Decions decisions.

mikecraig13

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Trying to decide the best rifle to use for deer but could also be used for boar and elk if / when i go on a hunt. Looking at .308 but would like to get some solid feedback from the group.
 

Bigtanker

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With the premium quality bullets, .308 is fine. 6.5 Creedmore is another good option, especially if you want to reach out a little longer.
 

Tactically Fat

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With the proper rifle and proper skill, .308 would be OK for Elk.

And let's be real here: You need a proper rifle for elk hunting (that'll also be OK for other stuff). Must have enough oomph for elk hunting.

.300 Win Mag would be more betterer. Still plenty ubiquitous. Plenty of rifles in that caliber. Still plenty of horse power @ 500 yards.

And easily enough HP to take care of anything else, too.
 

Mgderf

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One or two considerations.
Where are you going yo use this rifle? Public or private land? Indiana, or another state?

Right now, I don't believe the .308 is legal for public land hunting.
Remember, this is the final year for the deer rifle "trial" period currently being held by Indiana.
Although unlikely, these regulations may change again after the current deer season.

That said, and everything else remaining the same,
.308
.30-06
.270
.45-70

There are SO many options...
 

Bigtanker

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With the proper rifle and proper skill, .308 would be OK for Elk.

And let's be real here: You need a proper rifle for elk hunting (that'll also be OK for other stuff). Must have enough oomph for elk hunting.

.300 Win Mag would be more betterer. Still plenty ubiquitous. Plenty of rifles in that caliber. Still plenty of horse power @ 500 yards.

And easily enough HP to take care of anything else, too.

I've been following the 6.5 as it intrigues me. With the very high B.C. bullets, they carry more energy at distance. I don't remember the article but I think that after 500 yards, the 6.5 is going faster than the 300 Win Mag. Again, I don't remember the exact numbers but it surprised me. There are lots of elk being taken with the 6.5. Good bullets will punch right through. So you get the power without the heavy recoil of the 300.

https://thebiggamehuntingblog.com/best-65-creedmoor-ammo-for-hunting/


There is a huge selection of ammo for the 6.5 also.

Then there is the 6.5 PRC which is 200-300 fps faster than the Creedmoor
 

avboiler11

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Any medium game animal you can kill with a 308 you can kill with a 6.5 Creedmoor...and one needs to consider hit probability at distance just as much as downrange energy and velocity and 6.5mm bullets with less drop/drift will be better in that regard.

I’d personally avoid magnums for this application, as described...you won’t need their smash inside 500yd and it takes a LOT of practice to competently make a proper shot on game in the field at that distance.
 

nascarfantoo

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Don't overlook the 7mm-08. Similar to the .308 and I think would be very adequate within 300 yards. I would also use my 30-06 on elk, deer, hogs, etc. within 300. So many options that will work. For me its important that I find a rifle/caliber/load that shoots accurately and that I feel comfortable with. Then make sure the glass is good, especially if the distance grows.
 

DadSmith

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308 and the 6.5 Creedmore are basically identical ballistics wise until 600 yards then the 6.5 Creedmore takes over. That's why I stayed with the 308 Winchester because I'm not going to be shooting anything at 600 yards. When I say ballistics wise I'm talking match grade ammo for both cartridges.

I practice on a 500 yard range I can hit a 12" AR500 diamond so I'm confident I can take game animals out to 500 yards.
 
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avboiler11

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308 and the 6.5 Creedmore are basically identical ballistics wise until 600 yards

I got 2640fps from the 168gr ELD-M out of a 20” AAC-SD and 2700fps from the Berger 130gr Hybrid out of a 18” 6.5 Creedmoor.

At 600yd, the difference is 0.4mil drop (7.7”) and 0.2m drift (4.4”)...but make the 6.5 barrel also 20” giving the 130 a 50fps gain and the performance delta grows.

If already invested in 308 there’s little need to change for 600yd with modern bullets and powders; if getting into it I’d say 6.5 every day and twice on Sunday.
 
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Areoflyer09

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308 and the 6.5 Creedmore are basically identical ballistics wise until 600 yards then the 6.5 Creedmore takes over. That's why I stayed with the 308 Winchester because I'm not going to be shooting anything at 600 yards. When I say ballistics wise I'm talking match grade ammo for both cartridges.

I practice on a 500 yard range I can hit a 12" AR500 diamond so I'm confident I can take game animals out to 500 yards.

A big draw to 6.5CM is that you get that ballistic edge with less recoil. Less important for a hunter taking one shot, but it is more pleasant at the range.

As AV said, if you are already invested in 308 then it’s probably not worth changing. If you are just getting started, it’s really hard to justify the 308.
 
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