Need suggestions for a rifle


October 20, 2008, 10:41 PM
I need a bolt action (preferably bolt but I'm open to other suggestions) rifle that's capable of taking grizzly bear, but small enough not to cause too much damage to the meat of a deer. Although i usually use shotgun for deer, a rifle isn't bad if i don't want to get up close and personal.

I'd like the rifle to be American made. I'm thinking 30-06 or 30-30 might suit me but i don't know. Are the smith and wesson I-bolts any good.



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October 20, 2008, 10:44 PM
rifle that's capable of taking grizzly bear, but small enough not to cause too much damage to the meat of a deer. Although i usually use shotgun for deer, a rifle isn't bad if i don't want to get up close and personal.

I would say the best you could do is a .45-70 but are you sure you mean a grizzly :uhoh:
If you got the money to go hunt grizz, you can afford another rifle.


October 20, 2008, 11:23 PM
I was gonna say 45-70, but I'm not sure what kind of bullets they make for deer. 45-70 can effectively kill any land mammal in the world, but I'm not too sure it's easy on deer sized game.

October 20, 2008, 11:28 PM
I'm not too sure what would be easy on a deer, but strong enough to drop a large grizzly. 30-06 would probably be the best candidate, with the 300 Mag being a bit more favorable on the grizzly side of it.

45/70 for deer? Many people hunt with that rifle around here. Perfect deer rifle, and most are extremely accurate with them. As far as meat damage...pretty brutal. Like hurling a brick through a deer from 100 yds.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 20, 2008, 11:41 PM
Why buy one when you can buy more than one and specialize a little bit, and own more guns? One bigger and one smaller.

But if I had to say, I'd go with a Remington 700 in .35 Whelen or a CZ550 in 9.3x62mm.

October 20, 2008, 11:49 PM
I wouldn't worry too much about meat damage to a deer. If you keep your shots in the kill zone you'll just be destroying the ribs, lungs and heart and only the last of those is worth eating. The meat's all in the back straps and legs.

If you absolutely must have a rifle for deer to grizzly bears, I'd also go with the 45-70. You can load it light or heavy and the only real drawback is a rainbow like trajectory and relatively high ammo prices. If you intend on shooting past 250 yards though, then I'd probably want something flatter shooting.

Personally, I'd get two rifles. One for deer and one for big dangerous game.

October 21, 2008, 12:18 AM
But if I had to say, I'd go with a Remington 700 in .35 Whelen or a CZ550 in 9.3x62mm

These are great choices...add a .338 Mag to the mix as well...

October 21, 2008, 01:03 AM
How about a Marlin in 444?

October 21, 2008, 01:43 AM

October 21, 2008, 06:34 AM
I should have phrased my question differently. I'm looking for a rifle CAPABLE of taking grizzly bear but its primary use will be for deer and possibly sometimes black bear. I want the power to be able to travel the country and not worry about a grizzly. If i get the opportunity to one day travel to grizzly country in Alaska, I'm going to take it and hopefully bring my rifle with me.

I don't expect to be hunting grizzlies it's just nice to have the power to take them. If there's still no rifle that's great at doing both than I'd just like the deer (and possibly black bear) rifle suggestions because that's the primary here.

October 21, 2008, 12:24 PM
IMO, a 338 would be the bear minimum (pun intended) for grizzlies. A 375 H&H would be better. I think you'd be far better off getting 2 rifles if you want to hunt both extreme ends of the spectrum!

October 21, 2008, 12:30 PM
Definitely the 45-70. Loaded hot, it is capable of taking dangerous African game.

As for how it works for deer. If you use the 405 grain Remington factory ammo or mild handloads it damages far less meat than a 270 or 30-06. It is just a .458 hole in and a .458 hole out with almost no blooshot meat. It gets a bad rap as meat destroyer, but that simply is not true if you use mild loads.

October 21, 2008, 12:34 PM
+1 on the 45-70. Load it down for deers.

October 21, 2008, 12:38 PM
Get the new Marlin XLR in .30-06.....bass pro had them for i think under $300 in synthetic...very nice gun..good luck.

October 21, 2008, 12:50 PM
The 45-70 lacks the range for general hunting in the u.s. The 30/06 is on the minimum side for grizz, better hope it's a small one. The .338 is currently extremely popular in Alaska fitting the needs you expressed perfectly. On my last trip to Africa I used a .338 w/ 250 Nosler partitions and a .375 w/ 270 gr. bullets, side by side. Took 5 animals w/ each one. If there was any difference in killing power I sure couldn't tell it. The .338 did kick quite a bit less. Loaded with 200 gr. bullets it's a great deer rifle, and with 250's a great stopper. The last black bear I shot w/ my .338 went 10 ft. Zebra (notoriously tough) hit too far back while running only went 30 yds. .338 +1 :)

October 21, 2008, 12:51 PM
You can use the 06 for those big brownies, but the last time I was in Alaska no guide will take you with a 06. But thats been 30 years ago. You can buy or custom load some 220 grn loads.

The 338 is a good choice, but you will have to have $$$$ to feed it. 300 mag is another choice.

If you are mostly going to be hunting deer, and "might" go to brownie country the 06 is a good choice. If you live in brownie country go with something more powerful.

October 21, 2008, 12:55 PM
Forget using a grizzly rifle for deer. :barf:

Get a DEER rifle.

When you can afford to hunt grizzly you will be able to afford to buy a rifle for that purpose. You can always sell it later if it's a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

A Marlin 336 lever-action in 30/30 is one GREAT deer riifle. If you want a bolt-action - look at the Remingtons, Savages, Rugers or Mossbergs and get a DEER caliber like the .243.

