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Old December 27, 2018, 09:24 PM   #1
MountainEMTIV
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Need help choosing a rifle

I’m gonna be getting a rifle next year and I’m trying to decide on what I should go for. I’m wanting something that I can use to hunt big game out west but something that’s good for eastern big game as well as pesky coyotes. I’m thinking about a marlin 45-70 but would like your suggestions.
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Old December 27, 2018, 09:35 PM   #2
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The 45-70 is pretty solid, but you have more choices: Bolt? Semi?

A .30-06 or .300WM can drop virtually anything on the North American continent with a reasonably decent shot. But if you want to go shoot large bears, you may want something that's higher power.


How about a budget? That will help narrow suggestions quite a bit.
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Old December 27, 2018, 09:46 PM   #3
MountainEMTIV
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My absolute max budget for just the rifle is $600-$700, I prefer lever but I’m not opposed to bolt or semi...
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Old December 28, 2018, 01:38 AM   #4
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How often do you hunt out West? .45-70 would be far down on my list of western big game cartridges. If you want a lever action look at a Browning BLR, Savage 99, or Winchester 88 in .308 or .30-06, though finding one for $600 or less might be tough if you look at new BLR or LNIB 99 OR 88 rifles.
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Old December 28, 2018, 06:33 AM   #5
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45/70 would be at the BOTTOM of my list.
For all-round use, a bolt action(22" minimum barrel length) in the 28-30 "non-magnum" caliber range would be my suggestion.
This would encompass the 7mm08 to 30/06 range of cartridges.
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Old December 28, 2018, 07:19 AM   #6
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Does that include optics. What is your max range for hunting.
Need more information to be able to give you the best options
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Old December 28, 2018, 12:31 PM   #7
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I wouldn't pick a 45-70 for most western hunting. Too many opportunities for shots well beyond the range of that round.

Non-magnum I don't think you can beat a 30-06 for all around use. A 7mm Mag will get you a little bit better long range performance and would be a great choice too, as would one of the 300 Mags. If you're recoil sensitive, look into a 7mm-08. It would be a little less than ideal for elk but serviceable. In any of these rounds pick your favorite bolt action and put some Leupold glass on it.
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Old December 28, 2018, 02:00 PM   #8
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The .45-70 has been killing buffalo in the West for over 100 years. Still wouldn't want it for 'Eastern' game or Wiley. No need for any kind of Magnum either(The magnum is the most successful marketing campaign in history.).
Think any .26 to .30 calibre in a scoped bolt action. However, the .30-06 or .308 with a 165 grain bullet will kill any game you care to hunt. Including big bears.
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Old December 28, 2018, 02:24 PM   #9
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Fill in a few more blanks here for us MountainEMTIV

Where do you live?
Where do you hunt now?
When you say "out west' it must be pointed out that it can mean a LOT of different things The Selway Wilderness is out west and so is the Great Basin. In one you have wide open spaces and in the other you can't see the sun in places because the trees are so thick. And coming west to hunt can be expensive but can also be fairly cheap if you know where to go and how to hunt the land out here. Budget is always important so if spending $1500 on a hunt is outside your reach (remember you have travel expense too along with licenses and gear. The rifle may be the cheap part)
If coming west is not going to be something you do for 10-20 years I would not get a "western rifle" unless it does everything in the east just as well. I would get a rifle to cover 90% of the bases instead of 10% of them.

The rifle below is one that will cover 99%.

If I were to recommend one rifle I KNOW would cover all your bases it would be a Browning BLR in 30-06. it's lever action. It shoots quite flat for antelope hunting and open country deer. It is an 06 so you can user heavy tough bullet for elk and you can use it for moose bear even buffalo.
It is easy to scope and my BLR shoots to about 1 MOA, so it's accurate enough to do all you'd need.

But it may not be a rifle you like.


PM me if you'd like for 1st hand info.
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Old December 28, 2018, 02:56 PM   #10
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I agree the straight wall 45-70 isn't gonna have the range that you'll probably want hunting big game out west. I'd cast another vote for .308 that should cover all the things that you'd want this rifle to do, and with it being such a popular cartridge you'll have a bunch of rifle options to choose from.
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Old December 28, 2018, 05:59 PM   #11
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I don’t plan on shooting anything other than targets past 200 yards, I live in middle Tn so most of the game here is on the small thin skinned side, I mainly hunt in heavily wooded areas but on occasion I hunt open fields, either with a 30-30 or muzzleloader, I’m considering the 308 or 30-06
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Old December 28, 2018, 06:02 PM   #12
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You can get a decent bolt gun in 308, 7-08, or 6.5 CM within your budget. You're going to have to budget about $200 for a decent scope. Either of those 3 will take deer, bear, or elk out to at least 400 yards.

They make semi's in those calbers, but not within your budget and they'll be much heavier.

Any lever action in a traditional cartridge is going to really limit your range. Partly because of the lack of power and partly because of a lack of accuracy. There are a couple of options for lever actions in the above cartridges, but once again not in your budget.

