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Thread: .308 as large game hunting load???

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    .308 as large game hunting load???

    My cousin is thinking about buying an "out West gun", I told him to get either a Rem 7mm mag., 300win mag., or their WSM variant because of the sheer size of the game he would be persuing and the distances at which they'll be taken. He is insitant on getting a light, short bareled .308, (he already has a REM VSS in .308), because of it's ease of carry... I sugested one of the many ultra light hunter variants out there, but he is hung up on .308 as the all around best caliber. Now don't get me wrong I love my GAP/Surgeon in .308, but for elk, moose, bear, & muleys I'll most likley hump around my pencil barreled Weatherby in 7mm Weatherby mag...

    This is the quote he is basing his opinion on....

    "Doug,

    The 308 is a great cartridge and I have used it for most of my life. I have killed lots of deer with it and have killed moose with it. You should know as well as anyone the terminal performance of the .308 bullets on two legged targets. No two in the chest one in the head as with the .223 cartridge. One in the chest puts your target down and keeps them down. For years I used a Remington 600 with a 18 1/2 inch barrel. This was one of my favorite guns ever. I would not have a problem hunting the rest of my life with a short barreled 308. Remember Randy loves his 20 inch 308 as his main gun. Velocity is not a problem because the 308 is so efficient. Accuracy is actually better in a short barrel and from a normal 22 inch barrel to a 18 ˝ inch the velocity loss may be very little depending on bullet weight and powder type used. I would suggest getting a Remington model 7 or some other light weight short barreled 308. Kimber makes a very petite 308 that is very nice also. Ultra light arms also makes a really little 308. The only disadvantage in a light weight short barreled gun is trying to hold it steady.
    Hope this helps.

    SSR"


    So tell me, what do y'all think on this topic? What would be the belst all around large game caliber & in what configuration? Lets keep it to production rifles, because we all know where customs lead... $$$$$$


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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Where was SSR doing his hunting?

    Kimber Montana, Win 70, or Rem 700/7 in 7 WSM or 300 WSM would be better choices for an all around, out west hunting caliber.


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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    if he insists on a light 308 have him check out the Ruger Frontier, they come in several other calibers too so I'm sure he could find one for the larger 4 legged critters. My father in law has one in 308 and he let me hunt this past weekend with it and in thick Alabama woods it was perfect... light, short, balanced, and accurate, I'm sure it would work as an "out west" rifle
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    I grew up and live in the west and have hunted in the western states, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and hunted various large big game animals from Elk-weighing 450 lbs to the Orxy- 300 + lbs, and large Mule Deer 250 lbs, and Black Bear at 300 lbs.

    I myself and most people I know and hunt with out in this country have 7mm Rem Mags. It’s a good fast accurate caliber perfect for all above animals and fast enough to not damage small game have even shot coyotes with it out to 250 yrds and poked a small through in through hole on them average speed is around 2900-3200 fps depending on bullet weight.

    I myself have since moved up to 300 Rem Ultra Mag. Shooting 200 grn. Nozler Accurbond pushing out 3250 fps. And have had a lot of success with one shot kills out to 600 yrds with this rifle.

    He needs to remember he is going to be hunting wide open country and his shots may be a little further distance because animals can see you and are standoffish, vs. the brush country back east.

    A 308. with a good hunting bullet and a well placed close shot will kill Mule deer, and I have seen them take down Elk at 200 yrds with a neck shot but you better know what your doing if you try that easy to miss a neck at that distance.

    New Mexico Game and Fish recommend and request that you hunt Orxy with nothing but a Mag. Due to the fact that the heart and lungs lay low between shoulder blades and you have to shoot in the shoulder for the kill.

    And I have had to put my friends Elk down with my 7mm and 300 RUM over the years more times than I should have because they chose to hunt with 308’s and took a shot and just broke shoulder didn’t get through bone to vitals….Rule of thumb out here rifle needs to be high 2800 to low 3000 fps with at least 175grn bullet to be a good big game rifle.

    Another option is 280 Rem in a mountain rifle with a 150grn bullet high 2800+ to low 3100 fps out of mine and my two teenage daughters. Barrel is 22” and total gun weight is 5.5 lbs. My daughter have smashed both Orxy and Elk one shot kills and I would rather lug it than my 300 Rum any day but this is all just my 2 cents…..

    Good Luck and Good Hunting.
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    From what I understand a 308 would work but there are plenty of other rounds that would do a better job!
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    The lil 308 was killing elk, mule deer, black bear, and moose for many years before the "magnumitis" epidemic started ...with bigger calibers come more recoil...that's something that some people do not want to deal with (myself included), it can and does effect your accuracy...whether or not most people will admit that to themselves is another story.

    Don't overestimate the 308, its not a 300 Win Mag...but its just plain foolish to underestimate it, its far more powerful than a 30-30 (and how many elk and moose have fallen to that one?)

    I've killed about 30 or 40 black bears (quit counting years ago)...all with a 308 and every one of them fell within 30 yards or so and most of them fell DRT.

