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One Hunting Rifle - 30'06 7mm Rem Mag or 300 Win Mag?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by duncan, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    If you could only have one hunting rifle for the lower 48, which would it be?

    Around here, I can actually get a moose hunt in. But folks only get one or two moose tags in their lifetime.

    Many deer, elk, and hog hunting.
  2. marvin

    marvin sci-fi nut

    Mar 26, 2001
    greentown ind.
    get the -06 keep your shots under 300 yards and you'll do find.

  3. slick slidestop

    slick slidestop

    Oct 3, 2001
    All three are fine, but I would get the 7MM or 300 Win Mags
  4. TScottW99

    TScottW99 NRA Life Member

    Jul 15, 2002
    Roanoke, VA
    If I could only have one it would be the 30-06. It's a classic cartridge that is very versatile.
  5. glockshootist


    Sep 3, 2001

    And you can find ammo for it virtually anyplace ammo is sold. It's a great all-around cartridge capable of adequately taking any game in the lower 48.
  6. glock_19guy1983


    Sep 8, 2002
    I would go with the 06 or the 7mm mag 300 win mag is a little big for whitetail
  7. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

    Jul 23, 2001
    Cochise County, AZ
    .30-06 was my choice when 1 hunting rifle was all i could afford. i still love it, but now that i have a bit more jing i'm buying rifles for specific game. my goals is to aquire this list for hunting.

    rabbits: .22lr - got it
    small predators (coyote, bobcat, fox, etc): .22-250 - got it
    white tail: .243 to .270 something in this realm
    elk: .338-06
    black bear: .45-70
    cape buffalo: .500 NE (hey it could happen ;f)

    there are a few other calibers i want for differnt game, but the greatest part is until i get any of these i can always use my .30-06. with a selection of 110gr to 200gr i'm covered.
  8. lmaynard


    Sep 15, 2002
    Well, all of these are good calibers, but if I could have only one :( , I'd get the 30-06. It's really versatile. First, one assumption. Most hunting shots happen under 200 yards.

    The 7mm shoots flatter than the 30-06, but doesn't (to my knowledge, someone will correct me here if I'm wrong ;) ) have the heavier bullets like the 220 grain, which is about the minimum I would use for moose. WIth the 30-06, you can also use smaller bullets, down to 110 grain, to get a lighter load for varmint hunting. The 180 grain is good for both elk and deer. With some of the newer powders the 30-06 is creeping up on the 7MM too.

    The 300 is a marvelous cartridge! I can't say enough about it. It shoots farther accurately than either the 7MM or the 30-06 (personal opinion, please no flames ;l ), and its great for moose and elk. But, it kicks significantly harder than the 30-06, is more expensive to shoot, and perhaps most importantly, tears up more meat when used on smaller than elk sized thin skinned game.

    The 30-06, although in most rifles NOT a tack driver, is an accurate hunting cartridge that you can get in almost any store that stocks ammo anywhere in the 48 states or Alaska, and its chambered in pretty well any brand and/or model you can think of, virtually assuring that you will find it in a rifle that you just can't stand leaving the store without ;3.

    So, for me :cool:,

    if I shot more prairie dogs, I'd get the 7MM,
    if I shot more moose and elk, I'd get the 300,
    if I shot most anything anytime I could, I'd get the 30-06.

    Hope this helps.
  9. Will you be hunting hogs in Washington?
  10. vart


    Feb 17, 2000
    The Palouse
    I think my dad, a former Marine Corps sniper, USMC pistol team member, and former instructor at the USMC/Army sniper school would disagree. He swears by the .30-06 and says it is extremely accurate. I have a stock Ruger M77 in .30-06 that shoots 1/2" groups with Federal Classic 150 gr. $11.00 a box cartridges.
    I also disagree that the .30-06 is inadequate for Moose. Moose are fairly thin-skinned and are regularly taken with .270s.
    Heck, I shot my first elk with a .257 Roberts and 120 gr. Noslers at 300 yds. Shot placement is emminently more important than caliber. Gut shoot an elk with a 300 Win Mag and he will run just as far as an elk gut shot with a 30-30.
  11. Kilgor

    Kilgor American Millennium Member

    Oct 1, 1999
    How about you look for a good used bolt action (Rem. 700, Win. 70, Browning, A-bolt, etc.) that is an excellent deal and save some money. Then be satisfied with whichever of these calibers it is in because they will all do the job well.

