First hunting rifle recommendations

Spooksar

AH fanatic
Joined
Jun 3, 2013
Messages
934
Reaction score
878
Location
Beaverlodge Alberta
Media
23
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Member of
SCI, Dallas Safari Club, NFA ,CSSA NRA, CCFR
Hunted
South Africa, Namibia, Canada (BC, Alberta Nunavet) Texas, New Mexico
I agree those loads can be made. Going back to a couple posts ago of mine though, are those loads realistic in factory 7-08 rifles the general public has? Unless you got lucky, it would take a custom barrel to shoot those heavy loads well. Most people are going to be limited to a 150gr partition, which I agree is nothing to sneeze at. I'd just assume use a 165gr or 180gr partition though.

The rifle my son used in 7-08 in Africa was my cheapest rifle I owned, a Thompson Center Venture and it shoot 160 grs Accubonds under 3/4 MOA. So yes there are factory rifles out there that can handle up to a 160 gr bullet, that are readily available.
 

Ray B

AH legend
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
2,808
Reaction score
3,447
Location
WA St, USA
Media
77
Hunting reports
USA/Canada
1
According to testing by Ken Waters, with reducing as many variables as possible, the 7-08 & 7x57 were nearly identical. The advantage that I see for the 7x57 is that it is generally chambered in rifles with '98 length actions, whereas the 7-08 is in short 700 or similar actions. This allows for the 7x57 to achieve ballistic advantage and longer bullets due to the longer magazine.
 

Just Gina

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
91
Reaction score
162
Location
Right here
Media
21
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe
Sooo, is she going with that 577 double after all, or the Blazer in 500 Jeffrey? :cool::rolleyes:
Well, it will be our little secret...He is going hunting next week and I will have one of his credit cards whilst he is away. @Edge suggested all types of shopping I need to do. I have added this to that list :Writing: as well. But :Muted: let's not tell him. It will be a surprise! :Joyful::Angelic:
 

Just Gina

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
91
Reaction score
162
Location
Right here
Media
21
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe
Greeting All! Thank you all so much for all the time you took making recommendations and posting pictures. We read all of them and greatly appreciated all of the information! Lots of shopping was done and we looked at several different guns. When we got to Bass Pro shops, I found one that felt great and it was the caliber I wanted. I ended up taking home the Tikka T3 Compact Lite in .308. That night, Mike put a Vortex crossfire 2 hoghunter scope on and we hit the range the next morning. I absolutely LOVE it! Without even bore-sighting, within 4 scope adjustments, I slayed George Washington at 100 yards. :P Cheerleader::A Thumbs Up:
I am very, very happy with my decision! And yes, ,*I* picked it out. Mike answered questions for me because we looked at quite a few, but he said the decision was mine based on what felt the best and what I liked. This was hands down the winner!
Thank you all again very much for all your input! My Mike is the best!!
thumbnail (1).jpg
thumbnail.jpg
 

Ragman

AH elite
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
1,461
Reaction score
2,208
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
Media
232
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
2
Hunted
Canada(Sask./B.C.), Namibia, RSA(Eastern Cape) USA(Texas)
Excellent choice!!! I own a Tikka T3 and absolutely love it. AND you picked my favourite caliber as well! I never posted my opinion on this thread, but you must have picked up on my subliminal messages that I was sending down your way! Congratulations...you'll love it!:A Bravo:
 

Just Gina

AH senior member
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
91
Reaction score
162
Location
Right here
Media
21
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
South Africa, Zimbabwe
Excellent choice!!! I own a Tikka T3 and absolutely love it. AND you picked my favourite caliber as well! I never posted my opinion on this thread, but you must have picked up on my subliminal messages that I was sending down your way! Congratulations...you'll love it!:A Bravo:
Thank you! I really do love it! Thanks for the subliminal messages you were sending lol! :A Thumbs Up:
 

Shootist43

Gold supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Messages
6,020
Reaction score
6,148
Location
Grosse Ile, Michigan
Media
25
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA
Hunted
Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
Now that you have "YOUR" rifle you will just have to convince Mike to take you to the range on a regular basis, especially while the weather is still pleasant. Practice shooting off "sticks" as often as you can. There are no benches in Africa. I'm glad you found something you're happy with. Please let us know how your future range sessions and eventual hunt go.
 

BeeMaa

AH legend
Joined
Jun 11, 2017
Messages
3,002
Reaction score
5,187
Location
Eastern US
Media
103
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA Life Member, SCI
Hunted
Eastern US & RSA
Nice shooting!
Glad you are happy with your decision.
Enjoy.
 

mdwest

AH legend
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
2,128
Reaction score
4,553
Location
DFW
Media
38
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Mex/S.Amer
1
Member of
DSC Life Member, NRA Life Member
Hunted
USA, South Africa, Argentina, Peru
Congrats!

Fine choice of both rifle and caliber there.

