whats your favorite and most used big game rifle?

Discussion in 'rifle related' started by Grumpy, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I had to think back over 47 plus years of hunting and that, reasonably long, time span, of in the field experience, that has almost always been in Colorado or Wyoming, Idaho, or northern California in steep canyons hunting mule deer and in mostly Colorado or Wyoming, when I could draw the permits for elk!
    (keep in mind the terrain you hunt and what you hunt obviously has a huge effect on what you,ll find to be ideal)
    so it is also making the choice more difficult, simply because as I gained experience.
    I also tended to try out different rifles, mostly because as I gained experience,
    I came to realize the characteristics of what I needed or even wanted had changed!
    when I was younger all the magazine articles I read were pushing the concept of the necessity of having a high velocity, super flat trajectory over almost any other consideration, so the 270 win , 300 win mag,and the 7mm rem mag were almost always being pushed as some how head and shoulders superior too the old and supposedly obsolete 30/06 .
    It was hinted rather pointedly that if you showed up in any deer or elk hunting camp west of the Mississippi river, with anything like a 358 win or 35 whelen or saints save us, a 444 marlin, 450 marlin, 458 win, or 45/70, you were simply flaunting your total ballistic ignorance, and obviously were the type of person that spent most of their days dressed in a flannel jump suit, playing with dust floating in the beams of sun light that managed to leak into your padded cell at the home for the permanently confused!
    Now the funny thing was that the guys I was being mentored by acted as if they never read a single magazine, in fact I was flat out told that a Remington slide action in 30/06 was and would always be the ideal rifle.
    the fact that my mentors were very well know for filling their elk tags at a much higher rate than the states statistic suggested was normal, year in and year out just seemed confusing to me in my late teens and early 20s.
    well to answer my personal selection, its a toss-up between a 340 wby , loaded with 250 grain bullets and a 375 H&H loaded with 270 grain bullets.
    when selecting the best rifle and caliber for the application I've always felt the characteristics that held the most weight should be
    (1) will the rifle and caliber allow you to effectively kill the game, your hunting, with a shot /projectile capable of passing completely through the game, from ANY REASONABLE angle and range
    (2) can the user accurately place shots rapidly from any reasonable field position and range.
    (3) recoil levels should not intimidate the user from quickly attaining a field position
    (4) total dependability
    Ive always asked myself, would this rifle.work if I jump an elk in thick timber at 30-40 yards,
    as well as it will if I see the elk of a life time walking over a ridge at 300-350 yards with only seconds to make a shot?

    I've tried over a dozen other rifles and they all worked ,
    everything from a 257 Roberts to a 458 lott, I came to realize it was not the rifle of the cartridge selected , but the skill and knowledge of the guy using the rifle that mattered far more.
    I received a brief e-mail asking why I seem to be promoting the 450 marlin BLR
    Im not promoting any caliber or action type, simply pointing out what I see rather frequently, used.
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    while earlier in the thread,and in other threads, Ive stated Ive used a SAKO 375 H&H carbine hunting thick timber hunting elk.

    well thats a good observation
    Ive used BOTH rifles and the 375 H&H sako manlicher carbine similar too these pictures
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    my late hunting partner vastly preferred the 358 win BLR
    (mostly Id bet because the 358 win was available when he started hunting elk and the 450 marlin only came out after he passed on)
    well Ive watched a great many guys hunt, the thicker timber slopes where ranges tend to be well under 100 yards and you certainly don,t want any game you shot running any distance,
    heavy bullets in the 30 caliber and larger in the 180 grain or heavier range work rather well.
    and you certainly are unlikely too, get your choice in distance or the games stance or choice of shot angle.
    many prefer those larger bore Marlin and browning lever actions, as you can get a very rapid second shot.
    two factors come to mind here
    (1) few guys I know have ever needed a rapid second shot
    (2) even fewer have developed the well practiced skill of rapidly working a bolt action while your in recoil,
    from the first shot and not removing the rifle stock off your shoulder.
    I find most guys are faster making a follow up shot or at least having that second cartridge re-chambered with a lever action,
    and while that might seem to be an advantage, once you have developed the knack of using a bolt gun with out removing it from the shoulder,
    while working the bolt, I feel the advantage is negligible if it exists... especially when I rarely see a second shot from either rifle is required.
    like I stated, pick what YOUR familiar with and COMFORTABLE useing....your un-likely to make a bad choice.

