View Full Version : Whats Your "All-Purpose" North American Hunting Rifle?

March 12, 2007, 09:40 AM
This has probably been discussed before, but I was just wondering if any of you have a "All-Purpose" Rifle for North American hunting. I was 14 when I came up with the idea for mine and had it finished a few years later. At the time I was short on cash so I wanted a rifle that could handle all the game and conditions I could expect hunting in North America. Mine is a Rem 700 ADL in .300 Win. Mag. It has a factory trigger set to 3.5# and sits in a H & S Precision Sporter stock with a spruce green finish. For the scope I chose a Leupold VX-I 4-12X40mm in Leupold PRW rings and bases. I left the factory iron sights on and had to trim a small amount of the front Butler Creek lense cap to clear the rear-sight. I will probably never need the iron sights but I like the option of them being there in case something drastic ever happens to the scope. I have thought of upgrading to a VX-III but have found no reason to, as this scope has performed flawlessly. To finish it off it has a Alaskan Magnum sling and Safari Swivels. When I'm varmint hunting with it(which aint often anymore because I have better rifles for the purpose) I attach a Harris bipod to it, and occasionally for deer hunting also. I shoot primarily handloads through it, I think its only had maybe three boxes of factory ammo through it. I have loaded everything from 110gr hollow points to 200gr AccuBonds for it. It absolutely loves 150gr Ballistic Tips over 58.5gr of IMR-4895 and 180gr SPBT over 66.5gr of IMR-4350, shooting consistently around 1/2-3/4MOA. I have used it on everything from woodchucks to coyotes to deer with excellent results. I haven't had a shot at a bear yet which is the largest animal I have hunted with it. I've even used it in informal NRA high power rifle matches at my local club just for the heck of it. This rifle is built like a rock and I have all the confidence in the world in it, and believe it will work great on game in North America. Just curious what your "All Purpose" North American set-ups are, if you have such a thing.

March 12, 2007, 10:01 AM
right now being that so far all the hunting i have done is on the east coast, i would have to say that my remington 7600 with leupold VX-II 3-9x40, in 30-06 of coarse

March 12, 2007, 02:03 PM
My rifle for mice to moose is a Ruger 77 in 7X57 loaded with 140 gr Nosler Partitiions at 2870 fps. I am confident it will take anything I settle the crosshairs on. Everything I have ever shot with it drops, rolls over, and plays dead. If I need more OOMPH! I can load up 160 gr Noslers.

March 12, 2007, 02:09 PM
Mine is a 700ADL in 30-06. With the variety of factory ammo available (not to mention hand-loading possibilities) it will take anything from prairie dogs to grizzly bears.

I'm not saying it's ideal at the extremes but I like it and I shoot it well. Bullet placement means more than big diameter.

March 12, 2007, 04:34 PM
Lower 48 my rifle is a Parker Hale 1200 in .270 Winchester with a 3-12 Bushnell scope. I use 130 grain bullets for everything up to Mule Deer and 150 grains for Elk and larger. The cartridge and rifle haven't failed me yet as long as I do my part.

I'm taking a Rem M700 ADL in .30-06 Springfield with a Leupold VXIII 2.5-8X36 mounted on QR rings to Alaska in May. I'll be hunting black bear in Southeastern AK near Petersburg. I think if I hunt all of North America more often this would become my cartridge of choice for everthing except the Great Bears.

March 12, 2007, 04:47 PM
Browning A-Bolt Stainless Stalker, 30-06 180 grain Winchester XP3 loads. Leupold Vari 3-9X40 silver.

Fat White Boy
March 12, 2007, 05:19 PM
Winchester Model 70 Black Shadow in .270 Win. with Nikon 3X9X40 glass...

March 12, 2007, 05:54 PM
No I don't have an all-purpose, because I have several - they are mostly special-purpose. If I was gonna own & use just one all-purpose rifle, it'd probably be a DSA FAL, or DPMS AR-style, chambered in .260 rem. Since I have multiple, to fill various roles/tasks, I don't have any such gun. If I *HAD* to pick one of the rifles among those that I have for just one, it'd be the Armalite in .308 if for all purposes, or the Savage 110 in .270 Win, if for hunting only (all purpose hunting). The Armalite wears a Sightron S2 1.5-6x42mm, in Warne Maxima rings, and the Savage 110 wears a Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x40mm, in Burris rings.

