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View Full Version : Advice on Buying a Rifle


DaHaMac
February 13, 2000, 12:06 AM
Having just purchased a fine hunting handgun, the Ruger "Super Redhawk .454 Casull", I am now looking for a rifle to carry as a scoped medium to long range firearm.

I have been tossing 4 calibers around, the .270, .308, 30/06, and 7mm mag. I have almost determined that the .308 will be the best for my needs, but I am not very familiar with the .308 round. Everyone I now that hunts in my area carries the 30/06. What do you all think, is the .308 the best choice for light brush to power line hunting conditions. I feel like the longest shot I would attempt is about 300 yards, here in Georgia there is not much more room than that, except in isolated parts of South Georgia. I am also looking at the price of ammo, and the .308 seems to be equal to less than the other 3 calibers.

The specific gun I am thinking of buying is the Ruger "All Weather Model" its stainless steel with synthetic stocks and a 22" barrel length weighing in at 7lbs. One problem I encountered is that Ruger does not make this gun with sights, only scope mounting. I really kinda felt like the gun should have open sights, but maybe its not really necessary. The price of the Ruger is $429

So what do you think?
DaHaMac

BTW I love the way the .454 Redhawk shoots, not nearly as bad on the recoil as everyone makes it out to be.

OJ
February 13, 2000, 12:32 AM
It sounds like the 308 would be ideal for you. Ballistically, it is practically the twin of the 30-06 -- with the exception that 30-06 rounds are also loaded with heavier bullets like 200 gr and 220 gr which would not be a factor in the type hunting you describe. The up side of the 308 is that there are a lot of choices of cheaper practice ammo for the 308. I think the 308 would do anything you would want and you would be happy with it.

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OJ
NRA LIFE MEMBER
Gun control is a steady hand and hitting with the first shot.

Ankeny
February 13, 2000, 03:28 AM
Having read numerous posts about caliber selection, I have come to the conclusion that the popularity of the .308 must be regional in nature. If you look through sporting goods store in Wyoming you will rarely see a .308. In fact, the .308 isn't at all popular. The other three you mention are very popular in this order: 30-06, .270, 7mm magnum. No explanation, no opinion, no arguement, just and observation.

Art Eatman
February 13, 2000, 01:20 PM
The .308 will do just fine for Georgia hunting. Any old cheap ammo for plinking and practice; maybe Federal 150-grain for "The Hunt"...

Scope sights help the most for early morning and late evening shots. And us old folks with eye-goggles...It takes an awful lot of practice to shoot accurately and consistently with the factory-type open sights. Peep sights and "Ghost Ring" peep sights are a different story, but they would be a drill-and-tap add-on, anyway.

The folks at http://www.williamsgunsight.com are real good about sending a catalog.

I would suggest that if you do go with a scope, you go with the equivalent of the Leupold compact 2X7. The big advantage is the wider field of view at the two-power setting. Leupold is one of the best for the money; stay away from the el-cheapos.

Ankeny, I'd guess the reason for not seeing many .308s in Wyoming is the perception of the need for 300- to 400-yard shots--thus the demand for the .270 and 7mm Mag for antelope; and the better utility of the heavier bullets available in the '06 for elk.

FWIW, Art

Bud Helms
February 13, 2000, 01:39 PM
DaHaMac,

.308 or .30-'06. .308 is my preference here in GA. I hunt in Dodge County.

Art's advice about a scope is right on the money. Get a Leupold or Nikon 2-7x. Both scopes are great values and quality gear.

I used to hunt with a 7mm Rem Mag in Twiggs County. Killed some deer too. Not nesessary. No need for laser rifles here in GA.

I hunt with a .30-30 and .30-'06. A .308 is what I need. Especially since I reload. That's my next rifle cartridge. 'Can't believe I don't have one already.

DaHaMac
February 13, 2000, 07:06 PM
Thanks so far for the replies, it does seem thatunless I go out west to hunt that the .308 will be the good choice, and the factory sights are not too important since I can add after-market sights later if I need them.

Thanks for the advice on the scope, that was to be my next question. Also, I'll be sure to bookmark the link given about the sights.

This may very well be the best message board on the internet.

Thanks,
DaHaMac

BMiracle
February 13, 2000, 09:39 PM
I would go with the 308. Ballistically you will lose about 150 to 200 fps over the 30-06, but the reduction in recoil due to smaller case size and powder capacity is greatly appreciable. (since I am a small guy at 145 lbs!)

