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Old May 2, 2012, 10:49 AM   #26
Saltydog235
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Location is everything and good all purpose rifles change with location. I can tell you I really really try to like the .30-30 but every one I get goes down the road. While there is not much it can't get done and you "think" your shots will be 200 yards or less I've found that it just doesn't have the range I need. Same can be said for the .357 and .44 rifle/carbines.

A few years ago I decided to consolidate my guns and settled on the .243 for my location and hunting whims. 90% of my centerfire hunting is predator and varmint in open farm ground with 10% saved for bigger game if I choose. Put me out west and the .260 and 7mm-08 make a more sense and move me to a more wooded area in the east and the .30-30 regains some charm.

Still, there's not much if anything I'm gonna do ANYWHERE that a .243 won't get the job done to ranges as far as I should be shooting and I'll take it 10 fold over a .30-30.

Well said. I love my .243 Win but my real affinity is for the 7mm08 these days.
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Old May 2, 2012, 11:08 PM   #27
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Really any caliber from .243 up to .30-06 will work as a general purpose round.
It's probably a better idea to look for a general purpose rifle. Imho start with a gun light enough to take on a long hike.
Savage has an ultra light 110 that weighs in at 5 1/2 pounds. That's where I'd start.
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Old May 4, 2012, 12:10 AM   #28
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.308 bolt, carbine

You start talking GP rifle and you have to mention the scout rifle concept. The classic scout is .308 cal and comparitively light and portable.

Ruger's latest, and the Savage scout are factory examples. If the forward mounted "scout scope" doesn't trip your trigger, something like a Rem model 7 and a conventionally mounted compact scope, say 2-7x, is another candidate.

The .30-30 levers are portable and have just about sufficient power to qualify as well. These days I would have to put a scope on one to shoot it as well as I would like.

For GP, the .243 is a tad light, and the varmint .22 centerfires as well.
Anything bigger than .308 is likely too big. My thoughts anyhow.
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Old May 4, 2012, 04:26 AM   #29
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.308 would be great, but how about the .358, no one ever mentions this caliber. you can get a blr lever action, and if you reload you can tailor the round to what you want. a great woods 75-150 yd cal. and great for med game with the extra umph for even larger game. forget the light/small caliber.
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Old May 4, 2012, 05:59 AM   #30
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6.5x55 Swede. Half-way between .223 and .308, plus will take down most anything normal people hunt without all the recoil. Gives a little more oomph than a .243 when it's needed.

If you reload and like your 7mm, but just want less recoil or don't always need the range, something in 7mm-08 would be a good complement too. It also can take down anything the Swede can.
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Old May 4, 2012, 08:07 AM   #31
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First thing I thought of when I saw this thread was 6.5x55. The Swedes got it right over a hundred years ago. And now, with updated steels and manufacturing processes, that cartridge can be loaded to even higher levels very safely. Small game, varmints, big game, do it all.

Alas, you buy European (CZ, Tikka, etc), build your own, or maybe special order as availability is not that good. Otherwise, .260 Rem.
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Old May 4, 2012, 08:49 AM   #32
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4 guns.

1. .30-06 or similar bolt action for long range and general purpose hunting.
2. .30-30 or similar lever action for close range hunting and camping defense.
3. 5.56 or similar autoloader for self defense.
4. .22lr for EVERYTHING else.

Truthfully, the .30-30 and the AR overlap alot, especially if you pick a 6.8 spc. You could replace the first three with a good .308 autoloader if you wanted to, but what fun would that be.

If you don't have a .30-30 they are fairly inexpensive, practical, and alot of fun.
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Old May 4, 2012, 05:59 PM   #33
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Me also with the .243 win, and I might add that the .270 winny can be loaded with a plethora of bulletweights also.
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Old May 6, 2012, 04:54 PM   #34
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Another vote for the 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser.

Load it with light bullets for a long range varmint thumper, or go with 140gr bullets at around 2650fps for a deer killing machine. OR, load it on up with 160 gr pencil-looking round nose bullets and have a rifle that will probably shoot lengthwise through an elk. Sectional density out the wazoo..

Recoil is less than a .308. Slightly more than a .243. Very nice cartridge.
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Old May 6, 2012, 08:16 PM   #35
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my favorite all purpose is my old winchester .30-30 pre 64
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Old May 6, 2012, 10:00 PM   #36
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Of guns I have, another for the .30-30 Win 94 Pre 64 20" carbine (I'd also think a 26" round barrel 94 rifle would be just the ticket if cast out into the wilderness--another round or two in the tube is never a bad thing). Of ones I don't have, a 20-22" bolt in 7mm-08 with detach mag like a CZ or (now discontinued) Rem Mt Rifle DM would also be just the ticket. I've also always liked the Win 88 in .308 (also has detach mag) in the hypothetical "best all round" role, especially when medium-to-big game is included in the definition. Basically a lever operated bolt in actual operation, in.a pretty handy configuration. However, nothing beats the good ol' flat-slabbed 94 carbine for overall handiness, and the .30-30 is an underrated round IMO.

Last edited by gak; May 6, 2012 at 10:10 PM.
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Old May 7, 2012, 12:13 AM   #37
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I also enjoy the Remington 7600 pump in 270WIN. Talk about a handy all around rifle its a real freezer filler.
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Old May 7, 2012, 07:16 AM   #38
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I've got a 7-08 Savage mountain rifle that I'm going to put a heavy barrel on for long range.

The 7-08 is a popular caliber for this. Light recoiling, flat shooting, perfect for a lightweight mountain rifle.

I'm pretty surprised this one didn't come up yet...
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Old May 7, 2012, 02:08 PM   #39
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It was mentioned 5 or 6 times.