March 12, 2007, 06:02 PM
Admittedly, I'm not much of a hunter. But I am a serious rifle crank, and just LOVE to tinker with things.

I don't buy the "one caliber to rule them all" argument. I DO buy "one rifle" though!

When I couldn't decide what to do, I just bought one of these:


With a screw driver and a punch, I can go from any caliber and barrel length I want. Right now I've got a .45-70 and a .50-cal muzzleloader, both 20" with peep sights. Perfect for the dense brush and hemlock swamps around these parts. Should I find myself out where I need/want more ranging power, I'm thinking either a 7mm Rem Mag or a .300 Win Mag.

March 12, 2007, 06:15 PM
The .308 has always done it for me. Not a shoulder punisher but a well placed shot can take down anything that I've hunted, or can think of in North America.

March 12, 2007, 06:32 PM
The 308 Win, is now the center of my hunting tools and soon it might be the 260 Rem. I just purchased a Remington Mountain rifle and if it shoots as good as my 308, I might use it more.

I took a step down in high power rifles, I’m getting up in age and not planning to hunt Africa anymore, nor go to Alaska, perhaps I have a few trips out west left in me and my 300 Mag is going to take care of that.

March 12, 2007, 06:39 PM
Ruger K77MKII in 308Winchester........x2........hpg

March 12, 2007, 06:58 PM
700,30-06, VarixII 3X9, 150 grain bullet.

Killed deer. elk, and antelope, for me about 3 decades now. Blows the heck outta coyotes, and jackrabbits too, but I don't normally use it for that.

March 12, 2007, 08:27 PM
I do subscribe to this theory..although I don't ever plan on shooting the big bears.

HS Precision Lightweight Sporter in .260 Rem.
Leupold VX-III 4.5-14 B&C reticle

Hitting soda cans at 550 meters is fairly easy. The rest is a snap.


March 12, 2007, 08:47 PM
If it aint broke, dont fix it :) The 30-30 has killed every type of game in North America, from mice to moose. Grizzlies, Polars, Elk and Buffalo too. I imagine its took its fair share of African game too.

Marlin 336W in 30-30 winchester. 150grain winchester soft points, or if their available, some of my dads 120 grain hand loads (pointed bullet so one in the chamber, and one in the tube) 3-9x40 Simmons ProHunter scope.

Its not let me down yet.

roy reali
March 12, 2007, 08:49 PM
The Daisy Red Ryder. Of couse, the maximum effective is somewhat limited, but recoil and ammo costs make up for it.:D

March 12, 2007, 09:06 PM
Remington 700 stainless synthetic, .300 weatherby mag, leupold vx III 4.5-14x40ao with bipod (not sure the manufacture).
Handload lighter loads for close work and hotter loads for far out work.

Dave R
March 12, 2007, 09:31 PM
Rem 700 in .308.

March 12, 2007, 09:36 PM
My main "go-to" rifle would be my .270 with a fixed 4x Nikon Monarch UCC scope on it.

It is augmented by a .375 H&H with a 4.75x Weaver Grand Slam scope.

On the low-end I have a CZ-52 in 22LR with another 4x Nikon Monarch on it.

I do have a .308, but it is too damn heavy to hunt with.

March 12, 2007, 09:36 PM
The Daisy Red Ryder. Of couse,

Gosh Roy,, no wonder your asking what works on Jack rabbits, LOL..

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
BTW, I have one too.

March 12, 2007, 09:43 PM
Mine would be the Winchester Model 70 in .270 WSM. Boyds/Ross thumb hole stock and Nikon 4.5-16X40 Monarch.

I do like my Marlin 30-30 and am not scared of my good ole 12ga. .22 comes in handy sometimes and God knows I love my CVA Optima .50 cal Muzzleloader. I love my PSE Coyote Recurve and my Hoyt Vectrix too. Doggone the choices!

March 12, 2007, 11:59 PM
My #1 gun is a Remington Model 7, full Mannlicher stock, in .257 Roberts topped with a Leupold VX III in 2.5-8 on quick detach mounts (Iron sights retained).

I'm confident with the gun for anything this side of Elk. And although there are reports that many people have taken Elk with this caliber, I'd more likely reach for a bigger gun in my safe - my Remington 673 in .350 Mag for instance.

