Some great info guys. Son has me looking into the hunting season as well. Never been one for hunting but I do like me some venison jerky. I don’t own a lever or bolt action rifle and the Ruger 308 with a synthetic stock seems very affordable and has great writers ups.
I kept my model 10 Savage in 308. Feeding exotics during normal times and prices is expensive and then people don’t practice with it, so they suck with it.
The gun is usually the cheap part, it’s all the stuff that goes with it, that is the real cost.
Some is one and done, some is recurring and some is the fact you don’t like what you got.
If you know an old successful hunter who no longer hunts buy his rifle It’s prolly pretty well set up.
308 will take any big game at any reasonable range that normally occurs.
Lotta places are shotgun only though, esp. deer hunting. 30 30 is not that much longer range than shotgun for deer kills.
Just so we are all clear about what you mean by “big game rifle” - do you mean for deer and such, or all the way up to anything on the continent?
For 2 critters, Moose and Brown bear, quite frankly 300 win mag is the hot tip.
and for the .001% of hunters who actually get the lic AND get one of those in their sights… 300 win mag. for the even fewer who need and get the rare lic and opportunity for Big Horn at 900 yards maybe 6.5 creedmore or 7mm mag
For the other 99.99 308 will take them all at the distances the 99.99 can hit at.
Ironically I have have shot and butchered more Cattle than big game and though the situ is unique with close range head shot, a single .22LR drops them like a stone. The situation has never presented itself to try that with any other game.The other side is the weatherby exotics, So fast, that at reasonable ranges it destroys the meat and at long range few have the experience to make a good shot and a clean kill. The last thing I want to do is make a 400-600 yard shot cause 9 out of ten times its tracking and hope it doesn’t get lost or inaccessible and then the meat is nasty tasting too. I really don’t like taking a shot over 300 yards. Rare is the perfect set up, angles, profiles, to be certain of a clean kill at the really long ranges. It Happens, but not as often as the stories say it does. My best was when I was looking at Elk down a valley and trying to figure where they would come up and then when I put down the binos damned if there wasn’t one 60 yards away that I didn’t even see so focused was I at the far ones. I was really lucky cause I got the jitters and I could hardly hold the rifle still enough to shoot at 60 yards. the luck was he stayed long enough for me to calm down enough. It’s happened to me more than once like that too. You can’t hold the rifle steady when they are too close, Adrenalin?? IDK.Ideally 100 to 200 yards is the very best for most. It gives you enough time and its not so far that the shot is too hard to make clean.
308 is cheap enough to practice, Mild enough recoil to not give you the flinches and powerful enough to take game well out to 300 + yards which is plenty far enough for most.
For Lever action I wanted to say it could take down Anything on the North American continent
ie… 45-70 govt. The new Leverevelution ammo has changed (upgraded) this world offering the new 250 grain monolithic bullet or original 325 gr
Looking at the charts the 325 looks OK to a max of 200 yards after than it drops like a rock 27" at 300 for the 325 and 36 for the 250 Your going to be holding over its back and a Hope you even hit it
ya gotta figure it’s a 200 yard gun max for your point blank ranges
and well 1500 ft lbs @ 200 will take an elk It.s not a griz or moose gun until under 100 Yards… There is NO WAY I want to shoot either at 100 yards or less and still live.
I don’ recall the year but i shot a 45-70 lever with some hot carts. I think it held 4 in the tube, It kicked like a mule. wasn’t mine and i dont recall all the deets on ammo and such, think it was a Marlin.
I was trying to work up to a competition and I was afraid I would get the flinches so I only shot the 4. Call me a wuss but I don’t much care for recoil punishment. It takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.
When I picked up my SKS a year ago, on of the gun store staff specifically cited that as his go-to for hog hunting.
I haven’t hunted in close to 50 years, so I can’t vouch for the lethality of 7.62x39, but I can say that I find the SKS to be accurate and soft-recoiling (at least, compared to .30-06 or 7.62x54R).
