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Which caliber for deer, elk, sheep, auodad, and moose?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by jsparks747, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. jsparks747

    jsparks747 Portland, Or Well-Known Member

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    I am looking at getting a rifle to use on deer and elk and need some help deciding. I want a caliber to use on deer and elk but if I want to hunt sheep, auodad, or moose, I could do so with the same rifle. The two calibers I am deciding between are .300 Winchester Magnum and .308 Winchester.
     
  2. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    Big difference betwixt the two. If you're new to shooting, go with the .308 as the 300 isn't kind to beginners.
    That being said, if you reload you can do more with the 300 than the 308. Both are fine calibers and both will do the job on the critters you listed.
     
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  3. Alexx1401

    Alexx1401 Pierce County WA Well-Known Member

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    From those 2 my hands down would be the 300 WM. Assuming you plan to load? Easy to customize the rounds for the game and distance.
     
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  4. Oregonhunter5

    Oregonhunter5 2C IDAHO Well-Known Member

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    .300wsm
     
  5. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I have shot and owned rifles in both calibers and as said above both will work for deer and elk.
    Between the two I like the .308.
    I like the .308 'cause it can be chambered in a lighter , short action bolt action rifle.
    Andy
     
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  6. edslhead

    edslhead Vanc Platinum Supporter Platinum Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    30 06 and you split the difference:D
     
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  7. CountryGent

    CountryGent Southern Oregon Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If it were me, I'd go with the .300 Winchester Magnum. But there is certainly nothing wrong with the .308 Winchester.
     
  8. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Really depends on what distance your looking at and how much you can practice.
    If you can hot a small target at longer ranges then caliber won't matter much.

    I have been pouring over ballistics, forums over caliber debates, and reading, reading, reading about this vary thing.

    I have a .308 and was looking at a 300wm. There's a big difference, but you could also look at the 30-06 and 7mm.

    I actually decided on the 30-06.
    The price of ammo is by far the best on 30-06, medium recoil.
    The 300 is a shoulder stomper. If you do go that route get a muzzle break!

    To me the high price of ammo for the 300wm just isn't worth what I would be getting from it.

    If you shooting at a greater distance 500-1000yrds then go with a larger magnum.

    If not go with a 30-06 get twice the ammo, more practice, and make a better shot that will put down any game

    The best game hunters and guides will tell people caliber doesn't matter as much as shot placement. And if your flinching shooting a large magnum you won't hit what your aiming at anyway.
     
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  9. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    For 50 years I've been in love with the .270 Win. Doesn't kick much, easy to shoot, wonderful ballistics and common ammo. I've killed my share of deer, elk and black bear with it. Might want something bigger for griz or moose but I've never hunted them.

    I don't know why they seemed to fade away as most of my friends preferred them years ago even when mil surp 30-06's where plentiful. Can't knock the .06 or .308 or mags though. They are wonderful rounds.

    Cheers.

    ballistics.jpg
     
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  10. gimpy51

    gimpy51 Klamath Falls, Oregon Active Member

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    I would hate having only those two choices?
     
  11. best defense

    best defense Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    I don't know why you should limit your choices to two calibers.
    If i was going to choose just one caliber for deer, elk, auodad and moose, I would not choose either one of the calibers listed above. If it was just deer and elk, the 308 would be good enough. 308 will certainly kill elk, and many have killed elk with a 308, but while the 308 has a good reputation, the 30-06 would be just a bit of a step up. 8mm or 338 would be a better choice of elk and moose. The 308 might be good for auodad, but you will likely be shooting in windy conditions and likely at least 300 yards, so something like a 270 may be better. The 300 magnum will be plenty for the moose. Most moose are shot at less than 100 yards, but are tough animals. So are the elk for that matter.

    If I was going to take just one rifle for all four, and I was not used to heavy recoil, I would choose a 30-06. You can get a decent 06 at most gun shows for a reasonable price. Just about any place that sells ammo will have 30-06 ammo on the shelf and around hunting season it frequently goes on sale. If I was not going with a 30-06, 7mm magnum would be my second choice.

