View Poll Results: What caliber would you rely on as an all-rounder?

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  • .30 standard (.30-06, .308Win, .30-30Win, etc.)

    62 22.71%
  • .30 Magnum (H&H, Weatherby, Win., WSM, etc.)

    62 22.71%
  • .338

    86 31.50%
  • .375

    39 14.29%
  • 9.3mm

    5 1.83%
  • .458 light (.45-70, .450 Marlin, etc.)

    4 1.47%
  • .458 heavy (Lott, Win., etc.)

    1 0.37%
  • .416

    1 0.37%
  • .358

    3 1.10%
  • 7mm

    10 3.66%
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Thread: If you could only have one caliber, which one?

  1. #1
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    Question If you could only have one caliber, which one?

    Hopefully this poll works! If so, all credit goes to Mr. Strahan for his help via phone, thanks Mike! Anyway, if you were limited to having only ONE caliber rifle to rely on for the rest of your life in Alaska...one that has to do it all, which caliber would it be? Sheesh, just thinking of it gives me the willies! I've grouped cartridges of like caliber/power level together to fit more in. You can be more specific in your replies.
    Thanks for your participation!
    Dave

  2. #2
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    Cool I'll start it off with the mighty .375...

    ...as in H&H, though an improved version is certainly intriguing! All right guys (and ladies, of course!), belly up and cast your vote!

  3. #3
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Tough choice

    I rate the .375 highest from a bear protection standpoint, but have a lot of confidence in my 7mm. I carried that rifle for over 20 years and if there was ever a firearm that felt like an extension of my body... it almost feels like cheating on a spouse leaving that rifle in the cabinet and taking another. That rifle has killed moose, caribou, black bear, sheep and goat here in Alaska, and I'd take it (almost) anywhere. It's a tack driver to boot.

    This is a tough choice. Great poll!

    -Mike
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  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    Unfortunately you didn't include my favorite, the 35 bore. My blessed bride just gave me what I think will be my favorite all arounder. Ruger M77 Mk II stainless 350 rem mag. Scoped it runs just over 7#'s, and will drive a 225 gr X bullet 2700 fps. It doesn't excel in any aspect, but has such a perfect blend of features that I'm hard pressed to find a better all arounder.

    It's light enough for the most strenuous of hunts. It's flat enough shooting for an honest 300 yds, which covers the vast majority of hunts. It's powerful enough for anything given proper shot placement. Recoil is as much as I'll put up with in a rifle that light. It's durable enough for the elements. And finally it's one of the most reasonably priced hunting rifles out there.

    I've toted lighter guns, shot faster guns, shot more powerful guns, but I can't think of an instance where I could take this rifle and feel I made the wrong choice.

  5. #5
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    Red face Sorry Paul, should've read .35 instead of .358!

    I know .35 is probably more common, as in .35 Whelen, but I figured that .358 is the actual bullet diameter as listed in all the reloading manuals, and there are at least two cartridges named .358 (Win. and Norma Magnum).

    Well, you still got to spread the good .35 word! And what a wife! Can it get any better?

    Dave

  6. #6
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    Exclamation Suggestions about poll

    I had the option of showing everyone who participated in the poll, and how they voted. What do you guys think of that? Would that have been kindof a privacy invasion thingy? I thought maybe, so I declined. Thanks again for the feedback! That should be it for now, don't want anyone thinking I'm stacking the post count!
    Dave

  7. #7
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    Default One Caliber?

    I've given it some thought over years. Hope I never have to make choice for real, but if I did the 250 gr ballistic tip in 9.3x62 is good out to further than I want to shoot. The 285 Lapua Mega drops brown bear, and there are plenty of other good bullets in this weight. For real thump, Swift has a 300 gr 9.3 bullet, and Woodleigh even heavier.

    I like the 9.3 so much that I am having a wildcat built - the 338 WM brass necked up to 9.3 - I call it the 366 Alaskan. It should be a real performer and tolerate reduced loads too. So I should have no problem making loads equal in performance from the 9.3x57 through the 9.3x64. In other words - from about the 358 winchester power through very close to the 375 H&H. Woods and mountain cartridge - deer, moose and brown bear cartridge - couldn't be more versitile. I suppose it wouldn't be my first choice for ground hogs, but for wild porker hogs it would be a first choice.

