Best Rifle/Caliber for North American Hunting?


PDA






epijunkie67
February 20, 2011, 08:22 PM
Ok, I'll be the first to say I'm not a hunter. My tastes tend more towards semi-auto and lever rifles than bolt guns. And I've got several that would be fine as a hunting weapon, for the most part.

Recently I got to thinking about the dedicated hunting rifle. Deer, Elk, Hog, whatever. We aren't talking polar bear or elephants here. Just the stuff that most people hunt in America and maybe Canada. And normal hunting ranges. No 600 yard shots either. So what's the best all around caliber?

If a guy was going to buy just one centerfire rifle to use as a hunting weapon for normal game in America, what would be the single best option?

If you enjoyed reading about "Best Rifle/Caliber for North American Hunting?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
towboat_er
February 20, 2011, 08:32 PM
30-06

GuysModel94
February 20, 2011, 08:37 PM
The great american rifleman Jack O'conner took all the game on this continent and all the grazers in Africa with a Winchester Model 70 in 270 Win., but the 30-06 is also a great round. If you prefer levers look at the Marlin XLR in 338 Marlin Express, fully capable of what you want to do.

HOLY DIVER
February 20, 2011, 08:40 PM
a Browning blr in 30-06 (since u like lever guns) will make u a very happy hunter hogs,elk,deer,moose the 30-06 can get the job done, has for years and many 2 come

d2wing
February 20, 2011, 08:40 PM
30-06. 7mm Rem mag is pretty close.

9X23WIN
February 20, 2011, 08:44 PM
I also say 30-06. You can use a 110 gr pill at a blazing 3500fps or the heavy 250 gr for the big stuff.

_CY_
February 20, 2011, 08:46 PM
have taken more deer with .270 than any other round.

30.06 and 308 would also do fine. but a bit too much round for varmint size game. .270 even with light bullets is still bit much for varmint size critters.

one would need .22LR along with one of the above.

janobles14
February 20, 2011, 08:47 PM
.30-06 without a doubt

hogshead
February 20, 2011, 08:49 PM
308

Abel
February 20, 2011, 08:55 PM
A Browning BAR or BLR in 30-06.

joeq
February 20, 2011, 09:03 PM
If I'm picking one caliber for North America it is easily going to be the 30-06. It's versatile enough it can do most anything I would need it for.

Geno
February 20, 2011, 09:07 PM
A .30-06 Sprg or a .270 Win would be hard to beat. Browning used to offer the .30-06 and the .270 in autoloading rifle (BAR) and in lever-action rifle (BLR). Good information for those who want a bolt-action. Just a thought.

Geno

joed
February 20, 2011, 09:09 PM
Depends what you want to hunt. I survived for 30 years with 1 bolt action rifle chambered in .25-06 Rem. This cartridge will handle a lot and is good for anything up to the size of Elk. I've gone bear hunting in Canada with it, used it for deer and varmints and never felt under-guned.

Recoil is not objectionable and it will shoot a long way. With this cartridge you shoot light bullets at varmints and heavy bullets for bigger game. It's really a dual purpose cartridge.

Geno
February 20, 2011, 09:17 PM
joed:

Sing it, brutha! Quarter-bore is awesome! :cool: Side note, did you see that Winchester's M70 is being offered in .25-06 Rem?! Oh yeah! So is the new Weatherby Vanguard. :)

Geno

Flatbush Harry
February 20, 2011, 09:21 PM
IMHO & experience (such as it is) I think any usefully scoped rifle in an action appropriate to the round used will work from .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .308 Marlin Express, .30-06 will be perfectly acceptable as an general go-to hunting rifle for all medium to large game in North America. I don't have enough experience with .260 Rem or 6.6x55 to opine on them.

In my case, a bolt action, glassed (3-9x40) .308 Win and .30-06 SPRG are my two interchangable rifles. One's a Rem 700 and one's a Savage 116, and I've got a feeling a Win 70 Extreme Weather is about to follow me home when I decide the caliber. I handload for each and am confident of the outcome using either. I have a Rem 700- in .25-06 for varmint through deer but would take my .30 cals for all around.

FH

mdauben
February 20, 2011, 09:32 PM
Recently I got to thinking about the dedicated hunting rifle. Deer, Elk, Hog, whatever. We aren't talking polar bear or elephants here. Just the stuff that most people hunt in America and maybe Canada. And normal hunting ranges. No 600 yard shots either. So what's the best all around caliber?
IMO, the best "all around" caliber for NA "big game" is the 30-06, with the .270 and .308 as very close seconds. :cool:

There are a few other contenders (.260, 7mm-08, etc) that will do the job too, but don't IMO offer significant advantages and they are less common so factory ammo can sometimes be more expensive and hard to find in smaller markets.

IMO the medium bore magnums (ex. 7mm & .300) just don't offer the average shooter that big of an advantage over the above calibers to off set the increased muzzle blast and recoil of the magnum loadings.

jmr40
February 20, 2011, 09:45 PM
270, 30-06 or 308 are the logical choices. A few years ago I'd have said 30-06. Today my 308 is the last bolt gun I'd part with.

Redneck with a 40
February 20, 2011, 09:55 PM
I agree, 30-06 all the way. You can handload it up or down quite a bit in power, from 30-30 levels to near 300 win mag levels.

Motega
February 20, 2011, 10:00 PM
30-06 in a bolt action 700 is my favorite rifle by leaps and bounds... all the guides carried 7mm in Africa, but anywhere east of the Mississippi I think you would be lucky to get a long enough shot to even challenge a 30-06... another factor is the availability of ammo- anywhere you are going to hunt, the nearest gun shop is going to have some .30-06 in stock. Of course 'nearest' may be a relative term if you just debarked from a puddle jumper in Nowhere AK...

Tentwing
February 20, 2011, 10:38 PM
For over a hundred years the answer has been 30-06 .....:) I am a big fan of the 25-06 too, but the OP mentioned North America and Canada, and My 117grainers might be a little light for moose ??

The 30-06 may be the Grand Paw to a good many of the cartridges availiable today......, but old or not it still works for me,.......Tentwing :)

bpl
February 21, 2011, 01:00 AM
The 30-06 is, of course, never a mistake!:D

armsmaster270
February 21, 2011, 01:32 AM
270 & 30-06 in the 50's my Aunt took 2nd place Boone & Crockett Mtn. Caribou with her 270.

However I have a 30-06, 308. 7mm WSM, 30-30, 303 Brit., 6.6 Jap & 7.62x39 I think I have most but not all bases covered.

Coal Dragger
February 21, 2011, 02:25 AM
If we are talking only about varmints, antelope, deer, elk, moose, sheep, mountain lions, black bears, and goats a .270, .280, or .30-06 would all do just great. If larger brown bears are also on the agenda at some point I would personally not go for anything smaller than a .338 in a magnum flavor.

I suppose if you had to pick only one caliber to do it all including brown bears I would look into a .375H&H or .375 Ruger. While it would be grossly overpowered for deer, and antelope the velocity is not so high that bullets turn the meat into jelly, and for larger ungulates the extra penetration could be handy. For the large bears a .375 magnum will simply be able to do more than a lesser caliber since there is no replacement for bullet weight in some applications.

Sunray
February 21, 2011, 02:30 AM
"...just one centerfire rifle..." That'd be a scoped, bolt action, .270, .30-06 or .308. Any of 'em, with good hunting bullets, will kill any game you care to hunt. Biggest advantage to 'em is the widespread availablity of ammo. However, the cartridge is more important than the action type. All three come in high quality semi-auto's and levers too.
"...117 grainers might be a little light for moose..." Yep, but a Hornady 120 Interlock or a 117 grain Gameking placed well should do. A .25-06 is still a bit light for an 800 to 1,000 lb moose. Mind you, Bullwinkle has been killed with 100 grain .243's too. Bullwinkle isn't that difficult to kill. He's just a big SOB. So think in terms of shooting him close to the road.

Xfire68
February 21, 2011, 02:32 AM
The old classic 30.06! You can't go wrong with it and it has a ton of projectile weight choices that others can't match!

epijunkie67
February 21, 2011, 03:20 AM
Wow. Just... Wow.

I figured there would be a huge number of possible contenders for this question. To see an almost unanimous list of suggestions for the 30-06 kind of impresses me. I've never owned a 30-06 before but I might have to seriously look at one now.

CaliCoastie
February 21, 2011, 07:37 AM
you like levers? marlin 1895 in 45-70, you can take anything around. plus i like levers also and this is on my list.

Dr T
February 21, 2011, 12:27 PM
I would also opt for 30-06.

The 270 Win, 308, 280 Rem, and 7-08 (in no particular order) are second, third, fourth and fifth.

dmazur
February 21, 2011, 12:46 PM
Lookit all the .30-06 recommendations...

I suppose I can say that the rifle itself can be versatile as well as the cartridge. Or it can be more special-purpose. So, if you're looking for versatility, I wouldn't set up a 28" barrel target rifle in .30-06, but stick with the traditional 22" sporter weight barrel.

One of the better rifles available is a Tikka (or Sako if you have more $$). Lots of good things said about Savage as well. Winchester M70's are once again available, and these are also good. These are all bolt-action.

Any decent 3-9X scope will make a good pair. I have had good luck with Leupold and Zeiss, but I've heard the Nikons and Redfields are OK, too.

