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What's "the one" cartridge for you?

knitepoetknitepoet Senior MemberPosts: 21,096 Senior Member
edited July 21 in Hunting #1
For whatever reason, you're having to start with a completely clean slate. No firearms, no ammo, no loading equipment or supplies, and hunting season is FAST approaching.

What cartridge would your first hunting rifle be chambered in, for you to use while you rebuilt/replaced everything else?

Personally, I'd probably go with a 6.5 Creedmoor. In looking at its performance window, it will handle 99.9% of anything I need a hunting rifle to do. 

Bonus info

It would probably be in a bolt gun, 20-22" threaded barrel and I am undecided if I'd want a DBM or an internal magazine, would probably depend on what I could get at the time.



Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


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Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,716 Senior Member
    .30-06
    Shut up-----KAREN; OK Cynthia
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,031 Senior Member
    6.5-06 A-Square 
    Single Shot Bolt Action
    26” Threaded Barrel
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,931 Senior Member
    .308
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,869 Senior Member
    308 Win. 

    And it would be a Savage, 20-22" with a 4-12x44 optic

    I know they're accurate.  Decent trigger out of the box (Accutrigger). I can hunt anything I want to hunt out to distances I probably won't shoot. Ammo is available anywhere I want to get it, whether commercial or NATO, and in a wide variety of loads. At 4x I can do some close distance stuff reasonably well and 12X out to further than I'd probably shoot. And it's inexpensive enough, I don't have to care if it gets wet or beat up.

  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,159 Senior Member
    .308
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,957 Senior Member
    I know we've done this one before, and some rejected the premise.  But, I'll play along.

    Given your conditions, it would be a toss up between .308, 30-06 and 7mm Remington Magnum.  I'd probably go with the 7 mag just because it is capable of doing a very few things that the other two can't, especially at extreme ranges and on larger game.

    FWIW, that is the very decision I made about 25 years ago when I was faced with this very prospect.  At the time, all of my guns had been stolen, and I had insurance money to replace them, but could only afford to replace one.  One of the guns that had been stolen was a 7 mag, and I already had loading dies and had worked up a load for it.  That made the decision a lot easier.

    I still have that rifle, but only use it as a backup now as I have others that I like to use.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,031 Senior Member
    .308
    If handloading is out, that would be my choice as well. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,096 Senior Member
    I didn't discount hand loading, just whatever caused the loss of your current rifle(s) also caused the loss of all current loading supplies. Brass, bullets etc So that it's not, "I have plenty of components for ___, so that's my choice." 

    I am looking for your choice with a totally clean slate, you need something to hunt with NOW
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 24,031 Senior Member
    I could live perfectly happy the rest of my life with a .308 Win or a .260 Remington. 

    But, that’s no fun. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,051 Senior Member
    Toss up. .270 Win or .30-06.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 21,096 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    I could live perfectly happy the rest of my life with a .308 Win or a .260 Remington. 

    But, that’s no fun. 
    yep, that's why I included, "...for you to use while you rebuilt/replaced everything else?" in the OP ;)
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    .308.  One simple reason, I can always find .308 ammunition options in the stores by me.  Even when everything is gone at least one lone box of .308 is hiding some place.  That being said, I have never used a .308 on game.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 7,051 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:
    .308.  One simple reason, I can always find .308 ammunition options in the stores by me.  Even when everything is gone at least one lone box of .308 is hiding some place.  That being said, I have never used a .308 on game.
    That's the main reason I said .270 Win or .30-06. You can add .308 Win to the list also. While everyone else is scrambling to find ".367 Wby Short Mags", I'll be in the woods with a couple boxes of old clunkers in my pocket.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,749 Senior Member
    Too crowded to hunt with cartridges. I'll take a 50 cal muzzle loader........
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,960 Senior Member
    Real simple,  30-06 either a Win M-70 CF , M-98 Mauser or a 03-A3 , 24" bbl. with a straight 4x or 2x7 scope, used that combo for years and still feel confident i can take on anything that comes my way.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Uncle FesterUncle Fester Senior Member Posts: 1,374 Senior Member
    NN said:
    .30-06
    This
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,262 Senior Member
    .30-06.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 5,817 Senior Member
    .308 or 7mm-08.
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,401 Senior Member
    30-06 would be what I would walk out of the store with for the same reason it was the first real hunting rifle I had. Someone will have a box of something that will work on the shelf anywhere you go.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,159 Senior Member
    You know, another consideration to pick the .30-06 over the .308 is what’s going on with ammo right now.  With a lot of AR-10/ LR-308 pattern rifles out there, .308 is a lot less available than the -06.  While its not as bad as .223/5.56, it could cause issues.