  8. #8
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I definately got lucky with my wife. It did take 12 years before she bought me a rifle, and it may be the only time she does, but it was a nice present.

    I forgot to extol the other virtues of the 35 bore, cast bullets. In my other 35 I've shot cast from 150 to 280 gr's, and whether a 150 gr pistol bullet at 1200 fps for no recoil plinking and small game loads, or a 280 @ 2000 fps for big game, the 35 bore is about as good as it gets for cast.

    Now I just need to scrounge up some dies and brass and some 225 gr bullets and see what it'll do.

    Actually I voted for the 300 magnum in the poll, and it would be my near second choice. A bit lighter than I care for for the biggest of critters, but for a reach out and touch round that can also anchor the big stuff, it's a hard to beat combo. It just comes down to what you hunt the most. I could definately substiute the 350 rem mag with a kimber montanna 300 WSM and never grumble. Now if I can get my wife to get me the Kimber, I'll know I have a keeper

  9. #9
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    Default

    I went with the 338 bore diameter as it has a vast selection of bullets weights available from 160 grains to 310 grains. It and the 358 caliber are my 2 favorite calibers and I have owned several rifles/handguns in each caliber.

  10. #10

    Angry Paul H

    Ive been married 30 years and my wife has never bought me a gun! Infact my birthday was last week and I got a brand spanking new breakfast type ham, egg and toast all in one cooker thing-a-ma-jig. My wife uses the heck out of it.

    Her birthday is coming up in a short and I'm getting her a Kimber Montana in a 325WSM and I plan on using the heck out of it!

    Think I'm kiddin? It's on its way! I have never looked forward to her birthday as much as this one!

    She got the cooker thing for me as a joke! Best joke I've ever had played on me!

  11. #11
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm thinking this may be a once in a lifetime occurance, so I'll enjoy every minute of it.

    I did manage to bust a few caps at lunch. The upside is I got it to within an inch or two of POI at 100 yds just by sighting the bore over the bags and dialing the scope to match. The downside is the rem 200 gr factory fodder is junk in this gun 3-4", and nobody in anchorage carries brass, and dies were way over priced. The trigger also needs to be slicked up, and the mayber a lighter return spring. Other than that, I'm fairly happy with the rig, will be happier still when I find a good load or two.

  12. #12
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    Default

    I started hunting late in life. Sometime before retiring from the military in 1994 I asked all sorts of questions relating to the most popular cartridges in Alaska, since I wanted to use what other Alaskans used most of the time. I spent weeks asking such questions, and the answers led me to the .30-06 as the smallest, and the .338WM as the largest. These three where the all around cartridges back then, and are still as popular to this day.

    Sooo, I selected the one that could shoot the heaviest bullets, a Ruger M77-MKII, stainless/synthetic in .338WM. The rifle could have been of another brand, but this one didn't cost as much. I topped it with a Leupold Vary-X III that a friend of mine ordered for me, and I have been using this rifle/scope combo ever since. It's a lucky rifle too, since it has killed a moose every year except for two, the closest one at 100 yards, and the farthest at a measured 275 yards.

  13. #13
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    Default

    I'd probably say my 300 Win. Mag. followed be either my 358 Norma Mag (favorite rifle) or my 338 Win. Mag.

  14. #14
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    Default

    I'll start by saying I've never been to Ak. Next week will be my first trip. That said, I am planning to move up there next spring, so have given this some thought. I am used to shooting a .300 mag. for long shots here in CO. I like powerful rifles. So, after much deliberation, my shot-out .300 Jarrett is currently being rebored to .35 caliber, which will make it a .358 STA - 250 grain bullets at around 3K fps for long shots, 280 gr. bullets at around 2800 for energy equaling the .375. Sounds like a good starting place to me.

  15. #15
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    Post Interesting/neat choice!

