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What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

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What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

Old 12-29-2003, 01:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NY
Posts: 4,668
Default What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

I am going to buy a rifle in the near future. As it looks right now I will be getting a Savage because I won't use it enough to justify spending MAJOR $$ on it........and I have heard nothing but good stories on Savage accuracy.

My question is what caliber should I get in a rifle that will most likely only be used for deer.........but I have a brother in law in New Mexico and one of these years we are gonna hook up for an Elk hunt and I don't want to have to buy another rifle when that day comes.

I live in a shotgun only zone but travel to PA and maybe soon I will head out to some rifle zones in NY also so again this gun will get about as much use if not less then my muzzleloader.

Of course my first thought was 30 '06.........but I am not very knowledgable on the WSM setups. They have a BEAUTIFUL 270 and 300 WSM at Gander Mountain but I don't know enough about them yet.

Do the WSM guns have a big recoil or any other disadvantage due to the extra power??

Any and all recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:40 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Gypsum KS USA
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Default RE: What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

I'd recommend the .30-06, as far as deer are concerned, the only difference you'll EVER notice in performance between the .30-06 and the .300WSM is recoil, the WSM is going to kick quite a bit more, but it won't give you any more practical performance, i.e. it's still only a 600yrd maximum deer rifle (in the best of shooters' hands). For elk, the .300WSM would get a SLIGHT advantage in the form of better performance with heavier bullets, as I mentioned, only a very slight advantage...since you'll only RARELY hunt elk with it, it's not worth planning that into your purchase, the .30-06 will do quite well-you'll never notice the difference only hunting them once or twice-the recoil isn't worth the once or twice use and barely improved performance IMHO.

Also, last I checked, the WSM cartridges were about 1.5-2x the price of .30-06 cartridges in the same loading, I don't know if this is still the case, but it's definately something to consider.
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:45 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: va USA
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Default RE: What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

30-06. For the hunter who has only 1 rifle it's hard to recommend anything else.
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Old 12-29-2003, 01:48 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NC
Posts: 1,282
Default RE: What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

If you would have said deer only i would say the 25.06 but of course you said maybe something bigger later on. Like already mentioned the 308 is a fine caliber as is the 270 but i've always said if i could only own one rifle it would be the trusty old 30.06. The 30.06 will do anything you ask of it and more if you do your part. The ammo is available just about anywhere. Your choice in rifle brand is also a good one as Savage makes a good rifle for the money and for the type of hunting you said you're going to be doing it sounds like a good match. Good luck!
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Old 12-29-2003, 02:20 PM
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Default RE: What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

I agree that the .30-06 is a do-it-all cartridge, at least in North America.

I use a Remington 700 ADL, which performs as well as I would want it to. I'm using a Leupold Rifleman 3-9x40 scope, which is pretty basic, but again it does what I want. And Leupold makes excellent optics, whether it's a $200 scope or a $400 one.
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Old 12-29-2003, 02:41 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 46
Default RE: What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

No matter what or where you hunt the KISS principle always is #1. Simple rifle and optics with readily available ammo. The proven platforms, Win model 70, Rem seven or 700, win 94, marlin 94, etc. will seldom let you down. The more obscure the optics the more difficult getting repairs in the field.

No matter where you hunt in North America you can always find 30.06, .308, .270 and 30.30, at small stores and even in camp. The odd calibers can be tough to find, i.e. .300 SA ultra mag, 25.06, 7mm-08, etc.

I can only find one store that carries .300 SA ultra mag in this metro area and they had 4 boxes, two options, that can be a problem.

Good luck
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Old 12-29-2003, 03:12 PM
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Old 12-29-2003, 03:51 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Rocky Mtn. Hse. Alberta
Posts: 823
Default RE: What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

Normally when a guy says he has decided on a make of gun and wants advice only on the cartridge, I try to stick to the topic and recommend a cartridge.

However here is a diffrent option. Get a Thompson/Center "Encore" single shot rifle in the "deer cartridge" of your choice (say .308 or .260 or 7mm/08). Then for a couple hundred $ you can get a diffrent barrel for it in an "elk cartridge" ( say .300 win. mag. or 7mm rem. mag. or 45/70), Then some day you might decide to take up long range chuck shooting so you can get a 22/250 barrel. You might get a shotgun barrel for it or the 209X50 muzzleloader barrel so you have a backup smoke pole or one for the wife or kid to use.

One rifle, lots of options.

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Old 12-29-2003, 04:13 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Crescent Valley, NV
Posts: 2,271
Default RE: What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

.30-06 should fit your needs nicely. Combined with a Savage 110 or 116, shouldn't need another gun for a while.
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Old 12-29-2003, 04:36 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 2,395
Default RE: What rifle will cover ALL my needs???

I would buy a 300-Winchester magnum if I were only going to buy one gun for all game. The 300-WSM does not out-preform the 300-winchester. The good old 300-win mag is also cheaper to shoot.
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