CowboyTim
February 21, 2011, 12:53 PM
.270 my personal choice but 30-06, .308 would also do the job quite well...and how about a little love for the 300 Savage or the 8x57 and 7x57 Mauser?

memphisjim
February 21, 2011, 12:58 PM
I'll say 30-06 but I'll switch it up and say. M1 garand

Dalgo
February 21, 2011, 01:31 PM
Man, we do love our .30's in America, especially the .30-06. It is a great caliber. My anchor gun is a Browning A-Bolt, stainless stalker in that caliber, with a nikon 3-9. Been a great game getter for me. I guess it gets my vote, too. Growing up used a 7mm x 64, which is the same as a .280. That was pretty great, too. For many years of my life I used a .270. Good caliber also. This year, I acquired a TC Encore platform in 7mm-08. Put a Zeiss Conquest 3-9 on it. Will be my big game slayer. I also use, .45-70, .223, .375, and am ponderin' a .300 H&H. Isn't it fun to have choices?! But only one gun for everything? Tough. 35 Whelen is a thought. I think, though my vote for a one and only would still be the good ole .30-06. Just can't go wrong. On what platform? Most likely a bolt, weatherized, composite stock of somekind, and maybe a 2.5-10, or 3-9 scope. Wow, is that middle of the road, or what? It will get the job done everywhere in America, for just about everything. JMHO. Pierre.

H&Hhunter
February 21, 2011, 01:31 PM
Geeshhh,

Don't you guys know anything? The .30-06 is over a hundred years old which makes it obsolete and useless.. Which is why you NEED a Super Short Ultra Mag in a .396 caliber rifle using a lit automatic range finding 1.5 X45 power scope. Built by "Hans Von Overpricemitgeschizenguns" Rifles only.

Don't you guys read the gun mags??

;):D;)

The 06 or something close will do anything you need it to. The last elk I killed with an 06 took three steps before collapsing and tumbling down a steep Colorado avalanche shoot. I killed her at 233 Yards the bullet a 180 gr Barnes TSX entered just behind the on shoulder and exited the off shoulder after breaking the large joint between the scapula and the humorous.

My daughter killed her first elk several years ago with her .308 and my baby girl killed her first elk this year with her .30-06. Neither of those elk felt that the hunters were under gunned.

The 06 is always a good choice. I like it better than the .270 due to the increased bullet selection and heavy weight bullets available for the .30 cals. If however I was told that the only rifle I'd be able to hunt with for the rest of my life was a .270 I wouldn't be shedding any tears.

Some .30-06/.308 elk kill pictures.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/DSC02590.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/Torishuntelkprofile.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y187/GTAllyn/2006cowelk.jpg

BrocLuno
February 22, 2011, 06:41 PM
.308 prolly? I got most of these covered a few times over. But if I was stuck with just one round - it'd be my Savage 99E in .308 with its current Nikon Scope. Will do about all there is to do. 06 in the same weight gun pounds a bit harder and does not get more meat, I don't think?

elktrout
February 22, 2011, 09:32 PM
Last November I was on a guided pheasant hunt in Kansas with a great outfitter who is also an avid big game hunter. At the end of the day, he showed us his trophy building. Yes, a building. Not a room. It had all his mounted heads, skins, etc from numerous big game hunts in North America and Africa.

I asked the usual question of which rifle(s) he used. His reply was that he used a .375 H&H for cape buffalo, elephant, rhinos, etc. What he called "the big stuff". All the others he killed with a 30-06, including African plains animals and elk, moose, and bear here on our continent.

Impressive.

HOLY DIVER
February 22, 2011, 09:40 PM
ok whats its gonna be? lol let us know when u decide on a caliber/rifle

Nasty Ned
February 22, 2011, 10:00 PM
I want in this one...!

First, let me agree with so many of the other folks, you will never go wrong with a 30-06. However, if you reload please take a strong look at the 444 Marlin. If you like lever actions, you will never be under gunned in the US of A with this caliber. You can have 240 gr. thru 405 gr bullets to do about anything you want including big bears.

george d dennis
February 22, 2011, 10:37 PM
30-06

welldoya
February 22, 2011, 10:59 PM
I know it's redundant but 30/06. Then .270, .308, .280 and 7mm/08 in that order.

christcorp
February 22, 2011, 11:53 PM
I've hunted the brush of east texas and the hills; the pines in new jersey; the open plains of the midwest; and the rockies of Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Plinked at prairie dogs, to antelope, white tail, javelina, mule deer, elk, moose, big horn sheep, and mountain goat.

If I was only allowed one rifle/caliber for the 100 yards to 400+ yards; it would be the 7mm Remington Magnum. Not dogging the 30-06. I own one. It's a great caliber. But the 7mm magnum in my opinion is simply better. None of the animals in north america require a 200+ grain bullet. Elk and moose can easily be taken with 175 grain from the 7mm mag. Prairie dog, coyotes, cats, etc... can be taken care of with a 110 grain. 140 grain will take care of any of the medium game as well as many of the very long shots. I use the 160 grain for deer.

Point is; there isn't one animal on the continent that the 7mm magnum can't take down; and at pretty much any distance the shooter can shoot. The 30-06 is a great caliber, but it loses it's edge when it comes to the long range shots. If you don't do such long range shots, 400+ yards, then the 30-06 is great. But for me, I'll take the 7mm magnum. I don't know of any game that needs the extra weight of a 220 grain 30-06 bullet. Yes, there is a large range of bullets for the 30-06, but I just don't need that many. I can safely and humanely take anything in north america with a 7mm magnum, and either the 110, 140, 150, 160, or 175 grain bullets. Why would I need more?

RonE
February 23, 2011, 12:01 AM
Probably the best is something between .264 and .338 that shoots a modern smokless powder cartridge and most importantly, something you personally feel compent and comfortable with. Yes, you can load up and you can load down but start with something you can buy across the counter wherever you go and if you want more, then start reloading.

eowwarrior
February 23, 2011, 02:12 AM
Depends upon what you mean by North America ...

For Northwestern Canada and Alaska I prefer the 375 H&H.

If you mean the 48 lower states, only one answer 7mm Rem. Mag.

If I was forced to choose only one, no contest 375 H&H.

Good luck.

snake284
February 23, 2011, 03:02 AM
In my opinion, every serious rifleman and hunter should have at least one 30-06. Also they should have at least one .270 Winchester. After that it's a toss up. There's a lot of great cartridges out there. But the 30-06 and 270 will do it all. And throw in a good 22-250, .223, or a .243-6mm and you have covered all your bases in North America.

Skyshot
February 23, 2011, 07:14 AM
IMO a 7mm mag,300 mag,30-06, 280 or 270. One of those 5 is best do all rifle. There are others but these are the most versatile. I'm leaving the short actions out (excluding short mags) because they don't have the knock down power out at distance the long actions do. I left the short mags out because of the heavy for caliber bullet selections that are hard to find.

D*N*R*
February 23, 2011, 08:14 AM
I also say 30-06. You can use a 110 gr pill at a blazing 3500fps or the heavy 250 gr for the big stuff.
drank the coolaid

FLNT4EVR
February 23, 2011, 08:23 AM
Everyone has their favorites.Mine is the 6.5x55 Swede. Great BC,accurate,and with recoil anyone can handle.Comes in some very fine looking rifles also.

Tirod
February 23, 2011, 08:34 AM
.22 LR? It's taken everything.

All around, right? Rabbit, squirrel, woodchuck, raccoon don't need a .30-06. There's only a few species that need 1000 foot pounds of power out to 400m. Deer, bear, hog, antelope, sheep, and elk are about it. That is actually a limited group of trophy animals, and they won't put much meat in the pot on the annual basis. Like as not, small game is the major source.

That means you want something a lot smaller for the majority of the actual game you will be shooting, with enough power to take down the rare and occasional larger animal you might stumble across. Since the .270 bullet can do that, put it in a case short enough to feed from a magazine. Self loading guns are far superior to getting shots off a small quarry moving through ground cover, and intermediate calibers don't punish the shooter, use up as much powder, and have quicker sight realignment after a shot.

The recommendation I'm making will get no appreciation in this thread, but here it is: best ALL AROUND for North America would be an AR15 in 6.8SPC.

Tried the .30-06 scoped bolt, tried the .30-30 lever (my Second choice,) moving to the future, not living in the past.

I have no problem with someone suggesting the 6.5 Grendel, but the OP said no 600m shots, right? :p

Old Time Hunter
February 23, 2011, 09:23 AM
Well everyone has a right to their own opinion, no matter how wrong it is, but since mine is the only one that counts. Therefore, the '94 Winchester Timber Carbine chambered for the .444 Marlin cartridge can be utilized on ALL North American game, from squirrels to polar bears depending on how you load it.

6.5swede
February 23, 2011, 10:00 AM
If you're thinking about the most popular American calibers, the 270,308,and 30-06 all work well for non dangerous cpx2 and cpx3 game with appropriate bullets/load development. There's something to be said for the 2 rifle battery with some overlap such as the 270 and 30-06, i.e. the 270 setup to shoot 130gr bullets for cpx2 game and the 30-06 setup with 180gr bullets for cpx3 game. I found a link to a nice review by Chuck Hawks that I read sometime ago addressing this topic, www.chuckhawks.com/perfect_pair.htm

I've also become a big fan of the 6.5x55 and 7x57.

snakeman
February 23, 2011, 10:42 AM
308, 30-06, 338 federal, 8mm mauser, 7mm rem mag, 270 wsm 300 wsm. My personal favorite is 308.

pdawg.shooter
February 23, 2011, 01:38 PM
30-06. Cast your own and load down for mice, load jacketed 220s or 250s for moose. One gun to do it all.

bryank30
February 23, 2011, 01:47 PM
.308 can do anything a 30/06 can do and do it considerably cheaper. Try about 46 grains of reloader 15 behind a 150 grain partition bullet..

Sky
February 23, 2011, 02:15 PM
There is a thread around here talking about a woman in Alaska killing Moose in her garden with a .223 more than once so I guess it comes back to shot placement!! I agree 30.06 .270 or .308 due to ammo availability and price should do the trick.

