Long term affordability

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So I'm considering a new elk hunting rifle, but I'm on a budget. I am looking into a Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP package setup. I want either a 30-06 or a 308. I have several questions. I know both cartridges are very similar in ballistics, but I want to find out about the long term costs of the weapon. What costs more to purchase ammo for? I'm gonna get into reloading, what costs less to keep reloading? Given that both have the same length barrel, which is the better cartridge for long term accuracy (I expect shots anywhere from 100-300yd)? Recoil isn't much of an issue to me, I've been told the 30-06 has more kick and I've had one before. Any other considerations I should consider?
 
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Me thinks you think too much.

An Elk rifle uses 5 rounds a year. Two to verify zero and three to put the animal down...if you see one and if you get a shot. You can buy the most expensive ammo made and that cost will pale in comparison to the other expenses incurred to hunt.

I would fret about how you are going to trade up to a quality scope, such as a Leupold VX-3.

I'd go 30-06 over .308, just from a personal preference.
 
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eternalphoenix64
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I'm well known for thinking too much. I'm a little out of practice. I haven't shot a gun (with the intent of accuracy) in several years, let alone hunted. But when I did hunt, I still went several times a year to shoot. This helped my dad (I was a kid then) refine the loads for the ammo we used in hunting as well as helped me refine my skills. I know I need a lot of practice to get back to where I was, let alone to make myself better. Back then, I was lucky to have 3" groups, and that was due to my lack of skill, not the loads used.
 
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Me thinks you think too much.

An Elk rifle uses 5 rounds a year. Two to verify zero and three to put the animal down...if you see one and if you get a shot. You can buy the most expensive ammo made and that cost will pale in comparison to the other expenses incurred to hunt.

I would fret about how you are going to trade up to a quality scope, such as a Leupold VX-3.

I'd go 30-06 over .308, just from a personal preference.
This was what I was thinking when I bought my elk gun. I didin't see needing more then a box or 2 of ammo ever at a time and trust me, if you think 308 can be expensive, try 338-378.

So, I would just get whatever you think you need or want that will get the job done and really don't worry about the ammo cost unless you really want to shoot it alot.
 
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I got a Savage 111 in 30.06 and got a great deal and it shoots great. I would get what you can at a good deal and not worry about ammo. They are so similar that there really isnt an issue. Just like KalamaMark said and get the best scope you can buy.
 
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A friend of mine once said "Only a rich man can afford a cheap scope". A cheap scope is one that is constantly being upgraded or replaced every year because it wasn't good enough or only what you could afford initially. As far as price on ammo between .308 and .30-06 there is virtually none at this time. For elk hunting I would get the .30-06 over the .308 simply because it has a little more power and elk can be tough critters to take down efficiently. Nothing wrong with the Savage rifles you are considering other than the "cheap" scope (rings & bases too) they come with. My advice would be to skip the package rifle and buy the bare rifle and get good quality optics, bases & rings. It is good that you are looking ahead about the decisions you are making.
 
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eternalphoenix64
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That made me think, and I checked Savage's website, for $40 more, I can get the non-packaged model, and that will add the AccuStock, since I planned to replace the scope anyways, that may well be the route I go.

So here's a new question, from some of my thoughts lately, I might also get into moose hunting eventually, and I was curious what is the caliber of choice for moose? Not restricted to only .308 or 30-06.
 
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So I'm considering a new elk hunting rifle, but I'm on a budget. I am looking into a Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP package setup. I want either a 30-06 or a 308. I have several questions. I know both cartridges are very similar in ballistics, but I want to find out about the long term costs of the weapon. What costs more to purchase ammo for? I'm gonna get into reloading, what costs less to keep reloading? Given that both have the same length barrel, which is the better cartridge for long term accuracy (I expect shots anywhere from 100-300yd)? Recoil isn't much of an issue to me, I've been told the 30-06 has more kick and I've had one before. Any other considerations I should consider?
That's a good rifle choice...and there are many other good choices in your price range such as Weatherby Vanguard, Tikka T3lite, or Howa 1500. That's just a few there are others. We are fortunate to live in a time where the accurate and affordable bolt action rifle exist as the same gun. I'll try and field the rest of your questions one by one for simplicity's sake.
1. There shouldn't be any long term costs of the weapon beyond buying it unless you wish to modify it heavily at some point down the road. I doubt you will as it would be cheaper and more suitable to just buy another rifle if your needs or wants change.
2. Both .308 and .30-06 cost roughly the same and cost roughly the same to reload. As you know, the .30-06 has a very slight edge in power and works better with the heaviest bullets in it's class such as the 220 gr. The .308 usually has a slight to moderate edge in accuracy but practical bullet performance tops out about a 175 gr. bullet or so.
3. For shots out to 300 yds....you won't notice a bit of difference between the 2 cartridges, but good question. Actually both are suitable for 400 yd hunting and while others will no doubt disagree, 400 yds or so is about where I would stop for safe, ethical, practical hunting range.
4. The .30-06 recoils slightly more....usually. Because usually it's a little faster. Physics is physics.
5. Either one will do you just fine but if I were gonna hunt elk and moose....I'd get the .30-06 and be completely okay with that choice. I own 3 or 4 of them...but I'll be honest with you, I would look at something a little bigger and more powerful IF I could afford more than one rifle. On the other hand if money is an issue I wouldn't hesitate to shoot elk or moose with the .30-06 either. I've never killed a moose but I have killed half a dozen elk with a .30-06 and never had a problem with decent shot placement.

