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Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Outdoors Activities => Hunting => Topic started by: desertman on July 05, 2009, 03:36:36 PM

Title: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: desertman on July 05, 2009, 03:36:36 PM
In the next year or so I'm planning to buy a rifle for medium size game (javelina, deer etc). I live in southern AZ and plan to hunt predominately in the Southwest.  I've asked everyone I know what the ideal rifle caliber would be. As you may expect, I've received some rather diverse responses.  First I was planning to go with the 308 then I learned that the power and range wasn't as good as my second choice, the 30-06.  I have since been advised of the advantages of .300 Weatherby, 7mm and .270.  I do not have enough experience to accurately assess these endorsements.  My gut instinct is that many of these calibers are more alike than different.  I really appreciate any insights you may have.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on July 05, 2009, 04:55:34 PM
What kind of price range are you looking at?
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: desertman on July 05, 2009, 08:35:25 PM
Less than $750 is preferable.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: khristopher23 on July 05, 2009, 08:57:22 PM
I own the .06, but if I had it to do over again, I would probably pick the .308 primarily because I also want a .308 "assault" rifle (a SOCOM 16), and that would make one less caliber of ammo I would have to buy. In the .308, you can get a bolt action for longer shots, a semi auto or pump for hunting more in brush country, and something like a FAL or M1A for a MBR type weapon if you're in to that sort of thing. That's a whole lot of versatility for one caliber IMO. You can almost do the same with the .06, but then you are more limited in the "assault" rifle category to something like an M1 Garand. Both have there good points.

For more on the .06 vs .308 debate, check out this thread.
http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=220.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=220.0)

                                                                 -Chris
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Hare of Caerbannog on July 05, 2009, 08:58:46 PM
I'm a bit biased on the topic and a lot of others will have better advice than me, but I have an old Mauser 98 with a modern stock and an average scope. I built the set up myself and I'm no gunsmith.
I spent $40 for the Mauser. (I think they are about double that now)
I spent about $20 on a bent bolt handle on eBay. (the bent ones are better than the cut/screwed ones)
I spent about $100 on the stock and used a Dremel tool to fit it to the barrel.
I spent less than $100 on the scope.
Ammo was all purchased several years ago so I have about 3K rounds that I spent maybe $150 on. (8mm)
So for about $410 including ammo, I have a rifle that I can take down any average size mammal out to about 1000 yards.
All that and I got a free German bayonet in the deal.

 :)
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: philw on July 05, 2009, 09:17:40 PM
308,   you can not go past that,  it is such a proven round.


if you want something a little different  then also look at the .270wsm,   a very good round for deer as well
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Goatdog62 on July 05, 2009, 10:36:46 PM
Like Khris23 and Philw said...the .308 for reasons already stated.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: punkin on July 06, 2009, 07:14:17 PM
In my expierience,  For a good all around gun,  I love the .243.  Ive taken numerous deer and boar with my single shot .243.  I have a .308 and a 30.06 and love them both but for a good, low cost rifle for my area that my wife isnt scared to shoot,  I love my H&R.243. 

Its great for my area too because the longest shot in the deer woods that you routinely come across is inside of 80 yards.   Just my .02 cents
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Cave Dweller on July 06, 2009, 08:26:26 PM
Southern AZ,
Sounds like you're surrounded by open spaces.
Most places I'd recommend the good old 762x39, good on white tail deer down to large rabbits in the intermediate ranges most hunters find themselves in. Good defensive round too.
But the long shots you might have to take leave that out.
I figure these folks have a lot more experience than I do.
I'm sure many of these "high power" cartridges can be reloaded for lower velocities if you need to take small game.
Then again, reloading my own ammo is still on my "to do list"

If you're only interested in raw power and range, I'd suggest one of these
http://www.barrettrifles.com/rifle_82.aspx (http://www.barrettrifles.com/rifle_82.aspx)
Loaded with these
http://www.maadigriffin.com/sabots.htm (http://www.maadigriffin.com/sabots.htm)
Of course you'll be eating deer soup, but, hey! Fun is fun! ;D
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Sid on July 07, 2009, 10:15:48 PM
For some design reason, the .308 cartridge is more accurate than the 30.06, so I have read.  This is why after WWII people switched to .308 for matches, since .308 consistently beat 30.06.

