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.

Pronghorn

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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
7×57 and .280 Rem.


Mountain Goat

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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

The Best Big-Game Calibers

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)