Go Back  HuntingNet.com Forums > General Hunting Forums > Big Game Hunting
how many of you honestly tried 4-5 or more rifles >

how many of you honestly tried 4-5 or more rifles

Big Game Hunting Moose, elk, mulies, caribou, bear, goats, and sheep are all covered here.

how many of you honestly tried 4-5 or more rifles

Old 08-12-2018, 01:23 PM
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: fla
Posts: 822
Default how many of you honestly tried 4-5 or more rifles

I have a close friend that I've spent several dozen, rather enjoyable trips to the local range and a few, mule deer hunts with in Colorado and one in norther California
hes one of those few guys always willing to pitch in and split the expenses and work along side you if you need to haul a deer out of some canyon.
he only owns and hunts with a ruger #1 light weight rifle in caliber 270 win,

and thinks its the ideal mule deer and whitetail deer rifle.

To be honest I tend to agree with him, that it is a damn good choice,
how many of you honestly only tried 4-5 or more rifles, before deciding on what you prefer?
but I asked him while we were at the range today
, why he selected that particular rifle?
his response kind of surprised me, ,
he said,
" .... honestly, I went into a local pawn shop about 35 years ago and asked if they had and good deals on hunting rifles,
up to that point Id never owned a rifle.
he showed me a marlin 35 rem and this ruger #1 in 270 , he wanted $225 for the marlin and $550 for the Ruger,(it had a 4x weaver scope on it also)
I asked him why the ruger was so expensive..... he simply stated that a 270 win in a ruger falling block could shoot flat enough and hit hard enough to kill elk,
out past 400 yards, the marlin in his opinion was a 150 yard deer rifle at best"
having no prior experience I took his advice.
and having remembered seeing that ruger single shot advertised in the back of a recent hunting magazine for considerably more money....
I simply handed him my credit card... I've never regretted that purchase"
now I tried your 375 H&H carbine and Ive tried a BLR in 358 win , and a BAR in 280 rem, and a savage bolt action 308 win.
I think I made a damn good choice, and yeah, it was mostly luck, but I like the rifle and trust it! and as youve seen its been very effective! "

I think most of us have tried several dozen rifles, some we owned, some we borrowed for a couple shots from friends just to see how they felt and shot,
I would have saved thousands of dollars over the last 50 years If I had stuck with the first rifle I found worked well,
but Ive generally wanted to try about everything I ever saw just to see if it worked better.
I personally have found about 8-9 rifles I trust, but I keep grabbing my 340 mark V fibermark or sako bolt action carbine
maybe its a problem, but while I have no problem hunting with a 358 win or 450 marlin BLR or mod 78 falling lock, in 300 wby
and Ive done that, many times, if I'm serious about collecting a decent elk or mule deer the weatherby get taken out of the safe 9-out of 10 times.
I would expect very few people are still hunting with the first big game caliber rifle they ever purchased, 35 years later.
http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=270%20Winchester&Weight=All&ty pe=Rifle
in his rifle 54 grains oh H4831 and a speer 150 grain bullet, and a 215 fed primer has consistently produced near 5/8" 3 shot hundred yard bench rested group's

Last edited by hardcastonly; 08-13-2018 at 06:18 AM.
hardcastonly is offline  
Old 08-12-2018, 01:42 PM
Boone & Crockett
Oldtimr's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 12,386

I looked at the ballistics and my first deer rifle was a Mod 88 Winchester in .308, it has taken a ton of deer. Then I wanted a rifle for bigger game so I bought a Marlin Guide gun 45-70 which has take a bunch of deer , a bunch of wild hogs and a Bison. I do not believe I need another rifle, I think I have the bases covered for North American big game.
Oldtimr is online now  
Old 08-12-2018, 01:55 PM
Typical Buck
Berserker's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: WI&UP
Posts: 751

Last year went with GBL instead of the guide gun. The pistol grip is supposed to be better for recoil. I am not worried about swinging it up fast.

I can't say that in my youth I was smart enough to study ballistics. I dont think to many young folks really do. I chose 30-06 cause my dad and Grampa used it, almost everyone else. Though y dad know uses 308 cause he is getting old. My grampa took one in his mid 80s with his 30-06.