    If you have the cash for a new gun and are picking based soley on caliber, then I say none of these.

    Get a good short action in .300 WSM.

    -Uses .30 caliber bullets, which I like better than 7mm.
    -Moving as fast as the .300 win. mag. and faster than the 06.
    -Close to the same kick as an 06 and less than a .300 win. mag. due to the use of about 15 grains of powder less than the .300 win. mag.
    -I know you're a reloader so the powder savings helps (more efficient).
    -I know you're a reloader so the extra cost of factory ammo over the 06 doesn't matter.
    -Short action gun, lighter and more compact w/ a shorter bolt throw.

  12. lmaynard


    Sep 15, 2002
    Vart, peace friend ;K

    He very well might disagree, and with some reason. This is a very gray area and somewhat of a religious issue with many people. We may have to agree to disagree here. I myself have an SR60 in 30-06 that prints under .25 MOA up to 400 (this particular load gets wonky after 550 for some reason) with handloads, and I wouldn't think of gettng rid of it. But I wouldn't expect that accuracy, or the .5 MOA you're getting, out of most, or even many, of the 30-06s out there. And have you seen the Ed Brown marine sniper? Oh my, if I could just figure out how to justify it to myself ;l.

    Is it harder to shoot sub .5 MOA groups with a 30-06 vs. another caliber? Yep, I believe so, perhaps due to the case shape on the 30-06 more than anything else, but that doesn't mean its impossible to do. Here's an interesting article that compares the 30-06 to the 308:

    That said. Does it matter for hunting? No. ~1 MOA at hunting ranges appears to be more than adequate and better than most people can shoot under field conditions anyway. Are there any 1000 yard match competitors using the 30-06? Not to my knowledge. I'd love to hear about it if there are.

    That lack may be due to a perception of 30-06 inaccuracy based more on the number of different rifles (of significantly different qualities) that have been chambered for this round. I just don't know.

    I have seen two 30-06 M77s side by side with the same optics turn in both good and bad accuracy on the same range at the same day with the same shooter using the same loads. Don't know if its some kind of karma thing, or the so-called Ruger barrel quality issue, but its really there. I think if you get a sweet shooter in any cartridge, then you've just lucked out and should recognize it.

    I didn't say the 30-06 was inadequate for moose. I did say that I'd use the 220 grain bullet on moose and that that is about the minimum bullet weight I'd use. I like heavier bullets than you do, that's personal opinion also. I like as much terminal energy as I can get without unduly tearing up meat, so I use the heavier bullets unless they're just too big for the game. As you point out, a bad shot is a bad shot, and shot placement is critical no matter the cartridge or bullet weight.

    Don't want to start a flame war here, but this is actually fascinating stuff and I've never fully understood why different people have such different opinions of the tactical accuracy of the 06. Again, I don't think anyone can argue with the hunting capabilities of this cartridge. Suffice it to say that there are different opinions. I've always toyed with the idea of working up an 06 for 1000 yard light rifle, just to prove it to myself one way or another. Hey, maybe that's the reason I need that Ed Brown ;f. Now if the wife will only buy that reasoning............
  13. vart


