Favorite cartridge/rifle for moose

ldmay375

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heavy 338 win mag and bigger. my advice is to shoot the heaviest caliber gun you can shoot comfortably and accurately. A wounded moose near water will try to make the water. And wounded moose already in water will try to go in the deeper water. if you can anchor them on dry land than your day cutting and hauling is going to be much more pleasant. I’m a big fan of the 416 with premium bullets when I hunt in Alaska.
I am a firm believer in shooting until they drop, and if they move much on the ground I shoot more. That applies to anything I shoot.
The 416 Ruger and 350 grain TSX has performed well for me. It is one of my favorite combinations. I can say the same for the 375 Ruger and the 270 grain TSX. But, none have fell any faster than with the 338 Winchester and the 225 grain TSX. Instantaneous drop, without a spine or brain shot. just does not get any faster. Though, I have had as fast with the 375 and 416.
I do not expect that with any of them. But, I certainly like it when it does happen.
 

Cam Moon

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I would say Moose is my favorite North American game meat. I prefer if to Whitetail, Pronghorn, Mule Deer, and Elk. I have shot several. My last one was with my Savage 110 in 300 win mag, the one before that was probably my Remington 7600 in .270. I've used my Marlin 336 in .35 Rem, and that's a nice little gun for heavy bush. But surprisingly I've taken more Moose with my Ruger M77 6mm Rem than any other rifle. Well over a dozen.
 

Peter Larsson

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Here is some facts from Sweden:
Total of 8760 moose shot.
Kaliber. Number of moose shot. Meter after first shot. Shot/moose.

30/06 . 2849. 47. 1,57.
6.5x55 2792. 43. 1,57.
308 win 1314. 41. 1,67.
8x57 IS 575. 57. 1,53.
9.3x62 449. 34. 1,50.
358 Norma 219. 19. 1,16.
375 H&H 211. 31. 1,33.
9.3x57 134. 41. 1,50.
7mm Rem 107. 40. 1,32.
338 WM 83. 31. 1,20.
300 WM 27. 16 . 1,83.
Totalt/Medel 8760 43. 1,56.
Midle distance: 61m
 
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ldmay375

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I would say Moose is my favorite North American game meat. I prefer if to Whitetail, Pronghorn, Mule Deer, and Elk. I have shot several. My last one was with my Savage 110 in 300 win mag, the one before that was probably my Remington 7600 in .270. I've used my Marlin 336 in .35 Rem, and that's a nice little gun for heavy bush. But surprisingly I've taken more Moose with my Ruger M77 6mm Rem than any other rifle. Well over a dozen.
I recall a friend’s son killing a bigger bull with a 6mm Remington with an 80 or 90 grain’ish Barnes bullet. One shot to neck, near instant death. My buddy was as shocked as that moose ! But, shot placement and the correct bullet.
Then you hear stories of neck shots and the bullet not breaking the vertebrae. I do realize there is definitely some meat and muscle on that neck. And those vertebrae are substantially thick.
But something within a range of 200 meters or so, I would seriously question a bullet that did not penetrate a vertebrae from the side. I can see not “crushing” it, but not penetrating it ??
I personally think there is quite a margin for error on a neck shot at any animal. And as distance increases so does the chance for error.
 

Pheroze

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Here is some facts from Sweden:
Total of 8760 moose shot.
Kaliber. Number of moose shot. Meter after first shot. Shot/moose.

30/06 . 2849. 47. 1,57.
6.5x55 2792. 43. 1,57.
308 win 1314. 41. 1,67.
8x57 IS 575. 57. 1,53.
9.3x62 449. 34. 1,50.
358 Norma 219. 19. 1,16.
375 H&H 211. 31. 1,33.
9.3x57 134. 41. 1,50.
7mm Rem 107. 40. 1,32.
338 WM 83. 31. 1,20.
300 WM 27. 16 . 1,83.
Totalt/Medel 8760 43. 1,56.
Midle distance: 61m
No one uses the 308 Norma Mag? :unsure: :confused:;)
 

ldmay375

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Here is some facts from Sweden:
Total of 8760 moose shot.
Kaliber. Number of moose shot. Meter after first shot. Shot/moose.

