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All Purpose Caliber

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by manapat, Aug 26, 2004.

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  1. manapat

    manapat Member

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    What would be a good caliber for whitetail to brown bear.
    I do plan to do my own loading!

    Thanks!
     
  2. swifter

    swifter Member

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    I'd pick .338 WinMag.:D

    Tom
     
  3. Fatcat

    Fatcat Member

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    I like the 30/06 for almost everything in North America. I suppose one could go with the .300 mag, as well.
     
  4. CZ-100

    CZ-100 Member

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    30.06.. If it was good enough for my granddad's to kill Germans, Japs, Chinese and North Koreans, it is good enough for deer and bear. :D
     
  5. sumpnz

    sumpnz Member

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    The good 'ole 30-06 is certainly a very good round and certainly capable of taking all North American game. Anything bigger/faster will only serve to give a slight increase in effective range. For brown bear, I might be tempted to go with a .375H&H, but it's not necessary.

    Personally I'm a huge fan of the 6.5x55 Swede round. The Swedes and Norweigans and Finns used that as their most popular moose cartridge for decades. If it can take a moose, it can probably take a brown bear (though this probably wouldn't be my first choice for a charging griz). It has the advantage of lower recoil than the 30-06, and certainly lower recoil that anything bigger.

    Since you're going to be handloading, there's a good selection of .264" bullets ranging from 90-160 grains that are available for the 6.5 Swede. The 150-160's will be your moose/griz/elk rounds, the 129-140's for large deer, 120-130's for smaller deer, 100-120's for antelope, and 90-100's for varmints.
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    If you're gonna handload, I'd say the '06 is plenty good for all NA game except the big brownies. Yeah, it'll kill them, but it might not do that quickly enough that you, yourself, would be interested in the size of your trophy...

    Given the total cost of an Alaskan hunt, adding up air fare, license and guide fees, motels, etc., the cost of a bear-specific rifle isn't all that much to add on.

    Generalizing, 80 or 110-grain bullets for varmints, 150-grain bullets for most deer, and I'd go 180s for elk or meese. IMR 3031 for the light bullets; 4064 for the 150s and up. Those have worked for me for, hmmm, 54 years, now.

    :), Art
     
  7. Dave R

    Dave R Member

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    Almost any of the major calibers from 6.5mm through 7mm through the .30's up to .35cal could make a case as best all-around.

    My vote would be .30-06
     
  8. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    If you're gonna handload, why not get a rifle chambered for the 35 Whelan (sp?). Given the range of the game you desire to hunt, the 35 Whelan would appear, to me, to be an excellent choice for a one-rifle guy.
     
  9. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    Well since you included Brown bears I'd go with a 338 Win. I might use my 300 Win or '06 on one but it wouldn't be my first choice. Keeping in mind though that I've never shot a brownie, now if you're talking about little eastern black bears then an '06 would fill the ticket quite well.
     
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Member

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    White tail to Grizzly is too broad a range. It's meaningless. Pick one end of this huge spectrum or just buy 2 guns.
     
  11. Fatcat

    Fatcat Member

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    Actually, the more I think about it, for whitetail to grizzly.. I would get a 45/70. It works great on deer, and I would trust it against a Griz.

    IMHO, of course. I wouldn't recommend it if you're a long range shooter, unless you like pretending to be an artilleryman... :D
     
  12. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    The 30-06 is a great all around round, probably my favorite. But, since the Griz was included I might have to bump up to .300 WSM.

    I would rather kill the whitetail too much than not kill the Griz enough. :uhoh:
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    my personal choices for that range of critters would be the 6.5x55mm for everything up to angry grizzlies and the .375 H&H for the charging brownies.

    but since you want only one calibre and you are willing to load your own, i'd go with the .375 H&H. why batter yourself with a .338's recoil?
     
