If you could only have one rifle for hunting (p-dogs to bear) and competion which one and what caliber? Be it your dream gun or one you already have. Oh and it can't be a switch barrel either... one barrel one caliber. Have you ever thought about this?
On the guns would like to know what made you choose it and the caliber. To make it a little more difficult it can weight more than 20# (LG to be able to be carried in the field for hunting)
You never know when you might have to make that choice might as well think about it now. If you wind up building it don't blame me [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img], just something I thought about while watching some TV.
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It would have to be a 30 caliber. You can shoot anything from prarie dogs to bear with a 300 ultra, I have this, but I would have it in a sendero, which i dont have. Then you can pump up some 110grain going 4000+ for the prarie dogs, and 220 partition going 3000, and the 240 matchking with unbeliveable BC. This should cover everything more or less, hope you just have the $$$ to buy the ammo. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
I just went through this process again, and I think about everybody does from time to time. I do not, however, have just one gun and I think there is no "perfect" choice for just one gun.
That said, I chose the .338 Win. Mag. The main reason is that I may be required to shoot across a clearcut for moose, maybe three- or four-hundred yards. I also hunt black bear and want to be able to take an opportunity for elk or big bears if I get a chance.
I also hunt deer in tight brush, and the .338 is not the best choice, but it works. I always take along a Marlin lever-action 30/30, but it always stays on the rack at camp, because I worry about getting a long shot at a trophy and being under-gunned.
A .338 bullet is pretty expensive for prairie dogs, but if you use it for that the little buggers will find themselves sitting around the card table in prairie dog heaven not knowing how they got there.
Your bullet choices range from 160 gr. to 300 gr., with speeds available around the 3,000 fps mark for even the heaviest.
Hard-hitting, flat-shooting, accurate, easy to find ammunition, enough gun for anything in North America.
The only drawback I hear people talk about is recoil. For me, it's not an issue. I can easily shoot 40 rounds in a session without punishing my shoulder. I don't know if it's me, the gun or the pad or the load. In fairness, I let a friend shoot it once, and he doesn't care to again.
I shoot a Browning A-bolt Stalker II with a Pachmyer recoil pad, usually 250 gr. Sierras with 65 gr. of IMR 4350. 65 grains is low, but it's what my gun likes on the target range.
Well I have also thought of this many times a year.. I can honestly say if i have to have one gun and one gun only it wont be a rifle.. I would have to choose my .44 mag superblackhawk.. There isnt anything walkin on this earth that gun couldnt handle plus if i want/need to i could load birdshot for those feathery friends.. But since you said rifle i would have to go with my trusty 25/06 reason again would be there isnt anything you couldnt bring down with that and there not that expensive to reload.. Plus you can reach the chucks way out as well [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]...
I am presently have a real love affair with my 30 Gibbs. Brass is readily available and easily fireformed. With the right bullets, it can hammer a big brown bear up close or a mulie at 1000yds. For varmint shooting, I would even consider cast bullets. A 150 to 180gr FN cast bullet at 1500 to 1800fps would put a quick end to any varmint out to 300yds. Recoil, barrel wear and cost would be negligible.
My present rig has a 26" barrel and is of a fairly heavy sporter/magnum contour. Fluting this barrel would make it balance better (right now 10lbs with scope). With a muzzle brake, it is very comfortable to shoot. Might go with a 24" barrel, fluting and brake to make it more portable.
That is my perfect all around NA hunting rifle and cartridge. At least for now...
kk, you are right as far as I know there is no perfect rifle that will fit everyone. It doesn't have to be perfect just able to complete all the task asked of it.
Ric,since we are in North America lets say from black to polar bears. Range most seem to shoot out to 1000 yards but, you never know if you'll have the time or way to get closer if its a ONCE IN A LIFE TIME TROPHY.
Where everyone hunts in these United States has some type of brsuh to wide open spaces and we have to make the best choice than we can in order to accomplisht that. Remember the frontiersman had squirrelguns to buffalo rifles and made do. Not knocking the custom guns(magnums to peashooters) bullet placement is the key right? Thats why we practice.
To me the 30 cals can do it, the 338 could probably do it better. If there was a way to make something larger that was readdly available work I would choose it but, nothing bigger than a 416 cal [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]. JMHO hopefully it will never come down to having only one gun but if it ever does hopefully whoever we're hunting with can share some ammo. [img]images/icons/cool.gif[/img]
Courage,Spirit and Honor
Pass It On