    In a pinch with good bullets I have no doubt that it would take a grizzly within 200 yards...after all, many grizzly's have fallen to the 30-06 with 180 grain bullets and its not all that much more powerful than the 308.

    Is a 308 THE VERY BEST all round "out west" round...yes, for some people I believe it is..but for others that like bigger, heavier, harder kicking guns...it is not.

    If your friend is familiar with and confident in the 308...he will be fine using it.

    And I will 2nd the recommendation for a Remington model 7...I have 2 of them, one for me and one for my son...both are stainless synthetics and within 300 yards I'm sure they will kill most anything provided good bullets are used and a well placed shot is made.

    7mm-08 is also a VERY good option in that same gun.
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    UrbanM4......tell your friend to bring enough gun....splain to him the wind blows "out west"....and close in shots are not likely



    ...'n most wally world sell .300win mag

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    This years doe killed at 408 yds with a 7WSM and 180 JLK and last years cow elk killed right at 400 yds with AR10T in .308 and 175 SMK. The difference between the two is the date on the bags in the freezer.

    My wifes cousin who is now 21 has killed an elk and a deer almost every year since she was 12. With a .243 nonetheless.

    In my opinion, it all comes down to " a man has got to know his limitations".

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    I preached to him the necesity of being able to drop the targeted game in one shot, & from what I see the most of you seem to agree that the magnum calibers are not only more reliable, in the sense of getting the job done 1st shot, but more humane to the game being persueed. The last thing I want to do is bust up an elk, or moose, etc. & have them wander off a couple hundered yards, suffering the hole time, or the possibility of loosing them all together. Thanks for all of y'alls responses I got some really good opinions to share.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    A 308 can kill anything in the lower 48 with the right bullet and a good shooter.
    I happen to like Barnes but a Nosler Partition or Swift A frame will also break both shoulders of an Elk, IF you shoot at responsible ranges. Here's a 338 Federal (185 @ 2600 fps) Barnes that did just that and went far into the clay bank behind her. DOA!

    Federal loads the 180 MRX in the 308... I doubt any animal would know the difference.
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    muzzle 100 200 300 400 500
    308 Win. (7.62x51mm) 2600 2442 2289 2143 2001 1864

    That's about 30-40 Krag performance and back in the day, the Krag killed a lot more Elk than most of us will ever see.


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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: UrbanM4
    My cousin is thinking about buying an "out West gun", I told him to get either a Rem 7mm mag., 300win mag., or their WSM variant because of the sheer size of the game he would be persuing and the distances at which they'll be taken. He is insitant on getting a light, short bareled .308, (he already has a REM VSS in .308), because of it's ease of carry... I sugested one of the many ultra light hunter variants out there, but he is hung up on .308 as the all around best caliber. Now don't get me wrong I love my GAP/Surgeon in .308, but for elk, moose, bear, & muleys I'll most likley hump around my pencil barreled Weatherby in 7mm Weatherby mag...

    This is the quote he is basing his opinion on....

    "Doug,

    The 308 is a great cartridge and I have used it for most of my life. I have killed lots of deer with it and have killed moose with it. You should know as well as anyone the terminal performance of the .308 bullets on two legged targets. No two in the chest one in the head as with the .223 cartridge. One in the chest puts your target down and keeps them down. For years I used a Remington 600 with a 18 1/2 inch barrel. This was one of my favorite guns ever. I would not have a problem hunting the rest of my life with a short barreled 308. Remember Randy loves his 20 inch 308 as his main gun. Velocity is not a problem because the 308 is so efficient. Accuracy is actually better in a short barrel and from a normal 22 inch barrel to a 18 ˝ inch the velocity loss may be very little depending on bullet weight and powder type used. I would suggest getting a Remington model 7 or some other light weight short barreled 308. Kimber makes a very petite 308 that is very nice also. Ultra light arms also makes a really little 308. The only disadvantage in a light weight short barreled gun is trying to hold it steady.
    Hope this helps.

    SSR"


    So tell me, what do y'all think on this topic? What would be the belst all around large game caliber & in what configuration? Lets keep it to production rifles, because we all know where customs lead... $$$$$$




    I was a Wby mag fan for many years. Like most hunters in Alaska, I wanted excess horsepower for hunting our big game. I have learned since, if you can hunt and shoot, standard calibers work just as well. Hunters in the bush use 243Win and 30.30 all the time to include nasty ole bears, they do eat brown bear in the bush. A friend of mine killed a very large lion last spring with 308 in Africa. Many small framed ladies and youth kill moose every fall with 7-08. A good bullet in the boiler room will fell any game in Alaska.

    In the populated areas, large mags are the norm and 416 Rem is becoming very popular now. 338 is still most popular mag, 06 is used by 35% of all hunters in Alaska according to F&G.

