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one maybe two bolt-actions for the family need help with the caliber...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by flomofo, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. flomofo

    flomofo Active Member

    This will be the first bolt-action in my family, I didn't consider them but my dad mentioned wanting one eventually, and well, he never asks for anything so I'd like to surprise him with a nice kimber, browning, remington etc.

    The thing is choosing a caliber. If its going to be one rifle, I'm going to lean towards something that can take down most anything on the continent we're on right now.

    I also plan to start handloading soon for my handguns as well as any rifles I and my family have which are currently old military m1 carbines and m1 garands.

    So if I reload I'm leaning towards another 30-06 so I can reuse the same casings over and over again with "light loads" for reduced recoil but enough power when needed if we ever go hunting again...

    If I get two rifles I'm thinking possibly a .223 and a 30-06.

    I'm also taking advice on good books to learn how to care for a rifle, how to break in a barrel etc.

    Thank you for your help.
  2. Don't make me post links to the last 500 ".30-'06 is king" threads. :p

    Seriously, if one rifle, then T/C Icon Classic in .30-06 or .270 Win. You get a $150 rebate from T/C if you buy it by Nov. 30th, so get crackin. I got my rebate already for the Icon I bought a couple months back.


    There; helped you out a bit. :)
  3. fireflyfather

    fireflyfather Well-Known Member

    A 30-06 is the way to go IF you plan on reloading, for sure. You are just going to have to be careful that you don't put reloads intended for the bolt gun into the garand, or you will have lots of fun replacing your op-rod.

    the 30-06 can be down-loaded to roughly the equivalent of a .38 special (150gr @800-1000fps), or loaded hot enough for elk or black bear. You can even use it with cast lead bullets if you want (loaded very light). Brass is everywhere, components are extremely common, and load data is extensive.

    Not to mention that there is a wealth of knowledge about this cartridge, lots of choices in reloading equipment (dies, bullet molds, sizers, etc), and loads of rifle choices available.
  4. wyohome

    wyohome Well-Known Member

    If I get two rifles I'm thinking possibly a .243 and a .308.

    There, I helped you out some more.

    RSVP2RIP Well-Known Member

    Since you already have another gun in 30-06 are you sure that you want another one in it? You are talking to someone who has two 721's in 270 winchester though... It simplifies the reloading thing but also kinda covers the same bases, unless you plan on hunting. I'd opt for somthing a little more exotic for a larger caliber gun. And something absurdly common for a smaller one. A good bolt gun in .223 would be nice. Maybe a 6.5x55 for the larger one. Thats me though, don't let me spend your money. A good book for care is a instruction manual that comes with the gun. Read it cover to cover. Barrel break-in is not nessassary IMO, and more hype IMHO, just shoot it. A great book is Cartridges of the World by Frank Barnes. See if your library has it and it might help you with choosing a new caliber/gun.
  6. 12many

    12many Well-Known Member

    That is what I would get if I were you. .223 and 30-06. add in a .22 plinker and you might not ever need another rifle. (need, not want:))
  7. 52grain

    52grain Well-Known Member

    .30-06 sporter, .223 varmint gun, and a .22 semi-auto for plinking, though the M1 carbines may fill that role. (I happen to be of the opinion that if you already have a .30-06 that makes the argument for another one stronger, fewer calibers means less ammo to stock, less reloading equipment. I guess that the Garand does take special ammo, so part of that argument doesn't hold true, but I guess that you could use the Garand ammo in the bolt gun.)
  8. bpl

    bpl Well-Known Member

    What do you plan to use "the family's" bolt guns for? If they will only be used at the range, than any calibers you want are fine, but if they will be used for hunting big game then you need big game appropriate calibers for both, ie. .243 or above. I'd vote for a 30-06 and something else, depending on your needs. Probably a .223 (target/varmints)or .243 (target/deer) would be reasonable.
  9. Robert

    Robert Moderator

    And coming out of left field... 35 Whelen. 30-06 case necked up to .358 will take anything and everything in North America. Well maybe not Bison. If and when I ever get my VZ24 build started I am going with 35 Whelen. But then I like to be different.
  10. Smith357

