Our Picks For The 10 Best Bison Hunting Cartridges

Our Picks For The 10 Best Bison Hunting Cartridges

Our Picks For The 10 Best Bison Hunting Cartridges

For many hunters, harvesting a bison is a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list trip. In that case, you want to make sure that you do everything possible before the hunt to ensure that it is successful once you arrive in your bison hunt camp.

One of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for success is to choose the right bison hunting cartridge.

The 10 Best Bison Hunting Cartridges

If you ask ten people for their opinion on the best bison hunting cartridge, you’ll get ten different answers – or maybe more. That is to say, there’s no one best cartridge for a bison hunt. There are a variety of variables that you have to take into consideration and make a personal decision for you and you alone.

With that in mind, here are ten bison hunting cartridges for you to consider.

.30-06 Springfield

It has been said that there’s not a single big game animal in North America that cannot be felled by a .30-06 bullet, and that’s no exaggeration. The .30-06 was the caliber of choice for hunters of all kinds for most of the 20th century. Even though newer calibers have come on the market, the .30-06 has remained a faithful standby that is certainly more than capable of harvesting a bison.

.45-70 Government

If you’re looking to add some American heritage to your hunt, then this is your caliber. The venerable .45-70 Government cartridge may well be the quintessential bison caliber. After all, it was market hunters armed predominantly with .45-70 rifles that almost caused the extinction of the American bison in the late 19th century. With today’s modern advancements in bullet technology not available more than 100 years ago, the .45-70 is more of a no-brainer bison caliber than ever before.

.308 Winchester

While the .308 Winchester is certainly not restricted to semi-automatic rifles, it’s a caliber that is certainly well-suited to them. If you wanted to hunt bison with a semi-auto, then an AR-10 style rifle chambered in .308 is a good place to start. You’ll also have the advantage of using a platform that many shooters are already very familiar and comfortable with, making it an easy transition from the training or tactical environment to the hunting environment.

.338 Winchester Magnum

The .338 Win Mag cartridge was made for the challenges of big, tough game, and it is capable of taking on that challenge and defeating it. With the right heavy-grain bullet, you can be confident that your projectile is travelling faster than most comparable loads on the market and will deliver the devastating punch needed for a quick and ethical harvest.

.416 Rigby

Loaded with a very heavy bullet, the .416 Rigby is a serious caliber that is more than capable of taking down a bison. In fact, it’s probably more at home in Africa taking down elephants than on the plains taking down bison. Still, if you can handle the recoil and make a good shot, then go for it.

7mm Remington Magnum

Sometimes it all comes down to the proper bullet selection, and that couldn’t be more true than with the reliable 7mm Remington Magnum. If you load a 7mm Rem Mag cartridge with a heavy bullet that is tough and designed to stay together, then it becomes a low-recoil caliber that is hard to beat when it comes to bison.

.375 Ruger

If you’re looking to pack an equitable punch to that of the .375 H&H in a more manageable package, look no further than the .375 Ruger. It’s an absolute powerhouse of a cartridge that is more than capable of taking down the bison of a lifetime.

.405 Winchester

Teddy Roosevelt called the .405 Winchester his “Big Medicine” caliber. What he meant was that the .405 Winchester was the “medicine” he needed to take down the biggest of the big animals both in the United States and in Africa. As such, it’s right at home on a bison hunt.

.270 Winchester

The .270 Winchester meets the three A’s: accurate, affordable, and available. Hunters have been using the well-rounded .270 Winchester to bring down all sorts of wild game for decades – and that includes bison. Therefore, there’s no reason that you can’t take your hunting rifle that you use for other pursuits and put it to good use on a bison. A .270 is right at home on a bison hunt as well as in pursuit of deer, hogs, sheep, and more.

6.5 Creedmoor

For hunters who want the utmost precision in their shot, it’s hard to beat the 6.5 Creedmoor. Since it was designed for competition shooting, it’s beyond capable of delivering an exacting blow to the vitals of a bison so long as the shooter behind the rifle is capable of making the shot. Another advantage for the 6.5 Creedmoor is its availability in a wide variety of firearms, including semi-auto, lever-action, bolt-action, single-shot, and more.

What to Look for When Choosing a Hunting Caliber for Bison

There are a lot of different things to consider when choosing a hunting caliber, but let’s take a look at three of the most important ones.


You can do all the research in the world and settle on a specific caliber for your bison hunt, but if you can’t find the ammo that you need, then it’s all been for nothing. That becomes even more important if you fail to bring enough ammo with you on the hunt. The area where you’re hunting bison may be remote and the likelihood of finding some calibers may be slim if you need to restock.


Perhaps the most important part of choosing a hunting caliber is evaluating its performance. You’ve got to be sure that the load you choose is going to be capable of taking down the type of game you’re hunting in a quick and ethical manner. This is especially true when it comes to large animals like bison.


That ammo prices have risen exponentially in recent years is an unpleasant yet cold, hard fact. Similar to our point on availability, you’ve got to be able to afford the ammo when you find it. Some calibers are less expensive than others, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be any less effective at bringing down a bison.


Using A Suppressor to Reduce Recoil

Did you know that suppressors also help reduce felt recoil? This benefit has been touted since the early 20th century. This is because the physics of a silencer reduces felt recoil and muzzle climb. With both of these factors greatly reduced, shooters find their rifles easier to shoot. So it isn’t that silencers make the gun more accurate per se, but they make it easier for YOU to shoot your gun more accurately.

Other Benefits of Hunting With a Suppressor

Even when they were first commercially introduced in 1909, suppressors were actively marketed to hunters, and for good reason – they make hunting safer and quieter, eliminate the need for bulky hearing protection, and improve accuracy when shooting.

Here are just a few of the reasons why suppressed hunting is better hunting:

It makes the outdoors quiet again

Suppressors, when paired with the right firearm and ammo, reduce the sound of a gunshot to hearing safe levels, and “dull the edge” of the sound of a gunshot.

A suppressed rifle doesn’t disturb the game that you are after

Animals have great hearing, and that’s to their benefit – not yours. The hearing of coyotes, squirrels, wild pigs, mule deer, whitetail deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, moose, caribou, and plenty of other game animals all have incredible hearing. The sound of a gunshot can keep them out of their known territory for weeks at a time.

Hunting with a suppressor is safer

While in recent years electronic ear muffs that allow you to hear ambient noise while blocking the sound of gunfire have hit the market, the simple fact is most hunters still choose between no ear protection or wearing something that makes it hard to hear what is going on around them. Using a suppressor on your hunting rifle allows you to hear everything that is going on around you, and not damage your hearing when taking a shot.

Start Reaping the Benefits of Hunting with a Supressor Today

If you’re in the planning stages of a bison hunt, then there’s still time to add a suppressor to your list of gear to bring. Be sure to contact us here at Silencer Central to get your order started today.

We’re the nation’s largest silencer dealer, licensed to sell in all 42 states where silencers are legal. Our staff have helped thousands of new customers pick out the right suppressor for an upcoming hunt, and we’d love the opportunity to do the same for you.

The buying process couldn’t be more simple when you buy from Silencer Central. We’ll walk you through the entire process and then mail your suppressor right to your front door upon approval. It doesn’t get any better or easier than that!


Find Your Suppressor Today