Which .30-06 rifle for deer and elk hunting?


June 3, 2009, 05:43 PM
I'm looking to pick up a new rifle for deer and elk hunting I'm planning to due this coming season. I don't have too much experience with hunting, besides hunting pheasant, or rifles in general. I was looking at some rifles and I've heard good things about the Remington Model 700 so this is what I've been considering so far. Basically I'd like to know what some of you more experienced guys would recommend for a rifle. I plan to have this rifle for a long time. Recommendations on scopes would be great too. Thanks.

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June 3, 2009, 05:59 PM
What ever you chose to get, get it in a 7mm-08.

Remember caliber loyalty is very important.

June 3, 2009, 06:01 PM
savage, best bang for the buck right now.

June 3, 2009, 06:13 PM
Nelson, could you elaborate on the 7mm-08 round? I'm not very familiar with rifle calibers, how does it compare with a .30-06?

June 3, 2009, 06:47 PM
its a 308 necked down to 7 mm.

basicly it lets you shoot a smaller bullet faster.

some guys really like it. me I'd rather shoot a heavy bullet slower.

June 3, 2009, 09:12 PM
I like the .308. I like the .270. It's got a little bit of both rolled up into one package. Short action, slightly higher velocity, and it's much easier to find in a lighter, shorter rifle. Sure beats lugging a 28" barrel around the woods. Absolutely nothing wrong w/the 30-06 though.

As for type of rifle, Savages are great. My personal opinion is that a Remington isn't worth the extra money, considering Savages are known to be extremely accurate. I've heard a lot of great things about the newer Marlin XL7 line, though I've never even held one. They come in 30-06, 270, and 25-06. Marlin has also come out with an XS7 line in 308, 7mm-08, and .243.

Optics. I pretty much just go straight to the Leupolds and be done with it. They have a wide range of scopes in different price ranges. I usually end up in their inexpensive line of scopes. They're not the cheapest, but I've never been disappointed. You can get a nice 3-9x or something similar for not a whole lot of money. Quality products that have never let me (or anyone else I know) down when it counts. And no, I don't work for Leupold :)

June 3, 2009, 09:49 PM
Caliber loyalty for me is the .308. I own 4 rifles in that chambering. If you can find a Rem 788 for a good price, buy it. I have one with a custom trigger, and a very nice stock. It shoots better than I can. I also own a Kimber Longmaster Classic, a Rem 760, and a Win Model 88. The 760 was my weapon of choice in western Washington and Oregon with a 1.5 x 5 scope, and quick follow-up shot capability, the 788 gets used here for longer shots due to its accuracy, the 88 gets shot at targets as it was my fathers and I really don't like the lever action. I haven't hunted with the Kimber yet, it is accurate but needs to go back to the factory to get the chamber polished. It has only been fired 12 times and 4 empty rounds needed help to extract.

June 4, 2009, 12:54 AM
Winchester Model 70, or Ruger M77. (Not the MarkII Ruger)

Cpt. America
June 4, 2009, 01:07 AM
If you like a 30-06 get it. As for rifle do you preffer a single shot, bolt action, leveraction or Autoloader. If its the leveraction your going to pick a different caliber. For a 30-06 boltaction I would say look at S&W i-bolt, Marlin XL7, Mossberg 4X4 or the Remington previously mentioned as well as other products from them. Single shot look at www.hr1871.com. For a levergun Id say go back to marlin and look at the .308 marlin express. For an Autoloader look at a Remington model 750. If your into pump guns Remington also makes a pumpaction rifle model 7600.

June 4, 2009, 01:18 AM
Anyone who has read my posts can see im sold on thompson center line. I have a pro hunter in 30-06 and a contender with 3 barrels one in 7-30 waters,44mag and 22LR. The 30-06 and 7-30 will shoot sub moa at 100yds. and the 22 sub moa at 50 yds. (3 to 4 '' at 100) im working up a load for the 44 using 3 different bullets my best groop is 3/4 in at 25 yds providing i do my part. i know this in nothing but like i said im working up the load. my point is that the verisitly of the TC line is unlimited. One frame and a unlimited aray of calibers to shoot from 22LR to a 416 rigby along with shot gun and muzzle loader. All you have to do is look at what you want the gun to do and chose the right one for the job and if you want to change from shooting rim fire to center fire all you have to do is losten one screw and remove a pin and change barrels. the G2 contenders flip a switch on the hammer from rim fire to center fire. As for scopes i have nicon on my 30-06the 7-30 i have a burris the 44mag a bushnell and the 22 a simmons. the prices range from $325.00 to 75.00 I have chosen my scopes bassed on price reviews and witch barrel i wanted to put it on. Stay with the quality optics and you wont be dissapointed. I hope that ive helped and not confused ya.

