Single shot with iron sights. Caliber recommendation?


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cackalak
November 24, 2010, 09:48 AM
Hi, I'm tossing around the thought of getting a single shot rifle. Not sure why a single shot allures me, but it does. Anyway, I'll be using it to plink and hunt deer/elk/other medium game. I will NOT put a scope on it.

What do you recommend for the caliber? I was thinking 270, 308 or 30-06 originally, but considering the shots will be at 50-100 yds, is this an overkill? Should I get, say a 44 or 357 mag? The ammo cost will be cheaper, which is a plus.

I'm assuming a 44 or 357 will be adequate to take down a deer/elk, pending shot placement. Which, by the way, is the main theme behind the singleshot.

Any thoughts welcome.

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thunder173
November 24, 2010, 10:16 AM
Just my thoughts here,...I think I'd probably go with the .308,....it'll give you more options for longer distances,...be a better elk round than a .44 even at close ranges,...and will most assuredly take a deer at any reasonable range.

You looking at the H&R Handi-Rifle or other?? Careful with those Handi's,..the barrels are addictive creatures and tend to accumulate over time....(Don't ask me how I know......)

Toml
November 24, 2010, 10:22 AM
The .45-70 Government is the classic single shot rifle caliber.

kbbailey
November 24, 2010, 10:25 AM
I'm not a rifle expert. However, I do have and use several single-shot guns.
IF you are certain that you won't use a scope.
IF you are certain that your range won't exceed 50-100yds.
IF you are going to hunt deer/elk for sure.....

I suggest a .45-70 Handi-rifle.

pikid89
November 24, 2010, 10:28 AM
perhaps a 30-30 handi rifle or

if you want to go big get a ruger No. 1 in whatever caliber and get a NECG rear peep sight

AKElroy
November 24, 2010, 10:28 AM
+1 for the .45-70. I have a handi-rifle in .243, and I just realized I need a .45-70 barrel.

cackalak
November 24, 2010, 11:41 AM
Thank for the suggestions. So 308, 30-30 and 45-70 is what I should be considering? I was looking at Handi, Ruger and Rossi. Ruger is the most expensive (by far) out of the bunch at $1200. (not sure what they sell for in stores, though). Handi and Rossi seem to be around $300-400? Any reliability issues with the Handi or Rossi models? I'll spend the dough for a quality firearm, but is Ruger worth 4 times that of the other guns? (I've got a Ruger revolver, so I do know the quality of Ruger firearms).

EDIT: Just searched for some reviews and seems like everyone likes the HR 45-70 rifles. That has really got me intrigued. Price is right at $250-400. Is the 22" barrel on the standard vs. 32" on the Buffalo Classic make much difference? I do like the looks of the BC better, but I also like the smaller size of the standard model as well.

pikid89
November 24, 2010, 11:56 AM
if i were stuck between the NEF/H&R or the Rossi I would go with the NEF every time;
US made, not imported like Taurus/Braztech owned rossi. (plus Taurus and Braztech dont usually inspire thoughts of awesome quality and CS)

cackalak
November 24, 2010, 12:02 PM
Thanks, pikid. I am with you on this. I've been reading issues with the Rossi brands, but none thus far of H&R.

GunTech
November 24, 2010, 12:04 PM
What action are you considering? That makes a difference.

keyboard commando
November 24, 2010, 12:07 PM
30-30,7x57,30-40 ?

rbernie
November 24, 2010, 12:14 PM
What do you recommend for the caliber? I was thinking 270, 308 or 30-06 originally, but considering the shots will be at 50-100 yds, is this an overkill? Should I get, say a 44 or 357 mag? The ammo cost will be cheaper, which is a plus. The 30-30 will be perfect for your described use; plenty of power (moreso than most handgun rounds), easy to shoot (not much recoil), and at least 25% less expensive than other high-pressure rounds. It's also got a PBR out to 200 yards or better, which 44 Mag and other big-caliber rounds will struggle to achieve.

if i were stuck between the NEF/H&R or the Rossi I would go with the NEF every time;I absolutely concur; the Rossi is not nearly the quality of the H&R/NEF. Having said that, the Ruger and Browning falling blocks are superb pieces but also quite spendy.

thunder173
November 24, 2010, 12:14 PM
If you are looking at break action,...and good value for the buck,..you won't go wrong with the H&R/NEF Handi Rifle. A 45/70 barrel would be a great bet as well for the game you are talking at 50-100,..probably even more...(not sure,..as I don't do 45/70),..and I am certain that it would sure as heck put them down. From what I read though,..it do have some respectable recoil,.... in the shorter versions at least.

However,...I do have one in the .308. The recoil is very manageable,..I get decent range options with it,..and great accuracy out to respectable distances,..and it can handle a variety of bullet weights and designs.

I agree with rbernie as well on the 30/30.....it'd surely get it done out to 200,....maybe not as versatile as the .308 would be though.

Each to thems own,....ymmv

millertyme
November 24, 2010, 12:34 PM
get everything you can out of NEF/H&R, just send in your action and have another barrel mated to it. I'm with the crowd as far as the big-bore is concerned. Get a 45-70 and a decent aperture sight for it. Then if you believe you need another caliber just get a new barrel.

S. Hill
November 24, 2010, 12:54 PM
The 45-70 is going to kick the snot out of you, unless you load it down. I don't know that I'd EVER call it a "plinking" round. Now, if you handload, it would be perfect! You can load it down to .45 Colt velocities for target shooting and load it up for elk hunting.

