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Caliber choice above .308?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by valnar, Feb 7, 2012.

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  1. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I'm itching for a new bolt-action (or lever) above .308. That is the highest rifle caliber I own at the moment. This is a "would like to have" gun. I have no illusions about going to Africa or Alaska, but it would be nice to be able to take down dangerous game if I decide to change my mind. Maybe something that can handle a Grizzly? This will probably be the only gun I buy that hits harder than a .308.

    I don't plan on shooting long range, so I don't believe a Magnum is required unless that ends up being the better caliber choice for other reasons too. I figure 300-400 yards would be max for this rifle, if that. Penetration > range.

    I really like the looks of the .375 Ruger but I don't know if factory ammo is plentiful and cheap. The 9.3x62 or .375H&H come up a lot in my research. Any others worth looking into?
     
  2. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    300-400 yards isn't long range?

    That rules out all of the big bore levergun rounds I can think of. A 45/70 would still be plenty lethal at that distance, but working with it's trajectory would be a trick.

    Maybe one of the .338 magnums?
     
  3. mberoose

    mberoose Member

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    I dig Marlin guide guns, trappers, etc. .44 Mag, .45-70, etc. Big wood for ammo though. Probably a tweener ammo I constantly overlook.
     
  4. valnar

    valnar Member

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    Eh, lets make it 150-250 yards or so. I think my local range has a 300 yarder, and that's where I'd shoot it initially.

    Sorry, I always think of 400-1000 yards as long range, but yah, for something that hits hard at 400 yards, I probably wouldn't be able to take it.
     
  5. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    .338-06?
     
  6. valnar

    valnar Member

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    Second, somewhat related question.

    Is there any particular game, dangerous or otherwise, that is best served by a bullet between 160-250 grains, vs either of those extremes?
     
  7. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    I think the .338 WInchester is the perfect intro into larger cartridges, and with it you can feel good about hunting anything anywhere in the world.
     
  8. AK_Maine_iac

    AK_Maine_iac Member

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    Are you talking belted or none belted? For a step up from 308. I like my 35Whelen. For something belted the 338Win Mag is sweet.
     
  9. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    The .357 H&H is probably the classic choice for dangerous game anywhere in the world. It would probably be my first choice for a "wanna have" gun based on your criteria. If you think that's a bit much, my second choice would probably be the .338 Winchester Magnum. Another fine cartridge suitable for most anything in North America.
     
  10. Freedom_fighter_in_IL

    Freedom_fighter_in_IL Member

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    I have fallen in lust with the .338federal. It's ideal for anything that walks. It has speed as well as size. I am not that familiar with African game laws, but I have heard that they are starting to allow it's use for dangerous game with proper bullet weights and penetration. I most certainly would not feel undergunned with it out hunting for Brown Bear.
     
  11. rori

    rori member

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    My dangerous game gun is a 375H&H. That said I wouldn't mind a 35 Whelen at all and it will handle most anything in NA and most of Africa. FRJ
     
  12. valnar

    valnar Member

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    Can you tell me the advantage or disadvantage of a belted caliber?

    The .35 Whelen sounds good too....
     
  13. snakeman

    snakeman Member

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    45/70, 7mm rem mag, 300 win mag, 300wsm, heck 270 wsm, 8mm mauser, 35 whelen, 338 federal, 338 win mag. These will all handle grizzlies, the rest is up to you.
     
  14. Jason_W

    Jason_W Member

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    A BLR in .450 Marlin might fit your needs. Also, a Ruger #1 in 45/70 could fire handloads at velocities to make medium range shooting a practical possibility.
     
  15. AK_Maine_iac

    AK_Maine_iac Member

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    Fist thing that come to mind. COST
    All belted brass (if you reload) cost more
    I find the belted magnums are not as easy to reload.

    35Whelen is easy and fun to reload. Also if you want a light load for just fun shooting and small game. The 35Whelen can be reloaded with 357 handgun caliber bullets. So you are covered from bunnies to brown bears and all African plains critters.

    bullet weights from 110gr +or- all the way up to 350 solids.
    I too like my 45.70 and belted magnums. I just hunt more with the 35Whelen.
    ##########################################################
    Can you tell me the advantage or disadvantage of a belted caliber?

    The .35 Whelen sounds good too....
    ##########################################################
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  16. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    I went through a similar thing last year and settled on a 45-70. It doesn't meet you range specification and I'm not sure what I'd choose if that were a critical criteria.
     
  17. valnar

    valnar Member

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    A .40+ caliber in a rifle certainly intrigues me, but I don't think I could handle the recoil unless it was a very slow bullet, like the .45-70. I have nothing against the .338 (Mag) per se, it just doesn't seem like that much of an improvement over a .308 or .30-06. The .35 Whelen and 9.2x62 are now on my short list. I don't reload, so I might be edged towards the 9.2x62 for cheap factory ammo, but I could go either way.

    I believe I have all the info I need to decide my next toy. Thanks everyone.
     
  18. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    I very much prefer commonality of ammunition. Around here... and covering much of this country, plus taking a good leap beyond .308 Win, that means .375 H&H Mag. I see quite a bit about .338 Mag and .35 Whelen among others but .375 H&H Mag seems to be more common which means it's probably going to be easier to find ammo for even during an ammo shortage... meaning you may be able to barter for it from an individual.
     
  19. TwoEyedJack

    TwoEyedJack Member

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    The .338 win mag is a huge step up from the .30-06. Over a thousand ft. lb. of muzzle energy. Just sayin.
     
  20. AK_Maine_iac

    AK_Maine_iac Member

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    If i did not reload i could not afford to shoot my 338Win or my 375H&H. The last time i checked, off the shelf price, for my 375H&H and the 338Win at Sportsman it was close to $95.00 per box of 20. Price may be up or down now. I stopped looking and started reloading.
     
  21. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Advantages? If the case has a shoulder, none.

    Disadvantages? Really, none.

    In the accuracy game, the cartridges headspacing on the belt instead of the shoulder causes a new or full-length resized case to lay against the bottom of the chamber, affecting accuracy. Of course, anyone who is serious about group size neck-sizes brass anyway, so it's kind of a moot point.

    The belt originated on the .375 H&H because it didn't have much of a shoulder for headspacing. It simply got carried over as cartridges wildcatted from .375 H&H brass became commercialized.
     
  22. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    If a fella handloads, with the .375 H&H there's no reason not to tailor loads for deer on up. And it has a whole bunch of "neat" factor, to me.

    Lordy! Load up some. Watch some show on TV about hunting in Africa, fondling a round and sorta dreaming.

    Hey, what are banks for, anyhow? They loan money, right? Go to Africa, young man, go to Africa. Don't get to 80, wishing you had...
     
  23. Maxicooper

    Maxicooper Member

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    Above .308win., .375 H&H is also my most favorite as well. :D
     
  24. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Member

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    first belted rounds are no different to load for, seconddo you reload? third, if you do reload then go 300. either win mag or WSM, SAUM. you already have the bullets to use. brass is more expensive for the 300 mag but not cause its belted, just cause its abigger round. my on the list to build is a 300HH mag and a 308 Norma Mag.
     
  25. rori

    rori member

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    The 45/70 can be loaded hot enough to rip your lips off!!! I have a load with a 525 gr bullet that goes out at 1625fps in my Marlin 1895 and it is painful even with a Past pad on. Shooting it from the bench to sight it in is a task that is not looked foreward to!! I also have loads that shoot like a 22. Its very flexible just not a 300 yard proposition. FRJ
     
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