View Full Version : jack of all trades
Ok. . . I was trying to think of a bore size that would be good/best for an all around rifle. In Ohio I cannot use a rifle to hunt with, what I am looking for is to be able to hunt whatever I choose, minus dangerous game, outside my current place of residence without haveing to spend thousands of dollars to buy a gun for every purpose. So. . . I would love to hear any suggestions. My personal leanings are to something in 6.5mm, 7mm or .270 (.277 right?) if that helps. Thanks.
Depending on what you load it with, a .30-06 will whack anything on the North American continent and about half of Africa too. Any medium/heavy weights will nail deer, pigs, black bears, lightweights will nail any type of varmints (vaporize prairie dogs, do a job on coyotes) and according to a guy in Outdoor Life if you place the round right, will even drop a buffalo (he did it).
So what do you choose to hunt.excluding dangerous game? Are you really talking prarie dogs to Moose?
i second the .30-06. my next choice would either be a 338-06 or 300 win mag. i would rather have a little more gun than i need on a deer than less gun than i need on a brown bear.
i would be interested to see hwat happens if you shot a prarie dog with a 300 win mag. must make a nice mist ;f
I've probably owned and shot all the major hunting calibers around, but I keep coming back to these two.
7mm Remington Magnum
If you are going after the Big Browns up North, I would err on the side of caution and look into the .338. For everything else, those two calibers above really do the trick. When I was a youngster and spent my weekends plowing through back issues of Outdoor Life and Field and Stream trying to discern the "perfect" caliber, my Old Man reminded me that the skill of the hunter is far more important than the velocity and diameter of the round they are shooting. That said, the 7mm and the .270 are flat shooting accurate rounds and between my father and I, we probably own 8 of them in different configurations. Out West, a long-range flat shooting round that can put game down quickly and humanely is the ticket.
Thanks to those of you who responded. . .
No, I am not planning on shooting prarie rats and other varmits. I suppose I should clarify that I do not group varmiting and hunting together. It just seems that there are sop many good calibers to choose from, not too mention good rifles, that a youngin' like myself likes to have the opinion of those more experienced than I. I guess I could ask which rifle among the Remington 700 series, Steyr Prohunter, Blaser R93, Browning A-Bolt, Winchester Model 70 (and a pleathora of other rifles, some more affordable than others) you all would pick, but that seems a personal decision to me. Well, thanks again. . . I will continue my search for what suits my needs with your input in mind.
You've got to have an idea of what you want to hunt, and how far away it will be.
I'd start with the .30-06 with the ideal for middle of the road big game hunting, and then decide from there. Every choice has costs and benefits. More power will equal more recoil and probably more cost. Less power means less margin of error on the big animals.
Well, I picked the .260 for my "go-to" hunting rifle, just this year actually (can't wait to take it to the woods). If you hunt like me, the 90% quarry will be whitetails (the rest of the time is grouse hunting). I figured that the .260 is ideal for the medium-sized table fare that interests me most (maybe pronghorn, caribou, etc.). While some may claim that it is too small for heavier game (like the salesman did when I bought the rifle), I think that it would do nicely on things that won't turn around and eat, claw, trample or otherwise maim me. For dangerous game, you NEED the larger gun. For the smaller stuff, I don't see the point in getting beat anymore than necessary. Honestly, do you NEED a .30-06 or larger for whitetails? Probably not really. Do you WANT it? That is what matters most of all.
BTW, I say Remington Model 700 with a Leupold scope on top!;)
Caveat: If you are not a reloader, the .260 is expensive to feed and hard to find ammo. But it doesn't seem to be particularly fussy about loads (mine will shoot 1.5 MOA or better with ANYTHING that I've fed it, somedays, when I get lucky, it will do sub-MOA).
