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One rifle for elk, deer, and other big game?

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  • Johnson4274
    started a topic One rifle for elk, deer, and other big game?

    One rifle for elk, deer, and other big game?

    I am looking at getting a new rifle and was wondering what your opinion is on the practicality of a caliber to use for both deer and elk, plus others such as caribou. I've been looking at the 300 mag, the 300 WSM, the .308, and others. My range limit is 400 yards which is a personal decision. What caliber would you say would be most versatile?

  • DakotaMan
    replied
    Originally posted by Sarge01 View Post

    Nosler's factory loaded Accubonds show a difference of 50 FPS between the 300 WSM and the 300 Win Mag with 180 grain bullets and the 300 WSM shoots about 7 grains less of powder.
    Both of these cartridges are very accurate but I personally believe the case design of the WSM provides a more consistent powder burn, slightly less recoil, better magazine feeding (no belt) and comparable speed to the parent .300 WM. The WSM may produce slightly less velocity for a given bullet but that can be compensated for by barrel length or propellant if necessary. These are two great cartridges however and both will be around for a long time.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sarge01
    replied
    Originally posted by Sarge01 View Post

    I was experimenting last week with my .308 again. I loaded 150 grain Hornady Interbonds in it. reviews on that bullet is bullet straight through after doubling in size. Exit hole size of golf ball. Size of group wasn't impressive 1 1/2 inch 3 shot group at 100 yards but I can live with that.
    For a lack of something to do since I am down with my knee., I pulled the 150 grain Hornady Interbonds (50 of them) and I ordered a box of 150 Nosler Accubonds to put back in them. I have had such outstanding success with the Accubonds in my 300WSM I wanted to shoot them in my 308. I have some loaded with 125 grain Accubonds which did a good job but I wanted a something a little heavier. I think in the last 40 years I have wore out 3 or 4 bullet pullers. I just like to fool with rifles rounds and a lot of times I load them and then change my mine and pull them and load something else to try.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sarge01
    replied
    Originally posted by DakotaMan View Post
    The "caliber" of choice is .30. The "cartridge" of choice is anything from 30-06 size up to .300 RUM. Take you pick. The 30-06 will get the job done but the larger magnums will give you additional range on elk. I shoot a .300 Dakota that has elk range out to 1000 yards although I'm not likely to take a shot at one at that range. I use the .300 Dakota where elk are likely at longer ranges but carry a 30-06 in heavy timber and situations where elk are likely to be under 300 yards.

    Sarge's recommendation for the .300 WSM is a good one, as is the regular .300 Win Mag, especially if you don't plan to reload due to ammo availability.. All the big, hard recoiling .30 caliber magnums are way overkill for deer unless you are on the prairie with very long shots. I reload though and can make deer cartridges for my .300 Dakota that shoot like a .308. You can use 208g Hornady ELD or the Berger 210g bullets for elk and the 130g - 150g Hornady Interlok bullets for deer. No need to punish yourself shooting elk bullets at deer.
    Nosler's factory loaded Accubonds show a difference of 50 FPS between the 300WSM and the 300 Win Mag with 180 grain bullets and the 300 WSM shoots about 7 grains less of powder.

    Leave a comment:


  • Happy Myles
    replied
    If my big game hunting was specialized, or limited to one primary animals like whitetail in a specific environment, with an occasional foray for a Mule deer or an elk their are a dozen cartridges these days that would work fine. Anything from a 25/06 through the various 300 Mags. Use your first shot wisely and there will be a happy ending as far as the hunter is concerned. I enjoy using various cartridges because I hunt a wide variety of big game and hunt often. I stay in shape and train with my rifles frequently at the range. I have learned to cope with recoil, if you can’t, get a lighter recoil rifle and do not worry about what others think. I have used several 300 magnums my favorites are the Winchester and Weatherby versions. I had a RUM crafted by a famous gunsmith and sold it after one lengthy Tanzania Safari . I found it temperamental to hand load, not particularly accurate, and a nasty, sharp recoil hard to come back from. I have no issues with recoil form other 300 Magnums, my 338, 375 H & H, two 416s, 470. Nitro Express, 450 Ackley, 500 Jeffery or 500 Nitro Express. I do not enjoy their recoil, just get along. If I did not shoot much, hunted deer once a year, and got lucky and drew an elk tag, I would be a happy hunter with an 06. A trip of a life time, one trip to Africa, borrow a rifle. It will be a 375 and it and your 06 will serve you faithfully. Kindest Regards

    Leave a comment:


  • DakotaMan
    replied
    The "caliber" of choice is .30. The "cartridge" of choice is anything from 30-06 size up to .300 RUM. Take you pick. The 30-06 will get the job done but the larger magnums will give you additional range on elk. I shoot a .300 Dakota that has elk range out to 1000 yards although I'm not likely to take a shot at one at that range. I use the .300 Dakota where elk are likely at longer ranges but carry a 30-06 in heavy timber and situations where elk are likely to be under 300 yards.

    Sarge's recommendation for the .300 WSM is a good one, as is the regular .300 Win Mag, especially if you don't plan to reload due to ammo availability.. All the big, hard recoiling .30 caliber magnums are way overkill for deer unless you are on the prairie with very long shots. I reload though and can make deer cartridges for my .300 Dakota that shoot like a .308. You can use 208g Hornady ELD or the Berger 210g bullets for elk and the 130g - 150g Hornady Interlok bullets for deer. No need to punish yourself shooting elk bullets at deer.

