View Full Version : what is your favorite hunting rifle caliber

April 16, 2012, 07:46 PM
My all time favorite caliber is the .45-70US, I own a total of five rifles in this romantic caliber some of my rifle are first generation others are of the modern type, I love to hunt with a single shot rifle in this caliber and have hunted in Alaska, Montana, South Africa and here in California.

Here is what I currently own

1- Winchester Hotchkiss, carbine number 1, circa 1879, military model,
5 round bolt action repeater, first bolt accion. (NRA condition good)

2. Springfield carbine (trapdoor) model 1873, manufactured in 1877, upgraded to 1884 specs at Springfield, buffington rear sight, my jewel has all the first generation tools and 3 piece cleaning rod (stored in butt) NRA good condition.

3- Martini Henry IV circa 1889, on this rifle a close friend manufactured a barrel sleeve to allow me to shoot a .45-70 round.
My Martini Henry I use for medium range long range cowboy matches at the gun club that I belong, the barrel sleeve can easily be remove to return the rifle to it's original caliber, the exterior of my Martin Henry is as issue with bayonet with matching numbers.

4. Browning 1886 5 Round lever action manufactured in circa 1986 one of 500 manufactured, 24 inch full octagonal barrel, NRA Condition excellent,

5-. Harrington and Richardson, 1873 (trap door) 45-70 Officer's short rifle manufactured in 1982
in excellent condition.

Sorry about not uploading photos but my system does not allow me to post photos.



April 16, 2012, 07:55 PM
Sounds like nice rifles ! Was wondering though,how does a person decide if a caliber is romantic or not ???? :) My favorite caliber for hunting varmint's would be in the 22-250-243 range.....Big game a .270 and .300 Win Mag...

Deja vu
April 16, 2012, 07:55 PM
I like the 45/70 as well.

I have 4 guns chambered in the 45/70

1. Marlin 1895 Cowboy (JM)
2. Marlin 1895 guide gun (JM)
3. Marlin 1895 SBL (REM) This one is the one I am putting a suppressor on.
4. MR BFR with 10 inch barrel (all so has a 450 marlin cylinder)

I am thinking of adding an encore to the list as well.

my next favorite is the 357 magnum. From a 16.5 inch barrel I have taken many deer.

April 16, 2012, 08:04 PM
I own a total of five rifles in this romantic caliber

I beg to differ; the 45/70 is not a Romantic caliber, it is a Cav Caliber, Army vs. the plains indians caliber.

Romantic calibers would be the .416 Rigby, 7x57 Mauser, .270 Winchester, and .470 Nitro.

Practical calibers are 30'06, 30-30, and the .22.

Workhorse calibers would be all the above Romantic Calibers, and the practical calibers, PLUS, the 300 mags, 308, and 223.

Romantic calibers are romantic because of Romantic writings ... Hemingway, Ruark, and Carmichel!

Other than Cav reactments, which I did in Colorado, no one knew what a .45/70 was until Marlin started horse trading with the Alaskans using the 45/70 lever guns for bear protection...

Sorry old boy, but the 45/70 ain't it!

April 16, 2012, 08:08 PM
My favorite woods rifle round is the .358 Winchester. I got a 99F in 1966 and used it with success in VT for a long time.

Of late I have been hunting more open land and the 30-06 is the favorite there.

I have other chamberings and have had a 243 since 1957 and use it for what it does best.

April 16, 2012, 08:11 PM
Mine is .270 Win. It's the only hunting rifle I have.

April 16, 2012, 08:13 PM
Mine is .270 Win. It's the only hunting rifle I have.

Wild game fears the rifleman who only owns one rifle!

Deja vu
April 16, 2012, 08:14 PM
My grandfather knew what a 45/70 was and he was not old enough to be fighting Indians on hose back. He had an old sharps rifle that he used to kill a buffalo once about 40 years ago. It came with a ladder sight. He was good at hitting targets much father out with those sights than many people could do with a scope.

of couse I am a little bias here ;)

April 16, 2012, 08:21 PM
Six point five by fifty five millimeter Swedish Mauser:)

April 16, 2012, 08:25 PM
I've got two .45-70s, an Italian clone of the Sharps business rifle, and a thoroughly modern H&R Handi rifle.

My go-to hunting rifle is a Savage 110 in .30-06.

I've got a dozen or so in the locker that I rotate betwixt. Everything from those single-shot Handi's to the bolt rifles, to the leverguns. Everything gets its turn.

