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Best caliber for Moose

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Corkster, Aug 6, 2008.

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  1. Corkster

    Corkster Member

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    A good friend of mine has a 19 year old daughter who has drawn a moose tag for Colorado. She is about 5'2" tall and 95lbs. very slight build. My buddy wants her to shoot her 270 WSM. 160 gr. bullet as he thinks anything larger is going to be to much for her to handle. I think that's to light except for a very close shot. What do you think? Is a bigger hammer in order?
     
  2. ants

    ants Member

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    Ooh, boy. You're gonna get 1000 opinions on this one!

    Probably the most common cartridge for moose in North America is the .30-06 with 180 grain bullet. At 100 yards it has 2658 ft-lb energy. Your 270WSM with 150 grain bullet has 2850 ft-lb energy, almost 10% more. In terms of energy, the 270WSM is good enough.

    But the most important thing is to choose the right bullet, for thick skinned big game with lots bone. Get a bullet that doesn't expand too quickly, and doesn't break into little pieces. Pick the right bullet and you can use any centerfire from 270 to 338 caliber. I've seen an excellent discussion of bullet types on the Hornady and Sierra web sites.
     
  3. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    No, I think your buddy is exactly right on - good choice - a heavy 160 in .277 is a looooong bullet. If it's fairly to moderately heavily constructed, it'll penetrate and do the job with a good hit. I say that's an excellent compromise of recoil to performance - the recoil will still be a little stout for her, in all likelihood - a good recoil pad is in order. And it's a good short range and long range performer. In fact, it may just perform better at long ranges (at lower vels) than at short ranges, depending on exact bullet construction chosen.

    P.S. Don't listen to me - What the heck do I know - never shot a moose - but I do do a lot of reading. :)
     
  4. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Should be more than sufficient. I've seen them dropped with a 7.62x39. They've got great big lungs and a huge heart, which makes for a really nice broadside target. Killing them rarely presents much trouble. Butchering, skinning, and packing them out... THAT is another story. There's a whole lot to those animals.
     
  5. redneckdan

    redneckdan Member

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    Depends on the distance. Under a 150yds, .243 winchester with a premium bullet would do it.
     
  6. TheGrimReaper

    TheGrimReaper Member

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  7. Z-Michigan

    Z-Michigan Member

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    I'm not a moose hunter - but - that seems like a reasonable choice. Remember, 6.5mm Swedish is used for Moose hunting and has been for 100 years.

    Again, I'm not a moose hunter, but what I hear is that the challenge is not killing them, but killing them before they make it to water and drown instead.... which may be less of an issue in Colorado than in Alaska.
     
  8. Clean97GTI

    Clean97GTI Member

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    the .270wsm will be fine as long as she actually gets a good shot. Tracking a moose all over the place would really suck not to mention finally having to hump that out of where ever it finally went down. Moose are big critters...and have nasty tempers from what I understand.
     
  9. Defensory

    Defensory Member

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    .243 Winchester won't cut the mustard in most cases.

    The average adult male moose probably weighs in at around half a ton, with specimens close to 1200 lbs. not being uncommon. Some are even heavier than that, though not common.

    The .243 is inconsistent at bagging even male mule deer, which usually don't get much larger than 300 lbs.

    The .270 is the minimum I would recommend for moose, and the .308 would be my personal choice.
     
  10. MTMilitiaman

    MTMilitiaman Member

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    The Europeans reportedly think very highly of the 6.5x55 Swedish Mauser.

    Moose are thicker, heavy creatures, but not that difficult to kill. They usually don't exhibit the tenacity of say, an elk. Usually.

    The trick is finding a load that will penetrate deep enough to reach the vitals. Long, heavy for caliber bullets with high sectional densities at modest velocities do this very well. The 6.5 and 7mm projectiles meet these requirements to a "T." The "Swede" is one example of a low recoiling round that is proven to get the job done. In the US, it might be a little easier to find .260 Remington.

    The .270 WSM would work, but there might be lower recoiling options available if needed.
     
  11. NCsmitty

    NCsmitty Member

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    If that little girl can shoot the 270wsm accurately, it will be more than enough for the job. Many Canadian moose are dropped with 30-30 or lesser calibers. As always, proper bullet selection and placement are the keys to a successful hunt, if your lucky enough to find a moose.

    Ncsmitty
     
  12. Auburn1992

    Auburn1992 Member

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    I think a 7mm-08 would do the job. It's also pretty light on recoil.
     
  13. redneckdan

    redneckdan Member

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    Given a load of 105gr bullet, launched at 3000fps, the .243 has more energy at 300yds than a .44 mag does at the muzzle. I'm sure it would be adequete for close range shots. As for those mule deer, I imagine thats more due to the shooter than the shooting iron.
     