The 30/30 or the .243 will be fine for any deer or black bear you ever see.


Good Luck !

October 21, 2008, 12:58 PM
I wouldn't use a 30/30 on griz unless my life depended on it and I had no other options.

October 21, 2008, 01:28 PM
A 30-06 or 7mm mag might be a good choice. With the premium bullets like Barnes Triple Shock or Swift A-Frame the smaller guns can do a lot more work than they could 30-40 years ago.

Jack O'Conner shot several Grizzlies using his .270 and Nosler partitions.

But like several others have said two guns would be better than one. A savage in .270 with a switch barrel in .35 Whelen might be an option and be a little cheaper.

October 22, 2008, 04:27 PM
30-06 with the right bullet for the occasion.

Vern Humphrey
October 22, 2008, 06:01 PM
As the late, great Townsend Whelen (the Dean of American Riflemen) used to say, "The .30-06 is never a mistake."

October 22, 2008, 08:56 PM
Tikka T3 300 WSM.

October 22, 2008, 10:00 PM
The 30/30 or the .243 will be fine for any deer or black bear you ever see.
I would have to disagree.

But you should just bite the bullet and buy 2 rifles. Say a 25-06 and a .338

October 22, 2008, 10:18 PM
If it were me I would buy two firearms. First would be a .30-06 for the deer and browns. Then I would get a revolver in whatever hand cannon caliber you feel comfortable with to take care of anything that may kill you.

October 22, 2008, 10:38 PM
Browning 7mm Magnum bolt action or 45-70 imo.

My brother has a 45-70 Marlin lever action (I think its a Marlin), it kicks, but if you get one with in 18"-20" that would be a nice bear hunter. I prefer the lever action to bolt action though personally, too many westerns as a kid I think.

I own the 7mm magnum, that weapon packs a wallop and it is a flat shooter.

October 22, 2008, 10:42 PM
As the late, great Townsend Whelen (the Dean of American Riflemen) used to say, "The .30-06 is never a mistake."

You know, it's easy to hate the 30-06 round. You really wouldn't call it the perfect round for anything, but it does damned near everything well. You can shoot light game like antelope or whitetail with it just fine without worrying about overkill as long as you're up to putting the shot in the right spot. It's actually near the top choice for a large mule deer, hogs, or caribou. It's certainly a capable round for elk and moose. While it wouldn't be my first choice for large dangerous bears, I'm confident enough in my skill to carry one up here in Alaska if it's all that's available. I wouldn't hesitate.

So what's the problem with it? Well, that's just it: It's so damned versatile. If you have an '06 you may have a hard time explaining toyour spouse why you need to get another gun.

Yup, gotta hate the 30-06. On the other hand, don't ask me to give mine up. It just has to be in my lineup.

October 22, 2008, 10:43 PM
here's a second vote for the Marlin 444, as it has a flatter trajectory than the 45/70, especially if you use the new leverevolution stuff.

October 22, 2008, 10:43 PM
.45-70 will suit your needs, but won't really have a lot of range. I mean it will, but the bullet drops alot ofter a certain amount of yardage. So I must agree you would be better off going with a .30-06, or even a .300 Winchester Magnum, or .338

October 22, 2008, 10:55 PM
I have to add one thing for the OP, I'd certainly suggest you consider Shawnee's advice. Get a rifle to do specifically what you want it to. If deer is what you're after, get the best thing for that purpose. Yes, the day may come when you need another gun for a trip to big bear country. When that future day comes, look at buying another gun or at least trading the one you have.

Getting too much gun for the sake of a future possible need, or even if it's just because it's really neat to have a big monstrous gun can really hurt your firearms experience. Bigger guns kick more, sometimes LOTS more. The ammo is more expensive and sometimes more difficult to get. Consider what its main purpose is going to be and select appropriately. From what I've seen of Virginia (I used to live in D.C.) I'd seriously consider a slug barrel on a shotgun. For a rifle I'd consider a lever action in 30-30, .44 Magnum, .454 Casull, .444, or 45-70.

One other suggestion is a multiple caliber rifle. My wife has a Thompson Center Encore. She can shoot everything from .223 up to .375 H&H. Thus far she's only used her 7mm-08 barrel, I'd certainly recommend that as a really good caliber as well.

October 23, 2008, 12:17 AM
I have two comments, about things I have noticed on threads like this, not pointing fingers just things I have seen over the years. 1st is there is almost always someone who will mention carrying a 44mag for protection in "bear country" that will scoff at the notion of a 30-30. :uhoh: And 2nd that big bullets destroy to much meat. The 1st is obvious bunk, and the 2nd should be considered such as well.

I have hunted with a .243, a .270, and a 30-06 and can conclusively say that a shot into the shoulder with any of the three will destroy the meat. A good heart/lung shot with them is a clean kill with pretty much no further fuss and muss. The last time I checked a 45/70 was only 2 times the size of a .243, and about 1 1/2 times the size of a 30-30 or 30-06, meaning that if you put the bullet where you want to (behind the front shoulder exiting either out the front of the chest or out behind the other front shoulder then you really shouldn't experience this GREAT destruction of meat that everyone talks about. The key with deer etc is to put the bullet in the right spot, dead is just as dead either way, and a shoulder shot screws up meat either way. Hitting major bone stops'em pretty quick but it isn't what you want if you want to fill the pot (or the freezer for that matter). Get the gun you want and learn to put the bullet where you want, and you oughtta be pretty good to go.

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