But, my go-to rifle is the .30-06.

April 16, 2012, 08:36 PM
of couse I am a little bias here

That goes without saying when comes to our Grandfathers!;)

The Old man and the Boy, is the best education a boy can get!!!:D

April 16, 2012, 08:36 PM
I have taken more game with my .270win than any other rifle I own.

April 16, 2012, 08:48 PM
I am owned by a wife. While I can afford many rifles, my rifle to income ratio has some discrepancies LOL. So I have to have only practical rifles in practical calibers. No romantic calibers for me.

April 16, 2012, 08:54 PM
Thirty aught six. :)

I don't own a hunting rifle, but from the time spent with my dad's Remington 700 BDL, I love the .30-06. That roar and thump let you know you sent something serious downrange, but it's manageable enough for a fast second shot if the first failed.

Extremely widespread and versatile too. Kinda like the rifle version of the .357 magnum in handguns.

April 16, 2012, 08:55 PM
So I have to have only practical rifles in practical calibers. No romantic calibers for me.

Tell your wife that there is nothing more practical than a .470 Nitro, double rifle! You can hunt squirrels to Elephant ... how much more practical can you get dude?:D

April 16, 2012, 08:56 PM
Six point five by fifty five millimeter Swedish Mauser

I'm with him on this!


April 16, 2012, 08:56 PM
PawPaw.......How do you like that H&R Handi-Rifle in the 45-70 ???

April 16, 2012, 09:38 PM
WildBill45 Says:

Romantic calibers would be the .416 Rigby, 7x57 Mauser, .270 Winchester, and .470 Nitro.

Practical calibers are 30'06, 30-30, and the .22.

Workhorse calibers would be all the above Romantic Calibers, and the practical calibers, PLUS, the 300 mags, 308, and 223.

Romantic calibers are romantic because of Romantic writings ... Hemingway, Ruark, and Carmichel!

OK WB45,

Got 3 rifles in your "Romantic" category.
Only one, a 22LR, in your "Practical" category.
My "working" rifle is a sporterized Mauser in 9.3x62.

PS: Think you should add a "Sentimental" category for my Granddad's M1 carbine.

April 16, 2012, 09:42 PM
Got 3 rifles in your "Romantic" category.
Only one, a 22LR, in your "Practical" category.
My "working" rifle is a sporterized Mauser in 9.3x62.

You are missing the .470 double rifle???

The 9.3X62 is a helluva working caliber!!!:D

April 16, 2012, 09:58 PM
I really like the 45-70 and when the right one (that would be something appealing, practical and within my price range) comes along, I will jump on it. I have an affection for the .375 Winchester as well. It is powerful, well mannered and the 375's I've shot have been plenty accurate for the platform.

Otherwise, I’ve been contented with old, American .30 caliber stand-bys for as long as I can recall. My reloading of those cartridges is equally dis-interesting; I use H4895 in all of them. I do have a passing personal interest in the .223 and a professional interest in the AR/M16 family.

I guess flunked this thread, LOL. Can't pick a favorite.

Deja vu
April 16, 2012, 10:03 PM
I like straight wall brass. I guess that is why I like the 45/70. That and a little emotional attachment.

April 16, 2012, 10:21 PM

Love all your comments, when I was 6-7 years old in my native Tijuana Mexico my twin sister and I attended the Saturday mornings matinee all dressed up in Cowboy gear with cap revolvers in and together we fought the bad guys, I fell in love with the old American West, made up my mind that someday I too will own a rifle and a revolver as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers did.

The old west is romantic as the firearms use to tame it bad, good or indifferent the old west is romantic.
Today now retired I still play cowboy and Indians I'm a life member SAAA by badge number is 24424L, shoot and owns Colt second generation revolvers as my daughters.
I own other rifles a Mauser side x side .375 HH Mag, several 06's a .243 Win. and a few Winchester levers.

Romance is like beauty only exits in the eyes of the beholder



Old Time Hunter
April 16, 2012, 10:36 PM
Love the .45-70 also, have a bunch of them, but my go to hunting cartridge now are my Timber Carbine and Black Shadow chambered for .444. Can use it on anything from squirrels to elephants depending on how I load them.

April 16, 2012, 10:43 PM
.22 caliber

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April 16, 2012, 11:11 PM
I do most of my shooting with my 22lr,
I do enjoy the round but its got some serious limitations.
223 is next, use it on small varmint and bigger game, cheap and nice to the shoulder.

