What would be a good caliber for These three game species? The gun will be used mainly for whitetails, but occasionally elk and moose. I was thinking 7mm Rem. mag. I don't like to be under gunned. Thanks.
Why, are they going to shoot back??? Seriously, this latest craze on magnums is just lunicy! Why don't you ask yourself a couple questions first:
1) Am I planning on shooting this gun at a range to become sufficiently qualified to hit what I'm aiming at?
2) Am I willing to pay the BIG bucks for the factory loads or the investment in time and money to handload?
3) Am I going to develop a fliching problem from the extreme recoils the magnum loads will create, that result in missed shots?
For what it's worth in my humble opinion, look into my ole' favorite...the 30-06 Springfield. Can't beat it for all around, general purpose, knock 'em DEAD first shot results.
I would opt for the .35 Whelen. I use 180+200's for deer and I know they are traveling around 2700 fps. For Elk, caribou and moose I would use 225's and if in doubt for moose 250's. The 250's are also great for grizz.
You can shoot .357 pistol bullets and there are some old 275 grain bullets floating around as well as some 300's. It can be down loaded to .35 Rem. or .358 Win. velocities if the recoil bothers you. I still have my brass from 15 years ago when I bought the gun and it is still going strong. I have only had to trim them once.
I think the recoil is a little less than the /06 because of the larger bore diameter. It is not bad, just don't go shoot 50 rounds in an hour.
You are going to get a lot of responces here on personal favorites. Mine is the Whelen. :sniper:
Shot placement is everything. That notwithstanding, if your main and primary hunting will be whitetails, then your rifle selection should be focused more towards that. However, it should, obviously be up to the tasks of the larger animals you mentioned.
I believe that the .30 caliber is more of an all-around caliber (for North America) than a .7mm caliber. Again, shot placement is everything, but the .30 caliber is, in my opinion, a better choice.
My brother recently wanted to buy one rifle that would do just about everything in North America. A 30.06 has, and will continue, to drop any game in North America, but we finally agreed that he get a Winchester M70 Classic Stainless in .300 WSM. The recoil of the .300 WSM is a little more than the .30-06, but less than a .300 Win. Mag. Also, the .300 WSM shoots flatter and hits harder than the .30-06. Granted, the .30-06 has much more ammo styles available than the newer .300 WSM, but selection for the .300 WSM will continue to increase. Also, the .300 WSM does not have a belt, while the .300 Win. Mag. does.
I also recently bought my brother a Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5x-10x-50mm with ILLUMINATED reticle.
This gun, in this cartridge, with this scope, should be perfect for the hunter that has only one gun and wants to hunt everything in North America.
Fo years I shot everything with a 308Win. It did really good and I never had to follow anything more than a few feet. One thing I lived with and never even considered a drawback was the meat damage.
A few years ago I got a good deal on a new 338Win. I never took it on deer hunts, just Elk hunts, but I didn't shoot an elk with it before one day a nice little 2 point muley buck decided to commit suiside by standing broadside at 30 yards. I had a deer tag with me so I shot it in the heart lung area, just to see what would happen. On impact the deer flipped around 180 degrees and was dead when it hit the ground. The 225gr Speer BT went through ribs on both sides and the meat damage was so minimal that I didn't throw more than about a pound of stuff from the offside hole. The load was 73gr of IMR 4350, Rem brass, CCI larg rifle mag primers, and a Speer 225gr bt. My chrony says right at 3000fps for this load at 10 feet from the muzzle. It didn't slow down much in 30 yards.
I take my 338 deer hunting all the time now. I have shot mule deer, whitetails, antalope, and elk with it. On the lighter game there is never any meat damage and they all die in their tracks. On Elk, meat damage is minimal and they never go far either.
With this load, the 338 shoots jsut as flat as a 7mm Mag but has double the energy at any range. It uses more powder, but recoil is not as noticeable as with a 308 or 30-06. It pushes rather than kicks. Also, this is not a go out to the range and shoot up all day gun. I only shoot it a few times before hunting season to make sure it is sighted in and then go hunting.
If I want to go shoot for fun, I take my 22s or 44mag Rossie and go shoot some silhouette.
