What caliber should I get my first hunting rifle chambered in?
I'm looking into purchasing my first hunting rifle and I think I am going to get a Ruger American. I am completely new to hunting and I am wondering what I should get it chambered in. I'm considering .308, .30-06, and possibly 7mm-08 (though I don't know much about the round), but I am leaning towards the .270. This is because of its flat trajectory and lower recoil (not by much, I know). Those two things are beneficial to a new shooter, I think. Plus the .270 is the only one I have experience shooting, and I have done well with it. I am wondering what otjer people have to say though. Some factors that are important to me are cost, availability, and versatility. I will mostly be using this rifle on deer, but would like to have the ability to hunt elk and possibly black bear or moose. I know the .30-06 is the most versatile, but is it really necessary for what I want to hunt? I plan on having one someday but I don't know that it's the best choice for my first rifle, especially one that is barely 6 lbs. Won't it kick like a mule? Please help me out, and tell me why you like your choice of caliber.
- Lance TLv 57 years agoFavorite Answer
Within 300 yards on deer/boar/black bear/elk sized game, you will not see very much difference in terminal effects with any of these cartridges. They are all within similar power levels of each other.
On small moose I wouldn't see much difference either. If you are going to be up in high eastern alaska, hunting trophy moose bulls, then I would ditch the 7mm-08 (unless using properly constructed handloads) and go with a .30/06. Well, in truth if I was going after monster trophy moose, then I'd probably be wanting a .300 win mag or such.
Be realistic for what you are gonna hunt with it. Everyone wants to have grand thoughts of hunting huge game in alaska or africa, but in reality if its gonna be a whitetail/muley/black bear/hog gun, then .270/.308/ .30-06 is more than enough gun.
If I had to break down the best qualities of each, it would be as follows.
.270- arguarbly the best trajectory, flattest shooting, most accurate at longer distances.
.308- Has a wide selection of cheap ammo for the shooting range. If you are someone that hunts once a year, but likes to shoot year round, this is a major consideration. .308 is essentially a nato round, so cheap surplus fmj can be had around if you wanna just punch paper targets off season. Still an amazing hunting round with proper bullet selection.
.30-06 hands down the most versatile selection of hunting bullets and loads. Everything from speedy 115 grains, to beefy 220 grain. If you are a year round, one rifle hunter with plenty of money for ammo, this is the round for you.
With any of these rounds, as long as you put it in the vitals of the animal you are hunting, it will drop. I'm partial to the .308, because I own a few military rifles in the caliber and I buy cheap target ammo in bulk. I'm also a huge fan of .270.
That being said... I do most of my hunting with a .30/30... a supposedly underpowered cartridge. I havent had any bullets bounce off yet though!
- falconry2Lv 77 years ago
A 270 with 150 grain bullet with a good Ballistic Coefficient can out perform a 308 using same weight or even 165 grain because of velocity advantage and better BC and sectional density. And at 150 grains you are only 15 grains lighter than my preferred 30-06 bullet weight. With a well designed bullet and proper shot placement you can use 270 on elk,bear,would be hesitant for moose because of size. I've suggested use of Winchester XP3,Barnes style copper bullets (from various makers now),Nosler Acc-Bonds and there are a few others. I have seen enough elk taken with 270 that I don't panic when they pull them out of the case.
There are ways you can use a 30-06 for hunting by using reduced recoil loads or dropping down in bullet weights but you then lose the advantages a 30-06 has over a 270-which is more mass at near equal velocities. If you will be using the rifle for mostly deer then 270 is very viable-again using a quality bullet for elk,bear;you can use something like a Nosler Ballistic Tip or Rem Core Loct for deer and practice to save some money.
Think the Ruger is a good choice,it gives you plenty of value for cost,is a good rifle to compare others to. I think the Ruger compares favorably to the Tikka T-3. I own Browning rifles,so I consider myself biased and spoiled,but an A-Bolt might be worth looking at too-just for comparing.Source(s): Reload for 223,243,30-06 and 300 WSM currently. Been hunting deer and elk for almost 40 years.
- Anonymous5 years ago
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What caliber should I get my first hunting rifle chambered in?
I'm looking into purchasing my first hunting rifle and I think I am going to get a Ruger American. I am completely new to hunting and I am wondering what I should get it chambered in. I'm considering .308, .30-06, and possibly 7mm-08 (though I don't know much about the round), but I am...Source(s): caliber hunting rifle chambered in: https://biturl.im/BEoWb
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- xscout9094Lv 67 years ago
There are really hundreds of rounds that will be fine for the species you want to hunt. If you like the .270 and have confidence in it, that would make it a good choice for deer and black bear, but the heaviest .270 loading is a 160 grain bullet, and that's a little small for elk and moose. I got my son a Marlin XL-7 .30-'06. It's a very light rifle for a standard length action, and it has very little recoil making it very pleasant to shoot.
- 7 years ago
.308 is an awweeesome round. I like it because it is a short action. This caliber is virtually the same as the 30-06 but in a small package. It shoots amazingly and is a bit more accurate than the 30-06
- The Freak ShowLv 77 years ago
You will never go wrong with a quality bolt-action 30-06 with a 3-9x scope.
- Anonymous6 years ago
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- Anonymous7 years ago
Ruger or remington 700
The 3006 is hard to beat and you can find the amma just about anywhere.
- lesman1956Lv 57 years ago
the 30-06 is good mine was a 3030 I really liked it