January 10th, 2010

30 Cal Magnums Preferred by North American Big Game Hunters

30-caliber magnums are the chamberings of choice for North American big game hunters. Although the venerable .30-06 and .270 remain popular, Boone and Crockett Club records show that the 30-caliber magnums (of one variety or another) take more North American trophies than any other caliber/chambering. (Note: “30-caliber magnum” includes .300 Win Mag, .300 WSM, .300 Wby. Mag, 300 Ultra mag. Records do not distinguish specific 30-cal magnum chamberings.) Boone and Crockett compiled the data from records-book entries from 2007 through 2009. Surprisingly, the second most popular trophy-taker isn’t a firearm—it’s a bow.

300 Weatherby Magnum

Here are the most commonly used calibers across all Boone and Crockett categories over the past three years, along with percentages of trophy entries credited to each:

30-cal Magnum (all types)—18 percent
Bow/crossbow—16 percent
.270—12 percent
.30-06—11 percent
7mm Magnum—11 percent
Muzzleloader/shotgun—10 percent
6mm—3 percent
.338 Magnum—3 percent
.257—2 percent
.30-30—2 percent
.308—2 percent
.375 Magnum—2 percent
Other—8 percent
300 Weatherby Magnum

30-caliber magnum cartridges appear among the top three calibers for 11 of the 15 species recognized in Boone and Crockett trophy records. Species for which records are kept include: Whitetail deer, Coues’ whitetail deer, Blacktail deer, Mule deer, Black bear, Brown Bear/Grizzly, Pronghorn, Elk, Moose, Caribou, Bison, Muskox, Cougar, Rocky Mtn. Goat, Sheep (Bighorn, Dall’s, Desert, Stone’s).

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