Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Smokepole14, Jun 16, 2022.
Favorite hunting rifle/caliber
I have always tried to match the cartridge to the game and terrain. For years deer hunting here in Ohio was limited to shotgun using a slug (pumpkin ball). Only recently was it open to straight wall rifle. Most of my deer hunting was in West Virginia with an old good friend. Every year I made the trek from here in Cleveland, Ohio to Webster Springs, West Virginia. Now in this area it's mountainous and dense brush. My rifle of choice and cartridge was my ole Ruger 44 Mag Carbine. Never got a shot over 70 yards and most were inside 30 yards, the little Ruger Carbine was ideal. Had plenty of other hunting rifles but the Ruger was my go to. Herman passed away about 12 years ago so my days there ended. Then too, you can't start every day with a cheap bottle of Lord Calvert and expect to live long and prosper. Hell, he was 59 when the stuff killed him.
I did hunt Arizona a few times and my rifle of choice was my Ruger Model 77 bolt gun chambered in 7mm Rem Mag.
Today at 72 while I still have plenty of hunting rifles I just let friends bring me venison. My days for humping mountains are done. Anyway I always tried to choose a rifle and cartridge based on the game and terrain. I did use my 444 Marlin lever gun a few times in West Virginia and my 30-06 Remington 7400 a few times in AZ but mainly my two mentioned rifles. They just plain worked and worked well.
My uncle has had an M77 Mark II '06 stainless/syn for about 25 years and I've always admired it. That's one of my favorite hunting rifles even though it isn't mine, it just seems like a work hammer of a rifle, like you could take it anywhere and subject to any weather or terrain, drop it off a cliff, etc..... I don't see them often but recently saw an M77 ultralight in 6.5CM that I fell in love with but I just can't justify another hunting rifle at this point, just not much of a hunter I guess...
But if I were to choose my favorite hunting rifle that I actually "own" it would be my Browning A-Bolt II in .270win. It's a tackdriver, fits me perfectly and action is smooth as glass and it has a sentimental value as well.
For years and years, I took my original Browning A bolt in .338 win mag everywhere. Definitely overkill on antelope and deer, but when that gun spoke, critters died.
A few years ago I got a Savage 116 in 7 Rem mag became my son used the .280 all the time. After I worked up some loads for it, I fell in love with it. A 160 gr accubond out of that gun is the most accurate gun I’ve shot in my life. So it’s been on all my hunts the last 5-6 years and has performed exceptionally.
BUT I’m currently developing loads for a new Savage 110 in .243 and an old Rem 788 in 22-250. The 788 is rebuilt with the only original parts being the bolt and action.
So I’ll take whatever gun fits the game and country the best. Probably the .243 over the 22-250 for coyotes because the Cerakote was done to match the desert country I hunt them in.
heavy barreled 10/22 for small game.
And although I have a couple 20s, the old Browning B80 in 12 for chasing upland, and the new A5 for waterfowl.
But the only tag I drew this year is a muzzyloader so the old CVA Accura will come out.
I have the same exact setup except for a Limbsaver sling and recoil pad. Think it would be my current favorite as well. Lightweight, accurate, smooth and affordable. Not that you're wondering but it'll get the job done on large game, no problem. I use good old 180g Partitions.
I have the limbsaver pad too. It takes the hot out of the heavies. I also like 180 grn bullets...
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