View Full Version : All around big game hunting rifle

03-10-2011, 08:20 AM
Hey guys, in the market for an all around western big game hunting rifle. Looking at either a 30-06 or 270. Anyone have a preference or other ideas??? Thanks

Bobby Swaggs
03-10-2011, 09:04 AM
Jay, I am actually looking for the exact same thing now and I have been researching it for far too long. Being out of college for only a few years and having just recently gotten married, money isn't exactly easy to come by right now. As such I have been looking for one gun that will do just about everything for a few years until I can afford to expand my collection for more specific purposes.

As far as caliber, most people are going to say that for an all around big game gun you will want something with more horsepower than a 270 or 30-06. I am not one of those people. I have pretty much settled on the 30-06 because as long as you hit your target in the right spot, it is more than capable of taking down all of the big game the west has to offer and it will do it with considerably less recoil than any of the massive magnums out there. The milder recoil is important to me because I also plan to spend a lot of time at the range working up good handholds and just plain having fun shooting.

For a specific rifle I'm pretty sure that I will be going with a Remington 700 CDL SF. I have always been partial to the smooth model 700 action and with the nice walnut stock and stainless fluted barrel, its hard to find a much better looking rifle in my opinion. I have looked into many other rifles both more and less expensive as well. Kimber makes some really nice stuff for just a little more money. I put some serious consideration into their model 84L but decided it just wasn't worth the difference in money for me. On the other side of the scale is the Savage Weather Worrier series. They are a really nice, accurate and affordable rifle but I personally decided I wanted something with just a little more class.

I could go on and on about this but hopefully this will get you started.

03-10-2011, 09:36 AM
I have personally been using a 300 Win Mag since I was 16 and really like it. It has plenty of knock down power for anything on the continent and doesn't damage too much meat even on antelope, if you are careful about shot placement and shoot a good bullet that doesn't fragment. I shot my first elk with my dad's 270 but I personally feel that it is a little light for something like moose. The 30-06 is a great all around caliber as is the 7 mag. I think if I was going to buy a new hunting rifle right now I would go with a 300 WSM. In his book Public Land Mulies, David Long recommends the 30-378 Weatherby Mag as the one of the flattest shooting rifles available. Just my 2 cents, good luck.

03-10-2011, 10:21 AM
That's about like asking Ford or Chevy, Blue or Green. I'm in with 30'06 better for larger game and you can find the ammo anywhere. The 270 is like a Chevy ;)

03-10-2011, 12:06 PM
yeah, i'm partial to the 30-06 myself but the more people i ask, seems like alot of em' are into the 270...from the research i've done it does seem like it's all about preference. Euww, and i thought the 270 was like a ford, lol.

Blue Skies Hunting Advent
03-10-2011, 12:07 PM
How about a .300 RUM

03-10-2011, 12:14 PM
brian, is that a 300 rem. ultra mag? i have a win. 300 wsm and have found that at times seems to have too much velocity.

03-10-2011, 12:32 PM
Then you probably wouldn't like the 300 Remington Ultra Mag

03-10-2011, 01:47 PM
Right now I shoot a .280 Rem. It works great for the open country we hunt in Wyoming for mule deer and antelope and has taken down a bull elk here in Washington. Have you looked at the WSM? Granted the ammo isn't as easy to come by, but if you reload it shouldn't be to much of an issue. My next gun is going to be a .270 WSM, .277 bullet with a little more umph behind it.

03-10-2011, 02:12 PM
good stuff guys, keep it coming.

03-10-2011, 02:14 PM
Does anyone know alot about the Tikkas? I have a friend that really likes em', i was considering a browning, tikka, savage, or remington. What's your input on these?

03-10-2011, 02:18 PM
Everyone I know that has one loves it. The plastic mag in the ultralite has raised some concerns with people on other forums but I have plastic mags in my Glock that hit the ground all the time and I have only had one issue so an occasional accidental drop with the Tikka mag wouldn't concern me.

03-10-2011, 02:58 PM
I have a Tikka in 300wsm I like it. I also have a Savage 110 in 270 that I like as well.

03-10-2011, 03:09 PM
which is more accurate?

03-10-2011, 03:16 PM
I'd have to say they are about the same.

Bobby Swaggs
03-10-2011, 03:36 PM
As far as I know each of those brands is pretty close accuracy wise. I will say that the Savage AccuTrigger is pretty fantastic. I also know Remington's new X-Mark Pro trigger is really light and crisp and is externally adjustable. I can't speak to the quality of the Browning or Tikka triggers, but I know a good trigger goes a long way to helping out accuracy so its something you might what to go to a gun shop and test out for yourself.

Blue Skies Hunting Advent
03-10-2011, 03:45 PM
I have 2 brownings x-bolt , one in a 300 winchester magnum and a .270 WSM they both are fantastic guns and shoot very accurate, the best I have. I find my .270 kicks a little more but shoots 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards.