    All I have to offer is, go to our state run range on sight in day and stand there and watch. You will soon learn why hunters make the famous Alaskan statement, I put 4 rounds of 375 in a moose and he kept walking, I am going with 416 now; at 100 yards they can not hit a pie plate until they are lucky then they say, I'm good. Then there are those using lead sleds loaded with weight to sight in and then wonder why it all changes when they get to the field.

    And of course we hear about the 400, 500 and 700 yards shots. If I was shooting past 200 yards in Alaska to fell game, I would tell myself to learn to be a better hunter.

    I would not hesitate to use a 308 on any game in Alaska. A Nosler Partition driven around 2750 fps will drop any game in this state if that bullet hits the kill spot.

    700 SPS Stainless, Tikka T3 lite SS, Ruger M77 SS in that order.

    Food for thought.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Know your limitations, trust your ability......... I get asked this stuff all the time. Get a new rifle/scope get it running and go out to the range. Whatever yardage you can repeatedly shoot MOA groups from field positions thats where you ethically cut it off. If your that good a 308 is fine. If you not that good you probably don't need to be shooting anything.
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Get the right rifle for the right job - I shot a moose with a 30-06 but I wouldn't dream of going for brown bear, BIson, or anything of that magnitude with it.
    Mainly because I don't want to end up with an animal turning on ME!

    My dad bought a 375 Ruger - THat's a man's man rifle there...you want to take down a Bison, Moose, Brown Bear - that's your rifle.

    308 is good up to Elk, Moose, IMHO....

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    My 338 Federal Kimber, light as a feather, deadly accurate and they make the same rifle in 308. Can't go wrong with a Kimber!




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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    The recent lineup of premium slugs has allowed rounds like the .308 to be much for efficient than when they were counting on a conventionl cup and core design. The fact that he already has a .308 and is comfortable will mean a whole lot more than going to a magnum to add another 200-300fps.

    I would have no problems using a .308 loaded with the 150 or 168 TSX on elk out to 500 yards. Contrary to what some of the recent writers had tried to preach animals have not become any tougher and do not require a magnum (ie new rifles sales $$$) to kill. I have seen the above .308 slugs go through 25" of meat with a clean exit and a mess between the bullet holes. In my opinion it takes a substantial leap up in velocity or mass to make a real difference on game with proper shot placement. If the .308 is not enough I would be jumping to something like a .338Win Mag or even bigger.

    To completely butcher a quote from Phil Shoemaker, a very well respects guide for Alaska biggest bears, "anyone who says a 30-06 is not enough for everything in North America is making a comment on their own ability to hunt and shoot in the field."

    I will second the Model 7 in .308 being a good partner to the PSS he already has. Mine was rebarreled by Pacnor with a #2 contour and pairs nicely with my heavy .308.
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: ArcticLight
    Get the right rifle for the right job - I shot a moose with a 30-06 but I wouldn't dream of going for brown bear, BIson, or anything of that magnitude with it.
    Mainly because I don't want to end up with an animal turning on ME!

    My dad bought a 375 Ruger - THat's a man's man rifle there...you want to take down a Bison, Moose, Brown Bear - that's your rifle.

    308 is good up to Elk, Moose, IMHO....



    Brown bear i would like a little more than the .308 bison on the other hand are not that tough. I help out on a ranch and have shot alot of bison with varying rifles and once they are hit they seem to just go down and die. Anything froma .223 to a .375 rum. granted none of these have been shot from more than 70 yards away.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    .308 is plenty good for anything in North America, short of Alaskan Brown Bear. While it's nice to have a more powerful rifle, the .308 is easy enough on the shoulder (especially in light rifles) to allow for plenty of practice and that trumps more power in my opinion. I with NorcaPhoenix above on the Barnes bullets, they are very consistent and my choice in a hunting bullet. Even with larger animals such as Elk, I've gotten through and though penetration even out to 200 yards+ with Barnes ammo.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    I will say that a .308 with a good hunting load is really all you need. It will do the job.

    However, I prefer a flatter shooting cartridge. Specifically for the ranges you find out west. I've heard it and heard it about being a better hunter. Yet time and time again I found myself with 30 minutes of daylight left to make a 45-50 minute stalk on a nice buck. A buck that was easily shot at just over 375 yds. In fact, the closest I ever shot a buck out west (17 in all) was just over 150 yds. I shot all of them with either a .243 or a .257. I also shot an antelope and an elk with the .257. It really boils down to getting a good shooting position. Having the right load. Knowing that load. And knowing where to put that load.

    Somebody made a point above about animals not getting tougher. I'll agree. In fact the 'toughest' polar bear now sits in a casino in Elko, NV called the International. Taken with a 30-06 I believe.
    Five shots into the toughest brown or polar bear will put him down. It's not like a 416 Remmy is going to knock him over backward. In fact a lighter faster bullest has a better chance of making jam out of his innards than does a slower heavier bullet. Moose and elk aren't invincible either. A good shot will put them down. You have enough power (ME) with the .308 to do that. It just takes a little elevation if you need to get out past 300 yds. It's his choice but it sounds like if he's dead set on it that's what he'll do. FWIW, that's why Jack O'Conner swore up and down by the .270. No need to go with a Magnum unless HE REALLY WANTS TO.
    Every shot serves a purpose, whether accurate or inaccurate. It will always tell you what you did, and did not do, right. Even if all you have is a fraction of a second to make it, learn from it. So the next one is even better.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    I think the key factor here is muzzle energy.

