2 Rifles for Big Game.


Mar 11, 2002
I'm consolidating my collection(I know...I know ) and am going to use two rifles for all my hunting. I want an easy shooting cartridge that's outstanding on deer/antelope and something with some punch for elk, caribou, moose, bear, etc.

I'll be using a Rem 700 for my deer rifle. I'm leaning towards the 25-06 but the jury's still out. Other cartridges I'm considering on the low end include the 270, 280, 257 Wby, and 7mm Rem Mag.

Since elk, caribou, moose, bear, etc. are only dream hunts, I have very little experience on the upper end of this spectrum. Odds are that I'll be using another SS Rem 700 but a Ruger, Winchester, or Sako aren't out of the question. I'm leaning towards a 338 Win but the 338 Ultra, 375 H&H, 375 Ultra, and 416 Rem look good too.

What's your opinion??
Hello Nebraska

Since I have killed most of the game you discribed and if I were a short range hunter as I think you are, my choice would be;

1. The 270 or 280 for both whitetail and mule deer.

2. For larger "dream Hunts" I would go with the 338 Winchester mag.

To take it one step further.
If you wanted to go with only ONE gun in your collection that would cover the deer, elk, carabou, moose and black bear, you had on your list the 7mm Mag. That one would be the caliber I would use for all the game you mentioned if I had to go to only "ONE" rifle.

Just my opinion

[ 11-14-2002: Message edited by: Darryl Cassel ]

Here's an Honest opinion from a guide who just got through a busy season..

For Deer Whitetail or Mulies.. 25-06 is great but it can't buck the wind.. you still need the 150+ gr bullets in my opinion. I'd go with the 7mm cal on up... 30 preferably

For the Elk .. well.. the ultra mags are new, big and powerful .. YOU DO NOT NEED THEM!!! unless you are going to hunt at distance. there is no need for an ultra mag at 200 yards or less... a 30-06 will do the same job inside of 200 yards that 300 RUM will do the Elk will still die the same

For Elk/ moose caribou inside of 200 yards .. it hard to beat the 338 win. mag. This will stop a bear too...

The 416 is completely unnecessary unless your hunting Kodiak bears

I saw way to many hunters bring these ultra mags out here for shots at 80 yards.. the bullet went through so fast it never had time to do what is was supposed to do...

Use your head ... if your shots are gonna be 200 yards inside or there about your standard magnums are all fine....

just my .02
Hello Ric

I think we are on the same thought patterns here as to rifles and calibers, for the most part.

I killed many deer with my old 270 and now carry a 280 Mountain rifle (with 168 MKs of course) when I'm short range hunting.
The 7/300 Weatherby with a 29 1/2" barrel) is my carry gun (weighs 9 1/2 lb with a 6x to 20x Leupold) for elk or ridge shooting in the west. That one does the job to 1250 yards without many problems at all. It also has a bypod.

I do think (for Nebraska) the 338 Win mag will kill anything he goes after in North America if the shots are inside of 200 to 250 yards.

Have a good one.
Woo Hoo .. does this mean I am finally getting it.. cool... Yeah I kinda thought we think along the same lines.. I think the main difference is that
1. You have more money to play with
2. More time
3. Have a buddy who is a gunsmith...I'm still trying to figure out how you pulled that off......

But anyway.....

The RUM's are really cool but I really think that unless your 300 yards or even further out I think it's over kill... I can attest ( as I am sure other here can too ) that my .308 can be and is as effective on Mule deer to 700+ yards. If and only if the shot placement is where it needs to be... but I know the general public would think I am way under gunned!! For Whitetail at 200 yards or less I really would be hard pressed to find a better cal. all aspects considered...

I have to be honest though.. the wife came through for me again for by B-day.... not sure how she did it but she scraped enough away to have another rifle built for me...( says it took her 2 years without me noticing) it's gonna be a 300 winny...
you should see what I'm getting her....

But .. the 300 winny will be an effective Elk gun to 500yards.. this same gun will get me to 1K on deer.. way more than needed because I hunt alone most of the time....

I saw alot of guys with the big boomers here this year.. 50% were afraid of them....
Hello Ric

1. More Money?????? I'm broke and the kids are starving. You must be doing well. A new 300 Weatherby rifle and a new BMW for the wife?

2. More Time?????? I'm retired, but I can't figure out how I ever had time to go to work.
I'm busy as a "two peckered Rabbit" most of the time.

3. I have a "good friend" who is a gunsmith (Ray Romain).----We simply got along from the start. I wrote an article in Varmint Hunter magazine years ago about the amazing 6.5 Gibbs (his favorite line of catridges) and he built at least 37 guns from that article alone and is still doing so. I also did one on the 22/284 and he chambered a bunch of them for customers.
DC was responsible for getting him his 1800 yard mule deer this year in Colorado.
Yep, I guess you can say we are friends like many I have met on this forum, you and your lovely wife, included.

The 308 IS a fine cartridge and there are a ton of bullet weights for it.
You will appreciate the 300 Weatherby also. The 220 gr MK works well in them and the power differance over the 308 Win is VERY noticable.

Anyway have a good one, friend.

Personally I use a 25-06 for everything in Colorado except elk and bear. When I go out with the intent of killing elk I take my 30-06 (unless its muzzle season). My brother uses the 25-06, 338 Win mag combo. My other brother uses a 7mm Rem mag for everything.
I too have limited funds for shooting long range, but am trying to talk my brother (the unmarried one
to get set up so we can consider taking deer or antelope out to 750 yards.

