cant decide on a cartridge


October 23, 2008, 08:13 PM
next year i plan to buy a nice rifle when i graduate "A" school. i want to hunt with it but also want long range accuracy. And the ammo cant be like 40 bucks a box. whats a great flat shooting cartridge with good 600 yard accuracy and ability to drop a deer or moose at 200 yards no problems? suggestions on good rifle platforms would be nice too, all i hear about is remington 700s and pre 64s.

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October 23, 2008, 08:17 PM
7mm rem mag

October 23, 2008, 08:34 PM
+1 for the 7mm mag; and don't hesitate to look at the 300 Win Mag.

Or if you want a short action cartridge look at the .270 WSM, 7mm WSM, and the .300 WSM.

October 23, 2008, 08:38 PM
arent those pretty expensive cartridges? i wont be reloading or handloading for a while.

October 23, 2008, 08:41 PM
if you don't want as much power as the mag, look at the 7mm-08. should be able to drop a moose at the required range, and it is very accurate. or the .260 Remington (6.5 creedmoor/6.5x47 lapua are both in the .260 class, more expensive, but slightly better)

with most ammo that is "magnum", good ammo is going to be expensive, so if you don't reload, it would be a good place to start.

EDIT: oh, you allready ruled out reloading... a lower power/cost cartridge is up your ally methinks.

October 23, 2008, 08:42 PM
7mm mag ammo is only a few $ more a box than 270 or 30-06

October 23, 2008, 08:44 PM
If you play your gonna pay. There ain't no free rides in this sport.

The rifle you choose will be just as important as the round its chambered for. You could get a factory varmint rifle in 308 and shoot to 600 yards all you want. Plan on reloading for whatever you get. You'll find out why when you start shooting.

October 23, 2008, 08:51 PM

You can easily get good accuracy and killing power at 600 yards with a .30-06. Though it may not shoot as flat as the 7mm mag, they will shoot just as accurately and you can put a heavier bullet down range. Granted it wont be going as fast, but it will do the job just as well. I know a lot of people that love their 7mm mags and they think its the bomb, but most people aren't going to shoot an animal at 600 yards anyway. If you have to ask which rifle to get that can do this then you probably shouldn't be taking a shot at an animal 600 yards away. The furthest shot I would take on an animal and feel confident about is 400 yards with any gun. I am not as experienced as some but I shoot and sell bullets for a living and I have thousands of high powered rounds down range. Target shooting is one thing but when you add mountains, strong winds, strange light conditions, and uneven terrain to stand on, your normally confident 600 yard shot could be way off. Hunting has always changed these aspects for me.

October 23, 2008, 08:59 PM
im not ruling out reloading, it will just be a few years until i move out and have room for reloading gear

October 23, 2008, 09:09 PM
tough to beat the venerable '06

October 23, 2008, 09:16 PM
then, it is really up to you what cartridge to get. Best choices, IMO are:
.260 Remington
.308 win

October 23, 2008, 09:39 PM
If you want a caliber that will get it done go with a 308 or a 30-06. The 30-06 is great, however you can get bulk 308 ammo cheaper and practice. When you go for that moose use a 180 grain premium bullet 308 or 30-06. The high energy ammo (Federal) and Light Mag. ammo (Hornday) Will take care of a moose or elk. With deer you can use any 150 grain bullet from Walmart - Federal, Winchester & Remington
Hope it helps.

October 23, 2008, 09:51 PM
It's not new, not flashy, not ultra mag nor short mag, it's the 30-06. Economical and versitile. As I have gotten older and got my son through college and law school, I can now afford to play. My hottest round is probably the 375 H&H, but really llike the other smaller classic cartridges such as 7x57, 6.5x55, 38-55, 45-70( that one will really reach out with the right gun and bullet, even shooting black powder) 405 Win. 22 Hornet. 7.5 Swiss. and of course the 30-06 I recently acquired a classic Mauser sporter in 9.3x57, certainly no hot rod cartridge, 286 gr bullet at right about 2000 fps, but will have minimal meat damage as compared to newer very high velocity cartridges. Back in my college days, I only shot one rifle, my 30-06 and shot it very well, now 40 years later with so many things to play with I do not shoot any of them nearly as well.. Part of that is 40 years the other I attribute to the old saying "beware the man with one gun".

Use a moderate velocity cartridge and learn to shoot it well and shoot it a lot.

October 23, 2008, 09:55 PM
5.45 ak 74 cheap,good and no recoil

October 23, 2008, 10:01 PM
i might clarify that im looking into bolt action target/hunting rifle not battle rifles (open to suggestions on type)

October 23, 2008, 10:02 PM
.308 or .300 Win Mag. not that expensave, powerfull, kinda cheep (compare to my .470 NE which is 6-10 bucks a round), long range capable- just damn good rounds.

