View Full Version : best caliber for what i want

December 2, 2007, 11:04 PM
i want to avoid going with a 300 win mag because everyone in there brother i know has one. my question was what caliber in your opinion would be the best for MED to LARGE game in NORTH AMERICA beside a 300. 30/06, 7mm,270, 308. just wanted something alittle different but would still take large game, i know shot placement is everything, but just wondered which would have the better chance of taking down big game . thanks for your help.

December 2, 2007, 11:19 PM
.270 Win, .280 Rem, .30-'06 spgfld.

Same case, slightly different bullet size (in the grand scheme of things, VERY slightly different is all). All great performers, and not much difference really. Just take your pick - you won't go wrong. The .280 bullets have the best BCs, so it might be the best choice if long range is your "thang". Or .30-06 if really big stuff is a possibility (i.e. brown bears). Or .270 for less recoil and cheap ammo.

December 2, 2007, 11:32 PM
if you want something different and only plan to hunt med to large game in NA id vote for an 8mm or 338 cal rifle. not too many ppl have them and they are proven bullets for elk and other large game

8mm mauser would be good if you handload but factory ammo is known to be weak
338win mag if you want mag
338fed if you want short action
338-06 if you want long action
8mm mag
338RCM (new ruger short mag)

im sure im missing a few but those are off the top of my head
but there arent gona be many of those calibers in the woods if you really want something different

December 3, 2007, 12:03 AM
Why not a Weatherby Mag cartridge. .300 or .270

Art Eatman
December 3, 2007, 08:44 AM
If "large game" is basically elk, lots of non-magnum cartridges are just fine. Same for moose, although there's a lot less moose hunting than deer or elk. If the Alaskan bears are on the agenda, a separate rifle for them in some magnum caliber is a wise choice.

Staying with deer for a moment, as far as I'm concerned, anything from .243 to .30-;06 works just fine. Old age has taken me out of the walking-hunter category, so I've quit the '06 and gone to a 7mm08.

Elk? Generally, anything in the .270 to '06 class of non-magnum works. Few use the .243, but quite a few like the 6.5 class of cartridge.

Magnums give more range, but that's needed in more specialized hunting. The longer distances of shots in the more open country of the western states is an arena which can justify the added recoil. Or, the long distances of "beanfield" shooting in farming country. Again, less common for most hunters.

December 3, 2007, 03:47 PM
How about a 35 Whelen? Large caliber, good ballistics, can be had in different platforms (lever action, Bolt action). Why not?:confused:

December 3, 2007, 04:23 PM
How about a 35 Whelen? Large caliber, good ballistics, can be had in different platforms (lever action, Bolt action). Why not?
Why not indeed! The .35 Whelen while not as popular as the 06 it is a very fine deer, elk, moose, and bear (Big Bears Included) cartridge out to 300+ yards once you get the hang of shooting it. They can be a mother on recoil though; I know mine isn't that pleasant to shoot for more than a few rounds. I blame it on the recoil pad or lack there of, I really need to remedy that one.

I've never seen a .35 Whelen in lever action but I imagine Browning or Winchester might have produced a few in an 1895 Model or a BLR. Remington makes it in their semi-auto and I've seen a few pumps as well. I still think you will be happier off in a good bolt action though.

You could use the Whelen’s baby brother as well the .358 Win for something a little different. I think you might be able to pick up used levers in either the Win model 88 or Savage model 99, but probably pretty expensive for one in good shape. Browning still chambers it in their BLR and Ruger offers it in the Frontier rifle in scout configuration.

Both cartridges you will be better off if you roll your own. While they are both great cartridges neither are extremely popular, or cheap to buy when you do find them. With that bigger than .308 bore it will lay a thumping on what ever you hit.

December 3, 2007, 04:26 PM
I will second the .35 whelen. Do some research on that one you will be pleasantly surprised. Its a funny caliber because the numbers on paper are not astounding but the killing power is legendary. Its a great performer even at considerable range. The .35 caliber 250 grain bullets flying at 30-06 velocities thump the crud out of large game. The only current gun maker that offers one that I know of is remington and its a 700 model (they also offer a pump and semi auto). There are a ton of customs out there in this caliber as well if that is something that interests you. A lot of them are built on mauser 98's, savage 110's and other good quality affordable platforms so you dont have to spend thousands of dollars.
Another uncommon good performer is the .350 rem mag. This is the first true commercial short magnum cartridge but was offered way before short mags were popular so it fizzled out a bit but has hung on by a small loyal following. It is only offered in a couple factory guns such as ruger and remington. The cdl 7 is one of them that rings a bell. The .350 rem mag has almost identical ballistics as the .35 whelen. However I think the ammo is spendier than the whelen.

December 3, 2007, 04:32 PM
280 Remington is a good choice.

December 3, 2007, 04:39 PM
Has the .300 H&H died out yet?

Guess it has- by buddy is sittin over there lookin at me like my cheese has done slid off my cracker.

December 3, 2007, 04:47 PM
ya want something different than a 300 mag for big game try a 45/70. awsome cartridge available in single shots and levers, scope or open sights. certainly different and fits the bill for any game on this continent, probably the planet as well.

