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Single All Around Cartridge?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Bio-Chem, Jun 22, 2012.

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  1. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

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    My apologies if this is a topic already done. I'm hoping for a lively discussion, and to hopefully learn some things.

    While growing up as a kid I read Clay Harvey's book Popular Sporting Rifle Cartridges. In this book there is a chapter called Selecting the All Around Ceterfire Cartridge. In which he tackles the question which rifle caliber performs the most services for the money? The idea being if you could only own one rifle to service you from varmints, up through elk/moose which would it be? When the book published in 1984 Mr. Harvey came to the conclusion that the .30-06 was the best all around centerfire rifle cartridge.

    My question is would one come to a different conclusion today considering since then we’ve seen multiple wildcats become standardized, the advent of the Short Magnums, and the development of new bullets such as the single alloy line from Barnes? Has the .30-06 been dethroned in the last 30 years?

    If you had to limit yourself to one rifle cartridge, which one would it be, and why? :what:
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    A .30-06 was my one sporting rifle for years...deer in the fall and groundhogs they rest of they year. I could happily go back to one gun in that caliber.
     
  3. 2ndtimer

    2ndtimer Member

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    My Model 70 Super Shadow in .270WSM. Great deer cartridge at any reasonable range. Very tolerable recoil, outstanding accuracy, flat shooting. Could also wreak havoc on rockchucks, if so desired with 90 gr Sierra HP's or Speer TNT's. Could do decently on elk or moose if I step up to the 150 or 160 gr Nosler Partition bullet. I like the short action and light weight, too.
     
  4. firesky101

    firesky101 Member

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    I could live with a .308 as well, but .30-06 will do everything ya need. It would not be my first choice for cape buffalo or african elephant though. (not saying it can't, just not my first choice)
     
  5. YankeeFlyr

    YankeeFlyr Member

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    .308 Winchester!
     
  6. Ridgerunner665

    Ridgerunner665 Member

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    No...the 30-06 has not been dethroned...and likely will not be anytime soon.

    The 280 Remington "should be" a close 2nd...but it just never caught on.
     
  7. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    It's a great choice.
     
  8. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

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    I consider each of the calibers mentioned so far all in the running for sure. I can't imagine the .280 Remington being inferior in killing power for real world applications, nor the .308 or .270 WSM. in my mind they each would fit the same practical real world energy levels. I would have no problems taking any one of those rounds after elk.

    .270WSM for recoil? would it remain tolerable on an all day hunt shooting varmints? economically how big of an impact for a non-reloader considering the box of ammo compared to the .30-06? Or for a reloader in using 70grains of powder compared to the .30-06 using 55grains?
     
  9. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

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    I should have been smart and thought to do a poll. Hindsight and all that.
     
  10. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    I could live with one gun in .30-06, and in fact did when younger...
     
  11. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    .30/06, meh. Popular maybe. I'm thinking that there's someone on here that might argue that the 30-30 has as much all around potential. Deer, bigger game, varmints? All taken by a 30-30. It's NOT better than an /06, but all around usage potential is on par, minus the recoil. .30/06 can go way longer range, but we don't always have to be 1000 yards from our quarry, especially in a survival scenario you'd wanna be as close as possible to make the shot count.

    My vote however: .308 :)
     
  12. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    While the 30-06 is WAY up that list, for where I hunt I say the 6.5x55, No deer stands a chance, it shoots better at long range then the 308 or 30-06 ever will and it does it all with an absolute minimal of recoil and noise. Varmint bullets at 3,500fps, 120gr deer thumpers at 3kfps and 156-160gr monsters that are famous for taking down polor bears, elk and moose.
    I won't even get into their mainstay 140s, too much information to cover here. That truly is a do it all little gun. While there are no "inherently accurate" cartrages there are however cartrages that it is just plain easier to work up precision handloads and the 6.5x55 is king in that regard. Easier then 30-06, easier then 270 win and easier then 308 only the 243 comes close in my experience.
     
