If you can afford only 1 Bolt action, which caliber should it be?


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Razor_J
January 28, 2013, 10:40 PM
I'm in the market to buy a new bolt action rifle. I have $400 to spend and I am set on a savage either used or a new axis or a Stevens 200. I just wanted to make that clear so no brand wars will occur. I have a 22 magnum that covers me out to 300 yards are so. it is light, accurate and I know it well. I also have a mosin that is minute of deer vitals out to about 150 yards. I am looking for a rifle that I can scope up and shoot out to about 1k. I want to do this for fun and to have a rifle that delivers accurate, and very respectable energy from a football field away to way the heck out there. My problem is that I dont know what caliber to get.

At first I wanted a big boomer for the fun factor and flatness of shooting at long range such as 7stw, 300 mag, 6.5x284 etc. Then I thought that those rounds would be to bulky and way too loud in a post socio-economic collapse setting. I have been told that magnums would be beacons when you really dont need that kind of company not to mention brass availability and current expense of stocking up components. I then though that 308, 30-06, or 243 would do me fine but again that brought me to a question of availability of reloading components and weight/size constraints of transporting several hundred rounds of ammo along with components for several hundred more.

My current idea is that a 223 with the 1 in 9 twist would be the best option. I can buy ammo components for relatively cheap and I can stock up while staying on my limited budget. The rifle will be light as this is a light caliber, the recoil is also light which is good. I hear that you get a moderate amount of life out of these barrels so long as you clean them well and dont burn them with too hot loads or string too many shots close together. I hear that specificly in the savages folks are seeing great results with bullets that range from the 52 grain a-max to 72 grain bergers. This would mean that I could use bullets scavanged from 223 semi auto ammo that I happen to run across meant for semi autos, or I could conserve my heavier weighted bullets for shots beyond 500 yards. I could also carry several hundred rounds in a fanny pack which I couldnt do with any of the above calibers.

Thoughts on the subject?

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chaser_2332
January 28, 2013, 10:45 PM
.223 is a great caliber, it will get to 1000 but it doesn't like it. I would go Stevens 200 anyway over the savage axis. I would rather have a faster twist barrel if you did want to shoot bullets made for longer ranges. Look for 1-8 or 1-7 twist.

cal30_sniper
January 28, 2013, 10:56 PM
My vote would be the .308. Go anywhere, do pretty much anything, and be able to find ammo when you get there. It'll perform a lot better at the longer ranges than that .223 will, yet its still not that expensive to reload, and milsurp ammunition will be available again when the scare is over.

I grabbed a Savage 110 in .30-06 for exactly the purpose you're talking about. I chose the '06, because I already have several hundred rounds laying around for the Garand. I've got a Savage 10 in .308 back home, but it doesn't have enough scope for long range (only a Weaver K2.5 for moderate range hunting). It still shoots sub MOA with commercial ammo though, and about 1.5MOA with the surplus 7.62 I have.

john wall
January 28, 2013, 11:06 PM
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh175/ShootingCoach/RugerScout.jpg

Ruger Gunsite Scout, 308.

tarosean
January 28, 2013, 11:45 PM
30-06, still one of the most popular rounds in America.

JSNAPS
January 28, 2013, 11:53 PM
30-06, just a little more than a .308. Love both, prefer the 06

Jasper1573
January 28, 2013, 11:57 PM
My vote would be the .308. Go anywhere, do pretty much anything, and be able to find ammo when you get there. It'll perform a lot better at the longer ranges than that .223 will, yet its still not that expensive to reload, and milsurp ammunition will be available again when the scare is over.

+1

30-06 is also a viable option with a bit more recoil than the .308 and costs a bit more to reload, but shoots the same projectiles as the .308 Win

Andrew Leigh
January 29, 2013, 12:06 AM
+1

There is a reason why the calibre has been around for over 100 years, 'cause it is an excellent choice. Happy with 130 to 200gr, bullets, great for close bush hunting, enough energy for deer further away.

Ammo readily available in a wide selection, great cartridge to reload with numerous options available. Proven our far where heavier bullets work well.