30/06 . 2849. 47. 1,57.
6.5x55 2792. 43. 1,57.
308 win 1314. 41. 1,67.
8x57 IS 575. 57. 1,53.
9.3x62 449. 34. 1,50.
358 Norma 219. 19. 1,16.
375 H&H 211. 31. 1,33.
9.3x57 134. 41. 1,50.
7mm Rem 107. 40. 1,32.
338 WM 83. 31. 1,20.
300 WM 27. 16 . 1,83.
Totalt/Medel 8760 43. 1,56.
Midle distance: 61m
The statistical data is interesting. If only to show there is not a great difference between the different cartridges’ used. Definitely the shot placement and bullet performance is what matters, as always. More so than the brass the bullet came from, within reason.
We all have our “favorites” and minimums which at times defies logical. But, that does give a bit of individuality to things.

Many people that I know, don’t even know what brand of factory ammo that they had in their rifle. Some might know or not what weight bullet. And milk-jug accuracy at 50 yards / meters is “good enough”, a 6” group at 100 is “plenty good”. This works for most, most of the time. And I just shake my head. But, they shoot a moose at 50 meters or so through the ribs, into the lungs and have a dead moose within 50 meters or so. They are happy. And I am still shaking my head.
 

Peter Larsson

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No one uses the 308 Norma Mag? :unsure: :confused:;)
I live about 90km from the Norma factory but can't recall if I ever seen one.
Guess they were made for the American market.
358 Norma mag is more common.
 

ldmay375

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I live about 90km from the Norma factory but can't recall if I ever seen one.
Guess they were made for the American market.
358 Norma mag is more common.
I have seen a few in 358 Norma re-barrelled rifles here. And a few Schultz & Larsen rifles in 358 Norma. I have always thought it was a great cartridge. It seems like it would perform very well with 225 through 280 grain bullets.

If it had been offered in other more available rifles, I would have likely be using it instead of a 338 or 375.
 

Pheroze

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I live about 90km from the Norma factory but can't recall if I ever seen one.
Guess they were made for the American market.
358 Norma mag is more common.
That's actually very interesting. Especially since the 300WM makes it to the list. thanks for the info.
 

Rick Cox

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Just curious as to what other hunters prefer for moose hunting. I am fully aware that you can kill them with anything, shot placement, and other standard comments.

My typical shooting distances have varied from about 25 yds to approximately 180 yds. In my present hunting area 225 yds would be maximum visibility. 25 yard to 75 yds are probably the most likely shots. Shot times have varied from early morning, mid-afternoon, and very late evening. Conditions usually fog/mist, rain, and on the rare occasional sunny.

I am a fan of 323/8mm through 416 calibers.

My personal used favorites are:
338 Winchester, 24” stainless Ruger rifle
375 Ruger, 20” barrel stainless Ruger rifle
416 Ruger, 20” barrel stainless Ruger rifle
I may break tradition and hunt with a 325 WSM this year. If it returns from the gunsmith in time. I like this cartridge. I have carried it once prior, but no legal cooperative bull was seen.

Scopes vary, and change at times. But, 1.1-4x24, 1-6x24, 1.5-6x42, 1.5-8x42 dominate my scope use. I like scopes with ample field of views, and a highly visible reticles. I prefer 60’ at 100 yards as a minimum field of view.
That .325 WSM would be awesome. Next would be the .338. No need for anything larger. I have killed around 35 moose. The caliber most often used was a .303 British. I have also used a 30-06, 300 Savage, .358 Winchester, .35 Win, 35 Whelen, and a .44 magnum. I would sure try to avoid using the .44 or the .35 especially the .44.
My go to rifle these days for moose would be the 35 Whelen.
 
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ldmay375

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That .325 WSM would be awesome. Next would be the .338. No need for anything larger. I have killed around 35 moose. The caliber most often used was a .303 British. I have also used a 30-06, 300 Savage, .358 Winchester, .35 Win, 35 Whelen, and a .44 magnum. I would sure try to avoid using the .44 or the .35 especially the .44.
My go to rifle these days for moose would be the 35 Whelen.
I have high hopes for the 325 / 8mm-Winchester. I will be using a 200 grain TSX, hopefully at 2800-2850 FPS.

I am an absolute 338 Winchester supporter. The 338 Winchester with the 225 grain TSX has impressed me. But, I am betting there is going to be very little performance difference between the 200 grain 8mm and the 225 grain 338 of the same type, both moving at practically the same velocities.

The 35 Whelen is a great round.
 

