Caliber choice for my Nephew's rifle
I am still planning on picking up a rifle for my Nephew if his Father-in-law doesn't buy him one for Christmas. My instinct is to buy him a bolt action in 30-06. He is in his late 20s 6 ft and athlectic build. He doesn't have hardly any trigger time, I will be making sure to address that. I am still considering 7mm-08 instead of 30-06. Also I know that his Father-in-law carries a Browning BLR in 308. A 308 would give him compatibility with his Father-in-law but not really any recoil reduction over a 30-06. The reloads I make up for all our 30-06s are loaded toward the bottom of the range of powder and probibly would match factory 308s at the same bullet weight. I may just head to the gunshow after the first of the year and pick up whatever screams at me for him. No matter if I buy it or his Father-in-law does I know we have a new hunter in the woods.
Karl I have said this many times on here but look at the Ruger american purchased one for my daughter in .308 she is 5'3" around 100#'s
& would shoot that rifle all day if I could afford it we run 150 grain federals no complaints they have a really nice but pad on them
the gun is light also & a great shooter for the price
Is there any overarching reason to maintain caliber compatibility with his Father-in-Law? Is that the only person he hunts with? Will he do all his reloading for him? Otherwise as a grown man he should be able to accept any of the standard deer calibers. I think 7mm-08 is about as perfect as it can get, but if he ever plans on hunting other game besides Eastern whitetail then that should be a consideration. How about .270 Winchester? .280 Remington? .30-06? Certainly .308 Winchester.
The first deer rifle I purchased was a 30-06 back in 1974, after several years I migrated to a 270 win then got into hunting with older rifles and off grid calibers. Today, I would probably not chose a 30-06 as I think there are better choises out there if one is looking at a one time purchase. I'm not bashing the old 30-06 as it is an all time classic!
Very few (any?) rifles as versatile as a quality bolt rifle in '06, not a thing wrong with that. There are some models where a S/A in .308 might feel better in hand. Little ballistic difference with Winchester, Federal & Remington loading the two within 100 FPS or less of each other in popular deer hunting weights like 150 & 165gr.
The .270, 7/08 & .280 are also excellent cartridges and I'd be tempted to consider all 5, looking for a good deal or extra nice rifle in any one of them and figuring you did well!
FWIW, both the rifles we purchased to gift to our "Wounded Warriors" on their gifted hunts have been bolt action rifles in 30/06. Last year's was a Ruger M77 Hawkeye with VX2 3-9x40 and this year's is a Winchester M70 F/W also with a VX2 3-9x40.
I guess I am a lazy reloader...
It is a no brainer to load him up a 50 round box of 30-06s. That is what I load for myself and my boys. I have the dies for 308 Win but never bothered to load any up for my FN battle rifle. I bought a bunch of American Eagle 308 Win a long time ago and haven't shot it all up yet. I really like the 7mm-08 on paper but never shot one myself. Having to buy some 7mm bullets will mean another caliber having to be stocked for reloading. Not to mention picking up a set of dies for the 7mm-08. It will be fun working with him on his rifle no matter who buys it for him. I am pretty sure it will have Redfield 2-7 Revolution on it if I pick up the rifle for him.
Merry Christmas everyone.......
There is a LOT of superb factory ammo out there so reloading shouldn't drive this acquisition. I have some Fusion loads from Hornady in 7mm-08 and .30-06 as well as some commercial remanufactured ammo from Bitterroot Valley and don't think there would ever be a need to reload with those. If he's not a frequent hunter then setting up to reload isn't needed.
I would rather decide on the right rifle and the right caliber instead of just any rifle in a caliber that I happen to already reload.
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