.308 Win or .25-06

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I mostly deer and hog hunt, more hog than anything. Eventually I'd like to go after bigger game, such as moose and black bear. As of now I have a Ruger .25-06 with a nice Trijicon scope, left handed bolt action, as I shoot left handed but I realized that for any future rifle purchases I'd be just fine with a right hand bolt action. It was bought new about 8 years ago as a gift to me from my dad, it has had maybe 20 rounds in it in that time. I'd like to sell it to upgrade to a better caliber, but hesitant due to it being from my dad (hes still living, thank the food lord above) and knowing not many want a left hand bolt action. I've always wanted a nice .308 Winchester..would this be a downgrade from a .25-06 in terms of performance and range? Is there a better caliber out there? Also, those of you who hunt with Walkers Game Ears, how do you like them? I refuse to shoot a gun for the past 10 years or so without ear protection. Is there better ear protection out there?
 
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Ol' Kentuck
GunBlue490 to the rescue. This guy knows his stuff and just happens to have a video on which cartridges he believes are best for specific situations (he is primarily focusing on deer hunting here). If you'll go directly to the youtube site, the first comment under the video has all of the calibers he mentions listed with the time signatures for each one. The discussion on calibers starts around 12 minutes in.
 

Astro14

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.308 is, on average, a bit slower, a bit heavier projectile, and has just a bit more energy than a .25-06. But the difference is minor. The advantage of the .25-06 is high velocity, which means flat-shooting and good penetration. Your Ruger sounds like a nice gun, and would be good for everything up to and including deer. For Black Bear, and particularly for Moose, I would want a lot more than a .308. .30-06 minimum, perhaps a .300 Win Mag or bigger.
 
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I have taken wild boar and black bear with a Marlin .45-70 shooting 350 grain loads.It is easily the most accurate rifle that I own and have had it for about twenty plus years.
 
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Originally Posted by Boomer
I have taken wild boar and black bear with a Marlin .45-70 shooting 350 grain loads.It is easily the most accurate rifle that I own and have had it for about twenty plus years.
Go brush gun and great under say 150 yards beyond that is dropping like a rock.
 
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Originally Posted by mobilaltima
I mostly deer and hog hunt, more hog than anything. Eventually I'd like to go after bigger game, such as moose and black bear. As of now I have a Ruger .25-06 with a nice Trijicon scope, left handed bolt action, as I shoot left handed but I realized that for any future rifle purchases I'd be just fine with a right hand bolt action. It was bought new about 8 years ago as a gift to me from my dad, it has had maybe 20 rounds in it in that time. I'd like to sell it to upgrade to a better caliber, but hesitant due to it being from my dad (hes still living, thank the food lord above) and knowing not many want a left hand bolt action. I've always wanted a nice .308 Winchester..would this be a downgrade from a .25-06 in terms of performance and range? Is there a better caliber out there?
.308Win and .25-06 occupy the same happy space of "high power" medium game rifles. The difference is a little more muzzle blast and a little less recoil from the .25 and a little flatter shooting, mainly noticeable at longer ranges than most people take deer (from ~200 yards on out). Is there a better caliber out there? You could split the difference with a .270Win or a 7mm-08, but really all are in the same game-taking class. High velocity on the lighter bullets of the .25 usually makes for faster expansion and less penetration. Penetration depends on bullet selection. Longer/heavier bullets and more heavily constructed ones ("controlled expansion") will penetrate deeper than standard selections in either cartridge. The primary advantage of the .308Win is easy ammo availability. Secondarily it is available in short actions, but this is a distant second. It might save you a little bolt throw and a couple of ounces of rifle weight. Much more has been made of this then it matters. The only real disadvantage of the 25-06 is limited ammo selection and availability. 25-06 is enough for moose and black bear, while the .308Win may seem like a better choice, the difference is marginal.
 
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There is no reason a 25-06 can't do anything you want up to black bear with some good partition bullets. Its a fine round. That said the .308 is excellent as well and its available in left hand by several companies (ruger american is an affordable option). I say have both. I do.
 
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Mahzurrah!
My first serious hunting rifle was a Remington 25/06. I hunted with it a good number of years before a friend talked me out of it. Still regret it. Everything I shot with it (deer and antelope type critters) all dropped like they had been struck by lightning. Never hunted hogs with it. If I were going to buy a rifle to hunt hogs with, it wouldn't be a 25/06, but I can't imagine that it wouldn't be anything but very effective against them. You've always wanted a .308, then I'd say buy one when the time is right. I wouldn't call it an upgrade, but it's certainly not a downgrade by any stretch and toting what you like is part of the fun of it all.
 
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New member here but long time reader of this forum. Great stuff by the way. I too am a left hand shooter. I would like point out the potential safety hazard of shooting right handed rifles for us lefties. Granted the risk of something going wrong is small, but it has happened. I know of one such person that had the misfortune and he almost lost his life over it. Right hand guns by their design throw all the gases and any metal out the right side which minimizes potential injury to the shooter. Firing a right hand gun lefty, in the event of a mishap potentialy can dischage all that nasty stuff into right side of the face. This person luckily was wearing safety glasses which saved his right eye. He had several chunks of metal in his face and neck, one which ended going into his jugular vein. That piece ended up in his heart. He was fortunate that the doctor was able to move the piece through the heart by going through a vein in his groin. He spent several days in the hospital. Lost the end of his thumb on his right hand too. Like I said, the risk is small, but accidents happen. Stay with guns designed for us lefties. They are a bit harder to find but there are plenty of options. As to your original question, nothing wrong with a 25 06. Nothing wrong with a 308 either. Both will handle, with good bullet selection, most big game out to 400 yards, which is farther than most hunters should be shooting anyway. Better and less expensive ammo selection goes with the 308. I like the heavier bullets and larger caliber the 308 provides for game like elk, moose and bear. Not to say the 25 06 will not do the trick though. Put the right bullet in the right place and you will need to get your knife out for field dressing chores. Good luck in your decision. I can also tell you, you may regret selling a gun your Dad bought you when you get a bit older and learn to appreciate such things.
 