Finally, that's the bottom line. Practice. Shot placement and decent penetration is the key, caliber is second. Also, as mentioned everywhere else, buy the best scope you can afford. Good luck !
 
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That made me think, and I checked Savage's website, for $40 more, I can get the non-packaged model, and that will add the AccuStock, since I planned to replace the scope anyways, that may well be the route I go.

So here's a new question, from some of my thoughts lately, I might also get into moose hunting eventually, and I was curious what is the caliber of choice for moose? Not restricted to only .308 or 30-06.
You really are comparing two of the worst calibers to compare as they are so close to each other in performance. The .30-06 will always have the ability to push the same bullet faster then the .308 as it has more case volume. However, the .308 has it's own attributes which can make it a bit more accurate then the .30-06. I don't know about you, but I don't have the ability to witness any of that accuracy down range. Rifleshooter magazine has done a great write up on this very same question in their March/April issue.

Affordability in the long run. Brass is going to cost the same, bullets ARE the same and you may use less powder in the .308, but that is all dependent on how you're loading. I will say I just got back from Bi-Mart and they had .30-06 ammunition on the shelf and have had it congruently for years. I haven't seen .308 there since the middle of December.

Lastly, regarding Moose. I'd use a .30-06 if I already had one and the ranges were going to be 100-300 yards. However, I'd most likely use it as an excuse to buy another rifle and venture into the .35 or .375 caliber range. I really like the .375 Ruger.


4. The .30-06 recoils slightly more....usually. Because usually it's a little faster. Physics is physics.
This "can" be true, like the OP said, physics is physics, but it's not always true. However, keep in mind, .308's use a Short action, so the gun is physically smaller and there is less wood and metal. This could make the felt recoil more. Also consider the type of rifle. Is it a mountain gun? Is it two different brands? My good old wood 700 in .30-06 has less felt recoil then my buddy's new plastic Ruger American in .308, simply because the American is a much lighter rifle. The recoil isn't bad on either gun, you just feel it more out of the Ruger.
 
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I used a 30.06 for a long time, but eventually bought a 300 WM and use that now. I would purchase the 30.06 because if you decide to moose hunt or even with Elk, the 30.06 has such a large variety of bullrts and bullet weights (Not to say the .308 is a horrible round.) I just prefer the 30.06. If I could only have one hunting caliber the 30.06 would be my choice as well.
 
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eternalphoenix64
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So much good information to sort through. This is the kinda stuff a web search would take eons to tell you. Thanks much for all the input. I forgot how complicated making an informed firearm purchase could be. Haha
 

s1xty7

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I'm not a big hunter but I thought I would speak to the slightly more practical nature of ammo availability. Around here, I don't see as much .308 on the shelves as I do 30-06. Not to mention the variety of rounds available even at the local Wal-Mart.

On a side note, when I was picking out my Savage 110XP a few years ago, I went with the .270 which seems to be as easy to find as any other round and shoots a slightly flatter trajectory than a 30-06. Seems more for elk and smaller game though. Not sure of how well it would suit you for moose. The 30-06 might be one of the most universal, flexible, and easy to find rounds available.
 
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You have to shoot the animal three times?
I shoot them until they go down. 3 rounds is a good number if one is trying to calculate the long term ammo cost for an elk rifle.

I know many that have shot only once, then have failed to find their wounded animal. I've harvested 13 bulls over the last 20 years, and probably averaged 1.7 rounds per animal.
 
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eternalphoenix64
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I shoot them until they go down. 3 rounds is a good number if one is trying to calculate the long term ammo cost for an elk rifle.

I know many that have shot only once, then have failed to find their wounded animal. I've harvested 13 bulls over the last 20 years, and probably averaged 1.7 rounds per animal.
I've heard stories of shooting once, hitting them in the chest, then they take off and you find the blood and follow the blood but no animal.... but if you're shooting more than once at the same animal, especially with a bolt-action, you're doing something wrong. Even my first year when I was jacked up on adrenaline and ready for a second shot that quickly, I never saw them again. I did find the tip of the ear I shot off though (learned that lesson real quick!)
 
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I've heard stories of shooting once, hitting them in the chest, then they take off and you find the blood and follow the blood but no animal.... but if you're shooting more than once at the same animal, especially with a bolt-action, you're doing something wrong.
I am not really sure what you are trying to say here. Are you saying we should just let the wounded animal run off and die somewhere? Are you saying we should all be so good we only need one shot to take an animal? Even the best and most skilled hunters will have an off day and require at least one or two follow up shots.
 
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eternalphoenix64
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I am not really sure what you are trying to say here. Are you saying we should just let the wounded animal run off and die somewhere? Are you saying we should all be so good we only need one shot to take an animal? Even the best and most skilled hunters will have an off day and require at least one or two follow up shots.
I'm just saying that even a skilled hunter is unlikely to reacquire a target in that time.... unless you're hunting where there aren't any trees. Elk bolt after they hear a gunshot so close. No, I don't think we should let an animal go off bleeding to suffer, but elk seem to be pretty resilient in this matter. I've heard of elk shot in the chest that die on the spot and I've heard of elk shot in the chest that run for miles before dying and I've heard of elk that run for miles before the blood trail disappears and the animal is never to be seen again. If you have a bolt-action, it takes a little time to reload. You can't shot BANGBANGBANG..... you have to shoot BANG(bolt)BANG(bolt)BANG. That takes time where the animal moves from where you last shot it. If you don't instantly have that animal in your sights when you reload and you have to reacquire, it's unlikely that you'll have any shot to take, let alone a clean shot.
 

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