A woman buying her first elk rifle

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by shesakiller, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. shesakiller

    shesakiller G&G Newbie

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    I am going elk hunting for the first time, however being a women, finding an adequate caliber that will not kill me with recoil may be the trick; that, and being fitted correctly for it.

    What I keep hearing is 30-06 is the way to go for elk, however I am very interested in hearing what experienced hunters have to say about that. I was originally going to look into 7mm-08 or 270, but now, I'm not so sure.

    I am hoping to hear some good advice in one of these hunting forums.
  2. Tack Driver

    Tack Driver G&G Enthusiast

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    30-06, but a 7mm-08 overtakes the 30-06 after 250 yards or something like that. Either choice is good, 7mm-08 is sedate on recoil.
  3. dmsbandit

    dmsbandit G&G Newbie

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    If recoil is a concern, I don't think you can go wrong with the 6.5x55 Swede. They hardly kick and they kill critters up to Moose in size every year without making a big fuss. Tikka [Sako] makes a very nice T3 rifle in synthetic or Walnut chambered for the 6.5 Swede.

    If you have problems finding a nice rifle in 6.5x55, the 260 Remington is the ballistic twin to the Swede.

    Don't let the numbers fool you, those 140 grain bullets in the 6.5x55 and 260 Rem. out penetrate just about anything else you'd shoot out of any gun. They may not start out at mach 3 speeds or wear the "magnum" moniker, but they kill anything that gets hit.
  4. blaster

    blaster G&G Enthusiast

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    the 6.5 swede is a proven killer that is light on recoil.
  5. ALR

    ALR ][][][% Forum Contributor

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    7mm08 or 308WIN can be had in a lighter short action rifle, weight being more suitable for the female stature.
    You will carry this weight a lot more than shoot it, so recoil should be tolerable unless regular range trips are in order. Then a recoil pad on rifle or shoulder pad should dampen sufficiently.
    These calibers can also be had in a lever action which is handy if on a horse.
    Have you decided on an action? Bolt, lever, singleshot, semiauto?
    Semiautos also dampen recoil.
    What is price range?
    Hope this can help narrow down your choices and not confuse.
    I also think the 30-06 is a very good choice as it can take anything on this continent. Can be had in any action,and the bullet choices are very tailored to what ever you would want.
    Good luck with your choice and good hunting.....Tony
  6. ArkansasHunter

    ArkansasHunter G&G Newbie

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    Honey Child would you please research the 308 Winchester caliber. It will do pretty near what a 30-06 will do with less kick, less report and for the most part more accurate.
    There are some outstanding ammo being produced today for most all Calibers for rifles.
    It's pricecy but for the hunt your going on I'd seriously consider the high dollar ammo and the 308.

    You mention the 7mm-08 but the old reliable 308 is still better and one reason is the 30 caliber bullet though they both have a big selection of bullets available.

    Good Luck on what you choose but I hope it's a 308 caliber rifle.

    Also I would seriously look at and try Hornady cartridges with V-Max bullets.
    You'll need to try different brands of ammo to find what shoots most accurate in what ever caliber rifle you do buy.

    Lastly you picked a good time to buy a rifle because hunting season is just around the corner, so make sure you shop "hard" for sales, to get the best deal, that way you may have more money left to spend on a higher quality scope.

    Good Luck and have fun and put a lot of thought and research in the suggested calibers that are reccommened here...A.H
  7. Lng Rng

    Lng Rng G&G Newbie

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    I would look at the .308, its probably your best trade off for what you are looking for.
  8. Mooseman684

    Mooseman684 G&G Newbie

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    .308 rifle is good Elk Medicine and with a good Pachmayer Decellerator Recoil pad will work wonders for Target shooting/ sighting in, and felt recoil ,and because of adrenaline, you never feel the recoil when shooting an animal anyway...Good luck on getting an Elk.
    Rich
  9. Metronome

