Another "best" rifle for everything thread


October 9, 2011, 07:50 PM
The contents of my gun safe did not survive the Great Bastrop Labor Day Conflagration. Texas deer season starts in a month. Having just lost over 40 long guns (leaving the handguns for another day) and having very poor insurance coverage on guns (will be corrected during the post-rebuilding policy update and review), I have decided I can replace one hunting rifle for the present. I thought I wanted a CZ550 Ultimate Hunting Rifle. CZ-USA said they have not received any for at least the past three months. So that one is out.

If you were buying a rifle for north american hunting from a 50 yard shot on a 100# deer (on of the few things that are not bigger in Texas) to a 300 yard shot on a rocky mountain moose and maybe an occasional trip to a 600 yard range for bragging rights with the hunting partners, what would it be and why?

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Shadow 7D
October 9, 2011, 08:16 PM
I'll take Shotguns for $1000 Alex

Followed closely by...
a combo gun in 20ga/.22 (Hornet preferably)
I'd like something with a magazine capacity/repeating, but that combo will get pretty much everything out there.

October 9, 2011, 08:25 PM


October 9, 2011, 08:28 PM
For me the answer to the make/model is easy Winchester Mod.70
The cartridge is one of two possibilities. Either 30-06 or if you like to reload and tailor ammunition to the occasion .375 H&H. This is not a joke, anyone that uses a .375 H&H a lot will confirm that they waste less eating meat than almost any of the more popular cartridges.( It also makes people look at you funny)


October 9, 2011, 08:34 PM
I like WEGs...

I have a light CZ 527M in 7.62x39mm that would eaily handle the first requirement, but at 300 yards I get a huge drop, and I don't think I could reach 600 yards with any regularity. ;)
Hoe about the 550 American in .308?

October 9, 2011, 08:55 PM
I'd recommend a 280 Remington. It'll work for your hunting needs just fine. I'm sure you can shoot it out to 600 yards just as well, if not better then most non-magnum cartridges. My limit is 300 yards for hunting. The 280 Rem. is 7mm /.284 caliber and there are a lot of bullets available from 100 gr. to 175 gr. The shoulder on the 280 Rem. is about .050" farther forward then both the 270 Win. and 30-06 Spr. (which are GREAT cartridges too!) meaning it will hold a tad more powder then the other two. Hand loaders can take advantage of the extra case capacity.

There aren't as many rifles chambered in the 280 Rem. as other more popular cartridges. However it's an awesome cartridge. There are some really good factory loads available for it too.

Using Remington 140 gr. Core-Lokt Pointed Soft Points I zero mine rifle at 200 yards. It's almost right on at 50 yards, around 2 inches high at 100 yards, it's down around 7 inches at 300 yards and down around 20 inches at 400 yards. Like I said, I won't shoot past 300 yards, at least until I get more practice. Never seen a deer or anything else while hunting in my area more then 300 yards anyway's.

Good NYH1! ;)

October 9, 2011, 09:10 PM
Wow, I'm sorry you lost so much in the fire. After seeing all that devastation on the news I had my little two acres near cleaned up.

What about a .270 Win?

October 9, 2011, 10:04 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss. That is rough! I would take a serious look at:

Winchester M70 in either 7-08 Rem or .308 Win


Weatherby Vanguard 2 in either 7-08 Rem or .308 Win


October 9, 2011, 10:40 PM
To rebuild efficiently and economically, I'd find a good second hand Remington 700 BDL in .30-06, and then buy a single-stage reloading press and dies. Tailoring the many available bullet weights and styles into the different loads you need, you can handle everything from plinking rounds to high power hunting loads for everything shy of grizzly. And the ought-six will make 600 yards easily; with match ammo it'll go past 1000.

October 9, 2011, 11:28 PM
Sorry to hear about our loss. I'd go with my CZ 550FS in .308. CZ reliability, light weight, balance, accuracy and the versatile .308 cartridge. What's not to like? I almost forgot, it sports iron sights as well as being scope ready.

October 9, 2011, 11:35 PM
Make mine a Winchester 94 in .30-30 with a peep sight.

October 9, 2011, 11:37 PM
AK47 for me, please!

October 10, 2011, 12:57 AM
jdh, sorry to hear about your misfortune.

