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Old 08-02-2019, 12:48 AM
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Question Best Common round for hunting?



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Hello. I don't hunt personally but I am looking to get into it in the future. All my friends hunt and they claim 5.56 is too small of a round to hunt even deer. I am looking for a hunting round that will be commonly found like 5.56 if I need to scavenge, and cheap enough to stockpile. Looking for a round that will be large enough to take most game in North America for hunting for survival. Preferably if it is NATO and used by the US military. I have been considering .308 Win/7.62x51 NATO. Any thoughts? Would this round be too small to take most game in North America? If it helps, I live in San Francisco North Bay.
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Rawhide76 View Post
Hello. I don't hunt personally but I am looking to get into it in the future. All my friends hunt and they claim 5.56 is too small of a round to hunt even deer. I am looking for a hunting round that will be commonly found like 5.56 if I need to scavenge, and cheap enough to stockpile. Looking for a round that will be large enough to take most game in North America for hunting for survival. Preferably if it is NATO and used by the US military. I have been considering .308 Win/7.62x51 NATO. Any thoughts? Would this round be too small to take most game in North America? If it helps, I live in San Francisco North Bay.
No ****....Considering that you live in Cali, safe bet is getting a bow and arrow...Aren't they suppose to start background checks on ammo there soon lol..No seriously based on what you said 308 would be my pick too.
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Old 08-02-2019, 01:06 AM
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.308 meets your very narrow criteria.

But there are other realistic options.

My dad lived far enough north of you that he was mad when people called SF northern Cali, and he hunted the redwoods with a 30-30 lever action, it got the job done. But lead free ammo will be expensive, I think.

The 7.62x39 would also be adequate in the forests in your AO, but thereís probably not many legal guns for you to buy to use it. Itís much cheaper ammo, though again I doubt thereís much legal lead free ammo for your state, if there is, itís not cheap. A CZ bolt action would be good, though.
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Old 08-02-2019, 04:08 AM
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12 gauge shotgun can take down most any animal that swims,walks or flys,and might be the most common round to scavange.
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Old 08-02-2019, 06:28 AM
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The variety and numerous options of 12 gauge ammo, makes it a sure bet for #1
Number 4 shot , 00 Buck, rifled slug, & sabot slug. Get a lot of jobs done.
Waterfowl and game bird hunting ... you have multiple choices of shot types... Too many to write about on my notepad.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:10 AM
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The 308 will work. The ruskies made a 12 gauge over 308 combo gun that would make an excellent forager.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r04XcXyVXEE
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:34 AM
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30-06 & 308 are probably 2 of the best for anything in the western hemisphere that are very common here anyway. 308/7.62 doesn't have quite the pop as the '06 but it's probably more common now cause it's in use by our military & others countries too. It's also a popular hunting round as the '06 still is.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawhide76 View Post
Hello. I don't hunt personally but I am looking to get into it in the future. All my friends hunt and they claim 5.56 is too small of a round to hunt even deer. I am looking for a hunting round that will be commonly found like 5.56 if I need to scavenge, and cheap enough to stockpile. Looking for a round that will be large enough to take most game in North America for hunting for survival. Preferably if it is NATO and used by the US military. I have been considering .308 Win/7.62x51 NATO. Any thoughts? Would this round be too small to take most game in North America? If it helps, I live in San Francisco North Bay.
There are still lots of hunting oportunities left in Cali. Especially true in the bay area, North coast, and the Northern Sierras. But one rifle will not cover it.

First, the stupid rules of the Cal dept of Fish Game prohibits lead core ammo for all hunting. This seriously impacts mil surplus ammo in any caliber.

Second, the state is over run with black bears and mountain lions. This means any time you are calling predators, or hunting big game in Cali, you are attracting these big predators to you.

Third, there are fewer crazy hunters running around during archery season. You might consider a good bow, especially if you plan to hunt deer in the north coast.

