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What is the most versatile caliber?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Ty7940, Aug 9, 2008.

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  1. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Just remember, you can handload a .458 Winchester Magnum down to the 1800 ft lbs of a .243, but you can't handload a .243 up to the roughly 5,000 ft lbs of the .458. For the handloader, it's always much more versatile to go bigger. There is no such thing as overkill. If moose or brown bear is on the menu, get a .338 and load it down to .35 Remington or .35 Wheelen levels for deer. Don't try to shoot brown bear with a .30-06. Don't listen to the hype. Get enough gun.

    JMHO. Of course, recoil does NOT enter my considerations when choosing a hunting rifle. If you can't handle the recoil of an adequate caliber for the game, don't hunt that game. Buy a .22 and be content with squirrel hunting. Don't chase moose with a .223.
     
  2. WyoCowboy

    WyoCowboy Member

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    I see that I do have some fellow .280 Rem shooters posting on this thread. Nice to know that Chuck Spears and caribou are out there.

    I like your philosophy, caribou, on the three rules: shot placement, shot placement, and shot placement. I believe following this idea is the concept of alot of hunters being over powerful with what they shoot. They merely are not the best shots out there so they believe that to make up for that they will just go with a larger rifle. I think that is so wrong!

    I was told by an Alaskan native that worked for a handful of guides throughout his life that the number one question that his guides were asked before their hunters arrived was 'How large of a caliber should I bring to hunt with?' He said that the best of the guides all had the same answer, 'Whatever caliber you can shoot the most accurately!!!!' If you cannot put a round where it needs to be, why add other negative factors to the equation like muzzle jump and recoil? Studying and knowing the ballistics of the rounds that you shoot should be second nature. For example, with my handloaded rounds for my rifle, I shoot 1.5" high at 100 yds, zero at 200 yds, 3" low at 300 yds, and 8" low at 400 yds. I know this info and use it when I am hunting. Everyone that hunts should know this info for the rifle that they hunt with. No wonder so much wildlife gets away wounded every year.

    Needless to say, there are many other factors that come into play with the hunting experience. Like weather, wind, fog, and so many others. I am not trying to say that it is easy by any means. Even I miss sometimes, none of us are perfect shots 100% of the time. But, take out as many variables that you can and don't leave so much to chance.
     
  3. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Just because you believe in using enough gun, don't mean you can't shoot it. I know a lot of folks that shoot .243s that can't hit squat, scared of it, flinch, don't understand the basics of marksmanship. I have no problem with recoil and I hit what I shoot at. Even if you are using enough gun, you still have to hit what you're aiming at.

    Largest gun I have is a 7 mag and, really, I don't need it for what I hunt. I've never seen a brown bear OR a moose in the wild. Biggest, toughest game I hunt is hogs. So, sort of a dumb argument for me, be just fine with a .243 or my .257. :D I like the .308 a LOT, though. .280 is great, so's .270, 7x57, 6.5x55, 7mm-08, yadda, yadda, yadda. I've settled on the .308, though, just like it for a multitude of reasons.
     
  4. 280shooter

    280shooter Member

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    I like the 308 too. but I'll stick with my 280,,very slick ,I killed a nice Caribu,out at 300 yards,140 nosler,one shot,
    So I still vote for the 280.
     
  5. killzone

    killzone Member

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    7mm

    I like the 7mm. It does everything and more.
    For yote to moose, there are many factory loaded options.

    HEY Check out 7mm STW. It is superb!:evil:
     
  6. kmrcstintn

    kmrcstintn Member

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    before actually buying & shooting my .300 wsm...it was .300 wsm; now that my 'magnumitis' has bit me in the arsenal, I would opt for a .308 or .30-06 for deer on up to moose; the only problem for me is that I got too much invested in the .300 wsm package & I need to shoot it more often to get used to it;

    forgot to mention my .25-06 which can cover from groudhog up to deer; another reason why I'm not opting for a 'medium' caliber at this time
     
  7. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Hey NOBODY said the shooter had to be safe from dangerous game when shooting, the question was the "most versatile caliber". :D

    And you'd have to be darn good as well as lucky to get close to say a pronghorn to take it with a slug, even with a fully rifled barrel with a scope. :eek:

    As for something like a grizzly...etc..., I wonder if they make a "blind" with reenforced steel like a shark cage only for outside on land so would protect you while you engaged a griz at 50yards over bait, using a 12 ga? The helocopter bringing it in would probably wreck your hunt though eh? :what:

    LD
     
  8. Decker

    Decker Member

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    hmmmmm

    Just one rifle? thats a painful thought really, but I guess it would be a real toss up between the 7mm rem mag out there and the 300 win mag. Not a lot of difference at the end of the day, except a touch heavier slug in the 300 if you have to have it. tough one, i'd probably have to go with my 7mm at the end of the day, i just shoot that gun a touch better...
     
  9. fast eddie

    fast eddie Member

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    I can't tell if the question is 1) What is the most versatile caliber? or 2) What is your choice of a caliber that will take anything from whitetail to moose? My answer to 2) is .35 Remington (Leverevolution), but that doesn't necessarily make it the most "versatile." For versatility I gotta agree it's the 12 ga.
     
