This is a sort of continuence from another thread. I made an argument that the 7mm Rem Mag and 300 Win Mag are not the first and last words in big game cartridge selection. It seems as if they have taken on mystical proportions. An important thing to keep in mind is that they are really a matter of preference.
The 7mm Remington Magnum doesn't have all that great of an edge over the 280 Remington until bullet weight goes north of 150 grains. The whole purpose, if I have the function of the magnum cartridge pegged correctly, is to handle the medium and heavy-for-caliber bullet weights more efficiently. Same with the 300 Winchester Magnum and the 30-06. The difference isn't all that remarkable until you reach 180 grains. In fact, with lighter bullets, the 300 is actually LESS efficient, retaining roughly 55 percent of it's original energy with a 150 grain bullet at 500 yards, as opposed to 60 percent for the 30-06 with the same bullet weight/BC.
The 7mm-08 Remington is a proven round, having been used on game from wild turkeys to moose. It does not turn up the velocities that the Big 7 does, but it is plenty of cartridge with the proper bullet and load. Same with the 308 Winchester. Some 180 grain loads for the 308 hit as hard at 300 yards as the 300 Winchester Magnum does at 400. Neither delivers as much push on the shoulder as their magnum counterparts.
The 243, 25-06, and 260 Remington make great choices for deer, black bear, antelope, goats, and rams. All three have been successfully used on elk and moose, although they are by no means ideal. The 270 Winchester is also a very good choice for deer hunting, and is proven effective elk medicine.
Magnum rifles have their useful applications, but there's no reason they should be thought of as magical, or the only way to go. There are situations where they have advantages, but at the typical ranges at which most people shoot, they offer little advantage over the non-magnum big game cartridges.