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Which caliber bolt gun would you choose?

  • .243

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • .270

    Votes: 6 13.0%
  • .308

    Votes: 16 34.8%
  • 30-06

    Votes: 23 50.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was at the local shop, and mentioned to a bud I had a Sig M400. He is trying to rebuild his collection after a massive house fire, and he bought my AR pistol a couple of months ago. Well, I'm in the market for a long range rifle, and he showed me a new shipment of Savage M11's they had just gotten in. They are topped with the Bushnell DOA 600 scope(3-9x standard, and he would swap it for a 4-12x if I wanted), action is already bedded in the synthetic stock(passes the business card test), and has the Accu-trigger system. They are selling for right at $450-$550 OTD depending on caliber. After checking a couple of parts boxes when I got home, I have narrowed it down to 4 calibers. I know what the Sig is worth, and this would be a straight across swap with a few boxes of ammo tossed in. Since finishing a couple of other builds, the Sig has become a safe queen, and the oldest wants me to go hunting with him this fall. We will be doing mule deer, elk, and possibly moose.

Now, here's why I chose the 4 listed:

-.243: I have access to the reloading dies, and my MIL has about 200 rounds of old Western ammo I can get.
-.270 Winchester: I have a set of RCBS dies for this caliber, including the neck-size only.
-.308 Winchester: NATO ammo is slowly returning to pre-panic prices, and 7.62 NATO brass is somewhat abundant from the range for reloading. I would have to get a die set for this caliber.
-30-06: Not listed on the Savage website, but is offered in the M11. This one is tapping the $550 mark. I would have to get dies for this one as well, but I'm sitting on about 200 pieces of once-fired brass and roughly 150 projectiles right now.

I'm leaning towards the 30-06, but the .308 makes more sense due to ammo offerings/availability.

So, which would you choose and why?
 

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From a moose hunting forum where a similar question was polled:


  • 30-06 (24.0%) chose as their favorite moose rifle.
  • .308 (10.4%)
  • 300 Win Mag (10.0%)
  • 7mm Rem Mag (8.8%)
  • .270 Win (6.5 %)
  • .338 Win Mag (5.2%)
  • .300 WSM (4.7)

Anticipated length of shot?
broadside only or other riskier shots?
Moose are big and the bones are too. Wounded animals is not good.

I’m not in moose territory but from what I own I’d take my 30-06 fwiw.
 

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All of the above. I have 3006 and 308 Mossbergs. Both are fine. I used to have a 270 Remington that took a few deer down. Never had a 243 but know guys that love theirs.

Right now I have a AK in 7.62x54r. It's my new deer rifle. Accurate and lots of fun and I don't have to remember to work the bolt. LOL

I voted for 308 cause that's what I used for my last deer. But if you're leaning towards 3006 then go for it.
 

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I was at the local shop, and mentioned to a bud I had a Sig M400. He is trying to rebuild his collection after a massive house fire, and he bought my AR pistol a couple of months ago. Well, I'm in the market for a long range rifle, and he showed me a new shipment of Savage M11's they had just gotten in. They are topped with the Bushnell DOA 600 scope(3-9x standard, and he would swap it for a 4-12x if I wanted), action is already bedded in the synthetic stock(passes the business card test), and has the Accu-trigger system. They are selling for right at $450-$550 OTD depending on caliber. After checking a couple of parts boxes when I got home, I have narrowed it down to 4 calibers. I know what the Sig is worth, and this would be a straight across swap with a few boxes of ammo tossed in. Since finishing a couple of other builds, the Sig has become a safe queen, and the oldest wants me to go hunting with him this fall. We will be doing mule deer, elk, and possibly moose.

Now, here's why I chose the 4 listed:

-.243: I have access to the reloading dies, and my MIL has about 200 rounds of old Western ammo I can get.
-.270 Winchester: I have a set of RCBS dies for this caliber, including the neck-size only.
-.308 Winchester: NATO ammo is slowly returning to pre-panic prices, and 7.62 NATO brass is somewhat abundant from the range for reloading. I would have to get a die set for this caliber.
-30-06: Not listed on the Savage website, but is offered in the M11. This one is tapping the $550 mark. I would have to get dies for this one as well, but I'm sitting on about 200 pieces of once-fired brass and roughly 150 projectiles right now.

