What hunting scenarios do I use my rifles in?
So so far have 3 rifles: a 22lr, 6.5x55, and 8x57.
The 22lr is a Savage Mk II FV model which has the heavy barrel. It wears a Leupold 2-7x33 scope. I suppose its role would be target shooting (25-75 yds), varmint hunting, grouse and squirrel hunting. This caliber's role is clear.
Now the 6.5x55 and 8x57 are a toss up for me.
The 6.5x55 is a BSA CF2 wearing a Leupold 3-9x40 scope. It weighs about 8-8.5 lbs, but balances very nicely so the weight isn't apparent. With this caliber, I figure I can hunt pretty much deer, bear, elk, and moose?
The 8x57 is a Husqvarna FN 98 commercial mauser action that I left with the stock irons (rear leaf and blade with bead) as it felt much more balanced that way. I can also hunt deer, bear, elk, moose etc. with this rifle. I shot it for the first time on Tuesday, and with 198 gr FMJ bullets, I can hit a 9'' diameter gong at 200 yards. Is that good enough for hunting?
I suppose the biggest game I'd hunt is moose. Will these cartridges effectively and cleanly take a moose down with one shot assuming good shot placement? Or should I look into a magnum to ensure a one shot kill? I'd rather not get a magnum.
I'm in the Pacific Northwest where most of the hunting will be in forested coastal areas with intermittent flat pastures (farmland) etc. My rational was that the Mauser would be handy in the woods, whereas the 6.5x55 would be nice in the open terrain or dusk/dawn when there is low light so the scope will help. Is that logical?
Lastly, I am thinking that I need a caliber in between the .22 lr and the 6.5mm (.264) and 8mm (.323).
I'm a sucker for vintage cartridges, so I was contemplating the .243 Winchester. What do you guys think about this cartridge and the rifles that are chambered for it? Is this obsolete? This calibre was originally designed for varmints, but it can take small deer as well. Would all my bases be covered with this cartridge?
Remington 870|Benelli Nova|Brno ZP47|Savage Mk II FV|Marlin 30AS|Ruger M77|HVA 640