Both have a diameter of .308.  They both come in similar or the same weight bullets.  The muzzle velocity of 30.06 at standard loads is just a little better, maybe 5%, but you can hot load .308's if you want more.

I think 30.06 is a little cheaper for standard hunting ammo.  And all through this ammo panic, I have been able to find 30.06, but not .308 since people apparently are picking up .308 to feed their semi-auto black rifles.

The one thing I do like better about .308 is that there are several heavy barrel rifles available out of the box, while if you want a 30.06 heavy barrel, you have to go to the hassle and expense of getting a custom job.  Heavy barrels mean better accuracy as the barrel does not heat up as quickly as a standard barrel, plus it is more rigid, hence less vibration.

If you step up to something like 300 Magnum then you are getting higher muzzle and terminal velocity, hence better range, but you are talking about a very significant increase in ammo cost.  My neighbor took a deer at 500 yds. with one, and that was with a cheap scope.

I have two Remington 700's in 30.06, one low end and one high end, and I find them more than adequate; hell, I think 30-30 is great also, although it wouldn't do well for 300-400 yd. shots in the terrain you mentioned like 30.06 and .308 would. 

Right now I have my eye on the new savage 10FCP-k in .308 which has a heavy barrel that is fluted, (comes with a bipod, accu-trigger, detachable 4 shot magazines and a precision stock) for about $800.  I am not sure that it will shoot much better than my Remington 700's if at all, but I guess I have the impression that the black stock, fluted barrel, and bipod make it look more dangerous if ever I need it for TEOTWAWKI defense.

What ever you choose, I bet you are very pleased.   
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Uncle Bob (he ain’t right) on July 20, 2009, 07:52:17 PM
One thing to remember is you can get a chamber adapter to go from 30-06 to 308 if needed. You can't go back up. Also, there is a wider array of loads for the 30-06 and just about every old hardware store will have a box or two of 30-06 and 30-30
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Taltoz on July 29, 2009, 01:47:05 PM
I am a fan of the .270. Mine has never let me down.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Himarker on August 11, 2009, 09:31:58 PM
 Up here in AK, I am a big fan of the 300 win mag.  You can shoot form caribou up to moose and have and adequate gun for Mr. Fuzzy (bears) if he decides to visit  you.  Lot of folks still carry the 30-06 up here but I am little more trusting of calibres with the work magnum following them if I run into Mr. Fuzzy.

Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: khristopher23 on August 12, 2009, 03:53:56 PM
Up here in AK, I am a big fan of the 300 win mag.  You can shoot form caribou up to moose and have and adequate gun for Mr. Fuzzy (bears) if he decides to visit  you.  Lot of folks still carry the 30-06 up here but I am little more trusting of calibres with the work magnum following them if I run into Mr. Fuzzy.



I've always heard you could probably take almost any game animal anywhere in the world safely and humanely with an '06, but if I lived in Alaska or Africa, I believe I would opt for a magnum as well. I wouldn't feel unsafe with a 30.06, I would just feel a little better with something a little bigger.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: ModernSurvival on August 16, 2009, 03:05:39 PM
My view is if a 30 cal is sufficient then an 06 is perfect and on the original post it would be very hard to beat.  The reality is there ain't a hill of beans in difference between the 08 and the 06 in the real world.  I stick to the 06 based on its history and undeniable class.  If you own a 308 assault rifle then I would go with that.  Just like if you own a Garand then go with the 06 but in the end the deer or elk shot with either won't know the difference trust me.

Now on Griz and such, I would not want to rely on a 30 cal for either if I had my choice.  But faster ain't cutting it for me I would say think bigger holes when it comes to changing a brown bears mind about turning you into compost.  338-06, 35 Whelen, 375 H&H, 338 Win Mag, etc. is what I would look to in Alaska or anywhere Mr. Griz might come calling.  

Personally though on the OP go with the 08 or 06, both will put you in Ammo in any sporting goods store in the country, both are proven and both can can probably shoot as far as you can.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: donaldj on August 16, 2009, 04:12:23 PM
I chose 7.62x39mm as my hunting round and my "battle rifle" round. I felt having common ammo types was important.

