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View Full Version : Buying my first rifle: Advice



jvidrine
02-04-2012, 11:56 AM
I'm buying my first rifle next month and I've been doing some research but I am not 100% sure of what calibur to get. I hunt whitetail mostly, yet I want a large enough calibur to effectively take down elk when I go west. I'm thinking a .270. All advice is much appreciated.

brooks
02-04-2012, 12:16 PM
I like the 7mm rem mag for whitetails and bigger.

Jon Boy
02-04-2012, 12:17 PM
270 will work. I think 30/06 will better serve you. Probably the most common round in both the whitetail woods as well as the elk woods, at least from my experience.

Ikeepitcold
02-04-2012, 05:03 PM
I use a 7mm myself but lots of guys like the .270 for all big game. Guy E uses a savage .270 now for his hunts. I like the 7mm due to the great ballistics.

sjsmallfield
02-04-2012, 05:23 PM
For an all around caliber I would have to go with the 30-06 or the 300 win long or short mag.

Bitterroot Bulls
02-04-2012, 06:02 PM
I think your uses are pretty straightforward. If you hunt whitetails and elk every year, then go ahead and spring for a 7mm or 300 magnum. If you hunt whitetails every year, and only elk every few years, I think the 270 is a fine choice. It is just about perfect for whitetail hunting, and will work just fine for those future elk hunts.

Grizz
02-04-2012, 10:26 PM
The .270 is difficult to beat as is the .7mm. I've owned and killed lots of whitetails with both. However, don't overlook the .308 Win. Or for that matter the .7mm 08. With today's wonderful bullets and factory loads any of these are great choices. As for the .300's I prefer the .300 Weatherby or .300 Remington Ultra Mag over the .300 Win. better ballistics and on game performance. I'd have to agree with Bitterroot on this one though, if you will mainly be hunting whitetails then stick with the .270 or the .308, easy to shoot and devastating on either animal when you stick 'em in the boiler room.

jvidrine
02-06-2012, 10:30 AM
Thanks for all the help everyone. It's much appreciated.

Jon Boy
02-06-2012, 01:04 PM
Also forgot to throw out the 270 wsm. Loaded with some 140 accubonds would be good elk medicine. lets us know what u decide

Shawn
02-06-2012, 01:47 PM
.270 will be just fine

Elkoholic307
02-06-2012, 02:07 PM
7 mag or 300 win

jay
02-07-2012, 08:34 AM
a 270 will drop either one. Just depends on what grain of bullet you like and if you load your own...If you buy ammo off the shelf, the 30-06 has more variety on ammo all the way up to 180 grains compared to the 270 at 150 grains. But like I said, if you load your own this won't be an issue. A 150 grain 270 will drop an elk, but some guys like heavier bullets.

Ranchhand02
02-07-2012, 09:23 AM
270 will work just fine. I have several friends that shoot them. I prefer the 7mm mag myself.

Muleys 24/7
02-07-2012, 11:12 AM
I like to have the ability to reach out across canyons if needed, so I shoot a .300 Weatherby. It has long range capability with plenty of knock down for anything in North America. How ever you can't buy ammo at your local walmart.

If your going to mainly hunt whitetails and the occasional trip out west 30.06 sounds like a good round for you. Good luck

dustyboots
02-07-2012, 12:47 PM
I would definitely say the 30-06 is a great option widest variety of ammunition choices from small accelerator bullets,to standard and managed recoil loads. Probably the most universal gun you could buy will serve you well no matter what you hunt

EdD270
02-07-2012, 03:26 PM
I really like the 270 (note the username). It does fine on the elk I've taken as well as mule deer, whitetail and antelope, and also coyotes and other varmints. I hand load for mine, but there are a variety of loads available for it. I prefer the .270 over the .30-06 because it kicks less, is not as loud and the ammo is cheaper.
The .30-06 is no doubt the standard by which all others are judged. It's the most versatile and available cartridge around. There is a huge variety of factory loads available for it, not to mention a galaxy of handloading possibilities.
I see you're in LA, so I'm guessing elk won't be an every year hunt for you, mostly whitetail. When I lived and hunted elk in Colorado and New Mexico and now here in AZ, I've never found a need for magnum calibres to reach out at long ranges, I just get closer. They're certainly not needed for whitetail. I'd recommend the .270, or the .30-06 as a second choice, either would be fine. Or the 7mm-08 or similar would be good, too.
For a rifle, I suggest the new Savages, or a Sako or Browning, Rugers are OK, too. There are lots of good quality rifles on the market for reasonable prices. Not sure what your conditions are in LA, haven't been there in several years and never hunted there. I think a quality scope can't hurt, no matter what your conditions are. I recommend a 3-9X, not golly-gee-whizbang, but it will do anything you need it to do, and at an economical price. Figure on paying as much or more for your scope sight as you do for your rifle. It's much better to put a top quality scope on a mediocre rifle than to put a cheap scope on a top quality rifle.
Hope that helps.