My favorite round to hunt with is 12ga, always makes me smile when I've got my 870 out.

But since you said rifle I'm going 22lr or 223.

April 16, 2012, 11:44 PM
There's several I like but my all time favorite is the 6.5x55 SE. Mine is a Tikka T3 Hunter.


April 17, 2012, 12:34 AM
22lr and 223Rem are the same caliber.

I do most of my shooting with 22-250Rem. Again, .22 caliber.

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April 17, 2012, 12:43 AM
7mm Mauser

April 17, 2012, 01:10 AM
Just let me count the calibers that I have hunted with
22 lr
22 wrm
6.8 spc
.308 Win
357 mag
44 mag
303 britsh
45-70 govt
45 muzzell loader

J Budd

April 17, 2012, 02:10 AM
280 Rem

April 17, 2012, 03:02 AM
Romantic calibers would be the .416 Rigby, 7x57 Mauser, .270 Winchester, and .470 Nitro.
Wow! I am romantic! Mine is 7X57mm!

April 17, 2012, 03:28 AM
i have to go with the classic 30/06. i just love that round

April 17, 2012, 05:46 AM
Favorite deer hunting calibers.. 30-06, 243win, 7,62x54r on occasion.

Favorite varmit and pig calibers.. 223rem, 243rem.

Everything else... 22lr, 12ga.

April 17, 2012, 06:15 AM
.270 out of my Winchester Model 70 Sporter-love that round and that rifle!

April 17, 2012, 07:41 AM
PawPaw.......How do you like that H&R Handi-Rifle in the 45-70 ???

I like it a lot. It's simple, rugged, dependable, accurate, light.

Several years ago, the states of Louisiana and Mississippi lost their collective minds and changed the muzzle loading season to a "primitive firearms" season. They allowed the use of cartridge arms that meet certain criteria, and published a list of firearms (http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/hunting/primitive-firearms-louisiana-seasons) suitable for that season. The Handi-rifle in .45-70 and .444 are on that list. I had been hunting that season for several decades using an old Thompson/Center Renegade, but switched over to the Handi purely based on my laziness. It's a whole lot easier to use a cartridge arm than a front-stuffer. My rifle is outfitted with a Williams peep sight and I load the Lee 457-405-F and push it to about 1350 fps with a middling charge of .4895. It achieves black powder velocities without being punishing and gives good accuracy out to about 150 yards. It's a great deer-slaying load, with numerous bang-flops.

I also use that rifle when teaching grandkids. My older grandsons are in their young teens and are novice-proficient with .22LR up to the .308 class of cartridge. Occasionally, they'll ask me for something with more "kick" and I'll hand them the Handi-rifle, sit them at the bench and let it pound them. That rifle and load isn't punishing from hunting positions, but when you hunker down over a light rifle at the bench, the stock will smack you in the chops pretty good.

It's a good rifle for what it is, but I don't claim that it is something it isn't.

TX Hunter
April 17, 2012, 07:53 AM
My favorite Rifle Cartridge is the .308 win. For my type of hunting its perfect. My 2nd favorite is the .22 LR for small game hunting.

April 17, 2012, 07:54 AM
I have hunted with several different cartridges in the past 40+ years of hunting with a rifle,for large thin skinned game (deer and elk) I really like the 7mm rem mag probably because I have taken the most game with this cartridge from 20 yards out past 500 it works everytime with excellent anchoring power!

April 17, 2012, 07:56 AM
I was sitting here trying to come up with an answer to the question. Trying to ask myself the "Which one would you pick for deer hunting if you could only pick one" kind of question. Which was leading me down the .257 Roberts line of thought. But really, the proper way to answer this question should be... Which cartridge have you actually used in the past to kill the most big game animals? Not the one you would use in the future. But in actual numerical count, which one have you used the most?

In my case, when that is the question, all the others fall out of the running by about a 5-1 margin. I bought a rifle way back in 1985 that seemed to me to be the ideal "do it all" kind of big game rifle and I really did use for all my big game hunting for about 15 years before I started using anything else. That would be a Remington 700 Classic in .350 Remington Magnum with a 4x Zeiss scope. So there you have it! Hard to beat the versatility of a mid-capacity .35 caliber.


