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The old "one rifle" question

24 May 2016
@ 05:54 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Another hypothetical before I get back to the day job:

One of the fascinating things about this forum is reading about the hunting you all do in various corners of the world. Given your particular location and the type of hunting you do the most, what would be your rifle choice if you had to just have one?

I live in Arkansas and hunt whitetail deer more than anything else, with pigs and black bears as outside possibilities. If that were all I were going to hunt and I was only going to hunt here, the deer tend to weigh 150 to 300 pounds on the hoof (less than some other regions), the hunting can be close range in brush or long range across fields and on hillsides, and I believe a .280 AI on a Winchester 70 action with about a 24" medium barrel would suit me just fine.


25 May 2016
@ 12:13 am (GMT)

Ben Law

Re: The old "one rifle" question
I think the 308 or 30-06 would have to be the most versatile rounds.
30-06 would be my choice.
25 May 2016
@ 04:47 am (GMT)

Bryan Webster

Re: The old "one rifle" question
One of our more famous British Columbia Guide Outfitter, who was in the game for many years was asked that question. His very curt answer was to say that the only caliber you need in North America and for most hunting around the world is a good 30/06. His name was George Dalziel, and he was based out of Dease Lake, BC and Watson Lake, YT. He was well known and respected, having guided and hunted all over the world and I suspect his choice would be hard to debate considering his successful hunts and great trophies, some of which are almost legendary.

I would lay my choice between the 30/06 and the 7mm Remington Magnum for a whole pile of reasons. The reasons (some) are that ammo is likely available anywhere if you need it for any reason. Both can be had in a wide array of accurate factory as well as custom rifles, both are extremely effective, yet neither should give anyone pause for shooting due to recoil level concerns.

25 May 2016
@ 06:39 pm (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: The old "one rifle" question
i like my 270win and for most things here in nz its ideal, specially us north islanders.
it might explain why most people i know shoot with one.

i think that wapiti(elk) thar and sambar might be pushing the 270win to its limit but that's where good projectile choices become important.

i agree that the 30/06 is ideally a bitter choice.

the thing with caliber choices is once your a handloader the versatility of a cartridge increases majorly.
the amount of time you hear people wanting to jump up a caliber to get more range or because they had delays killed when realistically all there time and money should be spent on education and reloading gear.
25 May 2016
@ 10:39 pm (GMT)

Sebastian Shand

Re: The old "one rifle" question
That's a tough one because I like so many different cartridges but I think the 30-06 Is hard to beat being so versatile with a large range of projectile choices and its ability to throw small 110grain bits of lead up to 220grain with ease. If I was to pick a caliber to hunt world wide I would find it hard to go past my beloved 375 H&H mag, bit harsh on small game but it gets the job done
26 May 2016
@ 01:34 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: The old "one rifle" question
Warms my heart to see the .30-06 repeatedly mentioned. That is what I shoot (mostly) and load now. I would not trade it for the .280 AI, but I do think that for the specific game and region I hunt most now the .280 would be a winner. But when you open the question up to deal with the matter of a rifle to travel with, the '06 is king. The variety and range of potential loads is a lot of fun to explore.
26 Jun 2016
@ 12:48 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: The old "one rifle" question
While pondering the one gun for everything question i tripped over this. The interesting thing is the comments posted by the readers.

and as far as the gun of all situations its a toss up between these two!

30mm GAU 8 AVENGER it comes with a free plane
26 Jun 2016
@ 02:15 pm (GMT)

Lane Salvato

Re: The old "one rifle" question
Texas is really home to whitetail deer and they are not large except in the extreme panhandle. There are mule deer here but few get to hunt them due to expense. However, we are the adopted home of many, many exotic animals.

If I had to have only one caliber that currently resides in my safe, it would be my grandfather's 270. I like to hunt with a 25-06 for whitetail, axis deer, blackbuck, red deer, and scimitar horned oryx, but I'm careful about range and shot placement with the latter two.

One of my old bosses has taken everything from elk to wolves to kudu, to mountain lion with his 30-06. He takes dangerous game with his 375 H & H. They are the only two guns he owns.

I'd have to say if I could choose only one, it would be the 30-06.
13 Jul 2016
@ 01:25 pm (GMT)

mark korte

Re: The old "one rifle" question
Trench mortar pushing a Barnes copper pill.

No question.
14 Jul 2016
@ 08:45 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: The old "one rifle" question
8.8 cm Pak 43 German anti aircraft anti tank gun. With a tungsten core bonded copper projectile! A super partition or mega A-Max ?????
15 Jul 2016
@ 02:26 pm (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: The old "one rifle" question
Warwick, I know you're transitioning to more piscatorial pursuits (congratulations), but I see an International Incident in the making if you start pot shooting whales and sharks from a boat with an 8.8 cm Amax. But I do have to vote Amax. In spite of all Nathan's admonishing I still can be seduced by high BCs sometimes.
16 Dec 2016
@ 08:56 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: The old "one rifle" question
An accurate and powerful one would do.
21 Jun 2017
@ 08:54 pm (GMT)

Riki Waugh

Re: The old "one rifle" question
some wise old hunter once said
"There aint nothing in this world
that a man can't fix
with a fifty dollar bill
and a thirty aught six"


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