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I have a friend who has been invited to an elk hunt in fall of 2011 (lucky bastage). He asked for my opinion on a all around gun for the hunt. His price range is $1100-1200 for gun and glass. I suggested a 30-06 bolt w/ a synthetic stock and a quality 4*12 or 16 scope. I thought the rifle could be used for both deer and elk, unlike a 338win and using 3006 would allow some money left over to buy practice rounds.

First am I correct in my thinking.

2nd any suggestions on a high quality low price rifle?

3rd scope suggestions (esp. from those who have hunted elk in the mountains).

4th ammo, is 180gr Remington corlok OK or heaver premium better? Is there any info for ammo changes at lower temps and higher altitudes?

He has an old Mongomery Ward beater 3006 that he was thinking to take as backup. Is that over kill?

Thanks for the info!
 

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30-06 will be a fine rifle

As for his price range that would allow him to get into about any stock rack rifle out there, with decent glass on it. The scope to 12-16 seems a little overkill for a realistic shot on an elk with a 30-06 though think 250-300 yard limit with range and 300 to me would be If i was really feeling comfy.
I shoot a Winchester model 70 in .270 personally. I like to lean towards the nosler partitions and really like how the federal ammo fires( I have found significantly less carbon/junk on range trips). CoreLokt is tried and true as well. A couple other premiums are available but besides something like a solid Barnes for lead restriction reasons ehh... I'm sure everyone has there opinions and all these are just mine. Personally if his Montgomery ward still shoots straight case it and be good to go and spend the 1200 on another trip.
 

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if he's not too worried about a gun being new, be sure to check out the pawn shops around--may be able to find something he's looking for, good quality, and a little less than he'll have to pay new. Plus a lot of rigs at pawns already have a decent scope mounted.
 

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I've been looking for a good all around deer rifle and personally have my sights set on a SS Tikka T3 Lite in 7mm-08. He probably should go with another caliber but the Tikka is something I'd take a serious look at. It's a lot of rifle for the money (under $600). With the extra money he could put something like a Zeiss Conquest on top and still be under budget. I just picked up a mint Nikon Buckmaster w/BDC for a steal on eBay. It's a great scope if he doesn't want to spend more on a Zeiss, Leupold, etc.. That would put him well under his budget matched up with a Tikka T3.

The Savages w/Accutrigger look nice also. Lots of good reviews on the trigger and accuracy out there.

Here are some others to keep an eye out for new/used:
-Rem 700 CDL SF
-Rem Mountain LSS
-Winchester 70 Featherweight (pre 64)

If he wants to stay out of a magnum caliber, the 30-06 is probably his best bet for versatility and ammo availability. A .270/280 or even a .308 if he wants a short action are probably good too. Checkout the Hornady Light Magnum ammo. Reviews say it's good stuff.

HTH.
 

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A consideration that you haven't mentioned is the weight of said hunting rifle and scope combo. You did not mention where this hunt is to take place, but would assume here in the Rockies. When you come from the lowlands to altitude every ounce of weight is magnified 10x. My wife has a Ruger 77 ultralight in 7mm short mag that is about the ultimate mountain gun. It's topped with a Burris 3 x 9 scope that is more than adequate for anything roaming the mountains here. This combo only weighs 7 or 8 pounds. We live at 7000 ASL and regularly travel above 10,000 and this is a big factor in considering any gear when traveling here. Lighter is always, always, better.
 

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Personally, I'm a big fan of the 300 Win. Mag. Years ago, we were planning an Elk hunt so I bought the rifle but we never got to make the trip. Still have the rifle though and love it. Remington 700 BDL.

There's nothing wrong with an '06 but the 300 will do everything the '06 will do and more. I've downloaded the 300 and used it on whitetail. Loaded to it's max, it's a devastating cartridge and an elk is a big animal with bulls averaging 700+ lbs. and sometimes reaching over 1200 lbs. With both rifles loaded with 180 grain bullets, the 300 will make about 600 ft.lbs. more energy than the '06.

Regardless of caliber, all of the major manufacturers build good rifles. I'm partial to the Remington 700 rifles because there are so many aftermarket items available for them. However, the Browning X-Bolt is one nice looking rifle. I would strongly suggest he go with a synthetic stock. Not as pretty as wood, but eliminates a bunch of problems associated with wood stocks.

For glass, go with the best he can afford. Power depends a lot on the terrain he will be hunting in. Mountain terrain can go from dense timber to wide open valleys. At the least, I'd suggest a variable in the 2X7, 3X9 or 4X12 range. Leupold builds some good scopes in that range that aren't terribly expensive. The 3X9X50 Rifleman scope should be a good choice for power and the 50mm objective will help in low light situations.

For bullet weight, I'd stay in the 180-190 range at a minimum.

And yes, if he has a spare rifle, definitely take it. A back-up rifle could save a once-in-a-lifetime hunt.

Hoss
 

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I own and am partial to the .30-06. My youngest son owns a .300 Weatherby. He's finding the ammo is EXPENSIVE and scarce. The .300 Win. Mag is a good choice too. I have complete confidence in my .30-06 to take any game I choose to hunt. You are correct in the versatility of the .30-06. +1 on the Nikon scope. That's what's on my rifle and it's like looking through the clearest 35mm camera you've ever seen.