  10. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    While I agree that shot placement is king, there are certainly situations where "shot placement" is not the only thing. I have never hunted bear, or other dangerous game, but a 350lb p'd off russian boar will sure hurt your feelings, and when he is about to "play" with your knees then having enough gun sure don't hurt things. Now "enough" is still a subjective term, but I would rather have a 150 grain 30-30 or bigger at that point, over the 90 grain.
     
  11. DeathByCactus

    DeathByCactus Member

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    Browning 7mm magnum.

    I have taken out everything from Squirrels to Elk.

    Squirrels are funny because they expl0de, just gotta be mindful of where the bullet goes after it passes through the squirrel.

    It is my only rifle though and the only rifle I have ever shot anything with. I have never had a problem with shot placement. Even on simultaneously timed shots with my brother.
     
  12. Jst1mr

    Jst1mr Member

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    The guy we all love to meet in the woods....
     
  13. DeathByCactus

    DeathByCactus Member

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    Squirrels are fast and agile, good single shot target practice.
     
  14. Jst1mr

    Jst1mr Member

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    Right...and while you're blazing away w/ a 7MM Mag at an elevated angle into the treetops, how does one go about being "mindful" ?
    See, where I'm from, and in most places, squirrels are a small game animal. Hunting them or not is your choice - "exploding" them for kicks with a high powered rifle is patently illegal, not to mention unethical.

    So sorry if I don't wish you good luck in "taking out" any more animals, but to me you're a hazard and out in the field for all the wrong reasons.
     
  15. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    I hate to defend the guy talking about "exploding squirrels" but he did say

    So whether is jest or not if he is mindful then he is no more a danger than anyone else! And btw I am curious how shooting small game with a "big rifle" would be illegal or unethical? Plenty of folks on here gripe about people not using "enough gun" for the job. Well this ain't one of'em! ;)
     
  16. dirty habit

    dirty habit Member

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    Yep theres the answer, next question!!!:):)
     
  17. salthouse

    salthouse Member

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    I vote 280 Rem. 30-06 case with a 7mm bullet. Best of both worlds IMO.
     
  18. Decker

    Decker Member

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    Squirels

    May have to consider what squirel we talking here. Growing up in PA, squirel is a tree dweller thats tasty, but in the west, ground squirels are ground dwelling vermin, small wood chucks if you will. I go through 2 or 3 bricks of 22's keeping them shot out of my pasture every year. Most excellent practice with a rifle as well provided you have plenty of less expensive reloads put together.
     
  19. DeathByCactus

    DeathByCactus Member

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    Wow, you really are the offended sort arn't you.

    First off, you should never, ever, ever be on my property without due notification. If anyone were to be injured it would ONLY be because they were trespassing and I would have them prosecuted to the full extend of the law regardless of any injuries they suffered. I have the upper hand living in Texas.

    Second off, I never said I exploded them for kicks. In fact I never gave any reason as to why I shoot them, I just said I have shot everything from squirrels to Elk and that squirrels tend to explode. I typically use the squirrels and other varmints for bait whenever our livestock gets attacked and we need to root out predators (which is typically coyotes, occasionally a bobcat, have only seen a M. Lion once). I use a shotgun most of the time, to shoot a 7mm magnum at a squirrel in a tree from the ground is an unspeakable act of firearm usage. Not to mention that 7mm Mag ammo isn't exactly cheap, so "blazing" is a rather ridiculous word. Either way I have to cut them up and pile them up.

    So please, stop derailing the thread. You have no cause for alarm and your flames are completely unjust and unwarranted. EDIT Unless of course you are just offended by the term "exploding" being used in reference to the squirrel. If you are, all I can do is offer you an E-Cookie.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  20. 25wssmisgood

    25wssmisgood Member

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    Looks like clear wnner 30-06

    Is it the best for anything Well probably yes.... Can I prove it the satisfaction level of you giving up your other favorite caliber? Probably not.

    Can you prove to me that its not second best for everything . Good luck with that......
     
  21. ColeK

    ColeK Member

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    IMO the phase “most versatile caliber” is out dated. Very game animal in the world was killed with a 7mm, .30”, and 8mm calibers long before I was born almost 60 years age

    This thread went off track a long time ago and became the “most versatile cartridge” thread.

    IMO if you reload with today’s bullets and powers any cartridge between a 7x57 and 8mm Mag is very versatile.


    The Ol’ man said, “Son, don’t brag to me about the long shot you made! Brag to me about how close you got!”
     
  22. lgbloader

    lgbloader Member

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    I have smaller and larger caliber but I still love my 300 WBY MAG. It's my get'r done rifle.

    LGB
     
  23. Shawnee

    Shawnee member

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    Obviously the 7mm/08 is the hands-down winner here.

    Doesn't surprise me at all.

    :cool:
     
  24. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    I'm not sure there is an answer to that.

    My 30-06 has been used for everything from wood chucks to a moose, so I guess I could say that one. But then, I'm sure my .308 would do those jobs just as well. If you think about it, most anything within reason is good if you practice and you can shoot it well enough.
     
  25. ch1966

    ch1966 Member

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    You got that right!
    Rewind 10,000 yrs:

    Grog: "Flint is the best!!! Everything from rock chucks to wooly mammoths!"

    Oogie:"You're such a neanderthal! Everyone knows obsidian rules!"

    Grog: "No way! I once hit a sabretooth through both lungs with obsidian, and he got up and ate my family...."


    Sometimes I think evolution moves a little too slow........
     
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