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Old 04-08-2021, 07:44 AM   #1
LHPanther
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Default 300wm, 7mag or 30-06?

Yes, I know, another caliber question. Please read before you chime in. A friend and I are having full custom rifles made by a maker in the gun guild. Is this a once in a lifetime build? No, probably not, but likely wonít own a pile of guns like this so caliber selection is a little more important on this build.
So the question is: do I go with the do all 300wm which is capable of taking all the animals in North America and most of the African game? I consider the .300wm to be over gunned for Texas whitetails (which is what I almost exclusively hunt at this point in my life). Or, should I go with a caliber thatís a little more pleasing to shoot and better suited for whitetails and hogs yet enough gun for larger game?

Iíd love for this gun to be ďthe gunĒ that I always want to grab for my hunts.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:50 AM   #2
Aggiehunter08
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300 wm for versatility. No such thing as “over gunned” IMO. That’s how mistakes happen. However, if you’ll only hunt whitetails the rest of your life 30-06 or 7mag. Being honest with yourself answers most peoples questions.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:57 AM   #3
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I'd go 30-06. Loaded right it is plenty effective on anything you'll hunt with it. Anything that you'd want something bigger to hunt with you'll step up to the 375 or above anyway.

Who are you having build your rifle? I've been an associate member of the guild for a decade all of those folks are amazing at what they do.
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Old 04-08-2021, 07:59 AM   #4
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300 WinMag for the win. You wont regret it.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:01 AM   #5
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I'd go 30-06. Loaded right it is plenty effective on anything you'll hunt with it. Anything that you'd want something bigger to hunt with you'll step up to the 375 or above anyway.

Who are you having build your rifle? I've been an associate member of the guild for a decade all of those folks are amazing at what they do.
Jeff Tapp
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:05 AM   #6
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300 WM. Hard to beat IMO. However every one of the calibers you listed are more than capable.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:10 AM   #7
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Either of the three would be a good choice. My favorite is the .300WM, it has been my go-to choice since I bought mine in 1977.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:23 AM   #8
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I would go with the 7 mag. About the same recoil as the 06, better trajectory, and trust me, way less recoil than the 300 mag.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:27 AM   #9
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What style of gun are you building? Lightweight mountain rifle, decently heavy blind gun, or big heavy long range precision rig?

Do you reload is another big thing.

Assuming you reload this is what I would do for each of the 3 styles.

Lightweight mountain build I would run either a .30-06 or 7mm mag but would lean more towards the 7mm mag. Can load down either one for Texas whitetails. Run 150s in the .30-06 in a mild load, or a 160 class in the 7mm mag loaded mild will both have comparable recoil. With a 160 class 7mm bullet will be plenty enough up to elk sized critters and can easily bump up to a good bonded 175 class if going to Alaska for bear or moose. Will get a little better penetration from the 7mm mag since it has better sectional densities.

A blind gun purely for Texas hunting nice wood stock etc... Would probably run a .30-06, makes for a great classic rifle. Recoil wont be terrible and will kill anything and everything and if need to shoot something big later can still shoot a 180 gr pill and be fine.

Long range precision rifle that is going to be heavy I would lean more towards the .300 win mag. Recoil will be mitigated by the weight, and the big magnum shooting heavy stuff is a hoot to shoot at distance. Plus will be a hammer on animals. But not worth the recoil to me for a go to hunting rifle.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:27 AM   #10
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300 WM. Put a muzzle brake or shoot with a suppressor to take the recoil down to almost nothing. IMO.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:36 AM   #11
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Seeing as I'm the "other guy" in this build... I think I vote for the 30-06

I think Tward is right when he says that anything "big" that we would be hunting, we would be stepping up to an Africa type caliber anyways. So 300WM might not be doing us any favors when we are primarily hunting in Texas.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:44 AM   #12
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30-06,,, ammo options are better, reduced loads are available, if you hand load you can resize 280 rem 25-06 or 270 win brass to work or if you have one of those you can resize the 06 brass to work,,,,, it will reach farther out than the typical hunter can shoot well,, bullet weights from 100 gr up to at least 220 gr.

