What is the best all around hunting rifle caliber? Specifically for North America, anything from deer to elk. Thanks. I know this has been asked a million times, but this is easier than looking for posts.
IMO the best all round rifle for North American game would be the 30-06 you can hunt anything from varmints to bear with the 06.I have owned just about everything including the 300WSM which I traded for an 06 after it nearly tore my shoulder off.
I'll second the vote for the '06. Elk are tough animals. My FIL is an expert shot and has done well with his .270 on them, but the chances of success with a less than perfect shot are better with the larger caliber. The ballistics for the .308 are close to the '06. That might be a good choice, too.
I highly recommend the 308. Versatility of the 30-06 with less recoil, greater range than a 30-30, and more stopping power than a 270. I own them all and my 308 is the one I always grab for all my hunting needs from Varmints to White Tails
New here but I'll chime in, I have used most popular rounds from .204 ruger to the massive .338 Lapua on game. My happy medium has been the .243(Remington SPS)and .270 (Marlin XL7). Both give accurate and long range shots for the corn and bean fields of S.C. Only had to track one big buck with either of these two rounds. Now that's not to say that this is correct for everyone as we all know everyone has what??? their own Opinion. You basically have to find what ultimately works for you and what your hunting. I have a .300 Win mag I bought with intentions of going back out west and slaying some elk, brown bear, moose, and buffalo. But after doing the research (muzzle velocity, force, and impact).270 wins in my book. Now with dangerous game like the brown beer or something that knocks me off the top of the food chain, I would go with the versatile and long lived .308. Military, hunter, bench rest shooter proven rd that makes steel plating, body amour, and even death shiver. This all boils down to personal experience and choice for me. You Have to Go to the range and see what works for yourself and see what other guys are shooting and make your best rational real life (how much ouch your wallet and you can take)decision.
I have to echo the support on the .308. I grew up in Montana and Colorado and the Winchester Model 70 in 308 is probably the most versatile rifle I have ever used. Growing up, my dad an I have used it on everything from snowshoe hare to elk , including javelina and coyote in Arizona, antelope and muleys in Colorado and very big whitetails in Montana. Loaded right, even bear and moose are not outside it's knockdown power. A 270 or 243 is just too all for some of these game.
I backed a guy up on a bear hunt with my HK-91 in .308 while he was using his trusty 7mm Mag. He fired on a bear and hit it with the first shot, which made the bear stand up and charge us. He fired again, striking it off-center, but it barely stumbled before resuming its' charge. I was holding off shooting until I saw my partner's gun had jammed. He was furiously trying to chamber another round when I decided this was all getting too dangerous for me. I fired once to his chest, causing him to drop onto all fours, with the second shot catching him in the forehead. Unfortunately, that tough skullplate caused the round to ricochet off. The third round broke through, quieting him permanently. He was absolutely massive, making him scary even laying there! I had never seen a bear that big.
I have seen some of the smaller calibers fail against the larger animals, so I guess I tend to err on the side of caution. I like .308 for overall game-taking, but when the game is smaller, 7mm Mag is a nice overall round. .300 Win Mag is or 375 H&R are great if you need larger game, but I'll always trust .308 since seeing it drop that massive charging bear.