View Full Version : my first hunting rifle

May 14, 2012, 03:54 PM
I am soon going to be getting my first hunting rifle but i dont know what cal I need. Im looking for somthing that I can use to hunt coyotes up to black bear(as is right now i cant afford more than one rifle) but wont be to much over kill for a yote. I also want a realativly inexpencive cal. Any advice would be extremly helpful, thankyou.

May 14, 2012, 03:56 PM
30'06, 308, 280, 270, 7mm08, 243, 25'06. Welcome to a fun delimma to have.

May 14, 2012, 04:53 PM
Saltydog said it well. Of the calibers he mentioned, I'd be inclined to go with the 270 or the 7mm-08 and avoid the 243 (seems a bit light to me, but I'm not a bear hunter), but they'll all do just fine. Have fun with the gun and caliber selection.

May 14, 2012, 05:23 PM
Hard to beat the 30/06 for an all around cartridge although many believe the 270 does. Ammo is easy to find and usually reasonably priced for both.

May 14, 2012, 05:38 PM
I would go with the .30-06. You can find ammo anywhere, you can find cheap ammo and you have a ton of options for what grain bullet to shoot.

May 14, 2012, 05:45 PM
By the way, .25-06 is by far my favorite cal. But the ammo is a lot more expensive than the .30-06

big al hunter
May 14, 2012, 06:13 PM
Any cartridge from 243 win up to 30-06 sprg will work for all that you mentioned. (I don't believe there is such a thing as overkill for yote, unless you want the pelt) If you want the pelt use heavy for caliber bullets and they should pass through with less exit damage. For bear use the heaviest bullet for 243 and the mid range for 30-06. If a bullet/cartridge combo is good for deer it will perform as well on bear. I would not hesitate to use my 243 on bear. Bullet placement and construction is more important than cartridge choice. All the choices listed so far will work well but the 30-06 will have the most available ammo and more firearms chambered in it. Every major manufacturer in the world has 30-06 as an option. Tough decision. Save more money and buy 2 rifles then you can have twice as much fun deciding.:D

roberto mervicini
May 14, 2012, 07:33 PM
6.5x55 Swedish, 7x57 Mauser and .270 Win. anyone of this 3 cartridges would be my choice if limited only to one rifle, for yote, deer and blacky.
Low recoil, not burning a large volume of powder and good performance on small medium and larger game also.

May 14, 2012, 09:44 PM
What the rifle is chambered in, isn't really that important. Any of the standard cartridges from .243 up to .30-06 will kill varmints and black bear.

Start searching the used gun racks, trying things on for size.
If the gun comes to your shoulder easily and you get a good cheek weld without squirming around, then the rifle fits.

For most of the day a rifle is a dead weight. Getting one that weighs a ton is not a good idea. The other side of that is that the heavier the rifle the less felt recoil.
Hunting often involves walking through woods or brush. So a shorter rifle tends to be a better choice. The exception is when you spend your time sitting in a blind waiting for Bambi to walk by. Then a long barrel isn't a problem.

My rifle is a Winchester Model 70 in .30-06. I've never had a problem with it that wasn't my fault.

May 15, 2012, 06:35 AM
30-06 is arguably the most common and versatile cartridge available. Lots of great choices but on a budget for one rifle you cant go wrong.
Dont be afraid to check out pump rifles Rem 7600.

May 15, 2012, 07:02 AM
My first was a 7-08 and it's a great flat shooting rifle. It is a Rem 700 and I just updated the trigger to a Jewell twenty years after I got it. Feel like I have a new rifle!


May 15, 2012, 07:13 AM
OP wrote:
I also want a relatively inexpensive caliber. (changed for spelling sake)

For cheapest ammo, your options = 30/06 or .270

If I could return to day 1 of my hunting rifle search, I would go with a 7mm-08. It's like owning a sleeper car that could easily run with the big boys.

PA Hunter37
May 15, 2012, 07:51 AM
I have a .270, 6.5x55 Swedish, .300 win mag and .50 muzzle loader. I've used all of them for deer and bear. Don't recommend the .300 win mag for deer as it's a bit much and more expensive. For what you want I would use my Swedish or .270 but based on ammo availability and price I would recommend the .270. As far as felt recoil with the larger calibers, I personally don't feel it when the adreline is going during the shot. I guess it all depends on how excited you get when you see your target. :o

May 15, 2012, 09:08 AM
For cheapest ammo, your options = 30/06 or .270

I guess I'd add .243 and .308 to that.