if and when ammo production ever stabilizes 30-06 is still the easiest of the 3 to find,,,

if you do reload and decide you want more you can have a little free bore cut into the chamber and push very close to 300 win mag velocity with the same weight bullets

Last edited by xman59; 04-08-2021 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 04-08-2021, 08:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by westtexducks View Post
What style of gun are you building? Lightweight mountain rifle, decently heavy blind gun, or big heavy long range precision rig?

Do you reload is another big thing.

Assuming you reload this is what I would do for each of the 3 styles.

Lightweight mountain build I would run either a .30-06 or 7mm mag but would lean more towards the 7mm mag. Can load down either one for Texas whitetails. Run 150s in the .30-06 in a mild load, or a 160 class in the 7mm mag loaded mild will both have comparable recoil. With a 160 class 7mm bullet will be plenty enough up to elk sized critters and can easily bump up to a good bonded 175 class if going to Alaska for bear or moose. Will get a little better penetration from the 7mm mag since it has better sectional densities.

A blind gun purely for Texas hunting nice wood stock etc... Would probably run a .30-06, makes for a great classic rifle. Recoil wont be terrible and will kill anything and everything and if need to shoot something big later can still shoot a 180 gr pill and be fine.

Long range precision rifle that is going to be heavy I would lean more towards the .300 win mag. Recoil will be mitigated by the weight, and the big magnum shooting heavy stuff is a hoot to shoot at distance. Plus will be a hammer on animals. But not worth the recoil to me for a go to hunting rifle.


This is where my head is at right now. This gun wonít be a specific ďlight weightĒ build, nor will it be a specific ďlong rangeĒ rig. Right down the middle weight wise. The 7mag is a lot more enjoyable to shoot vs the 300wm and the 30-06 is one of the most versatile rounds to load for.....
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:14 AM   #14
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If you don't plan on hunting a elk, grizzlies or moose somewhat regularly, I would go with the 7mm Rem. Mag. Truly any of the three can be used on all large North American big game. The 30-06, might be the most logical. Truly, if you were going after large game, such as moose or grizzlies, a 30-06, with either some 200 gr. to 220 gr. Partitions, would be a good choice. The 06, is truly a very versatile caliber. That caliber makes the most logical sense, but I would still choose a 7mm Rem. Mag. because I have owned many a killed a lot with them. But I would definitely not choose a 7mm Rem. Mag. as a one and only or primary hunting rifle. Because of the damage they can do, even out to pretty long ranges. But when I want to make sure a deer sized animal goes down, with one shot, no matter what the range is. At that point, a 7mm Rem. Mag. is my first choice. I know the 7mm Rem. Mag will kill moose, grizzlies, elk, ECT., but there are definitely better choices, I would say both the 30-06 and the 300 Win. Mag would be better choices, because of the heavier bullets that are available in .308 caliber.

If you were hunting plains game in Africa, any of the three calibers would work, I would be leaning more towards either the 7mm Rem. Mag for hard hitting, flat shoot round, or the 300 Win. Mag for a flatter shooting, harder hitting round. Now days, you have to pick the game animals you are going to shoot, before you go on a trip to Africa, so you know what you are shooting, it's not like years ago, where you went over there and shot whatever you found to shoot, that you wanted to shoot. The point, is you know what the animals on your list, long before you get there. Do your research on them and pick a caliber based off of what you find out about those animals. The two most important things being the size of the animal and the ranges, they are typically taken at.

