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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 48 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 20 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 3 years 4 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 3 years 4 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 20 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 48 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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