View Full Version : noob with questions

March 31, 2007, 01:28 PM
Hi I'm looking into getting into elk hunting. Mainly for the meat and for the experience. My family doesn't hunt so I don't really know much about firearms or hunting. I live in western Colorado and want to get a rifle that's suitable just taking down an elk. After talking with my friend he said a 30 06 is what I should go with. I'm not looking for anything fancy just affordable and functional. Do guys have any recommendations of rifle's for a new hunter to use and of any place's where I could pick up a used rifle in CO?

March 31, 2007, 01:40 PM
Well, as for the STYLE/TYPE of rifle, the turnbolt is the quentissential hunting action, for good reason. Reliable in all weather conditions, strong, quick follow up, classic looks, light weight, & accurate.

As for caliber, yep your friend is right - .30-06 is a great choice; probably the best choice, although there are many others to choose from too - that's a whole can of worms. But the .30-'06 Springfield caliber is NEVER a mistake.

As for the rifle choice, there are a multitude of good makers of turnbolts: Remington, Zastava mausers from Remington, Winchester, Savage, Stephens by Savage, Browning, T/C, Mossberg, Howa, CZ, Sako, Tikka, Steyr, Kimber, custom jobs, sporterized milsurps, & others. What's the budget? would be the key question there. Options and variables you'll want to consider, other than price, are stock fit, including stock length of pull, stock material (wood, laminated wood, plastic, fiberglass), and if wood, type of wood & finish on wood, stock style, (monte carlo, cheek pad, etc.), stock bulkiness/width, stock extras (checkering, engraving, pistol grip endcaps, stock forend caps, schabel forend, etc.), safety type (2-pos or 3-pos?, forward-on or forward-off), safety location, barrel length, barrel contour, crown type, action steel type of receiver & barrel (carbon vs. stainless steel), and finish (gloss blued, matte blued, satin stainless, brushed stainless, etc.), iron sights vs. clean, come with mounts installed or not, and availability of mounts, bolt throw angle, push vs. controlled feed, locking lug number, style, & thickness, action smoothness, overall fit/finish/quality, overall weight, recoil pad or not, and extras like pillar and/or glass bedding, action truing, etc.

As for where to buy:
-Used: Gun shows, pawn shops, out of the local classified ads or Postaroo, through your FFL off of internet auction sites like gunbroker, consignment & used guns at gun shops, etc.
-New: Gun shows, gun shops, internet auction sites, big box stores like Academy, Walmart, BassPro, Cabelas, Dick's, Gander Mountain, Sportsman's Warehouse, etc.

I'm not looking for anything fancy just affordable and functional.

But, since you said that, you could do what I did, and just go to a few gun shows & pawn shops, find a sporterized U.S. model of 1917 (aka P17 Enfield), in .30-06, for around $150, then put a good scope & rings on it for around $250 more, a good sling for another $20, and off you go! Won't find a much better elk-slayer. :) Good luck.

Beyond that, if buying new, on a really tight budget, look at the Mossberg 100 ATR or the Stephens by Savage. Or for a little more, a regular Savage or a Mossberg "4x4" rifle. On a really, REALLY tight budget, grab a single shot rifle by NEF or Rossi.

March 31, 2007, 01:48 PM
Where-abouts in western Colorado? The Sportsman's Warehouse in Grand Junction is one of my favorite places to play when I'm over that direction...

30-06 or 7mm Rem Mag are two excelent elk calibers. Either one can be had in a basic rifle for a very do-able amount.

March 31, 2007, 06:32 PM
Hi I'm looking into getting into elk hunting.

Like FF ask how's the budget?
If you can buy a single shot or reasonable repeater 22 and get in plenty of practice this spring and summer. I am not sure what varmint type of critters is in your area but targets, cans, plinking at the local varmints, will all give you much needed and very helpfully practice when you finally get that shot at a deer or elk come this fall.
I would recommend a 30-06 as it is some easier on your shoulder and being new to hunting you don't want or need to develope a flinch.

Get the plinker learn some about firearms, then the hunting gun in a while.

Good luck

March 31, 2007, 09:56 PM
I picked up this rifle in 30-06 with a decent 3x9 scope for $200 at a pawn shop here in Dallas. Alot of people don't like the savage's but with hand loads I can put 5rds under a quarter at 100yds. I like Savage Firearms because they perform.

Art Eatman
April 1, 2007, 11:21 AM
Welcome! In this sandbox, any number can play!

I've bought, sold and traded a bunch of rifles during these last forty or so years. I've never had any problem with the proverbial good used rifle. My pet '06 is some 35 years old, or a tad more, and I've run some 4,000 rounds through it. I'd happily sail off with it for an elk hunt.