I have an old SKS I plan to use hunting, and have in the past, and am looking to get an AK47 or that Ruger Mini-30 (I think?) as a battle rifle.  The SKS could, of course, be pressed into service as a battle rifle.

I need more funds.  =)

D
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: vicious on August 16, 2009, 04:52:17 PM
I chose 7.62x39mm as my hunting round and my "battle rifle" round. I felt having common ammo types was important.

I have an old SKS I plan to use hunting, and have in the past, and am looking to get an AK47 or that Ruger Mini-30 (I think?) as a battle rifle.  The SKS could, of course, be pressed into service as a battle rifle.


This is something I have been thinking about myself. I currently have an AK-variant that I absolutely love, but it's more taticool. I also have a Norinco SKS, that I believe I can coerce into shooting reliably up to 300 yards. Anything beyond that would be a positive, but in the real world I think that would be beyond optimistic. In anycase, I try to limit my rounds to just a couple, and think it's a wise choice for a hunting variant. If I could find a saiga for the prices they were at 2 years ago, I'd definitely pick one of them up and leave it in the hunting configuration.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: pug-shadow on August 25, 2009, 07:15:14 PM
What is a good starting hunting rifle?

It sounds like the 30-06 might be

My wife and I are considering buying rural land in Arkansas maybe up by Fayetteville.

I think they mostly have deer there, but maybe bears as well.
We are just starting our research.

I thought it might be nice to get my hunting skills up so if we find a piece of property I can use it for hunting while we work on it.
I am also highly interested in the permaculture that Jack mentions on the podcasts and I think that would also help in attracting hunting game.

thoughts?
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: chileverde on September 16, 2009, 08:08:11 PM
I am also in S. AZ. I currently use a 30-06 for most of my hunting. Others I know use .308 and .270.  All work equally well but I like the .30-60 because I occasionally get drawn for elk.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: PistolWhipped on September 16, 2009, 09:20:57 PM
Depends on your needs.  If you want pure performance and are willing to do a little reloading, I am a HUGE fan of the 7mm Remington Magnum, or it's little brother, the 7mm-08.  They are available into similar bullet weights as the 30s, are faster from less powder, and the trajectory is very flat.  They pack a mean punch at distance, especially the Rem Mag.

For cost and availability, the .308 is hard to beat.  .30-06 is another great choice, and I actually do prefer it to the .308.  What can I say, .30-06 was the grandfather of all American sniper cartridges, and the history of it holds a place in my heart.  If you reload, the .300 Win Mag offers even higher performance with the same diameter bullet.  If you already own a .30 cal rifle and reload, you can store one type of bullet for both guns.

For another classic, the .270 Winchester shouldn't be overlooked.  It's a .30-06 necked don to take a 6.8mm bullet.  Very fast, very flat, and very capable at all reasonable ranges.  And I see it a lot of places.  Very available commercially.

If the biggest you are going to is deer, the .22-250 is a good choice, and makes an excellent varmint round as well.  A friend of mine took his first deer with a .22-250.

I'd avoid any Ultra Mags, SAUMs, or other ridiculously fast rounds.   The powder burn and friction produced is highly detrimental to barrel wear.  They just burn out WAY too fast.

IF you foresee long range hunting usage, I'd recommend the 7mm Rem Mag.  If you want to do that with a more common round, .30-06 is hard to beat.

OH! And before I forget, if you want to do it relatively cheaply, don't overlook 7.62x54R.  Like a beefier Rimmed .308.  It is the longest running military cartridge in the world, having been adopted by Russia in 1891 (IIRC) and still being used to this day.  Milsurp can be had for a song, as can many soft point loads.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: IdahoJohn on September 17, 2009, 03:18:53 PM
That's like asking what's the best truck.  Everyone has their personal preference and I believe any of the calibers state will do fine for medium game.  I personally believe you're best off with a 30 cal of some sort.  Beyond that, it's a lot of personal preference.  If you can, try them out and see what you like.

