Amen, the magnum cartridge has its place, but that isn't for hunting anything but the largest of game. That said, I love buying the used magnums because typically they have only been shot a few times (often less than a box), then sit, mostly untouched, in the back of the safe for a few years, before they are finally sold...so they can be a great deal. :D

Wickens
March 27, 2010, 05:40 PM
I can see by your number of posts that you need to have the last word, so-Magnums have there place maybe not in KS. Mt maybe Do you see any MAGNUMS on my list? I guess the first one-- Thats only for MT.

IdahoLT1
March 27, 2010, 06:23 PM
I voted .308. The .30-06 is a good round, but it won't kill an animal more dead. The .308 can kill any animal in N. America. Some cartridges will do the same at longer ranges. It tends to be more accurate than the 06 and can be used for varmints. Mil surplus ammo for plinking or paper punching is a big plus. There's a lot of self defense rounds available for it as well. You also save on weight going with a short action.

R.W.Dale
March 27, 2010, 07:04 PM
Rcmodel you've missed the point 308's 06's are everywhere mostly on used rifle racks. Let's move on new flatter shooting less recoil rounds they are more fun. I rebarrel a lot of those off the used rack-- to 280 280imp. 25-06 270 257imp.----------------

less recoil slightly

Flatter shooting....not really

Posted by Krochus

All of the below cartridges properly ZERO'd will not fall outside an 8" kill zone point blanking it for a 300yd shot. Beyond 300 it doesn't mater what cartridge you use you HAVE to know the ballistics and range at which point energy starts to become a primary factor

243 win/ 100grn Hornady BTSP- ------4.90" (deer load)
25-06/ 100grn Federal Nosler B-tip ----5.0" (deer load)
260 rem/ 100grn Federal B-tip-------- -6.18" (deer load)
270win/ 100grn Federal Barnes TSX----5.28" (deer load)
7mm08/ 120grn Nosler B-tip-----------6.52" (deer load)
308win/ 125grn Nosler B-tip-----------6.27" (deer load)
30-06/ 150grn Federal Nosler B-tip-----6.36" (deer load)

There's a whopping 1.6" difference across the widest points above in terms of trajectory for the list above. You might miss bambi for a lot of reasons but I'll darn near guarantee you it won't be cause of the difference in trajectory

375shooter
March 27, 2010, 09:56 PM
I pick the 30-06. Accurate. Ammo and components are readily available. Wide selection of bullet weights. Suitable for all North American game. Recoil is moderate. Trajectory is good enough for most situations. Rifle can be built light. Long barrel life.

Wickens
March 27, 2010, 11:56 PM
Not sure what a deer load is--100gr. 270-125gr.308---nice try with the paper punching. Meaningless data to make a point. I live and hunt the real world. Here a 300 yd. shot is very common and I know for most hunting in the US. this isn't true. I would just love to see the rifle manufactures and ammo manufactures get to try some new things but this little survey shows me if that is what sells and that's what they will build.

SW28fan
March 28, 2010, 01:44 AM
On sheer versitility as a hunting round the 9.3x62 the only deer through Elephant cartridge.
However since I am unlikely to face a Cape Buffalo or Kodiak bear where I hunt a 308 or something else in the same power range works for me.

Scooter_209
March 28, 2010, 01:48 AM
Have to go with the best cartridge out there in my view which is the 7x57 Mauser. Nothing else needed except for grizzlies.:)

R.W.Dale
March 28, 2010, 01:54 AM
Not sure what a deer load is--100gr. 270-125gr.308---nice try with the paper punching. Meaningless data to make a point. I live and hunt the real world. Here a 300 yd. shot is very common

Those are the flattest shooting loads for the cartridges listed suitable for deer. Now please enlighten me in the context of hunting as to what exactly a 280 improved or a 257roberts improved will do at the rather short range of 300yds a 308 or 30-06 wont.

Look I have and do own rifles chambered for cartridges such as you speak and while neat I'm not going to kid myself into believing they do a darn thing that a cartridge you can buy ammo for at less than $20 a box at wally world doesn't do just as well. Which is pretty much limited to going BANG and putting a hole in something however far away.

