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Old September 11, 2011, 03:51 AM   #1
Shadow9
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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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Old September 11, 2011, 06:37 AM   #2
Art Eatman
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Keep the 7mm08 and take up reloading. Buy a .22 rimfire or maybe a .22 Mag.

Or buy an '06 and load an 00 Buck over five grains of pistol powder for a squirrel/rabbit load. 110 for coyote-sized critters and 150 for deer. 180s for elk and moose.

My 700 Ti in 7mm08 weighs 6.5 pounds with scope, ammo and sling. The stock fits; it has an excellent butt-pad and is not at all bad for recoil at the bench rest. Odds are that a .308 would likely be more efficient with the 22" barrel than would the four-ounce heavier long action in '06.
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Old September 11, 2011, 07:43 AM   #3
Brian Williams
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My large animal rifle is a Win mod 70 Compact5 Classic in 7mm-08, Why sell yours to get something different?
What Rifle do you have?
Keep it and get a good 22 mag or 17 mag.
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Old September 11, 2011, 07:48 AM   #4
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Ditto Art and Brian.
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Old September 11, 2011, 07:50 AM   #5
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What Art said.
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Old September 11, 2011, 07:54 AM   #6
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Ditto what Art said.
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Old September 11, 2011, 08:58 AM   #7
Daryl
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And again; what Art said.

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Old September 11, 2011, 10:08 AM   #8
Shadow9
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To all - Have reload equip for 7-08, was original plan, as I liked the 7-08 for all the aforementioned versatility, it's compact, and low(er) recoiling.

However, the 7-08 in question is a Steyr Scout - my first factory-rack of brass out of it had bright rings already forming around the case-walls. I called SteyrArms, spoke to a gent there who actually reloads for Steyrs, Merkels, and the like, and he informed me that Scouts in particular are NOT condusive to reloading, they will stretch brass faster than a well-fitted chamber since they are made to eat most forms of ammo smoothly. I've cleaned up brass from my M96 and a few others from my friend's M98k and they don't have nearly as bright of marks as the scout does.
Also, 7mm-08 recoil is snappier than 6.5, especially in the straight-line style Scout stock. I do enjoy the "shove" of the 6.5, rather than the "smack" of the 7-08...to be honest, in the Scout, until addition of recoil pad, was on par with my friend's Mosin-nagant.
If I were to go into a .284-category, I'd still go 7x57. Short-action cases I am still not seeing the perks of, as they are MAYBE a half an inch shorter than medium size (7x57, 6.5x55), and rack at approx the same speed. OAL of the rifle is still about the same too, at least with the rifles I'd be into.
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Old September 11, 2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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To me the 6.5 is the obvious choice. It is less recoil than your current firearm and has been proven as an extremely accurate round.

I dont know how it will fair on bear, I am guessing in the right loading it will be fine.

You can get 6.5 in an AR platform gun too so if you aren't opposed to hunting with an AR then again, a really attractive round.
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Old September 11, 2011, 08:55 PM   #10
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Get the Swede
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Old September 11, 2011, 09:21 PM   #11
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7.62 x 39 is great fun, but not really worthy of being included in a discussion of hunting rounds. It is a combat range people dispatcher.

6.5 in CZ550 would be my choice.
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Old September 11, 2011, 09:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
I also like the older Walther PPK/s. I don't know if it was mentioned but they are very slim and very reliable.
To Quote the Good Colonel (Godfather of your Scout rifle!):

"The best rifle is the one you have."

.....provided it does what you want it to do.

I've never heard that (sloppy chambers) about the Steyr Scout ....good to know!

I'd do everything with the swede, were I you: sell that 7-08 and buy components. Lots and lots of components!

I use my .270 WIN for everthing from prairie dogs to deer ..... and hope to take elk someday...... 90 grain to 150's, it seems to like them all.
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Last edited by jimbob86; September 14, 2011 at 08:40 AM.
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Old September 11, 2011, 10:16 PM   #13
Shadow9
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Quote:
I've never hear that (sloppy chambers) about the Steyr Scout ....good to know!
To clarify: The chamber I wouldn't call "sloppy" in the least - but the back-end of the chamber has more space to work with to allow easier feeding. My scout literally stacks them on each other with the integrated bipod, and cheapo Prvi at about 50-60 yards. The chamber is very well done where it counts, up front.

