Advice needed re caliber choice


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bandk
October 17, 2013, 03:49 PM
Hi,
We'd like to get my brother in law a hunting rifle for his 50th birthday.
I would very much appreciate opinions for caliber choice.
Here is what I know:

Hunting location: Pacific NW, east of the Cascades in WA
Large game
Action: bolt preferred but not an absolute.
Currently owned calibers: 30-30, 30-06, 22LR


What would be a good addition to his current calibers?

Thanks

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Sam1911
October 17, 2013, 03:59 PM
Well, he's really got his bases covered there. There's surely not much he couldn't kill easily and humanely with one of those rifles.

I see two "gaps." He doesn't have a small caliber varmint round (.223, .22-250, .220 Swift, .204, .17 Rem., and so on) and he doesn't have a "heavy." .375, .338, etc.

Don't know if he wants to hunt varmints, or if he's ever going to go after some game he couldn't kill with a heavy .30-'06 load, but maybe.

There are about 150 cartridges between or near the .30-30 and .30-'06, all of which are pretty much redundant to any "practical" need, considering that he already owns those two.

But, 'most every one of those 150+ are cool for one reason or another and he might enjoy having something new, even if it is completely redundant.

mooner
October 17, 2013, 04:07 PM
I hate to say this, but it sounds like he may not need a big game rifle. Keep in mind if anybody bought me a rifle in any caliber for my birthday I certainly would not be complaining about anything about it. Especially not caliber.

How about something like a 243, 250, or 6.5 something? Maybe a 22-250, 223, or 204 Ruger for varmints?

For what he will be hunting the magnums are probably overkill, but I suppose if you were hell bent on getting him a big-er game rifle in a different caliber, a 300 win mag would certainly work.

Another idea, assuming his 30/30 is a lever, and the '06 is a bolt, how about a semi auto? Browning BAR, AR-platform, or M1 Garand in no particular order. The Garand and BAR both come in 30-06 to keep the calibers he keeps on hand limited. The Garand will need a different gas plug to shoot the more modern ammo.

This probably did not help you narrow down anything, did it.

Old Shooter
October 17, 2013, 04:17 PM
For big game, on the light side I'd go 243 Winchester and on the heavier side 35 Whelen.

Remington 700's available for either choice along with many other manufacturers.

Sam1911
October 17, 2013, 05:08 PM
but I suppose if you were hell bent on getting him a big-er game rifle in a different caliber, a 300 win mag would certainly work. (Psst: That's the same CALIBER as .30-'06! ;))

Well, that's a good example of what I meant by redundant. Are there many game animals that a 200-230 gr. .30 caliber bullet from a .30-'06 wouldn't cleanly kill that the same bullet going a scant few hundred fps faster out of the .300 would? The extra speed just gives you a slightly flatter trajectory so you could have a little easier time hitting your target at longer range. Does he want to hunt at longer ranges than he does now?

I think the first step would be figuring out what he wants to DO with the gun that he can't do now, then find the right gun to fill that need.

For the great majority of hunters, I'm thinking the varmint gun idea is going to be the real winner. Something in .243 Win or smaller. Just not that many people going after really big bears or other large game (safari?) that you'd need a heavy caliber and magnum cartridge to handle.

...

Now, that's sticking with the hunting rifle idea. There's a whole lot of guns in the world that aren't hunting rifles and they're heaps of fun too! (For some of us, heaps MORE fun!) Just something to consider.

mooner
October 17, 2013, 05:13 PM
(Psst: That's the same CALIBER as .30-'06! )

Indeed it is! Same caliber as the 30/30 as well, don't leave that little guy out!

ms6852
October 17, 2013, 05:36 PM
Sam1911 and mooner pretty much covered it. Does not seem to have a shot gun, maybe this would be a good way to get him into bird hunting or skeet shooting. I would go with a 12ga or 20 gauge.

matrem
October 17, 2013, 06:09 PM
If I owned those three rifles; a.22lr, .30/30, and .30/06, my next one would be a .223 or .22/250.
But, then again, there are dozens that would be enjoyable to fill perceived voids.

