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Moose=12 ga. Slug or .243?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by thamilton, Nov 30, 2019.

?

Which gun?

  1. Slug gun

    18 vote(s)
    78.3%
  2. .243

    5 vote(s)
    21.7%
  1. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    If I had a caribou to hunt I would probably use it too. I think it is a great cartridge. Groundhogs and coyotes is all I have used it on, so far.
    I had an opportunity to moose hunt in Ontario with the folks that ran a fishing camp on a remote lake. I was talking with the old resident trapper who was going to be our guide. I told him all I had for a rifle was a .243. That's when he said, 'you dont shoot a moose with a varmint gun".
    So before I headed back up to Canada for the hunt, I bought the cheapest .30-06 that I could find.
    20171221_213711.jpg an H&R handi in .30-06.
    So that's what I did under the very same circumstances.
     
  2. Random 8

    Random 8 Member

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    I know you don't feel it's an option to buy another rifle, but in my case I'd find a way to make it one. Yes, moose can be killed with either. No, either is not optimum for the task, or even close.

    My first choice would be to purchase an inexpensive rifle in 7mm-08, .308 or .30-06. Various options can be had brand new for under $400, modern production techniques have made these cheap rifles good tools for hunting. My second choice would be to borrow a rifle in said calibers from a fellow hunter. Sounds like this may be a once in a lifetime style hunt for you, make it count. Do not take the elevated risk of this being a sour experience by using a marginal firearm for the purpose when the proper tool may be had so cheaply.

    If shots will be close, the .45-70 Henry you mention would be a good bet. It's said to be rated to higher pressures than the lever guns in this caliber, but I'll let you do the research vs risk assessment on that one.

    My experience with Moose is on 3 native hunts in MN and Ontario. I was the designated shooter for an elderly man. All 3, one decent bull and 2 cows took quartering away .308win 180 Nosler partitions to the lungs and died relatively quickly. No bullet exited or even made it to the back side of the body cavity. I would not have wanted to have less gun.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
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  3. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    .243 is fine. Folks have used 30-30 to kill every game on Earth. .243 is fine just use a heavy bullet.
     
  4. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    No way on God's green earth would I shoot a moose with a .243 unless it was a survival situation and I had no other choice. After seeing their 100gr bullets blow up on a deer's ribcage, I don't even agree with using it on them.

    The .30-30 with heavier bullets is a hell of a lot better choice than the glorified varmint cartridge that is the .243.
     
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  5. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Yet, mine shattered a caribou scapula and a rib at 100 yards.

    Given the dense brush moose tend to hang out in, I fully agree. However, the OP said no new firearm.

    Although, if he were to buy a new rifle, I'd say just go buy the do-it-all rifle: bolt action 30-06 and cover all the bases at once. Really, as cheap as an all plastic, entry level bolt gun (Savage Axis, Ruger American) is today, there really isn't much of an excuse not to just buy a rifle for this hunt. Heck, on most moose hunts up here, the rifle is cheapest part of the cost-well next to the ammo.
     
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  6. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    That's what I was going to suggest. A handi rifle in .270 or 06. I'm not a moose hunter but the first thing that came to mind was these lil sub $200 handi rifles. Or if finances permit treat yourself to a ruger american for $300 or so. Alot of gun shops have them lightly used and scoped for around this price.
     
  7. Ks5shooter

    Ks5shooter Member

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    .243 with Hornady 103 grain ELD-X bullet and you should be fine.IMHO.
     
  8. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I agree with that. I passed on the biggest buck I've seen because it was just outside iron sight range.
    Moose are huge. I've driven next to them in a pickup and even a yearling is massive.
     
  9. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    30-30 and 243 are very different.
     
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  10. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Just be aware, in 243, anything heavier than 100 grn requires a faster twist, usually 1:7, as opposed to the 1:10 twist that comes standard in most hunting rifles.

    I shot a 243 competitively for several years, but I opted not to spend the money on the match grade, 1:7 barrel, and it limited my bullet choices for load development.
     
