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  #101  
Old 04-10-2016, 07:53 PM
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See post no. 75. But mine is a .270, not a .280 so ammo is more available and in a wider selection. I like the factory loads like Federal's Premium with 150 grain Nosler Partition bullets.

My scope is actually a Redfield with an unusual Euro reticle with three heavier posts and the top thread thin, as usual. This works well in dark woods or in dim light or when you need to get the scope quickly on a moving, maybe charging, target.

I usually leave the variable scope set on 3X unless expecting a long shot. That gives ample magnification for most hunting, and the field of view is wider than at higher powers.

I did have a rifle with the Leupold scope in post 75 and regret selling it. But that Leupold is probably as good as any in a reasonable price range and better than most . I say this having used Zeiss and Swarovski scopes. But they are probably beyond the means of many here. The OP specified a modest price. That's why I didn't suggest a M-70 from their Custom Shop with selected wood, etc.

I admit that the same rifle in .30-06 is a better all-round choice in a survival scenario or if seeking animals much larger than deer. But the .270 is quite effective on elk, even moose and bear. Note my preference for that Nosler bullet, though. Also note that I don't like taking rear angle shots on big animals. Elmer Keith wanted that ability, and that's one reason why he advocated .338 rifles or heavier. Jack O'Connor favored the .270 in large part because he didn't shoot fleeing game in the hams.

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  #102  
Old 04-10-2016, 08:22 PM
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I have a number of Bolt action rifles and if I could keep only one it would be my custom Mauser in 30-06. It's accurate and has a muzzle brake so it has the recoil of a 243. It's topped with a Leupold 2.5x8 Vari X III scope that makes a great combo for hunting just about anything.

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  #103  
Old 04-10-2016, 08:23 PM
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If we're talking about a rifle I already have, it'd be my old Ruger 77 flatbolt in .308; if I don't already have this theoretical rifle, my answer would still probably be something fairly similar; maybe the Ruger Scout or the new Savage in that configuration. I like the idea of the M1-A but they aren't exactly cheap. But if I got rid of all my other rifles I could have two or three of those, at least.
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  #104  
Old 04-10-2016, 08:57 PM
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You didn't mention at what range you'd be taking game , but at first I was thinking a Remington 700 in .270 and then when you mentioned survival I immediately thought an AR-15 in 5.56. I wouldn't want to match a handgun caliber of it was my only rifle.
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  #105  
Old 04-10-2016, 09:35 PM
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Savage 99 in a .300 Savage
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  #106  
Old 04-10-2016, 09:43 PM
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When I rolled down to one,
I kept my LH Carl Gustaf in 30-06.
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  #107  
Old 04-10-2016, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fyimo View Post
I have a number of Bolt action rifles and if I could keep only one it would be my custom Mauser in 30-06. It's accurate and has a muzzle brake so it has the recoil of a 243. It's topped with a Leupold 2.5x8 Vari X III scope that makes a great combo for hunting just about anything.


Thanks for posting that photo of a superb rifle with the very scope that I recommended above. It saves readers scrolling back to Post No. 75 to see that Leupold 2.5-8x scope that I think is a terrific buy for most riflemen.
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  #108  
Old 04-10-2016, 10:41 PM
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"If you could only afford one center fire rifle..."

I interpret this hypothetical to have two criteria: center fire rifle + affordable. That would put me directly into a synthetic stock, bolt action, preferably packaged with a scope. I'd most likely buy a Ruger American w/Vortex II scope combo chambered in .308 Winchester for the shorter action throw and the slightly more affordable ammo.
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  #109  
Old 04-10-2016, 10:48 PM
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Depends on the ultimate use(s) for the rifle. If for self defense/ para-military action and the like, probably a carbine length AR-15. If survival/ medium or big game hunting is factored in, it would be a medium calibre bolt action. Any of the 30 calibres, or something relatively close, would do. If all uses (listed above) are important for this one rifle, then it would be the bolt-action. I always gravitate toward the most commonly used cartridges, such as .223 or .308, etc., for reasons of ammo/ reloading component availability - and I would choose such a cartridge (most likely .308) for such a rifle.

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  #110  
Old 04-10-2016, 11:45 PM
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.308 in either one of these.





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  #111  
Old 04-11-2016, 04:00 PM
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Oh, I don't really want or need anything too fancy. Back in my ill spent youth, I read and looked at the pictures on every American Rifleman. And the one rifle I just loved to see was the old Winchesters. I think they called them Model 70s. And in those prehistoric days, the most loved scope was the BalVar 8. So one day 12 or so years ago I spotted one at the booth next to us at a gunshow. It was old then. You young guys demand "pre 64". I don't need anything that new, mine was pre-war! And along the same lines, I found another without a scope with serial #202. My best guess is either or both will outlast me and still be running long after I'm dead and gone. Yes, I like the .30-06 If only because I've got a basement full of ammo for it, plus enough reloading junk to make another basement full! Anybody here ever worn one out? Can that even be done?