GAF
October 17, 2013, 07:37 PM
Then there is the CZ 572 carbine in 7.62X39.

matrem
October 17, 2013, 07:51 PM
7.62 x 39s are just Russian .30/30s.

HOOfan_1
October 17, 2013, 07:55 PM
If it must be for big game...7mm-08, 6.55x55 or .270 win

bandk
October 17, 2013, 08:42 PM
Great advice, thank you.

I'm intrigued by the smaller caliber suggestion for varmints. There are a bunch of rockchucks nearby that have been a common problem. For that the 22LR usually shows up. My first thought in this arena is the 17. Although, I am not familiar with much other than the 223 at the lower end. I should add that the more I think about it the more I lean towards bolt action. I suspect the 223 would be the best value for varmit caliber in terms of ammo cost. Any suggestions for a good bolt action in 223?

Without spilling the beans, my initial thought was 7mm Rem Mag. How would that sit in the arena of 30-30 and 30-06?

bandk
October 17, 2013, 08:51 PM
I am researching additional calibers to add:

current:
22LR
30-30
30-06

would 7mm rem mag be too much of the same for N. America big game hunting in the Pac NW, east of the Cascades (more open potentially)?

HOOfan_1
October 17, 2013, 09:03 PM
7mm magnum is around .30-06 power....but flatter shooting.

AABEN
October 17, 2013, 09:10 PM
223 would be very good and there is a lot of 223 to pick from! There is a lot of different ammo to pick from some is cheep also. The Savage is a good gun for the money.Do not with any thing less than 1 in 9 or 1 in 8 that you can shoot 55gr bullets and 68gr bullets. the 1 in 12 or the 1 in 14 is for 30gr bullets 50gr bullets.

Geno
October 17, 2013, 09:24 PM
Hands down, my favorite is my Vanguard Varmint Special for the .223 Rem. It has a 1-12 barrel.

Don't overlook the Mossberg MVP, which uses AR-15 magazines. It has a 1-9 barrel.

These are my two .223/5.56 rifles, and both are very accurate.

Geno

The_Armed_Therapist
October 17, 2013, 09:47 PM
.22-250/.223 rem or .338/.375 mag... Is he more likely to hunt coyotes or moose?

Sam1911
October 17, 2013, 10:29 PM
If I were looking for a highly accurate, quality bolt-action, I'd absolutely look first at the Savage rifles.

Having said that, many makers are putting out high-quality bolt guns these days.

.223 is going to give the most cost-effective factory ammo choices. .22-250 or .220 Swift will be more flat shooting and easier at longer ranges. If he reloads, one's about as inexpensive as the other, sort of.

If he's happy with a .30-'06, I really don't see much point in also getting a 7mm Mag, as the differences in what one can do with either of them are not terribly large.

litman252
October 17, 2013, 11:25 PM
7 mag is one of the most common calibers for elk/deer at longer(ish) ranges. It's only too much if it hurts. Some say same recoil of a 30-06 with more performance. Lighter bullet that is faster.

I'd go .338, preference on the 338 federal or something like it.

Of course I have a 7 STW, going for elk at end of month in Eastern Oregon.

Tony

tahunua001
October 17, 2013, 11:40 PM
I would say a 243 or 45/70 would be a goood addition to that collection.

jmr40
October 18, 2013, 12:30 AM
A 7mm mag would be virtually the same as your 30-06, either are good, but not enough difference to own both. The 30-06 with heavier bullets is a better option on larger game and is plenty for elk etc. out past 500 yards.

The 7 mag MIGHT give you 50 yards more useable range, but only if you have the skills to shoot past 500-600 yards. Something smaller would make more sense. A 243 would be a good option. Just about perfect for deer, and still useable on larger stuff at close to moderate ranges.

The_Armed_Therapist
October 18, 2013, 10:50 AM
.223/.22-250/.243.....OR..... .338 win mag/.375 hh mag/.45-70... Are you more likely to hunt coyotes or moose?

