.30-06 vs .308 vs 300 WIN MAG for beginner


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JakeG27
November 26, 2007, 01:27 PM
I am buying my first rifle. I live in PA. I want one that I can practice long distance shooting with(300-750yrds.) as well as hunt large game with. Anyone have any suggestions on brands and which caliber I should go with. I am planning on putting a lot of round through the rifle. Any help will be deeply appreciated since I am new to rifles. Thanks!

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TheLaxPlayer
November 26, 2007, 01:35 PM
.30-06 and .308 will be nearly identical for your purposes, and .30-06 ammo is cheaper lately.

300 Win Mag is a barrel burner with expensive ammo. If you're moose hunting it maybe be better than the other two, but for target shooting and most game I think the .30-06 is your best bet.

rcmodel
November 26, 2007, 01:39 PM
Ya got two threads going with the same question there Jake!

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=319101

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/1224.gif
rcmodel

homers
November 26, 2007, 02:16 PM
243, and reload if you plan on putting a lot of rounds out.

JakeG27
November 26, 2007, 03:08 PM
whats reload mean? hmm im not familiar with 243 either...can u give anymore on that?

UnTainted
November 26, 2007, 03:21 PM
243 is sweet. shoots flatter (less drop), recoils less and has dropped deer for me just as quick as my 30-06.

still, though: i recomend a 8 pound or more 30-06 rifle to start. It'll do everything you want it to, with rounds costing less than $1 for some boxes.

Fast Frank
November 26, 2007, 03:35 PM
Jake, I'm getting the feeling that you don't have a lot of shooting experience.

Normally, at this point, I would recommend that you get some.

Getting shooting experience requires firing lots and lots of bullets at targets under varied conditions and at varied ranges.

For this, the rifles you are discussing are a very poor choice.

Shooting lots and lots of .30-06 is going to be expensive and punishing.

I recommend a good .22 rifle.

Yes, I know that you want to be "The Man" and shoot little bitty groups at super long range with a big gun.

The best way to get there is to shoot lots and lots of bullets and a .22 is cheap and easy.

Everything you need to know will be learned more easily with a .22, at a fraction of the price.

"But I don't care how much it costs!" you say.

Bull pucky! when $50 worth of ammo is a 30 minute session with the '06 or a whole weekend of shooting with the .22, you will care.

Sure, buy a big rifle. Keep it and mod it and shoot it.

But for learning how to shoot really good, get a .22.

Volvit
November 26, 2007, 03:41 PM
not only does the .243 shoot flat, but it is real versitale(sp?) You can hunt deer with 100gr and also hunt smaller varmint style game with 55gr. All through the same weapon! It seems as though you are getting into hunting. And if you catch the bug (which no doubt you will), you can lenghten your hunting seasons with out buying another rifle. I have a .243 and I couldn't be happier

JakeG27
November 26, 2007, 03:53 PM
I have 3 shotguns and a pistol just new to rifles. My brother owns a .22 and I have shot it, just kinda bored with it. But thanks a lot for the advice. Do you have any particular suggestion with the .243, as to the specific type of rifle.

MCgunner
November 26, 2007, 05:33 PM
In Pa, a light short action rifle in .308, maybe even a Browning BLR lever gun. :D The quicker to the shoulder the better in woods. Of course, .30-30 would work fine and talk about your cheap ammo....:D

Heavy Metal Hero
November 26, 2007, 05:38 PM
Do not listen to all the hunters recommending a .243. That is a ridiculous caliber to start on.

Get yourself a bolt action .22lr, learn to shoot it and then upgrade.

If you really do have shooting experience, then a .30-06/.308 will kill any animal on this continent.

Outlaws
November 26, 2007, 05:51 PM
Do you have any particular suggestion with the .243, as to the specific type of rifle.

Don't buy a 243. Its a great round, but its not really a "first rifle" round unless you already know what you are getting. That should be a 22LR, 223, 308, or even a 30-06.

JakeG27
November 26, 2007, 06:07 PM
I am really leaning toward a savage .308 thanks a lot for all the help and tips

Uncle Chan
November 26, 2007, 06:35 PM
Jake, I've a Savage 30-06 and I'm very happy with it. Ballistically it is comparable to the 308 and is much cheaper. I reload my own, but purchasing off the shelf, still much cheaper. Go with the 30-06. You won't go wrong.

astocks2622
November 26, 2007, 07:00 PM
you night consider a .270 win. I have an older winchester model 70 in 270, and can easily take deer out to 300 yds. it shoots flatter than the 308 or 30-06, but is about the same price for ammo. just food for thought

MCgunner
November 26, 2007, 08:46 PM
Fail to see why the .243 is "ridiculous". Lots of Texas kids killed their first with it and it's wildly popular here for deer from 3 feet to 300 yards. I know one guy that kills New Mexico mulies with his. Very light on the shoulder, good range, reasonably flat trajectory, and very accurate. Great for the recoil shy. I think it's a better first deer caliber than .30-30, frankly. It has as much umph at the muzzle, flatter trajectory , and depending on the rifle, easier on the shoulder. I don't own one and don't need one, but I wouldn't call it "ridiculous" for a beginner. The .30-06 would be ridiculous for the recoil shy beginner.

