Full circle

Longwalker

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I started my big game hunting activities here in Canada using a "standard" of the time in our part of the world, .303 British. Graduated to the very similar .308 win shortly thereafter, and used it for everything, including whitetail, mule deer, moose, and elk. Never a complaint or failure over many years and numerous critters..

But I wanted to try more "capable" cartridges with more range or more speed or more power for the big stuff. So I shot some elk and moose with everything from the .270 and 7x57 on the light end of the range and many with the .35 Whelen on the heavier, slower end of the spectrum, and lots in-between. I killed a few elk, a bear and a moose with a .375 H&H lately just to get experience with that grand old cartridge. I used a 30-06 on my only African hunt so far, and took 8 plains game species with it. And my conclusion is that they all seem to work well if you shoot them well, and all the time spent agonizing over cartridge choice is pretty much a wasted, but fun activity if you choose good bullets.

I took a 16 year old kid moose hunting last week and he killed a cow at a measured 200 yards with a .308 and 165 gr. Nosler partitions loaded to 2600 FPS. He shredded the heart, busted the lungs, and made one gut hit with his three quick shots. All 3 shots exited the "Eland" sized moose. Internal damage was massive. I just ate what was left of the heart for supper. My .375 would not have killed quicker, or my .35 Whelen, or my 7x64, or my 25-06, 30-06, 8x57IS, 45-70, 9x57, etc, etc. I just might go back to the .308 and 165 Noslers for everything smaller than African buffalo and call it good. Am I losing my enthusiasm for rifle trivia? I need help!
 

bluey

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if I was you , id stick with the 30 .06 and never worry again ........
 

Petrus Geldenhuys

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I think a 308, 30-06 is more than capable enough to shoot any animal up to a buffalo as stated. In my opinion any one of those are the best all round calibre out there. Its great fun to have 30 different calibre's but there is always that one that gets the job done no matter what, for me its a 30-06 for plains game and a 375 H&H for anything bigger.
 

Von Gruff

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When I read "full circle" and see you started out with the 303 I expected you had returned to the 303.
 

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(y)What Bluey said....:A Thumbs Up:
 

Longwalker

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thanks for all the thoughtful replies. Von Gruff, I'd be happy enough with a .303 if they chambered that round in modern rifles. The .308 is basically the same weight/diameter bullet at the same speed. I find I am more interested in unique rifles than in particular cartridges lately. But I currently handload 16 different cartridges, I just think I could cull them down to five or so and not miss the rest.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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My then 15 year old son killed everything up to and including Eland with his .308 in 2013. Load was a 165gr North Fork bonded core also loaded to 2600fps. Shot was just shy of 200 yards. Follow up shots were closer. I think a .308 in spite of this is a bit light for those big boys. But anything smaller, I'd hunt with confidence with it.

My current 12 year old son killed a bunch of animals including a one shot kill on zebra with a frontal quartering shot with his 7x57 this past summer. Yeah it's fun to debate it, but really with good bullets I'm not sure its all that productive.

Having said all of that, if I had only one rifle to choose from up to .375, it would be difficult for me to pass on my M70 in .375H&H.
 

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I have hunted and killed animals with 223,243,270,308,7mm,300wm,270wsm,300wsm,
375H&H, and 416 ruger. With the exception of DG I find myself hunting 50% with a good ol 270 and 50% with a 243. This of course isn't counting my black powder guns. I just really like hunting with those two for whatever reason. Oddly enough I have three 308's and rarely hunt with any of them. They are all good guns but I guess I just shoot the 270 and one of my 243's best. Idk, I am still working on a 300 wm build from a savage action. I'll probably hunt with it a lot once it's finished. It's probably my favorite caliber to load for as its so versatile. I think it becomes a half comfort and half whatever I feel like thing. To me it's what ever toots a fellas horn.
 

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Am I losing my enthusiasm for rifle trivia? I need help!

You do need help! Figure this part out and them mosey on over to the Big Bore thread and get some real "help" ;)


Having said all of that, if I had only one rifle to choose from up to .375, it would be difficult for me to pass on my M70 in .375H&H.
I was all fat and happy with my M70 375 until I got to know that damned instigator @matt85 !!!
 

