Which caliber to keep?

Bonk

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Every few years I go through the same mental gymnastics about rifles and calibers. Never works. Any temporary success is always followed by a relapse. I don't even try any more. I've accepted the fact I'm gonna own a lot of rifles.
 

MS 9x56

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Like many of you, I have too many guns and too many calibers. Let's just say I'm a true gun nut who likes to hunt rather than hunter who likes guns (though that is also true). As such I have many rifles and calibers that can fulfill my hunting needs. I would like to weed out some to minimize the agony of having to think which one to take out on the next hunt. The fewer choices I have the easier it will be for me (will it really?).

I should warn you, that even if you are willing to provide suggestions, I may or may not take them to heart and I may still end up owning way too many rifle-caliber combinations. It is an obsession after all.

As I age, I now feel or have rediscovered passion for the smaller, lighter kicking calibers (mainly because they do not make lighter, handier rifles unwieldy). So, if I want to (not need to but want to) use 7x57 as my main hunting caliber, which of the other following ones would you complement it with to account for critters you might feel the 7 is not enough for? I would ideally just have (LOL as I'm typing this :D ) 2 hunting calibers. I'm in Canada, do not plan on hunting bears, but they are on my mind when in the woods. I hunt mostly whitetail, elk and moose in the bush, and whitetail, mule deer and elk in the prairies. I also do not plan on hunting elephants or any of the dangerous game, except maybe buffalo. Really just maybe, most likely not. If I manage to hunt in Africa again, it will be plains game. I will also add comments/reasons next each so you can hopefully see how these came about to be in my possession.

I have:
8x57 - cool old caliber, does everything the 7 can but can hit harder. Always liked it, always had one, even when I was hunting with 30-06.
8x60 - this one I do not need but have a cool rifle in, so maybe it could be used more than just sit pretty in the safe, waiting for me to reload some ammo. Plus if 8x57 is good, 8x60 must be better. :D
8mm-06 - don't have one, never shot one but have few 8x57 barrels that beg to be re-chambered. Could this be the one to replace 8x57, 8x60 and 30-06? Plus if 8x60 is better than 8x57, 8-06 is better still. Right? ;)
30-06 - another old classic that seems to work on most things, always seem to have one. Easy to find ammo for still.
.338 WM - barrel and dies only from the past, but actions it can be screwed into. May not build the rifle after all as lighter, less recoil is what I'm going for but used to hunt with one and that cartridge kills extremely well.
.300 WM - got this for longer shots on Elk last year and used it. Did I "need" it? Not so sure. I think a 30-06 would have worked just as well. One of the cooler magnum, IMHO.
9.3x62 - love this thing, even with short barrel not much muzzle flash, quiet and downright pleasant to shoot, used it in Africa too. Was meant to replace my passion for 375 H&H.
.375 H&H - what does that tell you? I guess 375 cannot be replaced. Or can it? Is it really much better at killing than 9.3x62?...I never shot anything with the 375 but find the 9.3 penetrates like a laser. And if I had to live with larger than 30-06/9.3x62 recoil, I'd rather have the .375H&H than the .338WM I think.
.404 Jeffry - again just barrel at this point...thinking of building one and it seems at least as cool as .375 H&H but for the hunting I do?

Ammo availability (including factory options) should be perhaps considered for all-around hunting cartridges, so I do consider this as factor, but it would not stop me from owning one that is less available. The 8x60 may be a bit of a stretch but so would be 8mm-06 which one of my 8mms may become.

Thank you for indulging me and please keep your answers genuine even if you may feel my questions/reasons are ridiculous.
The short answer is keep the 9.3x62 and sell everything else as it will do anything your calibers you listed in spades. Of course that is an over simplification for a rifle nut who hunts so...... Set aside all the guns you cannot bear to part with, set aside the 9.3x62. Now sell all the rest. But keep or buy a good quality 22 long rifle to practice shooting with to keep you sharp. That's really all you need but for a rifle Looney like us certainly not all you want.(y)
 

MS 9x56

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No problem. But please do not compare me to any woman. :D



Ha. I know a lot of people praise them. Not my cup of tea, though. I'd sooner go for a Mauser M03.

Strictly Mauser 98 style guy. I even get light rash having to concede the trigger and firing pin assemblies on a ZKK or CZ as not really improvements over original Mauser design. I will bend to accept Winchester or Kimber for hunting and anything else like Tikka, Weatherby, Remington for target shooting. I do understand why those and other push-feed or other style actions are liked by others even for hunting, as there is really nothing wrong with them. But the only "improvement" over a 98 I'd take would be all stainless, or better yet, titanium version for inclement weather hunting.