June 4, 2009, 03:35 AM
30-06 is a perfect choice for deer/elk. The Remington 700 is a good choice. Get a good scope, I would recommend a 2x7 or 3x9 Leupold. If your budget is tight, you would be much better off with a Marlin XL7 and a Leupold than a Remington 700 with a Simmons/Tasco/BSA/other cheap scope.

June 4, 2009, 04:17 AM
Yes of course. Sorry for my rather uninformative comment.....

the 7mm-08 as was said is a necked down .308. With a 120 gr bullet it gives performance almost equal to that of the .270 winchester, pretty impressive for a short action and my favorite of .308 family.

As far as a rifle for your situation, I've said it many times before and i'll say it again - get a Weatherby. They are very strong rifles with decent triggers and bedded actions.

June 4, 2009, 04:22 AM
And the whole caliber loyalty thing was supposed to be a joke. lol

June 7, 2009, 03:48 PM
+1 on safetyjoe's choice

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 7, 2009, 11:59 PM
T/C Icon Classic is as good of a value as it gets right now. IMO.

Art Eatman
June 8, 2009, 12:24 AM
You pretty much have to work to find a rifle that's really inaccurate. Today's world of machine tools is just too precise for that. Most differences have to do with fit and finish, which generally affect price far more than accuracy.

The most important thing is that the rifle fits you properly. Length of pull and drop at the comb are the two main factors. Mount a rifle to your shoulder with your eyes closed. When you open your eyes, you should be looking through the sights or the scope without moving your head from a good cheek weld on the comb of the stock. (If no sights, then along a line above and in line with the center of the barrel.)

If you plan to take up reloading your own ammo, I'd recommend the '06. If not, go with the .308. For all practical purposes if it's deer hunting and occasional varminting, the 7mm08 is a great cartridge. If you plan on more varminting with occasional deer hunting, the .243 is very good.

Scopes? The current (July) issue of Guns & Ammo has an excellent article about design criteria for scopes. Worth the read.

If it's only deer hunting, any fixed four-power scope of medium pricing will meet all your actual needs. If you think about prairie dogs, then a 3x9 variable will deal with both worlds. My 3x9s have spent 95% of their lives set on 3X when deer hunting. 9X for little stuff and sight-in.

June 8, 2009, 12:34 AM
Remington 700LH BDL 30-06 Leupold base and Redfield scope

June 8, 2009, 12:52 AM
I'm a .30-06 person, myself. I love the round for it's history and it's versatility as there are a lot of different offerings for it. Also, no matter where you are, chances are the local gun store has some boxes of .30-06 as it is very common in N. America (or it WAS before this panic buying thing).

I took my first deer this last year with a Rem 700. It did get kind of heavy toward the end of everyday, but I like it. It just feels like a solid, well-made rifle. Shoots well too. I might have to pick up a lever action .30-30 someday to have something lighter for a deer "brush gun", but if you want one gun for both deer and elk (and moose, bears, etc), the Rem 700 with the .30-06 will be a great gun for you.

June 8, 2009, 02:55 AM
all modern factory rifles are good.... buy one you like

7mm08, 30-06, .308 win, 270 all are good. i would say any bottleneck cartridge of .243 win or over will be sufficient for deer hunting. for elk i would say any cartridge of over 6.5mm. all with appropriate bullet.

the reason i say bottle neck is becuase you will get extra range over some of the other great rounds..... you can't reach beyond your effective range but you can shoot closer within that range. (300 yards is out of range for your 30-30 but 50 yards is in range for your bottle necks, so is 300 yards)


Ben Shepherd
June 11, 2009, 12:58 PM
A Rem 700 in 30-06, topped with something like a Burris FullfieldII or a Leupold Vari-X II or III in the 3-9X range would give you a lifetime of service. Depending on exact scope and mounts, the set up should cost between 900-1500 bucks.(You could do it cheaper if you find a used rifle in good shape. But I wouldn't skimp on the scope to save cost)

Or one of the Savage rifles would serve you very well. They aren't as sexy as a 700, but they do the job, and usually are suprisingly accurate.

If it's your first big game hunting rifle, the 30-06 is BY FAR the most versitile caliber. With correct loads you can hunt anything on the North American continent with the old '06.

Vern Humphrey
June 11, 2009, 01:09 PM
If its the leveraction your going to pick a different caliber.
The Browning Lever Rifle (BLR) is available in .30-06.

Marlin 45 carbine
June 11, 2009, 01:31 PM
Washington state being sort of a damp area you might consider the Ruger all-weather. built hell-for-stout as all Rugers.
the '06 chambering is tough to beat, bullets weights commonly available from 125 to 220 grs.

June 11, 2009, 01:47 PM
Ruger M77, I have hunted all over oregon with mine and its been great. I like my M77mk11 all weather but its not as smooth as my old 06.

June 11, 2009, 02:04 PM
I think the Remington Model 700 is an excellent choice. It would be my first choice. I agree with Art. Pick up several rifles and see how they fit you. It's important.

