Go Back  HuntingNet.com Forums > Firearms Forum > Guns
Favorite Big Game Rifle and Why? >

Favorite Big Game Rifle and Why?

Guns Like firearms themselves, there's a wide variety of opinions on what's the best gun.

Favorite Big Game Rifle and Why?

Old 09-16-2018, 04:39 PM
Giant Nontypical
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8,126

CZ Model 550 American in 9.3x62 Mauser. Hits hard, shoots accurately, moderate recoil and I can use it for anything I can see myself hunting from here on out.
flags is offline  
Old 09-16-2018, 05:17 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: fla
Posts: 954

CZ Model 550 American in 9.3x62 Mauser.
is exactly what one of my hunting friends selected to use after his son,
appropriated his 35 whelen , 1917 endfield bolt action, he had used for decades
hardcastonly is offline  
Old 10-10-2018, 08:39 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Marriottsville, Maryland
Posts: 1,058

My SAKO Model 75, chambered in 30-06, with a synthetic stock...because it can stand up to the elements and is accurate. Though the detachable magazine clip ejector lever is a bit too easy to trip --- so much that when I go hunting...I duct tape the bottom of the metal magazine to the stock. That's the major reason why the SAKO Model 85 was developed.

Last edited by Erno86; 10-10-2018 at 08:51 AM. Reason: added a few words
Erno86 is offline  
Old 11-12-2018, 12:48 PM
Boone & Crockett
bronko22000's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 11,900

My favorite is definitely my Marlin Guide Gun .45-70. It has done everything I've asked of it, is a joy to carry, hits like a truck and is plenty accurate enough for 95% of my rifle hunting.
If I know I may be shooting longer distances (over 150 yards) then my Tikka 30-06 will get the call every time.
bronko22000 is offline  
Old 11-13-2018, 11:30 AM
Typical Buck
buffybr's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SW Montana
Posts: 550

For over 20 years my favorite hunting rifle was my .30 Gibbs. It started out as a .30-06, and was my first centerfire rifle. I bought it from Herter's in 1967 as a barreled action and semi-inleted stock. After I moved to Montana about 10 years later, my hunting partner showed me a .30 Gibbs case, and I thought it was soo cool, I had my .30-06 re-chambered to .30 Gibbs. That cartridge shot 180 grain bullets out at 2990 fps. which was on par with the .300 Winchester. For over 20 years that rifle kept my freezers full of elk and moose meat and my taxidermists busy.

I had my .30 Gibbs mainly for elk, so about that same time I built a .257 Ackley Improved for deer and antelope. I built this rifle from a Mauser Mark X barreled action and a Fajen semi-inleted Fancy Walnut stock. For almost 40 years, this has been my favorite rifle for deer and antelope, and I also have used it for all of my bighorn and Dall sheep, a Mountain caribou, and one of my best 6x6 bull elk.

About 10 years ago I fulfilled a long dream of having a .300 Weatherby. I bought a blued Vanguard and replaced the factory wood with AA Fancy walnut that I pillar and glass bedded, checkered, had a KDF muzzle brake installed, put a recoil reducer in the stock and gave it a Timney trigger. It now wears a Leupold VX 3i 4.5-14x40 CDS scope. It shoots a variety of 168 and 180 grain bullets MOA at over 3200 fps. It's felt recoil is less than that of my .308 Win in a similar dimensioned Vanguard. After using it with great success on hunts in Montana, Texas, South Africa, Mozambique, New Zealand, and Azerbaijan, it quickly became my most favorite rifle.
buffybr is offline  
Old 11-13-2018, 11:41 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: fla
Posts: 954

have you ever built a custom rifle , made to exactly your dream specs only to find its not exactly what you thought it might be?
if you've got a good job where you can afford to blow some cash on toys ...
and your into heavy caliber rifles...
well I had a dream of building the ultimate elk hammering rifle back several years ago..,
so I decided to build exactly what I wanted...at that time
This was a custom combo, I put together ,

I ordered a spare fibermark weatherby synthetic stock for my 340 wby rifle and a 378 wby barreled action,
(because you could not order the weatherby 378 with that stock, ....BECAUSE WEATHERBY KNEW it makes the rifle too light and recoil level, even more noticeable)
and after doing some rather extensive glass bedding, modifications, partly because of the additional recoil lug on the rear inch or so of the barrel of 378wby barreled action,
and ideally strengthening the stock work with two large pillar bed inserts and drilling the stock wrist area from the butt too the rear of the action ,
so I could insert custom bent section of 5/8" steel thread rod coated with a great deal of epoxy bedding compound too both add a bit of weight and rigidity to the stock, and then using my milling machine to groove the inner forearm , and adding two 1/4" steel thread rod sections and epoxy bedding compound, to the forearm area with a good deal more bedding compound behind the forward barrel mount, recoil lug to the bedding in the stocks forward in-letting and modifying it to fit the extra recoil lug the 378 wby action has, plus two cross bolts epoxied into the stock , one on both ends of the action bedding ,and adding a 2.5x Leopold fixed power magnification scope, and a thick recoil pad I had one really powerful rifle that weighted about 9.75 lbs .
I own several wby markV rifles and every one of them shot a bit better groups once I re-bedded then with the receivers & barrels supported for about 3" forward of the receiver, where the additional recoil lug is below the barrel,and the barrels free floated a bit off the stock forearm at least enough off the forearm to slide a dollar bill up to with-in 3" of the receiver
the rifles a bit heavy, at about 10 lbs plus with the scope,
but you really appreciate the weight as any lighter would just make the recoil even more noticeable.
I've easily got about $1900 in this rifle, (in 1990 dollars) before the scope or scope mounts, bi-pod or sling were added. but thats a screaming bargain compared to the $3000 weatherby wanted for a similar custom synthetic stocked, and bedded, 378 wby when I inquired at that time.

