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One bolt gun

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by btebbs, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. btebbs

    btebbs Hawkeye

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    Theoretical (or is it hypothetical?) question, I know, but I'm interested in INFORMED opinions... and the discussion that may ensue.

    Given: I live in TX, where my rifle hunting is limited primarily to small whitetail and feral hogs, and could include muleys and pronghorn.

    Given: I make frequent hunting trips to the Midwest, encountering larger whitetail than we have in TX.

    Given: It's possible- though not probable- that at some point in my life, I may go "out west" or "up north" to hunt something larger, i.e. elk, moose, bear, caribou.

    Given: I intend to buy an AR-15 in the near future.

    Variable: In a catastrophic scenario (easy, I'm not a conspiracy theorist) rifle would have to be highly effective against two-legged quarry, and ammo should be as easy to obtain as possible.

    Question: Which bolt gun caliber and scope power? I'm not necessarily interested in your preference of brands, rather the specs. For example, 30-06 w/ 3x9x40. Please include why you chose your respective combos.

    Thanks,
    BT
     
  2. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

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    Historically, I would suggest getting a 30-06. If can be loaded to take everything from squirrels to polar bear. Military surplus 30-06 can still be found but supplies are drying up.

    But if you consider a long term SHTF scenario, the 308 cannot beat. It is good for squirrels, turkey up through deer, and elk. You will have issues with larger game and long range game.
     

  3. RWBlue

    RWBlue Mr. CISSP, CISA CLM

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    Second thought
    Consider this rifle as part of a three/four gun arsenal.

    223 is varmit gun (yote->small deer)
    308, 30-06 is the medium gun (Deer -> bear)
    270, 7mm, is the long range gun (Antelope -> Elk)
    45-70, 375, 458 is the heavy gun (Deer -> Bison -> African game -> Grizz -> Polar bear)
     
  4. punkture

    punkture

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    i'm bias because i own, love, and have been very successful with 7mm rem mag. some claim its overkill for deer and like most if not all cartridges its going to have its friends and foes. i've never had an instance with it being too damaging, and living in mississippi, i've certainly never had a scenario of it not being enough. i purchased it primarily because of a few points you brought out like travelling around and already having a weapon that will get the job done. this article lays out some pretty good points:
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/all_around_cartridges.htm

    as for optics, most people prefer 3-9x40 as a good all-around deer/medium game scope. recently, i've become fond of hunting with my recurve, caplock muzzleloader, and pistol (person preference - more challenging/primitive, i guess), so for my rifle, i chose a 5-15x40 with the mindset that i plan to use my rifle for longer than normal shots. with that said, my next rifle is going to have a 3-9x40 on it.
     
  5. vafish

    vafish

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    I think the .30-06 is the best all around rifle cartridge for the lower 48 states of the US.

    The .270 would be my 2nd choice.

    Scope for either one would be 3-9x or 4-12x.

    I'd cut down RWBlue's list to 3 guns.

    #1 .223 for varmints (your AR would work just fine)

    #2 .30-06 for deer, antelope, elk, bear and anything else in the lower 48.

    #3 .375 H+H for anything bigger.

    So far I have #1 and #2 taken care of, haven't needed the big rifle yet.
     
  6. WFR

    WFR

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    I have 2 bolts to cover all my long-range hunting. Carbines in various calibers take care of the rest.
    I have a Remington 700 Mtn Rifle in .280 Rem with a Leupold VXII 2X7 on it. This is my long-range deer gun and will take elk cleanly with 160gr Nosler Partitions if I stay within 200 yds. At 200 yds it still packs 2000 ft/lbs of energy. I like the ballistics of the 7MM bullets and the wide range of weights avaialble.
    My 2nd rifle is on layaway and will be used for elk & moose. It is a Remington 700 RMEF stainless with camo synthetic stock in .300 Win mag. I will more than likely scope it with either a Leupold VXIII 2.5X8 or 3.5X10. It should be ready to go next year.
    If I had to go with just one I think I could do it with the .280.
    For your scenario a .270, .280, .308 or .30/06 would be a very efficient choice.
     
  7. Frank in Montana

    Frank in Montana

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    #1 FWIW I don't buy this "One rifle for all of North America" stuff. Does a mechanic have only ONE wrench to work on all the fasteners he encounters? Simplistic YES but some truth to it.