March 13, 2007, 01:06 AM
Ruger M77MkII .30-06spfld.

Nothing more needs to be said about a 101 year old cartridge and a CRF rifle.

March 13, 2007, 07:13 PM
Savage 7mm Rem Mag, left handed with a Bushnell Banner. Topped off with a Harris bi-pod. Nothing else needed. Hasn't stopped me though.

March 13, 2007, 09:31 PM
model 70 in 30-06

March 13, 2007, 10:15 PM
Remington 700 Classic, .308 Winchester.

March 14, 2007, 01:50 AM
Wow, by the looks of the previous posts your going to think I'm having to compensate for something (and you'd be right, but thats not the real reason i got the gun).

Mine is a Model 700 xcr in 338 ultramag. I have found a good load that puts a 185gr barnes tsx down range at only 2800fps (deer and the like) and a load that puts the same bullet down range at 3350fps (for big stuff). I like having one gun that can decisively put down 99% of North American game.

March 14, 2007, 03:34 AM
Remington 700BDL in .308 Win. w/3x9 Tasco Range Finder scope.
I bought it in 1970 for $119.00, new.

This rifle still shoots like it's new!

john in jax
March 14, 2007, 08:51 AM
Ruger M77 MkII VLE in .308 topped with a Leupold VX-III 3x9x40mm. I usually hunt with 180grn nosler partitions so I'm loaded for everything from our little whitetails to our big hogs.

March 14, 2007, 10:28 AM
Remington 700BDL 30-06 with a detachable magazine and extra mags.:)

March 14, 2007, 10:33 AM
Remington 700 .270 Nikon 3-9x40

March 14, 2007, 11:31 AM
Remington 700 7mm mag 3.5 trigger Swarovoski Scope

March 14, 2007, 01:38 PM
Mine is nothing fancy but hard to beat for an all around north american hunting rifle. Savage 110 30-06 w/accutrigger and synthetic stock and 3x9x40mm scope. This caliber is my favorite because it has endured 100yrs of competition and is still reigning champ due to popularity. Has taken all north american game and will continue to do so for some time. Its a great "middle power" in the north american big game cartrige line up with the versitility to load up or down for various uses. The savage is one of my favorite rifles I have used for hunting and target shooting. I get phenominal accuracy out of a $400 rifle and have never experienced a problem with one. Plus when it gets banged up during the hunt its not a worry because I didnt pay out the a$$ for it. :D

Quickdraw Limpsalot
March 15, 2007, 06:24 AM
.35 Remington for me! In a Marlin 336cs. I'd LOVE a chance to try it on Elk or bear.

March 15, 2007, 07:24 AM
Winchester mod. 70 30.06

el Divino
March 16, 2007, 10:40 PM
any of my 30-06's, a + on my Remington 7600 topped with a old 3-9 Redfield low pro scope

March 17, 2007, 02:28 PM
Ruger M77, in 6mm Remington, with Redfield 3-9 scope, covers my needs in Northern California.

The Terminator
March 17, 2007, 06:44 PM
45-70 Guide Gun, ported, Leupold FX-2, 4x scope. It will kill anything on the planet. I trust it to 200 yards.

Eric M.
March 19, 2007, 10:36 PM
#1--.338 Model 70WinMag
#2--Marlin 1895G 45-70 Guide Gun


March 19, 2007, 10:44 PM
My Remington 7mm Mag Sendero is the sweetest thing ever created, and has always been my caliber of choice... BUT, to be perfectly honest--I've put more in the freezer with my Remington 700 BDL in 6mm Rem than any other rifle I've ever owned (elk included). Unless I get a wild hair to head up to Alaska for moose or carabou, my 6mm will probably stay in the #1 seat. LOVE that weapon...

March 26, 2007, 03:07 PM
I was being dense on page one when I said Ar10 .308 for all-purpose rifle. True it is, but the question is not all-purpose rifle; it's limited to all purpose HUNTING rifle, as per the forum.

