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I am a proud owner of a very accurate .223 bull barreled ultra. My father is buying me a .308 bull barrel for it. Since I'll be sending it in for the .308 barrel anyway, I've decided to have the
trigger lightened and have an additional centerfire barrel fitted to the receiver. Therein lies my dilemma...

First, I should tell you where and what I hunt. I live in the Arkansas Ozarks. The terrain is steep and rough, and the cover is mostly forest and thicket, except for some occasional pastures
cleared out of the woods. I hunt about half the time up in the Boston Range where most shots are 50 yards or less. The rest of the time I hunt my farm in the foothills where half my shots
will be through thick brush in the fence rows and woodlots, and half being pasture shots of perhaps 75 to 250 yards at the absolute maximum. I hunt whitetail and hogs, and will shoot a
black bear if the opportunity presents itself and I happen to be carrying the right gun that day for the job. I'm also thinking of giving bobcat and coyote hunting a try after deer season is
over this year. I'm not a reloader at this time, but anticipate becoming a reloader within a year.

The .308 is easily capable of taking anything here in my home state that I hunt, as well as elk and mule deer should I be able to take a trip out west. I am torn, however, between a .45-70
barrel and a .25-06 barrel as my additional barrel. The .45-70 obviously offers the ability to bust brush better than the .308, but at a higher recoil cost. On the other hand, the .25-06 is a
flat-shooter with very little recoil, meaning I can take it out and practice longer. (Not that I am that recoil sensitive - I had two guns growing up... .22 and an old single shot, extra-full
choke 12 gauge I usually shot 00 buck through - I just figure why pay the recoil price when less is still plenty effective). Both the .45-70 and the .25-06 are proven whitetail killers, though
I am not sure of the .25 when it comes to black bear. I just can't decide between the hammer-effect of the .45-70 and the flat trajectory of the .25-06.

I appreciate your advice.

(Oh, I use an SKS (7.62 x 39) from time to time, particularly for hogs. I've always considered it to be in the same category as the 30-30. If that is not an accurate assessment, I might be
willing to try the 30-30 as a low-recoil whitetail zapper.)
 

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For you're area, and hunting conditions you mentioned, you have probably the idea calibers to cover anything that you would hunt, from varmints, to hogs, to deer, and I'm including the SKS!

The 25-06 would be nice if you got a chance to shoot where the shots would be 300 or more, but you mentioned the black bear, and not that the 25-06 wouldn't do the job, but the .308 would take care of that handily.

That said, you would probably get more use, and have more fun with that thumper, in the 45-70!

You could just order two more barrels, or just wait a while to order the other!
 

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There have been many articles written about brush busting calibers. None of them bust brush. All bullets are deflected when hitting sticks, some more than others, but all. If you get standard factory loads in a 45-70 it will not kick that much (trap door level). It gets to kicking hard if you hand load it up or buy special heavy/high velocity stuff. Since you have a 308 the only real advantage a 25-06 would have is a little more range, but for lighter game. I think you would be happy with the 45-70. Just my 2 cents
 

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I say 45/70 since you are gonna start to reload I have what amounts to 9 different loads for mine right now that range from 250gr. to over 500gr bullets 50 to 500 yrd beer can to gong bangers just way more to play with than the 25/06 but then as is the standard answer get them both. Kurt
 

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Well I live in the Missouri Ozarks which has pretty much the same terrain. I have the handi in .270 cal. and .45/70 cal. Between the two my bases are covered, however, I find myself reaching for the .45/70 most often.
 

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If you aren't reloading yet, you really should rethink the 45-70 in my mind. It would get expensive in a hurry to shoot. The cheapest thing I have seen in factory ammo was $33 for 20 shots. The 25-06 can be shot for less than half of that.
 

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On the flip side - starting with the 45-70 gives great motivation to reload and is one of the easirer rounds to reload.

When I got my .458WM back in the 70's ammo was $2 a round - and WELL worth the experience. I bought ONE box of factory and have been shooting primarily cast since then.
 

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The 45-70, with standard factory loads it is very mild kicker, Now with Buffalo Bore loads or something comparable it can be a hand full with recoil. The .308 will do anything the 25-06 will do.
 

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I am torn, however, between a .45-70
barrel and a .25-06 barrel as my additional barrel.
Why be torn between the 2...just get both and be done with it...Both are excellent barrels both shoot factory & hand loads great...Between the 3 you will have...there isn't much you can't hunt on the planet...

Mac
 

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....the .444 marlin the 45-70, and the 44 magnum are all good choices for short to medium range hunting


....however, if you want to cover all the bases, and shoot cheap, consider the 7mm-08 barrel...

....the ballistics are awesome and the recoil is mediocre and it can use a wide range of bullet weights

...just a thought!
 

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Here is a thought, since you are getting another barrel, why not a 270 or 280? Both will handle everything you mentioned and elk. Both are flat shooters for the longer ranges.
 
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