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Federally lic Gun Dealer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am seriously looking at a new rifle that can handle two basic tasks
Hunting & Longer range target shooting.

I personally like bolt-action rifles and I'm looking at a Ruger M77-II Stainless model
with either the composite stock or the laminate depending on the deal I get.

Here is what I'm looking at:

Composite:


Laminate:


One question I have for you Target shooters is what is the best target / hunting caliper
ammo to go with and why?

My choices are as follows:
.243 Win
.270 Win
.280 Rem
7mm Rem Mag
.30-06 Springfield
.300 Win Mag
.308 Win
.338 Win Mag

What would you choose / shoot and why?
 

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Moderatly Offensive
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What are you hunting? and how long is longer targets?

m77s are sick... lookin into gettin one in .357, w00t!

IMO you really cant go wrong with any of those for targets.
I shoot 243 a lot and love my Winchester 70, but I wouldnt hunt anything much bigger than mule deer with it.
308 is a bigger caliber in the same case. more energy meh, but readly available and pretty cheap/easy to reload
.30-06 is sweet too, and so is 300 Win mag, always wanted one of those... but thats when prices start climbing
cant say much about the others, as i dont have any hands on with them.
 

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8mm Mouser bolt action its all i'll ever need..
 

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Pro Ball Buster!
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I like the .270 you can nock down an Elk with it and the recoil aint bad.
 
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I have the exact Ruger M77-II Stainless synthetic model in 280.... First I have had in that caliber...Good for all but the latgest dangerous game and virtually no recoil.... Plenty of loads available too, especially if you reload....... I like the other calibers you listed but in my experience so far, the 280 is amazing out to around 400 yards....
 

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DJ
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I have a Tikka T3 SS synthetic stock 300 WSM with a Mueller illuminated red dot 3x9 scope zeroed @ 250 yds. A great scope for the money spent! It's a short action round with ballistics like a 7 mag and about the same or a little less recoil as a 30-06 and it's a fairly light weight package to carry around all day hunting that will take down elk and moose at longer ranges. Also have a Rem 700 BDL in 30-06.

As far as what is best for both hunting and long range targets. All depends on what you're hunting and what you think long range is! That's a can of worms you'll have to do a lot of research on!!! lol
 
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F.U.B.A.R.
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I'll second the 280. I have one in MarkII Ruger Laminated SS. (2nd from the top left) With hand load dam near as quick as the 7mm Mag if not quicker. Wish Ruger still made the 280 IMO best all around cartridge EVER made! Also have a 30/06 (that I love to death) my dad built based on a Mauser action (2nd from bottom) less than 6lbs. Has killed more animals than most peoples complete collections.
 

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Well Jack all are fine to deer hunt with, I just got rid of the M77 stainless rig in a 264 mag that a cat that wanted it worse than i did in a blk/gray laminated stk, sweet piece for sure. Now if you are going to do much plinking with it the 280 is reasonable to buy brass as it's not a belted mag case. Lots of snipers and deers have fallen to the 308 and kids love the 243 so it got a lot to do with the distance you want to shoot at that is the deal breaker! More info needed and are you gonna reload rounds?
 
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Jack, depending on what you are going to hunt I would consider the 7mm mag. You can hand load anything to either varmint hunt or Elk. It's flat trajectory makes it a great long range rifle.

The .280 is also a great choice and it is the same caliber diameter. Everyone made great recommendations. I made mine. I have many of the same calibers listed and my 7MM Rem Mag has usually been my go to weapon.
 

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aka Slick Rick
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Right now i'm shooting the 30-06 but wouldn't recommend it for long range shooting because of the amount of bullet drop. My next rifle will be in 308 because of the shorter stroke and basically the same performance with less recoil. I might add that military snipers also shoot the 300 mag because there so accurate out to longer distances. The 7mm is also a good choice for flat shooting.
 

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Dr. Sexy
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Tough choices. Some good comments also.

I have a .223 for prairie dogs, the .243 for my daughter (was my sons) for deer and antelope, .270 for deer and antelope for me, 30.06 for elk and moose. All fine rifles that I love to shoot and reload for. Next toy will be a .308 or 7mm mag.

