First hunting rifle, what caliber?

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by AAAOA, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    It's closer to 25fps per inch with the calibers I shoot.
    Examples of barrel lengths bullets and velocities.
    Wife's 260... 20" barrel shoots 140gr class at mid 2600fps. 123gr class lil above 2800fps.
    Its job is deer and varmints
    Next my creedmoor.... 140gr class I'm running at 2740fps. Now I'll use this all the way up to elk and black bear out to 300 yards.
    Finally 30-06....."was a 24"barrel"
    150gr bullets mid 2900
    185gr bullets mid 2700. With rl26 I ran 178eldx at 2820fps.
    New barrel will be 26" 11twist and desire to push 200gr to mid 2700 with rl26 we'll see.

    The other point I'm trying to get across is this..
    There is a rifle for every task and a task for every rifle.
     
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  2. SSL

    SSL Gold $$ Contributor

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    You have been given very good advice. As sexy as the RSI looks, there are a host of problems lurking there. First, as mentioned, full-length stocks offer a challenge in accuracy due to warping and/or uneven barrel contact. Second, that short barrel will be loud regardless of cartridge chosen! Third, off-hand shots are much harder to make with the balance of such short barrels versus a longer, better balanced rifle. Fourth, maybe it's just me, but once you add a decent hunting scope to a carbine-length rifle, the whole package appears and feels out of balance.

    The worst rifle I have ever dealt with as to consistent accuracy was my friend's full-stocked 6.5mm Swede. Cute as a button with its 18.5" barrel and flowing lines, it ran the gamut from 1" to 4" groups depending on the day with the same loads. He finally decided to abandon the stock and replace it with a carbon-fiber one of more conventional style. Voila! Rifle now shoots consistently into 1" or less. It is, however, still louder than my .280 or .30/06 (both 26" barrels).

    I will join the masses and recommend a .270 or (preferably, due to ability to use heavier bullets) .30/06 with a 22 (minimum) to 26" barrel.
     
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  3. K22

    K22

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    To all you posters advocating the 270 Win - you are on point - you can't go wrong with a 270 or 30 - 06. You could even add the 308 Win. to the list. With any of these it comes down to the skill of the shooter - they are all very capable big game hunting calibers.
     
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  4. Lone Hunter

    Lone Hunter Silver $$ Contributor

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    You could always start reloading and save money.. Right.. But, you can load what you want in both power and bullet. You can take a 30/06 and load Barnes Bullets and load lighter Bullets for recoil but still get the speed and penetration you need. Barnes perform really well too. You can always put a muzzle brake on and reduce recoil also. Many options out there but you can never own too many guns. I would look around and try to handle as many guns as I could and see which ones felt the best. If you don't get what you want you will never be satisfied . Guess that's why I never found the perfect rifle.
     
  5. 7887mm08

    7887mm08 Silver $$ Contributor

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    I have shot a couple dozen deer with an 18 1/2" barreled rem 788 chambered in 7mm08. The deer never complained about being shot with a short barrel. My son is on his fourth year of using a 788 18 1/2" 308. Deer are dead when he squeezes the trigger also. They are louder yes.
     
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  6. mauser284

    mauser284

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    Out of what you listed get the 30-06. The idea of using a .243 Win for Moose is crazy and could get you killed at close range with out extensive experience and tough bullet construction. Anything larger than a Deer go with 180gr. or heavier bullets. Deer sized and smaller 150gr. bullets are fine. Nothing fancy needed to hunt 200m Remington Cor-Lokt and the like are fine. No need for ELD or even OT BT and the like soft point spire point spitzers are more than enough.

    If all you want to do is hunt with it no intention of of building a custom rifle out of it or re-stocking it consider waiting for Cabela's to have the Thompson Compass on sale for $279 buy online and pick up in store. They regularly go on sale for that price I own a few at that price for a pure affordable hunting rifle impossible to beat!
     
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  7. searcher

    searcher Gold $$ Contributor

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    I don't think anyone is knocking the shorter barrels but - in western hunting situations - shots are often much further than in the east. Losing the velocity on 6" of barrel is almost like going down a notch in caliber. Having more weight out front helps steadies the rifle and the extra weight reduces felt recoil. Downside? Not much if one can handle carrying another pound or less. Take the .270 guys are recommending. The biggest benefit of the .270 over a lot of other calibers is the velocity and flat shooting it provides. Lop off a bunch of the velocity and it just doesn't shine as brightly. Why do it?
     