I'll go ahead and answer this for ya. Not a darn thing! other than to make your wallet a bit lighter. You take your fancy boutique cartridge and I'll take a good ol 06 and I assure you the critters I kill won't be any less dead

Meaningless data to make a point. I live and hunt the real world.
Vs what:rolleyes: hunting in the fantasy world. I dunow perhaps 280imp is better suited for unicorn hunting:neener:

I know for most hunting in the US. this isn't true.
You'd be surprised

nwilliams
March 28, 2010, 02:18 AM
IMO it's hard to beat the .308

wankerjake
March 28, 2010, 02:22 AM
Look I have and do own rifles chambered for cartridges such as you speak and while neat I'm not going to kid myself into believing they do a darn thing that a cartridge you can buy ammo for at less than $20 a box at wally world doesn't do just as well. Which is pretty much limited to going BANG and putting a hole in something however far away.

I'll go ahead and answer this for ya. Not a darn thing! other than to make your wallet a bit lighter. You take your fancy boutique cartridge and I'll take a good ol 06 and I assure you the critters I kill won't be any less dead
That's why the 30-06 got my vote!

Maverick223
March 28, 2010, 02:43 AM
Wickens, I just can't help but notice that all of your aforementioned cartridges have poor BCs and light bullets, save for the .280s. Forget about flat shooting, elevation is simple, tell me about how do those .25s do in the wind at distance. http://forums.nitroexpress.com/images/graemlins/smilies/general/footinmouth.gif

BHP FAN
March 28, 2010, 02:50 AM
.308.

Justin
March 28, 2010, 02:53 AM
.223 for competition*, varmint hunting, defense, and plinking around. Recoil is low, ammunition and components are readily available for a reasonable cost in a mind-boggling array of configurations, and there are many, many guns available chambered for the round.

.30-06 for big game hunting. I remain unimpressed with the magnum cartridges. Heavy recoil and less accurate for a marginal gain in bullet drop.



*where allowed and advantageous

skiking
March 28, 2010, 03:02 AM
All of the below cartridges properly ZERO'd will not fall outside an 8" kill zone point blanking it for a 300yd shot. Beyond 300 it doesn't mater what cartridge you use you HAVE to know the ballistics and range at which point energy starts to become a primary factor

243 win/ 100grn Hornady BTSP- ------4.90" (deer load)
25-06/ 100grn Federal Nosler B-tip ----5.0" (deer load)
260 rem/ 100grn Federal B-tip-------- -6.18" (deer load)
270win/ 100grn Federal Barnes TSX----5.28" (deer load)
7mm08/ 120grn Nosler B-tip-----------6.52" (deer load)
308win/ 125grn Nosler B-tip-----------6.27" (deer load)
30-06/ 150grn Federal Nosler B-tip-----6.36" (deer load)

How does a .243 bullet with a BC of 0.405 moving at 3100 fps have less drop at 300 than a .270 bullet with a BC of 0.377 moving at 3400 fps when properly zero'd? What is properly zero'd to you? If you could elaborate, it would ease my headache.

Maverick223
March 28, 2010, 03:14 AM
How does a .243 bullet with a BC of 0.405 moving at 3100 fps have less drop at 300 than a .270 bullet with a BC of 0.377 moving at 3400 fps when properly zero'd? What is properly zero'd to you? If you could elaborate, it would ease my headache.You have the velocities backwards...the .270Win. is about 3100fps, the .243Win. being a bit faster at roughly 3400fps.

:)

skiking
March 28, 2010, 03:27 AM
You have the velocities backwards...the .270Win. is about 3100fps, the .243Win. being a bit faster at roughly 3400fps.

I checked velocities given by Hornady(old box of .243 100 gr btsp LT Mag) and Federal(website), if I got it wrong, please tell me how I can push a .243 100 gr bullet to 3400 fps without blowing up my gun.

Art Eatman
March 28, 2010, 09:34 AM
skiking, I suggest not worrying about it. The drop figures are plenty enough close to reality so as to be reliable. They fit in with what I've observed for many and many a decade.

I've always zeroed at 200 yards. I've killed Bambi all the way out to 350 and 450 yards, although around 200 or less was far more common. I've used .243, .270 and '06. The bullet holes were always within an inch or two of what I intended, regardless of distance.

