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  1. #1
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    Default Getting a New Deer Rifle

    New to Deer hunting and most hunting in general and im looking at buying a new rifle I want it to be my all around hunting gun. Ive got experience with handguns but game rifles i dont know squat about. Ive narrowed it down to .308 or 30-06. I Plan on keeping this rifle and using it exclusively for many years to come.

    Game it will be used are hogs & deer in Oklahoma. Bigger game a few years down the road like caribou and a mule deer in other states.

    Since my wife and brother shoot also I we go through alot of ammo amoung us and Im usually stuck paying the ammo bill..I want to stick with these rounds as they are abundent,well known, and farily cheap compared to other rounds.

    What are the pros and cons of the each round? Are these calibers effective or overkill for most game in North America ? Which round would you go with and why?

    Thank you
    Life is tough teacher. First you get the lesson, then you learn.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Getting a New Deer Rifle

    What about a 7 MM Magnum? fine long bullet and hard hitting
    Jim
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  3. #3
    Veteran Member JDGREEN4ME's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting a New Deer Rifle

    I can't comment on the .308 but I have a .30-06 Weatherby that I bought new over 30 years ago that I used for deer hunting. I don't really have a reason (that I remember) for selecting that caliber. However I do have a story to go along with every scrape or scratch I collected on the stock over the years!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Getting a New Deer Rifle

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJimi
    What about a 7 MM Magnum? fine long bullet and hard hitting
    Jim

    a Friend has one and I liek the gun accurate and all. But the Cheapest ammo for it is $1 per round. His hunting ammo is $1.50 per round.

    The 30-06 and .308 can be had for about .50 a round. May seem like peanuts but again there are three shooters in the family.
    Life is tough teacher. First you get the lesson, then you learn.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Getting a New Deer Rifle

    I have been studying this issue for years. It is my conclusion that the 30-06 is by far the most versatile cartridge available. Bullet weights in factory ammo are available from 110 grains to 250 grains. It can be found anywhere ammo is sold (even some nowhere mom and pop stores in the country will have a box of 30-06 on the shelf). I bought a 308 adapter and broken shell extractor a couple of years ago and also shoot 308 caliber in mine. I have a Browning A bolt and an M1 Garand. But out of the box I would recommend a Remington 700 (not the 710 series). I use to put together a lot of ifles for people when I was in the business and out of the box, with no tweaking, they were always very accurate. Before I get a lot of hate mail, that was my personal experience and I know that all the other major brands are all plenty accurate out of the box for deer. As far as other calibers, I don't care for magnums for all around shooting. The blast is extreme and the extra power is usually not as important as accuracy and shot placement. A 100 to 250 feet per second increase really does not mean much inside 250 yards. One other thing is military surplus ammo. I have bought bunches cheap. Even though I reload I shoot this stuff for fun. Try that with a mag.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Getting a New Deer Rifle

    For me it is the 30-06 hands down, probably not any better than the .308, but I wanted the extra power(longer case, more powder)in case I decided to go elk hunting at some point.. Most sniper rifles for many years are based on a .308...7mm as well as many others,although very good rounds, like you mentioned, will just not fit your bill.. Both the .308 and 06 are cheap and readily availabe, everywhere and will take any game in North America because of the seemingly unlimited loading options.. So, the deciding factor may come down to recoil. The .308 should kick less, especially if you intend to go through alot of rounds... Have you decided on a rifle? I highly recomend the Savage, if you havent looked yet. They arent the prettiest gun, thought there are more expensive versions that look nice, but they are some of the best quality rifles out there and have a very affordable price(somewhere in the $300 range last I looked)..Right out of the box, they are very good guns, but add a $3-400 scope, target crown, bed the stock and adjust the trigger(new accutrigger is great) to fit your needs and you will have a gun that will shoot as good or better than anything else out there for a good bit less than $1000..
    Greg

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Getting a New Deer Rifle

    308 or 30-06, try both. They'll both work just fine for most North American game, although the 308 is light for Elk, Moose.

    What has become my favorite, is not new, but used. I found a practically new Savage 99 in .300 Savage, a precursor to the 308. It is a lever action, with a roatary magazine instead of tube style, so it can used pointed bullets. That rifle is so handy! It is light, quick handling, and pretty accurate. The rifle was also made in .308.

    Otherwise, I like the Remington 700 series. There are lots of other very nice rifles out there, but I have had excellent service from the Remingtons. I really like the Rem 700V in 308; it is a tack driver.

