Western-Big game, do it all rifle?

Discussion in 'Hunting Out of State' started by meyeri, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

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    Curious as to what caliber and brand of long gun others use for Western game hunting?

    Looking for a bolt action that can be used for everything from deer to elk. I was thinking about either a 30-06 or .300 win mag and I have been looking at Winchester model 70's, Bergara B-14s, Tikkas and a couple others.

    I like the affordability and popularity of the odd six cartridge, but the win mag is a much straighter shooter. Thoughts?



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  3. bwese

    bwese Active Member

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    savage 110,

    7mm rem mag, lots of bullet choices in my opinion for western game

    the 06 is a great all around gun with lots of ammo choice as well.

    300 is a killer but also to ones shoulder compared to the above 2 in my experience
     
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  4. 2-bucks

    2-bucks PMA Member

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    You will get all sorts of differing onions on these two cartridges, but the real answer is you cant go wrong with either. Also some people will throw in other similar cartridges like 7mm mag that are not wrong either.

    Before you get too many answers you should probably state how far you want to be able to shoot and how much you care about recoil.

    If I am shooting 500 yards or less and have range finder then I am picking the 30-06 with high quality 180 grain bullet. I can shoot a gun with lot of recoil, but as I get older and hopefully wiser I have realized I shoot slightly better as the recoil reduces. I have no idea of your shooting abilities but most people can't shoot accurately out to 500 yards in the field, plenty can't even do it on the bench. I would not take a shot that far in the field as I sit today. I could in the past but would need some good refresher practice sessions to get back to that.

    This link sums up the pros and cons pretty well.
    http://thebiggamehuntingblog.com/30...ag-which-cartridge-should-you-be-hunting-with
     
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  5. nontyp

    nontyp Active Member

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    Hard to beat a .300, but my choice would be none of the above. Go archery season.
     
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  6. isu22andy

    isu22andy Active Member

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    500 yards ? Ive seen tons of people not shoot well to 300 yards me included. All the magnums suck to shoot but my Tikka 7 rem mag is what I use. Hard to beat for the price , make sure you lead sled the factory ammo at 100 yards to see what groups, mine hates hornady american whitetail.
     
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  7. meyeri

    meyeri PMA Member

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    Lol. I know. My first choice would be archery, but wanna make some hunting trips with some family and they're not bow hunters.

    I've been looking at 7mm rem mag too.

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  8. mplane72

    mplane72 Active Member

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    For what it's worth, and that's not much, I went with the 30.06 simply because the wide choice of bullet options. I also got the gun for a hell of a price and it is my intention to spend as much or probably more on the scope. Of the two you suggested I think the main thing you need to decide is your recoil tolerance.
     
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  9. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Have gunsmith install muzzle break regardless of your caliber selection. Recoil concern solved for most people.
     
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  10. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Moderator

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    A LONG time ago, I bought a Rem 700 in 7MM Rem Mag, thinking it would be my "out west" rifle. I thought it kicked quite a bit until I started shooting smokeless ML with 300 grain bullets, LOL. I've never taken it out west, only hunted whitetails in WI, MN, MO and NY with it. Never did make the elk trip I had planned when I bought it and doubt if I will. It is more of a safe queen now. If I had to do it all over again, I might lean towards the '06 for availability of ammo. Just about every Mom and Pop hardware store will have '06 on hand.
     
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  11. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    To my point above. My smokeless with a muzzle break kicks less than my savage 30-06 without one. Now, the savage has a fairly light barrel. It is now at my gunsmith getting a break on it. :)

    But yes i'm shooting 310 grain bullet at 2,800 fps on my smokeless. Its enough kick that's for sure. without a break, it would not be shootable.
     
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  12. JNRBRONC

    JNRBRONC Moderator

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    I went and had my hearing tested about a month ago. I have not been nice to my ears over the years, guns only being part of the damage. :eek: A muzzle break won't help that. I picked up some hearing protection that has a decibel cut off, which I'll try to wear from now on whenever hunting with a gun.
     
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  13. Hawk32

    Hawk32 PMA Member

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    Hard to beat an '06 for its versatility. I know very little about rifles but I just purchased my first this past weekend. After doing a little research and talking with a few buddies that have a lot more knowledge than me I went with one that hasn't been mentioned yet. A 6.5 creedmore. Seems to be the hot caliber right now for both hunting and target. Read quite a few articles about it being more than sufficient for deer and elk, which I'll probably never use on either. Looked at a pile of different brands and models. One buddy has a tikka that he just loves. Begara was out of my price range but makes a sweet rifle. Seems everyone that has a rem 700 swaps out triggers to a Timms trigger. Ruger makes a good gun for the money or if you really want a long range tack driver the ruger precision is the way to go but not a gun you will hike through the mountains. Anyways, I went with a savage 110 predator. Seemed like a happy medium. Really liked the accu system adjustable stock and trigger. It comes predrilled for muzzle break and it fit my price range.
     