03-10-2011, 04:02 PM
whats the difference between the x bolt and the a bolt?

03-10-2011, 04:09 PM
About $1000

Bruce Mc
03-11-2011, 02:52 AM
I think its hard to beat a 7mm Rem Mag, especially when its stoked with 160gr Accubonds. My personal favorite is a Winchester Model 70 Classic sporter. Not too heavy to tote but heavy enough to settle in when you're winded or the breeze is a little stiff.

03-11-2011, 07:14 AM
yeah i've heard alot of good things about the 7 mm as well.

03-11-2011, 07:50 AM
I would go with Browing and the 30-06. Ammo cost on the belteds is too much compared to the 30-06. I do have Browning A-bolts and they are 1/2 in guns at 100yds. I couldn't get ride of the Win model 70 fast enough to suit me. The safety was noisy and it would not shoot as acurate as the a-bolts. My Brownings have the boss systems and that works. I don't own a 30-06, I shoot the 7mm with 160 Accubonds and 168 Bergers. I use the 243wssm for deer and the Rem 700 22-250 for coyotes, etc. One all around gun would be 30-06 for me.

03-11-2011, 08:30 AM
xtreme, what does that boss system do? Also i know the a bolts are more expensive than the x bolts but whats the difference? Do you load your own ammo?

03-11-2011, 08:50 AM
I have the BOSS system on my 300 Win Mag and I think it really improves the accuracy of your rifle. I don't claim to understand exactly how it works but I think it basically takes the vibrations out of your barrel by acting as a weight. It is adjustable to the specific grain of bullet you are shooting and you can fine tune it from there. I shot 3 rounds at 200 yards the other day at the range and 2 of them were overlapping and the other was within a 1/2". This was with cheap Winchester Super X ammo, the hand loads I just started shooting seem even better but I haven't shot them out past 100 yards yet. The BOSS system also significantly reduces recoil, I would say my 300 has less recoil than my dad's 270, but it also significantly increases the noise of the rifle. I shot 3 quick shots at a cow elk the first year I had the gun and it really rang my bell, my ears were ringing the rest of the day.

03-11-2011, 08:52 AM
Just found this with a quick google search, explains a lot better than I did on what the BOSS really does.

How the BOSS™ Works

Barrel vibrations are the primary cause of rifle inaccuracy. Every time a rifle is fired, barrel vibrations are set in motion. These vibrations occur in all directions, even back and forth along the axis of the barrel. They are influenced by many factors such as bullet type, bullet weight, primers, different powders and even barrel configurations.

The BOSS (Ballistic Optimizing Shooting System) is an adjustable weight that alters rifle barrel vibrations. By adjusting the weight on the BOSS, you can tune your rifle to specific ammunition, allowing a bullet to consistently exit the rifle muzzle at the optimum point in barrel vibration. At this optimum point, either at the peak or valley of a vibration wave, the rifle barrel is momentarily motionless. The suggested “sweet spots” (found on a separate sheet supplied with this manual) are the starting points for determining the optimum accuracy of your BOSS-equipped Model 70. Once the true “sweet spot” is determined for a given ammunition, your rifle will consistently deliver extraordinarily tight groups. The BOSS allows you to tune your rifle to your ammunition to get the optimum accuracy for all available factory loads.

When adjusted to the “sweet spot,” the BOSS will compensate for slight deviations in ammunition velocity. The BOSS will not, however, compensate for poor shooting or flyers caused by low quality bullets and ammunition.

To obtain the highest level of accuracy from your rifle it is recommended that the rifle bore be cleaned every 25 to 30 rounds. See “cleaning the rifle bore” section of this booklet for cleaning procedures.

Muzzle Brake Feature

The unique exhaust hole pattern on the BOSS provides considerable recoil reduction. Recoil reduction of the BOSS ranges from 30% to 50% — depending on caliber, weight of rifle, etc.

You will experience an increase in noise and concussion (muzzle blast) when a BOSS equipped rifle is fired. Hearing protectors (shooting ear plugs or muffs) should always be worn to guard against hearing damage when shooting a BOSS equipped rifle. Wear shooting glasses to protect your eyes from flying particles. Always keep a safe distance between the muzzle of your firearm and any persons nearby, as muzzle blast, debris and ejecting shells could inflict serious injury.

03-11-2011, 10:35 AM
Jay the x bolt probably has a better trigger than the a bolt, I have not researched it very much since I will be using the a bolt anyway. Trigger could be softer on my guns.
The reason they are louder is the brake, I have tried replacing the brake with a CR which decreases the noise but now I am back to using the brake and ear protection, which you should use anyway. You can find how to use the boss on line. When you have it all done you can switch ammo and still have an accurate round.
One thing hasn't been mentioned is glass, and that may be a big part of a finished hunting gun.

