Please help a noob pick a deer and elk hunting caliber


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Hellbore
March 17, 2005, 02:48 PM
I want to get a rifle, something like a Savage model 110, for hunting deer and ELK. Especially elk.

What I don't know is what caliber to get!

I want a caliber that will work well for hunting deer and elk, obviously. I want to be able to take down an elk at up to 100 yards with a decent shot, and not worry about a wounded elk suffering for hours. I'm not a real long-range shooter but I need enough range for your average hunting situations. So, I don't want a caliber that is "iffy" for elk use... It's gotta be tried and true for elk.

I also want it to be a common caliber that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy.

I also want to be able to buy ammo anywhere, so again, something common.

Also, I want it to be a caliber that is not considered obsolete or becoming obsolete... I want to be able to buy ammo 10, 20, 40 years from now! So, I want a caliber that is PROBABLY going to stay around for a long time.

Any suggestions?

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birdv
March 17, 2005, 02:53 PM
.308
or
.30-06

12 Volt Man
March 17, 2005, 03:06 PM
.308, 30.06, .270, 7mm

gibb74
March 17, 2005, 03:11 PM
300 win mag best bang for your buck and will be around for ever

Hellbore
March 17, 2005, 03:15 PM
What is so great about 300 win mag?

jamz
March 17, 2005, 03:22 PM
A little birdie told me about 325 win short mag. Any info on that round?

(I'm also lookng for a deer/elk gun)


-James

Coltdriver
March 17, 2005, 03:25 PM
I would not be too far out on a limb to tell you that the 30 06 is generally recognized as the best general purpose North American game rifle.

There are as many opinions on this as there are calibers, but the 30 06 is all you'd ever need for deer or elk.

priv8ter
March 17, 2005, 03:26 PM
I also want it to be a common caliber that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy.

300 win mag best bang for your buck and will be around for ever

I'll agree with you on the longevity thing, but....300 Win Mag is not what I would call cheap.

And since he said 100 yards, there is ZERO reason to go with a Magnum round.

.308 will work, and I know many people use this round, but for some reason..I just don't like it.

Given your criteria, .270 or .30-06 would be my choice. Since to say 'especially elk'...then .30-06 would be the better choice than .270. .270 IS tried and true for elk, but to keep the cost down, I think you can get elk rounds cheaper for .30-06 than for .270.

greg

rbernie
March 17, 2005, 03:40 PM
Either 30-06 or 308 will do fine, will be available locally just about anywhere you go, and will be in general use for the rest of your lifetime. Of the two, I'd pick 308 if you really REALLY just have to practice with military surplus ammo and I'd pick 30-06 if you intend to shoot 180gr bullets or heavier.

airbornekyle1
March 17, 2005, 04:03 PM
7mm rem. mag.

Ash
March 17, 2005, 04:06 PM
30-06 or 7mm Rem Mag.

300 Win mag is too much for Deer.

Ash

mtnbkr
March 17, 2005, 04:08 PM
I'd go 30-06. Ammo is available everywhere. It has plenty of power. There are a variety of factory loads and lots of data for handloading. It's probably the safest choice.

Chris

k47k
March 17, 2005, 04:10 PM
308 or 3006

viper16
March 17, 2005, 04:42 PM
30-06, love my 308, but I have had problems finding ammo for it come season opener if I forget my ammo at home like I did the first year I started hunting again. :o

dakotasin
March 17, 2005, 04:48 PM
7 rem mag or 308.

i do think a 300 win mag is a better choice, and i believe a 338 win mag is a more betterer (tech term) yet choice... however, the 308 and 7 rem mag aren't as harsh in the recoil dep't, and a new shooter or less active shooter can shoot the 7 rem mag or 308 better than a 300 or 338...