I used my 30-06 for caribou in Alaska, but I could have got by with much less. A 25-06 would work fine on caribou, but I do not own a pistol and there were too many things hunting me at the same time

[ 11-14-2002: Message edited by: QuietHunter ]
Hi, Wyowhisper:

You said, "For Elk/ moose caribou inside of 200 yards .. it hard to beat the 338 win. mag. This will stop a bear too..."

This is the first tiime I have heard anybody put a 200-yard limit on a .338 wm.

Hi DC,
The actual horses in the pictures are my Father-In-Laws (I married well). He has 4 foxtrotters and my brother and I have 3. I was riding one of my FIL's since we were packing meat on two horses and they matched up the best. Will post pics with the other horses later.

I agree with what you on cartridge choice. I like the 25-06 for a great all around smaller caliber. I use it on coyotes up to deer and would use it on elk if the situation were right. Not any real compelling reason not to use the .270 or .280 on them but they do have a tad more recoil. I have had a 30-06 for the last 15 years and have killed more yotes and p dogs with it than I have the .25... but I am gaining with the .25.

I defintely agree with Wyo. These folks with the super mags they are afraid to shoot more than once in a row need to make a change. I would rather see someone with a .270 they could shoot than a big RUM they can miss with.

Nebraska, sounds like you have some good guidelines to go by. What guns are you getting rid of to "consolidate"?
I have and like:


Nearly identical trajectories to 800 yards with a 200 yd zero, when pushing 180/250 gr bullets( sierra gameking BT spitzers for example) at 2700fps.

All that cheap 7.62 NATO play ammo.

Howdy right back at ya....

The only reason and I mean ONLY reason I put a 200 yard limit on the 338 mag. is purely from experience as a guide. I havn't found many "typical hunters" shoot real accurate with one past 200 yards...

I guess I should have considered who is on this board before I said that... thats my bad....


My personal horse is a Fox Trotter.... Never had another guide beat me to any honey hole on him "Dusty" ....real hard to beat them FT's in their gate!!!

I just got myself a Champagne/Amber Buckskin..

He's actually a Dun but get this.. he's the Amber Champagne Color but has a white dun stripe.. never ever saw one before .. so I had to have him.. real sweet mover too....


Tell me about this 25 gibbs.. would it make a good Sheep Hunting Rifle???? I pretty much have my Deer and Elk rifles now.. but I am looking to build/purchase over the next year or so a super light weight LR sheep rifle..... fast, flat, hard hitter that doesn't make ya black and blue!!!

[ 11-14-2002: Message edited by: *WyoWhisper* ]

The 25 Gibbs is an Improved 25/06 in which you can improve the powder column by 8 to 9 grs.

It has the "SAME" ballistics as a 257 Weatherby only in a 30/06 or 270 improved case. Ray likes to use the 270 case because it is about .050" longer then the 30/06 case and gives a longer neck.
Yes, it would make a good sheep gun and like QH said, gives less recoil then some of the bigger bore diameter cartriges.

The only problem I have with any 25 cal is the poor selection of bullets as compaired to a bit larger bore. The 25 120 Gr HPBT Sierra dies at extended range because of the huge hole in the hollow point. It's probably the worst bullet Sierra makes.
Probably one of the best bullets I have found for the 25 cal is the 100 gr Ballistic tip which is very accurate and will outperform the 120 gr Sierra BTHP.

Carol and I and another fellow from the 1000 yd range killed 3 woodchecks one day at 1100 yds with our 25/06 and 25 Gibbs. I have 30" and 32" barrels on my 25s. The bullet we used was the 100 gr Ballistic tip. If you blinked your eyes you could have missed the hit from the Gibbs at that range.It got there in a heck of a hurry.

BC means a lot to me when I start to stretch the range at larger game.
The 7mm bore has fantastic bullets available for it. The 135 Gr MK in a 270 is no sloutch either. As a matter of fact, Ray has a 270 and 7mm Gibbs reamer and both are excellent cartriges. They can be chambered for the 270 case also.

Anyway, why would you want to kill something that looks so "cute to you", like the sheep??

Maybe another call to Ray Romain is forthcoming? 814-265-1948

Take care and good hunting.
After riding a foxtrotter could you go back to a non gaited horse? I get on most quarterhorses and feel like I could walk faster. Have used Walkers too, but they are a pain to lead on foot cuz they are all over you with their stride.
We have all foxtrotters and most horses would never be able to keep up. It might work if you packed the trotter and rode a different kind. If you did the opposite you would get longer arms out of it.
This year my brother was riding the most powerful one on a trail up a pretty steep mountain and says he was actually passed by someone on a big Missouri mule.

Sorry to digress from the 2 gun topic.

[ 11-14-2002: Message edited by: QuietHunter ]
Hello QH

Nice horses in the pics on the other post. Are they yours?

The reason I went with the 270 and 280 over the 25/06 is the better bullets available in the two.

I like the heavier 130,140 and 150 in the 270 and the 162, 168 & 180 in the 7mm or 280 round.
The 25/06 kills fine with bullets of 100 to 120 gr, but the limitation or lack of better, heavier, higher BC bullets, for the 25 cal. has always puzzled me.

I just feel the 270 or 280 (7mm) has some advantages over the 25.

We are on the same thoughts concerning the 338 Win mag though.

Just my .02

PS---I do have a 25/06 and a 25 Gibbs for comparison.
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