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the best all around rifle caliber

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by mrblond, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

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    Hey buds, I was thinking about getting back into hunting. I used to go back in the 80s with my dad, but after he passed I just have not had the chance to go. So, what I am looking for is a good caliber that I could maybe hunt Varmints all the way up to maybe elk. Does a caliber even exist? I was thinking .243 but it may be a bit light for a big elk.
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. Trailboss

    Trailboss Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I would be leaning more toward a 270.
     
  3. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    .30-06. It's what most of the rest were aspiring to be. You can find ammo just about anywhere, and it will take any animal on the continent.
     
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  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    30-06
     
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  5. Gunnerboy

    Gunnerboy Cowlitz County Active Member

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    6.5x55, does what an 06 can but with the lighter smaller package.
     
  6. speedtriple

    speedtriple Vancouver, Washington, United States Member

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    .308 Win is pretty versatile. Same bullets as a 30-06 in a shorter action. Very wide offering of factory ammo. Often chambered in bolt action as well as AR platform rifles. Whatever you choose, the twist rate of the barrel will dictate the range of bullet weight you can use. For example, if you want to run lighter bullets, 1 twist in 12" will handle the lighter stuff up to 168, maybe 175 grain and keep them stabile in flight. A 1 in 10" will allow you to use heavier bullets for Elk, but will spin really light bullets too fast. Not saying this is the only choice, but a very popular one.
     
  7. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Another vote for 30-06. A bit much for prairie dogs, and a little light for the big bears--but it
    will do it all. If I had just one rifle it would be a bolt action 30-06.
     
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  8. chunkeymonkey66

    chunkeymonkey66 chehalis Highway to Hell

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    I vote .308 win too. I have an 30-06 love it. But all the points speedtriple made are valid. There is a reason the military chose it to replace the old 06.
     
  9. kukusya

    kukusya King County Wa Active Member

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    only 30-06 will keep you happy
     
  10. svg4

    svg4 Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Seriously, 30-06 on small varmints. It seems to me that better advice might be to pick up 2 rifles. Maybe .223 and 30-06. I am not sure, but the saving in ammo might justify the second rifle. Shooting sage rats/prairie dogs with an 06 make my old shoulder ache.
     
  11. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

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    I was honestly leaning to getting 2 rifles. Maybe a 17hmr and either a 7mm mag or 06. I have also looked into the 7mm stw. Be nice to be-able to reach out and touch something at 1,000 yards although I dont know how much use it would be.
     
  12. farfrompar28

    farfrompar28 shelton, wa Active Member

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    25.06 or 300wsm
     
  13. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    If the military sharp shooters are shooting the 308 at 1000 yards,the 06 will do it too.
    So many bullet weights to choose from. Loaded right in the right rifle,and YOU do your part,it will be just fine on large bear.
    I was reading one thread that a guide was saying some bring a 270 hunting in Alaska with perfect success.(read perfect shooters placing perfect shots) I believe you can pump the 30 06 a little higher than the 270,with heavier bullets.

    That said I have a 270.But it was sitting there calling my name that day.

    110 grain bullets for the 06 shouldn't hurt much at all and work for antelope. Then some heavy 220's for the big bears.
     
  14. nubus

    nubus Guest

    I load my .308 from 110gr to 240gr and several in between. Seems to work OK for anything in our neck of the woods. +1 for 2 rifles in light and heavy calibers though. Lots of stuff even a .22lr will handle that doesn't require all that energy.
    ($0.02 deposited)
     
  15. Varmit

    Varmit Beaverton, OR Member

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    270 Winchester short magnum. Lighter/stiffer action and barrel. More velocity from shorter gun. Equals 270 Weatherby in velocity with shorter barrel and lighter rifle. It's on my wish list!!!
     
  16. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    .308 and a .22
    both are more than common. I prefer .22 over 17.
     
  17. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    Another vote for 30-06. You can load it light or heavy (or just buy light or heavy ammo to fit your needs).

    I am completely guessing here, but I haven't personally seen off the shelf hunting ammo in the varieties for .308 that I have for 30-06.

    Another vote to pick up a .22lr for those little varmints.

    I haven't seen great things about 17hmr so I'm personally nervous to try those.
     
  18. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

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    Well, I do Have my m4 I could use for little critters although its a pretty basic set up - the acog. I have narrowed my choices down to 300 wm, 308, 30-06, or 7mm mag. I was looking at the 7mm stw but from what I have read, it may be hard to get ammo unless you reload.
     
  19. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo Milwaukie Active Member

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    Another vote for '06. Everybody in the world makes loads for it, common as dirt and very flexible. It hasn't survived a hundred years for nothing. 22LR for small critters, your AR for everything up to coyotes.
     
  20. corpsman

    corpsman Pierce County, Washington, United States Active Member

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    US M2 ball and variants, called 30-06. Actually the argument between ,.308 and 30-06 is moot as the performance is so close that it matters little. The edge goes to 30-06 due to a wider range of load options.