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Posted: 7/15/2017 3:26:53 PM EST
Been thinking a lot about a hunting rifle and a good caliber to use for nothing bigger then then an Elk.

I'm also trying to keep my weapon inventory down meaning I don't want two different bolt rifles I want one that would work as a hunting rifle and target rifle.

Been looking at a few calibers I know there is going to be a lot of 30-06 people. I have owned in the past a Remington 700 BLD DM 30-06 and I did not enjoy shooting it. Thought it was because of the light stock so when I rebuilt my 1903 Springfield it would change well I still don't enjoy shooting it.

Yes I want something that going out and shooting 100 rounds will not break the bank or shoulder! I do reload and cast so that will also help!

I'm looking for some ideas on calibers I'm open to any ideas. Thanks for the advice.
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 3:47:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 3:51:56 PM EST
It is going to be hard to beat the .308, it has cheap steel case ammo for plinking, surplus ammo for long term storage and perhaps the largest selection of factory match ammo for long range compared to any other caliber.

6.5 Creedmoor is I feel a better cartridge for many uses than the .308 but it is still quite expensive compared to more mainstream calibers. Really price of ammo is its only downfall and that seems to be getting better.

.243 Win is a great one for deer size game and smaller, not the first choice for Elk size game but it will work.

Others to consider .270 Win, 7mm08, .260 Rem and if it sticks around the 6.5 grendel.

If recoil is a concern then get a threaded barrel model and add a good brake.
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 3:55:14 PM EST
.308/7.62 x 51.
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 4:06:36 PM EST
.308 if buying ammo.
6.5 CM if reloading.
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 4:09:30 PM EST
Not trying to start anything and I know there will be all kinds of hootin and hollerin but here goes.

7X57 Mauser. Why:
Karamojo Bell killed several hundred ELEPHANTS with the cartridge, proper bullet construction and placement circa 1900.
Bullet weights from 100 grains to 175 grains in every configuration you might want. Great plinker loads can be made with cast bullets.
Very mild recoil even with the heavier weight bullets.
Uses a standard length action.
Can be had in a nice light weight 6-7 pound rifle and still be comfortable to shoot.
PROVEN 7mm bullet performance and selection.
Can be loaded to very impressive speeds in modern brass and rifles.
Excellent brass life. Often 6-8 reloads per case when neck sizing only.

Only real negative, imho is that due to all of the older military rifles out there, factory ammo is downloaded pretty deeply. As a result, in order to truly get the performance speed and energy wise the cartridge is capable of is to handload for it.

Are there other choices out there? Sure, but in a general all around multi tasking cartridge, the old Mauser is hard to beat in my mind. But then I never was a big fan of hell belching magnums. Tried them and just did not need the added noise for the relatively minor performance increases. I have been able to kill all the game animals I wanted from deer, hogs, mulies, pronghorn, and elk with 7x57s, 270 Win, 30-06s, 45-70s, 30-30s over the years.

Needless to say, this is a GIANT YOUR MILEAGE MAY VERY TOPIC, but you asked, and I'm simply answering your question.
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 6:21:12 PM EST
For off the shelf ammo, probably .308.
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 7:08:25 PM EST
My quest was for a "North American" rifle, to serve all purposes related to bipedal/quadrapedal defense while traveling North America and doing so with relative legal impunity.

The result was an 18.7" Ruger GSR in .308.

Second only because I chose it to be second is a 12ga shotgun, and in reality it will ride along as well.
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 10:23:35 PM EST
Just my opinion on the internet (and you know what that's worth), but if you didn't like the .30-06 recoil, you probably won't like the .308 recoil with the same bullet weight.  Lighter bullets in smaller calibers around 6.5mm - 7mm (or around .264 -.270 inch diameter) may kick less with standard loads (non-magnum) and have better ballistic coefficient than the .30 calibers.  7mm Mauser surplus ammo is still available, as well as 6.5x55 Swedish surplus ammo for plinking, and commercial hunting loads are also available.
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 11:25:10 PM EST
A few years ago, when ammo got super scarce, I took notice to what was in the shelves. There was ALWAYS 30-06, 308, and 270.

