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Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
What is "Enough Gun"?

This is something that I've been pondering a lot lately especially with the proliferation of higher quality bullets out there, but really for a North American hunter with elk and moose on the list how much of a gun is enough? I met an Alaskan who hunted everything up there with a 6.5 by 55 (likely not including bears) and certainly this is not for everyone. I've always liked the 300 Win as an all round caliber that is ready for anything BUT I have always shot more precisely in the field with smaller caliber rifles. I can shoot magnums but not as instinctively as well as a 308 or 6mm and since my own Alaska days are probably behind me I am downsizing a bit. Just curious what others think.

Location: Richfield, Utah
Joined: 11/26/2008
Posts: 64
What is "Enough Gun"?

For most big game a 257 WBY, 270 WBY, 270 WSM, or any of the 7mm Mags are plenty of gun with todays bullets. The 300's are great. Accuracy is everything.

I shoot a .257 Weatherby Magnum. It has the recoil of a 270 and shoots flat like a 300. I have taken several deer and a couple of elk with it. I reload to reduce ammunition cost.

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Location: California
Joined: 09/06/2008
Posts: 1071
What is "Enough Gun"?

This is the eternal question isn't it? Probably as many arguments over this question as 9mm over 45acp. Elmer Keith (who was a proponnent of all bullets large) used a .338 mag on everything except very large or very small game. Jack Oconner used a .270. Both these guys knew their business when it came to hunting. If you believe the rumors they actually hated one another over this issue!! I don't know if there's one "magic" caliber out there. If there is I hope someone shows it to me before I go hunting again. I tell my wife, guns are like golf clubs, you choose the proper gun for the proper shot. I get to buy more guns this way. Jeff Cooper said beware the man who owns one gun because he probably knows how to use it. I don't tell her that or I'd probably get no more guns. I guess this question is why they make more than one.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
What is "Enough Gun"?

The question I tend to struggle with is not how much gun is enough, but rather how many guns is enough. I thought I had that answer a few years ago, but apparently it's a moving target.

A lot depends on range and loading, but I'd say a .300 can take anything in North America within ranges shooters typically hunt.

Don Fischer's picture
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Moderator
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3183
What is "Enough Gun"?

Tuff question. I'd hunt anything in North America except, maybe, big bears with my 6.5x55 and never look back. If it was big bears, I don't have my 308 anymore, the kid has it, so I'd take my 30-06 and choose a good 180 gr bullet. All the power in the world is useless with miss-directed shots.

I like to think that if I had to I would even take on the big bears with my 6.5x55 and good 160 gr bullet's. They are tough but they are not bullet proof.

As an all around cartridge, anything from the 6.5x55 up will pretty much fill the bill assuming you use a proper bullet.

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Location: California
Joined: 09/06/2008
Posts: 1071
What is "Enough Gun"?

Good point Don,
I think it's far more important to be able to place a bullet properly than worry about the size of the bullet. Don't forget the great W.D.M. Bell killed at least hundreds and maybe over a thousand elephants with a rifle most people would consider light for elk. What you hit with is what you should hunt with.

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Location: Cheyenne, WY
Joined: 12/25/2007
Posts: 106
What is "Enough Gun"?

I use my 375 for everything! Some might considert it overkill but it is a gun I have faith in. Season 2007 I was hunting antelope with the 270 & couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with it. I put it back in the safe & took out the .375. With the first shot I had an antelope down. Same season I shot a muley buck with it at 350+ yards. Again 1 shot.

It is definitely more than enough gun but I dearly like it.

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Location: California
Joined: 09/06/2008
Posts: 1071
What is "Enough Gun"?

Dang Joe. I think the antelope probably died of fright!!! Laugh

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Moderator
Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
What is "Enough Gun"?

I use the only center fire rifle I own for deer, moose and in the past black bear. Had the odd deer(they are sprinters) make it close to 75 yards on a dead dash. A moose that made it thirty yards after being shot, lived an unsuspected long life
And this has been done hundreds of times over the past three decades or so, with nothing more than my 270 winchester and of course reloaded ammo.
And, know what Think I'd go deer or moose hunting, if it was legal to do so, with my 22 mag and not look back. The game would have to be within 125 yards though, for the 22 mag. and the shots have to be broadside ( I also make my own 22 mag ammo and that helps a bit too.:
Note that I did not include black bear in the hunt with a 22 mag, not a good thing at all.

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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 07/24/2006
Posts: 36
What is "Enough Gun"?

I wouldn't hunt moose with a .270. Sure, you can kill one with it. Heck, the butcher killed our 1500 lb beef cow with a .22 LR rifle. But I'd want a little more stopping power. .30-06 would be the lightest gun I'd shoot at a moose, and most people I know either have or borrow a 300 WSM for moose. I don't know many who hunt moose, just a few guys who go to AK every year.

But, I suppose if you're range is closer and you're a great shot, nothing wrong with a well placed .270 or .260 bullet. Just my opinion in the end, which is worth about as much as the spent .260 casing you used to down your bull moose. ;)

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Location: mirabel quebec canada
Joined: 01/02/2009
Posts: 70
What is "Enough Gun"?

300wsm and the 180gr bullet [bonded] will nail anything that walks or crawl's on the north american continent ..don't forget shot placement ...