I got 3 rifles, pump, lever, and bolt, in my rotation, 30-06 and 45-70., and a Savage that I don't trust that collects dust. Ill probably add another. A 700 mountain gun, or something really light. Maybe some magnum long range gun for hunt I hope to do.

While I am sentimental towrds my guns and gear, I do like new knives and rifles. Though I think the 45-70 may stay at the top for awile. Depending on how it does this year.

The pump was retired and almost sold a few times. Fixed the rattle. Still not a huge fan of how you have to rack it with force Plus an inline. Also thinking maybe 454 or such, revolver some day. Lots of have one and stick with it. Beware the man with one gun.

Last edited by Berserker; 08-12-2018 at 02:00 PM.
Berserker is offline  
Old 08-12-2018, 01:58 PM
Typical Buck
Berserker's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: WI&UP
Posts: 751

I don't I need another rifle, 30-06 does it all and could go out west. 45-70 in my area does almost everything too. Most shots 15-45 yards. But if only one it would be 30-06 for added range. But it is not just calibers and action. Light guns are nice for walking, especially as you get older.

Lots of great calibers out there. I wish I lived a deer dense area so I could play around with different calibers and bullets.
Berserker is offline  
Old 08-12-2018, 02:28 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,746

I started out with a 30-06 for a deer rifle in the 80's and was very happy with it for many yrs, then I got into shooting long range in the late 80's and and wanted something for that
then started doing a lot of hunts where I was hiking a lot of miles and wanted a lighter rifle, while shooting long range I became friends with some custom rifle builders and then went onto a gun shop business with a friend
where I had the chance to shoot all sorts of rifles , and seeing first hand what I liked and dislikes or wanted, the amount of rifles I have actually spent time with on a range was in the hundreds in a short period of time for me
so I for sure have shot a lot of rifles before picking the one's I have now, which I honestly don;t know how many I have, but I have more than most I am sure
I sort of view rifles as tools, and every job can have a better tool at time than just a one tool does it all deal
I know many cannot afford to have this, so I consider myself lucky
but honestly ANY big game caliber rifle you shoot well is ALL anyone needs to hunt with
after that its just picking things that fit or liked better, there really are NO bad rifles out there, some YES might be more accurate than others and have different features, but there rather safe and solid rifles that can kill deer or? at a reasonable distance, which IMO is all anyone should be shooting at game any how
IMO at some point, long range hunting isn't hunting, its SHOOTING, the target just happens to be a living animal
the skill of getting close and HUNTING the animals is no longer a factor, its all about shooting once you get past 400 yards IMO and even at 400 yards that a LOT of shooting skills over hunting being used
but to each there own!
mrbb is offline  
Old 08-12-2018, 02:48 PM
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: fla
Posts: 822

I find it rather interesting that most of us find a rifle , at times based on what some other friend or family member might use or own,
and when we see it works very few people give the ballistics much thought. and those few guys that do tend to think knowing those figures is very important.
I've watched dozens of guys buy and use different rifles and while many of those guys can quote you ballistics, and try to convince you they made the best possible choice.
I've found damn few guys have practiced shooting enough on a regular and consistent basis to be able to be confident they can hit a 3" orange dot from a sitting position at 100 yards on their first shot.
now theres no bench rest out in the field, and most guys can shoot impressive groups off a bench rest,thats fine for sighting the rifle in, but damn near meaningless once your hunting.
the guys I hunt with generally find that those 1" bench rest rifle groups turn into at best, 6" 100 yard groups if they don,t practice shooting with a sling from a sitting position at least once every few months.
you barely get to shoot prone as theres generally some brush or grass, in the way, offhand without a tree to lean against,
is not generally nearly as accurate once ranges extend past about 200 yards, thats one reason most games killed at well under 200 yards.