So as I started reading this thread, about post 15 up pops one of my favorite old posters, Feralmerrill. Wow, I thought Lee had relented and allowed that good old guy back in. Then I saw it was from 4 full years ago. Darn. That old guy explored the desert and had photos from all kinds of old mines in Utah. I sure miss him.
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  #112  
Old 04-12-2016, 12:04 AM
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I'm in the 30-06 bolt action crowd. Either a Winchester or a Remington. It was my first hunting rifle & it's a great all around cartridge.
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  #113  
Old 04-12-2016, 07:38 AM
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Thought there'd be more of us, here's one lonely vote for the AR. My A2 has a target barrel, is spot-on accurate. It's more versatile than most of the larger calibers mentioned here, and it's the rifle I have the most experience with. Learned to depend on it when I had my government job some years back. It would be tough leaving my Garand, Lee-Enfield SMLE, or Winchester lever guns behind, but you said just one.

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  #114  
Old 04-12-2016, 09:24 AM
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Steyr Scout in .308
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  #115  
Old 04-12-2016, 09:36 AM
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I do not think there is such a thing as a one-gun solution.
One shot-one kill: bolt action
Multiple kills: semi auto
One caliber can be overkill; one, not enough.

I like choices. One boat won't do it all.

Edit to say anything that would help me stand up to a charging bear would do.

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  #116  
Old 04-12-2016, 09:51 AM
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While I would not feel undergunned with a 30-06, mine would be my S & W (Howa) in 300 Win Mag. Used it on everything from ground squirrel to elk, out to 400+ yards.

Second would be my Model 71==might be choice #1, since my knees are shot!
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  #117  
Old 04-12-2016, 09:54 AM
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Bolt action, in .308 or .30-'06 due to availability of ammunition and good performance on any size of game. Rifle brand is immaterial, but if I had a choice, a Remington M700 with a 4x scope.
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  #118  
Old 04-12-2016, 09:57 AM
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Remington Model 700 BDL in .243 Win. with a Burris 3X9 scope
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  #119  
Old 04-12-2016, 06:47 PM
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I'd go with my lever action 30-30
Love my old Winchester 94
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  #120  
Old 04-12-2016, 07:31 PM
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I'll take my 1984 Remington 700 in .270.
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  #121  
Old 04-12-2016, 08:02 PM
R.A. Rifleman R.A. Rifleman is offline
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I'm going to out myself as a young pup here, but I would probably favor an AR10/M110. A relatively affordable, accurate, fast firing rifle in an extremely versatile caliber. The only question would be which one. If I were building my dream rifle, I'd probably end up in the low 5 figure range with all the accessories. But I'd have a rifle for everything short of Africa's Big Five. Going bare bones, I'd take something along the lines of a DPMS MK12 with a 3-9x in QD rings.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:32 PM
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My choice, SOCOM 16 CQB.

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  #123  
Old 04-12-2016, 09:49 PM
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I go with the comments of .308 or 7mm-08 in bolt action for a 1 gun. And if I were buying a new one I'd give a hard look at the Tikka T3.
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  #124  
Old 04-12-2016, 09:54 PM
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Just one rifle?

A KAC SR-25 20" .308 with a high quality 1-8x illuminated scope.
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  #125  
Old 04-13-2016, 01:09 AM
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I already have it, I was with Dad in 1952 when he picked up his Model 70 Winchester in 270 WCF at the lumber yard/Winchester dealer. I added a Leupold 3x9.

So OP what am I to do with the rest of them? Guess I'll hold em for a while.

That way if I get into a survival thing I'll have my Colt HBAR or AR in 6.5 Grendel. Or my 7mm08, Oh what about the 300 mags? One could survive at long range.
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  #126  
Old 04-13-2016, 02:21 AM
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Ruger M77MKII in 30.06...
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  #127  
Old 04-13-2016, 07:34 AM
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Winchester Model 70 Stainless Classic in .30-06
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  #128  
Old 04-13-2016, 09:02 AM
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I am most comfortable with an AR 15, and in a pinch, a 5.56 can be used to take a white tail deer. In today's world, the AR is the most versatile platform available. I haven't found any .30 cal. ARs that have got me excited, however.

For a good all-round, affordable bolt gun, a Ruger 77 MK II Compact in .308. I picked mine up, brand new for $260 plus tax a few years back. I like this rifle because of its compact size and its relatively light weight.

