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Old December 4, 2012, 03:59 PM   #1
breakingcontact
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Caliber preference: Do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?

Whether it be for hunting, target shooting, defense...do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?

Why?
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:04 PM   #2
MarkCO
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When I am planing on shooting something I need to die, I choose larger calibers. I started hunting with a .243, then .30-06 and now .338-06. The heavier bullets hit harder and down game faster. I have a .450 Bushmaster, .444 Marlin and .414 Supermag as well.

I shoot mostly 9mm in USPSA, Steel Challenge and 3Gun, after years of shooting .40. It is cheaper, easier to shoot fast and more reliable. I have several rimfires I shoot as well.

For defense, it varies.

While I guees I used to ascribe to a medium philosophy, I am more about small and large now.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:27 PM   #3
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I'm older than I was...

That can be a factor that drives caliber preference.

I think what has been pushing me to smaller calibers is the reality of what I intend to use them for. For a long time I've been planning on getting an M1A. Why? Excellent barrier penetration, long range and I could hunt hogs and deer with it! Then I realized a 6.8 SPC would give me all of that to the degree I need.

One can get pretty far down into the SHTF fantasy land and justify a need for about every caliber. If you really step back from the interweb/prepped/SHTF obsessed crowd. You can better put into perspective what you are likely to need.

If I ever have the money to blow to go hunt elk of something big, I will also then have the money to buy a nice rifle in a suitable caliber. No sense in keeping some overkill gun for the fantasy hunt or zombie nightmare.

Unfortunately I can see the cost of ammo really start to force more people into shooting 22LR nearly exclusively.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:35 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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I prefer small and fast.

Magnumitis is rampant.

The myth that a 3/32 inch larger hole and the 2,000 ft/lbs in the tree on the other side of an animal kills the animal faster is widely believed.

I am a victim of neither.

Modern defensive handgun calibers are equally (in)effective. Any of them will perform the same.

In hunting and SD, shot placement matters.

Magnum and other "power" factors are irrelevant.
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Old December 4, 2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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I like to strike the balance between enough gun for what I'm hunting versuses not too much gun.

I like the .223 for deer and hogs, provided proper bullt type.

I have a 7mm Remington Magnum for the day I finally get to go to Montana for elk.

I carry a .45 ACP for personal protection.

Heck, I even like the 5.56 caliber I carried in the Guard, but hated the FMJ I was forced to use.

Same goes for the 9x19mm NATO round.
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Old December 4, 2012, 08:20 PM   #6
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Let me start by saying my choices are based mostly upon my hunting expierence. I've been hunting for about 35 years, mostly deer. I've taken quite a few hogs and a few varmits. I have found that larger bullets just tend to work better. I keep my shots under 250 yds and have no need for super fast magnums.
I have used my 6mm Rem in the past and was not impressed with it's performance on deer. For me it is a long range varmit round right beside the .223. I'm not trying to start a caliber war, just answering the OP's question as to my preference.
I know it is old school but I prefere larger, slower calibers. For hunting I tend to carry a .308/30-06 most of the time and a .45 for SD. JMHO.
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Old December 4, 2012, 09:27 PM   #7
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That's alright! That's your preference for your use.

I'm not a hunter. But from what I've read 6.8 SPC is plenty hard on deer and hogs. I definitely "get" why some prefer heavier slower bullets. Less factors for error to creep in (barrel length, twist).

From what I've read hunting is similar to self defense in terms of shot placement, bullet design being more important than caliber.

I suppose with hunting. Where you may shoot just a bit to get your rifle sighted in then just one or 2 shots at your game causes less concern about cost of ammo, recoil and other consideration. So perhaps for a hunting gun its good to go a bit over what's needed?

Overall...I'm a target shooter/IDPA shooter and concealed carry practitioner.

IDPA/concealed carry/home defense: 9mm is for me. (I flirt w the idea of getting a 380 to encourage carrying more but don't consider going up in caliber at all).

"Extreme situation" defense: 223/556 I get that 308 is the big dog. But about everything else the round brings with it is a drawback. I've read I could hunt some with 223/556 but it seems most consider it marginal for deer. Hence me looking at 6.8 uppers.

Home defense: 12 gauge (used to consider going down to a 20 gauge but the semi-auto has greatly reduced recoil) I suppose this would work for some hunting applications as well.

Range fun/small game: 22LR (probably my favorite round) 22mag is cool and so is .17 but I don't see me leaving 22LR!