03-11-2011, 11:07 AM
elktracker, thanks for the input man. So i guess its worth it to go with a boss system on it...

xtreme, good point...I have always had Leupold scopes on my rifles but am actually considering a nikon monarch with the BDC reticle for this one. Any input??? I am curious about the new redfield line. They've always had good products for the price, but not sure on the new stuff.

03-11-2011, 06:19 PM
Either way would be okay. I looked through an old Lepould VX II and a Monarch at dusk tonight and maybe the Monarch was a little better. Not a fair comparison. The VX II is about a $100 less and will work well, but the Monarch starts at 2.5 and goes to 10. Choice would be because of money. I have a VX-7 on one of the 7mm and a Z5 on the 243 wssm, a lot more money but I used a VX II for years, as a matter of fact I made a 467yd shot on a mule deer in Ne. with it. I hope this helps you.

03-12-2011, 08:30 AM
7 mag is a great all around cartridge and a Savage Weather Warrior is awfully hard to beat, especially for the price.

03-12-2011, 08:35 AM
I would personally prefer either the 7 mag or any of the WSM calibers to the 270 or 30-06 for an all-around western rifle. I have a 270 and a 30-06, both are great rounds and will take any game with a well placed shot. My reasoning for the magnums is that they will deliver a higher BC bullet at higher velocity, making long range or windy day hits easier. I picked the magnums I did because they have adequate power for elk with similar recoil to a 30-06. The bigger 300 and 338 magnums are great rifles, just more recoil than I want to deal with. I use a 270WSM A-bolt for deer and will be getting an A-bolt 300WSM before my next elk hunt. The 300 will get a limbsaver pad and muzzle brake.

03-14-2011, 12:00 PM
My 2 cents: I have a .270 Winchester and have killed every one of my big game with it. A nice Pronghorn Buck, 1 5x5 bull, 1 Raghorn bull, a 6x6 bull (New Mexico), and 4 Mule Deer Bucks, and a lot of Mule Deer and Whitetail does. I had the chance to buy a 300 WSM and a 300 Winchester Mag, but bought another .270 Winchester in the Winchester Model 70 Extreme, with a new Nikon Monarch BDC Scope. I gave my Ruger .270 Winchester to my brother so he can start hunting again. What can I say? I don't reload, but am partial to the .270 Winchester and have killed all of my animals with one. I suppose if I shot a .30-06 Springfield, I would be saying the same thing. It's all about what you're comfortable with and how good you shoot. Know your gun and limitations (or extremes), and you'll be a great rifle hunter.

03-15-2011, 12:58 PM
From all of this i think its between the 7 mag, 30-06, and the 270. i think i'm going to check into that savage you mentioned also elkoholic307. i think alot of it has to do with what fits you best as a shooter like rezavoirdog mentioned. Does anyone know what the mule deer hunt winners were shooting on the last episode of eastmans?

03-15-2011, 01:01 PM
Can we get some input from the eastman's team????

03-15-2011, 01:11 PM
Not sure on the caliber but I want to say 300 WSM Savage. I have a 111 30'06 that is my spare/throw in the truck gun and it shoots great. The 7mm is a great caliber but depending on what you want to do with it you may still be better off with the other two based on ammunition cost and availability. Check out a ballistic calculator like this one to see what the real difference is in ranges you plan on hunting at. http://www.winchester.com/LEARNING-CENTER/Pages/Ballistics-Calculator.aspx
With a 100 yard zero at 300 yards the '06 will shoot about 3.6 inches lower than the 7 Mag and produce about 135 ft lbs less energy. Not much when you figure it will cost 30% more to shoot the 7mm and ammunition is not always a local gas station or small town supermarket away. That being said I have the '06 for a backup/extra but I shoot hand loaded 7mm WSM when I'm hunting.

03-15-2011, 01:27 PM
I just remembered you said you had a 300 WSM already. The difference between the 7mm Mag and a 300 WSM is minimal in terms of having to much velocity as you posted earlier. I would think your 300 would be as good as any for hunting western big game but if you are looking for a spare gun for those horse wreck, slip and fall broken scope mishaps then it comes down to what you want. I picked the '06 because I had a hard time finding another 7mm WSM in my price range and I already had an old '06 and all the stuff to reload it. I got the gun at a good price, under $400 with the accu trigger and it's cheaper to shoot when I want to go soften my shoulder up. Also if I remember correctly Savage is an Eastman's sponsor. That had no bearing on my purchase but it sounds like that may be what you are looking for.