I suggest you buy a battery of rifles and shot guns, plus buy yourself a suitable carry pistol.
Small game, precise rimfire rifle.
Upland Birds, light wt 20 ga semi or pump..
Waterfowl, heavy 10 or 12 ga semi or pump.
Coyotes, heavy bolt action in 22-250, or 25-06.
Mountain Game, compact rifle in 6.5 CM, 270 win, or 308..
Tule Elk and Bears, heavier rifle in 270 win, 308 win, 3006, 7 Rem mag, or 338 win mag.
Wilderness carry pistol, 40 cal, 45 acp, or 10mm pistol, or 357 revolver.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:32 PM
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A 243,270,308 or 30-06 are standard and all will do the trick. The 243 will also double as a varmint rifle. I hunt a lot with a 357 mag rifle. I live and hunt in central California. Unless you are from northern California, then everything below Sacramento is southern California. I'm a big fan of 357 mag pistols also. Walk into the local Big 5 store and look at the ammo on the shelf. What do they carry the most of? Look at the rifles on the shelf. What rounds are best represented. That will tell you what people in your area are using and buying. You may wish to look at waterfowl in central and northern California. You can join a duck club and hunt duck and goose. I bought a mossberg O/U in 12 gauge just for that purpose. I didn't want to tear up my browning with steel shot.
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Old 08-02-2019, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawhide76 View Post
Hello. I don't hunt personally but I am looking to get into it in the future. All my friends hunt and they claim 5.56 is too small of a round to hunt even deer. I am looking for a hunting round that will be commonly found like 5.56 if I need to scavenge, and cheap enough to stockpile. Looking for a round that will be large enough to take most game in North America for hunting for survival. Preferably if it is NATO and used by the US military. I have been considering .308 Win/7.62x51 NATO. Any thoughts? Would this round be too small to take most game in North America? If it helps, I live in San Francisco North Bay.
No ****....Considering that you live in Cali, safe bet is getting a bow and arrow...Aren't they suppose to start background checks on ammo there soon lol..No seriously based on what you said 308 would be my pick too.
I am looking to move shortly after college. Definitely to a conservative, pro-gun state. Likely on the west side of the Rockies or some other area that isn't humid. And has a dry cold weather.
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawhide76 View Post
Hello. I don't hunt personally but I am looking to get into it in the future. All my friends hunt and they claim 5.56 is too small of a round to hunt even deer. I am looking for a hunting round that will be commonly found like 5.56 if I need to scavenge, and cheap enough to stockpile. Looking for a round that will be large enough to take most game in North America for hunting for survival. Preferably if it is NATO and used by the US military. I have been considering .308 Win/7.62x51 NATO. Any thoughts? Would this round be too small to take most game in North America? If it helps, I live in San Francisco North Bay.
A 308 win with the right bullet is more than enough to hunt/ stop any critter in this hemisphere with one shot out to a minimum of 300 yards. ( 3006 is another)
Been using this cartridge for hunting in several different states all over NA for quite a while now, and it will get the job done if you do your part.

Below pic shows one factory load that I have used to dump pigs, deer, antelope, bear, elk, and moose .....and it is also legal ammunition to use for hunting in CA. ( Lead free bullet).

Very common cartridge if you need to barter post shtf .
Note: My hunting rifles are also my " go to" rifles post whatever......in other pics below. ( Iron sights as well as optics utilized for hunting, extremely reliable in any environment or altitude, and semiauto 20rd dbm for security/ hog eradication. I usually carry a suppressed 22lr handgun with this rifle, as it's primary purpose is for small game at close distances.

An example of a similar type rifle ( CA legal) here......

https://www.tombstonetactical.com/ca...de-california/


For an all around sport hunting bolt action rifle, my choice = a lefty version of rifle below....

https://grabagun.com/ruger-gunsite-s...ss-lam-18.html

Last suggestion..... I would not say that " scavenging" is a great plan / strategy for surviving long. ( Looters would be shot on sight here, and the " western Rocky Mtns. ) The stockpile idea is the better one imo......but I would not keep all your ammo in one location. In other words, incorporate a cache program to support your logistics.

Note: 100 rds of 308 168gr TTSX weighs in at 5.282 lbs. 100 rds of 22lr weigh in at .75 lbs.

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Old 08-03-2019, 10:40 AM
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308, 22, 12ga is a basic but universal starting point for covering most North American hunting situations.

I'd feel naked without an EBR in 5.56 tho. Deer hunted for years with a 5.56 bolt gun and never had to go more than about 50 yds. to find one I'd shot. Ammo is getting cheep again, also. A lot of guys pig hunt with them using good bullets. There is still a stigma when it comes to hunting with an AR, many people will disapprove, because....well, because they are ignorant.

