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Thread: Hunting-Family Style...picking one killin' stick for everybody.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default Hunting-Family Style...picking one killin' stick for everybody.

    Because its winter and my mind is wandering around a lot (cabin fever)...

    I've been counting my blessings this year since I've got a 10 yr old who's becoming a really decent hunting partner and a wife who's showing a growing interest and wants to hunt this year. I've read of several husband/wife/family teams using similar/same rifles or chamberings for a variety of reasons from ammo logisitcs to familiarity and so on....

    So if you were going to pick a single model of hunting rifle in a single cartridge to outfit your entire family...what would it be and why? Critters would be mainly caribou, black bear and moose- thinking sheep and brown bear will be solo affairs for a good while yet. Keep in mind the wife and boy aren't up to pounding recoil!

    I've got a mish mash of rifles so its not like anybody would be short...but taking a variety of weapons and cartridges sounds like a headache and it would be nice to at least share ammo.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'd go with a 7mm-08 or a .308 for an all-family round. As for the model, though, I'm not sure. My wife is on the short side (5'0"), so we have her shooting a youth model rifle. I don't mind shooting that rifle as well, but it's not the ideal fit for me. With a 10 year old and wife, though, I'd still probably be bringing two rifles along.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Brian- I did think of rifle fit and pretty much figured on two rifles for the three of us...possibly a youth model for the wife and son and a longer one for myself, although a shorter stock isn't too bad for me to use.

    I've also given thought to a rifle with LOP inserts but honestly, it seems like a PITA in the field to be using them. I did have a Steyr with adjustable LOP and it was pretty simple to pull off the recoil pad and add or remove as needed.

    Aside from ammo sharing- are there any concerns about two different manual of arms- ie. safeties, load/unload, etc?
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    It would be too expensive for me to start over again, but if I could we'd all be toting 7mm-08's for everywhere but Kodiak. My daughter's cheap Remington SPS youth is a joy to shoot. Super accurate and light weight. Regardless of what anyone thinks of Remington, this one is a good one.

    If I had it to do again I would be looking hard at the Winchester Model 70 compact featherweight even if it was only in blued and wood stock.

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    308 is cheaper to shoot that 7-08. I'd go with that in a marlin XS7. don't start your kid out with to big of a gun. when I was 10 I went straight from a 22 Lr and 410 to a 30-06, not a hard kicking gun, but way to much for a kid, I've had a flinching problem ever since. even with 30-30's and such guns that don't kick hard enough to make a mosquito sneeze. the past year or so I got more into accuracy and long range shooting, so I got really got at controlling it, but when ever I have a long stretch with out shooting or just go out and shoot a few rounds with out thinking about it, I flinch. just a thought form a kids perspective
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FurFishGame View Post
    308 is cheaper to shoot that 7-08. I'd go with that in a marlin XS7.
    Not a bad suggestion. Those rifles shoot great and you could outfit a family of three each with their own for about 2k and still have $$ left to buy a bunch of ammo.

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    yes, at sprotsmans they are 327.95 or something like that. pretty dang cheap, and at that price you could afford some real good optics, and a butt ton of ammo
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

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    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I wouldn't us ammo convience as a reason to all have the same gun. What shoots good in one gun won't in the next. I purchased a 30-06 since my wife had one and we can not shoot the same ammo. Not even close. I have to label the ammo box's so we don't get them mixed up. For this reason I would prefer to take my 300 wby and let her carry the 06.

  9. #9

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    My family, my wife and I, current use .308s for the majority of our big game hunting. Ammo is cheap, even cheaper now that I reload. Marlin XS 7s shoot great. Atleast mine in .243 does. Being able to share ammo is nice too. Though we are running different rifles, mine is a Kimber Montana and hers is a Remington Model 7. Light little rifles that have killed everything we pointed them at aiming to kill.

  10. #10

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    I'd be sure and let your wife and son have the first votes. You can shoot about anything, but lots of calibers will be unpleasant for them and just might sour them on the whole deal.

    I agree with the trend everyone is taking you, but I wouldn't let "cheaper" ammo sway your thinking. If all of you are going to be shooting, you're going to reloading unless you qualify for the cheap tax brackets and can afford to buy lots of factory ammo.

    I had lots of calibers around when my wife and two daughters caught the shooting bug, and they had their pick. There are two reasons that we ended up with three 7x57's in the house. Number One reason is that's what they liked best. Number Two reason is they never got to try a 7-08 while they were making up their minds. My bad for not having that in the range of possibilities, but in fact we're talking about the days when it was a wildcat and not yet factory.

    If I recall correctly I had several 308's around then and none of the three liked a one of them. They all complained that the recoil was "sharper" and distinctly uncomfortable for some reason. Maybe the rifles, but it appears there's more to the feeling of recoil with it than there was with 7x57. I assume the same would be true with a 7-08 instead, but there's that A word again. It could be that the difference was due to my choice of handloads. I'd sure let them shoot a 7-08 before deciding that the "right" caliber for them was a 308.