    but I had excellent and consistent results with the 340 wby , loaded with 250 grain bullets and a 375 H&H loaded with 270 grain bullets, and those rifles get grabbed as I head out the door more than any others I've used.
    I've yet to see any animal hit in the vitals make it it very far once hit with either of those rifles without a very obvious indication they were mortally hit, and while most (maybe 95%) were shot at under 250 yards, a few were dropped out in the 400-500 yardage ranges.
    now if I drop back to hunting hogs and whitetail deer . the 257 roberts ,358 win and certainly the 44 mag and 45/70 all get field time, and like I mentioned previously, the skill and knowledge of the guy using the rifle that mattered far more, that the rifle or caliber used. just a side note
    when I first got into hunting elk , I was about 18 years old, and that was back in about 1968, and I was very lucky,
    I had several skilled mentors with decades of experience ,that made the trip out to Colorado every year,
    these guys were all in their 40s & -50s and 60s at that time ,they had all been hunting for decades,
    all but one of those "old geezers' were using a 760 rem slide action or bolt action 30/06 rifles,
    (the sporters based on the 1917 Endfield and mod 70 win were revered,) most of them used 180 grain or 220 grain round nose bullets,
    these geezers stressed, the importance of learning to having the skill to drop into a sitting position with proper use of a rifle sling and being consistently able to place shots on a 3" orange dot at 100 yards,
    they also explained trajectory, and strongly suggested sighting into hit 3.5" high at 100 yards, so range estimation was not extremely critical.
    they also suggested learning to shoot skeet, because hunting in the thick timber might require shooting off-hand at closer ranges.
    as that was what too a man they had found to be very effective, so on their advise I purchased and used a 760 rem on my first three hunts.
    ( could not locate a 1917 Endfield)
    those were exciting times and these guys did a great deal to get me up too speed on learning where to look for elk,
    how to find them and how to dress out and care for and transport the meat once the deer and elk we shot, were down.
    now I read every hunting article and magazine, I could find at the time ,
    if your my age you might remember the 7mm mag and 300 win mag both came out in about 1963,all the magazines were full of articles promoting the
    pre 1964 winchester bolt guns and lamenting the crappy new Winchesters, the fairly new remington 700 rifles were heavily advertised.
    but at about the same time frame the 340 weatherby in the mark V rifle was being heavily promoted
    being young I read everything I could find and became convinced, I really needed to spend about 2 months pay and buy a weatherby 340 mag.
    It took me over a year to save up and get one.
    now looking back, and thinking about the results, the 340 wby worked and continues to work exceptionally well, but every deer or elk I shot,
    with my 30/06 was just as dead, and in either case a single well placed shot was lethal.
    the difference was that if I hit an elk with a 30/06 , well mostly they looked like they just were startled and ran, a few steps then fell,
    hit in a similar location with the 340,wby few ran, most fell or stood as if dazed then slowly collapsed, few ran, while both were lethal, there was an obvious difference in the initial , reaction to a well placed shot.
    over the following decades while watching many dozens of guys kill deer and elk,
    it became obvious to me that the rifle and caliber ,the guy carried was far less important that the skill and experience of the guy using it.
    especially after watching the older guys, and newer members of the group, use everything from a 257 roberts and 6.5mm swedish mauser to a 45/70 and 458 win,
    and even rather less popular calibers, for elk and mule deer, like a 44 mag marlin lever action, and 35 rem.
    all worked if the guy using it was a good shot!

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    the butt stock cartridge sleeve that holds 8-9 cartridges is almost a mandatory accessory like a sling on most rifles in my opinion
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    honestly I can count the number of times I've even seen a legal bull elk that looked like it was worth shooting, on public land, at ranges over 300 yards in the last 46 years on a single hand and still have unused fingers.. In my experience a 338 caliber, 250 grain bullet pushed too just under 2800 fps kills anything I've ever used it on.
    yes in theory I could gain a bit flatter trajectory and a bit more impact energy by boosting velocity with hotter loads... but I don,t see any benefit!
    now I'm not suggesting loading down to lower velocity as a goal,
    but if my most accurate load happens to be 50 fps-100 fps slower than the max listed velocity you can find listed in the manuals,
    I don,t, miss a minutes sleep worrying about the rifles lethality.
    I'd bet he would totally flip out if he knew my back-up rifle was a 20" sako 375H&H carbine that barely brakes 2450 fps with a 270 grain bullet and that both rifles have a long very successful record of dumping elk!
    while the rifles might seem a bit too powerful in many peoples opinion
    I think most of us tend to select the rifles and calibers we have the most confidence in,
    or have had the best results using.

    I've never regretted using a synthetic stock/stainless weatherby mark V in 340 weatherby,(similar to these two pictures)
    for most of my western hunting
    I've used a sako 375 H&H carbine for the thicker timber
    they all have their strong and weak features, some guys prefer brunettes some blonds, its all a mater of what best matches your idea of perfection,
    I tend to grab the rifle that best matches the terrain and game I intend to hunt , and I've come to prefer and favor the 33-45 calibers personally, but after almost 50 years of hunting big game I've come to realize that the guy holding the tool and his level of experience, and persistence, is by far the most important factor determining the likely success. select about anything with a common deer rifles power level, like a 270 win-308 win and an experienced and knowledgeable and persistent hunter cam make it work rather effectively.

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    YEAH, A BROWNING blr IN 450 MARLIN
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    IS DESIGNED TO HANDLE max PRESSURE LEVELS in factory ammo,of about 43,000
    psi roughly 50% higher than a 45/70, ,the action on a marlin 450 marlin BLR is front locking like a bolt action , it can safely handle slightly more pressure. a rear locking action on a marlin lever action can,t safely handle , more than about 33000 psi
    the marlin is from what Ive read several places designed to handle approximately 32000-33000 psi
    absolute max[/COLOR]
    https://www.beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/49
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    it should not take a genius too understand that in a repeater like a marlin or BLR the over all cartridge length must be close to a standard designed length to function reliably regardless of the projectile weight, selected, thus longer projectiles will extend a great deal deeper into the case taking up valuable propellant space, the trade-off tends to make it very difficult in the limited case capacity of the 45/70 and 450 marlin. too efficiently push bullets much over about 430 grains to velocities, at the safe limits in pressure, that provide both reasonably flat trajectory and high retained energy


    most loads are well under 28,000 psi hot loads are well under 30,000 psi, and a stead diet of those 30,000 psi loads in a marlin 45/70 will eventually strain and loosen components over time,
    you can play with ballistic computers and trajectory charts for weeks if you care too but the math and facts won,t change,if you want to carry a useful rifle that you can expect to use in the feild with a reasonable trajectory, you can graph out the difference between all the potential bullet weights and velocity's, if you care to, (as an engineer I did that lots of times)it won,t change the fact that both the 45/70 and 450 marlin have very similar case capacity and if you graph out all the 300grn -500 grn projectiles loaded to max safe pressures, the 450 marlin holds a minor advantage with its slightly higher safe working pressure and that your most efficient loads based on trajectory, and retained energy and limited case capacity always favor the 350-430 grain projectiles.
    look at the loads listed earlier, use a ballistic calculator
    youll eventually be forced into that realization , by simple math

    https://www.hornady.com/team-hornady/ballistic-calculators/
    the additional 150-175 or so fps that the 450 marlin allows, over a 45/70 is not all that significant once you realize that the minor increase in impact energy and flatter trajectory will be a very minor advantage and either cartridge punches through an elk and whats behind it easily.
    http://www.garrettcartridges.com/chamberpressure.html
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    its stupid to push your handloads past the rifles designed pressure limits but obviously people have occasionally done so!