SwampWolf
February 23, 2011, 03:48 PM
Deer, Elk, Hog, whatever. We aren't talking polar bear or elephants here. Just the stuff that most people hunt in America and maybe Canada.

No polar bears or elephants but if grizzlies are included in the mix, I'd opt for a Winchester .338 Magnum. No grizzlies in the equation, I'd go with a 30-06 Springfield.

SwampWolf
February 23, 2011, 03:57 PM
There is a thread around here talking about a woman in Alaska killing Moose in her garden with a .223 more than once so I guess it comes back to shot placement!!

Of course, if the only thing that matters is "shot placement" (and I assume you're not saying that), a .22LR is all you'd ever need for anything and everything. Most experienced hunters would agree, I think, that, every thing else being equal, shot placement is the most important factor in killing big game humanely. But most of us also know that a certain level of "horsepower" is needed to insure a quick kill on any animal much bigger than a woodchuck. Ergo, the discussion at hand.

christcorp
February 23, 2011, 04:37 PM
30-06. Cast your own and load down for mice, load jacketed 220s or 250s for moose. One gun to do it all.
Have you ever gone moose hunting? What the hell are you using a 250 grain bullet on. There is absolutely no reason to go above 170 grains unless you're looking at a big grisly bear. Even then; with a 7mm mag, the 170 will do just fine. Never could understand wanting more recoil, when the bullet weight needed, doesn't have to go that high. There's a time for 250 grain bullets. Just not on any of the normal hunting in north america; except possibly a bear. Obviously, slow handgun calibers are something different.

Maverick223
February 23, 2011, 04:39 PM
The concise answer is the .280Rem. for handloaders or the .30-06Spd. for non-handloaders. The long answer is that there are many different chamberings that are well suited to certain conditions and quarry, and hold merit. The aforementioned are simply the best compromise IMO.

I believe that there are three major categories for medium/large NA game (based upon game weight/build) and five minor categories that take typical action types into consideration:
Medium game, low recoil, flat trajectory: .260Rem. (the 6.5x55 & 7mm-08Rem. are worthy alternatives)
Medium game, low recoil, quick handling characteristics: .30-30Win. (the .32Win. Spl. & .35Rem. are worthy alternatives)
Large game, moderate recoil, flat trajectory: .280Rem. (the .30-06 & .270 are worthy alternatives)
Large dangerous game, high recoil, flat trajectory: .375H&H (the .338WM & 9.3x64mmBrenneke are worthy alternatives)
Large dangerous game, high recoil, quick handling characteristics: .45-70Govt. (there is no substitute!, but the .444Marlin & .450Marlin will suffice in a pinch)

:)

Coal Dragger
February 23, 2011, 05:06 PM
^ Wrong, .280 Remington Ackley Improved is the correct answer for those of us that handload!

Yes I am extremely biased..... since I own one and wish to validate my own decision making.

Flatbush Harry
February 23, 2011, 05:11 PM
Current ish of American Hunter says .30-06...me too.

FH

jbr
February 23, 2011, 05:20 PM
30-06 - very versatile and easy to get ammo almost anywhere - lots of bullet choices and weights. Glad a few threw in the .280 - great gun - biggest drawback might be ammo availability and choices. I like something a bit heavier that 150gr. for bear. I suggest the Browning BAR over the bolt or lever actions if you are at all sensitive to recoil as my newly rebuilt shoulder is. Very sweet shooter.

Jason_W
February 23, 2011, 05:21 PM
There's more to choosing a hunting rifle than the cartridge and the math associated with it.

What style of hunting will you do most? Tracking/still hunting or stump sitting?

Will you also be regularly shooting the rifle for fun, or will you basically be sighting in before the season and calling it good?

What distances are most common where you'll be hunting?

Maverick223
February 23, 2011, 05:37 PM
^ Wrong, .280 Remington Ackley Improved is the correct answer for those of us that handload!I am not entirely certain of that; whilst the "improved" variants produce a bit greater velocity (in virtually the same size package), they tend to have a bit more trouble with extraction. I'm not sure that the risk is worth the reward.

:)

Legionnaire
February 23, 2011, 05:53 PM
.30-06 ... unless you absolutely need a short-action carbine-length rifle. In that case, .308.

Beacon
February 23, 2011, 08:29 PM
.30-06. It's The Greatest for a reason.

blackops
February 23, 2011, 10:43 PM
30-06

bowyer19
February 23, 2011, 11:18 PM
Depends on your recoil tolerance and your size. I used a .308, Savage 99 for deer (blacktail,mule and whitetail),elk,antelope ,black bear,wild pig and one Shiras moose over a 46 year period. Yardages from 5 paces to 312 yds. None complained.But I love my .270. Shoots flat like a magnum but low recoil. Three friends bought .260Remingtons in the model 7 for their wives because they fit their wives small stature. Low recoil, flat shooting,good penetration. Anything from .257 Roberts to 7mm magnum;with middle probably being best all around.The 30-06,.270,.308and 7MM Remington Mag. have the advantage in you can probably get ammo anywhere ammo is sold. Smaller is not "all around", bigger recoil is often too much for many people.

bowyer19
February 23, 2011, 11:22 PM
Keep in mind a long range rifle, for this discussion 300yds., will handle short shots but a short range rifle e.g.30-30 will not handle the long shots.

Maverick223
February 23, 2011, 11:41 PM
Keep in mind a long range rifle, for this discussion 300yds., will handle short shots but a short range rifle e.g.30-30 will not handle the long shots.This is true, but there are other benefits to the .30-30WCF (as well as the .32Win. Spl., .35Rem., .444Marlin, .45-70Govt., .450Marlin, et al), they are most often chambered for short, lightweight, quick handling, fast cycling, carbines that have proven to be very effective when hunting in the brush.

:)

35 Whelen
February 23, 2011, 11:49 PM
.270, .280. .308 or 30-06. Take yer pick.
35W

jiminhobesound
February 23, 2011, 11:53 PM
You like lever actions, lots of .30-06 advocates. Find a cherry Winchester model 95 in .30-06

Coal Dragger
February 24, 2011, 12:43 AM
Maverick223,

For whatever it is worth my .280AI runs like a champ and has yet to display any extraction problems. Of course I am using Nosler factory .280AI brass and that probably helps. I haven't tried fire forming yet, and honestly don't see much point since factory brass is available now.

Maverick223
February 24, 2011, 12:47 AM
Find a cherry Winchester model 95 in .30-06I used to agree...till I bought one. Without any provision for optical sights there is simply no reason to chamber it for a '06. I have pretty much decided to rechamber mine for .35Whelen, which (in the hands of a reloader) can do anything the '06 can and a great deal more.

For whatever it is worth my .280AI runs like a champ and has yet to display any extraction problems. Of course I am using Nosler factory .280AI brass and that probably helps. I haven't tried fire forming yet, and honestly don't see much point since factory brass is available now.I don't doubt it, but others haven't been so lucky, so I fear I might draw the short straw if I try to duplicate it.

:)

Blackrock
February 24, 2011, 12:50 AM
30-06 with a 180g bullet or a 220g if you figure you need it.

BikerRN
February 24, 2011, 02:07 AM
The "all around" North American caliber has traditionally been the 30-06.

It's a little heavy on one end, and light on the other, but seems to be a good compromise. With that said I would be inclined to seek larger game and go for a larger caliber, like the 9.3x62.

I'd rather have too much gun than not enough.

BikerRN

Coal Dragger
February 24, 2011, 02:08 AM
Maverick223,

Not sure why some would have problems with extraction on the .280AI more than some other relatively non tapered rifle rounds. Perhaps it is an issue of variances in chamber dimensions in barrels chambered prior to SAAMI certification for the .280AI (in 2007 or 2008 if I recall), or from guys loading the cartridge far beyond reasonable levels. I have read quite a few admonitions that the Ackley improved cartridges do not show pressure signs as readily as some others due to the reduced bolt thrust allowed for with the 40 degree shoulder. I have no doubt that this contributes to shooters hot rodding the .280AI beyond recommended pressure levels, and I am sure that at some point sticky extraction will manifest itself maybe before classic high pressure signs would on the brass.

I would also imagine that the strait cases with little body taper demand really smooth well finished chambers to function correctly, more so that the parent case at least.

Cryogaijin
February 24, 2011, 05:59 AM
My 700 shoots under a third of a MOA with match grade hunting ammo. So 30-06? :)

Nautilus
February 24, 2011, 08:10 AM
I have lots of guns that I view as tools for different purposes, hunts...etc. But if I was going to pick one rifle that would be my all around big game rifle it would be a stainless bolt action (pick your favorite brand) 30-06 with a decent quality 3-9x40 or 4-12x40 scope (again pick your favorite brand).

My personal choice is a Savage 116 Weather Warrior with a Nikon scope.

God Guns American Cars
February 24, 2011, 08:20 AM
Not a hard question to answer at all. .30-06 Springfield in most any common commercial bolt gun. (Ruger M77, Win Model 70, Rem 700, Savage 110, etc.)

Don't forget the optics. Leupold Rifleman 3-9 power.

You can kill JUST ABOUT anything in the world provided you are a good marksman and also good at selecting correct ammo for a given application. All for 500-700 dollars, if you're a good shopper, less if you buy quality used.

lizziedog1
February 24, 2011, 08:23 AM
The Daisy Red Ryder Rifle. Yes, I understand that the round is a liitle bit on the light side. But with a 500 round capacity you could do a lot of damage. Not to mention it is a small and light rifle, easy to carry around all day. Mounting a scope on it might be a problem, but open sights have advantages too.

