One rifle for North American big game?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by biggiesmalls, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Scott CWO

    Scott CWO AH Enthusiast

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    .338 has roughly the same trajectory as a .30-06. I load 225 grain Swift A-Frames in mine and would take it for all NA game. It is adequate for brown bear and plenty for everything else. To me, that is the definition of the best choice for NA game without being under-gunned while still shooting flat enough for longer shots at smaller game.
     
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  2. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Good luck on that buffalo hunt, great choice in rifle! I use a .458 Lott for buffalo. Maybe some day I will dig down in my wallet and find a .470!!!
     

  3. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Amen! I am with you re. bigger hammers. Actually, my own 'universal' American game (and African plains game) rifle is either a .300 Wby or a .340 Wby (see them at https://www.africahunting.com/media...stainless-new-haven-made-300-wby-rifle.61218/) depending on what non-dangerous game tag I carry. I realize that many probably think that it is too much, but it's OK, as my signature line states: "no such thing as too dead." I prefer on-the-spot instant death to following wounded & suffering animals...
    I only wish brown bear would be "a regular occurrence" for me, in which case I would actually bypass the .375 H&H and go for either .416 Rigby or .458 Lott (see mine at https://www.africahunting.com/media/cz-550-416-rigby-rifle-mauser-66-458-lott-rifle.61217/) depending on expected cover. Sadly, there are darn few brownies in Arizona LOL. My last close encounter with one was on the Russian River in the Kenai while fly fishing a few years ago. No drama, but the S&W .500 on my hip did not feel all that big anymore ;-)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018

  4. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    100% agreed. My own personal recipe is a .340 Wby Mark V with 250 gr for long range, and a short Mannlicher Dumoulin .338, still with 250 gr, for short range in deep timber. We are singing from the same music sheet ;-)
     
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  5. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I used to have a nice pre-WWII Jules Burry double .450 #2, but had to sell it a number of years ago to send the kids to college. I went to .458 Lott for the last 10 years (see https://www.africahunting.com/media/cz-550-416-rigby-rifle-mauser-66-458-lott-rifle.61217/), and I was finally able to get another double, a Kreighoff .470 for this year's hunt. (see https://www.africahunting.com/media/kreighoff-classic-big-five-470-ne.65769/). It will not do anything the Mauser 66 .458 Lott won't do, but the feeling is different. I know that you know what I mean...

    Alright, signing off to go catch my plane. Be back in 3 weeks...
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
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  6. todd9.3

    todd9.3 New Member

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    i'll still stand with the 7x57 with a 140gr a 175gr rn for all of North America, including grizzlies. the grizzly part, i'd much prefer the 444 marlin with 300+gr boolits. my limitation is 300-325 yards for a jacketed bullet, 200 yards for a cast boolit( i go a 150 yards or less). i personally do not like magnums, rum, wsm, weatherby...even tho i shot them(300,338,375, 416 and 460). its nothing personal, but i just don't.

    before i had my stroke(B.S.;)), i thought velocity was king. after my stroke(A.S. :ROFLMAO:), i think that alloy(brinell hardness number) is King of kings, the wide/long meplat is Queen of queens. velocity is like the third prince 's step son. you know its there, but it doesn't count as much as the King. ft/lbs is the bad joker. he's just there because gun manufacturers says so:Greedy:.

    i use cast boolits almost exclusively(20 vartarg and 34gr midway nitemare is the only one). i use coww and a smidge of tin(around 1 or 2%) and its bhn is around 12. ( http://www.lasc.us/castbulletnotes.htm ) if i want an harder alloy, i'd go with lyman #2(15 bhn) or harder yet, 70% lyman #2 and 30% pewter(22bhn).
     
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  7. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    LOL I know exactly what you mean! We lived on the Kenai peninsula. The Russian River was a blessing to residents because it concentrated most of the visitors from Anchorage and outside Alaska in one spot ! I did a lot of duck hunting in the Kenai and actually had a brown bear come down the bank and take one of the ducks I shot. We always carried a couple of slugs duck hunting! One poor guy had his face taken off on the Russian by a sow when we lived there.
     

  8. Dwight Beagle

    Dwight Beagle AH Enthusiast

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    I’ll stick with my choice.
     

  9. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    Yeah i think projectile you use is more important than just calibre. A 7x57 with a 150gn ttsx i believe is more than adequate for pretty much all game in the world outside maybe the bigger dangerous game.
     
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  10. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Legend

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    I don’t know whether one rifle and cartridge is your answer.
    The 308; 270; 30/06 range will be fine for plains game. But for bear these are fine but in difficult situations I would suggest something more powerful.
    You may have to stop a charge from a wounded bear and I would suggest 338-375 or even bigger. It’s unlikely that an elk is going to charge you even though they are “solid” critters.
    If you want just one rifle I’d go for the 30/06 with good quality 180 grain Bullets.
     