I have a Thompson Center in .223 and .243.  I love the TC because once you get past the initial purchase of about $650, you can pick up another barrel in a difference caliber for around $300.  I've been strongly considering getting a barrel in 300 win mag or 338 win mag for the bigger stuff (probably next year).
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: ModernSurvival on November 09, 2009, 07:51:53 PM
You will get a million opinions but anything from 243 to 45-70 will do the job.  If I am forced to pick specific rounds I go back to the magic and moderate formula,

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=69.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=69.0)
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Uncle Bob (he ain’t right) on November 10, 2009, 06:18:52 AM
Well if  your still looking for a deer gun I will give you a heads up. A good friend and myself just purchased from Dicks Sporting Goods some of the Remington mod. 700SPS Varmint rifles. With rebates the final cost was $440.00 .  They come in several calibers up to 308.  We picked up a 223 and a 308.
The kicker was they carry a run that comes with a green stock and a 4-12 scope included.
http://www.Remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_700/model_700_SPS_varmint_specs.asp (http://www.Remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_700/model_700_SPS_varmint_specs.asp)
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: YOOJ on February 18, 2010, 10:16:38 PM
I think you'd be well served with almost any of the rounds you mentioned.  30-06 or .270 in particular.  Although my personal preference is for a .270 I might steer someone looking for a one size fits all rifle toward a 30-06.  Actually, I could steer you towards a savage bolt rifle and a couple extra barrels in .270 and .25-06, since they are the same parent case, and savage rifles can be barrel swapped with some fairly basic tools and headspaced off of a fired case.  Look into savage barrel swaps if that's something you're interested in.

In any of the calibers you mentioned, you can pretty much hunt just about anything you'll find in the US.  If I were carrying any of those in grizzly country, I'd opt for sturdier bullets more than just larger case capacity.  Soft lead is not going to penetrate as much as harder lead alloys and thicker jackets, or solid copper.  Barnes TSX's or winchester XP3's would be good choices.  With the '06 you have such a wide range of bullet choices and a case capcity between the .308 and 300 win mag, with a longer useable barrel life than the .300 win mag.  The .300 weatherby mag you mentioned would be my least favorite choice, for the scarcity and price of factory ammo, the cost and availability of brass, and the wear and tear on your barrel (and shoulder)

My .270 has taken everything from the little columbia white tailed deer on my property here in oregon, to elk, to 650 lb feral hogs - two hogs, two shots dead right there with win xp3's.  They were delicious by the way. The hogs, not the bullets.  Nothing like some feral hog bacon to add to those beans in your preps....

Stay with any of the medium 7mm to .30 cal rounds and you're good to go.  I would certainly stay with something more on the common side though, as brass and components for .308 or 30-06 is sure easier to come by than WSM  or weatherby brass
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: YOOJ on February 18, 2010, 10:27:53 PM
I've always heard you could probably take almost any game animal anywhere in the world safely and humanely with an '06, but if I lived in Alaska or Africa, I believe I would opt for a magnum as well. I wouldn't feel unsafe with a 30.06, I would just feel a little better with something a little bigger.

I fish in Alaska every other year or so and have had plenty of close encounters (none of them aggressive) with brown bears.  The closest was one that came down the trail on the opposite side of the river me where I was wading.  The river was about 35 yards wide and I was about 10-15 yards from the near side bank.  He was just curious.  But four legged dangers are certainly a reality.  I would feel just fine with any caliber mentioned with the right bullets in it, but in bear country it's glock 23 on the hip and a winchester 1300 defender on the shoulder with 2 rounds of 00 buck in front of 6 solid copper slugs.  The glock is in case the shotgun fails so I don't have to feel what it's like to be eaten.

Not that I'm not confident with any of those rounds against a bear, I just want more than one shot at a bear that can cover than distance in three steps and faster than I can soil myself.

Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Crowman on February 19, 2010, 12:08:41 AM
Probably the best CXP2 class game rifle cartridge out there is also one of the most under appreciated - the .260 Remington with the 6.5 x 55 Swede a close second.  Shot placement is more important than horsepower, so it stands to reason that a light kicking rifle / cartridge combination is conducive to hitting the vitals of deer sized game consistently.  From an exterior ballistics point of view, the 6.5 mm bullets give more bang for the buck than other calibers.  They really travel far and flat. A 140 grain 6.5mm has a higher SD than a 180 grain .30 caliber bullet.  You get flat trajectory, deep penetration and all with low felt recoil.  The 30-06 has a free recoil of around 23 lb-ft; whereas, the .260 Remington runs about 16-17 lb-ft free recoil.  I have and use several .260 Remington rifles.  My Remington M700 LSS Mountain Rifle groups three shots between 5/16 inch to 3/4 inch at 100 yards depending on how much coffee I've drunk.  The load is a 6.5 mm 140 grain Nosler Partitian over 43 grains of IMR 4350.  I have a second load specifically for my Ruger M77 Compact based on the 6.5mm 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip and Varget powder (burns more efficiently in the 16 inch barrel...this load is a whitetail grenade.)  Interestingly enough, the short barrel is very accurate because it is stiffer. The .260 is not far behind the venerable .270 Win, but with a heaver bullet.  I have rifles chambered from .223 Rem, 30-30, .338, 30-06, 7.62x39, 38-55,  all the way up to a Marlin Guide Gun in .45-70 Government (Loaded with Garrett Hammer Heads) but the .260 is my main go-to cartridge for CXP2 class game.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: bsmith_shoot on February 20, 2010, 09:42:26 PM
I am a fan of the venerable old 30-30 winchester. There have been more whitetail taken with this round, in the states, than any other cartridge. I have a personal affinity for the marlin 336, but my dad swears by the winchester model 94. Either way you go, you will be able to slay medium sized game.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: jimmysig on February 21, 2010, 06:39:28 AM
Any opinions on the 300 RUM?

I like the idea of the 3 grain types one can use.

I read that Magnums wear out barrels quickly. Is this fact or speculation?

I also believe that sometimes people are hesitant to accept technological advancement or change. If there is anyone who actually uses 300 RUM, I would love to hear about it.   
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: The Sage of Monticello on February 23, 2010, 12:20:17 PM
My Dad has a .264 rifle but it is rare to find his ammo in the store and it's expensive online. He relies on reloading.

I am waiting for my .308 rifle to come in for hunting next winter. When it does I'll post pictures as shipping has been delayed due to inclement weather.

I decided going for a .308 based on it's history of success and availability. I have never reloaded rifle ammo (just handgun) so I may wait to get with my brother-in-law who does have experience and make sure I do it right.

I enjoyed Jack's podcast 380. It's basically subjective within a range of choices for medium size game. Good luck.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: joeinwv on February 23, 2010, 08:12:43 PM
Any opinions on the 300 RUM?

I like the idea of the 3 grain types one can use.

I read that Magnums wear out barrels quickly. Is this fact or speculation?

I also believe that sometimes people are hesitant to accept technological advancement or change. If there is anyone who actually uses 300 RUM, I would love to hear about it.   

Don't have one, would not want one. This is a slightly lower capacity 30-378, which is a limited application cartridge in my book. very fast, high capacity rounds like this will shoot out a barrel quicker than something milder. Compare 223 vs 22-250, as an example. I imagine 300RUM ammunition is very pricey, if you can find it. Other fast, expensive rounds include the 7mmSTW, .338 Lapua...

308/30-06 work for any NA game. In my book, 375HH is the big game round. If what I am hunting requires a round with a .4xx caliber, I would prefer a crew served weapon.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: rustyknife on February 23, 2010, 08:41:00 PM
I have 308, 30-06 and 7.62x39. All good calibers, however if you are just looking for a good deer rifle I would recommend the trusty 30-30. Winchester or Marlin. Lots of ammo around everywhere and a fun gun to shoot. I think there has been more deer taken with that gun than any other. JMHO
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: khristopher23 on February 24, 2010, 03:33:17 PM
Yeah, the 30-30 is pretty high on my "to buy" list.

I just put a 3x9 leupold on my .06 (currently the only centerfire rifle I own). The .06 is still my favorite choice for an "all around" caliber, but it would be nice to have a light, handy rifle just for carrying around in the woods during deer season. I'm thinking a Marlin 336 in 30-30 and leaving it stock with open sights as a 100 yard or less kinda deal. Here in the south east, that will probably take care of my centerfire needs as far as hunting rifles go. I may one day want to add a .223 bolt for a longer range varmint gun, but that is really more of a want than a need as far as my situation goes.