The OP is trying to cover 2 totally different situations, hunting vs. survival. IMHO, there isn't a single gun that really does both well, ESPECIALLY considering the limitations of Kalifornia.

Iffin' it were me, I'd find a bolt gun in 308 for starters. There are a gob of them out there, relatively inexpensive.

Spend time in the woods. In this game, skills are more important than tools.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:46 AM
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.308 clearly fits your narrow criteria. No need for further agonizing.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:49 PM
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Given your NATO/military preference, the .308 is indeed the choice.

But if you drop that precondition the answer is a .270 Winchester, preferably shooting 130 grain Barnes TTSX or Partition, although plain old CoreLokts will do in a pinch.

There are good reasons to go with a caliber bigger or smaller or with a bullet heavier or lighter. Be sure those reasons apply to you before you do.

Boring answer, huh?
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:32 PM
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.30-06 is pretty common in my house and was growing up.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:06 PM
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WITH proper shot placement a .308 will take any critter on the NA continent.
The rounds has good legs with good bullet weights way out past normal hunting ranges and is not a punishing round to shoot.
and
if you ever get into reloading the .308 is a great parent cartridge for several rounds, from .243 to .358Win

There are a bunch of rifles in that caliber and almost as many varied loads available.
I would have no problem taking that gun/caliber anywhere in NA.
Just remember, on bigger game you have to be sure of your shot placement. ie, NO Texas heart shots on moose or bear.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:13 PM
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Remington National Match .308 is what I shoot. Like the the posts above it's really all you need in NA
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:45 PM
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.308 or .30/06.

Take your pick. You might find more milsurp .308 in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, but likely more civilian .30/06
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Old 08-31-2019, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawhide76 View Post
I am looking to move shortly after college. Definitely to a conservative, pro-gun state. Likely on the west side of the Rockies or some other area that isn't humid. And has a dry cold weather.
You want a cartridge that will take most game in North America and as a way to hunt for survival. Stick to the optimum side of the equation then. 308 is more than capable for hunting anything in the Rockies or Alaska for that matter. It is certainly not the only cartridge, but one that falls into your " currently utilized Military cartridge" idea.

308 Winchester is the most popular big game cartridge in North America, and for several good reasons. This also leads it to be one of the most common hunting cartridges out there, and in addition to 7.62x51mm mil surp. Also very common in match loads too boot.

Skills with using your rifle of choice to hunt with is very important imo. Start now to build them into a viable means for later on.

A few notes:

1. Since you want a cartridge to cover hunting and survival, " most big game".......... choose one that leans more towards the optimum side of the equation, as mentioned before. This alone will rule out several others such as 223 or 12 guage. ....and the reasons are/ should be obvious.

2. Hunting now is paramount. The skills obtained prior to " shtf" far outweigh any catch up mode after that balloon goes up. Know what the rules/ rags are via the state you decide to move to prior....

Example: 223 is illegal for hunting med/ big game in the state of CO. Ignorance of this and/ or internet hunting stories involving great white hunters killing bambi with this cartridge aint a good defense if you are caught. Has nothing to do with an AR, provided that the AR is chambered in something legal for hunting. ( My dedicated hunting rifle is the M14S pictured in earlier post, and is the same rifle I would use for security.......ie. ...don't require 2 different rifles for hunting/ security, as the one does both very well.

3. Other things to look out for are......FMJ legal ot not in your state. They are legal to use for hunting in mine, but may not be in another. Unlike CA, you are not limited to bullets that do not incorporate lead in thier construction either, so stocking a decent 308 load using cup n core bullets can save you money.
( We have a pet. 308 load/ reload that uses the 165gr sierra game king hpbt purchased in bulk/ on the cheap years ago that has been used to take down coyotes, wolves, deer, antelope, bear, elk, caribou, bison, and moose fairly often......as well as 100s of feral pigs.

Magazine capacity. I can hunt with a topped off 20rd M14 mag here, but some states have restrictions.

4. Hunter safety course. Most if not all states require this prior to any hunting license.



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Old 08-31-2019, 04:19 PM
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Forget about NATO. If you want to start out on the cheap, go with a .30-30 lever action rifle.

Any three percenter with a handle like Rawhide 76 should have one anyway, gol dang it.
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