For that matter, prairie dogging out to 300 yards with a .223, I used the same old 6" holdover that I've used with the '06 or .270 at 300 yards. Works.

As near as I can tell from experience, aerodynamics and drag don't really become important until you're getting on out beyond 300 yards. 400 and 500? Whole different deal.

stubbicatt
March 28, 2010, 09:57 AM
I chose 308. It was close between 30-06 and 308 for me, but a quick review of the contents of my gunsafe and I realized that I had more in 308, so I guess I subconsciously like it better.

That said, the '06 will take a wider variety of bullets and shoot them better.

Maverick223
March 28, 2010, 11:31 AM
I checked velocities given by Hornady(old box of .243 100 gr btsp LT Mag) and Federal(website), if I got it wrong, please tell me how I can push a .243 100 gr bullet to 3400 fps without blowing up my gun.You are right, I failed to account for the very heavy .243Win. and the light .270Win. projectile, I recant my previous statement.

:)

skiking
March 28, 2010, 03:03 PM
skiking, I suggest not worrying about it. The drop figures are plenty enough close to reality so as to be reliable. They fit in with what I've observed for many and many a decade.

I will let it rest, little things like that keep me awake at night. It isn't healthy.

R.W.Dale
March 28, 2010, 03:13 PM
Just to clarify the above list I compiled was based on manufacturers numbers for the flattest shooting loading suitable for deer sized game for that cartridge as per the iPhone "ballistic" app.

However I did purposely omit "light magnum" type loads for 30-06

The drop figures are based on a 200yd ZERO to 300yds, correctly zeroed refers to the fact that with the mentioned loads such a ZERO would allow for a MPBR of over 300yds keeping bullet impacts inside an 8" kill zone within that distance

paducahrider
March 28, 2010, 09:33 PM
Howdy!
To Wickens:
Although I voted for the 30-06, I am not surprised by the .308 as second choice and I'll bet you really wouldn't want a round from a .308 "falling out of the sky" in your direction, if you stopped and thought about it.
After all, it's been used as a pretty effective long range sniper round.
It was intended to be a shorter version of the 30-06, and is, in fact, only marginally less flexible, due to the shorter case.
I still like the old '06 a bit better.
Thanks for your time.

Hammerhead6814
March 28, 2010, 09:49 PM
Of the 216 people who have voted in this poll as of 3/28/10, 140 are insane. Otherwise they'd have voted .308 Winchester. :neener:

Old Time Hunter
March 28, 2010, 11:26 PM
.45-70 you can load it from mild to an elephant killer.

SwampWolf
March 29, 2010, 07:01 AM
Watch out groundhogs. :rolleyes:

ChefJeff1
March 29, 2010, 04:30 PM
I voted .270. You can use bullets from 90 gr varmint to 160 elk slayers.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
March 29, 2010, 04:39 PM
I think the answer is .260 Rem or 7mm-08, neither of which are on your poll.

Among those on the poll, .280 rem, 6.8 spc stand out, considering all criteria, as does .270 win.

jkingrph
March 29, 2010, 04:40 PM
i would have voted for .260 Remington if you had that option. instead i voted for 6.5 grendel, with .308 being a close second. a 139 grain Scenar in the 6.5G would be preference out of the ones you have listed.

I have been playing with a couple of 6.5 Grendels for about a year now, but had to vote for the 30-06.

Honestly, it can do things the Grendel can never do, on the side of larger game. It can push heavier bullets 220-250 gr at respectable velocities for closer range work. With sone of the 190-200 gr match boattails it will reach very long ranges. Throw a 110-130 grain pellet in there and you are good for varmits. I would much rather have an '06 than the Grendel if trying to deal with something that might eat or stomp me any day.

Now I can go back to playing with my Grendel, it's a fun little cartridge in my AR platforms, very accurate and very mild recoil. I am considering having one of the little CZ carbines rebarreled to the Grendel.

swiftak
March 29, 2010, 04:52 PM
.308
where was the 30-30?
I guess a flat shooting caliber is important if the deer are further away than 30 yards.