    I would not venture to predict how much for each species, but I suspect that marksmanship can end up delivering bullets ontarget that lack sufficient energy to generate a clean kill.

    That's why I shy away from LR hunting and honestly feel uncomfortable about hearing others advocating it. I figure the LR hunter starts out with two strikes against them; reduced hit probability and reduced effective terminal energy.

    That's why I suggest developing stalking skills to the point where the shots are less 'iffy', and using enough gun. Doubly so with dangerous game, like bears, etc.

    The animal deserves a clean kill, and the hunter doesn't need to be burdened with the consequences of a less than clean kill.

    If the choice contains the potential for marginal performance, it's not my choice.

    For large game in the lower 48, I consider the .30-'06 to be the minimum effective chambering, and the maximum necessary chambering, with bullet weight and distance being determined by which game is being pursued. The bigger and more dangerous the game, the heavier the bullet and shorter the distance. None of this should come as a surprise to the practical hunter.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    I don't know. The .308 has its place, but when we go hunting,we put away the small cal. deer guns and drag out the .300 win mags! I quess its possible to kill an elk with a .22 cal. rifle!!! Maybe at ten yards!!!!
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: Greg Langelius *
    I think the key factor here is muzzle energy.

    I would not venture to predict how much for each species, but I suspect that marksmanship can end up delivering bullets ontarget that lack sufficient energy to generate a clean kill.

    That's why I shy away from LR hunting and honestly feel uncomfortable about hearing others advocating it. I figure the LR hunter starts out with two strikes against them; reduced hit probability and reduced effective terminal energy.

    That's why I suggest developing stalking skills to the point where the shots are less 'iffy', and using enough gun. Doubly so with dangerous game, like bears, etc.

    The animal deserves a clean kill, and the hunter doesn't need to be burdened with the consequences of a less than clean kill.

    If the choice contains the potential for marginal performance, it's not my choice.

    For large game in the lower 48, I consider the .30-'06 to be the minimum effective chambering, and the maximum necessary chambering, with bullet weight and distance being determined by which game is being pursued. The bigger and more dangerous the game, the heavier the bullet and shorter the distance. None of this should come as a surprise to the practical hunter.

    Greg


    NO, it's not about muzzle energy other than do you have enough? Arrows kill deer with 1/10th of the energy of a bullet from a rifle. Marksmanship always plays a key factor in a quick death to a hunted animal. If the muzzle energy is low, bullet performance is even more absolutely necessary.

    I feel somewhat the same as you do about long range hunting. But that really boils down to the shooter. I know guys who shouldn't take shots past 50 yds. But they still hunt. So, guys who regularly shoot out past 600 yds. And, know their rifles. And regularly hit their targets I don't have a problem with. Guys from the cities, who don't know how to read a map, or how to gauge distance, should not be shooting past 100 yards.
    are the ones worrying me.
    As far as bullet/cartridge size, I've watched several hits with plenty more than enough energy go right through. It's how well the energy transfers to the game animals body. A BT or Acc bond would be excellent choices this time of year. Anyhow, there my rant for the hight.
    Every shot serves a purpose, whether accurate or inaccurate. It will always tell you what you did, and did not do, right. Even if all you have is a fraction of a second to make it, learn from it. So the next one is even better.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    i've hunted the west all my life, and while i own a .308, it is far from my favorite cartridge for the task.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Noted.
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Out west,call up the top hunting guides and ask what would they recommend? You know what pro hunting guides don't like:someone that can't shoot and is out of shape!
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: Harold Dale
    Out west,call up the top hunting guides and ask what would they recommend? You know what pro hunting guides don't like:someone that can't shoot and is out of shape!


    Bingo!

    Although most I've known also prefer you to use heavier calibers and premium bullets as well. That's fair as guiding/being guided is a two way street. The client needs to perform up to standards if/when the guide is to get you on good game.
    Every shot serves a purpose, whether accurate or inaccurate. It will always tell you what you did, and did not do, right. Even if all you have is a fraction of a second to make it, learn from it. So the next one is even better.

    The pen is only mighty when it is backed by the sword.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: sandwarrior
    Originally Posted By: Greg Langelius *
    I think the key factor here is muzzle energy.

    I would not venture to predict how much for each species, but I suspect that marksmanship can end up delivering bullets ontarget that lack sufficient energy to generate a clean kill.

    That's why I shy away from LR hunting and honestly feel uncomfortable about hearing others advocating it. I figure the LR hunter starts out with two strikes against them; reduced hit probability and reduced effective terminal energy.

    That's why I suggest developing stalking skills to the point where the shots are less 'iffy', and using enough gun. Doubly so with dangerous game, like bears, etc.