    I’m still sticking with .308, but the .30-06 would be a VERY close second.
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,957 Senior Member
    I'm not surprised that there's a toss up between the '06 and .308.  They're very popular cartridges.  And, as has been pointed out, there's plenty of factory ammo available for each.

    I think the 7 mag fits the same niche regarding ammo availability, though, plus there are the reduced recoil loads that make it suitable for younger, smaller or less experienced shooters.

    Truth be told, if I knew that all my hunting would be confined to Texas white tails, I'd probably go with .243.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,742 Senior Member
    edited July 22 #23
    As much as I love my 7mm Rem. Mag. and 7mm08, realistically I'd choose the 6.5mm Creedmoor for similar reasons that you stated, and in a similar gun. Elk sized game and smaller out to 500yds or so (under 300 realistically) is what I'm most likely to be hunting for the foreseeable future.

    6.5 CM in an 18-22" threaded barrel, DBM rifle. Really, the Bergara B-14 Ridge in the "special purpose short barrel (18")" configuration is almost there, just lacking AICS DBM.

    https://www.bergara.online/us/rifles/b14/ridge-rifle-2/
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 16,928 Senior Member
    After thinking about it for a few days it would probably be a .308...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    You know, another consideration to pick the .30-06 over the .308 is what’s going on with ammo right now.  With a lot of AR-10/ LR-308 pattern rifles out there, .308 is a lot less available than the -06.  While its not as bad as .223/5.56, it could cause issues.

    I’m still sticking with .308, but the .30-06 would be a VERY close second.
    By me the .30-06 isnt stocked like .308 is.  If it was I would go for the .30-06 over the .308.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,398 Senior Member
    .308 or .260 on a bolt rifle with a heavier than sporter barrel contour, and 24 inch length. I love 'em both. 

    On muzzle loading it would be a .45 cal. and cast lead bullets I cast myself. I hunted with a .50 cal. until the early 90's and then 'discovered' the .45 cal. when I bought a closeout barrel for my T/C Hawken. Much flatter trajectory from increased velocity, and gives up little if anything to the .50 in ability to kill.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,262 Senior Member
    I think part of my .30-06 reasoning - like Knitepoet laid out in the OP - is that if I had to start over from zero, I could go with an '06 and be DONE.  The number 50 is creeping up on my age-marker horizon, and while the fiddling and accumulating we all do over the years has been fun, the desire to simplify has been edging into the mix

    I can and do shoot the upper end 220 grain bullets, which don't fit into the magazines of the short action calibers, so while it may not be a .375H&H, it can at least fake it pretty well.   I can get match accuracy out of it; it accommodates cast bullets nicely.



    My M1917 sporter on the rack before I brought it home.  I could tap that for optics and probably be happy owning little else.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,744 Senior Member
    edited July 28 #28
    They say "you can never go wrong with the 30-06." With which I agree.  However, my dream rifle is a wonderful custom rifle in 7x57.  Had one and foolishly got rid of it. They're hard to find in the USA, though. Maybe not custom rifles, but factory rifles.  My Ruger 77 is one of the guns I feel genuinely sorry I got rid of.

    This is assuming you're talking about CF rounds.  Otherwise, it would be the .22 LR.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 1,860 Senior Member
    30-06....boring, and perfect for Almost everything 
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 1,092 Senior Member
    For my country I'd go 6.5x55 in a modern action with a 1-8 twist. I'd use 143Gr Edl-x.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,112 Senior Member
    222 Rem in a Sako Vixen ..............Its what I started with many many years ago. It did everything I needed it to do back then and I have no reason to doubt that that it will still 'do the business'.
    Its not the fastest kid on the block, its hasnt got the 'legs' (Long Range) of other cals, it wont chuck a big projectile but it is accurate and will drop anything I normally hunt with correct shot placement. It suits my hunting style in that I enjoy stalking in close before taking a shot.......and I invariably use neck/head shots to take game.

    I have taken deer sized animals up to large Red deer, hogs including large boars, goats and varmints with it, have also shot wild steers, wild dogs, put down horses etc.

    Yep, if I had to start all over again I would go with the 222........( although the 204 would be a close second equal with the 7mm-08).
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
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