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Thread: Female rifle choices for deer, elk, bigger game ... NEED OP's PLEASE

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Female rifle choices for deer, elk, bigger game ... NEED OP's PLEASE

    Hoping to pick some people's brains here...

    Right now I've been shooting a 30-30 for deer and am planning on scooting up to a bigger caliber for hunting deer, elk, caribou, etc in the future. I'm looking for a solid, versatile all-around gun that I can use as the "good 'ol standby" for several years.

    I've been looking at the Remington 700 series (XCRs pref) in 30-06 and 7mm....I'm about 5'7'' and a sturdy girl and am used to the recoils produced by 12ga shotguns and the 30-30.

    I'm personally leaning towards the 30-06 because of the capability to successfully take larger game (besides the Sitka BT's here)...but now the 7mm and 7mm-08's are getting my attention. I'm not opposed to a recoil, I just don't want to get so much recoil on this new, larger rifle for myself that I start to do the 'flinch' before I pull my shot off.

    My question to ya'll is; what would you recommend? Pros/cons of each? I'm trying to get this hammered out before the end of this week - ANY help of any kind would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    My wife has a 7mm-08 and it has been a wonderful firearm for her. She dropped a caribou with one shot last year, and I am certain that it would do the same on a moose or similarly sized critter. The only limitation of the 7-08 is that it's a bit on the light side for brown/grizzly bear and that it would not be legal for bison. One can't really plan their rifle choices around bison since it is a once in a lifetime tag if you're lucky (less than 1% draw odds), but for those who draw permits they must use rifles capable of shooting a bullet larger than a 7mm-08 can handle.

    The beauty of the 7-08 is that it has very, very little recoil and that it comes in a number of very lightweight, compact models. The 30-06 is certainly more versatile, though. If you don't anticipate ever chasing brown bears, the 7-08 will be plenty of gun for you. If you might hunt brown bears in the future, though, you might be better served with the 30-06.

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    As much as I love the caliber I would not suggest the 7mm Rem Mag. the 7mm-08 would be a great choice. Ask member BrianM on here, I believe that's what his wife shoots. .30-06 is definitely high on the list of "good 'ol standby" rifles. I haven't shot one much so I can't speak to it's recoil or other attributes. If you have the option to reload vs buy factory and possibly go for a custom gun a lot of "odd ball" calibers can be used.

    Speaking of BrianM see above....
    Last edited by AKBoater; 10-05-2010 at 15:28. Reason: Brian beat me too it.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    i wouldn't look at the 7mm mag unless you go shoot one first, they like to bark. 30-06 would be a good choice you can shoot a 110gr all the way up to a 220gr. i am more a fan of the 270 and 338. if you are going to be more in brown bear country i would tell ya to go with a 338. my wife shoots my 270 and she can shoot it all day and it has enough knockdown power to take anything that she would ever want to kill. just use a good bullet....ie: barnes, partition, ect.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    my 14 year old daughter shoots the 06 just fine up to 180 grain so far... i load 110 gn and 125 gn for her to target shoot.. at 5'1 and 115 lbs she does well with it.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member B&C 04's Avatar
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    My wife shoots a .338 WM and loves it. She has no problem with extended shooting at the range and has taken her caribou and blackie with it this year also. Granted it does wear a quality recoil pad, she has not had a problem with the kick before it was installed. IMO you can't beat the various game that can be taken with the .338, especially being in Alaska. I have freinds that owned 7mm's and have all eventually traded them in for a .300/.338 or a variant of the .375. I have 5 .338s, if your ever in the Anchorage area, take one out to the range and see how you like it...

  7. #7

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    My wife and I both shoot .308s for ammo simplicity. Any caliber from .243 and up will kill deer, elk, caribou, and moose. I have shot quite a few moose and a lot of caribou with a .308 and my wife has shot a moose and two caribou with her .308. We are taking them to Kodiak in 5 days for mountain goats and deer as well. As for bears, yeah they may be a little light for the big brownies, but I have taken a couple interior grizz with mine and it worked out just fine. I think finding a rifle that fits you and then look into relatively tame calibers like a 270, 308, 7-08, 30-06. Don't really think you can go wrong with any of those calibers such that you are comfortable enough with the rifle to want to shoot it enough to become and remain proficient with them. So long as you put the mentioned calibers or similar ones in the right place all the animals you listed will die just as well as if you were shooting a .375 or .338. Rifle comfort and fit is more important than rifle caliber.

    Good luck and happy hunting.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Rifle fit is more important than caliber. Get a rifle with proper length of pull first and then worry about the cartridge. At 5'7" you may or may not fit a "standard" stock with a 13.5" LOP but do try. Youth rifles (12-13" LOP) may be too short- it will have a lot more to do with how you're built. At 5'2" my wife needs a shorter stock than most rifles come with but "youth stocks" fit just right. Remember its got to fit with the gear you wear in the field...not the store. I bought a way too long browning like that once.

    If you can take a 12 ga. any of the standard cartridges will be a piece of cake- 7mm08, 260, 308, 338 Fed., 30-06, 270, 280, 7mmRM...et al.

