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Thread: Rifle on a budget

  1. #1
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    Default Rifle on a budget

    I just moved to Alaska and need a rifle to hunt. I am looking to pursue big game, wolves to grizzlies. I was told to look at a .30-06 or a 300 WM. I know a little about firearms and lingo can go over my head faster than... a speeding bullet. Where I came from in Oklahoma, there was a range that you could rent firearms and shoot. I have no idea about the recoil of either but I have been told that a 300 is usually the top of what most people can handle. I don't want to spend a lot of money on a firearm that I either can't handle or doesn't have the stopping power I need. I think I can buy different butt stocks (not sure if that is the right term) to reduce the recoil. I shot the M16 in basic training years ago and for qualification 4 years ago but the recoil doesn't bother me. I was looking at Sports Authority, they have a Ruger .30-06 and 300 WM for $350. Is that worth pursuing or a waste of my resources?

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    It's a Ruger American, their lowest price entry. People on this forum seen to think they're amazing, especially for the cost (considering the huge amount of $1000+ rifles). Supposedly very accurate out of the box.

    Either 30-06 or 300wm are fine for anything in the state, although more people probably use an -06 and the 300 would be better suited to bigger bears or longer shots. 300 costs more to feed and has a chunk more recoil. Some authorities consider the -06 to be at the upper end of tolerable recoil.

    I have an 06, it kicks plenty enough for me and serves all of the purposes I have for it, though I'd take a 300wm at some point if I found a special one because I like guns and there's always room for another.

    Limon32 is the person on here that's always talking about the Ruger American.

    It seems like it's one time where someone made a budget item that is actually worth its salt.

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    The low budget Ruger is a solid rifle although not pretty. It should easily last you a lifetime without problems if you take reasonable care of it. The 30/06 is enough for anything in Ak with proper loads. The 300Win has more punch but at the price of more recoil. I have no idea of how much recoil you can stand and you probably don't know either at this point. There are probably folks here that would let you try a few shots with one or both. I would but I have neither 300Win nor 30/06. I do have a 300H&H that is loaded about midway between the two and I could meet you at the Birchwood range and you can shoot a few. The only problem is they are going to charge you $20 to shoot. I have a member card so It costs me nothing to shoot. Let me know if you are interested and I will PM you my phone#.

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    Thanks for the feed back! I have done a little research and from what I have found, the Ruger .30-06 and 300 WM are well liked. I just wanted hunter's opinion and not someone that takes their gun just to the range and then puts it back in their safe.

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    The Ruger American has gained quite a following and I can't imagine a better buy for a working or budget rifle. The Weatherby Vanguards and Howa 1500 rifles are also excellent rifles for the money. Don't stress to much on a decision because after a while you will want and own more than one! A 30-06 is great and allows you to use a wide variety of bullet sizes.
    Keep an eye open for used rifles too. I just picked up a Winchester 70 30-06 with Leupold 2-7 scope with 90 rounds of ammo and a case for $500 to use as a walk around and ATV rifle.
    Welcome to Alaska!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leatherface3825 View Post
    Thanks for the feed back! I have done a little research and from what I have found, the Ruger .30-06 and 300 WM are well liked. I just wanted hunter's opinion and not someone that takes their gun just to the range and then puts it back in their safe.
    You won't last long in Alaska with that attitude towards some one trying to help you.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    You won't last long in Alaska with that attitude towards some one trying to help you.
    I was befuddled by your comment but after rereading my reply, I can see where I went wrong. I apologize for sounding like a jerk. My wife has always said I was terrible at communication! I meant to say that mike h and rbuck351 were the hunters and that their advice was well received. I have some friends that told me their point of views on the firearms in question but they are just range shooters that have never hunted. Again, I hope I didn't punch someone in the face while I was trying to give a high five.

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    Thank you for your explanation and thank you for your service.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    I didn't read it that way at all. I read it as "thanks, I appreciate the info you guys gave, I wanted more than what I read on other parts of the Internet." Typed words in black and white subject to all sorts of interpretation.

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    I keep almost buying one of these in 7-08 but then keep remembering I like wood. So close.

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    I've helped several new hunters get started with Ruger Americans.... one of the better "value for money" propositions out there right now, all of them shot really well and 2 of 3 have now harvested critters.

