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All-around cartridge for North American game?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Sgt_R, Sep 21, 2012.

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  1. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Name some of these dozens that have as many off the shelf factory loads available or such variety listed in reloading manuals.
     
  2. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    I already did. The .308 is a better cartridge for bullets up to 180gr. Any of the more sedate 7mm's, the .270WCF, any of the 6.5's, most of the .25's, a few of the .35's. I don't understand why folks think the `06 is the only versatile rifle cartridge available. As usual, perception is everything. Yawn......
     
  3. Coop45

    Coop45 Member

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    Ahhhh, caliber wars!! LOL!! Are there any other old goobers on here that recall the article about how the .458 Winchester Magnum was the perfect caliber? It was good for everything from elephants to squirrels... or so the writer said. I think his squirrel load was a pistol powder under several buckshot. It was a good read during the 30'06 vs .270 years.
     
  4. A Person

    A Person Member

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    The .308 Winchester can take just about anything in the lower 48 ahas better range and usually accuracy than a 30-06. Plus, with MOST rifles for plinking you can buy bulk 7.62x51mm NATO. I use Silver Bear Soft Point .308's for both hunting and plinking. Ammo is VERY common.:)
     
  5. j1

    j1 Member

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    But why settle for less when you can get the best. The 30 06 rules.
     
  6. Water-Man

    Water-Man Member

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    Coop45,

    That was before my time. ;)
     
  7. blindhari

    blindhari Member

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    Water-man,
    you are entirely correct. I just called and brother in law uses 150gr 270 corelokt for reloading. I load 180 tips in my 308 that he calls the "short range gun". Last year I got tired of chasing elk and set up outside upwind a water tank near some brush. A bull elk pushed 4 cows up the trail and I tagged #3 with a H&R 45-70 and a 350 grain Buffalo Bore at the magnificent distance of 30'. He has advised me to get a large stick with a nail in it if I want to get any closer.

    blindhari
     
  8. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    The big 7 carries more energy down range via better BCs. There was an interesting article in "American Rifleman" a while back on the come back in popularity of the 7 for long range shooting. I don't shoot 1000 yards on game, but the gun can do it in the right hands a lot better than a .30 caliber. Argue if ya want, doesn't change the facts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  9. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

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    I chose the .30-06 as my do-all cartridge. It's not the flattest shooting but you can take anything on the north American continent with it and you can find it on just about every ammo shelf across the country.
     
  10. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    I have always agreed on this. The .30-06 is a fine cartridge, but it's not even CLOSE to the ONLY cartridge. Of the three OP choices, I prefer .308, but I just prefer it. Nothing wrong with the 7mm-08 and it does have some advantages.

    It's all a matter of personal preference. I think, like someone else said, though, I'd eliminate the 300 BLK and choose between .308 and 7-08, personally. Ain't a lot of difference. One thing I like about .308, or have liked in the past, is the amount of surplus .308 cases for cheap. Tough brass, hard to neck size to 7mm, but lasts a long time. I have had a hard time finding it, though, at times, but .308 is still in military service, especially with mini guns that spit out a LOT of reusable brass. :D
     
  11. justice06rr

    justice06rr Member

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    .308 or 30-06.

    Widely available everywhere and should be sufficient for the range and purposes you mentioned.

    I do like the 300BLK suppressed, but your range is limited to around 300yards or so.
     
  12. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Craig no other caliber can touch the 30-06 when EVERYTHING is included....number of rifle models on the market and and type of actions available, easy availability of off the shelf ammo.

    I can mention other calibers as flexible too when it comes to ballistic but not as much as the 30-06 in every aspects.

    Especially if you reload the 308 is not as capable even under 180 gr.....the 30-06 has the ballistic advantage.

    Boring choice maybe but true.

    There is a reason for its popularity, do not argue with success....;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  13. Sgt_R

    Sgt_R Member

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    OP here...

    Thanks for the discussion, y'all. I wasn't sure if .300 BLK could hang with the other two, but I figured I'd ask anyway. It seems the answer is a fairly definitive "no."

