which mag caliber....


December 30, 2013, 07:15 PM
Will be going on a moose or elk hunt in 3 yrs hopefully.....Was eyeing up building a .338 win.mag. or other mag caliber, I have many bolt guns ,was thinkin of building a bolt mag gun for the hunt, what say THR rifle gurus...thanks Don

If you enjoyed reading about "which mag caliber...." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 30, 2013, 07:40 PM
Nothing wrong with 338 Win mag. It works and works well.

What platform did you have in mind? Total Budget?

For a mid level budget, I'd recommend.....


Put some good glass on it and call it done.

For a little more than an upper crust Remington or similar, for me, Kimber has the best combination of fit finish and material. Sure id love to have a Cooper, but for me the Kimber rifles do everything I need them to do and do it well.

December 30, 2013, 08:55 PM
Rather than the 338 why not a 375H&H? Though I am bit of a fan boy there is not much a 338 will do that a 375 can't do better. You can load the 375 down to near 30-06 levels or all the way up to full house Cape Buffalo loads. And you get to say 375H&H... Which is pretty cool ;)

But seriously the 375 will deliver a heavier bullet with less felt recoil. If you can shoot the average 12ga then you can shoot a 375H&H.

December 30, 2013, 09:14 PM
Always thought a 300 Rem Ultra Mag would be a great Elk rifle caliber. Ultra flat. And you can buy factory lower level recoil levels (30-06 level, 300 win mag level, and full level).

But a 338 win mag makes good sense as does a 375 H&H. Never shot the 338 but I've shot the 375 and it didn't kill me. Actually the recoil was not that bad (big shove).

December 30, 2013, 09:42 PM
One of the 300 mags would be my choice, the 300 WSM preferred. If you don't want a 30 step up to a 375. Everything in between just kicks harder than the 30's and offers no real advantage. The 375 is the next realistic step up in performance. A 30-06 is more than enough, the bigger stuff just gives 30-06 performance from greater distances and it isn't that hard to get close to a moose.

I'm betting you already have something that is more than adequate and just want an excuse to build something different from what you have. If that is the case then maybe this is a good excuse to move up to a 375.

It wouldn't be my personal choice, but if just looking for something different a big bore lever action would be an option if you're not 100% sold on a bolt rifle. I'd take a bolt gun any day, but the lever guns have their fans.

December 30, 2013, 10:13 PM
375 H&H! Go for it.
This is THE cartridge for the well heeled hunter. This is one of only a very few cartridges that is truly legendary.

December 30, 2013, 10:34 PM
If your hunt is going to consist of a lot of hiking I would recommend a 300 WSM. The shorter action means a smaller, lighter weight rifle but still with lots of punch.

December 30, 2013, 10:53 PM
What about the .375 Ruger? It have the advantages of the .300 WSM but in a .375.

Uncle Mike
December 30, 2013, 10:57 PM
.338 Win. Mag. or the most awesome .325WSM.

December 31, 2013, 03:21 AM
Just make sure if you go to a mag caliber, no matter which one it is, that you can handle the increased recoil and still shoot accurately. Many people go to mag calibers and cannot handle the recoil and as a result miss or worse, wound an animal that would have been a clean kill with something like a 30/06.

In this case - too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

Sure a 300 Win Mag hits harder than a 30/06, but a 30 cal slug thru both lungs at 2700 fps will beat a 30 cal bullet at 3000 fps thru the paunch every time.

December 31, 2013, 10:24 AM
I agree with the folks who recommend .375 H&H, but then I'm biased: I own one and hunted with it in Africa for several years. I saw a pre 64 Mod 70 on Guns America several months ago for less than $2,000. That strikes me as a steal, and it's an excellent choice for the biggest game in North America.

One thing to keep in mind is that the .375 H&H will not come in a light package -- you'll be carrying an extra pound just in barrel weight. That sling will cut into your shoulder after a few hours of walking, as I learned on several occasions.

December 31, 2013, 12:34 PM
A 30.06 or a 270 will do the job also.

December 31, 2013, 01:11 PM
Why a mag. Sounds like a good spot for a .35 Whelen.

January 1, 2014, 09:03 AM
Dont own a bolt gun in a mag caliber was using as excuse to put together another bolt gun:D .375 is sounding interesting though:cool:

January 1, 2014, 10:31 AM
What type of distances will you most likely be shooting at moose/elk? 200 yards max? 400 yards or beyond perhaps? Do you reload? If so, do you reload 30-06 or 308.....and have a healthy supply of bullets to choose from already?
You said that you have many bolt guns already. For a moose or elk hunt, why not pick one that you shoot well with in any of the following cartridges:
30-06 / 270 in a long action, or 308 /7mm08 in a short action.

If this is an excuse to build another rifle in a magnum, then any of the magnum cartridges already mentioned would work for N.A. game.

The weight of a magnum rifle would be the least of my worries if hunting in the mountains out west was the plan.

Hint: Cardio at sea level vs 7000ft above sea level is a tad different. 3 years out from your hunt, so you have some time to prepare for it, along with time to get aquiainted with a new rifle in a new cartridge.

January 1, 2014, 11:35 AM
What about the .375 Ruger? It have the advantages of the .300 WSM but in a .375.

The .375 Ruger is not a short action cartridge. It is also not popular, meaning ammo & components are pretty much an online-only proposition (if you're lucky). Midway has exactly one load for .375 Ruger in stock as I write this; they have 21 loads in stock for .375 H&H

January 2, 2014, 02:09 AM
338 winchester is very hard to beat, 338 RUM is excellent on paper -but maims on one end/kills on the other with 250gr and up bullets from a hunting rifle.
That said, I'd buy a nice Abolt or model 70 in 264 mag; or a Sendero, or a ...........
I really like the 375 RUM and 338 RUM, personal favorite big bore is the 376 Steyr in a Steyr SBS.
Those big calibers cost a lot to reload (RUM gets around 100gr. powder) and really are not THAT pleasant to work up a load for.
I'd still get a 264 or 7mm........270 WSM would be nice for moose.
Getting old and recoil sensitive. :banghead:

January 2, 2014, 02:18 AM
.300 Weatherby mag.

January 2, 2014, 08:26 AM
Plain old tried and true 300 Winchester Magnum!

January 3, 2014, 09:53 PM
I'd probably second the old tried and true 300 Win mag.Accurate,tolerable recoil,plenty of power,ammo/components readily available and lots of choices as far as bullet type and weight.

Flatbush Harry
January 4, 2014, 12:04 PM
Elk are easily taken with 7mm Rem Mag or .30-06 Sprg, both of which are very comfortable for most shooters to use. As to Moose, I'd probably take my .375 H&H...with 260gr-270gr bullets, it can be easily loaded to .30-06 ballistics with a good deal more terminal energy (the two moose I've seen in CO I estimated at 1,200 lbs...big enough for a big punch). I agree with other posters that a lighter-recoiling rifle that you can shoot well beats a heavy recoiler that you flinch from every time. I keep my shots under 350 yards...and I can hit what I aim at.

Good luck and good hunting,


If you enjoyed reading about "which mag caliber...." here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!