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I'm a LH shooter and I had a case head separation in a LH rifle (270) and if it had been a RH rifle I would probably have lost my hand or at least several fingers. 25/06 is a better cartridge than 308, especially if you are a reloader. Keep what you have and buy a second rifle if you really must have a 308.
 
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If I was in your shoes, it would be a 6.5 creedmoor rifle, and nothing else. Plus, very popular and ammo is getting very affordable in that caliber.
 
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Originally Posted by Elkins45
I'm a LH shooter and I had a case head separation in a LH rifle (270) and if it had been a RH rifle I would probably have lost my hand or at least several fingers. 25/06 is a better cartridge than 308, especially if you are a reloader. Keep what you have and buy a second rifle if you really must have a 308.
LOL you want to explain that one again.
 
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Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted by HangFire
Originally Posted by mobilaltima
I mostly deer and hog hunt, more hog than anything. Eventually I'd like to go after bigger game, such as moose and black bear. As of now I have a Ruger .25-06 with a nice Trijicon scope, left handed bolt action, as I shoot left handed but I realized that for any future rifle purchases I'd be just fine with a right hand bolt action. It was bought new about 8 years ago as a gift to me from my dad, it has had maybe 20 rounds in it in that time. I'd like to sell it to upgrade to a better caliber, but hesitant due to it being from my dad (hes still living, thank the food lord above) and knowing not many want a left hand bolt action. I've always wanted a nice .308 Winchester..would this be a downgrade from a .25-06 in terms of performance and range? Is there a better caliber out there?
.308Win and .25-06 occupy the same happy space of "high power" medium game rifles. The difference is a little more muzzle blast and a little less recoil from the .25 and a little flatter shooting, mainly noticeable at longer ranges than most people take deer (from ~200 yards on out). Is there a better caliber out there? You could split the difference with a .270Win or a 7mm-08, but really all are in the same game-taking class. High velocity on the lighter bullets of the .25 usually makes for faster expansion and less penetration. Penetration depends on bullet selection. Longer/heavier bullets and more heavily constructed ones ("controlled expansion") will penetrate deeper than standard selections in either cartridge. The primary advantage of the .308Win is easy ammo availability. Secondarily it is available in short actions, but this is a distant second. It might save you a little bolt throw and a couple of ounces of rifle weight. Much more has been made of this then it matters. The only real disadvantage of the 25-06 is limited ammo selection and availability. 25-06 is enough for moose and black bear, while the .308Win may seem like a better choice, the difference is marginal.
This is an excellent summation IMHO. My deer gun is a .308 primarily due to these reasons. Selection of rifles, support for the cartridge and availability. I can get box ammo in a variety of weights basically anywhere, the rifle shoots box ammo quite well. I've had 2x .308's, I have no intention on getting rid of my current one. I'd also say it is appropriate for all the tasks you listed. Personally, I don't own anything that would slot between my precision rig and the .308, as I think the .308 covers the gap sufficiently.
 
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I like cheap ammo calibers, As bubba pointed out 6.5 creedmoor is hot now, TC Compass is cheap and you will not break the bank in buying ammo. nothing wrong with 308, I pick my caliber by how often I will shoot it, plink and hunt = 1000 rounds a year = 308, 6.5 creedmoor one box of ammo a year or every 2 years, buy whatever hen's teeth caliber you want to try.
 
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Seriously. Why wouldn't you want a rifle (.308) that offers you the ability to shoot bullet grain sizes from 100gr to 240gr? This is a no-brainer reason to choose the .308
 
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Thanks for the heads up on sticking to a left handed rifle for safety reasons. Im all about safety. With that said, I have been considering a Remington pump action Model 7600 in .308, would this be an unwise decision as Im assuming they only make it in a right hand model?
 
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Warner Robins, GA
Originally Posted by mobilaltima
Thanks for the heads up on sticking to a left handed rifle for safety reasons. Im all about safety. With that said, I have been considering a Remington pump action Model 7600 in .308, would this be an unwise decision as Im assuming they only make it in a right hand model?
I know the bolt actions vent to one side or another, but I'm not sure about the pumps. I'd always thought they'd be a good option for a lefty myself. I know savage and Ruger both offer a decent variety of affordable left hand bolt guns, I'm sure a few other companies do too. I bought my Brother in law a left hand stainless .270 Ruger American a few years ago when CDNN had them for $299 and he enjoys it.
 
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1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
Originally Posted by mobilaltima
Thanks for the heads up on sticking to a left handed rifle for safety reasons. Im all about safety. With that said, I have been considering a Remington pump action Model 7600 in .308, would this be an unwise decision as Im assuming they only make it in a right hand model?
I don't shoot long distances - like over 300 yards. So a semi-auto Rem 7400-7600?.... don't remember the exact model#, was my pick - with no regrets.
 
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