While reading your post, I was thinking Marlin 30-30, right up until I read the part about 600 yards. Although I'm a big fan of the .308, I think I'd have to go 30-06 on this one. I shoot my .308 most of the time, but I still have the 06 for when I need a bit more.

October 10, 2011, 01:14 AM
I'll admit that when I argued for .30-30 I was consciously ignoring the 600 yard comment.

I am not a good enough shot and never will be a good enough shot to hunt at 600 yards. Period. I could not even pretend to offer a suggestion for that.

Instead, I offered up a suggestion that will take any game in the lower 48 if the hunter is up to it. It's also a heck of a lot easier, in my opinion, to hunt small game and even some birds (turkey for ex) with a .30-30 than any .308 or .30-06 no matter how far down you load them.

IMHO & all that. Hope it helps.

October 10, 2011, 01:19 AM
Treat yourself to a semi custom rifle from a place like E.R. Shaw in .280 AI or .264 win. Both are good long range numbers, though not very common, which is a plus in my book. Good bullet selection for both. After a loss like that, you deserve a treat.

October 10, 2011, 01:31 AM
My mom lost everything there also...she was in circle d. Didn't see much smoke and nobody came to evacuate, in fact early on a fireman told her to go home everything was ok. Left when things close by started to explode! Anyway back on topic, I will loan you a winchester 30-30 for deer season, I also have a yugo sks and a mosin 91-30. If you don't/can't find something to buy to suit ur needs for deer season maybe we can work out a loaner gun.

I work in a pawn shop in Austin and I have a cz 550 premium on the shelf but I can't remember the may be .223 but i'll check when I work on tuesday. It's a nice rifle but if i'm right on caliber it won't suit ur needs.

October 10, 2011, 08:28 AM
Enfield 2A !

October 10, 2011, 08:45 AM
7mm remington magnum Rifle, Stainless and higherend composite stock. As nice as a cz is and as well as some shoot the blue metal and nice wood would stop me from useing it as a rough country, bad weather hunter. Maybe the new ruger all weather hawkeye.

October 10, 2011, 08:46 AM
I don't know about your preferences for wood and steel.

As to caliber and what you expect it to be capable of, it'd be hard to go wrong with a 30.06.


October 10, 2011, 08:46 AM
Tikka T3 in 6,5*55

October 10, 2011, 09:17 AM
Older Remngton 700 in 270 Win would suit you all around. Large ammo selection, find ammo in any store, flat trajectory, lighter recoil then a '06, what more could you want. I have a 270 that hits everything I point it at. JMO

October 10, 2011, 09:24 AM
Moose at 300m, or plinking at 600, something in a long cased .30 is necessary, as opposed to an intermediate like 7.62x39. That, and .30-30, are a joke, right? The drop at 600 is measured in yards, much less feet. Pretty funny.

As for the extreme range distance, you're going to want more than one optic, that 50 yard whitetail will come down with a red dot, the 600 plinking needs a 4x12. So, get an easy to change rail receiver.

DPMS .308 with a good trigger and call it done.

451 Detonics
October 10, 2011, 09:28 AM
I would seek out a 300 H&H. Depending on the load it will handle anything in the New World and has proven itself in long range by winning the Wimbledon Cup. If money was a concern you can find very well done sporters created from 1917 in the $500 range, Remington 721s for about the same. For more money a Remington 700 Classic or Winchester Model 70. If you are sitting flush a Blaser R8 Professional is about as good as it gets.

October 10, 2011, 09:30 AM
Bad news, sorry,

Role your own for the 300 Win Mag and run them out of a Savage, with a quality glass.
110 to 220 grain options for most all needs.


October 10, 2011, 09:30 AM
Thanks for all the replies.

The 600 yard thing is not a deal breaker. It is something that came about when one of the guys started bragging and was told to but up or shut up. After his performance on the range that day we had serious doubts about his claimed shot in the hunting field. But is was a fun day and we all had a good time.

W.E.G. is pretty close to one of the lost rifles. It was an R-25 Remington in 308, giving good consideration to going back to this. I was extremely surprised at how accurate it was.

303tom, Two bubbaed #4s with scope, a pristine #4 and a decent #5 were among the causualties. Good hunting ammo is scarce in these parts. Since the guns are higher on the replacement list and it will be some time before the reloading gear is pack in service the 303 will be in the future.

