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Old 01-25-2012, 05:24 PM
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In your Opinion what is the best all around Rifle for hunting
I'm going to be in the market for buying a new rifle but not sure what caliber of rifle to get .
At the moment i got my 30-30 and my late uncles 1916 303 lee enfield British.
I'm looking for a fast straight shooting riffle that i can go from varment to deer to possibly an elk of caribou.
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:19 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Well when a fellow doesn't really know I suggest a 30-06...
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:42 PM
Typical Buck
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Having sold my 30-06 in favor of blackpowder rifles I will say that if I were to jump back into the centerfires a .270 would be high on my list.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:26 PM
Fork Horn
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What are you going to be hunting?
If you are just looking for a do it all caliber I would say 308 or 30-06. ( I like the 308) But if you would like something with a little more power I would say 300wsm or 300 win mag. Or my favorite a 300 wby,
But my favorite none mag is a 280 rem.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:49 PM
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Varmints through Elk! Thats a very wide range of use for one caliber! A .243 would be good for varmints up to deer. I'd say .270 at least for bigger animals. Sure, you could go with the 30-06, but even it is not ideal at either end of the spectrum!
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Old 01-25-2012, 08:39 PM
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.243, .270 or .30-06

Small, medium or large ?

I recommend starting with small....................
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:08 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2009
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In my opinion, you ask too much of one caliber to go from prairre dogs to elk! However, if for whatever reason you can only have one caliber, error on the larger ones. As the only rules you would be breaking by using a 7mag to shoot varmits would be of those of economy, you might be breaking ethical rules (maybe the law) by using a 243 on larger game.

Some readers to this post are trying to cover all their bases by trying to get one caliber to be all things just in case they "might" go on their dream hunt to Alaska or Colorado. If the vast majority of your shooting or hunting will be for varmits and eastern whitetail then get a 243. Otherwise I would recommend a second rifle!

Remember, keep to the code "a person can't have too many toys!"
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:31 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: WY
Posts: 2,056

Originally Posted by DROX
In my opinion, you ask too much of one caliber to go from prairre dogs to elk!
I respectfully disagree. Many of us have the resources and time to master just one rifle. We often ask a lot of it as a result.

I would suggest this is the market segment where the .30-06 reigns, with the .270, .280, and 7mm RM reasonable alternates.

I somehow managed for years with just one rifle, and the very caliber you denigrate here. A dozen or so deer, half-dozen pronghorns, countless prairie dogs, and three elk later, I added a .30-06 to the .243 that had served me well.

It's the rifleman, not the rifle.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:59 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,903

Personally, buying "one gun that can do it all" is a common mistake that a lot of new hunters make.

Unless you live in an area that has everything from prairie dogs to elephants, you don't really need one rifle to handle everything from prairie dogs to elephants.

Frankly, most hunters that don't live in areas that HAVE elk and caribou will never actually save up to go on a hunt for one, so it does them no good to own a rifle capable of taking elk or caribou. But there ARE guys (like myself) that live in areas with limited big game species, but save up to go on hunts in other states. For most people, this is a "once in a lifetime" opportunity, or at best, a couple trips in a lifetime.

If we're honest, a guided elk hunt costs about $3000-5000+, so if you NEED a different rifle at the time you get to go on your ONE elk trip, you can borrow or buy a different rifle for $500 and have the IDEAL rifle for elk, without owning and using the IDEAL ELK RIFLE on coyotes and whitetails.

"A master of all is a master of none" (meaning that a rifle that is "good for everything", likely isn't actually "ideal for anything"). Yes, a .30-06 can take anything in north america, but in reality, it's at the top end of the spectrum for deer rifles, and it is SEVERELY damaging on coyotes. If you're serious about coyote hunting, you really don't want a .30-06.

So, ultimately, if you live up north or out west where going on annual elk or caribou hunts along with your whitetail and coyote hunts will actually be common, then you need to plan for that. In that case, personally I would buy two rifles, say a .243win and a .300WSM or .338win. Just like I have a F-350 to haul stock trailers for the farm, but a VW Jetta to commute to town for work. It wouldn't make much sense to commute in the F-350, but that Jetta isn't going to pull a stock trailer either. If I had to pick one, obviously I'd have to keep the truck, but to make up some mileage, I could get an F-150 or 250, which wouldn't really be ideal for pulling a stock trailer full of 2000lb bulls, and wouldn't necessarily be good for commuting either, but "it CAN do both". Equally, I could get a .270, .30-06, or .308 that would be on the light end for big elk at long range (barely), and would be too heavy for coyotes. Personally, I prefer the two rifle plan.

On the other hand, if you live in say, the midwest, like myself, you really don't need a heavy rifle on a regular basis. Again, something in the .243-.270win range would be a great option for a coyote/deer rig. Then, on that year that you saved up enough to go on an elk hunt, you can buy a .300WSM, go knock down your elk, and either keep the rifle for prosperity, or sell it to regain some of your expense. If you're forking out $5000 to go on a guided hunt out of state, buying a $500 rifle that's ideal for the situation is a much better plan than 1) owning the ideal elk rifle and using it for 20yrs on nothing but whitetails, and 2) forcing your whitetail rifle to work on your once in a lifetime elk trip.

So again, ultimately, there are different cartridges available for a reason. Different cartridges are suited for certain applications better than others. Get a rifle that's ideal for the game you'll primarily be hunting, then evaluate how well it fits other applications.

Honestly, that's why everybody swears by the "5 gun list", that always reads something like "12ga, .22lr, .22-250, .30-06, .375H&H". With those 5, you really have a fairly "ideal" rifle for every application on the planet, even though the .30-06 or .375H&H would WORK for everything on the planet (obviously overkill for anything small).
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:09 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 194

Homers Brother,
I denigrate nothing as in the hands of a "skilled" marksman the 243 is deadly! Heck, for that matter native hunters in bush Alaska use the .17 Rem to hunt brown bear; less damage to the pelt. And to make your point, the 30-30 has accounted for thousands of elk and caribou, so Google7 would need no other rifle. However, I also believe you, like these native hunters, are more the exception than the rule!
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