  14. Steven Proshop

    Steven Proshop Member

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    i think a 160 gr. 270 WSM is a good choice given the parameters.
     
  15. HGUNHNTR

    HGUNHNTR Member

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    6.5x55 swede, proven moose round (see popularity in Finland) and very light recoil.
     
  16. woof

    woof Member

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    A moose is a big animal and unless hit perfectly deserves to be hit hard enough to be humane. If you were picking the best round for moose you would pick the .338 mag. But someone that small will flinch with that much recoil, if not be thrown to the ground, and a lesser round well-placed is better than a .338 2 or three feet off target. So by all means she should stick with what she is comfortable with, practice shooting before the hunt, and only take shots of 100 yds or so and under.
     
  17. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    The question is what does she already shoot and handle well?

    Meese don't need mangalum calibers to drop dead. They need shot placement. A Shiras moose isn't nearly as large as an Alaska-Yukon or Canadian moose.

    A 7mm-08 will work just fine. Alaska bushkins tend to use .30-06 and under.
     
  18. Supertac45

    Supertac45 Member

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    It will work just fine as will the 6.5x55, which has very mild recoil. Just pick a good bullet to get the job done.
     
  19. musher

    musher Member

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    The 270 with heavy bullets is FINE. So's the WSM version. Pick a heavy partition, bonded, or other tough bullet that will hold together and penetrate.

    As others mentioned, put the bullet in the right place and the moose will fall down. This is way more important that whether you're shooting a 6.5, 7mm, 270 or whatever.

    She should practice with whatever she selects and be completely comfortable with the rifle. If there's any question about recoil sensitivity, it would be a good idea for her to practice (a lot) with somewhat reduced loads.

    She won't feel the recoil when she shoots the moose, and she won't worry about it if she hasn't been beaten up at the range by the rifle. This will make it easier to take the shot precisely when it counts.
     
  20. JonB

    JonB Member

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    Bah! Not sure where you got this, but .243 is plenty for ANY deer. Moose, probably not. Elk, no.
     
  21. Master of Arms

    Master of Arms Member

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    Isn`t this the same thread as the one in the "hunting" section??
    This is a good question. While just curiously checking in to some outfitters in the Northwest, I found a few of them that had a "minimum caliber allowed rule". It`s been a few years but I remember talking it over with a buddy of mine because he uses a 25-06 alot. I don`t remember what the minimum caliber allowed was but I know that I was surprised. I know that neither a 25-06 or a 7mm were allowed because that`s what we were using at the time.

    If the outfitter allows a smaller caliber, Regolith had the answer. Get as close as possible and hit the sweet spot.
     
  22. Bukufungi

    Bukufungi Member

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    Bullet placement first. Bullet construction next. The caliber is fine out to reasonable hunting distances if she can put it where it needs to be. Good luck!
     
  23. woof

    woof Member

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    This subject is discussed over and over and it's as if there are two conversations going on at once. Yes a .243 can drop a moose or nearly anything with a well-placed shot. The question becomes what happens with a less than well-placed shot and how fair is it to the game? If you make a not so great shot on a moose with a .338 mag, he won't go far or long. Not so with a .243, or a 6.5. So the question isn't what load is right for the animal. but are "you" good enough to make the marginally better shot required by the lesser caliber and/or sporting enough to pass it up if you aren't?

    PS - Please don't someone tell me I'm advocating the use of more gun to justify less skill - I am not!
     
  24. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    I second the 7MM-08.
     
  25. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

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    Been moose hunting, never shot one. I took a Remington 7mm Mag with 175gr partitions. I lived in Alaska and had several taken by friends and family.

    Moose 1: 458 Win Mag 500gr bullet taken by high school girlfiend's dad. Not recommended.

    Moose 2: 375H&H with 300gr partition taken by my Dad. 5'7" and 170lbs. Not recommended.

    Moose 3:338 Win Mag(very pop. in Alaska) taken by friend of Dad, Jake. Not recommended.

    Moose 4: 308 Win taken by coworker of my dad's. Recommended.

    I would stay away from magnum anything unless there is massive recoil brake, heavy rifle, and 2-3 dead mules in the stock. Wouldn't be fun for her to carry such a beast.

    Moose are pretty docile, except when they are pissed because you almost run them over with your snowmobile. We had them in our yard in Anchorage. Of course, the bastards disappear come hunting season.

    338-06 and 405 Win are pretty popular guns with soft recoil compared to bullet weight. A semi-auto might help, like a BAR in 270Win or 308 Win.

    The hunting we did for moose was pretty much less than 150 yards. Everyone recommended shooting one next to the river. :)
     
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