There are many pretenders to the throne but only one King when it comes to a "go to" rifle for most occasions.

The only caveat is that the 30-06 is widely considered to be on the threshhold of many a shooters recoil tolerance. If you are recoil averse then a .308 or 6.5mm may well be the stuff.

When shooting out that far it is crucial to have better than MOA accuracy, practice, careful reloading and the performance of a .300 calibre round can give you this.

ugaarguy
January 29, 2013, 12:31 AM
If you're leaning toward a .223 bolt gun for the reasons you list you may want to stretch your budget a bit and get a Mossberg MVP for AR magazine compatibility - http://www.mossberg.com/product/rifles-bolt-action-centerfire-mvp-series-mvp-predator/27715.

USAF_Vet
January 29, 2013, 12:36 AM
I'm getting a Savage Axis in .30-06 as my go-to bolt action. I know folks bag on the Axis for being a 'disposable' gun, but whatever. It's also one of the only affordable left handed bolt guns out there.

I thought about other caliber, but I've got a buddy that reloads for the 06, so I can save on ammo costs there.

Water-Man
January 29, 2013, 12:44 AM
6.5x55 SE.

B!ngo
January 29, 2013, 12:52 AM
+1 again. Another vote for .308.
Greater range and mass versus .223; a bolt-action aids the accuracy that a longer-range shooter may require. Yet it's the 'other' commonly available (read lower-price) rifle caliber (due to it's military spec and scale). If budget allows, I'd look for a rifle model whose magazine design is a standard/volume design (e.g. AI, perhaps others) so you can ride the cost curve of both the cartridge spec and the mag spec as well.
I just bought a Tikka in .308 but there are lots of others to choose from closer to your specified constraints.
B

+1

There is a reason why the calibre has been around for over 100 years, 'cause it is an excellent choice. Happy with 130 to 200gr, bullets, great for close bush hunting, enough energy for deer further away.

Ammo readily available in a wide selection, great cartridge to reload with numerous options available. Proven our far where heavier bullets work well.

There are many pretenders to the throne but only one King when it comes to a "go to" rifle for most occasions.

The only caveat is that the 30-06 is widely considered to be on the threshhold of many a shooters recoil tolerance. If you are recoil averse then a .308 or 6.5mm may well be the stuff.

When shooting out that far it is crucial to have better than MOA accuracy, practice, careful reloading and the performance of a .300 calibre round can give you this.

Browning
January 29, 2013, 12:56 AM
.308 Win.

lefteyedom
January 29, 2013, 01:06 AM
Nothing wrong with the Axis for the price, that said, a used simple savage 10 or Stevens 200 would do you great and you can upgrade stock, barrels, triggers,optics as you want.

The ability to swap barrels out yourself is one of the better parts of having a Savage.

308 will do about everything you asked, if you want to reach out 1000 meters then get a target grade barrel in 260 Remington.

A Savage model 10 can be a switch barrel rifle for
243,
260,
7-08,
308,
338 federal
358 win
With only a wrench and set of go, nogo gages.

wyohome
January 29, 2013, 01:19 AM
.308

slowr1der
January 29, 2013, 01:43 AM
If I could only have one caliber it would be a 30-06.

Zach S
January 29, 2013, 02:05 AM
I look at the .30-06 as the "standard" for bolt action rifles, like the 12 gauge for shotguns.

Centurian22
January 29, 2013, 02:28 AM
I'll vote .308 axis as I'm very happy with mine.

hueyville
January 29, 2013, 02:34 AM
25-06 you can bust varmints to elk with it effectively. Another great choice but have to reload is 6.5mm-06. More bullet selection in .25 though and nice varmint ammo to big game ammo off the shelf. I own around 30 turn bolts and this caliber is my go-to more than all others combined.

TooManyToys
January 29, 2013, 02:44 AM
.308 or 30.06

Reloadron
January 29, 2013, 05:48 AM
The Savage is a fine choice, they are producing good rifles and a reasonable cost that would fit your budget. Personally I like either 30-06 or .308 and despite the 30-06 being a fine cartridge I would lean towards the 308 Winchester chambering. I only say .308 because with the exception of heavy bullets (exceeding 180 grains) you are not giving up much taking a .308 over the 30-06.