    The animal deserves a clean kill, and the hunter doesn't need to be burdened with the consequences of a less than clean kill.

    If the choice contains the potential for marginal performance, it's not my choice.

    For large game in the lower 48, I consider the .30-'06 to be the minimum effective chambering, and the maximum necessary chambering, with bullet weight and distance being determined by which game is being pursued. The bigger and more dangerous the game, the heavier the bullet and shorter the distance. None of this should come as a surprise to the practical hunter.

    Greg


    NO, it's not about muzzle energy other than do you have enough? Arrows kill deer with 1/10th of the energy of a bullet from a rifle. Marksmanship always plays a key factor in a quick death to a hunted animal. If the muzzle energy is low, bullet performance is even more absolutely necessary.

    I feel somewhat the same as you do about long range hunting. But that really boils down to the shooter. I know guys who shouldn't take shots past 50 yds. But they still hunt. So, guys who regularly shoot out past 600 yds. And, know their rifles. And regularly hit their targets I don't have a problem with. Guys from the cities, who don't know how to read a map, or how to gauge distance, should not be shooting past 100 yards.
    are the ones worrying me.
    As far as bullet/cartridge size, I've watched several hits with plenty more than enough energy go right through. It's how well the energy transfers to the game animals body. A BT or Acc bond would be excellent choices this time of year. Anyhow, there my rant for the hight.



    We have two high paid lawyers from outside pushing F&G for a reg for min muzzle energy here in Alaska. Last years meeting up in Fairbanks, it got tabled to this Jan but it sounds like with the 2 law suits it will pass. Do not think the state will take a stance to sooth the local hunters and guides but will to soothe out of state lawyers defending out of state hunters who could not hit a bear and now are suing the state / guides because they say their should be a law to protect hunters by using 375HH and up. I say, we will have more wounded game.

    I am not sure why many think bears are that tough to drop. Everyday I hear 44 Rem mag in a 4" revolver will knock a bear out but for a long gun they need a 375HH. Does not compute that a revolver with the killing power of a 30.30 works but a long gun 308 or 3006 will not? I remember back when the 357 was min and the 41 was the standard for bear short gun, now its morphed into 454Casull as the standard and 44 as min.

    Originally Posted By: Harold Dale

    Out west,call up the top hunting guides and ask what would they recommend? You know what pro hunting guides don't like:someone that can't shoot and is out of shape!


    Excellent! Shooting old booboo in the gut with a 416 Rem will not kill it any faster than a 270Win straight through the engine. A miss is a miss. A good bullet in the kill zone is what fells animals. Ask how many natives in the bush what they use, 243Win and 30.30Win to include the dangerous bears. They stalk and kill, not the ones who slaughter animals with 223s for fun by snowmachine but those who hunt for their way of life.

    Food for thought.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: sandwarrior
    Originally Posted By: Greg Langelius *
    I think the key factor here is muzzle energy.

    I would not venture to predict how much for each species, but I suspect that marksmanship can end up delivering bullets ontarget that lack sufficient energy to generate a clean kill.

    That's why I shy away from LR hunting and honestly feel uncomfortable about hearing others advocating it. I figure the LR hunter starts out with two strikes against them; reduced hit probability and reduced effective terminal energy.

    That's why I suggest developing stalking skills to the point where the shots are less 'iffy', and using enough gun. Doubly so with dangerous game, like bears, etc.

    The animal deserves a clean kill, and the hunter doesn't need to be burdened with the consequences of a less than clean kill.

    If the choice contains the potential for marginal performance, it's not my choice.

    For large game in the lower 48, I consider the .30-'06 to be the minimum effective chambering, and the maximum necessary chambering, with bullet weight and distance being determined by which game is being pursued. The bigger and more dangerous the game, the heavier the bullet and shorter the distance. None of this should come as a surprise to the practical hunter.

    Greg


    NO, it's not about muzzle energy other than do you have enough? Arrows kill deer with 1/10th of the energy of a bullet from a rifle. Marksmanship always plays a key factor in a quick death to a hunted animal. If the muzzle energy is low, bullet performance is even more absolutely necessary.

    I feel somewhat the same as you do about long range hunting. But that really boils down to the shooter. I know guys who shouldn't take shots past 50 yds. But they still hunt. So, guys who regularly shoot out past 600 yds. And, know their rifles. And regularly hit their targets I don't have a problem with. Guys from the cities, who don't know how to read a map, or how to gauge distance, should not be shooting past 100 yards.
    are the ones worrying me.
    As far as bullet/cartridge size, I've watched several hits with plenty more than enough energy go right through. It's how well the energy transfers to the game animals body. A BT or Acc bond would be excellent choices this time of year. Anyhow, there my rant for the hight.