Shawnee
November 26, 2007, 09:19 PM
Another vote here for the .243. It will do all you need it to just fine.

Would also strongly recommend that you don't buy any caliber you haven't shot 10 shots with. That way you'll know which calibers you like or don't like.

;)

Heavy Metal Hero
November 26, 2007, 11:40 PM
Fail to see why the .243 is "ridiculous". Lots of Texas kids killed their first with it and it's wildly popular here for deer from 3 feet to 300 yards. I know one guy that kills New Mexico mulies with his. Very light on the shoulder, good range, reasonably flat trajectory, and very accurate. Great for the recoil shy. I think it's a better first deer caliber than .30-30, frankly. It has as much umph at the muzzle, flatter trajectory , and depending on the rifle, easier on the shoulder. I don't own one and don't need one, but I wouldn't call it "ridiculous" for a beginner. The .30-06 would be ridiculous for the recoil shy beginner.

Notice I didn't recommend .30-06 for him as a beginner.

I just think it is too pricey to "learn how to shoot."

Let's face it, .243 is a VERY popular deer hunting round. I have nothing against the round itself. I am suggesting getting something more mainstream as a first hunting/range rifle (providing he has some shooting experience).

Outlaws
November 26, 2007, 11:51 PM
Fail to see why the .243 is "ridiculous". Lots of Texas kids killed their first with it and it's wildly popular here for deer from 3 feet to 300 yards. I know one guy that kills New Mexico mulies with his. Very light on the shoulder, good range, reasonably flat trajectory, and very accurate. Great for the recoil shy. I think it's a better first deer caliber than .30-30, frankly. It has as much umph at the muzzle, flatter trajectory , and depending on the rifle, easier on the shoulder. I don't own one and don't need one, but I wouldn't call it "ridiculous" for a beginner. The .30-06 would be ridiculous for the recoil shy beginner.

Allow me to quote the OP also...

I am buying my first rifle....I want one that I can practice long distance shooting with(300-750yrds.)....I am planning on putting a lot of round through the rifle.

There is a difference between deer hunting and putting a lot of rounds through a rifle. This is the OPs first rifle, and unless he ends up with a quality stainless steel bull barrel, the 243 is a terrible round for what is being stated. Terrible. The 243 is an overbore cartridge. There are things that come with that which seem to always get ignored....like the barrel being extremely hot after only a few shots. Not something a deer hunter would ever shy from, but someone who wants to go to the range and actually shoot will have some issues with. Any round and barrel will heat up, but the 243 heats up quick.

How about the long range part? Unless the OP is set up to handload, the 308 has much better ammunition selection. 600 yards is best done with decent ammo, not the latest and greatest soft point deer load.

Also, he said he has 3 shotguns and is bored of 22's, so I don't think recoil is automatically the same problem as someone who has never shot before.

Reyn
November 26, 2007, 11:53 PM
Another good one is 7mm-08.

Wolfgang2000
November 26, 2007, 11:55 PM
I agree with Fast Frank. Start with a 22, learn your marksmanship skills, then move up to the bigger calibers.

itgoesboom
November 27, 2007, 12:01 AM
A lot of fun can be had with a .22lr, and if your goal is to learn to shoot long range, than learning to judge wind and hold over with a .22lr is a good skill to have.

Plus, it's a lot cheaper, and it's easier to build good habits right off the bat when you aren't battling recoil.

Of your choices, I would pick .308 or .30-06, really depending on what my intentions were. But I would highly recommend that you start with a .22lr.

Commander Guineapig
November 27, 2007, 12:12 AM
just a suggestion...

find a gun buddy
OR
go to a gunshop/range that rents rifles out for shootin.

Shoot a .22 LR, a .243, and a 30-30.
If it feels like those last two don't recoil at all, or at least not-so-bad
try a .308 or 30-06.
If you have never shot rifle much, a 300 win mag will turn you off in a real hurry is my guess.
These other calibers may do the same, I don't know how you feel about recoil. The suggestion to buy a .22 is a great one because you can find a beat up .22 for $100ish.
Put a cheap scope on it if you like and LEARN to shoot a rifle. $13 buys you 500 rounds, and as many so far have said, that's a lotta shootin. Learn to shoot on the cheap stuff.
Then find something in the middle (.243 - 30-30ish) to learn how to shoot with RECOIL beyond a .22 LR. Perhaps borrow one of these, so you don't have to invest in anything beyond ammo.
It's not to say you couldn't get good with a .308 right off the bat, but I'd suggest to you (subject to affirmation from the gents here), that it'd be easier and more fun to get good with a smaller caliber like a .22 LR.
If you started with a .308 my guess is that it will take you a long while to get good, and in some of these calibers, you better have a rich uncle or a good credit card.
Also, the recoil of some of the more powerful rifles could possibly make your life miserable for a the first bunch of outings, making your life miserable and your shooting time won't be fun.
You'd be bucking a pretty steep learning curve in my humble opinion.
I only say this because you are new to rifles.
So you can LEARN with something that you can afford to shoot hundreds of times and not flinch at each time, and develop good trigger habits.
OR
you can get a howitzer in a stock and take ya chances.
I would echo Shawnee's advice...go shoot something 10 times before you spend the cash on it.
summed up:know what you are getting into for pricing, for quality of gun, for the given cartridges ballistics vs what you want to do with it, and how it's going to feel to shoot it BEFORE the cash hits the counter.
I've never met anyone who regretted learning a lot before they jumped into something new.