    http://kwk.us/pressures.html

    http://www.chuckhawks.com/450Marlin.htm

    http://www.lasc.us/SAAMIMaxPressure.htm

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chamber_pressure

    theres no need to push any 45/70 or 450 marlin to greater than about 28,000 psi
    a 405-450 grain bullet will generally maximize the results, in the compromise between flat trajectory and penetration as heavier bullets take up a great deal of powder case capacity in either case.
    a 45/70 can safely push a 405 grain CAST gas check, or jacketed bullet to about 1800 fps
    a 450 marlin can push the same bullet to about 2070 fps


    either rifle will kick the crap out of your shoulder at those speeds, if you shoot a great deal of ammo, and either cartridge or rifle loaded too about 1800 fps with 405 grain CAST gas check, or jacketed bullet, loaded to about 1800 fps will punch clear through an elk at 200 yards ... and still punch through a 4" aspen behind that elk, from personal in the field experience
    it would be stupid to push pressure higher, that those listed max velocity's above in my opinion, and experience, as the cartridge is devastating on anything so loaded.



    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/d...70&Weight=All&type=rifle&Order=Powder&Source=
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    ELK ARE NOT STUPID, as soon as they detect hunters they move to the least accessible areas with the thickest cover , and that usually means youll spend a great deal more time slowly and carefully sneaking thru timber than shooting across open fields like those magazine article pictures taken of elk in parks like yellow-stone suggest.

    Ive used a 45/70 for decades in hunting elk in thick cover in colorado canyon country like these pictures others have posted, and lately I traded in my 45/70 marlin for a 450 marlin BLR its noticeably more accurate, than the marlin, the best load I found is a 405 grain remingtom bullet over 50 grains of imr3031 and a 215 fed primer
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    450 marlin handloads.

    Wt. Bullet Powder Manufacturer Powder Charge Velocity (FPS) 250 Barnes XFN Hodgdon H-4198 57.0 2,288
    Remarks: 2.10 group
    300 Nosler Partition Accurate XMR-2015 60.0 1,970
    Remarks: 1.95 group
    300 Nosler Partition Accurate XMR-2015 62.0 2,091
    Remarks: 1.80 group
    300 Sierra JHP Vihtavuori VV-N130 51.5 1,751
    Remarks: 2.25 group
    300 Sierra JHP Vihtavuori VV-N130 53.0 1,869
    Remarks: 2.10 group
    300 Sierra JHP Vihtavuori VV-N130 54.0 1,990
    Remarks: 1.90 group
    300 Barnes XFN Hodgdon H-4198 50.0 1,982
    Remarks: 1.65 group
    350 Hornady FP Hodgdon H-4198 48.5 1,842
    Remarks: 1.60 group
    350 Hornady FP Hodgdon Varget 59.0 1,770
    Remarks: 1.65 group
    350 Hornady FP Hodgdon Varget 61.0 1,821
    Remarks: 1.70 group
    350 Kodiak FP IMR IMR-3031 56.0 1,827
    Remarks: 1.55 group
    350 Kodiak FP Hodgdon H-335 60.0 1,872
    Remarks: 1.20 group
    400 Speer FN Hodgdon H-4895 56.0 1,773
    Remarks: 1.75 group
    405 Kodiak FP Hodgdon H-322 52.5 1,842
    Remarks: 1.50 group
    405 Magma cast IMR IMR-4198 32.0 1,332
    Remarks: 2.00 group
    415 RCBS cast GC Alliant RL-7 48.0 1,875
    Remarks: 1.80 group
    415 RCBS cast GC Alliant RL-7 50.0 1,960
    Remarks: 1.45 group

    300 Lead Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 38.7 1,928
    Remarks: start chg
    300 Lead Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 43.0 2,096
    Remarks: max chg
    405 Lead Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 36.0 1,716
    Remarks: start chg
    405 Lead Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 40.0 1,865
    Remarks: max chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-5744 43.2 2,034
    Remarks: start chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-5744 48.0 2,211
    Remarks: max chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-1680 52.2 2,198
    Remarks: start chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-1680 58.0 2,389
    Remarks: max chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2015 54.9 2,217
    Remarks: start chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2015 61.0 2,410
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2230 58.1 2,226
    Remarks: start chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2230 64.5 2,420
    Remarks: max chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2460 60.3 2,214
    Remarks: start chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2460 67.0 2,407
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2495 59.4 2,001
    Remarks: start chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2495 66.0 2,175
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2520 56.7 2,034
    Remarks: start chg
    300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2520 63.0 2,211
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-5744 39.4 1,813
    Remarks: start chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-5744 43.8 1,971
    Remarks: max chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-1680 46.1 1,919
    Remarks: start chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-1680 51.2 2,086
    Remarks: max chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2015 50.0 2,030
    Remarks: start chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2015 55.5 2,207
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2230 55.8 2,067
    Remarks: start chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2230 62.0 2,247
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2460 55.8 2,010
    Remarks: start chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2460 62.0 2,185
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2495 54.9 1,892
    Remarks: start chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2495 61.0 2,057
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2520 55.8 1,982
    Remarks: start chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2520 62.0 2,154
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2700 55.8 1,719
    Remarks: start chg
    350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2700 62.0 1,869
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 36.9 1,688
    Remarks: start chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 41.0 1,835
    Remarks: max chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-1680 41.4 1,732
    Remarks: start chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-1680 46.0 1,883
    Remarks: max chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2015 47.3 1,883
    Remarks: start chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2015 52.5 2,047
    Remarks: max chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2230 49.9 1,877
    Remarks: start chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2230 55.4 2,040
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2460 54.0 1,909
    Remarks: start chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2460 60.0 2,075
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2495 49.5 1,689
    Remarks: start chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2495 55.0 1,836
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2520 53.1 1,875
    Remarks: start chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2520 59.0 2,038
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2700 53.1 1,620
    Remarks: start chg
    400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2700 59.0 1,761
    Remarks: max chg; compressed load