Guiding101
March 29, 2010, 05:01 PM
I have long been a lobbyist for the .308 and it got my vote. The little guns work. I have several 06's and enjoy them as well. I usually find factory .308 plinking rounds quite a bit cheaper than I do for the 06'. Both great guns. I own a .300 Win mag, and while I have hunted with them, they really don't impress me anymore than a 7mm Rem Mag, which I generally find factory ammo cheaper for. One gun not on your list that I am a big fan of is the .35 Whelen. That's my do it all cartridge of choice.

eddism
March 29, 2010, 05:07 PM
I chose the 308. For distance and accurancy, the 308 can take down most anything with a well-placed shot.

As far as hunting purposes around the world. The H&H375 is the minimum legal bullet for hunting large dangerous game.

So, if the question was asked which would be your choice of hunting large dangerous game anywhere in the world. The H&H375 ought to be the correct legal starting point.

BushyGuy
March 29, 2010, 05:11 PM
i voted for others - i think 30-30 win is best overall in penetration ,cost ,self-defense, fun shooting, no punishing recoil, lightweight to carry and more punch then a .223 rem.


best caliber for long range is the 7mm Rem Magnum out of the bunch said.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
March 29, 2010, 05:20 PM
Oh yeah, the .30-30 deserves to be in the running, too, now that you mention it.

federalfarmer
March 30, 2010, 12:15 AM
I voted .270 with 140 grain pills it shoots flat and anchors everything I've shot.

One best cailber? Has to be a a long action standard caliber. ( And I may have been influenced by things I read growing up!) :evil:

bpl
March 30, 2010, 12:21 AM
I'm just wondering what the opinions are out there on the best overall rifle caliber; things to consider:
* Best Overall Hunting Capability (widest range of game to hunt)
* Accuracy
* Widest Range of Ammunition
* Home Defense Applications
* Possible Military Applications
* Manageable Recoil
* Ballistic Charactersitics
* Cost of Ammunition


Some have voted for their favorite pet cartridges (as is to be expected on a forum of rifle enthusiasts, I guess), but I think the best answers have been reflected in the poll results. The 30-06 and .308 are the best answers when considering these criteria. No other cartridges even come close to fulfilling all of these criteria as well as those two. Sure, other cartridges may have a small advantage in velocity or energy or MPBR or 1000 yard sniping, etc., but they still don't fulfill the other criteria as well. Its sort of a spin on the one rifle question, the answer to which is 30-06 if you are more of a big game hunter and .308 if you are more of a target/tactical/range shooter.

Bullnettles
March 30, 2010, 12:51 AM
No one for the .408 CheyTac? Near perfect BC? Stopping power a la mode? Besides taking squirrels, I'd say it is the best cartridge to date for ANY game.

Wickens
March 30, 2010, 07:34 AM
I'm back! Happy to get some great comments on on the difference calibers. If you really sit down and think about it and you could only have one rifle---think---keep thinking---How many Deer, elk,Moose, bear,cape buffalo, are you going to shoot? You only have one rifle to for the rest of your life. Please give me hell if I'm wrong but-223-222-22-250? Remember above every else bullet placement is everything, If the heart lungs don't work nothing works! It's called the Engine room. From a guy that has seen 100's of animals go down--- Don't tell my friends they think I'm big bore man. Mister 8mm Mag. In most of the trucks back Windows the rifles for year around in this area #1 is 22-250 after that 243-25-06-223-I don't want say how many Elk these rifles take--- but with the locals it's quit a few, especially the 25-06, this round is gaining more popularity by the day. I'm trying not to make any waves this time--God forbid anyone that would bad mouth the 30-06-------sooooooo sorry! PS to howdy Wickens of course the 308 is a sniper round it's a military cartridge they use what they are issued Now they are using the 338 Lapua--and 50ca. I have a nephew in special forces in Afghanistan as we speak. talk about military rounds all you want the 45-70 was the 1000 yard shooter in it's day and the 6 BR has shoot 4" groups at 1000 yds. The great thing is you get to pick your own and look at what is the very best for you and where you live. It's OK to think outside of the box--you might get reprimanded like me but it's OK!

xanderzuk
March 30, 2010, 08:00 AM
I voted other - While my natural tendency typically would've been to choose 30-06, I think the .22 LR or .22 Magnum are the most versital cartridges out there. While I was in Maine I was told by a Master Guide that more Moose have been killed or poached with a .22 Magnum than any other round, ever. We certainly know what this round can do to the little critters.

