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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering a new rifle purchase and was quite decided on a 30-06 as a good all-round calibre for deer, bear and even moose. However, the ballistics of the new 270WSM look quite impressive and I was interested in some opinions about these two calibres.

Thanks.
 

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your original decision is the best, in my opinion. the .30/06 is truly the hunter's cartridge.

there is a wide variety of ammunition options, whether handloaded or factory; further, ammunition can be found in any bleak corner of this planet, and it won't cost an arm and a leg. all of these factors contribute to more practice, which equals better accuracy in the field.

accuracy of the .30/06 is top-knotch, and this accuracy holds out past 400 yards with more than enough punch to kill big game, and the fact is that most people should not be shooting past 400 yards anyway. the .308 caliber bullet is near-ideal. not too big, and not too small. penetration, expansion and bullet performance will almost always be spot-on, no matter whether you scare up a whitetail at 20 yards or take a long shot at an elk at 350. recoil is substantially less than the boomers and zoomers, which means that accuracy will be better. further, you can practice much more without bruising your shoulder, which leads to better accuracy.

in my opinion, these factors make the .30/06 a winner, in spite of "better" ballistics from the boomers and zoomers which allow them to technically be able to kill game at longer range. this, in my opinion, is a marketing ploy, and caters to the "mine is bigger than yours" crowd. sure, the ballistics are a bit better and the pill is flying faster, but the advantage will not be useful until way past 350, 400 yards. the argument against this is that the shot might be longer than the shooter or hunter can shoot, even if his rifle can. the added recoil only makes the success of the long-range shot (which is the only reason for getting the wsm) less likely. a fast miss at 700 yards is no different than a slow miss at 200, and velocity and ballistics do not make up for poor marksmanship. marksmanship is a result of practice, not speed, and i believe that the .30-06 will encourage more practice, which will lead to better accuracy in the field, which leads to one-shot-kills without wounding game which will run off and die somewhere of an agonizing, gangrenous death.

this is all just my opinion, but i truly believe that the rifle companies that came up with these "new" cartridges are going to sucker more people into thinking that they are carlos hathcock than any other "development" in recent firearms history. the notion that just because their rifle is capable of something automatically means that they are also capable of it is going to cause more wounded/lost game as the years go by. this is bad for game populations, bad for hunters who have to live with the results of their poor shooting, and bad for the image of hunting in general.
 

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TPM,
I shoot a .270 Weatherby, which is very ballistically similar to the .270 WSM, maybe a little faster with the bigger bullets. It's been my experience with the .270 Weatherby, which should have a little more recoil than the WSM, that it has about the same recoil as a 30-06 if not a little less. If it where just for deer or black bear, I would take the .270 when you're shooting in open country. When you throw moose into the mix, the 30-06 becomes the clear choice. I'm sure that either will do the job, but I'd really want the extra bullet weight when going after truly large animals.

As tasunkawitko said,
the benefit of the smaller caliber rifle with the flat trajectory is really only beneficial when you are hunting in open country and long range shots are the norm, provided you're triggerman enough to ethically do the job at 3-400 yards. I'm of the opinion that 90+% of the hunters, not shooters, cannot reasonably expect a sure kill when shooting at those ranges from field positions. It takes a lot of practice and very favorable conditions to hit a pie plate at 400 yds from a field rest, in my case at least. The .270WSM will, given equal care, burn a barrel before a 30-06. Ammuntion would work in your favor with the .270WSM over the 30-06, unless you needed some and it wasn't available where you where. For hunting the .270 WSM will demand a premium bullets, that is a big part of the reason that the ammo is more expensive. The .270 WSM is a new cartridge and the strict OAL and chamber dimension would work in your favor as far as having a better than average chance of the rifle shooting factory ammunition very well. I base that on the tests I've read with the .270 and other WSM's. The cartridge is designed to work in the rifles that are chambered for it, if they're a M70 or A-Bolt at least. With good bullets, it would be a very good cartridge, but the 30-06 in most peoples hands would be a more versatile cartridge when truly large game is the quarry. Well, that's my opinion, for what it's worth.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Well said, Mr. Hick -

Advice worth taking, TPM.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks much guys. I think I'm going to go with the 06. Most of my hunting will be in hilly and hardwood forests with not much open range shooting.
 
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