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Forum Index > Rifles general discussion > Rifle Rotation Roster

Rifle Rotation Roster

10 Dec 2017
@ 05:11 pm (GMT)

John D. Hays

Howdy,

In the past, Winchester and other manufacturers would sell sets of hunting rifles, usually four or five, so the hunter would have a rifle for every occasion. You still see some of these sets for sale, used but in unfired condition, on Gunbroker.com I think the problem was that once someone had laid out the big bucks for a matching set, they were loathe to touch them for fear of harming their "investment" (I don't have much sympathy for such sterile parsimony --- never firing your rifle is metaphorical impotence, no?).

Anyway . . . reading Nathan's books and digital output, and absorbing his philosophy of use, I am re-evaluating my sporting rifles according to their Short-Mid-LRange utility for taking a variety of game. Here is my list of relevant rifles. Some I have several of, and three slots that are not yet filled. Comments? Suggestions?

.22 LR
.223 Remington
.257 Weatherby Magnum
6.5x55 Swedish
6.5 Creedmoor
.270 Winchester
7mm Remington Magnum (yet to acquire)
7mm Practical (yet to acquire and build)
.30-30 Winchester (Lever Action)
.300 Winchester Magnum (yet to acquire)
.308 Winchester
.30-06 Springfield
.375 H&H
.45-70 (Lever Action)

Replies

1
11 Dec 2017
@ 04:48 am (GMT)

John D. Hays

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
BTW,

I posted this question because some of these have got to go in order to fund the new magnums and the 7mm Practical build.

I am particularly thinking of ditching the 6.5 rifles. Nathan persuasively considers these as unreliable and ineffective at long range. Other chambering may br redundant in application and may go as well.
11 Dec 2017
@ 05:53 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
I'll probably take some flak for this, but oh well. The .300WinMag is a reliable calibre and will take just about anything down. But....the .308 Norma Mag does it more efficiently. Better case design is a starting point, same velocities with less powder, shorter case/longer neck (read concentricity).

Nice range of calibres you have there. I'm not familiar with some of the smaller ones, but calibres are like engines....you gotta like the horsepower.
11 Dec 2017
@ 09:33 am (GMT)

John D. Hays - New Mexico

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Paul,

Thx for the reply. You've got me scrambling to read up on the .308 Norma Mag. It sounds just as you say, great performance.

I'm a bit concerned about availability of the ammo commercially available. Four years ago I flew over to Virginia for a deer hunt with an old friend. The rifle made the trip just fine, but my hand-load 6.5x55 rounds did not. That checked bag was lost for the next five days.

Since I have three 6.5x55 rifles I never thought it a particularly rare cartridge, but rural Virginia doesn't agree. I borrowed my friend's car and used three-quarters of the day driving to Richmond and back.

I will keep my eyes open for a used .308 Norma Mag rifle. My favorite store, Peterson's, is sure to have it one day or another. They are a magnet for such things.
12 Dec 2017
@ 01:24 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
John - I wish I could help with ammo sources. I have seen it somewhere on the net (big help, eh?). Quick look found it on Midway, so there must be others. If you hand load, it's an easy proposition, the best is to F/L size 300WinMag down with Norma die. One pass, done.
13 Dec 2017
@ 10:48 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Hi John, just thinking that there is no need to double up on the 7mm magnums. Perhaps choose the one you are most interested in and put funds into a good stock and optics rather than spreading funds across two rifles.

As for the .300 Win Mag, this is very handy as ammo can be found everywhere and even with a poor load, there is a lot you can do with a .300. Generally a win win. Of course the same applies to the .30-06. So many options.



13 Dec 2017
@ 06:22 pm (GMT)

John D. Hays - New Mexico

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Nathan,

Thanks for the reply. I think I will go with your earlier suggestion to start with the 7mm RM Sendero, shoot it out, then rebarrel to 7mm Practical.

