2 calibers than cover 90% of hunting situations

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I like the 22 LR and 30-06 but I think a 300 Win Mag would stretch the great 30-06 even further for longer shots.

The 243 Win Is a great choice but there's a lot of overlap between it and the larger center fire rounds so a 22 LR is a better choice for the "small game" category. Beyond the reach of a 22 LR a 300 Win Mag can handle the rest from small white tail deer all the way to the big bears.
Throughout my life a 12 ga has taken the majority of my larger game and a 20 most of my small game. That is more circumstance based since I grew up in a shotgun zone.

Nowadays I generally reach for 30-06 but I have been enjoying 44 magnum in rifle and revolver guise a lot lately. I would think 44 would be a bit intermediate on power and way short on range to be a real contender for a doall but for 90% of things that need larger holes put in them it would have the power just not the range.

I would stick with 30-06 of what I have in the safe now.
I'd go with a .22lr and 30-06. I could probably be convinced to go with a .22 mag instead of the lr.

A necked cartridge just seems like far too much for varmint sized game. Not to mention knocking squirrels out of trees with .223 is just dangerous.
20 gauge and 7mm .280ai (if one reloads)
20 gauge and .30 cal 30-06 (if no reloading)

I could substitute .22lr or .223 for the 20 gauge, but the versatility of a shotgun cannot be overstated.
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I’ve been selling fur for 30yrs, a 243win is NOT a great choice for anything smaller than a coyote, and not the best choice even for coyotes. If you’re only interested in blasting animals and not concerned with recovering fur to make use of the game, then a 243 is fine, but you might as well just use the .30-06. If you’re making value out of your small game, the 243win isn’t on my list.

So personally, I’d draw my lines differently. Prioritization based on utilization. If “badgers to bear” is the paradigm: In any given year, I can (and in many years have) harvest hundreds of coyotes, hundreds of coons, dozens of badgers, beaver, bobcats, and fox - furharvesting is game of numbers... but on the other side, the big game side, meat and trophy hunting is a much lower volume game. We used to be able to take 9 deer per year in KS, and I used to go to TX and NE for 4 more, then the occasional elk trip, and even more seldom bear hunting trip. I do usually go on a couple hog hunts each year, where I’ll knock down between a handful to a few dozen hogs in a year. Ruining hundreds of hides for the sake of using a deer rifle (243win) for varmints just isn’t practical.

So for me, a deer rifle and a big game rifle - a 243win and a 30-06, doesn’t make sense. I did field that battery for many years, and still have them at hand. The 243win is fine for a rancher wanting to kill coyotes without regard to hide damage, but those folks are a low percentage of the folks who bought a .243win with an eye for small game. The rest are just wasting hides - wasting our natural resources.

If I were after only 2 rifles, I’d fully skip the 243win. I’d be running a 223rem or 243LBC on my light end for small game, and a 30-06 or .300win mag on the top end for my big game use. I’ve killed bear, elk, and bison with a .30-06, as well as over a hundred whitetails - the 300 would be extra oomph. Full value on my hides, less waste, and plenty of punch for anything over 100lbs up to 2,000lbs. For North America, my 2 gun centerfire battery would be a 223rem and a 300win mag (which, not so surprisingly, is exactly what I have built for myself as my “go-to” North American hunting battery).
Have to side with 22LR and 12 gauge for hunting. There are still a bunch of places east of the Mississippi where centerfire rifles just aren't allowed or are greatly restricted. Besides, small game and especially birds are much more common with larger limits.

That said, for hunting rifles 30-06 covers any and all big game most hunters might come across in the US and Canada. Is it perfect? No. Under 400 to 500 yards, it has been getting the job done for the past century.
Everyone has a different response in this type of thread.
I refuse to even think about limiting myself to only 2 calibers. My smallest being .22 up to and including .280 Rem. with several in between. The only problem being deciding which one to grab.
For me, I have a 243 and a 6.5 CM. For what I am doing, I could probably get rid of the 243, but I like it. But I have killed all of my deer, hogs, and a couple of turkeys over the last several years with 223 and 300 BLK, just because.
Granted, but shooter must have 2 big ones to stand your ground and wait for griz or polar bear.
I used to hunt waterfowl with a 3-1/2" 10 gauge, back in the day. 2-1/2 oz. of #2 shot or #4 buck would kill any bird out to about 70 yards. I wouldn't even consider getting into range with a brown bear, grizzly or polar bear loaded with 2-1/2 oz rifled slugs! No sir-ee! You gotta have some kind of death wish to go courting them critters with a shotgun.

I load my own ammo and done a lot of testing, but one thing I haven't tested is the penetration of lead slugs on heavy bone and toned muscle of a critter like a big bear. It would be interesting, though.

ETA: "when you bring in a little thing called ballistics we see that:a federal 3 1/2" 1 3/4 oz 10 gauge slug at the muzzle goes 1280 fps(feet per second) with an energy of 2785 foot pounds. @50yd 1080fps and 1980 footpounds. @100 yards 970fps with an energy of 1605 foot pounds.

A federal 3" 12 gauge slug weighing 1 1/4 onces at the muzzle does 1600 fps with 3110 foot pounds of energy. @50 yards 1320fps and 2120 footpounds. @100 yards 1130fps and 1540 foot pounds of energy.
(all data was taken from federals website.) "
Source: https://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=9735&start=20

With that said, I think I would opt for a .375 Anything for them big bars!... :eek::what::scrutiny:
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