Ron

bannockburn
January 29, 2013, 06:55 AM
If I had only one bolt action rifle to choose from it would be a .30-06.

Shanghai McCoy
January 29, 2013, 09:07 AM
I'm an '06 kinda guy but I can see the advantages, ammo wise, of a 308 these days.

The_Armed_Therapist
January 29, 2013, 09:16 AM
I'd say .223 would be fine if you give up the 1k requirement. For 1k, I'd recommend a minimum of .243. If you're worried about the weight of .308 or .30-06, then the .243 is a pretty good compromise. 6mm, .25-06, 6.5 swede, 7mm-08, and even .270 would also fit in the middle fairly well. I'm not really into reloading, so I'm not expert... However, .243 will give you the option of reforming .308 brass, and the .25-06 of reforming .30-06 brass. I'm pretty sure that's the case, anyways...

nastynatesfish
January 29, 2013, 09:18 AM
7 rem mag. Cover all your needs in a factory gun with factory ammo. If you reload it'll really get it done. It's the one rifle that since I got I won't be without

wraith56
January 29, 2013, 09:23 AM
My one bolt rifle is a 30-06, but often I wished it had less recoil. My interest is mainly in practicing on paper. You should reconsider .243 win over a 30 cal option since you sound much more interested in practice than big game hunting. 223 is more economical for practice but handloading narrows that gap.

I am still glad I have more than a 223 bolt just in case.

Inebriated
January 29, 2013, 09:26 AM
Easy, .30-06.

BSA1
January 29, 2013, 09:34 AM
.270

Flat shooting.

Very accurate.

Long range.

Capable of taking down a moose.

Try to buy .223 right now.

Then go to the LGS and discover on much .270 they have in stock. :-)

vujade
January 29, 2013, 09:40 AM
308. Easy to find. Easy to reload. Easy on the gun. Easy on the shoulder. All that and it's accurate.

blarby
January 29, 2013, 09:47 AM
BAsed on your entire question- I would go .308

.30-06 would fill a little better past/right up to 1k, but I can get a heck of a lot cheaper .308 brass than .30-06.

ExAgoradzo
January 29, 2013, 10:45 AM
For your purposes You want something with ready ammo availability. You've got the Nagant to 'cover' hunting, get the 223. I find it hard for me to say that when all else points to a 270, 308, .30-06. Perhaps sell the Nagant and be a real one bolt gun guy with one of those much better calibers. Then get a Mini 14 or a Rem 700 if you want accuracy over volume.
Greg

Cee Zee
January 29, 2013, 11:30 AM
My one bolt rifle is a 30-06, but often I wished it had less recoil. My interest is mainly in practicing on paper.

30.06. They have cartridges with about the same ballistics as a 7.62 x 39 for 30.06 now. That's a big drop off in power. That means you can hunt squirrel and actually have something left to eat after you shoot one. And you can go up to being able to hunt anything in N. America. It's the most versatile rifle around IMO and that makes it the one rifle to fit all needs.

Bio-Chem
January 29, 2013, 11:56 AM
30-06 is kind of the gold standard. If you were to go around america to all the one rifle households if we remove the .22LR i'm willing to bet all the money in my pocket you would see more 30-06 than anything else. after all this time it is still what we compare every other rifle cartridge against. Got to be a reason for that.

That, and my dad's Rem 700 classic shoots 1.5" groups at 200 yards with 150 grain bullets. I'm in love with it

ApacheCoTodd
January 29, 2013, 12:14 PM
Gotta go 30-06. Just like the .357 - load it up, load it down, pick from a bazillion projectiles, lots of platforms out there to choose from and no surprises anymore from the round throughout its span of performance.

Long actions be damned!

allaroundhunter
January 29, 2013, 12:18 PM
If I could only afford one bolt action centerfire rifle.... It would most definitely not be a .223.

