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Old July 15, 2016, 10:20 PM   #1
stan5677
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Bolt Rifle Suggestion

Looking at a Howa 1500, TC Venture, Mossberg Patriot or a Savage but can't decide on 30-06, 308, 270, or 7mm-08. Don't want a light weight rifle looking for something that can absorb the recoil but also something that is comfortable to carry. This rifle will mainly be used here in the east for white tail but with possibility of an elk hunt years down the road. BTW my budget is no more than 800 and that includes optics.

Last edited by stan5677; July 15, 2016 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Forgot to add comment in original post.
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Old July 15, 2016, 10:28 PM   #2
Mobuck
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One word: H O W A

Nice looking, great shooting, accurate.
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Old July 16, 2016, 12:06 AM   #3
Pathfinder45
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I would just look for the best used model 70 Winchester the budget allows, and it would have to be a 270 or 30-'06.
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Old July 16, 2016, 03:43 AM   #4
Old Stony
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I've got all the calibers you have listed, and mostly used the 7/08 the past couple years for most of my hunting. I am not normally one to look for a low priced/entry gun type for my rifles, but I had a real surprise a while back.
A friend was at my range with a Ruger American he had just bought in 6.5 Creedmore, that he had just bought and mounted a Nikon scope on. Shooting factory ammo from the get go, it shot 1/2 inch groups with both 120 and 140 gr. loads. I got him talked into leaving the rifle with me and it ain't going nowhere again.
Using reloads it has tightened up the groups a little more even and shoots both 123s and 140 into nice tight little groups...with the groups being just about 3 inches apart at 100 yds.
It has very light recoil, and will basically do anything a 7/08 will do with similar weight bullets.
I'm not one to normally recommend a cheap rifle, but this one has really been a surprise. It's probably the cheapest rifle of it's type in my safes and outshoots most of them....with no tinkering.
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Old July 16, 2016, 05:59 AM   #5
979Texas
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I'd go with Howa or Savage in .30-06. If the Howa remains in your price range get that. But most savage models are good. Any of those calibers will work for whitetail and elk. But if you get an '06 and down the road if you want to tackle something in North America bigger than elk, then the '06 will take anything cleanly in North America for you with proper bullet selection. Plus, and this is just me personally and I'm a strange fella, I have shot all calibers that you are considering and by far I'm much more accurate and consistent with an '06 than any of those other calibers. But they are all pretty good calibers and I own a beautiful .270 with a real big and sexy piece of glass on it, and I'm much more comfortable with my '06 than that .270. But that's just me and opinion and like I siad I'm a weird fella, so get what you're most comfortable with and can shoot the best with the most confidence because any of thos calibers are fine.

Also I second what Old Stony said, Ruger makes impressive rifles even at the entry level they are nice quality.
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Old July 16, 2016, 06:17 AM   #6
wild willy
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The one thing I don't like about the Ruger American is they don't lock the bolt when on safe.Doesn't mean much if you hunt out of a stand but a PITA in the thick stuff.I don't own a Howa but I helped sight one in.I'am a lefty if they ever make a left hander I will buy one.
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Old July 16, 2016, 06:31 AM   #7
jmr40
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Quote:
Don't want a light weight rifle looking for something that can absorb the recoil but also something that is comfortable to carry.
The Howa is the nicest rifle of your options. It is also the heaviest by a wide margin and not something comfortable to carry for long distances. You can't have your cake and eat it too. For typical Eastern whitetail hunting from a stand close to the road a heavy rifle isn't a handicap. Elk hunting at 9,000' miles from the road I'd personally like something lighter to carry around.

Of the caliber options listed all are elk capable and there isn't a HUGE difference in recoil. 7-08 would have the least recoil, but factory ammo is not as common as the others. 30-06 will have the most with 270 and 308 in the middle.

Another vote for the Ruger American. I have several really nice rifles, but have picked up a couple of these to use as beaters and they shoot just as well as rifles costing 3X as much. They don't look as nice, but shoot great.

Mine in 308 weighs 6 1/8 lb un-scoped compared to 7 3/4 for the Howa. A 308 will do anything a 30-06 will do 50 yards closer. In other words, the 30-06 is a legitimate elk round out to about 500 yards. The 308 starts running out of speed at about 450 yards. You get a little more effective range with 30-06, but few are good enough to take advantage of it. I'd say virtually the same thing about 7-08. It is just easier to find 308 ammo on store shelves. For a hand loader they are virtually interchangeable.

The recoil from the lighter Ruger 308 will be about the same as 30-06 if fired from the much heavier Howa.
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Old July 16, 2016, 07:44 AM   #8
redrick
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I could have started this same Thread , as I am looking for mostly a deer rifle , but I do want to take a elk hunt .

I have looked at and held the Venture , Howa , Sako , Savage and Ruger . I like the feel of the TC Venture the best and it is right at max for the weight that I would want to carry , if doing a lot of walking .

The Howa was nice and I have heard good reviews about it , but it is heavy IMO .

The Sako and Savage didn't fit we very good . I liked the light weight of the Sako though .

The more that look at the Ruger the better I like it . It is light , gets good reviews and like the Venture , priced good .

