pitweiler

Primary Rifle and Back-Up Rifle

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My main hunting rifle is a .243. I have an old beater Savage 110 in .30-06 that drives tacks but is a boat anchor to carry. I’m looking to do some destination hunts next year where I’d spend 3-6 days out at a time. I think it would be a good idea to add a third bolt-action rifle to the collection. I was thinking of adding another .30-06 so I could load .243 and .30-06 and not worry about a third caliber. Not that it would be an issue, just figured it would be easier if my destination rifles were the same cartridge. 

While I’m confident a properly loaded .243 will kill anything I can hit with it, I wouldn’t mind a bit more punch if I’m in ADK, Catskills, or another state. (My young son is coming with me. In the extremely rare event I have to punch a bear or get an opportunity to take one, I’d rather punch it with a .308 or .30-06 than a .243. Just seems like a smarter idea.)

What I don’t want is another 9-10lb .30-06 that is a lug to carry. I don’t want a rifle that uses a lot of plastic components (trigger guard, floor plate, bolt components). Plastic magazines are OK as long as they secure via a metal latch on the rifle, no plastic on plastic. I have no issues with hunting in extremely cold weather and I have experienced plastic getting brittle and breaking in that climate. 

By far, I prefer Ruger Hawkeyes. However, their .30-06 is heavy and the compact Hawkeye is a short action (which is fine). The new Savage 110 AccuFit stock actually looks appealing, but I’m not sure I want to lug around a ginormous Savage “Long/Magnum Action” for an ‘06. The 110 Lightweight Storm looks appealing in .308. 

If you were buying a new primary rifle and your back up was a .30-06, how important would it be for your primary to be the same caliber? Do you care? Seems if they were both .308 bullets that would at least decrease the amount of different components I would need. 

Looking for some opinions on the previous question and some ideas about what rifles could be a good fit for me. I’m very leery about a rifle that uses plastic components, especially a trigger guard, depending on how it is manufactured. 

I figure I’ll park the truck, leave the back-up rifle in a hardsided Pelican case locked to the seat frames and hike the broken rifle out to get the back up if need be. Thoughts?

Edited by pitweiler

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Why not a 30/30 or 35 rem. The places you mentioned those guns a calibers would suit your needs better


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On ‎12‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 10:56 AM, pitweiler said:

figure I’ll park the truck, leave the back-up rifle in a hardsided Pelican case locked to the seat frames and hike the broken rifle out to get the back up if need be. Thoughts?

That I would not do, there are morons in this world that will dismantle your vehicle to get at a gun case. The way the laws are these days you would probably get the blame for leaving a weapon unattended.

If I had to have a secondary backup firearm on the same day I would carry an appropriate handgun which I do sometimes myself when hunting small game with a shotgun.

Al

 

Edited by airedale

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Are you set on a repeating firearm? it seems like weight is your main concern and you may want to look at something like an Encore. They are very rugged. the work some of the guys are doing with them is pretty crazy. the cartridges like the 308 the guys are cutting down the barrels and with the synthetic stocks and an 18-20" barrel it is a very light unit. I can't see anything happening to a gun like that beyond a knock that messes up the scope. for a back up in that case another barrel and scope combo concealed in the vehicle is a great option. (even packable) Two screws and a pin and you are off an running again. The nice thing about that is the trigger and everything is the same between configurations. 

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Sell your heavy old 30-06 and buy  an entry level  rifle like a  Ruger American in .308...

It will do anything a 30-06 will do and there are many options for very avaialable factory loads...

Unless you handload, as Lawdwaz does...the .308 is a much better option than the .243....

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Probably have the same Savage as you, was my primary gun for years.  Now I use a 44 Mag simply because it fits me well, I shoot well with it and love the light weight of it for going a few miles back.  

Does it have to be the same round, no but if you reload it makes things much easier.  If not any caliber you picked above would work.  I like common type rounds so getting ammo is easy.  