    300 Barnes XFN IMR IMR-3031 52.5 1,870
    Remarks: 35,000 psi; compressed powder charge
    300 Barnes XFN IMR IMR-4198 44.2 2,000
    Remarks: 39,000 psi
    300 Nosler Partition IMR IMR-3031 57.0 2,100
    Remarks: 35,000 psi; compressed powder charge
    350 Hornady IMR IMR-3031 56.0 2,030
    Remarks: 38,000 psi; compressed powder charge
    350 Hornady IMR IMR-4198 45.0 2,050
    Remarks: 40,000 psi
    400 Barnes Flat Nose IMR IMR-3031 50.8 1,860
    Remarks: 40,000 psi; compressed powder charge
    400 Remington soft point IMR IMR-3031 50.0 1,840
    Remarks: 40,000 psi; compressed powder charge (VERY ACCURATE)
    400 Barnes Flat Nose IMR IMR-4198 40.0 1,820
    Remarks: 40,000 psi


    if you want a good 450 marlin load try 50 grains of IMR 3031 under a 405 remington bullet and a 215 fed primer, its accurate and will kill anything in north America if you place your shots well,

    load either cartridge to about 1850 fps with that 405 grain remington, sight in to hit 3.5" high at 100 yards and start hunting the thick timber knowing you holding thors hammer, most of your shots will be well under 150 yards but even at 250 yards a center chest hold is devastating on deer or elk.
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    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...hooting-from-field-positions.9380/#post-55569

    decent quality optics are mandatory

    https://www.midsouthshooterssupply....x42mm-30mm-tube-nikoplex-reticle-matte-finish

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...hat-are-you-looking-for-in-an-elk-rifle.2368/

    http://www.petersenshunting.com/gea...y-mag-vs-375-hh-whats-the-best-elk-cartridge/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...looking-for-a-good-7mm-rem-mag-elk-load.6270/

    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...-favorite-and-most-used-big-game-rifle.13113/
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  2. T-Test

    T-Test Well-Known Member

    Don't do what you do, but use CVA 50 caliber black powder for most deer/bear/hog hunting in the South. Have other guns, just like to hunt the old fashion way mostly.
     
  3. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

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    http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/...roductDetail/Rifles/prod99999048398/cat100003

    jacks been using one of these for elk chambered in 9.3mm/62mm the last few trips and hes been very impressed, its basically duplicated or marginally improved a 35 whelen ballistics, almost reaching 338 mag power levels,like many of the guys I hunt with, there seems to be, a compulsion to try new rifles so after a few trips even old familiar and trusted choices occasionally get traded off, exchanged, swapped, or sold, and yes frequently regretted later. I purchased Jacks old browning 375 H&H a few years back, and he bought a 9.3mm/62mm the last few trips, I doubt theres 2 cents difference in performance between the two rifles.
    any of the three calibers listed above drops elk like THORS HAMMER in the hands of a good shot that knows elk anatomy
    these 35-37 caliber rifles, that push 250-300 grain bullets are very popular with the more experienced members of the elk hunting club I hang out with.
    the combined experiences well exceeds hundreds of elk hunts and if theres a common idea its that you'll seldom get more than one or two shots and ranges seldom exceed 300 yards, shots in heavy timber at under 150 yards are very common, and you darn sure don,t want to guess if your hit was effective or have a long tracking job so making that first shot effective is critical, having an accurate rifle that penetrates deeply , helps limit your guess work.
    in the hands of a good shot a 257 roberts or 270 win or 308 win will work, but theres a consensus, among the guys I hunt with that, having a bit of extra power in your one shot, you may get, seems to help limit the tracking jobs


    https://www.hornady.com/store/9.3X62-286-gr-SP-RP/


    a properly loaded 270 win or 30/06 would never be a bad choice, in most areas.
    that being stated I,ve used a 340 wby, 375 H&H and 35 whelen and 45/70 for decades with excellent results.
    (but consider I generally hunt Elk in thick timber in steep canyon country.)

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    or sako or ruger carbine
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    the 358 win-pushes a 250 grain bullet to about 2300 fps 2937 ft lbs PLENTY
    the 35 whelen pushes a 250 grain at 2500 fps 3470 fp lbs PLENTY
    a 9.3x62 pushes a 286 grain at 2360 fps 3538 ft lbs.. ABOUT 3% more
    the 338 win, pushes a 250 grain at 2660 fps 3928 ft lbs ABOUT 10% more
    I think we all find we have favorite rifle action types , personally I like and trust single shot browning falling block rifles like the browning 78 ,in 300 wby,
    and the bolt action weatherby mark V ,in 340 wby, and the 375 H&H, bolt action, for most of my hunting,
    (you might feel thats excessive, I know I'm in a minority)
    I could not pick or would want to even suggest what YOU might prefer,
    some guys like blondes some guys prefer brunettes... find what you like best, and what you have fun with, and youll never be wrong.
    I've purchased, and used a great many rifle calibers from 6 mm rem to 458 LOTT and a 58 and 62 caliber muzzle loader's
    many guys seem to be adversely effected by any significant recoil and many prefer lighter weight rifles, thats fine,
    I find lots of the guys I hunt with preferred pump and lever actions
    personally I prefer the .338-.45 calibers, they tend to get obviously noticeable results
    you can't ignore physics a larger and heavier projectile tends to hit harder,
    but its a judgement call on how hard you want to hit the target or what trajectory and recoil limitations your willing to deal with
    I've seen several elk killed with a 257 roberts and a couple killed with a 45/70, , most guys seem to find a 308 win, 30/06 or 270 win works well.
    power is obviously not as critical as shot placement
    if you can accurately use a 300 mag-375 mag the extra power has marginal advantages in a few applications but its rarely if ever going make or break a hunts success.
    from what Ive seen having confidence in your choice of rifle and being very familiar with its quirks and characteristics and limitations is the key to success not the action type or caliber or case head stamp.

