Yeti

Poll: Rifle Caliber for Western Hunting

Which caliber would you choose for western hunting?

  • 6.5 PRC

    Votes: 26 22.2%
  • .300 WSM

    Votes: 91 77.8%

  • Total voters
    117

daltrix99

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
255
Location
Montana
Hey everyone. Interested in Hunttalk's preference here. Some context for your vote:
  • I live in Montana and hunt everything from Pronghorn to Elk.
  • I like the accuracy and kinetic energy retention of the PRC, but I like the 200gr bullet option for the WSM (~147gr for the PRC).
  • I have extensive military and long training, so I can reach out to 500+ (when conditions allow), which I mention for consideration of the PRC long range ballistics.
  • I have quotes from three custom shops and I am ready to order:
    • Snowy Mountain Rifles
    • GA Precision
    • Alamo Precision
  • Will be doing a 20 or 22" barrel, roughly 7lbs, with a can
Thanks all!
 

VikingsGuy

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Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
9,080
Location
Twin Cities
I voted for 300wsm because of the very limited choice, I like my 300WSM, but I prefer .257 calibers for antelope and deer and prefer 7mm calibers for all-purpose incl. those + elk & moose.

I would pick 280AI, 270Win, or .308Win cartridges before either of the proposed options and keep my shots under 500y for reasons that have nothing to do with cartridge choice.
 

belshawelk

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Joined
Aug 27, 2015
Messages
1,285
Location
E. Oregon
I cant choose either because they are so different. For elk the 300WSM no question. For deer and antelope I the 6.5PRC. Neither in my opinion are a 1 gun solution. If so then you have to go with the 300.

But then I continue to convince myself I need critter/hunt specific guns. So forget all I wrote above.
 

antelopedundee

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Jul 12, 2018
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1,727
Location
Ames
Technically neither one is a caliber; they are cartridges so I would say that any comparable .264 or .30 caliber cartridge would do. Of the 2, I would choose the 6.5 PRC.
 

TN2shot07

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Joined
Aug 30, 2019
Messages
966
Location
West TN
I’m with the above opinions, neither of those would be my do all choice. If those two cartridges are your preference and you have the budget for a custom rifle you listed why not split it between two? There are a number of high end rifles in those chamberings (Christensen, Tikka, bergara, browning, Winchester, etc) and you can still afford nice glass (vx5) in the same budget

There is also a super nice fierce in the classifieds right now for a good price (6.5 prc)
 

daltrix99

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Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
255
Location
Montana
I’m with the above opinions, neither of those would be my do all choice. If those two cartridges are your preference and you have the budget for a custom rifle you listed why not split it between two? There are a number of high end rifles in those chamberings (Christensen, Tikka, bergara, browning, Winchester, etc) and you can still afford nice glass (vx5) in the same budget

There is also a super nice fierce in the classifieds right now for a good price (6.5 prc)
Currently shooting a Fierce 6.5 CM that I have been very happy with
 

daltrix99

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
255
Location
Montana
Flip a coin. If someone struggles to kill elk with a 6.5, a .300 won’t be a magic solution for them.
A lot of 50/50 sentiment regarding this choice across the internet. And for whatever it's worth, this isn't because I've struggled with a 6.5.
 

daltrix99

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Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
255
Location
Montana
I chose 6.5 PCR, as a guide/ outfitter , I think the recoil of a .300 makes some people flinch, especially people who don’t shoot them much except during a hunt, and women and child can handle a 6.5
a .300 is superior imo but I like when folks can shoot with redundant accuracy
Point well taken and a common point between the two. Never any concern with the 6.5 hitting larger animals with thick fur at distance?
 

Don Fischer

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Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
2,142
Your gonna have a magnum rifle made and get it with either a 20" or 22" barrel? I would not pick either one of those, but then I don't shoot magnums any more either.
 

JLS

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Joined
Mar 26, 2012
Messages
15,747
Location
Almost Arkansas…..
A lot of 50/50 sentiment regarding this choice across the internet. And for whatever it's worth, this isn't because I've struggled with a 6.5.
Sorry, I wasn’t and didn’t intend to imply YOU were struggling. Just a generality.

Look at your drifts and drops and see if that is significant to your situation.

Regardless of what the internet says, they’ll both kill elk equally well.
 

brockel

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Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
3,574
Location
Baker,MT
Your gonna have a magnum rifle made and get it with either a 20" or 22" barrel? I would not pick either one of those, but then I don't shoot magnums any more either.

Wouldn’t consider either one of those a magnum cartridge. 6.5 prc has same case capacity as 6.5-284 or 6.5-06. 300 wsm is a 30-06 ackley basically
 

brockel

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Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
3,574
Location
Baker,MT
You mention longer range shooting. Is spotting your hits and misses important to you? Reason I ask is I don’t think you will be able to spot your shots with a 7lb 300 wsm with a suppressor. The 6.5 prc you will be able to follow your shots. You really can’t go wrong with either one although I wouldn’t pick the 147 eldm as my bullet of choice in the 6.5. I’d go 20” on either one especially running suppressed.
 
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