The 20th Century's Top Rifle Cartridge

35bore

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"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.
 

M. Egan

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hey monish,
I have not heard from you in a while. I always look forward to your opinions and ideas.
Mike
 

AlSpaeth

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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.
 

Jay Kelley

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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.
 

archerman

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Monish,

I understand where you are coming from by picking the 30.06 springfield... Here in the USA it is a great all around caliber. I have a 1903 Army issued m1903 that was custom made into a sporting rifle by the famed Griffin and Howe of NY gun makers. It was used by a Judge Charles Stoll thru the 1950s/60s to hunt and harvest every big game from Deer, Elk, Bison and even a Charging 2,000 lb Polar Bear in 1960.. It was given to me by my uncle and I treasure it immensely . The Judge hunted with it all over the world. In Inda, back in 1967 he used this G&H Custom 30.06 Springfield to drop a 9' 8" Tiger with one shot through the shoulder. I have the newspaper articles from those trips.

I have used the same rifle in 2011 to shoot a Bull Moose at 70 yards with one shot to the heart.

I have read that the G&H 1903 Springfield was Ernest Hemingway's favorite Rifle. He used it to shoot many a big game in Africa back in the 30's/50's when he hunted with PH Philip Percival in East Africa. In the Book, Hemingway's Guns there is a chapter on his exploits with his favorite 30-06 where he shot Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Leopard.

Famed Author Stewart Edward White acquired one of the first Sporterised 1903 Springfield rifles from Ludwig Windhammer in 1910 and used it to take many Plains game on his trips to the then British and German parts of East Africa in 1910,1913 and 1925. He was known to be a excellent shot with this rifle and used it often..

Now I am not saying that the.375 H&H, 458 Win Mag, 416 Rigby aren't GREAT GUNs, which they certainly are. But what this proves is that, in capable hands, the 30.06 Springfield can and did do the job. Remember an wounded animal with any of these calibers is still a wounded animal that can do harm to its pursuer .

I WAS TOUGHT AS A YOUNG BOY THAT KNOWING THE ANATOMY OF THE GAME AND PICKING THE RIGHT MOMENT AND VITAL AREA AND KNOWING YOUR LIMITS FOR ACCURATE SHOOTING WAS THE KEY TO A SUCCESSFUL HUNT.

In my personal experience that advise has shone to be true.

Here is a picture of Judge Stoll's 1903 Springfield purchased from the Springfield Armory in Illinoise thru membership in the NRA and shipped directly to Griffin and Howe of N.Y (Then located in the Abicrombe and Fitch Store, in NYC).

Here are some other pic's of me and Ramon with my Shiras Moose in B.C 2011 and a pic of Hemingway with his Rhino shot with his beloved G&H .30-06 Springfield.


IMG_0853.jpg

Judge Stoll's 1903 Springfield---- Now mine.

Me & Ramon on Moose 3.JPG

Me and Ramon with my First shiras Moose shot with my now 1903 Springfield

HemingwaysRhino w springfield-4.jpg

Hemingway with Rhino Shot with his G&H 1903 Springfield...Note Caption below picture
 
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Royal27

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Hey @Ruan Bouwer ,

This thread made me think of you. Great read. :)
 

Eric Anderson

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Not a 20th century caliber.
Iirc, it was introduced in 2004, making it a 21st century caliber.
Still going to vote 30-06

Very successful military caliber, can easily take anything in the new world, and almost anything in the old world.
It can take everything on the planet, but I will let others hunt the Big 5 with it.
 

JakeH

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Despite this being a zombie thread, I’ll take my stab at it.

I’d have to go with the .30-06, as it’s quite simply the stick that we measure all other cartridges against. When we talk about the 7mm mag it “hits as hard as the -06”. The .300WM is “a .30-06 with a 100yd head start”. The .375 H&H, my number two cartridge, is “the same trajectory as the -06 with heavier bullets”. When everybody talks about their cartridge by comparing it to the same one, you know that one is something good.
 

tarbe

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Hey @Bullthrower338 - get in here and cast your vote for the 30-06! ;)

Way back earlier in this thread someone argued for the .375 H&H, insisting that DG had to be included.

If that is true, then we also must include Prairie Dogs...which again swings us back to the '06. lol

Oh, and 7,456 angels can dance on the head of a pin!! :) :V Poke:




Tim
 

Bullthrower338

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Hey @Bullthrower338 - get in here and cast your vote for the 30-06! ;)

Way back earlier in this thread someone argued for the .375 H&H, insisting that DG had to be included.

If that is true, then we also must include Prairie Dogs...which again swings us back to the '06. lol

Oh, and 7,456 angels can dance on the head of a pin!! :) :V Poke:




Tim
Yes, when necked up to 338! Or 375 or how about 338 WM, 338 RUM, 375 H&H, 470 NE and round out the prairie dog situation with the 17 Rem.
 

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30-06
30-30
.270
6.5x55
.243
.223 AR-15
.22WMR
.22
Because that’s what I own.
 

