Originally Posted by danlnga
I have all three and each have their place in the scheme of things. Medium, thin skinned game, deer antelope, maybe even up to elk (Jack O'connor was a fan), the 270 will do the job & very comfortable to shoot. A wide range of ammo is available & plentiful. The 308 is a very accurate caliber as well and pretty easy on the recoil. It will take just about anything in No. America but I might be a little uncomfortable on large game like the big bears & bison. Now my favorite all around, the 30-06. I am 72 years old & got my first 30-06, A surplus Springfield 03 at age 14. It is the universal caliber in my book. Anything in No. America can be harvested with the right ammunition & shot placement. I like the moderate priced but strong Ruger Model 77 with a quality scope like a good Leupold to fit the conditions you will hunt in. This is my go-to rifle 90% of the time. Ammunition can be found almost anywhere you might go, which is an added benefit. There is a lot of satisfaction in having a good rifle and knowing it will do what you want to to.
I can concur with danlnga on this. I was backup on a bear hunt once when we came upon the largest bear I have ever seen. My hunting partner, who had told me, "Don't worry about it, I'll handle everything" takes a shot from his bolt action rifle, which only angers this behemoth. He pulls the bolt back to chamber another round and proceeds to jam his gun.
I realize that this is where the backup hunter is supposed to come into play! I raised my H&K 91 (.308) with legal hunting 5-round magazine and fired at the bear. It struck him in the forehead and glanced off. I know, but I was looking at the gigantic teeth at the time. I fired center-mass and and he fell on all fours from his standing up position and lumbering towards us. A shot to the shoulder made him try to stand again and another shot center mass brought him to all fours again. The final shot from the magazine may have missed but it sent the bear lumbering up a nearby tree.
By the time I changed magazines, my hunting partner had brought his bolt back into battery and we started to circle the tree in opposite directions. Simultaneous shots brought him down. However, I was convinced that .308 might not have been the best caliber to bring down an almost 7' tall bear with an attitude.
Postmortem, my head shot cracked his skull but no cranial vault damage. The front shoulder shot skidded off the joint with no motion restriction - he was still able to climb the tree. The other two center mass failed to hit critical organs even though he was bleeding internally and would have died eventually. The final killing shots went one through each lung and both through the heart for a quick kill.
30-06 or better would have penetrated that brain shot and not put the poor animal through all of that trauma. I was young at the time and had been told that .308 was acceptable for bear hunting. I agree that it falls into the "acceptable" category, but there are better.