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That's a good question. I need to ask someone but I don't know any hunters. I'm going to have to reach out and talk to people. I plan on asking maybe the bass pro dude or maybe go to a gun store but my first step is always the Forums. You guys all know so much and I appreciate your input.
I would advise not talking to the folks that may end up selling you the rifle. Their job is to sell you a rifle, period, and they aren't gonna be real picky about what you get so long as they make a sale. I would look on some of the local hunting forums for input, just as you did here.
Now, to get on my soap box for a moment... Please don't get sucked into the 'long range' BS. It's all fine and dandy when you're poking holes in paper but when you are talking about poking said holes in an effort to kill a game animal I feel it is incumbent on the hunter to do that as quickly and humanely as possible. There are way too many variables that come into play when you start trying to reach out beyond 300 or 400 yards. Even at those ranges you're flirting with wind gusts, the animal taking a step, etc. while the bullet is in flight which can lead to a crippled/suffering animal. Sure, you'll read lots of stories about 6, 7, 800 yard 'kills', but for a novice the reality is that you're probably not going to want to take a shot beyond about 200 yards, and that only from a good rest.
 

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GUNZILLA
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Don't have experience with 6.5 anything but plenty with 7mm-08, 270, 308, and 30-06. My personal favorite is simply the 30-06. It can be loaded from 110 grains to 200 grain bullets which will be the best option in my opinion for the nilgai and a very common round to find anywhere in the world. I have a Tikka T-3 lite in 30-06 out of the box shoots sub-moa groups at 200 yards. I would have my doubts shooting the Nilgai with the 7mm-08 and 270 at 300 yards, I guess it just depends on your skill level and shot placement. Practically nowadays any factory rifle purchased, out of the box are MOA shooters if you are. Just depends on your budget and what you personally like. You can already see the different suggestions offered.
 

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Really a crude war club that the main strengths being cheap to produce and peasants couldn’t easily destroy them. For their intended purposes they did fine, wave after wave of cannon fodder armed with weapons cheap enough the loss was nothing.
I think you are just jerking the chain to see what rattles. Do you carry one of those clubs hunting?
I really think they get a bad wrap. Yes I do carry one I actually like it more than my 7mm my 308 my 22-250 my 30-06 or my 8 mm and I would definitely trust it more to kill what it hits.
 

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Ballistics are ballistics. Any caliber, weight, design and shape bullet at a given velocity fired from any cartridge and rifle that's equivalent in velocity will "kill" just as effectively. Whether that cartridge be a 308, 7.62 X 54, 30-06, 300 Savage or any number of other domestic and foreign equivalents. To trust one cartridge implicitly as more effective than any of a couple hundred others is.....well, it can be an emotional thing but it has no basis in reality. If one has a fondness for a particular cartridge, that's fine but, one doesn't kill much different from another. I have some favorites...which I suppose could be called an emotional attachment but, they're no more nor less effective than several hundred others. As has been mentioned, it's much more dependent upon shot placement than the cartridge.

I've shot game and seen game shot with...I really don't know how many different cartridges. At least from 243, the cartridge my wife uses, to 500 BPE, a cartridge I had in a British double rifle. They all killed a lot of game, grave yard dead. The most one shot, drop in their tacks kills has been with my 45-90. Literally all but two of them fell where they stood and stayed there. One, a boar, was at a dead run when I hit him. He was dead on his feet but his momentum carried him about 20 feet. The other, a Muley forkhorn, turned a circle in his length and fell. Everything else dropped in its tracks. In fairness, I have used the 45-90 more than anything else. This year's deer was shot with a 9 X 71 Peterlongo. A cartridge that will easily outperform the 35 Whelen. However, I had it loaded to 35 Remington ballistics with a cast bullet. The deer flailed about 15 yards. It never really regained its feet.

Then one can get in to the gamut of cartridges from 243 to the 30 cal. Magnums and about the only real difference, on game the size mentioned, is bullet weight and effective range. That any particular one kills any better than everything else is pure hogwash.

For the OP's needs I wouldn't recommend anything in the 243/6mm class. I simply don't think the necessary bullet weight is there.
 

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I really think they get a bad wrap. Yes I do carry one I actually like it more than my 7mm my 308 my 22-250 my 30-06 or my 8 mm and I would definitely trust it more to kill what it hits.
To each their own. That Russian round won’t do anything the 30-06, 8mm, 303 or other battle rifle round from that period will do.
 