My personal choice is 270. I own three. I want a 7mm08, but my girlfriend wants a lighter recoil so I guess I will be buying a 243. However for a good caliber, i would say 270, 280, 7mm08, 30-06, and 308. These are the best all around cartridges, but not all are dangerous game rifles. for what you specified, I would stay in that realm. The 280 and 7-08 are harder to find cartridges for, and that is very important. I would not own a gun that I couldnt find ammo at walmart for. Just me. Anyways, learn to shoot your weapon well and it doesnt really matter. If you dont like recoil then stay with the 7-08 or 308. If it doesnt bother you than try the 270 and up. Its anyones guess though. Just practice practice practice.
You'll probably get as many differing opinions as you do replies. Everybody has their own personel favorites. As for me, it's the .308. I also like the .280. The best all around caliber is, as someone else already said, the .30-06. Every model of long-action rifle made is chambered for the '06. Ammo is extremely easy to find and somebody usually has it on sale. I reload my own, but last fall, I found a local place that was going out of business, and had Remington ammo in '06, for $4.99 a box of 20! They had about 40 boxes left (some 150grs, some 180grs)... until I showed up... then they had none. :) I've got a Savage 110L in '06, and it's very accurate, and not a single problem encountered with it in all the years I've had it (over 30 years). But.... you need a caliber that you can afford to shoot often, is not too expensive to shoot, and doesn't beat you up with the recoil. The best gun in the world will not substitute for poor marksmanship. And that is only attainable with lots of practice. Stick with the calibers that are easy to find, inexpensive, and don't kick too hard. As much as I like my '06, I can't shoot it as much as I'd like, nor near as much as I can shoot my semi-auto .308. Too much recoil for long shooting sessions (100's of rounds). That also goes for the 7mm mag. If I were you, I'd stick with either a .308 or a .270... although the .270 kicks almost (but not quite) as hard as an '06. The more you can shoot whatever you choose, the better you'll be at shooting it for accuracy.
Remington Model 7 (stainless, synthetic) in 7mm-08!
My Jack of all trades.
The 45-70 Guide Gun is just for fun!
Well, thanks for all your replies. I have always found this forum to be the most responsive of any I have visited.
My personal choice is the 270. I don't think you would go wrong with a 30-06 and there is not a wal-mart anywhere that doesn't have that ammo, even the far left K-mart has 30-06 ammo
I belive there is a book by a guy that hunted all of N. America with a 30-06, maybe some here knows the title and you could read through that
FWIW I have been looking real hard at the 280, hard to get ammo if you don't load
I envy you. I remember the first time I was able to buy my own rifle and all I went through looking at calibers and scopes and the like. The first is just the best. Like everything in life. My advice prolong it till you know exactly what you want and then get exactly that. We all love sitting here telling you our favorites cuz it reminds us of our first rifle. You only get three of these in you life. First rifle, hand gun and shotgun. I still own all my firsts. Let us know what you get.
i know you said you wanted to pick the rifle yourself, but look into the T/C Encore. It's a great, reliable, accurate rifle that has as many calibers as we all can think up. You can get your Encore with a barrel for around $500. Later on you can add barrels for around $225. Everything from 20 ga to .45-70 and on up. That way you are covered all the way around. Oh yeah, they make .50 cal and .45 cal inline BP barrels also not to mention rimfire barrels. just a thought.
You know, I was thinking perhaps I would get a barrelled action and a stock of my choosing. It would sort of personalize the rifle a little bit and the extra cost would be low. I am thinking either a Remington 700 or Winchester M70 as the base. There are lots of companies that make stocks, so narrowing that down may be a little harder. Both of the actions above seems to be tried and true performers. As far as caliber goes, the .270 is doing a good job of winning me over right now. If I were to go with something stock from the factory, the T/C Encore has a lot of appeal to me. . . probably because I percieve it to be very versatile. As far as glass and mounts go. . . I am still in the dark. I just don't seem to know enough about either, and haven't found a good source from which to learn more. Thanks again for all your suggestions.
Can't go wrong with the .270.
It was my jack of all trades (Rem 700 BDL) til I decided I wanted a short, lightweight, short-action rifle.
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