That also applies to some of the other suggestions. I should have added the condition that, for the immediate future, it needs to be limited to a caliber for which ammo is commonly available.

I prefer the looks of blue steel and wood but realize that for the purposes of this project composite and a more weather resistant metal/finish would be a better choice. Most of the hunting here is stand hunting so weight is not a major factor.

To give you some ideas of my taste and in no particular order here are some of the hunting type rifles that were lost.

CZ550 Varmint Laminate 308
Ruger 77 Stainless with laminated stock in 338 WM
Remington 742 30-06
The bubbaed #4 Brit with ugly scope mount.
Had almost finished the conversion of a Savage 110 to 458 WM
The Marlin levers in 30-30, 35 Rem, 45-70, 41 mag, 357 mag.
Ar-14 in 6.8spc with laminated wood "furniture".
And the aforementioned R-25 308.

October 10, 2011, 09:46 AM
One thing I haven't seen is how much can you spend. If you can buy whatever you want, get a custom bolt rifle. If you are not wedded to any particular caliber you should look a the 6.5s. The newest being the 6.5 Creedmore. I suggest you call Hornady and pick thier brains. Saying that I presently own three hunting rifles My first choice for the long range was a .300 WM (not the short one) it is a Colt lw. The second is a Winchester MD70 sslw old style in 30-06 Most versital caliber there is. The third one is a savage 99 in .308. Yes they are all 30s it just worked out that way. If I had the money I would get a 6.5 boltgun. Might anyway, looking to sell the 300.

Whatever you choose I wish you good luck and easy targets.



October 10, 2011, 09:56 AM
One of the new Winchester 70s in .308, thats what I would rebuild on.

October 10, 2011, 04:06 PM
To rebuild efficiently and economically, I'd find a good second hand Remington 700 BDL in .30-06, and then buy a single-stage reloading press and dies. Tailoring the many available bullet weights and styles into the different loads you need, you can handle everything from plinking rounds to high power hunting loads for everything shy of grizzly. And the ought-six will make 600 yards easily; with match ammo it'll go past 1000.

I agree. No point in eating the first shot depreciation. You can get into "fancy" guns later. Work on a nice used grocery getter just like our folks would. The reason is different (sorry for your losses :(), but the outcome is the same - times are tough for you, go for value.

If it were me and you can't find that lightly used 06 (?), I'd be looking for a Savage 99 in 308. Either will do the job and both will have good resale value should you decide to sell to get something else later on :)

October 10, 2011, 04:26 PM
Sorry about your loss . . . saw the smoke from the Bastrop fire in the distance a couple of weeks ago when I was driving along SW Parkway . . . even from that far away, it looked bad. (I live about midway between the Spicewood Springs and Steiner Ranch fires.)

As to your need . . . I suggest a Winchester M70 in .30/06 with a Leupold 'scope, something like a 3x9 or 3.5x10. I've used this basic rig (post '70 push-feed action, B&C stock, Leupold Vari-X II 3x9) on everything from varmints on the small side to kudu, leopard, and zebra on the larger side with excellent results for the past several decades.

October 10, 2011, 04:30 PM
Winchester EW in either 300 WSM or 30-06. Had a minor emergency and had to log off briefly. Here is why I chose the gun and calibers.

I have been EXTREMELY impressed with the new Winchesters. I own an EW in 308 and it is by far the best rifle I've owned or shot. I did replace the factory stock with a very lightweight McMillan Edge which made it even better.

Been looking at the 300 WSM for a long time, but didn't take the plunge until this summer when I found a stainless classic Winchester used for dirt cheap. I put it in the factory stock from the 308 and have essentially the same gun without the flutes on the barrel. The 300WSM and rifle combination is very versatile and far better than the older belted 300 Win mag. It dosen't offer any more power or velocity, but it does equal it in a smaller, lighter 308 size package. The short fat rounds are more efficient, giving equal velocity with less powder. This means you can achieve those velocities from shorter barrels and with less recoil. If you hand load you can load it down to 308 levels for even more recoil reduction. Yes, you can also load down the 300 win mag, but are stuck with a rifle 1/2 lb heavier and 4" or so longer.

If you don't handload the WSM rounds are quite pricey, but by handloading are no more expensive than a 308. If you don't handload I'd go 30-06 only because of the price of ammo.

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