Newbie caliber question (moved from General Discussion)


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DrDaKine
March 22, 2008, 07:39 PM
I'm pretty inexperienced, so bear with me, please. I'm 56 y/o and haven't shot much since teen years, but I have the money to make a reasonably advanced initial purchase. I've become captivated with purchasing a Tikka T3 for range use in Hawaii where I live and or long range and varmint type plinking when I visit Michigan once or twice a year. I'll probably go with a Leupold VXIII 4-14 scope.

I can't decide on caliber. Considerations are:
--Ballistic accuracy, obviously.
--Probably don't want a Magnum to avoid developing a flinch. Even with a muzzle defuser, I'm a bit leary of starting with 300 Win mag.
--Cost per round is important.
--flexibility of ammo is important, particularly if I ever decide to pursue larger game hunting (sheep on the Parker ranch of the big island of Hawaii is a possibility).

Considering all of the above, my thoughts are: 30-06, 308, and 270. Any help would be appreciated.

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R.W.Dale
March 22, 2008, 07:49 PM
Of the rounds you mention all are on a level playing field with regards to accuracy and recoil. However the 30-06 does have an edge in ammo price and versatility of loads offered. Don't believe me guys? price 308 vs 30-06 in the same load

But that being said I wouldn't pass up a good deal on a T3 in one of the other calibers.

TexasRifleman
March 22, 2008, 07:49 PM
--Cost per round is important.

If that really matters in any meaningful way, and you actually plan on shooting a lot, it's the .30-06.

The '06 fills the other ones nicely as well, just so many different loadings of that thing.

At the moment .308 is just so incredibly expensive it's crazy.

Art Eatman
March 22, 2008, 10:51 PM
Welcome to the forum, DDK. Newbies welcome; any number can play. :)

Me, I've always been an '06 afficianado. Pretty much a do-all cartridge, and even moreso if you handload.

110-grain bullets are the standard sort for varmints. 150s and 180s for deer and elk. Generally, if the animal's no heavier than around 300 pounds on the hoof, a 150-grain is plenty good.

bensdad
March 22, 2008, 11:07 PM
What is it they say about the .30-06? Plenty good for anything on the continent (N. America).

Factory rounds range from 110 (I think) to 220 gr. I don't know what the range is on the .270, but I bet it can't be loaded in a 220 gr. proj. I know nothing about the .308.

Every man should have a .30-06.

kimberfan
March 22, 2008, 11:51 PM
at the places i just looked 30-06 and 308 are the price!

so i would go for a 308 if it was me.

rangerruck
March 23, 2008, 01:32 AM
well, accuracy must be given to the 308 , simply becuase computer ballistics, especially internal ballistics tell us so. But that diff is proly non noticeable to the human eye inside of 300 yds. So then , the 06 is the very tops in what you can do with a ton of diff bullet weights, if you reload. Really, I mean, 110 grain bullets all the way up to about 220 . Now that said, those two have noticeably more kick than a 270, which after you shoot one of the other, then pull the trigger on a 270, you'd think you just shot a 223. however, the 270 off of the shelf is going to be more bucks. Then again, if you handload, I would pick the 270 over all the others.

sourdough44
March 23, 2008, 01:45 AM
I would give the 308 strong consideration.

rust collector
March 23, 2008, 09:35 AM
I chose the 308 in my T3 lite stainless, to take advantage of all the work that's been done by others in high power competition. They have tweaked this cartridge for long range accuracy, and there's lots of brass on the market. I am very happy with it.

Every cartridge you mention is a classic and you can't go wrong.

If I was buying a T3 for pure shooting enjoyment, I would buy it in 6.5x55 swede or 260 Rem, as they are more pleasant to shoot and can do what you need to do. We may never see the R260 chambering, because it is close to the swede, but I suspect it has a bit more accuracy potential.

SDC
March 23, 2008, 09:41 AM
What do you think your main use of this rifle is going to be? You don't mention big-game hunting, only varmint hunting, so why not look at something in .223? With the right ammo and twist rate, a .223 will easily shoot out past 700 yards accurately, and the ammo is a LOT less expensive than a 308 or 30-06; for varmint hunting, it's also accurate, effective, and a lot less likely to ricochet.

iamkris
March 23, 2008, 09:47 AM
Actually he does mention sheep hunting...so that would be considered big game.

Check out your state laws...for all you other needs, .223 would be perfect. If laws allow, a heavy bullet (e.g, 77 gr) in the 223 may work for careful placement on deer sized game.

Why are you only looking at .30 cal otherwise? If low recoil for plinking/varmits/targets are a real concern, you'd me much better off in the "near quarter bore" range. e.g., .243, 7mm-08, 6.5x55mm. These are mildly recoiling rounds with plenty of ooomff to put down larger game.

Forgive me my pet peeve, but I really don't understand the comments that come up here all the time on cost per round.

The difference in cost for pretty much any round we are talking is going to be in the "few cents per round". So in the extreme of the rounds we're talking about, if one round is $0.75 per round to shoot and another is $0.50 per round, and you shoot 200 rounds per year (which is probably what you'll shoot for proficiency being a new shooter with a high powered rifle), that means you are going to spend $50 extra a year.

Is $50 a year really going to make a difference between getting what you want and compromising with something else? Especially after spending

-- $500 for the rifle
-- $300-400 for a scope
-- Couple of hundred $$ for accessories
-- Time and expense of getting to and from the range, hunting trips, etc.

I really don't understand the cost per round arguement in the face of already spending $1500 for the setup/time to shoot. It's like buying a Corvette and then finding the cheapest, crappy gas you can to put in it.

redneck2
March 23, 2008, 09:48 AM
The original post contains....

--flexibility of ammo is important, particularly if I ever decide to pursue larger game hunting (sheep on the Parker ranch of the big island of Hawaii is a possibility).

Then you wrote..

What do you think your main use of this rifle is going to be? You don't mention big-game hunting, only varmint hunting, so why not look at something in .223? With the right ammo and twist rate, a .223 will easily shoot out past 700 yards accurately, and the ammo is a LOT less expensive than a 308 or 30-06; for varmint hunting, it's also accurate, effective, and a lot less likely to ricochet
Might actually want to read the original question before posting. Just a thought.

Anyway, I'm in the quarter bore camp. The way price of ammo is going, I'm not sure that it makes a big difference price wise. A .243 or 25-06 would be perfect for any sheep hunt and satisfy the recoil thing. While a 30-06 is certainly adequate, I wouldn't consider it my #1 choice for varminting and plinking. I've got a 10 gauge for turkeys and a .300 Win Mag for elk, but there's no reason to subject yourself to unnecessary recoil, particular for pleasure shooting.

SDC
March 23, 2008, 09:56 AM
Oops, let my eyes get ahead of me :-)

redneck2
March 23, 2008, 05:28 PM
Sometimes we just type (or talk) faster than we think...

Of course, if talked as slow as I think, I'd never get a sentence finished.

Back to the thread.....the Leupold scope is a most excellent choice. Make sure you get some Butler Creek flip caps to protect the glass. I'd also look at Burris Zee rings. They have a floating insert so they self align.

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