    The choice between .308 and 7mm/08 was a toss up, but it sounds like a wash in the performance department, with .308 having an advantage in price and availability. That was what I expected to hear, but thanks for the second opinions.

    I had already removed the 30-06 from consideration for my own reasons, but I do appreciate those suggestions.

    Before I run out and purchase my first .308, would anyone care to make a convincing case for .243, .270, or some other similar cartridge?

    Thanks,
    R
     
  14. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    Not arguing...just ballistics.....I did quickly look at many commercial loadings for both and the best 30-06 I could find in terms of energy at long distance is a loading from Double Tap, 200 gr, Nosler Accubond out of a 22" barrel rifle , 1884 ft/lb at the 500 y mark. the 180 gr. Nosler Accubond has 1768 gt/lb left at the same distance.

    The two best 7mm RM are from DT as well, Nosler 175 gr, and 160 gr.....the 175 gr. left with 1882 ft/lb at 500 yards and the 160 gr. left with 1925 ft/lb at 500y, both of them out of a 24" rifle

    Again, no arguing, ballistic facts.
     
  15. GJgo

    GJgo Member

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    If you're only going to have one rifle I would stick with the 308. It'll do everything well.

    Here's what I do do. I get a Savage 308. When I want something different, I grab the action wrench & headspace gauges screw on another barrel for a different .473 boltface of my choosing. One rifle, one scope, one stock, many calibers. It's all just for fun though, the 308 will do it all.
     
  16. sage5907

    sage5907 Member

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    If I couldn't hunt with a 30-06 I would pick the 308. Great availability of factory ammo and bullet choices for the handloader. Shooter
     
  17. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    You are NOT well iinformed on the 7 mag. I forget the article now, probably tossed it as we're in the process of moving and all my stuff is stored until we close on the house. I'm currently living in an 18 ft travel trailer with the wife and 2 cats. But, the bullets used in that "American Rifleman" article have very high Bcs and are of the 162 grain range of weight IIRC. They were showing in ballistic tables from their testing that it out performed the .300 Win Mag at 800 yards and shot flatter, carried more energy. Can a .30-06 hang with a .300 Win Mag? Yes, my gun has a 24" barrel....so?

    I shoot a Sierra Game King in the 7, BC of .535, 150 grains. Leaves the barrel around 3200 fps powered by RL22. It shoots flat and will kill deer to my limit of 400 yards. I don't need no stinkin' .30-06. :D Actually, I have found I don't need no stinkin' 7 mag, either. It's too much for short range on whitetail and hogs, my quarry now days as I'm old and don't much care for a heart attack in rough country. I was really wanting a .280 when I decided, heck, same gun, 7 mag can be loaded down to .280, but not vice versa. So, I got the 7.

    Since getting my Remington M7 in .308, I really haven't shot the 7 much let alone hunt with it. It's a safe queen, collects dust. Sure got a good glass on that thing, though. The little M7 is a much lighter, more compact gun than the Savage, a little more accurate, and is my fave hog slayer and deer gitter now days if I just HAVE to use a cartridge firing rifle. I've been into handgunning 'em and shooting my smoke poles lately. Nothing wrong with THAT, either. :D But, that little short action .308 would probably get the nod if I ever hunted the rough country in New Mexico again just because it's literally POUNDS lighter than the Savage. .308 will kill anything I'll ever hunt to 400 yards...well, might limit it to 300 if I ever got to go elk hunting, but that's likely one thing I'll never get to hunt. When I bought the 7, I was thinkin' elk, but I gave up on the lotto finally.

