First Hunting Rifle Suggestions

Truduct

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2014
2,517
2,165
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Same thing I tell everyone in your situation. Ruger American 308 with a Leupold VX2 CDS 150-165g TTSX. You will be in the $800-$1k range and it will be a work horse. It will kill everything you need it to and it will be fun to shoot. I own 3 Ruger Americans they shoot great.
You don’t need a monster rifle to kill elk you just need good bullets and good shot placement.
 

ilovesprig

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 3, 2012
9,761
5,344
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Escondido
Same thing I tell everyone in your situation. Ruger American 308 with a Leupold VX2 CDS 150-165g TTSX. You will be in the $800-$1k range and it will be a work horse. It will kill everything you need it to and it will be fun to shoot. I own 3 Ruger Americans they shoot great.
You don’t need a monster rifle to kill elk you just need good bullets and good shot placement.
A voice of reason.... :blush:
 

TheGDog

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2018
1,389
957
113
WGG
You wanna take out both of those two things? .308 Win w/ Barnes TTSX 168gr, And if you put it in the right spot? You can even do it without all that running they sometimes like to do.

My shot on my first deer was high and back... this round knocked his body like 10" sideways before falling down! The wound path was just under the spinal column, so I believe the hydrostatic shock took out the rear legs. After going immediately down, he kicked with only his fronts for a while.
IMG_0228_v2.jpg

If I could do it over today, I just might start with a .243 Win instead. Only because the .308's Recoil can be a little uncomfortable for my shoulder due to prior injury/ fracture to my collarbone on that side, and Arthrosurgery to repair a Partial Labral Tear In my shooting shoulder.
 

Creeping Death

New Member
Nov 6, 2017
21
21
3
Behind enemy lines
.270 fan here. Have others but always wind up grabbing ol reliable. Not sure what they go for now but it's a Browning A bolt. Leupold glass on it and it's decent. I am in the camp of go good on optics and find a rifle that "fits".

Maybe see if any friends/family have some rifles of different makes and calibers to shoot to see if one stands out as one you feel comfortable with. Little things like the safety positioning, feel of the bolt etc.

Good luck.

Disclaimer: this is just my opinion, I don't know jack shit in real life...just on the innerweb.
 

Baller

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2016
261
287
63
If on a budget the Ruger American with the Leupold VX or VXII is gonna be your best bang for the buck...

Hard to go wrong with a .270 or 30.06
 

sportyg

Active Member
Oct 28, 2011
438
59
28
SoCal
Once you get your rifle and glass. Don't just get out and go hunting . Find the ammo that shoots best from your set up and work with it until you know you can hit what your shooting at with in you skill level. "and be sure of what you are shooting at and what is beyond"
 

SurfNHuntSD

Well-Known Member
Oct 1, 2013
3,118
1,850
113
San Diego
.270 fan here. Have others but always wind up grabbing ol reliable. Not sure what they go for now but it's a Browning A bolt. Leupold glass on it and it's decent. I am in the camp of go good on optics and find a rifle that "fits".
I have an old Browning A-Bolt in .30-06 topped with a Nikon Prostaff scope and it still works fine. Wish it were a Nosler but hey, she go.
 

TheGDog

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2018
1,389
957
113
WGG
Once you get your rifle and glass. Don't just get out and go hunting . Find the ammo that shoots best from your set up and work with it until you know you can hit what your shooting at with in you skill level. "and be sure of what you are shooting at and what is beyond"
There can be HUGE differences in performance from one ammo to another! When I first got my .308... I sighted it in with the Lead-Free rounds I intended to use. Then... when I went to then just use a cheapie standard lead round to get a lot of practice time in with it... OMG... the shots weren't even hitting the entire target!!! (at 100yds away) Tried for maybe 10 rds total, then was like Bump this, I know my own skills... I gotta see.. so I put back in the other Lead-Free's..BOOM... right on the money. I could not believe there was the potential for there to be THAT DAMN MUCH of a difference!