Pretty much anything in 308, 30-30, 35 or 30-06 will work, pick the one you feel will shoot the best and feels perfect when shouldered and is easy to follow up with.  More important than what caliber you use. 

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Some ranges in comments expected, but for a back-up, I'd really look into a CVA scout. It's a single shot, but light, compact, and pretty darn accurate. I have one in a .243 and it's accuracy with the junk kit scope was really impressive. In fact, when I hunt rifle zones, it's the rifle I take with me. I have a 110 in 7mm Rem Mag and a 30/30, but I still prefer the scout for portability and ease/reduced likelihood of issues. You can pick them up for cheap and they take a beating with the composite stock. I got mine for $160 when Gander closed and I regret not buying 2 or 3 of them to keep in storage.


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Caliber wise an -06 will do the same a .308 will. It will knock any north American game animal down. Gun wise the simpler the better in terms of reliability. A hammer fired gun can't get much more reliable. Autoloading it would have to be something like an AR. If i were doing an AR I think 6.5 creedmoor would be the ticket.

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Caliber wise an -06 will do the same a .308 will. It will knock any north American game animal down. Gun wise the simpler the better in terms of reliability. A hammer fired gun can't get much more reliable. Autoloading it would have to be something like an AR. If i were doing an AR I think 6.5 creedmoor would be the ticket.

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I love my ar in 6.5 creed


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3 hours ago, Pygmy said:

Sell your heavy old 30-06 and buy  an entry level  rifle like a  Ruger American in .308...

It will do anything a 30-06 will do and there are many options for very avaialable factory loads...

Unless you handload, as Lawdwaz does...the .308 is a much better option than the .243....

The old ‘06 was my first so it will stay. I’m setting up the reloading bench this spring and loading 85gr TSX for the .243 and 130gr or 150gr TTSX for the .30-06.

I’m going to check that CVA Scout out. 

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I only have a 30-06 but my next rifle purchase will either be in 7mm-08 or 6.5 creedmore as a back up. I wouldnt want to buy the same caliber, because thats just boring in my opinion. Makes it easier with ammo, but that doesnt bother me much. 

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2 hours ago, pitweiler said:

The old ‘06 was my first so it will stay. I’m setting up the reloading bench this spring and loading 85gr TSX for the .243 and 130gr or 150gr TTSX for the .30-06.

I’m going to check that CVA Scout out. 

I like your choice of projectiles.... The Barnes X type bullets have been my bullet of choice for hunting for quite a few years now..

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Realistically, a .243 loaded with a monolithic copper bullet designed to retain weight and penetrate would probably work just fine. I'm also going to explore breaking out the old Marlin 30/30.

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6 hours ago, pitweiler said:

Realistically, a .243 loaded with a monolithic copper bullet designed to retain weight and penetrate would probably work just fine. I'm also going to explore breaking out the old Marlin 30/30.

You can ask Lawdwaz about that...

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On 12/10/2018 at 4:11 PM, Culvercreek hunt club said:

Are you set on a repeating firearm? it seems like weight is your main concern and you may want to look at something like an Encore. They are very rugged. the work some of the guys are doing with them is pretty crazy. the cartridges like the 308 the guys are cutting down the barrels and with the synthetic stocks and an 18-20" barrel it is a very light unit. I can't see anything happening to a gun like that beyond a knock that messes up the scope. for a back up in that case another barrel and scope combo concealed in the vehicle is a great option. (even packable) Two screws and a pin and you are off an running again. The nice thing about that is the trigger and everything is the same between configurations. 

stupid money for barrels. that said many can't shoot a backup gun that well. a lot to be said for having the same feel and trigger in a backup gun.


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On ‎12‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 10:33 PM, ATbuckhunter said:

I only have a 30-06 but my next rifle purchase will either be in 7mm-08 or 6.5 creedmore as a back up. I wouldnt want to buy the same caliber, because thats just boring in my opinion. Makes it easier with ammo, but that doesnt bother me much. 