My pick on a tight budget, one of these. I like the Predator version best, but it is only available in 308 and 6.5. Not 7-08. The standard rifle should be around $350 street price, the Predator about $400.

https://ruger.com/products/americanRifle/overview.html

Top it with this for about $200 and you're set for any animal in the lower 48.

https://www.swfa.com/burris-3-9x40-f...e-scope-6.html
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Old December 28, 2018, 08:19 PM   #13
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As far as budget, the pawn shops are generally overloaded with bolt-action hunting rifles. IMO bolt guns are better as all-around hunting guns than the other varieties.

And pawn shops generally only have 40% to 50% of the asking price actually invested, so there is a lot of "wiggle room" for bargaining.

Using factory ammo, such as the 7mm08, .308 or '06 are pretty much equal in performance. Numerous others are right at equal.

Since most game is killed within 300 yards, "flat-shooting" is right at a non-issue.
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Old December 28, 2018, 10:02 PM   #14
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7mm-08, and even more so if it’s Ackley Improved, has been what I considered to be the one cartridge I’d want.

Ultimately this depends on your range. A 30-30 has been great for most people’s needs, is readily available, inexpensive, and in lever action. If you handload, and loading only a second follow up round, pointy bullets can extend the range as would Ackley Improving it, which can get close to .308 Win performance.
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Old December 28, 2018, 10:38 PM   #15
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If it must be a lever action than consider a 336 in 35 Remington . For elk you need to keep the distance to about 150 yards or less. Browning makes a variety of lever actions in calibers more suitable for elk from 22-250 to the 450 marlin. The only problem I see is the budget as brownings are not that cheap, unless you are willing to buy used.
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Old December 29, 2018, 08:36 AM   #16
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If you are on a "nostalgia" hunt for buffalo then by all means a single shot 45-70 or even a Marlin lever. If you are hunting wooded edges along slopes and meadows again 45-70 or 35 remington lever. I am not a person that will shoot over 150 yards so any thing mentioned earlier is game. I have hunted northern New Mexico for many a seasons with a 44mag Ruger, I like the wooded areas.
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Old December 29, 2018, 08:51 AM   #17
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Caliber choice and rifle type are going to be strictly personal preference.
Here in central PA, most game is taken about 50-100 yards, unless hunting a field or gas/power line.
I've seen guys with Weatherby Mark Vs in 300 Weatherby Magnum sight in for 50 yards.

Personally, i don't want to carry something that long, that weighs that much, with that much recoil.

Recommendations from me would lean towards a bolt action.
Used Savage 10/Stevens 200, Remington Model 7, Tikka T3, Browning ABIII.

Again, caliber is purely personal.
257 Roberts, 7mm-08, 260 Rem, 280 Rem, 270 Win, 30-06, 308, 7mm Rem Mag.

My favorite hunting rig is my Stevens 200 in 7mm-08 AI, with a 4-12X42 Vortex Crossfire II scope. Light, handy, and it's going with me to Colorado this year to hunt elk.
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Old December 29, 2018, 09:02 AM   #18
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I’m thinking it would be hard to go wrong with a Ruger Hawkeye or Win 70 in 6.5x55, 7mm-08, 308 or 270 win.

A nice 3-9x40 scope would round this out nicely. Maybe a Vortex Diamondback HP in 3-12x42?

I would consider adding the Browning BAR or lever action to that list if shots will be under 400 yards.
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Old December 29, 2018, 12:47 PM   #19
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I’d go with a Ruger (I have a couple and like them) in .308 or .30-06.

Plenty of gun with either cartridge for any game you’ll find in North America, ammunition is a available everywhere, in just about any load you could imagine, if you reload, components are available everywhere and are relatively cheap.

For western hunting, I would want something with a bit more range, and a bit flatter shooting than a 45-70, but if that’s what you want, go for it and practice, it’ll get the job done.
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Old December 29, 2018, 03:43 PM   #20
MountainEMTIV
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Well I managed to talk the wife into letting me build an AR10, so I’m gonna go with 308 I think, and I may have upped the budget a little, again it’s just for the rifle, not the scope/sights etc. I’m still torn between a Ruger, Remington and the ar10.
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Old December 29, 2018, 07:28 PM   #21
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My favorite is 257 Roy, but everyone else seems to say avoid the Magnums.
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Old December 30, 2018, 08:01 AM   #22
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" I’m still torn between a Ruger, Remington and the ar10"

An average AR 10 "build" will end up at least 2# heavier and have a shorter barrel than the typical bolt action hunting rifle. I don't feel that's an advantageous compromise.
I bought an AR 10 with 2 uppers (6.5 Creedmore and 308) and after discovering how heavy the platform really was, left it in the box.
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Old December 30, 2018, 08:38 AM   #23
Nathan
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Quote:
I’m still torn between a Ruger, Remington and the ar10.

I’ve got to know....how did Remington make the short list?
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Old December 30, 2018, 10:18 AM   #24
SBH
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If you desire a 270, 308, 30-06 or similar calibers a Howa 1500 ( Weatherby Vanguard ) in your choice of caliber is as good or might I say better than others. I had a Weatherby Vanguard 25-06, I now have a Howa 1500 in 270 Win., nice gun.
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Old December 30, 2018, 10:56 AM   #25
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Try here for an AR10 rifle kit. You can choose between assembled or assembled at 3 different barrel lengths & with or without an 80% lower. They make great rifles.
https://thundertactical.com/product-...08-rifle-kits/
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