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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. Boomm

    Boomm Member

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    Lately I've been using an enfield no5 mk1 jungle carbine in .303 British. Works well so far on elk and deer. That cartridge has taken just about everything.
     
  2. savanahsdad

    savanahsdad Member

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    270win is more accurate than a 308 not the other way around for one it is faster , so it will spend less time in flight for two it will drop less and the BC on the same weight bullet is better for the .277 but the op didn't list a 270win (or that would have been my pick)
     
  3. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    To quote American Rifleman
    " the seven top-selling deer hunting cartridges in America (listed smallest to largest) are, .243, .270, 7 mm Rem. Mag., .30-30, .308, .30-06, and .300 Win. Mag."
    Link to the article here
    http://www.americanhunter.org/articles/americas-best-deer-cartridge/
    I listed the best selling because of those seven it really depends on what kind of hunting you are doing. For me in the Minnesota Brush and Forests I have yet to see a full 100 yard shot so the 30-30 and the .243 are all I need. In the Plains states like the Dakotas a Long Flat shooting 300 Win Mag might just be the ticket. I would shoot a 30-06 there too or maybe the .270 but I never get out there so it's a moot point.
    Low and behold my personal favorites are in there I like .243, 30-30, .308 and 30-06 the best and shoot .243 and 30.30 the most.
     
  4. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Member

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    I have killed a few elk and a bunch of deer over almost 40 years. I can't recall a single kill where it would have made any difference whether I was using any of the usual suspects.

    Of the cartridges he asked about a 308 will work like a champ.
     
  5. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Thats a blanket statement, usually blanket statements are wrong. Rifle, marksman, load, bullet weight, rifling twist rate, etc. are all involved in accuracy.
     
  6. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    This is where the .30-06 and .308 shine. Of the 30 bores, about the only one that's more prolific is the .30-30 Winchester. As noted, there are several calibers out there that will match those two in effectiveness and versatility in all venues...until you try to find ammunition in the middle of nowhere 200 miles from the nearest big box gun emporium. .30-06 and .308 and .30-30 ammunition will be there. The others?

    I'm a huge fan of the .308 Winchester and my rifle battery reflects that...but if I had to choose one rifle and one caliber to do all that I need to do with a rifle on the North American continent until the end of my days, the .30-06 would get the nod.
     
  7. ZeroJunk

    ZeroJunk Member

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    That has pretty much been the case as long as I can remember, unless you are talking about ranges where the vast majority of us have no business taking a shot.

    The differences in performance data are best used if you are planning on dropping a reloading manual on the animal from a great height, or flog it to death with a gun magazine.
     
  8. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    The point I was trying to make. Is the 30-06 the only versatile gun out there? No, as has been stated, there are many calibers out there that are versatile. Is it the most versatile? That is open for discussion and a matter of preference. But in deer country, no matter where you are on the continent, the majority of guns you see in the field are '06s. The majority of these folks do not reload, nor do they shoot more than a box a shells a year. Many years the gun and the shells are taken out a week or two before season and test fired with a mag to see if the sights/scope are still on. Then the hunter may or may not shoot once or twice during the season. These same folks may realize that the box of shells they've had for the last two years is almost empty and just stop on the way to the range at Wally-world or Bubba's to get more. Odds are if they are lookin' for 30-06 they will find them.....and they'll be cheaper than .260 Rems and 7mm-08s. Sorry Savanahsdad, but the reason there were 7mm-08 shells left at FleetFarm and nuttin' else was not because of their popularity, but just the opposite. Demand for the .30 bores is what sold them, lack of demand is why the 7mm-08s were left. Go to hunting camp with 5 guys and at least two or three there will be using a 30-06. Don't know how many times I have been there and someone in their haste has forgotten their shells or emptied their pockets at deer on the first day. If it's 30-06 they need, odds are someone else can help them out. Can't say that for a less popular caliber.This is why I always recommend a '06 to the average, one box a year, won't ever reload, and lives to hunt only one week a year, deer hunter. If they are any more than that, generally they know what they need and don't have to ask.
     
