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Hunting ammo and rifle question

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by Greg, Aug 1, 2004.

  1. Greg

    Greg New Member

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    If you are going to do mostly deer and elk hunting, and maybe some moose someday, what is the best ammo size to use if you were going to limit it to one?

    Based on that answer, if you were going to have just one rifle to purchase, which one would you recommend?

    Thanks....
  2. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    Well, this will recieve as many opinions as there are hunters I'd muse, But I've been looking at the M14 variants in .308, while the platform is not considered a hunting rifle by most, the caliber is one that I think would fit the bill...Personally, I do not think its too big for medium sized deer at closer ranges, (Sierra Gamekings should open rather quickly) nor do I think the proper load would have a problem bringing down an elk at longer ranges.

    I've never owned the .308 caliber, so unfortunately I cant give you any first hand accounts, but I have been researching the .308 lately, and it just seems that it would fit your requirements nicely.

    ~Crp
  3. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    The .308 is fine for what you want. However, I would suggest the venerable 30-06. With a 150gr bullet for deer and a 180 gr for the elk or moose. Ammo available at your local Circle-K or 7-11, well almost! More bullet weight ammo than you can shake a stick at!
  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    I would agree with Plano, the .30-06 is the most versitile cartridge and is also the most widely available from sporting goods/gun shops to the corner gas station in hunting areas. I have hunted with one all my life and never been wanting.

    As to a weapon, you need to handle and try several different ones. It is strictly personal preference. I prefer my Browning BLR lever action, but, then again, I'm left-handed and grew up with lever guns as the easiest alternative. I cannot shoot right handed in any way shape or form.

    Take you time and decide based on what fits you. :) :)
  5. wuzzagrunt

    wuzzagrunt New Member

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    I'll cast my vote for the .30-06, as well. The .308 case neck is limited to handling bullets of 180 grains or less. Some advise 200 grainers and even 220s for heavy animals such as moose. Moose and elk are not that difficult to kill, but the terrain they inhabit can make a "walking wounded" animal a real problem. Under many circumstances, you want to make them dead where they stand. The .308 will get it done, but the .30-06 will get it done mo' better. The real choice is between the short action and the standard length action. If you have a strong preference for one or the other, go with that--either will serve you well.

    Crpdeth: I'd rethink the M14 clone as the choice for the "one gun hunter". They are heavy rifles, and elk hunting often involves real mountains, real altitude, and real climbing to get where the elk live. If your '14 is scoped up, you may grow to hate the sight of it after a couple of days chasing antlers around the Rockies. When I was in my 20s I wouldn't have given much thought to the weight, but I've since exceeded the warranty mileage on my knees, ankles, and lower back. I wouldn't carry an M14 into the mountains on purpose. Another point is, there are a couple (?) of states that don't allow semi-auto rifles for hunting. I think Pennsylvania is one of them.
  6. wuzzagrunt

    wuzzagrunt New Member

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    Oh yeah, there is no one bullet weight that will work well for every occasion. One of the beauties of the '06 is the mind boggling variety of loaded ammo available. Remington makes a "reduced recoil" load that would not be excessive for smallish eastern whitetails at "whites of their eyes" ranges, and Hornady makes a "light magnum" '06 that is said to approach .300 Win. Mag. ballistics.

    Another nice thing about the '06 is that very nice used rifles can be found relatively inexpensively. A lot of folks are trading in their boring old '06s for the latest Super-Duper-Hyper-Mega-Short-Ultra-Magnums that get 75% more velocity with 50% less recoils and use 90% less powder to achieve their amazing (really amazing!!!) claims. They can do it all out of a 16 inch barrel, too! I got a really nice old Sako that I wouldn't trade for two of the new high-tech phaser cannons.
  7. CountryGunsmith

    CountryGunsmith New Member

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    I'd go with the .300 Win Mag.

    It may be a bit of overkill on small Texas whitetail, but if you add moose into the equation it does provide a bit more pop than the '06.

    Model for model, .300 Mags are as available and for very little (if any) extra money.

    The ammunition is going to be just as available as .30-06 in areas where the larger game are found, in appropriate bullet weights.