30.06 is still king in terms of ammo variety and availability, and you can pick up a number of name brand manufactures' offerings, new and used at affordable prices. A lot of hunters made the .06 take a lot of dangerous game around the world long before other stuff, larger and faster showed up.
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  #129  
Old 04-13-2016, 11:08 PM
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I like a bolt gun in 30-06 although 270 is a close second. My personal choice would be a pre 64 M 70 although thre are lots of other good bolt guns out there that would do.
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Old 04-14-2016, 12:43 PM
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Almost too many budget priced bolt action rifle now to chose from. My choice would me a Savage Axis or Ruger American. More me the only hunting rifle round is a 308. A range of loads to chose from
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:36 PM
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Any cheap mosin rifle with the 203gr soft point Russian ammo @ $4.95 a box of 20. Or the 880 rd case of the Czech silver tip 7.62x54r ammo at $85 a case delivered.

Or a 30-06 rifle and the Russian Tula ammo for $1.99 / for 20rds, a box.

At the Backwoods Home Magazine online sight they did a article about using cheap military surplus rifles to put meat on the table. It was when surplus rifles were affordable. If you search it there it may come up.

If it comes down to surviving or not a good 22 rifle and a flashlite will get game. The difference between dying and living.
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  #132  
Old 04-16-2016, 03:54 PM
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I reckon I'd just keep what I got...

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Old 04-16-2016, 04:15 PM
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With $700 and a 30/06 there aren't many problems that a man can't fix
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodsltc View Post
I'll play............assuming I already have a rifle in .22 LR, then my one centerfire rifle for all other chores would be a Bolt-Action 30.06.

It's large enough to handle virtually any big game. Shoots flat enough to reach out and touch game at long distance and the ammo is readily available in many different weights.

Bolt-action because it would have be capable of quick follow-up shots and they are accurate and reliable. You have your pick of just about any manufacturer as almost all of them offer a rifle in 30.06, so find what you like in the price range you can afford.



Matching a handgun caliber is not a priority, IMO.

OK that's my .02's worth.

Don
As far as I'm concerned everyone is entitled op their own opinion but this thread could have been terminated after the 2nd post as it more then adequately answered the question. A 30-06 is to hunting rifles what the 12 gauge is to shotguns. If you can only own one then that's the best choice.
The cartridge has more than proven itself over 100 years, rifles are available everywhere in every conceivable configuration as well as ammunition.
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Old 04-16-2016, 06:59 PM
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I'll jump on the 30-06 bandwagon, but I'd recommend the Remington 760 pump. been shooting one for 40 years. It will hold 1-1/2"groups at 100 yards and a little over 2" at 200. It is fast, light, and since the barrel floats free, it is unaffected by moisture. Mine hasn't changed zero in at least a decade. And, you might still be able to find 10 round magazines if you need added firepower.
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  #136  
Old 04-17-2016, 07:40 PM
Scott in NCal Scott in NCal is offline
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As I spend more time hunting smaller things than big things and have no plans to hunt outside of the lower 48 states a 243 bolt can be made to work. I have it, a Model 700 BDL with iron sites and QD 3X9 glass. Almost never use it, as I always have something better suited for the task. Include SD as well as hunting, a Mini 30, or perhapa a M1A.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:12 AM
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bushmaster1313 bushmaster1313 is offline
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If you could only afford one centerfire rifle..... If you could only afford one centerfire rifle..... If you could only afford one centerfire rifle..... If you could only afford one centerfire rifle..... If you could only afford one centerfire rifle.....  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OIF2 View Post
This would work fine; Winchester M70 in .30-06. Scope is a nice, clear Lyman in 4X. What else do you need?
Bob

If I was named "Bob" I would want it in .257
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:31 AM
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If you could only afford one centerfire rifle..... If you could only afford one centerfire rifle..... If you could only afford one centerfire rifle..... If you could only afford one centerfire rifle..... If you could only afford one centerfire rifle.....  
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Default Well, if forced to have only one, then there is only one choice...

My FAL Para. It's a Congo built by DSA. Reliable, accurate, and a very tidy package.



Keith
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:35 AM
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I would go with the old 30-06 also
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Old 04-23-2016, 02:05 AM
Frank46 Frank46 is offline
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I've a Sako 75 Hunter in 30-06 with a Leupold 3.5x14 on it. Rifle is shaping up to be the most accurate '06 I've ever had. Had to cut the stock the thickness of the new recoil pad and fits even better. Will easily do 1" at 100 yds. I shoot 165 grain nosler nallistic tips under 55.5 grains of IMR 4350 capped with the CCI 250 magnum primer in federal brass. This rifle also likes the old match M72 load with the 173 grain military bullet and best part don't have to change the settings on the scope. For a bug out rifle my colt LE6920 in 5.56 will do very nicely. and for a shotgun one of my Rem 870's with an assortment of shot, slugs and 4/0 buck. And maybe my ruger MKIII with solids and hollow points. Frank
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:06 PM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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It'd tough to pick out just one from the bunch, but I'd probably choose from either my MkI* SMLE (1904), one of the Lee-Speed sporters, an '03 sporter or one of the Mannlicher Schoenauers.