  9. savanahsdad

    savanahsdad Member

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    I was not saying 7mm-08 was left on the shelf because it it so popular , sorry for the misunderstanding , I was try to make the point , that if/when we have another ammo/primer shortage , you will have better luck finding the less popular stuff , I remember guys asking me where to find 44mag back in 08/09 just before hunting season they couldn't finding any ! and 7mm-08 in not rare or hard to find , and it is a "hold on target " round and your right most guys are not getting out too 300 or 400yard shots but if they do get that shot "like across a corn field" most can't tell if it is a 200 , 300 or 400 yard shot so thats where a flatter shooting round realy shines

    Again I have a Handi rifle in .308 and love it, but in unknown country I would rather have my Savage 16 in 7mm-08,,, less need to guess hold-over "and yes I've shot both alot"
     
  10. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Choosing a rifle because ammunition is available at Walmart is about the silliest thing I've ever heard. Life is too short to hunt with what everybody else is using.
     
  11. savanahsdad

    savanahsdad Member

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    agree 100% I thinking about takeing my Rem 141 pump out this year , it is a 32rem!! go find that ammo !!!lol,,,
     
  12. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    The greater the supply the less expensive the ammo. A box of Winchester White Box is still less than 20 bucks in 308 or 30-06 or even .243 so for those of us who do not reload it is still affordable to shoot and practice during the off season.
    Choosing a rifle based on the cost and availability of the ammo is not silly at all. In fact there is logic and forethought in making such a choice.
     
  13. X-Rap

    X-Rap Member

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    Being able to by ammo at the 7 11 store?? Do people just loose or run out of ammo?? I would be as much or more concerned with a damaged scope or rifle than ammo. In travel it seems the chances would be almost as equal for you to have a lost, stolen, broken gun or scope.
    In 40 yrs of hunting I have never ran out of, forgot, lost ammo except once when I was 14 on the trapline and I forgot my 22 shells.
    If I am on "the hunt of a lifetime" I take 2 guns and ample ammo for both.
    To the OP of your choices I would say that the 7-08 slightly edges the 308 in versatility, mainly in lighter bullets and better trajectory of heavy bullets due to typically higher BC's.
     
  14. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    I'm a big fan of 8mm Mauser. Sure, it's not that common anymore, but it's a great cartridge and can be found in many quality rifles, both surplus and new (Tikka produces new rifles in it, as do a few other major manufacturers). It's really hard to argue with the stopping power it provides. It's pretty good value, too, as Prvi Partizan / PPU soft points can be had for around $13.50 a box from AIM.
     
  15. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    The worst "forgot my ammo" case was a hot shot hunter I was guiding once.
    All the way into camp and around the table in the cook tent he told us about his many and expensive hunting trips all over the world.
    This guy was hot to get after it and we rode out of camp in the wee hours the next morning.
    About an hour on horseback down the trail and I looked back to see this bozo with a funny look on his face madly going through all his pockets.
    He didn't have one shell with him!
    He was real quiet on the ride back to camp. :)
     
  16. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    saturno_v

    I do not limit myself to inferior factory ammo. I have a press and dies.

    DEER hunting, either will carry enough energy. ELK OTOH, the .30-06 will drop below 1500 ft lbs way before the 7 mag when loaded with the best HUNTING bullets in the caliber simply because the 7 is starting out with more and is retaining more via superior BCs.