7mm-08 is a sweet cartridge in my opinion. I'm not a bear hunter, but I'm told 243 is plenty.

May 15, 2012, 01:00 PM
7mm08 is by far my favorite of all listed. Next would be the .243, then the '06 or 308. The 270 is a great round, just serves no purpose for me as a handloader when I load for 7mm08, 280 and 7mmMag.

Brian Pfleuger
May 15, 2012, 01:54 PM
"Inexpensive" is pretty limiting. I have great fondness for many of the cartridges listed by others, above. However, when ammo cost is a factor, the popularity of the cartridge is a major factor.

30-06, 270, 243, 308 are all very popular. All will do the job you specify. I am a big fan of the 7-08 but factory ammo tends to be big money for premium hunting rounds.

There are a lot of reasons to choose something like a 7-08 or 30-06 but, all things considered, 243 is hard to beat.

May 15, 2012, 04:59 PM
For keeping the ammo cheap, the .243 is a good option that won't be "overkill" on yotes. That being said, I don't see anything wrong with making them extra dead. :D The .308 and '06 options will also do fine with cheap ammo available and far more capability on the upper range if you ever want to take on larger game.

If spending a bit more on ammo is OK, then I would go with 7mm08. Extra punch available for the big critters, but without the recoil of the .30 cals. They do cost a bit more to feed, but a little looking around can score you some reasonable prices. I found some locally for $16.99/box. Not as low as others, but not too oppressively expensive, either.

May 17, 2012, 06:19 AM
Lots of great choices and it's really hard to say one is better than the other. From a price and availability stand point, it's hard to beat either a 30.06 or a .308.

May 17, 2012, 06:59 AM
Personally, I wouldn't set up on one cal. for the range of game you have...

You mention "overkill"... IMHO any .30 bigger than a .30-30 is O-kill on a yote usually... No problem with overkill 'cuz dead is dead and redmist is cool.

But you mention a bit of "penny-wise" sense so if a single shot is not above your ability... The NEF/H&R Handi-Rifle with 2 barrels factory matched right off the bat would cost less than a "mid-shelf" repeater in wood furniture...

If me it would be the .243 and .30-06... But if a repeater and it had to suit bear on down, it would be either a .30-06 or .308 with leanings towards the ought-six...


Sure Shot Mc Gee
May 17, 2012, 07:59 AM
Im looking for somthing that I can use to hunt coyotes up to black bear
All the attention seems to be on everyone's favorite rifle caliber on your thread 171raven. Just a thought. Why not take a look see at T/Cs Encore Rifle. Reason too: you can purchase different caliber barrels for it down the road as you require at a reasonable price. Why lock yourself into a one caliber rifle only if you don't have too would be my question to you. Big decision your about to make. And a tough one too. Good Luck Sir. _:)__SSMcG

May 17, 2012, 09:39 AM
I also like the multi-barrel types like NEF, Handi-rifle,my son has one in .270 win,(which is accurate) and he's got a .223 barrel for it, along with a 45-70 barrel. He wouldn't hesitate for a millisecond to suit up for any of those critters mentioned.;) Including scopes on the .270, .223, he has about 800.00 total in all.:)

Wild Bill Bucks
May 17, 2012, 10:05 AM

If you are going to be shooting a LOT, you will probably want to get into loading your own rounds. I have been doing this for years with the .308. I can load 110 grain rounds for smaller game and 180 grains for larger game. All the other calibers mentioned are good choices, but since we only have a couple of places to buy ammunition here, I got tired of only being able to get a couple of different grain loads with factory ammo, so I started loading my own. Costs about a 3rd of factory, and shoots a lot better in my rifles.

If you are NOT going to be doing anything but hunting with the rifle, then you probably don't want to go into the expense of loading equipment, although it only takes a few boxes of loads to re-coop your investment.

May 17, 2012, 11:39 AM
.270 Win would be my choice. Go into a ballistics program and you'll find it's super flat shooting and ammo is much cheaper and easier to find then most of the other selections other then 30-06 etc.

May 17, 2012, 01:06 PM
If you want a .270, save a bit more money and I'll sell you a NIB Sako 75 with rings. That'll last you a lifetime.:D

May 18, 2012, 11:12 AM
for your criteria the 30-06 would probably fit best but my personal favorite the .270 is a really close second.

Colorado Redneck
May 19, 2012, 10:04 PM
171Raven--Do you have any experience with any centerfire calibers? Just a thought, if you can get your hands on various rifles and maybe find out what you might enjoy, that could help you with your decision.