Imagine the versatility of this rifle painted in a camo theme. You could sneak right up to a bear then.

mcdonl
February 24, 2011, 08:24 AM
Here in Maine we have a lot of different terrain. In some areas, your hunting the thick stuff... I mean thick! A scoped bolt action is worthless, a lever action with iron sights are the way to go.... but in other spots that same lever action with iron sights is going to limit your range. So, for my state anyway... there is not perfect gun. Some just decide on where they will hunt the most and pick the best gun for that situation but most just own several :)

God Guns American Cars
February 24, 2011, 08:25 AM
bryank30, I'm no genius, but as far as power goes, if you are customizing a cartridge/powder/projectile in .308 to match .30-06 standards, I think you might be able to just custom load a .30-06 to once again best the .308... It really makes sense.

mcdonl, I have lived in Maine all my life, and hunted regularly since the age of 10... I have yet to be in such thick brush I can't use my .30-06 on 3 power to shoot an animal. If you really hunting in that thick of brush, you must have ninja skills to sneak up on whatever you're hunting. Not that a lever gun isn't better in the woods, obv it would be... but if you could only have one, would you really take the lever gun?

35 Whelen
February 24, 2011, 08:26 AM
I voted for the '06 and I never hunt with one; target shoot only. My primary, all-around, "serious" hunting rifle is a .280 Remington. A 160 gr. Nosler Partition at a hair over 2900 fps should, and has, handled just about everything. I have nothing against wildcats and even own a 257 AI, but is the 280 AI that much of an improvement over the standard 280?
I pick the '06 over the 280 because of the wide availability of a huge variety of ammunition.
35W

Old Time Hunter
February 24, 2011, 09:55 AM
My tastes tend more towards semi-auto and lever rifles than bolt guns

People seem to ignore this point. That and he is not looking for extra long range.

Leaky Waders
February 24, 2011, 10:33 AM
30-06 - mines an 1895 lever and is a very nice shooter. But you're going to have to use iron sites unless you do a little fiddling to add some optic mount. A BAR or model 70 would be better actions imho for a do it all.

My father has a BAR 30-06 that I might inherit someday (hopefully a very long time from now) therefore my BAR is a 270...just to be different. It's a safari model and I love it. We also have 7mm08's in model 70 featherweight, a very light carrying/kicking gun. Despite our other calibers this is our do it all rifles since they are compact, lightweight and fun to shoot regardless of one's stature. I have a nib 257 weatherby to play with once I return from the middle east. It should be a very flat shooter and considered do it all too.

I own a 1886 45-70 and like the gun and the round but don't consider it a preferred do it all gun, but wouldn't feel bad if it was the only rifle I owned. I also have a couple ar legos and would not consider these anything more than toys and teotawki style rifles.

Maverick223
February 24, 2011, 11:20 AM
Not sure why some would have problems with extraction on the .280AI more than some other relatively non tapered rifle rounds. Perhaps it is an issue of variances in chamber dimensions in barrels chambered prior to SAAMI certification for the .280AI (in 2007 or 2008 if I recall), or from guys loading the cartridge far beyond reasonable levels. I have read quite a few admonitions that the Ackley improved cartridges do not show pressure signs as readily as some others due to the reduced bolt thrust allowed for with the 40 degree shoulder. I have no doubt that this contributes to shooters hot rodding the .280AI beyond recommended pressure levels, and I am sure that at some point sticky extraction will manifest itself maybe before classic high pressure signs would on the brass.

I would also imagine that the strait cases with little body taper demand really smooth well finished chambers to function correctly, more so that the parent case at least.You may be (and probably are) right in that the loads were simply pushed too far, thus leading to the extraction problems. OTOH it is more likely to have feeding problems due to the shoulder as well. Again, with a little work i'm sure it would be fine but I am just not sure that the risk is worth the reward (for me anyway).

:)

bryank30
February 24, 2011, 01:47 PM
God Guns American Cars
Member



Join Date: February 24, 2011
Location: Maine
Posts: 16 bryank30, I'm no genius, but as far as power goes, if you are customizing a cartridge/powder/projectile in .308 to match .30-06 standards, I think you might be able to just custom load a .30-06 to once again best the .308... It really makes sense.

mcdonl, I have lived in Maine all my life, and hunted regularly since the age of 10... I have yet to be in such thick brush I can't use my .30-06 on 3 power to shoot an animal. If you really hunting in that thick of brush, you must have ninja skills to sneak up on whatever you're hunting. Not that a lever gun isn't better in the woods, obv it would be... but if you could only have one, would you really take the lever gun?
__________________
If you think American cars are inferior, you're an idiot

True, the case of a 06 are a 1/2 inch taller, so you can get that much powder in one. Brass cost more, and if you handload batches of say 100 rounds the increase in powder is noticeable.

Coal Dragger
February 24, 2011, 03:15 PM
Maverick223,

Out of a staggered box magazine I could see the 40 degree shoulder presenting issues, but my Cooper uses a single column magazine and has a nicely finished feed ramp into the chamber. The rifle feeds just as smoothly as other M52's I have handled in .270, and .30-06 which is to say very smoothly indeed. You may give up a round or two in the magazine with a single column unit, but they are smooooooooooth.

I am sure it helps when the manufacturer of the rifle designs it with feeding steep shoulders in mind, as opposed to re-barreling a receiver never intended for cartridges with 40 degree shoulders.

CowboyTim
February 24, 2011, 03:38 PM
Lever action...why not look into a used Savage Model 99? Could go with .308, 300 Savage or even 7-08.

Jason_W
February 24, 2011, 05:08 PM
I'd go with something adequate for the game I'm going to hunt, but also really fun to shoot.

Maverick223
February 24, 2011, 07:00 PM
Coal Dragger, I can see your point. A single stack magazine will certainly reduce the chances of a feeding issue (and the claw extractor will help with extraction).

I didn't realize that Cooper used a single stack magazine design. Call me picky but i'm scratching that one off the list (just too big of a PITA to load, I think i'm going to stick with staggered mags from here on out).

:)

joed
February 24, 2011, 07:41 PM
Lots of choices and lots of cartridges, all good. But why try to cover everything with just one?

Sure, I survived a long time with 1 bolt action rifle chambered in .25-06. It never let me down. But along the way I gave it some thought and added something larger. Larger was a bolt action 700 Classic in .300 H&H Mag.

Now I was covered for just about anything I'd encounter in the US and Canada. But I didn't stop there. To me it's more fun to tailor the cartridge and gun to the game I want to hunt.

So, at present I have:
1. Win 94 in .30-30 for hunting in brush country.
2. Rem 700 in .22-250 for varmints around where I live in a somewhat populated area.
3. Rem 700 in .25-06 for when I want to reach out a long way for medium sized game.
4. Win 70 in .308 because I wanted one.
5. Rem 700 in .300 H&H Mag for big game.

Coal Dragger
February 24, 2011, 07:42 PM
Maverick223,

Yep single stack detachable magazine, holds three rounds plus one in the chamber if you choose (which is plenty for me).

Beautifully made magazine, heavy gauge (really heavy) stainless steel with a machined and polished follower, and a machined base plate. Loading is really easy but you have to take the magazine out of the rifle to do it. I had some reservations about the detachable magazine at first but the release is well fenced in and flush with the bottom metal so it doesn't catch on anything and dump the magazine out on accident. Plus it is pleasing cosmetically compared to most other detachable magazines, in fact it looks for all the world like a floor plate. Kind of like a SAKO 75/85 detachable magazine which are also excellent. I will say it is really really convenient to be able unload and show clear without dumping a handful of shells out, or running them all through the chamber out of a blind magazine. I suppose at some point I might also buy a spare magazine for quick reloads, but the rifle feeds very well just dropping a loaded round on top of the empty mag in the receiver too.

Just read an article in Shooting about a Nesika Bay in .280AI that ran a staggered box magazine, and the author encountered no problems with feeding, and went so far as to call the theoretical feeding issues bunk in a side bar.

Maverick223
February 24, 2011, 07:57 PM
Yep single stack detachable magazine, holds three rounds plus one in the chamber if you choose (which is plenty for me).I don't mind the capacity (two shots has always proven enough for hunting and one usually gets the job done), but single stack magazines are a pain to load, and don't allow you to top it off. Personally I prefer a hinged floor plate on a hunting rifle anyway.

Keep talkin...you bought have me convinced to have the local smith run a reamer through a Remmy 7600 .280Rem. Every rifle is different, but what kind of velocity increase should I expect?

:)

jiminhobesound
February 24, 2011, 08:06 PM
Maverick223. Don't rechamber, go get a model 71 with the Redfield peep sight. My father killed an elk at 200+ yards,

Maverick223
February 24, 2011, 09:01 PM
Maverick223. Don't rechamber, go get a model 71 with the Redfield peep sight. My father killed an elk at 200+ yards,I already have an 1895, and I like it (not a real big fan of the 1886 or M-71, and the .348 Winchester is a hard cartridge to find bullets for)...just don't like the chambering (currently .30-06Spd). I think .35Whelen would suit it nicely. The .280Rem. (of some sort) that I mentioned would be in a Remington 7600 pump rifle, not in the the model '95.

:)

Coal Dragger
February 24, 2011, 09:05 PM
Maverick223,

According to my handy Nosler Reloading Manual, 6th Edition the .280 vs .280AI breaks down like this with pressure tested loads:

120gr Bullets: 3286fps max for the .280, and 3396fps for the .280AI.

140gr Bullets: 3152fps max for the .280, and 3265fps for the .280AI.

150gr Bullets: 2995fps max for the .280, and 3107fps for the .280AI.

160gr Bullets: 2929fps max for the .280, and 3045fps for the .280AI.

175gr Bullets: 2760fps max for the .280, and 2828fps for the .280AI.

So for sheer velocity the .280AI has the most significant advantage in the 120-150gr bullet weight range, with only a slight advantage in 160-175gr bullets. This is not much of a surprise since the heavier longer bullets affect both cases nearly equally in how much powder space they take up.