So I mentioned it in passing, but the answer is, my Savage 110 (might be a 111) in .270 win, 24" bbl, with TruGlo recoil pad, with BUIS, with Warne Maxima rings holding a Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10x40mm scope. Short range, long range, small game, big game, this rifle can do it all with proper ammo selection.

el Divino
March 26, 2007, 06:49 PM
all purpose is the 30-06 but I prefer my SS Browning A-bolt with boss in 270 win topped with Leupold V-II 3-9x40, I also own a 30-06 but 270 works great

March 26, 2007, 07:21 PM
Winchester model 70 classic featherweight in 280 with a B.O.S.S. with a 2x7 leupold scope

March 26, 2007, 10:58 PM
.22LR rifle for the squirrels and rabbits, .357 Magnum rifle for bigger stuff, 12-gauge shotguns for fowl... You've got to have them all. :)

March 27, 2007, 02:26 AM
I don't know if it qualifies as an all in 1 'rifle' but a 12ga. with the right ammo will take anything in N.A. On the land or in the air.

March 27, 2007, 06:59 AM
My "Go-To" rifle is my Remington 700 BDL in 270. It wears a Leupold 2.5X8 Vari X III.

For bigger stuff there is the Sako in 338 Win Mag.

For smaller there is the TC Encore with a 223 barrel.

March 27, 2007, 08:45 AM
I am another of the 308 guys. I am also a single shot hunter and I am using a NEF Survivor 308 with bull barrel, I put monte carlo stocks on it and topped the rifle with a Nikon 4 x 32 scope. I am not afraid to use this rifle any where or any time, this is one tough and rugged rifle and for the price it can't be beat (under $400).

March 29, 2007, 11:59 AM
Mine is a Ruger M77(the old one with the tang safety) in 7x57mm Mauser.
I would say winchester,remington,weatherby,steyr,savage,howa and others are just as well or so close as not to argue. And anything more powerful than the 7x57mm could do just as well if you can take the kicking.
But the 7mm can best the .30 cal and .277 cal bullets in retained velocity, drop and bullet choice/range.

however I am still using a Winchester Featherweight Model 70 .270 win since I have worked up some good handloads.

Most animals will never notice the difference.

March 29, 2007, 11:36 PM
Nice to see so many .308s on the list.

Mine is a Weatherby Vanguard .308 with Barnes 180gr XLC, or Fail Safes.

Have a nice Nikon Monarch Gold scope.

It's all I need, and all I use....for everything.

Back-up rifle is an M1A base model.


March 30, 2007, 08:58 AM
My favorite caliber is 270. With 140 grain Hornady rounds you are good to go with any North American big game. With 100 round Federals you are good to go for varmints. The 270 is not normally thought of as a varminter. It is a very good one. It is very accurate and the 100 grain loads beat almost every so-called varmint round with velocity and muzzle energy. Check the ballistics charts and compare.

I don't like to spend money on expensive guns. I don't need to impress anyone with these big name brands. I have a $300.00 Savage that will shoot as well as my two sons arsenals of expensive Steyer, Browning A-bolt, and fancy Mausers. The secret of a good rifle is, to me, a good scope. My oldest son tossed a Leopold when that company came out with more fancy scopes with more gadgets. I retrieved it from his trash and it has not failed me. So my favorite varmint and big name rifle is a Savage 111 in 270 with a discarded scope. For $300.00 I have all I will ever need.

I have a few old 22's that serve me well. Also, a Marlin 336 30-30 that has paid its way over the years. The 30-30 is one that I just can't get away from. It was my first big game rifle and will always be special. Especially for tree stand deer hunting. You can't kill a deer but dead and the 30-30 has a habit of making a deer mighty dead. It ain't as versatile as the 270, so for most of my shooting, the 270 goes with me.

March 30, 2007, 02:15 PM
1. Marlin 1895m in .450 marlin
2. Savage 111 in .30-06

March 30, 2007, 10:52 PM

Admit I carried a Rem M600 in 350RM when guiding as backup and close quarters gun. And, took my 300M to the far north where teh big harries reside. Even carried the little M600 over my back when spring fishing for whitefish in B.C. Let bears take my catch a few times ... and they were nice enough to wander off afterwards.

March 31, 2007, 12:53 PM
that's a caliber, not a rifle - whut rifle? ;)

moose fat
March 31, 2007, 08:07 PM
Ruger M77MkII, SS w/nice wood in 30-06 and a Brownells heavy leather military style sling. All topped off with a 3X9 Bushnell.

March 31, 2007, 08:30 PM
Ruger M77 Mark II blue/walnut 30-06 with Burris Fullfield II 3x9x-40.
Stainless, next time. Love the class blue look though. Haven't decided on sling yet.