    Another nice cartridge that you might check out is the 7mm-08, a .308 necked to 7mm. It has an excellent reputation.
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  8. #8
    Silver Member RickS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting a New Deer Rifle

    There are lots of good arguments for the .30-'06, but possibly the best is that it is still popular after 100 years. It is a very good cartridge that will take you anywhere you want (and/or can afford) to go.

    Any caliber with "magnum" attatched to it is for pretty boys. Now, for those of you who adore magnums, don't go getting your knickers in a wad. Just a little fun. ****Where did the smileys go???*****
    Rick
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Getting a New Deer Rifle

    The 30-06 is undeniably the most popular round for most North American game animals. I sold guns for a wholesale gun distributor for 2 1/2 years recently. I sold more 30-06 rifles than any other every year just before gun season. I dealt with dealers from all over the country. The Northwest and Alaska prefferred the larger magnum rounds. The open country states prefferrred the flatter shooting rounds. Everywhere else bought mostly 30-06's. As mentioned already. The Remington 700 was our top selling rifles. The 30-06 can be shot for cheap money. Surplus ammo can be bought very cheaply for it also. Reloading is reasonable. The knockdown power is very good witht he proper bullets. What more could you ask for.
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  10. #10
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting a New Deer Rifle

    Most calibers can be grouped into categories for the various types of game. In North America, most of our game can be taken with all the medium calibers just fine. Elk, Moose, and the big bears can take quite a bit more punishment and it's a good idea to move up to the Magnums for them, but for just about everything else, you'd do good with a nice medium caliber.

    I use a 30-06 for my deer hunting. The differenence between it and the other calibers is so insignificant as to be meaningless. Depending on the bullet and poweder charge you use, will change all the numbers around from one to the other. In the end, a few hundred feet one way or the other really doesn't matter.

    Shot placement and bullet performace are all that count.

    If you like the 30-06 and and can handle the recoil, then go for it. It's a proven caliber that you can find ammo for it all over. One time I forgot to pack my ammo for a trip to Nevada. I got there and no bullets. I know it's embarassing, but it happens. I went to the closest gas station from camp to find out where I cold get ammo and discovered they sold it there. Not a huge selection, but 30-06 was one they had.

    Rifle brands and types can also get confusing. Mine is a Remington 700 BDL that is a pretty good rifle. I replaced the stock with a Hogue that I like. The triggers on them are nothing to brag about, but Cabela's sells Timney triggers that are real easy to replace with the original that are totally adjustable.

    If I was looking for another rifle, I'd put the Browning A-Bolt at the top of my list, but still look at all the major brands. I'm not up on the latest updates, but a few years ago, Browning had some really nice features that I liked. There triggers were by far better than the other brands in my opinion.

    After you decide what you want for a rifle, you'll have to consider what scope to put on it. This is a funny topic because of all the hunters I've met and come across, most seem to cut corners here.

    The quality of your glass is far more important than anything else!!!!

    If you can't see the animal, you can't kill it. Good glass isn't just about how clear it looks in the store, but how well it remains waterproof when you go from 60 degrees to minus ten in a few hours. It remains waterproof and fog proof when you spend a week in the woods in below freezing temps and constant moisture.

    I usually avoid the gun magazines and what the writers have to say because they have to give good reveiws to everything they write about. If not, the company wont advertise with their magazine. So you always get happy stories about everything they test.

    One thing that I did read that is useful is how to test a scope to make sure it's truly waterproof. First you fill up your sink with warm water. Warm makes a difference. Then you just dump it in the water and watch for bubbles.

    This sounds pretty obvious, but the author said half the scopes and binoculars he tests will leak. HALF!!!! He didn't mention brands, but did say that he gets scopes from every manufacturer for him to test and none of them have passed this simple test.

    My favorite scope is a Swarvoski, but it's a very high end European scope. I wouldn't recomend you spend that kind of money on a first rifle. If you go to Alaska or Africa, than it might be worth it to you, but for now, look at Leopold and Nikon. Other brands might be ok, but I wouldn't spend my money on them. I do have a Redfield, but it's failed on me when I was about to shoot a blacktail that I'd been chasing for weeks in California. It was a big 4x4 that should have gone Boone & Crocket, but when I pulled up my rifle for the shot, it was totally fogged. The weather was clear and cool at around 60 degrees.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

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