What is best in 30 cal for deer and bear depends on your likes and dislikes. Likes would be a round that has ample penetration and energy at ranges out to say 300 yards. That would be the 30-06 and .308 Winchester. At less distances the 30-30 Winchester is a low recoil rifle that often is in a lever action model such as the Marlin 30-30. From a reloading perspective, brass from any of these 30 calibers is readily available. Bullets range in weights from 110 grains to 220 grains for the .308 and 30-06 and best of all you get to choose the bullet like the Nosler AccuBond or the Hornady InterBond that are so well constructed. Other manufacturers are aplenty so there are more choices. For years I shot game with Nosler Partitions a great choice! The AccuBond and IB from Nosler and Hornady respectively have a high ballistic coefficient (BC) for long range use. If shots are under 100 yards then a round nose will act more like a hammer as it enters the vitals. I shot a buck with a round nose at 25 yards and it collapsed and the deer fell stone dead, not taking a step so pointed bullets are not always the norm here in the northeast.
On the Magnum side is the 300 Winchester Magnum, .300 H& H Magnum, the 300 Remington Short Action Ultra Magnum, .308 Norma Magnum and the .300 Winchester Short Magnum to name a few. They can be hand loaded up or down to mimic the .308 or .30-06 energies and velocities and when needed to shoot further at say 600 yards. Most popular of these is perhaps the .300 Winchester Magnum. Most all 30 Cal rifles have the blessing of a wide range of bullets, weights and powders.
If you are not a hand loader then I would stick with cost effective off the shelf ammo and rifles in .308, 30-06 and 30-30. You can go into any store that sells ammo and find these cartridges cost effectively anywhere.
Tips for new shooters and veterans alike is to make sure that the recoil pad is one of the newer high tech recoil pads that absorb up to 50% of felt recoil. Simms SVL and Pachmayr Decelerator sell slip on pad and mounted pads that will be sure to make you smile instead of wince at the shot.
In closing, I have opted to shoot magnum calibers that I can hand load down to .308 or .30-06 or even the 30-30 level as long as accuracy does not suffer. If you wish to compete at long range then the .308 Winchester is widely available and a best choice for brass availability.
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