03-15-2011, 02:52 PM
Great info T43! When i purchased my 300WSM, i thought the same thing but its kinda been hit or miss with that gun. My brother also has one along with a couple other friends that i can think of right off hand, and they seem to have similar feelings about it. (could also be operator error)lol. I have had a couple animals get away and have killed a dozen with it so i really don't know what to think...it could also be the loads, i was shooting the 150 grain winchester supremes and the 165 grain federal trophy bonded bullet, both higher quality factory loads IMO. Bullet placement has alot to do with it too, but its nice to know your shooting a firearm that is more forgiving than the rest.

03-15-2011, 02:59 PM
I've done a lot of looking at the 300 WSM (maybe this fall). I think a 180 Grain Winchester XP3 would be well suited for pretty much everything.

03-15-2011, 03:24 PM
Jay,I'd go with the 270 Win I've been using one for the last 5 years{and my grandpa use one in his 30 year huntseasons} and ever thing I have killed in that time has been 1 shot and that is it for my big game hunts anything from 25 yards to 750 yards {I dont recommend this right out of the gate been shooting alot}and use a 130 gain bullet.
Good luck!
" Hunt hard but be safe!"

03-16-2011, 01:06 PM
.300 RUM with a muzzle break. It has the recoil of a 270/.30-06.

03-16-2011, 07:25 PM
.300 RUM with a muzzle break? Trade-off: recoil of .270/.30-06 for the muzzle blast of a bazooka!

03-17-2011, 08:33 AM
Great info T43! When i purchased my 300WSM, i thought the same thing but its kinda been hit or miss with that gun. My brother also has one along with a couple other friends that i can think of right off hand, and they seem to have similar feelings about it. (could also be operator error)lol. I have had a couple animals get away and have killed a dozen with it so i really don't know what to think...it could also be the loads, i was shooting the 150 grain winchester supremes and the 165 grain federal trophy bonded bullet, both higher quality factory loads IMO. Bullet placement has alot to do with it too, but its nice to know your shooting a firearm that is more forgiving than the rest.

No offense, but shot placement is everything. The second most important part is bullet construction. The 300WSM is already a 'forgiving' caliber compared to most, but is not reaching it's fullest potential if you're not using premium bullets.

03-17-2011, 09:04 AM
300 RUM is a great gun if you don't mind spending 4 times as much on ammo if you can find it.

03-17-2011, 11:13 AM
No offense, but shot placement is everything. The second most important part is bullet construction. The 300WSM is already a 'forgiving' caliber compared to most, but is not reaching it's fullest potential if you're not using premium bullets.

Non taken, i'll be the first to tell you that shot placement is everything as i mentioned earlier. The 300 WSM is more than capable but what i've noticed is because of the velocity of the rifle in the 200 yds and under shots that we usually take around here in NM, they fly right thru. I agree with you saying the bullets aren't reaching full potential. What ammo do you shot or do you load your own? Shorter range shots is the main reason for downgrading to a 30-06 or 270.

03-17-2011, 11:22 AM
No offense, but shot placement is everything. The second most important part is bullet construction. The 300WSM is already a 'forgiving' caliber compared to most, but is not reaching it's fullest potential if you're not using premium bullets.

Non taken, i'll be the first to tell you that shot placement is everything but lets face it, not every bullet lands exactly where you aim for whatever reason. What i'm saying is that for the 200 yds and less shooting that we do 90% of the time here in NM, the 300 WSM in my experience has had too much velocity, and seems like the bullet just flies right thru, and doesn't hit as hard as you would expect, agreeing with your previous statement about the bullet not reaching its full potential. Maybe its the load i'm shooting. This is the reason i'm considering 30-06 or 270. Not necesarily better but something smaller with similar knock down. Elkoholic, what ammo do you shoot or do you load your own?

03-17-2011, 11:23 AM
sorry bout the double reply, having computer problems.

03-19-2011, 09:26 AM
I load my own. I use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Accubonds, Hornady SST and the Berger VLD.

03-22-2011, 07:14 PM
I would say the 30-06, bigger bullets are heavy hitters, and they handle the wind better. The only thing I ever shot witg 270 was a Bull caribou at 70 yrds and it was double lunged, and it went about 40 yrds and layed down like a bow shot. My buddy Shot his caribou wth the 06 and the bull dropped on the spot the wound channel was massive.

03-23-2011, 09:13 AM
cool, thanks for the input buckeye

03-23-2011, 11:41 AM
I have a taken a lot of bucks with my 35 Remington. I recently got a Ruger No. 1 270 and it's a great shooting rifle too. I'm in California, so the bucks are smaller than the monster Mule deer found in other states. The 35 and 270 seem to always do the trick, but like everyone else has mention shot placement is everything.

MT backcountry hunter
03-30-2011, 11:53 AM
I really like my 7 mag but it pounds my shoulder to much for a day of shooting. Thats why I picked up the 7-08 so I can put more shoulder time behind the rifle. For a all around rifle to shoot anything I would do a 7 mag or a 300.