  14. Kaleb

    Kaleb Member

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    I have a tikka 300 win mag. Kick isn’t as bad as you think... but it certainly isn’t a take to the range for fun gun


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  15. bwese

    bwese Active Member

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    All the talk of choice of ammo to me isn't much of an advantage. If you're going to be hunting deer and elk with any of the calibers the op mentioned find a bullet that performs well for elk and use it for deer. It will kill them the same as a smaller grain bullet out of the same gun but you won't have to be going to the range to resight the rifle everytime you change quarry or bullet. I shoot a barnes 160 grain bullet/ammo for deer and elk out of same gun and kills equally dead.

    Whatever the op chooses I recommend a bullet that is good for both the mentioned species and go with that. If one is speedgoat hunting a smaller caliber one already owns will take care of that job just fine.

    I can't support a 6.5 creedmore for elk hunting unless one keeps shots closer than 200, perhaps even closer. They are big and tough to kill regardless of caliber but I wouldn't want to trust a kill to the smaller 6.5 at a range the others could easily handle.

    Most of the elk I have shot have been 100 yards or under but when the elk that you want is at 300+ you want to be able to pull the trigger with confidence. Whatever one chooses they need to be able to put the bullet where it needs to go, if the shot don't go the way the shooter wanted it to go, they better pray the bullet can cause enough damage to kill quickly anyways. My motto when shooting an elk is to keep shooting if its still upright, stop only when out of ammo, or out of sight, no matter how great of a shot I think I made.

    I have heart shot an elk broadside and it still ran 250 more yards. I emptied my gun on him as he ran directly away from me. Not the shot one would choose but they are incredibly tough animals. I hit him two more times, 3 out of 4 total.

    The shot I go for now is the high shoulder shot if given the broadside, standing still opportunity. It has been the ticket the past two elk hunts.
     
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  16. goatman

    goatman I hunt days ending in Y

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    Have carried a Tikka .270 wsm out west, Quebec, and Newfoundland. Accubond 140 grain. If planning on Alaska go with .300 mag or bigger in case of DLP. I don't trust bear spray. And locals don't either.
     
  17. AZHunter

    AZHunter Fire Eater

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    Several great options have been mentioned above. You can't go wrong with 300wm, 30-06, or 7mmRM. Bullet choice should definitely be a factor and all have great bullet choices for all species (165gr-190gr). If you're going to hand load, then ammo availability isn't a factor. There are also other great choices, including the 270, 270wsm, 300wsm, 280AI (working on a build), and 28 Nosler. You can go to a western hunting forum, ask this question, and get 25 different answers. In any case, I recommend a lighter trigger and a muzzle brake for whatever you choose. A good set of lightweight ear plugs can easily mitigate the increased noise of a brake. All of my new rifles get a brake, regardless of what they're chambered for.

    To the 6.5 CM: it will work perfectly on elk to beyond 200 yards. Plenty of elk have dropped from one shot from a 6.5CM from 400+ yards, but those are hunters who are practicing regularly. As with any hunting situation, practice is key, especially at ranges you think you'll be shooting. My one and only beef with the 6.5CM (and why I'll never own one) is that it is a bandwagon cartridge. Don't get me wrong, its a great cartridge, but so many folks out here have them (we call them the Creedmoor Army) and they are very in your face about how its the best cartridge ever and you're stupid if you don't have one. Admittedly, my anti-establishment personality plays into that. No, I won't jump off a bridge if all my friends are doing it and that's how I see the 6.5CM.

    Elk are extremely tough and getting them to drop in their tracks is not the norm. My daughter had to shoot her bull three times to get it to fall and all three shots were on the money. bwese is right. If its still standing, shoot until its not standing. My daughter shoots a 7mm-08, which is a great short-range (400 yds and under) elk rifle. As for brands, I wouldn't hesitate to look at Savage. They have surpassed most other for out-of-the-box accuracy for a budget-minded rifle. I was a diehard Remington guy until it was time to buy my kids their rifles. At the same time, Tikka, Bergara, and Winchester are all hard to beat. Remington is finally coming back around to the quality 700s they were known for up until about 10 years ago.

    Of course, if you're a muzzleloader, you can't beat the Remington 700 Ultra-ML. I have friends who have that rifle and its a true 400 yard (or more) elk killer.
     

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