  11. Hunter Franklin

    Hunter Franklin New Member

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    30-06 you can legally and ethically take any North American big game animal and it isn’t that much recoil. Old friend of mine said if it walks North America and can’t be taken with a 30-06 you need not be shooting at it. As been said here already it’s North America’s equivalent to Africa’s 375 H&H
     
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  12. Hunting Hitman

    Hunting Hitman AH Senior Member

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    Well I agree with many of the comments on this board and the thought of one caliber is not fun at all. Forced to pick a caliber it would be the 300 win mag as it has both power and flat shooting characteristics that are needed for western states hunting.
    On another note I do believe in picking the right gun for the job...I like a 470 NE for bigger game and a 375 H&H for medium game. That all said I’m having a 505 Gibbs made just because I want one
     

  13. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    30-06. It will do anything in North America and 98% of the rest of the world
     
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  14. Rickmt

    Rickmt SILVER SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    30-06 is fine choice utililizing lighter bullets on deer/hogs and 180 grain for elk.
    300 win mag or 300 win short mag gives you a little more reach and shoots flatter with more power but a little more recoil.
     

  15. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy AH Veteran

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    Lol, are some of you crazy. You're gonna tell this guy to get a .338 for mostly pigs and deer in FLA? lmao. Just get a .308 or 30.06, case closed. Even if you hunt elk you should be getting shots under 200 yards, esp. being a new elk hunter. But then again, maybe you can shoot them through the heart at 850 yards like the "guys on TV". :)
     
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  16. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    I agree with your comments here,

    1 definitely on calibre.

    But also range, i used to shoot to 6-700 yards but these days I've started to ask myself at what point am i shooting and not hunting? Now i try to get as close as possible and don't take shots just because i know i can if i feel its further than an animals natural defenses.
     
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  17. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy AH Veteran

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    Agree. I don't want to blast guys taking longer shots I just know most can't make them consistently. The long range tv guys told me at a show their kill rate is 10-15%, that is bullshit hunting imo.
     
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  18. Gemsbok Gangsta

    Gemsbok Gangsta AH Enthusiast

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    300 WBY MAG
     

  19. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Per previous post:

    "Is it One rifle for North American big game? or is it one rifle for "whitetail deer and wild hogs in Florida ... west for pronghorn, elk, and mule deer - as well as black bear" ???
    Because these are two different propositions altogether...
    Last I checked, North American Game also includes moose and grizzly, in which case even the .300 is on the light side (although it can do the job with 200 gr slugs) and the .338 makes a lot more sense (although the .375 is not out of line on brown bear).
    I would suggest, 3 answers actually:
    #1 deer/antelope/pig/black bear/caribou/ etc.: .260 .270 .280 . 30 (.308 .30-06) etc.
    #2 deer/antelope/pig/black bear/caribou/etc. + elk: .300 etc.
    #3 deer/antelope/pig/black bear/caribou/etc. + elk + moose & brown bear: .338 etc."


    As to why up-gunning from .30 (.308 / 30-06) to .300 (Win, WSM, Wby, etc.) when adding elk to the mix, it is because in most places elk are hunted (I live in Arizona), it is a rare shot that is taken at less than 200 yd, especially by new elk hunters who may not have aquired yet the skills to get closer. Without kidding oneself about the '850 yd TV guys' (I agree with your inference ;-) there are factually - right, wrong, or indifferent - a lot more shots taken at 300+ yd, and .30 trajectory and energy drop fast at these ranges. It is not entirely at random that the US military is transitioning its sniper rifles from .308 to .300 Win Mag (never mind .338 or .50) ...........

    In so many words, the questions "one for all in America?" or "one for pigs & deer in Florida?" are not the same question. This is a bit of a silly exercise, like asking: "what is the best single car to race both Indy 500, Nascar, and Baja?" The short answer is: it does not exist...
    You ain't gonna be happy shooting Grizzly with a deer gun, or deer with a Griz gun; but push comes to shove, one would rather have to shoot deer with a Griz gun, than Griz with a deer gun...
    So, objectively, the answers in the post are not totally "crazy" although I agree that they may appear so.
    Etc. etc. etc.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018

  20. WAB

    WAB AH Elite

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    Interesting posts. Out of curiosity I just went through my trophy room to see what I had harvested the NA animals with. For context I have lived and hunted in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Wyoming, Kansas, Alaska and now Alabama. I have done all of my hunting without a guide. The big bears were shot with my .375 H&H, one elk was shot with a .300 H&H, and everything else was shot with a 7x57 (including the other elk). I have a lot of rifles but when things get serious I always seem to grab a 7x57.
     

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