Now practice on the sticks a bit, and then convince @wipartimer you need to connect with a nice blue wildebeest and a couple of impala in Africa :)
 

Bruce

AH elite
Joined
Nov 2, 2013
Messages
1,223
Reaction score
976
Location
South Africa
Media
59
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SAGA/ Cape Hunters/ SA Hunters Association
Hunted
Namibia/Zimbabwe/Zambia/ South Africa/ Botswana/ Tanzania
Seriously if you like the Ruger 77, take a look at the Guide gun version, it's available in 30-06 which may just be the most versatile cartridge available below the 375. And that laminated stock adds weight if you are looking to cut recoil. It also comes with the stock spacers you can remove to fit.

Also look around for a used M77 Mark II. IMO the finest line of rifles Ruger made. Many variation were made including some compacts. I picked one up on a confiscation auction in 7mm-08 for the kiddos to use but it fits smaller women well also.

And get a good quality scope! My 5'3" ex tested the patience of a very helpful salesman who brought out several guns and then mounted up a couple different scopes...She ended up with a Ruger Guide Gun in 30-06 with a Leupold vx3 2.5-8.... I tried to get her to go with a Swarovski but she liked the little Leupold better.

It proved to be a deadly combo for her in Africa....
FULLY agree with this suggestion of looking at the 30-06 option. 180gr for any size antelope, boar etc and recoil not a real issue.
 

Dr Ray

AH legend
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
2,751
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cairns, Australia
Media
52
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
5
Depending on what you’re likely to be hunting but start with a 22/250 to develop skills. Once you have gained the skills and confidence then I suggest the 270,308,or 30/06. It takes time to develop the skills such as the breathing technique and so on.
The 22/250 ‘s recoil is so slight you won’t notice and with a 55 grain Bullets you’ll be able to hunt small game up to medium sized hogs.
You need to learn about shot placement first I suggest before going to the more powerful cartridges.
Practise at range to develop trigger control and learning skills regarding shooting with wind being a factor.
I feel that a small caliber that won’t belt you would be the way to go to enable you to develop the necessary skills.
 

Dr Ray

AH legend
Joined
Apr 1, 2017
Messages
2,751
Reaction score
2,904
Location
Cairns, Australia
Media
52
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Australia/NZ
5
I bought my mom a Tikka and cut it down to fit her. It is chambered in the 280 Remington and she shoots it lights out. Dad never wanted to cut her stocks to fit her and it hurt her accuracy, I have no problem doing such unless the gun is collectible.
Good luck,
Cody

Good point Bullthrower.
Stocks need to be adjusted to the shooter not the other way around.
If I fit a bigger recoil pad I get the stick cut down the match me.
 

Longwalker

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 2, 2015
Messages
820
Reaction score
1,802
Location
Canada
Media
79
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
USA/Canada
4
Member of
Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, Saskatoon Gun Dog Club
Hunted
Canada, USA, Germany, South Africa, Namibia
Just Gina, congratulations on your choice of a fine rifle and cartridge. If the length of pull is correct for you, the only other suggestion I have is that you consider having the recoil pad ground or a new one fitted for the obvious differences your female shoulder / chest will have vs the shape manufacturers usually make for men. Women shooters that I have coached usually appreciate when their recoil pad is rounded at the toe and with somewhat more pitch, (the angle that would make the barrel stand away from a wall when rifle is placed butt flat on floor, against a wall) I also grind the inside bottom edge of the recoil pad to a more rounded shape to further help prevent chest pinching. Some recoil pads already have rounded edges, but I believe the T3 has a fairly pointy "toe". Aftermarket recoil pads are easy to buy, modify and install, it might be $100 of work on your already good rifle that could help you a bit.
 

Daga Boy

AH enthusiast
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
256
Reaction score
346
Media
7
Having hunted for about 40 years now, my thoughts are as follows:
I don't think a great deal turns on the particular calibre provided its sufficiently large and doesn't recoil badly. 6.5 x 55,
7 x 57 and .308 are all good choices and much of a muchness in my book. Recoil is low so you can have them in lightweight "carbine" style rifles which don't kick like mules. (Don't try that with a 30-06!) I have taken animals up to large blue wildebeest bulls, gemsbuck, waterbuck, etc with them. They all do a good job if you get reasonably close . Correctly loaded you can also use any of them on medium sized deer/antelope out to about 300m.
The thing is, the rifle mustn't be too big or too heavy for you. It should be nicely balanced, feel good to you and point naturally.
My son has been using a 22" barrelled .308 with a custom stock since the age of 12. He loves it and shoots well with it.
I also don't think that too much turns on the particular brand. Some shoot a bit better than others and some are prettier than others, but most new rifles will work acceptably. In USA you can probably pick up a Ruger, Winchester, Weatherby, or Remington at a good price. They are all fine rifles.
The best idea is to go into a big gun store and "play" with rifles in this calibre range until you find one that you like - i.e. that feels best to you.
Note also that fit is not nearly as important in rifles as it is in shotguns (and dangerous game rifles) as probably 90% of your shots will be deliberate and off dead rests or sticks. It is also very easy to adjust LOP by cutting a bit off the stock if that's what it takes.
 

curtism1234

AH fanatic
Joined
Apr 28, 2016
Messages
850
Reaction score
950
Media
6
Note also that fit is not nearly as important in rifles as it is in shotguns (and dangerous game rifles) as probably 90% of your shots will be deliberate and off dead rests or sticks.

