What do I look for in a hunting rifle?

I know nothing about rifles, I was invited to go hunt elk. I really want to get into it but I just don't know a thing. I want a bolt action rifle and heard tikka t3 is good plus I love the look. I want to spend like $600-700 max what's the best bolt action for the money and what do I look for on the rifle, what do I need?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Tikka is a good gun and has some features I really like. Since it is made by Sako, the barrels are great and accuracy is one of the best out of the box. And yes they look and feel good.I currently shoot Browning A-Bolts in 30-06 and 300 WSM and the Tikka comes close to matching up. I did almost buy a Howa Stainless in 270 WSM the other day, another very good gun, and it was only $400.

    As for elk caliber, 270 or 270 WSM are the minimums to look at. Lots of elk have been dropped with 270s for a long time. 30-06 is normally the cartridge to go to, it has great power, a good selection of bullet loadings and range enough for normal ethical hunting. You really don't NEED a magnum like a 300 WSM or 300 Win Mag unless you know for certain the range is going to be averaging greater than 200 yards, that would be very open terrain. You could go up to .338 Mag, but again there isn't need for something like that for elk. In Europe they use the 6.5x55 Swede for moose. So I suggest the Tikka in 30-06 with a Nikon or Leupold 3x9 44mm scope with nothing fancy, you don't need mil dots or Bullet Drop Compensation or even Parallax adjustments for hunting elk.

    Best thing is being comfortable with your rifle. You will want to shoot the 30-06 a lot more than a Mag any day. 165 or 180 grain BONDED bullets are required. I use 165 for both deer and elk, never have to worry about a 300 yard shot on either. If you buy box ammo you might need to try more than one brand to find the one your rifle likes.

    Best investment of time is to get "The Perfect Shot" for North American Game from the library. It's a great resource.

  • 1 decade ago

    the Tikka is a fine rifle, but given how little you know about the whole process I'm not sure I would jump in with both feet. Remember, you are going to want to put some glass and mounts on the rifle, which is probably going to run you at least $150 - $250 for a good quality rugged scope and mounts for an elk hunt.

    If you figure you still can afford the Tikka, then go with it. However, I would also look at the Savage line with the accu - trigger in 30.-06. Good quality and accurate budget rifles which have been getting excellent ratings and I can vouch that you are going to have a tough time finding a better trigger than the accu-trigger and is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than the Tikka new.


  • Kyle S
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    A really good buy if you are unsure of whether or not you want to get into hunting is the Russian Surplus Mosin Nagants, you can get all the fancy scope mounts and stocks that you want. But out of the box they work and are reliable. I love mine, it is more than accurate enough for hunting purposes and it comes in a caliber similar to the 30-06. At $138.00 on the high end a bargain. It is a bit weak though but it does warrant some examination. You can also get converted mausers that come in many calibers for under your $700 range. CZUSA makes a great gun and there are many that fit your price range. From little .22's al the way up to full size Elephant guns in .500 NE. They also have a unique Single set Trigger that allows you to have a heavier trigger pull, push the trigger forward and you have a hair trigger.

    I know you said you want a bolt action but you don't quite know that you will like hunting, and buying a new rifle, is like buying a car drive it off the lot and your lost a lot of your money. The HR/NEF makes single shot rifles in a variety of calibers and as an added benefit you are not locked into one caliber. You can switch the barrels on them easily. They come in 45-70 which will take down any elk. They are accurate and reliable. In hunting you should not need more than one shot. And the price is right around $200 leaving money left over for good optics and ammo for range time and practice.

  • 1 decade ago


    Why does he not have to go for a 500 yard tacker? the way i see it, is if your going to buy a gun, and you are new to the sport, a good gun is a good place to start. because if you look after your rifle, it will outlast you. i am new to shooting, and at 15 i had not alot of money. but i bought the tikka t3 lite stainless in .308.

    Tikka t3, good place to start. great rifle, out of box accuracy is also good. my suggestion, get a common caibre. if your only looking to spend that much on a gun, then im guessing your ammo budget is also pretty low. unless your reloading. but ive got a .308 as i said. its a well proven cartridge with a good history.

    People complain about the "plastic" parts on a tikka. But they arent just any plastic. its very durable and i have never had any problems. And because they are made by sako, u can be assured of there quality parts.

    As you would know investing in a quality scope is a smart move. the magnification, up to you.

    But yeah talk to your local shopman and he will point you in the right direction, but if your thinking of a tikka, your heading in the right direction. (By the way it looks good aswell)


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  • 1 decade ago

    There are plenty of good rifle that fit your needs. I would suggest a good bolt action chambered in 7MM Rem Mag as being the best choice of action/caliber. However, since you are a newbie,the recoil is likely to make you flinch. No matter how effective the caliber, a miss is worse than useless as you will likely scare off your prey.

    For you I would suggest a 30-06 as the best caliber. It's effective enough and less likely to make you flinch and miss.

    If I were you, I'd get together with whoever invited you to go hunting and fire their rifle. Then you will have some frame of reference. Only after selecting the caliber, should you select the rifle to fire it in.

  • Jim R
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The first thing to look for in a rifle is comfort. As long as the rifle is comfortable and of sufficient caliber for your game, in this case elk. Any rifle from 6.5x55 through 300 magnum is great for elk. Just find a rifle that is good for you to shoot. It doesn't matter a whit whether anyone else, myself or anybody else thinks, you must shoot it, so you must choose it.

    I have to say there is no praise for Praise Saitan. For a former detective not to be able to tell the difference between a serial killer and a hunter, and to make such a comparison is absurd. Think he has done too many drugs or something. J

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Winchester mod 70 or Remington 700. With your inexperience, you don't need a 500 yard tack driver. There are others out there that will suit the bill as well. Check Gunbroker.com and your local pawn shops. When is comes to a bolt action rifle, a used one in good condition should fill your needs nicely. Just put a decent scope on it.

  • Master
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Bolt action chambered for .30-06.

    I'd avoid the Remington Model 700.

    Look for a design with a safety that both blocks the striker (aka firing pin) and locks the bolt.

    Winchester Model 70

    Kimber Model 8400

    Weatherby Mark V

    Browning X Bolt (skip BOSS)

    Figure on spending another $500 on scope and scope mounts. Leopold VXIII is best bang for buck.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Winchester Model 70 isn't what it used to be, either get a used Model 70 or a new/used Remington Model 700 .30-06.

  • 4 years ago

    You sure could get away with a lot more abuse on that 700 with the synthetic stocks, but if it is ugly to begin with what's the use? That lever action sure would look good in a glass display cabinet at home when stored, and especially as DJ said. Have a good 'un.

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