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Thread: best all around caliber

  1. #1
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    Default best all around caliber

    Ok I know this is almost like flogging a dead horse, but in these tough economic times this concept interests me. After going thru my reloading books from front to back Ive come to believe the 7mm08 is the best of all. With 120 grn bullets its a real good varmint rifle, load up some 175s or 160s and you are set for most anything. I know the 280, 30/06 and some others do the same thing but they do it with more powder, hence higher cost. There is only 1 7mm08 in my house right now, (my daughters) I used it on a moose a few years ago, and was very happy with how it performed. It wouldnt be my pick to go in after wounded bears but with good bullets, it would do the job. I always get a kick out of the reloading books when the gun writers talk about calibers they say "good for everything but the big bears" Moose are bigger than any of the bears, so if a good bullet will penetrate a moose it will a bear. I know a moose wont eat you where a bear will but since we all know accuracy is everything, why not hunt bears with a 7mm?? Does anybody have any opinions on this cartridge, or others they think are better? I would be interested in others opinions!!

  2. #2
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    BEST ALL ROUND CALIBRE
    Always an interesting hypothesise, but is this question we shoulld be asking? Many calibres appear to preform far better than their paper balistics suggest, why? I own a 260 Rem almost the same as 7mm/08 and it preforms way above my expectations, for example. Last week I was chasing some venison for the table, night was closing in and the only red deer(small elk type deer) in shooting range was a doe at 351yards (measured with range finder). I aimed at head height, above the shoulder a let drive. Down went the deer. On inspection my bullet had broken both shoulders and passed through both lungs and the top of the heart. Bullet drop was approximately 16-18 inches over that distance. Now (small picture) I could claim that the 260Rem is the best calbre on the market or big picture that a number of things came into play during the taking of this deer. Not the least is that I have 40 years experience of hunting, I have spent hours shooting the 260Rem on the range and in the field. I understand its limitations and to some degree compensate for this calibre short comings with selection of projectile etc. Using only the best projectiles I can buy, Barnes TSX which in my opinion take you up a caliber or two. Many large animals have fallen to 22 center fires but probably as many have been hit and survived long enough to die a slow and agonizing death in the bush. Not my choice for a noble animal, I beleive as a hunter we owe it to the animals we hunt to use a caliber that is more than adequate and practice ,practice , practice. I also beleive you can never have to much gun but you certainly can have to little. As for economics in shooting and hunting with a caliber that is more than adequate, costs will be more than off set when you loose an animal because your choice was in adequate. 7mm/08 wouldnot be my choice but thats not to say I wouldn't be confident if that was the only rifle caliber availible. I have been fortunate enough to hunt both bear and moose though not my first choice calibre I would shoot both with the 7mm but would gain every advatage I could be for squeezing the trigger.

  3. #3
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    Default best all around...

    .308 Winchester, hands down IMO, look at the inherant accuracy and plethora of 30 cal bullets available. But there is room for all of us who have a preferance I hope.

  4. #4
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    Thumbs up .30-06

    This has been asked before Yukon...in fact a whole bunch of times...but it's always a fun topic and we are between seasons right now, so...

    I tend to always vote for the good old .30-06. Brass is usually available. Also, 30 caliber bullets are usually available and come in many different weights from many different manufacturers. This great old cartridge also tolerates many different powders...or at least there are load data for all kinds of powders, so if powder times get lean (like now) there are lots of alternatives. Lastly, it has been proven to get the job done. I do prefer my .375H&H for fall hunts up here for moose/bear, but if I could only have one, it's the .30-06...hands down.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Well, it seems that the most popular calibers in Alaska (all around cartridges) are the .30-06 , .300WM, and .338WM.

    That said, I prefer the .338WM with 250 to 275-grain bullets. I want the added punch for those times when an ideal broadside shot doesn't presents itself, or for those times when the intent is to break heavy bone. But then, I am not an expert, and only hunt moose.

  6. #6

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    Best all around depends on the user. Some only hunt deer, some will only take a broadside picture perfect shot, some want to drive a bullet on a trophy animal from any angle and reach vitals, some spend a lot of time in bear country and need something to stop a pissed off bear intent on tearing you from head to butt. For each of these scenarios the best all around caliber is different.

    That is why we have so many choices. All that being said, I like Ray's choice, 338 Win. It may be somewhat overkill for deer, maybe more recoil than a sheep hunter wants, maybe not quite the stopper a 375 is on bear, but it handles all those situations better than any other in my book. It will shoot flat, hit hard and drive deep.

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