    For the budget conscious hunter, the .30-06 is very tough to beat indeed. A good second choice is the .308WIN.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Why not buy the 308 instead? Ha! A whole other thread!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    Why not buy the 308 instead? Ha! A whole other thread!
    unless he reloads, the .308 won't cover all the 30-06 he can get off the shelf at the commissary.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    After reading both of these threads...something like a Ruger American with a 3-9x40 Redfield or one of the Savage/Nikon combos might not be such a bad place to start. My son's Savage was $499 out the door. and the Ruger will be about the same. Rifle, rings, and scope- just sight in, choose a sling and go hunt.

    I'll admit it...I'm a gun nut and a rifle snob. But one of those in '06 and several boxes of Remington Corelokt 180gr ammo and a guy could go do a lot of hunting.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Or 220 gr if he wants to poke the big bears.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

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    My problem is I like sights on my rifles but the 30-06 or 300WM will both serve you well. I also have a soft spot for used gun racks and hardly used rifles at low prices. I would take a used Ruger 77 with sights over the American if priced with-in fifty bucks. Of course I'm just a leatherneck not a whole leatherface.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    +1 for the 30-06. I've thought about upgrading to a 300win mag for putting down moose a little faster and farther out, but bring myself back to reality when I bruise my shoulder with a hot 30-06 handload. Never had a moose walk farther than 40 ft before dying anyway. The 30-06 can handle any animal in AK, and has the widest range of shelf ammo options of any caliper. You can't go wrong with an '06. A 300 win mag will have a longer barrel, be heavier, and have more expensive ammo. Importantly, it will be harder to get mellow ammo for practicing at the range that's easy on the shoulder.

    The Ruger American is a light rifle, so the felt recoil will be greater than an average weight gun. You'd want to go heavier for a 300. I don't think they offer the American in 300 mag.

    One important upgrade option is getting a rifle in stainless. It makes it so much better to not worry about dealing with the rust on a blued barrel every time you get back out of the field.

    Good luck shopping for a new gun.

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    I have owned and shot both the Ruger American and the Remington 783 and they are equal as to how they shoot however the Remington has a much stronger magazine. A few of the Ruger mags have failed none of the Remingtons that I know of. This is coming from someone who has been a Ruger fan his whole life and has never been very fond of Remington's extractor bolt design. All that goes out the window here as both Ruger and Remington have copied Savages bolt on their new low end offerings. Do not confuse the 783 with the 770 or 715 which were Remingtons first two attempts at entering the entry level market. I wouldn't have either but they got it right on the 783. I bought my grandson a brand new 783 off gunbroker.com for around $270.

    If you want to step up in class but not much in money James Wayne firearms is selling Howa 1500's in 243 with a Hogue stock for $348. I just ordered one for my son as his AR15 ugly black gun got outclassed by the Colorado coyotes last weekend. They were all hanging up at 400 yards and his 16 in barreled AR was coming up short. The Howa's come in 30-06 for the same money and are the same gun as the Weatherby Vanguard, which always gets high marks.

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    OP, even though I have hunted with my 338WM for several decades, there is nothing wrong with a 30-06, we have several. Myself I like my Winchester rifles, but, the wife has a Savage 116, that shoots very well and is not expensive. Sometimes, one can go to the local outdoor ranges and talk to people there, and again sometimes shooters there may let you shoot their rifles. As far as recoil goes, there are ways to make it more manageable, from adding different recoil pads, muzzle brakes(even though they tend to be a LOT louder) to changing stocks. Another thing about the 30-06, if you get into reloading, one can taylor their loads to what they are hunting or just easy practice rounds. There are lots of options.
    Good luck and keep asking questions!

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    My problem is I like sights on my rifles but the 30-06 or 300WM will both serve you well. I also have a soft spot for used gun racks and hardly used rifles at low prices. I would take a used Ruger 77 with sights over the American if priced with-in fifty bucks. Of course I'm just a leatherneck not a whole leatherface.
    Will, I have ridden many miles on my two wheeler with some guys that have "Leatherneck" written on the back of their jacket. Tougher than nails and equally loyal. I'm betting you fit that description!

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