    Quote Originally Posted by cobrad
    I'll start by saying I've never been to Ak. Next week will be my first trip. That said, I am planning to move up there next spring, so have given this some thought. I am used to shooting a .300 mag. for long shots here in CO. I like powerful rifles. So, after much deliberation, my shot-out .300 Jarrett is currently being rebored to .35 caliber, which will make it a .358 STA - 250 grain bullets at around 3K fps for long shots, 280 gr. bullets at around 2800 for energy equaling the .375. Sounds like a good starting place to me.
    Gotta hand it to ya on that .358 STA! I think you're right, with 280 grain A-Frames, it would be every bit as effective as the .375. So too would the 9.3X64 or the .358 Norma.

    I see that the .338 caliber has taken a sizeable lead. No surprise there! I guess when I voted for .375, my thinking was skewed toward an all-world/all-species gun. Besides, I just recently sold my .338 model 70 to buy a stainless .375 model 70...just before "the announcement"! When needed for long range shots while still having enough jazz for dangerous bears, I'd have to concede the .338 (particularly Win. variety) is indeed near perfect.

    Still hoping to hear from someone regarding their thoughts on having the poll votes (those who voted and how) public. Any thoughts? Thanks for participating guys!

    Dave

  16. #16
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cobrad
    I'll start by saying I've never been to Ak. Next week will be my first trip. That said, I am planning to move up there next spring, so have given this some thought. I am used to shooting a .300 mag. for long shots here in CO. I like powerful rifles. So, after much deliberation, my shot-out .300 Jarrett is currently being rebored to .35 caliber, which will make it a .358 STA - 250 grain bullets at around 3K fps for long shots, 280 gr. bullets at around 2800 for energy equaling the .375. Sounds like a good starting place to me.
    Cobrad: The .358 STA sounds like an outstanding cartridge for Alaska as long as you reload for it. But if one could see the locations of the posters responding to this poll, you would notice which cartridges are the most popular up here. If Alaskans only were responding to this poll, the .30-06, .300WM, .338WM, and the .375 H&H would be on top, not necessarily as I listed them, but close.

    The .375 H&H, and the .416's are popular with coastal-bear hunters, however.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKWannabe
    I had the option of showing everyone who participated in the poll, and how they voted. What do you guys think of that? Would that have been kindof a privacy invasion thingy? I thought maybe, so I declined. Thanks again for the feedback! That should be it for now, don't want anyone thinking I'm stacking the post count!
    Dave
    I think that's just fine. There is no privacy whatsoever when you post on the Internet. I missed the option of using my username and location when I responded to the poll, but I voted for "The Alaskan," anyway

  18. #18
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    Default .30-338

    I too have favored carrying many various calibres. I still have longings to carry my .375 RUM but it is not needed all the time. I thought of the .338 magnums here in the home and they are all fine proven shooters and have brought home lots of meat. I do like the .30 calibers and just have a hard time leaving them home. Recently I have found a good load for my .30-338 using Woodleighs .30 240 grn. PP behind RL 19 for big animals. I can really use a 9.3 x 62 sometime soon though. A good poll.

  19. #19
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    Thumbs up One caliber

    Quote Originally Posted by AlleninAlaska
    I went with the 338 bore diameter as it has a vast selection of bullets weights available from 160 grains to 310 grains. It and the 358 caliber are my 2 favorite calibers and I have owned several rifles/handguns in each caliber.
    I agree with Allen, the .338WM is hard to beat. I've used mine up here with 250gr. Nos/Par for 18 years and have taken everything from blacktails to brownies. I love it. She'll stretch out a bit if you need it too and it hits like a truck up close. I have never regretted using it and I have confidence in it. It's one of those calibers (to me) that's not too big and not too small. I have taken game with other calibers, but for this poll, the .338 gets my vote.

  20. #20
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Wink I suppose you can't include 'em all...

    I voted for the standard .30's, but the handle sort of says it all...

    As a guy who doesn't hunt bear, the 8x57 is everything I want. Throws well-built bullets in the 180-gr family just as fast as the '06, throws heavier bullets a little harder, just in case there was a brownie hunting the animal I got to first...

    And it doesn't bother my shoulder to practice with it as much as I can. ("Now, sweetheart, I'm not 'gallivanting off to the gun range' again - I'm 'practicing.')

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