6mm Remington
04-03-2011, 04:45 PM
30-06, 280 Remington, or 300 WSM would cover everything out west! All are fantastic choices in my opinion.

04-05-2011, 03:19 PM
thanks guys

04-06-2011, 07:50 PM
I would say the 30-06, bigger bullets are heavy hitters, and they handle the wind better. The only thing I ever shot witg 270 was a Bull caribou at 70 yrds and it was double lunged, and it went about 40 yrds and layed down like a bow shot. My buddy Shot his caribou wth the 06 and the bull dropped on the spot the wound channel was massive.

Kind of sounds like a bullet construction issue. What were you guys using?

04-15-2011, 07:36 AM
I use a Browning Bar 338 Win Mag with Boss. If you hunt, it is your responsiblity to kill the animal as quickly and humanily as possible. The large magnums are hard to shoot with any accuracy, so that is the reason for the Boss. If you can handle the recoil you might shoot well the first few shots but as the shoulder gets sore any hunter will flinch from the recoil. They are loud so ear plugs should be used. I have taken mule deer and elk from 50 yards out to over 400 yards with a lot of knock down power.

04-15-2011, 10:32 AM
I just recently purchased a custom Remington 700 stainless with fluted barrel and bolt (6.4 lbs). The rifle is in 7mm Short Action Ultra Mag. The rifle is super accurate. I reload 150 grain swift sccirocos flying approximately 3150 fps. It matches the 7mm Rem Mag ballistics with less recoil and powder burned. This load groups four shots into .400 inches at 100 meters. I plan to take it to Colorado this year for my elk and deer hunt. I paid $1,200 for the rifle which I considered to be cheap for a custom rifle.

Doe Nob
04-15-2011, 02:07 PM
I know I'm late to the party on this one, but had much debate on another site. I would either go 6.55 swede if you want to order ammo or I am going to buy the http://www.savagearms.com/ 300 win in long range with that comes with the muzzle break. Don't know if I want to go Huskemaw or Zeiss yet, still debating that one.

6mm Remington
04-17-2011, 11:45 AM
Jay I guess I never threw in what rifles I would have those calibers in if it were for ME.
Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS in 300 WSM- ( Just bought one for my 15 year old son.)
Winchester Model 70 Classic Sporter in 30-06 or 300 WSM
Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .280 Remington
Remington Model 700 CDL in 30-06, 280 Remington, or 300 WSM.
Remington Model 700 MTN Rifle SS in 30-06 or 280 Remington
Ruger Model 77 Hawkeye in 30-06 (They don't chamber for the 300 WSM or 280)
Ruger #1B in 30-06 (That is my personal big gun, for smaller stuff I use a #1B in 6mm Remington. Love those #1's!)
Tikka in 30-06 or 300 WSM
Sako 300 WSM or 30-06 (If I could afford it)

04-19-2011, 09:22 AM
Jay, I know Keith Anderson shoots either a .243 or a .300 Win. magnum. Not sure which he used. Probably the .300.

04-19-2011, 10:26 AM
I owned a 30-06 for over 30 years, killed a pile of big game with it, and thought I loved it. About 5 years ago I bought a 270 WSM and would NEVER go back to the 06. I have a wussy shoulder and do not like the kicks. Installed a limbsaver recoil pad only and I could shoot it at the range all day. I use 130 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips and virtually every deer I have shot with the 270 WSM has dropped in it's tracks.

04-19-2011, 11:11 AM
I own a 6mm, .270, 30-06, 7 Mag, and a .338 Mag. Out of all those, my 7 Mag outperforms them up and down. It's a custom Winchester Model 70 with my own bells and whistles, but it shoots quarter size groups at 400 no problem with 160 gr Accubonds. While it has significantly more recoil than any of the others mentioned, once you get over the flinch factor, it's smooth sailing. I can put 25-30 rounds out of it before I notice any discomfort. When before, it was about 8-10 rounds.

So for an all-around popular caliber, the 7 Mag has to be at the top of the list. .300 Mag's are nice at times too. But I've come to find that .300 WSM is a waste. Again, these are all personal preferences, but with the range of grain configurations, the 7 is a good choice. If you don't like recoil, consider a thicker pad, or a muzzle break and lower grain bullets in the 130-150 range.

04-19-2011, 10:20 PM
I have just started looking for a big game gun. I would like one that I can carry in my saddle scabbard. I have been drawn to Marlin's 45-70 cowboy with the 26" barrel. I like the lever action. I was wondering if anyone had an idea on the effective distance on this gun?

04-20-2011, 07:38 AM

here's some info on the 45-70, i've never shot one...

04-21-2011, 09:07 AM
I have just started looking for a big game gun. I would like one that I can carry in my saddle scabbard. I have been drawn to Marlin's 45-70 cowboy with the 26" barrel. I like the lever action. I was wondering if anyone had an idea on the effective distance on this gun?