April 4, 2007, 08:53 PM
mine would have to be a remmy 700 in probably .270 :)

April 13, 2007, 09:01 PM
7mm Rem Mag. Capable of killing anything in N.A. Perhaps not the ultimate Brown Bear or Polar Bear gun, But it will kill'em. Shot placement being key. Another relatively unknown fact is that it does not kick as bad as the hype says. My wife shoots it with ease and accuracy. She'll look you in the eye and state it does not kick bad...me too for that matter. I can't say the same for the 30 cal mags...:D

April 16, 2007, 10:47 AM
mines a marlin 336w great gun and accurate

April 24, 2007, 05:56 PM
which rifle in 7 rm, castnblast?

May 5, 2007, 08:50 PM
Winchester Model 70 Ultimate Shadow 7mm WSM. Great caliber with less recoil than other 7mm or 30 cals and awesome ballistics! I think this caliber should be fully capable of taking any size game in N.A. yet not too much for smaller game. Although probably not quite big enough to be an ideal large bear gun, I think it could do the trick if I needed it to. The ultra reliable controlled round feed action is also nice. Stainless so with a little TLC should hold up to just about any conditions.

May 6, 2007, 02:26 PM
Favorite @ this time is a commercial Mauser 338/06, nice english walnut stock, 3x9x40 scope.

May 6, 2007, 04:39 PM
This might seem wierd but I would take my mossberg 500 with rufled barrel. Some would say "that's a shotgun" but I would use it for everything. Put a smoothbore on it and you can hunt small game. Rifled barrel would allow me to take grizzlies with some of those high shock rounds.

May 6, 2007, 08:36 PM
Winchester pre 64 Model 70 In 30-06

May 7, 2007, 07:10 PM
Savage 99 in .308. Do not have one at this time but have very fond memories of the one I had.

May 11, 2007, 05:58 PM
Weatherby Vanguard 7mm Remington Magnum w/ 3-9x40 Bushnell Elite 3200.

May 12, 2007, 09:28 AM
Mine is a Remington 7600 pump in .30-06. It's shot deer in the thick Michigan woods and the Wyoming prarie.

May 14, 2007, 05:43 PM
For me the rifle or action type doesn't matter as much as caliber. I thing the 30-06 followed by the 308 are good choices.

May 14, 2007, 08:54 PM
Remington 742 in 6mm. Fast, flat shooting, and big enough for anything in my neck of the woods.


May 14, 2007, 08:56 PM
1895G 45/70 <125 yds 350 [email protected] 1612 fps. Lightweight collar button mould forthcoming for the small game load to round it out.

Jim Z.
May 22, 2007, 09:39 AM
For over 30 years, Remington BDL 700 in .30-06. :cool:

Now I'm playing with a couple of Marlin big bore lever guns in .444 and .450 Marlin.

May 22, 2007, 11:50 AM
2 primary go to rifles. One is a Tikka Whitetail hunter 30-06 with a Nikon Monarch 2-7x33. And when the weather gets crappy, I now have a Browning Abolt stainless stalker 30-06 with a Leupie vari-x2 3-9x40.

May 22, 2007, 11:55 AM
Yugoslavian M48 Mauser.

Inexpensive rifle, inexpensive ammo, built well, and certainly powerful enough.

May 22, 2007, 11:58 AM
Ruger #1 RSI in 7x57

It should be here by the end of the week. :)

Jim Z.
May 22, 2007, 12:08 PM
It's hard to beat the ole' 06! :)

May 22, 2007, 08:51 PM
Yugoslavian M48 Mauser.

Inexpensive rifle, inexpensive ammo, built well, and certainly powerful enough.

Although in my previous post I stated that I like the 30-06 and 308. Running a close third is my M48 which I converted to a scout rifle with a stock change, and Burris scout scope (No Bubbaing here, not that there is any collecter value here). Its great for hunting pigs and a hell of alot of fun at the range.

The only downfall of the 8mm is US makers load it to 30-30 ballistics and neither US nor Euoropean manufactured ammo is as available as the 308 or 30-06 although properly loaded it the 8mm will do anything they will.

May 27, 2007, 11:20 AM
Model 70 in either .308 or 6.5x55.

Can't go wrong with either for 90% of what's on this continent!