I'm leaning towards the 30-06, but the .308 makes more sense due to ammo offerings/availability.

So, which would you choose and why?
The same as you posted ".308 makes more sense due to ammo offerings/availability."
 

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30-06 since you mention moose hunting. The 243 is ruled out when you said elk hunting. The 308 and 30-06 are basically the same factory loads but since you intend to hand load, the 30-06 can be loaded hotter for moose or weaker for the range. As a hunting rifle, is brass really much of a deciding factor? Do you expect it to see a lot of rangerange time?
 

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Except for a couple of 30-30 shots at close range, all my hunting kills were made with a 30-06 bolt gun. If you handload you can jack up the bullet weight close to magnum standards, provided you have a quality rifle. Having said that, 308 Winchester with bullets in the 155 to 175 grain range is hard to beat unless you're going after wooly mammoth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From a moose hunting forum where a similar question was polled:


  • 30-06 (24.0%) chose as their favorite moose rifle.
  • .308 (10.4%)
  • 300 Win Mag (10.0%)
  • 7mm Rem Mag (8.8%)
  • .270 Win (6.5 %)
  • .338 Win Mag (5.2%)
  • .300 WSM (4.7)

Anticipated length of shot? Most elk shots run between the 200-400 yd range. Mule deer can run from 100-400 yds. Moose can put you into the 600-800 yd range.
broadside only or other riskier shots? Broadside, head, or base of neck/shoulder area. Elk like to use cover, and the older ones aren't stupid. Once they pop their head up, you only have seconds to line up and pop it.
Moose are big and the bones are too. Wounded animals is not good. I know. I helped a neighbor dress/butcher a moose 2 years ago. On my oldest's first hunt, he learned real fast about shot placement. We had to track a deer for almost a mile before it bled out.

I’m not in moose territory but from what I own I’d take my 30-06 fwiw.
Hope this clarifies things a bit.
 

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I already have 30-06 and 308 and several good varmint rifles (so no to the 243), a 270 would have some utility at the longest whitetail ranges and be interesting.
 

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.270 fan here.
 
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I don't hunt 'em but I have a 6.5mm Swedish Mooser and a 8mm Turkish Mooser....:unsure:.................:mellow:....apparently Turkey has bigger mooses than Sweden.
 

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Only bolt guns I own are a Mosin that fires a round very similar to 30-06; and a Mossberg Patriot in .375 Ruger... if I had to have a big critter gitter, and bolt action was mandatory, 1 of those would have to suffice. I'm not much of a hunter, but the Ruger is more than adequate for just about anything on the planet.
 

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I said 308 mostly because I like to load that round. Obviously, one needs to know more about the application. I mean, I wouldn't pick the 308 to hunt for elk or sheep from a long distance, that would require the 270 or 30-06. Admittedly, I'm no gun expert, I just pretend to be one on the internet.;)
 

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I have little to no experience with the calibers you mention and their use. Based on that vast knowledge it's a tie for me between the 30.06 and the .308. Strictly for hunting I would think the 30.06. For a cross platform, bolt rifle and AR10, I would go with the .308.

Other than that loading dies are cheap!
 

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I really want a Scout style rifle so my next bolt gun will probably be a .308 but I already have a .300 Win mag for the things you are planning on hunting. The larger powder capacity of the .30-06 over the .308 will always give it a performance edge.
 

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Ain't much in the lower 48 that a .30-'06 won't take.
 
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30-06 makes for a 6-800 yard gun as does the 270. Bullet drop at range is greater for the 30-06. for that reason I'd go with the 270. 270 might however be a bit light against a moose but you an get the right combo of powder and bullet to make it work well.
 

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270 is a necked down 30-06. Just saying. I have a 700 in that cal and it's done me well.

30-06 makes for a 6-800 yard gun as does the 270. Bullet drop at range is greater for the 30-06. for that reason I'd go with the 270. 270 might however be a bit light against a moose but you an get the right combo of powder and bullet to make it work well.
 

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Gotta go with the 30-06 for reasons given. Not much a 30-06 won’t work for. Also, “baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and 30-06 . . . .”
 
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