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Old August 26, 2013, 02:31 PM   #1
Poindexter
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What is your minimum rifle battery?

Say we have someone who likes to hunt, but on a limited budget.

What four rifles would you pick to have a reasonable option for any game animal in North America?

I am a bit biased towards the big animals since I live and hunt in Alaska, but mine is only one working combination.

One of the exception proves the rule thing for me is with a trapping license I can hunt a few furbearers in the winter without running a trap line. Because of this I am willing to forgo 22LR and start with a .223.

While I am not happy with angle of fox or angle of beaver at significant ranges, I would probably start FIRST with an AR-15 and trade parts around until I could get a 4" circle at 200 yards with it. I want a 16" carbine weight barrel on it, but I don't mind if the point of impact moves a little bit as the barrel heats.

SECOND, and the hole in my current collection, would be a long range bolt action reacher for antelope and open country white tail. Something like a 270Win.

THIRD big game meat animals and reasonable bear defense. .308 and 30-06 are excellent choices here, I have a .338 Federal myself. .338Fed is very close to .338WinMag performance out to about 200 yards, where it falls off rather quickly. Lighter than 338WM to carry, less felt recoil, and shooting a moose at more than 200 yards is asking for an adventure with a capital A.

That brings us to the big kahuna at the back of the safe. My 338fed doesn't meet minimums for bison in most states. Nor would I go looking for trophy sized bear with one. For now my FOURTH rifle is a Marlin 1895GG in 45-70. Adequate for bison everywhere, it is also a good choice in heavy underbrush for quick close range moose and likely better than the bolt action .338Fed for close range bear defense. I think if I was going to go hunting for big bears I would want something bigger so I wouldn't have to stalk in quite so close. Maybe a 375H&H?

If I am allowed a FIFTH rifle in the minimum battery I would go back and add a 22LR. Cheap practice, non threatening introduction to shooting for noobs, a good thing to have in the safe.

I wonder if there is a AR-15 compatible cartridge that would work well in the 270Win slot?

With a really high quality lower I could do uppers in .22LR, .223, "decent 270Win sub" and 458SoCom, and then add a bolt action .308 or 30-06 and do it all except except trophy bear at greater than 100 yards with two triggers.
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Old August 26, 2013, 02:34 PM   #2
Toney
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22lr and mag
22-250.
270
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Old August 26, 2013, 03:56 PM   #3
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223, and 30-06 or possibly 308.

Properly loaded the 30-06 will outperform 338 Fed, and 45-70 on game. It is more than adequate for anything in NA at ranges farther than I can shoot. The 308 shoots equal bullet weights within 5% of 30-06 speeds. I'd be tempted to pass on the 30-06 in favor of the 308 for 99% of anyones needs and go straight to the 375 if I needed anything bigger. Realistically, I'll never hunt anything a 308 won't kill. But I already have several 30-06 rifles that I ain't selling.
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Old August 26, 2013, 07:11 PM   #4
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You could get away with three very easily. A 22lr, 12guage shotgun, 270 Winchester. Jack O'Connor killed everything from coyotes to grizzly bears and moose and lots of them with the 270.
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Old August 26, 2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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I won't speak to specific rifles, but these are the minimum cartridges I would want:

.22 Long Rifle
.223 Remington
.243 Winchester (or .260 Remington)
.308 Winchester (or .30-06 Springfield)

Pick your own dispenser.
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Old August 26, 2013, 07:29 PM   #6
tahunua001
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well 4 rifles is hardly what I would recommend for someone on a budget but given that a person had to stick with 4 rifles I would recommend

1. ruger 10/22, gotta have a rimfire for cheap plinking/practice and the 10/22 is a very good platform to build around should you ever decide you want to accurize it.

2. AR15, good varminter and limited medium game application given a good marksman behind the trigger.

3. Ruger american in 243. good medium game and limited big game application if nothing else is available. very good multipurpose round that doesn't have a lot of kick but still offers good penetration/FTLBS.

4. Ruger M77 MKII in 300 win mag/other magnum chamber. will kill anything in north america.
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Old August 26, 2013, 07:31 PM   #7
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Well if all you're expecting is 4" at 200 outta an AR you should be able to do that blind folded. Generally speaking AR's are pretty much as accurate as off the shelf bolt rifles.

Don't care where you live skipping a .22lr is a mistake.

My short list for here:
- 10/22
- bolt action .243

Move me to the mountains or Canada or Alaska and toss in a .45-70.
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Old August 26, 2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Well, there's some agreement here.

Minimum rifle battery?
.22 LR
.308 Win.
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Old August 26, 2013, 08:32 PM   #9
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I would say the 6.5X284 would be the best thing I can think of that would perform well on everything including and in between ground hogs and Moose.
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Old August 26, 2013, 08:51 PM   #10
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1: 10/22

2: An AR-15 .223 rem

3: Bolt action .270 win

4:Lever-action .45-70

But you could really get by with just the 10/22 and .270

The .270 win substitute in an AR would be the 6.8 spc
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Old August 26, 2013, 09:39 PM   #11
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What is your minimum rifle battery?

Your .270 WIN replacement is the 6.8 SPC cartridge in the AR platform. I *think* that will run on a standard lower. Custom mags and upper for sure.

It's not identical to .270 but its as close as you'll get on the same lower in the AR platform. The .300 blackout round will run on that same lower for sure. Loading supersonic ammo it is quite a cartridge. Delivering more energy at further distances than the 5.56.

