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Old September 11, 2011, 03:51 AM   #1
Shadow9
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Join Date: February 22, 2011
Location: New England
Posts: 39
Hunting Rifle caliber shootout!

I'm looking into getting a new hunting rifle. Primarily for deer, but also coyote, rabbit, and other small game. Largest will be Black Bear, possibly a Moose-hunt eventually (although that will be handled by my M96 loaded with 160gr. RN). The rifle will need to be portable, light-recoiling, and shoots decently inexpensive ammo.

That said, the calibers I've been considering (as I am selling off a 7mm-08 to get this), are 6.8SPC, 6.5x55, and 7.62x39mm (in a bolt-action).

The 6.8 is due to versatility, and the ability to get an AR-lower and have a .22LR upper (rabbit/squirrel/etc), and a 6.8 SPC upper (deer/black bear/etc).

6.5x55 speaks for itself - Mice to Moose for over 100 years... , plus I already own an M96, and tuning my reload equipment for one caliber is always nice. Rifle choice would be a CZ550 FS (1:9 twist is ideal for the 85-139gr. bullets, and my M96's 1:7.7 handles the 140-160's, incl. RN).

7.62x39 would be in a decent bolt-action, maybe a Semi-auto upper for an AR-platform. The advantage of x39 is ammo cost - could buy a junkload for cheap and get excellent plinking time. The downside is it can't rival the punch of the 6.8, AFAIK, and is prone to jams in AR-series rifles (various tests I've read have had issues with x39 bullet shape needing a more-curved mag than SPC).

Opinions? Experience(s)? Other ammo suggestions/rifle choices?
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