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Thread: Wife Wants New Rifle... Need Help With Caliber

  1. #1

    Default Wife Wants New Rifle... Need Help With Caliber

    My wife wants a new rifle and we've pretty much decided that we want to get her a Tikka T3 Lite. I already have a bull barrel .300 that we can use for short trips (or where we can use toys for travel) and on bigger game, so we wanted something that can be carried easily for long distances.

    What we can't decide is whether we would like to get her a .270 or a 30-06 in that frame. She is fairly small (5'2" 115 lbs) and has very little (and I mean VERY little) shooting experience with anything larger than a .22. Does anyone have experience with both or either calibers that could offer up opinions? I would prefer to get the 06 because it is more versatile, but our priority is making sure she doesn't become gun shy and develop bad habits this early in the game. Planning on a limbsaver but no barrel break. She is a remarkably good shot so I'm confident shot placement will not be an issue, but she also wants to go after some larger game down the road.

    Any opinions will help. Thanks!
    -Justin ( and Shannon)

  2. #2
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    I've got the same rifle in lefty with a limbsaver pad and its pretty tame. You are more than welcome to try mine if you would like (although the bolt is on the wrong side).

    Where are you located?

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    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gvsujustin View Post
    Planning on a limbsaver but no barrel break. She is a remarkably good shot so I'm confident shot placement will not be an issue, but she also wants to go after some larger game down the road.

    Any opinions will help. Thanks!
    -Justin ( and Shannon)
    30-06 would be great. If recoil does seem to be an issue (probably not with a variety of loads/limbsaver/pull-it-tight-against-her-shoulder-technique) you could put a break on it for her later.

    Especially since you say larger game down the road, I'd go .30-06 over the .270. Both are reasonably priced and commonly available.

    I think you're on the right track!

    Ask some of the experienced 30-06 folks what a very "light" training load is that can be found...and start her with that until she gets her confidence, then heavier Nosler Partitions (or whatever) for hunting later when she's confident/good habits.

    I will probably be trying the same thing soon with my wife as well. (5'/110)..so I'm also curious what/where light 30-06 "training" loads to get. Probably just the lightest bullet FMJ's you can find. The 30-06 experts can advise better for the proper training round.
    http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/b...spx?c=96&s=916

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    Can you get the Tikka T3 Lite in 7mm-08 ?

    That is a good low recoil, beeg game cartridge.

    It is quite similar in ballistics to a 7x57, which I like, and it's a throughly modern cartridge. Also, I gather it is quite popular.

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    there may be other options out there now, but IMO a Rem Model 7 in .308 would be a great option

    barrel twist might limit you to 165 gr max bullets (I've been told)

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gottago View Post
    there may be other options out there now, but IMO a Rem Model 7 in .308 would be a great option
    They quit making the stainless/synthetic 5 years ago. They are getting harder to find.

    Here's mine (well my wifes) though:


  7. #7

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    Since you said bigger game I would opt for the 30-06 Here is a link to an article I had published on the 06, for her and you to read and it might help concerning your deciding whether or not the 06 would be a good option for her. http://ammoguide.com/cgi-bin/article...id=mhsp68/3006
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  8. #8

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    My wife and both daughters settled on handloaded 7x57's as their "big game" rifles. That pretty much duplicates the ballistics of a factory 7-08. They had their picks of calibers from my racks and experimented up and down the caliber scale. The ballistics are fine for up to moose, while the recoil is comfortable in fairly light rifles. Lots less recoil than an 06, but the 270's I had around then were heavier than any of the 7x57's. If a light 270 was in the stable, it would have been interesting to see them decide between it and the 7x57's. In all their opinions the 06 booted too much for fun in all the casual shooting we do, and they're considerably bigger than your wife. My wife is "the shrimp" at 5'7" and 140, and the tallest daughter nudges 6'0".

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    I'll second 7x57 except I'm not sure if anyone is making new production rifles in this cartridge. At one point Ruger, Winchester and maybe Remington in a classic chambered it as did/does CZ. Great cartridge if a person handloads. If the 7x57 isn't available I'd settle on a .308. Good luck with your choice - keep us posted.

  10. #10

    Default define "big game"

    It depends on what you mean by "big game". Does she want to go for deer, caribou, elk, moose, bear, or what? Or maybe she doesn't know yet? As I'm sure you are aware, the .270 is capable of taking critters like caribou and elk and I know of folk who use it for moose and black bear, of course not Brown Bear. The 30-06 is a good choice for all of these IF it is shot with appropriate bullet for game and within appropriate range for this caliber. Not so comfy using it for Brown bear at any range personally, but I know those who do so. So, I guess I would have to know the qualifying game she might go after some day.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default Fit her for length of pull first.

    Rifle fit for a lady is generally more important than caliber selection IMHO.

    My wife found the Tikka too long for good shooting.

    Try a youth model in one of the short action calibers and she will likely shoot much better due to proper rifle fit. If you must have a long action cartridge I would seriously consider having a stock cut down or a replacement stock fitted as most youth/ladies models are built around short action calibers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Rifle fit for a lady is generally more important than caliber selection IMHO.

    My wife found the Tikka too long for good shooting.