Again, it's an amazing rifle - but I'd rather own a '89 FC RX 7 at this point than an E30 M3...if y'all get my drift...
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Old September 12, 2011, 11:32 AM   #14
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A Ruger Compact in 260 is fabulous for your intended purpose.
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Old September 13, 2011, 06:07 PM   #15
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A Remington Model 7 rifle in .260 Remington caliber sounds like a good choice.
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Old September 13, 2011, 06:25 PM   #16
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Ruger Compact, Remington 7, Savage 10, any of those will serve your purpose just fine. Caliber? 260 or better. The 7mm-08 would be fine as would .308 Winchester. All perfectly capable of doing what you need done.
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Old September 13, 2011, 07:00 PM   #17
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Though I own niether, yet, sounds like a 6.5 Grendel in AR and a .223 or .22LR upper for the cost of plinking. Also the plus of one caliber bullet for both, IIRC, would save more in the long run.

FWIW
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Old September 13, 2011, 08:05 PM   #18
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Best hunting rifle to pick?

That is easy! The wonderful and best all around caliber to take most anything you want and/or listed in your post. That would be the 6.5x55 Swede.

Light recoil, very accurate and will take down animals up to and including moose.
You just can't go wrong with this caliber in my opinion.
Especially if you shoot the fantastic Nosler: Trophy Grade ammo, (140 grain Accubond). It is hard to hand load better than this particular factory ammo.
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Old September 13, 2011, 10:23 PM   #19
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Remington 700, Winchester Model 70, or any other hunting grade rifle in .270 Win. Cheap factory ammo available anywhere, will take any game and recommended by Elmer Keith... My .270 is a Model 70 Walmart special. Shoots 130gr Corelokt like it was handloaded by the Lone Ranger....
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Old September 13, 2011, 10:34 PM   #20
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The Winchester or Marlin Lever Action Rifle....30-30 Caliber.

Best all around rifle and caliber.
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Old September 14, 2011, 12:30 AM   #21
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I too have a model 96 that I hunt with. A CZ in 6.5 will probably be my next rifle. You are correct, that the old Swede does everything, and does it well.
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Old September 14, 2011, 05:36 AM   #22
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6.5xanything, 7mm rem mag, short mag, or similar. 30-06 is the ultimate 30 caliber for those applications. 300wsm is my favorite for big critters but a little overkill for deer. Pick what u enjoy shooting. I've ordered a GAP crusader in. 260 rem for my all around rifle. For the rodents I'd just use a 22. U should see what a 142gr boat tail does to a yote! !!
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Old September 14, 2011, 06:35 AM   #23
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Already own the Mauser? Then you know the answer. I am not a one rifle guy but my "go to" is a Model 70 Featherweight Classic in 6.5X55. I don't think any US companies offer it now, but several have mentioned CZ. That would be my choice.
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Old September 14, 2011, 09:14 AM   #24
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Quote:
To clarify: The chamber I wouldn't call "sloppy" in the least - but the back-end of the chamber has more space to work with to allow easier feeding. My scout literally stacks them on each other with the integrated bipod, and cheapo Prvi at about 50-60 yards. The chamber is very well done where it counts, up front.
For those of us who roll our own, sloppy chambers wreck brass, and cause such wonderfull events as case head separation with cases loaded to full power one too many times ........

As for stacking "them on each other with the integrated bipod, and cheapo Prvi at about 50-60 yards" ....... 'tis damning with faint praise ..... off a solid rest, how does it do at 100 yards?

Quote:
The Winchester or Marlin Lever Action Rifle....30-30 Caliber.

Best all around rifle and caliber.
Bzzzzt. Thin walled, fragile cases must be FL sized for leverguns .... a real PITA to handload ....... plus it has a pretty limited usable bullet selection, and even the new flexible tipped specialty hunting bullets have a pretty pedestrian BC ....... Not accurate enough to win any shooting matches with the factory sights, and a conventional scope jacks up it's handling, as does a military style shooting sling ...... "Best all around rifle and caliber" ? Maybe best all around the Maine woods ...... out in western Nebraska, a gun limited to 150-200 yards would be ...... let's just say "less than usefull" in about 1/3 of my deer hunting situations, and ....... well, it ain't a good varmint rifle, either.

I load for my daughter's Marlin ..... I know.
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Old September 16, 2011, 12:57 AM   #25
bamaranger
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two rifles

You can't hunt everything from moose to rabbits with one rifle.

Keep the 7-08 and buy a good .22 with a decent 'scope and you'll be good to go. If you want more rifle, consider a .308, but you won't gain much except some bullet weight for moose and perhaps some lightweight .30 cal slugs for varminting if your a handloader, which you oght to be.
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