But I still say go with the .06 (or maybe .308) as a rifle that can pretty much do it all, then maybe add a second centerfire that is determined more by your needs and location. For example, a 30-30 for those of us in the thick woods, a .270 or .243 for those a little farther west with a lot of open areas, or something in the more "heavy duty" calibers like a .300 win mag. .338, or .375 for those up in the northwest that might need to shoot something bigger and scarier than we have here in GA.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Steve Cover on February 27, 2010, 04:17:59 AM
Any opinions on the 300 RUM?

I like the idea of the 3 grain types one can use.

I read that Magnums wear out barrels quickly. Is this fact or speculation?

I also believe that sometimes people are hesitant to accept technological advancement or change. If there is anyone who actually uses 300 RUM, I would love to hear about it.   

It is true.

Over Bore cartridges burning slow powders produce more temperature (Pressure) for a longer time than "Normal" rounds.  This blow torch slowly washes out a barrel.
Back in the 1960s one of the leading ballistic authorities named Robert Hutton was hired by NASA to produce a rifle that would allow them to test ultra high velocity impact.
Mr. Hutton took a 378 Weatherby Magnum (About twice the case capacity of a 308) and necked it down to 22.
By using a very long barrel and 15 grain 22 gallery bullets, he was able to approach 5,000 feet per second.
Unfortunately he was operating at such high pressures trying to push that little bullet down the bore that he was washing out barrels within 10 shots and having to change to new ones.

Some of the super magnums may well have an accuracy life of 2,000 rounds.
However,  How many rounds are you going to put through your magnum?

I've owned a 300 Weatherby Magnum for 42 years.  It's expected barrel life is about 3,000 rounds.
After my long process of developing a "Pet" load for it, I have only averaged 10-20 rounds through it a year since.

You may want to find a High Power competitor, and ask him how often he has to change his barrel to maintain Match Accuracy.
It will be quite a few.

My go guns for hunting are:
Deer in the brush - 30-30 Leveraction.
Deer in the open prairie - 30-06
Elk - 300 Weatherby Magnum.

My 2 Cents,

Steve
 
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: liftsboxes on February 27, 2010, 07:31:36 AM
Listen to the recent podcast on calibers if you haven't already.

http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/ballistics-and-ammunition-components (http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/ballistics-and-ammunition-components)

You have a lot of choices, but depending on your experience level, think on this when looking at your $750 budget:

Mosin-Nagant approx $170
440 rounds 7.62x54R $79 (http://ammoseek.com/ (http://ammoseek.com/))
Scope and mount 2-7x32 approx $65

Money left for range time / training = $436
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: jimmysig on February 27, 2010, 10:11:40 AM
Excellent advice all around..

I have fired thousands of rounds with 22's, 5.56, and 7.62. I am not too worried about training/range time.

I used to hunt Yukon/Alaskan moose(huge) with a 30-06 years ago, I am looking for something with a bit more oomph to it, but also not way too overpowered for deer sized game.

I am not so much looking for theory and formulas, but for field experience.   
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: jarhead2nd on May 01, 2010, 02:16:11 PM
The .308 was built to duplicate the great 30-06 ballistics in a short action and in military loadings they were identical. (147 gr ball ammo = 2700 fps) In civilian dress the larger case size of the 06 gives it a little edge.(2800 vs 2910) They are both great rounds. It mostly boils down to whether you would prefer a long or short action as there is no practical differences in them until you go over a 180 gr bullet and then the 06 has it.  
I've shot dozens of deer, elk and black bear with an old .300 savage which has almost identical ballistics as the original 30-06 loadings and it does as good of job as could be asked.  
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: hillbilly on May 14, 2010, 03:15:36 PM
I have always liked the 30-06 for my hunting preference.  But the real answer for anyone looking for a good hunting rifle with little experience would be to find someone that owns the different calibers you are considering and ask them to let you shoot them.  Then decide which one you feel the most comfortable with.  Again, I've always like the Winchester model 70   30-06.  It's a reliable gun that shoots straight with the scope right out of the box.  And something I watched on the hunting channel last week that really made me happy with my choices......... the winchester model 70     30-06 was rated the all time best all around hunting rifle.  And this was a rating by the experts.  I can honestly say that when I got my latest one with a scope, I took it out of the box and shot it at my back yard range.  At 100 and 200 yards it hit dead center right out of the box.  No adjustments needed.  At 300 yards I missed the bullseye by 1/2 inch.  Good enough for me.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: joeinwv on May 14, 2010, 10:03:55 PM
I vote for the 308 because it is only 100 or so fps slower than the 06 and allows me to have a short action rifle.