What I did find interesting is that for the researchers at Nosler, with their test barrels, the .280 was more likely to display the best accuracy results with maximum velocities with the 120gr bullets, where the .280AI did not shoot as well at max velocities with the 120gr pills.

With 140gr bullets, the .280 only showed one powder listed as shooting the best groups with a maximum charge for a 140gr bullet, and that was IMR4895 which is a medium rate powder that only gave 2840fps. The .280AI on the other hand displayed top accuracy at maximum charge weight with three different powders including the most accurate powder tested, IMR4831...3222fps, as well as IMR7828 3241fps, and the velocity champ RL22 3265fps.

In 150gr bullets the .280 is listed as liking a wider range of powders at full charge with top accuracy, for example the most accurate powder tested was IMR4350 with a maximum charge producing 2870fps. The .280AI displayed top accuracy with a max charge of H4831SC for 2994fps, which honestly is not much of a difference, although if your target velocity is higher Viht N165 managed 3055fps at maximum charge with best accuracy, which is still higher than anything the .280 could manage.

In the 160gr bullets we see the most accurate powder tested in the .280, RL19, not liking a maximum charge instead delivering best accuracy at a reduced charge good for 2710fps, compared to AA3100 in the .280AI as the most accurate powder tested liking a maximum charge good for 3013fps. In general in the 160gr bullets for Nosler the .280 did not seem to like maximum velocities as well as the .280AI which was able to break the 3000fps barrier with best accuracy (for that powder) with three different powders. For example IMR 4350 is listed for both cartridges as performing well with max charges under a 160gr bullet, the .280 gets to 2810fps and the .280AI nets 3002fps.

From what I can see of the data the 175gr bullets were not exactly stellar in either case, with the .280 using Viht N165 giving best accuracy at a measly 2468fps; and the .280AI not doing much better delivering best accuracy using IMR7828 good for 2644fps. Note neither of these were a max load, and if the max loads of the most accurate powders tested also were to give acceptable accuracy then the .280 would reach 2661fps using the N165, and the .280AI could touch 2828fps with the IMR7828. Of note both cartridges listed best accuracy for given powders at max charge with other powders, for example the .280AI gave good accuracy with RL22 at 2808fps and the .280 with IMR4831 at 2760fps.

Of course all of this is speculative since every barrel is different.

Maverick223
February 24, 2011, 09:10 PM
CD, thank you for the additional information. Looks like I am looking at about 100fps difference, not bad but not spectacular either. I will have to give that some consideration (and see what reamers the smith has on hand). BTW, the 7600s had measly little 22.5in. barrels (i'd much rather have a 24in.+ for this particular chambering), so I think I might be on the low end of the spectrum.

:)

Coal Dragger
February 24, 2011, 09:21 PM
The other consideration is what you can realistically expect for velocities in ammunition you are likely to want to reload. I for one dislike loading to maximum charge weight if I can avoid it and still get acceptable velocity and accuracy. Most ammo makers also hate to load to near maximum pressures (for obvious reasons).

When you back the loads off a bit into reality, or near factory levels you'll end up with the .280 pushing a 140gr bullet near 2990-3000fps, and the .280AI pushing the same bullet at 3150fps or so. In both cases you would be using realistic loads that won't have pressure spikes due to higher temps, and other misbehavior on the part of the ammo.

pikid89
February 24, 2011, 09:25 PM
270 or 30-06
people call the 7mm mag good for everything, but i feel it is too much for almost everything east of the misssissippi and south of the mason dixon...does too much damage on white tails

my choice? ruger M77 MKII All Weather .270 Win

Maverick223
February 24, 2011, 10:15 PM
CD, that is true. While I typically like to use the maximum load that affords acceptable accuracy (after all a hot load is no use if you can't hit the intended target), I see your point. I like to test my loads on a hot, humid day to ensure that they are within pressure specifications and will perform when required without the aid of a screwdriver. ;)

SwampWolf
February 25, 2011, 11:01 AM
Lever action...why not look into a used Savage Model 99? Could go with .308, 300 Savage or even 7-08.

Or why not a Model 99 chambered in .358 Winchester-my favorite "woods" rifle set-up.

bman940
February 27, 2011, 10:24 AM
Definitely no right answer for this question except whatever rifle you shoot best!
I have friends who dread pulling the trigger on their 7mm mag, why shoot it if you can't stand it. Find a rifle that fits and you shoot well, you'll be much happier in the long run.

AR-Joker
March 2, 2011, 09:25 PM
Not a fan of the 06, but I suppose it would pretty much get the job done. If you wanted a short action, I'd have to go with the 308 or 35 rem if it was within 200 yards.

Ala Dan
March 2, 2011, 11:27 PM
If I haven't responded already (?), my vote goes to the .25-06 Remington~! ;)

It will do anything that needs to be done in North America~!!!!!!! :cool: :D

highland outfitter
March 4, 2011, 02:25 PM
I favor a 300 win mag - really a souped-up 30-06 but it is accurate (just ask a 1,000 yard target shooter)

DM~
March 4, 2011, 02:30 PM
The obvious answer is 30-06, but my personal choise is a 280 Rem...

The 30-06 really is a no brainer!

DM

UnTainted
March 4, 2011, 02:32 PM
375 hh

Maverick223
March 4, 2011, 03:14 PM
375 hhI don't know if that was meant as a joke, but I kind of agree (with caveats).

While I don't believe it is the best choice for most folks, it would be the last hunting rifle that I would dispose of. With the right load you can use it for any medium-large game species in NA. That said most folks may find the recoil to be a bit too much (honestly I don't, but my rifle fits me well), too heavy (again, mine is easily manageable), and too costly (handloading mostly mitigates this disadvantage). Some argue that it affords a poor trajectory, but this is a misnomer, as it duplicates the .30-06Spd with similar projectile profiles (e.g.: comparing a moderate weight spitzer to the same). In short, I really like the old cartridge, but it isn't right for everyone (or even most).

:)

gotigers
March 4, 2011, 03:53 PM
1. .308, because of cartride options and shorter action, available in bulk, cheaper

a close 2nd. The 30-06, a bit longer range

RangerHAAF
March 4, 2011, 04:26 PM
30'06 for long range; 308 for medium range, 180 grain Winchester XP3s.

sdrake100
March 4, 2011, 10:35 PM
7.62x54R.

Big Bill
March 5, 2011, 02:14 AM
30-06 or 308 take your pick. If it were me, I'd go with the 308, because it's an all around hunting and tactical caliber.

akhillbilly
April 11, 2011, 03:32 PM
I was working for a famous AK hunting guide & I asked him this very question. And this guy has seen & used them ALL.... 243win with-out flinching. WHY? He said everything you hit, dies as if struck by lightning. He hated the 7mm rem mag....WHY? Everything hit by it runs off, everytime.... griz, caribou, sheep, wolf, moose, didnt matter.. He also said most "dudes" will go out buy a anti-aircraft magnum and maybe shoot 2 box's of ammo a year thru it. Most cant shoot them very well during the heat of combat anyway. But a 243? alittle kid/ woman can handle them, thus shoot better. And cheap to shoot, thus more practice. After watching a 10 year old boy drop a record book caribou at 250 yards on a very windy day, with a "mere" 243 (his first ever animal), I sorta have to agree????

Live2offroad
April 11, 2011, 07:40 PM
.308 for all around use and availability of ammo..

Maverick223
April 11, 2011, 07:46 PM
akhillbilly, welcome to THR! There is absolutely nothing that the .243Win. can do that the 7mmRM can't (other than leave a bit smaller hole), either the guys shooting simply didn't place their shots well, or used inferior bullets/loads (probably the former), furthermore it is not a terribly difficult chambering to shoot well (recoil is scarcely more than a '06). I'd bet he says that a .338WM or .375H&H won't work as well either. :rolleyes:

Kachok
April 11, 2011, 10:09 PM
I have to go aginst the grain here and vote for the 6.5x55 or 260. There is nothing that the 06 can take that I would not be just as comfortable shooting with the 6.5s and vice versa. Lower recoil, lower noise, flatter trajectory, and better retained energy downrange with hunting bullets, make the 6.5mm my clear choice. In theory the 140gr 6.5s would penatrate as deep as a 190gr 30 cal and the 160s would punch just like a 220gr 30 cal. Mabey I would like the 30-06 more if I were a larger framed shooter, but I am small and LOVE my little Sweed, it drops them right where they stand every time.

Maverick223
April 12, 2011, 12:56 AM
Kachok, I won't argue that the 6.5s (both listed as well as others) aren't great rifles and in many ways better than some larger cartridges, but they aren't an '06. The .30cal. may lack a bit of efficiency and not have the best bullets available (though they aren't bad either) but there is simply no arguing that they are both larger projectiles (leaving a bigger hole and crushing more tissue) and more powerful (no matter how you compute it...momentum included). Again, I really like the 6.5s (particularly the 6.5x55mm and .260Rem.), they are amongst my favorite cartridges/chamberings, but they can't really compete with the .30-06Spd.

:)

Mr. T
April 12, 2011, 01:35 AM
I have no doubt in stating this answer.... 30.06!

2 Wild Dueces
April 12, 2011, 09:29 AM
The 280 Rem will do everything needed for N.A. Discussion ended. ;)

Robert
April 12, 2011, 09:50 AM
30-06, 35 Whelen, or even 375 H&H loaded appropriately.

45Fan
April 12, 2011, 09:53 AM
30-06 would be my first choice. The 270, 280, 7mms all would be fine choices, but 30 cal would give the widest range of bullet choice, and the old '06 makes the most out of the choices in that caliber. 308 win works, but falls short at longer ranges with heavier calibers, and the 300 mags can be a little too much rifle for many to shoot effectively.