I agree but as per above, probably not gonna happen for me. Too old school to be cool. Or maybe old school is cool. :D :D
The M98 May be old but no one has made a bolt action any better. Some things are just perfect. Browning model 1894. Mauser's model 98 a Farquarson single shot, the FAL battle rifle. Can't improve on perfection.
 

MS 9x56

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I hear ya. I'm contemplating gun room also but then again I like simple. Oh, the decisions one must make. I only got the .300WM to try it as I always wanted one and a buddy of mine has permission on a huge prairie piece of land where shots are in the 300+ range. My last elk cow was 480 m (after hours of stalking and creeping up on the herd), his last whitetail was nearly nearly 600 m. Unless we're in the trees or bushes, you just do not get close with no cover. So I almost sprang for custom Kimber in 280 for those longer shots instead of the 300. But then again, I can make even the 7x57 or 8x57/60 work to 500 m. Or I could use the 30-06 or build something else...lol...there is no way out of this. :D I will do more shooting this summer (that's the plan anyway) to help me decide which rifles I really like best.

The CO permission sounds very nice for young people. I'm happy for your boy. Both of them actually.
Maybe instead of getting rid of guns you should do what I have done. Set up a rotation. Before each hunting season pick a rifle based on the game being hunted. If you are planning on taking more that 1 animal pick another gun. I only shoot 1 animal then switch guns. Last season I took 4 big game animals with 4 different guns. Next year I will not use any of those 4 until I have taken game with all the rest. This way none of them get jealous and I get to enjoy all my guns
 

Milan

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Maybe instead of getting rid of guns you should do what I have done. Set up a rotation. Before each hunting season pick a rifle based on the game being hunted. If you are planning on taking more that 1 animal pick another gun. I only shoot 1 animal then switch guns. Last season I took 4 big game animals with 4 different guns. Next year I will not use any of those 4 until I have taken game with all the rest. This way none of them get jealous and I get to enjoy all my guns
Ha! Guess what?...That is kind of the direction I'm going. It is looking more and more like a 7x57 and 9.3x62 (hardly any recoil and little noise). Only I may actually sell my current CZ 550 9.3x62 FS and build one on either a Mauser 98 or Brno 21/22. Then maybe couple more I can't part with (this issue I'm still working on). And I only listed my medium game hunting rifles/calibers. I do have more than one .22 also - again 1 for hunting , 1 for targets, 1 for plinking....LOL this needs to dwindle down as well. I already listed one of the rifles I'm not using but nobody is buying much these days. Maybe I should list it here. Somebody must need a varmint rig.
 

Milan

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The short answer is keep the 9.3x62 and sell everything else as it will do anything your calibers you listed in spades. Of course that is an over simplification for a rifle nut who hunts so...... Set aside all the guns you cannot bear to part with, set aside the 9.3x62. Now sell all the rest. But keep or buy a good quality 22 long rifle to practice shooting with to keep you sharp. That's really all you need but for a rifle Looney like us certainly not all you want.(y)
Please ignore my previous post quoting one of your other posts...this above post is the one the reply below was meant for.

Ha! Guess what?...That is kind of the direction I'm going. It is looking more and more like a 7x57 and 9.3x62 (hardly any recoil and little noise). Only I may actually sell my current CZ 550 9.3x62 FS and build one on either a Mauser 98 or Brno 21/22. Then maybe couple more I can't part with (this issue I'm still working on). And I only listed my medium game hunting rifles/calibers. I do have more than one .22 also - again 1 for hunting , 1 for targets, 1 for plinking....LOL this needs to dwindle down as well. I already listed one of the rifles I'm not using but nobody is buying much these days. Maybe I should list it here. Somebody must need a varmint rig.
 

MS 9x56

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Please ignore my previous post quoting one of your other posts...this above post is the one the reply below was meant for.

Ha! Guess what?...That is kind of the direction I'm going. It is looking more and more like a 7x57 and 9.3x62 (hardly any recoil and little noise). Only I may actually sell my current CZ 550 9.3x62 FS and build one on either a Mauser 98 or Brno 21/22. Then maybe couple more I can't part with (this issue I'm still working on). And I only listed my medium game hunting rifles/calibers. I do have more than one .22 also - again 1 for hunting , 1 for targets, 1 for plinking....LOL this needs to dwindle down as well. I already listed one of the rifles I'm not using but nobody is buying much these days. Maybe I should list it here. Somebody must need a varmint rig.
At least if you list and sell them here you know they will go to someone who will use them and take care of them.
 

Milan

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At least if you list and sell them here you know they will go to someone who will use them and take care of them.
Will do. Once I take some pictures I will list them here. At least the ones I know I want to sell. ;)
 

John Telford

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Let’s make it simple - start by getting rid of any non metric calibers...
 

Milan

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Well actually, the first few on the chopping block will be a 6.5x55, .300WM, .375 H&H and 12ga. So mostly non-metric other than the swede.
 

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