"The .338 Win. mag. or the .35 Whelen is sufficient for all of the North American game." I believe I am quoting trigger creep here.
Craig Boddington tested the "then new" 338 and 375 RUM and proved that with the same constructed bullet, the 338 out penetrated the 375, on Cape Buff. The article was published in Rifleshooter Magazine. The old saying dead is dead, no matter the caliber.
As much as I would like to say the 35Whelen is top of the heap, I would concede that the 30-06 has taken more game than any other cartridge in the world. Let's face it, whether it's your favorite or not, the 30-06 is in more hunting camps and has been used by more hands than the 303, 308, 338, etc, etc,. it is the ultimate fall back cartridge, and I don't like to admit it, but it is.
I have not heard from you in a while. I always look forward to your opinions and ideas.
375 & 30-06 tops my personal list but I have to disagree with the 300 Weatherby mag - or any Weatherby mag. Animals cant read ballistics charts and I spent too much time tracking wounded animals with well placed shots - just too fast - not to mention the number of clients with stiched eyebrows and a flinch which ruined their shooting. We tested the first 460 Wby used in Africa.
300 mag deserves a spot - my choice would be 300 H&H or 300 Win.
7mm mag was never sucessful with us either but it just made the bottom of the list. I also recommended clients buy a 30-06 or 308 instead of the famous 270. Personal choices - but based on experience.
Two of the things that make a cartridge great are low cost and versatility. That puts the 30-06 and 375 H&H right up there with the best of them. The '06 is easily obtained at what passes for low cost these days and, when compared to the other DG cartridges, the .375 has the same qualities. Add a 22LR, which I have, and you are equipped for everything from rabbit to elephant
Of course, I also have a 243 and 30-30 as well - both very versatile calibers in their own right. In fact, I thought the 30-30 should have made the list until I realized it was actually a 19th century caliber. You can't beat a lever action 30-30 as a backseat gun for a west Texas pickup
I believe my 243 to be a better deer rifle than the 30-06 in the hands of a competent shooter, but the latter will definitely get the job done.