Terry1: Terry, get yourself an 06. You don't need anything larger or faster. You can reload if you want or purchase factory loads at any Wal-marts, K-marts, sporting goods store or supermarket at discount prices and save yourself tons of money.
The 06 will do anything you want it for. I have used and will recommend the 180 grain load for just about anything except the much larger and humongous animals. Then you can use the 200, 220 or 250 grain loads and have just what you need.
I would keep it simple and start or stay with a known performer. Just my 2 cents worth. Mikey.
The 7 mag will handle all the items you listed. I took a mule deer at a little over 600 yards this year with it. The post about the 338 are ture but the 338 can be hard on the shoulder. I'm currently loading for a friend of mine that has a 338. His reason for me to load for hm was to reduce the recoil. My 7 may shoots with less recoil than an average 270. I do reload for my 7 so I can tweek out a good round.
Bottom line...If you can shoot any of these guns before you buy it might help you decide. I suggest you get a gun you don't mind shooting and shoot it often! :wink:
I hunt Alaska every year. Brother lives up there so it works out great. I use a 30-06 down here for everything. But something you need to consider, if you really intend to hunt Elk and Moose. First, Moose are really big. If you can get the range right, I'd use a 308. But what if it's the last day of your hunt? And you spent 800.00 on airfare, 600.00 on a tag, plus all the other assorted expences. Your Moose is standing 400 yards away. You surely will wish you had one of them Magnums with you! Same with the Elk. As much as I like my 30-06 FN Mauser, for some shots at Elk, it would come up short. So far that hasn't happened, but I know it may someday. It's just my favorite rifle. But when I go up to Alaska, the big gun goes with me. I've shot 2 Moose, and 2 Grizzlies. One of the Moose was at about 325 yards. Wouldn't have shot him with the 30-06. One of the Bears was at 275 yards. Wouldn't have shot him with the 30-06. Chances for those kind of animals come far and few these days, I'd sure hate to pass, or worse lose one because I didn't bring the right gun. If it was me? I'd always say get a 30-06. When you go to Alaska, or west to hunt Elk, you get another gun. Or, you just buy a 300 Win mag now, so you can shoot 200 grain bullets. That's where the big 30's really shine.
You made my point, he lives there. If he doesn't get his animal this week, he can go back next. When your traveling you have to be prepared for all shots, not just the perfect shot. I was talking to my brother today about this thread. He lives in Nome Alaska. Lot's of guys who life there hunt with guns like 30-06 etc. I know a guy that shot a Boone and Crockett grizzley with a 243. I know another and have the picture of a Big bear, (almost 9 feet squared), that shot it with a 30-30. Both of those bears required multiple shots. It's not a question of whether it can be done, it can and has and will be again. The question is are you willing to spend the money to get up there, and then be faced with a less than desirable shot? I could have shot one of my bears with my 30-06 and it would have worked great. Same with one of my moose. But the others would have walked away. I could have hit both, but wouldn't have been willing to take the chance of a bullet not penetrating properly. By the way, only one guy that I know of uses a 375. Most use 300 mags or 338's. 30-06 may be the most popular.
I like to use the .338 for deer and larger.I use my Ruger all weather with the goofy stock I like the rifle.For deer I use a reduced load of AA-5744 with a 200 gr bullet,it comes out about 2000 fps. the recoil is mild if recoil bothers you.For Elk 225 partition works good with a lull load of RL22,recoil from that 7lb.rifle is stiff when shooting from the bench, but you wont feel a thing when you shoot a Elk.Lp.
