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Moose/Bou Caliber Thoughts

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by Held Fast, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Held Fast

    Held Fast G&G Evangelist

    99% certain that Alaska Moose & Caribou (and smaller) hunting will be a recurring opportunity for years to come, for various reasons, in addition to opportunities in the lower 48. I like lever guns for hunting, and while not recoil sensitive, prefer less recoil where I can get it as my accuracy improves. I've got 3 options for hunting: BLR Lightweight in 7mm-08, Henry Long Ranger in 308, Marlin 336 30-30. All 20" barrels, all have iron sights, can be scoped - call them all roughly 7.5# guns to make the comparison fair. And I'm a 200yd hunter at most, usually less, maybe more if I've got the right angle ... I'd rather try to get closer than have to shoot twice. I load and cast bullets so I don't mind working up loads for various purposes. All that said ...

    - Buffalo Bore Hawk 190s in the 30-30 are about the only load I'd feel right with for a Moose, 200yd max, but its a thumper on the shooter as well, and I'm wondering if its worth pushing the 30-30 when 308 or 7-08 are options. I've done a lot of 30-30 shooting, just not Moose.
    - 7mm-08 is the softest recoil, flattest shooter, and my tightest groups ... but I wouldn't know what bullet to load for a big bull Moose, and then the question is if I'm loading heavy on a 7-08, why not just skip to a different caliber. I like the 7mm-08 a lot.
    - I've read the Buffalo Bore Super Charged for 308 is a strong contender, 150 TTSX at 2900, supposedly low recoil, but designed for AK Moose (per the ad). 308 is certainly versatile to load for, but its not my first choice usually.

    Of the 3 options I have, which would you choose, which load, and why? Thanks!
  2. grizcty

    grizcty God, Guns, Glory Forum Contributor

    All of those will work for Caribou.
    I have hunted moose up here for 25+ years, with lever rifles.
    I can still pull the triggers accurately, but physically cant hunt much anymore. :(
    And I prefer the .444, .450 and 45-70 Marlins with factory ammo.

  3. Junction15

    Junction15 G&G Evangelist

    To qualify my response, I have never shot a moose, nor a caribou. Just my opinion on what I would use if I were to hunt either one.
    Of the 3 calibers you listed, my vote would be for the 308 win using 180 gr expanding bullets.
    It is not that the other 2 would not work - I just feel like a larger animal deserves a larger caliber Especially where you are talking 200 yard shots.

    (If I ever draw a tag for moose here in Maine, I plan to use my 30-06 instead of my 308)
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  4. Sav .250

    Sav .250 G&G Evangelist

    308............Has range. Has the power. Can`t ask for much more.
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  5. The Swedes use a 6.5 !...............
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  6. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    I was going to suggest one of those Marlin .45-70s for the mission, but any good rifle in the .30 caliber class would get the job done provided you can handle a rifle like a rifle and not like a shotgun. Shot placement must be key when you are talking about the big grazers.

    Heck, a Mosin Nagant with 205 grain softpoints would be enough to get the job done, provided it shoots to point of aim.
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  7. Wicked109

    Wicked109 G&G Evangelist

    I have two personal favorites...the .308 Win (165gr SST) or the 300 WSM (180gr SST). I would use either for the game you mentioned. I reload so the 300 WSM doesn't cost much more than the .308 Win, but if you have to buy the factory ammo, the 300 WSM costs way more than I would want to spend for a box of 20.
    My humble opinion that has a value around 2 cents - maybe less.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
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  8. Mindy up North

    Mindy up North G&G Evangelist

    Having taken many moose during the course of my life, I can say it's more important for you to get your shot placed correctly and be able to get a follow up quickly if need be. I recommend you go with the rifle you are most accurate and comfortable with. Many moose are taken up here each year with 7mm/08 as well as the entire range of 30 calibers. I even see moose dropped reliably with 243's and 270's. As far as bullet style, I've always used loads with nosler partitions, never lost an animal yet. Other similar constructed bullets will work long as they are good quality. Like Griz, I love my 45/70 and use it for moose and's also handy to have if I get a visit from "griz" looking for meat -- and I'm not talking the coffee drinking Griz! Lol
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  9. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    An excellent point. There is no such thing as too much gun when dealing with Mister Griz. But then again, I've long felt that the correct gun for dealing with a grizzly bear is mounted on an Abrams tank.
  10. Held Fast

    Held Fast G&G Evangelist

    Not looking to get a new rifle, just trying to pick one from what I have as I will only bring one with me at first, the rest will come if/when we retire and if we retire near family. My family hunts together - at least one person has a 45/70 for griz. I've put a few tens of thousands of rounds of controlled precision fire downrange (training, competition, combat and hunting), and I get that caliber selection is often said to be based on the animal, but really is based on the shooter's comfort (mental and physical), so its informative for me to read the various levels of comfort people have related to moose hunting. Appreciate all the responses so far!
  11. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Evangelist

    for caribou the 7-08 and a 140gr interlock or similar is probably perfect.
    could it take a moose?
    well yeah,,, I'm sure a 160gr partition, 140 tsx or similar, would have enough sectional density to penetrate well.
    but the 308 allows you a few [10] more grains of bullet weight with only 100 fps of velocity loss.

    I know what I would do but it isn't the question here.
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  12. Heck even the old .30 WCF, in range & shot placement will kill the largest deer in North America !.........
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  13. jerry

    jerry Since 2002 Forum Contributor

    You can answer your own question if you follow what your instincts are pointing you to. Good conversational material though
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