    I was thinkin' about what I'd said in an earlier post last night in bed, where I said that by 800 yards, the 7 mag had passed the 300 mag in that "American Rifleman" article. I think actually what they said was it caught up to the 300 by 800 yards, that's 300 mag, not .30-06. They prefaced their argument for the 7 by stating most riflemen can shoot it due to its lack of heavy recoil much better than they can the big .30. I don't think that's an end all argument in favor of the 7 over the .30 mag, though, because if you shoot as much as you SHOULD, you'll get used to the .30 and shoot it just as well. Just that lots of hunters are NOT shooters, I can see that. But, comparing the 7 to the .30-06......not saying the 06 is a bad choice, HECK no, but the 7 has more juice when shooting the best hunting bullets (BC considered) at max velocities. I mean, will you categorically state that the .30-06 carries more energy than the .300 Win Mag "American Rifleman" was comparing the big 7 to in that article? If so, I give up...ROFLMAO!

    As to ammo availability, well, I carry my own reloads, usually 100 rounds minimum on a hunting trip and I usually have a spare rifle, too. That spare rifle came in handy oce for me. I have 3 rifles that are excellent for deer/hog size game...7mm Rem Mag, .308 (my favorite) and .257 Roberts (sentimental favorite deer rifle). If I remember to bring along two rifles, you think I'm going to forget the ammo? I'm getting old, but I ain't lost it THAT far, yet. :rolleyes: Such hunts don't come all that often for me. I mostly hunt my own place anymore. I trek to Waco every year since my college buddy and I started hunting opener of dove season together on an annual basis 40 years ago in 1972. I have yet to forget my shotgun shells even though I can buy dove loads anywhere. :D

    I'm sure none of you hunters would even consider owning a .257 Roberts...ammo availability ya know. Well, trust me, YOUR loss. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
  17. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    Of course it is. That is why nobody here has suggested to the OP to chose a rifle that way. All I have read is folks are sayin'(me included) is that if there are 5 calibers/platforms available, that all perform the same, that cost and availability of ammo should be a consideration. Maybe it's not to you, but to many, it is important. I'm bettin cost and availability are the reasons you drive a vehicle powered by either gas or diesel as opposed to one powered by LP, even tho the LP vehicles are more efficient and better for the enviromnet. Silly way to choose? No, not at all, money talks.





    Ahhhh, there it is. The OP should not use what everyone else is using....hmmmmmmmmm. What should he use then? What you use? Just because the majority of turkey hunters use 12ga shotguns, that's the best argument not to use one? Because the majority of muzzle-loaders use .50 cal, you suggest it's better to be different? I haven't used a 30-06 since I retired the M1917 ten years ago in favor of handguns. I have no dog in this fight, nor am I biased. I'm just giving real world reasons why the average one gun/one hunt a year hunter will not hamper themselves by choosing an '06 over some odd-ball hard to get ammo for caliber. Even if they are "what everybody else is using.".
     
  18. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    30-06 is still the best all around North American rifle for one reason, it is the most versatile high powered rifle ever made. Accurate, powerful and ubiquitous. Being able to secure ammunition is absolutely an important aspect of being the most versatile rifle available.

    I don't currently own one, but when I get tired of the recoil on my Browning BLR in .300 WSM, that will be on the top of my list to replace it. Most of my friends here in Idaho hunt with a 30-06 as well. Great gun and likely to remain the most popular and versatile high powered rifles out there. You just can't compete with success.
     
  19. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    If the .30-06 had never existed, I'd still have killed all the game I've shot in 50 years, because for some odd reason, I've never needed a .30-06 for hunting deer or hogs. Odd, seeing as it's the only rifle ever made that is good enough for some folks here. Any other caliber seems worthless in comparison. :rolleyes:

    Of course, this is off the OP's topic. .30-06 isn't even a consideration, only 3 cartridges were posed originally. Of those three, I think there's a consensus on the .308. :D
     
  20. ErieLurker

    ErieLurker Member

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    Sgt R wrote:


    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



    This is maybe one of the best arguments I've ever seen made for the .270 Winchester, from an elk guide and hunter of 40-some years' experience:

    http://montanaelkhunting.blogspot.ca/2009/12/270-winchester-for-elk-hunting.html

    He's also a fan of the .30-06 but prefers the .270 because of its lesser recoil. Most interestingly, considering his infantry background, he's not a fan of the .308 Winchester for elk hunting.
     