I would take a .308 first, followed by a .30-06 or a .243 Win

CHighfield
January 29, 2013, 12:24 PM
Savage Hog hunter: $469.

new Nikon 308 reticle scope (markings calibrated for 308 out to 800 yards)

Back up iron sights already on rifle.

Medium weight barrel.

My choice.

dprice3844444
January 29, 2013, 12:25 PM
do you have any other weapons in 30 cal that might use the same projectiles?

Razor_J
January 29, 2013, 02:23 PM
I do not, the .311 of the nagant wouldnt mesh well with a 30 caliber and the other way around. So far I see alot of 308's and 30-06's which I did expect. I had been considering 243 for weight considerations. its a tough decision, but I see the argument that 308 or 30-06 will get it done at ranges far beyond where the 233 cant.

holdencm9
January 29, 2013, 03:12 PM
This thread really could have used a poll.

My vote would be .308.

4season
January 29, 2013, 03:30 PM
I think this comes down to 2 calibers. The 30-06 is the most versatile round out there. It has been around a long time and is very popular. However the .308 replaced the 30-06 in military service 60 years ago. It is considered to be more accurate and is in current military service.

You said shoot out to 1000 yards and honestly there aren't many people out there that can do that. Most of a bullet's energy is gone at that kind of range so if you want to do more than punch paper go with a bigger round. Now for punching paper at that range I say go with the .308 but you won't find a $400 rifle that is good to go 1000 yards with. Now if you start with a $400 rifle then spend another $200 on the trigger, then another $300-1000 on bedding, free-floating, lapping lugs and possibly even replacing the barrel with something match grade, and then $1000-5000 for your scope, then you might start hitting paper at 1000 yards. I really don't see many people that have ever shot 1000 yards, and the ones that have, spent several thousand on their guns.

Now all that aside, I find the .308 to be a better caliber than the 30-06. The few hundred fps that you gain with a 30-06 is not worth the loss in accuracy or the fact that .308 is in current military use so you will never run out of brass.

allaroundhunter
January 29, 2013, 03:35 PM
Most of a bullet's energy is gone at that kind of range so if you want to do more than punch paper go with a bigger round

My 175 gr SMK has about 650 ft-lbs of energy at 1,000 yards. That is about 1/4th of its energy at the muzzle. While it is not a ton of energy compared to what it started with, it is still more than most all service caliber handguns have at the muzzle..... And the bullet's energy is far from gone.

There is no reason to hunt a deer-sized animal at 1,000 yards with any gun or caliber. If you want to take a shot on a coyote, then go for it, 650 ft-lbs is plenty...

Rancher5
January 29, 2013, 03:37 PM
I 've been varmint shooting for a long time, I vote for a 22-250, Savage for affordable and your not competing for the 223 components, besides bullet choice.Long flat traveling round, no kick, shoot all day, lots of fun

readyeddy
January 29, 2013, 03:46 PM
If you're not hunting, then almost any center fire will do. Now factor in the availability of ammo, and things start to get tricky. Reloading equipment and components are hard to find. .223 dies sold on eBay recently for over $140! That's about $100 dollars over normal retail. .308 equipment and components aren't much better.

Don't assume you can start reloading now. Shortages in the past were mostly primer shortages. This one's different. It's primers, bullets, brass and powder that's hard to find. Forget about .223 or .308, and forget about all the other cartridges that use 22 or 30 cal bullets. Make sure you can find all of your equipment and components before making a decision, or wait this one out.

Bobson
January 29, 2013, 03:59 PM
I'm getting a Savage Axis in .30-06 as my go-to bolt action.
This is the exact rifle and caliber I would suggest. I've shot two different Axis rifles; both were chambered in .270 Win, and both were remarkably accurate (sub MOA with Rem. Cor-Lokt) for their price point. Neither rifle had any custom work done whatsoever - 100% bone stock. IMO, the Axis delivers a superior value than any NIB rifle under $500.

I'd take the '06 over .308 for a bit extra oomph downrange. I'd also give .270 Win some serious consideration.