    Greg,

    My post seems a little harsh. At least without explanation. A "rule of thumb" I always heard growing up out west was 1500 ft. lbs of energy for elk and 1000 ft. lbs. for deer. I finally came upon what someone worked up for this. These poundages were contrived by a gun-writer who determined that is the force required to hit a deer(or elk, thus increased poundage) enter and break the fore-shoulder, pass through the rib-cage, allowing for a break of one rib-bone on each side and hit and break the backside shoulder. I don't know what testing was done to conclude these findings. But, obviously you wouldn't be undergunned if that was your only shot. You would also need a stout bullet to handle that many impacts of bone. I heard these numbers from the time I was a little kid going along on my first deer hunt. In fact, as a kid, Nevada's definition of a legal cartridge for deer hunting was "the rifle had to produce 1000 ft. lbs. of energy @ 100 yds." that changed sometime in the 70's. as I remember the .223 not being legal to hunt deer out there for a while. Then it was re-allowed under their new rule:

    4. A person may hunt big game mammals with a rifle if the rifle uses a centerfire cartridge of caliber .22 or larger.

    5. A person may hunt big game mammals with a handgun if the handgun uses a centerfire cartridge, has a barrel length of 4 inches or more and:

    (a) Uses a cartridge of caliber .22 or larger with an overall loaded length of 2 inches or more; or

    (b) Uses a cartridge of caliber .24 or larger with a case of length no less than the length of the case of a cartridge for a Remington magnum of caliber .44.

    These are certainly a far cry from the energy standards I remember from the past. But, the best deer killer in that state is the .243. It shoots flat and is easy enough to handle (recoil) for most anyone to apply it's inherent accuracy. That allows the shooter to take shots that don't near require the heavy energies I posted above. Because, to kill a deer or an elk with a chest shot that may only need to penetrate one rib bone only takes 200-300 ft. lbs.

    I don't agree with going too light. But magnums aren't a necessity. And there are plenty of standard calibers out there that shoot flat (out west that's a really big thing).
    Every shot serves a purpose, whether accurate or inaccurate. It will always tell you what you did, and did not do, right. Even if all you have is a fraction of a second to make it, learn from it. So the next one is even better.

    The pen is only mighty when it is backed by the sword.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Take a look at Double Tap's 308 load that pushes a 200gr Accubond at 2550 fps from a 22" bbl.

    In local atmo that load will retain 1850fps/1500 ft-lbs at 600 yards. If you can't kill a critter with that, it's the shooter's shortcoming.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Shane,

    That's easy for you to say... You don't even have to leave your front lawn! [img]<>/grin.gif[/img] [img]<>/grin.gif[/img]
    Every shot serves a purpose, whether accurate or inaccurate. It will always tell you what you did, and did not do, right. Even if all you have is a fraction of a second to make it, learn from it. So the next one is even better.

    The pen is only mighty when it is backed by the sword.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    this mule deer buck is one i shot with a .220 swift. the buck was broadside at 150 yards, shot behind the shoulder with a 60 grain hornady spire point. he went less than 10 yards after the hit. i was out coyote hunting when i bumped into him. i wasnt about to go home and get my .270!
    my point is hunt with the rifle you are most confident in. a well placed shot with a small to medium rifle is much more effective than a poor hit with a large magnum rifle.
    The thing to do is try. Failure is of no importance; Giving up however is another matter.
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    The 308 can and will kill anything as long at your shot placement is correct...

    It seems to many want to hide behind the "Magnums" and the term "Hunting Bullet"
    to make up for their lack of marksman skills...

    A bad shot is a bad shot no matter what caliber or bullet you are shooting...

    I recently did a little real world test using the 308 which can be seen here...

    Shot placement is key...

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: pgs
    this mule deer buck is one i shot with a .220 swift. the buck was broadside at 150 yards, shot behind the shoulder with a 60 grain hornady spire point. he went less than 10 yards after the hit. i was out coyote hunting when i bumped into him. i wasnt about to go home and get my .270!
    my point is hunt with the rifle you are most confident in. a well placed shot with a small to medium rifle is much more effective than a poor hit with a large magnum rifle.


    I think in some dictionary's that when you look up the word 'flat'...one of the definitions should show a .220 swift.

    Nice Buck!
    Every shot serves a purpose, whether accurate or inaccurate. It will always tell you what you did, and did not do, right. Even if all you have is a fraction of a second to make it, learn from it. So the next one is even better.

    The pen is only mighty when it is backed by the sword.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    terminal ballistics is only part of the equation.

    with a .264 Win or 7 mag, you can cut your drop/drift and lead almost in half over the .308. this means any error in reading range, windage or speed of movers can be reduced by almost half. i prefer to stack the odds.
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers with cell phones kill people

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: 1sikpupi
    terminal ballistics is only part of the equation.

    with a .264 Win or 7 mag, you can cut your drop/drift and lead almost in half over the .308. this means any error in reading range, windage or speed of movers can be reduced by almost half. i prefer to stack the odds.


    On the money 1sik. Which brings me to my point.

    Having hunted big game for many years I can say that Terminal Ballistics- only -are meaningful when you are hunting game of the two legged variety -only. Then one is usually in a position to assess the situation, establish the distance and have the ability to set up a solid shooting platform.