    elk country generally requires you cover and glass a great deal of area, to locate your target, and unlike white tail deer, your chances of sitting in a tree stand in the correct time frame, at the correct place is far less likely.
    simply because most elk range over many miles of range not hundreds of yards and they may take weeks, or months to travel back through one specific drainage or stand of timber.
    use topo maps to locate potential natural choke points, logging road access and camp sites.
    being in good physical condition is almost mandatory, most of us think we are but if your not familiar with hunting at 5000-10000 ft altitude you might be rather surprised at the difference, it makes.
    bring a good set of binoculars and good comfortable boots with good grip tread soles.
    have a decent pack, temps can change from below freezing to 70F in a days time, having a GPS helps
    drink plenty of liquids and have a few aspirin, or aleve and excedrin etc. , youll need them
    bringing a side arm is generally not mandatory, but you might prefer to pack out elk meat, once you have dropped one elk, , with a side arm vs a rifle as a 60-80 lb pack is plenty to manage while packing out of steep canyons

    just a side note
    when I first got into hunting elk , I was about 21 years old, and that was back in about 1968, and I was very lucky,
    I had several skilled mentors with decades of experience ,that made the trip out to Colorado every year,
    these guys were all in their 40s & -50s and 60s at that time ,they had all been hunting for decades,
    all but one of those "old geezers' were using a 760 rem slide action or bolt action 30/06 rifles,
    (the sporters based on the 1917 Endfield and mod 70 win were revered,) most of them used 180 grain or 220 grain round nose bullets,
    these geezers stressed, the importance of learning to having the skill to drop into a sitting position with proper use of a rifle sling and being consistently able to place shots on a 3" orange dot at 100 yards,
    they also explained trajectory, and strongly suggested sighting into hit 3.5" high at 100 yards, so range estimation was not extremely critical.
    they also suggested learning to shoot skeet, because hunting in the thick timber might require shooting off-hand at closer ranges.
    as that was what too a man they had found to be very effective, so on their advise I purchased and used a 760 rem on my first three hunts.
    ( could not locate a 1917 Endfield)
    those were exciting times and these guys did a great deal to get me up too speed on learning where to look for elk,
    how to find them and how to dress out and care for and transport the meat once the deer and elk we shot, were down.
    now I read every hunting article and magazine, I could find at the time ,
    if your my age you might remember the 7mm mag and 300 win mag both came out in about 1963,all the magazines were full of articles promoting the
    pre 1964 winchester bolt guns and lamenting the crappy new Winchesters, the fairly new remington 700 rifles were heavily advertised.
    but at about the same time frame the 340 weatherby in the mark V rifle was being heavily promoted
    being young I read everything I could find and became convinced, I really needed to spend about 2 months pay and buy a weatherby 340 mag.
    It took me over a year to save up and get one.
    now looking back, and thinking about the results, the 340 wby worked and continues to work exceptionally well, but every deer or elk I shot,
    with my 30/06 was just as dead, and in either case a single well placed shot was lethal.
    the difference was that if I hit an elk with a 30/06 , well mostly they looked like they just were startled and ran, a few steps then fell,
    hit in a similar location with the 340,wby few ran, most fell or stood as if dazed then slowly collapsed, few ran, while both were lethal, there was an obvious difference in the initial , reaction to a well placed shot.
    over the following decades while watching many dozens of guys kill deer and elk,
    it became obvious to me that the rifle and caliber ,the guy carried was far less important that the skill and experience of the guy using it.
    especially after watching the older guys, and newer members of the group, use everything from a 257 roberts and 6.5mm swedish mauser to a 45/70 and 458 win,
    and even rather less popular calibers, for elk and mule deer, like a 44 mag marlin lever action, and 35 rem.
    all worked if the guy using it was a good shot!
    and while all the magazines stressed the need for flat trajectory and the virtue of the cartridges like the 270 win and 300 mag, I doubt Ive seen more than a half dozen elk shot at over 200 yards,
    in the last 50 years.( and far more than a few dozen shot at under 100 yards)



    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    LOWER CANYON
    [​IMG]
    upper canyon
    picture yourself slowly walking, in a walk 20-40 yards ,stop and glass,for 10-12 minutes, along the slope on one side of the canyon about 200 yards up from the bottom while your hunting companion walks the opposite slope , you'll find this method quite effective, especially if a second pair of hunters start hunting from the opposite end of the canyon, elk spotting one hunter will generally move making them more easily seen from the oposite slope.[​IMG]
    a good deal of the area looked similar to this