While this term is completely over used, I think that it is one of those cases where if "you do your part" it will be very effective. Try shooting a squirrel with a .308

Just my opinion - if you had to have 1 rifle, period.

Dookie
March 30, 2010, 09:30 AM
Hard question, but I went with other.

12 gauge. Itty bitty birdshot, to 3.5" long range goose loads, slugs, sabot rounds for longer range deer hunting or "tactical" shooting, buckshot for short range defense. Plus, a good reliable Remington or Mossberg will not set you back to much. You can have very nice sights or mount a red dot or scope. Ammo is relatively cheap and easily re-loadable. Plus, super plentiful.

Mr. T
March 30, 2010, 03:44 PM
I really do appreciate all the input. I know there were other calibers that were not listed, like the .45-70, .260 or the .25-06, or even the .243 or .30-30 --point being the Main question was what was the best overall rifle caliber in your opinion given the criteria listed. It appears as though the .30-06 has edged out the .308 very narrowly; personally I figured that it would come down to these two rounds and they are both very good utility rounds doing a wide range of jobs. It was good reading everyone's thoughts as well. Good discussion! :)

CoRoMo
March 30, 2010, 03:49 PM
Caliber wars...:rolleyes:

I'm obsessed with the .270 Winchester cartridge.

millertyme
March 30, 2010, 03:50 PM
105mm howitzer. Hands down the most effective rifle caliber. Kills any animal with just one shot along with any next of kin in the surrounding area. Dead nutz accurate, manageable recoil from an M-109, can be loaded with tungsten sabots and GPS guided projos and can be fired from far enough away that not even the best of hearing could perceive what's coming. The ultimate in home defense.

Seriously, though. A 30-06 is about as multi-use pratical as it gets. As for the 6.8 SPC and 6.5 Grendel, I would take a 7mm-08 or a .260 for the high BC 140gr HPBT projos.

mljdeckard
March 30, 2010, 04:00 PM
I give the edge to the .308 because of wider availability. You can take any North American game with it, even if it's not ideal for very large or very small game, you can load it heavy or light, you can use one 240 belt for a long time if you have to.

Dr T
March 30, 2010, 04:05 PM
It is interesting that cartridge cases derived from the 30-06 garnered about 83% of the vote:

30-06
308 Win (a shortened 30-06)
25-06 (30-06 necked down to .25 caliber)
270 Win (30-06 necked down to .277)
280 Rem (30-06 necked down to .284 or 7 mm)

R.W.Dale
March 30, 2010, 04:08 PM
It is interesting that cartridge cases derived from the 7.92x57 or 7.65x53mmMauser garnered about 83% of the vote:

30-06
308 Win
25-06 (30-06 necked down to .25 caliber)
270 Win (30-06 necked down to .277)
280 Rem (30-06 necked down to .284 or 7 mm)


I fixed eet! Folks like to forget the 30-06 was not the invention of the .473" case head. We were still using single shot 45/70's when the two cartridges in red were introduced

Dr T
March 30, 2010, 04:27 PM
Thanks for the elaboration. I remembered after I posted that the case head of the '06 was the same size as the 7 mm and 8mm Mauser (but did not know about the 7.65 x53 mm Mauser case).

I do find it curious that the 6.5 x 55 Mauser has a different case head size, however.

R.W.Dale
March 30, 2010, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the elaboration. I remembered after I posted that the case head of the '06 was the same size as the 7 mm and 8mm Mauser (but did not know about the 7.65 x53 mm Mauser case).

I do find it curious that the 6.5 x 55 Mauser has a different case head size, however.
I mention the 7.92 and 7.65 together because some sources put one before the other and I haven't nailed down which one was first

Dr T
March 30, 2010, 04:50 PM
Understandable. They were developed in parallel. Some sources state that the 7.92 x 57 was adopted by the Germans in 1888 and others state that the 7.65 x53 was adopted by Belgium in 1889. Given military contracting processes, it is likely to be impossible to tell which was first without going into Mauser's engineering notes...