    .308 is not the optimal round for hunting many speices of western big game or even in Africa when it comes to improvised shooting positions, swirling wind condtions or longer distances.

    Typically in Africa when hunting plains game including lions you are in fixed position like a blind.

    Out west there are contending forces that create a confluence of issues facing the hunter -whether he/she knows them or not. This is why 7mm Mag and .300 WM are the choice rounds. Not because they are cool over bores for folks wanting to compensate for some physical short coming.

    These rounds buck wind well and pack a punch by maintaining enough energy way down range at POI.

    Trying to drop an elk or moose or bear w/a .308 at distances greater than 300 yards in contending conditions will get you a wounded animal or eaten.

    Bottom line is the .308 is a great caliber, just not the best for big game hunting and the accompanying conditions out west. We as hunters/conservationists owe that to the animal and need to forego the ego stroke or demand on our creature comforts to carry the right tool for the job.

    Edit: Like 1sik said "stack the odds". THe animal deserves that and so does our reputation as hunters.


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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    tag

    20 Down - RETIRED

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    If the OP's question had to do with the .264 or the 7 mag then that
    would be a great answer...

    He asked about the 308 so I responded with an answer of my experience
    with the 308...

    If you know your rifle and have your dope down you can use what you
    have...

    Shot placement trumps all IMHO...I've killed big game with everything from
    a 17Mach II to a 416 Barrett...

    No matter what the BC of the projectile is, a bad shot is a bad shot...

    Error's in reading range, windage and speed of movers can be cut in half by numerous calibers
    but again, why let a bullet or rifle pad poor marksmanship...







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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Opinions abound- then there is the truth.

    The truth is not everyone is proficient in such disciplines EH and I am a bit surprised by the short sightedeness of your answer.

    Anyone is entitled to use whatever they wish, to include .17 match, 416 Barrett or a 105mm if they have the skill.

    Either way not everyone possesses the skill to assess the conditions and make the shot w/ a less capable caliber. There is no formal requirement for it. THough there is common sense and hopefully an ethical standard possessed by the hunter.

    THis is not an ego-centric discussion wherein the correct answer is relegated to personal experience but standard of ethics established by collective experience.

    The bullet should pad poor marksmanship because the animal deserves it and we as hunters/conservationists are being watched.

    That's why

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: elkhuntinguide
    Error's in reading range, windage and speed of movers can be cut in half by numerous calibers
    but again, why let a bullet or rifle pad poor marksmanship...



    good marksmanship all about reducing error. if you don't ping with LRF, you WILL have error in your range estimate. if you reduce the effects of those errors, you are a better marksman.
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers with cell phones kill people

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Waveone...

    Didn't mean to sound short sighted on my response...

    I guide around 100 hunters each year who bring calibers from
    .270 to 375 H&H...

    95% which are not capable of making an ethical kill over 250 yards
    no matter what caliber they are using...

    I had a gentleman this year shoot a bull 6 times with a 300 Weatherby,
    from 180 yds out to 225 yds and still had to track the bull for 3 hours...

    The caliber didn't pad his poor markmanship...All 6 shots were poorly
    placed...I'm not sure if the 105's would have helped in his case...

    Most sticks will out perform the driver...The driver should practice
    and hone his skills and only take shots at which he is comfortable...

    If the driver can not read range correctly, read the wind correctly, or
    drive the rifle correctly, then no matter how great the caliber is, a bad
    shot is imminent...

    One must know their limitations while hunting...If not, nothing will help
    other than practicing shot placement and aquiring better marksmanship skills...

    IMHO

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Agreed.

    Since I know you guide, that is why I mentioned the issue. In your profession you have seen it all and would know such things.

    In many ways , since I've been around the track a time or so, I have too. Therefore, a compensating caliber is justifiable. Let's face it, some folks though well meaning, do not have the time it takes or are not capable of acquiring the skill.


    In others, like the inept gentleman you describe only a hunting video and comfy seat in the cabin would do.

    God Bless you and your patience man. I would have "lost" a hunter that day.

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Handload: I know of several 308's that will get 2700/2800 with 175's with very good accuracy. Thats beating the ears off most factory 30-06 stuff. If you can shoot MOA from field positions....... go for it.
    Shoot 1000 yards Oak Ridge Sportsman Association http://orsahp.com/default.aspx Monday 1000 yard practice show up by 4:30 first shot downrange at 5:00

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: 1sikpupi
    good marksmanship all about reducing error. if you don't ping with LRF, you WILL have error in your range estimate. if you reduce the effects of those errors, you are a better marksman.


    Agreed...But I have yet to see a bullet or caliber reduce the effects of a gut shot...

    If a person can not effectivly range an animal with out a LRF then said person should
    not take a shot at an unknown distance...

    Marksmanship in my eyes is more than just reducing errors...It is about being proficient
    with your caliber(s) of choice and knowing what to do and how to react in any given situation
    in your surrounding environment...