...Can't whittle it down any closer than that.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:22 PM
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If you are talking big game up to deer, then any centerfire in the 243, 257, 25-06, would be more than adequate. Mossberg makes a great bolt action rifle or you could get any number of good used ones by Remington, Winchester, Savage, etc that would not be a budget breaker. Of great importance to me is one's ability to shoot them and while the 30-06 with a 200+ grain bullet will handle most any North American game, it is not an easy shooter recoil wise. The same can be said of any rifle at or above the 270 unless in a heavy gun.

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  #143  
Old 04-24-2016, 09:47 AM
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Owning one rifle in the US is hard to imagine. Logically it would have to be a 30/06 or a .308 in a quality made gun. Ammo is found everywhere.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:51 AM
Stan O Stan O is offline
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Default "Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it!"

If I could only choose one, it would be my pre-64 Winchester model 70 featherweight in 30/06. Although I like the M-14/M1A platform, the Winchester featherweight is almost half the weight. I humped the M-14 a gazzillion years ago and it's heavy. As far as caliber, 30/06 is available almost everywhere and with the possible exception of large brown bear, will take pretty much anything in the Western hemisphere. Mine has iron sights and a 3x Leupold post and crosshair scope. In my opinion, it's the ultimate "Scout" rifle.

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Old 04-24-2016, 10:53 AM
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Bill Bates Bill Bates is offline
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This has been an interesting read. There really are no bad answers. All of us have different needs in a rifle from a decent deer file to fighting in the zombie apocalypse. My needs have been pretty simple, I hunt mule deer and not much else.

For the past 40 years I have been hunting with just one rifle. That rifle is an old tang safety Ruger M77 chambered in .243 Winchester. For years it had a Redfield 4X scope which a number of years ago I switched out for a Leopold Vari-X III 3-9x scope. It has been a deadly little rifle. If I do my part; it does its out to 300 plus yards when sighted in to a 200 yard zero.

I've taken a number of mule deer with it. I've not hunted elk with this rifle but at reasonable ranges with a good bullet I'm sure it would do the job but it wouldn't be my first or even second or third choice as an elk rifle.

So with that said I've decided to move up to a larger caliber in light mountain rifle because an elk hunt may be happening in the future. I have a Kimber Montana on lay away that I should bail out in the next few weeks. I plan on mounting a Leopold VX3i 3.5-10 or 4.5-14x scope. I've looked at a lot of rifles and decided on a Kimber because I think it comes closest to what the Winchester Model 70 should, over the years, become...lighter and trimmer. The Montana with scope should hit about 6 1/2 lbs.

The caliber selection was a bit more involved. Going with a number of .30 calibers like the .308 and .30-06 would make sense because of versatility and accessibility of ammo. Okay but aren't they just a little boring and so is .270. I'm not a "magnum" guy. At ethical hunting ranges you gain much other than getting beat up both body and wallet. I'm a bit of a classics sort of guy so 6x55, 7x57 and .257 Roberts can right to mind. All are deadly even on elk. If I was going with wood and blued steel anyone would be just right. In a stainless and plastic fantastic like the Kimber Montana an update of an old classic caliber seemed appropriate. It was down to the .260 Remington or 7mm08. I'm not much of reloader so I went with the 7mm08 because of the the wider selection of ammo. When you start stretching the range a 7mm08 doesn't give a thing up to the .308 Win.

I just hope when I'm all done it will shoot near as well as my old Ruger M77.

The old Ruger really likes Federals 100 gr. Nosler Partion load. This group from last years double check of its sighting is not unusual.

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Old 04-24-2016, 12:05 PM
buckyjames1 buckyjames1 is offline
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I think it would be difficult to beat military style rifles, here is my 3 in no order.

1. M14 possible FAL, preference would be a scout/socom type for less weight/less length
- Relatively common round. NATO to boot.
- More than adequate power for most if not all needs.

2. AR and all variants
- readily available parts, ammo, magazines, gunsmith/repair/knowledge
- can take up to deer size, lots of ammo choices that can do the job
- lighter over all weight
- large magazine capacity
- lots of upgrades, mods, accessories to boot

3. AK:
- see #2, just adds a bit more ballistics power at a slight loss of
accuracy vs. AR.
- relatively inexpensive and you get a legendary weapon

Basically, we benefited from all the RnD and field work tweaks performed by governments. One of the few times the gubbment actually produced worth while results

My Opinions.

Last edited by buckyjames1; 03-18-2017 at 12:56 PM.
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