WhiteKnight
March 17, 2005, 05:16 PM
.270 if it'll be mostly deer - this caliber will have less recoil, making both shooting and practicing more fun, as well as not battering your shoulder if you tend to find yourself pursuing Bambi frequently. However, its power level [while adequate] is not what I would consider to be ideal for elk (if you're shooting them on a regular basis I would look below)

30/06 if it'll be mostly elk - this caliber will push you around a little too much if you're mostly hunting deer, but will provide a much-appreciated lil' bit more "juice" when taking on the big boys (elk) regularly

Redneck Revolver
March 17, 2005, 05:28 PM
.308, 30-06, 7mm remmington, or 7.62x54R. i know noone has mentioned the 54R yet but i think its a great all-purpose round. cheap, easy to find, same goes for things that fire it. i got my 91/30 for $80 and it was 95% outta the box. reliable and accurate (mine is anyways) i coudlnt ask for a better rifle.

sixguns
March 17, 2005, 05:33 PM
30-06

airbornekyle1
March 17, 2005, 05:54 PM
7mm rem. mag. its extremely easy to find, and has enough power to kill any north american game. or try using a bow.

rockstar.esq
March 17, 2005, 06:05 PM
.308 since you can get almost all the performance potential of a hot loaded
30 - 06 with a cartridge that is;
A: One of the most popular long range target cartridges.
B: Availible as military surplus ammo (*cheap*)
C: Chambered in shorter rifle actions than the 30 - 06 (shorter = stiffer = more accurate)
D: You can get .308 from any place that sells rifle ammo.

All that said, the 30-06 has a greater range of loadings. Not that I'd recommend it, there are light little bullets for varminting on up to bigger, heavier bullets for large game. Also, you'll likely find that you can find a whole lot of used rifles in 30 - 06 not so much in the other calibers. On a related note I think you're on the right track with the Savage 110, I've seen that rifle picked on for aesthetics, but damned if I have ever seen one that wouldn't shoot with the best of them.

Lonestar.45
March 17, 2005, 06:38 PM
Deer, but mostly elk? I'd say .300 Win Mag. Maybe 30-06, just because it'll be a little easier on your shoulder at the range, but the .300 Win Mag is elk medicine, if you can handle the recoil and shoot good with it. If I were buying a dedicated elk rifle, with just a little deer hunting thrown in (and you're probably talking mule deer rather than whitetail, eh? it's definitely not too much for mule deer), I'd say .300 Win Mag.

cracked butt
March 17, 2005, 07:37 PM
thirty ought six. If something is big enough that it can't be handled with one of these, you'd need to step up to a big bore.

LeonCarr
March 17, 2005, 07:41 PM
.30-06

Lennyjoe
March 17, 2005, 07:45 PM
30-06 was my choice.

165gr bullets for deer and 180gr for Elk.

Bottom Gun
March 18, 2005, 09:04 AM
I'm going to throw in with the .30-06 guys.
Many moons ago, when my '06 was the only rifle I had, I used it for everything from varmints to elk.
I used 110 & 125 gr bullets for woodchucks, 130, 150 and 165 gr for deer and 180 & 200 gr Nosler partitions for elk.
It has just a touch more power than a .308 and will handle a slightly heavier bullet (Up to 220 gr).
If you have access to a reloading press or have a friend who reloads, you can tailor your loads to suit any situation whether you want full power hunting loads or reduced power/recoil plinking loads.
If you can't reload, the .30-06 still has the largest selection of factory ammo available for any cartridge. That's the most important feature as far as I'm concerned.
I now shoot larger and smaller calibers but the .30-06 is still the most versatile caliber I use.

There is no need to use a belted cartridge such as the 7MM or .300 Mags for the hunting you describe. Belted cartridges are very costly and, if you reload, the life of the brass is short. Nowadays I use a .338 Win Mag for elk and it's a wonderful cartridge but if I didn't handload a box of .338 factory ammo would cost me almost twice as much as a box of 30-06.

.30-06 would be my first choice and .308 would be my second.

My two cents.

foghornl
March 18, 2005, 09:14 AM
.270 or .308 or .30-06

any of those 3 will do what you want and meet your guidelines of buy anywhere reasonable cost ammo.

I have seen PMP brand of soft-point ammo in all 3 calibres at my local Dunham's Sporting Goods for $9/20

swifter
March 18, 2005, 12:16 PM
Once you get past the .30 myths, .338 is the next logical step.
That's my choice. :D Tolerable recoil, plenty of power at the 1/4 mile and past. Hell, I use mine as my primary antelope rifle :p And no, it doesn't destroy a lot of meat if you place your shots well! :D

Tom

robspmc
March 18, 2005, 12:55 PM
I think Steelharp has what your looking for. He's a top notch guy to do business with. I don't think you'll find a better deal for a LNIB. Now the only question is "Is a .308 what your looking for?"