    For those that hunt 5 days a year even the best caliber will not over shadow their poor
    marksmanship...For those that kill for a living, skill will trump caliber choice everytime...

    Have skills and a great caliber and you can write your own ticket...


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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    what you say is true, and of course a death ray will not work for someone that cannot use it.

    Quote:
    If a person can not effectivly range an animal with out a LRF then said person should
    not take a shot at an unknown distance...


    ranging an animal could be the most difficult part of the shot for someone not intimately familiar with the species, and there is no known distance in the field unless the shot is staged, or pinged with LRF.

    but the outer limits to the "flat shooting caliber that hits hard enough" is the shooter's ability to manage recoil. this is subjective and each hunter has to honestly evaluate his limits and work within them. (like everything else).

    i am not trying to help a sloppy shooter kill an animal with a bad shot, my advice is intinded for a serious shooter preparing for a western hunt.
    Guns don't kill people. Drivers with cell phones kill people

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    THis is a very thorough and productive discussion.

    After reading through this thread and paying specific attention to EH and 1sik, I surmise both are essentially saying the same thing.

    To take seriously the endeavor being engaged in the field is academic to true hunters. The notion is reflexive.

    Know your game, know the habitat and be proficient w/ the tools it takes to get the job done. Yet again not all people will do this or take the time required to do this. Therefore it is up to the seasoned to impress upon others the necessity for such proficiency.

    Til then the flat shooting, wind bucking round would be suggestion.

    Passion can be contageous.

    PS- For the record I am an avid bow hunter first. Then when I have to, my calibers are either 7mmRUM or .300wm out west


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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    If I were a hunting guide,I'd have my client fire a few rounds at hundred yards,standing,take notes of his stance,flinch,just how long it took him to fire the rounds,is he comfortable with his gun? His dispostion, is his heart into it? Roll all this into a wad,chew on it and then you can firquire out at what yard is his limit!
    I hope they have beer in hell_

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Guesstimating range will by far be the toughest challange for any hunter
    not familiar with the species...

    I would recommend that someone use a range finder whenever possible especially
    when unsure of distance...

    I recommend that my clients rifles be sighted in at 300 yards...this way
    most calibers still hit between 0-350 with out any hold overs or unders...

    Most have no idea how to dial in elevation or windage and have only duplex
    reticles...

    Most shot situations when it is not possible to use a LRF are usually
    within the 300 yd zone...any distance further than that and I will have
    the client wait until a better position can be achieved...

    A serious shooter/hunter should have his shit together, know his rifle
    and ammo well and should do fine when hunting in the west...

    SHOULD.....


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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    Originally Posted By: 1sikpupi
    "...i am not trying to help a sloppy shooter kill an animal with a bad shot, my advice is intinded for a serious shooter preparing for a western hunt... "


    +10^6

    Given a serious hunter preparing for a western state hunt, I don't think you could go wrong with a 7 SAUM, 7 WMS, 300 SAUM, or 300 WSM. I sure wouldn't suggest a 308 unless that was their limit of acceptable recoil. Even then, I'd probably be looking at a 7-08 for improved BC of the 7 mm bullets. Short mags give you a boost in downrange performance w/less added recoil than the 7 Rem Mag, 300 WM, 300 RUM. No cartridge will make up for poor marksmanship and/or preperation. No reason to hamstring yourself by bring too little cartride to the hunt either.


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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    +1 That's where our .300 win mags are set at 300 yards.. And you are right about the majority of the hunters not using mil-dots. This is my first SS mil dot scope accuired,mounted on a T/C Prohunter .375,plan to set it at 300 yards, and I've got the moa's firquired out at twenty-five yards increments to 600 yards. Be using the new Hornadary bullet 300 grain SPBT. Shoot,Shoot,Shoot and dream about shooting. When at work out in the field,I try to estimate range,to 500 yards is fairly easily,but after that.........
    I hope they have beer in hell_

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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    elkhuntinguide,

    +1. you have it right! ive been guiding hunters in montana for over 30 years. bet we could have a hell of a b.s. session!
    hang in there man....
    The thing to do is try. Failure is of no importance; Giving up however is another matter.
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    Re: .308 as large game hunting load???

    'Warrior;

    I took no umbrage at your post. I simply noted that there were opinions being expressed contrary to my own, and I certainly don't mind people disagreeing with me. If anything, I suspect I failed to make myself sufficiently clear, because in disagreeing, the points you made make perfect sense to me, and are in fact, pretty much what I thought I had conveyed.

    I would rephase as follows:

    Use enough rifle, shoot within your marksmanship limits, take no chances on failing to do the first two.

    I like keeping it simple.

    I use .44Mag or 20Ga Sabots, which deliver nearly identical ballistic performance for shorter distances of 100yd and under, and the .30-'06 for longer distances, and consider my own practical hunting distance limit to be about 250-300yd with the '06. My SR rifles use a dot scope, and the '06 now wears a Weaver V-16.

    Greg
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