    Feb 17, 2000
    The Palouse
    I guess I forgot to use those dang smilies to let you know that I wasn't upset;f .
    I actually have pretty limited experience with rifle cartridges. I shot my first deer with a .243 (it dropped it first shot), my second one, along with a few more deer, an antelope and my first elk with a .257 Roberts (dropped them all first shot). I got the Ruger last year in .30-06, and a Pre-64 custom Winchester in .35 Whelen a couple years ago.
    I simply note bullet drop and accuracy of the different rifles and cartridges. They have all performed well on whatever particular animal I was hunting.
    My dad, however, IS the expert. He is a professional big-game hunter with many African safaris under his belt, a couple of "Grand Slams", has hunted dozens of times in Alaska, is in Canada right now on a moose hunt (he's using a custom .35 Whelen with 250 gr. bullets, ironiclly), and has authored numerous articles in different hunting publications.
    I am ill-equipped to carry on a well-informed debate on hunting rifles since my knowledge is rather limited to only what I have experienced.
    Please don't engage me in a flame war, I would likely get toasted;) .
  14. lmaynard


    Sep 15, 2002
    Vart, no problem, no flames here ;J. I bow out about the time things go like that. Life is too short to waste time on those things.

    It really doesn't sound like you speak from lack of experience though. It sounds like you learned good things and have used them well. I wish I could say all my meat shots were first shot downs, but I can't :(. That is something to be very proud of. I'm envious.

    Heck, I'd like to get together and go shooting with you sometime. I'm not far from you, and horse pack up there sometimes. I'll hopefully be up there in May training a new string. It would be cool to get together with you and your dad for some shooting. Especially that 35, wow! Life is so short, and my job is really interfering with my hobbies ;i.
  15. mattyk6


    Sep 30, 2001
    As another Washatonian, I recommend the '06. My father's been hunting with one for almost 40 yrs, only 2 different rifles over all that time. For the last 14 yrs (started hunting at 10), I have been using a '06. Been successfuly at 300+ yd shots, even as close at 25 yds (the deer just kept walking closer and closer). It's nice to have to be shooting the same cartridge as your hunting partner. Just after the morning walk, my dad and I got back in the truck, just as we were getting ready to leave, a deer walked out. In the heat of the moment, I grabbed my dad's rifle!

    BTW, my mom carries a .308. Just a little less kick for her.

    Good Luck!
  16. duncan

    duncan Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    Feb 15, 1999
    Sounds like a Rem 700 in 30'06 then.

    And the hogs are south of Olympic National forest in western wa but you have to find them! Yes, the '06 would be used on them too!
  17. what


    Jul 7, 2000
    I will tell you what my father told me when I first started thinking about my first deer rifle. Get a 300 winchester magnum. I have used everything that was mentioned here 7mm, 30-06 and my personal favorite 300 winchester magnum. I asked him if a 300 kicks pretty good and he says yes, but if you are any type of rifleman you can teach your self to ignore the recoil. Also if you ever decide to hunt anything bigger you already have the right rifle. If you ever go after elk or black bear you have the perfect cartridge. You might hear some people say that the 300 is overkill for deer, but dead is dead. You get all the same choices in bullet size as a 30-06 with extra power.
    I took that smart mans advise and got the 300 and I could not be happier. It will easily shoot to .39 minute of angle and in my opinion it does not kick your hard and does not tear up a bunch of meat (you may loose one hambuger) big deal. In my opinion it beats having to track after you game.
  18. SkippyThe


    Aug 9, 2000
    I would go with the 7mm. I used a 7mm for alot of hunting around Eastern Wa. and was well armed for anything that I was hunting. I have a friend that has custom loads for anything you could ever want to hunt with a 7mm. I'll get another one sometime most likely a Ruger no.1. ST
  19. smeet5150

    smeet5150 Southern Son

    Mar 25, 2002
    Lake Cumberland
    the 30.06 is more than I'll ever need for anything in my area.
  20. WalterGA

    WalterGA Millennium Member

    Jan 26, 1999
    Well, understanding that this is purely hypothetical, as a man of Duncan's means can well afford more than one rifle, but if I had to own only one rifle for hunting in the lower 48, it'd be a .308. Short action; deadly accurate; less recoil than any of the calibers mentioned and actually fun to shoot. Brass, etc., readily available and cheap.

    (PLUS, you can use your AA2200 for .308 reloading!)

    So WalterGA - if deer, elk, hog are my main game, what rifle specifically do you recommend in .308? Rem 700? What?