If you are buying ammo, I would agree with Thunder173 and go for the .308. There is surplus ammo on the market that is fairly inexpensive, and like he said, it has a broad hunting application.

Greg Mercurio
November 24, 2010, 02:44 PM
Ruger No.1 at $1200? I have 3 and none cost me over $600 before shipping and handling. If you're limiting your range to 50-100 yards and open sights then .35 Remington is very acceptable with very manageable recoil and abundant ammo.

sappyg
November 24, 2010, 02:44 PM
i'm bias towards the ruger #1. they are 3x the gun of the others mentioned. i like the 45-70 if you handload. if not the the factory bullets will be expensive. also, #1's are probably heavier than the NEF / HR option if that is an issue.
any of the cartiges mentioned would be a good choice with the possible exception of the 357 mag.

GunTech
November 24, 2010, 04:33 PM
I am a sucker for any drop block, but the 1885 low wall is my favorite.

Here's my latest, picked up at a shop unfired. Paid too much for it.

http://guntech.com/single/lowwall-1.jpg

http://guntech.com/single/lowwall-3.jpg

GunTech
November 24, 2010, 04:36 PM
Here's a low wall with scope and iron. 22lr with a more traditional look.

http://guntech.com/single/22lowwall.jpg

kbbailey
November 24, 2010, 04:47 PM
A fine lookin' piece of wood on that Low Wall GunTech.

BrocLuno
November 24, 2010, 06:29 PM
Martini-Henry in (originally in .405 British), but many have been rebarreled to .303 British :)

eastbank
November 24, 2010, 06:34 PM
one of my favorite single shots, a CD little sharps in 44-40. its light,has a tang sight with double set triggers. eastbank.

Dr.Rob
November 24, 2010, 06:38 PM
If I wanted a dedicated single shot in a 'deer' grade caliber I'd avoid the handi-rifle.. unless you get into the 45-70 Buffalo Rifle. H&R's "Buffalo" rifle is only 8 pounds but has excellent sights. It's HALF the cost of a Ruger at $380.

Ruger's Number 1 Medium Sporter weighs in at 7.25 pounds and has a much shorter sight radius, but is designed to be carried around. Locally you can get one here for just under $850.

Handi rifles are odd critters. We have 3 of them in the safe and they've been smithed on a bunch to be good varminters. The triggers were not very good from the factory and all of them (223 and 243) occasionally 'break open' during recoil when you shoot them off a bench. This is just a quirk with these rifles. No amount of smithing has changed that fact. (I suspect the heavier barrel of the Buffalo gun might solve this quirk.)

In big centerfires like the H&R & the Number 1 the cartridge seats a lot closer to your face than in a bolt gun. For me, that means there's a percepable FEEL of concussion when I pull the trigger. A friend's Ruger No. 1 in .300 Win Mag gave me a headache like no other firearm I've ever shot.

CDNN has Winchester low-walls in 45/70 for $800 right now, one of them has a factory tang sight.

Hope the info helps.

eastbank
November 24, 2010, 07:15 PM
i believe the cdnn winchesters in 45-70,s are high walls. eastbank.

clutch
November 24, 2010, 07:24 PM
A .44 mag out of a rifle barrel should be good enough at the range you specified. As to the rifle, I can't suggest one based on experience. My .4x calibre shooting is satisfied by my Marlin 1895 guide gun in 45/70 or borrowing uncles Browning Highwall in same calibre. I shoot cast.

Clutch

rbernie
November 24, 2010, 07:32 PM
Handi rifles are odd critters. We have 3 of them in the safe and they've been smithed on a bunch to be good varminters. The triggers were not very good from the factory and all of them (223 and 243) occasionally 'break open' during recoil when you shoot them off a bench. This is just a quirk with these rifles. No amount of smithing has changed that fact. (I suspect the heavier barrel of the Buffalo gun might solve this quirk.)Interesting. I've bought a handful of the H&Rs in the last couple/three years, in standard high-pressure chamberings (e.g. 308, 30-06, 270) and none of them have ever popped open under recoil. Their triggers do tend to be heavy, but it's quite appropriate for a field rifle.

I prefer the Ruger #1B, but if you can't swing the price then the H&R is a fine alternative.

cackalak
November 30, 2010, 03:55 PM
Just an update, had a chance to shoot a 30-06, 270, 30/30 and 25-06 over the holidays. I think the 25-06 won me over. Little light for elk, but should be fine for anything smaller. I am looking pretty hard at the Ruger No. 1.

Freedom_fighter_in_IL
November 30, 2010, 04:54 PM
As an owner of a few of them, do not forget about Thompson Center Single shot systems. I have a couple of Ruger #1's (450NE that kicks like an angry mule on steroids) and a 45/70 (Much nicer to shoot if you are a reloader). The TC weapons I own are the Pro Hunter frame with 5 barrels (7mm.08, 30.06, 22.250, .308, .50 muzzle loader) Encore frame with 3 barrels (.270, .25.06, .30/30) If memory serves me correctly, you have to send the Handy RIfle frames in to be "mated" with barrels. The T.C.'s you only need to specify which frame and the barrel you want for it. They are a little more expensive than the HR but in my opinion they are a little better off the shelf and also have a little larger calibre options in barrel choice. All my barrels from T.C. have been more than acceptable in accuracy right out of the gate. All that being said, I do love the lines of my Rugers as well as the feel of them. But as far as versatility goes, the T.C. is pretty hard to beat. You can get the barrels with or without rifle sights.

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