308 ammo is pretty cheap compared to others, along with 243 and '06. For coyotes they ain't no such thing as overkill. So that may not be of concern. 243 using factory Hornady 58 gr. v-max gives great range and will knock the stuffin out of yotes. There are several 95-100 gr rounds in that caliber that will work fine for black bear and deer.

In looking over the prices for factory ammo it makes me very thankful I hand load. Dang---kinda felt guilty when that addiction nabbed me, but now it looks like it is definately worth the cost of equipment etc. :D

May 20, 2012, 06:40 PM
if you truly are concerned about price and have never used a rifle before, get yourself a remington 770 in 243. recoil is less then a marlin 336 in 3030.

its easy to consider a handi rifle or encore, but when you realize the cost of a second barrel, scope rings, and scope you can by a whole entire rifle.

Gosh darn, i once calculated the price as being the same for a scoped encore barrel in 30-30 as it was for my factory scoped 770

May 21, 2012, 06:33 AM
DO NOT waste your money on a 770.

May 22, 2012, 08:45 PM
Seeing a lot of 30-06s on here so I thought I'd throw in an odd caliber. You could always buy a mosin nagant and get a scope mounted on it. The ammo is pretty cheap to and is a little bigger than a .308. Its a 7.62x54r. Not to mention the gun is really cheap, too

May 23, 2012, 10:11 AM
My first recommendation would be a 308 bolt gun.
It will do anything you need done and ammo is widely available and price is reasonable.

May 28, 2012, 10:35 AM
What you ask for is the 30-6 and 270.
A better choice is the 280 Remington but you will have to hunt ammo which is not too hard. For hunting purpose ammo cost is cheap. A box of shells will last a year once you sight it in. Just buy a 22 to pratice.

May 28, 2012, 11:13 AM

Welcome to the forum.

Most of us have many guns. Just buy some reasonable gun where ammo is available say in Walmart.

June 11, 2012, 08:40 PM
thankyou everyone for your valuable opinions after your responces opinions on other forems and a bit of my own resurch i have decided to go with the 25-06 again thankyou for the help:D

June 14, 2012, 10:03 AM
Sounds like a good choice to me. Works just fine for yotes, and it will reach up for the bigger critters, too. Have fun, and post lots of pictures :D

June 15, 2012, 02:40 AM
25-06 OR 270...Flat,fast, fun.Nothing like a good hotRod!!!!:cool::D

June 15, 2012, 01:30 PM
If your looking for a rifle that can take both small and large game, then you truly are limited to certain calibers. people are going to tell you that any caliber will take large game, they are going to say a .22 can kill a bear; and there are right a .22 can kill a bear along with anything else you shoot with it, but there is a reason other calibers were designed. for large game (elk, bear, and such) i would consider a 7mm Rem mag. i have experience with the caliber and can honestly say that it will make a good, long range, small and large game rifle. people will tell you that using a 7mm on small game would be overkill, but when your buying a rifle for both small/large game, its always going to be overkill/underkill to someone, it all depends on what your comfortable shooting. my personal load out for large game is:
RIfle: Remington 700 BDL 7mm Rem Mag.
HANDGUN: S&W 629 .44 Magnum

For small game my Loadout is:
RIFLE: Remington 700 .243
HANDGUN: Ruger 22/45 .22Lr
No caliber is perfect but this is just my 2 cents on the subject.

June 15, 2012, 01:33 PM
My bad i didn't see the comment where you stated that you have already picked.
good look with your new gun! happy hunting! :)

June 17, 2012, 12:37 PM
30-06 should cover it

Colorado Redneck
June 17, 2012, 09:54 PM
My son has one, and it shoots great! I took a 4X4 mulie last fall with that gun, and I am really tempted to use it every time I go from now on! 100 gr. ballistic tips at 3250 fps will take deer and antelope, and 120 gr bullets are suited for elk. Lots of people will beller about the 25-06 being light for elk, but many elk are reportedly taken with 243's. Enjoy!:D

June 18, 2012, 02:55 PM
For my money, a .30-06.

Most flexible in terms of bullet weights and what is likely to be sold.

Can be tailored for your needs so is a lot of gun in one.

My advice would be try and find a good second hand Mauser 98 type rifle with a decent length tube (avoid the recent fad for short barrels).

My pick would be a Brno or a CZ. Get a Tinmey trigger installed and away you go. Leave some cash for a flexible zoom optic, something like 3-9 ish (no need for a huge objective lens) but remember with optics you really get what you pay for. Ideally spend more on your optic than your rifle.

ATB and good luck with your choice!