    For a lighter recoil rifle I think the 7mm08 and 308 are marvelous. My wife has shot my .308 and .300WSM without any problems.

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    My wife is 5'2" and weighs about 105 soaking wet, and shoots a Ruger Ultralight in '06 with no problem. Good fit and a good recoil pad will take care of any recoil problems. She also uses an additional shoulder pad at the range so she doesn't develop a flinch, and she shoots like a champ. Good luck!

  10. #10
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    Hard to beat the 308! My wife is shorter but is very proficient with her little Ruger Compact. Short barrel and shorter LOP, it is the only rifle she ever hefted that brought an immediate smile to her face. It just fits her perfect and she can run a box through it at the range no problem. Best part is w/ the short barrel she can hold it steady for a standing unsupported shot which is exactly what was needed when she killed her first moose.

  11. #11

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    I'd suggest using any of the following, 7mm-08, 270, or the ole reliable 30-06. Any of these can take any critter on the NA continent easily when you do your part. Use good premium bullets, put them where they need to go and the deed is done.

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    Member bilbo's Avatar
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    Browning BAR Safari .338 mag

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    Donor,
    Great question! I wouldn't look at anything "heavier" than a 30-06. You don't want to develop any bad habits. The beauty of the 30-06 is that you can purchase "reduced recoil" loads and "mag loads" (I forget what they call them) to suit your needs in addition to standard loads. Make sure the rifle fits and feels good. Remember you might be bulked up by clothes. Get an all weather style that your worries are minimized in rainy and snowy conditions. Don't get carried away with big (30mm) scope tubes and a objective over 40mm. Something in the 2.5-8x36 or 3.5-10x40. Get a standard reticle - no fancy gimmicks to get confused over.

    While I personally would buy a .270Win., you can never go wrong with a 30-06. Keep us posted on what you decide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bilbo View Post
    Browning BAR Safari .338 mag
    I had one in 300 Win Mag when they first came out. With a scope they are pretty heavy.
    I have put thousands of rounds down the barrel of the 7-08 I had and loved the accuracy and low recoil. This is a low recoil and flat shooter, based on the necked down 308 case. I have 06's and a 7mag but will be shooting my latest rifle a Tikka T3 Lite in 308 the rest of this year.
    Find a rifle which fits you and then look at the 6.5x55, 7-08 and 308. Plenty of rifle to get the job done with moderate recoil. The 308 will handle heavier bullets like the 180gr but the 140gr in 6.5 or 7-08 will get the job done nicely.

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    Member Silvertip-CO's Avatar
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    A youth model of any calibre and brand of rifle you pick will work fine, since most husbands dont think of stock length FIRST I am advising you to do that. A 260 or 7mm-08 is fine for a lady. But get a youth stock model. All mfrs make them nowadays. My wife shoots an 06 for many yrs, but I spent 75.00 getting the stock cut and a Pachmayer put on. Looking back a better choice for her would have been the 7-08. Gud luck.
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  16. #16

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    The 7mm-08 is one of the best rounds going. I own and shoot a wide range of chamberings but I use the 7-08 (mine happens to be an AI version) for just about all of my hunting. Loaded with Barnes TSX I'd hunt anything in Alaska. My wife and I killed a couple grizzly bears with it this fall in fact.

    Excellent accuracy and the rifle can be made extremely light (mine is a Rem TI that weighs 6lbs ready to hunt) and the recoil is still a non issue. Its hard not to like......

  17. #17

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    My wife does the Charleton Heston over her 7x57. "You can have this rifle when you pull it from my cold, dead fingers." She's shot everything from deer to moose with it, one shot kills throughout.

    Handloaded it does everything a 7-08 does. If you don't handload, the 7-08 is a really fine choice. BTW- My wife is 5'6" and 140, so you're in a league.

  18. #18
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    My wife shoots a 30-30 as well for blackies but for bigger animals she shoots a 300 win mag it is a great round and easy to get ammo for just about anywhere I also had it muzzle broke for her and she handles it just fine and it now kicks about like a .243 it is a really flat shooting rifle with a wide range of bullet sizes. I also have a 300 ultra that has been muzzle broke and she shot that on our trip to Africa she is 5'4" so she is not very big. If you put a muzzle break on it it makes it louder but takes the punishment away from just about everything. On a side note I also own a 7mm mag and that is one of the worst kicking rifles I have ever shot to shoot it litteraly kicks the hell out of you I hate that gun but it is very accurate and a good long range shooter so I keep it around. It might just be my 7mm though.

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    7mm 08 nuff said
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

  20. #20
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    Assuming you don't handload, as much as I adore the 7-08 and it is a great caliber, I'd say to get a 30-06. Ammo is available everywhere on earth and while it's not a "flashy" caliber they just plain old work. I own and have owned a ton of rifles in different calibers but I have taken well over 50 percent of my big game with the 06. Recoil isn't very bad but I would recommend that you drop an extra 75 bucks to have the stock cut to fit you and a Pacmyer pad installed, and I don't say that based on your being a woman either everyones rifle should fit them and have a good pad.

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