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Old February 26, 2011, 09:32 PM   #1
Wrothgar
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Mountain gun... for hunting.

I'm moving from TX to CO, and I need a gun to take up hunting in the mountains for Big Horn, Mountain Goat, Mule Deer, and Elk... and heck, why not bear, even though I have no intentions of hunting them, just in case they decide to hunt me.

I currently have a .30-30 - I know it would probably work just fine on the sheep, goat, and deer, but what about the elk and bear?

Also, last year, I went deer hunting with my K-31 which has a clamp on off-set scope mount. While I know it is enough for the elk and bear, it is INCREDIBLY heavy with the scope and the mount, and I don't feel like schlepping it around the mountains. Is the .30-30 enough, or should I get something with a bit more oomph? OR, should I man up and haul the K-31? I've been looking at the Marlin Guide gun in .45-70. I know its enough rifle, that's for sure, but could it be just as heavy as the K-31 considering how heavy the ammo is? Or, of course, I could just be looking for an excuse to buy another gun :-).
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Old February 26, 2011, 09:55 PM   #2
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There are a bunch of light rifles out there. Most of the synthetic stocked rifles are relatively light for mountain climbing adventures.....

I have a couple Tikka T3lites..30/06 and 300wm. I do not suggest the 300wm to someone for much use on the range though....too light for bench shooting w/o a sled.
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Old February 26, 2011, 10:00 PM   #3
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Kimber makes some very fine, lightweight rifles in both their 84M & 84L rifle lines.

I have a Kimber 84M in .260 Rem, it weighs about 6.5lbs with scope and ammo.
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Old February 26, 2011, 10:03 PM   #4
huntinaz
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I've never hunted bear but I understand the 30-30 is plenty adequate for black bear.

30-30 is adequate for elk IF you take good shots. On the light side for sure but it will get the job done. The 45-70 obviously is plenty or gun for elk, I've held them in the store and they aren't too heavy, at least I don't remember thinking they were. I'm actually buying one tomorrow (great deal), I'll let you know

Another option would be a levergun in 35 Remington. I'm convinced it would be a pretty dandy elk rifle.
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Old February 26, 2011, 10:11 PM   #5
Wrothgar
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Quote:
kimber
Yeah, I can't spend $1000 on a rifle :-). My appologies,I should have stated I was on kind of a budget - around 5 or $600. The last time Buds had a guide gun in stock it was around $500 or $550.
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Old February 26, 2011, 10:39 PM   #6
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Remington model 7 stainless- mine is .308, and is perfect for eastern whitetail. Very light and handy, and it'll out do the 30-30. A good combo, unless you plan on some really long shots.
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Old February 26, 2011, 10:40 PM   #7
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I've hunted with a Marlin Guide 45-70 for years and love it. The only reason I don't carry it now is because I got a Beowulf 50.
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Old February 26, 2011, 11:40 PM   #8
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wrothgar,

IMHO, The .30-06 will handle anything available in Colorado. The 180gr for elk and the 150gr for everything else. Or load the 165gr Hornady Interbond/Nosler Accubond and shot it at everything if you tend towards one rifle and one bullet for everything. As with all hunting it's where you put the bullet that is so important. A 400gr .416 Rigby in the hock is still a wounded animal. A great thing about Colorado, there is a lot of public land to hunt on.
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Old February 26, 2011, 11:41 PM   #9
taylorce1
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Get a true American Western big game hunting rifle. Win M70 Feather weight chambered in .30-06 or .270, top it off with a nice Leupold VX3 2.5-8X36. It isn't as light as some of the others mentioned here but it is light enough to carry all day, balances well when brought to you shoulder, and just heavy enough to provide you with a steady shot when you need to pull the trigger.

Last edited by taylorce1; March 1, 2011 at 12:16 PM.
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Old February 26, 2011, 11:52 PM   #10
Wrothgar
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Hmmmmm... how about this? It weighs about the same as the Winchester? Only problem is that the barrel seems a little long.
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Old February 26, 2011, 11:59 PM   #11
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Since you appear to favor lever guns, you might want to take a look at the .338 Marlin Express. I don't own one but have read favorable reports. It's supposed to be about equal to the ballistics of a .30-06.
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Old February 27, 2011, 12:02 AM   #12
Wrothgar
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I've read good things about the .338, and I do prefer lever guns. What about availability? Is that round "here to stay"? There seem to be a lot of somewhat obscure lever rounds, like the .44-40, .450, .444, .338, etc, many of which I've never heard of until I started looking at a lot of lever guns. The only lever gun rifles I've actually handled were in .44 mag, .45LC, .30-30, and .45-70. I've never seven seen the .44-40, .450, .444, or .338 in stores around here. That may change after moving, though.
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Old February 27, 2011, 12:10 AM   #13
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Buds has one for $508.00.
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Old February 27, 2011, 12:13 AM   #14
Wrothgar
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Yeah, I just noticed that. Tax return time :-). Even for something like sheep and mountain goat, I like the extra distance - the .30-30 isn't know for having a long range. The K-31 does, in abundance, but again, heavy. I need to set it up on a scale and actually weigh it and get the actual numbers. Too bad the scale is in a box in the garage right now.
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Old February 27, 2011, 05:22 AM   #15
Daryl
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There have been a lot of elk and bear killed with a 30-30. The only question I have is whether it'll give you the range you may (or may not) need when a shot it offered. Elk have a habit of walking out of the timber 350-400 yards away, just at dusk. It's a matter of shoot now, or you won't have enough legal shooting light after a stalk. If you're holding a 30-30, can you make that shot accurately? Or would a 30-06 or some such serve you better?

