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Old January 7, 2022, 02:53 PM   #26
Paul B.
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"I will not use a .308 on rabbits or squirrels"

I don't see why not. A 100 to 120 gr. cast bullet over something like 5.0 to maybe up to 10.0 gr. of Unique make a great small game load and lets you get more use out of your big game rifle. I even run small game load from my .35 Whelen with a 200 gr. cast bullet over 10.0 gr. of Unique.
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Old January 7, 2022, 03:50 PM   #27
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I even run small game load from my .35 Whelen with a 200 gr. cast bullet over 10.0 gr. of Unique.
Paul, I’ve heard people say they do this… but I always get stuck on the hassle of resighting in your rifle for different loads throughout the year when an easier option would be to just grab the “right gun for the job” that’s already ready to go.

But, it’s a cool idea and would be great for someone with the “one rifle” type perspective.

I can see another benefit of becoming more comfortable and confident with a big rifle by using it for smaller loads occasionally, I guess.
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Old January 7, 2022, 08:34 PM   #28
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It might be of some balance to inform folks that 30-06 has taken more Grizzly than all other calibers combine in AK.

Why? History. WWI and on, 30-6 was the gun you had in AK (no disagreement there were other cartridges)

Thousand of Griz was shot to clear the Homestead (my step dads father shot 8 with an 06). Then there were the hazard bears for any operation.

Now Mr. Griz is a guided hunt (mostly) and the guides want 375 and they backup with at least that though they have been going to 444 Marlin with Hard cast bullets (deep penetration). Not that many Griz per year killed now. Still, over history, 30 cal wins hands down.

So yes you could kill a Griz with a 308.

Me? I leave Mr. Griz alone and so far he has left me alone. Works out well.
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Old January 8, 2022, 01:17 PM   #29
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When using a lead cast bullet for small game, it's best to tune the load for the rifle rather than tune the rifle for the load. The point of aim will be much closer but that's better for small game.

Way back when there was an article about this in the American Rifleman. The idea was to carry 10 rounds of cast small game loads as part of your emergency kit in case you get lost... It seemed like a good idea to me then and it still does.

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Old January 8, 2022, 04:36 PM   #30
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I agree the 308 will do very well for any big game hunt in the USA.
I don't remember the name of Arctic community that deals with polar bear migration,but my understanding is the rangers who have to occasionally shoot
a polar bear(supposedly) use a .308.

As with Karamojo Bell,if you know the anatomy well enough,you are not shooting at an "elephant" or a "bear". You are shooting at a grapefruit or cantelope size target at maybe 25 to 50 yards. The trick s to be able to envision the anatomy beneath the hide, and to be cool enough to relax and hit that grapefruit.

And,no doubt it becomes different if the big,dangerous critter is in melee mode.

Everything is moving.A 375 H+H does have a place.

Typically ,the Hunter gets to choose the shot,or let it go. The .308 is just fine. It helps that its not a difficult round to shoot well.

Shot placement suffers with the eyes flinched closed. A well placed 308,or 7x57,or any number of moderate cartridges will outperform a bigger gun where the shooter squints.face drops,clamps the jaws and yanks the trigger.
Better they see the heart beating beneath the ribs with the crosshairs on it as the rifle recoils.

Really good bullets can be had today. Along with shooter skill and a proper bullet, range limitation,IMO, is the range the bullet is still traveling approx 2000 fps,or whatever the bulletmaker specifies.

We like having choices and favorites.

Pick one. It does not much matter. Most of the WW1 and WW2 battle rifle cartridges,and their descendants will do just fine.
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Old January 8, 2022, 06:20 PM   #31
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I know of 3 cases where high round count took a Grizzly down.

Two were high capacity 9mm pistols. Stupid yes, but down they went (no it was not a charge situation)

The other was a AK-74 type semi auto against a Grizzly. I think some of it was BS (he claimed he was charged - I think it was a screw ball that wanted to kill something)

I forget how many time he hit it (12-15 x), he killed it.

So, if you can manage it (not being charged) quantity may have a quality all its own.

Probably the only thing that would stop a full charge Grizzly is a 50 cal full auto or a 20mm.

The rest is shot placement as much for 375 H&H as a 308 and surprise it before it knows there is a threat.

Or as Robert Culp said in I Spy after a many round shootout that no one hit anything (Rome Coliseum as I recall), I need a bigger gun, I could not hit anything!
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Old January 9, 2022, 05:55 PM   #32
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I feel like many do about the .308 given shot placement and optimal distance for maximum efficiency of the cartridge I feel that it can take down big game. The problem lies with me, if the big game is a grizzly or hippo or rhino, I don't want to be that close to the animal to make the perfect shot. I hunt with a 30-06 but never hunt an animal that the 30-06 can't take down with the first shot, it gets expensive buying new underwear.
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Old January 9, 2022, 09:09 PM   #33
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While not the optimum choice for everything, I'd say that if you can't do it with a .308, its because you can't do it.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old January 20, 2022, 09:17 PM   #34
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Given the variables rifle to rifle, load performance/ammo, barrel length, and distance to target, I'd say in the field, the .308 IS the '06! I'd want more gun for dangerous bears, but good shooting and the right bullet should (hopefully) would negate the issue.

Aside, I have read account of a guy who killed many big bears with an M-1 Garand load unknown.
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Old January 21, 2022, 05:26 PM   #35
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There can be a difference between "hunting" and "stopping".

Its not particularly rare to find a rifle and a shooter that can hit a prairie dog or groundhog at 250 yards.

Its not particularly difficult to study the anatomy of the critter you are hunting to know where to place your shot. Thats enough accuracy potential.

The Hunter has the luxury of deciding "Am I sure?" Am I steady?" Do I have the shot? "Do I squeeze,wait,or pass?"

If its decided that you an make the shot. there are good bullets and loads for the .308 that will take about anything in North America. But remember,part of that equation is having the option to pass up the shot. I've seen a 308 drop a bull bison just fine. Big critter. The 308 does fine on elk. (You spec'd 250 yds)

But,IMO, the job of "stopping" is a bit different. More can go wrong. Its not particularly optional. Its more like self defense. You still have to disrupt key anatomy.That might mean breaking all the major bone structure between the entrance and exit wound.

You will have to realistically decide what scenario you are likely to face.

Different strokes for different folks, but if the .308 is "not enough" its likely time for the 375,or any of a number of creative solutions.(Benelli 12 gauge.or 45-70 Marlin, or a 20 round semi-auto 308.... all fun navel gazing.)

I have recommdnded 165 to 168 gr Ballistic tip/Accubonds from a 308 for three Fathers taking teen son for first elk. All three one shot clean kills in the boiler room ,longest shot reported 300 yds. If it works,its not wrong.
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