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Whilst I'm personally a fan of the .270, as the best rifle cartridge, not just the best hunting cartridge it has got to be the .308. It's just so versatile. Firstly, I can't think of any game I would shoot with ANY cartridge of .30 or less, magnum or no, but wouldn't with .308, so it's no less versatile as a hunting round (possibly misses out a bit to .375 on this one), and it also has a long pedigree of results as a target round, even into the modern day, whereas the 30-06 can't have been a serious competition round since what, the '50s?

It's just completely beyond reproach. Show up to shoot Muntjac with a .308? Fair enough. Show up to shoot Moose with a .308? Fair enough. African PG hunt? Fair enough. Scottish hill red? Fair enough. Sheep, deer, pigs, even stuff like coyotes or foxes. No on will question a .308. It's basically the default, boring choice so you never have to justify it, irrespective of if your quarry weighs 5KG or 500KG.

And then there's target shooting. Show up to an FTR match with a .270 or a .30-06 and it's an oddity. .308? Practically the norm. Ditto for Target rifle, Tactical, Practical, McQueens, Military, Running Boar, even F class, it'll do them all.

I will even go so far as to suggest that a modern bolt action chambered in .308 with a medium profile barrel of 24" and a 10round magazine would serve for all my shooting needs. Stick an 8x56 on it and it's a hill rifle. Red dot and it's a woods or driven game gun. 10power mil-dot and it's a tactical or practical rifle rig. Big 20-60 mag scope and it'd be a passable FTR rig out to at least 800yds. No other cartridge can do so much, so well, without anyone even batting an eyelid.
 

sierraone

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30-06 for the U.S. and .375 HH for everything else.
 

Newboomer

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The only thing more fun than shooting rifles is arguing about them. There is no right answer on these “which rifle/caliber is best” questions, but that sure doesn’t stop us from jumping in. I’ve seen these arguments come to blows before but in the end no one ever convinces anyone of their point. Having said all of that I can’t help myself and must join the fray. First the 30-06, yes this is a very popular and versatile round and if only hunting non-dangerous game all a hunter would ever really need. But, there are a lot of calibers that may not be as versatile as the 06 but can do some things much better. Next the 375, how in the world could anyone stand not owning at least one 375. Talk about versatile; this gun can be used for anything on the planet. With trajectories similar to the 30-06 it is a legitimate 300 yard gun.

We have used our 375’s to take everything from whitetails to wildebeest and if I had to only have one gun it would be a 375. No disrespect to Christian but the 338 will never be a 375 no matter how much its supporters claim it. As far as too much gun, I would use my 470 for whitetails if I could shoot it across a wheat field. My youngest son likes to use my 375 for deer hunting (reminds him of Africa) and it actually does less damage to the meat than a 300 win mag. Even though I am singing the praises of the all round 375 I use a round that starts with 4 when after buffalo or elephant. Just because you could use the 375 for everything doesn’t mean you have to, like the 30-06 there may be better choices.

That’s the great thing about living in the U.S., we are not limited to one gun. The only thing that limits us as far as firearms are concerned is finances and our wives. Most of us who frequent this site either hunt more than just deer or would like expand their hunting opportunities and one caliber may not cut it. Now to really stir things up I will list my favorite calibers:
25-06
270 win
300 win mag
416 Rigby


No 375 after heralding it's praises??
 
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Not the point. To be "The 20th Century's Top Rifle Cartridge" surely dangerious game has to be inculded, no matter where the game is. To call it the top hunting cartridge of the world, then I might agree. On the other hand, a european might reach for a rifle chambered in 8mm mauser instead of a 30.06. But it could be strongley argued otherwise.
I am not disputing that the 338 mag or the .35 Whelen should be able to take a grizzley, but would it be able to stop that same grizz in a charge? Would the 30.06? The 375H&H would. That is my point.
@Kiwi505
The Whelen loaded with 275 grain projectiles stopped the charge of Elmer Kieths word record grizzly way back when so a properly loaded 35 Whelen should still be able to do it today.
Bob
 

mark-hunter

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Intersting old post.
However, in top ten list, I find it strange that in top ten list there is no european continental cartridges.
 

Professor Mawla

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This is a very , very difficult question to answer . Especially since there must be at least a 64 different sporting calibres , which were invented during the 20th century

I can only name my personal favorites :
7 mm Remington Magnum
.30-06 Springfield
.338 Winchester Magnum
9.3x74 mm R
.375 Holland & Holland Magnum
.416 Remington Magnum
.458 Winchester Magnum
.505 Gibbs
 

fourfive8

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We can blame the covidcrazies for bringing these older threads back to life :) good fun though.
Can't believe it, but I do not currently own a single 30-06! How did that happen? I've owned a bunch of them (at least 10 or 12) in various Model 70s, Model 54s, US 03s, 03A3s and Garands, even a couple of Rem Model 721s. I've had 4 different 375 HHs- and currently have 2- one a Win Model 70 and the other a BRNO 602. But I keep drawing a tie in my mind for top 20th century cartridge. So given the dead heat tie, I'll just say 30-06 or 375 HH.
 

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