  14. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    45/70, or a Remington 1100 mit slugs for under 150 yard work. Either will serve the 'one caliber hunter', altho both will be a compromise somewhere within that spectrum.
     
  15. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Member

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    The .30-06 will kill anything on the North American continent. It may be a little iffy for moose or brown bear (pick your shot well and use a heavy load), but if you can't kill it with .30-06 you probably shouldn't have been hunting it to begin with.

    .45-70 will also do the trick.
     
  16. Clemson

    Clemson Member

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    Why would any rational human being want only one rifle???

    Get yourself a big gun for big game, a little gun for varmints, and a medium gun for medium game, a .22 for practice and squirrels, a short gun for women and children, a lever gun for cowboy matches, etc.

    One gun for deer to brown bear? Sheesh.....

    Clemson
     
  17. Omaha-BeenGlockin

    Omaha-BeenGlockin Member

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    Either a .375 or .338 since you included the big ugly beasts------the deer ain't gonna care what he's been shot with.
     
  18. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    I have a 35 Whelen and think it fits the bill fine.

    30-06 and all the others are fine choices.

    I just like the Whelen concept (and I got it cheap. :D )
    Ammo is readily available and brass can always be easily made from 30-06 brass.
     
  19. Okiecruffler

    Okiecruffler Member

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    Just to be different.

    444, in a nice short quick handling lever gun. And for Brownies, it wouldn't hurt to bring along a slow clumbsy friend.
     
  20. T.Stahl

    T.Stahl Member

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    [CZ-100 voice]
    8x57IS ... If it was good enough for my granddads and greatgranddads to kill Americans, Brits, Frenchmen and Russkies, it is good enough for deer and bear.
    [/CZ-100 voice]
     
  21. Doug S

    Doug S Member

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    I quit hunting about 8 years ago after selling my old standby Remington 700 30-06 & Marlin 30-30. Recently I started thinking I might give it a try this deer season. I picked up a CZ 527 carbine for this purpose in 7.62x39 caliber because I could use it for deer & even if I didn't hunt, to compliment my AK & SKS rifles. Got to thinking a little further about larger game during mountain hikes & decided to pick up a couple of cheap Mosin carbines in 7.62x54r. I figure this round would be adequate for most North American game. I've heard it called the Russian 30-06.
     
  22. sumpnz

    sumpnz Member

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    The 8x57 is also a really good choice, especially if you get one of the really good quality, strong military barreled actions (that hasn't seen much use), or a new Reminton 700 (the only new manufacture 8mm rifle I know of). Also the Husquvarna sporters that were made in the 50's would be a good possibility. That way you can safely cook up some really hot handloads. Downside to it though is that the heaviest bullets were designed for the higher velocities of the 8mm Rem Mag, and are too toughly constructed to expand reliably beyond 150-200 yards when shot from an 8x57.

    Still, when it comes to hunting griz, as Okiecruffler said, your best choice is to also bring a slow, clumsy friend.
     
  23. unreal45

    unreal45 Member

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    The quintessential "all around caliber" is the .375 H&H
    That is my next big purchase (when funds permit).
     
  24. Phattitude

    Phattitude member

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    I agree this is a very broad range and If I had to pick just one gun for everything I would probably go with a .30 caliber, 300WM probably. Please oh please let me pick 2, Ok I can pick 2? 270 win and 338 WM no contest.
     
  25. Chris Pinkleton

    Chris Pinkleton Member

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    just a total "book smarts" answer from a guy who hasn't done a lick of hunting yet..

    ...but I am a handloader, and the sort of nerd who studies over loading data for calibers I don't own. With that said, how about the 9.3x62? Assuming you can find a decent rifle in this caliber in the U.S., it should take bear fine if it can reliably take Cape Buffalo, shouldn't it? And it'll have a lot less kick than a .375. Plus, it should result in less meat damage on whitetail than any of the magnum cartriges.


    Just my $.02 -- which probably isn't worth $.01 in this case.

    Chris
     
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