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4 gun hunting battery (not including rimfires)

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Jason_W, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. Jason_W

    Jason_W Well-Known Member

    Now that I'm finally back to work for a decent salary, I'm beginning to save to rebuild my collection. I want to start by filling most hunting niches while keeping my caliber collection small. Here's what I'm thinking and why:

    1. Short barrel 12 ga threaded for choke tubes. I've found that short barrel shotguns are awesome when hinting grouse in the thick brush. They are also a decent up-close deer gun when loaded with slugs.

    2. Longer barrel 12-gauge for waterfowl hunting (I don't really have the money for all the gear needed for waterfowl, so this is at the bottom of my list).

    3. .44 mag carbine. I handload and cast so I can make light kicking, inexpensive fun rounds or load hot for large game at close and medium range. Additionally, some day I may be able to add a .44 mag revolver to my collection again and there is just something cool about a revolver/carbine pair that take the same round.

    4. Something chambered in a reasonably flat shooting medium bore round for longer range hunting and hunting larger game if I ever have that opportunity. I'm going back and forth on the ,338 win mag and the 9.3x62mm.

    I'm intentionally avoiding military rounds and .30 cals as they tend to be harder hit by panic buying than the slightly more unusual stuff.
  2. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    1. Remington 12 ga. 3" 870 shotgun with 2 barrels. Easy to swap for any occasion. 21 inch with rifle sights, 26 inch vent rib- both with RemChoke. Everything from deer to ducks and doves.

    2. 30-06. Wide variety of commercial ammo available, wide possibilities of rolling your own ammo. Enough gun for 99% of all North American Game. (some people think 8mm, 270, 308 are about equal to this task--some even say a .30-30 will do.)

    3. Bigger rifle. .375 H&H for the other 1%, big bears, moose and exotics like muskox that most of us will never see of hunt.

    4. Dedicated Varminter. Long range centerfire designed for varmints. .223 on a precision rifle, or heavy barreled 243, 25-06 etc. (benefit of 24 cal + is they are big game legal in Colorado and are dandy on antelope, but you can certainly take one with the aforementions 30-06)
  3. RoboDuck

    RoboDuck Well-Known Member

    12 gauge
    .308 Win.
    .338 Win. Mag.
  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member

    For grouse I usually preferred a lightweight 20 gauge with as short of a open choked barrel as I could find. I don't know what your budget is like so for now I would say go with versatility and look for a 12 gauge pump with the provision for adding extra barrels and choke tubes as the need arises.

    In a .44 Mag carbine maybe see if you can find an older Marlin Model 1894 or else a Rossi Model 92. I have a Rossi in .45LC to go with my Ruger Vaquero and Beretta Stampede and it is one slick shooting little carbine.

    As to hunting larger game, I would think something chambered in .338 Winchester would serve you very well for just about anything you might find on the North American continent.
  5. Jason_W

    Jason_W Well-Known Member

    I have the short barrel 12-gauge covered. I just need to replace the barrel with one threaded for tubes.

    For the .44 mag, I have handled and was pleased with the Ruger 77/44 bolt action.
  6. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    My non-22LR long gun battery includes these:

    .223 Remington, .257 Roberts, 7mm RemMag, .357 Magnum, 45-70 Gov't, 12ga. My bases are covered pretty well, but I'll slip something more powerful in between the Big 7 and the 45-70 eventually. I'm currently thinking .338 WinMag.
  7. gdcpony

    gdcpony Well-Known Member

    .223- I handload it, so panic buys don't hurt me as much. Very adaptable and light kicking.

    .257Roberts- Again I handload it in +P brass to modern specs and get awesome performance on predators and deer. I am actually building an AR in it soon. It replaced the 7x57 as my mid-long range shooter. I can match about any factory .308 "tactical" rifle with my old Mauser at any range.

    20ga- I am a slug hunter so my H&R Ultra has the most kills in my current firearms arsenal. I have shot it out to short rifle range (226yds) and it just plain shoots.

    1911- I know it is not a common hunting gun, but while I have yet to get a deer with it, there are several 'yotes that are cursing that thing from above right now.

    I have to add my bow. I have killed far more deer with it than all others combined. I have also managed more than a few squirrel, 'yote, rabbit, and other game kills with it too. Something about being silent in the woods that I like.
  8. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    I agree with obtaining a longer barrel for your 12 guage if the platform will support it. A second barrel is usually not all that expensive.

    Therefore, centerfire rifles: If you don't already have an A/R, forget it, the present market is through the roof & headed to Mars. So, since you're a handloader, my first choice would be a modern 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser. Then the .338 Winchester magnum. Those two cover the bases quite nicely.

    Which leaves room for the handgun of choice. Lot's of options available, but need may vary upon your location. Do you have large predators in the back 40? If not, then probably a .357 in one of several platforms. But if so then perhaps a .45 Colt or .44 magnum. Unless of course you're a masochist & want something that produces recoil in significant amounts. However, those do tend to be more expensive.

