Four Best Calibers for U.S. Hunters

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Shawnee, Aug 9, 2008.

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  1. adam_oz

    adam_oz Member

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    Panhandle of Nebraska
    22-250
    25-06
    300 win mag
    17hmr
     
  2. doc2rn

    doc2rn Member

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    .22 WSM
    .223
    .308
    .30-06

    Fills every need and with the right platforms, can reach way out there.
     
  3. JCBailey

    JCBailey Member

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    Brandon, Ms
    22-250
    30-30
    30-06
    300 Mag (Win and/or Wby)

    any 12 ga for bird or small game. It would suck to be limited to four guns.
     
  4. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    If you seriously only could have one firearm to hunt with it would have to be a 12 gauge. I don't know what caliber can cover what a 12 gauge can.

    Ignoring shotguns for a moment, I still fail to see where a harder hitting round isn't capable of taking varmints. Dead is dead. It won't care if it took a .243 bullet or one with a .308 diameter. It will be dead. So again if I could only choose one it would be the big and reliable, vastly available 30-06. I don't think I would overly enjoy pounding a prairie dog town with one but if I could only pick one it would be the 30-06.

    The real problem is this is a stupid criteria as very few of us only buy one rifle to do everything. If we want to hunt big and small game we tend to buy a big and small caliber to match the situation. How many people in here are picking a rifle to be an every purpose rifle?

    The better thread would have been pick 4 firearms to cover all the hunting the average hunter would do. Many more people could be limited by only 4 firearms for all their hunting than just one.

    Personally, again ignoring shotguns, my pick of 4 must have calibers goes:

    30-06
    .22lr
    .223
    .243

    That gives everything from small game within 50 yards up to some of the biggest stuff on the continent and gives you two steps between. I like the .243 but it would be the 4th on that list as I love the .223 and find the other two to be the second and third needed firearms behind a 12 gauge.
     
  5. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Shawnee, you may have to just start over - not many are reading the original question - the vast majority of answers are the 'covering all the bases' answers, which is not what was asked.

    Attention: If you including any rimfire in your answer, then you did not read and understand the original question.
     
  6. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    Its not that people don't read the original question, but that the original question has little to no usefulness. It doesn't matter what the single best all around cartridge is since so FEW people shoot everything with one rifle.

    Of all the hunters I know I can't think of one that doesn't have at least 5 firearms. Of those I can't think of a single hunter who doesn't have a .30-06. Most have a .30-30. All have at least one 12 gauge. All have at least one .22lr. A lot of people around my area hunt squirrel, rabbit, and raccoon. Could you imagine what the .250, .257, 6mm, or .243 would do to your standard squirrel? It is as bad of an option as hunting deer with a .22lr would be. The point is there seriously isn't a single do it all round. Deer season in my part of the country is a couple weeks and shotgun/muzzleloader only. Tell me where .250, .257, 6mm, or .243 come to play for me on the bulk of my hunting. All I would use them for is out of state hunts. The rest of my and everyone other Ohio hunter's in state hunting is often vastly overkilled with a 6mm or larger bullet. A lot of the hunts are overkilled with anything other than a .22lr or a 12 gauge loaded with 6's. You can say most hunters only care about deer but for a large portion of us deer hunting takes up a very small percentage of total hunting hours. They may still be the most important hours but they are far from the bulk of the hunting done. Lets not even start to talk about things that fly instead of run.
     
  7. FSJeeper

    FSJeeper Member

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    The 4 most useful calibers in a one man rifle battery that can cover all the bases IMO would be:

    7.62 x 39
    .308
    300 WM
    338 Lapua Magnum
     
  8. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    :D

    You're right, Sauce - but I doubt it'll change if I start it all a over.

    Some people just use the same answer for all questions. Spares them all the trouble of thinking :rolleyes:


    :cool:
     
  9. matrem

    matrem Member

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    Would love to challenge ya on flip-floppin #2 & #1,but ,you did throw in that factory availability thing....So I can't..aaggghhh, argue your point..
    More people need to learn to load..They're missing soooo much!!
     