    Now, to the OP's asking for other options, in the .308 family is the .260 Remington. Like the 7-08, it's just necked down this time to .264" and like the 7-08, if you don't handload, the factory ammo options might be a little more limited. Everybody makes a variety of .308, it's wildly popular. I handload it and STILL prefer it just because. :D

    I mean, there's no end to the number of calibers that will work for you in the lower 48, a bit fewer if you're going to Alaska, but the .308 is good as any in a short action rifle IMHO. There's all the new short magnums, of course, SIL really likes the .270 WSM, but cost of ammo, if you don't handload it, is going to be steep. He handloads, of course. The .308 has most beat for variety of ammo and cost and it tends to be an easy caliber to load for, as in it's easy to get accuracy with it. That's due to the short case and fast powders. I'm quite impressed with the 150 Nosler BT out of its 20" barrel at right at 2800 fps. It's killed a lot of deer and hog and it has positive expansion, full lengthwise body penetration on deer, and doesn't tear up meat the way a 7 mag will do at short range without a premium bullet. It's a really good round in a really good rifle and I find it hard to argue with perfection. :D

    If you'd rather have a AR based weapon, .308 is available, too. It's not just for bolt guns.
     
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You can buy 30-06 or .308 hunting ammo at the gas station in Moose Drool Saskatchewan if you have too.
    Oh, the general store has it too.

    Don't bother to ask about many of the other calibers mentioned in this thread!

    rc
     
  19. 303tom

    303tom member

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    Well the .270 Win. will launch bullets from 90 to 180gr. not many cartridges can make that claim.............
     
  20. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    That's a wide range. Most .270s are rifled to stabilize 130-150 grains. A 180 might not hit paper at 100 yards....just sayin'.....:D
     
  21. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Any .30 caliber will do. If the largest thing you'll be shooting is deer, the .243 will suffice. My personal favorite is the .308 Winchester, the most common is probably the .30-'06. Any and all of the magnums will work, but will also be over-kill.
     
  22. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    McGunner


    I'm not arguing about how good the 7mm is.....I just posted the numbers of the best premium commercial hunting loads (we are not talking about super sleek target bullets) for both cartridges....and these are the figures.....yes the 7mm will shoot flatter but both will run out of practical hunting horsepower at about the same distance.....and I do not think many people use these cartridges past 600 yards for hunting anyway...

    Putting in another way, I do not believe the 7mm RM has a range edge in power over the 30-06 when hunting deer....again and again, it wil shoot flatter but that is a different aspect....

    One THR member claims he can launch a 190 gr. extremely efficient target bullet out of his -06 at 3000 fps within pressure limits.....but again, we are not talking about hunting pills, just paper punchers.....
     
  23. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    I have read that guys are loading the 110 grain TSX bullets to 3500 FPS muzzle velocity and it is hammering deer.

    OP. I would just stick with the 308. It just plain works.
     
  24. savanahsdad

    savanahsdad Member

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    Fur-Fish-Game did a test with the 260rem 7mm-08 and the 308, all with Sierra spitzer boat tail 140gr bullets , out too 150 yards your spliting hairs at 200 too 250 there neck and neck after that the fatter 30cal is slowing down faster than the other too at 300 yards the 7mm-08 and the 260 are clocking faster speeds and droping less with the same weight bullets so they will have more energy and less hold over at 400yards so if you want a round that is good from 100 too 400 yards I'd go with the 7mm-08. after the writer did his tests he ran the data through Sierra's Infinty program and came up with the same thing he got from his real world tests, as for where you can get ammo like Billy Bobs hardware store, , well I was just in a truckstop in Bismarck ND last night and there was 7mm-08 right next to the 308 so I guess it is not only going over big in northern WI


    off track (I ran the same test with 25/06, 270win and 30/06 and the 30/06 lost there too and it had a longer barrel ! just a fun-fact for you :neener:
     
  25. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

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    To the original poster i'd be curious to hear your reasoning to already eschewing the 30-06?

    I'm not interested in changing your mind, i'm just curious as to your thought process? For all practical purposes the .308 does everything the 06 will do with less powder, and a shorter action. both bonuses in my mind. I can't imagine any deer or elk being able to tell the difference between 30 cal bullets when one is traveling just 100 fps or so faster.

    A good case can be made for the .270 for sure. Jack O'Conner proved that. Personally I prefer the bullet selection the .308 cal provides over the .277 and as you will use this as a range gun as well you are more likely to get better accuracy out of a .308 than a 270.

    I'd not consider the .243 for your stated purposes. I'd consider it a bit under powered for larger game compared to the other two.
     
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