    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  9. doc2rn

    doc2rn Well-Known Member

    I gotta go against the grain
    Ruger Red Label SxS 20g
    Winchester 30-30
    Weatherby 30-06
    Ruger 77/22 Mk II v-bolt .22WMR
  10. Ford

    Ford Well-Known Member

    1. Fastest lightest shotgun I have ever shot or owned is my Remington 1100 light special field. Is great for quail or pheasant. I use it more for quail though. Is a 20 ga.

    2. My favorite shotgun. Benelli M2. If you feel the need to shoot 3 1/2 step up to the SBEII

    3. You want a .44 mag Carbine/Revolver combo? Go Ruger.

    4.Savage or Remington rifle chambered in .30-06 will kill anything in the US cleanly. 180-200gr bullets for Moose.
  11. joeschmoe

    joeschmoe Well-Known Member

    28" 12ga = Nova
    30.06 (Garand or bolt)
    .357 mag 6"
    .223 (AR or bolt)

    That plus .22lr pistol/rifle should take every kind of game on earth.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  12. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    I would choose either the Remington 870 or Browning BPS for a field gun in 12 ga. Grew up shooting an Ithaca M37 and the Browning feels just about the same and has the botten ejection that I love.

    I'd go with a 375 H&H over an 338. When you are dealing with that much recoil in a sporting rifle, I'd just go with the tried and true 375.

    Have you considered a Marlin lever gun in 44 mag? They are nice handling little rifles.

    Hard to beat a good 223 as a varmint rifle. If that isn't enough horse power, maybe the 243 win.
  13. Old judge creek

    Old judge creek Well-Known Member

    ... some excellent suggestions here. In my case I would choose the following:

    Shotgun would be without a doubt a Mossberg 500 12 ga combo with a "short home defense barrel" and a longer ventilated rib "hunting barrel" with screw-in chokes.

    My light rifle would be a Ruger M77 in 243.

    My medium rifle would be a Ruger M77 RSI in 308.

    My big bore rifle would be a pre-Remlin Marlin 45-70 Guide Gun.

    And truth be told I'd be never be happy until I replaced my Marlin 1894 Cowboy Limited in 44 magnum, but I'd probably fill the first three hunting rifle slots with the choices listed above.
  14. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    12 guage should be at the top of the list. Too versatile to ignore. most pumps and autoloaders, you can get a spare barrel to change application rather than getting another shotgun.

    Since you're avoiding military calibers, go with a .243 bolt gun. Can be used for varmints and deer both. I personally prefer the .22 caliber centerfires for varmint, though.

    Between the two large game cartridges you mention, the .338 and the 9.3, I'd opt for the .338 simply because 9.3 is practically unheard of in my neck of the woods. Might be different near you.

    And I'm never one to talk someone out of owning a decent levergun.
  15. Jason_W

    Jason_W Well-Known Member

    I'm not too concerned with adding a centerfire varmint round. Long range varminting options are few and far between around here and that niche can be covered with rimfires and shotguns.

    The reason the .44 carbine is near the top of my list is the round's versatility when handloading is factored in. Fat, straight-walled pistol rounds are fun and easy to load as well.
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Well-Known Member

    Good reason for choosing the 44 mag. Now you just have to decide on a rifle.

    I would love to own a 375 and have almost bought one at least 10x. But a little voice keeps telling me that it is a pure waste of money for me and I would be better off with something I might actually shoot every now and then. It would be different if I lived in AK.
  17. Jason_W

    Jason_W Well-Known Member

    Handloading adds a little more versatility to rounds like the .338 win and .375 H&H. You can load down fairly easily for deer sized game and go full power should you have a chance to hunt something bigger and tougher.

    If I obtain a .338 win, I'll likely load it down to .338 Federal levels when hunting deer over clearcuts.
  18. gbran

    gbran Well-Known Member

    Croddfire MK1

    If I could only have four, this would have to be one of them. .223/12ga.

  19. kludge

    kludge Well-Known Member

    0. A rimfire is essential, but this is a freebie, thus it is number zero.
    1. If you must have a shotgun get two barrels, or three.

    Since you get four choices overall and three choices left, you get a dedicated small game caliber and a dedicated big game caliber and something in the middle that is versatile. Choose these rifles, action types, and lengths by the terrain and game most commonly hunted.

    First, my big game caliber... a .338/.280AI, .35 Whelen, .350 Rem Mag, .325 WSM, .338 Win Mag, .338 Fed, .358 Win, .338 MX.

    Second , my varmint/predator rifle... I'm thinking .204 Ruger, .223 Rem, .22-250, 6mm Rem, .243 Win

    And last the do-it-all caliber... 7mm-08, .280, .284 Win, .260 Rem, 6.5x55, 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 Rem Mag, 6.5-.284, .270 Win, .264 Win Mag, .25-06, .25 WSSM

    If you don't need a dedicated varmint rifle, and the do-it-all will take of your need for the occasional long range critter, then yes, a .44 Mag wold be a great do-it-all short range rifle, including the critters.
  20. paintballdude902

    paintballdude902 Well-Known Member

    12ga super back eagle

    .223 bolt gun for varmints

    .30-06 for deer

    .375hh for biggins

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