I said all that to say this: I've put a lot of thought and consideration into the calibers I can realistically justify. I posted to see what kinds of thoughts you all have had in this pursuit and if its led you to larger or smaller calibers.
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Old December 4, 2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
breakingcontact asked:

Caliber preference: Do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Whether it be for hunting, target shooting, defense...do you find yourself liking larger or smaller calibers?

Never gave it a thought til now.

Best answer it can give is in my "Ready-to-Go" 2 gun case.

It contains a 270 Win and a 9.3x62 Mauser.
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Old December 4, 2012, 11:53 PM   #9
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Yes.
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Old December 5, 2012, 01:05 AM   #10
chadio
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How about.... inexpensive calibers?

9mm

.223

12 ga.

7.62x39

Works for me
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:21 AM   #11
mrt949
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Down to 3 calibers.
22lr .FUN
357 mag .HUNTING, SD
40 sw .HD
MAKES LIFE SIMPLE.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:42 AM   #12
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For me it's .22lr, .38 Special, 9mm, .223/5.56, and .308Win. I have firearms chambered for other cartridges but those are the ones I shoot the most.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:46 AM   #13
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I try to keep it simple

9MM & 45 ACP for SD/HD
223/556 for woodchucks (take that ya lil chucks!)

Thinking of adding 308 or 7.62x39 for hunting bigger stuff.

I like 9MM for target shooting much more than 45. Same goes for rifles, I have shot plenty of 30-06; I would much rather be shooting 5.56/223 if I am going to be shooting a lot that something like 30-06 or 308.

Last edited by Patriot86; December 5, 2012 at 10:51 AM.
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Old December 5, 2012, 10:24 AM   #14
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I am in the middle (not too far to the right and not too far to the left). LOL

In pistols, I prefer 9mm and 45 ACP. In rifles, I like the .243, 25-06, and .308.

In shotguns it is either 20 or 12 gauge.

I reload, so in many cases you can adjust your load in all the above tools.

I will add their is a lot of pleasure in plinking with .22's , 22 magnums and the little .17 HMR.
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Old December 5, 2012, 10:26 AM   #15
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Within the range of what's appropriate for the task, I prefer smaller and less recoil.
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Old December 5, 2012, 10:29 AM   #16
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I long ago standardized my shotguns to .410 and 12 ga.

The .410 is for rabbit and squirrel, along with the occassional trick trap shooting in the backyard.

The 12 ga, in various guns, is for everything else that is bird related.

I long for a 28 gauge so the girlfriend can shoot trap comfortably.
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Old December 5, 2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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As I get older and wiser I've figured out that smaller kills game just as dead, just as fast. It hasn't always been this way, the difference is improved bullet technology.

Same with SD weapons. After 100+ years of discussion, and every test imaginable, no one has been able to show any conclusive proof that 45 works any better than 9mm.
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Old December 5, 2012, 01:41 PM   #18
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Most shooting done with 22LR but for serious I like large slow bullets that make a large hole and stay in the target or just barely penetrate all the way through. It's a dinosaur thing with me, I am a dinosaur and like dinosaur guns.
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Old December 5, 2012, 09:08 PM   #19
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I am a contraion. If the gun scribes and masses are going large I go small. When the reverse happens I do the opposite.

Mostly I go with what I can shoot accurately and put meat in the pot.
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Old December 5, 2012, 10:34 PM   #20
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I lean towards .308 and .45 ACP as my two most favorite but I love 5.45x39 cause it's cheap as dirt and people scratch their head and look at you funny when you tell them what caliber your AK shoots
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:16 AM   #21
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I go for cheap and fun to shoot also.
.22LR
.22Hornet reloaded
.36 caliber muzzleloader shooting patched 000 buckshot as a bullet.
7/8 ounce reloads for my 12 gauge shotgun.

The big artillary I own tends to gather a lot of dust in the closet, it's just not that much fun to shoot and I hear a cash register go "cha ching" every time I pull the trigger.
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Old December 6, 2012, 07:35 AM   #22
Capt Rick Hiott
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As my dad used to say (Race car builder) There is no substatute for "cubic inches".

I like big guns!
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:57 AM   #23
Jack O'Conner
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I like 'em both: .243 for long range antelope hunting in South Dakota and 30-30 or 44 MAG carbine for hunting in Pennsylvania. Hit 'em right through the chest organs and the animal dies quickly regardless of the hunting cartridge.

Jack
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Old December 6, 2012, 11:00 AM   #24
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I like big/huge slow bullets/slugs. Like little freight trains
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Old December 6, 2012, 05:15 PM   #25
breakingcontact
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You like little freight trains?
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