Another thing to consider is , some states have a minimum caliber that you can use on elk . I saw .270 in one state as minimal .
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Old July 16, 2016, 08:28 AM   #9
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Ruger

Have you considered a Ruger 77MkII and a say Leupold II series?
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Old July 16, 2016, 08:51 AM   #10
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All good choices, but I'll throw in a +1 on the Ruger American. I bought one simply because it was on sale and I didn't have a .243. It is not pretty, but then you won't worry about scratching it pushing through the laurel. It's a shooter, and I'm carrying it in PA for deer over a bunch of other rifles. Regards caliber, you don't have a bad one on your list, but with elk on the list, pick the '06. If it bothers you, get some reduced recoil ammo for eastern deer (better yet, load your own) and train up with 165 or 180 full power loads for elk.
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Old July 16, 2016, 12:53 PM   #11
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Shot this little guy this morning with the Ruger I referenced above. One shot at about 120 yds using a 123 Gr. Hornady SST bullet through the shoulder...down he went. Very light recoil...
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Old July 16, 2016, 01:01 PM   #12
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Nice hog Stony .
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Old July 16, 2016, 01:16 PM   #13
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"...30-06, 308, 270, or 7mm-08..." You want/prefer a long action or a short. The '06 and .270 are long's. The others are short. Difference is about a half inch. Any of those will kill elk with no fuss.
"...If the Howa remains in your price range..." Package deals that include a Game King Scope(no idea who makes 'em) runs $797 at Gallery of Guns.
I'd be leaning towards the Savage 10/110 Trophy Hunter package just because it comes with a know brand name scope(Weaver or Nikon) and is almost $100 cheaper.
"...looking for mostly a deer rifle, but I do want to take a elk hunt..." Same rifle in stan5677's options for chambering.
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Old July 16, 2016, 01:29 PM   #14
stan5677
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Long or short action doesn't matter to me. Just looking for something that can serve it purpose here in Maryland and can also serve it purpose if I ever can afford an elk hunt. Don't need a fancy looking rifle with all the bells and whistles that is pretty to look at just something reliable and can shoot as well as my skills allow.
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Old July 16, 2016, 01:33 PM   #15
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Weatherby if you want the crème de la crème I stand corrected. Just saw your budget. Weatherby is better with a 2k+ budget

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Old July 16, 2016, 02:04 PM   #16
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http://www.gunbroker.com/item/571675378
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Old July 16, 2016, 02:20 PM   #17
redrick
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I don't think the 77 is worth the extra money over the American . From what I have read , the American is more accurate . Yes , the 77 is nicer looking than the American .
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Old July 16, 2016, 04:36 PM   #18
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used or new

I like the pseudo-Mauser aspect of the Ruger. Nothing against the push feed rifles, but the 77's ring a bell for me. The early rifles have classic old school lines, even if the MkII's have an action closer to the Mauser
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Old July 16, 2016, 04:51 PM   #19
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Well, the late great Col. Townsend Whelen did say at one time, "The 30-06 is never a mistake." I have taken game, deer and elk with the 30-06, deer with the .270 and .308 and all will work just fine. The 7-08 I have no experience with but have just started working with the 7x57 which when loaded properly will do anything the 708 will. I can hand load the 7x57 do duplicate the 7-08 in a modern Winchester M70 Featherweight and frankly, it would have been my first choice for this years elk hunt, had not my wife suffer a stroke and I had to cancel out. The only rifle I've had any experience with that the OP mention was a friend's HOWA. I mounted the scope and did the main sighting in before he fine tuned it to his satisfaction. Nice rifle, way too heavy for my liking but the accuracy was superb.
Ammo for the 06, .308 and .270 is pretty common and should be easy to find. Maybe the 7-08 not so much away from home on a pricey hunt. In over 60 years I've never lost ammo but stuff does happen.
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Old July 16, 2016, 05:03 PM   #20
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I would definitely consider a Weatherby Vanguard 2 series. They have very high performance, but less of the fancy cosmetics that make Weatherby MkVs so expensive....
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Old July 16, 2016, 05:11 PM   #21
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so many choices of rifles out there and i completely forgot about the weatherby vanguard series 2
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Old July 16, 2016, 07:07 PM   #22
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I don't know why. But I've been asked many times to help track a deer wounded with a 06 more than any other caliber used in the woods for deer. My suggestion: Buy a 270. The best caliber ever invented for the harvesting of thin skinned big game >bar none.
Since you commented your Elk hunt is down the road a-ways. You'll most likely to buy another rifle in a magnum caliber for the Elk purpose when that day comes.
A bold statement I'll make: "Seldom does a participating big game hunter rely on a one size fits all caliber & rifle."
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Old July 16, 2016, 09:05 PM   #23
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if your budget is $800 including optics and you're thinking about the howa, have you considered the Weatherby vanguards instead? from what I've heard they are very similar to the howa only $150 cheaper. they are guaranteed to shoot 1 inch at 100 from the factory. I would heavily recommend one, that would leave quite a bit for good optics. personally, for a good deer to elk gun, I would say the 7-08 would be an excellent choice. for most places on the east coast you're not looking at very long shots and the 30-06 can damage a lot of deer meat at 200 yards, no less 20. I tend to prefer the smaller, 6-7 millimeter cartridges for deer and move up when I'm hunting elk but if you want a one size fits all, then I would say the 7-08 does a pretty decent job of it.
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Old July 16, 2016, 09:39 PM   #24
stan5677
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So i had some time to kill today and took a trip to dicks here in frederick, md and then went to bass pro in pa. Handled the ruger american, savage 11/111 and 16/116, tc venture, and mossberg patriot. The mossberg didn't fit me well at all but the ruger, both savages, and the venture fit me the best.
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Old July 16, 2016, 10:02 PM   #25
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well given that you liked the ruger, I would suggest that. it is likely the most economic of your options, leaving the most money for optics. it's also known for being surprisingly accurate for it's price range.
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