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Best all around bolt action rifle

This is a discussion on Best all around bolt action rifle within the Ruger Bolt Action forums, part of the Rifle & Shotgun Forum category; Let's here those opinions. What is your favorite or in your opinion the best bolt action rifle for hunting all around? I know people out ...


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Old November 20th, 2019, 01:03 PM   #1
 
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Best all around bolt action rifle

Let's here those opinions. What is your favorite or in your opinion the best bolt action rifle for hunting all around? I know people out there have specifics for specific animals but in general, for a "beginner" hunter, what do you believe would be a good one to use for multiple animals and why?aaaaaaaaannnnnnnnndddddddd GO!



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Old November 20th, 2019, 01:07 PM   #2
 
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Nothing like the good old .30-06. Bought one when I was 16 and even though I have many many more options, that rifle still gets hunted with and at the very least, it travels with me as a back-up hunting rifle because I can get ammo anywhere, anytime, and it just plain works. The -06 is better now than it has ever been thanks to new powders and bullets. Mine is a Remington 700. I could go on many different tangents on this, but as your question is answered I will shut up and leave it there.
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Old November 20th, 2019, 01:14 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by brnwlms View Post
Nothing like the good old .30-06. Bought one when I was 16 and even though I have many many more options, that rifle still gets hunted with and at the very least, it travels with me as a back-up hunting rifle because I can get ammo anywhere, anytime, and it just plain works. The -06 is better now than it has ever been thanks to new powders and bullets. Mine is a Remington 700. I could go on many different tangents on this, but as your question is answered I will shut up and leave it there.
Nice, believe it or not I was debating the Remington .39-06 last weekend. Headed to Cabela's again this weekend so might just have to make that buy.
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Old November 20th, 2019, 01:15 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by brnwlms View Post
Nothing like the good old .30-06. Bought one when I was 16 and even though I have many many more options, that rifle still gets hunted with and at the very least, it travels with me as a back-up hunting rifle because I can get ammo anywhere, anytime, and it just plain works. The -06 is better now than it has ever been thanks to new powders and bullets. Mine is a Remington 700. I could go on many different tangents on this, but as your question is answered I will shut up and leave it there.
Sorry mistype .30-06 haha
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Old November 20th, 2019, 01:42 PM   #5
 
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I have a Remington 700 in 7mm mag. Great rifle but if I were going to do it again I'd probably go with the .30-06. Reasons:

#1 - .30-06 is likely the second most common rifle round out there (I'm thinking the .30-30 is the most common). No matter where you go hunting you can probably find some .30-06 ammo. .30-06 is enough gun to handle any game in North America, except maybe a grizzly. Not saying it wouldn't kill a griz but I'd personally want more gun going up against one of them critters since if he/she takes a dislike to you that you'd probably want something more likely to stop him/her in their tracks instead of 20 or 30 seconds after you shoot them.

#2 - the .30-06 is probably more versatile, especially if you reload. You can get bullets from (if memory serves) 120 gr to 220 gr. You can even get .223 bullets in .30 caliber sabots for shootin' them pesky varmints.

#3 - (vs. the 7 mm) - in the factory rifle, the 7 mm mag has a 24-inch barrel. The .30-06 has a 22-inch barrel. I always found that that extra 2 inches of barrel always stuck out over my head when I carried the rifle on a sling and would constantly snag on any tree branch or brush I ducked under. I solved that on my 7 mm by taking it into a gunsmith and having the barrel cut down to 20-inches. I also lightened it some more by putting it in a fiberglass stock.

Anyway, my 2 cents.
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Old November 20th, 2019, 07:31 PM   #6
 
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Personally I like my Ruger in 7 Rem Mag. I can load 100gr pills up to 168’s with three bullet weights in between.
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Old November 21st, 2019, 01:25 AM   #7
 
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I'm a big fan of the Ruger 77MK2, but really you couldn't go wrong with about any of the major gun companies offerings. As for caliber, I like both 30-06 and .308, but once again, there are dozens of calibers that would do a credible job. All boils down to what YOU prefer.
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Old November 21st, 2019, 04:08 AM   #8
 
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I have a varmint gun in .22 mag, but my best all-rounder is a pre-64 Winchester 70 I got for under $400, from a gun shop that was about to close, two years ago.