    If you already had lots of 308 diameter bullets on hand I'd be inclined to lobby them in that direction, but I'd lobby just as hard for the 7-08 if you had lots of 284 bullets around. Heck, if your rack already had lots of .264 or .277 diameter bullets in it, that might be the better choice. I probably wouldn't go smaller than .264 or bigger than .308 for them though, if "all around" use is your aim. Why all the worry about same diameter with what you have in the rack? Cuzz it puts you in line to find discounts on large quantities of bullets when you run across them.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Good input everyone...I reload so ammo cost isn't really an issue.

    BrownBear- good point about buying components in bulk, I hadn't thought of that. 7-08 is certainly on the very short list and is available in most youth models to boot.

    Also good point in letting them try several and pick from there....unfortunately I just don't have many light rifles for them to try. I have one rifle under .30cal and that's a .257Wby.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    My dad started us out with a 7X57 mauser, which is ballistically similar to the 7mm-08.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tenmm View Post
    My dad started us out with a 7X57 mauser, which is ballistically similar to the 7mm-08.
    Smart dad!

    Whether the marking on the case ends in -08 or x57, launching a 120-140 grain reload at 2400-2500 fps makes an incredible practice round that's also suitable for deer. Recoil is a maiden's kiss, even less than a 30-30, but it shoots nice and flat and really smacks deer and such.

    I went with the 139 grain Hornady because I had a bazillion of them around when my family was learning, but they quickly sent me looking a couple of bazillion more. You talk about three gals having fun blowing up plastic drink bottles of water! There was no "talking them into" a shooting trip, and thankfully they were equally willing to do their share of the reloading. Good times from end to end, for sure. Almost any bullet in that weight range is a candidate, so long as you have lots of them and find them cheap.

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    Member MNViking's Avatar
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    Looks like a lot of good ideas here. You could look up some managed recoil loads and go with the .308 (what I shoot) or '06 and let them go with the most comfortable load. I think Marshall has a reloading thread on managed recoil '06.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    So if you were going to pick a single model of hunting rifle in a single cartridge to outfit your entire family...what would it be and why? Critters would be mainly caribou, black bear and moose- thinking sheep and brown bear will be solo affairs for a good while yet. Keep in mind the wife and boy aren't up to pounding recoil!
    That's tough to go from Caribou to Blackbear to Moose, all with the same light recoiling rifle. I'll go out on a limb and say get a 243 for starters. Get it twisted 1-9 and load up a bunch of 105 amaxs and let the wife/kid shoot it all winter/spring/summer. The 243 is a very light kicker and they'll be able to stay behind the trigger much longer. The 243 will be fine for black bear (with a good bullet) and caribou. For moose they'll probably want to step up to something a little bigger, but at least they'll have the trigger time.

  16. #16
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    If I had to pick just one cartridge: 6.5 X 55.
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  17. #17

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    I`ll vote for the .30-06. You can run sabot .22 cal bullets and .243 sabot bullets besides the miriad of .30 cal flavors...something just about anyone can handle and very capable of big game.

    If it were just one cartridge I`d lean towards the .308.


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  18. #18

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    I would have to say 308 also like the 30-06- you can run small sabot bullets with it and make the bullet fit the game animal when it need with diff bullet wieghts and powder charges for the area animals that you live in

    We have in the house three diff rifle my M14 rifle & the Blaser combo rifle and shotgun set up & her 30-06 rifle she has as our main hunting rifles in the place

  19. #19

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    My son and two of my nephews started out with the .243 Winchester, I loaded them with 100 gr. Interlocks and IMR 4350 powder. None of them complained about recoil and were able to shoot them very good. Two of them had killed deer by the age of nine and the other was not much older. Two of them are close to thirty years old now and still shoot the .243 Win. some.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Because its winter and my mind is wandering around a lot (cabin fever)...

    I've been counting my blessings this year since I've got a 10 yr old who's becoming a really decent hunting partner and a wife who's showing a growing interest and wants to hunt this year. I've read of several husband/wife/family teams using similar/same rifles or chamberings for a variety of reasons from ammo logisitcs to familiarity and so on....

    So if you were going to pick a single model of hunting rifle in a single cartridge to outfit your entire family...what would it be and why? Critters would be mainly caribou, black bear and moose- thinking sheep and brown bear will be solo affairs for a good while yet. Keep in mind the wife and boy aren't up to pounding recoil!

    I've got a mish mash of rifles so its not like anybody would be short...but taking a variety of weapons and cartridges sounds like a headache and it would be nice to at least share ammo.

    I'll throw out a combination that perhaps no one else will agree with but it would work for me. Since you're a reloader, how about a .358 Winchester? In my opinion, there is no other calber that can cover the gamut of uses like a .35 can.

    You can use .357 pistol bullets in light weights for low recoil target practice or use on thin skinned game. But yet you also have the ability to go heavy enough for anything you might encounter.

    Of course you would have "Dad's" ammo and "everyone else's" ammo, but like others have said unless you're all using the same rifle it's not likely that you'll have the same ammo for two different guns anyway.

    My son is not old enough to shoot yet, but I plan on doing something like this for him when he is. My wife has no interest in shooting whatsoever, but I had her shoot some low power loads out of my .358 Norma using 158 gr. hard cast pistol bullets over Trail Boss and she didn't find it any more objectionable than a .22 lr.

    In any of these "if you could only have one gun" questions, my answer is always going to be a .35 caliber.

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