Literally, my "target" audience for the core rotation rifles here in New Mexico are: Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, WhiteTail & Mule Deer, Elk, Black Bear, Coyote, Javelina, possibly Mountain Lion and Bobcat. It is also year-round open season here on Himalayan Tahr, but no one has ever shot one.

Keeping the other rifles for hunting in Oklahoma and the Southern US where wooded areas predominate, my --Long-Range Rifle Rotation-- would be:

.257 Weatherby Magnum (Remington 700 CDL)
.270 Winchester (Tikka T3)
7mm Remington Magnum/7mm Practical (Remington 700 Sendero)
.308 Winchester (Winchester M70 Featherweight & Remington 700 5R)
.300 Winchester Magnum (Winchester M70 Alaskan)
.375 H&H Magnum (Winchester M70 Safari Express)

A six rifle rotation with the .270 and the .308 being the more "gentle" non-magnums.

And I am thinking of selling off my 6.5mm rifles which just don't seem to serve a useful purpose for me in this scheme other than punching paper.

Do you still see redundancy in this six-rotation? As you say, I could probably just stick with the one .30-06 and hit my likely-target population.
14 Dec 2017
@ 04:00 am (GMT)

mark korte

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
"It is also year-round open season here on Himalayan Tahr, but no one has ever shot one."

That seems hard to believe even though I know they are incredibly tough to hunt. It certainly would spur me into action!
14 Dec 2017
@ 06:43 pm (GMT)

John D. Hays - New Mexico

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Hi Mark,

Yes, it is open season all the time for Himalayan Tahr about 60 miles west of my house on Mount Taylor. You can see the mountain from my back porch. It is the southernmost of the four sacred mountains of the Navajo Indian Tribe.





For a topo map of the area go to:
http://www.yellowmaps.com/usgs/topomaps/drg24/30p/o35107b5.jpg

But . . .

The story is that the Laguna Pueblo Indians some years ago fenced off their part of Water Canyon (see topo) and released some Himalayan Tahr with the idea of charging sportsmen to go up the canyon to hunt these exotic creatures.

The Tahr apparently paid no attention to the fence and a small breeding population thrive both inside and outside the Laguna Reservation. Outside is National Forest and BLM land.

Look at Water Canyon on the topo, it is pretty steep and there are no roads to get to the upper reaches of the canyon if you can't go through Laguna Reservation land (and you can't). So you are looking at a one, two or five year snipe hunt for very elusive creatures. You might do okay if you get deer, Bighorn Sheep or elk licenses for the area, then keep your eyes open for the Himalayan Tahr.

Some folks say they have seen them, but I am unaware of anyone who has shot one.

It is at 9000 to 11000 feet above sea level, and it is quite difficult to do a lot of heavy hiking if you are coming from much lower elevations (sea-level to 2000 feet). I have some property at 8900 feet in the Jemez Mountains and have no trouble hiking and hunting there, but then again my own home is at 5300 feet so I am not starting at zero.

If anyone is interested in hunting New Mexico, I'm happy to get you more info.
16 Dec 2017
@ 06:22 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
I'll take that info, John. And you've got me scheming. I've done far less rewarding things than high altitude scouting disguised as a snipe/tahr hunt.
16 Dec 2017
@ 03:48 pm (GMT)

John D. Hays - New Mexico

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Hi Joshua,

Sure thing, let me get some stuff together and I email you soon.
17 Dec 2017
@ 07:30 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Hi Josh, I just deleted your email link, don't want it up too long for your security. John, if you have not copied Josh's email yet, just ping my email and I will forwards his mail address to you.

John, your home area looks very much like the film location for the series Longmire.
17 Dec 2017
@ 08:48 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Much appreciated, Nathan. I just finished up Longmire and had that same thought when I saw John's pics. That terrain added a lot to the appeal of the show for me.
17 Dec 2017
@ 12:20 pm (GMT)

John D. Hays - New Mexico

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Nathan & Joshua,

Those photos are of Mt. Taylor, which is a huge dormant volcano west of my home. Longmire is filmed in various locations around the state. Longmire's home cabin scenes are filmed in Valle Caldera which is an even larger volcano about 40 miles north of my home.

