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If I had only one rifle

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If I had only one rifle

Old 02-27-2019, 07:26 AM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default If I had only one rifle

If I had only one rifle to hunt big game life would be both more simple and more difficult. Having different tools for different jobs makes sense but what would I choose if I was forced to change my ways.

If the choice was for one rifle to hunt the world I would choose a Winchester M 70 chambered in 375 H&H without hesitation. It would not be perfect for many things but it would do the job for everything.

If the choice was for one rifle to hunt North America it would be much more difficult for me. Probably it would be a Remington M 700 chambered in 30-06, but a 300 WM might be better. Of course a 338 WM would work well in this role also. I would lose sleep making this decision.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:37 AM
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The rifle I grab first on most hunts is a stainless synthetic stock weatherby mark V
that looks rather similar to this in 340 wby caliber, I would be just as well armed and happy if it was chambered in 375 weatherby or 375 H&H



you may not agree but in close to 45 years everything Ive used a 340 wby or 375 H&H on, has rapidly dropped after a single hit to the vitals,
I'd gladly point out only one time was it used at over 500 yards and the vast majority of its use was at well under 200 yards
in almost all cases , the games response too being hit was, to either fall, or stagger around a bit then fall, within a very short distance of where it was hit.
that builds confidence in your choice of rifle & cartridge

Last edited by hardcastonly; 02-27-2019 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:40 PM
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I would go with an expensively priced 416 Rigby Magnum bolt rifle.

My safe queen 338 Win Mag might be a second choice --- But my Sako Model 75 in 30-06 is always my standby.
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:15 PM
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I used my .375 RUM on two trips to Africa for a variety of animals, and I had to use it on my Buffalo. But it would not be my choice of only one rifle.

Its nice to be able to choose a different rifle for different situations, but if I could only choose one rifle for everything, it would have to be my .300 Weatherby.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:41 PM
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I tend to assume if a guy only cares enough about hunting to only own ONE rifle, then he doesn’t need a rifle capable of the largest, most exotic game. More likely, the guy is the average Joe deer hunter, and will be properly served by a 243win/7-08/6.5 Creed class rifle.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:52 PM
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Nomercy, that's true. Generally these conversations are just for giggles. Most people that can afford to hunt big game, especially really big game, can afford to buy what they need.

I have known a few guys or talked to a few guys that have 'done it all' with one though.

Including a woman from Central PA. She took elk, sheep, moose, black bear, grizzlies, and lots of deer all with the same rifle.

Unfortunately I can't remember now what she used. It was either a .270 or a .30-06 though.

Last I spoke with her she was in her late 70s and still shooting a buck and a doe each season off the back of her chicken coop.

She also shot a pile of squirrel each year. 100+ every fall.

I could likely hunt my entire life with my .30-06 and never need anything else. It would certainly save me allot of money to do it that way. Unfortunately I have a curiosity about rifles and different cartridges. It keeps it interesting.
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Old 02-28-2019, 04:37 AM
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In the US(and I only hunt in the US) I prefer a bolt action 30-06. I have several Mouser actions in various calibers but the preferred is a Mark X 30-06 with a Leupold 3X9 scope. I do not hunt grizzly or brown bears and I think the 30-06 will safely dispatch any other big game in the US.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:31 AM
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it differently would be a 450 bushmaster. either in the ruger american rifle or a traditions single shot
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by t.shaffer View Post
it differently would be a 450 bushmaster. either in the ruger american rifle or a traditions single shot

That's one thing I didn't consider. Ohio regs would require a straight walled rifle.

I suppose if I had to go down to one rifle only, it wouldn't be a straight wall. And I'd spend my Ohio hunting time in West Virginia lol

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Old 02-28-2019, 10:28 AM
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having TOTAL confidence in the rifle and cartridge you use is a HUGE factor in making you both enjoy and not worry about your potential success.
I have guys bring up questions , concerning the suitability , range limitations and other factors,that many guys bring up concerning the rifles they select to hunt with,
its been my experience that most of the guys who might stay up nights worrying about their rifle or cartridges potential ability to kill at extended ranges ,
or might worry about the rifle they use, suitability, lack of rapid repeat fire potential, range limitations, or potential lack of lethality,
well, many of the same guys both lack extensive field experience and hands on practice, once you've made a few dozen hunts,
and got in some actual experience,,the concerns over your personal choice in equipment selected seems to fade, or changes get made.
my late hunting partner came to love and depend on a browning BLR in caliber 358 win, for both ELK and mule deer,on several occasions we had new guys in the club ,
ask him if he felt he was at a distinct disadvantage, after all if he sighted the rifle in using the load he came to depend on (44 grains of imr 4064 under a 250 speer bullet)
it was, 3.5" high at 100 yards, dead on at 200 yards and about 10 inches low at 300 yards (certainly a 270 win or 30/06 Springfield, shoots flatter,)
at first that question bothered him a bit, but after hunting for 30 plus years he would just smile,
and point out that he had never once even seen any elk out past about 250 yards, thus the concern over flat trajectory was a non-issue in his experience.
and the lethality of that BLR in his hands was well documented.
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