EDIT: I naively thought, "Oh wow... Almost the same post I responded to a little while ago, and my same advice applies... Just realized it's the same post. HAHAHA

bandk
October 18, 2013, 11:09 AM
I do not, personally, have experience with the 30-06 nor 7mm rem mag.
My understanding from listening to others is that, 30-06 tends to be used more often at much shorter ranges that what forum discussions would suggest and that longer accuracy is much easier with 7mm rem mag. Is there merit in this?

bandk
October 18, 2013, 11:16 AM
Regarding the smaller varmit calibers: I have no experience whatsoever with .22-250 or .220 Swift. Are these calibers commonly available? Would they be at Walmart (ironically, which may be the only nearby source for a small town)?

Art Eatman
October 18, 2013, 11:17 AM
bandk, I don't see enough difference in '06/7mmMag to mean much. Either works quite well to 500 yards. The main thing, regardless of cartridge, is knowing the trajectory.

A .243 would work on Bambi as well as the .30-30 or the '06. I'd look at a .223 for paper-punching and varmints.

As example, my Ruger 77 Mk II light sporter has always given me half-MOA groups, and I've shot quite a few prairie dogs out to 300 yards. And the .223 works well on coyotes. It's a least-cost paper-puncher, as well.

HOOfan_1
October 18, 2013, 11:18 AM
.22-250 is common. .220 Swift is not. I would think Walmart would stock .22-250 They would more likely stock .223, but during a panic, .22-250 has been more available.

hatt
October 18, 2013, 11:23 AM
.45-70

KC45
October 18, 2013, 12:37 PM
What purpose would the new gun have to fulfill?
Identify the purpose or role first and then go look for the tool... not get the tool and then look for a purpose.

bandk
October 18, 2013, 01:08 PM
good point re purpose.
For me and this gift, its a balance, for a 50th bday, between symbolism versus functional improvement to his range of hunting options. The suggestions have been super helpful and gives me the info to ask his wife what might make him happiest.

thanks for all the info.

Sam1911
October 18, 2013, 01:27 PM
[Merged Duplicate Threads]

Sam1911
October 18, 2013, 01:29 PM
My understanding from listening to others is that, 30-06 tends to be used more often at much shorter ranges that what forum discussions would suggest and that longer accuracy is much easier with 7mm rem mag. Is there merit in this?
No there is no merit in that.

.30-'06 is very common, so many hunters use it. And, most hunters take game at closer ranges rather than longer ones. Therefore, many shots taken with .30-'06 are close range shots. That doesn't mean that .30-'06 is limited in a substantive way, as compared to 7mm Mag.

The_Armed_Therapist
October 18, 2013, 01:47 PM
My understanding from listening to others is that, 30-06 tends to be used more often at much shorter ranges that what forum discussions would suggest and that longer accuracy is much easier with 7mm rem mag. Is there merit in this?

Yes and no. If someone wants to shoot 400+ yards, then it can make a difference. The 7mm mag will shoot flatter, but we're talking an inch or two of difference in the 300-400 range. Most of us will never have the opportunity and/or desire to hunt past those distances, so it really doesn't matter.

303tom
October 18, 2013, 02:10 PM
Hi,
We'd like to get my brother in law a hunting rifle for his 50th birthday.
I would very much appreciate opinions for caliber choice.
Here is what I know:

Hunting location: Pacific NW, east of the Cascades in WA
Large game
Action: bolt preferred but not an absolute.
Currently owned calibers: 30-30, 30-06, 22LR


What would be a good addition to his current calibers?

Thanks
Looks like you need a .243 or .308 !......................

Sam1911
October 18, 2013, 02:39 PM
If he's got a .30-'06 why in the world would he go buy a .308, too? :scrutiny:

tahunua001
October 18, 2013, 02:42 PM
I concur with sam on that one. 308 lies smack dab in the middle between 30-06 and 30-30 in terms of power and ballistics. a 308 would be pointless. that's like telling a guy with a 9mm and 10mm that he needs a 40S&W

MachIVshooter
October 18, 2013, 02:57 PM
Well, he's really got his bases covered there. There's surely not much he couldn't kill easily and humanely with one of those rifles.