I had that gun and sold it last year, you should look at one and play with it before you buy it. Mine was great out to 200 yards, fun to shoot and good looking. The biggest downfall was the length. I realized after buying mine that it was too long for what I wanted. I didn't like the way it rode on my saddle, it was heavy to pack around on a sling (half a box of 45-70 in the tube weighs a lot after a few hours) and I finally decided as much as I liked shooting it at the range and having it to look at it was not a practical gun for the field. I hate selling guns but I decided since I had another 45-70 in the safe that I take out regularly and I was in want of a good backup hunting rifle that I could take with me in my pack I so I sold it. The guy who bought it is a buddy of mine that I work with and he agreed to give me first chance if he ever decides he wants to get rid of it. As far as "All around big game hunting rifle" I would say no. The shorter stainless guide gun is much better for the "All around" category.

On a side note if you do decide to go with the 45-70 Cowboy look closely at the dovetail that holds the rear site. I had a hard time sighting mine in without drifting the front site way over. I finally realized that the dovetail for the rear was cut in at a slight angle and caused the rear sight to angle to one side. I contacted Marlin and was sent a rear sight that helped with the problem. I got the gun zeroed but at almost $2.00 a round it was a little spendy. I shoot reloads out of my other 45-70 and they shot well out of my cowboy gun but I used factory stuff to zero it in.

05-05-2011, 11:41 AM
Well guys after all the discussion on rifles, i ended up with a Browning x-bolt 30-06. I haven't shot it yet, still have to find the right scope now...any ideas? I want to thank everyone that participated in my thread, everyones knowledge and opinions are greatly appreciated and were a great help on making my decision! Now lets talk about scopes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

05-05-2011, 02:09 PM
What made you choose the 30-06?

05-05-2011, 04:36 PM
I've always liked the 30-06. I wanted something with less velocity but with the power to shoot under 3-4 hundred yards. I also bought a browning 7 mag off my dad for the longer shot areas. But the 30-06 i bought brand new from a local gun shop on sale so i think between the 2, i should be set...

6mm Remington
05-06-2011, 07:22 AM
Jay that sounds like a good choice you made. The 30-06 in my opinion is a great cartridge! I shoot nothing but 165 gr. Accubonds or Partitions in mine. You will be surprised that with good handloads, it is everything that the 7mm magnum is.

Scopes- hmmmm I'm very partial to Leupolds and a 3.5-10x40mm would be a great scope as would a 4.5-14x40mm. I like the fixed power scopes myself and my favorite is the 6x42mm Leupold. I've never felt handicapped ever.........with a fixed power scope while hunting. I guess I should through one more in there that's a good one too is the 2.5-8x36mm Leupold. For the distances you are talking about it would be fantastic and it's more compact and lighter than the three I mentioned. Oh the choices! Good luck.

05-06-2011, 10:59 AM
David, thanks for the info...Couple of questions-I don't have the equipment to load my own ammo. What's a good off the shelf bullet to consider in your opinion? I've also been partial to Leupold myself but am shopping around a little for this one. Theres many great products out there now so who knows, open to suggestions.

6mm Remington
05-06-2011, 11:46 AM
Jay you can buy factory Federal or Nosler ammunition loaded with either the 165 gr. Partition or Accubond and they both are a great bullet. My choice would be one of those and it would depend on which one my rifle shot better with.

A couple of more scopes to consider is a 4x Leupold or a 6x36mm Leupold. Two more very good scopes. My 6mm Remington has the 6x42 on it, the 30-06 has the 4x Leupold, and my wifes 25-06 has the 6x36mm Leupold on her rifle. They are very good solid scopes and I've never had any issues with any of them. Now my son's 6mm has a 4.5-14x40mm Leupold with the B&C reticle and he loves it. I too am even warming up to it. The B&C reticle is easy and fast to use and the extra magnification can be helpful sometimes, yet the scope is not overly large and heavy.

05-06-2011, 12:41 PM
thanks for the info David, i have shot the Federals before and liked them. I'll give em a try.

Bitterroot Bulls
05-09-2011, 11:03 AM

That is an excellent rifle and caliber choice. The 30-06 shoots flat with the 150 grain bullets, and hits hard with the 180 grain bullets. Folks I know with X-bolts rave about accuracy. The 165 grain offerings (especially the accubond) are tough to beat all-around, but don't overlook 150s in a "hard" bullet like the Barnes X-bullet. Barnes and Cor-Bon both load X-bullets in factory ammo. I would recommend finding a few boxes from different manufacturers, and finding which one your rifle shoots the best.

05-11-2011, 08:51 AM
Thanks for the info Bitterroot! I also want to thank you for the scope info on the other thread. I'm really considering a vortex if i don't go with the old faithful Leupold. I will mos def take your advice on getting different bullets to see which shoot better!

