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Picking a hunting gun

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Taylor Jarrell, Mar 2, 2018.

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  1. Taylor Jarrell

    Taylor Jarrell Member

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    Hey all I'm from WV where shots are almost always under 100 yards, I've been using a 30-06 with nosler ballistic tips and getting good results. My question is at this range are my bullets even expanding or using their potential or would I be better off with a 30-30 or slug shotgun?
     
  2. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    A 30-30 would certainly be adequate at 100 yards, I wouldn't say better.
    I don't know what kind of rifles you are talking about but a short lever action 30-30 may be handier in the woods than your '06.
     
  3. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I switched to a rifle after tired of getting the crap kicked out of me by slug guns over the past 45 years of deer hunting. Going to a 7 Mag.

    If the bullets you are using aren’t giving the desired terminal performance, I’d switch bullets. I find it hard to believe you’ll do better than a 30-06.

    If you’ve already got a .30-30, it’s probably killed more deer than any other round.
     
  4. denton

    denton Member

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    I like hunting guns that I can take to the range and shoot for enjoyment. After 20 rounds or so, I'm not enjoying my 30-06.

    One rifle I do enjoy shooting is my cheap bolt action 30-30. With good sights and reloads made from Leverevolution powder and FTX bullets, it's ample to 200 yards or better. With conventional loads it's fine to 125 yards or so. So, yes, the 30-30 is a good alternative if that's what you like.

    You have a great many good alternatives, including what you've already got.
     
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  5. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    If you're getting "good results," I don't understand why you even care whether your bullets are "expanding" or not.:)
     
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  6. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I guarantee a ballistic tip from a 30-06 is going to expand. My hunting is all woods and swamps with shots from 30-150 yards and I don't think there is anything better than what you have but if you just want to try something different go for it. Lever actions are fun and a 30-30 is very capable but I can't really see a true advantage over a 30-06 bolt rifle. Are you hunting from stands or are you walking and stalking?
     
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  7. Orcon

    Orcon Member

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    At that range impact velocities are high enough that your bullets are certainly expanding to their maximum potential.

    If you want less gun, go for it. A straight wall levergun would be a fun option.
     
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  8. JD Pinardi

    JD Pinardi Member

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    I agree with all of the above, and the 30-30 is a great round to about 150 yds IMO, if you handload the 30-06 it has endless options, lighter bullets with less powder can reduce recoil and work well at close range, at the end of the day, it's whatever is working for you.
    Happy shootin'
    JD
     
  9. Taylor Jarrell

    Taylor Jarrell Member

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    I normally blind hunt morning and evening and trek around during mid day
     
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  10. js8588

    js8588 Member

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    "A 30-06 is never a mistake..."
     
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  11. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    There isn't anything a 30-30 or slug gun does better than what you have. Not that they wouldn't be adequate, but they offer no advantages.
     
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  12. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

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    If the 30-06 is working, I say keep using the 30-06.
     
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  13. ohihunter2014

    ohihunter2014 Member

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    get some SP for that 30-06. great deer rifle for WV. 30-30 is also good one.
     
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  14. LoonWulf
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    LoonWulf Contributing Member

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    This is one of those things ive heard dozens of time "bullets going so fast it will go right thru and not open up" or something similar. Its a popular misconception it seems.....
    The truth of the matter is that faster the bullets going when it hits the faster it expands. This could partly explain where this comes from. Ive seen bullets basically fold all the way back on themselves and only the rear section exit leaving a small hole. This almost always happens on very short shots only, especially thru a bone. If an examination isnt made of the wound and the shooter goes on entry and exit wounds they look small.
    Then theres the random guy shooting old fmjs someone gave him, those are only available in military calibers which are offten considered "fast".

    Anywho, no i dont think youll get anything extra from going with .30-30 or slug gun. If anything get into reloading and shoot 150-180s between 2500-2700. Lower recoil similar performance at the ranges you specify.
     
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  15. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    For deer at 100 yds you have basically a universe of possibilities. I myself would look to cost and what kind of action you prefer. Shoot, you could post a bunch of gun catalog pages all around you and throw a dart and find a good 100 yd. deer gun.

    Ruger mini-30 (7.62x39 USA ammo is less than 1/3 the price of 30-30) ?