Now its both extremely accurate ( 1"-1.2" 3 shot groups off the bench at 100 yards are common) and...yes it kicks like a mule,...felt recoil exceeds my 458 mag,but if you know how to use a rifle sling properly and have a past recoil shield sewn into your vest its not objectionable (at least to me) most of my friends think other wise.
Even if the recoil is noticeable, its also a very effective rifle,on game, its hammered every deer (5 so far) and elk (2 so far) and yes if you absolutely want to knock an elk or any other large game silly this tends to get their attention!
While there.s absolutely no need for this level of power too be used on ELK or MOOSE,
... if your into powerful long range rifles its both impressive and very effective.
its one of those times where you get almost too much of a good thing, it absolutely hammers elk with hornady 300 grain boat tail bullets, loaded to 2900fps !!
yes it shoots really flat, and it punches thru the 1/4" steel gong at 500 yards at one local range so I can,t shoot at that gong any longer.
But the facts are that in skilled hands , and used within a reasonable range, any caliber from about a 270 Winchester-up thru a 338 win mag is going to prove to be very effective, on any elk If you can precisely place your shots, and know your games anatomy.
but if your willing to accept the harder recoil levels a 378 wby has, and use top quality bullets and practice a good deal with the rifle,you can just about ignore problems involving lack of penetration, or excessive drop, at anything approaching reasonable ranges, that may be an issue with lesser calibers, now you still need to precisely place your shots,and know your rifles trajectory, but busting thru an ELKs shoulder is hardly going to slow a 378 WBYs 300 grain bullet. enough to destroy the projectiles effectiveness..
Its also not a rifle your going to shoot from the prone position without getting the recoil levels far up past the comfort levels, most people easily tolerate or point you'll want to do that any more than you find absolutely necessary.
firing from a sitting or standing position's not too bad with a sling, being properly used , but you'll darn sure know when its gone off!
I doubt you'll fire more than 10-12 shots before your shoulder starts to bruise,and your common sense tells you to stop shooting!
but when your hunting its a non-issue because you'll seldom fire more than once or twice.
its also the reason you'll occasionally see barely used 378 wby,416 wby and 460 wby rifles for sale at decent prices that have been rarely used.

after building and using my 378 wby for a couple decades I have developed a great deal of respect for its potential, as its exceptionally accurate and shoots very flat, but I'm forced to point out that from the results I've personally seen, the 340 wby, 375 H&H and 378 wby are all excellent weapons and all three will drop an elk almost instantly with good shot placement, so the 250 grain 338 and 270 grain 375 projectiles from these rifles all do remarkably well, and there's not much gained in subjecting yourself to the recoil of the larger 378 wby, ... well other than a good camp fire conversation starter at times.
hardcastonly is offline  
Old 11-13-2018, 12:08 PM
Boone & Crockett
bronko22000's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 11,900

Wow Hardcast...to each his own I guess. But both myself and my friend have dropped both elk and moose where they stood with our measly 30-06s and 180 gr Barnes bullets. And while I could possibly see someone using a 338 WM on either of these critters and the bigger bears I quite honestly don't see the need for anything larger for north american game. But like I said, to each his own and if it trips your trigger more power to you. Heck I use a .45-70 for deer which is a lot more than necessary.
bronko22000 is offline  
Old 11-13-2018, 12:41 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: fla
Posts: 954

Your 100% correct, no one needs a 378 wby to hunt elk,
theres absolutely no need for anything larger than a 35 whelen or a 338 win mag
, Ive seen both used extensively, and effectively for decades, as I have seen other people use and have used my 340 and 300 wby.....
.and Ive used a marlin 45/70,and 35 whelen and 375 H&H.
my hunting partner for decades used nothing but a 358 win BLR,
thats not really debatable , As theres far too many guys using a 270 win or 308 win to kill deer and elk very convincingly.
that does nothing at all for the fact that a few of us,(some guys might say rifle looneys) are big bore rifle enthusiasts
Ive also hunted with a 375 H&H on many hunts, the head stamp has little to do with how effective a rifle is ,
provided its producing enough power to punch through to games vitals , from all reasonable angles and ranges.
but theres something about a big bore rifle that intrigues ,and seems to call out too, some of us.
Ive yet to see anything drop elk faster than a 340 wby, but that has certainly not limited my choices in rifles or calibers that Ive tried over the decades either.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 11-13-2018 at 01:10 PM.
hardcastonly is offline  
Old 11-13-2018, 01:40 PM
Super Moderator
Bocajnala's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
Posts: 8,108

Plus if an elephant ever charges you, you're prepared.

Bocajnala is offline  
Old 11-13-2018, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 2

My favorite is a sako 85 in 338 fed. I've shot deer and caribou with it and it's Always has done the job. With 160 barnes the velocity out of my rifle is 2875 or there abouts, It sits in a mcmillian stock that is a dupicate of the original 85 stock. I even got a deal on the stock as it was for a wsm that the guy had canceled on. But that is what they made bedding compound for. I hits hard and they never go far.
rjhans1953 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.