    one of the keys to reducing individual expenses is sharing equipment and transportation expenses it makes no sense to have each person , purchase and pack shared equipment like stoves, tents, large coolers and separate truck rentals and transportation expenses.
    if 4 guys share the cost of a 4x4 truck rental and fuel costs it reduces the total personal individual cost significantly, and you damn sure don,t need 4 separate, coolers, tents and stoves packed into a truck.
    if you spend time at any local outdoor 100 yard or longer rifle range, you can rather easily strike up a conversation with the guys you observe that seem to be the type of people you see, and start up a conversation with,that you personally,
    feel comfortable talking to about hunting and rifles, and maybe past hunting trips, once you get to know them better you might broach the subject of meeting regularly at the range and possibly going on local hunts, well before you actually start plans for a much more extensive time and cash intensive, out of state big game hunting trip, where you might be spending a good deal of time together, or dependent on some guy you don,t really know that well.
    youll certainly want too weed out the guys that are not willing to help set up camp, back pack out each others game, and share expenses way before you make an expensive out of state big game hunt together.
    finding a hunting partner is a time intensive process and your not going to find the ideal partner easily, my last hunting partner I had for 30 plus years had a wife that was a total bitch, she saw hunting trips as a plot for him to get out from under her thumb/control for 10 days a year (SO DID HE TO TELL THE TRUTH)
    but he would pull his weight, and we would both share all work and expenses equally.
    Yes we all make mistakes and your sure to find guys that talk a great game but won,t lift a finger to help around camp or help dress out or pack out your elk yet expect you to help with transport and care of theres, or agree to share gas and other expenses equally but once on the trip don,t do crap.
    youll also want to get a detailed written list of what is expected in shared expenses, chores, and an agreement that any truck you rent gets fully insured or break-downs on the trip expenses will be equally shared.
    stupid disagreements can cause hard feelings, I remember on one trip we got a damaged tire , that had to be replaced,and one of the five guys on the trip did not want to chip in on the cost of the new tire (because he was not driving when it happened) obviously that was the last trip he was allowed on in our club.(the 25% of the cost to replace the ruined tire, or in that case $37 was all but meaningless, to all of us, but the "SCREW YOU ! THATS YOU PROBLEM! "
    attitude was NOT!)
    when your on a hunting trip everyone must work to make things run smoothly and if something breaks we all work to get it repaired, if someone has an elk down in some steep canyon , we all work to back pack it out. and at least in my group the guy shooting the elk naturally keeps the bulk of the meat and antlers but about 1/6-to-1/4 of the meat from any elk gets divided too the other members, so if lets say 3 of 4 guys get an elk on a given trip, the one un-sucessful hunter still gets some elk steaks
    each of our personal experiences accumulate over time and each while probably significant different has a profound effect on what we personally see as the ideal equipment list , and colors our choices.
    I prefer to hunt out of a back pack, think mountain man, tactics with very limited minimal but better more modern equipment choices
    most of my fellow elk hunters in my group think I'm at least a marginal masochist, because I will almost always, leave camp and am perfectly comfortable under conditions many feel are not tolerable.
    personally I want to cover ground , but leave no trace I was there, I select a light flexible but totally durable back pack, minimal equipment,
    a fairly powerful rifle like a 375 H&H or 340 WBY a 22lr revolver,a kukri, and a -10F rated sleeping bag , and a parka and poncho, a couple 2 ltr bottle canteens a few tools, mres, and think little of spending 3-4 days away from camp.
    if your not afraid of getting lost,, not all that concerned with having more than one meal a day, not worried about spending nights sleeping sitting against , or laying under, a large over hanging conifer, tree,
    even if the temps drop and your waking up under a foot of fresh snow, miles from your truck, I can totally enjoy the hunt..
    too many guys are convinced they must be back in camp at dark, too many guys in my opinion think they must have a hot meal and a camp fire.
    I cover a good deal of carefully pre-selected, terrain, but I don,t travel fast, Im just persistent, I really don,t care where I am at dawn or dusk, I just want to find a decent elk,
    I've never been all that concerned with huge antlers but yeah Id prefer to shoot something impressive just like most of you.
    this style of hunt is obviously not that popular as only a few of they guys Ive hunted with wanted to repeat the hunts even when I'm successful most years, AT least 50% of the trips in at least getting a decent mule deer or elk.




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    http://garage.grumpysperformance.com/index.php?threads/whats-a-good-light-weight-elk-rifle.3738/


    http://garage.grumpysperformance.co...cks-browning-375-h-h-a-bolt.11803/#post-67646

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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
  4. rlphvac

    rlphvac reliable source of info

    A while back I bought a new 30.06 I got an 8 point that year . A few months later the woman and I were in a store and she saw me looking at deer rifles and asked what I was doing because I just bought a new deer rifle the year before. I told her that it was bad luck to hunt again with the same rifle that you killed a buck with. She bought it hook line and sinker so I've gotten a new deer rifle almost every year since without any grief
     
    Strictly Attitude likes this.
  5. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    many years ago...my wife asked me
    "HOW MANY ELK RIFLES DOES ONE GUY NEED?"
    my answer......


    honey , I'M MALE and I don,t think like GIRLS,
    its just a biological fact!

    I have a few things I'm interested in, like cars, engines and hunting ELK!
    I'm GOING TOO ENJOY MY SELF, and RELAX AS MUCH AS I CAN AFFORD TOO, SO...
    I'm going to collect....and spend a few buck$
    every 4-6 years, on,
    something pleasing to look at that I can admire and fondle...
    something that will be used to build a long inventory of fond MALE memories

    either....ELK RIFLES OR CUTE MISTRESSES....
    YOUR CHOICE!....but trust me, elk rifles will be much cheaper....
    .
    .
    .
    after thinking that "TO HER , A RATHER ALIEN, ODD MALE THINKING PROCESS," for five seconds...
    for some reason shes much less resistant to.......
    an occasional gun-shop purchase, of high quality elk rifles...????
     
  6. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I have a close friend that I've spent several dozen, rather enjoyable trips to the local range and a few, mule deer hunts with in Colorado and one in norther California
    hes one of those few guys always willing to pitch in and split the expenses and work along side you if you need to haul a deer out of some canyon.
    he only owns and hunts with a ruger #1 light weight rifle in caliber 270 win,
    [​IMG]
    and thinks its the ideal mule deer and whitetail deer rifle.