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=128141

Rob

Hellbore
March 18, 2005, 01:56 PM
How is that such a good deal? I don't understand. Is the model 10 that much better than the model 110? What is the difference?

See this Savage you mention is used, $450 with a scope and a composite stock, and it's a bolt-action and has Accutrigger. Wal-mart has a Savage model 110 bolt-action 30-06 that comes with a sight also, and also has a composite stock, and has accutrigger, and it is $350.

The 2 guns seem the same. What about the used one makes it worth paying $100 more than buying a new one?

Similarly, a local pawn shop has a used Savage model 110 30-06 with a scope that has a big dent in it, for $350. Worst deal ever, why would I pay new prices for a beat up gun?

The local pawn shops around here have the worst gun prices. It makes me so mad! What is wrong with pawn shops anyway? The ones I see consistently have crappy high prices on everything.

ID_shooting
March 18, 2005, 02:24 PM
After bouncing around with the mags, I went back to the old reliable 30-06. Available in any action style, even some that the others aren't available in, will never go out of style, easy to shoot even for smaller people, plenty of cheep ammo for practice and hunting ammo availalbe anywhere and every where. Forget your ammo at home, stop at any gas station in the woods and 9 out of 10 times there will be a box of 30-06 on the shelf. Capable of killing everything from a squirrel to a moose or bear. The only round more common may be a 30-30 but they are a bit light for the bigger critters. 7mm too much money in ammo, 300 wm too much recoil, 338 wm even more expensive to shoot than 7mm, 308 is good but not as common for ammo in smaller stores same goes for 270.

Gunnutz13
March 18, 2005, 03:13 PM
my 1st choice...7mm Rem Mag...or the trusty 30.06 :evil:

brian roberts
March 18, 2005, 03:39 PM
270 Winchester...150grnr whether you're a handloader or not(you don't say) w/a premium bullet(nosler, swift A-frame)
30-'06 165, 180, 200grnrs...same, premium bullets. i don't care too much for the 308s, they tend to run out of steam when you get to 180s & up.
the .338....good luck!!!! (make sure your health insurance is paid up) seriously, i'm not a wuss, (over 6' 2", & no flyweight), but i don't WANT to shoot a .338!! i had to get a wuss-pad when i developed a load for one. between issues w/scopes, brass, primers, & powder, i fired about 340-350rds through one when i was developing a load for it(250 Nosler). its been about 2yrs now, i can still "remember" it, the shoulder still feels a bit "different" somehow(but the client was pleased, he said he could put 3-4 covered by a quarter, before the recoil got to him). the 270, or the '06, loaded properly will do the job, & you won't get so flinchy by shooting them enough times to get used to putting the bullets where they need to be. at the end of the day, proper bullets, properly placed, not cartridge names, are what kills the best. if you got something that makes you wary of shooting it, well, that is sometimes the cause of lost game. if you shoot an elk, & he isn't hit right, you may find him 15 miles away, if you find him. shoot him with something you can handle, you should find him within, say 50-75yds. you don't say how much experience you have, but if its not a lot, i'd buy 5 or 6 boxes of ammo with the proper "cheap" bullet & shoot it over 4-5 weeks to get used to putting it where it belongs, then, buy 2-3 boxes with the controlled-expansion type, sight it in for that ammo, check your drop out to 200-250(y'never know, y'might get buck-fever & not hit it exactly right the first time) then go out to get one. HTH, & good luck!! :cool:

Bigfoot
March 18, 2005, 10:07 PM
30-06 in a Savage 110, it's a component rifle. Say later on you wanted to go varmint hunting or you decided that you wanted less recoil on those deer hunts. Just for example, http://www.savageshooters.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1844 the 110 can also shoot short action cartridge like 22/250, .243 etc. If you can do a brake job or install a starter then you can swap that barrel in 15 min. This, and because they are inexpensive and accurate is why I bought a Savage. Plus no matter the hunt the gun is familiar, same stock, scope, trigger.

