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  #1  
Old 04-22-2013, 12:15 AM
asdfasdf

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First centerfire rifle



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Hello, ive had my .22 savage bolt gun for over a year now, but id like to add a centerfire. The main reason being im looking to do guided hog hunts and id like my own rifle for that, but id like a gun that would be fun at the range too. ive talked to some gun shop guys and they all suggest the .30-06 for any hunting but that seems like a giant leap in BOOM from the .22 lr although i have no experience with high power rifles.

the largest cartridge ive ever shot is a .223 which was a breeze, very light kick.

searching around gun shops and some internet research ive come up with some options

1) savage bolt action w/ wood stock and scope base in .30-06 $450
2) lever action win 94 or marlin 336 .30-30 $350-500
3) lever action in .44 mag didnt check price
4) bolt gun in .223
5) SKS 7.62 x 39 $400

im open to other selections though. i live near a pawn shop with literally 500+ guns, mostly bolt guns, lever guns, and shotguns. so if you had another gun to suggest, theyd probably have it.

about me, im a 20 yr old 6ft 160 lbs and i live in Florida

any advice is welcomed! thank you
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  #2  
Old 04-22-2013, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by asdfasdf View Post
ive talked to some gun shop guys and they all suggest the .30-06 for any hunting but that seems like a giant leap in BOOM from the .22 lr although i have no experience with high power rifles.
The 30-06 is one of the classic recommendations for "one gun for everything" or "all around" cartridges. You're right though -- it is a big leap up from 22lr and is more than you need in this case unless you are talking very large hogs at longer ranges. Unless you want one gun for everything from antelope to elk you might be better off with something else as a first centerfire, especially if you want it to be "fun at the range." Aside from the cost of ammo, the 30-06 won't be much fun after the first dozen rounds or so.

Let me recommend to you some reading:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/feral_hog_cartridges.htm

http://www.chuckhawks.com/gun_game.htm

http://www.chuckhawks.com/game_range_caliber.htm

http://www.chuckhawks.com/recoil_table.htm

... and what I think is one of the best put-together pieces on gun selection I've ever seen in print:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/myth_busting_calibers.htm

The meat of the article is boiled down into Table 6. Note that the 260 Rem which scores very high in his evaluation is a little off the beaten path in terms of popularity. A good equivalent as an alternative would be the 7mm-08.


Quote:
1) savage bolt action w/ wood stock and scope base in .30-06 $450
2) lever action win 94 or marlin 336 .30-30 $350-500
3) lever action in .44 mag didnt check price
4) bolt gun in .223
5) SKS 7.62 x 39 $400
I wouldn't include the SKS. Nothing against them but if you're after a rifle that you intend to use for hunting different types of game in different types of settings, you'll want the ability to readily mount a scope, even if you are using iron sights to begin with.

I don't know how large the hogs are in your area but I would imagine the 223 might be a little light for the task unless using heavier bullets (barrel with fast twist rifling) at shorter ranges.

The lever actions are not bad choices but I would go with a bolt gun, personally.

Quote:
im open to other selections though. i live near a pawn shop with literally 500+ guns, mostly bolt guns, lever guns, and shotguns.
My recommendation for your first centerfire rifle to use for hunting would be a bolt action rifle chambered for one of the popular, mainstream cartridges. Personally, I like blued steel and nice walnut but there is a lot to be said for the practicality of stainless steel and synthetic stocks.

I have a couple of Savage centerfires and think they are a very good value. I prefer the model 16 -- stainless steel, synthetic stock with aluminium bedding block. They are a bit heavier than other rifles... about a pound heavier... but that's not always a bad thing when you start looking at heavier recoiling cartridges.

Another very good value is the Tikka T3. They are going to be lighter, and will have more felt recoil, but they are excellent rifles.

The mainstream cartridges for bolt action rifles divide onto two paths -- long action and short action.

Long action cartridges are the 30-06 and its children. Take a 30-06 case, make the neck skinnier so it will hold a 27 caliber bullet and you have the 270 Winchester. Neck it down some more and you have the 25-06. In each case you get a smaller bullet going faster.

The short action cartridges are the 308 and its children -- the 7mm-08, the 260 Rem (a little obscure) and the 243 Winchester.

Any of those are going to be good choices. Note that the short action rifles will be about 1/2" shorter (overall) and about 1/4 lb lighter than long action equivalents. Check the tables and charts linked above for differences in terms of the ballistics of each cartridge.

