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what caliber should I buy?

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Unread 11-13-2011, 01:02 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 113
Re: what caliber should I buy?

Shot placement. Helps more than any big cal will. My son shooting a 270WSM gets frustrated that when I shoot a dear with a 250 savage it drops so much quicker. I tend to wait longer for a good shot. I was tring to show him last year to be more patient. Hit them in boiler room, never travel more than a few paces.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 03:29 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 420
Re: what caliber should I buy?

Well he did mention hunting animals that cost more per day when all is said and done than the average rifle costs. Unless he is hunting with the judge these animals aren't even available on the same continent. Once he arrives at these locations there is more to hunt than mentioned. can a rifle that is not considered over all adequate for the combination of these areas be taken seriously, I dont remember Dik Dik being mentioned as a species on his list. Telling a person to learn to shoot isn't much of a recommendation in this instance, neither are trick shots that are better left for paper targets. Now that we are not in Kansas any more it is probably not wise to equip ourselves as though we were!
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Unread 11-13-2011, 06:19 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 805
Re: what caliber should I buy?

There is no caliber that will guarantee "dead right there" unless it is so explosive it splatters the carcass of what you are shooting. Only bullet placement into the brain or spinal column will guarantee an animal drops in its' tracks.

That said, kinetic energy does matter, and cartridges starting with 7 MM RUM, going through .300 Weatherby & RUM, then jumping to .338 Lapua, RUM, and the .338-378 Weatherby.

If you were only talking deer & staying inside 400 yards I would say look no farther than the .25-06 or .257 Weatherby. Both are fast enough they liquify tissue on contact. The first 3 deer I shot with a .25-06 didn't have a heart or lungs when I opened them up. The area ahead of the diaphragm was full of red soup.

For elk on up I believe a .300 Weatherby is the smallest cartridge I would recommend. Yes, I know elk are killed with .243s, but a lot of elk are also hit with those bullets only to die a week later. I am seriously thinking about a .338 RUM or .338-.378 Weatherby for my next elk cartridge — and it looks like you are also. I picked up a nice .375 H&H for elk in the timber where shots shouldn't be over 400 yards but I prefer a flatter shooting cartridge for open ground.

There is a big problem with shooting deer with a cannon — the cannon ball sized hole through the deer. One reason I went to the .25-06 for deer was the damage my 7 Mag did to deer carcasses if I shot one within 75 yards. There is also the reality that few people shoot big guns as well as they do smaller guns.

Last edited by Buano; 11-13-2011 at 09:33 PM.
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Unread 11-13-2011, 08:04 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 2,232
Re: what caliber should I buy?

As has been mentioned, there is no perfect caliber. A single day hunting might need 2-3 "perfect" rifles, depending on the range, terrain and wind. Hunting in Africa would complicate the issue of "perfect", since the quarry can change in 2 minutes time. I've given this question a considerable amount of thought over the last 30 years, and have come up with a "set" of rifles that I can choose from for just about any task at hand. I'm still looking for #4 below, but own the others and all shoot 1/2 MOA or better.

In order of smallest game/lightest skin/closest to largest/heaviest/furthest
1)243 Winchester (55gr and 90gr bullets)
2) 7mm Rem Magnum (160gr Accubond bullets)
3) .338 Edge (300gr SMK bullets)
4) .375 H&H / .375 Ruger / .375 RUM
5) .338 Allen Magnum (probably re-barrel to .375 allen mag in 5-6 years when barrel is toast).

If I was visiting Africa, I'd bring #2 and #4.

I bring #1, #2, or #5 when going after deer, the terrain and situation will determine which one I use.
I bring #2,#3,#5 for Elk (it would be #2,#4,#5 if I had #4)

For coyotes, I take #1,#2 (and a .22lr :-) )

So answering your question "which caliber should I buy?" is pretty much impossible. For expensive game up to 400 yards (including Africa), I'd just get #4 if you can handle the recoil, add something similar to #2 for the plains game.

Scopes are an entirely different discussion. I really like the 4.5x14x40 Leupold for general use. I wouldn't use that much magnification for dangerous game.
I use the Nightforce scopes on my sit and wait guns (ie. Long range style,NP-R1 reticles)
The 1x4 has a HEAVY duplex, on 1x I can keep both eyes open and focus on anything from the end of the barrel out to 50 yards easily. At 4x, it's not an issue shooting to 400yards.
The others have standard duplex (#1,#2)

I have the following scopes for the above rifles:
1) 2.5x8x36 Leupold
2) 4.5x14x40 Leupold
3) 3.5x15x50 Nightforce
4) 1x4 Leupold (I have the scope, just looking for the right rifle) (will upgrade to 1x4x24 Nightforce at some point).
5) 3.5x15x50 Nightforce

Hope this is of some help,
If some is good and more is better, then too much is just right.

My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought, cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives
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Unread 11-13-2011, 11:24 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: N. Texas and S. Africa
Posts: 8,094
Re: what caliber should I buy?

Originally Posted by buckmaster5563 View Post
I am looking a deer rifle with tremendous knockdown power. Tired of deer running. Need rifle that will drop them where they stand. Also hunt elk, red stag and caribou. Largest quarry would be a kudu or gemsbok. Have had a lazzeroni warbird, but it was not consistently accurate and did not perform as advertised. Should I look at the 300 RUM, 338 Lapau, 338-378 Weatherby? Price is not a huge concern; will gladly pay for dependable performance. How about scopes...are Zeiss, svarosky, huskemow worth the money or are there cheaper models that perform equally well? Most of my shots are 400 yards or less. Thanks.
At those ranges the 300RUM is plenty of gun for just about any game and is much more tolerable on recoil than the big cased .338's.

Of course at those ranges the .300 and .338 WM would also suffice pretty well.

More often than not critters running off isn't so much a problem of "not enough gun" vs "not the right chioce in bullet selection."

What caliber have you been shooting and what ammo/bullets that is giving you problems?

As for the scopes you named all make great glass and are very dependable with good warranty and service. I can't speak directly to the Huskemaw as I have no first hand experience with them but they are spoken highly of by those that use them.
Without the First and Second Amendments the rest of The Constitution is Meaningless.
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Unread 11-27-2011, 08:43 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 237
Re: what caliber should I buy?

Buckmaster5563 ,,,,,

Lazzeroni caliber 7.82 (.308) Warbird is by far Lazzeronis’ #1 chambering, and I believe that it is the world's BEST all-around hunting caliber ,,,,

The Warbird is the fastest commercially chambered/factory loaded 30 caliber cartridge in the world, it is beltless, it headspaces on the shoulder, and makes the most efficient use of its powder capacity, compared to all other super-magnums available ,,,,

Smack any sized deer in the chest cavity (heart, lung, liver), using our extremely accurate 168gr HPBT factory loading for the Warbird, and 90% of them will never take another step ,,,, the other 10% are what we call "walking-dead" ,,,

please tell me more about the Lazzeroni Warbird rifle you had with accuracy issues ,,, serial number if possible ,,,,,,
John Lazzeroni
Lazzeroni Arms Co
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Unread 11-27-2011, 08:57 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: OHIO
Posts: 2,417
Re: what caliber should I buy?

I've been using a 270 on deer since the 80s. I've killed a LOT of deer. I can think of maybe 2 that didn't drop dead but actually made it around 3-15 steps, at best maybe 30 yards from where hit.

The bullet I used more than any other was a ballistic tip.

Just a thought, but if you are tired of deer running off then put the bullet in the shoulder and it won't matter what you shoot.
Derek M.
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