Maybe we should conduct a seance and ask Paul directly...;)

Sheepdog1968
March 30, 2010, 05:04 PM
I was bebating before I voted between the .308 and the .30-06. I went for the .308 because of shorter receiver and lower weight on the weapon. I find it interesting that 75% have chosen between these two choices. Jeff Cooper has written a fair bit in his Art of the Rifle and other books. It's worth reading. He chose the .308 for which to build a rilfe around.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
March 30, 2010, 07:20 PM
I'd say, the wrenches thrown in are varmints (widest range of game to hunt), low cost, and self-defense. But again, in light of all factors, I'd rate them in this order, to delve a little deeper:

1. .260 Rem (tie)
1. 7mm-08 (tie)

3. .308 win (cheaper than the first two, and still quite versatile, though not AS versatile)

4. .30-30 win (not as versatile, but really low cost and good for defense - quicker follow up)

5. 6.8 SPC (this one and the next two are really good defense and all-purpose rounds, being your heavier tweener /intermediate rounds)
6. 6.5 Grendel

7. 7.62x39mm

8. .270 Win
9. .280 Rem
10. 6.5x55mm
11. 7x57 mauser
12. .257 Bob
13. .30-'06
14. .50 Beowulf and similar
15. .243 Win

...then others

There's a reason why my DPMS LR-260L in .260 Rem would be the last centerfire I'd part with. With its very tight twist and a 160+ grainer and a brain shot, I could take down an African elephant. With 100 gr bullets or lighter, it's a fine varminter. With 120s-140s, it's a great all-purpose long, medium, and short range hunter. Downloaded a smidge, with 120s-130s, it's a great light-recoiling self-defense round.

7mm-08 is in essence just as good; arguably better.

A very solid case for being the best can be made for my #3 and #4 as well.

#5 and #6 - not quite as good of a case, but will do it all except really large game.

Legionnaire
March 30, 2010, 09:55 PM
Much as I like the .308, I'd give the edge to the .30-06 due to its versatility on the high end. For a reloader, either cartridge can be loaded down.

DRM
March 30, 2010, 10:14 PM
Whichever one that I'm trying to justify to myself at any given time......:D

SwampWolf
March 31, 2010, 04:22 PM
A quandry that can get pretty darn expensive. Ask me how I know...:scrutiny:

leadcounsel
March 31, 2010, 04:34 PM
.300 win mag for home defense??

The OP left out the obvious choice which is 7.62x39. Light, affordable, and the best overall for home defense, hunting and combat... (assuming you had to pick just one round for all jobs; which is a silly exercise).

Mr. T
March 31, 2010, 05:49 PM
The .30-06 and .308 have it by a landslide. I really enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on this. Some of you questioned the question itself in particular areas where other "specialized" calibers definitely hold the edge over the .30-06 and the .308; however this was the "Decathlon" of rifle calibers question. Which caliber is the most versatile? I think the two leaders here are where the real debate is at and given how close it really is, I don't know as that there's a definitive answer to that debate. I personally own the .30-06, but I do not own the .308. Therefore I can't speak to which one's better because I only own one of them. I do really enjoy my .30-06 though and I bought that particular caliber because when I was a college kid all I could afford was one rifle and the ammo was plentiful and inexpensive. As a much older man now I still can not find one instance where I thought I didn't have enough gun with my .30-06 and the same holds true with regard to the ammunition as well. Definitely not the "master", but I think you could classify it as the "jack of all trades caliber".

Redneck with a 40
March 31, 2010, 10:24 PM
I'd have to go with 30-06 for anything in the lower 48, it can be very accurate with good loads and match bullets.

glockman19
March 31, 2010, 10:39 PM
For me it came down to the .308 v. .30-06 and I picked the .30-06 because it is more versatile to load.

Between my Remington 700 P (.308) and 700 CDL (.30-06) it's hard to choose. both place every round where you want them to be.

SpeedAKL
March 31, 2010, 11:38 PM
I selected .308 simply because it is the best compromise when taking into account all of those factors.

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