Hunting Newb. Need Ideas

Hunting Newb. Need Ideas

This is a discussion on Hunting Newb. Need Ideas within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Is there a better topic for this question? My father in law wants to take me hunting, (hopefully not to shoot me). I would like ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array jdhog's Avatar
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    Hunting Newb. Need Ideas

    Is there a better topic for this question?

    My father in law wants to take me hunting, (hopefully not to shoot me). I would like to get my own equipment but have no idea where to start. So here I am looking for ideas on a good rilfe/ammo combo for hunting anywhere from deer up to bear, moose, elk, and who knows what else.

    Is a good round for a bear/moose too big for a deer? Or a round for a deer too small for a bear/moose? Is there a middle ground round that would cover a wider range of targets?

    Also what do you guys think about bolt vs semi-auto for hunting?
    Personally I like the idea of a semi-auto for quicker followup shots, and slightly lighter recoil. Also, semi-auto is better for rapid fire against a charging target.
    But i understand bolt is a little bit more accurate.


  2. #2
    Member Array 2slow04's Avatar
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    Aug 2012

    Hunting Newb. Need Ideas

    A good all around caliber for hunting is a bolt action 30-06 or a .308 caliber. A remington 700 will be best bang for your buck as they are tried and true with proven accuracy.
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array Lotus222's Avatar
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    Pretty much what 2slow said. When it comes to big game hunting, you want to make the first shot count. Bolt actions offer the most accuracy. Typically there is no need for a followup shot - unless the first shot was poorly placed. Even then, you won't need a semi.

    A semi can be good for game that is a little quicker on it's feet or for multiple targets. Like coyote.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array SFury's Avatar
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    You need to narrow things down some.

    What are you typically hunting? What type of range will you be shooting? Have you ever fired a rifle, and if so do you know your recoil limit?

    You can have the biggest, baddest caliber out there, but if you can't handle the recoil you will never shoot well.

    There are many calibers that will work for a wide variety of game. What is best for me, is not necessarily what is best for you.

    Lets take me for example. I have a fairly high recoil tolerance. I can handle heavier calibers over the 7mm08 I hunt with. I use the caliber I have because it can kill everything in the state of Wisconsin easily without being overkill. It's a great caliber for the shooting I do. Most of my shots are within 100 yards. It's a very flat shooting caliber for shorter shots. Very little kick as well. I can't tell the difference between it and the 243. I used to use a 44 mag rifle. That had no kick in comparison. That is a short range gun in comparison. Effective, yes, but I like the extra punch from a rifle cartridge.

    Now, if I was out west, and had to routinely take longer shots I would use a different caliber. Nothing as extreme as 300 WM. I'd probably go with a 7mm RM because it has better shooting characteristics for farther shots than the 7mm08. More punch too. The 308, 270, and 30-06 are similar rounds. All are capable of taking the game you mentioned, aside from bear potentially. When you say bear, what species are we talking? If black bear, then all of the rounds listed in this paragraph will meet your needs. If you can do your part and shoot well.

    For grizzlies, well, I don't have experience with them. Nor do I want to hunt them. On some of the hunting shows they go with rounds from the 7mm RM and up. Typically bigger. I don't know the reasoning for that. A lot of people go bigger with rifle calibers to compensate for poor shooting skills. Bigger punch can make up for a less then perfect shot.

    Personally, I prefer a lighter kicking round, and more time at the range. If I get better at doing my part, then I don't need to stress my body more than it has to be.

  6. #5
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    Have to agree with the 30-06. For deer, I'd go with the factory 150 grain bullet. Bear it would depend on the type hunting, 150 gr will work fine for black bear. For the brown (grizzly) and moose, I'd want something heavier, probably go with 220 grain round nose. 180 grain should work well for Elk.
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    I've always used either a lever- or bolt-action rifle for hunting. With practice, you can amaze your buddies at how fast you can make "aimed" follow-up shots. It's never been an issue with me. A .308 or .30-06 is capabale of taking down anything in the lower 48 states. My Rem 700 in .30-06 had never failed to do its job.
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  8. #7
    Member Array Bstock87's Avatar
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    Hunting Newb. Need Ideas

    Marlin lever action 336 or one of the bigger calibers is a great gun. Not too expensive either.

  9. #8
    Ex Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    You should go all urban commando on him! It totally impresses experienced hunters ...

    (I swear by the .308)

  10. #9
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    Array pgrass101's Avatar
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    I would go with a .308 or a .30-06 in a Remington 750
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array mprp's Avatar
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    Good old bolt action .30-06. Pretty much good on everything that roams North America. Along with the availability and variety of ammo loads the .30-06 gets my vote for best all around. That's what I would start out with but if you find yourself hunting more in areas where very long shots are the norm, then there's nothing wrong with buying another rifle like a 7mm RM or .300 RM. No one here will yell at you for doing that.

    SFury brings up some good points.
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  12. #11
    Array atctimmy's Avatar
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    The 30 06 is widely known to be the best all around, do it all caliber. The reality though is that almost any high powered rifle cartridge is lethal far beyond your wildest dreams.

    For a first rifle I suggest a Stevens 200 in .308 or 30-06. They are solid, accurate and very inexpensive.

    STEVENS MODEL 200 .308WIN : Bolt Action Rifles at

    The Stevens is a TON of gun for the money and if you decide hunting is not for you...Or if you decide you want something fancy, you will be able to sell it with little or no loss.

    Go get a Stevens and then check back with us when you want to talk scopes.
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  13. #12
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    The .30-06 is great! The ultimate do-it-all cartridge. It's secret is to match selections from its wide bullet weight range to the game hunted.

    For deer one can use 150-165 grain weights (125 grains will work on smaller Texas whitetails). Use 165-180 grain weights for elk and such. If really big game is the quarry then whack 'em with heavy 200-220 grain bullets.
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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    Hunting Newb. Need Ideas

    Another vote for 30-06 from me.

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  15. #14
    Member Array Carvin66's Avatar
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    Hunting Newb. Need Ideas

    Yes, you can't go wrong with the 30.06.
    Any modern bolt action rifle will be fine.
    If you want a scope, nikon makes good glass at a decent price, and they have a great free online ballistics program that will make their scope simple to use with any commercial ammo.

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  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array onacoma's Avatar
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    Here you go for a newer rifle and not that expensive:

    The Ruger American Rifle™ Bolt-Action Rifle Models

    Then I would go with something like a 3 X 9 scope from Leupold. All total in under a grand!

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