I have several others that are lever action or not scoped so I will leave them out of the mix. Now what do you consider long range? That is a personal choice. I used to think 250 yards, then it was 300 yards, now anything over 400 is long range to me. I got good at long ranges through lots of practice and that is why the number kept increasing. Now the eyes aren't like they used to be so I am not moving that number up anymore.

Good Luck in your endeavor for the right rifle and caliber for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ah - this is a great thread!
Thanks guys for the input.
I want to go back to hunting deer, but I have a 30/30 brush gun for in the woods; I wanted a nice riflr to set-up across a large field 150-200 yard and use a scope.

As for the long range targets - I would say 3-400 yards max.

I can get a good deal on a s
Stainless M77 in .280 but I'm not sure how readily avail. ammo will be, or I can get an good
deal on the 7mm as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Where are you planning to hunt with it :smiley_confused1:
Butch - I actually have three spots to hunt................

Maine - around Augusta

North & So Carolina as well

Mostly White tail, although I am looking to go hoggin with the .50 cal soon................
 

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Jack, here is some food for thought. The .280 has become a popular firearm in the last 10 years. The ammo these days is readily available. Use a local Wal-Mart to check availability. Most the other calibers already mentioned in this thread are too.

I have a lot of rifles and many are wildcats and Ackley's. But for the rifles which I try and use for taking game I try to insure the calibers are more "mainstream" or popular if you will.

Why this philosophy? I was in Canada on a Moose hunt 10 years ago. I decided to use my 450 Mag. I had taken my 7mm Rem as back up. All my gear which was checked separately was held so I had no ammo. Long story short the 4 shops we went to which were spread out around 100 miles or so didn't carry 450 ammo. They did have 7mm Mag. But, the swarovski scope on my 7MM was damaged during the flight. I hunted nonetheless but it made me realize the importance of using popular calibers on rifles you may need to depend on.

If I buy a hunting rifle I insure that Wal-Mart carries ammo in the event I need some in a pinch.
 

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F.U.B.A.R.
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Yes the 280 is getting more popular but still does not have the flair like the 30/30 30/06 270 or 308 do as they had a head start in the game. One thing to add to what the Grizz was saying. In Alaska all the hunting outfits/trackers carry 30/06 as there backup weapons for all the guys who bring up the "big" calibers from the lower 50 and cant even hit the side of a barn with it.
 

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Buzz
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I have used a Rem. 270 for deer all my life and never had a problem and is good out 300+ yrds. with a lot of practice. Shells are reasonably priced and usually easy to find. I use a 300 mag for anything larger than deer, get's the job done and will reach out easy 500 yrds. and still has a reasonable knock down punch. The only problem with it is it has med to heavy recoil and shells are up in the $25 to $30 range so target practice can get expensive. 308 and 06 are good and very easy to find shells and fairly cheap. 7mm is very flat and has decent punch at 500yrds. with a well placed shot and shells are reasonable with some shopping around and it can be and has been used for most big game in N-America. Most that have a 7mm will say it's the best all around long range rifle for any big game North American hunting.
 

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Out of the calibers listed, and considering you want it for hunting AND target shooting, I would have to suggest the .308. It is an awesome round and readily available in many different brands and configurations. From brass cased mil surplus that can be had for under $.050 a shot all the way up to match grade target or some of the high end hunting loads that can cost over $2 bux a shot (and many options in between).

I do like Ruger fairly well and have read good reviews on the M77, however if I were in the market for a similar version of rifle (stainless/synthetic for hunting/target), I would consider bringing home a Tikka T3 personally... See if any local shops may carry both so you can fondle them up close before you decide :great:

A link to Tikka T3 -
Tikka T3 Lite Stainless
 

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Federally lic Gun Dealer
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
O.K. guys I really appriciate all this input - it is helping me
get a clear vision of what I should do.

I have a dealer that has two guns on auction at the same time:
1) Ruger M77 All weather Hawkeye (7mm Rem) stainless / synth stock and Nikon Pro Staff 3-9x40 scope

2) Marlin 981TS (.22) stainless / synth stock with CenterPoint 3-9x32 Red/Gen illuminated scope

If they don't go up much higher - I can get them BOTH for around $600.00
 

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F.U.B.A.R.
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Sound like a great deal to me. :)
 
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