Spike Camp

“Just Right” Rifle for North America

Re: “Just Right” Rifle for North America
« Reply #45 on: November 05, 2018, 07:49:06 AM »
Let's change up the perspective a bit and look at it from the view of the person that only has the opportunity to buy one hunting rifle. He's got a tough decision on his hands. If he's wrong, he's screwed but if he gets it right he'll be one happy camper with meat in the freezer. Where I am in Nevada, I put in for tags for Antelope, Sheep, Muley's and Elk. I may only get one of those and if all I have to choose from is one rifle for all of those animals what is my best caliber choice.

Just because the Elk are in the mix I'm going to say something in a 30 cal is probably my best bet for taking all four. I've taken a big bull Elk with my 270 but I was really apprehensive since the shot was over 400 yards. I had a backup shooter with me so I took it. In fact, that shot was probably what started me buying specific calibers for specific animals.
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eford

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Re: “Just Right” Rifle for North America
« Reply #46 on: November 05, 2018, 08:29:51 AM »
If you took a survey to pick one combo, we would most likely find that 1, 2, or possibly 3 calibers would be singled out with a greater number than the others. (but the rest of us would still be right in our choices ;) ;) ;), that I'm sure of)
I’ve had that conversation several times. As I remember, the 270 Win, 30-06 Spfd and 338 Win were the most frequently picked cartridges. No one picked a .26 caliber or smaller since the elk-sized and larger critters were in the mix. For now, forget about the 6.5x55mm Swede taking big game in Europe.
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Re: “Just Right” Rifle for North America
« Reply #47 on: November 05, 2018, 03:23:04 PM »
I like the perspective - it wasn’t that long ago that most people could only afford one hunting rifle.

I live in Wyoming, so it is mostly antelope, mule deer, elk, and an outside chance at moose.

For me, it is the 300 Winchester Magnum. I can do it all with bullets between 150-200 grains and at a fairly long range. For me, this would be my “just right” rifle.
JK

danno50

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Re: “Just Right” Rifle for North America
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2018, 08:20:27 AM »
If you took a survey to pick one combo, we would most likely find that 1, 2, or possibly 3 calibers would be singled out with a greater number than the others. (but the rest of us would still be right in our choices ;) ;) ;), that I'm sure of)
I’ve had that conversation several times. As I remember, the 270 Win, 30-06 Spfd and 338 Win were the most frequently picked cartridges. No one picked a .26 caliber or smaller since the elk-sized and larger critters were in the mix. For now, forget about the 6.5x55mm Swede taking big game in Europe.

The cartridges that Eric mentioned sounded like a general survey I had seen before, but I didn't find anything going back through old Nation threads. With all the new ammo technology today some lesser calibers might be included, (and rightly so) and the new ammo would increase the viability of the big bores also. But I believe the old cup and core ammunition that was available for these cartridges 60 years ago, would still hold its own against the new kids on the block today.  Jack O'Connor, Townsend Whelen, and Peter Capstick, to name a few old school maestro pioneers, were among those who peaked hunters interest in calibers that worked then and still do today. Ammunition has dramatically changed since then,  (due to technology and laws in some cases) but as was said earlier, the game animals have not. New ammunition technology has increased the effectiveness of ammunition and has bolstered things like MV, ME, and successfully increased the killing distance of some calibers. An argument could be made that old school ammo is just that, but the Spire points, Core-lokts, and Power points of yesterday are just as deadly today as they ever were.(using them with sound judgement) JMO
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zonie

