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Old January 16, 2018, 11:22 PM   #1
SPMcfly
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Age old debate based on opinion.

Hello shooters,
This is a pretty over asked question but in your "professional/unprofessional opinion" what round would you opt for to take a black bear + use as a good all around deer/varmint rifle? .308 win, .300 win mag, .270 win, or 30-06? Round cost, recoil, and accuracy out to 500ish yards are factors.
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Old January 17, 2018, 12:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
This is a pretty over asked question
YEP!
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Old January 17, 2018, 01:01 AM   #3
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.270 is obviously the best choice among those limited alternatives. The .270, while excellent for deer, bear, and even elk, is excessive for a varmint rifle. Nevertheless, if limited to one rifle, a .270 is the best choice among those alternatives.

P.S. I have taken one bear, two elk and MANY deer over the years. I still prefer a .243 or even a .223 for varmints.
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Old January 17, 2018, 01:38 AM   #4
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Any of those will easily take a black bear, they are just not that tough. As far as all-around varmints to elk, pick one, they are all overpowered for varmints and except for the 300 mag, any will be about the same as any one of the others. So once again, it will come down to personal preference.
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Old January 17, 2018, 05:23 AM   #5
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Thank you for your service and input Lefteye. I am primarily an archery hunter and do own a 5.56/.223 for varmints but am looking to purchase a new rifle I can take multiple types of game with and is more enjoyable to shoot than just one or two rounds per year. I have owned a 30-06 in the past and enjoyed it quite a bit but am looking to try out something different.
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Old January 17, 2018, 05:55 AM   #6
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IMO,the question is blown with the 500 yd requirement. Where does that come from?

Don't get me wrong,the right shooter can use a .308 effectively at 500yds,but lets get real.
The 500yd criteria biases the TOOL toward the 300 Win mag,bt the average SHOOTER is better served by ANY of the other cartridges.

As far as this semi-ridiculous question goes,there are so many variables,from one day to the next,a great case can be made for any and all of these cartridges.
My bias says the 300 Win Mag is a great cartridge,but is not the best choice for perhaps 80% + of shooters,and 80%+ situations.

I'll say "Great Choice!" to ALL of the rest.

Your criteria of "round count" and "accuracy"...without selling any other cartridge short,I'd give an advantage to the .308 when it comes to range time.

For a pure hunting tool under many conditions,the .270 might get the nod.

But you are never wrong to show up with a 30-06

Last edited by HiBC; January 17, 2018 at 06:04 AM.
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Old January 17, 2018, 07:45 AM   #7
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Choosing the proper bullet is far more important than the caliber. Every thing from 260 up to 338 WM will do the job. If the bullet is chosen wisely.

I've used 30-06 for most of my hunting, but have owned various 7mm and 300 magnums as well as 35 Whelen and 338/06 in the past. I sold most of them and have pretty well settled on 308.

There isn't an animal in the lower 48 I'd not shoot at 400 yards with it. But that is more because of my personal limitations. It would take most game under 500 lbs even farther. My 30-06 and magnum rifles only add about 100 yards of usable range. But since I'm not good enough to take advantage of it I don't see the point of the greater recoil.

I'd also have to throw the 6.5 Creedmoor into the debate. It shoots 130-147 gr bullets only slightly slower at the muzzle than 270 with similar bullet weights. But because of the higher BC's beyond about 200 yards they hit harder than 270. With almost 1/2 the recoil. With lighter 100 gr bullets it should be a better varmint rifle.

It is becoming popular in elk country with guys reporting great results out well beyond 400 yards. I've read a couple of reports of kills nearer 800 yards. I've been shooting one for a few months and like it. But I'm not ready for it to replace my 308, at least not yet.
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Old January 17, 2018, 08:24 AM   #8
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A 30-06 with a chamber adapter is a good all-around rifle
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Old January 17, 2018, 09:50 AM   #9
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For your stated application, there's no "best". You're right, it's an endless and pointless debate, with one exception. I am not an anti-magnum guy. I regularly shoot a .338 WM and killed all my game in Idaho and Colorado with a 7 mm RM. But I recommend you stay away from the .300 WM. If you have the motivation, you will master it. But if you want to enjoy some time at the range and have your choice, you will likely leave the magnum knock-em-dead in the safe.

Of the other 3, the '06 has some advantage in bullet choice, but most folks settle on one or maybe two favorites and stay with them. The .270 has a trajectory advantage, but in the day of range finders that's less important. The .308 is said to have an advantage in "inherent accuracy", but I don't know if that's true. And they will all have better accuracy than the shooter. Take your pick, and defend it against all comers.
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Old January 17, 2018, 10:09 AM   #10
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The .308 or 06 has the most versatility in what you can throw down the barrel but honestly you could pick any one of those caliber's from a hat and not go wrong. Do you like short actions or long actions better, is recoil a factor in what you want, etc.? To be honest if you are looking to reach out to 500 yards then the 270 or 06 is a little better suited for that than the .308. If you were looking at keeping it under 400 yards then I would use the .308 because your shoulder will thank you if you shoot a lot! I'd like to put a vote in for the 7mm-08, great caliber.

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Old January 17, 2018, 10:13 AM   #11
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Agree with the 6.5 Creedmoor suggestion.

Also agree that, among the ones suggested by the OP, 270 is best.
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Old January 17, 2018, 11:21 AM   #12
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.308, unless you are shooting 500yd elk...
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Old January 17, 2018, 01:00 PM   #13
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I agree with the consensus to stay away from the 300WM. Nothing against it, I own one even, but it's not practical for anything you mentioned except the 500 yd part.