1858
January 29, 2013, 05:30 PM
.308 Win or .30-06 Sprg ... hard to go wrong with either. My personal preference is for the former but it's not worth fighting over.

medic15al
January 29, 2013, 05:57 PM
Take a look at the Thompson-Center Venture Line of Bolt actions. 5R rifling and incredible accuracy for a great price. Good selection of calibers.

http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/venture.php

goalie
January 29, 2013, 06:01 PM
You said ONE. For me, in North America, that puts 30-06 at the top of the heap. Great for deer. Load up heavy bullets for anything big with teeth and claws.

But, I don't really believe in the "one" concept. Jack of all trades, master of none.......

sixgunner455
January 29, 2013, 06:35 PM
Ain't many problems a man can't fix with a few hundred dollars and a .30-06.

But if you're just punching paper, get a .243 and get set up to reload. You'll have a more pleasant time, and won't have to ice down your shoulder after 200 rounds at the range.

slamfirev10
January 29, 2013, 08:00 PM
+1 30-06,

look at the lee reloading manual for his discussion of light loading the 30-06, makes it a very versatile round

ApacheCoTodd
January 29, 2013, 08:02 PM
It occurs to me that there is a reason to specifically not pick .223 as a sole long gun. I've lived in several jurisdiction where an .22 caliber had hunting restriction.

Maybe that's been mentioned - I get dizzy after two pages of postings sometimes.

rcmodel
January 29, 2013, 08:02 PM
Ain't no problem a man can't fix with $75 dollars and a 30-06.

Or something like that somebody said.

rc

bri
January 29, 2013, 08:11 PM
30-06.

Gordon
January 29, 2013, 08:14 PM
My late Uncle's dream 30-06 Mannlicher Schoenauer with a 4x German #4 Zeiss. Last one to go even after my F Class .308 or my Pre 64 Model 70s.
http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i203/gordonhulme/P1010611.jpg

FSJeeper
January 29, 2013, 08:25 PM
Gordon, it really doesn't get any better. That in left hand in 30-06 would be my dream rifle.

Grassman
January 29, 2013, 09:00 PM
Looks like the .308's have the popularity contest.

TCBPATRIOT
January 29, 2013, 09:17 PM
.308 it will put down just about anything that I can think of in North America at least

Hunter125
January 29, 2013, 11:01 PM
You guys have mentioned the Savage Axis and the Hog Hunter (which I belive is a model 11, could be wrong). Which is the better rifle?

Bhi curamach
January 29, 2013, 11:18 PM
.308 or 30.06
This.
Though I personally lean towards the 30.06.

allaroundhunter
January 29, 2013, 11:21 PM
You guys have mentioned the Savage Axis and the Hog Hunter (which I belive is a model 11, could be wrong). Which is the better rifle?

I would say neither. The Savage 110 is what you should be looking at.

The axis is a budget gun, but none that I have seen have the accuracy that I would like in going past 600 yards. The Hog Hunter just isn't all that appealing unless you are doing some close up brush hunting.

powderx
January 29, 2013, 11:23 PM
308 no question. Common, available, powerful, accurate.

firesky101
January 29, 2013, 11:29 PM
All around uses? .308 or .30'06. If you seriously want to get into 1K yard target shooting, you could start in worse places than .300WSM. You will need to invest in some upgrades to get serious at 1K though. Reloading goes a long way too.

cal30_sniper
January 29, 2013, 11:42 PM
I would say neither. The Savage 110 is what you should be looking at.

The axis is a budget gun, but none that I have seen have the accuracy that I would like in going past 600 yards. The Hog Hunter just isn't all that appealing unless you are doing some close up brush hunting.

The Savage 11 and the Savage 110 are essentially the same rifle. The only difference being that the 11 is a short action and the 110 is a long action. If he was getting a .308 or similar cartridge, he'd get the 11. If he was getting a 30-06 or similar cartridge, he'd get the 110. Other than that, no difference. Both are better rifles than the Axis. My vote would be a used 11/110 in whatever caliber he chooses. Can be sourced easily for $300 in good shape. Add optics as desired. If he gets serious about competition at 1000 yds, then a barrel upgrade will be in the future. If he's just messing around shooting at that distance, the factory barrel should suffice.