I actually bought my son a 270 for deer hunting during that time because it was just so damn available. I went with a rem 700 mtn rifle and have no regrets for it as a hunting rifle. If I remember right it weighs a little over 7 lbs with the scope mounted. Recoil is tolerable, accuracy shooting 150gr factory ammo is great.

That's my 2 cents.
Link Posted: 7/15/2017 11:46:42 PM EST
Is there an echo in here?

Link Posted: 7/16/2017 12:06:16 AM EST
As others have said, .308 or 270.
For a truly "all-around" rifle (including SHTF), I'd stick with .308.
All-around hunting rifle, I'd likely lean towards the 270.

FWIW, my Dad went on safari in Africa several years ago and took six trophies with a 270, including a kudu, gemsbok, and zebra. All one-shot kills.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 12:11:46 AM EST
I live in the southeast and went 7mm-08. I've been very happy with it.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 12:58:51 AM EST
If you didnt like the 06 I dont see how you'd like a .308. Step down, be happy. Lots of good suggestions. 270. 6.5CM. .260. 
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 1:23:53 AM EST
I got a 308 and 6.5. I feel like it covers most bases other than dangerous game.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 5:34:39 AM EST
Medium weight rifle and a good rubber pad on the stock will help a lot.
Light weight rifles are great for lugging around, but the recoil can be fierce.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 9:06:29 AM EST
I know this has not been mentioned yet, but 308 would be my choice.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 9:59:39 AM EST
.308 is the obvious choice...  but...  if you cast and reload, and your targets aren't too far away...  what about 45-70?  You can load them light or stout or anywhere in between for any specific purpose...  easy to reload straight walled cases...  easy to cast for and arguably many seem to like cast lead...  just an idea...

...and for me, the other great choice other than .308 would be .243 and don't shoot elk unless you can pull off a cranium shot.  The 45-70 just popped into my head because you mentioned elk and reloading/casting...  and it is something that nobody mentioned so far...  but if you do get a 45-70, get a lever - it just seems to "fit" the caliber...  
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 11:31:08 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
.243 Win


A very flexible and useful cartridge.
View Quote
Projectile size can be from 55 gr to 105 gr.

Ammo and supplies can be found in just about any corner store in the country.

It's not an inservice military / LEO round, so it doesn't disappear right off the bat in shortages

A bunch of information can be found about what bullet, load, rifle setup can do for you.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 11:33:35 AM EST
Plane Jane .308 or .243
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 11:35:36 AM EST
The Creedmoor is as general purpose as it gets.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 12:41:21 PM EST
Lots of answers to your query. I'm looking to building a bolt rifle for my daughter. I built a 6.5 x 55 for my older daughter 10 years ago and it was a good fit. Right now, I'm thinking 6 to 7 mm, 120 to 140 gr bullets around 2600 to 3000 fps. I don't have a doner or barrel selected so I don't know exactly what it will be. If I had a choice right now it would be a Creedmoor,  either 6 or 6.5. I believe both will be around for a long time. I'm not hunting Elk though. My suggestions would include just about anything from 6.5 x 55, .260 Rem to .308 Win. I love my .257 Roberts but if I were going after Elk, I'd have to use the occasion to try  a .325 WSM Browning A Bolt. Probably won't have to worry about that though. 
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 1:12:26 PM EST
I'd vote .223 or .243 if you weren't including elk.  With elk included, I'd go .308.  You can shoot lighter bullets for less recoil, or all the way up to elk loads for hunting.  

