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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. May your day be blessed.

I am looking for input regarding my next rifle. Here is my background. . .

For 50 years I have hunted in the heavy foliage of northern Minnesota, the Midwest broad-leaf woods, and the Pocono Mnts of PA. I rarely got a shot outside 75 yards.
My current inventory of hunting rifles includes an sks (7.62x39) which I have used for groundhogs and a .357 lever action I used in the mountains and brush for coyotes and deer. I now live in Texas and have been granted the opportunity to hunt on a farm south west of San Antonio. I was told my boundaries and have permission to shoot javalina, coyotes, hogs, and nilgai. I want a utilitarian caliber that will allow me the most variety of game in ranges under 350 yards. I am currently considering 7mm-08, 6.5 creedmoor, or maybe even a hunting rifle chambered in 7.62x39 to use my vast supply of stored ammo. Can a 7.62x39 be trusted to be accurate? Can it bring down a big deer or nilgai at 300 yards?

What advice can you offer me. This terrain and these animals are all new to me. Any direction will be appreciated.
 

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Never heard of a Nilgai so I looked it up, those are critters from India!

I would hesitate using my Ruger American in .308 to kill any of the critters you mentioned, including that Indian one. But I also read where they are kind of "taking over" Texas!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Never heard of a Nilgai so I looked it up, those are critters from India!

I would hesitate using my Ruger American in .308 to kill any of the critters you mentioned, including that Indian one. But I also read where they are kind of "taking over" Texas!
lol, the nilgai is translated Blue Bull. It's in the antelope family and originates from India and Pakistan. They were brought over by the King's Ranch in the 20s-30s and released. Without a natural predator, they have adapted and are considered an invasive species. They do a lot of damage if hit on the road and they prefer to walk through fences rather than jumping them. Then the steers get out. Farmers want them gone. Not as bad as the ferrel hogs yet, but they do a lot of damage to crops. I want to shoot one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Model 70 of whatever flavor you prefer (I like the Featherweight and the Sporter) but chambered in .270 Winchester.
Thank you for that. . .Winchester 270 model 70. . .noted and added to the short list.

Would you consider .270 to be a caliber that is relatively easy to find on the shelves?
 

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Model 70, 270 Winchester. I'm fond of the Featherweight also. Best looking production rifle today. With 130 and 150 gr. bullets it's capable of anything legal in the lower 48. If you handload heavier bullets are available as are lighter bullets for varmints.

Ammo is as easy to find as 30-30 and 30-06. For several decades it was always in the top 5 most popular cartridges in the US and occasionally the top 3, I believe.
 

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At 700 pounds I'd think you are looking at a plains rifle, something to take a small elk successfully. The .270 was always a favorite for big sheep out west, and also has an advantage on longer shots. Light for elk which are heavier but many have managed with one. Maybe .270 but maybe .280 or 30-06, especially if you handload.

What are the locals using?
 

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Thank you for that. . .Winchester 270 model 70. . .noted and added to the short list.

Would you consider .270 to be a caliber that is relatively easy to find on the shelves?
It is one of the most popular calibers on the North American continent. It's iffy finding anything with how things are these days, but I'd bet Sharps4590's money that you could find a box of .270 Winchester pretty easy.
I've got a Model 70 in .270 that I bought new in 1974 at the ripe young age of 14. I still hunt with it and it never fails to perform. Every big game animal I'v taken with it (at least a dozen elk and a score plus of deer) has been a one-shot kill. Shot placement is always important. Mine loves factory Remington 130 grain Corelokt bullets.
It shoots dime sized groups with those rounds. It does have a preference for being shot with a fouled bore. The first shot from a clean barrel is always about 1.25 inches right at 100 yards. After that it starts clumping them real nice.
The below picture is a pretty typical group with this gun when I do my part, of course!
After a bit of adustment I got that group sitting right on top of the big diamond.
Font Line Rectangle Parallel Circle
 

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I own and have hunted with .308, 30-06 and .270. If I was forced to choose one for all around use the easy choice for me would be the .270. As others have stated it’s a proven cartridge and easy to find. If it were me I would stick with either a Winchester 70 or Remington 700. I also have a Sako Hunter in 270 that is an exceptional rifle but it’s a bit pricey if your looking to go a little steeper in price
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
At 700 pounds I'd think you are looking at a plains rifle, something to take a small elk successfully. The .270 was always a favorite for big sheep out west, and also has an advantage on longer shots. Light for elk which are heavier but many have managed with one. Maybe .270 but maybe .280 or 30-06, especially if you handload.

What are the locals using?
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.
 

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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.
 

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I think either the 7-08 or 6.5 would be great choices. Both have plenty range and dont punish the shooter. A 243 could also be a good choice but doesnt have quite as much ummph as the other two. The 270 has always been a good choice also but may kick a little more. The 25-06 kicks about like the 7-08 but the gun manufactures and ammo producers cant decide if it is a varmint cartridge or a med/large game cartridge so finding the right twist and ammo combination is a headach.

The 7-08 gives you 30-06 ballistics without dislocating your shoulder. IMO its one of the best ever developed and works on all North American game.
 

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Ok I'll be the odd one here I'd buy a finnish mosin nagant it can kill anything on the planet and can shoot through 3/4 inch steel.
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?
 
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