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The Best Big-Game Calibers

Here are Jim Carmichel's picks for the minimum, recommended and best calibers for ten different big-game species. Are you using enough gun on your hunting trips? Find out.
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Pronghorn


Minimum Caliber

.243 Win., 6mm Rem.

Recommended

.250 Savage, .257 Roberts, .25/06 Rem., .257 Wby. Mag., .260 Rem., .264 Win. Mag., .270 Win., .280 Rem., .30/06

Jim's Favorite

.257 Wby. Mag.




Whitetail


Minimum Caliber

.243 Win., 6mm Rem.

Recommended

.250 Savage, .257 Roberts, .25/06, .260 Rem., .270 Win., 7mm/08 Rem., .280 Rem., .30/30, .308 Win., .30/06, .35 Rem.

Jim's Favorite

.260 Rem.




Mule Deer


Minimum Caliber

.250 Savage, .257 Roberts

Recommended

.25/06, .260 Rem., .270 Win., 7mm/08 Rem., .280 Rem., .308 Win., .30/06

Jim's Favorite

.280 Rem.




Caribou


Minimum Caliber

.25/06, .260 Rem., 7mm/08 Rem.

Recommended

.270 Win., .280 Rem., .308 Win., .30/06, any of the 7mm or .300 magnums

Jim's Favorite

7x57 and .280 Rem.




Mountain Goat


Minimum Caliber

.257 Wby. Mag.

Recommended

.270 Win., .280 Rem., .30/06, any of the .270, 7mm or .300 magnums

Jim's Favorite

.270 Win. and .280 Rem.




Sheep


Minimum Caliber

.25/06, .257 Wby. Mag.

Recommended

.270 Win., .280 Rem., .30/06, any of the .270, 7mm or .300 magnums

Jim's Favorite

.280 Rem.




Elk


Minimum Caliber

.25/06, .260 Rem., 7mm/08 Rem., .308 Win.

Recommended

.270 Win., .280 Rem., .30/06, any of the 7mm, .300, or .338 magnums, .325 Win., .338 Win. Mag.

Jim's Favorite

.338 Win. Mag.




Moose


Minimum Caliber

.270 Win., .280 Rem., .308 Win.

Recommended

.30/06, any of the 7mm, .300 or .338 magnums, .325 Win.

Jim's Favorite

.338 Win. Mag.




Black Bear


Minimum Caliber

.30/30 Win.

Recommended

.270 Win., .280 Rem., .308 Win., .30/06, .338 Fed., .35 Rem., .444 Marlin, .45/70

Jim's Favorite

.308 Win.




Grizzly Bear


Minimum Caliber

.30/06 (with 180-gr. or heavier premium bullets)

Recommended

.300 and .338 magnums, .340 Wby. Mag., .375 H&H Mag.

Jim's Favorite

.338 Win. Mag. (with .250-gr. bullets)

Comments (3)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Craig Watkins wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

CAN AN ELK BE TAKEN WITH A T/C 50 CAL.MUZZLE WITH A 240GR. PROJECTILE? THANK YOU CRAIG

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from Harry A. Schork wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Just wanted to answer your question. The 35 Whelen can anything a 30-06 can do with big game and do it a little bit better.
Google Chuck Hawks's article on the .35 Caliber Cartridge Family. He said:
"Moving down a notch and comparing the .35 Whelen (250 grain bullet at a MV of 2400 fps) to the .30-06 (220 grains at 2410 fps), which have nearly identical case capacity, we find that the optimum game range (OGW) on 1000 pound animals is 10 yards for the .30-06 and 100 yards for the .35 Whelen. Quite a difference!"
Hope this helps....

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from vintageboltguns wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Hello I'm Britt, I'm new to this forum, and was wondering where everyone stands with the .35 Whelen. I've recently custom built an old Vz. 24 and re-barreled it for .35 Whelen, and wondering if it would be more than suitable for grizzly and moose. (the Alaskan species)

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Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from vintageboltguns wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Hello I'm Britt, I'm new to this forum, and was wondering where everyone stands with the .35 Whelen. I've recently custom built an old Vz. 24 and re-barreled it for .35 Whelen, and wondering if it would be more than suitable for grizzly and moose. (the Alaskan species)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Harry A. Schork wrote 2 years 7 weeks ago

Just wanted to answer your question. The 35 Whelen can anything a 30-06 can do with big game and do it a little bit better.
Google Chuck Hawks's article on the .35 Caliber Cartridge Family. He said:
"Moving down a notch and comparing the .35 Whelen (250 grain bullet at a MV of 2400 fps) to the .30-06 (220 grains at 2410 fps), which have nearly identical case capacity, we find that the optimum game range (OGW) on 1000 pound animals is 10 yards for the .30-06 and 100 yards for the .35 Whelen. Quite a difference!"
Hope this helps....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Craig Watkins wrote 1 year 35 weeks ago

CAN AN ELK BE TAKEN WITH A T/C 50 CAL.MUZZLE WITH A 240GR. PROJECTILE? THANK YOU CRAIG

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

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