  10. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    Flagstaff AZ
    1. 12 GA
    2. 22 LR
    3. .30-06
    4. .243

    Nothing you can't bag with these four. All you really need are the first three.
     
  11. goon

    goon Member

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    The "problem" with the original post is that it names four cartridges that are ballistically very similar. There really isn't a question asked - it's basically just one guy's opinion.
    Plus, it's kind of nuts to say that you can figure out what's best for most US hunters. How could you?
    You're not them.
    You don't have any more idea what they need than I do.

    Not saying Shawnee isn't an experienced hunter and that he doesn't have some good points, but unless he hunts every kind of game in every season in every state in the lower 48 on every patch of ground where people hunt, there just isn't any way he can decide what's best for anyone other than himself.
    He gives a good place to start but that doesn't mean the conclusion will look the same for everyone.
     
  12. tblt

    tblt member

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    7 mm rem mag
    270 win
    30-06
    25-06
     
  13. subierex

    subierex Member

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    .22lr
    .223
    .30-06
    45-70

    Not a hunter but I suspect this would cover just about any base needed covering.
     
  14. SpeedAKL

    SpeedAKL Member

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    If I had to have just four rifle calibers, I'd go with .22LR, .223, .308, .30-06.

    For actual hunting:
    .223 for varmints and predators - huge variety of loads and rifle configurations, good out to ~600 yards, i know there are higher-performance varmint calibers out there but none are as available or diverse

    7mm-08 for medium game - widely available, great deer and antelope round

    .30-06 for medium and large game - most popular hunting cartridge in America = widest variety of loads, good for everything this side of a grizzly bear, biggest caliber most people can shoot without getting the recoil bug

    .338 Winchester Mag for large/dangerous game - deals with the biggest stuff, i.e. brown and polar bears and bison, quite well
     
  15. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Sigh..... please ask this to be locked. Hardly anyone is actually answering the question asked.

    Who cares? It's not YOUR thread, and thus not YOUR question. You can feel free to (a) not read the thread, (b) not post anything in the thread, and (c) start your own thread. What you should NOT try to do is (d) make the OPs thread into YOUR thread by asking and answering YOUR question, which is completely different from the original question asked by the thread-starter. Start your own thread if you want to ask a different question. There's no limit on the number of threads you may start, and no fee to do so. So what is stopping you?

    Dude, yeah, that's precisely the point. If you had read the question, you'd know that. The problem is with your reading comprehension, or possibly that you didn't read the original post at all.

    Yes, there most certainly was a very detailed-criteria question asked. Again, you either didn't read the original post, or you cannot comprehend fairly clear English.

    The question is NOT asking "which 4 calibers" to "cover all the bases for you". It is asking what ONE caliber to cover all the bases for the average US hunter, and THEN to add your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place choices behind the 1st one, for this same ONE-caliber question.
     
  16. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    C'mon, the title of this thread is, "Four best calibers for American hunters." That would imply four different calibers, not just four cartridges of almost identical caliber. If he'd really wanted an answer to his question, perhaps he should have titled it, "Four best long range deer cartridges."
     
  17. goon

    goon Member

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    Premium Sauces - you want this thread to go away but you just replied to it.
    Think what you want, but it seems to me that you're the one with the comprehension problem.

    Here is the complete original post.

    You will note that there is some pretty well thought out criteria, a list of cartriges that meet that criteria, and the opinion that the .243 is the "best".
    Maybe my reading comprehension is a little off here...
    I had it pretty rough last semester and I've been taking it easy on the thinking lately, but can you maybe quote the question for me?
    Because I don't see any question marks.

    And according to Remington there is not enough difference in any of them that a deer would know the difference at 250 yards.
    See for yourself: http://www.remington.com/products/ammunition/ballistics/
    Maybe one has a couple hundred more FPS, and the .257 Roberts carries 17 more grains of lead out there, but so what?
    The effect on a deer would be about the same. And a guy who was used to using one of them could probably pick up any of the others on the day before the hunt, shoot a couple shots to check zero, and be completely effective with it in the field.
     
