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For my choice when I did hunt both critters, I chose the 30-06 caliber and used factory 150g for deer and 220g for elk. Although I never bagged an elk I knew if one crossed my path during elk season I would be processing his arse…. :p

When I didn’t carry my 30-06 I was carrying my marlin 336 in 3030 for deer only.
 
If you’re into rifles, set up a rifle for each scenario you find yourself in and use the right tool for the job. If you just want to hunt from 0 to 400 yards, pick something that’s more a jack-of-all-trades.

I used to be in the former catagory, now I’m in the latter. I use middle of the road calibers like the 7mm-08, 270, 280, 30-06, 7mm Rem Mag, and 300 Win Mag. I typically use a controlled expansion bullet like the Nosler Partition or Accubond and choose a bullet weight on the heavier end. These bullets expand quick enough to open up within a deer and are heavy enough to drive through elk.

I don’t use multiple loads because they rarely shoot to the same point of impact. Heavier bullets are usually within a couple e inches of lighter bullets out to 400, so I just run heavy for everything. For instance, in my 30-06, I run 180gr bullets. 150gr in 270, 160 in 7mm.
 
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I have a 45-70 for my close range thumper for rough terrain and a 7mm Rem Mag for my long range reach out and touch 'em round. Both can be loaded from mild to wild and I have complete confidence both will take out anything I'll ever hunt.
 
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I would not say that is everything perhaps number one followed by something able to break through hide, muscle, and bone and striking the vital
Let’s agree that we’re having a conversation in which certain things are held as truth, without having to waste time on ground rules.

Placement is everything.
 
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Ok if you say so, but.....
Okay, I’ll come down to your level.

A .22 to the eyeball, or right behind the ear, will kill just about anything. So placement is everything.


Placement trumps the need for penetration. Head shots win.

Karamojo Bell killed around 800 elephants with head shots from a 7x57 (twin to my beloved 7mm-08) because of placement.

The .22LR has killed more deer (probably at night) than any other cartridge.

Inuits kill polar bears (the largest land predator in the world) with the .243.

Placement is everything.

So…
 

eldbillbo

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Okay, I’ll come down to your level.

A .22 to the eyeball, or right behind the ear, will kill just about anything. So placement is everything.


Placement trumps the need for penetration. Head shots win.

Karamojo Bell killed around 800 elephants with head shots from a 7x57 (twin to my beloved 7mm-08) because of placement.

The .22LR has killed more deer (probably at night) than any other cartridge.

Inuits kill polar bears (the largest land predator in the world) with the .243.

Placement is everything.

So…
Ok, Captain Obvious. But that is still only part of the answer to the OP's question.
 
It doesn't matter what someone else uses.

How well do you shoot and hunt with the rifle that you have...?
Stay within your limits of hunting and shooting skill...as well as the limitations of your rifle and rifle cartridge.

What is "best" is extremely subjective.
Andy
 
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