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Please help a noob pick a deer and elk hunting caliber

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hellbore, Mar 17, 2005.

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  1. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    I want to get a rifle, something like a Savage model 110, for hunting deer and ELK. Especially elk.

    What I don't know is what caliber to get!

    I want a caliber that will work well for hunting deer and elk, obviously. I want to be able to take down an elk at up to 100 yards with a decent shot, and not worry about a wounded elk suffering for hours. I'm not a real long-range shooter but I need enough range for your average hunting situations. So, I don't want a caliber that is "iffy" for elk use... It's gotta be tried and true for elk.

    I also want it to be a common caliber that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy.

    I also want to be able to buy ammo anywhere, so again, something common.

    Also, I want it to be a caliber that is not considered obsolete or becoming obsolete... I want to be able to buy ammo 10, 20, 40 years from now! So, I want a caliber that is PROBABLY going to stay around for a long time.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. birdv

    birdv Member

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    .308
    or
    .30-06
     
  3. 12 Volt Man

    12 Volt Man Member

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    .308, 30.06, .270, 7mm
     
  4. gibb74

    gibb74 Member

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    300 win mag best bang for your buck and will be around for ever
     
  5. Hellbore

    Hellbore Member

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    What is so great about 300 win mag?
     
  6. jamz

    jamz Member

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    A little birdie told me about 325 win short mag. Any info on that round?

    (I'm also lookng for a deer/elk gun)


    -James
     
  7. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Member

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    I would not be too far out on a limb to tell you that the 30 06 is generally recognized as the best general purpose North American game rifle.

    There are as many opinions on this as there are calibers, but the 30 06 is all you'd ever need for deer or elk.
     
  8. priv8ter

    priv8ter Member

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    Umm...no

    I'll agree with you on the longevity thing, but....300 Win Mag is not what I would call cheap.

    And since he said 100 yards, there is ZERO reason to go with a Magnum round.

    .308 will work, and I know many people use this round, but for some reason..I just don't like it.

    Given your criteria, .270 or .30-06 would be my choice. Since to say 'especially elk'...then .30-06 would be the better choice than .270. .270 IS tried and true for elk, but to keep the cost down, I think you can get elk rounds cheaper for .30-06 than for .270.

    greg
     
  9. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

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    Either 30-06 or 308 will do fine, will be available locally just about anywhere you go, and will be in general use for the rest of your lifetime. Of the two, I'd pick 308 if you really REALLY just have to practice with military surplus ammo and I'd pick 30-06 if you intend to shoot 180gr bullets or heavier.
     
  10. airbornekyle1

    airbornekyle1 Member

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    7mm rem. mag.
     
  11. Ash

    Ash Member

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    30-06 or 7mm Rem Mag.

    300 Win mag is too much for Deer.

    Ash
     
  12. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    I'd go 30-06. Ammo is available everywhere. It has plenty of power. There are a variety of factory loads and lots of data for handloading. It's probably the safest choice.

    Chris
     
  13. k47k

    k47k Member

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    308 or 3006
     
  14. viper16

    viper16 Member

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    30-06, love my 308, but I have had problems finding ammo for it come season opener if I forget my ammo at home like I did the first year I started hunting again. :eek:
     
  15. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    7 rem mag or 308.

    i do think a 300 win mag is a better choice, and i believe a 338 win mag is a more betterer (tech term) yet choice... however, the 308 and 7 rem mag aren't as harsh in the recoil dep't, and a new shooter or less active shooter can shoot the 7 rem mag or 308 better than a 300 or 338...
     
  16. WhiteKnight

    WhiteKnight Member

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    .270 if it'll be mostly deer - this caliber will have less recoil, making both shooting and practicing more fun, as well as not battering your shoulder if you tend to find yourself pursuing Bambi frequently. However, its power level [while adequate] is not what I would consider to be ideal for elk (if you're shooting them on a regular basis I would look below)

    30/06 if it'll be mostly elk - this caliber will push you around a little too much if you're mostly hunting deer, but will provide a much-appreciated lil' bit more "juice" when taking on the big boys (elk) regularly
     
  17. Redneck Revolver

    Redneck Revolver Member

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    .308, 30-06, 7mm remmington, or 7.62x54R. i know noone has mentioned the 54R yet but i think its a great all-purpose round. cheap, easy to find, same goes for things that fire it. i got my 91/30 for $80 and it was 95% outta the box. reliable and accurate (mine is anyways) i coudlnt ask for a better rifle.
     
  18. sixguns

    sixguns Member

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  19. airbornekyle1

    airbornekyle1 Member

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    7mm rem. mag. its extremely easy to find, and has enough power to kill any north american game. or try using a bow.
     
  20. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Member

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    .308 since you can get almost all the performance potential of a hot loaded
    30 - 06 with a cartridge that is;
    A: One of the most popular long range target cartridges.
    B: Availible as military surplus ammo (*cheap*)
    C: Chambered in shorter rifle actions than the 30 - 06 (shorter = stiffer = more accurate)
    D: You can get .308 from any place that sells rifle ammo.

    All that said, the 30-06 has a greater range of loadings. Not that I'd recommend it, there are light little bullets for varminting on up to bigger, heavier bullets for large game. Also, you'll likely find that you can find a whole lot of used rifles in 30 - 06 not so much in the other calibers. On a related note I think you're on the right track with the Savage 110, I've seen that rifle picked on for aesthetics, but damned if I have ever seen one that wouldn't shoot with the best of them.
     
  21. Lonestar.45

    Lonestar.45 Member

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    Deer, but mostly elk? I'd say .300 Win Mag. Maybe 30-06, just because it'll be a little easier on your shoulder at the range, but the .300 Win Mag is elk medicine, if you can handle the recoil and shoot good with it. If I were buying a dedicated elk rifle, with just a little deer hunting thrown in (and you're probably talking mule deer rather than whitetail, eh? it's definitely not too much for mule deer), I'd say .300 Win Mag.
     
  22. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    thirty ought six. If something is big enough that it can't be handled with one of these, you'd need to step up to a big bore.
     
  23. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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  24. Lennyjoe

    Lennyjoe Member

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    30-06 was my choice.

    165gr bullets for deer and 180gr for Elk.
     
  25. Bottom Gun

    Bottom Gun Member

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    I'm going to throw in with the .30-06 guys.
    Many moons ago, when my '06 was the only rifle I had, I used it for everything from varmints to elk.
    I used 110 & 125 gr bullets for woodchucks, 130, 150 and 165 gr for deer and 180 & 200 gr Nosler partitions for elk.
    It has just a touch more power than a .308 and will handle a slightly heavier bullet (Up to 220 gr).
    If you have access to a reloading press or have a friend who reloads, you can tailor your loads to suit any situation whether you want full power hunting loads or reduced power/recoil plinking loads.
    If you can't reload, the .30-06 still has the largest selection of factory ammo available for any cartridge. That's the most important feature as far as I'm concerned.
    I now shoot larger and smaller calibers but the .30-06 is still the most versatile caliber I use.

    There is no need to use a belted cartridge such as the 7MM or .300 Mags for the hunting you describe. Belted cartridges are very costly and, if you reload, the life of the brass is short. Nowadays I use a .338 Win Mag for elk and it's a wonderful cartridge but if I didn't handload a box of .338 factory ammo would cost me almost twice as much as a box of 30-06.

    .30-06 would be my first choice and .308 would be my second.

    My two cents.
     
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