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“What Caliber Should I Hunt With?” – A Guide

When it comes to what caliber you should use when you hunt, it’s mostly up to personal choice, although this guide gives great suggestions.

Choosing the right caliber can be integral to your hunt, especially for smaller game. The size of the bullet is directly linked to the size of the wound that will likely be inflicted on your game, so if you’re hunting prairie dogs or rabbits, a .300 would blow every piece of meat, and likely any other remnants of the animal, away. Now if you’re out to get a black bear, that would be the right caliber to have chambered, but we wouldn’t suggest going much lower than that.

While with small game you have the issue of using too large of a caliber, with bigger game you can also have an issue with going too small. Using a .257 on a nice bull elk might do the job if you take an impeccable shot, but why risk it? Honestly, we usually just stick to our .30-06 unless we’re varmint hunting.

Check out the chart below to double check your usage, and pass it on to beginners.

What Caliber Should I Hunt With?


It should be noted that there are some well-loved favorites missing from here (.30-30, .22-205, or .22lr) but we think you get the drift.

Related: How To Choose The Right Caliber – INFOGRAPHIC

What caliber do you use on your hunts? Would you say that this chart is accurate, based on your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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“What Caliber Should I Hunt With?” – A Guide