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Best Rifle/Caliber for North American Hunting?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by epijunkie67, Feb 20, 2011.

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  1. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    Ok, I'll be the first to say I'm not a hunter. My tastes tend more towards semi-auto and lever rifles than bolt guns. And I've got several that would be fine as a hunting weapon, for the most part.

    Recently I got to thinking about the dedicated hunting rifle. Deer, Elk, Hog, whatever. We aren't talking polar bear or elephants here. Just the stuff that most people hunt in America and maybe Canada. And normal hunting ranges. No 600 yard shots either. So what's the best all around caliber?

    If a guy was going to buy just one centerfire rifle to use as a hunting weapon for normal game in America, what would be the single best option?
     
  2. towboat_er

    towboat_er Member

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  3. GuysModel94

    GuysModel94 Member

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    The great american rifleman Jack O'conner took all the game on this continent and all the grazers in Africa with a Winchester Model 70 in 270 Win., but the 30-06 is also a great round. If you prefer levers look at the Marlin XLR in 338 Marlin Express, fully capable of what you want to do.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  4. HOLY DIVER

    HOLY DIVER Member

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    a Browning blr in 30-06 (since u like lever guns) will make u a very happy hunter hogs,elk,deer,moose the 30-06 can get the job done, has for years and many 2 come
     
  5. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    30-06. 7mm Rem mag is pretty close.
     
  6. 9X23WIN

    9X23WIN Member

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    I also say 30-06. You can use a 110 gr pill at a blazing 3500fps or the heavy 250 gr for the big stuff.
     
  7. _CY_

    _CY_ Member

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    have taken more deer with .270 than any other round.

    30.06 and 308 would also do fine. but a bit too much round for varmint size game. .270 even with light bullets is still bit much for varmint size critters.

    one would need .22LR along with one of the above.
     
  8. janobles14

    janobles14 Member

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    .30-06 without a doubt
     
  9. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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  10. Abel

    Abel Member

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    A Browning BAR or BLR in 30-06.
     
  11. joeq

    joeq Member

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    If I'm picking one caliber for North America it is easily going to be the 30-06. It's versatile enough it can do most anything I would need it for.
     
  12. Geno

    Geno Member

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    A .30-06 Sprg or a .270 Win would be hard to beat. Browning used to offer the .30-06 and the .270 in autoloading rifle (BAR) and in lever-action rifle (BLR). Good information for those who want a bolt-action. Just a thought.

    Geno
     
  13. joed

    joed Member

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    Depends what you want to hunt. I survived for 30 years with 1 bolt action rifle chambered in .25-06 Rem. This cartridge will handle a lot and is good for anything up to the size of Elk. I've gone bear hunting in Canada with it, used it for deer and varmints and never felt under-guned.

    Recoil is not objectionable and it will shoot a long way. With this cartridge you shoot light bullets at varmints and heavy bullets for bigger game. It's really a dual purpose cartridge.
     
  14. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Sing it, brutha! Quarter-bore is awesome! :cool: Side note, did you see that Winchester's M70 is being offered in .25-06 Rem?! Oh yeah! So is the new Weatherby Vanguard. :)

    Geno
     
  15. Flatbush Harry

    Flatbush Harry Member

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    IMHO & experience (such as it is) I think any usefully scoped rifle in an action appropriate to the round used will work from .270 Win, 7mm Rem Mag, .308 Win, .308 Marlin Express, .30-06 will be perfectly acceptable as an general go-to hunting rifle for all medium to large game in North America. I don't have enough experience with .260 Rem or 6.6x55 to opine on them.

    In my case, a bolt action, glassed (3-9x40) .308 Win and .30-06 SPRG are my two interchangable rifles. One's a Rem 700 and one's a Savage 116, and I've got a feeling a Win 70 Extreme Weather is about to follow me home when I decide the caliber. I handload for each and am confident of the outcome using either. I have a Rem 700- in .25-06 for varmint through deer but would take my .30 cals for all around.

    FH
     
  16. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    IMO, the best "all around" caliber for NA "big game" is the 30-06, with the .270 and .308 as very close seconds. :cool:

    There are a few other contenders (.260, 7mm-08, etc) that will do the job too, but don't IMO offer significant advantages and they are less common so factory ammo can sometimes be more expensive and hard to find in smaller markets.

    IMO the medium bore magnums (ex. 7mm & .300) just don't offer the average shooter that big of an advantage over the above calibers to off set the increased muzzle blast and recoil of the magnum loadings.
     
  17. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    270, 30-06 or 308 are the logical choices. A few years ago I'd have said 30-06. Today my 308 is the last bolt gun I'd part with.
     
  18. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    I agree, 30-06 all the way. You can handload it up or down quite a bit in power, from 30-30 levels to near 300 win mag levels.
     
  19. Motega

    Motega Member

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    30-06 in a bolt action 700 is my favorite rifle by leaps and bounds... all the guides carried 7mm in Africa, but anywhere east of the Mississippi I think you would be lucky to get a long enough shot to even challenge a 30-06... another factor is the availability of ammo- anywhere you are going to hunt, the nearest gun shop is going to have some .30-06 in stock. Of course 'nearest' may be a relative term if you just debarked from a puddle jumper in Nowhere AK...
     
  20. Tentwing

    Tentwing Member

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    For over a hundred years the answer has been 30-06 .....:) I am a big fan of the 25-06 too, but the OP mentioned North America and Canada, and My 117grainers might be a little light for moose ??

    The 30-06 may be the Grand Paw to a good many of the cartridges availiable today......, but old or not it still works for me,.......Tentwing :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  21. bpl

    bpl Member

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    The 30-06 is, of course, never a mistake!:D
     
  22. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 Member

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    270 & 30-06 in the 50's my Aunt took 2nd place Boone & Crockett Mtn. Caribou with her 270.

    However I have a 30-06, 308. 7mm WSM, 30-30, 303 Brit., 6.6 Jap & 7.62x39 I think I have most but not all bases covered.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  23. Coal Dragger

    Coal Dragger Member

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    If we are talking only about varmints, antelope, deer, elk, moose, sheep, mountain lions, black bears, and goats a .270, .280, or .30-06 would all do just great. If larger brown bears are also on the agenda at some point I would personally not go for anything smaller than a .338 in a magnum flavor.

    I suppose if you had to pick only one caliber to do it all including brown bears I would look into a .375H&H or .375 Ruger. While it would be grossly overpowered for deer, and antelope the velocity is not so high that bullets turn the meat into jelly, and for larger ungulates the extra penetration could be handy. For the large bears a .375 magnum will simply be able to do more than a lesser caliber since there is no replacement for bullet weight in some applications.
     
  24. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...just one centerfire rifle..." That'd be a scoped, bolt action, .270, .30-06 or .308. Any of 'em, with good hunting bullets, will kill any game you care to hunt. Biggest advantage to 'em is the widespread availablity of ammo. However, the cartridge is more important than the action type. All three come in high quality semi-auto's and levers too.
    "...117 grainers might be a little light for moose..." Yep, but a Hornady 120 Interlock or a 117 grain Gameking placed well should do. A .25-06 is still a bit light for an 800 to 1,000 lb moose. Mind you, Bullwinkle has been killed with 100 grain .243's too. Bullwinkle isn't that difficult to kill. He's just a big SOB. So think in terms of shooting him close to the road.
     
  25. Xfire68

    Xfire68 Member

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    The old classic 30.06! You can't go wrong with it and it has a ton of projectile weight choices that others can't match!
     
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