So many good choices today - 243, 260 Rem, 7-08, 308...
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: spatin on May 14, 2010, 11:17:45 PM
6.5x55 Swedish Mauser.  It has better ballistics than 30-06, .308, and all other 30 cal rounds.  It is easy on the shoulder, and if you hit a deer with it the deer just crumples like Thor himself smashed it.  I imagine it would have the same effect on a blue helmet.  Jack loves it, and for good reason.  You can't buy the rounds over the counter in most places, but heck how many rounds are you going to need?  Just learn to reload them and you'll have all you need and more.  I just loaded 100 rounds tonight and the brass was as good as new on the 4th reloading.  38 grains of IMR-4064 pushing a 140 grain soft point boat tail Sierra or Nosler bullet at about 2500 fps is about all you would need for everything I can think of shooting at out to 400-500 yds.  Not that I would want to take on "Mr. Fuzzy" with a 140 gr. bullet, but I think it would take care of him too.  The rifles can be had for around $350 in terrific shape, or spend a little more for a Tikka or CZ, who still make rifles for this popular European round.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: sdcharger on June 03, 2010, 08:23:10 AM
You can't go wrong with a .308 or 30-06 for your intended use.  Pick one and roll with it.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Donulld on June 04, 2010, 06:49:45 AM
My vote for all around rifle will always go toward the 30-06. With a really simple reloading setup you can load for any game in the lower 48. From the 110 gr. to the 250 gr., you can make a load shot as soft or as hard as you want.

Everyone makes a rifle in 30-06 and you can find ammo everywhere. I have never seen a sporting goods store, or even some little mom and pop country store that did not have a box of 06 on the shelf.

You can even find the "Accelerator" round which is a saboted 55 gr. soft point .223 round on top of a 06. Makes a mean varmint control and small game round.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: sdcharger on June 04, 2010, 11:07:21 AM
My vote for all around rifle will always go toward the 30-06. With a really simple reloading setup you can load for any game in the lower 48. From the 110 gr. to the 250 gr., you can make a load shot as soft or as hard as you want.

Everyone makes a rifle in 30-06 and you can find ammo everywhere. I have never seen a sporting goods store, or even some little mom and pop country store that did not have a box of 06 on the shelf.

You can even find the "Accelerator" round which is a saboted 55 gr. soft point .223 round on top of a 06. Makes a mean varmint control and small game round.

Sage advice!
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: wolffire99 on June 11, 2010, 09:28:57 PM
Quote
I am a HUGE fan of the 7mm Remington Magnum, or it's little brother, the 7mm-08

x2 on the 7mm-08. Especially since you live in the southwest where longer shots are more common and deer are the largest game. 

better trajectory
better sectional density
less recoil
every bit as deadly as the .30 caliber bullets
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: CPT Morgan on December 18, 2016, 12:14:14 AM
How about the .26 Nosler (6.5×66mmRB)....  Hard hitting and flat out to 415.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: machinisttx on December 27, 2016, 08:00:44 PM
If medium game is your objective, then anything in the same class as the 30-06 is just fine. Your hunch is correct in that there really isn't all that much difference between them, and this is especially true between 308 and 30-06. Unless you have a need for bullets heavier than 180 grains, there is no real difference at all between the two.

