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Best rifle, scope, caliber for deer, elk, bear in Western WA?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by aaronf, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. aaronf

    aaronf Gig Harbor Member

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    I'm just taking up hunting and am looking for some wisdom on a rifle purchase. I have been around firearms all of my life, just haven't hunted. So far I am leaning toward a Savage 111 in 30-06 or 300 Win Mag. Savage because they can be inexpensive to purchase and are known for their accuracy as well as being a great platform to build on.

    Any thoughts :huh:
     
  2. BANE

    BANE Battle Ground WA. Well-Known Member

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    30/06 would work good but i would buy a Rem.700
     
  3. aaronf

    aaronf Gig Harbor Member

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    I get that the Remington 700 is the benchmark, I'm just not sure what makes it better.
     
  4. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Either the Savage or the 700 are great guns. With new firearms neither one is really better then the other. I have a 700 and love it. I also have a Stevens 200 (bottom line Savage) and it is a great cheap gun. If i was going to buy new i would buy a Savage. You seem to get more bang for your buck with them and they can be a bit cheaper. If you like to tinker the Savage is way easier to tinker with at home.

    For a scope it is hard to beat the Leupold VX-II 3x9x40. Made in the Oregon and lifetime warranty.

    Caliber. 30-06 will do everything you listed and more with off the shelf ammo you can find moat anywhere.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC
     
    aaronf and (deleted member) like this.
  5. branson4020

    branson4020 Forest Grove, OR Active Member

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    You cannot do better than to start off with a 30-06. Around my neighborhood everybody has one (or several). Once you have hunted a bit, you can make a more informed decision about calibers.
     
  6. aaronf

    aaronf Gig Harbor Member

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    I'll check out the Leupold. I know they have a great reputation, like the Rem 700, but I didn't know they are made in OR. Made in USA is a plus for me.
     
  7. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    30-'06 is a fine round if you intend to shoot all three with one gun. As far as a maker goes, it's tough to beat the 700 as BANE stated. I have .22 mag's in Savage and I love the Accu-Trigger on the little stuff. I have a Remington 660 in .308 that is an "everything" gun. Short barrel, light, Remington reliability and almost identical to the '06 in ballistic's. If I could only own one reasonably priced current manufacture bolt action rifle it would be a Remington 700. The Weatherby Vanguard is an exceptional value. '06, .308, .270 Win. or .300 Winchester Mag are all good "do it all" calibers. A Vanguard in .300 Weatherby Mag is an amazingly powerful rifle for an amazing price. I don't know if I would call that an ideal deer cartridge, but for elk or bear it's perfect. If you buy a Ruger, Remington, Weatherby, Thompson or Savage you should have a quality firearm that will out-shoot the shooter. Be patient and find what fits you. You can usually get the rifle from $399 for the Vanguard to $500 or so for the lower model 700's, Thompson's and Ruger's. I can't comment on the Savage 111. I don't like the Accu-Trigger in centerfire rifles. Your scope options greatly differ depending on price range. In my opinion, having only one rifle should require quality optics and preferably should have iron sights in the case of optics breaking or becoming useless mid-hunt or mid-apocolyptic-collapse-of-society. What is your total budget for this rifle, optics and all? The great thing about your options today is that they are endless for virtually all budgets. Kip
     
  8. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    And remember, Ruger is 100% made in the USA.
     
  9. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've done it before and if this new, expensive Kimber Montana doesn't work out (feeding problems, already been back to Kimber once) I will do it again. Sometimes you don't get everything you need when you spend lots of money.

    "It" is a Ruger 77MKII or Hawkeye 30-06. They come without sights (fine by me) but do come with a set of scope rings and the best scope mounting system available. I've always topped them with Leupold 3-9x40 scopes. I regret letting the last one go......

    All of the other brands listed will provide you with a quality firearm.

    You will not regret using a 30-06, either.
     
  10. sasquatch

    sasquatch Everett, WA Active Member

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  11. lostbackpacker

    lostbackpacker marysville,wa Member

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    i second the ruger77 mkII. i have shot that rifle for the last 18 years, although not for bear. i just recently bought what i consider to be the best all around rifle. a sako finnbear 338 pre garcia. i topped it with a leupold vxII 3x9 40mm.

    alot of people will say thats too much gun for around here. to each their own. its a gun i've been looking at finding for many years.

    good luck, have fun and get comfortable with the rifle..
     