Here is a photo of that caldera valley:



And you can go here to zoom into the full-size photo with the elk herd:

http://hayspc.com/guns/ElkHerdValleCaldera.JPG

Look close and you can see the big bull with the big rack looking directly at me as I took this photo. He is mostly hidden below the fold. Quite a harem, no?

Here is the same view in September:



And here is a view to the northwest:



I have a property about two miles west of this spot in the Jemez Mountains.

Now, if you want to see where I live, watch "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul". That's Albuquerque.
06 Mar 2021
@ 04:36 am (GMT)

Mack Winzenburg

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Quote:
Hi Mark,

Yes, it is open season all the time for Himalayan Tahr about 60 miles west of my house on Mount Taylor. You can see the mountain from my back porch. It is the southernmost of the four sacred mountains of the Navajo Indian Tribe.





For a topo map of the area go to:
http://www.yellowmaps.com/usgs/topomaps/drg24/30p/o35107b5.jpg

But . . .

The story is that the Laguna Pueblo Indians some years ago fenced off their part of Water Canyon (see topo) and released some Himalayan Tahr with the idea of charging sportsmen to go up the canyon to hunt these exotic creatures.

The Tahr apparently paid no attention to the fence and a small breeding population thrive both inside and outside the Laguna Reservation. Outside is National Forest and BLM land.

Look at Water Canyon on the topo, it is pretty steep and there are no roads to get to the upper reaches of the canyon if you can't go through Laguna Reservation land (and you can't). So you are looking at a one, two or five year snipe hunt for very elusive creatures. You might do okay if you get deer, Bighorn Sheep or elk licenses for the area, then keep your eyes open for the Himalayan Tahr.

Some folks say they have seen them, but I am unaware of anyone who has shot one.

It is at 9000 to 11000 feet above sea level, and it is quite difficult to do a lot of heavy hiking if you are coming from much lower elevations (sea-level to 2000 feet). I have some property at 8900 feet in the Jemez Mountains and have no trouble hiking and hunting there, but then again my own home is at 5300 feet so I am not starting at zero.

If anyone is interested in hunting New Mexico, I'm happy to get you more info.


John I would love to get this info. I've been doing some research for about a month now and think I have a decent idea where to go to maybe get lucky but any and all help is appreciated. If you're still on this old thread I'd love to grab any info I can. Thanks!
06 Mar 2021
@ 02:48 pm (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
I have hunted in New Mexico a couple of times and love it. I love the open basins in central and northern parts of the state. Is the land accessible without permits or draw tags?

I like your rifle selection chart too.
19 Apr 2021
@ 09:27 am (GMT)

David Lenzi

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
I love theory crafting! Sorry I missed this earlier. I'll make some comments on what I'd do as a bare bones "roster" and then make some notes on your choices.

Pared Down 6-gun battery (obviously anything with roughly equivalent performance could stand in for any of these based on preference):
.22 LR (ubiquitous, fun, cheap...sometimes cheap)
.223 Rem (versatile for varmints, small game, centerfire plinking)
.308 Win (ubiquitous, often inexpensive, versatile)
.300 PRC (long range; modern specs on case/chamber, COL)
.375 Ruger (bigger stuff)
.45-70 (lever gun, because it's cool)

You can easily swap the .30-06 in for both the .308 Win and .300 PRC or omit the .308 Win choice entirely depending on preference/needs. You could drop the .30s for 7mm as well (one or two of 7mm-08, .280 AI, 7mm Mag).

