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Which Caliber: First Bigger Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Good Ol' Boy, Nov 26, 2017.

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  1. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    Title pretty much says it all. First off I'm looking at the Savage Axis line up just trying to decide which flavor to get it in.

    I don't normally hunt but would like to leave that door open, mainly deer with the off chance I might go with my father in law on a bear hunt. This gun would be mainly for longer range plinking.

    I was originally thinking 30-06 after shooting a buddies Ruger American but then I heard 308 is cheaper. I really enjoyed another buddies RAP in 6.5 Creedmore but I think that may be a bit small? I'm also under the impression that 6.5 is kind of pricey. Yet another friend suggested 270.


    So you can see my dilemma, new to bigger caliber rifles and trying to figure out which one to go with given my wants. Right now I'm leaning towards 308 or 30-06.


    Any advice is appreciated...
     
  2. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    I think .308 is a great starter high power round. It may not do any one thing perfectly, but it does nearly everything well.

    BTW, I had a .223 Axis-
    Good: Excellent trigger
    Very accurate.
    Smooth action (for a lower end turn-bolt)

    Bad: Unusually rust prone (?)
    Very flimsy magazine catch
    Tough to load single shots cuz the ejection port is tiny
    Sharp edges on magazine painful to load

    Still, not a bad rifle, exactly. I would get a used 110-111 or Weatherby Vanguard over another new Axis, though.....
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
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  3. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    No bad choices in the rounds you are considering.
    I like Savage but look closely at the Axis before you buy, particularly the trigger and stock.
     
  4. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I prefer the 06 to the .308, but honestly either, and the 6.5s would be plenty for deer.
    I know guys use stuff as small as the .243 for black bear, but ive never hunted bear so have no idea how tough they are.

    I would probably go after a Savage 10/110 or a Ruger American before the Axis, but thats not to say they arnt decent rifles.
     
  5. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    I have a 308 Ruger American, and it is a good rifle. I would pick 308, regardless of which make I decided on. The 308 has many more options available as far as ammo goes- including surplus ammo, that can be found at lower prices than any 30-06. The 6.5 is a great round, but expensive to fire. Another nice rifle in 308 is the Mossberg MVP. The mags for it are easier to come by at a discount, too.
     
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  6. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    For a first larger centerfire, .308 is the ticket. It will take anything in the lower 48 within 300 yards, will do most of what an "-06 will do.
     
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  7. Newtosavage

    Newtosavage Member

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    Really hard to beat the 7mm-08 for a great all-around intermediate cartridge.
     
  8. Geno

    Geno Member

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    I would opt for the Savage M10/110 or M11/111. The .308 Win and .30-06 Sprg are both excellent.

    Cabela’s has the M111 on sale, and with $100 rebate, ends up at $399! That includes an M111, with Nikon 3-9, bases and rings.

    Here is the one I bought last month and ended up giving to my nephew as an heirloom. When he gets back from Afganistan, he’s taking it hunting.**

    **(Pomeranian not included)

    Geno

    P.s. The Pom’s name is “Remington”.
     
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  9. Deog

    Deog Member

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    308 is my pick. 243 and 270 will both get the job done as well.
     
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  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    That is sort of what I was thinking also. I'm also partial to the .260 Rem, which is really a 6.5-08...which in turn is a 6.5x55mm in the .308 format

    To be honest, I clicked on this thread thinking the "Bigger Rifle" meant something above .338 and hoping to hear some discussion on the .375 family
     
  11. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    If you don't reload .270, .308 and .30-06 are all readily available at any sporting goods store or Walmart. All will kill a deer or a black bear.

    No good hunting ammo is 'cheap' but you can find .308 and .30-06 in FMJ trim for plinking, from Prvi and Federal American Eagle.
     
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  12. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    I didnt even know that existed, at least as new manufacture from AE, till after I was home from buying a box a few years ago. Thats what i get for asking for the cheapest stuff they had. Im not sure the shop knew that it was fmjs as they had it with their hunting ammo.
     
  13. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    I suspect Federal AE loaded it for the Garand.
     
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  14. stringnut

    stringnut Member

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    I agree with everyone who said 308 for all the same reasons. I was looking at the 6.5 CM for the wife. Everything about it is expensive. Brass , factory ammo, and most bullets for handloading. Almost all the data is for premium type bullets. Also you can't just run into any place that sells ammo and by 6.5. 308 is every where. If you ever decide to make your own ammo it is a great one to learn on.
     