  18. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Well, goon, I am sorry - it appears as though you are right. Could have sworn he posed it as a question. But now I just see that he was making a statement with post #1. Oops, my bad - your comprehension is evidently just fine. Shawnee, did you edit your original post? I thought you had posed it as a question plus "and here would be my answer."
     
  19. RugerOldArmy

    RugerOldArmy Member

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    +1 Sad so many people played this game.
     
  20. mr.trooper

    mr.trooper Member

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    .22 LR - simply because of the wealth of ammunition types and afford ability. A bolt action or single shot .22 will let you hunt any CPX1 game from 10 feet to 100 yards; CB caps offer the same level of report and lethality as a pellet gun for suburban hunting, while stingers offer 6 times as much energy and the ability to take predators under 100 yards.

    22-250 or .243: phenomenal range of uses. Both cartridges are excellent for CPX1 game at long range, while offering enough power for light skinned CPX2 game at short range. with either caliber, its vital to select the proper bullet for either of those tasks, but assuming you use proper bullets, and good shot placement, they will do what you ask of them.

    6.5x55: I would mention the 260 Remington, but the 6.5 is actually easier to find and ammo is cheaper. This cartridge is an IDEAL CPX2 cartridge at any range, and is also suitable for most CPX3 game at reasonable ranges. For those that MUST have an "American" cartridge that does the same, give the 7mm-08 or .270 a good look.

    thats where i run out of steam. This list is lacking a good cartridge for CPX4 class game, but in all honesty its not needed unless you live in big bear territory. If so, id go with the classics: either .375 H&H or .416 Rigby.
     
  21. 8040Cougar

    8040Cougar Member

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    Location:
    Nazareth PA
    .22LR
    .223
    .308
    .44 mag (in a carbine)

    These would be my choices as you have a quiet pest gun, varmint gun, all around light-big game gun, and light fast brush gun. I would however take a 12 gauge if limited to 1 caliber/gauge
     
  22. ronnieevans40

    ronnieevans40 Member

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    Arizona
    my call

    1. 30.06

    2. 300 savage

    3. 243 win

    4. 223
     
  23. Bwana John

    Bwana John Member

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    Im guessin ol Shawnee dont hunt alot of elk.

    #1. .30-06
    #2. .30-06
    #3. .30-06
    #4. .30-06

    #X^nth. Two-Fourty-Weak:neener:
     
  24. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Hi Sauce (et al)...

    I wrote the original post as a statement rather than a question - with the intent to generate discussion of that specific class (varmint/deer) of cartridges.... whether the particular calibers be termed "best", or "optimum", or "best-suited", etc. is all "mox-nix".

    However, by the time I got back to the thread, and in spite of having set clear criteria - several people had already responded and most had apparently thought (or chose) to respond with their rendition of the age-old "which X number of calibers for N. America?" harangue.

    It didn't seem too likely I could get the thread back on the pavement so I didn't really try. And anyway - even though many responses were wide of the mark, they are still interesting - even the ones that attempt to launch a brick through my window. LOLOLOL! :D

    Perhaps it would have helped for me to specifically mention "varmint/deer class" somewhere in the criteria. But of course we both know that the .30-ought-snots would still have jumped up and pretended with all the force in their feverish keyboards that their pet caliber is a rightful member of the "varmint/deer class" even though recoil and blast alone eliminates it right out of the chute.... thus proving for the umpteenth time that they have a congenital and complete inability to grasp the meaning of "varmint/deer class".:rolleyes:

    The point of the OP is that if a person never hunted anything larger than deer, antelope or hogs, they would be best served by - and never need - anything larger than one of the four calibers I named.

    :cool:
     
  25. Ben Shepherd

    Ben Shepherd Member

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    Avalible on almost any shelf in America, in any store that sells ammo at all:

    1. 30-06. THE hunting round. Period.

    2. 12 guage. From slugs to #8 shot, It'll kill anything you want it to.

    3. 223. For anything varmit sized. Or other game that's under the 100 lb. mark.

    4. 22 LR.

    There's a good list for ya 'all.
     
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