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There is no "perfect" caliber. I fortunately gave up the search decades ago, and now hunt with rifles which give me pleasure to use. Some are modern, many date from the early decades of the last century. One of my favorite calibers is the .318 WR Nitro Express. It does nothing that a .338 or .338/06 won't do just as easily or better. But the rifles are special. One is a Westley Richards take-down built on a mauser action and the other is a Cogswell and Harrison built around a P-14 action. Neither is a MOA shooter, but both are minute of anything I will shoot within 275 yards. And each carries the spirit of those who hunted them long before I was born (which is beginning to mean something!). For PG or deer or sheep or goats, a host of calibers work just about as well as any other. The joy is the tool which launches them.
 

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You got me thinking, I made a full circle myself. Bought my first big game rifle when I was sixteen, it was a Rem. 30-06 and for fifteen years that was my only deer rifle. Then I started hunting in the western states and got caught up in that need for speed mentality. I played around with a couple of different calibers, it was fun for a while but now I'm back to a 30-06 and you know what it's getting the job done just fine. I'm not going to get rid of any of the other rifles any time soon, they are fun to shoot and they all have their place. But when it comes time to go deer hunting the 30-06 will be the caliber of choice.
 

Brent in Az

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My first rifle as a kid, was a .308 Remington. It's a good cartridge. I've used a semi-customized 30-06 for years. It's just a .308 on steroids. If I had to pick one rifle for Africa, it would be the .375 H&H.
 

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Longwalker,
This is a good place to start looking for help! Just when you thought loading 16 different cartridges was to many and that things were getting excessive, have not a worry, you are fine, maybe pick up a few more. It will all be okay brother. I told my friends wife once when she was bitching about a minor personality flaw. "It could be worse, you could have married me!" It made her feel a lot better.
image.jpg
 

bluey

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Longwalker,
This is a good place to start looking for help! Just when you thought loading 16 different cartridges was to many and that things were getting excessive, have not a worry, you are fine, maybe pick up a few more. It will all be okay brother. I told my friends wife once when she was bitching about a minor personality flaw. "It could be worse, you could have married me!" It made her feel a lot better.View attachment 50684




bloko, your my newest hero .........

holly ,bloody hell ... you must have way too much time on your hands , codman ......
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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I started my big game hunting activities here in Canada using a "standard" of the time in our part of the world, .303 British. Graduated to the very similar .308 win shortly thereafter, and used it for everything, including whitetail, mule deer, moose, and elk. Never a complaint or failure over many years and numerous critters..

But I wanted to try more "capable" cartridges with more range or more speed or more power for the big stuff. So I shot some elk and moose with everything from the .270 and 7x57 on the light end of the range and many with the .35 Whelen on the heavier, slower end of the spectrum, and lots in-between. I killed a few elk, a bear and a moose with a .375 H&H lately just to get experience with that grand old cartridge. I used a 30-06 on my only African hunt so far, and took 8 plains game species with it. And my conclusion is that they all seem to work well if you shoot them well, and all the time spent agonizing over cartridge choice is pretty much a wasted, but fun activity if you choose good bullets.

I took a 16 year old kid moose hunting last week and he killed a cow at a measured 200 yards with a .308 and 165 gr. Nosler partitions loaded to 2600 FPS. He shredded the heart, busted the lungs, and made one gut hit with his three quick shots. All 3 shots exited the "Eland" sized moose. Internal damage was massive. I just ate what was left of the heart for supper. My .375 would not have killed quicker, or my .35 Whelen, or my 7x64, or my 25-06, 30-06, 8x57IS, 45-70, 9x57, etc, etc. I just might go back to the .308 and 165 Noslers for everything smaller than African buffalo and call it good. Am I losing my enthusiasm for rifle trivia? I need help!
@Longwalker
Why not just back to the good old 303 with150 or 174 grain Woodleighs. Will do everything the 308 will do.
Bob
 

Bob Nelson 35Whelen

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thanks for all the thoughtful replies. Von Gruff, I'd be happy enough with a .303 if they chambered that round in modern rifles. The .308 is basically the same weight/diameter bullet at the same speed. I find I am more interested in unique rifles than in particular cartridges lately. But I currently handload 16 different cartridges, I just think I could cull them down to five or so and not miss the rest.
@Longwalker
How bout a nice Ruger No1 in 303.
Bob
 
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