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To each their own. That Russian round won’t do anything the 30-06, 8mm, 303 or other battle rifle round from that period will do.
Well I get more penetration from my 54r than any of the other cartridges I can shoot straight through railroad kleets at the ridges and it is so clean it looks like you drilled a hole through the plate. The only other round that will do that that I have is 30-06 armor piercing but a full metal jacket doesn't and in the 54r that is with non armor piercing full metal jacket ammunition.
 

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Well I get more penetration from my 54r than any of the other cartridges I can shoot straight through railroad kleets at the ridges and it is so clean it looks like you drilled a hole through the plate. The only other round that will do that that I have is 30-06 armor piercing but a full metal jacket doesn't and in the 54r that is with non armor piercing full metal jacket ammunition.
A lot of that Russian ammo is steel core. The later rounds were made armor piercing. You like the round, it certainly has economic advantage, I get that but at the end of the day ballistics are ballistics. Two 30 caliber rounds that weigh 148 grains traveling at 2700 FPS will deliver the same energy and penetration if both projectiles are of the same construction. It matters not if the the launch platform was a slingshot or a Weatherby rifle. The round is decent, not any better or worse than its contemporaries.
 

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I think the OP was looking for something that didnt kick so much for open country (TX) = 7-08 or 270.

270 kicks a little more but finding ammo may be easier. 270 = more powder and a long action though. Finding a good rifle in 270 or 7-08 may be a long process right now.

I like shooting game at = 200 and less - you dont have to drag em as far or trail after them as much.

I'm not a supper big fan of the creedmore but I have seen allot of the 6.5 ruger preditor rifles on the market lately and they are cost effective and accurate. I see them in the tikka t3s also but they cost a little more than the ruger does but by the time you put a real stock on the ruger the cost is about the same.
 

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I image that most here have read many articles on what is the best deer cartridge. That discussion has been the bread and butter of many writers. You can get all caught up in which round to use and spend hours pouring over ballistic tables, studying energy tables but in the end, as Sharps was saying, most any of these rounds if delivered into both lungs is going to put an animal down.

The problem arises when you start talking about shooting into heavy shoulders or trying shots from the rear. This is where discipline come into play. Having spent years as a bow hunter I always aim for the double lung shot and pay attention to the angle of the shot in order to hit both lungs. If you hit only one lung the animal may travel far and if the blood trail is poor you may loose it and never find it.

This is also good for meat hunters. I go out of my way to never ruin any meat by hitting a shoulder. Many hunters do not have good discipline and are poor shots. That is probably the main reason for so many wounded and lost animals.

We have been hearing alot about the .270
Some here have put down elk with them and good shot placement will do that. I still have to wonder though if a heavy .270 will penetrate as well as a heavier .280/7mm, .30 or even larger calibers will. These heavier rounds have traditionally been recommended for elk. But what do I know? I've never shot anything as heavy as an elk. Also, the heavier you go in power and bullet weight, the more you are going to feel it in the shoulder. Another plus for .270 or 6.5s
 

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Well I get more penetration from my 54r than any of the other cartridges I can shoot straight through railroad kleets at the ridges and it is so clean it looks like you drilled a hole through the plate. The only other round that will do that that I have is 30-06 armor piercing but a full metal jacket doesn't and in the 54r that is with non armor piercing full metal jacket ammunition.
What bullet is that? Put the same bullet in any of a few hundred cartridges and the result will be the same. It has absolutely nothing to do with any magical property of the 7.62 X 54 cartridge or the Moison/Nagant rifle. Ballistics are ballistics, ie, physics. The laws are immutable.
 

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I still have to wonder though if a heavy .270 will penetrate as well as a heavier .280/7mm, .30 or even larger calibers will.
I think it will if you use loads in the midrange of velocities. Velocity has its uses on certain things but when it comes to using the right round with the right velocity it can penetrate through and through or if you use higher velocities and it can dump all its energy on impact. Question remains if the high velocity round penetrates deep enough to hit vital areas.
 

