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Choosing a Battery of Hunting Rifles

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Fourty years ago this month I graduated engineering school, and started earning real money. I did not own much at first, in fact I moved cross country with everything I owned packed in my VW Rabbit.

The only guns I owned were family hand me downs. But I spent an inordinate amount of time dreaming of a real collection (battery) of hunting rifles. One of the causes of this fixation was an article written by G&A field editor, Bob Milek.
Hat Air gun Wind instrument Gesture Cap

Bob had argued he could hunt every species of game in North America with just three rifles. I made different choices than he did, but as soon as I had the cash, I started building my own hunting battery.

My first choice was a Ruger 77 in 270 win topped with a 2.5-8x Leupold gold ring.
The very next month, I bought a Ruger 77RS in 338 with a 1.5-5x Leupold.
Then I added a Remington Wingmaster in 12 ga.
Much later, I added a 22-250 Varmit Rifle.

Anyone else buy their hunting guns like this?
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Fourty years ago this month I graduated engineering school, and started earning real money. I did not own much at first, in fact I moved cross country with everything I owned packed in my VW Rabbit.

The only guns I owned were family hand me downs. But I spent an inordinate amount of time dreaming of a real collection (battery) of hunting rifles. One of the causes of this fixation was an article written by G&A field editor, Bob Milek.
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Bob had argued he could hunt every species of game in North America with just three rifles. I made different choices than he did, but as soon as I had the cash, I started building my own hunting battery.

My first choice was a Ruger 77 in 270 win topped with a 2.5-8x Leupold gold ring.
The very next month, I bought a Ruger 77RS in 338 with a 1.5-5x Leupold.
Then I added a Remington Wingmaster in 12 ga.
Much later, I added a 22-250 Varmit Rifle.

Anyone else buy their hunting guns like this?
My first rifle was a Winchester 30.30 that my dad bought for me at Christmas time when I was around 12 (around 1972). The first rifle I purchased for myself was a Ruger Mini 14 that I purchased in the late 1980s. When my dad passed away, I inherited his old Remington 30.06 (WWII era) and his Winchester model 70 .270 (1940s era). I later bought other rifles that wouldn't necessarily be considered "hunting rifles." I did buy your standard Remington 870 pump shotgun which I have since sold. I guess it could have been used for hunting but I had it for home protection.
 

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i have a 30-06 semi ,,270 bolt ,,308 win semi,,2 muzzle loaders ,,several 22s and a few shotguns12 and 20 ,,depending on game and hunting area sort of decides what goes hunting ,,deer stalking /still hunting i prefer the 308 shorter /lighter ,,if hunting a field out of blind the 270,,a mix might bring 06 but i tend to lean towards the 308 a lot
 

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I originally did something very similar when I got my engineering degree as well. However, in the past 5-10 years I've consolidated down all my random calibers.

Got rid of (mostly) all calibers that I only had a single weapon for. 22-250, 243, 270, 30.06, 20 gauge, .40, .45 etc etc

What's left
5.56
308
7.62x39 (can't get rid of my one AK sadly)
.22
9mm
12 gauge

Helped me clean up my gear room, lessen my reloading components and stock up ammo much easier. Not for everyone naturally.

Edit: As far as hunting goes, I only hunt deer and birds where I currently live. 308 and 12 gauge covers all of that for me personally.
 

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For years purchases were purely on a whim. And there were a lot of them.

Then it became, that will do 90% of everything I need. And there were a lot of them.

Post-purge, it's "eh, good enough".

For deer and antelope it used to be what whiz-bang option catches my fancy?
Now it's, I don't miss with the AR, the AR is lighter, the AR is still sighted in, and I don't have to dig it out. Good enough.

Three for "everything"? Well assuming that semi-auto's are legal, ya easy enough anymore.

AR for the light stuff and around the house. The multiple uppers are the bonus.
Mauser 98 in 8x57mm, .270, 7x57mm, .30-06, any of them will serve me well, again. Or a Remington 660 in .308 semi-scouted.
And a Ruger 10-22 International model if that kind of specification is possible.
 