TX Hunter
April 17, 2012, 08:17 AM
This coming Deer Season I plan to lay my Beloved .308 aside and hunt exclusively with my .50 calliber Muzzle Loader. Ive got one thats a real shooter and I want to take game with it.

April 17, 2012, 08:36 AM
Favorite deer rifle: .308 Browning BLR early model.

Favorite elk rifle: 300 WSM Savage model 11.

Favorite small game rifle: Marlin model 60 .22lr

April 17, 2012, 08:55 AM
7.65x53 Argentine Mauser.

April 17, 2012, 09:10 AM
7mm08, lots you can do with this little engine that could if you play around with it.

April 17, 2012, 09:55 AM
The .243 Winchester hands down for me for deer hunting.

bailey bud
April 17, 2012, 10:43 AM
.30-06 is my go-to favorite

That said, I think the .270 is a darn good catridge, as well.

April 17, 2012, 10:50 AM
I hunt large game with a 30-06

Small game with a 17 Remington

plink with a 17HMR

My only hand gun is a 357 sig

April 17, 2012, 12:26 PM
my .17 HMR Squirrel Slayer :)

April 17, 2012, 01:18 PM
I live in NH,
My fav hunting rifle is a Win 94 in 30-30
wearing a peep site.

April 17, 2012, 02:36 PM
i think alot of it is the game i am hunting but my go to rifle is my swiss k31 in a 7.5x55 i can get every game animal in W.V. with it and it is suited for big game with in reason accurate out of the box and some what cheap i can get a box of sp for about 20-25$ cheaper if you go for wolf ammo wich shoots just as well in it. i dont reload i only hunt and as far as my opinion of just as well, if i can hit a gatorade jug at 175 yards i am more than fine hunting with it.

April 17, 2012, 04:34 PM
I love the 45-70 Gov't and my favorite rifle is my Ruger No. 1 of course chamber in it. With that, my go to rifle and cartridge is my Savage 110 in 7mm Rem Mag. To me, it works well in the woods of Kentucky and the wide open plains out west.

The 45-70 still sees a lot of action each deer season though.

April 17, 2012, 05:05 PM
25-06 it just works for me.

April 17, 2012, 05:35 PM
25-06 it just works for me.

Well, there you go. I just recently picked up a .25-06, an early Ruger 77 tang safety model, and I'm working loads for it. It's shown promise with 117 Sierra Gamekings and Reloder 22, and just this afternoon I loaded some loads for a ladder test.

The more I shoot that cartridge, the more I like it. I don't know if it will ever supplant my .30-06, but I have to admit that I like the cartridge a lot.

April 17, 2012, 09:44 PM
Got three USRA M70's
270 sporter
308 lightweight (ouch)
243 sporter varmint
Favorite: Mossberg 810 30-06, my late Pops.

April 17, 2012, 11:41 PM
.260 remington is my favorite caliber. However if I had to pick just one rifle in one caliber to own it would be a M1 Garand in the original 30-06.

April 18, 2012, 01:21 AM
Hunting as in deer hunting, mine's .308.

My first .308 was a M88 Win, an heirloom from my Grandad. I've also got a Savage .308 Scout. Not a hunter, but there's a whopping big Savage F-T/R rifle in the safe too!

Really, more power than I need for deer (150 lbs avg), but the reserve is there for bigger game if the opportunity ever arises. The M88 is a classic, the Scout is great for GP, and the F-T/R is much more accurate than I can shoot (consistantly).

April 18, 2012, 03:50 AM
I'm just a gun nut Myself,I do like my 25-06 & 22-250 & 270win & 300WM the best,Guess i'm a hoe.:D:D:D

April 18, 2012, 05:34 AM
I haven't found a caliber yet that I don't like. I've killed most of my big game with .243, .277, and .308 calibers. Plus there have been a few killed with .257, .338, and .375 caliber. Shooting prairie dogs and coyotes I prefer .204, .224, and .243 calibers.

Mike Irwin
April 18, 2012, 06:13 AM
.300 Savage.

I've got a Savage 99, a Remington 721, and a Remington 81 in that cartridge.

Deja vu
April 18, 2012, 07:47 AM
What makes a cartridge romantic (to me) is how long it has been in service.