Skip the hog hunter though. That short barrel is no friend of distance shooting. It, like the Ruger gunsight, is a compromise for close quarters hunting and stowage. If you're going to shoot targets, get a full size rifle.

TCBPATRIOT
January 29, 2013, 11:45 PM
Savage 11/111 series rifles are the blind magazine versions of the 10/110 series.

OptimusPrime
January 29, 2013, 11:46 PM
.30-06

cal30_sniper
January 29, 2013, 11:54 PM
Savage 11/111 series rifles are the blind magazine versions of the 10/110 series.

Not very sure that is correct. My Savage 110 in .30-06 came with a blind Magazine, as did my 110 in 7mm Rem Mag. I've also seen several 10s that came with blind mags. I own an 11 with blind mag as well. Not certain what the difference between 10/11 and 110/111 is, but its definitely not the magazine (or hasn't always been, maybe that changed recently).

allaroundhunter
January 30, 2013, 12:11 AM
My bad, I meant he should get a Savage 10. The Hog hunter has a shorter bbl and has those dare I say, tacky, iron sights.

cal30_sniper
January 30, 2013, 12:20 AM
No worries. They aren't even iron, BTW, the rear sight is plastic (at least if its the same sight as my 11F, which it definitely appears to be).

Brian Williams
January 30, 2013, 12:30 AM
Going to buck the wind and go with a 7mm-08. If I was to do custom , 6.5 Grendel in a mini-Mauser or CZ mini action.

Sheepdog1968
January 30, 2013, 03:40 PM
For something that will be used for hunting I prefer a 30-06.

If it is just somethign to go to the range for longer range shooting I like a 308.

If it's a combo I'd go with 30-06.

Russ Jackson
January 30, 2013, 03:46 PM
Marlin XL7 30-06.

Captcurt
January 30, 2013, 03:55 PM
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh175/ShootingCoach/RugerScout.jpg

Ruger Gunsite Scout, 308.
You won't get close to one of these with $400.

sixgunner455
January 30, 2013, 04:00 PM
You won't get close to one of these with $400.


The one at my LGS is just south of $1k.

Nice, but too heavy for a Scout, to my mind.

groundhog34
January 30, 2013, 04:26 PM
Only one rifle, you got to go with the 30-06. Very versatile, readily available ammo.

B!ngo
January 30, 2013, 08:41 PM
My vote would be the .308. Go anywhere, do pretty much anything, and be able to find ammo when you get there. It'll perform a lot better at the longer ranges than that .223 will, yet its still not that expensive to reload, and milsurp ammunition will be available again when the scare is over.

I grabbed a Savage 110 in .30-06 for exactly the purpose you're talking about. I chose the '06, because I already have several hundred rounds laying around for the Garand. I've got a Savage 10 in .308 back home, but it doesn't have enough scope for long range (only a Weaver K2.5 for moderate range hunting). It still shoots sub MOA with commercial ammo though, and about 1.5MOA with the surplus 7.62 I have.
This. Ditto.
Just purchased a Tikka Sporter LH .308 after an eight month wait. Truly a beauty though quite costly. Haven't been to the range yet, but after much consideration, that was my choice. Of course, as a LH'er there are fewer good choices but I would have purchased same even if I was right handed.
The .308 is perfect for bolt action. It's not a 'squeeze off a number of rounds' kind of cartridge but a careful, sighted, breath control kind of thing with range and power. Yet, it's readily available at relatively reasonable prices.
B

beatledog7
January 30, 2013, 10:46 PM
A quarterbore (.257 caliber). Bullet weights ranging from about 70 to 120 grains so it can be used on varmints or can take a deer easily. Low recoil. Inexpensive to reload. In North America, .257 is the perfect "just one bolt gun" caliber. My personal choice in the .257 Roberts, but any of the others have pretty much the same plusses.