Sent from MIUI using Tapatalk 2.
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Old May 7, 2012, 03:55 PM   #40
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Tobnpr said:
"I've got a 7-08 Savage mountain rifle that I'm going to put a heavy barrel on for long range.The 7-08 is a popular caliber for this. Light recoiling, flat shooting, perfect for a lightweight mountain rifle.I'm pretty surprised this one didn't come up yet..."

I did a few posts back - unless referring specifically to the Savage part.
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Old May 8, 2012, 04:40 AM   #41
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Amprecon

I'm thinking of an SPS in .223/5.56. What scope do you have on that?

More in line with the post; favorite all-purpose rifle/caliber?

Mine would be a .308/7.62x51 with controlled round feed. I've got three Mauser K98's, two in 7.62, one 'bubbaed'.
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Old May 8, 2012, 05:07 AM   #42
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For me it's my Marlin 336 30-30 in the brush and my Remington 700 - 270 in open fields.
when it comes to firearms I don't believe in the "One size fits all" theory.
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Old May 8, 2012, 08:10 AM   #43
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Yeah, sorry about the repetition... I tend to skim over the posts too quick sometimes...
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Old May 11, 2012, 01:13 PM   #44
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Great Article Addressing this Question

This is one of the best articles I've ever read on this issue. There's a lot of data to wade through backing up the conclusions, and some of the findings are surprising.

For those of you lacking the patience to read the whole thing, he concludes that the most versatile rounds in order of power are .260, .308, .30-06, and .338.

I am a sold-out .270 lover who would have argued vehemently for the .270 being the best "one gun," caliber, but this article has made me re-think my position.

Check it out.
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Old May 11, 2012, 01:30 PM   #45
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7X57 has all the power I need any more. For a few years, I thought a cartridge needed to make me dizzy and cause nosebleeds when you fired it in order to be adequate against the tiny deer we have around here. Common sense and pain avoidance finally kicked in and I went back to the 7X57.
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Old May 11, 2012, 09:24 PM   #46
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What about a bolt gun in 7.62x39? CZ makes a nice little one and I think Ruger does as well. I've been thinking about one myself. Cheap to shoot with all the steel case stuff and if you reload it can be very accurate. I missed out on a great deal on the little CZ carbine and am kicking myself.
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Old May 12, 2012, 10:11 AM   #47
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Excellent points guys! Thank you so much.

I originally posted this because I was one day away from buying another rifle, but I calmed down and now this is an excellent "academic" post. Oh, I'm still buying a rifle (or a few) but perspectives have changed a bit.

I'm still liking the 30-30, but a lightweight 7mm-08 bolt has my fancy now too. I'm also curious about the scout rifle, though I think I'll need to find a way to shoot one before I put money on the table. Some innovations are improvements, and others turn out to be just fads.
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Old May 12, 2012, 11:56 AM   #48
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Hopeisnotastrategy said
"This is one of the best articles I've ever read on this issue. [chuckhawks.com] There's a lot of data to wade through backing up the conclusions, and some of the findings are surprising.For those of you lacking the patience to read the whole thing, he concludes that the most versatile rounds in order of power are .260, .308, .30-06, and .338.I am a sold-out .270 lover who would have argued vehemently for the .270 being the best "one gun," caliber, but this article has made me re-think my position.Check it out."

That is a good read and Chuck is very knowledgeable but has his own personal biases like everyone, including other very learned gun "scholars." I read him for years, but he dis'd on a few faves of mine--which I don't even remember now but one may have been the good ol 30-30--if so, sacrilege!--without his usual good analysis and formerly objective nature--so since, I've not viewed him as quite the bastion of all that's Truthful in firearms and cartridges. Still, I enjoy his articles and he knows a heck of a lot more than most and certainly I!

A similar case can be made for something like .30-30 <175, .7mm-08 thence (<300) on medium game*, .270 >300 medium game, .300WM large NA game, or .35 Whelen in a non-magnum.
I'll stick by my .30-30 for the shorter stuff, .270 as longer range do-all for now but as stated, am also enamored with the 7mm-08 *in a short-action lightweight mountain rifle as well. Although I no longer have, I wouldn't argue against the '06 as a "one and only" though a bit more than "necessary" for the smaller stuff and/or short range. To me the .270 can be--and is better known for--downloaded (grains) for varmints n such, so is pretty versaitle for such critters all the way up to elk these days what with modern bullet advancments.these days. If elk is not regularly on the menu, the 7mm-08 looks hard to beat (and will do a yeoman's job with the elk thing if called upon to do so).
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Old May 12, 2012, 05:38 PM   #49
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I read the whole article and found it to be a total waste of time and pure BS. I couldn't be a gun writer if I had to go to those lengths to sell a story that would just confuse most people who would read it I'd give up on the job. OGW just like TKO is just a myth as there is no magic number needed to kill game effectively. You just need enough energy to provide enough penetration for the bullet to do its job. Plus switching ammunition like the writer did with everything just skews the data. Most people I know who hunt find one load that provides the best balance of power, velocity, and trajectory. I know I'm sure not going to downgrade to managed recoil because I don't need the extra performance of a full power load for hunting game because my shots might not reach 300 yards.

BTW Greg R. Haskins wrote it not Chuck Hawks.
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Old May 13, 2012, 06:52 PM   #50
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I hunt and live in New Hampshire.
I have 270s/308/243s/223s/6.8spc
two cowboy marlin 94's one in 357 and 45colt
a 1939 Win model 94.
My go to gun is an old model Ruger 44mag carbine
with a 2x on top.
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