Best all around caliber?

Sea37

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My brother in law lives in D.C. and is just getting into shooting and hunting. What would be a good caliber for him to start off with? He will most likely be hunting white tails but will also be coming out west to hunt elk and mulies. I've never hunted back east so I wasn't sure if a 7 mag is over kill or if he should look at the 270 /30-06 range.
 

bobhunts

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Just my own opinion but if I where not sure where I would be hunting and only buying one caliber of rifle the .270 winchester is a flat shooter even with common ammo found in stores about anywhere.. and the 30.06 would pretty much be a close second. Neither is a real kicker but there is a reason they have been around for so long. They do the job well and you can find ammo anywhere! The 7mm rem mag is a good one but comes with a little more recoil. I am without a doubt someone else will pipe in with there favorite and what I mentioned above was only relating to your question. The first rifle I bought for my daughter was a .270 Winchester and I know it will last her for ever. I shoot other calibers and load my own ammo. But for what you asked either of those would suffice in most if not all hunting in North America.Bob.
 
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Sea37

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Thanks guys. I just was wondering if the mag is too much for the short shots on white tail.
 

belly-deep

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The "best all around caliber" is not necessarily the best gun for your BIL.

As posters have said, a 7mm Rem Mag is a very good all around cartridge, as is one of the .300 magnums. But for a gun that will be used primarily for whitetail, I'd go with a .270 Winchester.

The magnums are great, but a shooter pays the price in recoil, ammo cost, muzzle blast, gun weight, and barrel length. The are really unecessary for most whitetail hunting and really serve no advantage for most hunters, especially beginning ones.

A .270 will be easy to shoot, carry, and cheap to practice with. It will also be entirely suitable for western hunting if he gets the chance. I'd be quite happy hunting elk with a good bullet in a .270 for the rest of my life. Just tell him to switch to the Federal 150gr Nosler Partition or 140gr Nosler Accubond when he does so.
 

trk3263

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Growing up in PA I had a 30-06 which was good for anything around there IMO. I still use it out here in Oregon and seems to be working well out here too.
 

tstowater

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First thing I would do is to move from D.C. to get away from the gun owner politics. Then I would look in the 270 Winchester or 280 Remington range as good all around with primary focus.
 

hunting1

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Put me in the 30-06 club. There are so many reasons why, so I will not list them all. The 7MM would serve well too, but I like not having to lug around heavy guns with long barrels. Good luck and I like the .308 too.
 

30-338mag

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Problem you run into when look at rifle to use whitetail,mulie then elk. For many years here in Co you want to hunt deer west of I-25 you had to do it same season as elk and that has changed. I now have elk rifles along with deer rifles but if I decide to hunt both same season I'll take rifle more suited for elk. I've got 270,30-06,284 and some 30 cal mags and some others. If your a handloader hard to beat the 30-06.
 
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Sea37

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Thanks again. I think I will recommend the 270 or 30-06. I personally like the 280 idea but he doesn't reload so it would probably be cheaper and more convenient to stay with one of the more popular rounds.
 

Whisky

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308 is another to consider. Ballistically it's no champion, but it does many things good enough. And for most people's max effective range for hunting, when you consider the many popular cartridges, bullet trajectory is so close it's a non issue. Mild recoil, ammo can be found with ease, very wide bullet selection depending on target of choice, very easy to reload for (if he gets into that), just a good all purpose round, especially for a beginner..... Either that or a 270.

Since you mentioned he is new to shooting rifles, I would DEFINITELY stay away from magnums. Mags don't make the best "learner" rifles. It needs to be pleasant to shoot, so he will shoot it more, and build up fundamentals.
 

Shrek

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I would recommend the 7-08 rem for him. Great all around cartridge back east and good for elk to reasonable ranges. Tied for first in my mind would be the 308 win . You get 95%+ out of these two in short factory barrels that you can get out of a long action cartridge in a slightly shorter and lighter rifle. A model 16 Savage in 7-08 is a sweet basic rifle.
 

Matt Cashell

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I am with Dave on the 7-08. It is funny to me that some guys will extoll the virtues of the 7 RM on elk at 600 yards, but vilify the little 7-08 for elk at any range.

The 7 RM with a 140 Accubond at 600 yards is impacting with virtually the same velocity as the 7-08 does with the same bullet at 400 yards.

The 7-08 is a great cartridge for whitetail that will do for most Western hunting as well.
 

Shrek

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7mm-08 is great if you are a hand loader, but if not another vote for the 06!

Why would you need to hand load to shoot 7-08 ? It's nearly as common as 308 around here. Maybe out west the stores don't stock it as much but back east in whitetail country it is everywhere.
 

Matt Cashell

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Factory 7-08 with quality bullets is stocked in all of the local stores around here as well, but I suppose you won't see it in every gas station as you will a 30-06.

I still like the 7-08 for the OP's uses.
 

dotman

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My vote is 30-06, cause that what I just picked up :). Other then that I'm learning.
 

2rocky

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Factory 7-08 with quality bullets is stocked in all of the local stores around here as well, but I suppose you won't see it in every gas station as you will a 30-06.

I still like the 7-08 for the OP's uses.

I miss that about Idaho....

The rifle that FEELS right in any caliber from .27-.30 .

I second the non-magnum posts. They all kill.
 
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