I'm finally old enough to buy my own rifle, and hunting and collecting firearms has been an interest I've shared with my dad for a few years now. I've gotten a few squirrels with my Savage .17, but I haven't gotten a deer, yet; but this is my second deer season (with a rifle) so I'm pretty confident I've got a white tail in the bag this year.
At any rate, all the guns my dad owns are all in his name, and none in mine. I want to buy my "first" rifle entirely with my own money to add to our collection, but I'm not sure what to get, or even where to start.
We own the following rifles:
Marlin 30-30 (what I used for white tail last season)
Marlin 336c (35 Remmington)
We also own a few other firearms, but nothing I'm into using as some are shotguns, which I'm not a fan of.
Anyway, we hunt from blinds atop rocks a decent distance out from my family's cabin. The forest is pretty thick and there's a lot of brush so I'd imagine any deer you would see would be, at most, 250ft away. But my dad is also into hunting black bear, and that's something that I'd be interested in doing as well. I'm also going hunting with my friend on his land, and his land has a lot more clearings and long stretches where longer shots could happen.
The point is, yesterday was opening day and I took out the Nagant. My dad was a little worried that the bullet could get some serious range; I think it would be fine as we're over a thousand feet for sure from a dwelling and a road, and since the brush is so thick, there's no way the bullet could travel far, but I don't know if I could talk my dad into a 30-06... but I think it'd be fine.
But what I'm getting at is I've been looking into 30-06s; they seem like they have a wide selection of ammo that ranges in power. And from the rifles I've looked at, the pricing isn't half bad either (although I haven't looked into ammo much).
My dad usually takes out the 35 when I take the 30-30, and last season I was using the 30-30 with 170gr Remmington ammunition, and I hit a deer in the back of the thigh. I know this was a bad shot that I shouldn't of taken, but the deer moved right before I pulled the trigger and began to trot away from me. I was a little dissapointed that while tracking the deer, there wasn't much blood. It seemed as though the bullet caused a decent wound (as there were some large amounts of blood in areas the deer had rested) but for the most part, it seemed to only be a fleshwound. I never found the deer even after hours of searching, so I was looking for something with slightly more power than the 30-30 (which is also lever action, which I don't like),
Both the 35 and the 30-30 seem to be good "brush rifles" at the ranges we're at, and I'm wondering if the 30-06 could be used for this role too, or if the range would just be overkill. Like I said, I haven't really looked into the ammo but I've heard they are very versatile rifles.
Other than that, I'm looking for a bolt action. One of the biggest turn offs with the 30-30 and 35 are that they're both lever action; while it doesn't matter much for hunting, I really prefer to target shoot with a bolt action... it's simply more fun.
So does anyone have any suggestions for a caliber I should be looking into, or what guns in general? I'm looking to spend closer to $400-$500, but I could go a little higher, although I'd prefer not to. I don't care what the stock is made of, but I would prefer just about any type of wood over synthetic, although I really don't care that much. Any other factors I'm not too worried about, as long as it isn't single shot, is bolt action, and could be used for white tail or black bears.
Sym - Not sure of your age but you sound young. First off, you should never shoot a rifle without knowing what lies beyond the target nor without a proper backstop.Onr of those bullets could have easily deflected off a branch and went God knows where. Maybe hurting or even killing someone.
Secondly - the 30-30 is more than adequate for killing deer. Millions of deer would have to agree. A 30-06 will not kill them any better than the 30-30 with the shot you discribed.
There are literally hundreds of rifles capable of making a killing shot on a whitetail at 250 yds. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend.
Good, reliable, accurate rifles that won't break your (or your dad's) wallet include Savage, Tikka, Marlin and Mossberg. All bolt actions. My preference would lie with the Savage or the Tikka.
Now for chambering selection. Again, I do not know how big you are. But normally the 30-06 is about as much recoil as the average shooter can tolerate. (Notice I said normal and average) Some can handle more, others less. If you are on the smaller side you may wish to consider the .243, 7-08, .260 or, in a longer action, the .270, .280 just to name a few.
I wish you well in your choice of rifle and chambering.
__________________ PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE RISING COST IN AMMO PRICES I WILL NO LONGER BE FIRING A WARNING SHOT.
A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.
I'm not as good as I'm gonna get - but I'm better than I used to be. "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."
Well let me say that I am young and an inexperienced hunter, but that doesn't make me irresponsible when it comes to shooting. I know when I'm doing something safe and when I'm not; and for what it's worth, we're on private property.
That said, I appreciate the advice. However I'm not concerned about the 30-30 taking a deer down. Like I said, it was a terrible shot and if I had hit the deer in a more vital spot, I am confident it would have went down, or at the very least, ran away and passed away in the immediate area.
But like I said, I'm more concerned about game like black bear. I think I underestimate the 30-30's power, but as much as I want slightly more power, I also want a new gun just to be able to target shoot with and call my own. And don't worry about it breaking my dad's wallet as I'm paying for whatever I buy entirely by myself (so worry about breaking my wallet, haha), as it'll be my main hunting rifle for white tail and black bear, but it'll also be added to our "mutual" collection of firearms.
As for recoil it's all good, I'm 5'5" and recoil doesn't bother me, but the length of the firearm does. A little recoil is actually a really enjoyable thing. Shooting our .22 is no where near as satisfying as shooting anything with a kick.
And I've also been looking into 308s. I'm also not too crazy about Savage, I really like our .17 (which is Savage) but the quality seems a little sub-par compared to the other firearms we own, and it wasn't that cheap of a rifle. I picked it out and I know my dad isn't crazy about Savage either, so I've been looking into other companies like Mossberg. I was also looking into 7-08, but I don't know much about them and neither does my dad.
Well I have to agree with Retaks on chambering. I would advise you to get a Tikka T3 Lite or Remington 700. Get either of those guns with any of those chambering Retaks has posted you and you have a bear slaying machine. Anything in the .25 caliber range and you can guarantee a kill on any animal the US has to offer, except maybe a moose and a grizzly, but then what are you going to do about carrying one of those back to the truck?
I'm 5'6" so I know what you mean when you need a shorter rifle. I'd seriously advise the Tikka T3 Lite. I got one and it's short really lightweight, and a nice kick to it. Mine's a 25-06 and I guarantee with good shot placement nothing is going to run too far.
Thank god for grocery stores! If I had to feed my family by hunting, we would all starve....
Close encounters with deer -- 5
Deer missed --- 1
Deer hit -- 0
I read what you said about recoil but I assure you that after awhile,you'll grow out of enjoying recoil. I strongly suggest the 7mm08-it'll cleanly kill ANY deer or black bear ever to walk the earth with proper bullets, and the recoil is about 1/2 that of the 30-06,in addition to it being (usually) extremely accurate. IMO ONLY-it's the perfected version of the .308.
Sometimes you earthlings REALLY amaze me!
tikka t3 30-06 is a great gun. I love mine, shoots great, light as a feather, good trigger. 6.4 lbs with a nikon monarch 2x7. I would suggest Talley rings for it over all others. compact, light, strong. That gun will last you the rest of your life, and their is not much you cant hunt with it. More ammo offerings than anything out there.