HuskyMusky
02-07-2012, 03:53 PM
.270win. is light for Elk IMO, deer/elk rifles, maybe 30-06 or 7mm Rem.Mag.

great elk rifles 300 and 338mags.

a perfect 100yd broadside shot vs. a 400yd 1/4 away shot at dusk, 2 different things.

jvidrine
02-08-2012, 11:12 AM
EdD270

Hey I appreciate the insight! You were very helpful. My two main concerns are 1. Weight (I dont want to pack a heavy rifle around the mountains) and 2. Power (I want to make a clean ethical shot and be able to shoot from distance, 300 yrds max)

My sister just moved to Longmont, CO and I'm expecting to make atleast one hunt a year, maybe more if I have the chance. Also, Im kinda set on the Browning X-bolt. I was raised on Brownings and they are buy far my favorite maunfacturer. Your thoughts....

Thanks again for all of your knowledge and any more advice is much welcomed.

tommyp
02-08-2012, 11:21 AM
30-06. don't overlook winchster featherweight and remington mountain rifle.

Wyoflightmedic
02-09-2012, 05:04 PM
How about the reborn 30-30 thanks to Hornady Levelution ammo. Bullets are available for reloading finally.

Wyoflightmedic
02-09-2012, 05:06 PM
How about the reborn 30-30 thanks to Hornady Levelution ammo. These bullets are available for reloading finally.

nvarcher
02-09-2012, 10:22 PM
I think he wants votes on those two. Not comments from the peanut gallery. lol

bigshot
02-09-2012, 11:44 PM
That was funny.....hehehe

plentycoupe
02-10-2012, 05:44 AM
If I was gonna hunt elk every year I would opt for the 30-06. I would do this because of the heavier bullets that you can put in it for elk and if you reload you can go pretty light for dear if you wanted to.
Don't get me wrong. I know a .270 winchester is adequate and I would use mine in a heartbeat. I also know a heavier bullet is optimum as elk are tough.
On rifles I would go with a Tikka ultralight. Brownings are very nice, but I bought a tikka 2 years ago off of a friends recommendation. .270 win. This gun shoots 2-3 inch groups at 300yds all day. I use Barnes Vortex. It really is a great shooting rifle. I shot a turkey in the neck at 182. Awesome gun for the money.
Good luck brother

Wyoflightmedic
02-10-2012, 08:23 PM
Nvarcher are you refering to my suggestion about the 30-30?

Old Hunter
02-11-2012, 12:08 PM
I use a Rem 700 in .270 for both. I don't have time to reload anymore. I spend too much time tying flies for fly fishing.

So, I use a 130gr core-lokt for deer. Mule deer in my case, so your whitetails will be fine. For elk I use the Federal Premium ammo in 150gr Partitions. More than enough for elk.

Elkoholic307
02-12-2012, 04:30 PM
I think he wants votes on those two. Not comments from the peanut gallery. lol

On what two?

Old Hunter
02-12-2012, 04:44 PM
All I saw was him asking about the .270.

Wyoflightmedic
02-12-2012, 06:01 PM
He was considering the 270 but was not sure. After seeing this reply below i figured the 30-30 should be looked at. I took a large mule deer 3 years ago with Hornady lev ammo and I was every impressed.

Hey I appreciate the insight! You were very helpful. My two main concerns are 1. Weight (I dont want to pack a heavy rifle around the mountains) and 2. Power (I want to make a clean ethical shot and be able to shoot from distance, 300 yrds max)

My sister just moved to Longmont, CO and I'm expecting to make atleast one hunt a year, maybe more if I have the chance. Also, Im kinda set on the Browning X-bolt. I was raised on Brownings and they are buy far my favorite maunfacturer. Your thoughts....