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What bullet is that? Put the same bullet in any of a few hundred cartridges and the result will be the same. It has absolutely nothing to do with any magical property of the 7.62 X 54 cartridge or the Moison/Nagant rifle. Ballistics are ballistics, ie, physics. The laws are immutable.
I'm not saying ballistics aren't ballistics. There are tons of debates about the 54r. Maybe the barrel length makes the difference or maybe it's the shape of the round as the design resembles the wssm. All I absolutely know for sure is I can take a brass cased nickel plated round and shoot through steel at 100 yards better than any of my other rounds do with the exception of armor piercing in the 30-06.
 

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I think it will if you use loads in the midrange of velocities. Velocity has its uses on certain things but when it comes to using the right round with the right velocity it can penetrate through and through or if you use higher velocities and it can dump all its energy on impact. Question remains if the high velocity round penetrates deep enough to hit vital areas.
Was it William Bell or someone who used a 7x57 Mauser in Africa to take all the plains game and even elephants back in maybe the 1950s? iirr he too was using a med velocity heavy bullet with great sucess. Maybe around 2600 fps or so. That is also a good formula for meat hunters who don't want to tear up the meat too badly with high velocity rounds.
 

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Lotta love for the .270, and rightly so! Having said that, a .308 would serve you well too!

There's debate over what it takes to make a clean kill, but most things I've read/watched have a consensus that your bullet needs to deliver at least 1500 ft-lbs of energy to quickly dispatch an elk-sized animal - just going with that number since apparently nilgal are similar in size. Assuming that ALL of that energy gets dumped into the vitals, that means the .308 would be an effective option out to around 400 yards. If those nilgal are tougher than an elk, then you may wanna stay within 300 or so?

The .308 isn't anything grandiose at all. It's simply enough - accurate enough, fast enough, lethal enough, etc. But then I've also seen .308 ammo on the shelves when nothing else was available. A .270 will definitely be the more powerful of the two, but if you can't find .270 ammo then a .308 would get the job done. Whatever you go with, best of luck out there!
 

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Was it William Bell or someone who used a 7x57 Mauser in Africa to take all the plains game and even elephants back in maybe the 1950s? iirr he too was using a med velocity heavy bullet with great sucess. Maybe around 2600 fps or so. That is also a good formula for meat hunters who don't want to tear up the meat too badly with high velocity rounds.
I think you are referring to Walter (Karamojo) Bell. He did use a 7X57 Mauser. He liked using FMJ's 173 to 250 gr rounds to dispatch elephants by shooting them in the brain.
 

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The sectional density of the 270, 150 gr. RN or SP is .279 which beats the 150 gr., 30-06 bullet at .226. I don't believe anyone ever had to just get by using that cartridge and bullet for elk or moose. I never took a moose but when I was using a 270 I wouldn't have hesitated to use it. Evidently Moose are 1/4 to 1/3 heavier than Nilgai, which appear to be about elk size. I would have every confidence in the 270.

Of course, heavier bullets are available for the '06 but at the expense of recoil and down range ballistics. Heavier bullets are also available for the 270, for the same costs in performance. If one wants to really have high sectional density and penetration in spades with expansion, accuracy and low recoil shoot a 6.5 Swede. The 6.5mm, 160 gr. bullet has a sectional density of .328. However, ammo availability and selection will be as thin as water.

Whatever you end up choosing, anything based on the 8 X 57 Mauser and above 6.5 or 7mm is going to be adequate. That includes the 30-06 and any cartridges based on its case length or, the 30-03 in the case of the 270, (the '06 is merely a slightly necked down, 308 as compared to .323 and, slightly lengthened, 63mm as compared to 57 mm, 8 X 57 Mauser), They're none wrong.

Which rifle? The one that puts the biggest smile on your face.
That is what folks think on the onset, but Jack O'Connor proved it was an excellent choice for moose, elk and he took several grizzly with his 270. He even took the 270 to Africa. A friend of mine who owned a ranch here in Idaho knew Jack personally. His father was close friends with Jack. My friend who passed away about 3 years ago hunted deer, elk and black bear with his 270 and it was his preferred elk rifle.


So, there are folks who have hunted even dangerous game with the 270.

For myself, I would recommend the 30-06 with its very versatile ability to go from 130 gr to 220 gr bullets. But, I have not shot a deer, bear, moose or elk, so my opinion is just that, my opinion. I own a 308 and 444. If I go elk hunting next year, it will be with the 444, but that is not a 300 yard rifle, but does great within 200 yards. My eyes are not 300 yard eyes so, it is a good choice for me.