I could not see me, only having one hunting rifle, too many guns and calibers I like. Typically I find a load I like for a particular gun and usually only load that one load in that gun. But with time, if I discover a new bullet or powder, I will experiment with them, to see how they compare. I started off my 7mm Rem. Mags. with 150 gr. Nosler Solid Base boat tail bullets, then Nosler came up with the Ballistic Tips based off of the Solid Base bullets. I switched to 150 Ballistic Tips. Then eventually tried Reloader 19, picked up noticeable velocity over the powder I had been using and improved accuracy. Then eventually switched to 140 gr. Nosler Ballistic tips. I also tried some other brands of 140 and 145 gr. bullets. But I kept with that range of bullets, I only loaded 140 gr. to 150 gr. bullets for my 7mm Rem. Mags., I shot many thousands of rounds out many 7mm Rem. Mag. rifles over many years. 99% of all of those shots were 140 gr. to 150 gr. bullets. In high school, I did load some 175 gr. bullets for a school project, but that was the one and only time, I ever loaded anything outside my normal bullet weight range. I have done the same with my 22-250s, I have only loaded 55 gr. bullets in that caliber. Then I have only loaded 125 gr. to 130 gr. 30-30 for my Contenders. When I want a caliber or gun for a different hunting situation, I usually buy a gun in a different caliber. I know there is a much wider range of bullet weights that can be used in any given gun, but I have never been big on loading bullets of greatly varying weights for the same caliber. I do plan to do so, with both my 445 Super Mag. and my 458 SOCOM. In the smaller bore stuff, I pick a bullet range, I think is optimum for that particular caliber and stick with that bullet weight range.

The 30-06, is a caliber that many, many people over the years, have used 150 gr. up to 200 gr. out of the same gun, for many years and been very successful doing so. I guess the reason I don't, is having to resight in the gun for each different bullet. But if you like using a wide range of bullet weights and styles out of one, gun, the 30-06, is a good choice of caliber.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:27 AM   #15
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I'm partial to the 7 Rem Mag. but it's really a toss up between the 7 & 300. Skip the 30-06. You're not over gunned for whitetail, just keep it behind the shoulder. If you like high shoulder shots, or shooting them through the shoulders, you can waste a lot of meat. It's all about shot placement. If you have a sharp shooter, you can shoot'em in the neck. I think the flatter trajectory of the magnums gives them the upper edge, less margin for error on longer shots, unless you like to study ballistic charts and dial in a scope and all that jazz.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LHPanther View Post
Yes, I know, another caliber question. Please read before you chime in. A friend and I are having full custom rifles made by a maker in the gun guild. Is this a once in a lifetime build? No, probably not, but likely wonít own a pile of guns like this so caliber selection is a little more important on this build.
So the question is: do I go with the do all 300wm which is capable of taking all the animals in North America and most of the African game? I consider the .300wm to be over gunned for Texas whitetails (which is what I almost exclusively hunt at this point in my life). Or, should I go with a caliber thatís a little more pleasing to shoot and better suited for whitetails and hogs yet enough gun for larger game?

Iíd love for this gun to be ďthe gunĒ that I always want to grab for my hunts.
Considering what you hunt, have you considered a 270? It will do everything you need and more.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:33 AM   #17
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I just built a .300WM so perhaps I'm biased.

I don't think it's over gunned on Texas Whitetail by any means.

You'll be happy with this decision out of those calibers.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:08 AM   #18
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I guess I need to add: these guns will be threaded for suppressors. That detail might be necessary to help make a decision...I guess
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:13 AM   #19
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7mm Mag for Texas and 99% of anything else in US. 300 WM for International & US.

That said, if it were me, I'd be trying to decide between 28 Nosler and 30 Nosler.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:19 AM   #20
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Lots of time with all 3 and very partial to fast running heavies in 7 mag. And a I’ll always favor a 300 win. Totally depends on what your components are as well. The 300 is more versatile than a 30-06. It’ll still load down as low as the 06 but has the capacity to be loaded much higher. If recoil is an issue then just slide over and run a 280 AI. I still prefer the 7 mag but it’s a good option.

There’s no such thing as too much gun. Dead is dead.