Looking at your 6 gun battery (amended), some thoughts:
.257 Weatherby Magnum (Remington 700 CDL)
.270 Winchester (Tikka T3)
As regards these two, I'd pick the one I like better. For me, that would be the Tikka. If I was worried about performance AND I were the sort of guy that's OK with shooting a Wby Mag, I'd re-barrel to a Sherman Max
7mm Remington Magnum/7mm Practical (Remington 700 Sendero)
I have a 7mm RM, like the cartridge a lot. I'll eventually re-barrel that Tikka to either 7 SAUM or 7 Sherman Max. That being said, between a .257, a .270 and a .284 we're really splitting hairs. In my mind, at least, one of these can definitely go. If the .257 truly fills a niche that the .270 does not, keep it.
.308 Winchester (Winchester M70 Featherweight & Remington 700 5R)
I wouldn't keep two .308 and given the wealth of other LR options, the 700 5R would be the one to go, at first blush here.

.300 Winchester Magnum (Winchester M70 Alaskan)
Another conundrum of sorts. Between the 7mm mag of your choice, the .308 Win and .300 Win Mag, you've got a lot of overlap in terms of killing effectiveness and range. How much range do you need? A .30-06 will get you to a 1000 yds very ably.
.375 H&H Magnum (Winchester M70 Safari Express)

In reference to your 6 LR rifles, not understanding them as individual rifles the way that you do, I'd keep:
.270 Win (Tikka) - very versatile for "normal" big game. There's not much in NA you can't lay down with one of these. Recoil is tolerable in a lighter rifle. Good choice for stalking/hiking.
7mm Mag Project - your "reach out and touch them" option.
.375 H&H - it's a cool rifle and a classic cartridge. It will definitely handle anything your 7mm project gun doesn't.

Keep/Add others as your funds/safe space allows.

24 Jun 2021
@ 05:48 pm (GMT)

Ryan Nafe

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
I’ve been thinking about this topic a bit lately. So far I have only one or two niches left to fill, one or two rifles left to get. Considering that I hunt in the lower 48 and am unlikely to ever hunt anything larger than black bear, this is what I have, the current roster:

- a basic .25-06 that gives about 1 to 2 MOA depending on ammo selection, good for coyotes and a backup deer rifle inside 150 yards

- a new (new to me, it’s a 90’s vintage) Winchester 1895 in .270 that’s currently being evaluated for a potential brush/driven/close-range deer rifle

- a 7mm Rem Mag M700 that’s well under 1 MOA which I use for deer when in a stand or other fixed-position ambush-style spot



There are two things I’d like to get in order to fully round-out the arsenal:

- a .45-70 that can handle top-end loads for truly heavy game (moose) at close ranges

- a .338 Win Mag that I can shoot under 1 MOA with. This is a cartridge I very much like on paper, I think it’s adequate for literally anything on the continent at 0-1,000 yards when properly loaded. The problem is the very sharp recoil. I’m perfectly comfortable with my 7mm Rem Mag, 12 gauge magnum slugs and buckshot, etc. but I’m a little hesitant to invest in a .338 because of it’s reputation for rather harsh recoil and being difficult to shoot accurately.



On the .338 Win Mag, I’m curious if any of you guys have a lot of experience with these. Like I said, on paper it looks absolutely perfect for North American animals, capable of fast and clean kills on literally all deer and bear species at point-blank or way out there. Maybe it would be worth getting one, Accurizing it, handloading for it, and practicing regularly. What do you think?
24 Jun 2021
@ 11:58 pm (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Re: Rifle Rotation Roster
Ryan, I am experienced with the 338 Win. Mag. I got it to hunt Nilgai Antelope. Nathan guided me to using very large, but soft bullets. Mine works great. It does have recoil but with the use of a straight combed stock and a #5 contour barrel I find it to be just fine. I don't take it to the range and bang away with it but I do shoot it regularly when ammo is available.

Because I wasn't as confident in the softer 285 grain ELD-M load that Nathan gave me, I used 250 grain Swift A-Frames on my first Nilgai. He was a large bull and the 338 dropped him where he stood grazing. He crumpled forward and never raised his head. Next trip I will use the ELD-M load.

The only warning with the 338 is that if you get one you cannot chance an ultra-light weapon. Straight-combed stock, recoil pad, and #5 contour barrel (or larger) is the ticket. And if you do get a 338 Win. Mag. you won't need a 45-70 but who said you have to need it to get it? Am I right?
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