Dave R
February 13, 2000, 10:37 PM
Several have mentioned low cost ammo for the .308, but to be more specific, there are good supplies of military surplus ammo for .308 (7.62 NATO). I can get $4.99/box of 20 here. Caveat emptor, not all may be good stuff. But you can usually find someone who can refer you to a good source of low-cost surplus at your local range. That's what broke the tie in favor of .308 for my recent purchase of a Rem 700.

huntschool
February 13, 2000, 10:45 PM
I have been reading this thread off and on all day.

My two cets....308, great. But if the rifle is "fair to middlen" the glass can really make a difference.

I really like the low power var. scopes up to say six or so power. I have hunted GA and more spec. powerline cuts.

Get a Leupold (I have several) or somethng of that quality and work up a good load and shoot, shoot, shoot.

Best of luck

kknud
February 13, 2000, 11:09 PM
There are two great commercial loads available that can bring the .308 performance up to the .30-06. They are Hornandy Light Magnum, and Federal High Energy. I believe they say that the loads will give you up to 20% better performance, real close to standard .30-06 loads in trajectory, velocity, and energy.

Also, Leupold scopes are excellent, but Burris has some real values. And they build a real tough scope. They are located in Greeley, CO.

Yeah, I agree, this is a great site!!

Paul B.
February 14, 2000, 12:27 PM
The "late great" Col. Townsend Whelan once said, "The 30-06 is never a mistake." Of course the .308 was nothing more than an experimental idea at that time, but he made that statement before the .308 was even an idea. And he is right. Yes the 06 can handle heavier bullets. A 220 gr. bullet at about 2400 FPS. You can load the .308 with a 220 gr. bullet to about 2300 FPS. Surprised? What animal could be able to tell the difference?
Oh, you could reload the 06 to higher specs. Remember, the factories don't load it to it's full potential because of the weak rifles chambered for it.
The .308 comes in rifles that are usually lighter than the same rifle in 30-06.
The biggest advantage the 06 has, is ammo can be found, for all practical purposes, anywhere in the world that it is legal to hunt. (Mexico is an exception as it is one of their military rounds. The .308 is illegal there as well.)
Snipers made some darn good long range shots in VietNam with the .308. Speaking of long shots, I personally hit a running Mule Deer at 427 paces, witnessed, with a .308. I will also admit it was pure luck on both sides. Good luck for me and bad luck for the deer. I would not have shot, except one of my hunting partners had already wounded the animal, and I was trying to help bring him to ground.
JMHO. The .308 is a solid round that is more than adequate for most of North American big game. With the exception of the big bears, I would have no qualms about using the cartridge on deer, elk, and yes, even moose. I might be a bit uncomfortable in moose country due to the big bears, but not about the ability to harvest a moose.
Meat hunters in Africa harvest Cape Buffalo with the .308. Of course they do pick and choose their shots and use FMJ ammo.
Frankly speaking, If I were to own only ONE rifle, I think I'd have to go with the 30-06.
If I have a choice? Well at this stage of the game I do, so I'll pick the cartridge that's appropriate for the game.
One more thing. I like my .308's All 6 of them. :)
Paul B.

DaHaMac
February 14, 2000, 06:24 PM
The .308 sounds better and better.

I will definitely take the advice about the scopes to heart. I once hunted with a 30-06 with a poor scope and missed a chance at 2 deer because of low-light conditions. I wouldn't take the shot because the scope was practically unusable, once the twilight shade hit my stand; daylight further down the powerline, but I was blind because of the poor quality scope.

As far a powerful rifles for larger game, I hope that my next rifle after the .308 will be the .300 Ultra Mag, that ought to take care of just about any game. Although, I must admit to a longing for a .458 magnum; I am a .45 caliber fan. In a way I'd rather hit something with a slow moving brick, than I had hit it with a fast moving marble. ;-)

As far as up close, and dangerous game I pray that my .454 Casull Super Redhawk, will keep me out of harm's way. At least on the North American Continent. The Big G bear still makes me think about a 50BMG, :-)

Thanks for all the great comments, the advice received is very appreciated.

DaHaMac

DaHaMac
February 14, 2000, 07:20 PM
Allright, I don't know if anybody will cruise down this far on this thread, but I have another question on buying a .308.

