Best All Around North American Hunting Cartridge?
So first off I live in Canada and I will mostly hunt Whitetail, also Elk and Moose once in a while (every couple years). My hunting is mostly done in the bush but sometimes some field shooting (not road hunting) I own some land being a field. In the bush my shots are usually around 150 yards maybe 200 yards, and my field shots are probably 300 yards max.
My father already owns a .30-06 and says it's an all around caliber for all that type of shooting cause he's done it. Not that I don't think .30-06 isn't an all around caliber it kind of in a way wanted something a little different if possible. My rifle I will be purchasing will be a Tikka T3 Lite Stainless Lefthanded for those who wanted to know what rifle all be using. All my friends shoot .270's and they say there the best and are fine as well for Elk and Moose. Also some of my friends recommended the .270 WSM. Of course dad just tells me to get the .30-06 meanwhile all my hunting friends say their garbage. They pull lines like "you never see .30-06's on the hunting channels anymore, now you see .270's, .270WSM's, .300WSM's, and .308's" also ".270's and .270WSM's are flatter shooting and more accurate and faster and don't have an arch like the .30-06.
But I don't see the reason with them, ya their not a short action, big deal, extra inch or two of bolt extraction and ya their not flat shooting but I don't really see people stop believing in it as being the best all around caliber. I also want to take recoil into account. I don't want to develop a flinch right before every shot I make. I'll be buying a Limbsaver no matter what caliber I end up getting, I want an enjoyable shooting rifle that I can take basically anything with in North America. I only plan on buying one rifle for everything, not 5 rifles.
Ammo availability wouldn't be a problem or cost of ammo. I really want the stainless barrel instead of the blued rifle and where I live the .270WSM only comes with a blued barrel and the other calibers for this scenario are fine meaning they come stainless and lefthanded so. I'm stuck and I need help fast, I'm going tomorrow to get a gun no matter what a need a solid plan, Please answer if you have experience with these rifles and what not, need genuine answers pronto.
- falconry2Lv 77 years agoFavorite Answer
I've been using 30-06 for almost 40 years in the same role you plan for and haven't needed a 2nd shot yet. The 30-06 loads I use are my hand loads that have Nosler Accu-Bond bullets and MOA accuracy and I sight in for a 200 yard ZERO,so my ballistic envelope and optics match well (3x9 Variable or similar is great for larger game hunting) and I would be fine with a 300 yard shot with my rifles. I also have a 300 WSM now that my son uses the "aught six" but I certainly don't recommend a WSM,Weatherby proprietary cartridge,or RUM,RSAUM,or non-standard cartridge rifle unless you reload.
As for 270,yeah, I've seen it for elk/moose use but with premium loads and it isn't something I would recommend. The 308 Win isn't much below 30-06 performance with 150 or sometimes 165 grain loads but the 30-06 can easily handle 180 grain bullets while the 308 doesn't. So, I guess there is a reason I've stayed with 30-06;only other cartridge that I might recommend and which I see almost as much for elk/deer as 30-06 is the 7mm Rem Mag: it gets great sectional densities at 160 and 170 grain bullet weights for use on those elk or moose with equal or better velocities as 30-06 (depending on loads/powders used). They both recoil at about 20 pound felt energy but the 7mm will cost a bit more normally in factory loads. And bullet selection will matter for elk and moose,you need a bonded core or controlled expansion for best depth penetration on the larger animals;while a Nosler Ballistic Tip might be OK for deer it's too frangible for elk/moose/bear use. And of course shot placement matters. So, I suggest 30-06 or 7mm RM,use a quality bullet like an Accu-Bond,Barnes TSX,Winchester XP-3, Nosler E-Tip or Hornaday GMX;least I would recommend are the Rem Core Lokt and Federal Fusion loads.
- AndyLv 77 years ago
Well, regardless of what your friends think the 30-06 has probably taken more game than those other calibers you mention put together. For the hunting your describing the 30-06 seems perfect to me. Bullet choice is important and the 30-06 has many choices. If you have to be different get a .308. If you hand load ammo a .280 Remington is a great caliber. Look at some loading manuals and you'll see what I mean. But really the 30-06 is hard to beat.It's what I shoot.
- 7 years ago
Get both??? In all seriousness, any one who says a 30.06 is not a "flat" shooter, and is "Garbage" obviously has no Idea what there talking about, and is more then likely not good company. I suggest you look at some ballistic tables, and some ammo prices. http://www.remington.com/comparison.aspx
I defiantly would not get a 270 wsm running at 37 dollars a box for the crap stuff, is not very affordable.
If I was you I would use your dads rifle for the big stuff ( elk,caribou,moose) if not, I know how younger people can be, I would get something like a 223 or a 25.06 (25.06 can be pricy, but easy on your shoulder) or a 243 or even a 308, but that is just my opinion, and you have to decide for your self. Just remember with those smaller rounds like the 25.06 and the 223 you can hunt racoons, groundhogs, and so on. P.S I would look at other less expensive options for the rifle like a Remington 700 that are just as good if not better, and remember you have to buy an optic and your optic is 3/4ths the guns ability (and ammo) on it's own. P.SS if your looking to be "different" look up the k31 swiss
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- John de WittLv 77 years ago
What you see on TV has more to do with what they want to sell than with what's best. For elk and moose, 30-06 is always going to be better than smaller calibers, and the 30 magnums are a bit much for whitetail.
I find myself in the awkward position of extolling the virtues of 30-06, since I don't have one. I'm fortunate enough to have more specialized rifles for each purpose. But the only other cartridge I'd consider in the Tikka is the 338 Federal.
- BBeanLv 77 years ago
Ammo and weapons have a popularity status just like movie stars and sports heros. They all seem to enjoy their "15 minutes" of fame. I think the 30-06 has just been around too long and taken as a comparison round. Yes the .270 is great, but can it take down a game animal that the .30-06 cannot? It seems that you already know enough about the options so just get something different from what your Dad has.....it`s natural.
- pajasoncLv 55 years ago
At the ranges you specified(300 yards max) all the calibers you listed, 270, 270 wsm, 30-06,308, 300 wsm are basically going to have the same effectiveness. There is little difference. They will all take the game you listed with the proper bullet and shot placement. If ranges were stretched on game the size of elk and moose I would choose the 300 wsm, but for 200 to 300 yard shots they will all work. Pick the one you like best. One note the 300 wsm will have a noticeably stiffer recoil than the others with the 06 and 270 wsm being next.
- Mr.357Lv 77 years ago
Any friends that recommend any of the WSMs should be downgraded to acquaintances. The .30-06 has been killing stuff for over 100 years. It will be killing stuff for at least another 100 years.
- who WAS #1?Lv 77 years ago
I won't claim to have an opinion on "best" but historically more deer have been taken with a .30-30 in America than any other round.
- Space CowboyLv 77 years ago
Sorry...but if you are asking strangers what kind of caliber you should get, I would tell you to make up your own mind....AFTER you do some more research as you seem a little young and inexperienced.