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Offline
Location: Oregon
Joined: 03/07/2009
Posts: 3
Help with cartridge choices

Hi All,

My 16 year old and I are new to deer/elk hunting.
No excuses for waiting so long. sad
Am considering a Mark V 270 wby mag or 30-06 for me and a Vanguard 257 wby mag for my son.

Any advice on these choices for deer and elk will be greatly appreciated!

So many choices of manufacturers and cartridges can be overwhelming.
Just want a couple of quality rifles and ammo that will be readily available until we learn to make our own.

Recommendations on scopes would be appreciated as well.

Thanks much!

Offline
Location: new brunswick
Joined: 12/07/2006
Posts: 429
Help with cartridge choices

cant go wrong with the 30-06 but if your thinking about going 270 i would suggest the 270 win or the 270 wsm....as for scopes any of the bushnell elite's would serve you find! good luck Thumbs up

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Moderator
Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Help with cartridge choices

If I was going for a father / son hunting set up for deer and elk. I'd pick up 2 of Brownings micro hunters in 308 win and mount a couple of leupold vxII 2x-7x scopes on them. We'd be set for anything that we would hunt in the lower 48.

Offline
Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
Help with cartridge choices

Just one guy's opinion, but I'd avoid anything that says magnum especially if you are new. Magnums don't buy much ballistically but they add a lot more in terms of recoil. I'd venture to guess more game is wounded by magnums than any of the standard calibers. In fact, the pet name for Weatherby cartridges among African professional hunters is "Wound-er-by".

I like the short magnums because they are accurate and efficient, but they are still not neccessary. The additional 200 to 300 feet per second in velocity that you gain equates to only 2 to 3 inches of bullet drop at 300 yards - not a huge difference.

Also, the 308 equals the 30.06 in velocity for bullet weights up to 165 grains with less recoil.

I've owned several magnums over the years and I discovered the following things: They are difficult to shoot instinctively no matter how many rounds you put down range. And two, the animals I've shot with "lesser" cailbers were just as dead as those with magnums. I still like the 300 WSM as an "all around shoot anything alive" round, but the fact remains there are better choices out there for the guy going after just deer and elk. The 308, 7mm / 08, 7 x 57 and 260 Remington are three of the most effecient (meaning least recoil with highest velocity) hunting cartridges around and are plenty good for deer and elk and moose.

exbiologist's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Help with cartridge choices

I like your choices, neither of those are hard kickers and theres nothing a .30-06 will do that a .270 Wby can't do, and the kick is similar. I have and like my 270 WSM(similar ballistics) and have killed elk and deer with it. 257 Wby is a great round, but I don't have one yet, maybe soon. It's about on par with a 270 Win, which most kids can handle.
You seem to not like mainstream calibers, which is fine, I don't either. Factory ammo is expensive in both of those, but it seems like you're willing to learn to handload, so you'll be good eventually.

The easiest route would be 30-06 and 270 win for the two of you, or both of you get one of the above calibers. But if you like being different, those are great choices.

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Location: Misouri
Joined: 11/30/2005
Posts: 365
Help with cartridge choices

Remington 700 30/06, with a Leupold 3-9 with Leupold mounts and rings and go hunt anything you want.

Offline
Location: Oregon
Joined: 03/07/2009
Posts: 3
Help with cartridge choices

Thanks for the responses!

Am looking at the Remington 700 now as well.
Also considering the .308 instead of 30-06.

I read an interesting article at
http://www.snipercountry.com/Articles/AccuracyFacts.asp
about accuracy between the 2.

I'm sure it depends on the rifle being properly sighted and the ability of the shooter, but still interesting.

Thanks again!

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Moderator
Location: Florida,USA
Joined: 08/21/2003
Posts: 1566
Help with cartridge choices

That was an interesting article.
Thanks for posting Tosoc.

exbiologist's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 09/19/2008
Posts: 2399
Help with cartridge choices

That is a good article. Certainly .308s are easier to shoot also, plus they tend to be in shorter actions. I have a friend whose son is deadly with his on paper, but just falls to pieces when you get an elk in front of him. Low power scopes are important for quickly finding an animal in your scope. Anyway it took him several shots, several clean misses, one lost wounded elk before he accidently shot a spike instead of a cow. It died, but now he's got a few points on his license to show for his mistakes.
Another friend's son, who we actually worked with on field positions had a similar problem last year, except without the lost wonded animal.
What I'm getting at here is, while accuracy on the bench is great, all you need to be able to do is hit an 8 inch circle to kill an elk. Don't get me wrong, I've got a half MOA gun that I cherish, but I can't actually use that degree of accuracy until we get beyond where I'm comfortable shooting. Everything I've shot with that gun has been under a hundred yards anyway. My inch and half to two inch guns have all killed animals just as dead..
But back to my point, you need to work on your field positioins more than anything else. Get the gun on paper properly, but then work on your prone, sitting, kneeling, offhand, tight sling, and improvised positions. You'll still have the problem of your nerves when you have game in sight and you'll need to talk yourself down before you can shoot. I've found that I get less excited when I'm presented with a shot quickly and don't have to think, just decide whether or not to fire, and pull the trigger or don't. No worrying about wind, stalking plans, movement, etc.
When I was 15 and pulled the trigger on my first deer, I just pulled the gun up, saw the deer in the scope and pulled the trigger, I wasn't even paying attention to where the crosshairs were on that deer. Thankfully I missed, and continued doing so until I was 17. It took a lot of research culling before I consider myself steady on game. To me, there was a big difference between shooting at paper and shooting at game. Maybe it will be different for you or your son, but the ballistics of a bullet don't mean squat if you can't put it in an elk or deer and let it do its job.
It's only human to want equipment to help compensate for what we feel we can't control, so get whatever you want and whatever makes you happy. Then develop timed shooting practice games and compete with your son.
Another pointer, to help your nerves on game, is to practice stalking them, to get as close as you can. It's exciting, but when you've done it enough you'll be able to control yourself a little better. Don't do it in a National Park, do it where no one will see you or care about what you are doing. Plus it will help you learn the animals you are hunting. Oh yeah, and practice judging distances too. Especially every time you sit down.
There's a lot that goes into harvesting that first animal, so have fun practicing, and accept that you most likely won't get an animal your first year. Learn from your mistakes, think about what you need to do differently every time you fail to find game, stalk game, shoot at game, etc.
When you don't have a father to teach you the ropes, these things all take a lot longer than you expect. Even then, those who did grow up in a hunting family may not know why they do what they do, go where they go, etc.
This was a thread about cartridge selection right?
Sorry.

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Location: Somewhere Up There
Joined: 01/06/2007
Posts: 217
Help with cartridge choices

I personally love the Remington 700. It is simple and accurate and comes with a nice medium weight barrel. The actions are also easy to work with should you decide to build a custom rifle someday and there are tons of aftermarket parts should you want to spruce it up - although factory rifles don't neccessarily need it these days.

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Location: Oregon
Joined: 03/07/2009
Posts: 3
Help with cartridge choices

Thank you Exbiologist.
Well said, with many good points.
Will definetely do the things you suggest.
Thanks

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