Shooters Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
199 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
G'day,

We all know someone who's brought the subject up, and I've seen it come around a bit on here too, "what rifle/cartridge would you keep to hunt with if you could only have one?".

Trouble is, I was thinking about that (yes it hurt, too ;)) and I have a serious problem with this. My favourite cartridge isn't the one I could keep, and my favourite rifle isn't either. I reckon a lot of you would find yourselves in the same boat if you really thought about it too.

See, my favourite cartridge is fast becoming the .204 Ruger. It shoots bull**** flat compared to anything else I've ever owned, is a complete tack driver and accompanies me in the ute every day at work. (I work on a cattle station, and pest destruction is one of the perks of the job.) It constantly surprises me in its ability to reach out and flatten pigs and dingos as well as smaller game, at ranges I would never have previously tried (shots over 200 yards are becoming the norm, and I was always a very close range shooter) and it's an absolute joy to shoot because of its accuracy and lack of recoil.

But it's no good as a walk around rifle, and you just can't hunt anything bigger than pigs with it, and even they really should be just shot unsuspecting from a solid rest from the vehicle, to ensure clean kills. So this is the cartridge I'd probably miss the most, and though I love it if I could only have one, it just couldn't be this.

Ditto for my favourite hunting rifle, my CZ550 in .375H&H magnum. I respect this rifle above all the others because everything on it just works. Flawlessly. It fits perfectly, I love the look of it and the calibre is awesome for hunting bite back game. But it has too much recoil for daily use, and it's just too expensive to shoot smaller game with.

So, if I had to keep just one hunting rifle, it would be my Tikka T3 in .270WSM. It's reliable, accurate, flat shooting and it's pleasant enough to shoot. It's versatile enough to handle smaller game like dogs and pigs and with 180gn Woodleigh projectiles I could still shoot scrub bulls and buffalo etc.

But it's probably the rifle I use the least at the moment, bit of a plain jane really and while the cartridge is a good one, I have smaller rounds that mostly fit the bill as you can see. I know this is a long post but I think some people will understand where I'm coming from. If I had to be a one gun hunter, for reasons of practicality I'd have to let two favourites go in order to make a sensible choice.

I say let's hope we're never forced with such a decision!!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
655 Posts
"The One" no doubt depends on where you are. Here in the Northeast, a .30-06 will take care of anything you're likely to come across, is a proven, accurate, versatile round, and common as fleas.

Out west where multi-hundred yard shots and bigger critters are more prevalent, you'd likely want something else.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
421 Posts
I'm in Maine as well, and if I could only keep one it would have to be my 9422M. More expensive to shoot than the 22LR, but still a lot less than anything else.
In addition, with only one gun I would be shooting mostly small game for the table like rabbits and gray squirrels. I could still take a deer with it, legally in Maine, although I would want to be pretty close to insure the placement was just right.
Shooting distance here is another consideration as well. More of this state is forested than any other, somewhere around 94%, so a shot over 100 yards is very rare. The 22 mag would take anything I would want to shoot at that distance.
I know the 17HMR is a lot more popular these days, and I own 2 of them, but I still think the 22 mag is a better killer with it's heavier lead. Rounds are less expensive for the 22 mag also.
Any way you look at it, it's a tough choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
IMO the .243 or 6mm are some of the best cartridges that can swing from varmints to semi-big game, although there are other calibers best suited for each. I was one of those guys that were limited to one rifle for many years as a younger (poorer) man.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
763 Posts
IMO: .30-06 or .308.

.308 will save you a bit on powder+recoil, but an -06 will push the heavier bullets a tick faster.

You can't go wrong with either one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Guys are we talking about faster and more power, or are we talking about having one rifle that we could throw in the truck and have the ability to shoot anything from prairie dogs to mule deer? Not the specific rifle we would grab for a specific hunt. Maybe I misunderstood the topic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,848 Posts
I suppose I'd choose the '06, figuring useable loads from 55gr accelerators, which turns it into a .220 Swift, on up to 220gr bullets for the largest game. It would give better performance with those bullets 180gr or larger than the very nearly as good .308. One rifle, but perhaps a couple different scopes, say a 3-9 or 4-12 for varmints to antelope and then a 1.75-6, 2-7, or 2.5-8 for the larger critters. I'd prefer the portability of one of my post '64 model 70s with 22" barrels to my pre '64 w/24" or maybe just have it trimmed back to 22" instead.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
296 Posts
Ill stick with my 270 for Tennessee whitetails and the occasional stray coyote. Its a very versatile round.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,802 Posts
Heh, right now, I'd go with my .260 Remington for everything I normally hunt. If I were able to add elk, moose, or something to the list, I might would have to reconsider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,246 Posts
When I think of this topic I get a headache. To me, any gun that is not absurdly over-powered for varmints, but still adequate for elk, qualifies. That basically means anything from 7mm down to .243", in a standard or short action round. There are quite a few offerings in this range and most of us have at least one of them. Still, I don't even like to THINK about that being my only gun! :)

I don't even own one, but I think the versatility of the .280 Remington would make it an ideal "one-gun" option. The 270 WSM would be hard to beat, as well, since it is almost identical in power.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
When ever I hear this question i too get a headache because someone always throws in ballistic coefficients, sectional density, expansion ratios etc., etc. What I always tell someone asking this loaded question is the "one gun" should be the one that you shoot the best, like the best and is in the most powerful cartridge you can shoot effectively. I have two that would be tough to choose from. One being a Rem M700 CDL 7mm-08 and two being a Ruger #1 RSI in 30-06. Yes I could shoot a 7mm or 300 Mag effectively but the 7-08 can be loaded to handle whatever a 7mm Mag can if I do my part and "hunt" and get a little closer. Same can be said with the 30-06 in comparison with the 300 mags. So if I had to choose I would choose my 06' simply because I like the way it carries, feels and handles a little better. I would take the time to have some real iron sights put on it and have quality quick release mounts installed for the scope.
 

·
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
Joined
·
23,917 Posts
Shoot fire - ! What's the fun of just owning one rifle. Get a bunch and enjoy the differences, I say! :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I think most people will said a .30-06 or a .308 Win or a .300 WSM, but I like to be a little different.
My choice would be a 7x57. In a modern action it can be loaded to the same pressure as a 7-08 and it will be faster than a 7-08. Bullet choices are also very good, 100 gr to 175 gr.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
the 280 fills the bill as a one size fits all go anywhere do anything for me. then again my 35 whelen will sizzle 180gr pills into a dime at 100yards with MV over 3000 fps. Its a no lose deal.

good luck
GF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
You know I'm going to have to go with with my Remington 700 bdl in 270win. I have taken small game to deer and hog with it, and I saw on a hunting show where the host took a bull moose with a 270win. It is accurate and powerful enough to take most anything in this country without killing your shoulder. With my 2.8-10 scope I have a wide range to choose from.
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top