    Leave a comment:


  • WA Mtnhunter
    replied
    It’s all up to you. But since you asked... all around deer and elk rifles start at 7mm Rem Mag and peak with the .300 Weatherby and 30 Nosler. The 338s are a bit overboard for deer and hogs. My personal favorites for long range, short range, big critters, medium critters, etc are the 7mm Weatherby and .300 Weatherby or toss in the .300 Win Mag which is the gold standard. The 28 Nosler and 30 Nosler would offer near identical performance. Just my not so humble opinion. Happy Trails

    Leave a comment:


  • Sarge01
    replied
    Originally posted by CD2 View Post
    I still want an exit wound on my critters. Think two holes spilling red makes for less stress in tracking. Stuff happens, and IMHO a load that gives an exit offers some insurance.
    I was experimenting last week with my .308 again. I loaded 150 grain Hornady Interbonds in it. reviews on that bullet is bullet straight through after doubling in size. Exit hole size of golf ball. Size of group wasn't impressive 1 1/2 inch 3 shot group at 100 yards but I can live with that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pmacc60
    replied
    Originally posted by Sarge01 View Post

    If he wouldn't have gotten killed Jeff Gordon would probably have only half the championships he has if that.
    Dale Earnhardt said the same about himself. Dale gave Davy that kind of respect .

    Leave a comment:


  • Sarge01
    replied
    Originally posted by Pmacc60 View Post
    Great story Sarge, It’s nice to hear that a young man I admired was good guy. We lost him way to soon ! I always wonder how many championships he would have won. Thank you for taking the time to write that.
    If he wouldn't have gotten killed Jeff Gordon would probably have only half the championships he has if that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pmacc60
    replied
    Great story Sarge, It’s nice to hear that a young man I admired was good guy. We lost him way to soon ! I always wonder how many championships he would have won. Thank you for taking the time to write that.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sarge01
    replied
    Originally posted by Pmacc60 View Post

    So Sarge are you going to tell us the Davy Allison story.... you don’t just drop that kind of name and leave us hanging!
    A sports writer from the local paper covered NASCAR in the early 90's. He asked Davy Allison if he would like to come to WV to deer hunt. Davy said yes because he was a fanatic deer hunter. The writer told him I was the man to contact. Davy had me to the Rockingham race and we ending up in victory lane. Davy came to WV to deer hunt with my buddy and I. My buddy has a hunting cabin and over 1000 acres to hunt. Davy and his Busch crew flew into Petersburg and I picked them up and brought them to my house. After supper we went to the hunting cabin. I started going to Alabama to deer and even after Davy got killed I still went to Alabama to hunt with his cousin. While Davy was here on his first trip he went to the local high school and did a 2 hour assembly free of charge for me. We are off the beaten path and don';t usually get people like Davy to do an assembly for the school. I was in charge of the WV Hunter Education program for my district and Davy even went to the local radio station and did some safe hunting spots for me. My wife and I started going to just about all of Davy's races. We never sat in the stands we watched from the pits. I even ran second gas can for his Busch races. Davy was one of the finest young men that I have ever met. He never forgot where he came from. At North Willksboro after the race was over Davy backed his pickup into the garage and we sat on the tailgate and talked for hours after the race.t was like he didn't want us to leave. That was the last time we saw him alive. He called me and told me he had bought a helicopter and he could set it down at the hunting cabin on the next trip. When I got off the phone my wife asked me who it was and I told her it was Davy and he had a helicopter and could land at the hunting camp. Her exact words were" He will kill himself in that thing" 3 days later is wen he got killed.

    Leave a comment:


  • CD2
    replied
    I still want an exit wound on my critters. Think two holes spilling red makes for less stress in tracking. Stuff happens, and IMHO a load that gives an exit offers some insurance.

    Leave a comment:


  • CD2
    replied
    I hunted elk once, with MZ.
    But if I go again I'll take my .30-06.

    Have had 7mm and .300 magnums.
    They aint bad but of the two the 7mm is more comfy.
    As for .30-06.............had a 760. Had three 742's. Have shot others.
    No big deal. Just bought a Steyr.

    IMHO a thirty is a thirty, the diff is a bit of boot work.

    Can buy reduced recoil and Superformance.......should cover a wide range if not a reloader.

    Figure I'm good to 400. Rifle/load not my concern. Heart, lungs and overall body condition is.
    Had to learn how to chew on a mountain way back. Was in damn good shape then too.
    Will be much different if I go now.
    Rifle/load not of concern.
    Put a 180 through the lungs and it should be over.
    I'll shoot em twice too.
    ( LOL............on another thread).

    Leave a comment:


  • Pmacc60
    replied
    Originally posted by Sarge01 View Post

    Of the 100's of rifles I have owned in my lifetime I have never owned a 30-06. I don't like tracking deer through the woods that is why I use my 300WSM. One time I went to Alabama to hunt with the race car driver Davy Allison I loaded Nosler 125 grain ballistic tips in my 300WSM that was a devastating load. I think that the Sako A-7 300WSM is probably the best and most accurate hunting rifle that I have ever owned. My Limb Saver recoil pad takes away about 30% of the recoil about the same as a muzzle brake without the noise. In a couple places that I get invited to hunt I can shoot over 300 yards. My 165 grain Nosler Acubonds even at 100 yards don't tear up everything they mushroom to over twice the size and stay together unlike a regular bullet . I have 125 Nosler Accubonds loaded in my .308 and that is a wicked load. Last deer I shot with it the bullet traveled through both shoulders and was resting under the hide on the opposite side. The deer dropped like a rock. The bullet mushroomed to .625 and weighed 80 grains. Looked like the perfect mushroom that all the bullet manufactors show you in the hunting books to try and make you buy their bullets.
    So Sarge are you going to tell us the Davy Allison story.... you don’t just drop that kind of name and leave us hanging!

    Leave a comment:

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