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Strictly hunting,
Sako 300wm
Savage 116 SS 300wm
H&R Ultra 280 Rem
Pre-Saftey 336 30-30
Savage single .22 Hornet
Marlin bolt .22wmr
Winchester 94/22 .22lr
Winchester 101 12ga
H&R folding single 16ga
Winchester 370 single 16ga
Ranger pump (520 TD) 16ga
Steven's single 20ga

o_O I think that covers it.
Seems I've strayed a bit beyond Finn Aagaards musings back in the day. :D
 

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I originally did something very similar when I got my engineering degree as well. However, in the past 5-10 years I've consolidated down all my random calibers.

Got rid of (mostly) all calibers that I only had a single weapon for. 22-250, 243, 270, 30.06, 20 gauge, .40, .45 etc etc

What's left
5.56
308
7.62x39 (can't get rid of my one AK sadly)
.22
9mm
12 gauge

Helped me clean up my gear room, lessen my reloading components and stock up ammo much easier. Not for everyone naturally.

Edit: As far as hunting goes, I only hunt deer and birds where I currently live. 308 and 12 gauge covers all of that for me personally.
I would love to get everything down to a 12 ga, 45-70s, and 44s but then I might need my 50 beowulf or my 450 or my tons of other calibers! j/k but I do see consolidation in the future. I am just a caliber junkie. I have sold off some that I rarely used and I think I am down to 15 calibers or so
 

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I would love to have a gun cabinet with some fine hunting guns. But alas most of my needs have revolved around defense. I have an old .30-30 that is fine for deer or a black bear, reasonably close. Doubt I could get close enough to an antelope. Our local elk are so tame you could probably offer 'em a carrot and bop em on the head with a stick, like a baby harp seal...

I have a .308 AR that could be used for bigger game or longer ranges in an emergency. In my current lifestyle it is extremely unlikely I'm going to be hunting anything beyond deer or birds so having dedicated high power hunting guns just isn't cost effective. Not to mention the cost of ammo.
 

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Hunting rifles?

Savage 110 in 30-06, pre-accutrigger. Scoped
Savage Model 99 in 300 Savage, scoped
Savage Model 1899 in 30-30, tang irons
Home built 6.5 CM upper on a rebuilt DPMS .308 Oracle lower, scoped.
Homebuilt 10" AR in .300 BO, suppressed (or will be when the tyrant sends me the paper work) and night vision scoped
Daytona Tactical 18" AR on a home built lower, in .223 Wylde, scoped
1891 Argentine Mauser barreled in 7.62X39, irons.

Mossberg 640KS .22 Mag scoped
CZ 455 American in .17 HMR scoped
CZ 457 Trainer, .22LR, scoped
CZ 455 FS in .22LR. with peep sights.
CZ 457 Scout, suppressed, scoped

Ithaca Model 37 12 gauge.
NEF 12 gauge break for slugs, if I ever hunted with slugs.

Springfield XDm Elite 10 mm
S&W Victory .22LR suppressed
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So in my typical efficiency, I ended up with six guns.

Three big game rifles,
Browning 1885 22-250
Ruger 77 270 win
Ruger 77RS 338 win

one small game rifle,
Ruger 77/22 22LR

one shot gun,
Remington 870 12ga

and one combat rifle.
SAI Scout Squad 308 win

Plus after that I purchased or built 20 more long guns, and a similar number of handguns.
 

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I don't hunt always wanted to try but the only way I would is for food , hunting for fun doesn't appeal to me. That being said I probably only own 2 rifles that could be considered hunting rifles , Marlin 336 and a Ruger 10/22.
 

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I have my Mossberg MVP in .308. that covers every large game animal in the Northern hemisphere, at least that i will ever hunt.
10/22 for small stuff.
I do need a good hunting shotgun. For whatever reason, i got rid of my Remington and Browning years ago.
I did pick up a .50bmg Steyr last year, so i figure that covers everything else. LOL!
I need another floor safe though. At this point i just kind of shove stuff into the two i have.
 

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Well yeah, I have a 10/22 and a .223 AR, doesn't everyone? But I don't really consider them hunting rifles. Though I guess shooting yotes and tree rats may become haute cuisine in the future... ;)
 

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every rifle collection needs an M1 Garand.... multi-use rifle IMO
If I was to add another rifle, that would probably be it. Or maybe a Rem 700 in .308. But I'm kinda old school I guess, I don't really know that all these special calibers are absolutely necessary. Seems .22, .223, .30-30, .308 and 12 ga cover all the bases except maybe for moose and grizzly or very long range shots (antelope) needing flat shooting loads/calibers.

But I'm not much of a hunter so I can probably learn a lot and have other opinions.
 
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