Same here.  Got a 308 but in worst case scenario, I can always use my ML.  Also thinking of another gun.  Either a 223 (since I got rid of mine a couple of years back) or a 45-70 because again, don't even want another caliber similar to the 308.

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7mm-08 will do the job in any situation we find ourselves in the northeast. It will handle any game on the North American continent short of brown bear. They have all types of platforms that will work well in that caliber (even lever action, see Browning BLR). I like it because it has low recoil, low muzzle blast, and is flat shooting out to 250-300. Most of us will never have to make a shot at that distance more than once or twice in our lives, but it is good to know you can if you have to without doing math in your head while your adrenaline is running on high. I personally have a Remington 700 SPS in 7mm-08. It is rugged, accurate, lightweight and dependable. Hundreds of hours at range and in bush, no issues.

 

For straight brush, or big woods like where i shoot, my next will be a Marlin 336 in 35 Remington. It does everything the 30-30 will do,  but you have the extra knockdown power to handle a large black bear. Peace of mind. That platform is tried and true, the Marlington quality control has improved dramatically in the past 2 years, and it is light and rugged. Oh, and not too expensive either.

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I think you're fine.   Hunting rifle is a small fraction of the equation in hunting.

Bring that big 06 just incase.

I hunt all day with a homemade 54 cal early Reading styled flintlock with 41" barrel.  You'll be fine with that 06 if you ever need it.  My gun is about 9.3lbs with a D profile barrel.

 

If anything, buy a muzzleloader if you dont have one.  I commonly bring a muzzleloader as backup, or a cetnerfire rifle as backup to my muzzleloader.

One good gun, one good scope, one good scope mount.  Gun is reliable.  If your 243 doesnt have all 3, make it right 1st.

Comfortable clothes,  good treestand, GPS, good binos.....  MAke sure thats good before adding gun after gun.

 

Not a backup gun really...  MY main rifle is a 450 marlin BLR with 1.5-4.5 scope.  Backup is a remington 700 in 30-06, or a bring the 270 win one.  Both with 3-9x.   One better for medium range, the other better for farther out.  

 

If you feel you need more guns.  look at 270 win.  Light kick, easy to find ammo, ammo is affordable, and still can take down moose or elk just fine too.   Tikka R3 if you got the cash.  Almost everyone makes a decent gun these days on the cheap.  Savage I'd look into 1st in my opinion.  

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If Adirondack whitetails are your primary objective, you can't go wrong with a Marlin 336 30-30.   There was a brief period, when the Remlins were not quite up to snuff, but they seem to have their act together now.  The 336BL that I purchased last summer is top-notch fit and finish and functions flawlessly.    An older Marlin would also be a safe bet, if you don't mind going used.   No caliber has killed more Adirondack whitetails, and none has better ammo availability.  The .35 Rem may be a tad better on black bears, but not enough to make up for the decreased availability or increased ammo cost.

Both of my Adirondack bucks have fallen to my big heavy Ruger M77 30/06, but it is a pain to lug around up there.  I am looking forward to changing to a standard 336 30/30, with a 3-9 Marlin scope as my primary (fair weather) gun, my 336 BL with fiber-optic sites as my rainy weather gun, and my big, heavy bolt-action Ruger 30/06, with 3-9 Redfield scope will be relegated to backup duty.  Both bucks dropped in their tracks when struck with that (Federal classic 150 gr ammo) but I assume the 30/30 would have the same results, so long as the bullet is put in the right spot.  The compact size of the Marlin lever actions will be a welcome change.    

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My .243 is solid. I absolutely love that rifle. I actually think I’m just going to load some 85gr TSX bullets for it and use that. I have a Marlin 336 chambered in .30/30. I’m just going to build it out as a back up. It needs new sights and could use a new pair of laminate stock/forearm and maybe a more durable foul weather finish than the bluing. A Wild West loop and trigger, Beartooth Mercantile safety delete with some Skinners on it would make a great rifle. 

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