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  8. Ohio Varmint Shooter

    Ohio Varmint Shooter

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    This may not be what you want to hear..but...

    Graduate....get a job...move...get settled in....THEN think about buying a gun. This is November. If you're a senior in college, you'll most likely be graduating this spring, and trying to line up a job at that time. Then you have to move where the job is. Finding an apartment, moving, settling in at the job and the apartment and your new life. Everything will be new and different. You probably won't be thinking about hunting. So at least for the next 12-18 months....I'd hold off. You've got a lot of milestones and life changing events over the next year or so.

    Edit: For most employers, you don't qualify for vacation for a year...so there's another year's worth of hunting trips you won't be able to take.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2019
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  9. MrMajestic

    MrMajestic Gold $$ Contributor

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    A good muzzle brake would complement that short barrel and make shooting it more pleasurable...
     
  10. helmut in the bush

    helmut in the bush

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    I would buy a Savage 110 Storm, Cabela's has them on sale. 30-06 or 270 22" barrel would be hard to beat.
     
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  11. Bc'z

    Bc'z Gold $$ Contributor

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    D pressing!!!
    This young man wants to get his 1st firearm and you just told him it's going to be another 2-3 years before he can enjoy it.
     
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  12. JimT

    JimT “I don’t even own a piece of camo!”-Kenny Jarrett Gold $$ Contributor

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    Probably good advice depending on his major. I know between working 70 hour weeks from September thru April and starting a family, I didn’t touch the rifles I accumulated well before I graduated from college until many years later.
     
  13. Ohio Varmint Shooter

    Ohio Varmint Shooter

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    Depressing or not...it's most likely 'reality'. I'm just the messenger. Chances are, if he buys a gun now, it will sit in a closet, or under the bed for quite a long time.
     
  14. Jaybo

    Jaybo Gold $$ Contributor

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    My first gun was a 30/30 Marlin iron sites. Killed my first deer with it when I was 13 hunted with it till I was 18 till I got a Winchester model 70 in 270 feather light . I still have both of the guns today I will occasionally break them out and shoot on every so often sometimes it really brings back memories
     
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  15. 300_whisper

    300_whisper Gold $$ Contributor

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    Welp, I’m going to be that guy. I wouldn’t go with a ruger M77. Not a lot of aftermarket support, and I think they are ugly. Lol. I’m about to take a lot of heat.


    Get a Remington 700 5R or SPS tactical in .308 win. More accurate, more aftermarket support, and prettier. lol...oh gawd here it comes.
     
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  16. 300_whisper

    300_whisper Gold $$ Contributor

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    work to live...don’t live to work. I had an extremely demanding college and then immediately into an extremely demanding job. I still made time to hunt and shoot. You got to make time for yourself or you’ll go crazy. I now have a “normal” insane job, a wife, two kids, and 3 dogs, and I still make time to workout, shoot, fish, and hunt. It’s not the normal frequency I want, but I still do it. I don’t want to be the guy who only worked for retirement. F*** that, I’m trying to live life now and the OP should do the same. Not taking away from his college or career choices but if I could manage doing fun stuff with the BS I put myself through, then he can too, and he 100% should. You only live once.
     
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  17. 300_whisper

    300_whisper Gold $$ Contributor

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    And here’s the 5R bc I’m a 700 fanboy

     
  18. 300_whisper

    300_whisper Gold $$ Contributor

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    Also, saw the you don’t know where you’ll end up part. If you’re leaving college stay single and sock away a ton of money till you’re at least 30 and then consider getting a girlfriend. Throw your extra money into your hobbies, an emergency fund, and a 401k. If you get married young, you won’t be heading out west. You’ll be heading to within 15 mins of your in-laws without your new elk gun.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019 at 9:23 PM
  19. Ohio Varmint Shooter

    Ohio Varmint Shooter

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    I'm sure there are plenty of guys on this forum who would agree: Stay single, save money, travel, hunt, have hobbies...etc. Once the spouse, kids, mortgage come along, life changes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not misogynistic or dislike kids...but the DO change your life.

    I was fortunate to have a group of guys that stayed single throughout most of our twenties. Most of us lived in the same city, we took vacations together, we went to ball games together....etc. I love my wife dearly, but I do cherish those days years ago when 'us guys' had great times. Wives, mortgages, jobs requiring moving to new cities all came along.
     
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  20. 300_whisper

    300_whisper Gold $$ Contributor

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    ^ amen to that! Lol
     

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