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I'm new to hunting and want to ask for a gun for my birthday. I've been hunting with my grandpa and uncles for a few years now s

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  • I'm new to hunting and want to ask for a gun for my birthday. I've been hunting with my grandpa and uncles for a few years now s

    I'm new to hunting and want to ask for a gun for my birthday. I've been hunting with my grandpa and uncles for a few years now so I'm kind of familiar with the game. I've been doing countless hours of research trying to figure what caliber to get but still have no idea... I have a decent amount of experience with rifles but want a caliber that is pretty light on recoil. I will be mainly hunting whitetail but would like to have enough fire power to take an elk if I would ever go out west. If you have any ideas share them with me! Thanks!

  • #2
    I would say 30-06 would be great, but if you're recoil sensitive a .308 will take down an elk with a well placed shot. I'm a bit biased towards the .308 because it's my main caliber, but it's a great round! .30-06, .308, and .270 will most likely be the most popular responses you get, and you really can't go wrong with any of those rounds! Good hunting!

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    • #3
      I have posted this link before and I hope it helps.
      www.deer30outdoors.com/caliber-selection-for-whitetail-deer/

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      • #4
        If it were just for deer, I would suggest the .243 without hesitation, but when you throw elk into the mix, you will want something heavier.
        Since you sound very tentative about ever going out west, why don't you settle on a deer rifle for now, and plan on borrowing an elk rifle if the need arises.
        If that should be a long way off, you may be able to buy another rifle by then. Good luck.

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        • #5
          I would go around and shoot some different calibers, folks at your local gun range will love to help you. From shooting each caliber, you should have a better idea what you want. Its like trying on a pair of jeans. Over all, I think the 30-06 Springfield is a great choice.

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          • #6
            NJb123, because you’re new to hunting, I would start out with a single shot rifle. The reason being is new hunters don't take their time to aim and make the first shot count. Newcomers will rush the shot and fire multiple rounds at once and missing or wounding their target.
            I would get a 30-06 for elk.

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            • #7
              Thank you guys for the great advice! Like I said, I'll mainly be hunting whitetail, I was just thinking ahead about the elk. I'm leaning towards a bolt .308 or .270...

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              • #8
                Njb if you are hunting whitetails now then pick a rifle for whitetails,trust me this will not be the last rifle you buy.If you are concerned about recoil a 243 is a clear choice,it will do a great job on deer and other light game and when you get a chance for elk look for that rifle then.The big mistake many of us make is we try to buy to much rifle or to cover to many bases with one gun.Other cal. to look at are 260 Rem and 7mm08,I have heard it said 7mm08 is 270 with short pants!!!

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                • #9
                  Pmacc60,
                  Thanks for the helpful advice. I was thinking about the 7mm-08 but kind of concerned about the cost of ammo for that cal. But beside the ammo cost, that would be a great deer rifle as well as varmints.

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                  • #10
                    30-06 is what you want. I shot thirteen elk, more than sixty deer, and six moose with that caliber. Where I hunted elk there were always abundant deer in the area and I was always ready for either one.

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                    • #11
                      Pmacc60 is spot on recommending the 708. You can shoot a good 140 grain bullet for your whitetails, then when you step up to elk, it can push a 160 slug fast enough to be effective out to 200-250 yards. It kicks less than the 270, and will shoot just as flat.

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                      • #12
                        when anyone says elk, i always say minimum .300 win mag.

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                        • #13
                          Not true scratchgolf72, if your using proper ammo a 30-06 has sufficent stopping power for elk within 400-500 yards.

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                          • #14
                            It sounds like a 7mm/08 would do you just fine on all your White Tails Hunting needs, Recoils like a 243 and hits like a 270.

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                            • #15
                              I'd go with a .308. It a great deer round and will work for elk if you understand the distance limitations.

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