VaGunNut
January 31, 2013, 07:56 AM
6.5x55

chas08
January 31, 2013, 11:11 AM
30/06 without question!

pseudonymity
January 31, 2013, 01:19 PM
I would say go with the Stevens - it will be easier to find upgrades later when/if you want them. If you want to go to 1000yards supersonic, I do not think you will do it with .308 factory loads and a factory length barrel. I am not quite as sure with the .30-06 either. Both can probably do it with handloads of good powder in cases that are over max OAL so they have to be single loaded. 300WM is probably a good choice if you want 1000 yards with factory ammo. That being said, .308 and .30-06 are going to be quite a bit cheaper to shoot especially with factory ammo.

mgmorden
January 31, 2013, 02:07 PM
Depends on what you want to do with it. If you can only have one rifle but want to hunt everything in North America, the .30-06 is a good compromise. Most people that can only afford a single rifle can't afford trips to Alaska to hunt the really big stuff though.

If you're focused instead on whitetail sized deer, then I prefer a more medium sized cartridge. Something like .25-06, 7mm-08, or 6.5x55. Personally one of my favorite deer rifles is a custom Mauser in .257 Roberts. Plenty of power for deer and virtually no recoil in the heavy rifle I have it in.

GCBurner
January 31, 2013, 02:47 PM
I picked a Stevens Model 200 in .308 as my sole scoped bolt action, general purpose rifle. I thought it offered the best value for the bucks as a package with the 3x9 scope for under $350 on sale.

palmrose2
January 31, 2013, 04:08 PM
"Back in the day" when my rifles consisted of a sporterized enfield, my wife asked me this same question. I told her that if I could only have one rifle, it would have to be a 30.06. For Christmas that year I got a Ruger m77 in 30.06 mounted with a POS Simmons scope. Adjustable trigger with a tang safety. It is a great rifle that IMHO can take any North American game. Ammo availability is excellent. The scope is long gone.

If I was to do over again, I would have told her .243. At the time I didn't think that the little round would be effective enough for hunting deer. I was wrong. In fact the last 2 deer I've shot have been with a 7.62x39. A round even less powerful than the .243. The only .243 I own is a Handi Rifle. Shoots MOA and kills deer fast. I really don't know anyone with much time shooting this round that doesn't love it. I think that if our army had made this round the standard instead of the .223, they wouldn't have been so quick to pull a bunch of M-14s out of storage.

I'm not real familiar with Savage bolts, but many companies have more than one length of action for various calibers. A common cut off is .308 and below, with anything longer using their longest stroke action. This means that even a .257 Roberts is in the long stroke action. While it's not a big deal, it is something to think about.

Elkins45
January 31, 2013, 04:34 PM
308 or 30-06, but if there's a used 98 Mauser patterned gun on the rack for the same money then choose it over the bargain basement Savages. 100+ years later there's still no better bolt action platform than the 98.

joustin
January 31, 2013, 05:51 PM
30-06, you can use the same 308 diameter bullets for the Nagant. Mine is a 312 bore and shoots 308 just as well as 311 loads I've tried.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

Rem700CDLSF3006
January 31, 2013, 07:04 PM
30-06 :)

phonesysphonesys
January 31, 2013, 07:25 PM
Get a .308. It has a short action meaning faster follow up shots. The balistics are equial to the 30-06 but uses less powder. It will shoot 1000 yards with killing power. The bullet selection is good, same as the 30-06. The rifles are lighter.
Semper Fi

murdoc rose
January 31, 2013, 10:03 PM
30.06

Epee
January 31, 2013, 10:18 PM
30.06

Legionnaire
January 31, 2013, 11:54 PM
.30 cal; .308 or .30-06.

280shooter
February 1, 2013, 12:31 AM
280 Rem,

Litefoot
February 1, 2013, 12:54 AM
I vote for the 30-06 for versatility in bullet weights, availability of ammo and the fact that I can share cartridges with my Garand. You do plan to have a Garand one day, don't you?;)

Picher
February 1, 2013, 04:46 PM
I started centerfire shooting/hunting with a .30-06. I shot maybe a hundred woodchucks and crows with it and shot many deer as well.

