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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. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    A quarterbore (.257 caliber). Bullet weights ranging from about 70 to 120 grains so it can be used on varmints or can take a deer easily. Low recoil. Inexpensive to reload. In North America, .257 is the perfect "just one bolt gun" caliber. My personal choice in the .257 Roberts, but any of the others have pretty much the same plusses.
     
  2. VaGunNut

    VaGunNut Member

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  3. chas08

    chas08 Member

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    30/06 without question!
     
  4. pseudonymity

    pseudonymity Member

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    I would say go with the Stevens - it will be easier to find upgrades later when/if you want them. If you want to go to 1000yards supersonic, I do not think you will do it with .308 factory loads and a factory length barrel. I am not quite as sure with the .30-06 either. Both can probably do it with handloads of good powder in cases that are over max OAL so they have to be single loaded. 300WM is probably a good choice if you want 1000 yards with factory ammo. That being said, .308 and .30-06 are going to be quite a bit cheaper to shoot especially with factory ammo.
     
  5. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Depends on what you want to do with it. If you can only have one rifle but want to hunt everything in North America, the .30-06 is a good compromise. Most people that can only afford a single rifle can't afford trips to Alaska to hunt the really big stuff though.

    If you're focused instead on whitetail sized deer, then I prefer a more medium sized cartridge. Something like .25-06, 7mm-08, or 6.5x55. Personally one of my favorite deer rifles is a custom Mauser in .257 Roberts. Plenty of power for deer and virtually no recoil in the heavy rifle I have it in.
     
  6. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    I picked a Stevens Model 200 in .308 as my sole scoped bolt action, general purpose rifle. I thought it offered the best value for the bucks as a package with the 3x9 scope for under $350 on sale.
     
  7. palmrose2

    palmrose2 Member

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    "Back in the day" when my rifles consisted of a sporterized enfield, my wife asked me this same question. I told her that if I could only have one rifle, it would have to be a 30.06. For Christmas that year I got a Ruger m77 in 30.06 mounted with a POS Simmons scope. Adjustable trigger with a tang safety. It is a great rifle that IMHO can take any North American game. Ammo availability is excellent. The scope is long gone.

    If I was to do over again, I would have told her .243. At the time I didn't think that the little round would be effective enough for hunting deer. I was wrong. In fact the last 2 deer I've shot have been with a 7.62x39. A round even less powerful than the .243. The only .243 I own is a Handi Rifle. Shoots MOA and kills deer fast. I really don't know anyone with much time shooting this round that doesn't love it. I think that if our army had made this round the standard instead of the .223, they wouldn't have been so quick to pull a bunch of M-14s out of storage.

    I'm not real familiar with Savage bolts, but many companies have more than one length of action for various calibers. A common cut off is .308 and below, with anything longer using their longest stroke action. This means that even a .257 Roberts is in the long stroke action. While it's not a big deal, it is something to think about.
     
  8. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    308 or 30-06, but if there's a used 98 Mauser patterned gun on the rack for the same money then choose it over the bargain basement Savages. 100+ years later there's still no better bolt action platform than the 98.
     
  9. joustin

    joustin Member

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    30-06, you can use the same 308 diameter bullets for the Nagant. Mine is a 312 bore and shoots 308 just as well as 311 loads I've tried.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. Rem700CDLSF3006

    Rem700CDLSF3006 Member

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  11. phonesysphonesys

    phonesysphonesys Member

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    Get a .308. It has a short action meaning faster follow up shots. The balistics are equial to the 30-06 but uses less powder. It will shoot 1000 yards with killing power. The bullet selection is good, same as the 30-06. The rifles are lighter.
    Semper Fi
     
  12. murdoc rose

    murdoc rose Member

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  13. Epee

    Epee Member

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    30.06
     
  14. Legionnaire
    • Contributing Member

    Legionnaire Member

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    .30 cal; .308 or .30-06.
     
  15. 280shooter

    280shooter Member

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    280 Rem,
     
  16. Litefoot

    Litefoot Member

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    I vote for the 30-06 for versatility in bullet weights, availability of ammo and the fact that I can share cartridges with my Garand. You do plan to have a Garand one day, don't you?;)
     
  17. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I started centerfire shooting/hunting with a .30-06. I shot maybe a hundred woodchucks and crows with it and shot many deer as well.

    Then, I discovered the .270 Win, simply because the club where I participated in turkey shoots (targets) banned my .22-250 and I wanted the versatility of 90 grain to 150 grain bullets for combination target, varmint, range, and longer range deer.

    After falling in love with the .270 Win, having my expectations eclipsed, I gave my fantastic .30-06, Rem. 700 to my son and haven't looked back, at least not much. The .270 Win has the recognized advantage of putting several bullet weight/powder charge loads into very close POI out to over 100 yards.

    That is worth a LOT to me, because I may be using light target loads behind Sierra's great 90 grain HPs and the next shots may be at a deer with full-power loads and never need to change scope settings.
     
  18. Mudcat Stew

    Mudcat Stew Member

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    I didn't have a lot to put in a bolt action myself. I picked up a Mosin about a year back for $130 and between a dovetail mount and a used 2-7x Long eye relief scope (Aim Sports I think), I tied up another $75.

    I don't have a lot of bolt action experience, but I sighted it in at the same time I sighted in my father in laws savage 30-06. Not sure of the model.. he spent $600 on it at Cabellas and the scope was a Nikon.

    My Mosin hung in there with Savage quite nicely with new manufactured ammo. Both were getting just under 4" at 100. Either one could probably do better with a better shooter. But I didn't see where the 06 was outclassing the Mosin and felt like I got my moneys worth.

    After that, I bought a good bit of Milsurp to practice with. The low cost of ammo on 7.62x54r is a big plus for a guy like me who doesn't have a lot of extra cash.
     
  19. threoh8

    threoh8 Member

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    As Townsend Whelen said, "The .30-06 is never a mistake".

    .308 would be a close second.

    Both are great cartridges, common, versatile, no real vices.
     
  20. millertyme

    millertyme Member

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    Mine would be a 30-06
     
  21. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    Thing is, if a .30-06 is fine then a .308 is basically just as good, and offers other benefits.
     
  22. Warp

    Warp Member

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    .308 or .30-06

    It would depend on what other guns, if any, I had in either cartridge when I made the acquisition. Currently I have a Garand (.30-06) and no .308, so right now I'd get one in .30-06 and go with it
     
  23. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Member

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    My first choice would be a .30-06, followed by .308 and then .270.

    If you are strictly paper punching then .308 might be a bit more economical once the panic dies down, but the flexibility of the .30-06 is tough to beat.

    I own a Savage Axis and it's not a bad rifle, definitely worth the price I paid. The only thing about it that I don't care for is the somewhat heavy trigger and I am going to address that soon. I also own a Marlin XL7 and it is an excellent rifle for the money, very accurate, nice trigger and budget priced to boot.
     
  24. Southside830

    Southside830 Member

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  25. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Member

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    Having owned and fired many rounds through 300 wm, 30-06,270, I can say that I now own a 308, strictly because of recoil, bad shoulder, 308 is a good all around for anything in the lower 48 other than moose or griz, and if load selection is right will do the job without hurting too much. Right now brass is a little difficult to find, but this too shall pass.
     
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