    To be honest I tend to agree with him, that it is a damn good choice,
    how many of you honestly tried 4-5 or more rifles, before deciding on what you prefer?
    but I asked him while we were at the range today
    , why he selected that particular rifle?
    his response kind of surprised me, , he said,
    " .... honestly, I went into a local pawn shop about 35 years ago and asked if they had and good deals on hunting rifles,
    up to that point Id never owned a rifle.
    he showed me a marlin 35 rem and this ruger #1 in 270 , he wanted $225 for the marlin and $550 for the Ruger,(it had a 4x weaver scope on it also)
    I asked him why the ruger was so expensive..... he simply stated that a 270 win in a ruger falling block could shoot flat enough and hit hard enough to kill elk,
    out past 400 yards, the marlin in his opinion was a 150 yard deer rifle at best"
    having no prior experience I took his advice.
    and having remembered seeing that ruger single shot advertised in the back of a recent hunting magazine for considerably more money....
    I simply handed him my credit card... I've never regretted that purchase"
    now I tried your 375 H&H carbine and Ive tried a BLR in 358 win , and a BAR in 280 rem, and a savage bolt action 308 win.
    I think I made a damn good choice, and yeah, it was mostly luck, but I like the rifle and trust it! and as youve seen its been very effective!
    I think most of us have tried several dozen rifles, some we owned, some we borrowed for a couple shots from friends just to see how they felt and shot,
    I would have saved thousands of dollars over the last 50 years If I had stuck with the first rifle I found worked well,
    but Ive generally wanted to try about everything I ever saw just to see if it worked better.
    I personally have found about 8-9 rifles I trust, but I keep grabbing my 340 mark V fibermark or sako bolt action carbine
    maybe its a problem, but while I have no problem hunting with a 358 win or 450 marlin BLR or mod 78 falling lock, in 300 wby
    and Ive done that, many times, if I'm serious about collecting a decent elk or mule deer the weatherby get taken out of the safe 9-out of 10 times.

    I would expect very few people are still hunting with the first big game caliber rifle they ever purchased, 35 years later.
    btw
    http://www.handloads.com/loaddata/default.asp?Caliber=270%20Winchester&Weight=All&type=Rifle
    in his rifle 54 grains oh H4831 and a speer 150 grain bullet, and a 215 fed primer has consistently produced near 5/8" 3 shot hundred yard bench rested group's
    https://www.speer-ammo.com/bullets/rifle-bullets/boat-tail-rifle-bullets/277/277-150-sp-bt-bullet


    [​IMG]

    I find it rather interesting that most of us find a rifle , at times based on what some other friend or family member might use or own,
    and when we see it works very few people give the ballistics much thought. and those few guys that do tend to think knowing those figures is very important.
    I've watched dozens of guys buy and use different rifles and while many of those guys can quote you ballistics, and try to convince you they made the best possible choice.
    I've found damn few guys have practiced shooting enough on a regular and consistent basis to be able to be confident they can hit a 3" orange dot from a sitting position at 100 yards on their first shot.
    now theres no bench rest out in the field, and most guys can shoot impressive groups off a bench rest,thats fine for sighting the rifle in, but damn near meaningless once your hunting.
    the guys I hunt with generally find that those 1" bench rest rifle groups turn into at best, 6" 100 yard groups if they don,t practice shooting with a sling from a sitting position at least once every few months.
    you barely get to shoot prone as theres generally some brush or grass, in the way, offhand without a tree to lean against,
    is not generally nearly as accurate once ranges extend past about 200 yards, thats one reason most games killed at well under 200 yards.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2018
  7. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I received a brief e-mail asking why I seem to be promoting the 450 marlin BLR
    Im not promoting any caliber or action type, simply pointing out what I see rather frequently, used.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    while earlier in the thread,and in other threads, Ive stated Ive used a SAKO 375 H&H carbine hunting thick timber hunting elk.

    well thats a good observation
    Ive used BOTH rifles and the 375 H&H sako manlicher carbine similar too these pictures
    [​IMG]
    my late hunting partner vastly preferred the 358 win BLR
    (mostly Id bet because the 358 win was available when he started hunting elk and the 450 marlin only came out after he passed on)
    well Ive watched a great many guys hunt, the thicker timber slopes where ranges tend to be well under 100 yards and you certainly don,t want any game you shot running any distance,
    heavy bullets in the 30 caliber and larger in the 180 grain or heavier range work rather well.
    and you certainly are unlikely too, get your choice in distance or the games stance or choice of shot angle.
    many prefer those larger bore Marlin and browning lever actions, as you can get a very rapid second shot.
    two factors come to mind here
    (1) few guys I know have ever needed a rapid second shot
    (2) even fewer have developed the well practiced skill of rapidly working a bolt action while your in recoil,
    from the first shot and not removing the rifle stock off your shoulder.
    I find most guys are faster making a follow up shot or at least having that second cartridge re-chambered with a lever action,
    and while that might seem to be an advantage, once you have developed the knack of using a bolt gun with out removing it from the shoulder,
    while working the bolt, I feel the advantage is negligible if it exists... especially when I rarely see a second shot from either rifle is required.
    like I stated, pick what YOUR familiar with and COMFORTABLE useing....your un-likely to make a bad choice.
     
