Firstly this is not a thread about ballistics, it is just about calibers that I personally favour ,which have always impressed me whilst hunting. Most of the hunting I do is not very long range(sub 200 yards)thus none of my favourites are real longrange calibers. I must admit that I am biased to the older cartridges, but for a reason, they have prooved themselves over many years. Shot placement and bullet construction will always be more important than caliber, but here are my favourites: 7x57 What a pleasure to shoot this little rifle, almost no recoil, perfect for women and children as well and definitely punches above its weight. The penetration is always surprising. I have no problem using this on any plainsgame and in practical experience still surprises me how well it performs on tough plainsgame like blue wildebeest and zebra. .375 H&H My first step up from the 7x57 is the 375, personally I do not have a need for a 30 caliber. The 375 is so versatile, I load 250 grainers for large plainsgame and go to 300 grainers for dangerous game. of course the 375 Ruger is quickly gaining ground on the H&H, and will be just as good a pick. .404 Jeffrey A good step up from the .375 when mostly hunting dangerous game. The Jeffrey is actually .423 diameter and has excellent performance allround, whilst having comfortable recoil for a large caliber rifle, of course there is just something nostalgic about the Jeffrey that makes it my favourite .4 cartridge. .500 NE For me as a PH this is the perfect caliber in difficult situations, it offers a bigger stopping effect then the .4 calibers with totally acceptable recoil, and still have enough velocity to offer better penetration than most of the bigger calibers. The above is my personal favourite battery for hunting under the conditions I do. Calibers such as the .270, .308,.30-06 416 Rigby and 470NE also come to mind and will do the same as the above.