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Old September 15, 2013, 07:16 PM   #1
Garycw
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Choosing best all around caliber?

I'm considering a hunting/ long range target rifle in .308 for a couple reasons. 1. The cost of ammo seems to be a little less expensive than some. 2. Possibly less recoil than 30-06. And 3. Able to use the cheaper 7.63x51mm surplus ammo.
However I'm still undecided between the .308-243-270 & 30-06?
What would be some of the pros and cons of these calibers? And why? Just looking for the best all around caliber. Like MOA, bullet weight, effective range etc.
primarily for target range, but occasionally deer, coyote , or passably elk or bear
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Old September 15, 2013, 09:10 PM   #2
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Many of us have all of those already!

All of them are popular and good ones.

The 243 would also be good for chucks and other varmints and that season is longer than the big game one.
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Old September 15, 2013, 09:21 PM   #3
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You overlooked the beloved .264 caliber. This would be the 260 Remington or 6.5 Creedmoor in short action, or the classic 6.5x55 Swede in long action. In the 140 to 160 grain bullet there are few calibers that can compare. They are long for caliber bullets with high BC (ballistic coefficient) and high SD (Sectional Density). Scandinavian's have been using the 6.5x55 SE with 160 grain bullets to kill European Moose (roughly the size of Roosevelt Elk) for decades.
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Old September 15, 2013, 10:26 PM   #4
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I would say .270; flat-shooting, easier to hit with at longer ranges, 150 grain projectiles will take up to elk pretty regularly, yet smaller weight bullets for pests and such.
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Old September 15, 2013, 10:48 PM   #5
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Quote:
I'm considering a hunting/ long range target rifle in .308...
Geo-Erudite gives an excellent hint.

The .260 Rem and 6.5 Creedmoor shoot flatter and display less wind drift than does the .308 Win. They also outshine the .270 in the hunting field even though the cartridge is based on the .308 Win.

The 6.5 caliber also has bullets that are good to go for just about all North American game.
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Old September 16, 2013, 12:38 AM   #6
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Choosing best all around caliber?

I am beginning a love with my .243. It is such a nice shooting round that can work for almost any application. Elk and bear are getting a little on the large side for it, but for game up to deer size and paper punching (even at extended ranges) I prefer it to my .308 and .30-06.
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Old September 16, 2013, 12:39 AM   #7
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The 30-06 in my opinion is the way to go. Whatever the 308 shoots the 30-06 does it faster. As far as recoil goes, if you reload you can load it light or hot. You can use 110gr or 125gr for deer at 3000 fps with 125 or 110 it will drop any white tail or muley without you flinching just as much. Drop elk with 165 or 180 grain even 150 gr. There is so much you can do with this caliber as it shoots all caliber for the 308 too.
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:51 AM   #8
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Choosing best all around caliber?

The 260-264-6.5x55 sounds like a excellent choice, but I don't see too many rifles in that chamber. Any sugestions of either new or surplus? I'm looking for a economical good shooting rifle in the $400 range. It's looking like the 270 round would be a good middle of the road choice?
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Old September 16, 2013, 06:08 AM   #9
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For me it's always been the 30.06 I still have my old Remington Gamemaster that I got when I was a kid. Only difference now is I have to put a scope on it because my old eyes are getting older.
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Old September 16, 2013, 09:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garycw
The 260-264-6.5x55 sounds like a excellent choice, but I don't see too many rifles in that chamber. Any sugestions of either new or surplus? I'm looking for a economical good shooting rifle in the $400 range. It's looking like the 270 round would be a good middle of the road choice?
Yeah, the $400 dollar range is a tough one to find anything new in a .264 caliber. Savage has the Model 11 Trophy Hunter XP package in .260, but it would cost around $575. Remington is making the Model 7 CDL in .260, but it is offered in a 1-9 twist (I prefer 1-8 twist for the .264 caliber due to the heavy grain size for caliber bullets). CZ makes rifles in 6.5x55 swede, but I think those are in the $600 range new.