Last edited by Sophia; 04-22-2013 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:04 AM
alro41
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What are you going to use it for? Your list of potential guns and calibers cover a wide range of options. All of the following is "In my opinion". The .223 isn't adequate and may not be legal for big game hunting in your state, but is a great varmint cartridge. The SKS 7.62 x 39 isn't a "good" hunting combo, but is good for wasting a lot of ammo. The .44 is good out to 100 yards and the 30-30 is good out to 150-200 yards. The 30-06 is a very versatile cartridge and with the proper load will take any legal CONUS game if you don't get into long range shooting. i.e. over 300-350 yards, which is a long ways out unless you shoot a lot. Even the .223 will be a significant step up from the .22 lr in recoil. The others even more so. Cost of shooting each will be much more expensive than the .22. I know others will downplay the recoil affects and stretch the effective ranges noted but these are common sense ranges. If all you're going to do is target shoot why bother.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:09 AM
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A .308 has less recoil then the 06 and very accurate. For hogs you can get a ar10 ( ar15 in long action ) in .308 that will thump them fine and will hold up the the worst treatment you could dole out. Of course how you plan on hunting makes a difference form a chopper, airboat, 4 wheeler or stand. What range 50 or less yards 100 plus? You have limits where you will be hunting them? When I last went to Texas we could take as many as we could shoot. All these things make a difference.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:18 AM
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if im target shooting, im definetly going to be spending time on the .22 savage all day. it seems to me an incredible waste to throw expensive rounds at paper for range fun.

if i were to shoot a centerfire, id be spending time purely for practice and sighting in.

i like bolt guns better too, but i havent heard of any common caliber between .223 and .308 in a bolt action. the only "midrange" caliber that seems common is the .30-30 and thats only chambered in levers from what ive seen. i read florida has thick brush and in my experience outdoors, ive never seen a clearing that has a 50 yards free of thick palmettos and sand pines, unless manmade. and i doubt id have the confidence to take any game over 200 yds, that just seems extreme, let alone 100.

i really like the savage, wood and iron like you said. but id hate to put it down after 10 rounds and never want to shoot it. in that situation, id also have no range practice on it. i guess if i got it sighted in, id be a laser at 100 yards. i love my savage .22 and the guy at the gun shop said all savages are the most consistently out of the box rifles in the market. i guess ill just have to suck it up and get the .30-06. Most of the guides ive talked to recommend the .30-06
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2013, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asdfasdf View Post
i like bolt guns better too, but i havent heard of any common caliber between .223 and .308 in a bolt action.
The 243 Winchester and 7mm-08.

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the only "midrange" caliber that seems common is the .30-30 and thats only chambered in levers from what ive seen.
Yes, because of it is a rimmed cartridge.

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i read florida has thick brush and in my experience outdoors, ive never seen a clearing that has a 50 yards free of thick palmettos and sand pines, unless manmade. and i doubt id have the confidence to take any game over 200 yds, that just seems extreme, let alone 100.
In those conditions, the 30-30 is a pretty good choice, actually, as is the 44 mag. The 30-06 is way more than you need for those conditions... so you're signing up for more recoil than you need to get the job done.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:49 AM
Nic421
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Just my opinion, but 30-06 just sounds like overkill for what you want to do.

Sophia already made a suggestion that I was going to make - the .243. Has a light recoil, big enough for deer and I would think it would be big enough for hogs. Although I don't hunt anymore, it is all I ever used on deer and works well.

I would think a carbine in 7.62X39 would be a good choice on hogs. Its ballistics are supposed to be similar to the 30-30, which is a good round too.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:57 AM
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thank you Sophia, you are fantastic! i apologize for my ignorance in midrange cartridges. its amazing how much i learned in one post, the necked down "children" makes complete sense.

alright im going to forgo the .30-06 and shop around for a short action bolt gun in .243, 7mm-08, or .308
and as a second option, a .30-30 winchester 94 or marlin 336

honestly the largest game animal in florida has to be the hog (besides dinosaur looking alligators!). from the hunters ive talked to, the deer tend to run small from the hot climate. the largest hog that id ever realistically encounter would probably be 300 lbs at the most. the ones that people recommend eating are around 100 lbs.

Last edited by asdfasdf; 04-22-2013 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Sophia View Post
Long action cartridges are the 30-06 and its children. Take a 30-06 case, make the neck skinnier so it will hold a 27 caliber bullet and you have the 270 Winchester. Neck it down some more and you have the 25-06. In each case you get a smaller bullet going faster.
I've always been interested in the .30-06 mainly for historic reasons and the versatility of cartridge is a plus, but where exactly does the .270 fall along the spectrum of rifle cartridges?