Elk are tough critters, but if you put a .30 caliber bullet through their lungs, it won't matter if it's shot from a 30-30, or from a .300 Win Mag. The .300 Win Mag will just give you flatter trajectory and more power for longer distances; as will the 30-06, 7mm Rem mag, and a number of other cartridges when chambered in an accurate, 'scope sighted rifle.

My advice is to take what you have, and then spend some time in the Colorado hills, and talk to some locals to see what they use. I will say that I've carried a relatively lightweight 7mm rem mag a lot of miles through the Colorado mountains, and I've never felt "overgunned".

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Old February 27, 2011, 08:32 AM   #16
gaseousclay
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Quote:
I've read good things about the .338, and I do prefer lever guns. What about availability? Is that round "here to stay"? There seem to be a lot of somewhat obscure lever rounds, like the .44-40, .450, .444, .338, etc, many of which I've never heard of until I started looking at a lot of lever guns. The only lever gun rifles I've actually handled were in .44 mag, .45LC, .30-30, and .45-70. I've never seven seen the .44-40, .450, .444, or .338 in stores around here. That may change after moving, though.
I don't know how effective certain slings are on heavier rifles but the Montana Sling would be perfect on a lever gun. I have a 1.25" Montana Sling for my A-Bolt and if I get a lever gun in the future I plan on getting the 1" version. the Montana Slings are less cumbersome which might be ideal if rifle weight is a concern
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Old February 27, 2011, 11:10 PM   #17
Wrothgar
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What about a .44 mag? What's the effective range on those? About the same as a .30-30?
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Old February 27, 2011, 11:26 PM   #18
huntinaz
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Quote:
What about a .44 mag? What's the effective range on those? About the same as a .30-30?
If I was to buy a new levergun to hunt elk with, it would be either a 35 Rem or 45-70. Possibly a 450 or 444. Point being the 44 mag offers nothing that the 30-30 doesn't, and probably less from a hunting standpoint.

In fact...I did just today buy a Marlin 1895G in 45-70. Deal was just too good, couldn't pass on it. I suppose I should post pics of it, I got a great deal. I can't wait to knock an elk down with it
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Old February 28, 2011, 01:02 AM   #19
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As others said your .30-30 will do the job if you do yours.

If you want to stick to a lever action then you might want to try one that takes pointy bullets such as the Savage 99 or the Winchester 1895.

All the major gun makers have a light weight bolt action rifle that fits your bill. The big question is which one fits your shoulder best.
My own favorite is a Winchester Model 70.

Any standard cartridge from .30-06 down to .243 will kill elk.
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Old February 28, 2011, 09:16 AM   #20
cnimrod
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I'd think bout this

in my Marlin 30-30
Hornady LEVERevolution Ammunition
get some extra velocity ~75 fps by my reading (articles that is)
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Old February 28, 2011, 10:04 AM   #21
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Sheep and goats are a little difficult to get close to. They have tremendous eyesight. If you are hunting them, you will need something that is flat shooting. Since you are also talking about bear, mulies, and elk you will want something with a little umph to it also. 30-06 will work but you might want something just a bit flatter with at least the same power at distance. I would personally recommend something in a 300WM providing that you are not recoil sensitive. Or perhaps a 7mm mag, its recoil is between the 300WM and the 06.
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Old February 28, 2011, 11:21 AM   #22
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Elk are 3-4 times larger by weight than a deer, have more muscle, thicker hide, thicker bones, dont use a .30-.30. like others have said a 30-06 on up will do the job, the 300 win mag is a nice choice and a favorite of a lot of Elk hunters, and can be used on mule deer as well. WIth a perfect shot caliber doesnt matter, but would you be willing to pass up taking a shot on a trophy and watching a trophy walk back into the woods if that perfect shot doesnt present itself, I wouldnt.
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Old February 28, 2011, 11:36 AM   #23
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i would go with a 30.06 or a 7 mag. imo
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Old February 28, 2011, 11:49 PM   #24
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Since you are a lever gun fan I would seriously consider the .338 marlin express. Sure it's a newer cartridge but it's been really well recieved and for good reason. Those that have them absolutely love them and it's had excellent reviews. It fit's your needs perfectly for the type of hunting and game you will be hunting. I think of it as a do everything cartridge or kind of a ".30-06 of leverguns." I think a good second choice for you would be a decent bolt gun in the do it all .30-06 which would fill all your needs. I'm partial to the savage 110 and have one in .30-06. It's deadly accurate, and didn't cost an arm and a leg.
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Old March 1, 2011, 12:10 AM   #25
Wrothgar
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Yeah, I'm certainly leaning towards the .338 Marlin Express. OR, I might just put a longer range scope on my 7.5 Swiss. But then I don't get a new gun, and what good would that do me?

Also, how does the .338 compare to the .444 and .450?

Last edited by Wrothgar; March 1, 2011 at 12:35 AM.
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