Good luck!

GP

Zak Smith
November 27, 2007, 12:57 AM
Strongly recommend 308. Good match-grade factory ammo is available everywhere. Barrels should last over 8000 rounds. Recoil is moderate.

moojpg2
November 27, 2007, 01:50 AM
I love the 300 WM cartridge for long range, but I will say stay away from .300 Win Mag. if your new to shooting,it's expensive to shoot, and kicks like a mule, especially in a lighter rifle. it's a round you have to work up to if you want to be good with it from the bench.

Since your looking to put a lot of rounds down range,I'd go with the .223 if I were you, cheap ammo available,will reach 600yds easily, will shoot out to 1000yds with the right bullets, and doesn't kick. If you want to hunt, go with the .308, or better yet, get a .223 target rifle, and a cheap,used, Marlin 30-30 or similar for hunting. Simply because hunting with a heavy target rifle in .308 sucks, I know I carried one around for a couple seasons.

trstafford
November 27, 2007, 01:57 AM
The 308 or 30-06 in a Savage sounds like a great idea, I also am becoming partial to the CZ, also own and like Remington and Ruger. Get a heavy barrel, it might not be the greatest in the woods but isn't that bad. I used a heavy barrel Ruger in 308 for many years with great success. The main contributor to recoil is bullet weight which caliber you chose start with the lightest bullet weight and practice until you get comfortable shooting targets then step up in weight for hunting. Also don't start out shooting a lot of rounds, shoot 5 or so then shoot 22. As you get accustomed to the recoil increase the rounds fired each session. It is better to be without a flinch and accurate than impressive and not capable of hitting a barn. just my $.02

qajaq59
November 27, 2007, 08:12 AM
I used to hunt PA with a 30-06, but if I did it again I think I'd prefer to use a 30-30 lever. They're light, fast and have less recoil. Plus the ammo is readily available, and easy to reload, if you wanted to get into that. However, it would be far better if you could somehow try shooting the different calibers before you buy anything.

JakeG27
November 28, 2007, 04:37 AM
well i guess i want a larger caliber rifle soon because xmas is around the corner, but i guess i will let it sit and only shoot it once in awhile, the recoil is not a factor to me, i have shot 2 different .30-06's before and felt comfortable with it. to be honest they felt different from each other, but this was a full year between the two. thanks a lot you guys couldn't be more helpful, i will let you know what i end up getting come the end of December and from what everyone says i guess its back to the .22 for me. i just get bored with it. i am also going to ask the range if they will have guns to rent so i can get a better feel for the 308 to. just not sure if they rent out guns. thanks a lot guys.

U.S.SFC_RET
November 28, 2007, 08:51 PM
Do not listen to all the hunters recommending a .243. That is a ridiculous caliber to start on.

I would like to know what's rediculous about the .243. I see nothing rediculous at all. Very flat shooting and has a good punch on whatever it hits. As a matter of fact there aren't too many deer out there wearing armor protective clothing or steel plating.
Everyone loves the 6mm swede because of the flat trajectory well the 243 is a 6mm cartridge and was built because of it. No holdover needed when shooting at longer ranges. You can learn to shoot pretty well with this caliber because it won't knock the snot out of you plus you can take the bigger game with it as long as you understand that you have to select a game load that expands quick enough because this caliber can zing along at anywhere from ~2800 FPS to ~3200 FPS.
Why some underrate the the .243 is actually over penetration from a light kicking gun and say "weak" get a bigger gun. IMHO nothing could be further from the truth as a caliber to start out on as long as you have the proper game load to shoot with.

Nolo
November 28, 2007, 08:59 PM
then a .30-06/.308 will kill any animal on this continent.
On this continent? Sir, that round will take every animal in the world if the shooter does his part.

ducktail
November 28, 2007, 09:34 PM
308. A 22 is a great way to practise particularly if the gun is a lot like the deer rifle of you choice. I like to shoot a Ruger 10/77 for practise myself.

ArchAngelCD
November 28, 2007, 11:08 PM
i guess its back to the .22 for me. i just get bored with it.
JakeG27,
I'm going to guess you are doing the normal paper and plinking thing with that 22 rifle. If you think a .22 LR is boring then you aren't challenging yourself.

Place a soda can down on it's side so only the bottom of the can is facing you. Then walk back 100 yards and see if you can hit it using only iron sights. If you can hit the can that way then there's no more reason to practice with a .22. If you are like most shooters you will need to practice that way for a good long while before you can hit it more than you miss it.

Challenge yourself and a .22 rifle won't be boring at all. (and like said above, you shoot all weekend for pennies on the dollar)

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