    Same thing for the idea of wanting to be able to find ammo at the corner store. Don't buy into that to make a choice on a rifle. I've taken wildcats to areas where I probably had the only .257 Roberts Ackley improved or one of a few .280 Rem Ackley Imp's in the whole Country and did fine. You PLAN ahead and get You r ammo in Country with Yoour guide,etc. Then bring backup ammo as well.

    IF your stuck with wanting easily available ammo then you are relegated to the .270 Win, .30-06 or the .308 Win. End of story right there.

    I think a two or three gun battery can do it nicely. Your looking for the "light rifle" end of it. You can go a couple of ways. I'd look at the .270 Win or .280 Rem , or go lighter still with a .257 Roberts/.25-06 or 7mm-08.

    Bullets right now are SO good that the "Thirty caliber minimum" idea of years past for big game can be streched a little. I've done very well with the .280 Rem with 150/160 partitions on everything from small antelope and black wildebeest in South Africa to deer and several elk here at home. My wife has killed elk with her little 7mm-08 very cleanly. I've even done well with the .257 Roberts on deer and elk.

    Then again the idea of the .30-06 for your needs would work fine too. But personally I think the .270 Win/.280 Rem would be a good choice.

    Then look at a .338 win mag or a .375 H&H if You ever do that AK trip for large moose and bears. Again......You could go .30 magnum there too....... IF You can place a premium bullet in the right spot.
    Do have to say that I DO like the .338's for the larger stuff and the .375 even more. The .375 with 300's will shoot basically as flat as a .30-06 with 180's out to 300 yds.

    I'd try several calibers and see what feels best to You. We all have different levels of whats manageable RECOIL wise. You may find a short cased round like the 7mm-08 or .257 Roberts easier to shoot versus a larger case like the .280 or .30-06. I have no idea your level of experience or what you have been exposed to. A HIT in the proper place with a .257 Roberts is MUCH better than a misplaced shot with a .375 H&H.

    Over the years I've done very well with Leupolds. Currently I have 2.5-8's on a few and the 3.5-10X on the flatter shooting guns. Also have a few 6x42's on a couple.And a 1.5-5 on my .375 H&H.
    People tend to go TOO big on scopes. A well made(optically speaking) 4X or 6X or 2-7 or 3-9 is fine. One does generally not need a 50mm objective scope that weighs two pounds.

    FN in MT
     
  8. Sixgun_Symphony

    Sixgun_Symphony NRA4EVR

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    My advise is that you get a .30-06 bolt-action rifle. Get a leather military sling rather than a mere carry strap and learn how to use it.


    You should also get set up for reloading. Save that brass!
     
  9. Chuck TX

    Chuck TX CLM

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    .308 w/ a Zeiss 3-9x40. Does everything I need, though it's not all I have. There are so many great rounds and scopes it's all personal taste. For longer range I like 7mm Rem Mag and .300 Win Mag, but for the most part everything except my .308 lives in the safe.
     
  10. longbowshooter

    longbowshooter

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    When I considered this I went with an 18" 30/06 with a leupold 2x7x33(?) I've been taking a second look and think my second will be a 22" 30/06 with a Leupold FXIII 6x or Nikon Monarch 4x fixed power scope.
     
  11. Hunterjbb

    Hunterjbb

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    a .270 - 30.06 either one and top it with a 2.5 x 8 or something close to that and not higher then 10 x.. If snipers only need a 10x scope to shoot 800+ yds, why the heck would you need anything bigger ?.. unless of course you are optically challenged then get what you feel you need.

    I would say a 22" - 26" barrel. Nice sling and your good to go. Type of scope is up to you and what you like best or can afford. I use Leupold as i like the slightly longer eye relief. What i'm looking at now the scope cost more then the rifle..

    IF you ever decide to make the trip up north or over seas THEN worry about getting a bigger rifle... you will have plenty of time to get it and set it up and practice.. not like your gonna say.. gee let's go to Africa next week.. :) My friend and i have debated this a few times but the general feeling is if your gonna get a BIG rifle get a BIG rifle dont' half step.. 375 min.. Some dangerous game hunts have minimum calibers, from what i've been told at least..

    And i would think if you reload you could probably get the .375 to do pretty much everything except smaller type game i.e. varmit etc..