Bullet selection will be critical regardless of the caliber selected. I'd look at either the Nosler Partition, Nosler Accubond, Hornady Interbond or the Barnes Triple Shock - all at 180 or 200 grain. Some rifles perform better with one of those over the others. Mine shoots Hornady better that it does Nosler. Go figure. Once he's selected a bullet, load it to get the best accuracy he can get. Don't get hung up on velocity as an accurate hit with 2500 fps beats a miss at 3000 fps! After that, LEARN THAT LOAD! He's got to know what his load can and cannot do at various ranges, elevations, angles and in windy conditions.
 

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Some solid advice here. A 30-06 or 308 with good 3-9X optics are more than enough for elk. Shot placement is key with any caliber and, at least for me, I have a hard time shooting accurately when I am anticipating a heavy recoil from the likes of a 300 or 338 magnum. Also, the lighter the weight the better.
 

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30-06 w/ 180 gr should be fine. I'd look at the Savage w/Accutrigger. 30-06 is a great all around cartridge that's good for everything from Whitetail to Moose. Ammo is widely available and reasonably priced. 3x9 optics should be adequate but don't skimp and get a cheap $100. one.
Without a doubt, it's a good idea to take a backup rifle, just in case the unexpected happens... if at all possible.


:urlaub2:
 

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30-06 w/ 180 gr should be fine. I'd look at the Savage w/Accutrigger. 30-06 is a great all around cartridge that's good for everything from Whitetail to Moose. Ammo is widely available and reasonably priced. 3x9 optics should be adequate but don't skimp and get a cheap $100. one.
Without a doubt, it's a good idea to take a backup rifle, just in case the unexpected happens... if at all possible.


:urlaub2:
+1 on everything P7fanatic said.
 

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I agree with the .30-'06 or .300 Win Mag - except where is the hunt?

If it is in heavy cover all bets off - then I go with .44 mag lever gun or .45-70 lever gun (yeah, I know - very rare to hunt elk in brush...)

Dad lives in CO and has '06 for those nice long shots and lever gun for in the brush, and has taken elk with both
 

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A quality production 30-06 bolt action will work well for elk. 165 gr or 180 gr Nosler Partitions well placed and you will enjoy some elk steak. A good 3x9 scope in a quality mount will be excellent. No need for giant 50mm objective lens, a 38- 42 mm objective will be best. Nikon Monarch, Bushnell Elite, Burris will all give good results. Elk are big and tough, they are not bullet proof, they will carry a lot of poorly placed lead. Make the first shoot count and keep shooting untill the animal is down.

The most important element is the nut on the trigger. Practice, practice and practice some more. Know where the rifle shoots in 25 yrd increments from 150 yds out to 300 yds. While hunting keep the scope turned to 4X or less.

Expect to hunt hard and good luck. Take good boots well broken in.
 

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.30-06 is a great all around cartridge. It will be ample for Elk. I think bullet weights go as high as 220gr.
Remingtom 700ADL aren't too expensive, check Wally World.
 

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First, we don't know the conditions your friend will be hunting in.

1) Open fields, low attitude, not a lot of walking, possible long shots, here a Rem 7mm mag would be great. Not a punishing kick, flat shooting, and delivers good ft/lbs of energy. This would work well on elk, and not be overkill for deer. Other good calibers, 270, 30-06, 280, 300win.mag, all just plain vanilla, but all very capable. 338 is a great all around gun, but can be hard on the shoulder.

2)Heavy cover, lots of trees, lots of walking, higher attitude, range limit of say 250 yards. For this hunt, find a "ultra-lite" gun, it will have a 20" barrel at longest (won't catch tree branches as easy while carrying it over your shoulder) and be much easier to carry up the long mountain climb. Here a 30-06 is about the best choice, a magnum needs a 24" barrel to achieve full velocity, so stay away from them, and in a ultra light, a magnum will kick like a mule. In a 30-06 stay away from the 220 grain loads, as most will be a round nose, and lose velocity easily.

As for the gun, find any bolt action, with a synthetic stock for $600 or less and you will be fine.

The glass---spend at a minimum $250 better yet $400.00 Stay with the 3 x 9's (most bang for your buck)

If you end up with a 30-06, Hornady makes a "light Magnum" load for the 06 that is like adding a turbo, if they shoot well in your choice of gun, it would be a good load.

Sight it in for 3" high at 100 yards, learn the load and know the gun.


Z
 

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I would NOT put my money on 30-06 Remington Core-Lokt ammo. Shooting it in my gun (Remington) at 100 yds it might hit 6" to the right, then the left, then high... so we were trying to figure what was going on. Changed ammo.... it shot perfectly. Tried the Core-Lokt again and the bullet was all over the place. Switch back to 3 other ammos, and no issues what-so-ever with them. That told me I"m not using Core-Lokt ammo again.
 

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winchester m70 in 30 06 put a Leopold scope on it and use Winchester ballistic silvertips
 

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I would NOT put my money on 30-06 Remington Core-Lokt ammo. Shooting it in my gun (Remington) at 100 yds it might hit 6" to the right, then the left, then high... so we were trying to figure what was going on. Changed ammo.... it shot perfectly. Tried the Core-Lokt again and the bullet was all over the place. Switch back to 3 other ammos, and no issues what-so-ever with them. That told me I"m not using Core-Lokt ammo again.
I've shot 1.5" groups with Core-Lokts at 100 yds with Rem 700. So your present rifle doesn't like them - doesn't mean his won't, or your next rifle won't. A lot of game has been and will be taken with them.
 
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