June 11, 2009, 02:19 PM
Since you don't reload and in light of the current ammo shortage, get something in one of the most common calibers: 243, 270, 308, 30-06. There's really no good reason to fool around even with "common" oddball calibers (25-06, 7mm-08, and similar). I'd also recommend against the magnums due to added expense and noise (recoil not withstanding).

For scopes, Nikon looks to be the best bang for the buck. Their previous generation Monarchs were excellent and are now sold as the Team Primos for about $200. I like Leupolds fine, but dollar for dollar you'll spend less on a Nikon given equal performance.

June 11, 2009, 04:06 PM
Get it in a Weatherby Vanguard one of the most accurate rifles you can get, and it's very reliable.

Uncle Mike
June 11, 2009, 04:08 PM
If you could find yourself an used, older Remington Then the 700 would be a descent enough choice.
The new Remingtons have had their share of problems, do a search, on THR, as to some of the problems there have been with Remington 700's as of late.

We have sent a bunch back for repair... hopefully this was just a bad batch and not the norm for Big Green. The industry is leaning towards the latter.

Caliber. 30-06, 7mm-08, 270 Win. my choices. The 30-06 at the front.

Rifle. Savage 116/16 or the 114/14. If you want economy...Savage 111 or the Stevens 200.
The Thompson Center Icon isn't bad... and is pretty.

Scope. I like the big stuff...2-12X50, 3-12X50, 4-12X52, 4-16X50 ect... Depending on the cash you have to spend... Kahles, Meopta, Zeiss, Burris, Nikon, Sightron SIII and Leupold in that order.

June 11, 2009, 04:27 PM
I shoot a CZ 550 FS 30-06 with a Leupold FX2-6X. Great setup!

June 11, 2009, 04:49 PM
i agree if you can find a used rem 700 from 10 years ago buy it. should be in the 500$ range for a BDL.

the 06 is a versatile caliber for the occasional hunter who only wants it 1-5 days a year and needs the ability to go buy ammo anywhere.

IF you had the capability of reloading i would say buy a 300 win mag or my fav the 300H&H(not many around though). the win mag can be loaded way down with 165 grn bullets that will hammer deer...then if you want more gun you simply load up some hot rounds with 200grners and off you go same gun different animal.

Optics is a personal choice. i shoot is Zeiss mostly but have a nikon monarch 4-16 on a 243 for varmits. 3-9x40 is a safe reasonbly priced choice.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 11, 2009, 05:24 PM
I shoot a CZ 550 FS 30-06 with a Leupold FX2-6X. Great setup!

Wow, that IS a nice setup!

Mr. T
June 11, 2009, 05:52 PM
Dr. I would say that the Remington model 700 is an excellent choice in guns. For deer hunting I would prefer to go with the semi-auto version the model 7400 or in it's latest offering the model 750 in synthetic furniture. I know there will be others out there who would disagree with me, but for deer hunting it's quick follow up shots are very reassuring and I'll be plain honest it's a productive gun. I happen to own both the model 700 and 7400. If I were going out west hunting for elk I would choose the model 700. If I were hunting deer, I would without any hesitation choose the 7400. It doesn't mean I wouldn't recommend using the model 700 for deer hunting, because I would; it's just that given the choice I would say don't overlook the 7400/750 model. To answer your question completely -- You definitely won't go wrong with the model 700 and for glass I would go with one of the Nikon Pro-Staff scopes. They're economical, but they are good glass and reliable; they also have a lifetime warranty on them. Other options, on the lower economy side of glass I would say that Bushnell makes a quality scope both on the low end and on the high end. On either end of the Bushnell spectrum you'll get good performance. On the high end you can't overlook the Leupold's VX III or VX III-L would be very good options.

June 11, 2009, 08:50 PM
Tikka T3. Remington's always need work of some sort.

June 12, 2009, 01:03 AM
Tikka T3. Remington's always need work of some sort.

If you get a Tikka T3 Lite, you won't be sorry.

The triggers are great. The accuracy is some of the best I've seen in a factory rifle and the light weight is an asset if you're gonna be humping around in elk country.

A couple of things though. If you get a T3 Lite, swap out the recoil pad for a Limbsaver and the OEM scope rings for Talleys or Warnes.

Your shoulder will thank you especially when working up loads or zeroing, and you'll bullet proof yourself against potential scope ring issues as some folks have had.

June 12, 2009, 02:13 AM
Right now the best "Budget" rifle is the Marlin XL7. Next up I'd go Tikka, Savage, Remington, or Weatherby. I'd really like a Winchester Super Grade and have been asking around about the Benelli R1.

June 12, 2009, 03:48 AM
right now i would buy a remmy 700 sps synthetic. a set of luepolld qd blocks and rings and a luepold scope, if i couldn't afford the luepold scope i would buy burris of high end bushnell.

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