But yes, many have hunted moose, elk and even bear with excellent results with the 270, but I have no personal experience with it myself, so I will let my friend Richard and Jack O'Connor talk instead.
 

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It appears that your 270 is quite popular. I never even considered it. Until now.
You’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesnt think the 270win is good. I have a Savage from early 90’s and that is THE rifle I would NEVER sell. EVER!!! That sumbich is going in my grave
 

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Walter Dalrymple Maitland Bell, AKA, WDM Bell and "Karamojo" Bell.

His prime time would have been the 19-teens through the 30's. He started with the 1903 Mannlicher/Schoenauer which is chambered in 6.5 X 54 M/S and shooting 156 gr., FMJ rond nose bullets. Shortly thereafter he switched th the 275 Rigby which is no more than the 7 X 57 by another name. In it he used the 175 gr., FMJ, round nose. What the Brits would call "solids." His total take of elephant was something over 1,000 with the small bores. He was also a very, calm and collected marksman who knew well the anatomy of the elephant's skull. Where he did most of his shooting was in fairly open country where he could, and did, take the time to make perfect shots. John "Pondoro" Taylor discusses him at some length in his excellent book, "African Rifles and Cartridges" and, there is a few biographies of him and, Bell wrote one auto-biography. He died in 1954 at age 73 or 74.

I'm not saying ballistics aren't ballistics. There are tons of debates about the 54r. Maybe the barrel length makes the difference or maybe it's the shape of the round as the design resembles the wssm. All I absolutely know for sure is I can take a brass cased nickel plated round and shoot through steel at 100 yards better than any of my other rounds do with the exception of armor piercing in the 30-06.
And all we're saying is, if you launch the same bullet, at the same velocity from.....an atlatl or BB gun or 30-378 Magnum or anything else, the results would be identical. That is an immutable law of physics, there is no argument against it. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with the Russian war club or its cartridge.

My friend Stites mentioned "Foot Pounds of Energy." I wish hadn't....lol!! That is just about the most inaccurate, near worthless method of determining the killing power of a cartridge ever devised by the mind of man. I am far from being the first to take exception to it. Elmer Keith didn't like it and devised his "pounds feet" formula to try to rectify the deficiencies in the FPE formula. John "Pondoro" Taylor considered it near useless and formulated his "KO Value" scale to attempt the same rectification. Neither fully satisfies. I don't believe there is a formula that will give a truly accurate number regarding the effectiveness of a bullet/cartridge/velocity combination.

The traditional FPE formula is heavily biased in favor of velocity, which number it squares to come to its final product. By that formula a 243 can be judged to be more powerful than a 45-70, in some loads. Well, that depends...on a great number of factors. By the formula's very nature it cannot take into consideration diameter of the bullet, the shape of the bullet and assuredly, not the composition of the bullet and said bullet's performance on and in flesh and bone, ie, expansion and penetration.

Stites mentioned the oft quoted number of 1500 fpe for elk sized game. Goodness....suddenly a lot of cartridges proven effective on buffalo now aren't suitable for an animal 1/3 the size of a buffalo. My 40-70 shooting a 410 gr. bullet over 61-62 grains of BP runs around 1200 fps for 1230 FPE. It has shot lengthways through deer. My 45-90 shooting a 480 gr. cast bullet over 80 grs. of BP makes 1208 fps and just barely makes the 1500 fpe number, AT THE MUZZLE. It is producing 1556 FPE. It has shot lengthways through elk....and it's barely "powerful" enough?

1,000 FPE has been the benchmark for deer sized game...virtually all my life. Run the numbers for a 45 Colt, 44 Mag., 357 Mag. and see what you come up with. By the numbers, those should be illegal for deer.

I've seen a LOT of game killed with a LOT of different cartridges, some of which "experts" deem not powerful enough. I think a LOT of experts are long on writing skills, excel in bloviating and are short on actual field experience. I don't pretend to have the answer, other than my personal experience of taking a lot of game with a lot of different cartridges, and those kills I've been in on and witnessed the performance of other cartridges. The fact remains that comparing Foot Pounds of Energy is a rather poor way to determine the actual killing power of a given cartridge.
 
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