My arsenal is currently pretty much your reason for this post and it consists of:

.22LR Mossberg 702 Plinkster (Also have a bolt .22, if only one was allowed I'd take the bolt for reliability)
5.56 AR
.308 Rem 700 ADL ( or other budget bolt gun)
12 GA pump SG. Though I am looking at selling this and going semi-auto for less recoil.

Those are the four I'd recommend.
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Old August 26, 2013, 10:00 PM   #12
big al hunter
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For me, all bolt actions.

22 lr
223 rem or 243 win ( I use them both for vermin)
30-06
338 win mag

I have all of these and more, but if I had to choose....these are my choice. Glad I don't have to choose.
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Old August 27, 2013, 08:32 PM   #13
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I 2nd Legionnaire
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Old August 27, 2013, 10:59 PM   #14
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Lets see.....nope........not going to do it......I need more than a 4 rifle battery!
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Old August 28, 2013, 12:06 AM   #15
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22LR, 45LC/410 Circuit Judge, 300 Win Mag, 58 Cal black powder, 45/70 BFR
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Old August 28, 2013, 02:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
SECOND, and the hole in my current collection, would be a long range bolt action reacher for antelope and open country white tail. Something like a 270Win
I can understand this being the hole in your collection, living in Alaska myself including time in the bush in the Interior; this is not the place where the deer and the antelope play, none in the state/whitetail or antelope.

I have a nice bolt target .223 for this "niche". Practical...not for where we live, but fun!

And as far as the humble .22lr I have several. Shoot them more than any other rifles, and I reload for my centerfires.

Forget the .270 and get a .22lr. (Given where we live.)
YMMV
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Old August 28, 2013, 02:51 AM   #17
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Ruger 10/22 (or any other 22 rifle you happened to like)

A bolt gun in 30/06.

Anything else would be nice to have. IMHO.
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Old August 28, 2013, 05:35 AM   #18
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Ruger bolt action All weather in 22Mag'

Ruger MKII IN 25-06

Remington 7600 in 270

REM 700 in 300Mag.
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Old August 28, 2013, 05:40 AM   #19
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.22 LR for everything up to coyotes, .270 winchester for evrything else that I shoot at...
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Old August 28, 2013, 08:00 AM   #20
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I continue to think about the intent of the original question ... minimum rifle battery on a limited budget. I could get by with three:

.22 Long Rifle. Anchors the low end nicely, good for all kinds of small game, and ammo is cheap and readily available (or at least should be).

.243 Winchester. Great intermediate cartridge good for varmints and game up to whitetail. Yes, it's a bit overbore, but ammo is more common than .260 or 7mm-08.

.30-06 Springfield. As this would be my high end, I'd give it the nod over a .308 (much as I like the shorter cartridge) because it handles heavier bullets better.

The utility of the .243 and .30-06 is further increased by reloading, as one can vary bullet construction and weight and powder charges to meet the specific application.

Much as I like 10/22s, I would select scoped bolt actions for all three rifles. I'd make the .243 a short action carbine (like a Remington Model 7) to take advantage of the shorter cartridge length. I'd give it a lower-power variable scope (e.g., 2-7X) suitable for an easy-handling woods or mountain gun. The .30-06 would probably be a Remington 700 BDL with a 3-9X or 3.5-10X. One should be able to pick up either of the centerfires in excellent used condition.
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Old August 28, 2013, 08:51 AM   #21
kraigwy
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Minimum rifle Battery?????? Depends on what you do.

Lets take CMP GSM Vintage rifle shooting.

You need a Garand for the G part. You need a 1903/1903a3 for the S part.

You need a M1917/Krag/Mosin etc etc for the M part,

Then there is the Carbine, and Vintage Sniper.

-------------------
Hunting: You need an elk rifle, a deer rifle, an antelope rifle, plus small game rifles and bird guns, upland shotgun, duck gun. Don't for get a couple African rifles in case you get an invite to hunt there, you want to be ready

-------------------------------------------------------------------
High Power, You need a M1A, an AR, and a couple thousand yard rifles.

Then there is F-Class and Long Range Precision rifle.

-----------------------
Don't forget Cowboy Action Shooting.

That's just a small example, I'm still working on gathering the "necessary minimum rifle battery", I'll let you know when I get there. May not happen, I'm 66 and may not have the time to reach that goal.
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Old August 28, 2013, 09:01 AM   #22
twobit
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Only need two to cover what was asked in original post (any game animal in North America) ... a .22LR and a .270.
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Old August 28, 2013, 09:27 AM   #23
beerengineer
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minimum? thats no way to live. what about maximum?

This is america isnt it?
Last time i checked.

1. 22lr..... just cuz.
2. 1911 in nightstand to get me to my shotgun over the bedroom door.
3. Mossberg 590 to keep them off my porch.
4. Remington 700 in a .308 to keep them off my gate at the end of my 400 yard driveway.
5. Savage 110 FCP .338 LM to keep them off the highway leading up to my driveway 1780 yards away.
6. Dont forsake the beautiful AR-15. Cuz sometime they travel in large groups.

Seriuosly.... no im not a peckerwood living in the hills with too many guns.... but yes... seriously.
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Old August 28, 2013, 10:51 AM   #24
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OP's question was about hunting and he lives in the interior of Alaska, not the suburbs of one of our deteriorating megalopolises.
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Old August 28, 2013, 10:58 AM   #25
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missed the Alaska part....add a 30-06 to the .270 and 22LR
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