I think Hornady makes a 200 or 208gr AMAX, all the way down to 110gr loads off the shelf.  Almost all other brands make a 125gr-180gr load.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 3:35:59 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Just my opinion on the internet (and you know what that's worth), but if you didn't like the .30-06 recoil, you probably won't like the .308 recoil with the same bullet weight.  Lighter bullets in smaller calibers around 6.5mm - 7mm (or around .264 -.270 inch diameter) may kick less with standard loads (non-magnum) and have better ballistic coefficient than the .30 calibers.  7mm Mauser surplus ammo is still available, as well as 6.5x55 Swedish surplus ammo for plinking, and commercial hunting loads are also available.
View Quote
Don't mind 308 at all have shoulder fired a 240G and my go to weapon is a STG-58 never have had a problem with it. Same goes for Mauser 98K I have shot. I just did not enjoy the recoil of the 30-06 if I have to should fire no problems if I used a rest.

I have liked the 6mm family 6.5 and 6.8 but how well are they suited for Elk size game?
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 6:01:09 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
I have liked the 6mm family 6.5 and 6.8 but how well are they suited for Elk size game?
View Quote
The answer as you probably know is > "It's all about shot placement".  I have a friend who uses a bolt action 17 HMR (with something like a 20 grain projectile) to hunt feral hogs from a tree stand...  he routinely drops 300 pound hogs in their tracks with 1 well placed shot...  I think a .243 and other members of the 6mm family have the power to drop an Elk if you are skilled enough to put the shot where it needs to go to get the job done...  you make the call!
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 6:12:01 PM EST
I read the title and 30-06 was the first round that popped into my head.  The '06 is still a good answer.

I bought my 270 WCF in 1994.  Long before the Creedmoor and the Grendel were around.

A local store chain had the old 700 ADL Synthetic on sale.  I figured I'd buy a 308, '06 or a 270.
All the store had left was one 270.  It's was and is a damn good all-rounder for anything up to elk.  

That's my answer.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 6:25:31 PM EST
.308 in a heavy auto or semi-auto rifle is not the same as a .308 fired from a rifle like your Springfield 03.  

I'm not pushing it, but as for 6.5x55, here is what Norma says about it for big game in Scandinavia:
"More than a hundred years after its introduction it is still the standard round for competition shooting and one of the most popular hunting cartridges in all the three Scandinavian countries. Having downed a dozen moose, more than 50 caribou and three times as many roe deer with the 6,5x55 it remains my all time favorite choice for mixed European hunting."
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 6:28:31 PM EST
6.5 Creedmoor
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 6:48:46 PM EST
Another vote for 308.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 7:18:29 PM EST
My choice would be 7mm-08. Everything from antelope to Elk, lower recoil and very similar to 6.5C balistically (.264v.284).
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 8:23:02 PM EST
The obvious choice is 30-06.  Its hard to beat, as it is THE all around caliber.  However, if recoil is an issue, you need to go smaller and lighter.

If ranges are moderate, 308 works.  As does 270.  I do regard 270 as a minimum for a true all around caliber:  Its definitely light for moose.   Its adequate for elk.

I would normally not recommend the following, but you indicated you reload.  That makes all the difference.  So, here goes:  .280 Remington.  Its got more power than a 270, especially with heavier 150-160 grainers, yet less recoil than a 30-06.  I've using a 280 Ackley Improved.  Its not any more expensive to buy 7mm bullets than .30 cal bullets.  It uses about the same amount of powder as the 30-06.  Yet I'm getting honest 3000 FPS velocity readings using 160 Nosler Partitions out of a 24 inch barrel.  That is very much 7mm rem mag performance.  A regular 280 won't get quite that performance, but its still damned good.

7mm08 is also damned good!  Again recoil is somewhat more moderate, but performance is entirely adequate on any elk or smaller.  In a pinch, it'll do on moose with a good 160.
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 9:00:22 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History

Don't mind 308 at all have shoulder fired a 240G and my go to weapon is a STG-58 never have had a problem with it. Same goes for Mauser 98K I have shot. I just did not enjoy the recoil of the 30-06 if I have to should fire no problems if I used a rest.