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Re: “Just Right” Rifle for North America
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2018, 08:21:21 PM »
I don't care what caliber you use if you hit an elk or deer for that matter wrong  what caliber you use  is about the last of my worries.  For people shooting whatever the yardage is the caliber has to have enough poop to get the job done on less than ideal angles. Bullet selection does play a part.  My favorite elk caliber is a 270 Winchester using 150 grain bullets we have 3 of them and all have taken multiples of elk thru the years. Sometimes I'll use a 300 wby and we use other calibers, I  have used my 257 Wby on elk and personally it's a little light in the bullet weight for me to classify as a one gun rifle for elk and tougher animals.  You can easily get by with a 308 win at 400 yds on any elk as long as you hit it right, one of my favorite mtn rifles is a Kimber 84m in 308 with a Leupold 3x9 ultralight scope and the rifle tops out at exactly 6 pounds with scope , mounts,  sling and 5 rounds of ammo.  That 10 pound 300 Wby with big scope is getting left behind more and more.  As long as you have a solid rest in a known reliable/ trusted rifle animals at 400 yds is very doable with practice.  My wife is using a little Vanguard in 6.5 creedmoor on her up coming trophy deer hunt on the Utah border in a couple weeks, she's killed elk and antelope with it.  It's actually becoming one of my favorite calibers , it originally had a little Nikon 4x12 bdc scope on it and it broke  and sent it off for repair, so I had Zeiss  3x9  plex reticle laying around and put that one in an emergency,  her ranges are going to be substantially reduced  to about 300 yards or so mainly because she's not use to the scope, but soon I'm  going to put that new Vortex Diamondback 4x16 front focal plane on it for me to shoot clicking up longer ranges.  I'll be taking a couple spares her 270 win and my 300 wby only because I have a lion tag in case I see one.  I got her a couple years ago that Caldwell DeadShot Field-Pod the short version and bought a little packable  lightweight shooting stool , this tripod/field-pod  with rifle supported both front and back is pretty darn solid except in heavy winds and that's iffy at best anyway.  This set up get's you off the ground and clear of ground vegetation.

   For the person that can only afford one rifle and even though I firmly believe  beware the man with one gun because he knows how to use it is pretty true in my opinion, BUT really how many of us out there have only one rifle that have been hunting for awhile.   I have current friends  and had friends no longer with us that only have one rifle for pretty much their whole life one in particular who is now gone mainly used a beat up Jap Arisaka chambered in 6.5 x 257 Roberts  and was an elk killing machine when he lived in West Yellowstone and then in Arizona,  he finally bought big box store  scope combo Savage in 30-06 before he died thinking it would be an upgrade,  wrong he had nothing but problems with that rifle.  Personally  I think it's huge mistake to go hunting any distance from home without your own spare rifle or use of a friends spare rifle,  PERIOD !!!  It happened just a couple days ago a friend had scope problems and blew a shot on a big bull elk ,  hit it and lost it, and this guy is no stranger to guiding for trophy bull elk, so the best hunters still make mistakes, granted he wasn't hunting but 2 hrs from home  that screw up blew a whole day of hunting.   Another buddy had a better known  scope freeze up on him,  and then it broke totally in eastern Oregon on an elk hunt in the 80's,  I loaned him my rifle and my dad loaned me his 270 win, he enjoyed being the camp cook the last years of his life  and not in the best of health.    I froze the 3 position safety  on dad's rifle until it unfroze and I shot an elk with it.   My son I guess 3 years ago took a fall on a Coues deer hunt and totaled his scope and we had to drive about 60 miles to the nearest gun store and bought a little Vortex Diamond Back to get him by.  I've had the trigger screw up on a Weatherby in the field and had to take the trigger apart clean and put fingernail polish on the one trigger housing screw, finally I glued the darn thing in there so until I get a Timney to replace it  might be a little bugger getting the old trigger out. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen guns in general screw up in the field either other hunters,  friends or family.  For 300 bucks go buy a used rifle with scope and keep it as a back up.  You don't go in the field without a spare tire or 2 so why go in the field with one gun especially hours from home.

If I had to absolutely choose one rifle I would choose a carbon fiber barrel with a min of a 24 inch barrel  add a muzzle brake, rifle weight fully loaded with scope, ammo ,sling, mounts no more than 8 pounds, most likely a Leupold VX5-HD 3x15 with CDS dial in  300 win mag caliber.  Why 300 win ? It's totally accurate, proven,  it will take anything in North America, and African Plains game, it can be loaded hot with 220 grainers and down-loaded for reduced recoil sensitive shooters and ammo is available almost everywhere.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 10:08:55 PM by zonie »