I hate to give advice, but I don't mind suggesting: Spend some time hanging out at your local gun store, just looking. Tell the folks that you're on the learning curve. Tell them you're just a "tire kicker", right now. Listen, don't talk. Go to a gunshow or three. You'll hear a lot of BS, but you'll also figure out what questions are worth asking and what aren't; and if an answer doesn't make sense, come on back here and we'll try to help.

You never "have" time to do a lot of things that seem interesting. You have to MAKE the time, ignoring something else. The more time you can spend outdoors watching critters--not particularly worrying about elk, for now--the better off you are. If you're in elk country already, that's a helluva plus.

I've always been startled by how city folks don't know how to walk when they're out in the boonies. They stumble around. Brush-whipped if they're not out in the open. Noisy. So learning how to move fairly silently while remaining able to observe the world around you is important. It's as much a needed skill as the shooting.

So, browse threads here in the Hunt forum, and in the Rifle forum. Grab all the free catalogs you can and skim through them. Don't be in a hurry to buy anything, whether it's gun, scope, boots or clothing. They're not gonna quit making stuff. And I'm the kinda guy who'll check out Goodwill before I jump into a Cabela's catalog. :D

Hunting is one of the more fun learning curves there is, IMO...


April 2, 2007, 11:51 AM
My favorite hunting rifle is a 30-06. Its just right for deer and elk. Lots of inexpensive target ammo available as well. And a great long range cartridge.

April 2, 2007, 11:53 PM
As Art said, welcome to the forum. I'm assuming you are in Ouray. Beautiful country and I'm sure you are enjoying it. Is there a gun shop there? You might have to do a lot of searching online. I'll also agree with the 30-06.

April 3, 2007, 12:07 PM
Thanks for the help guys. My budget is between $200-$300 and I'm probably looking at a used rifle. Are there any gun or hunting shows in Colorado this spring/summer that would be worthwhile to go to? I've been living in Ouray ice climbing and skiing but I work the summer season in Estes Park, CO where there are more elk roaming town than there are dogs. I think the idea of buying a smaller rifle and getting comfortable shooting sounds like great advice.

April 3, 2007, 01:29 PM
If you are looking for a practice rifle than look no further than a savage or marlin bolt action .22. There are a ton of variants and configurations and used ones are easy to find. Shoot ALOT of .22 ammo and develop good skills with that rifle before next season.

I agree with the above members that a .30-06 bolt action will do the job well for you. If you are looking at used rifles in your price range ( $200 - $300 ) then savage may be the way to go - they tend to have lower resale value than remingtons or Brownings.

April 3, 2007, 03:06 PM
Is that $200-$300 max, INCLUDING scope, rings, mount, sling, tax, & ammo, or without? Must know that - we're getting close to being able to help..... :) Ouray, Silverton, etc. - one of the best places on earth. :)

April 3, 2007, 06:26 PM

Welcome to the board. I've learned quite a bit from listening to the folks here.

My two buddies hunt with .30-06's and I currently go out with a .308.

You can take a gamble and get a military surplus rifle... a German K98 Mauser or Russian Mosin-Nagant 91/30 will drop an elk just fine. Problem with some of these rifles is that while inexpensive, it is possible to get a lemon that can't hit a VW Bug at 100 yards.

With your budget, I'd suggest you find something with iron sights on it. Forget the scope for this year, save up for next year. Folks have been hunting with irons for quite some time, and many still do. Find an NEF handi-rifle for about $100 or so... it's a single shot rifle that comes with iron sights. Spend the rest of your money on ammunition. Buy at least 200 rounds of the same ammo you will use to hunt for practice, and get some fun reactive targets. Water bottles, soup cans, soda cans. Oranges, Canteloupes. Things like that. Don't shoot from a bench unless you suspect that there is something wrong with your rifle's sight alignment... practice shooting while standing or kneeling since that's the position you will end up in.

Learn to judge distance, and get a feel for how your rifle reacts to 100 yards versus 200 yards shots.

April 3, 2007, 06:42 PM
Disregard my earlier inquiry... :D I just noticed your screen name. Answers that question... LOL

April 14, 2007, 02:50 PM
I agree with the 30-06, my first rifle was a Savage 110 in 30-06 and I still love it.I have had it several years now and the only changes I have made to the gun itself was putting a laminated stock on it that I bought from CDNNSPORTS for $50.00 a coup;e of years ago. Check out GunBroker.com or try AuctionArms.com. , I have seen new StevensSavage rifles for as little as $239.00 on there,they are sort of plain but if you enjoy this WONDERFUL SPORT you can always get a nicer stock on down the road. Good Luck and Good Hunting.