The best thing to do is sit down and think about what your average shot distance and game size will be. If you will be taking several hundred yard shots, then you might want something that shoots a little flatter, like a 7 mag. A .260 or 7-08 might work just as well for you, with less recoil.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: The Sage of Monticello on July 03, 2017, 11:25:06 PM
I am in Wyoming and use .223/.556 AR and load 65 grain bullets for medium game like deer and antelope. Works for me. Harvested successful antelope last year with .223 at 250 yards, dropped where it stood broadside.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: armymars on July 04, 2017, 09:12:17 AM
  I agree with Crowman. It's hard to beat the 260 Rem. for a all around gun. My Remington Model 7 will shoot four bullet weights in under 1". I'm still trying to find a load that works with the 129 gr Hor. My son has taken two dear with his 6.5X55 Swedish Mauser. Having said all that I would recommend the 270 Win.. It has the same ballistics as the 7mm Rem. Mag. with a lot less recoil. It is a very flat shooting cartrage. Ammo is easier to find then the 260, with more choices of bullet weight.
  I have three guns in 30/30. A 788 Rem. a 520 (?) Savage and my T/C Encore in 30/30 Akaly improved with a 1-8" twist to experiment with heavy bullets. The guns are soft shooting, but not flat shooting.
  There are a number of good cartages out there and good guns to shoot them, but don't forget some decent glass. Then practice, practice, practice.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: bigbear on July 07, 2017, 11:14:43 AM
Thanks for reviving this thread!  This thread got me dialing up Mr. Google and stumbled across this article.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/myth_busting_calibers.htm 

There's a lot (to me) theory here.  But from a very practical perspective, he limits the reasonable hunting distance to 300 yards when comparing calibers.  Then throws the accuracy/precision/killing power into a grid for the pound of game.  From that you can see the versatility of a caliber.  He also adds an efficiency (power:recoil) factor to the mix.

.308 Win, 30-60 Spr, .260 Rem, and .338 Win Mag were his top 4.

I've been leaning toward a .308 as my next purchase for a little while now, so this article helps sure that up.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: Carl on December 29, 2017, 07:09:34 AM
 For medium to large game I have some successful options,much depends on length of shots and COMMON AMMO.

 0-50 yards 12 gauge 00 Buck
 0 to 150 yards .357/38 lever action carbine...light ,flat,easy to carry,lower cost ammo (44 special/44 magnum for more short range power)
 0 - 150 yards   30-30 in your choice of gun from single shot,lever,bolt action
 0 to 500 yards .308 ,270,30-06' or choice of flame throwing magnums if you like your meat cooked

My favorite is the 38 special/357 magnum lever gun , mine is a 16 inch stainless steel and wood Taurus and has ,with open sights,taken deer at 150 yards plus easily and is easy to carry in thick brush...in the real world,few shots on game are at longer distance in Ark or Louisiana.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: ChrisFox on December 29, 2017, 08:30:35 AM
Thompson has a rebate for their rifles so I picked up a Thompson/Center Compass in 6.5 Creedmore for stupid cheap. I've been wanting to try out the new caliber out. It's pretty smooth. Great range, plenty of power and doesn't kill your shoulder when you shoot all day. Ammo is still kind of expensive but it's available. It's basicly the modern 6.5x55 swede but everyone and their brother is making a rifle in it.
Title: Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
Post by: NWPilgrim on December 29, 2017, 06:56:30 PM
Thompson has a rebate for their rifles so I picked up a Thompson/Center Compass in 6.5 Creedmore for stupid cheap. I've been wanting to try out the new caliber out. It's pretty smooth. Great range, plenty of power and doesn't kill your shoulder when you shoot all day. Ammo is still kind of expensive but it's available. It's basicly the modern 6.5x55 swede but everyone and their brother is making a rifle in it.

I like the 6.5mm caliber a lot.  Excellent ballistic coefficient on the bullets, heavy enough to easily take deer size game, yet lighter enough to make a noticeable difference in felt recoil.  For myself I like the .270/.30-06 as an all-around cartridge, but not everyone in the family likes the recoil.  The .243 seems to give marginal results and is very dependent on having a premium quality bullet.  I think the .257 and .264 calibers are in the sweet spot for medium game and everyone in the family.  Personally I have a couple of 6.5x55 Swede rifles, but the .260 and now the 6.5 Creedmore are excellent as well.  And the 6.5C seems to finally be breaking through on popularity thanks to precision rifle competitions.  Congrats on your rifle deal!