I have a good hunting buddy that has been getting into more longrange hunting. He is looking for a gun that he can shoot anything from ground hogs to elk with. He also wants it to be factory as he can't afford a custum build. I told him I thought a 264 win mag, 6.5 x 284 or 7mm Rem mag would do the trick. I also told him either Savages long range hunter or Rem sendero. You can get the 6.5 x 284 and 7mm in the savage and the 264 and 7mm in the sendero. All of my guns seem to run over bore so I don't know what one might suit him best. At 600 yards with all of them shooting 140 bergers they are pretty close, but at a 1000 things change pretty good. What do you guys think?
Savage makes the best low cost rifle out there with accuracy, if you plan to hunt Elk or Deer. For Groundhogs a .22-250 or a .223. than for elk you need another calibre thats bigger, the smallest I can think of in my book would be a 7mm08.
But I would not chance it, unless I was about 10 yards, from the Elk, but its great for Deer.
Not possible. Use a 22 for groundhogs and buy a elk rifle. Do not risk wounding an elk with an inadequate rifle. Or shoot groundhogs with a elk rifle. But don't attemp to shoot elk with a groundhog rifle.
The 264 winchester with 130 scirrocos will kill elk and you can load it with light varmint bullets. I shot groundhogs with my 257 wby and it was fun.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future
What I glean from your post is that he is already hunting. Inventory what he has and build on that, or sell it. Affordable: It may not be more expensive to upgrade what he has, than starting from scratch. Example, whatever he is shooting now will likely benefit from an investment in a high quality scope. He can shoot until he wears this out his present rifle, and still have the scope for whatever he graduates to. Reality, there isn't really a good gopher to godzilla cartridge if you have a tight budget. A good off season varmint hunt may wear your big game rifle out. Reality, pin down what he is actually going to do, if money is tight opportunities will be also. If coyotes are what's available to him get a good coyote rifle now, and budget/plan for other opportunities. In many places his opportunity to shoot may be limited to a range-if so get something that's fun at the range until the budget improves. Plenty of good quality .223 and .308's available to keep cost down.
I think most of us have had to proceed in a step wise fashion to play this game within our budgets. Like all budgets write down what you have, and that will make a lot of decisions up front. I'm just guessing not knowing more facts. Keep it fun.
Personally the 6.5x284 is going to be the ticket as far as an all around cartridge. If he reloads he will be able to put together some very potent loads to kill LR groundhogs to 7 or 800yd elk. If he doesn't reload than you are really limited in what you have as far as factory ammo.
The other option would be the venerable .308 Winny. Good cartridge and will do all you ask of it with reasonable limitations. It won't fry barrels and you will be able to shoot varmint loads to heavy rounds for elk. With a little research you will be able to find some good 180 and 190 Target loads. Those will pack enough energy to 700yds for an elk.
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Thanks guys for the responce. I should have been more specific on what he would plan to hunt long range. Ground hogs, he would be lucky to shoot a half a dozen a year. We live in the midwest so we don't go out west every year, though I''m starting to but I usually take my bow. Elk he probably wouldn't shoot past 300 yards so the 6.5 would have the knock down needed. The deer and antelope, well considering you can hunt with a 223 in some states for deer plenty of power. and chucks we shoot to kill not eat. I think he has decided on the 264 in the sendero because of the 26" barrel vs the 24" in the savage, I'm not sure if you could get the full patentule from a 24" barrel?