The 270! Definitely the .270. I don't own one (yet), but I have used my wife's grandfather's Ruger M77 Hawkeye to kill 3 ground hogs out to a range of 340 yds, 2 white tail dear at 57 yds and 191 yds, and one black bear at 74 yds. I can also attest to its excellence if you need to stop a charging, rabid raccoon.

Suffice it to say, I think if I could only choose one of the options you listed, I would choose to the .270. I would also choose it over the 6.5cm. Not that isn't a great round, but for its intended purposes, your velocity options diminish.
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Old January 17, 2018, 02:32 PM   #14
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In my opinion, such a round does not exist, and never will. Good all around black bear/deer rifles start at 7mm, and that's way too big for varmints.
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Old January 17, 2018, 03:05 PM   #15
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Last year I drew bear tag here in Co and I used 30-06 and buck draw tag I used 270. I got either sex elk tag and used Hoyt Matrix. My wife just got Hoyt's new HypeForce. I own more than one rifle and I own more than one bow.
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Old January 17, 2018, 03:06 PM   #16
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I'm all for the 30-06 but all three will do the job. 300 win mag aside from hurting your shoulder a bit if you're recoil sensitive will also hurt the wallet. The other three are cheaper to feed even if you only launch a few rounds a year.

On the other hand this could be your gateway to starting a good collection.
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Old January 17, 2018, 03:33 PM   #17
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Ya'll will note SPMcFly isn't asking which is best. He's asking which you'd opt to use.
Any .24 to .30 calibre cartridge using proper bullets will kill any game you care to hunt.
However, 500ish yards is too far for any typical 'deer' cartridge(no magnum is a deer cartridges. Mind you, there's no game in North America that requires a magnum to kill either.). Energy drops like a brick past 300 with nearly all of 'em.
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Old January 17, 2018, 04:12 PM   #18
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I absolutely agree that the 25-06 would wonderful out to 500 yards.

I also absolutely disagree that 500 yards is too far for a "typical deer cartridge".
They can get the job done IF YOU CAN!
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Old January 17, 2018, 04:29 PM   #19
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The .270, .308 and 30-06 still have way more than enough energy at 500 yards to kill pretty much any North American animal with the correct ammunition.

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Old January 17, 2018, 04:37 PM   #20
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To your question, any of those rifles will stop a black bear (assuming you can hit a vital area).
6.5 Creedmoor is a good option. 500 yards is also doable but again shot placement is at the top of the requirements.

A very well placed 5.56 will stop a black bear. A poorly placed .50 BMG won’t.
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Old January 17, 2018, 05:09 PM   #21
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I have and have hunted with all four of the cartridges the OP asked about. Simply put, which ever one happened to be in my hands at the time I encountered the game specified. As far as the .300 Win. Mag. is concerned, personally do not find the recoil to be all that bad but then again I shoot it and others quite a bit.
Regarding 500ish yard shots, not me brother. No way. I've only done two very long shots; one at a deer at 426 paces and an elk at 530 yards laser measured. I consider myself lucky that both were one shot kills but try when possible to get a hell of a lot closer. The deer had been hit by one of my buddies and was getting away. The elk on the other hand was in a wide open "park" and it was impossible to get any closer. Know the area there was a three month session of serious long range practice out to 500 meters and that practice paid off when the time came. Deer was with a .308 Win. and the elk a .300 Win. mag.
I've probably killed more deer with a 30-06 or .308 than anything else but a few have fallen from the .270 as well along with a nice antelope back in 2009.
Basically, all four cartridges will work for what you asked. Some may work a little better but all will work.
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Old January 17, 2018, 05:51 PM   #22
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I can actually answer your question without giving an opinion! Your requirements make it pretty straightforward.

All rounds will kill the animals you listed.
All are good to 500 yards if you as the shooter are capable
Round cost and recoil eliminate 300 WM because they are expensive and by far has the most recoil. 30-06 also has more recoil than the 308 and 270.
308 and 270 are all great for deer and all around cartridge.
Between 308 and 270, the 270 is the better varmint round because it shoots much flatter. Based on your requirements, 270 is the clear winner.

Having said that, the 270 is not a good varmint round. You really are asking too much from only one gun. A second rifle chambered in 223 or 22-250 should be purchased if you are serious about varmint shooting.

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Old January 17, 2018, 07:10 PM   #23
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I do own an AR-15 I built and it is solid at 400yds pinging a 6x12" plate. I am very happy with all of the feedback in this thread. I have just been beating my head against the wall on exactly what I want to buy for my next bolt action rifle. I am probably going to settle on the "extra medium" .308 in a Tikka T3X Lite. I do plan on picking up a .270 and 22-250 eventually as well later on. And to Old Roper, I shoot a Hoyt as well currently own the Hoyt Ignite.
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Old January 17, 2018, 07:47 PM   #24
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I began handloading for an '06 way back when. My uncle had swaged some 80-grain .32-20 bullets to .308. Ahead of a bunch of 3031, they left home around 3,800 or more ft/sec. The effect on jackrabbits could easily be called "obscene". Great varmint load.
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Old January 18, 2018, 08:52 AM   #25
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I do own an AR-15 I built and it is solid at 400yds pinging a 6x12" plate. I am very happy with all of the feedback in this thread. I have just been beating my head against the wall on exactly what I want to buy for my next bolt action rifle. I am probably going to settle on the "extra medium" .308 in a Tikka T3X Lite. I do plan on picking up a .270 and 22-250 eventually as well later on. And to Old Roper, I shoot a Hoyt as well currently own the Hoyt Ignite.
I think you'll be pretty happy with the .308... most who have one are, and the Tikka is a great rifle by all accounts.

If you eventually decide that 30 cal is a little extra, which many observant and discerning folk do , you can re-barrel to 7mm-08, keep the short action, and have the best caliber ever. That is my opinion at least.

Happy shooting!
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