Opinion: best short range big game caliber

Wojo14

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Ok, I know I'll get tons of options, but what do you think is the best big game (elk/bear/mule/antelope/pig/deer) caliber for ranges within 300 yards.? And why?
I am abow hunter first, but I'm not afraid to get the rifle out for meat if needed. I like rifles too. But, I like to get as close as possible.
~Wojo
 

pwsINC

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Listen to the hunt backcountry podcast, their building a backcountry rifle. Great insight on the episode about caliber selection.

300win mag is great.
308 will do everything you need.
30/06 Will do everything and super easy to find ammo.

270 is a blast to shoot. On the light end for elk I think.

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coop22250

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+1 on 308. I use it on 90% of my hunts here in Alaska. 180 partition took a caribou at 277 this year one shot. 300 is my personal max, so I don't need a magnum for most things excluding brown bear. Short action, lightweight, ammo easy to come by and cheap.
 

HiMtnHntr

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Any medium-sized caliber would work just fine. 30-06 is extremely versitile with a wide range of ammo/bullet choices. 308 or 7mm-08 would be great choices for a slightly smaller, lighter package.
 

TwoTikkas

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The 280 AI brings a lot to the table. Better with the lighter bullets than the old 06. Good sectional density with the 160s and 175s for heavier critters. Easy on brass and your shoulder. A fair amount of cool factor as well.
 

KINGSNAKE

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30-06 is the way to go. By far the biggest factory ammo selection. If you want to reload or pay a ton for ammo look at a 338-06.
 

luke moffat

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+1 on 308. I use it on 90% of my hunts here in Alaska. 180 partition took a caribou at 277 this year one shot. 300 is my personal max, so I don't need a magnum for most things excluding brown bear. Short action, lightweight, ammo easy to come by and cheap.

I agree with this. Hard to beat the little .308 win inside 300 yards or even beyond. I have seen more moose, caribou, grizzly, and sheep killed with a .308 than any other cartridge here in Alaska.

Its funny people think a 300 WM is good all the way to 600 and further yards but somehow the .308 isn't good beyond 300 yards. In reality the 300 wm really only buys you 200 yards or so over a 300 WM and needs 4" more barrel and 50% more powder to get it done.

Both the .308 win and 300 WM shooting a 180 accubond at 2650 and 3100 fps respectively the 308 will hit at 400 yards about as hard as the 300 WM at 600. I don't feel limited by a .308 thats for sure.
 

hodgeman

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A bit about semantics...

300 yards isn't exactly "short range"...not many years ago it was considered "long range". You're really talking about "general purpose" hunting cartridges with 0-300yds on the species you describe.

For the use you describe just about any common big game rifle on earth will do the job...308, .270, .30-06, 300WM, 300WSM, 7-08, 7RM, 280Rem.

Any of them will work.
 

frankrb3

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Man, when I read short range I was thinking inside 100 yards. I got a .44 magnum rifle that I'm trying to kill my bear with this year which means 100 yards or less.
 
OP
Wojo14

Wojo14

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Ya, 300 would be max. 100 yard would be a good shot. I am thinking of a new bolt to play with this summer and stick with it, maybe even start reloading.
~Wojo
 

robtattoo

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.308/.30-06

If I could only have one, it'd be whichever of these two cropped up first in the right rifle, at the right price.
 

sodaksooner

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I was thinking under 100 yards too...lol.

Good old 30-30, or 45-70 was my thought. Would be fun to hunt with one of those.
 

StrutNut

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I too was thinking short range bear, elk, deer. 45-70, 375 Big Bore, any of the larger levers would be ideal for short range. In fact I have my Long Range covered with my 300 win mag and I am casually looking for a Winchester Lever for my close range fun.
 

robtattoo

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For anything under 200, I'm a huge, HUGE fan of my old 336 in .35rem
A 200gn FTX at 2200fps takes a lot of beating in thick woods. I have mine setup as a scout rifle & I've taken a couple of hogs beyond 150yds & several deer within that, all one shot drops.
Wouldn't hesitate to elk/bear hunt with it (if it wasn't so heavy!)
 

robtattoo

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Sent from a mountain somewhere, using telepathy.
 

elkduds

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Under 300 yd, potential for fast followup shots? That is a recipe for a lever action as noted above. My personal tastes run to the Marlins (444!), or Savage 99 in 308 or the Holy Grail of 284.
 

1signguy

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I own several 308's and have always felt like I had plenty of gun-
Building a new 270WSM just for something new and different and think it may be my go to weapon- especially for up close.
 

huntnkat

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I went through this decision not long ago. 300 yards is not even possible where I hunt in TN. Wanted something stretch out that far when I go out West but doubt I ever shoot much past 300 yards. I went with a 7mm-08. It'll do fine on elk etc and the vast majority of my hunting is for whitetails anyway. Hoping the lighter recoil will help my shooting too as I don't get to shoot a ton.

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stevevan

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35 Whelan. Excellent mid range (out to 300 yds) chambering for mice to moose.
 

The John

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303 British....

I have a sportorized Enfield (Santa Fe mountain rifle) that I love..... Iron sites yes but its my go to rifle for most close in hunts. The ballistics are okay out about 300 and fall off very quickly after that.
 
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