I have liked the 6mm family 6.5 and 6.8 but how well are they suited for Elk size game?
View Quote
Europeans shot Moose with 6.5 x 55 and don't feel under gunned
Link Posted: 7/16/2017 9:16:55 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Another vote for 308.
View Quote
I'll go with this as it's just an all around good cartridge that can handle up to 200grs, uses a short action and one can find ammo in every gun store around.

There are better out there for longer range target shooting and for the great bears, but it's tough to beat the .308 Win., even when reloading.

Link Posted: 7/17/2017 1:35:56 AM EST
I think it really depends on your AO and what you are able to retain in both the cartridge and your budget.

If your budget is limited or its limited to what ammo you can get locally id stick within what i consider the big 5: .223 ,.243 , .270 .308 and .30-06. Do remember with the exception of the 243 and 270 all of these experience shortages on the shelf during 13 (yes 3006 was limited but still saw a huge drop). The reason i consider this the big 5 from the major stores to the mom and pop shops you will find these (during good times)

If you want something more exotic id go 6.5x55 swede ,7mm mauser or .35 whelen all of them have had impressive kills. There is many load options. (If you want swede i know howa is a decent inexpensive option)

Now my suggestion. And this one is probably last or a back burner option but....wait for it... 44mag. Price is competitive with just about any rifle cartridge in price. Walmart carries .44mag (i like to use walmart as a decent indicator if they carry your lgs will as well). If you choose to reload , without getting to detailed straight walls are very easy to reload. The ruger 77/44 does come with iron sights (bolt action) there is also single shot and lever actions available. And above all you have the option of matching for your side arm.

In the end it depends what you are comfortable shooting (recoil and distance). Ask what your lgs sold and what soldout quickly during the panic and what got resupplied quickly especially if on a budget
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 3:08:38 AM EST
.308 or .270
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 3:47:42 AM EST
.308 hands down....best kept secret is the white box Xm80(7.62x51) for like 10 bucks a box :)
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 6:04:39 AM EST
I have a Ruger M77 in 270 that is easy on the shoulder.  I would use it on elk.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 6:41:58 AM EST
I recently came across Granite Mountain Tactical's Recon! Scout Rifle and am thinking about picking one up in .308 as my primary hunting rifle. Mind you I don't expect shots over 300 yards here in VA (also have a lifetime license in NC) and a light handy rifle is nice in the woods. Note you can mount a regular scope, the forward scope mounts are mainly interesting as they'll allow mounting of a red dot for brush hunting.

What caliber is your target rifle? I assume you are going to match them.

ETA I just re-read the thread and see you have a STG 58 so .308 should be a no brainer. I also see you want this rifle to be both a target rifle and a hunting rifle. You can order the Recon! with a 20" barrel but regardless of which rifle you get I'd caution to err toward the hunting side as opposed to the target shooting side, otherwise the rifle will be no fun to hump.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 6:49:31 AM EST
300 ultra mag. You can shoot it on low, medium, high, and WOW that hurt my shoulder.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 8:53:48 AM EST
I built a rifle to what your for. I went with a savage as it's what I could afford and I liked it's modularity. but yes i'll echo the chime of .308 win. it's really a no brainer. ton's of ammo choices, bullets, powders, ect....

