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What Caliber Bolt Gun?

This is a discussion on What Caliber Bolt Gun? within the Bolt Action Rifles forums, part of the Long Gun Forum category; I'm picking these three calibers because the gun will need to be big enough to hunt anything in North America, but it doesn't have to ...


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View Poll Results: Which would you choose for an all around hunting rifle?
.270 3 13.64%
.308 8 36.36%
30-06 11 50.00%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-02-2009, 03:57 PM   #1
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What Caliber Bolt Gun?

I'm picking these three calibers because the gun will need to be big enough to hunt anything in North America, but it doesn't have to be big enough to kill an elephant. Plus I like these 3 calibers and eventually will own one of them. Which would you pick and why?



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Old 12-02-2009, 04:05 PM   #2
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

I would not consider any of these suitable for the largest bear or game but for everything else the .30s should be excellent. I like the .308 for the ability to use NATO ammo and the shorter actions possible.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:19 PM   #3
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

308 is a great hunting gun and super target gun and come in a short stiff action and if the SHTF it will handle the Nato rounds .
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:20 PM   #4
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

Any of the three make great all around rifles for north america. I chose the '06 because I frequently hunt larger game than deer. A .270 will certainly do the job on elk, but I trust the 30-06 more. It would not be my first choice for hunting grizzlies, but it has, does, and will continue to do the job. The .308 is certainly a worthy caliber, but anything it can do, the 30-06 can do just a little bit better. Especially when it comes to heavier than 165gr bullets. Personally, I like all the above calibers. I will have an example of each in the future. Knowing that it would be a while before I could afford that, I stuck with the good old 30-06 in a bolt gun for a start.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

I've owned and hunted with the 30-06 and the .308. I like both guns, but am leaning towards the .308 for reason stated above. The Mil ammo and the short action. I would of course hand load and think that I could probably come very close to 30-06 factory rounds and could load light 110 grain ammo for varmints. I've never owned or even shot a .270, but am curious as to what you all think about them. Decisions, decisions.



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Old 12-02-2009, 05:01 PM   #6
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinist
I would not consider any of these suitable for the largest bear or game but for everything else the .30s should be excellent. I like the .308 for the ability to use NATO ammo and the shorter actions possible.
+1
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:37 PM   #7
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

I went for the .270 as it's a sentimental favorite...I think the .270 is just a bit more flat shooting than the .30-06 but the difference is pretty negligible. If you find a deal on any either the .270 or .30-06 that's the right caliber. I don't care for the .308 as much, as it's a bit light for elk/bear sized critters.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:39 PM   #8
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

....308...USMC and the M14!!!



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Old 12-02-2009, 06:42 PM   #9
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

The difference between the .308 and .30-06 is so small that if one is acceptable for bear and one is not, the one that is is far too marginal. I have not hunted them but I tend to think .350 caliber and 250 grains should be a minimum. It would not be the first time I'm full of poop but I can't see that small a difference in performance being that significant.
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:34 PM   #10
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

...I haven't hunted them, either, but I'll bet amongst those calibers...bullet placement would be the deciding factor...any of them could lay him down....



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Old 12-03-2009, 03:35 AM   #11
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinist
The difference between the .308 and .30-06 is so small that if one is acceptable for bear and one is not, the one that is is far too marginal. I have not hunted them but I tend to think .350 caliber and 250 grains should be a minimum. It would not be the first time I'm full of poop but I can't see that small a difference in performance being that significant.

I think because the 30-06 case is longer it can be packed hotter with a heavier bullet. I think it would have an advantage within the first 100 yards or so and after that it would lose it. I don't know this for fact, but seems likely. I know that in the past I've read that outfitters that guide for brown bear required the 30-06 as the minimum caliber. I think that under 100 yards, with proper shot placement, all 3 calibers would work. I've been reading a lot about hog hunting all over the internet, and am seeing that a lot of people hunt large pigs with 223's. I would think this is too small, but with proper shot placement and the right bullet, it seems to work just fine. I also at one time thought the .243 to be too small for deer. I was very wrong.



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Old 12-03-2009, 04:21 AM   #12
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

308..........mainly because i prefer it in shorter carbines/lighter guns...........

if i did it all over again, i'd pass on all three and probably go with the 6.5 swede.........dreams of that Alaska hunt have long sense faded.............
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:29 AM   #13
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

You have to remember that up until 50 years or so ago that the .30-06 was considered a real boomer round. For a long time it was about as heavy recoiling as it got for most people. The .270 just being a necked down .30-06 case was a marginal improvement in the flat shooting department, but they really over lap each other as far as usefulness...

It wasn't until much more recent times that people got "magnumitis" and decided that the .300 win mags, the 7mm Mag, the .338 Win Mag and all the other big boomers were necessary to kill animals. The .243 or 6mm Remington was a deer killing standard along with the venerable old .30-30. They get the job done, and there are millions of dead deer out there that can attest to just how lethal they are (if a dead deer could talk of course).

Would I take a .308 on a hunt of a lifetime for elk or coastal brown bear? Hell no, but If I had to put one down with it, with a good shot, AND A GOOD QUALITY BULLET, I'm sure it would get the job done.

Just don't expect a Speer Hot-Core cheepy bullet to preform to the same standard as a Sierra Game King, or a Nosler Partition on big game...they won't. Bullets are like everything else, you get what you pay for.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:23 AM   #14
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

Of the 3 choices I picked the .308 as well.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:51 AM   #15
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

no vote from me.

since your a handloader I would have to say a 444 or 45/70.these can be loaded from mild to wild and both are very accurate with cast bullets.
just my .02

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Old 12-03-2009, 07:30 AM   #16
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

I like the 308 because it's light and easy to handle and will work for anythig I'll run into but for safety sake (Mine) I usually cary my 45/70 Marlin loaded with Garrett ammo.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:05 AM   #17
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

I chose 06, because it is the only one of those I have ever shot. But I would likely have chosen it anyway. I have a fondness for the round, due to its role in WWII. It seems like the most versatile of the three rounds too.


"The do-all .30-06: from mice to moose, the venerable '06 can take 'em all"
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...0/ai_n6209996/
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:20 AM   #18
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johngoboom

Would I take a .308 on a hunt of a lifetime for elk or coastal brown bear? Hell no, but If I had to put one down with it, with a good shot, AND A GOOD QUALITY BULLET, I'm sure it would get the job done.
excellent point..........lifetime hunts are it seems getting high dollar and rare.......and ammo is really the cheapist component of the hunt. In such an instance, i would indeed pay for the preminum bullet.........

i can not bring myself to pay however for another rifle that may only get used just once......i'd rather spend on the ammo and scope to get years of usage instead of a one time hunt.

Too many people do indeed have "magnumitis"......
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:43 AM   #19
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

I said 308 because of its ability to hunt small or large game alike.It is used for deer,varmint and in military too.Thats my reason.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:00 PM   #20
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Re: What Caliber Bolt Gun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by txpete
no vote from me.

since your a handloader I would have to say a 444 or 45/70.these can be loaded from mild to wild and both are very accurate with cast bullets.
just my .02

pete

But is the 45-70 going to shoot that big chunk of lead nice and flat out to 300+ yards?



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