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Old 02-21-2013, 09:44 AM
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Default Advice for rifle choice

Please go easy on this noob.

I'm trying for elk and deer tags for this season (first time) and I have been looking at rifles and trying to decide on a caliber/model. I was hoping some of you long-time hunters could offer some advice.

For now, the hunting I see myself doing will be backpacking in the mountains here in CO. Since I am not a highly experienced shooter, I don't plan on attempting really long shots. Also, I don't have a budget to buy a separate rifle for every type of game, so I'm hoping to find something that will work for both elk and deer, be fairly light to pack with, and be forgiving and fun to shoot so that I'll practice with it often. Inexpensive and readily available ammo might be nice too. I guess for a budget, I would like to keep it under $1500 for the rifle and scope.

Any and all advice appreciated.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:13 AM
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Remington Model 700 in 30-06 is a great all around gun. I prefer the rifles with wood(CDL) or fiberglass stocks (XCR tactical). (I am not a fan of the new plastic stock versions).
308 Winchester is also another pretty universal caliber. It is a bit on the light side if you are going for a trophy bull, but will work wonders on deer and cow elk.
If you can tolerate more recoil then 7mm, 300 win mag/ 300RUM or 338 Lapua/338 RUM are some of the better choices for Bull Elk. They of course all tend to be heavier rifles and have more recoil. Recoil can be a real turnoff and hinder good marksmanship training for beginners so try one of the bigger calibers before you just buy one. Also don't go cheap on the glass. Many people will spend a thousand bucks on a rifle and then put a 100 dollar scope on it. As a general rule the scope should cost as much or more than the rifle.
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Last edited by Snowrun; 02-21-2013 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:24 AM
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Are you looking to go new or would you be open to used? There are a ton of good deals on used firearms, typically with the scope already mounted. Being hunting rifles, many of them were only shot enough to sight them in.

As far as brand, that is as much a personal choice as anything. For newer rifles, I've really enjoyed shooting the Savage rifles with the AccuTrigger.

For caliber, I personally shoot 7mm mag, but I think something like a .270 would meet your requirements pretty well. It shoots flat, is widely available, and can easily take both elk and deer.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:27 AM
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Forgot to add, if you are willing to come down to Lakewood, I live right next to BluCore Shooting Center and would be willing to let you take a crack my Ruger M77 in 7MM mag and my wife's old Remington in .270.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
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338 Lapua...As a general rule the scope should cost as much or more than the rifle.


He said under $1500.

An old Weatherby would look great in your 40.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:38 PM
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Thanks for the recommendations so far and sorry for the newb questions.

Speaking of scopes, what should I consider for power if I'm not likely to take shots over 200yds? Also, will some of the higher power calibers mentioned be overkill for closer shots?

Since I plan to backpack with it, I had been considering some of the shorter/compact models. I had noticed some with barrel length as short as 16". Will something with an 18-20" barrel behave drastically different than a 24" barrel in the same caliber? 30-06 for example?
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHorseThief View Post
Are you looking to go new or would you be open to used? There are a ton of good deals on used firearms, typically with the scope already mounted. Being hunting rifles, many of them were only shot enough to sight them in.
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Originally Posted by AHorseThief View Post
Forgot to add, if you are willing to come down to Lakewood, I live right next to BluCore Shooting Center and would be willing to let you take a crack my Ruger M77 in 7MM mag and my wife's old Remington in .270.
Thank you for the offer to try out yours. I may take you up on that.

I'm open to used for sure. Not sure where to look though. I'm leery to buy anything online without handling it. Any good shops that carry used?
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDH33 View Post
Speaking of scopes, what should I consider for power if I'm not likely to take shots over 200yds?
I'd go with the tried and true 3X9.

Quote:
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Also, will some of the higher power calibers mentioned be overkill for closer shots?
On deer, yes.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHorseThief View Post
I'd go with the tried and true 3X9.



On deer, yes.
Agreed 3X9 or 4-14.5 is what I typically run with for a general purpose hunting rifle. I am a big Leupold fan as far as scopes. (I would mention Schmidt and Bender but they cost more than most cars I have owned).
Most of my scopes are 50mm objectives however 40mm is usually more than enough.

I also prefer 30mm tubes over 1 inch tubes on scopes. The light transmission is essentially the same, however the amount of elevation you can dial on a 30mm scope will allow for a much greater range.

With scopes you get what you pay for. Glass clarity/light transmission, calibrated turret adjustments, the ability to hold a zero, parallax adjustments,customer service etc....

When it comes to cost you also have to consider the amount of money you will spend on the trip itself. If you spend hundreds on the trip and end up missing a shot because of a bad rifle/scope combo you have wasted all that money.

Also I have Remington 700's in 308 win and 300 win mag if you would like to try them out as well. Maybe you me and AHorseThief can head out to Colorado Rifle club together. (I am a member and it will save us the 36 dollar an hour cost for Blue Core)
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:50 PM
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That's very generous of you guys to offer your time and rifles for me to try. Ammo is on me if we can set something up for some range time
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