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I am looking to buy my first rifle. I will be using it for elk and deer hunting mostly. The problem is I don't know a ton about

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  • I am looking to buy my first rifle. I will be using it for elk and deer hunting mostly. The problem is I don't know a ton about

    I am looking to buy my first rifle. I will be using it for elk and deer hunting mostly. The problem is I don't know a ton about hunting or rifles. I think I have narrowed it down to a Savage 300 win mag or a 30-06, but I am getting a lot of conflicting information. Even when I go to Sportsman's Warehouse or Scheels the answers vary depending on who I talk to. I also can't decide if I want a stainless steel barrel or not. PLEASE HELP!

  • #2
    We on F&S Need more info: What state are you in and What state will you be hunting in? This will help in what Caliber is Best. A Savage Rifle is Dead-Bang out of the Box,Add a good Scope is a + Leupold,VORTEX,Nikon.
    Now Stainless steel has less barrel-wip over blued steel.Will you be hunting more W/Tails then Elk if that be the case the 30~06 with a large {Verities of Bullet weights} will do both..if more Elk the 300W/Mag is prefeerd for the Pay-Load it delivers/+ felt recoil to you,Now that said JMO~ The 308Win will do the same as the'06 with less felt recoil makes for a better target shooting to zero in your Gun/Scope for a new comer to the hunting/shooting sport. and Welcome to F & S.

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    • #3
      Since you threw elk into the mix I would probably opt for the 300 Win Mag. If you have the choice you may want to try the 300WSM. I have shot one for over 8 years and have been entirely satisfied. I use mine for whitetails and occasional elk hunt. The bullet selection is very good for the .30 caliber for deer and elk. With a Simms Limb Saver recoil pad on the rifle you can take away about 25% to 30% of the recoil which make the 300Mag. pleasant to shoot.

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      • #4
        In production guns, a stainless barrel serves only to make the metal more resistant to rusting in moist weather. You're not going to notice any difference in "whip" or accuracy. It snow and rains during elk season, so stainless may be a good choice.

        A 300 win mag is for longer shots with less holdover. That's about it. Shoot a good bullet and the 30-06 will do everything you need it to for less money and bang and commotion.

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        • #5
          They would both work. It depends on how much you plan on spending. The 30-06 probably has a little more power than the 300 Mag.

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          • #6
            Actually, if power is expressed as energy, the .300 Win Mag has about 25% more power than the .30-06.

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            • #7
              Yeah, 99, but energy doesn't kill an animal. A bullet through the circulatory system does.

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              • #8
                Oh. Yeah. Just read the post above yours. Sorry, non sequitur...

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                • #9
                  If you are new to hunting, are you going with a friend? What do they shoot? I would go to a some ranges sell rifles and "rent" them out for their range, try a few.Both rifles will do the job, placement is everything, try a few out and see what you like, if you don't like a particular firearm it does not matter what any of us say you will not shoot it well.

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                  • #10
                    I would go with the 30-06. Depending on what state you hunt whitetails in, the .300 might be way to much rifle for either the size of the deer or the distance you plan on shooting. Also, get a synthetic stock for the rifle, elk hunting will beat the hell out of your rifle.

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                    • #11
                      Neither are a bad choice, but I prefer the .300 win mag for Elk shooting 180gr pills.

                      I don't understand the comment above about the .30-06 having more "power" than a .300wm. Please explain.

                      I also don't understand the comment that a .300wm is overgun for Elk. Please explain.

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                      • #12
                        I'm trying to take a couple of factors into consideration. I would recommend the .300 Win Magnum for elk, though the .30-'06 will certainly drop elk with decent bullet placement.
                        The other consideration: This is your first rifle. As highly as I think of the .300 Win Mag for elk, I don't consider it the optimum as a first rifle. The .300 Win Mag isn't punishing, but it's "brisk" enough to induce a flinch in those who consider it objectionable. Candidly, I can't think of a more versatile cartridge than the .30-'06, and I give it higher points for that versatility when compared to the .300 Win Mag.
                        Candidly, I have to recommend the .30-'06 on the basis of its versatility, which (in my opinion, shaped by observation) includes elk. I should add, the two best hunters I know use a .250 Savage and a .270 Win respectively for elk, but both are very practiced and proficient with their rifles.

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                        • #13
                          I apologize; I overlooked your second point. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I'd recommend a stainless barreled action for any rifle that'll see use in inclement weather which, in this part of the country, is almost unavoidable.

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                          • #14
                            I prefer a stainless barrel just for a little more resistance to rust but a chrome moly barrel is just as accurate... you just have to take care of it. For elk, I prefer the .300 Win Mag because it gives you lethal power out to 600 yards if you intend to practice and get good at ranges that long.

                            Most elk are shot within 100 yards in fairly thick timber and the 30-06 will be excellent there and at ranges out to 400 yards. The .300 Winny does kick like a mule with hot 180g hunting loads but you can buy mild loads for deer hunting and you can target practice with small for caliber bullets. Just because it can shoot big hot loads doesn't mean you have to use them every day.

                            I'm heading on my first elk hunt and will use my .300 Dakota as the primary rifle with a 30-06 as backup. I don't mind getting rocked for one shot a year and I don't want to pass up a trophy bull just because is standing 500 yards away. My 30-06 is lighter and I will use it if hunting thick timber all day. If you reload, the .300 Winny can be loaded to shoot like a .308 if you want it too.

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                            • #15
                              If you are picking a rifle primarily for elk, go with the .300 mag if you can handle the recoil. The '06 is way more versatile and would be a better choice for deer. I have only shot one elk inside 150 yards and none inside 100. Even a .308 Win is fine if you limit your shots to inside 300 yards and can hit the vitals. If it is your first rifle, you won't likely practice nearly enough with the '06 or .300 Win Mag due to recoil and cost of ammo I'm betting....

                              Go with a 7mm-08 or .308 Win and up-gun later when you know how to use a rifle.

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