    Smith357 Well-Known Member

    A .30-06 and a quality .22lr

    With those two choices you an take just about any North American game from moose to tree rats. The 06 as mentioned above is extremely versatile with hand loads, and the 22 is easy to shoot and ammo is cheap.
  11. kmrcstintn

    kmrcstintn Well-Known Member

    rimfire: .22 long rifle or .22 winchester magnum

    minor centerfire: .223 remington or .243 winchester

    major centerfire: .30-06 or .308

    long range heavy centerfire: 7mm remington magnum or .300 winchester magnum
  12. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    I def agree on a boltie 22, and a 22 pistol, just to learn how to shoot, correcting techniques, etc., then you won't be so flinchy when it comes to the bigger stuff.
    I like the 223 and 30.06 combo; if you don't handload, these are two of your cheaper rounds to get, and if you do reload, these 2 cals, have as much reload info on them, as you are ever gonna find out there, 'cept for maybe a 22 hornet, which costs way too much to buy , you practically have to handload for the hornet.
  13. flomofo

    flomofo Active Member


    Thanks for the comments guys, I was looking at the .243, .270 even a nice .222.

    I think I will stick to the .223 but am debating between a .308, .30-06 and .300 mag for the larger caliber (Weatherby .300 mag looks like it could take two polar bears down with one round).

    I ended up looking at a Cooper in .222 and would have ordered one but their woodstocks are single shot only for target practice.

    I'm also considering a Kimber (never been a fan but my duty gun is a Kimber and my opinion is changing somewhat) or Weatherby now.

    Basically I'm willing to wait to have one built, like the Cooper, unless there's something just as nice I can find in stock now.

    Plus I'm now looking into that 35 Whelen....

    Ultimately they will probably used at the range and for taking down some mix-breed boars that are usually around 200-300 pounds if they are small. I think some of the mix-breeds can get much larger.

    In my dreams I still plan to use the large caliber rifle to hopefully take something large like an elk although I really hope to someday take a grizzly or brown bear which will require something in the 338 family I think.
  14. flomofo

    flomofo Active Member


    Also you guys think looking for a cutom rifle on the online sites is too risky?

    I've been checking gunbroker etc. for used custom rifles from various "master smiths".

    If you guys find it fun to look, let me know if you see anything good?
  15. saturno_v

    saturno_v Well-Known Member

    A well diversified rifle collection MUST include the following calibers:

    - 22 LR, ultra cheap ammo and fun to shoot

    - 223, minor centerfire for serious varminting, relatively inexpensive centerfire range use

    - 7,62X39 or a 30-30...A mid power 30 Cal for deer hunting and range use easy on the shoulder and on the wallet

    - 30-06....A full power 30 cal. capable of taking anything in North America and venturing in long range shooting...ammo found everywhere

    In addition to the 30-06, optionally you could include a match grade 308 rifle if you are getting really serious into long range shooting (unfortunately there is an unexplainable lack of good match grade rifles in 30-06)

    - 338 Win Mag....lots of horsepower for long range hunting (Elk, Moose, Big Bruins), good performance for long range target shooting (with loads such as 300 gr. Sierra Matchking and with rifles with at least 24" barrel length)

    - 458 Win Mag or 458 Lott....if you want to have an African caliber representation in your collection

    Optional......a 45-70 leveraction for historical reasons (the cartridge) and for serious wildlife defence with the right loads.
  16. joed

    joed Well-Known Member

    Or, instead of buying 2 rifles how about 1. The cartridge, .25-06. Very flat shooting cartridge, can be reloaded from .30-06 brass, decent recoil and will take just about anything in North America.

    I've owned the above for over 30 years. It can be loaded with light weight bullets for varmint or heavier for larger game.
  17. cottonmouth

    cottonmouth Well-Known Member

    .223 and 7mm Rem. Mag. what more could you want?

  18. skidooman603

    skidooman603 Well-Known Member

    If I was going to buy one caliber for "everyone" it would be 6.5x55. Powerful enough for big game, easy on the shoulder, accurate enough for prarie dogs out to 300yds or more
  19. Meeteetse

    Meeteetse Well-Known Member

    If you are talking about a gun for many uses, I recommend you stay away from magnums. You will never regret the 30-06 or a .308. I have used mine for deer, bear, elk and antelope, and have never wanted more. I also have a .223 bolt gun that is a wonderful small caliber plinking, hunting and fun rifle. Personally I think you need three bolt guns, with the third being a .22LR bolt gun similar in size and style to your others so practice is cheap.

    One thing; you can spend more and you can buy fancier guns, but don't overlook RUGER when considering your purchases. I have been buying Ruger rifles for over 40 years and I have never had a problem or ever had to send one back to Ruger, and mine all shoot very well.

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