I see two "gaps." He doesn't have a small caliber varmint round (.223, .22-250, .220 Swift, .204, .17 Rem., and so on) and he doesn't have a "heavy." .375, .338, etc.

I agree. As far as medium and large game go, he does not need anything else. But a .30-06 I would consider on the light side for any dangerous game, and definitely more recoil than you'd want to tolerate for a day of varmint shooting.

If you say he has rockchucks to dispatch, I'd probably go with a .22 centerfire of some variety. I like my .220 Swift, but for most, the much more available and much cheaper ammo of the .22-250 or .223 make them a better choice, despite the slightly shorter range capabilities. My .223 worked just fine out to 400+ yards on praire dogs, wasn't until I started shooting beyond 500 that its shortcoming showed.

bpl
October 19, 2013, 05:36 PM
Well, I have a 9mm, a 10mm and a 40 S&W...:neener:

And a 308 is pretty close to a 30-06 and may seem redundant, however, what if the 308 is a lightweight handy rifle and the 30-06 is a heavier sporter weight? How big and heavy is his 30-06? Does he do a lot of hiking while hunting rather than sitting in a stand? If so, a lightweight rifle in 308 or 7mm-08 might be a good choice.

wgaynor
October 19, 2013, 05:39 PM
Go for a .44 magnum lever action.

nathan
October 19, 2013, 05:44 PM
7mm 08 for medium range around 300 meters at or the flat shooting .2506 which i have .

steveo452
October 19, 2013, 06:12 PM
The 30-30 is a short range bush caliber. I'd stretch It out a bit with something like a .243, 257 Roberts, or 7-08 in a Lt. weight bolt rifle. For myself I'd go for the .257 Roberts. If not this class of caliber I'd look at a varmint caliber ( .223, 22-250 ). The 30-06 covers the top end for anything short of brown bear.

Rayzor
October 19, 2013, 06:17 PM
He has a 30.06. What more does he need?
More calibers means more rounds to stock.
A 30.06 takes a variety of weights for bullets that can take down anything in the western hemisphere.
If he is an avid shooter...get him a reloader and 30.06 dies.

steveo452
October 19, 2013, 06:34 PM
That's great advice Rayzor, except the OP didn't ask for IT. He asked for advice on what caliber, for the rifle he IS getting for his bil.

bandk
October 20, 2013, 12:45 AM
where would 270win fit in this discussion?

powder
October 20, 2013, 01:01 AM
22-250

Remington makes a great 700 therein.

pbrktrt
October 20, 2013, 11:24 AM
A Ruger #1 in 375 H & H would make you the best BIL in the world.

Geno
October 20, 2013, 11:47 AM
The .270 Win is an interesting cartridge, in my opinion, because it has such a wide application potential. I achieved excellent accuracy with 90 grain Speer Hot Core HPs, and 100 grain Speer Hot Core spire points. Those were dandy varmint rounds. By excellent accuracy, I mean 1" to 1.25" at 100 out to 200ish yards.

The 130 grain projectiles were excellent for medium sized game, including whitetail deer, ram and wild boar. Several of the old-school professional hunters proclaimed that if a rifle would not group with 60 grains of H4831 and a 130 grain projectile, that it was likely the shooter's fault, not the rifle. Sure, it's a bit of overstatement. But it is true, that the given load, is accurate accross all of the .270 Wins that I have owned. My Weatherby Vanguard VGX grouped quite consistently, in the 1.25", 3-shots, at 300 yards benched.

It's hard to beat that accuracy, unless you were firing my previously owned Sako, Finnbear in .270 Win. Said load would (also with AA3100) print clover leaf groups, 3-shots, at 100 yards, and I could consistently hit 5 of 6, 2-liter pop bottles at 500 yards in the gravel pit.

