Author Topic: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game  (Read 35251 times)

Offline rustyknife

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #30 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

Offline khristopher23

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #31 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.

Offline Steve Cover

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #32 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
 

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #33 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

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/)
Scope and mount 2-7x32 approx $65

Money left for range time / training = $436

Offline jimmysig

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #34 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.   

Offline jarhead2nd

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #35 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.  
« Last Edit: May 01, 2010, 02:23:27 PM by jarhead2nd »

hillbilly

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #36 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.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #37 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...

Offline spatin

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #38 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.

Offline sdcharger

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #39 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.

Offline Donulld

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #40 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.

Offline sdcharger

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #41 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!

Offline wolffire99

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #42 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
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 09:31:36 PM by wolffire99 »

Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2016, 12:14:14 AM »
How about the .26 Nosler (6.5×66mmRB)....  Hard hitting and flat out to 415.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #44 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.

Offline The Sage of Monticello

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #45 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.

Offline armymars

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #46 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.

Offline bigbear

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #47 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.

Offline Carl

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #48 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.

Offline ChrisFox

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #49 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.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Ideal rifle caliber for medium size game
« Reply #50 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!