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We all have our “favorites” and minimums which at times defies logical. But, that does give a bit of individuality to things.
Yes, my goddaughter has shot two moose with her .243! Two shots, two moose on the ground. Both were young meat bulls. Seems a teensy bit light to me, but it worked for her.
 

Peter Larsson

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I have seen a few in 358 Norma re-barrelled rifles here. And a few Schultz & Larsen rifles in 358 Norma. I have always thought it was a great cartridge. It seems like it would perform very well with 225 through 280 grain bullets.

If it had been offered in other more available rifles, I would have likely be using it instead of a 338 or 375.
Husqvarna made rifles in that caliber.
With a new stock they will be ok.
 

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I killed mine with a 270. 150 gr nosler bullet. Stood in his tracks at 60 yards legs wobbled and tumbled down hill. Now that being said if I were to do it again I’d pack my 300 wsm.
 

curtism1234

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I am a firm believer in shooting until they drop, and if they move much on the ground I shoot more. That applies to anything I shoot.
The 416 Ruger and 350 grain TSX has performed well for me. It is one of my favorite combinations. I can say the same for the 375 Ruger and the 270 grain TSX. But, none have fell any faster than with the 338 Winchester and the 225 grain TSX. Instantaneous drop, without a spine or brain shot. just does not get any faster. Though, I have had as fast with the 375 and 416.
I do not expect that with any of them. But, I certainly like it when it does happen.

I've been putting in for a moose draw ever year so I have not hunted moose. I've read a lot about hunting them and enjoy watching the hunting videos. I understand a lot of folks shoot them only 1 time - that moose don't spook too easy at the shot (1 shot) and will stay near the immediate area. If that's the case, I wouldn't go blasting followup shots through the brush hoping to hit it again; but if it's going to stand there in the open and let me put a 2nd good one in, I probably wouldn't pass that up.
 

ldmay375

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As Pheroze said, “ I love talking about moose hunting ! “.

I can only speak to the moose hunting that I do in my area of hunting. Like many other animals it varies with where you hunt them, and the time of year. Terrain can vary drastically within a small area, like most anywhere. I believe each individual animal has its own personality traits.
I have only shot one that it’s body was not at least partially obscured by brush or trees. He was very young and dumb. Another was in a small opening, but by the time I was able to be sure of antler legality, his rack was disappearing in the brush. Usually an opening is either in a bog, or has 4’ and taller grass and within a couple of moose lengths they are in the bush.

I have shot 2 through the forehead at close range, because that was all that visible for a shot. If I had not had optics, both of these would have walked. Because, I would not have been able to identify antler legality and doubtful if I could have found a hole in the brush to shoot through.
I have yet to spot one peacefully standing or laying in a meadow. It happens, I am sure.
I will also bet that some of that spotting is done recently prior with the help of an aircraft. You don’t see a hell of a lot at ground level in my area.
I am not one to shoot and admire my shot, and then the animal disappears. I have a couple of reasons for that.
As to staying in the immediate area after shot, that area can be vastly different in a few moose lengths. Not unusual to hear a shooting-rodeo in the distance several minutes after a single shot.
As with any animal, if it is still standing and I have a shot, I am shooting. We all know the first shot is the most important.

Also the pictures of the moose in my yard, are not the animals I hunt. Winter time and hunting time are drastically different. I just hope they weathered this winter well. Last year was tough on them. This year there was also lots of snow, and break-up is finally just beginning.
Wish you luck on your draw and hunt.
I've been putting in for a moose draw ever year so I have not hunted moose. I've read a lot about hunting them and enjoy watching the hunting videos. I understand a lot of folks shoot them only 1 time - that moose don't spook too easy at the shot (1 shot) and will stay near the immediate area. If that's the case, I wouldn't go blasting followup shots through the brush hoping to hit it again; but if it's going to stand there in the open and let me put a 2nd good one in, I probably wouldn't pass that up.
 

ldmay375

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Husqvarna made rifles in that caliber.
With a new stock they will be ok.
There are a fair amount of Husqvarna rifles around here. I just have not seen many 308 or 358 Norma. Occasionally see one at a gun show. And rarer advertised for sale in the local classifieds. The 358 would be my choice of the two. But, between the 338’s and 375’s, I am saturated with rifles in that performance range.

The 358 Norma has always intrigued me as a “near-perfect” cartridge for larger game. Of course, I have several other “near-perfect” cartridges and rifles. When I finish a couple of more “near-perfects”, I may give up on chasing that rabbit.
 

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