Since the OP stated that he likes lever guns, and if long range isnt the primary factor, the 45-70 would be a good choice. Lighter loads are perfect for hogs and deer sized game, while flattening the trajectory a bit, and the heavier loads would be fine for just about anything else that a person would want to hunt.

Robert
April 12, 2011, 09:56 AM
the 45-70 would be a good choice
My Elk rifle is a Marlin 1895G. Inside 200y it is a fine little rifle.

Pistol Ranch
April 12, 2011, 09:56 AM
I was working for a famous AK hunting guide & I asked him this very question. And this guy has seen & used them ALL.... 243win with-out flinching. WHY? He said everything you hit, dies as if struck by lightning. He hated the 7mm rem mag....WHY? Everything hit by it runs off, everytime.... griz, caribou, sheep, wolf, moose, didnt matter.. He also said most "dudes" will go out buy a anti-aircraft magnum and maybe shoot 2 box's of ammo a year thru it. Most cant shoot them very well during the heat of combat anyway. But a 243? alittle kid/ woman can handle them, thus shoot better. And cheap to shoot, thus more practice. After watching a 10 year old boy drop a record book caribou at 250 yards on a very windy day, with a "mere" 243 (his first ever animal), I sorta have to agree????
Be interesting to see the .243 on a Grizzly, since they "run off" when hit with a 7 mag.....

P.R.

nathan
April 12, 2011, 10:14 AM
I would say, the old dog .303 British cannot be discounted. With modern 180 gr SP it will smack them any big game within its operating parameters. I d say , stay within 100 yds for a good shot placement.

SpeedAKL
April 12, 2011, 10:22 AM
If you factor in brown bear, polar bear, and bison, a magnum-grade .338 starts to look ideal for the full spectrum of North American big game. It's excessive for deer, sheep and perhaps elk as well, but the additional horsepower comes in handy for the really heavy stuff while not being total overkill like a big-dore dangerous game cartridge.

Without angry bison or big bears in the mix (i.e. what 99% of us in the Lower 48 hunt), any high-power cartridge in the .276, .284/7mm, or .308 range will do the job. I'd look at the .30-06, .270 Win, .308 Win, and 7mm Magnum in particular.

akhillbilly
April 12, 2011, 11:22 AM
I have to agree with you on the bullets. I knew that comment would "rattle" some devout 7mm fans. Dead is dead. The outfitter who told me that probably has killed more grizzlies than any person still alive. I think his point was, most people arent afraid of a 243 like they are there magnums, thus make more precise shots. Back in the 60's he used a 3006 for everything..... now he carries a 338. Ive watched woman & kids make one shot kill's at 300 yards using "wimpy" guns and Ive watched big burly dudes empty there bazooka's at a 1500 lb bull moose at 40 yards and watch them trot off. "Beware the person that owns only one gun, they likely know how to use it."

One-Time
April 12, 2011, 12:52 PM
.308 will do everything you need to in America, even a .303 British round will work just as well

if you need more range than 6-800 yds, maybe a 30-06 at most

kludge
April 12, 2011, 08:58 PM
.280 Rem if you hunt more deer than elk.

.338-06 if you hunt more elk than deer.

I would choose either over a .30-06.

Kachok
April 13, 2011, 12:23 AM
The 06 does have more energy and momentum at close range then the 6.5 Sweed does, no doubt about it, but at longer ranges the sleek 6.5mm bullets really shine, I had this debate with an 06 fanatic before, and pointed out to him that my "puney" 6.5x55 has more KE and momentum past 225 yards (where I normaly shoot) then his hottest 06 handload. A 140gr .612BC hunting bullet is hard to compete with at range. Fact is both of these old school thumpers have a 100+year proven track record for Deer-Moose sized game, and both are a little light for hunting brown bear and other dangerous game so in my eyes they are in the same class. Being of small stature like I am I perfer the Sweed, if I were of avarage hight and build I might like the 06 better. You could not possably go wrong with either one, owning both is even better.

Maverick223
April 13, 2011, 12:53 AM
I agree that the 6.5x55mmSwede is an outstanding cartridge, but KE isn't everything and the '06 will best the Swede in the momentum dept. (which is what really counts) at any reasonable hunting range. Additionally it will generally crush more tissue due to the larger caliber. That said, dead is dead...if one can do so with less punishment, less cost (at least for the handloader), with flatter trajectory, and lesser ruined meat, then what's not to like? The Swede can take most NA game species adequately, though i'd prefer a mite bit more for Moose, but I happen to be a big feller and have this crazy passion for big cartridges with big ole bullets (although I don't care too much for the screamin' magnums)...although I do have to admit that I favor the 6.5x55mmSwede more than the .30-06Spd. (personally I happen to like the .280Rem. & .35Whelen better than it's parent case).

:)

Ridgerunner665
April 13, 2011, 12:57 AM
If I had to pick one round in a bolt action....for everything in NA.

I'd get the 30-06 due to the bullet weight selection that is available.

akhillbilly
April 13, 2011, 12:59 AM
speedakl... exactly, if not for brown bears where I hunt, a 243 with 100 gr barnes -X is all I would need. Most people equate magnum power as a for "sure thing",... Ive guided in 3 states for big game, Ive watched guys miss 50 yard shots at broadside animals. TV show's try to convince hunters they need a 3000 yard rifle with a $2500 scope, with a bullet going at 5000fps....... most people cant tell 175 yards from 350 yards. Much less shoot at a running game over 100 yards. A old boss told us at the beginning of season, "I dont care how well your hunters claim they can shoot, "WE" will not allow them to shoot over 250 yards, If you guys cannot get with-in that range? Your not much of a hunter. Although we did. You can tell a real shooter from a "wannabe" with-in a day or 2.

shadow9
April 13, 2011, 03:34 AM
4 different cal's - .30-06 for large game, .243 for mid/small. To pick one, though, I'm gonna agree with the 6.5x55. As for "Crushing tissue", anyone familiar with terminal ballistics knows that the physical action of bullet itself doesn't "Crush" tissue, it's expansion in the tissue uses the water present in soft-tissue to push it aside, and create a hole larger than the bullet itself. This is where the "size" argument with .264 and .308 bullets comes in. Sectional Density, I believe it's called. While the .264 doesn't have as much width, it's LONG. Once it hits and EXPANDS, it makes roughly the same size mushroom as a shorter .308 bullet does when it expands. Also, the 6.5 DOES arrive with the same, if not more force, due to it's higher B.C. Plus, they're known for penetration, as the un-expanded portion of the bullet (still compressed/solid mass) provides more momentum to the mushroomed-top once inside the animal. Speed kept the same between the two, and expansion being the same, a .264 will provide the same primary wound-channel that a .308 will, with a lot less kick on the shooter's end.

The fourth round I'd pick is a 7.62x54R and some windex, out of a M39 Mosin-nagant. Northern Europeans/Russians have claimed Polar bear with the x54R, and it's disgustingly abundant ammunition, not to mention CHEAP. The M-N action is hardcore reliable, and claimed enough Nazi's in sub-zero Stalingrad to earn some sort of credit for working anytime, anywhere.

deacon8
April 13, 2011, 03:56 AM
For me, it's the 7x57 Mauser, loaded with 160 grain Speer Grand Slams.
However, if I couldn't have that, I would take a 30-06, loaded with 180 grain Grand Slams.

Bugman53
April 13, 2011, 04:34 AM
8x57, It does it all well. Can push 125g up to 250g bullets. And exceeds 30-06 performance with heavy bullets for the elk and grizzly.

shadow9
April 13, 2011, 04:49 AM
+1 Bugman. Also, in terms of cost - well, I could have a solid reliable 150 yard hunting rifle for $200. Granted, she ain't gonna be a laminate-stock with some Shilen barrel, and who knows what other goodies, but if the 8x57 doesn't kill my game, a swift hit with that metal buttplate sure will. :P

Kachok
April 13, 2011, 09:25 AM
I have to agree with Mavrick that the 280 rem is another real standout, real high retained energy at range, flat trajectory and very high SD with 150gr+ bullets. Kind of like a 6.5x55 proportinatly sized up. The 35 Whellen is more of a specialty caliber for Alaskan hunters, I always wanted one but with the exception of the largest hogs I don't think I could find much use for one in the south, unless you like ALOT of overkill.

Kachok
April 13, 2011, 09:32 AM
I did a post several months that was a more scientific comparison of the elk/moose hunting calibers, "head to head practical big game hunting rifles" that has a good breakdown of trajectory, recoil, energy/momentum at range, OGW factor...etc. The 300 win mag took first place with honorable mention going to the 30-06, 280, 7mm rem mag, 270WSM, and 338-06. I still think the 35 Whellen would have taken the whole darn contest if they made a modern poly tipped boat tail 250gr bullet for them. It has the highest score at close range but poor BC bullets held it back. Super zippy calibers like the 257 Weatherby mag did very poorly.
The 6.5x55 took 1st place in the deer sized game catagory in my "head to head low recoil hunting rifles" with the 260 rem, 7mm-08 and 257 Roberts earning honorable mention. Good reading you should check it out if you want to find the perfect caliber for your needs.