I sight all my big game rifles in so you aim at the yellow dot and the bullet impacts cover the red dot

anytime you feel youve become a great shot, try to place two rapid shots in a 2" dot from a rapidly acquired field position, after walking the 100 yards back to your shooting location from the target after a brisk walk in under 10 seconds, from 100 yards
Ive done it occasionally tried it hundreds of times, it takes constant repetition to do well.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 08-12-2018 at 03:01 PM.
hardcastonly is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 04:11 AM
Giant Nontypical
flags's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: CO Born but working in Amarillo, TX for now.
Posts: 7,854

I have hunted big game with the following calibers in no particular order: 243 Win, 30-30 Win, 32 Win Special, 30-40 Krag, 30-06, 270 Win, 300 Win Mag, 7x57 Mauser, 6.5x55 Swedish, 6.5x54 Mannlicher Schoenauer, 350 Rem Mag, 375 H&H Mag, 9.3x62 Mauser, 7mm Rem Mag, 45-70 and 450 Marlin. Does that count?

For me a 7mm Mag was what I used for years but I tend to grab the 9.3x62 these days. I have a real soft spot in my heart for the 6.5x55 Swede as well.
flags is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 06:15 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,746

OK< I have a question to the OP
are you asking about different rifle TYPES (bolt light weight heavy barrel, pump,m semi, single shot, lever and so on? )here or more about different calibers?
as there two different things ?
I have done a lot of different in both, but, and even same calibers in different types of actions/rifles

and I ALSO fully agree, many folks BUY what ever they THINK is the best caliber , and then never do much shooting with it , to actually use what the caliber/rifle is capable of, , but THINK they can! LOL
mrbb is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 07:01 AM
Super Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: fla
Posts: 822

I think we all find we have favorite rifle action types , personally I like and trust single shot browning falling block rifles like the browning 78 ,in 300 wby,
and the bolt action weatherby mark V ,in 340 wby, and the 375 H&H, bolt action, for most of my hunting,
(you might feel thats excessive, I know I'm in a minority)
I could not pick or would want to even suggest what YOU might prefer,
some guys like blondes some guys prefer brunettes... find what you like best, and what you have fun with, and youll never be wrong.
I've purchased, and used a great many rifle calibers from 6 mm rem to 458 LOTT and a 58 and 62 caliber muzzle loader's
many guys seem to be adversely effected by any significant recoil and many prefer lighter weight rifles, thats fine,
I find lots of the guys I hunt with preferred pump and lever actions
personally I prefer the .338-.45 calibers, they tend to get obviously noticeable results
you can't ignore physics a larger and heavier projectile tends to hit harder,
but its a judgement call on how hard you want to hit the target or what trajectory and recoil limitations your willing to deal with
I've seen several elk killed with a 257 roberts and a couple killed with a 45/70, , most guys seem to find a 308 win, 30/06 or 270 win works well.
power is obviously not as critical as shot placement
if you can accurately use a 300 mag-375 mag the extra power has marginal advantages in a few applications but its rarely if ever going make or break a hunts success.
from what Ive seen having confidence in your choice of rifle and being very familiar with its quirks and characteristics and limitations is the key to success not the action type or caliber or case head stamp.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 08-13-2018 at 07:08 AM.
hardcastonly is offline  
Old 08-13-2018, 10:41 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 773

Being the son of a serious collector, I've tried literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different rifles and cartridges. But in all honestly, my heart lies in the old smoke poles. I own several but I still have quite a few smokeless that I go elk hunting with. I actually just picked up a Win mod.71 in .348win that I was initially just helping the guy out with some cash and was intending to resell it for a tidy profit. Till curiosity got the best of me and I took it out back and shot it. I do believe it will be replacing my backup Savage 99 in .300sav in the saddle scabbard on elk hunts. My main elk rifle is Model 70 in .300wm but would be just as comfortable with my Model 70 in .30-06. Along with practice, fit is one of the more important aspects of any shooting platform. Be it handgun or rifle. If it doesn't fit you, you won't be anywhere near as competent as you could be. Fitting yourself to the rifle is poor replacement for fitting the rifle to you. With the old man and 4 of the 5 of us kids being larger in height, arm, and neck length, fit has always been a bit of a predicament for us. The youngest got her height from her mom, or rather the lack of it. And with these long necks comes comb height for proper cheek weld. Eventually the old man became quite good at fashioning stocks.
hunters_life is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.