I think any thing built before 1875 automatically is "romantic"


April 18, 2012, 08:25 AM
Your questions probably is really asking about modern rifle for North American use. For that my search and discussion begins and ends with 30-06. Not imaginative, I know. But can't be argued, it will take anything on the continent and has a huge variety of loadings available.
But, personally, my favorite hunting rifle is a custom built Jaeger styled muzzle loading flintlock in .54 cal. with a lead round ball and propelled by real black powder. Big grizzlies excepted, it will take anything on the continent quite nicely.

April 18, 2012, 09:24 AM
Couldn't agree more on the .54 Rifleman, though I cheat a little and use 777 in a Santa Fe Hawken 'cause that's what it's shot best with. Last time I clocked it, it was pushing a 230 ball right at 1840 fps. That'll leave a mark ;)

April 18, 2012, 09:30 AM
I always enjoy reading about Teddy Roosevelt spending his post presidency prowling Africa armned with his sporterized Springfield '03.

So, therefore, .30-06 is my favorite romantic caliber.

And Jeff Cooper seemed to like it too.

George Hill
April 19, 2012, 12:31 PM
You mean other than 7mm Rem Mag loaded with Hornady 154SST?

.17 HMR 17 grain V-Max.

April 20, 2012, 10:25 AM
My favorite hunting rifle is a Ruger M77R that is chambered in 300WM.

April 20, 2012, 10:43 AM
I like the .30 calibers. As for a romantic round (?) I'd choose the 30-40 Krag.
I like a rifle/cartridge combo that will push a 180gr .30 cal at somewhere around 2400fps on up. Not a big magnum fan so I suppose anything from .300 Savage up to 30-06 would be fine for my hunting.
My number one hunting rifle is my sporterized single shot 98 Mauser chambered for 31-40 AI which is, ballistically, more or less a 30-06 that shoots a .315 diam bullet.
If I was only allowed one rifle for hunting it would be an older Savage Mod 99 in .300 Sav.

April 20, 2012, 10:45 AM
Another for .270 Win, going on forty years now. Shorter range: .30-30.
Of calibers I don't have, 7mm-08...effectively .270 (ok, .280) "lite." Basic same ballistics out to 300 in a short action. Would love to have in a "mountain rifle," Win Feaatherweight,.etc.

April 20, 2012, 11:27 AM
I don't have a favorite caliber, I have a number of rifles and all have their own application.

my 9mm AR is going to prove it's worth against deer this fall as soon as I develop a good load for it

my 223 AR is my go to coyote gun and has proven it's worth as a deer rifle

my AK clone is more of a plinker but it's great for squirrel, rock chucks, and other pests

22lr is plinkin and cheap practice

my remington 700 in 243 was my go to deer gun for years and if I ever get lucky enough to draw for bighorn sheep then that is going to be my go to gun. it's not bad for wolf either

my enfield NO4 in 303 brit is my favorite rifle to shoot and is probably going to win out for go to bear gun this year.

my springfield 1903 is my latest bolt gun and is perfectly suited to it's role as a safe queen and maybe a deer rifle if I ever get a wild hair someday

my weatherby vanguard in 300 WTBY MAG is my kill anything in north america rifle and is going to serve it's purpose for elk and god willing moose.

my most recent longarm is a mossberg 535 in real tree camo dip and telescopic stock which is my resident turkey splatter.

variety is the spice of life...or something like that

April 20, 2012, 08:42 PM
.223, I like the variety of platforms as well as cartridge components.

April 20, 2012, 08:52 PM
.270 WIN!

One of mine is the same Remmy 721 my Maternal Grandfather bought new in 1958 ...... made a deal with the owner of the local hardware store: He could have it and 2 boxes of shells for $100, if he left it in the store window all summer ...... the store is long gone, and Grampa has passed on as well ..... I'm still killing deer with it every fall.

The other .270 WIN I own is also a Remmy 721 ....... just in case I ever need parts.

April 20, 2012, 09:09 PM
75% of my hunting is small game, so it's .22lr for me.

Ron T. B.
April 20, 2012, 09:33 PM
For romance 7x57 (karamojo Bells favorite) I own 3. Also 257 Roberts. I have one, Rem. Mod.722, belonged to my father in law.
I have, and greatly like, my two 6.5 swedes.
Lastly my Ruger No1 in 270.
If I had to pick just one caliber to shoot, and to hunt with in the lower 48 I'd pick the 6.5x55. A choice based on emotion, since the 7x57 and 270 maybe more versital for larger game.

April 20, 2012, 11:55 PM
6mm Remington

April 21, 2012, 12:41 PM
.22lr hands down.


