Best Western Caliber?

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
232
5
Central WI
Im sure this will be a tough one and probably one thats been covered many times, but im really thinking about starting a new gun project for next season. I currently have a 300 weatherby magnum that i use, mostly whitetail and muley, but next year we should draw our bull elk tag. After shooting this week im starting to think i could go to a lighter gun and one that doesnt kick like a friggin mule. I could have this gun drilled, tapped and ported etc to help with the kick, but really considering a different caliber. What do you guys think i should look into? is a 270 big enough for elk? 6.5 creedmore? 300 short mag? Im open to all opinions. Thanks. Luke
 

Timr245

Very Active Member
Jul 21, 2016
578
375
Northcentral PA
Tough to beat that 300wby in my opinion. I just built a 6.5-300 and hopefully I can report on it’s elk performance in just over 2 weeks. Recoil....get a lead sled to bench shoot, never once felt the big 300 when I shot a critter.
 

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
232
5
Central WI
But weight wise the 300 has to be in the mid 8 pound range im guessing, maybe more towards 9 pounds with a scope on it. And ammo isnt something you can just buy anywhere either.
 

Colorado Cowboy

Veteran member
Jun 8, 2011
6,388
842
78
Dolores, Colorado
I have a custom .300 Wby that I love....like previously mentioned, tough to beat it for elk/moose. I also have a muzzle brake on mine, so it shoots like my 25-06 recoilwise.
 

Winchester

Veteran member
Mar 27, 2014
1,526
515
Cascade, Colorado
I have a 300 wby as well and it certainly is a great gun.
However just like you, I recently wanted a "lighter gun and one that doesn't kick like a friggin mule."
I worked with a local gunsmith and built a .28 Nosler that's just under 8 lbs and with a muzzle break doesn't really kick at all.
I'm very happy with it.
 

taskswap

Active Member
Jul 9, 2018
325
181
Colorado
Here we go again :)

I've got a buddy who swears by his 6.5CM. I still like my 30-06. Personally I think it's all about your goals. I came to hunting and shooting later in life - my parents never did it - and I know I'll never be a sniper. 200yds is a "good ways off" to me, and 300 is my ethical maximum. At that range, bullet drop, velocity loss, and all those other factors where these rounds really stand out from each other just don't matter as much.

But honestly, even if I was better, I'd find it hard to take a 700yd shot on any animal - it would just be insanely hard in my mind to positively identify it's something I should shoot, let alone having to hike 700 yards just to START tracking it if the first shot wasn't a knock-down! Half a mile over rough terrain is a long lead for a wounded animal to escape. I personally prefer to be a lot closer, where again, the differences between the options aren't as noticeable.

So I think it's personal preference. That and shot placement. Always shot placement.
 

mustang8

Active Member
Jan 30, 2017
232
5
Central WI
Taskswap, i totally understand and my intent is not to shoot any further than 400 yds at most. So from my reading maybe i should just customize my 300 and go from there. I wonder if there are any aftermarket stocks that are out there that could cut the weight of the gun down a bit? Carbon fiber? Probably stupid expensive.
 

go_deep

Veteran member
Nov 30, 2014
2,154
769
Wyoming
Shoot whatever caliber you can shoot the most accurately in that lightest weight rifle you want, hot placement beats everything. Personally I want to shoot something that if I HAVE TO buy extra ammo for whatever reason, I can find at a Walmart or a local sporting goods store.
 
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Hilltop

Veteran member
Feb 25, 2014
3,032
403
Eastern Nebraska
If you are staying inside of 400 yards, a 30-06 should be strongly considered. Ammo is available in virtually every location on the planet. It isn't one of the new glamorous rounds but it is a tried and true, effective, western big game cartridge. I hunt exclusively with one shooting 165 grain Hornady Interbond bullets. I set my maximum range at 500 yards. The bull in my avatar was shot at 477 yards - one shot kill drt.

For what it's worth, I have hunted and guided elk for 25+ years and have seen elk shot with a gob of calibers and bullet combinations. Long story short I have seen the good, bad, and the ugly.
 

jmwyoming

Active Member
Feb 28, 2013
185
10
Might want to wait until the end of October early November for the new Weatherby back country TI to be available. It's offered in a good variety of calibers. Magnum weight is 5.3 pounds, non magnum caliber 4.9 pounds. Two new calibers, 6.5-300 weatherby, is the new fastest 6.5 round out there. The other cartridge is the 6.5 weatherby RPM. Read about them on the weatherby website. Also Eastmans did a excellent review on the rifle. I'm a 300 weatherby advocate as well, I had a brake put on mine and as Colorado Cowboy stated recoil is minimal. No sense in shooting a rifle that can start bad shooting habits, like flinching, jerking the trigger, anticipating the shot. Thinking about the recoil.
 

nv-hunter

Veteran member
Feb 28, 2011
1,125
406
Reno
You have tons of options from upgrading your current rifle to buying todays lastest trend but anything from a .308 to .460 Weatherby will kill elk.
I'd keep my current rifle and buy a new lighter weight rifle in .300 win mag or 7 mag . However might shoot a couple if you can because I've got an old ruger scelitized stock 30.06 that will match recoil on your .300 Weatherby. I pack and shoot my BDL .300 win mag for deer and elk because it fits me and I don't feel the recoil near as much.
 

jmwyoming

Active Member
Feb 28, 2013
185
10
Bell and Carlson might have what you're looking for in a stock. Not overly expensive. And a break.
 

dan maule

Active Member
Jan 3, 2015
498
224
Upper Michigan
Sure hard to beat a 300 wby ballistics but like everyone else here has already said inside of 400 yards almost any of the modern calibers will do the job. Personally I like 30 calibers but I know a lot of folks that really like the 270 wsm.
 

ScottR

Eastmans' Staff / Moderator
Staff member
Feb 3, 2014
6,113
727
www.eastmans.com
In all fairness, I haven't ready anything said before this...

My current arsenal is small. .30-06, .300 Win Mag and drum roll please.... 6.5 Creedmore. I think I can handle all of NA with ths line up.
 

muleyfool

Member
Jun 7, 2018
108
25
I own and shoot a lot of rifles, 338LM, 300RUM,
7MMRM, 270 Win and 300 WBY. They are all good rifles/calibers but the accumark 300WBY with a break is my favorite.
Very accurate and brass life is excellent when reloading
 
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Mule3006Elk

Active Member
Jul 3, 2013
246
64
Big fan of the 300 WM especially if you reload. Lite loads are a little faster than the 30-06 or go full tilt loads. Cover you for anything in NA and all Western scenarios. The recoil for me, isn't an issue, but I know many complain about 300 WM recoil. I have a 30-06 and a 300 WM.

7 mm RM in 0.284 but the 280 or 280 AI deserves mention.

270 WSM in 0.277 or the 270.

For me, I would not go below 0.277 caliber for elk size animals. I know many will disagree but that's my cutoff.
 
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Triple BB

Active Member
Jun 22, 2013
286
6
Wyoming
Taskswap, i totally understand and my intent is not to shoot any further than 400 yds at most. So from my reading maybe i should just customize my 300 and go from there. I wonder if there are any aftermarket stocks that are out there that could cut the weight of the gun down a bit? Carbon fiber? Probably stupid expensive.
I have a Manners CF and a McMillan CF. Prefer the Manners a bit more. You get what you pay for...