Okay, I've read many of the threads regarding one gun for all North American game. Currently, I own a 270 WSM Shadow. I have had it for 2 years now and have taken 2 whitetail 100yds/70 yds/ and 1 elk at 70 yds.
I want to replace the gun because it's finicky with any round other than 130 grain silvertips. Its great for the 130 grains, but anything above that changes the accuracy too much. Also, the stock on the shadow is sloppy and cheesy though it was a good value. I have it topped with a Leupold VX-1 3x9.
I want one gun for all lower 48 game. My deer hunting is done in wide open big sky rolling hill wheat country. I have had a few opportunities to take deer between 200-500yds and missed all those shots. Fortunately, I was always tenacious enough to finall y gain close range opportunites before it was too late. however, it was lucky and a heckuva lotta hard work to gain them. I zeroed the 270WSM to be an inch high at 100yds and shot excellent groups. I was stunned at the misses I have had with this gun out past 200 yds. Almost felt as though nothing came out of the gun. I want to spend a bit more $$ and get a better stocked gun and want your opinions on whether or not I should move to 30 cal. Previously I have owned and loved a 300 winmag classic sporter that drove tacks. I never missed an animal with that gun witht he longest being out past 350yds. Also, not happy with the factory ammao Ive seen on the 270wsm (even had some fall apart when taken out of the box. I don't handload unfortunately.....but may in the future. The elk in eastern washington are in pine timber with intermittent meadows but usually you will not need to shoot past 200yds. What would be my best gun for these two applications. I don't care about weight or length. And, I will definitely have it fitted with a bi-pod after the long range misses I had last year. Please let me know not only which caliber to get, but also which factory gun comes witht the best stock, barrel and action features. Or, do I have to bite the bullet and get whchever gun I get re-bedded to really have a dependable set-up. I am a beleiver in that "you get what you pay for with guns.....and the shadow was cheap. Is the Ultimate shadow any better? I'm currently kind of leaning toward 30-06 or 300wsm