What’s this build going to look like? Wood stocked?
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:27 AM   #21
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If you reload, then definitely the 30-06. You can develop reduced loads and load ammo that will be every bit as effective as the 300wm. It is difficult to detune a magnum and still retain accuracy, though not impossible.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:32 AM   #22
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30.06 would be a great choice. Also .280ai might be another to look at. 7mag Preformance and less recoil. Very flat shooting.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:33 AM   #23
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All 3 are great all around choices. Honestly, right now I'd do a hard search on availability of components and/or loaded ammo before you make the choice. I'm a big 7mag fan, but right now brass and even bullets are very hard to find - you can do it but it takes some searching.

The 7 mag with modern bullets is very versatile - can shoot 140gr loads up to 195gr (with the proper twist rate). I like the mid 160's-180gr range as I don't feel that's too much for whitetails but could also take just about any animal you'd want to hunt.

It's not on your list, but a 7 SAUM is my favorite caliber right now. Good speed, great accuracy and very mild recoiling. The 7 mag shoots the same bullets but a couple hundred fps faster.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Lots of time with all 3 and very partial to fast running heavies in 7 mag. And a Iíll always favor a 300 win. Totally depends on what your components are as well. The 300 is more versatile than a 30-06. Itíll still load down as low as the 06 but has the capacity to be loaded much higher. If recoil is an issue then just slide over and run a 280 AI. I still prefer the 7 mag but itís a good option.

Thereís no such thing as too much gun. Dead is dead.

Whatís this build going to look like? Wood stocked?
It will look fairly fancy. Wood stock to fit my measurements, hand checkered, hand...everything. A true custom. Johnny (Crimson Accuracy) will be doing the bedding and likely fitting the barrel/action. The rest will be done by Jeff Tapp.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:41 AM   #25
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7mm for the reasons you list
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:16 AM   #26
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For the calibers you mentioned, 7rem mag.
If you hand load, there are some newer/better rounds out there. (example: 300 PRC)
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:16 AM   #27
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Quote:
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It will look fairly fancy. Wood stock to fit my measurements, hand checkered, hand...everything. A true custom. Johnny (Crimson Accuracy) will be doing the bedding and likely fitting the barrel/action. The rest will be done by Jeff Tapp.
Heís in Austin? PM me his pricing if you donít mind. Just on the wood stock
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:36 AM   #28
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7 mag
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Old 04-08-2021, 11:40 AM   #29
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Honestly with those 3 calibers you’re sort of splitting hairs. The 30-06 will easily kill anything in North America. I’ve killed elk with my 7mm and 30-06, no problems with either. I’ve watched a B&C Alaska moose go down from a 7mm 167 gr bullets. All 3 will do exactly what you could ever want and need in a hunting rifle.

If it was me I’d choose the caliber I don’t already have just because I like having rifles in all different calibers. Since you’re going wood, I’d go with the 06 for nostalgia but that’s me.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:17 PM   #30
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Honestly with those 3 calibers youíre sort of splitting hairs. The 30-06 will easily kill anything in North America. Iíve killed elk with my 7mm and 30-06, no problems with either. Iíve watched a B&C Alaska moose go down from a 7mm 167 gr bullets. All 3 will do exactly what you could ever want and need in a hunting rifle.

If it was me Iíd choose the caliber I donít already have just because I like having rifles in all different calibers. Since youíre going wood, Iíd go with the 06 for nostalgia but thatís me.
I think this is exactly where my mind keeps taking me. I currently own all 3 calibers but do agree that itís almost splitting hairs with the 3 choices Iíve presented. Nostalgia is what keeps drawing me back to the 06. Itís also the most mild recoil of the 3 IMO.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:21 PM   #31
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Of those 3, I would take the 06 everyday.
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Old 04-08-2021, 12:35 PM   #32
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30-06 has killed more on this planet than any other round. From every type of Cervid to Hominids.

