Picking A Rifle



Can Anyone Give me an idea one picking a rifle I wont be disapointed in. I've found when I go to rifle web sites all I get is rifle companies bios opinions and alot of other web sites and magazines the opinion of with ever rifle company sponsors them I never thought it would be so hard. I'm looking for the most acurate, Long range,with alot of knock down power, that wont lose half the animal on the exit side. I will be hunting elk, buffalo, moose. I see alot of rifles mentioned. The .338 and .375 remington ultra mag,and the .300,.340 weatherby mag.
Here's my take on what you're looking for:

1. Hunting rifle. Something you can pack around going after big game. I'd say something under 10 pounds, including the scope, right?

2. Cartridge. Something that can knock down moose or elk at what a lot of people consider long range, which is ~400 yards.

3. Recoil. Something that will get the job done but won't scare you each time you pull the trigger, right?

4. Price. Everyone has a budget, you just don't want to blow the year's budget on a gun that can out-shoot you, right?

I'll start with suggested cartridges and why.

I'd stick with standard cartridges so you can buy ammo at the nearest store. Wildcats can be your doom if you get in a pinch for ammo. I'd steer clear of the "super magnums". The Remington Ultra Mag and the Weatherby Magnums don't give you all that much flatter shooter of a gun, but the recoil will pummel you, and the ammo isn't cheap. The older standard cartridges will cost you less to shoot, will perform equally well (as far as you'll be able to tell) and will hurt less when you pull the trigger.

.300 Winchester Magnum. An established all-around cartridge, good for pretty much anything you're likely to run into. If you're likely to keep your range down under 250? yards, I'd say to go with the venerable 30-06. Think of the .300 WM as a souped-up 30-06 and you get the idea.

I'd also look at the .338 Winchester Magnum. Pretty much the same recoil, but a bunch more umph at the receiving end. Will perform better on those large bulls.

I have a friend and a brother-in-law that use a .270 WM on elk. You have to be picky on what ammo you use, and be a good shot to hit the boiler room dead on, but it works. I have shot one as well on a cow elk. Did the job, but not much to spare. :-( The 7mm Remington Magnum is basically a souped-up .270 WM. Better bullet selection. Again, I'd consider it marginal on the largest bulls, but many people use them. A 175 grain Nosler Partition will handily go diagonally through an elk. :)

As far as brand of rifle, I'm partial to Remington for various reasons. Get a Sendero if you do, it'll be easier on the shoulder and probably more accurate than you. Many other people swear by Savages as a very good gun for the moey. Not many people recommend Ruger for accuracy. Winchester is just getting it's act together after severely burning the gun community with VERY poor quality in the past. Personally I'd look at Remington, Savage, Sako, Tika, and Browning.

Mark in Utah
I second the 300 Win mag suggestion. Very accurate with the 200 gr Nosler Accubonds plus they have good knockdown power. You can find factory loads just about anywhere if you get in a pinch.

Of course I'm biased for the 300 Win Mag since I have one.

[ 01-28-2004: Message edited by: gonehuntingagain ]
300 or 338 win mag would do you well. If ammo is available, 375 h&h. I have know a couple of people who owned one. I owned one in the ruger #1. not a tack driver but accurate. one of my friends had every factory rifle available in this caliber. used it exclusively for years for everything. said when he hit deer, they just fell over like dominos. almost no meat damage due to the structure of bullets are made for thick skin animals. I found recoil to be tolerable (but then my user rifle is a 458 win mag). If you buy ammo it can be expensive. If you reload....much better.

affordable rifles which are accurate would most likely be the Remington (I would go with the BDL or Sendero) or Savage. I tend to like heavier rifles. I find I shoot them much better off hand. they are steadier. I once had a Sendero in 7mm Rem mag. hauled it all over. never really bothered me. weighed at 11 lbs. my 458 win mag is custom built and I have lugged that for miles....weighs 11 lbs also. my current toy that I am working on is a Sendero in 300 rem ultra mag....21 lbs...won't be lugging that one too far. I believe the sendero is available in 300 win mag also. that should be very accurate, reliable, and can handle those animals you mentioned with the right bullets. ammo will be more affordable and available.