April 21, 2012, 01:24 PM
I've got a couple of favorites.

The .338 Win Mag is an excellent elk rifle. One thing about shooting elk is that you don't want them running into the nasty deep canyons to die. The .338 WM will anchor them with good shot placement. It does kick hard but it doesn't kick too hard for me. When elk hunting it is the go to rifle for me even though all the calibers below would work too.

A light weight .308 is perfect for deer hunting in the mountains. It's accurate, powerful enough and with the new bullets has erased some of the 06's advantages. I shoot lighter bullets than I used too with almost all calibers.

My 30-06 was my favorite for years and I'd be well served by it even if it was my only rifle.

My 45-70 hunts some times but I haven't bonded with it to the level of the ones above.

April 21, 2012, 07:28 PM
Mine is .270 Win. It's the only hunting rifle I have.

Me too!

Darren Roberts
April 21, 2012, 09:20 PM
Small = Marlin 22lr
Medium = Remington 700 VFS 22-250
Large = Remington 700 XCR 30-06

April 21, 2012, 10:16 PM
I have an affinity for .308.

April 22, 2012, 01:34 PM
Rimfire, .22 mag
Centerfire, 6.5X57mm Mauser (Rimless and Rimmed) I have rifles firing both versions.

Carne Frio
April 22, 2012, 02:58 PM
.308 works for me.:D

April 22, 2012, 09:10 PM
.270 is my hunting cartridge of choice. The only time I deviate is with hogs, and then it's .223. For me though, the .270 is all the gun I ever need for the game I like to hunt.

April 22, 2012, 09:58 PM
There are several variables involved in my decision most of the time.

For just I am going to hunt in an unknown area, at unknown distances at unknown sized game. Well I would pick 30-06. It is my feel good go to for just about anything round.

Small varmints, and predators out to 200 yards would be .221 Rem Fireball. 200 to 500 yards .223 Rem. Farther than that I would have to buy another rifle in .220 Swift, or .22-250. Possibly a .204 Ruger.

Deer in heavy brush. .30-30 Win
Deer with open fields of 100 to 200 yards .243 Win

Hogs I use a .41 Mag Ruger Blackhawk, or a 30-30. Sometimes a 7mm Mauser.

The ones I shoot the most are .221 Fireball, and .223 Rem. Both drive tacks at 100 yards. On a good day a 5 shot one hole group of less than .10 MOA is not uncommon. On a crappy windy day they will geve half MOA without problem.

April 23, 2012, 11:22 PM
Well, my 30-06 is my baby and easily the most accurate rifle I have ever shot and it is tough to beat the 06 for all around use. I will say that the 06 is my favorite but I also have a soft spot for the 45-70. I have an 1895G in 45-70 that is my go to rifle when hunting hogs in brush. It is a handy package and a 405 grain softnose at 1800 fps or so makes quite the impression on a large hog.

April 23, 2012, 11:33 PM
Since I handload 150grn=deer 180grn=elk 200grn= bear or whatever?

April 24, 2012, 11:50 AM
30-06 Who needs anything else? From squirrel to Elk it will put them down with one shot. Mostly from a Rem 7600 carbine topped with a leopold 3-9 and boxed Fed Prem 165 siera's. I dont even know why I carry the clips with me. I have never needed more than one shot.

Sure Shot Mc Gee
April 24, 2012, 12:12 PM
For Deer: 270 Winchester Rem Mtn rifle W/Leupold VXlll. :cool:

April 26, 2012, 07:21 AM
Favorite hunting caliber?
Favorite hunting cartridge = ..30-06, followed by the .30-30 and the .308 Winchester.

Caliber and cartridge are not the same.

April 27, 2012, 12:52 AM
For suburban raccoon hunting, the 50CB, a wildcat of mine for body shots, 22CB short for head shots.
For suburban crow hunting, the .177 pellet gun for neck shots.
For antelope and mule deer, the 7mmRemMag or 270 Win.
For ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and marmots, the .223, unless they are stupid, and then I use the 22LR.

I have tried, but with a rifle I have never killed an elk, white tail, or coyote.

