All this depends on your where you will be hunting -- if open country is your bag where most shots will be at long range go with the .300 Win. Mag. -- if you will be in tight cover go with 30-o6 -- the problem with a Mag. at short range on Deer size animals is the damage to the meat -- shoot a deer through the shoulders with a Mag. and kiss the meat good bye -- if you are a handloader go with the Mag. and download your shells to 30-06 Velocity for your close up shots -- but you would have to shoot a bolt action gun -- the best autoloader in my opinon -- personal experience -- hands down is a Browning Safari with the Boss system --shots tight groups and has never jammed for me
Better to be over gunned than undergunned. With your list I would go with the 300, but I would also take a look at the 7MM Ma. I've got all the ones you list but my favorite is the 7mm for big stuff and 25-06 for Blacktails etc.
300 win mag in the Browning Bar with boss will shoot soft and will group better then you would think. it's not uncommon for them to shoot 1 inch groups.There really isn't such a thing as too much gun for Elk. The deer I shoot in the fronts anyway and if the shoulders are ruined then so be it. Deer with two broken front shoulders always provide me with the back straps and rear quarters that I like to eat. I hunt blacktails in the coast range of Oregon and you want to anchor them as they can be really tough to find. Two broken wings always makes them easy to find. Been there , done that and have the tee shirt.More is better. Jeff
The 300 mag will do what all the others will do .... But better. If you are a relaoder, you can load down the 300 mag for white tailed deer and any other thin skinned big game you may come across. loaded with a 150 grain bullet at 2700 fps, it duplicates a 308 winchester. If you are elk hunting in the wide open spaces, the extra 200-300 F.P.S. available with the 300 mag over a 30-06 makes a difference. In the right hands, either a 270 or an '06 are bad medicine for any of the animals you listed. Know your guns limitations and use a well constructed bullet and don't take low percentage shots.
I'm a dyed in the wool '06 fan..it will take any game on any continent at any distance that my shooting ability gives me the right to take a shot at...theres a lot to be said for a cartridge that can be found on the shelves of even the tiniest hole in the wall hardware store ...hunted in a town one time and purchased ammo in a "Western Auto"...a long long time ago!
With autoloader you lose energy along with felt recoil. With that in mind stay with the mags for long range shots. I also like the 7mm mag but bigger is always better so if you are not worried about the recoil the 300 mag would be the best choice. The 300 will be over kill on the boar and deer it will destory more meat than any of the others. I would go with the 7mm mag for 250+ yards and the 270 for anything less. The 270 will do a very good job on taking the boar and deer and you will have no problem with elk when you use the right type of bullet.
A deer shot through the front shoulders with an 30/06 will still have two ruined shoulders same with a 7 mag. I don't know hom many deer you guys have shot at long range but I have shot my share and often they at least walking slowly. A heart lung shot is just not an option in many instances. Same goes for the angle of the shot. I have never seen a set of front shoulders that were " more ruined, then ruined". In the west you just don't want to send an Elk off crippled as the chances are the next time you see it somebody else will be putting there own tag on it. It is also true that if for some reason you wanted to leave some energy on the table you could down load a .300 Wincheter magnum. Why you would do this, heaven only knows. I suppose if you are hunting on one of those hunting ranches that the late "Zunbo" used to hunt on this would be an option but if public hunting in the wild west is what you will be doing I suggest the .300 win mag with the best bullets you can afford. We just never know what shot we will be presented with and their is such a thing as too little gun but no such thing as too much. Individual cirumstances allow for many things but if you don't know what you will face I abide by the more is better theory and it has served me well. Jeff
If I ever needed heavy I used the LightMag rounds from Hornady which even with real heavy bullets put the old warhorse squarely in magnum territory,...the unfortunate beast would never have known the diff..my model 70 with a 24 inch barrel was pushing 180gr spitzers at over 2900fps...nothing walked from it ever
I would go with a .30 cal as you need 180 grain bullet weight for elk. Sure a .270 will kill an Elk but I prefer a heavy bullet for big animals. A 180 grain 30-06 will safely harvest or stop anything in North America with the possible e exception of a large brown or grizzly bear.
The .300 win mag is a great round but the ammo is expensive. It does kick a bit but, once you know what to expect, it is not bad. Shoot a .338 win mag a few times and the .300 win mag will feel much better.
I would suggest a Remington 700 bolt action in 30-06. In hunting clothes, you don’t really feel the recoil. Bolt guns are accurate, reliable and easy to maintain.
I watched a National Geographic special years ago about Eskimos harvesting polar bears with a .222 and a pack of dogs. One of the biggest elk on record was taken by a young man with a .243 Win. Are those elk and bear calibers? NO WAY!
I shot an 06 for years and loved it! I did harvest a very nice 6X6 Colorado bull with handloads at pretty long range. As soon as I got home, I bought a Sako 300Win. mag and hope to use it for another hunt in the west one day. I choose that cal. in case I ran across an elk or big bear on steroids down the road! I like Jeff's take on cal. too, better to have more than not enuf horsepower. Hap
Autoloader? If that's what turns you on, go for it. I prefer to hunt with my Ruger #1 single shots. Caliber? Whatever, up to a point. I've shot a lot of Pronghorns and deer, including the largest, with my 6 mm Remington. I've shot Pronghorn, deer, and elk with my .280 Remington, functionally the same as the .270. IMHO the two most important factors in killing big game are bullet performance and shot location. First the bullet must be capable of reaching the vitals and doing sufficient damage. For over 30 years now I have used Nosler partition bullets in my handloads almost exclusively. I've recovered very few of them. One was in that very large Muley buck - he was over 200 yards away down a steep hill, facing away. The 6mm 100 gr partition bullet hit back of the left kidney and stopped just under the skin at the front right shoulder. Another time a different small Muley back facing me had the same type bullet take him mid chest and make it to the hind quarters. The last two elk I've shot, a nice 6x6 and an average cow, we both complete shoot-throughs on the chest with 140 gr 7mm partitions, both one-shot kills.
The other prime factor is shot location. I always try to shoot the animals in the chest.
I'd consider a 6 mm Remington/.243 Winchester marginal for elk, but they work great on deer/antelope. Any of the three you mention, with good bullets and shot location, are fine for deer/antelope/elk. Using an autoloader you may not be a reloader. Given that, I'd probably pick the .30-06 because of widespread availability of good ammo, but they'll all work fine.
Fire any 180 grain bullet from the .300 Winchester Magnum, you'r looking at maybe 3000 fps MV. Fifty yards downrange the bullet will be traveling 2800 fps, same as the MV of the same .30 caliber bullet from a .30-06. They're the SAME .30 caliber 180 grain bullet.
250 yards downrange the above mentioned bullet fired from the .300 Magnum will have exactly the same effect on big game as the same bullet fired from a .30-06--->200 yards downrange. The bullet doesn't know which case it was launched from and the game doesn't either.
Yet you'll talk to fella's that wouldn't hesitate to take a shot at an elk at well over 300 yards with their "BIG" .300 MAGNUM, but-----------wouldn't THINK of shooting at an elk with a "little" .30-06 at ANY range, maybe somebody here can explain that line of thinking to me??