Options are good, I think.
I have shot it a lot w/ 405 gr and 500 gr. And set a scope designed for the leverevolution ammo on it, sight at 100 and lines for 200 and 300. I wouldn,t rely on it for larger distances much but have seen the amazing power of rounds way deep into the woods and hammering steel. I still love it for many reasons.
@Wyo (et al)
.45-70 can be mild kicking or all the way up to brutal, depending on the specific ammo you are shooting.
But, it is fun to shoot and can drop an animal very quickly - especially at closer (under 200 yards) distances.
@JohnB No Idea on the loads in the lever I shot… 4 was enough.
It wasn’t enjoyable to me. And then I avoided looking further into it.
Further bolstering my opinion that new shooters should start on .22 then move up with lessor recoiling arms till they reach a point of dislike, too many people get a bad recoil experience too early on.
Even as experienced as I was, I discounted 45 70 levers as a result.
The 45-70 Marlin lever gun seems to kick way harder then it should. Not a fun gun to shoot comparable to other guns producing the same energy levels. (In my opinion)
Well … levers recoil the same as bolts. It comes down to how well the stock fits the shooter 'cause neither action mitigates recoil.
My Marlin 1895 GBL … Blastphemy … fits me well. I gotta know what I’m shooting same same like 12g. Light loads … shoot any kinda way; heavy loads use body mass to catch and redirect recoil.
I shoot warmed up Barnes out of this. 45/70 . got a lever and 2 singles shoot the same load, I would say the Ruger #1 has the best balance for that cartridge. but the contender aint bad… its not a wrist breaker…
I understand what you mean and agree with the work your way up approach.
The first time I ever fired a .45-70 it was a Marlin 1895 Guide Gun and 4 shots of the milder recoiling 300 grain bullets was enough for me. But, I loved what the gun could do (what animals I could hunt with it), so I persisted. Now, when I fire that same type of bullet - it doesn’t bother me at all. The Hornady’s bullets still get my attention, but even those I can tolerate up to a box full (20 rounds).
By the way, I fired a Ruger Redhawk in .44 magnum years ago and thought it was too much. But, again, I persisted and now, it does not bother me at all.
Being able to shoot these heavier-recoiling guns without feeling pain allowed me to enjoy what some gun author called “recoil therapy” - which I really needed back in the days of my high-stress job (I am now retired). Something to consider for anyone in a similar situation!
The .45-70 can develop a lot of foot pounds on some of the most powerful loads, or can be just a gentle giant on the softest loads. Maybe try a softer-shooting load ?
I was speaking from experience of the same or similar loads in different platforms, the marlin lever gun seemed to kick the hardest. Maybe combination of weight, stiffness, stock angle, butt pad material? Maybe tighter chamber/ more pressure? Maybe my imagination.
Anyway, as someone once said, …“I prefer the Winchester…”
There is prolly a 100 choices that would basically check the box of hog and deer.
Some better some worse.
Given the current situ in the country, I would still default to 308.
In the 50s and 60s the Vets made the 3006 the Dejure hunting caliber.
Now it’s 308 cause 556 is too light for the job description.
Regardless time is short and get something NOW.
65 days to post election unrest, it might explode and the kid needs trigger time.
Or just screw the hunting deal get the kid and AR 15 and train him…if all is well he can get a hunting rifle later.
I hope it doesn’t happen, but if the wrong person/party gets into office, my guess is that guns and ammo will go up in cost.
There could even be various kinds of bans and other not-nice things to do to gun enthusiasts. Take the risk if you want, or not.
I am trying to stay away from any further boating accidents so I can hold onto what I have, just in case.
Something in.308 should be fine for your stated purposes.
John, the commies are going to go nuts either way.
I have no clue what will happen but plan for worst case.
Hope for the best.
The set up is to DE-legitimize Trump with Election Chaos by Mail in votes and Pigilosi tries a Coup.
THEY IS ONE 30-06 i would still like to get my paws on though… but they always 1…