October 23, 2008, 10:09 PM
30-06. Never been a good argument against it. You can find high end stuff or cheap military grade fodder. Next would be the .308 for the same reasons. Those are pretty much all I use for hunting or paper punching, be it from my bolt actions, Garand or M1A.

October 23, 2008, 10:11 PM
Another vote for 30-06, or look at 308. Those are your only really good bets for cheap range ammo (well, cheaper range ammo, anyway). Either will work for deer or moose (308 might be considered a little light, by some, but if Scandinavians can take moose with 6.5x55, 308 will do the job, too).

October 23, 2008, 10:14 PM
+1 on what longdayjake and Gilroy said. You won,t go wrong with a Rem. 700 .30-06.

October 23, 2008, 11:38 PM
Anything in 6.5, including the 6.5x55. Low recoil, and better ballistics than almost everything mentioned. Magnums are very un-fun to shoot long distance, that's why hardly anyone does it any more.

Jim Watson
October 23, 2008, 11:47 PM
Get a plain grade Savage in .30-06 to hunt with and get a good .22lr like a CZ for target shooting. Shoot a .22 at 200 yards and you will feel like you are half a mile with a bigbore. And you will cry about the ammo cost a lot less.

October 23, 2008, 11:53 PM
Get a Savage in .30-06. Later on you can change it to a different caliber.

35 Whelen
October 24, 2008, 12:37 AM
+1 on the 30-06. Ammo available EVERYWHERE and it's relatively inexpensive.

October 24, 2008, 12:40 AM
anything between 6.5 cal and 762/308.except for 260 remington, which is a 6.5 -308 round, everything else will be cheaper.

October 24, 2008, 02:34 AM
Here's another vote for a .308 or .30-06. The bolt action is hard to beat, but for the past few months I've been playing with a Thompson Center Encore for which I have several different barrels and it is a tack driver with all of them. It is a single shot but I don't see that as a disadvantage.

October 24, 2008, 02:52 AM
Still a .30/06 Springfield has MANY proven merits from by-gone days. My .243Winchester, with today's fabulous powders can hold its own against all comers within reason. A .300 WSM goes beyond reason, unless one relishes a SORE shoulder. One could shove a dead mule twixt shoulder and butt, but this cartridge is overkill that killed two of my best friends' shoulders. How ludicrous! a .30/06 is all that it can be, and that's saying a lot! cliffy

October 24, 2008, 05:41 AM
Any of the calibers suggested are good. And, if you save your brass from whichever one you choose, so it can some day be reloaded, you'll be saving money in the end. It may cost you $40 for a box of bullets now but when you do start reloading it'll probably save you $30 a box on brass. Just be sure you buy brass that can be reloaded.

October 24, 2008, 05:50 AM
There is also a 270 wsm. I am actually looking into this cartrige myself. Some dont like it. I have talked to a few lifetime hunters in my area, and they all think it is one top notch round. Downside is the cost of ammo, avg. 40.00 a box

October 24, 2008, 11:19 AM
How much money do you want to spend for the rifle? You also have to consider a scope. Are you capable of making 600yd. shots? Most aren't!

October 24, 2008, 11:32 AM
My vote goes for .308, but I practice with 7.62x54r in a Mosin Nagant 91/30 dime a shot.. 100 buck rifle with a 120 buck scope on an ATI mount. Where else you gonna get 440 rounds for under 50 bucks?

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 24, 2008, 11:34 AM
Those parameters call for .270 Win or .30-'06 due to cheaper factory ammo; maybe .308 Win.

October 24, 2008, 12:23 PM
how does .270 keep its energy at range though? ive heard it has some good ballistics. 6.5x55 sounds interesting too

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
October 24, 2008, 01:43 PM
how does .270 keep its energy at range though?

Very, VERY well. 6.5x55 does not fall within your parameters of cheap ammo. Probably .270 is the best choice for your situation/parameters overall, with .30-'06 a close 2nd.

October 24, 2008, 05:52 PM
I prefer the .30/06 for most everything. There is nothing it won't kill on this continent and its a great light african rifle too. The recoil is on the higher side for some people but it tends to be the heaviest recoil that most people can tolerate.

This is what I would get if I were in your position.
Its the Savage 114, and I'd get it in .30/06. Savage rifles have excellent accuracy, perhaps the best accuracy you can get without spending a fortune, and it comes with the accutrigger.

October 24, 2008, 06:50 PM
its actually about the same as 270 around here, just less ammo selection

October 24, 2008, 09:39 PM
I like both my .270 win and 7mm Rem Mag. The .270 does not have near the recoil and i have taken deer at 300 yards with it. The price difference is not that significant about two dollar a box for the blue box federal that my Reminton 700 likes.

October 24, 2008, 09:59 PM
ive been looking into a cz in 6.5x55, heard great things about them, alo looking at remington 700vls .308.