Jack O'Conner
April 29, 2012, 05:35 AM
30-30 for deer within forests and foothills



Flatbush Harry
April 29, 2012, 05:53 PM
Long-range varmint: .25-06 Rem (87-100gr bullets)
Pronghorn: .25-06 or .270 Win (115-130gr)
White-tail: .270 Win or .308 Win (130-150gr)
Mule Deer: .270 Win, .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg (150-168gr)
Elk: .308 Win, .30-06 Sprg (180gr)

My go-to rifles for all weather conditions are an SPS SS in .308 Win, a Savage 116 or a Win 70 EW in .30-06, all stainless and with synthetic stocks. My other rifles are wood/blued...they're fair weather friends.


April 29, 2012, 09:37 PM
Until recently my hunting rifle was an Enfield No 4, modified to a No 5 jungle carbine. The .303 round was great for deer, elk, and most anything.

But when I shot a deer in the spine, even though I aimed for the shoulder, I discovered that the weapon's accuracy was severely lacking. So, with permission from the wife, I treated myself to a new deer rifle.

I needed to make it a cheap buy, so she wouldn't get mad, so I decided to buy a Savage Axis from Walmart (less than $300). I had told the salesperson 30-06. Even bought a box of 30-06 ammo to go with it. Got home, loaded the magazine, and tried to chamber a round. Wouldn't fit. Couldn't figure it out, until I looked at the box and realized the knucklehead had given me a 270 Winchester instead of a 30-06. Called Walmart, they apologized (salesperson admitted it was her fault), and got a $50 gift card for my trouble. Which promptly was turned over to the wife.

Other than the 500 pound trigger pull, this rifle is a tack driver. I load 90gn hollow point for coyote, and 130gn Nosler Accubond for deer. With a Redfield scope, this is a very good weapon.


April 29, 2012, 10:26 PM
Anything mule deer or smaller: 25-06 rem, 115 Barnes tsx has remarkable/mysterious killing powers :)

Anything larger than a Mulie: 270 win or old faithful 30-06

April 30, 2012, 02:51 AM
.22lr, .30-06, 12 guage and I guess that's about it! :)

April 30, 2012, 10:25 PM

April 30, 2012, 11:00 PM
Everything else is just a different flavor of backup.

May 1, 2012, 11:44 AM
i hunted deer most of my life with .303 British or a 12g...worked fine for me.

I'd love to have a 6.5x55, but 30-30, .308, .270, 30-06, 8mm JS, would be fine. If I had only three, then .22LR, .308, and 12G.

Father Time
May 1, 2012, 01:09 PM
.270 has worked for me for a lllooonnnggg time.

roberto mervicini
May 1, 2012, 01:10 PM
.300 win mag.

May 4, 2012, 02:30 AM
30-06. Everything you need, nothing you dont (with proper handloads,ofcourse.)

May 4, 2012, 04:46 AM
The only hunting I do any more is an annual hog hunting trip for freezer meat. I use 762X39 in an AR or AK type rifle. One shot kills, hogs drop dead where they are shot. I guess that would be my favorite hunting caliber.

May 4, 2012, 11:04 AM
Have 3 that are my favs right now, 1 is a Ruger 77 chambered in 30.06 . 2 is an Ishpore Enfield in .7.62 NATO (.308 Win)that i've scouterized, and 3 is a Ruger Mini-14 ranch rifle . Have many others to play with, but i found myself spending more time with these 3 than the others.

May 4, 2012, 09:27 PM
.17 HMR, hands down! I love it! .3inch groups @100yds! $12 for 50rds love it!!!!!

October 10, 2012, 02:20 PM
I love my Remington 760 Gamemaster in .06 but was thinking about going from the 150gr to a bigger 180gr. I do alot of hunting in thick brush and woods, any thoughts on whether a 180 would do me justice or just waste meat.

October 10, 2012, 02:30 PM
I've always liked heavy for game bullets. Back when I shot a .30-06, I used 180gr SP (round nose) for many years, then later I switched to 180gr PSP (pointed) bullets. The only time I ever wasted meat was when I took shots that hit large bones (legs/shoulder) which caused the bullets to either shatter or tumble/deform. Shooting through the boiler room didn't waste much meat. We used 150gr some early on but didn't like them as much.

Joe Chicago
October 10, 2012, 05:40 PM
I hunt only deer so my votes go to the .308 and - for those who want to reach out a bit farther - 30-06. Many manufacturers make ammo in these calibers with bullets in all shapes and sizes which you can find anywhere for a reasonable price. Do I like 7MM-08 over .308 - probably. But then I remember that 7MM-08 goes for $29/box (if you can find it) and .308 goes for $19/box and you can always find it.