    Try a youth model in one of the short action calibers and she will likely shoot much better due to proper rifle fit. If you must have a long action cartridge I would seriously consider having a stock cut down or a replacement stock fitted as most youth/ladies models are built around short action calibers.
    I agree that fit is important in perceived recoil. If the gun does not fit her it likely will be uncomfortable to shoot in either cartridge you mentioned. Everyone is different and my wife loved the first Tikka she shouldered so that's what she got. IMO rifles are similar to shoes in this regard: the only way to be certain of fit is to try them on or have them custom made.

    I would prefer the 270 over the '06 if recoil is in question. The 270 is noticeably softer shooting in comparable rifles and its performance will easily put moose in the bag. The '06 is a great cartridge, but there is no denying in hunting ammo the '06 has more recoil.

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    The 270 though has a sharper recoil.

    7x57 is a nice round, but is it available in the Tikka? You can have a barrel swapped on and it'd be really sweet. Lightness can have drawbacks, as the lighter the rifle, the more it will punch. Who is going to carry this rifle? If you will be doing so, up the weight. If she will be carrying it, seriously consider handloading the ammo down.
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  14. #14

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    Wow, thanks for all the advice. I have seen a few 7mm around although Tikka as a general rule seem to be getting hard to find (in stock anyway). We didn't even consider that cal. as an option. Barrel breaks are something I've looked into and they seem to be running in the $150 range (rough range) so it's something we'd rather not put on her first rifle, but still know its an option. Havent found any of the 7x57 in Tikkas frame, and I can dummy my .300 down to about a .308 so Id rather not go with that one.

    I'll def have to talk to the 06 guys to see about the training rounds... that is really an awesome idea as we'll have a full year before being legal residents (and hunting costs go down; x 100) and can use that time to rough in her (and work on my) shooting skills, and the idea of shooting nozzlers or silvertips down the range for a year makes my wallet start to shiver.

    I WOULD LOVE for her to try out your 270 HuntAK, however it would be a bit of a drive to get to you... unless you want to meet halfway which would probably be somewhere in Montana . We're in Michigan right now, but will be in Wasilla by the end of July (hopefully).

    Managed to find the article you suggested beartooth, and am leaning more and more towards the 06, but still have that training round search to do.

    I guess the only question is whether anyone has any negative opinions about the .270

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitroman View Post
    The 270 though has a sharper recoil.
    By "sharper" do you mean faster? The 270 typically produces a bit more velocity, so its impulse might be quicker, but the amount of "shove" from an '06 is more. I've never thought of the 270 as a "sharp" kicker, but in all fairness I am not 5'2" (115 lbs) and I have never been called "very little" as the OP called his wife.

    Personally, I've as much confidence in a 150 grain 270 at 2850 fps as I do a 180 grain '06 at 2750 fps (given similar bullet construction) and with these loads the 270 has about 20% less free recoil (20 lbs compared to 24 lbs in 8 pound rifles). Of course reloading makes numerous opportunities to tailor both cartridges and there are subtle differences for sure, but the reason that campfire talk and gun writers have argued about which cartridge is best for so long is that they are both so similar in field performance that there is not a clear cut winner between them. I've used them both enough to know that where you hit the animal (any animal) is much more important than which of these two cartridges you might choose to whack said animal.

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    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Justin, if you do decide a muzzle break is a good idea for her, I started a thread to get advice on what good options there are. Hey, I might even consider one sometime...I know they help alot on the BIG rounds so why not on a 30-06! I've seen them on plenty of hunting rifles before.

    Anyway, here's that link:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...119#post750119

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    My son has a Ruger .270, I have a Ruger 30-06. They are identical in every way. For some reason, even shooting the same grain bullets, the 30-06 has a noticeable increase in felt recoil.

    The advantage that my 30-06 has is that it's pretty easy to find the Remington Reduced Recoil rounds for it. They bring the recoil down around 7-08 range and will work great on deer, caribou or just plain practice. Load it with 165's and she's ready for moose. She'll never feel the difference when she's shooting an animal.
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  18. #18

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    My 180gr loads Nosler Partition, Ballistic tip and Sierra G/K are 2800-2848fps out of my 06 using MRP and H4350 and the 180gr bullet out of a 30-06 is very potent. I have also killed black bear with the 165gr Sierra HPBT and had a complete pass through with a tennis ball size hole. 30-06 is very, very versatile. I prefer it over the 270 for over all work and that is what his wife will be using it for, but at the same time she would also do fine with the 270. Sure will be interesting to see what they choose.
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    Member arizonaguide's Avatar
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    Anyone have any other advice on the best lightweight training rounds for him? I'm curious too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gvsujustin View Post
    My wife wants a new rifle and we've pretty much decided that we want to get her a Tikka T3 Lite. I already have a bull barrel .300 that we can use for short trips (or where we can use toys for travel) and on bigger game, so we wanted something that can be carried easily for long distances.

    What we can't decide is whether we would like to get her a .270 or a 30-06 in that frame. She is fairly small (5'2" 115 lbs) and has very little (and I mean VERY little) shooting experience with anything larger than a .22. Does anyone have experience with both or either calibers that could offer up opinions? I would prefer to get the 06 because it is more versatile, but our priority is making sure she doesn't become gun shy and develop bad habits this early in the game. Planning on a limbsaver but no barrel break. She is a remarkably good shot so I'm confident shot placement will not be an issue, but she also wants to go after some larger game down the road.

    Any opinions will help. Thanks!
    -Justin ( and Shannon)
    Did you ever take your wife into a gun shop and have her select the rifle she wanted? Does wonder for her self confidence. Afterall, it will be hers.
    Tennessee

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