I am not a fan of old 6.5x55 SE military rifles due to the fact that they can't handle modern loads. This is why most 6.5x55 SE factory ammunition is under loaded. New 6.5x55 SE rifles, and handloading really are what make this cartridge shine.

Also, here is a G&A article that I posted on another thread in this forum about the .308. Good read if you are thinking about long range target shooting and long range coyote hunting with a .308.

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Old September 16, 2013, 10:20 AM   #11
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I don't believe there is such a thing as the "Best All Around" cart.

Having said that, your 308 would be about as close as you can get.
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Old September 16, 2013, 10:42 AM   #12
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For big game in NA, I think the 270 Winchester has established itself enough. Jack O'Connor hunted with many calibers like the 300 Weatherby, 30-06, 7Rem mag, etc... He obviously thought the 270 Winchester was the best over all caliber for NA game and unapologetically claimed it his favorite. The Ballistic Coefficiency and Bullet sectional density are in harmony with the 270. With today's better powders and bullets, the 270 has really taken another leap forward in its performance. JOC would have loved today's 270 ammo.

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Old September 16, 2013, 11:31 AM   #13
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Mystro, you are comparing 270 Superformance loads to regular loads, but I will bite. I have a 6.5 Creedmoor and I use Hornady Superformance 129 grain interbond for hunting. A 129 grain .264 interbond has a BC of .485 (G1) and a SD of .264 compared to the 130 grain .270 interbond which has a BC of .460 (G1) and a SD of .242. The .270 has the advantage is Sectional Area (SA), but the .265 has the BC and SD advantage. You would have to shoot a 140 grain bullet SST (no interbond in that grain size) in .270 to beat the BC of the 129 grain .264, and you would have to go to 150 grain interbond to beat the SD of the 129 grain .264.

Shooting wise, the .270 130 grain superformance has a muzzle velocity of 3200 fps and the 6.5 Creedmoor 129 grain superformance has a muzzle velocity of 2950 fps. Which translates to at 500 yards:

270: velocity 2213 fps, energy of 1414 ft-lbs, and a drop of 33.70 inches
6.5 Creedmoor: velocity 2057, energy of 1212 ft-lbs, and a drop of 39.50 inches

The slight advantages that the 270 seem pretty insignificant when you consider that you are buring 10+ grains less of powder in the 6.5 Creedmoor compared to the .270. The 270 is an excellent cartridge, but it is really tough, in my opinion, to beat anything in the .264 caliber family.

Last edited by Geo_Erudite; September 16, 2013 at 11:42 AM.
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Old September 16, 2013, 01:45 PM   #14
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"He obviously thought the 270 Winchester was the best over all caliber for NA game and unapologetically claimed it his favorite."

This is true. Yet, when at the time of his retirement when asked by Jim Carmichel this question, "If you were restricted to one cartridge to hunt all North American big game, which would it be? Without hesitation O'Connor said, "The 30-06." Oh my.
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Old September 16, 2013, 03:29 PM   #15
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I have to think a 30-06 would be the single best overall choice satisfying a great number of different animals and ranges.
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Old September 16, 2013, 03:33 PM   #16
Garycw
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Choosing best all around caliber?

Is the recoil much the same between .270 and 30-06 ?
Round price seems comparable.
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Old September 16, 2013, 03:41 PM   #17
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From Chuck Hawks Rifle Recoil Table

.270 Win. (130 at 3140) has 16.5 ft-lbs of recoil
.270 Win. (140 at 3000) has 17.1 ft-lbs of recoil
.270 Win. (150 at 2900) has 17.0 ft-lbs of recoil

.30-06 Spfd. (150 at 2910) has 17.6 ft-lbs of recoil
.30-06 Spfd. (165 at 2900) has 20.1 ft-lbs of recoil
.30-06 Spfd. (180 at 2700) has 20.3 ft-lbs of recoil

In regards to Jack O'Conner, he passed in 1978, ammunition technology (bullets and powder) and cartridge design has advanced a lot since then.

