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Comfortable minimum number of guns for effective hunting?

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Old 01-02-2013, 07:53 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3
Comfortable minimum number of guns for effective hunting?

Hi All,

I'm very new to gun ownership and hunting in general, as well as this site. All I have so far is a S&W 5 shot revolver that my granddad that is 99 years old. As I'm in Canada, this gun can't be used for hunting

So part of the selling of the hobby to my wife was that I would NOT get into gun collecting, which several of her male relatives have been bad examples of leading to marital strife. (i.e. Running up credit card bills, buying guns instead of getting something for the kids, impulse buys that they couldn't afford etc)

I life in BC, Canada, and so have a very wide availability of game that I can hunt here. I'd like to be able to hunt everything that I legally can at least once, from small game/varmints all the way to big game like Moose. Preserving meat & pelts is a priority, as is getting bullets easily. I'd like to get some fur rugs, jackets and blankets from various critters out there. At the same time, I'd like to keep my options open for long range hunting down the road once I master shooting things close to me. I'm not sure what caliber mix is really necessary for this, from what I've read a guy can get by with maybe 3-4 guns comfortably, but which calibers? Any advice/suggestions would be great.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:24 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Blackfoot, Idaho
Posts: 7,993
Re: Comfortable minimum number of guns for effective hunting?

Hmmmm, for nearly 35 years I had only two guns. One a 12 gauge and the other a 270 Winchester. I hardly used the shotgun for anything and used the 270 Win for everything from rock chucks, fox, coyote, deer, elk and moose. It served me well.

I now have only 4 rifles. 3 bolt action single shot and one gas gun.

I take two rifles on a hunting trip but can only carry one.

Any of my rifles will cover the spectrum of game but some are major over kill.

I'd say that if you got something like a good shooting 300 WSM one would be sufficient.
I may be the slowest guy on the mountain . . . . but . . . . I'm on the mountain!
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:48 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Boise IDAHO
Posts: 838
Re: Comfortable minimum number of guns for effective hunting?

I would second the 300 mag or wsm for big game and long range but would suggest a smaller round for fur bearers if you want to save the pelts and keep some real long range option. I personally think ideal would be two guns a 6br for varmints even out to long range and a big 30 or 338 for large game at long range.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:52 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: n.w.montana
Posts: 10
Re: Comfortable minimum number of guns for effective hunting?

i think if i had to have only one ,it would be my 7mm rem mag. but generally throughout the year i use a 10/22, .223 gas gun, .44 mag pistol, 7 rm, 30-30,.22 revolver.....
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:07 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: East Tennessee
Posts: 213
Re: Comfortable minimum number of guns for effective hunting?

If I had to have just the least I could, since you already have a pistol, I'd add 3 more. 10/22 Ruger, 12 gauge 870 Remington, and a older 700 Remington in 308. That should cover almost anything and you could use the 700 to build you a long range rifle in the future.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:40 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South of Canada and North of Wyoming
Posts: 5,954
Re: Comfortable minimum number of guns for effective hunting?

I second the 300 WSM (or WM) for a good all around rifle. It's really all you need. If you wanted to get something smaller for smaller game and fur critters, a 243 or 25-06 would be great and fun to shoot and your wife might like it too. For a possible 3rd, a 223 (I'm looking at a Savage Varmint) would be a great target rifle or even fur getter and cheap to shoot.

There ya go...

Have fun and good shooting!

- Mark

You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you make good use of it.
~ John Quincy Adams
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:11 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 762
Re: Comfortable minimum number of guns for effective hunting?

For me it would be 3-4 rifles and a shotgun if you wanted to hunt birds. I would do a 10/22 Ruger, either a .223 in a AR type platform or a bolt gun in .223, 22-250, or 243, and a .300wm or .300 Weatherby (substitute any of the long belted mags and even a RUM). If I lived there and wanted to hunt grizzly/big black bears a lot I would also pick up a .375 of some flavor (.375 Ruger, .375 H&H, .375 Weatherby, etc.). I only added the 10/22 because they are cheap to plink with and are fun to shoot.
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