  12. aaronf

    aaronf Gig Harbor Member

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    I own a 10/22 and an SP101 and would have no problem adding another Ruger. I almost traded for a beautiful stainless with laminated stock M77 mkll, but the deal fell through. I like the idea of laminated or synthetic stocks.
     
  13. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I talked to a Rocky Mountain Elk Fed guy at a gun show,many years ago,with this same question.
    He kind of smiled,and said the 30-06 is probably thee most versatile caliber you can get.There are bullets available from 110gr for smaller animals to 220gr for elk and bigger bear.The 30-06 will and has killed every big game animal on the North American continent.

    As for the brand? Get the rifle that fits you best,both physically and financially,as most new guns are more accurate than you will shoot.
    If you need an US made scope then there should still be a good Leopold scope for you.They have some budget models and some really,really nice models. I heard Redding is made down there by Leopold now?

    Go out and shot your new rifle often and good luck
     
  14. aaronf

    aaronf Gig Harbor Member

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    I'm thinking $600 for a sensible rifle and a nice scope. I just don't have $1000-$1500 for one rifle. Considering the "apocolyptic-collapse-of-society" aspect may add another dimension to my deliberations.
     
  15. PBruske234

    PBruske234 Eagle Creek, OR Member

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    I prefer the 7mm over the 30-06, and Remington 700 over other models, BUT BiMart has a killer deal right now on center fire rifles. $50 dollars off, so that would put the savage at $217.00 in 30-06. For that price, I'd shoot an ought 6 lol.

    This is kind of a "to each their own" type question. Every gun mentioned will get the job done with a properly placed shot. Most scopes will do if properly mounted and zeroed in. Now if we are talking 600+ yard shots, we need more serious equipment. But lets be honest, most of us wont be dialing in at much further than that.

    My advice. Go with what you like as far as gun manufacturer, consider resale and reliability. Go with a caliber you feel comfortable with and that you feel you can shoot accurately time after time. Go with a scope you can afford, and that has the features you like. And most importantly be realistic with what you'll be using it for. A properly placed shot out of a $60 dollar mosin-nagant is going to kill the deer / elk / whatever the same way $5000 dollar rig will. Just my 2 cents. Good luck on your shopping, enjoy the hunt.
     
  16. aaronf

    aaronf Gig Harbor Member

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    So far the consensus is for a Remington 700 or Ruger M77 mkll in 30-06 with a Leupold VX-2 3-9x40. What about a 7mm-08 or .270, are they big enough for elk and bear?
     
  17. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Yes as long as you are reasonable about your shooting skills and don't take that 600,or even 400 yard shot.
    Some guys are going to heavier calibers,most times because they can't shoot that good and they are loosing game.
    If you become proficient with your new 30-06 or a 7mm or 270 and actually HUNT (meaning go spot and stock the animal instead of shooting that trophy 3 counties away) an elk and place the shot in the vitals,they will be perfect
    Even a 243 will drop an elk .....at very close ranges.
    Remember,stick throwers kill elk all the time

    And this is the best time to look for rifles.Some need some money and the season is months away,giving you plenty of time to practice .
     
  18. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    With a properly placed shot, they are enough for elk or bear. Years ago I purchased a Remington 770 rifle/scope combo from Bi-Mart for $279.99. It was in .270 Win. and that scope dialed the rifle 1.25"-3 shot groups at 100 yards. I'm sure a better shot than I could have made it 1". That is Remington;s bottom model, but it put the bullets in the same place EVERY time. I believe you can still get the Remington 770 package in '06 for less than $300 at Bi-Mart or Big 5. I traded that .270 away and it was one of the few regrets I have in all my trading experience. It was SO accurate, especially for $290 after the background check. Kip.
     
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  19. sasquatch

    sasquatch Everett, WA Active Member

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    The .270 wouldn't be my first choice for big elk, but one of my hunting buddies has hunted Roosevelt elk for 30+ years
    on the Olympic Peninsula with his .270. He has killed some monsters, and he has never lost one. He uses quality bullets
    (Nosler partitions), and is very careful with the shots he takes.
     
  20. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion, 400-600 yard shots should only be made in desperation, when you actually need that animal to eat. Otherwise it's an irresponsible shot. Even for someone considered a good shot, I frown on it. Kip.