Then, I discovered the .270 Win, simply because the club where I participated in turkey shoots (targets) banned my .22-250 and I wanted the versatility of 90 grain to 150 grain bullets for combination target, varmint, range, and longer range deer.

After falling in love with the .270 Win, having my expectations eclipsed, I gave my fantastic .30-06, Rem. 700 to my son and haven't looked back, at least not much. The .270 Win has the recognized advantage of putting several bullet weight/powder charge loads into very close POI out to over 100 yards.

That is worth a LOT to me, because I may be using light target loads behind Sierra's great 90 grain HPs and the next shots may be at a deer with full-power loads and never need to change scope settings.

Mudcat Stew
February 1, 2013, 05:38 PM
I didn't have a lot to put in a bolt action myself. I picked up a Mosin about a year back for $130 and between a dovetail mount and a used 2-7x Long eye relief scope (Aim Sports I think), I tied up another $75.

I don't have a lot of bolt action experience, but I sighted it in at the same time I sighted in my father in laws savage 30-06. Not sure of the model.. he spent $600 on it at Cabellas and the scope was a Nikon.

My Mosin hung in there with Savage quite nicely with new manufactured ammo. Both were getting just under 4" at 100. Either one could probably do better with a better shooter. But I didn't see where the 06 was outclassing the Mosin and felt like I got my moneys worth.

After that, I bought a good bit of Milsurp to practice with. The low cost of ammo on 7.62x54r is a big plus for a guy like me who doesn't have a lot of extra cash.

threoh8
February 1, 2013, 05:50 PM
As Townsend Whelen said, "The .30-06 is never a mistake".

.308 would be a close second.

Both are great cartridges, common, versatile, no real vices.

millertyme
February 1, 2013, 09:46 PM
Mine would be a 30-06

Warp
February 1, 2013, 11:31 PM
.308 or .30-06

It would depend on what other guns, if any, I had in either cartridge when I made the acquisition. Currently I have a Garand (.30-06) and no .308, so right now I'd get one in .30-06 and go with it

montanaoffroader
February 1, 2013, 11:57 PM
My first choice would be a .30-06, followed by .308 and then .270.

If you are strictly paper punching then .308 might be a bit more economical once the panic dies down, but the flexibility of the .30-06 is tough to beat.

I own a Savage Axis and it's not a bad rifle, definitely worth the price I paid. The only thing about it that I don't care for is the somewhat heavy trigger and I am going to address that soon. I also own a Marlin XL7 and it is an excellent rifle for the money, very accurate, nice trigger and budget priced to boot.

Southside830
February 2, 2013, 12:51 AM
30.06

xfyrfiter
February 2, 2013, 05:46 PM
Having owned and fired many rounds through 300 wm, 30-06,270, I can say that I now own a 308, strictly because of recoil, bad shoulder, 308 is a good all around for anything in the lower 48 other than moose or griz, and if load selection is right will do the job without hurting too much. Right now brass is a little difficult to find, but this too shall pass.

Revoliver
February 3, 2013, 02:36 AM
.308

gulogulo1970
February 3, 2013, 10:43 AM
Let's see .308 or 30.06?

I'd have to go with the .308. It is a bit more common and will only become more so in the future.

J_McLeod
February 3, 2013, 03:23 PM
I just bought my only bolt action rifle, and I chose .308. After browsing my Lyman manual and the internet I found that .308 and .270 are almost identical ballistically, and both are pretty close to 30.06. .308 is the most common of the 3 and the cheapest to shoot.

Trent
February 3, 2013, 03:44 PM
Only one bolt action?

Good grief, you might as well ask me what CHILD I'd like to save if all 5 were all drowning simultaneously.

I couldn't make a decision like that!

moonzapa
February 3, 2013, 04:17 PM
Hands down, 6mm Remington. It's an efficient whitetail/mule deer and antelope slayer, as well as a very potent varmint caliber.

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