    As to rifle selection, current production Winchester Model 70 Classic is hard to beat.
  8. CountryGunsmith

    CountryGunsmith New Member

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    But then again, my 'one rifle' is a .35 Whelen Ackley Improved... :D
  9. Crpdeth

    Crpdeth Active Member

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    Grunt, sadly I'm "rethinking" the M14 clone altogether (M21 to be specific)...Perhaps you caught my thread over at BattleRifles, anyway, while I am very glad I had the resource to become educated on the Springfields I am a little amazed that I would have to take a 2500+ dollar "chance" at getting a good one...Then theres the issue with the scope rails...

    Guess you got me there, at 34 yrs old, I'm a hard worker and insist on working out 6 days a week, injoy backpacking and such...I suppose I would view a physically rigorous hunt as an extra workout, then at least I got something out if it 'cause lord knows I cant hunt worth a poot! :D

    ~Crp
  10. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

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    Here is another vote for the 30.06.
  11. wuzzagrunt

    wuzzagrunt New Member

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    I am by no means a Springfield apologist, but I think the Springfield bashing is a little out of hand. I do get the part where you might want your $2,000++ rifle to work right the first time, though. There are other options like an LRB build, or a Fulton Armory. The M14 was my favoritest rifle, but I am not opposed to consideration of an HK-91 clone like the PTR-91. An L1A1 is a nice rifle as well.

    The Springfields have their detractors, and some of that has been earned but they make a good rifle. Scoping a battle rifle is kind of wierd anyway IMO. If you want a semi-auto sniper system, get a Russian Dragunov. A bit more expensive than an M21, and somewhat less accurate, but hell for stout. A bedded, scoped M14 clone will require a good bit of maintenance under the best circumstances.
  12. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I've used the 30-06 since the late 40s and have taken everything from rockchuck to polar bear and barren-ground grizzly with it. It shoots from 110gr to 220 grain with the same accuracy and is the best äll around cartridge out there.

    the Sierra 180gr boat tail gameking is the best all around load, in my opinion. I've use it on antelope to moose to 500yd target and found it more than adequate.

    Pops
  13. Greg

    Greg New Member

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    Thanks all for your input. The people that I talk to around here are a majority of fans for the 7 Mag, with a few for the 300 Win Mag. They think I am crazy to consider the 30-06. Probably not modern enough for them. Of course, my 1911 in .45 isn't either, but it still has stood the test of time. All they talk about is flat trajectory. With a little practice, I don't see how adjusting for distance with the 30-06 would be that big of a deal as long as I am under 500 yards. At under 350 yards, and with any brush around, I don't see the others as being that much superior. I did see Alaska's Alaskan Brown bear picture taken with the 300 Win Mag though. Pretty good day for him. A friend of mine has a Sharps, but that is a totally different ball game, and not the first rifle to have. It is nice though, and can really reach out and touch something way past 500 yards.

    They have a Remington 710 for sale at $300.00. It comes with a bore sighted 3 x 9 scope guaranteed for life. Yeah, it doesn't have the beautiful wood and is synthetic, but for a entry level starter rifle, I thought it looked like a good deal. What do you think? I still plan on looking around and handling different guns though.
  14. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    Greg, I would recommend looking at the various write-ups on the 710. I have not seen one that has given a good review. There was a not too good review in the American Rifleman recently. Others may be found on the web.

    A Gun is a lifetime possession and it appears the 710 falls short of the goal or being an eudurable lifetime weapon. I would consider a Ruger M77 MkII in that calibre or, if cost is the strict factor, a Savage, which has an adjustible trigger and is probably one of the most accurate out of the box.

    I have a Ruger left-handed in .270 and recently gave my Ruger LH .30-06 to alaflyguy. My son-in-law shoots a Savage Model 11 and is very satisfied. I would probably have gone Savage but found my Rugers at the right time and place where a large multi-state sporting goods outfit was in bankruptcy and the price was right!
  15. EAGLEI

    EAGLEI New Member

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    I go along with the 30-06 with 165 grain Sierra boat tails. It's plenty of rifle for elk and deer. Sight it in at 5 inches high at 100 yards and you're good out to 300 yards as it comes in about 4 to 5 inches low with some loads.
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