    I have never gone on a hunt for aoudad or moose, but my favorite rifle is a 338 winchester magnum with a brake on the muzzle. It is sort of like the big brother to the 7mm remington magnum. I would not recomend shooting one without a brake. It is a shoulder buster in the recoil dept.
     
  12. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    30-06, undeniably the best all around versatile cartridge. Given the variety of factory loads and the virtually limitless options available to the hand loader, why own any other as your basic hunting rifle?
     
  13. SA Shooter

    SA Shooter Hillsboro, OR Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Given your list of animals there I'd pick the .300 WinMag with some reservations. First, moose with a .300 WinMag means you better 1) make dang sure of your placement, 2) be able to cycle the bolt quickly and place a very accurate second shot, and, 3) be able to dodge one that's charging you if you didn't put it down with the first two rounds.

    The reverse is true with respects to the smaller animals in your list. It might be a bit of overkill.

    My grandfather had one rifle he used for deer and elk on both sides of the Cascades here, that being a .300WinMag. I asked him one time about that, thinking it was overkill on blacktail and even muley's. His response was, "If I miss the muzzle blast will knock 'em down."

    Papa was such funny man...
     
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  14. DunRanull

    DunRanull southern Colorado, small city bordering where mtns Active Member

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    Just another opinion. IF you handload and really want one rifle for all of the above... I'd go with the .30-06, but that's me. I had to google "auodad", tho Ive heard of barbary sheep before. Plenty of mountain sheep around here from what Ive seen close-up over the years. (Southern Colorado mountains)...
    The .300 Win Mag and 7mm mag are also good choices if a bit potent for deer. Either will give you both range and terminal results.
    This from a man whose "big bore" hunting rifle (not counting .308 or .30-30) is an 7.92X57 sporter (8mm) Mauser build using 198gr Sellier-Belot.
    Good hunting!
     
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  15. gimpy51

    gimpy51 Klamath Falls, Oregon Active Member

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    Just want to share something I learned a couple of decades ago. I was visiting Montana one very cold Winter (-30). A friend's wife had drawn a Moose Tag. The day before I left to come home, I see this Suburban coming through this small town with something on the roof, hanging over each side. Long story short, the overhangs were the shovels of the rack which was intact. It was "only" 100yds she said. First shot, the moose didn't move. One minute later, another shot. About a minute later he went down. On inspection, both were heart/lung shots. Caliber? .243. He was dead on the first shot, he just didn't know it.
     
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  16. DunRanull

    DunRanull southern Colorado, small city bordering where mtns Active Member

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  17. No_Regerts

    No_Regerts United States Well-Known Member

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    In the realm of "magnum" cartridges, the 300 Win Mag is fairly mild. It will shoot 180gr bullets like a 270 pushes 130s. You just have to deal with twice the felt recoil. A good friend is a guide and he dreads when a client uncases is pristine 300 magnum over a well worn 270 or 30-06. It just means louder misses.
     
  18. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w 45th Parallel Well-Known Member

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    i have a .308 win for deer and a 300winmag and a bow for elk
     
  19. MikeO1948

    MikeO1948 Lander, Wyoming New Member

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    Take it from a successful long time Wyoming elk hunter. The 300 Win Mag is vastly superior to the .308. Vastly superior. Get a good rifle chambered in 300 Win Mag with an SVL Limb Saver pad on it, and you will never regret it.
     
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  20. jsparks747

    jsparks747 Portland, Or Well-Known Member

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    I am not limited to these calibers only. I have looked at the .30-06, 7mm, and the 30-30 but I have shot all of those guns and the only one I really liked was the .30-06. I have been shooting a .300Win Mag and .308 my entire life so those are the two calibers I am most comfortable with but I am very open to the .30-06.
     
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