Last edited by Geo_Erudite; September 16, 2013 at 03:47 PM.
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:16 PM   #18
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As much as I like the 6.5 Creedmoor, the problem is ammo. Any back woods shop, general store or Walmart will have 270 ammo at hand. Its gonna be awhile to see if the 6.5 Creedmoor will be mainstream cartridge. Its too new to see if it has any staying power. However good the 270 was 50 years ago, its even better today. All the game it has killed over the years hasnt changed so if JOC was killing everything from Eland, Jaguar, Grizzly, Dozens of Elk and Moose with soft point bullets, imagine what bonded bullets with ballistic tips will do. There is something to be said about being a purpose built hunting cartridge from its birth.

For reasonable recoil, accessibility of ammo, and a long proven track record on different size game, I am going with the proven 270 Winchester.
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Last edited by Mystro; September 16, 2013 at 04:32 PM.
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:18 PM   #19
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All will work, and you are splitting hairs just a bit. My vote is the .30-06.
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:28 PM   #20
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Another Vote here for the 308. Just a all around good one. Mild recoil,will take anything you are ever going to shoot around here. They are a dime a dozen and there is a reason they are.
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:30 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystro
As much as I like the 6.5 Creedmoor, the problem is ammo. Any back woods shop, general store or Walmart will have 270 ammo at hand. Its gonna be awhile to see if the 6.5 Creedmoor will be mainstream cartage. Its too new to see if it has any staying power.
You are correct, ammo can be a pain i the you know what to find. None of the .264 caliber cartridges are highly available, except maybe the 6.5x55 SE, and that is a shame. That is why it is my goal to be reloading by Sept. 2014. I don't think the 6.5 Creedmoor will ever be mainstream, I think it will be kind of like the .280 Remington, always there but never popular. Hornady intended the 6.5 Creedmoor to be a niche cartridge (aka: small following), and I think that they are happy it got that extra boost as a hunting round when they introduced the superformance ammunition.

I would love to have a .270, but I am recoil sensitive and the .264 family fits the bill for me (except the .264 Winchester Magnum) in that regard.
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Old September 16, 2013, 04:34 PM   #22
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If the 6.5 Creedmore hangs around, I am building a ultra light sportster rifle for gun and run hunts. I like the ballistics and low recoil. Its also has great predator rifle potential. I am waiting to see if Winchester,Remington, and Federal ammunition takes the ball and runs with it. At this point I am already reloading enough calibers.
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Old September 16, 2013, 05:42 PM   #23
Garycw
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Choosing best all around caliber?

[QUOTE=

I would love to have a .270, but I am recoil sensitive and the .264 family fits the bill for me (except the .264 Winchester Magnum) in that regard.[/QUOTE]

Then I assume the .243 is even less recoil but a lighter bullet?
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Old September 16, 2013, 05:42 PM   #24
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I vote for the 30/06, the 308 is more or less a slightly reduced 30/06 designed more for military and logistical reasons,the30/06 can down loaded as needed.
Recoil is subjective, depends on the physique, degree of fitness, muscularity, etc. of the shooter , use of recoil dampening devices, fit of stock, etc.
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Old September 16, 2013, 06:08 PM   #25
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I would say .270; flat-shooting, easier to hit with at longer ranges, 150 grain projectiles will take up to elk pretty regularly, yet smaller weight bullets for pests and such.
+1
Faster and flatter than the comparable .30 cal cartridges, generally, equal or less recoil, and bullets of equal weight and comparable shape will have superior SD's and BC's than the same weight in a larger caliber.
The .30-06 will push a 150 grain marginally faster than a 150 in .270 but
a 150grain .277 cal bullet has a similar SD to 185grain bullets in .308 caliber. And comparing 150's in both calibers, with similar profile shapes, the smaller caliber, .277 will generally have a longer more aerodynamic shape, giving it a better ballistic coefficient, reducing wind drift, and allowing the bullet to maintain it's velocity over a longer range, making it flatter and faster, therefore maintaining more energy.
If you handload the .30-06 will have more bullet choices, but 6.8mm bullets, are by no means skimpy in selection. I have seen bullet weights as low as 75 grains in .277 and as heavy as 180 grains. (apparently there are some 200grain bullets in .277, but they're extremely limited)
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