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For big game hunting (elk, deer, moose) would a 270, 308, or 30-06 be better?

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  • For big game hunting (elk, deer, moose) would a 270, 308, or 30-06 be better?

    This will be the first rifle I've purchased. I would like a caliber that will suit all types of big game hunting. I also would like to have accurate shots up to the 300 yard range.

  • #2
    30-06, most ammo choices and usually lower price of any you mentioned.

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    • #3
      .30-06 hands down

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      • #4
        When You added Moose~30-06.

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        • #5
          Yeah, the '06.
          Unless you're short of stature and light of weight, then I'd go with the .308. It'll be more comfortable to shoot.

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          • #6
            All of those rounds are capable of killing moose and elk, but I'd go with the '06.

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            • #7
              If you were just hunting deer and elk than the 308 would probably be the best round. But since you are also hunting moose, you will need a 30-06

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              • #8
                30-06 is the best of these three for your requirements. It is a very flexible cartridge and you don't have to shoot moose loads all the time so you can temper the load to your specific recoil tolerances. You can shoot small 125g to 150g bullets for deer, the 168g Barnes for deer, elk and even moose. The 180g and above are there if you need them for moose and elk. When I first started hunting, I feared the recoil of the 30-06 but later discovered that it could be shot at the same recoil level of the .308 if desired. I even shoot varmints with mine now using 110g bullets with light recoil. It is a flexible cartridge indeed but with the most power for your specific needs. After shooting all these for the last many years, I regard the .270 as the nastiest recoiler using heavy loads. It just seems like a real fast shot to the shoulder to me but they can all be reloaded for your needs and recoil tolerances if desired.

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                • #9
                  30-06 is the safe choice, but all 3 will work fine. If you're small or recoil sensitive 270 or 308 would be a better choice for you. They're about the same as far as effectiveness and recoil, but the 06 beats them both because it can handle heavier projectiles.

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                  • #10
                    30-06, no question. They'd all do the job with perfect shot placement, but the 06 gives you a little more leeway in shot selection, and offers more margin for error.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DakotaMan View Post
                      30-06 is the best of these three for your requirements. It is a very flexible cartridge and you don't have to shoot moose loads all the time so you can temper the load to your specific recoil tolerances. You can shoot small 125g to 150g bullets for deer, the 168g Barnes for deer, elk and even moose. The 180g and above are there if you need them for moose and elk. When I first started hunting, I feared the recoil of the 30-06 but later discovered that it could be shot at the same recoil level of the .308 if desired. I even shoot varmints with mine now using 110g bullets with light recoil. It is a flexible cartridge indeed but with the most power for your specific needs. After shooting all these for the last many years, I regard the .270 as the nastiest recoiler using heavy loads. It just seems like a real fast shot to the shoulder to me but they can all be reloaded for your needs and recoil tolerances if desired.
                      I agree that the .270 seems worse than the foot pounds would have you believe.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Treestand View Post
                        When You added Moose~30-06.
                        It's funny that so many people commented on moose sealing the deal for the .30-06. I know many people who consider elk to be tougher to kill than moose. I haven't shot enough of either to have an opinion.

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                        • #13
                          .270 with proper bullet selection there isn't anything in North American that it can't handle and handle very well. Except for maybe very large brown bears. I would look at what I would be using the rifle for most. If it was deer hunting then, I wouldn't worry about 220 grain slugs. But as far as bullet selection and available ammo I would .308 had a slight edge as far as availability. Bulk saving for practice ammo. I'm no fan of the 30-06 or the 308 nothing against them I just personally prefer the .270. They would all serve you equally well I think. What I would do is look the best deal on a quality rifle. Go ahead and get a nice one no sense in paying twice because you will probably want to upgrade. It comes with territory.

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                          • #14
                            Well it's almost unanimous, the 30-06 is the most versatile cartridge made and the most powerful of the three you mentioned. If you only have one rifle to hunt big game with it should be a 30-06.

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                            • #15
                              As already stated many a time, shot placement will be your key. All three can handle big game. My personal favorite is a .308. I absolutly love mine. It is fast hard hitting and can easily drop anything well past 300 yards. I would even trust it on big bears(not that it would be my go to though).

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