Bitterroot Bulls
05-11-2011, 05:10 PM
Good deal, jay!

I would love to see a pic when you get it all set up. I own and have owned several Leupolds of different lines from an old vari-x II to a newer Mark 4, and they make solid scopes, but I assure you, that you get more for your money with the Vortex Viper series. The Vortex Diamondback is also a nice scope (think Leupy VX-2), but the Vortex Crossfire series riflescopes are not really up to par.

07-29-2011, 09:19 AM
Nothing against the .270win or the 30-06, but "western" means long shots are a possibility, and "all around" means big game (elk, moose, bear, etc) are on the hit list. For long shots AND/OR big game, you'd be better equipped with a magnum in the .277, .284, or .308 calibers. I'd put the WSMs at the top of the list with the 7mm Rem mag, the 300 Win Mag, the Ultra Mags, and the Weatherbys as close runners up. You couldn't go wrong with any of those choices. I have all of them, and shoot them regularly, and my favorite is the Remington 700 CDL-SF in 270WSM accurized by Hill Country Rifles. It puts a 130 E-Tip in .5 MOA at 3343fps.

Hope that helps.

11-06-2013, 08:08 AM
Were I accorded a life do-over, I'd buy a Sako AV in .280 Rem and never look back, nor would I need another rifle.

I do not own a .280 Rem. My primary rifle is a 7MM Rem Mag. One could make argument that the 7MM Rem Mag is the best cartridge for North American hunting. Others could make arguments for many other cartridges as well. It's hard to counter success, and the 100+ years old '06 is as great today as it was when it was introduced.

I hunt exclusively Rocky Mountain states. I am hoping to be drawn for limited entry elk in Utah in '14. Lots of B&C bulls are coming out of Utah. If I'm drawn, I will hunt with a rifle I bought when I was sixteen: a Remington 700 in .270 Winchester. Some decades ago I was talked in to (more accurately, I allowed myself to be talked in to) buying a 7MM Rem Mag for western big game hunting. Make no mistake, the 7MM Rem Mag is an excellent cartridge. But the reality is just about any big game cartridge will kill any big game animal were a hunter to put bullets where they're most effective. Nothing can live w/o its heart or lungs. What destroys them is immaterial. That they no longer work is.

I haven't bought a big game rifle since I bought my 7MM Rem Mag, so I'm not up-to-speed on current production rifles. Sako rifles are hard to beat. Computer aided manufacturing has resulted in astounding off-the-shelf accuracy of most factory rifles. Based solely upon what I've read, Savage rifles are extremely accurate. Then again, so are most rifles.

One final point: big cartridges = big recoil. Big recoil = big misses. I have fired some pretty big rifles over the years. From that experience I've earned that the 7MM Rem Mag is the biggest that I want to shoot off a bench. I've fired a Marlin .45/70 with heavy hand loads. That rifle about knocked me back to the last Ice Age. Bench shooting develops accuracy. Accuracy builds confidence. Confidence leads to success. I watched a studly dude sight in his brand new .300 Win Mag last year. He had a solid 6" group. After about a box of empty cases and no group shrinkage he told me that his shoulder hurt too much to try to get his rifle zeroed in. To my way of looking at hunting, I could never be confident hunting with a rifle that I couldn't zero.

11-06-2013, 04:22 PM
I've been chasing the holy grail of hunting rifles for 40 years now. Once upon a time I would have went to knuckling if someone bashed my beloved 338 Win Mag. I still firmly believe it to be the finest all round North American chambering. Standard length action. Bullets from 165 to 300gr. Decent velocity. Approaching two tons of muzzle energy. What's not to like? I went through the various 300 magnums. Heck I worked up loads for a 458 Win Mag just for fun to help a fella out one time. The harder it kicked,the better I liked it. The 300 Ultra is just plain impressive. With my advanced years comes a different outlook on it all. Under protest too I might add. Seems I'm developing some neck problems. Old Arthur Itis is coming to roost. So,the big hammers are being phased out of my safe. I have to agree with SansSouci here. I have come over to the 7mm Remmy Mag. Years ago,when testosterone and pride ruled the roost I laughed at the Remington Seven. Barely a magnum. No where near 50 or 60 ft lbs of recoil. Doesn't burn 100gr of Retumbo either. Silly little thing. Out to 300 yds,the 30/06 doesn't give up a dang thing to it with a 180gr bullet and a stiff charge of RL22. BUT! The 7 Remington is a JOY to shoot. Shoots well with just about any well thought out handload. Can move 140gr bullets out quite smartly for deer,and 175 grainers with authority for the Bugle Bucks. My favorite is the 160gr A-Bond over 66gr of 7828. (Could be hot in some rigs!) All this and it doesn't leave me with a stiff neck and a headache for 3 days like the Ultras and such do. I guess it's the 7mm Remington Magnum for me now. My little T3 will bug hole 160s and treats me well on the back end. With age comes wisdom. Even if it is under protest.

