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Elk / Whitetail combo rifle

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Elk / Whitetail combo rifle

Old 10-27-2011, 03:51 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 542

A Browning BAR in 30-06. Why? Because that is what I have. I bought a 30-06 because it can take any game in North America. Not sure I will get the chance to go after most of them, but I know the gun can do it if I do.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:41 AM
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Location: Kansas
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The question in my opinion is two-fold:

1) How over gunned do you want to be for whitetails?
2) How under gunned do you want to be fore elk?

Within these questions are a lot of other questions, like what will your typical range be for whitetails? How much recoil can you tolerate? What's your physical condition like?

Frankly, we all know we don't need anything more than a .243 Win or .30-30 to hunt deer to 250yrds, which is LONG for whitetail shots, so essentially, everything bigger than those are "overgunned".

However, a .243 Win or .30-30 aren't going to be first choices for elk (not even legal in some states for elk).

Personally, I've used 7mm RUM, .300 WSM, .300 WM, .338WM, .375 H&H, and .45-70 for elk. My current elk rig is a .300 WSM, my wife's elk rig is a 7mm WSM.

As others have mentioned, having a backup rifle is a good idea. I take a .30-06 sporter along on every big game trip I make, from deer to elk to blackbear to moose.

So, a 7mm RUM or WSM or .300 WM/WSM/RUM are pretty overkill for deer at 100yrds or less, but they work for deer hunting, and they're GREAT for elk out to as far as you can shoot. A .270win is great for whitey's to 250-400yrds, but might be a little light for a BIG elk at 650yrds... But it'd work for elk hunting...

Since this will primarily be a deer rifle, but will still see regular duty as an elk rifle, I'd recommend a .300WM or WSM.

Another really good option, which is cheaper than buying 2 full rigs, is to buy a switch barrel rig like a Savage bolt action rifle. The rifle itself will cost you $800, then a spare barrel, bolt head, and barrel nut wrench will run you about $450-600, and you won't need to buy 2 scopes. It takes about an hour to change barrels on a Savage.

My wife uses the same Savage rifle for prairie dogs, deer, and elk. She has a Savage 12 short action, shoots a heavy barrel .223rem for small game, a midweight contour .243 WSSM for deer, and a sporter contour 7mm WSM for elk, all using the same action, trigger, and scope (2 different glass bedded stocks, one sporterweight and one benchrest style).
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 32

I'd only choose Browning and Leuopold. .270 Win and a 3x-9x scope.
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Old 10-31-2011, 01:27 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rivesville, WV
Posts: 3,192

A Kimber or Copper in 30-06. I prefer wood, but syntheyic is OK if that's your thing. A good quality Swarovski 3X10 scope with a 1" tube(the lighter models). 165 grain bullets for deer. 200 grain bullets for elk. One rifle to last a lifetime. Novel idea.

The Montana Rifle Company is also making a very nice walnut stocked rifle for $1,000. That would also make one fantastic choice. Buy American!!

I have a friend who bought a Remingrton ADL(wood stocked) in 1975. He still uses that rifle today for everything. He knows how to use it. Tom.
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Old 11-01-2011, 10:12 AM
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Location: Idaho
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Ruger 77 MKII stainless with a Bell & Carlson syntetic stock chambered in 280 Rem. shooting a 154gr. Hornady with a Leupold 4.5-14 VXIII.
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Old 11-01-2011, 03:27 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Hey Fritz i like your choice of caliber and brand of scope but why such a high magnification, especially if it's gonna primarly be used as an eastern whitetail rifle?
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:51 PM
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Location: Huntin' In Colorado
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Originally Posted by jerry d
Hey Fritz i like your choice of caliber and brand of scope but why such a high magnification, especially if it's gonna primarly be used as an eastern whitetail rifle?

I'll try my best and answer that for him. 4.5 is not that much more than a 3 at close ranges but the difference in 3-9 and a 4.5-14 at the higher magnification and longer ranges is huge. The scope he recommended is just the best scope out there for the money. IMO
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:22 PM
Fork Horn
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Location: Colorado Springs
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I will add that, when you factor in a leupold, such as the one he recommends, that its more like a 5x for base magnification. There is alot of difference between the 3x and 4.5x as a result, if you figure a scope that has a true 3x rating vs a 4.5x thats really 4.9x. For eastern whitetails, a 3-9x is more then enough, unless you have agriculture in the area and may have a bean field or hay field to shoot across. Then I would look at the next step up.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:55 PM
Fork Horn
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I use a 280 for both. Love it. Its all about shot placement.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:04 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 136

There are dozens of right answers to this one. I take it that, this is just a theoretical, kick it around question.

For the person who already has one rifle, the question is what to buy for back-up and perhaps other use.

If the question is: What should the person with no deer level rifles buy, that is different.

In my case, I would take my 338 for the elk, with my 06 for back-up. If the "wrong" animal came along first (assuming I could hunt either; maybe change ammo. When I went for deer only, I took my 444 Marlin with the 06 for back-up. Obviously, at limited woods ranges, either will work.

My selection would be determined by probable distance. My ammo selection would be a premium bullet for the elk.

If I were buying 2 rifles, I would either buy a 280 or an 06 for one as they have the widest bullet selections and similar ballistics. Depending on likely distance, the back up could be a "brush" caliber if less than 200 yards. If more is assumed, I would try to select something which, could take either animal but, might fill another role; that would depend on your other hunting. For an eastern hunter, the "brush" caliber such as a 444 Marlin, 45-70, 450 Marlin Magnum might be my choice. They would work well for bear too.

In my mind, you MUST have a back up. Who wants to be miles from anywhere on a long awaited hunt when a rifle is dropped or a scope gives up.

Last edited by Big Bullets; 11-02-2011 at 07:08 AM.
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