.30-06 is easy to reload. I love how it shoots.
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Old November 21st, 2019, 04:11 AM   #9
 
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I'd have to say a Ruger Hawkeye or Browning X-Bolt in 30/06. Reliable, accurate, readily available ammunition and a bit of room to move with projectile weights & designs.

Great range of factory ammunition for both too.

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Old November 21st, 2019, 05:02 AM   #10
 
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I think a .270 Winchester is about the best all around cartridge, followed closely by the .308. Couple them with a Winchester Model 70 and you have your near perfect hunting rifle.
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Old November 21st, 2019, 05:09 AM   #11
 
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It may depend on where you live but for me a bolt action .243 is my gun of choice. We only have varmints and white tail deer,and a few bears which I don't hunt. .243 ammo is also very common.
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Old November 21st, 2019, 05:36 AM   #12
 
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All around champ is the .30-06. For a beginner that wants a great choice for deer, antelope, and hogs the .270 Winchester gets it done with less recoil. Elk and predators are well within its capabilities. Remington, Winchester, Ruger, Tikka, TC, Sako, Savage, and many more make good rifles. Decide on the features you need (type of safety, trigger design, magazine, threaded muzzle, etc.) and see what fits your budget. Avoid package combos unless you are on a really tight budget, or are fine with upgrading your scope very soon. There are so many accurate rifles on the market that it's just a matter of deciding what you can afford and what features you need.
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Old November 21st, 2019, 06:29 AM   #13
 
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For a bolt action all-around hunting rifle, I'd recommend a 30-06 in a Ruger M77 MkII or Hawkeye. Get a stainless/synthetic version if you have any concerns about being out in the weather, but the walnut/blued is simply a classic and more than capable of handling rain and snow if you take care of it after. With the controlled round feed and mauser style extractor, these things are rugged, well built, and simply work (almost boringly so). And ruger's customer service is top notch.

30-06 is probably your best balanced option for an all-around rifle. Its one of the bigger and more powerful rounds that falls within many people's recoil tolerance range. Its not too big for deer sized game, and is a wonderful choice for elk, black bear, or even moose at reasonable ranges. Ammo variety, availability, and price is hard to beat.

If you plan to only shoot deer sized and under, there are other rounds that offer a better balance of recoil vs effectiveness (i.e. 7mm08, 308, 257 roberts, 270, 280, i could go on), but if you want one to do it all, 30-06 is the way to go.
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Old November 21st, 2019, 06:34 AM   #14
 
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I might add, when looking for a rifle, I find that I prefer a three-position safety for the safest operation and loading/unloading. Position 1: Bolt and/or firing pin locked; Position 2: Trigger safety only; Position 3: Fire.

In some two position safeties, you need to put on "fire" to load/unload a round. On the others, the "Safe" doesn't lock the bolt (if that is a deal breaker for you).
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Old November 21st, 2019, 06:51 AM   #15
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"All around" hunting rifle? I lived this, moving around the world to various countries and continents, and with limited ability to pack more than one rifle.

No doubt the .30-06 is king for the one all-around rifle. There were a couple African countries that had old laws on the books prohibiting former military cartridges so I started off with a Ruger MkII "boat paddle" chambered in .280, but when I gave that away and stopped moving around so much, I went with the same thing in a traditional wood stock, iron sights as backup, and the good 'ol 30-06.

If I were to ever lose that Ruger, I don't know what I'd do. Few mainstream manufacturers build a good traditional bolt gun anymore with good wood, good bluing, and iron sights as backup. I'd probably spring for something from Dakota Arms, etc.

If I knew I'd never leave the US again and never shoot anything bigger than a mule deer, I'd probably down-size to a .270.
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