I will have to vote for the 300 Win Mag. I have a 7mm mag I really love too. But if I was hunting something like grizzly I'd move up to my 338 Win....though I have no doubt my 300 Win Mag would be adquate. I have nothing against the 270 Win and 243 Win, I have killed a lot of game with them, it's just that they don't handle wind deflection well.
Well since everybody else put in there two cents, here's mine:
The best caliber is the one you are comfortable with. The one that puts the bullet exactly where you want it!
My comfortable caliber happens to be the 7mm. Rem. mag. The reason I chose this is I believe 300 win or short is way overkill on alot of game that I hunt or plan on hunting. I wouldn't want to kill and antelope with one. I want to eat it when I'm through. I would not be emberassed or underpowered shooting a moose with my weapon because I am going to put a well placed bullet where I want to or I'm not going to pull the trigger. I think these big calibers are a compensating mechanism for lack of practice with their equipment. If I was just hunting mule deer and antelope, I would go with 6mm rem. or possibly 25-06. I hope I dont offend anybody and that is not near my intention, but that is my opinion. Also bullets have a better bc with a 7mm :)
Like the 300, I believe the 7mm offers the same amount versatility as far as bullet weight goes, or should I say a bullet for any animal. What I mean is you can choose a bullet to hunt antelope and to hunt moose.
My uncle owns a 300 wsm and his load is like 95 gr.powder!!! Holy Mackel Andy! That's alot of powder!!!
I really dont think theres one caliber that would fit the bill if you plan on hunting big bears. If you dont plan on pursuing them then a 30/06, 7 mag, 300 mag etc would all work fine. If you wanted to pursue the big bear a 338 win on up.
That's a common myth. Choosing the right bullet has a lot to do with it.The first photo is a fox I shot with my 300 win. at 70 yards while deer hunting. As you can see, the pelt is in perfect shape. I was using Barnes (180 gr TTSX); if I were using Bergers, the fox would probably have been cut in half. I don't find this particular load (or any for that matter), overkill whatsoever for deer or antelope.
Originally Posted by Drhorsepower
This fox was shot with a 105 gr Berger from a 6mm, also around 70 yards. I only showed the 'pretty side' for the camera, so you'll have to trust me when I tell you that it left a giant, ugly and un-stitchable hole. It of course, would not do that to antelope. But, you can see how important bullet selection is.
I agree with those of you that are of the opinion that "1" just won't cut it. Thats why I shoot my .300 WBY on the big stuff (elk, etc) and my 25-06 on Deer and smaller. They both have served me well over the years. Shot over 50 deer & antelope with my 25 and have shot 15 or so elk, 2 moose and a couple of deer with my .300. Both are great calibers and at my age I don't plan on making any changes.
I think most people here hunt with more than just one rifle. But, that's not what this thread is about. You're supposed to pick the one, most versatile caliber capable of any game in North America. I don't even own a 338 win. but that's what I chose.
Hard for me to pick something I've never shot and don't have any experience with!!!
You don't necessarily need to.
I have never shot anything larger than 7mm. Bullet and bullet placement are the key. I shoot Berger but I know what they do and they do exactly as advertised. Thats what Elkoholic proved with the two foxes. If I were shooting grizzley with the 7mm, I would use partition or maybe Rem Core-Lokt.
The more I learn about shooting the better the 7mm looks, cause we have to content with recoil and wind. I agree that two guns work best and the ballistics of the 25-06 and 243wssm are the same, the 06 would have an advantage due to the diameter of the bullet. I shoot the 243wssm with 55gr silvertip and deer with 95gr.
I will use Berger in 7mm for my trophy mule deer hunt. Those 168 Bergers are going more than 3000fps 15ft from the muzzle and are less than moa at 600yds. I want the deer to stop and I won't be shooting into a cape area. My two cents worth
Most versatile? .280 Rem
While sure you can hunt all over NA with the .375H&H, would you really want to constantly be shooting the 375 on deer/antelope when 90% of your hunting is deer?
I say figure out what 90% of your hunting is, if the 270 is ideal for that 90% use that as ideal, then when you go elk, brown bear hunting pick up that 338 or 375.