Thanks again for all of your knowledge and any more advice is much welcomed.[/QUOTE]

xtreme
02-13-2012, 01:56 PM
I would get the X-bolt with BOSS in 7mm. The BC of a 7mm Berger 168 is 617.

EdD270
02-13-2012, 07:58 PM
Glad to help however I can, jvidrine.

Elkoholic307
02-14-2012, 06:47 AM
I would get the X-bolt with BOSS in 7mm. The BC of a 7mm Berger 168 is 617.

And a 160 AB is .531

jay
02-14-2012, 01:53 PM
i purchased the browning xbolt 30-06 last year and put a vortex 3x9 scope on it. I really like it, very light, very accurate, and minimal recoil. I don't reload so i am shooting the Nosler Custom 165's out of it. Haven't killed anything with it yet as i drew all black powder tags last year but on paper it shoots great! Hope this helps.

nvarcher
02-14-2012, 04:21 PM
I'm sorry I misread the post I accidentally read and thought that page 2 was the first page. I was not meaning to sound rude I was trying to be funny.

BKC
02-15-2012, 07:33 PM
.300 win mag or wsm Most bullet sizes availible. You will never be undergunned in North America except for the big bears

Musket Man
02-16-2012, 10:09 PM
270 win is as good as anything for an all around gun IMO.

jenbickel
02-16-2012, 10:20 PM
I definitely agree with a .270. Someone said that they think it's a little light for elk but I don't think so at all. I have shot elk with my .270 and have only had quick, clean kills. I shot one at 300 yards and it didn't even move a muscle after. As long as you have good shot placement, you won't have to worry at all.

labman
02-17-2012, 08:41 AM
300 WSM is what I finally settled on and love it!!

Elkoholic307
02-21-2012, 07:32 PM
Good choice.

crumy
02-21-2012, 08:03 PM
As you can see there are a lot of opinions. I had the same question about three years ago after moving to Wyoming. I opted for the 300 Win Mag. I hunt everything with it and it has never let it me down. But at the same time, my son has taken a nice mule deer with a .243 so it is just about shot placement. A suggestion I heard several times was shoot the largest caliber you are comfortable with. I have to agree with that as the best suggestion.

mcseal2
03-03-2012, 09:52 AM
Can't go wrong with a 270 or 270WSM with 140gr accubonds, or a 7 mag with 160gr accubonds for what you are asking it to do. I also love my 264WM with the 140gr accubonds, but it isn't really any better than the others listed and you have to reload to get the performance from it.

ThreeTikkas
03-24-2012, 06:45 PM
My brother-in-law and I took his 270 WSM along to elk camp last fall as a "Back-up" rifle. We both shoot it very well and I had no reservations about hunting elk with it if necessary. It was loaded with 160gr Partitions to about 2900fps I think. 1/2 to 3/4" @ 100yds with either of us on the trigger. His primary rifle was the same LSS Remington in 7 Rem Mag. Mine was a 300 Ultra. I do in fact shoot PA whitetails with the big 30. None of my rifles are safe queens,and the deer don't seem to mind being shot with the Ultra.

Tim1173
04-07-2012, 10:47 AM
.270 is great, but I would say that in order to find the right gun, shoot them, a 7 mag has a good kick, but if you can not handle the recoil no sense in shooting a gun that will scare you every time out. Shoot what makes you feel comfortable. The .270 is an awesome round, but do not let someone else tell you what to shoot. I would suggest that you find a rifle that you can comfortably shoot without having to have a muzzle brake or a recoil pad like a mattress attached. Accuracy is better than caliber , if you can get to the vitals everytime caliber size doesn't mean much. I have seen Elk taken with a 25-06, because the shooter was capable fo putting the round where it would do the most damage. Get good with the a round like a .270 and you will have the best combination, a marksman and thier rifle.

NoMoreOldNo7
04-07-2012, 01:43 PM
Don't know if this is proper or not, but I have an excellent Elk rifle for sale. Its a blue printed Remington 700 in .300 WinMag with a Leupold 3x9x40 scope + extras. If you are interested PM me and I'll give anyone thedetails.