Hmmm, one rifle that you will not be disappointed in.

Tell us a little of what you are looking for

Max weight of rifle?

Max distances of shots?

Your tolerance to recoil with an ability to hit?

How much money do you want to spend? Can go from $500-5000.

Factory or do you reload?

Well the weight doesnt matter a whole lot I have looked at the ultra light models but it doesn't matter. Recoil doesn't matter I just don't want to flinch when I shoot it. As far as ability to hit I could use the practice I had a 1916 30-06 with a bushnell 3x9 and the animals were very safe I don't know if it was the rifle or me. As far as price i'm looking for quality not price but I also do not want to have to hand in on the wall because I'm afraid to hurt it. and as far as loads probably factory I may get into reloads later. And as far distance I don't know what is the average distance a shot is taken at.

[ 01-27-2004: Message edited by: spiritwolf68 ]

If you want factory ammo then the 300 Win Mag is the ticket. You can get premium loads that will do anything you want to do. You can go very heavy bullets or very light, your choice depending on what shooting at.

Go with either the savage or rem sendaro. Have a muzzle brake put on and have gunsmith make a knurled end cap that will cover the threads so you can take it off. That way you can practice more and take less recoil until you become used to it and then take it off to hunt (after reconfirming zero).

Have gunsmith skim bed it, check crown, and lap the lugs and do a 2.5 lb trigger job also. Should shoot 3/4 MOA with decent factory loads.


[ 01-28-2004: Message edited by: BountyHunter ]
For Elk, Moose, and Buffalo, I like the 338 Win mag. I wouldn't go with the 300. Also, I'd use a heavier gun and avoid a muzzle brake if possible.
spiritwolf68 - their are a lot of people here with great knowledge of the shooting sports ,a lot of people who specialize and compete in games that contribute to the skills they need in their hobbies , people who spend the time and money learning and practicing their skills . please don't get hung up on the Magnum issue , most people don't shoot them well ,the general public who hunt , practice very little , my outlook is to shoot the biggest gun that your SKILL allows , the caliber you shoot the BEST and are the most COMFORTABLE with - my friends and I have a game we play, starting mid summer before hunting season, we mark off 200 yards -( to the targets and back) we have 15 pound packs(two - 1gal milk jugs filled with water) and our rifles ,we run that 200yds ,1 minute to set up and load , get our breath and 3 minutes to shoot 15 shots - 5 standing ,5 kneeling and 5 sitting . It doesn't sound very bad - but try it and see what scores you get . it's only 100 yards , oh , looser buys burgers and a beer. ya gots to have a bet - ha ha ha - good luck
I agree with old fart (who's name I love btw), however you mentioned 3 BIG beasts. 300 WSM would be fine. The Barnes 168 Triple Shock would only produce 20-21 lbs of recoil (with a 10lb gun). So you wouldn't need a brake. I wouldn't shoot a buffalo at 500 yards or even a moose, maybe an elk. But inside 250-300 you should be ok.

Note that I'm not saying that combo won't kill at 500 yards, But those animals are expensive to hunt and I want to recover them cleanly. You also mentioned your not a great shot.
Well I have narrowed it down to 2 rifles the .340 weatherby sf and the remington modle 700 sendero sf .338 ultra mag ,but the ballistic seem like the weatherby is a flatter and farther shooting rifle. on a 250 grain sp bullet it shows the weatherby 100yards 3.9, 200=4.6,300=0.0,400=-11.1,500=-29.6.
And on the remington the same bullet 100=1.7,200=0.0,300=-7.6,400=-22.1,500=-44.9.

[ 02-03-2004: Message edited by: spiritwolf1968 ]
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