December 3, 2007, 06:52 PM
Another one that I forgot to mention is the .338 rcm (ruger compact magnum) this one is brand new and rifles chambered in this caliber will be out soon from ruger. The only down side for you, If popularity catches on which I believe it will, then you wont have a different and unique gun. But for what you intend to use it for it seems like an awesome choice. Think of it as a hot loaded .338 win mag in a short action rifle with a 20" barrel. I just might put this one on MY want list.

December 3, 2007, 07:04 PM
thanks for everyones input. basically let me narrow it down and be more specific. i have a marlin 30/30 for short range, i have always hunted in thick brushy areas so all i needed was a 30/30 or my 12gauge with slugs. now i have 2 hunting spots the new one in which i can shoot up to 400 yards with nothing in the way if i was good enough. i have narrowed it down to a 7MM, 308 win mag, or 30/06, which do u think for would be best as far as 1 shot stopping power on large game. as in HOGS, ELK, MOOSE or Bear. thanks for all the help guys

December 3, 2007, 07:21 PM
i think the 7mm mag is a good rifle for that, could be loaded a few different ways and not take a toll on your shoulder

December 3, 2007, 07:43 PM
30-06 or 7 mm mag, either would work fine (as well as a lot of others, I'm sure).

December 4, 2007, 12:27 AM
Unless you're going for large bears or moose the 6.5mm is good enough. It'd probably be good enough for them as well.
However take a look here.
You could get a .30-06 and be as different as all heck. Use a 250gr bullet hunting Kodiak. Pot yourself some rabbits with the 100gr.
You can be as unusual as you want just by getting the most usual caliber ever made.

December 4, 2007, 12:44 PM
7mm RUM


Those figures are with a 250 yard zero!!!

And if you want something with less kick and that costs less...

.338 Federal is a helluva cartidge that's gonna catch fire soon I think

December 4, 2007, 09:14 PM
For long range hunting, I'd go with .270 win, 7mm rem mag, .270 WSM, or 7mm WSM. One of those. Maybe even a 6.5-284 norma.

December 9, 2007, 12:47 AM
Something a little different...

280 Rem has already been mentioned
308 Norma magnum
8x57 Mauser (American loads fine for deer, European loads for everything bigger)
318 Westley Richards (obsolete but a fine round)
33 OKH (ballistically the same as the 338-06, but handload only)
35 Whelen has already been mentioned
358 Norma Mag
9x57 Mauser (an "obsolete" cartridge but perfectly adequate)
9.3x62 Mauser
9.3x64 Brenneke
376 Steyr, 375 Ruger, or 375 H&H. Handloading increases your options.
405 Winchester


December 9, 2007, 01:51 AM
6.5 swede, or one of the 9.3s

December 9, 2007, 06:08 AM
i have narrowed it down to a 7MM, 308 win mag, or 30/06,

Any one will work. I prefer a 30-06 but I handload.

December 9, 2007, 10:21 AM
7 MM RUM has some impressive stats. At those speeds I would assume its going to burn a barrell up real quick. I almost talked myself into buying one but didn't really need one since I have the 30.06 and a 300 WIN. MAG. Other than less bullet drop and energy at a longer range what does it do that the 30.06 can't do? The ol 30.06 will do just fine.

December 9, 2007, 02:32 PM
Back on the .35 Whelen for a moment: Midway sells all the equipment and parts to build one on a long action Savage. I built one this summer and it turned out pretty well, though it is a real thumper. Shooting it isn't as bad as the legendary 338 magdum but one still needs to use a PAST pad for comfort.

December 9, 2007, 07:20 PM
my question was what caliber in your opinion would be the best for MED to LARGE game in NORTH AMERICA beside a 300. 30/06, 7mm,270, 308.

The operative word in your post to me was LARGE game. I bought a rifle to hunt LARGE game with a few years ago...a Sako 75 S/S in .300 Weatherby. If I had it to do over, I'd make the same call. It's an outstanding round with excellent power down range. No regrets.


December 9, 2007, 07:33 PM
There's nothing in North America the 30-06 won't handle.

December 10, 2007, 12:49 PM
Another vote for 8mm Mauser. Handloaded will do anything a 30-06 will do. And I love my 30-06. Also think about the 7.62x54R. Potent medicine out of a 29" barreled Mosin 91/30.

December 10, 2007, 04:52 PM
How about a .358 Winchester? Good for anything up to Black Bear and Elk and Moose.

December 10, 2007, 06:57 PM
Been using a 8mm Remington Magnum for close to 20 years now. Extremely versatile and flat shooting. Brass and bullets readily available.

T. O'Heir
December 10, 2007, 09:13 PM
6.5 x 55. AKA 6.5 Swede. It'd regularly used for moose in Sweden and elsewhere.

December 10, 2007, 09:23 PM
There's nothing in North America the 30-06 won't handle.That may be true but the .35 Whelen is just a necked up 30-06 which means it will shoot a bigger bullet. What a 30-06 does with 180 grains a .35 Whelen does with 250 grains, giving a margin of power if its needed for bigger game.