One reason I ask is because, while I want a .30-06 in a rifle, I'm getting an Encore pistol, which the .223 seem to have decent ballistics out off, but not so much from heavier rounds in long casings, so would a lighter/faster .270 do better or should it just stick to rifles?
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 3six13 View Post
I've always been interested in the .30-06 mainly for historic reasons and the versatility of cartridge is a plus, but where exactly does the .270 fall along the spectrum of rifle cartridges?
The major differences in centerfire is two fold first range second impact. At 100 yards the only real difference in any of these is there impact force. Think of equating a 22lr at 100 yards to a centerfire at 1000. in a centerfire you want fast and flat for range. If hunting you also need energy to put the desired animal down.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:35 PM
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One reason I ask is because, while I want a .30-06 in a rifle, I'm getting an Encore pistol, which the .223 seem to have decent ballistics out off, but not so much from heavier rounds in long casings, so would a lighter/faster .270 do better or should it just stick to rifles?
I think a handgun chambered for 270 Win would be a big handful. Take a look at the comparative recoil in one of the tables linked in my earlier post. In rifles of equivalent weight, the 270 has about five times the recoil of the 223.

Quote:
...where exactly does the .270 fall along the spectrum of rifle cartridges?
At the low end of right square in the middle. There are a handful of cartridges that fall into the category of "great all-around cartridges." The 270, 308, 30-06, and 7mm Rem Mag characterise that category. There are others in that category with them, but the others are slightly more uncommon cartridges that will only appeal to the true gunnut or handloader. The choice between them, IMO, boils down to the size of the game, the average ranges at which the game will be shot, and the amount of recoil the shooter is willing to endure with every shot. The "myth busting" article I linked to above covers that series of trade offs nicely, I think.

I think most folks, especially the "one gun for everything" crowd, will tell you that if you have a 30-06 you don't need a 270. Of course, many will say the same is true of the 270 (if you have one, you don't need a 30-06) and that fanboy back-and-forth argument has been going on since Jack O'Connor made the 270 popular back in the late 1940s.

What the 270 gives over the 30-06 is a slightly flatter trajectory. As Maine04657 suggests, this becomes an advantage only at longer ranges where it minimizes the need for estimating holdover. In practical terms, it extends the maximum point blank range (MPBR: the max range at which you can "point-and-shoot" without worry about holdover) by about 30 yards.... from about 270 yards with a typical 30-06 load to about 300 yards with a typical 270 load.

What the 270 gives up in exchange is terminal effects at long range. Not an issue with medium-size game or even large game at reasonable ranges but for large game at longer ranges the fatter & heavier 30 caliber bullet of the 30-06 holds an edge, even if it is going slower when it gets there.

At more typical ranges (somewhere, I read that most North American big game is taken at 150 yards or less) there is little difference in performance and the choice between them is based on other factors:
- there generally is a wider selection of bullet weights available for the 30-06;
- the 270 has about 10-20% less recoil... which can mean the same recoil but in a rifle that weighs less and is easier to carry.

Where I hunt, the largest deer I'm likely to see will weigh about 200 lbs and I'm unlikely to take any shot beyond 300 yards. For my thinking, if choosing between those two, I'd take the 270 Win over the 30-06 Sprg because I would prefer the longer MPBR and the slightly lower recoil energy.... why beat myself up with every shot when I don't need the heavy bullet and the recoil that goes with it?

If I lived where the deer were larger or where I might have a better chance of hunting elk than I do, I'd probably prefer the 30-06, if choosing between the two, and would work hard to avoid developing a flinch while putting up with the recoil that I don't need to suffer through 90% of the time just so I'll still be on target that one time in ten that I do need it.

That line of thinking is for the "one gun for eveything" approach. Since I'm more of a "right gun for that niche" kind of gal, I don't have either one.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:55 PM
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I made the same leap about 40 years ago (watch out for scope bite ;-) ) and I used that 30-06 for years of elk and deer hunting.The long action calibers will give you a bit of a pounding if you shoot more than a handful of rounds( Im 6'1" and 170 lbs) .30-30 lever guns are fun ,but still have some kick.Take a look at 308,7-08 and the 243.The 243 feels mild to me and I can shoot it for hours off of a bench,yet it has plenty of oomph for medium sized game.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:41 PM
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A long action "modern" rifle in 6.5 X 55 or a short action "modern" rifle in 7-08.

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Old 04-22-2013, 07:56 PM
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30-30 has probably killed more animals than any cartridge ever developed. It is far too often overlooked. Cheap, available, flexible, accurate, and deadly. It stays close to the top of the list for "best" in my book. Don't let the lever guns chambered for them fool you. And don't be tricked by the oldtime look of the bullet shape, it's a killing shape, not for putting a hole in paper at 600 yards. It's a good round a person would not be crazy to set a bolt gun up for it. But the levers are very cool.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:05 PM
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And from what we are seeing now, I'm not so sure I want a common cartridge. They are so common and available they are all gone. But whatever you do, learn to reload. The ability to tune the round to the gun makes a huge difference. For whatever you buy.
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