While I prefer the 130 grain projectiles, others like the .270 Win for the 150 grain projectle, because it has a very high ballistic coefficient, and as such the projectile slips through the air, retaining higher velocity, and offers higher terminal energy than the 130 grain projectile. I never used the 150s for hunting.

One of my friends borrowed my Weatherby Mark V (9-lug variant), in .270 Win to harvest a 200ish pound boar, using 140 grain projectiles. He was using Winchester Supreme bonded loads. It was one of the fastest downings of a game animal I have ever witnessed. I would put the terminal effect of that shot on-par with what I witnessed with my .257 Wea Mag, and my .300 Wea Mags. It almost appeared to drive that boar to the ground. I suspect he hit the spine. Regardless, one of the best shots I've ever seen.

There are also 160 grain projectiles for the .270 Win. So, whatever you want to hunt, varmint to moose, the .270 Win has done it, and with good effect. IMHO, it is difficult to out-class a .270 Win, for most hunting applications in the lower 48. That is not to slam the .25-06 Rem, which I think is a very close equal, or the .280 Rem, or of course the .30-06 Sprg, perhaps king-of-the-nonbelted cartridges.

But, the .270 Win?! Excellent round. Now, you would only have the task of selecting which of the dozens of rifle availabilities to purchase. :D

Geno

Sam1911
October 20, 2013, 12:41 PM
where would 270win fit in this discussion?Nestled as close to a .30-'06 as you could want, so long as what you're looking for is another of pretty much exactly what he has.

.270 is .30-'06 "Extra Medium"

critter
October 20, 2013, 12:43 PM
A .35 Whelen or a 45-70 would be my choice.

tomrkba
October 20, 2013, 12:48 PM
Buy something he will shoot. He will end up trading the gun away if he never uses it. What about a nice upgrade to what he has? Perhaps a nice Browning or a Ruger Gunsite?

What about a CMP Garand? Those are always nice to get!

SwampWolf
October 20, 2013, 02:26 PM
Something he might not buy for himself (because, I suppose, for some it borders on the esoteric side) but would appreciate and enjoy if someone else (you :)) bought it for him would be a Weatherby Vanguard, chambered in .257 Weatherby Magnum. These rifles are relatively affordable, rugged, reliable and accurate. .257 Weatherby Magnum won't be found on the shelves of Wal Mart and it is on the pricey side but not many would shoot this cartridge a lot if the rounds were free.

Alternately (and I suppose more practically), the .257 Roberts or the 25-06 would be good choices to fill that yawning gap in your brother's firearm inventory.

Mike1234567
October 20, 2013, 03:26 PM
My choice would be either .223 REM, .458 SOCOM, .45-70 Govt or .458 Mag... in that order.

The Big Game Hunter
October 21, 2013, 10:46 PM
It sounds like he has a pretty nice collection there. The way I see it, he needs either a varmint round like a .223, which many have already suggested, or a larger caliber rifle suitable for hunting much bigger game. If he is a serious big game hunter and may have brown bear, moose, or dangerous African game in his future, then something along the lines of the .375 H&H or a 9.3x62mm Mauser may be in order.

While both are outstanding cartridges, I'm partial to the 9.3x62mm myself. If I could only have one cartridge to hunt the widest variety of game possible with for the rest of my life, I would choose the 9.3x62mm. With the right bullets, one could hunt everything from deer to elephant with this cartridge. To top it off, CZ USA makes the 550 American (an outstanding rifle) chambered in 9.3x62mm for $800-850.

More details on this versatile cartridge can be found below if you're interested.
http://www.thebiggamehuntingblog.com/2013/09/the-93x62mm-mauser.html

The bullet on the left is a 286gr Swift A-Frame and the one on the right is a 286 gr Woodleigh FMJ. I recovered both from a Cape Buffalo in Zimbabwe last year.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vZLttyObg1A/UjJyn07K_tI/AAAAAAAAABU/t6AmRJQkP0U/s1600/9.3x62mm+2.jpg

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