Maverick223
April 13, 2011, 09:14 PM
As for "Crushing tissue", anyone familiar with terminal ballistics knows that the physical action of bullet itself doesn't "Crush" tissue, it's expansion in the tissue uses the water present in soft-tissue to push it aside, and create a hole larger than the bullet itself. This is where the "size" argument with .264 and .308 bullets comes in. Sectional Density, I believe it's called. While the .264 doesn't have as much width, it's LONG. Once it hits and EXPANDS, it makes roughly the same size mushroom as a shorter .308 bullet does when it expands. Also, the 6.5 DOES arrive with the same, if not more force, due to it's higher B.C. Plus, they're known for penetration, as the un-expanded portion of the bullet (still compressed/solid mass) provides more momentum to the mushroomed-top once inside the animal. Speed kept the same between the two, and expansion being the same, a .264 will provide the same primary wound-channel that a .308 will, with a lot less kick on the shooter's end.There are high SD/BC bullets available for the .30cal (.30-06Spd.) you know. They do the same thing...but they start off bigger, end up bigger, and deposit more energy on their way through. Again, I really like the 6.5x55mmSwede (and most any other 6.5mm cartridge), but lets not make it into something that it is not.

The 35 Whellen is more of a specialty caliber for Alaskan hunters, I always wanted one but with the exception of the largest hogs I don't think I could find much use for one in the south, unless you like ALOT of overkill.To an extent, I disagree. For my Brownchester 1895 I believe it is the perfect chambering. Scopes are not easily added and you can load it anywhere from 9mmPara. ballistics, with a .357cal. pistol projectile and trail boss powder (brass should last, quite literally, forever) all the way up to near-.375H&H ballistics with a heavy well constructed bullet driven at moderately fast velocities. Now that is versatility!

BTW, that .280Rem. is a beast...shame it didn't come into being until after the .270Win. was established.

:)

bowyer19
April 14, 2011, 12:27 AM
I'm surprised nobody mentioned the regular old .270 win. Shoots as flat as the magnums,the 150 grn. bullet penetrates like a 180 grn. '06 with the recoil of the 150grn.'06. Jack O'conner killed everything in North America, including barren ground griz with the 130grn. bullet and now we have better bullets than were available to Jack.

Kachok
April 14, 2011, 08:27 AM
Rest assureed 270s, 30-06s, 6.5x55s, 300Win mags, and 7mmRem mags have taken every species of game the world has to offer. Yes I even read about a man killing an elephant with one shot from a .270win no kidding. If you can place you shot right the sky is the limit. High sectional density bullets will drive deep and if you hit the heart/spine/brain you have a very dead anamal.
I have yet to EVER find a 35 Whellen for sale here in the south, I have long been a fan of that caliber and even though I cannot find a practical use for it I would somehow cook up a handload that would be suitable for deer. Sadly they are imposable to find here, so is the 338 win mag, 375H&H, 416 Rigby. Stores down here only carry very common calibers, I had to order my Tikka from out of state and the rednecks down here look at me REAL funny when I tell them "it's a 6.5x55" LOL. Southerners don't speak metric.

christcorp
April 14, 2011, 09:31 AM
For hunting; I have a 308, 30-30, 30-06, 30-378, and 7mm rem mag. And for my all-around north america hunting rifle, I'll still stick every time with my 7mm remington magnum. I don't need 10 different bullet weights. That's just silly. I've used 110, 140, 160, and 175 grain loads. "There's at least 5 more bullet weights in between there. And if you're into reloading, you can load bullets below 100 grain, and above 180 grain. It has become one of the more popular rounds, so getting ammo is just as easy as getting ammo for 30-06, 308 and other popular rounds. Available at any store; even walmart, kmart, etc...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a 30-06 or 308. And if you already owned one, there'd be no reason to go out and buy a 7mm mag just for hunting. Unless you were into really long shots for like mountain goat, ram sheep, etc... I'll give the edge to the 7mm mag for flatter and more accurate at the longer distances. I've shot varmints/coyote with the lightest weight, to antelope, to white tail and mule deer, to elk, to moose. As well as goat and bear. There isn't 1 animal that can be found in north america that I would feel undergun or overkill with, having the 7mm mag.

hogcaller
April 14, 2011, 09:56 AM
338-06 has become my favorite. It will kill anything in North America and only gives up about 150 fps with 15% less powder when compared to the 338 WM.

Maverick223
April 14, 2011, 11:39 AM
Yes I even read about a man killing an elephant with one shot from a .270win no kidding.Shouldn't be a surprise, “Karamojo” Bell is reported to have taken 1k+ elephants with his .275Rigby (AKA the 7x57mmMauser), and also used the .303Brit., as well as the 6.5x54mmMannlicher-Schönauer which is quite a bit weaker. Just goes to show what can be accomplished with proper loads, precise shot placement, and steely determination.

I have yet to EVER find a 35 Whellen for sale here in the south, I have long been a fan of that caliber and even though I cannot find a practical use for it I would somehow cook up a handload that would be suitable for deer.FWIW I have a handload worked up for the .375H&H for deer. I have other rifles that would be suitable, and "more appropriately sized", but I like the .375 so why not? It'd make one heck of a brush rifle...same for Col. Whelen's .35.

Southerners don't speak metric.Tell me about it...handloading (and MidwayUSA) is your friend.

:)

D*N*R*
April 14, 2011, 11:43 AM
I also say 30-06. You can use a 110 gr pill at a blazing 3500fps or the heavy 250 gr for the big stuff.
NO -- OMG TWISTRATE google it

Maverick223
April 14, 2011, 07:08 PM
I also say 30-06. You can use a 110 gr pill at a blazing 3500fps or the heavy 250 gr for the big stuff.
NO -- OMG TWISTRATE google itNo, they'll work fine...even the little .30Carbine bullets will hold themselves together (until they hit something that is). For all intents and purposes the twist rate doesn't matter for .30cal. sporting rifles, one only runs into problems with heavy for caliber target bullets. OTOH the 110s and 125s (whether designed for carbines or high velocity cartridges) are not suitable for large game.

:)

1stmarine
April 14, 2011, 07:21 PM
Decide what bullets you need first and then buy the rifle accordingly.
I would say that due to versatility, reliability, cost and easy of use get either the .308 WIN or .30.06. For that reason are the most popular hunting and tactical cartridges in the world. Both based on military rounds, one still in service and going strong.
There are very few things any of these cannot do other than large animals at extreme long ranges and for that all you need is a .338 lapua or a .338-378 Weatherby Magnum and nothing else in your gun safe but that is a different post.
Keep it simple.
Cheers,
E.

Leaky Waders
April 14, 2011, 10:05 PM
7.62 x 63 mm > 6.5 x 55 mm...so says an uneducated Southerner.

skyhorse
April 15, 2011, 12:17 AM
I have never regreted having a 30-06.
I would suggest something close to the 30-06, possibly a 30-05 or a 30-07 just to switch it up a bit!

Kachok
April 16, 2011, 10:53 PM
Not saying that the 7.62x63 aka 30-06 is not a great round, but my 6.5x55 goes with me much more often, no super hot handload will make a 150gr 30-06 compare with a 140gr 6.5x55 past 225yards, not for speed, energy, or momentum. I could shoot max load, heavier, higher BC 30cal bullets but I would loose speed/trajectory vs the 6.5 and gain ALOT of recoil. I have run the math a thousand different ways and the old 6.5 simply outperforms the new kid on the block for my hunting needs (200-400 yard shots on beanfield deer), now if I were hunting world record elk I would perfer to have the 06 with 180gr+ bullets in my hand, but I would not feel underguned with my 6.5 either. Both are about as proven as a caliber could possably be for even large game.

Maverick223
April 16, 2011, 11:36 PM
I would suggest something close to the 30-06, possibly a 30-05 or a 30-07 just to switch it up a bit!I'd suggest staying clear of the .30-03Govt. ;)

BrocLuno
April 17, 2011, 11:10 AM
Well, I guess world-wide, it will probably be the .303 British? The Canadians seem to do fine with this one and they have some big critters :)

ky40601
April 17, 2011, 01:25 PM
In lever action,

Marlin Model 1895G Guide Gun .45-70
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff159/ky40601/Guns/aMarlinModel1895GGuideGun45-70SN01019031.jpg

SwampWolf
April 17, 2011, 04:49 PM
BTW I thought 220 gr. was about the limit on 30.06 pills.

220 grain bullets are certainly the heaviest ever offered by the major factory 30-06 loadings.

Kachok
April 17, 2011, 06:47 PM
You could in theory shoot 240gr bullets out of a 30-06, You are only pushing 30-30 speeds with it but it will shoot them. Woodleigh is the only company that I know of that currently makes a real hunting 240gr that will stabailze in a standard 1:10 twist. Talk about a real thumper, .361 SD in a heavly bonded SP should blast through anything this side of a mature bison. It is the only small caliber SP that will out penatrate the 160gr 6.5mms. No factory loads for these as far as I know, you have to roll your own.

skyhorse
April 17, 2011, 09:44 PM
I pulled out the micrometer, it looks like most of my 30-06 is actually 30.0625773
Works fine though.

Kachok
April 17, 2011, 10:35 PM
I don't think any game anamal will notice the extra .0625773". If you get any complaints let me know. :D

Maverick223
April 17, 2011, 11:23 PM
I pulled out the micrometer, it looks like most of my 30-06 is actually 30.0625773Might want to get that checked out...mine is all in the neighborhood of 0.308in.

:)

sarduy
April 17, 2011, 11:43 PM
remington/savage 30-06/308

Dr.Rob
April 18, 2011, 12:03 AM
Any brand name bolt action .30-06. Antelope to moose to bear. 125 to 220 grain bullets, 55 grain w/sabots if you're feeling varminty.

Honestly, if you want to know America's 'popular' calibers, see what's on sale at Walmart before deer season.

30-30, 308, 30-06, 270, 7mm mag.

I don't think any centerfire rifle caliber comes near those in popularity at present.

Sheepdog1968
April 18, 2011, 12:24 AM
My two are 30-30 lever action and 30-06. I'm happy with them. Lots of others that would work as well.