I would recomend the 7mm Rem Mag. The recoil is nearly the same as the 30-06 although muzzle blast is a bit more. The 160 grain bullets are just about ideal for deer and if the really large animals are included the 175's are phenominal. The round is nearly as popular as the 30-06 and is widely available. I'd steer clear of the 338 and 300 magnums as there is a significant increase in recoil, even though my favorite rifle is a 300 Win Mag. The 300 short mag is just what the standard 300 is, almost. Case capacity is just a tiny bit less and performance is also just a bit less. Use premium bullets out of the 7mm and with good bullet placement you'll waste little meat. I prefer the Nosler partition although there are several others that are good the partition is very predictable and is the scale others are judged by. The 7mm shoots a bit flatter than an -06 and penetrates a bit more with similar bullets and bullet weights. If you can handle the recoil the 300 magnums and 338/340's, they deliver significantly more energy on target and shoot as flat or even a bit flatter. They are a bit much for deer but I have never killed any deer too dead. The 2 management does killed this season by my custom 300 winmag using a 200 grain partition and a healthy charge of H4831 were NOT blown to pieces, but expired very quickly. On 1, a broadside heartshot there was nearly no meat loss and the other a shot to the throat on a nearly head on presentation destroyed 2/3's of the spine and exited in front of the hip. Threw out less than 2 pounds of blood shot meat,. mostly neck meat.. The one thing that no one can dispute is that the caliber is much less important than how well you can use it. A good bullet in the right place from almost anything will be a clean killer.. good luck from the gunnut69
HUNTING SOMETHING LIKE ELK USUALLY YOU WANT THE LONG RANGE SHOT. I WOULD SAY ONE OF THE MAGNUMS WOULD BE YOUR BEST BET BECAUSE IF YOU HAVE TO TAKE A LONG RANGE SHOT YOU WANT TO DO IT AND KNOW YOU ARE STILL GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF PUNCH WHEN IT GETS THERE.
My vote goes to the 338 Win Mag, too. I've had several 338's over the past 20 years or so and they perform admirably on deer size game. They really hit their stride on elk and moose, though. A well stocked rifle in the 8.5-9 lbs range is very controllable, not much worse than a 7 Mag, in my experience. It is more than you need for deer, but exactly right for elk and moose. Bullets ranging from 180 grains to 300 grains and trajectory flat enough for those long shots with enough umph when it gets there for great effect.
I'd go with either a .270 Winchester or a .30-06, mostly because your post seemed to indicate that you were most interested in a deer rifle with elk and moose occasionally. The .270 with a premium bullet like a Winchester Failsafe, Barnes X or Nosler Partition will give deep penetration on all these species. Practically speaking, the .270/.30-06 have almost as flat a trajectory as the .300 mags at the ranges most animals are shot at, are a LOT easier on your shoulder, and will absolutely kill elk and moose cleanly if shot in the vitals. The recoil thing is a lot more than just discomfort - if you flinch under the recoil of the magnums, your shooting will suffer. The power of the magnums is wasted if you don't put the pill in the boiler room. And then there's the cost of buying powder to fill up the much larger cases of the .300 magnums. The same goes for the .30-06 as for the .270. Plenty of power for your needs as you described them without many of the the negatives. By the way, I just hunted in MT this year for elk and deer, and it seems like there are an awful lot of locals there who use .30-06s, .270s and 7MM mags for their combined elk/deer hunting. One more thing in favor of the .270 - it is s superb pronghorn cartridge with the 130 grain bullet just as it is a dee round with the same bullet. Lastly, I fear that sometimes the more powerful magnums tempt folks to shoot farther than their skills. Overall, I'd buy as much power as you need to get the job done effectively that you do most often (deer vs. elk/moose hunting for example) and resist buying more power than you'll need or be able to shoot effectively. As for the short magnums, they're advertised as being lighter, which may be good when your hunt requires lots of walking (especially at higher altitudes, over difficult terrain). The flip side of that coin is that the price for lighter weight is more felt recoil.
If you really want more than the .270/.30-06 but don't like the kick of the magnums, consider the .338-06, which is just the .30-06 case necked up to accept .33 caliber bullets. Browning and Weatherby make rifles in this caliber now, and at least one of the major ammo makers sells factory ammo for it (Remington, I think). If you hand load, the options for the .338-06, .270 and .30-06 all get better.
I've been looking at a cartridge and rifle for game larger than white-tails. From the reading I've done on the net and reloading books the .338-06 sounds like just the ticket.
By using .30-06 brass relaoding becomes cheaper. It apparently trails the 338 Win. Mag. by about 200-300 fps. Recoils is a lot milder than the .338/.340. And it has enough velocity/energy to compete with the magnums out to about 250 yards or so (about what I would consider sane shooting distances for me).
I like the Weatherby rifles and wasn't aware that Browning was making one. I think you can also get a custom T/C Encore barrel as well. My 2 cents.
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