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  11. DustyGmt

    DustyGmt Member

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    I recall an episode of life Below Zero, reality series set in Alaska where the hailstone family sets out for a caribou hunt and the eldest daughter gets a "hunting rifle" for her birthday and for the caribou hunt. The rifle was a mini 14 and the name of the game on that day was to rain holy lead hellfire down on a pack of swimming caribou...

    I seem to recall a few stories of folks from AK being more comfortable using the small short action cartridge varieties for larger game but they all seem to agree on what to use on griz and polar bears....
     
  12. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    Deleted. Double post.
     
  13. D.B. Cooper

    D.B. Cooper Member

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    And that's why I, and many, if not most, of the Alaskans I know, absolutely hate those shows. The only people who are allowed to kill swimming caribou are Native Alaskans and those with a federal subsistence hunting permit, and they have to use a 22LR. The general method is to come along side them in a boat and shoot them in the head.

    There are a few of us who use smaller calibers, but not that many. Not these days, anyway. Go back to when Alaska was a territory (pre 1959) and you would likely find a lot of 30-30s and 30-06s. Most folks up here crave the bigger 338 size rifles.

    And what to use on bears is as contentious and oft debated topic as Ford vs Chevrolet.

    ETA: Bear in mind that my observations discussed here, are entirely anecdotal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
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  14. entropy

    entropy Member

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    You'll change your mind after hunting moose. I'd assume, you being Canadian, you've eaten it. If not, that alone will get you wanting a dedicated moose gun.

    I used a .300 Win. Mag. on my once-in-a-lifetime lottery Minnesota Moose hunt, as did my Dad, who shot the moose on our ticket.The other two hunters on the tag, my uncle and my stepmom used a .303 and a 7mm-08, respectively, all with handloads worked up for that hunt. The .44 Mag. pistols my Dad and I carried also had handloads for moose in them.

    My Dad's best friend dropped a Minnesota moose with one shot to the heart with a .30-30. It laid down and took it's time dying, but then, the one my Dad hit in the lungs five times with that .300 Mag. kept walking for about 75 yards before flopping over.

    Of your two choices, .243 will give you more range, but even though a moose's heart is a large target, it may have to smash through a massive rib to get there. 12 Ga. with Brenneke Magnum Crush or Black Magic Magnums will put a moose down, or a wayward T-Rex, if needed. (That last bit might be hyperbole, I don't know of any T-Rex downed with them.....)
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  15. TikkaShooter

    TikkaShooter Member

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    As I grew up brainwashed by my 30-06 father; although, I have a lot of different calibers; I must admit a 30-06 is hard to beat.

    Whatever, you choose to buy, borrow or what you already own; invest the trigger time in it.
     
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  16. horsey300

    horsey300 Member

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    Soooo.......there are 2 beautifully covered sides here. A sabot 12 slug gun is not to be sneered at, period. The one you list is also a repeater, to be taken note of. A .243 with monos or bondeds is ALSO to be reckoned with (flame suit be darned). Neither gun is ideal obviously. In the Henry, I'd crank the tsx as fast as possible, and practice 3 shots rapidly at 50-100 yds. The Henry has a slower twist than the ruger/sav/rem barrels or we'd be talking 90 gr coppers, BUT there IS the Oryx, and partition in heavier weights, and a 100 gr partition IS a solution here! I know that I can reload and fire steadier groups with quality bullets in anything <.300wm single shot than I can in any pump shotgun I've handled so far. IF we do go with the shotgun, DO NOT cheap out on the ammo any more than the .243. If it were me, I'd take the .243, however that is only due to the fact that I can and have fired >50 rounds/sitting and KNOW where every bullet will go, if I had sent as many slugs downrange, I might feel the same about the 12 but having fired my share of those too, I will say that I get back on target faster with my "varmint" gun......having a single shot negates that advantage so in this discussion, there is more to be said of ammo and time spent practicing.
     
  17. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    Neither is suited to the species in question except under perfect conditions and a very good shot, in which case, both will kill a moose. I would hope that your invitation to moose camp would be withheld pending your cadging a more suitable firearm, and that one of the fellows from moose camp might lend you a 30-06 or other suitable rifle.
     
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