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Location: Maryland
Joined: 10/11/2006
Posts: 151
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

Hey guys,

So i'm looking into these 2 bolt actions:

1. Weatherby Vanguard in .30-06
2. Tikka T3 Varmint or hunter in .30-06

I want to hunt Deer, bear, or any other mammel in North America.

The 7mm REM is another caliber i'm feeling. So Which caliber would be good for all kinds of game but not an overkill?

I guess accuracy is important as I don't want to get too close to the game. But any other info I need to know which is the right gun?

One other thing: I'm left handed

PLEASE! Have some patience with the newbie. Big smile neener! Big smile

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

I put Weatherby and Tikka on the same level:Both excellent.

I'm left handed also and I have a Remington BDL(LH) in 270. Also available in 30.06 I believe. My son has the right-handed BDL in 30.06 and it shoots as tight a group as I have seen of any 30.06, right out of the box

The 30.06 has a much wider range of bullet weights than the 7mm Mag and is no doubt the most versatile of any rifle. If you can't find a load for the 30.06 for any game in North America, you're not looking.
You can also get the Rem BDL 7mm mag in left hand if you decide on that calibre

Here's the Federal ballistic table. Choose your bullet and click ballistics on left
http://www.federalcartridge.com/ballistics/Ammo_Search.aspx?act=choose&f...
Whichever rifle you chose make sure it's what you want, don't buy in haste

Offline
Location: Maryland
Joined: 10/11/2006
Posts: 151
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!
Hammer1 wrote:
I put Weatherby and Tikka on the same level:Both excellent.

I'm left handed also and I have a Remington BDL(LH) in 270. Also available in 30.06 I believe. My son has the right-handed BDL in 30.06 and it shoots as tight a group as I have seen of any 30.06, right out of the box

The 30.06 has a much wider range of bullet weights than the 7mm Mag and is no doubt the most versatile of any rifle. If you can't find a load for the 30.06 for any game in North America, you're not looking.
You can also get the Rem BDL 7mm mag in left hand if you decide on that calibre

Here's the Federal ballistic table. Choose your bullet and click ballistics on left
http://www.federalcartridge.com/ballistics/Ammo_Search.aspx?act=choose&f...
Whichever rifle you chose make sure it's what you want, don't buy in haste

Thanks for the info! I really want to be happy with my rifle. That is why i'm waiting. Thanks again!

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

If your looking to hunt any mammal in NorthAmerica then your choice of caliber may be a little lacking. Don't get me wrong, the .30-06 is an excellent all-around cartridge, but there are animals like the huge Kodiaks and Huge Polars that may require more energy than the .30-06 can deliver.

I'm not a huge proponent of magnums, but if you want one caliber to take care of every single animal in N. America then go with a 300 Win Mag or bigger.

Something that you need to understand is that if you are going to hunt any or every animal in N. America then you are going to need more than one caliber or rifle. While there are several calibers that are great all-around calibers, there is not really one that is suitable for every single animal hunted.

What I mean is that for example a .458 Win Mag is way overkill for deer or elk, but great for Polars, huge Grizzlies, rhinos, and elephants. A .270 Win is great for deer and elk, but lacking for Grizzlies.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3173
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

I would be inclined to stick with the standard cartridges. Take out the large bears and with anything from a 270 to a 30-06 you'd be fine DEPENDING on your choice of bullet. The magnums add another dimention to shooting and that's handling recoil. What they really give is just a bit more for a whole lot more recoil.

I think I would suggest finding a rifle that you like first, then concern yourself with cartridge. I have no idea where you hunt so I'll get generic here. If you decide on a cartridge based on the 308 case, 7mm-08 or 308 Win, both work well with barrel's around 20 to 22" in length. They make a handy rifle for most anywhere and all have enough power for whatever you may hunt for now. It is not likely your off to hunt big bears tomorrow nor even ready to go sniping across canyon's at long range. You'll probally also want a scope on it. In America the trend is bigger is better. Well I don't buy that much. I would be inclined to say get a good 2 3/4x or 4x fixed scope but I don't think you can find one anymore. There are a couple nice 1-4x scopes but the easiest way to go is a 2-7x. It has all the magnification you'll ever need on a game rifle and is a bit smaller than the 3-9x making the rifle handle somewhat better. A 1-4x on one power will damn near let you see in the dark but you'll also see your barrel!

If you should get something on the 30-06 case, 270 or 30-06, I would look at rifles with 22 to 24" barrels with the same scopes. For normal hunting, the difference between 308 case cartridges and 30-06 cartridges is more imagined than real.

Choose your ammo well. That means pay attention to bullet weight's. Good rule of thumb is to use a middle weight or up bullet and you would be set. In 7mm if you stayed with the 140 to 160gr bullets you'd be set. For everything, the 160 does it all, just not a glamirously. In 30 cal, the 150 to 180gr bullet's are king. The absolute best, in my opinion, is the 165gr bullet. It gives a good combination of velocity and trajectory for all shooting.