I like how my rifle came out (18.5" douglas barreled light varmint, on a long action, dbm, ect....) but....my cousin bought a tikka ctr and wow such a nice turn key solution. his is a 20" with a slightly thinner barrel but balances a hair better than mine, it's already a long action, load the heavies long if you want to turn your .308 into a almost 300 win mag (talking 208+gr bullets seated 3+" with powders like pp2000mr, run the #'s and you'll see) the factory mags are pretty generous in the length department.

being a handloader you can load from a 00 buckshot pellet over a grain or two of pistol powder on up to 230gr berger hybrids. it's pre threaded for a suppressor/brake/comp... I haven't had luck with the powdercoating yet but I'm curious how the lee 230gr cast bullet will fly once I dial it in. can be loaded subsonic for some good fun short range shooting and discreet hunting with a can.

now if you live in bear country or travel there often I like the versatility of the 45 colt or 454 casull. in a solid revolver like a Blackhawk/redhawk matched with a 16" rossi 92 you can load those to handle anything the lower 48 has to offer with heavy cast "ruger only" loads or 454 if you go that route. the little rossi can nip at the old trapdoor 45/70 loads with hot 300+gr loads

now for a cast only solution I think a short, dbm, 358 Winchester would make for an interesting "do all" rifle. You could use 000 buck, 9mm, 38/357 bullets loaded light to medium velocities for little critters and discreet harvesting of game, then full power 200+gr hardcast for everything else. I've seen molds up to 315gr.

other noteable mentions, 30-06, 338-06 (my idea as a perfect mountain gun cartridge built on a light 20" rifle) .260 (can use .308 brass in a pinch), 45/70

ETA: I keep titegroup and H4895 on hand for down loading rifle cartridges. just remember to take into consideration bullet construction for the velocity your operating at. ie. if you down load the .308 to 30-30 velocities run a 30-30 or 300 blackout bullet (black tip, 125 sst) as it's designed to expand at said velocities.

also a good reference on how well a bullet kills at reduced velocities is the handgun hunters (like the Thompson contender/encore and savage/Remington bolt action pistols) Mike Bellem has some good articles.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 9:00:33 AM EST
300 Winchester Magnum. You can kill an elk with smaller caliber, but why risk it. I use it for all of my deer hunting.
Can be found at any store in an emergency and you can load it up or down. Super accurate.
Next on my list would be 30/06, if you had not mentioned elk. It will hammer an elk, but not at the yardage a faster load can.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 9:56:51 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
.308 if buying ammo.
6.5 CM if reloading.
View Quote
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 10:06:22 AM EST
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 10:20:57 AM EST
6.5 Creedmoor seems like the most versatile cartridge out right now, fine for coyotes and fine for elk. Recoil isn't bad at all and it's an excellent long range performer.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 7:36:17 PM EST
I would say 308 almost automatically,  but it is a very good choice.

I would bet I could take any animal in North America cleanly with a 243. Bullet construction is pretty impressive these days. I've often though about buying one for a great all around hunting cartridge. I'm not the kind of hunter that needs to smash through bones and shoulders to down an animal. I'm patient and accurate.
Link Posted: 7/17/2017 9:14:29 PM EST
308, 7x57, or 7-08 if a 30-06 is too much.
Link Posted: 7/19/2017 5:42:52 PM EST
Another vote for .308

Very versatile in both factory ammo and reloading options.
Link Posted: 7/19/2017 9:44:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 7/20/2017 4:23:59 PM EST
For my purpose the one do it all caliber/rifle is the Ruger GSR in 308.  
Mine has a Leupold 2-8x32mm scope on it in the traditional above the chamber location.
Link Posted: 7/20/2017 4:29:25 PM EST
Another +1 for .308...  I still love that caliber.

The Savage Model 10 FCP-SR is hard to beat...

Attachment Attached File

(This one is not mine, but very similar... mine has a SS HD fixed 10x on it)

Mine will sling a 130 gr Barnes loaded with a stout charge of TAC at over 3100 fps.  Absolutely ends animals up to Axis/ Mule Deer sized (never tried it on bigger).
Link Posted: 7/20/2017 4:32:42 PM EST
.308 Win.  Easy to shoot well but just a bit more smack that .243.

I hunt with both but if I could only have one caliber 308.  I am a firm believer in having the caliber our troops have, just because.  

No American should be without a 308, 5.56 and 9mm.
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