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

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Razor_J, Jan 28, 2013.

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  1. wraith56

    wraith56 Member

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    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.
     
  2. Inebriated

    Inebriated Member

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    Easy, .30-06.
     
  3. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    .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. :)
     
  4. vujade

    vujade Member

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    308. Easy to find. Easy to reload. Easy on the gun. Easy on the shoulder. All that and it's accurate.
     
  5. blarby

    blarby Member

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    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.
     
  6. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Member

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    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
     
  7. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    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.
     
  8. Bio-Chem

    Bio-Chem Member

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    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
     
  9. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    It' the .357 Magnum of rifles...

    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!
     
  10. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    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
     
  11. CHighfield

    CHighfield Member

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    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.
     
  12. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    do you have any other weapons in 30 cal that might use the same projectiles?
     
  13. Razor_J

    Razor_J Member

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    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.
     
  14. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    This thread really could have used a poll.

    My vote would be .308.
     
  15. 4season

    4season Member

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    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.
     
  16. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    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...
     
  17. Rancher5

    Rancher5 Member

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    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
     
  18. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    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.
     
  19. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    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.
     
  20. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    .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.
     
  21. medic15al

    medic15al Member

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  22. goalie

    goalie Member

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    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.......
     
  23. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    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.
     
  24. slamfirev10

    slamfirev10 Member

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    +1 30-06,

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

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    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.
     
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