I have just read another topic on the Savage rifle, and the Savage sounded good. Well, then I went and looked at the Remington. It looks real good. Then I compared all three, of the the three the Ruger is the most expensive (sugg. retail $604.00; I can get it for $429.00), the Remington next (sugg. retail $457.00; haven't priced actual cost), and the Savage as the least inexpensive(sugg. retail $407.00; haven't priced actual cost). Most of the other aspects are about the same except these two.
1. The Ruger barrel is stainless, the other 2 are not stainless, but I like matte black finishe of the Remington. Will not being stainless be a problem if the rifle is well maintained?
2. Both the Savage and Remington have sights plus scope mounts, the Ruger only offers the .308 All-Weather without sights. I don't know why, but something says get fixed sights on the rifle. I was going to have to add after-market sights to the Ruger.

Which of these three, do you think would be the best; or is there another company I need to add to the equation?

Thanks,
DaHaMac

Art Eatman
February 14, 2000, 08:40 PM
You might check out a Model 70 Wicnester in one of its variants.

I was looking at different lightweight rifles a week or so back, and was impressed with the feel and finish of the Model 70 over a Remington 7 stainless and a Browning lightweight. The Remington bolt felt rough and scrapey; it and the Browning felt as though the bolt was way too small for the hole. Flopped around like it might have been made in France or something. Haven't checked out a Savage, yet.

Devin
February 15, 2000, 01:37 PM
DaHaMac,
I myself shoot a Remington 788. Although it is kind of difficult to aquire one now I would reccomend the Remington 700 in .308.
I recently spoke to a ex-marine sniper that told me they used a Remington 700 with the same name brand scope Hathcock used. Personally for a scope go with a Leupold. The Vari X II 3x9 40 mm is a good scope. I hope this helps.

DaHaMac
February 15, 2000, 06:52 PM
I'll look at both the Winchester, duh forgot about them, and the Remington. I was lookign at the Remington ADL, and today at work killer45auto told me if I was going to go with a Remington, I should go with the BDL, so I'll go check on the BDL.

As far as scopes, it will take a little extra time to come up with the money for a Leupold, but I definitely believe the scope for the .308 is going to be a Leupold.

Thanks again guys,
DaHaMaC

DaHaMac
February 15, 2000, 11:32 PM
I thought you all might like to see the rifles I am considering. Of course I want to handle some of these in the stores to get the feel of the gun. Maybe this link will help regarding the advice you might add to the advice that has already been given.
http://www.angelfire.com/games/Phenomenon/308web

Thanks,
Keep on hitting the Bull's-eye,
DaHaMac

Fourdiamonds
February 16, 2000, 01:46 AM
Both calibers are great. Think ahead, suppose you get invited to go elk hunting or bear or???? The 06 is much better to hunt all types of game. Just an opinion.

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From my cold dead hands.

NavyRuss
February 18, 2000, 12:57 AM
I shoot a Remington Mountain Rifle in .280 with a Leupold VX-3, 2.5-8.

Best rifle I've ever shot, light to carry, good to look at, etc. etc.

Best of luck.

huntschool
February 18, 2000, 06:50 PM
DaHaMac:

Pick the Ruger if you can carry the $$$.
Better yet try and find an old mod 77.

Check the bore but the guns were great. I have a #1 in 30-06 and its great. (I am a single shot freak) I can tell you that the Hornady Custom and lt mg ammo are tack drivers out of the box in virtually every gun I have put them through.

I mght make one other comment. As I remember, the Ruger Mtn rifle (RLS) was not made in 308 but was in 06. What a gun. Six or so lbs with sights. Great shooter if you can find one used.

Best of luck.

Huntschool

DaHaMac
February 18, 2000, 10:37 PM
Thanks Guys,

After much searching, I am back where I started; going with the Ruger. The Remington ADL, and the Savage, both didn't feel right, kinda like a Daisy airgun. The Weatherby was really nice, but it will cost $350 more than the Ruger, and I am trying to find a reason to justify spending that much more, when it can be applied to a scope; then the I have a rifle and a scope, not just a rifle.

I thank you for all the help, I have learned alot about the .308 and rifles that I did not know before. I'm not sure how soon I'll buy the Ruger, but it will be before hunting season. When I get the Ruger and check it out, I'll post letting ya'll know how it does.

Thanks,
DaHaMac