Everything else is a failed attempt to "better" it.
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Old 04-08-2021, 01:15 PM   #33
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I was in your shoes a couple of years ago trying to decide between 300wm and 7mag...I had no interest in 30-06.
I went with the 7mag. I load 168gr accubonds LR and shoot 1/2 moa at 3050fps avg with at least 25% less felt recoil than the 300wm.
With a good brake or Thunderbeast on the end the recoil is minimal.
I plan to use it for Elk in a few years when I retire.
In the meanwhile it goes with me hunting any time there's potential sight of a Nilgai.
Sadly it has not had the opportunity to draw blood yet.
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:37 PM   #34
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I think this is exactly where my mind keeps taking me. I currently own all 3 calibers but do agree that itís almost splitting hairs with the 3 choices Iíve presented. Nostalgia is what keeps drawing me back to the 06. Itís also the most mild recoil of the 3 IMO.
If you keep going back to the 30-06 you have answered your own question for yourself!
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Old 04-08-2021, 02:38 PM   #35
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I guess I need to add: these guns will be threaded for suppressors. That detail might be necessary to help make a decision...I guess
Running full time suppressed for a hunting gun? This changes my answer, .30-06 with a 20" barrel. By the time you screw on a 6-8" suppressor you will want that barrel to be shorter than longer. Will lose a little going down that short but will make it much easier to wield effectively in the field. No reason to run a magnum at 20" either but the .30-06 should do ok at that length.
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Old 04-08-2021, 03:01 PM   #36
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Running full time suppressed for a hunting gun? This changes my answer, .30-06 with a 20" barrel. By the time you screw on a 6-8" suppressor you will want that barrel to be shorter than longer. Will lose a little going down that short but will make it much easier to wield effectively in the field. No reason to run a magnum at 20" either but the .30-06 should do ok at that length.
And the 06 becomes a 308 when cutting to 20Ē lol. No. Just no.
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Old 04-08-2021, 03:32 PM   #37
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And the 06 becomes a 308 when cutting to 20Ē lol. No. Just no.
I don't disagree, I almost told him change it completely up and run a 7mm-08 in a 20" just because running a suppressor on a 24+" barrel in a blind in Texas is going to suck. But even if left as a .30-06 yeah you may be killing ballistics some, but you can still call it a .30-06 and for some folks that means more than the efficiency of it does.
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Old 04-08-2021, 03:38 PM   #38
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I don't disagree, I almost told him change it completely up and run a 7mm-08 in a 20" just because running a suppressor on a 24+" barrel in a blind in Texas is going to suck. But even if left as a .30-06 yeah you may be killing ballistics some, but you can still call it a .30-06 and for some folks that means more than the efficiency of it does.
Iíll keep this gun at a 24Ē barrel. I have my shorty rifles when Iím not feeling like carrying a long stick, but this gun will be long with the suppressor and thatís fine with me.
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Old 04-08-2021, 06:37 PM   #39
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The 30-06 gets my vote, particularly if you will primarily use it for Texas Whitetails and hogs. As others have said recoil will be less, which makes for a more enjoyable shooting experience, particularly at the range when experimenting with different loads to determine which loads are the most accurate in your gun. The magnums need barrel length to get the most velocity out of their rounds, so a 20 inch barrel negates some of the magnum rounds’ benefits. Other than right now, 30-06 ammo is relatively plentiful with lots of bullet weights/designs.

I have had to ask the same questions as the OP regarding North American big game. Realistically I might elk hunt, and possibly black bear. Grizzlies and Moose, are definitely a long shot and unlikely. Exotics like Axis and Aoudad, along with Mule Deer and Pronghorn are much more likely for me to hunt than Moose or Grizzlies.

Based upon all of the above factors it would be the good old 30-06. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:25 PM   #40
snipermedic
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280ai
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:36 PM   #41
sharkhunter
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No such animal as over gunned. 300 win mag all the way !
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Old 04-08-2021, 09:45 PM   #42
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7 mag gets my vote, I think it has the best combination of everything your looking for. If I am ever trophy hunting, it’s what I grab every time and I have all 3 of those calibers.