Richard.Howe
March 18, 2005, 10:33 PM
It will be hard to ignore all the mumbo-jumbo regarding WSMs, WSSMs, and other magnum configuration garbage and go with an un-sexy round like the 30-06.

The reason it's so mundane is that it is very common.

And the reason it's so common is that it has been so successful.

True, you won't get to brag that your gun pushes a 250gr bullet faster than the speed of light...at the end of the day, it's all about what you're really after...

30-06 is the right answer, especially for a self-proclaimed "noob."

Take care,
Rich

Smoke
March 18, 2005, 11:59 PM
300 Win mag is too much for Deer.

Thats the funniest thing I've read in months.

Smoke

John Deere
March 19, 2005, 05:37 AM
"Ain`t too many things a man can`t fix, with seven hundred dollars, and a 30-06."
Am I the only Cooper fan ???

redneck2
March 19, 2005, 07:25 AM
but for your situation, I'd go 30-06. For years, the world record elk was held with a .30-30. I suspect the elk are not all that much tougher than they were 80 years ago ;)

As stated above, you can go into any gas station, hardware store, etc that has ammo and get 30-06

The new whiz-bang calibers are made for guys that

(a) need to have something new

(b) need to have something different

(c) need an excuse to buy a new gun

while these are all extremely worthwhile reasons, at the end of the day anything throwing a 180 grain bullet at 2,700 fps will kill most anything you'll ever run into

FWIW...I'd go as moderate as possible on the gun and buy a good scope. If you get a cheapie scope, they'll fog up...trust me on this. I'd buy a $200 Savage and put a $400 Leupold on it long before getting a Weatherby and using a Tasco, etc. If it doesn't say "fogproof/waterproof", it isn't.

If you've not decided on brand of scope, look at Burris, Weaver, or Bushnell. They are moderate cost and waterproof. Be sure to get Butler Creek flip caps.

I helped my friend get an unfired Remington 7400 semi-auto in 30-06 with a Nikon scope/rings for $400. That's the program.

Few things worse than hunting all day in the snow-rain, having a shot at the trophy of a lifetime and having the scope out of commission. Been there, done that...

rick_reno
March 19, 2005, 09:29 AM
I've read somewhere that the average elk hunter hunts 5 years before bagging an elk. They can be elusive. Assuming this statistic is true, you don't need a rifle for 5 years. If you must carry something, put a rock in your pocket or find a 4-5 ft. stick. :)
If you insist on lugging a rifle around for those 5 elk-less years, get a 30-06.

CB900F
March 19, 2005, 09:55 PM
Hellbore;

I've lived in the northern rocky mts. most of my life. I've been hunting elk & deer most of my life. .30-06. Shot placement trumps caliber anytime.

Practice lots. If you need to, invest in a good recoil pad, but continue to shoot. If it's gonna be one gun, get a good one & use the hell outta it.

900F

litman252
March 20, 2005, 09:24 AM
Personally I'd go the same route, for a diffrent reason. If you'r trying to be a better rifleman go with a 308, get some decent surplus and many afternoons shooting at the range. If your strickly a hunter, like my Dad, go 30-06.
Reason- I have a mauser in 308 that I'm using to practice the basics. It has open sights and I can shoot 20 rounds in this heavy gun w/o any pain at all. If your just going to hunt with it after you get used to the gun you won't notice the diffrence in recoil or cost of ammo in the 30-06.

You will win with both callibers.
Tony

H&Hhunter
March 20, 2005, 12:04 PM
For the criteria mentioned .30-06, .308 Stay all the way away from a 7MM which ain't nothing more than a belted, necked down expensive 06 when you really look at it from a performance stand point.

Drill Sergeant
March 20, 2005, 08:37 PM
Re-read what Bottom Gun had to say.

I believe that he's right on! :)

Bottom Gun
March 20, 2005, 08:49 PM
Aw shucks, Drill Sergeant, y'all sho do talk purty. (Blush) (Blush) :o

addecus
March 21, 2005, 02:39 AM
7mm rem mag will let you get out a little further if you need to.

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