  15. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Yep, the early packaging said "For M1 Garand." It was supposedly loaded to M2 ball specs. I think they changed the box because some people thought it was only for the Garand, lol. It was good ammo, though, Ive still got a few hundred rounds stashed somewhere.
    BTW, if you can still find it, the ZQ Turkish .308 is good, inexpensive FMJ. I grabbed a mountain of it at Wallyworld for $9.98 a box!
     
  16. Doc7

    Doc7 Member

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    These reasons are why I like the 7mm-08 which does the above with significantly less recoil.
     
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  17. bassjam

    bassjam Member

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    For deer and blackbear any of the rounds mentioned would work. For me I'd probably narrow it down to either the .308 or the 6.5. If price is a huge consideration for you, then I'd probably pick the .308.
     
  18. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    I'm just gonna say this while grabbing my flame suit; if bear is a possibility, and I am only assuming black bear, then the 30-30 should be enough gun. If the deer are under 150 yards where you hunt then you'll have an excellent short do-all rifle.

    For 6.5 Creedmoor I paid .82/round for Hornady American Whitetail this weekend, first loaded centerfield ammo I've purchased in nearly a decade. Once I've got dies in hand it should be half that or about what commercial 5.56 can be bought for.

    If bear is a remote possibility then why not 6.5 and leave your options open. Should a hunt come up, a used rifle at a local auction will do and you're as apt to make money selling it after as breaking even. A few hundred dollars ought not be a deal breaker considering the lifetime cost of actually shooting any rifle.

    I also like the 30-06, .308, and 7mm-08 suggestions so long as you are comfortable with recoil from these chamberings.
     
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  19. firedawg60

    firedawg60 Member

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    I vote .308
     
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  20. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...might go with my father in law on..." If you don't have a hunting licence now, you can't just go hunting on a whim. Don't think there are any States that don't require a Hunter's Safety course and/or a test to get a hunting licence. How long it takes depends on where you are. Virginia appears fairly easy ad inexpensive.
    https://www.hunter-ed.com/virginia/hunting-license.html
    The Savage Axis is an entry level hunting rifle that'll do nicely for shooting because it's fun. Chambered in any .24 to .30 calibre cartridge it'll kill any game you care to hunt. However, at 6.5 pounds it's kind of light to be shooting is either .308 or .30-06 on a range all day. A 6.5 Creedmoor will be easier on the shoulder. Ammo is not likely to be found just anywhere though. Somebody coined the term, "The Wal-Mart Test". If the ammo is in your local Wally World it's likely to be in all of 'em.
     
  21. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Here in Iowa 6.5 Creedmoor is available at all the major sporting goods shops, specialty shops, Walmart, and the farm supply chains (Theisens and Farm & Fleet) and we don't even have a legal deer season for non-straight wall cartridge rifles. You're as likely to find it in larger urban areas as not, but what and how far the animal is will help with caliber determination.

    Also, if you're hunting bear with your father-in-law...make sure he likes you;-).
     
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  22. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    6.5 creedmore is perfectly sufficient for deer hunting so don't let that hold you back.
     
  23. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    30-06. Can pick up ammo & reloading equip. Anywhere.
     
  24. Legionnaire
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    I like short action rifles. That rules out the .30-06 and the .270 in my book, both of which are excellent cartridges--they just require a long action.

    If you're not a reloader, I'd give the nod to the .308. It is common, comparatively inexpensive, and very capable. 175 grain match ammo out of a 26-inch barrel will get you out to 1,000 yards. For hunting, 150-165 grain hunting ammo will easily get me out to what I consider ethical hunting distances on medium-large game.

    The various 6.5 mm cartridges (6.5x47, 6.5x55, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, etc.) are all great target and hunting rounds, but they are expensive unless you reload. But if you define "long range plinking" to be out beyond 800 yards, the 6.5s will get you there with less recoil, drop, and wind drift than the .308, at higher cost for factory ammo. If cost is not a factor, I'd probably give the nod to either the 6.5 Creedmoor or the .260 Remington.
     
  25. Geno

    Geno Member

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    I bought my Savage M12FV in 6.5 CM for deer and steel. The price was right at about $319.

    As to availability, at present, Cabela’s carries 48 different makes / models of bolt-action rifles chambered in 6.5 CM. They carry about 40 different brands and weights of 6.5 CM ammo.

    As to ammo cost, prices are perfectly inline with .243 Win and .308 Win, ranging from $17 for Federal to $47 for Nosler’s high-grade match ammo. I even saw 6.5 CM at WalMart.

    I haven’t yet fired mine. I will soon...I hope.

    Geno
     
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