  13. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Member

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    ^ well i was a few minutes late but my vote goes to 6.5x55
     
  14. TanklessPro

    TanklessPro Member

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    Since no one else has I'll bite.

    What about the 223/5.56? Its cheap to shoot and reload. Good at 300 yards and popular with varminteers. The only con would be with large game, but people take elk and moose with bows all the time.
    My large game choice would be 300WTBY. It does everything the 223 can do plus take large game. The only con is the cost even if you reload.
    I like the 308 maybe the new king, but still a little expensive.
    I'm not a fan of the whole only one caliber but for me I would pick the 223/5.56.Mainly because with elk/moose being +700 miles away from me and I do not own an ICBM. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012
  15. Double Vision

    Double Vision Member

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    You can't go wrong with a .30-06 but the .308 aka 7.62x51 will also do most everything required.

    That being said, the 7.62x39 is a good caliber for most everything except the biggest the biggest game. It gets extra points for being inexpensive and easy to carry in volume.
     
  16. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Availability drives desirability drives availability...

    This sort of poll be won by a military or ex-military cartridge, based on familiarity, until all the guys who served and trusted their lives to the cartridge have gone on to greener pastures.

    Then, who knows? Maybe there will so many surplus rifles around that their chamberings will continue to dominate, but I suspect that when all the guys who carried a .30-cal rifle in battle are gone, some more "modern" cartridge will rise to the top.

    My bet: A long action 6.5 or 7mm cartridge will take over the top spot, supplanting the .30-06 and .308 by the year 2030.
     
  17. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    My one cartridge is a 7mm-08, it is a good all around Eastern woods rifle
     
  18. BBQLS1

    BBQLS1 Member

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    All around best would be the .30-06 in my opinion. There are lots of reasons. The huge selection of bullets would be one... If you can't kill it with a .30-06, it probably wasn't meant to be killed.
     
  19. BoilerUP

    BoilerUP Member

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    260 Remington!

    95 Vmax for varmints, 140gr Partition for Elk & Moose, 140gr Berger Hybrids for ELR, or just rock the 140gr A-Max for darn near every purpose.

    Only downside to it is a lack of widely available factory ammo...a non-factor for a reloader but a factor for some.
     
  20. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    I don't have my reloading manuals near by but if memory serve me 30'06 and the 308 have the widest selection of bullets,cast and jacketed and powders from what would be pistol powders to full tilt reloads. Add to that thenear endless supply of surplus brass you'll be in good shape for quite awhile. My largest caliber is 45/70 but I vote 30'06 for best all around cartridge. I do have a 308 bolt gun BTW.
     
  21. 303tom

    303tom member

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    The .30-06 will never be dethroned...............
     
  22. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    I'm shamelessly stealing that as my sig for a while...

    :evil:
     
  23. Chevelle SS

    Chevelle SS Member

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    8mm because I love my Mausers
     
  24. Snag

    Snag Member

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    Much respect to the 30-06 but I guess I'm just not a fan. I'd pick 308 before the 30-06 as a do everything cartridge.

    My personal choice would be 243. Yeah probably too light for elk, I wouldn't know as I've never hunted for elk. The experiences I've had have given me a lot of confidence in that round to excel at everything.
     
  25. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Member

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    I just read this article this morning: http://www.chuckhawks.com/all_around_cartridges.htm

    He develops a lot of criteria, all of which may not be applicable to everybody; but he determines that there are 4 cartridges that meet all 8 of his criteria...

    1) .270 Winchester
    2) 7mm Remington Magnum
    3) .308 Winchester
    4) .30-06 Springfield

    I personally think that about a dozen or so make perfect all-around cartridges, but I agree with Hawkes in that these are found ANYWHERE, and I like that. I'd probably prefer to stick to these 4 for that reason. He also delineates between these 4 in the article. Interesting read!
     
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