    5804.jpg
     
  16. Crowman

    Crowman Member

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    I live out in the woods in thick timber where typical shots are between 40-60 yards. I have two goto hunting rifles.

    The first one is a Ruger M77 Compact w/16” barrel chambered in .260 Remington and fixed 4x Burris Short Mag scope. My handloads are 120 grain Nosler Ballistic Tips over Varget. This is a straight shooting low recoil deer grenade.

    My other one is a Ruger M77 GSR Scout Rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. It has a forward mount Leatherwood Highlux 2-7x variable EER Scout Scope. I use Federal Fusion 140 grain loads. This is also a deer hammer that works on black bear. Great stalking rifle.

    Both are easy on the shoulder, can thread the needle through small windows through the trees and both make meat. Both are excellent CXP3 game cartridges.
     
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  17. Garandimal

    Garandimal Member

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    The Nosler ballistic tip, out of a 30-06, at under a hundred yards? Will expand like crazy.

    Your results prove that.

    And, I assume that you have no expanded bullets, because you are also getting complete pass-through (and good exit wounds/blood trails.)

    I went w/ the .270 WIN because I shot it better, due to the lower recoil - but the 30-06 is a fine anchor for med-lg game if you shoot it well.




    GR
     
  18. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    I have both and have harvested deer with both. Both work well but my go to of the two is the 30-06.
    Far more versatile and if you have practiced for longer ranges..... As the saying goes, better to have it and not need it.....
    You never know when you might see that once in a lifetime buck at 300 yards. Then you will wish you weren't carrying a 30-30.
     
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  19. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

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    I have both and most places I hunt, I won't get a 100 yard shot. Either will do the job but last year I hunted with my 30-06 exclusively. I still have a soft spot for my 30-30 though.
     
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  20. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    Iron sighted 30-30 for walking and 100 yd shots.
    Scoped .30-06 for stand hunting, and longer range.

    You never know what shot youll be offered. That's the fun part.
     
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  21. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Those are two great picks Crowman, I love scouts. I'm moving to 6.5G in my hunting AR but I may get a 6.5C in the future. My scout bolt guns now are .308. :thumbup:
     
  22. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    If you never get a shot over 100yds, you're beating yourself up for nothing. The area where I usually hunt is wooded and hilly and 100yds would be a long shot. There is where a pistol cartridge levergun really shines.
     
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  23. Llama Bob

    Llama Bob Member

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    Assuming these loads are of normal velocity, your ballistic tips are expanding and working as intended. They expand as long as impact velocity is over about 1800 ft/s or so. I'm a little surprised you haven't found chunks of them in your kills even if the bulk of the bullet exited, since the BT tends to want to come apart.

    If what you are doing is working, there's really no need to change. But there are two possible reasons you might want to - for a smaller, handier gun or to reduce recoil.

    I would avoid a shotgun unless required to use one by law.

    For rifles, the various lever guns in .30-30s are an option although they can be pretty high recoil because the gun is so light. Pistol caliber lever guns might be a better options although if you have the occasional long shot I'd avoid them as the ballistics past 100y get pretty bad. Leverguns in small bottleneck spire point deer calibers like 250 Savage are great and give you the handiness of the .30-30 with a bit more range, but sadly are dying as the guns are no longer made.

    Small light bolt rifles in 6mm, .25 , or 6.5mm calibers would be options too - .243, .257 Roberts, .260 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor etc. They have way more reach than you need, but are popular, flexible, and come in small light guns like the Kimber 84, Savage Lightweight Hunter, Ruger Gunsite Scout, etc.
     
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  24. Hanshi

    Hanshi Member

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    My favorites have always been a .357mag or .41mag revolver and a Ruger M77 .250/3000 for distances of up to 100 yards for the revolvers and an easy 250 yards + with the .250 Sav. Sure, I've used lots of others including a 30/06. While a 30/30 lever gun is certainly not "better" than the 06, I like it simply because it is truly effective, a delight to carry and so very handy.
     
  25. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    There's nothing "wrong" with 30-06. Its probably the most versatile round available. is it more gun than you need for deer at 100 and less? Yes. But not gross overkill. I have 308, 243 (all time favorite), 30-30, 300 B-O, and 223 which are all suitable for deer. My last 4 have been taken at 100 and under with 223. IMO, whitetails are pretty easy to kill.
     
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