  21. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Dear McGunner,

    The OP is all around cartridge for North American game. Yes, the OP did mention three he was "interested in," but I believe the consensus if you review all the posts is absolutely 30-06 as an all around rifle as a recommendation to add to his consideration.

    When it comes to all North American game, while the .308 is a great round, I would rather have a 30-06 than a .308 with a bear coming at me. I would rather have a 30-06 than a .308 for a large bull moose hunt. Not putting down the .308 at all, but for an all around North American cartridge for large and small game, who can argue with 30-06 at the top of that list?

    Interestingly, to date, I have never owned a 30-06 myself, but it is still on my list one of these days when I don't like shooting my .300 WSM. You don't have to own a 30-06 to recognize it's special place as an all around rifle.
     
  22. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Mmm, well, a .308 AR10 would be a pretty forceful deterrent to a bear attack, I'd think. That's more an argument for a semi auto than for the caliber, i suppose. Not too many Kodiaks in my neck of the woods. Come to think of it, no black bear here, either. :D Just as likely to get trampled by an elephant. Guess I need a .600 NE for that, are some elephant up in San Antonio....Breckenridge park. :D

    Okay, getting silly. I mean, choose what ya want, I just like to argue and I do honestly think the supposed superiority of the .30-06 is quite over-blown. I've already mentioned the 7 mag recoils the same and carries more energy farther. There are others, short magnums, .338 magnums, etc.

    Oh, yeah, I know, Podunk, Alaska's hardware store only carries .30-06 cause no one owns anything else. :rolleyes:

    Bear defense, another thought...

    I was in Waco a few weeks back dove hunting and my friend breaks out this AK with a funky sliding stock on it. He proceeds to explain, you place your trigger finger across here, push forward on the forward grip, and it's a full auto. Well, it was kinda fun and, yeah, it fired at a full auto rate even though the sear is an un-modified semi auto unit. It's completely legal, all modifications are actually to the STOCK, not even the action of the gun. It was controllable. I filled the center of a 55 gallon drum with lead from about 25 yards quite easily and the 20 round mag was empty, seemed, before I even got started good. LOL! I was thinkin' about practical applications of this thing, 50 round drum mag in bear country. Hmmm, 7.62x39 ain't the worlds hottest round, but if you hit a bear with 50 of 'em, it's gotta hurt just a little bit. :D

    But, alas, to practice would mean I'd have to spend a LOT of money on ammo. LOL!

    Off topic...okay, shut down all ammo production and convert to .30-06 production and declare it the only legal centerfire rifle ammunition...case closed. But, one request, could we keep rimfire production lines going, please? Might not be the answer to bear defense in Alaska, but it sure is fun to shoot and I cannot roll my own.
     
  23. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Not really what I was stating. The .308 is not considered a bear defense gun with many experts placing 30-06 as the minimum at about 3000 ft-pds of muzzle energy. That is one reason why the 30-06 is considered an all around cartridge competing even with the big magnums. Many guides will allow a 30-06 up in Alaska but I don't believe they will allow many folks to take a .308 instead. That would be a bit of a stretch in my opinion.

    In any case, enjoy your .308. I am sure it works well for what you wish to use it for.

    God bless,

    Alaska444
     
  24. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Hmm, well, 7 mag 3300 ft lbs at the muzzle and it distances the .30-06 the further off is the target, all for the same recoil force.

    Chaching....money in the bank. :D My original argument.

    SOMEone on this board had a .450 marlin? He lived on Kodiak Island? The gun had been converted to fire a .410 as well as the .450 round and he'd had a TC contender external choke threaded to the barrel for use with .410. Man, THAT gun sounded versatile!!!!! Not only bear defense, but you could shoot grouse with it, too. :D
     
  25. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    .410 and .450 in the same gun is versatile for sure.:D
     
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