  8. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    I occasionally have guys I see at the local range or if I meet someone out in the field start a discussion, about the suitability, characteristics, advantages or problems ,
    they seem to think are all important in the rifle and cartridge , I or they are carrying.
    (think deer and elk hunting as the basic back ground for the discussion)
    I don,t at times know if its based on envy, curiosity ,our some unconscious need they have to justify their particular choices in equipment vs what I'm carrying.
    Ive generally found , that if you want to logically discuss the subject, you should start with a basic agreement or at least recognizing, what they are looking to achieve,
    and the likely rifle and cartridge characteristics and limitations.(keep in mind the game being persuaded, the likely distances ,
    and of course most guys won,t admit the lack of field experience, rifle accuracy from field positions, and an aversion to recoil on the part of most riflemen.)
    now you might have a totally different outlook, but over the last 45 plus years I can count the number of elk Ive seen on public hunting grounds at over 400 yards range on one hand with several spare fingers unused
    those at the outside on range, limitations,
    I think anything fully capable of delivering a well placed , and lethal, shot at 450-500 yards is providing the hunter with far more than adequate reach.
    (and because most of the elk I've seen shot were under 200 yards I don,t put a great deal of weight on a super high velocity, or super flat trajectory)
    recoil is related to both bullet weight, powder charge,, and rifle weight and design., Id point out most guys would love a light weight rifle and scope combo,
    but theres always a compromise , that your forced too be made by riflemen, between rifle weight and recoil tolerance.
    I think most people looking at the results others have gotten would select at least a 25 caliber, rifle with at least a 100 grain bullet as a minimum reasonable choice.
    I don,t think theres any reason to go to anything larger and heavier than a 45 caliber, and a 338 and 358 caliber certainly is all thats required.
    I certainly can,t select the rifle or caliber combo you might find suits you best, but I can point out that the more popular choices fall in the 270-7 mm and 30 caliber range.
    now having used a 270 win and a 150 grain bullet,and a 30/06 sprng with a 190 grain bullet on several deer and elk I know those work, Ive used a 300 wby with a 190 grain bullet and its devastatingly effective if your a good shot.
    now given that info you might well ask ,why I prefer the 340 wby with a 250 grain bullet , and a 375 H&H with a 270 grain bullet as my personally favorites...
    WHY, well experience has shown me that those rifles, in those calibers, that I own and have used, those rifles & calibers for decades , with total success... why change what works....
    If your happy using a 270 or a 7 mm,or 300 mag, you'll be fine, but thats your choice, and I certainly don,t see any reason I should change what I've found works splendidly for decades.
    I get guys asking me all the time why Ive selected a 340 wby, or the 375 H&H carbine, as my prime elk rifle, Ive seen enough elk dropped with the 270 win, 6.6 mauser and 308 win to fully appreciate the fact that you don,t need the larger caliber rifles to be successful, Ive also seen the much impressive, results you get from a larger caliber, both may be 100% lethal, but theres a big difference in both the initial reaction to bullet impact and, limitations you face with the smaller calibers, in the ranges and angles that you can reasonable expect to make lethal hits, your NOT always going to get the classic lung/heat shot on a standing elk.
    and while I don,t advise shooting at running elk, Ive dropped my share at close range in thick timber ,
    so Im totally comfortable using my 340 and 375 H&H,rifles,
    while I would be rather reluctant to use something like a 25-27 caliber, under similar conditions,
    even though Ive seen it done rather well occasionally.
    and having seen guys use the 358 win, 45/70, 450 marlin, and 35 whelen in thick timber I know those also are dependable tools,
    most of the magazine articles seem to stress flat trajectory and magnums, but I have to point out , longer ranges, exceeding 250 yards , have not been a factor from what Ive seen

    trend among my friends rifles being used
    I don,t know how many of you gentlemen have been hunting long enough or with enough friends over the decades to have noticed trends in what the guys are selecting or used.
    back in the 1970s I and many of my friends used a 270 win-30/06, and most of us had found they worked well,
    some guys stayed with those rifles for decades,
    bolt actions were almost a standard.
    but the 7mm mag and various 300 mags and 243, 25/06 6mm rem, were gaining popularity.
    all the magazines stressed the need for flat trajectory,
    in the 1980s-90s the 7mm and 300 mags , even a few 338 mags were more common in use,
    many guys still used bolt actions but a few single shots were not all that rare.
    by the later 1990s and early 2000s the 35 whelen, 338 win even a few marlin 444, and 45/70s were not all that rare,
    in the hands of the guys I hunted with, and while not common the BAR and lever guns like marlins and BLR, were not unknown
    but as time went on, the magnums ,seemed too loose favor, many guys reverted to the 308 win 7mm 08 and 30/06,
    guys wanted shorter and lighter rifles and carbines, as they realized shots made over 300 yards were not all that common,and dealing with recoil was not all that necessary.
    I reload for most of the local guys ,
    I noticed as my friends aged, the cartridges like the 358 win,450 marlin,45/70, 308 win, 35 whelen,
    and even the 7mm 08 gained a following and longer ranges capability were not considered as important.
    lately I see guys at the range 25/06, 6.5 creed-more and 270 win , and 308 win, and 270 win are back in favor
    Ive reloaded for several guys and I go to the range frequently.
    as my friends gained experience , and seemed reluctant too carry a heavy rifle , they seem far more comfortable
    carrying a carbine.
    now your experiences could easily differ but I find that many of the guys I hunt with have become rather comfortable,
    using carbines in moderate power cartridges, like the 308, 358, and 7mm 08
    most of the guys I hunt with consider my use of a 340 wby or 375 H&H excessive , yet no one has ever suggested it fails to work, very well.
    only that it weights too much and recoils to much, and costs too much.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
  9. Strictly Attitude

    Strictly Attitude solid fixture here in the forum

    Mosin-Nagant with iron sights cheap accurate reliable!!!
     
  10. Grumpy

    Grumpy The Grumpy Grease Monkey mechanical engineer. Staff Member

    yeah, I had a 1917 endfield I felt the same way about, but foolishly sold it decades ago

    1917 endfield
    [​IMG]

    Mosin-Nagant
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
    Strictly Attitude likes this.

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