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Location: New Brunswick
Joined: 08/07/2006
Posts: 20
Help... First Rifle

I am looking for some advice on purchasing my first rifle. I am going moose hunting for the first time and need a rifle that will do the job. I have been doing some research online and talking to people who hunt. As a result I have narrowed my selection down to three. The first would be the 30-06 Springfield... Everybody has said this is the best all round gun and that there is no short of ammunition. The second would be a .308 win... I personally like the idea that this calibre is used as a sniper rifle and they tell me is great for deer hunting.. Finally, I am curious about the 7mm Remington magnum which I know the least about..

My biggest concern is the recoil. I was talked out of purchasing a .300 win mag due to it kick. However I have no experience with rifles. I have never owned or used a rifle. I do own a 16 gauge and enjoy the recoil of it. I have also used a 12 gauge and can tolerate a few shots from it while bird hunting.

If you have any comment or suggestion please feel free to tell me all you know. Don’t take it for granted that I know anything because I don’t. Also, if you could point me in the right direction of where I may purchase a rifle in the Sussex area of new Brunswick that would be greatly appreciated. Think

redrider's picture
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Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
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Help... First Rifle

Welcome Aboard Big smile Get ready because the guys here are going to give you all the info you can handle and then some Thumbs up

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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 07/24/2006
Posts: 36
Help... First Rifle

There probably is no best all-around gun. There is a group of guns that are the best all-around gun.

The .270 and .30-06 are the most discussed "best guns" out there. .270 is a bit light for moose. .30-06 may also be, too, though I'd have no problems using one for moose.

The common list of best gus seems to be: .270, .30-06, 7mm mag, and .300 win mag. All are great cartridges for deer and elk. .300 is a bit heavy for black-tail (~80lb) deer, though I know lots of people who hunt blacktail with a .300 win mag.

I don't see as much about .308 in the "best gun" discussions, though I'm sure it would perform fine for big game animals. I've never used one and I've never hunted with anyone who's used one.

I've hunted off and on with about a dozen people and all of them used either a .270, .30-06, or a .300 win mag. One guy used a .30-.30 for a year or two before finding a .30-06 in the woods that he now uses (yes, he turned it in to the sherriff's dept. and jumped through all the hoops). Another guy rechambered his Browning .300 win mag to a .300 rem ultra mag. I think the 7 mm doesn't get as much hoopla because of the pesky metric size -- I've never seen or held a 7 mm.

I think of these "non-specialized" calibers as being like choosing golf clubs. They're all going to do about the same thing and cost about the same. Find the one that feels good in your hands, that gives you warm-fuzzies, and generally gives you a feeling of confidence.

I'm a one-gun kind of guy and went with the .30-06. I also went with a Browning BOSS muzzle break to lessen the recoil. Would do it over again in a heart-beat. If I only ever planned on hunting deer, I probably would have opted for a .243. If I only ever planned on hunting moose and bear, I probably would have opted for a .300 win mag or larger. But, I can do it all with my .30-06 and, since I'd not take a shot at anything over ~250 yds, it's a fine cartridge for me.

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Help... First Rifle

The 30-06 is an outstanding and versatile round.
If your recoil conscious. Look at the 300wsm in a good bolt action.
It surpasses the '06 in performance and is noticably more tolerable.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Help... First Rifle

Hello and welcome,
Go with ether .30-06 Springfield or 7mm Rem Mag. Good Luck.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Help... First Rifle

You can't go wrong with the 30-06 period! If I was after my first rifle it would be the 30-06. With the multitude of ammo available you can be confident shooting any game in New Brunswick with a 30-06. The other rounds you mentioned are great as well but maybe not as versatile. As for gun shops fairly close to Sussex...

Doiron Sports Excellence Saint John (506)672-1288
T-BO GUN SHOP Moncton (506)854-1694
Tony's Gun Shop Shediac (506)532-3984
Blue Mountain Sports Inc Kings County (506)468-2919

Hope this helps.

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Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1691
Help... First Rifle

30.06..No doubt about it. And there are so many used ones around that look like they just came out of the box at great prices, I'm sure.

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Location: Wa.
Joined: 03/31/2004
Posts: 1300
Help... First Rifle

The 30-06 was also my first rifle. I don't know anyone that didn't have 30-06 for their first. It's an outstanding and proven round. A great percentage of shooters will have at least one in their safe. I have two.

Do some research into the new developments in the last 4 to 5 years. I would suggest that you stick with 30 caliber because of the variety of bullets from 110grs to 220grs that are available. Some of the better choices would be 308, 30-06, 300saum, 300wsm, 300wm and the 300rum.

It can get a bit confusing as to which is best. I don't think there is a best. They all perform very well indeed. Any of the above listed rounds with a 180gr bullet will be more than sufficient for any game you will hunt in these lower 48. The saum's, wsm's and rum's are the more recent additions and are well worth looking at.
The style of the stock and the weight of the rifle will have an affect on comfort.
The 308 and the 30-06 will be available in a greater variety of actions.
The 308 performs best with either a 20" or 22" barrel. The 30-06 with 22". The saum or the wsm with 22" or 24". The rum with 24" or 26".

When you get into the short case rounds. The 308, 300saum, 300wsm there will be a limit as to the bullet weight. I would hold to not more than 180grs in any of these rounds but, 180 grs is more than enough for any hunt in the lower 48. The reason being that. When you get into the heavier bullets. The length of the bullet takes up the space in the case, for the powder charge, and you start loosing performance. Over the counter. I don't believe you can purchase anything larger than 180grs for any of the short cases.

Then again, you can't go wrong with the time proven 30-06 Springfield.

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