Kachok
April 18, 2011, 09:10 AM
I would leave the 55gr 30-06 on the shelf, too many people griping about the poor accuracy of the rem sabot. get a 264 cal or smaller for varmint, flatter trajectory and much less recoil. 25-06, 6.5x55, and 260rem are much more versitale/practical rifles if varmint are in the mix. 30-06 is more versitlile if American bison or grizly is on the list. No one rifle is perfect for every situation.

HD Fboy
April 18, 2011, 06:51 PM
Every heavy hunting rifle here will kill and 90% of the time you can swap one for another with no impact on the result.

But my suggestions are as follows:

First get a Ruger 10/22 for cheap training and fun. No Scope, base rifle. Practice. 500 rounds cost about the same or less than 20 centerfire cartridges.

30-06 is the choice and here is why.

As long as ammo is available, you will be able to get 30-06 ammo.

In the south I can walk into 24 hr convenience stores and get 30-06.

There are better rounds for specific situations but the best overall hunting rifle to live with is the 30-06. It is the most versatile.

Remember, you got to shoot the gun to hit where you aim. PRACTICE.

30-06shooter
April 19, 2011, 06:53 PM
Wow. Just... Wow.

I figured there would be a huge number of possible contenders for this question. To see an almost unanimous list of suggestions for the 30-06 kind of impresses me. I've never owned a 30-06 before but I might have to seriously look at one now.
30-06 is an amazing all around, round man.. take a look, and try one, heir great for everything

Caddisflied
April 19, 2011, 07:38 PM
The 30-06 may be the most popular,
but the stats. on the 7mm are hard to beat. (Bal. Coefficient per bullet weight etc).
I'd would think something like the 280 would be ideal,
or one of the 7 Mags if recoil isn't an issue

Effigy
April 19, 2011, 08:44 PM
Do a search for ".30-06 vs .308" and you almost certainly find plenty of heated debates, mostly locked in a stalemate. The general consensus seems to be that .30-06 is better if you hand load, while .308 is often preferred if you just shoot factory loads; beyond that, you can't go wrong with either.

jimniowa
April 19, 2011, 08:48 PM
Years ago when I addressed this situation I had a 30-06 but thought the 7mm mag was a better solution. I am a reloader and there are a lot of options for a 30-06, however the 7mm is better at long range as in Antelope in WY. Today I would only settle for a .338 mag. It has a wide range of bullets available for reloaders and a favorite in AK for factory ammo. Any of the three is ok for a one rifle do most bolt gun.
Jim

jpwilly
April 19, 2011, 09:35 PM
Thirty-Aught-Six...as if it hasn't been said enough by now ad nauseam.

Kachok
April 19, 2011, 10:09 PM
Is no one going to make a case for the 270WSM? If recoil and muzzle blast get minimum consideration I would nominate the short action rail gun. Featherweigt varmint bullets at 3600fps+ up to ultra heavy 160 and 180gr bullets. More energy/momentum then any 30-06, and flatter shooting then any 7mm rem mag load (neck and neck with the 300 Ultra mag). My 140gr Accubonds @3200+fps are more then suitable for any hunt in the lower 48 states. 130gr SSTs @ 3400+fps w/.460BC provide rail gun speed/trajectory perfect for deer class game at any hunting range (very accurate too). As an added bonus it uses smaller powder charges, it is better in shorter barrels then the other magnums, and the smaller charges make for less barrel wear too. If you don't mind 30-06 class recoil what is not to like? Jack O'Connor used his old 270win to hunt everything form rabbit to brown bear. If his old 130gr SPs could do all of that imagine what modern bonded bullets and an extra 250fps could do. :evil:
I went to buy some brass for my 270WSM the other day and the gentleman behind the counter was an very old school hunter/state champion shooter. I was expecting to have him sneer at my ultra modern choice of caliber, instead he raved about how he thought that was the perfect hunting caliber for North American game. I still perfer the mild manners of my 6.5x55 90% of the time, but he made several really good points.
Recoil is below 7mm rem mag, and tied with 165gr 30-06 loads IMHO.

Maverick223
April 19, 2011, 10:16 PM
Is no one going to make a case for the 270WSM?Lord no. Tis the only cartridge that I've owned and hated. The straight walled case with sharp taper doesn't help feeding any (to make things worse it was chambered in a Browning A-Bolt with 60 degree bolt lift), cartridges (and components) were costly and hard to find, and it afforded little gain in performance over the established .270Win. Glad you like yours, but it wasn't my cup-o-tea...not at all.

:)

Kachok
April 19, 2011, 10:24 PM
Hard to find??? Where do you live? I pay about $0.55 for a quality brass, and they are availabe in every gun store around here+ Bass Pro and a few other major retail stores. My Savage feeds them just fine, not as smooth as my T3 mind you but nothing is. No less then half a dozen stores carry quality .277 bullets like the Nosler and Horandy I mentioned. A total non-issue for me. Factory ammo everywhere including wal-mart and costs about the same as 7mm rem mag.
The old 270 is a heck of a good gun too, but I would turn this into the same old boring 270 vs 30-06 debate that has raged since 1925.

Maverick223
April 19, 2011, 10:33 PM
I sold mine a few years back, and due to the disposition of said rifle, and my distaste for the cartridge I have quit looking for cases, so that condition may well have changed. Even if so, I still don't like the cartridge for the other reasons...and the fact that it uses .277cal. bullets (which got left behind despite being ensnared between the marvelous 6.5 & 7mm) which isn't a handloader's dream caliber (now people are really pissed off at me :p). That said, bullet selection for said caliber has been steadily improving over the past few years, so perhaps it will come around before long.

:)

Kachok
April 19, 2011, 10:52 PM
Well remember most 6.5s come with a remarkable 1:8 twist so they stabalize very long bullets very well, the 7mms come with either a 9 or 9.5 to 1, while the 277 cals almost all come with 1:10. They won't stabalize bullets quite as long but they tend to do better with medium length/weight bullets which are just plain better for 300-500yd range trajectory. Despite that engineers have managed to get some very impressive BCs out of the 130-150gr bullets in that caliber. Now if someone made a 6.5mm short action mag that could launch 140gr .612BC bullets at 3200fps I would be in LOVE!! Until then I am thrilled with 3430 fps and a .460BC in a 130gr bullet. Talk about lazer flat, nothing this side of a barrel burning 7mmSTW will shoot flatter at 500. Hence I stand by my previous statement that in the 06 recoil class there is nothing more versitle for American game then the short action rail gun. Especaly since the introduction of bullets that will stay intact at 3200+fps impact speeds(TSX, Accubond and Swift Scirocco II)

Kachok
April 20, 2011, 12:41 AM
And the best part of the 270WSM is that if you decide to push it's abilities to the max it will really impress you. 74gr of magpro will turn a WSM into a weapon without comparison. 3300+fps with a 140gr Accubond (23" barrel) 3450fps (in 28" barrel) is an instant death sentence to anything it strikes and shoots as flat as any 338 Lapua, 300 ultra mag, or 7mm STW load I can find. For those of you that compare everything in ft lbs that is about the same KE as a standard 300 win mag (200 ft lbs more in the long barrel). That kind of versitiliey is really hard to beat IMHO, though I would argue that kind of trajectory and energy are a massive overkill anywhere south of Alaska.
BTW caution that is a compressed load, and a bit over my Nolser manual max, start at 67gr and work your way up. Both for the sake of your gun and your shoulder. I am more then happy with my 3200fps and don't feel the need to make my rail gun any faster, it is already too powerful for around here, and kicks pretty good in my 6lbs rifle. Hence my 6.5x55 is my go to gun 90% of the time and with my handloads even that is an overkill in my experence.

farmerboy78
April 20, 2011, 10:33 AM
well im gonna say the best rifle for deer, hogs, elk is gonna be a rifle that you are comfortable with and know how it shoots which include the caliber limits and your limits. personally i look at it like this, i have a rifle that i use to hunt wooded area and a rifle i use to hunt open fields. i use a 35 whelen with 200 gr x bullets for the woods( it puts them down in a hurry) and youre able to get it up to 310 gr. which will cover every animal in north america. if im in an open field i use a 257 weatherby mag with a 115 gr vld to really reach out there and touch them. so find what you are comfortable with as far as recoil, accuracy, distance, and animal and you can take just about any animal in north america with exact shot placement

bryank30
April 20, 2011, 07:44 PM
Good old .308 Winchester. 150 grain partition style bullets and hot handloads will take anything out .

Caddisflied
April 20, 2011, 08:53 PM
jimniowa has the right idea.
With that .338 Mag, you could hunt anything in North America without leaving your home state. :)

Kachok
April 20, 2011, 09:38 PM
338 would be great in Alaska, but everywhere else it would be way too much gun. Same with the 300 magnums. Nobody would want to put 200 rounds of 338 downrange varmint hunting. If you can handle that in a sporter weight rifle I would love to shake your hand if you can still lift it LOL. If you want one rifle for hunting everything in North America the 338 is a very poor choice for 99.9% of us. 30-06/270WSM/7mag for those of us who are recoil tolerent, and 6.5x55/260rem/7mm-08 for those of us who are a little recoil shy. 308s and 270win fall right between the two classes.

outlook ranch
April 21, 2011, 10:46 AM
I just don't think you can beat a .243, or a .270 for an all around shooter. My wife busts 350# mule deer with her .243, while I just lean on the .270 for 99% of my shooting needs. If elk is in your future, you may lean towards the 30-06, but a .270 is an acceptable round for elk. Anything bigger, go bigger. IMHO, you just can't do it all with one gun, depending on your needs, things will change.

Art Eatman
April 21, 2011, 09:07 PM
'Round & 'round & 'round...

I have no doubt this subject will reappear at some future time...

:)

If you enjoyed reading about "Best Rifle/Caliber for North American Hunting?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!