I agree, though we may be in the minority. Africa aside, in the United States you are most likely to shoot a deer under 75 yards and an offhand / sitting shot is very doable. As long as you are not surprised by a light trigger, almost anyone can pick up a random rifle and go hunting. (y)
 

BigBore

AH senior member
Joined
Jul 23, 2012
Messages
60
Reaction score
101
Location
Alabama
Website
www.wholesalehunter.com
Media
11
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Member of
SCI, NRA
Hunted
Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Alaska and most of the USA
Greetings, All!

I was raised in a hunting family however, until last year when Mike took me, I had never been hunting. I have carried a gun for years and on a regular basis, aside from my pistols, I shoot my AR-15, and my Boyfriends's .308 off the bench and I can hit the center of a quarter at 100 and 200 yards with it. I have also shot his .416 Rigby. That being said, I am looking for a rifle that would be more comfortable and fit me better to hunt deer, hogs, and (someday) plains game with.
I have had recommendations for a Weatherby Camilla, Savage Lady Hunter, and I have heard Ruger makes a M-77 compact, but have not had the opportunity to hold any of these. Does anyone have any other recommendations as I am looking? Recommendations for a female who is 5'5" 125# would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance for your help!
Hi, You asked a question that's impossible for anyone to answer but you. I have hunted with my friend Craig Boddington a few time and spent lots of time with. He tends to favor a .300 mag where his wife favors a .270 Winchester. It really depends on what you feel convertible shooting. I shoot every thing from .22 Hornet to 500 Jeffery. I handle recoil well so I usually use a heavier caliber than what's needed. One trip to Africa I took a .416 Rigby as my light rifle and a 500 Jeffery as my heavy rifle But I was hunting Elephant and Buffalo. Just a few weeks ago I shot an Elk at 300 yards with a Ruger Hawkeye in 375 Ruger at 300 yards. If Africa is ever in your plans I would recommend a 270 win as minimum for most plains game. If you are really serious about African hunting then it would be a 375 if you cab handle the recoil OK. As far as rifles for the best value and light weight I would recommend a Ruger Hawkeye or a Weatherby Vanguard as a minimum. The Weatherby Mark-V's are fine guns too but they can be a bit large and heavy and a lot more expensive than some other. I like the CZ's also and the CZ 550 magnum is a large heavy rifle but it tames the recoil very well. But there are so many good guns to choice from these days, it's hard to go wrong with most new guns. There is a lot to be said for mild recoiling rifles with adequate power but you you are spending a lot of money and time on a hunt then it's a good idea to have good quality equipment and better to be a bit over gunned. I have hunted on five continents and all kinds of game, if I could only have one rifle to do it all over again, for me it would be hands down a 375. I have used it on tiny antelope on up to Buffalo with great success and in North America I have used it on white tail deer and Elk. Although I have used various big bores like 460 Wby, 416 Rigby, 500 Jeffery, 500 NE and 450/400 on dangerous game , the 375 did just as good but not as fun.
 

Daga Boy

AH enthusiast
Joined
Oct 9, 2017
Messages
256
Reaction score
346
Media
7
This is a question which gets asked over and over again.
As you seem happy with a .308 there is no reason to look further ito calibre. Its very versatile and one of the most popular all-rounders this side of the pond.
Other calibres you might want to look at include 6.5 x 55 and 260 Rem. .270 requires a standard length action and preferably a longish barrel to perform well.
Ito the rifle itself you will probably feel more comfortable with a shortish action; however one can build a pretty compact .308 on a standard length action (or modify one to fit you if required) as .308 does not require a long barrel for good performance.
There is no need to go for an ultra short barrel and really nothing to be gained (save for muzzle blast): 20-22" is fine with a .308.
The most critical dimension will be LOP. This can easily be adjusted. Comb may also require some adjustment -again, a fairly easy job.
My son (now 24) has been using a 21" barreled .308 with modified stock (13.5" LOP) since the age of 12. I have lost count of the animals he has successfully hunted with that rifle but species range from Springbuck to large antelope like Wildebeest and Kudu.
An interesting thing is that he preferred the .308 to my 6.55 x 55 as he felt the recoil of the .308 was lighter. Technically this shouldn't be so, but felt recoil is affected greatly by overall weight and stock fit.
I hope this helps.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,336
Messages
711,812
Members
66,507
Latest member
lokawaaznews
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

Matt W wrote on Jody's profile.
Hi Jody,
I have been looking for ideas on the best way to display my European mounts from Africa. I came across some of your shield work and was wondering if you would be willing to make one for me? If so, please let me know the cost. I like the shield with the two spears that you built for a member years ago. Thanks.
cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
Tundra Tiger wrote on Alaska Luke's profile.
Hi Luke. Just saw your message. I am in Dillingham, and have been since 2002. I took an elementary teaching gig here, taught here five years, and then got a job with Togiak National Wildlife Refuge as their education and outreach specialist. Recently I just got a promotion and now I'm the Visitor Services Manager. Prior to DLG I spent 6 years teaching for Lake and Pen in Nondalton.
 
Top