11-06-2013, 05:21 PM
270, 280, or 30-06 I have killed deer, antelope, and elk with all three and can't tell the difference between them. I do prefer heavier bullets in all of these fine cartridges. 150gr Partition (270), 160gr Accubond (280), and 180 Accubond (30-06), all of these loads are moving about the same speed 2700-2750 fps (Choreographed). Which ever you pick you can't go wrong. the key is to practice, practice, and practice some more. I have killed deer and antelope past 500 yards with all of these loads so don't let the velocity folks convince you that you need 3000+ fps to get the job done. This year I am hunting with my 280, just because it was closest to the safe door.

Bitterroot Bulls
11-06-2013, 06:13 PM
I'm sorry Buck8541, but what dance are those bullets doing?



11-06-2013, 07:02 PM

I have a .338 Win Mag. I've had it for about 30 years. It is is an excellent cartridge.

I use 150 grain Ballistic Tips atop 63 grains of IMR 4350 (Nosler load). It chrono's better than 3200 FPS out of my Sako 7MM Rem Mag with a 24" barrel. It is deadly on mule deer. This load will group a half-inch or better at 100 yards.

I use 160 grain Partitions atop 67 grains of H4831. It chrono's at just over 3100 FPS. This is an old load. It would be listed as too hot in modern loading manuals. This load shoots fine in my rifle with no signs of excessive pressure. This load will group under an inch.

If I ever use all of my Ballistic Tips, I might just use 160 grain Partitions for everything. They do work as advertised. And I might experiment using IMR 4350 powder. It does seem to give me excellent velocity and even better accuracy.

I have a friend who hunts with 175 grain factory loads. He uses it on everything he hunts, including mule deer. I first hunted with him about forty years ago. He has always used 175 grain factory loads.

I am with you with that wisdom thing. After all my years afield, I've learned that my .270 will kill big game animals just as dead as will my 7MM Rem Mag. But I do love my 7MM Rem Mag.

I know that you'll be an extremely happy hunter holding your 7MM Rem Mag in your hands. And it will not punish when shooting off a bench.

BTW, I choron'd a few old Remington 150 grain Core-Lokts at better than 3200 FPS. I doubt if Remington still loads to that velocity.

Best of luck,


11-06-2013, 07:42 PM
Sorry Bitterroot, I meant Chronographed, stupid auto correct.

11-08-2013, 04:01 AM
i like your velocity figures SansSouci. I've got a Pro Chrono here that I hate to drag out and set up. I really should though. Those look good. 160 Partitions at 3100 plus is pretty darn good medicine. Thanks for posting your findings.

Colorado Cowboy
11-08-2013, 08:28 AM
Just read all the posts again and decided to add my thoughts too. Just to make it clear, I own 2 30-06s, a 25-06, .257 Wby and a .300 Wby. The only one that is a factory rifle is my old standby Ruger M77 I bought in 1976 in 25-06. Still shoots less than moa after thousands of rounds and has taken around 100 big game animals. The 2 30-06s are sporterized 03 Springfields. The .257 Wby is a MkV that has been tweeked with a new trigger. My .300 WBY is a commercial Mauser action, SS match grade Shilen bbl and a B & C composite stock.

With all that out of the way, I'll say I have built about 25 custom rifles in the last 50 years. As far as caliber goes, the arguement between .270 & 30-06 has been there since the 30's. Jack O'Conner, Elmer Keith and Warren Page wrote 1,000's of words about this subject and still could not agree. Myself, I want to be able to stay as close to 3000 fps as I can. This baseline will give you great performance no matter what bullet/caliber you choose. I also shoot nothing but handloads and have for 50 years. I believe that you can tailor a load for any rifle that will outperform factory loads, especially in moa accuracy. Every rifle (even the same ones from the same mfgrs) will not shoot the same loads equally and you need to find the load that your rilfe "likes" the best.

I happen to like the .30 calibers, especially the 30-06. I hand load 150 grainers that chrono at 3150 fps. My .300 Wby does about 3200 with .180s.

Getting one rifle and one caliber to do it all is a big order. I realized that when started hunting antelope many years ago. With shots often exceeding 300 yds, I realized my 30-06 was being stretched. Thats why I bought the .25-60. I have killed a bunch of deer and antelope with it. Can't find any reason th change. I also have the .300Wby (given to me as a gift) that is great for elk and larger. Shot plenty of elk and a couple of moose with it. What I'm getting at is that the longer you hunt, you'll find that you probably will end up with several calibers for different sized animals.

Lots of good advice, make your choice and then you can get to work finding the right combination that works for you. If you stay with factory ammo, IMHO you will never find out what the potential is on the combination of rifle, caliber and optics you choose.