    Good luck, there's so much to choose from these days it's downright hard to make a decision at times..

    Jeff.
     
  12. noway

    noway

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    One bolt gun would be a 270win for me. If I didn't have that it would be a 30-06. For any game animals in the lower 48states and then some, either one of them would be fine. A 22LR would be a dedicate squirrel/rabbit/coom dispatcher ;)
     
  13. oldsmith

    oldsmith

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    Does it have to be a bolt gun? I think a Browning BAR in a magnum caliber would be great for your purpose.
     
  14. TJC

    TJC "No Compromise" Millennium Member

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    Can't go wrong with a good '06. Ammo can be had anywhere. Enough power for anything on the N.American continent (there are better for some things but he said 1 gun).
    Tons of quality bullets etc for reloading.

    That would be my choice.
     
  15. GeorgiaGlockMan

    GeorgiaGlockMan Aggie in Exile.

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    I bought one last year - a Browning BAR Longtrac in 30-06 . I topped it off with a Nikon scope and I think it is the finest deer rifle I've ever owned.

    The accuracy is as good or better than any bolt action 30-06 I've had. I appreciate the ability to make fast follow-up shots (not that its been needed yet tho).

    It may be a little heavier than most bolts but I don't care about that too much.

    The 30-06 is pretty hard to beat for all around versatility.

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  16. gatorfish

    gatorfish

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    30-30 with the new LEVERevolution hornady rounds ~2

    light and quick handling make it a decent self defense gun. same qualities make it a good brush gun. And the new ammo makes it a promising longer range shooter.

    Long before all the new super magnums, 30-30 was doing just fine.

    45/70 with the same ammo is a great choice as well...

    just a different angle.
     
  17. collim1

    collim1 Because Alexa said so!

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    +1

    My .30-30 is older than I am. The new plastic tip rounds really do make a difference at 100+ yds. It is no tack driver, but has always got the job done cleanly with 150, 160, 170 grain ammo, I dont think the deer know the difference.

    I carry the Marlin lever anytime I go into the woods.

    For deer less than 150 yds the levergun is hard to beat with any load.
     
  18. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

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    30.06 ..

    and if you can't do what you need to do with a .223 or a 30.06, you are wearing mukluks.

    .308 is a better SHTF gun due strictly to more available semi-autos and surplus ammo. far as per shot, it's not enough more accurate to count. short of 500 yards, you'll not notice the difference.

    if you intend accuracy, you start with a bolt gun. if you want firepower, semi auto with big mags, if you want a compromise, maybe the 7600 pump, or BAR..

    optics, optics, optics. 2/3 gun, 1/3 optics. that's not wrong.. as for me, i have crappy eyes, like 50mm objective lenses, and wide angle fixed power scopes. my choices aren't most folks.
     
  19. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    If I had to choose one gun for all of my big game hunting in North America, I would probably go with a .375H&H. Holy crap, did he say .375? Yes I did. For animals in the '3 cushion sofa' size, it's perfect. Take it down a notch and you have a 300yard max point blank range on deer, antelope, caribou sized critters. The .375 has been shooting gazelle's for camp meat for many years, just fine.

    Now I'm with Frank. There is no one gun. In my mind, and my goal is 3. A predator calling rifle (.17 Ackley Bee, .17 predator or .17 Athena), a light game rifle (6.5x54MS) and a large game rifle (9.3x64). I've already ordered up a custom 6.5. Next will be the 9.3 and then hopefully I'll be decided on the .17 chambering.

    When we head to Africa, my eye is on plains game and hyenas. Maybe a leopard if it works out that way. I'll back up my old man on a cape buffalo with some thumper or another. I have no real interest in them, so I have no need for a gun like that. If I were to get the itch for a cape buffalo, I'd get a 4th rifle in .450 Rigby.

    I've got a heap of hunting rifles, but I want 3 functional, beautiful customs that I can hunt with for the next 30 years or so. Works of art that I can look back at all the scratches, dents, wear and tear and think of fondly on the hunts I've been on. But, it's taken my a few dozen rifles and a lot of hunting to figure out what I want. Something that's important. I wouldn't spend this kind of money unless I was sure.
     
  20. hotrod26

    hotrod26 NRA Life Member

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    7MM-08, mild recoil, super accurate and will kill anything from varmits to elk and beyond.