If your running a suppressor full time, I have no experience there but I’d take the advice trophy8 has.
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Old 04-08-2021, 10:29 PM   #43
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7mag
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Old 04-09-2021, 07:25 AM   #44
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All will do the job, get whichever 1 you can find ammo for...
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:50 AM   #45
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i'll go out on a limb and disagree with everyone.. texas deer are small animals usually in the 100 to 150 lbs range... those 3 calibers mentioned are for way bigger game , and bullet manufacturers design bullets with thicker jackets to expand on bigger animal with more penetration. most store bought ammo in those calibers are even marked for larger game for that reason... so 2500 lbs of energy puts 500 lbs in the animal and 2000lbs in the tree behind it ... many years as an RO at my club during public sight in day also reveals many hunters with big ego bringing high recoil rifle , flinching and often incapable of shooting worth a crap , but laughing that the guy next to them has to move over due to concussion. I shot a 95 gr ballistic tip 243 for 15 years and never had to track a deer even once. they drop like a stone. old man in our camp shot 7 mag , we knew instantly when he shot and just about had to go help him every year to go chase the blood trail...

texas ... 243, 6.5 creed , 308 ... anything beyond that is just overkill and an attempt of compensation for a lack of marksmanship .

don't shoot the messenger , go look at ammo reviews on these large calibers and you'll find plenty of people complaining of lack of expansion and performance on small white tails.

now everything you shoot can kill a deer ... but sledge hammers are not the BEST solution to push in thumb tacks.

that is all ... haters ...GO!
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:53 AM   #46
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Based on what you are hunting and the 3 choices, 30-06 all day long.
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:58 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imyomama View Post
i'll go out on a limb and disagree with everyone.. texas deer are small animals usually in the 100 to 150 lbs range... those 3 calibers mentioned are for way bigger game , and bullet manufacturers design bullets with thicker jackets to expand on bigger animal with more penetration. most store bought ammo in those calibers are even marked for larger game for that reason... so 2500 lbs of energy puts 500 lbs in the animal and 2000lbs in the tree behind it ... many years as an RO at my club during public sight in day also reveals many hunters with big ego bringing high recoil rifle , flinching and often incapable of shooting worth a crap , but laughing that the guy next to them has to move over due to concussion. I shot a 95 gr ballistic tip 243 for 15 years and never had to track a deer even once. they drop like a stone. old man in our camp shot 7 mag , we knew instantly when he shot and just about had to go help him every year to go chase the blood trail...

texas ... 243, 6.5 creed , 308 ... anything beyond that is just overkill and an attempt of compensation for a lack of marksmanship .

don't shoot the messenger , go look at ammo reviews on these large calibers and you'll find plenty of people complaining of lack of expansion and performance on small white tails.

now everything you shoot can kill a deer ... but sledge hammers are not the BEST solution to push in thumb tacks.

that is all ... haters ...GO!
Hello. My name is Matt. I have a little peepee so I shoot magnum rifles.

Sorry you can’t handle the recoil. They aren’t for everyone
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Old 04-09-2021, 12:01 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trophy8 View Post
Hello. My name is Matt. I have a little peepee so I shoot magnum rifles.

Sorry you canít handle the recoil. They arenít for everyone
You sir owe me a keyboard that is not covered in coke zero
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Old 04-09-2021, 12:14 PM   #49
H-D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trophy8 View Post
Hello. My name is Matt. I have a little peepee so I shoot magnum rifles.

Sorry you canít handle the recoil. They arenít for everyone
literally lol'd.
You da man Matt!!
I agree with the last 2 sentences in your statement too
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Old 04-09-2021, 12:22 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkhunter View Post
No such animal as over gunned. 300 win mag all the way !
No such animal as under gunned given the choices, the 30-06 will work as well as the others all day everyday with less recoil and more factory ammo choices.
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