October 24, 2008, 10:19 PM
Remington 700, 7mm rem mag

October 24, 2008, 10:49 PM
how much do heavy barrel affect accuracy

October 25, 2008, 01:03 AM
I went through this same thing a couple years ago. Long range target shooting caught my attention. It just seems like there would be something extremely satisfying about accurately putting holes in paper at long ranges. I got bit hard... reloading, bolt actions, calibers, and accurizing. What I didn't want to do is put all this money into something that couldn't have dual purpose. I have no desire to shoot any animal past 200-300 yards, but I wanted target performance out to 600-800 yards without going crazy on wildcats. After all my searching and reading up on everything I could get my hands on, I got the caliber narrowed down after a few months. Here's what I came up with, and how I came up with them.

30-06, a classic, It can be loaded to just about any specification to perform at a wide level of scenarios. ammo is everywhere and cheap.

.270, great trajectory, low cost, great energy retention and good velocity

300WSM, awesome long range energy, awesome velocity, terrible price, recoil would be too much at a range all day.

25-06, flat shooting, low recoil, good velocity and energy, not so good on price and selection of ammo.

.308 This is the one for me. It is used in 1000 yard competition matches. I know several people who slay deer with it, ammo is everywhere, brass is everywhere, military surplus is everywhere, low recoil, great performance. It just makes sense.

Go here

Look up the calibers you're interested in, pick the same type of bullet for each, go middle of the road on bullet weight, and pay attention where the zero is on trajectory.

As far as rifles go (this was stage two of the frenzy), I found for the price and out-of-the-box accuracy you can't beat a Savage. I think I finally settled on a 12FVSS. It comes out of the box with a 26" heavy barrel, and an accutrigger. You can find them for around $500-$600. Everybody has their own brand, but everything I read pointed to a Savage

October 25, 2008, 01:29 AM
What is A school?

October 25, 2008, 02:00 AM
In the Navy, "A" school is training for a job. Like I'm an electronics technician so my "A" school was a year of electronics training. You go more specialized after that and get a "C" school, which normally covers a specific piece of gear within your job.

October 25, 2008, 08:17 AM
3 0 - 0 6 !

October 25, 2008, 09:31 AM
One thing I forgot to mention... The 30-06 can be loaded to mimick a .308 performance, All except trajectory I believe. You'll have to check that out. The 30-06 is the most versatile cartridge hands down. The .308 outperforms it at distance, but the 30-06 can take any game in North America.

October 25, 2008, 09:46 AM
One last thing I swear... Will this will be your first rifle to learn shooting techniques with? I don't ask to embarass you or call you out, but for your first rifle you need to keep a few things in mind. If you go out and buy the biggest, baddest new magnum out there, you will spend a lot of money on ammo trying to learn to shoot. Most likely the only thing you will learn is how to flinch. You do not want to develop a flinch. Hard to shake. With all this in mind, if this is your case, you might want to pick up a .22 first. They are great to learn, practice, and refresh with. I shoot my .22 for accuracy more than any other gun I own. I buy 500 rounds for $25 and shoot at 30 yards. You will learn breathing techniques, grip, stance, and trigger control. Practice cheap and close first.

If this isn't you, then nevermind, it could help someone else reading this thread.

October 25, 2008, 09:55 AM
I would think that a 308 gives you the best bang for the buck due to the availability of good surplus practice ammo along with reasonably priced factory ammo available in a multitude of bullet weights. Actually, I like the 260 Rem and 7mm/08 better for ballistics, but the big picture gives the 308 the edge.


October 25, 2008, 02:39 PM
How would the .308 have better trajectory than the .30-06? The .308 is 13mm shorter and thus, has less powder capacity(12 grains H20 difference). That would make me believe it's trajectory would be slightly inferior to the .30-06.

So wouldn't more powder behind the same bullet give the .30-06 better long range performance? Maybe the long range performance would change if you used different bullet weights but they are commonly loaded with the same bullet weights.

October 25, 2008, 07:35 PM
All the cartridges mentioned are good ideas. But if you want to go really cheap, accurate, durable. Look at a mosin nagent. 90 bucks plus tax, spend a few dollars for a D&T for a scope mount, and you have a lot of money left over for a good scope, ammunition and gas to go shoot it.
I am not a Mosin honk by any means, but you specified 600 yards, mosin/7.62x54 will do it, kill a deer or moose at 200 yards, mosin will do it, you specified cheap, 7.62x54 is cheap.

Remember, you may spend a bunch of money on a good rifle, but you still have to spend a bunch of money on a good scope. If you can put up with the Mosin for a few years you can buy what you want and put your scope on the new rifle.

October 26, 2008, 12:14 AM
The .308 outperforms it at distance, but the 30-06 can take any game in North America.

It's generally accepted that the .30-06 can handle heavier bullets, and therefore has a slight advantage over the .308 at extreme range. It isn't as popular at 1000 yd competition as it used to be when it was the service rifle cartridge.

However, for your purposes, either will work just fine.

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