There are a lot of other choices you could make, but as you said it does get confusing. It doesn't need to be, the idea is to shoot something you can handle well, place shot's well with and use bullet's that are suitable for the game your after. In at some time down the road you decide to take on the big bears, there are other conciderations. But at that point the cost of the trip will be so high that getting a new rifle just for that will be a drop in the bucket.

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Joined: 11/14/2006
Posts: 68
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

I recently just bought a rifle and looked at both the weatherby and the Tikka's. If I had to choose between the two I would pick the Weatherby due to it's reputation for accuracy. I prefer browning myself because they do very well at giving the same type of accuracy but in much lighter weights typically. Kimber was also another brand I had considered.

For Caliber I would probably suggest the 7mm WSM. It will give you better ballistics than the .30-06 with a little bit more power behind it. For the majority of the game you are looking at the .30-06 would probably be just fine, but you may find the extra power and slightly better ballistics of the 7mm WSM is a little more comforting while trying to hunt bears .

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Location: Wyoming
Joined: 08/04/2006
Posts: 38
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if I could only have one hunting rifle, it'd be a .30-06. Though I own a Weatherby Vanguard and am very pleased with its accuracy and overall quality, I've not been around the Tikka so can't make a fair comparison.

I think there are probably lots of folks out there who buy a rifle at the taller end of the caliber spectrum "just in case" they end up going on a bear hunt in Alaska (Canada, etc.). Here's my argument, if you're a nonresident and have enough money to hire a guide to hunt Kodiaks, you have enough money to buy a specialized rifle. Otherwise, most of us spend our hunting careers chasing more common game: deer, elk, moose, black bear, pronghorns, varmints, etc. You don't need a magnum to hunt those.

Sure, a magnum is going to give you a margin of confidence if you're hunting something that hunts back. But that extra margin comes at the cost of more expensive ammo and more recoil, and from what I've seen, the two of those factors keep many hunters from truly becoming proficient with their chosen arm. Standard calibers are just as capable in the hands of a skilled marksman, and the cost of ammunition and recoil levels are sustainable for most of us to spend the time at the range it takes to become proficient with it.. A solid hit with a good bullet on a Kodiak with a .30-06 is still better than a flinched miss on a Kodiak with the newest comer to the super cool magnum.club.

I think I'd be perfectly happy with a Weatherby Vanguard in .30-06. I do own a couple of magnums (.300 Weatherby and .375 H&H), but my M700 in .30-06 has the most field time, and I don't expect that to change - ever.

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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 100
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

I am not sure there is any "best" choice. Some of the best advice that I have seen on this forum has been the suggestion that you get the gun that feels best to you and is within you budget.

I myself am partial to Savage. I am a southpaw as well. I have one in 30-06 and one in 7mm-08. They are not really pretty guns but will put the bullet where I aim.

One feature that I kind of like is the way the rifle is designed with the barrel nut. You can relatively easily rebarrel the rifle. I am currently rebarreling my 30-06 22" barrel with a 30-06 Ackley Improved 24" barrel. All you need is the barrel nut wrench and a set of " go, no-go" gauges. I am thinking I might pick up a 338-06 barrel for it as well.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2363
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

All too true. There is no "best" caliber or rifle, I will agree. There are several appropriate calibers for certain game or applications. Within these appropriate calibers is one or a few that you may shoot best. That's your caliber.

An expensive rifle does not make it the best. Makes such as Savage, Remington, Winchester, Marlin, etc. are all great guns.

e4c4ever,
I think it's better, since you are a newbie to hunting, to decide exactly what it is you plan to hunt today. Don't make this decision based on what you "may" or "might" hunt years from now down the road. There will always be time later to buy another rifle for that. This will help you decide on a certain caliber to start. Yes the .30-06 is a great all around cartridge, but it does kick. If you have never fired a high powered rifle before, then you may not like the kick of the .30-06. To someone new to shooting this cartridge may seem to kick a lot. Recoil is something you need to build a torerance for. If you don't start to do this with a smaller caliber, then you will end up becoming discouraged and frustrated with a larger caliber off the bat, and not like shooting because if this. Also as far as accuracy is concerned - the largest part of accuracy has to do with how well and how accurate you are as the shooter. The vast majority of rifles out there are capable of far better accuracy that the shooters who shoot them.

Another thing that leads to newbies getting frustrated is that lots of new shooters (even seasoned ones) today spend a lot of time, money, and effort on the latest, greatest, most expensive, customized rifles and accesories, in the hopes that it will make them a better shooter. Yet they never ever spend any time or effort learning the fundimentals of shooting. I can't stress enough to newbies how important it is to learn the fundamentals of shooting before you go out and buy the most expensive or the coolest rifle.

You also mensioned something about not wanting to get too close to the animal you are hunting. Well...the whole strategy in hunting is to get as close to your animal as possible without scaring it away before shooting it to insure a clean quick, humane kill. Just remember that hunting is not sniping. Don't confuse the two. Just something to consider.

Don Fischer's picture
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Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
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Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

Thumbs up

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Location: Maui, Hawaii
Joined: 05/03/2006
Posts: 100
Dont know which rifle or caliber. This is frustrating!

WesternHunter-

Your comments really hit the nail on the head!!!!!!!!!

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