    Metronome G&G Newbie

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    Well, I would focus on which rifle fits you most comfortably, every modern gun is chambered in adequate cartridges for Elk. Pay more attention to quality ammo; bigger cartridges simply leave more room for error. The .30-06 would be a great all around gun, but the .308, 7mm-08 and 6.5x55 Swede would all do just fine when used correctly. When I was younger, my Uncle used to regularly borrow my Dads Remignton 700 carbine in .243 and bring home an Elk or two - and I guarantee he never had more than a red and yellow box of Western shells.
  10. rdale501

    rdale501 G&G Newbie

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    You have listed some good elk calibers. My daughter uses a 30-06. The recoil on this rifle was very unpleasant, even for me. I took it to my gunsmith and had the stock cut down to fit her exactly and a pachmyr decellerator recoil pad installed. Now she shoots it all day at the range and has taken a deer with it. She doesn't elk hunt. Point being I think any of the calibers you have mentioned will work for you. I would lean toward the 30-06 or the 270. If the recoil is a problem, address it then. There are things you can do. Good luck....you are going to have a blast even if you don't get one.
  11. rdale501

    rdale501 G&G Newbie

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    I would like to add one thing for you to think about. I am an average size man, 5-10 190lbs..and I shoot a 300 win mag. known for having a good amount of recoil. I do not shoot this rifle for fun at the range. I check the zero each year before season and make any adjustments necessary. Other than that I just hunt with it. I have taken eight elk and many deer and bear with it, and not one time do I recall the recoil when I was shooting at game. If you can withstand the recoil at a shooting range while sighting it in you will be just fine with it.
  12. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

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    Best of luck.Hope you get your elk. (theres only about 1.5lbs difference in recoil between 7mm08 and .308win and either will do) ,,,sam.
  13. big shrek

    big shrek G&G Enthusiast

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    Marlin XL-7 in .30-06 comes WITH a Pachmeyer Recoil-reducing Pad, Adjustable Trigger, & Pillar Bedding...and it's only $290 at Walmart :D

    They also stock Shotgun Shoulder inserts you strap on under your shooting jacket...between the two, you won't feel a thing :)

    Try one out...you'll never look at another brand :D
  14. gamehunter

    gamehunter G&G Enthusiast

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    Definitely consider the .308 it is a damn good caliber and I use one on thick skinned animals (wild boars) and it drops em on the spot everytime with a shot to the engine room(chest). If you decide to go for an 06 based caliber the 25-06 will also drop deer and elk with no problems and has very little kick to it. And like the others have said the .260 and the 6.5x55 Swedish is another light recoiling round and will also get the job done. If you must go for a 30-06 or a .270 invest in a limbsaver shoulder pad to absorb the recoil as those two calibers can be rather vicious depending on the brand of the rifle some brands kick worse than others the only rifle I have come across in 30-06 that I have willingly shot extra rounds out of is the howa1500 and I could not believe that it had less felt recoil than my .308 while shooting in a prone position and I am one who hates heavy recoiling firearms due to an old shoulder injury
  15. Metronome

    Metronome G&G Newbie

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    Seriously Big Shrek, is Marlin compensating you for endorsing their product??? I am really starting to salivate every time someone brings up the XL7/XS7 series, and I really think I need a new .243...
  16. BaserRonin

    BaserRonin G&G Newbie

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    I prefer the 25-06 actually. I took the 30-06 out last season, but the 25-06 has less recoil and you get very similar performance. A Ruger 77 in 25-06 or 30-06 is very nice and can sometimes be found in the $400 range.
  17. ArkansasHunter

    ArkansasHunter G&G Newbie

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    The Marlin XL-7 would be a fine choice to buy in 308 caliber. With the excellent acuratcy of the rifle itself and the reknown accuratecy on the 308 caliber it would be hard to miss what your shoot'in at LOL !!!

    Hey Lady ? The boltaction rifles that handle 308 cartridges are a little shorter in lenght which makes the action more ridge and solid plus reduceing some weight and helps acurratecy to.

    Unless you want to spend a lot of money for a Name the Marlin XL-7 will save you a good bit and be just as good if not better.

    If you come back to read these post I hope when you do buy, you let us know what ya got.
    Thanks A.H
  18. BaserRonin

    BaserRonin G&G Newbie

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    There are a lot of fine choices listed here. Unfortunately there is no easy answer to the long debated rifle/caliber questions for hunting.

    I would be interested to hear what you decide on as well.

    As a side note, have you decided on a scope yet? I hunted for years with a $50 Barska and had no troubles. I recently acquired a redfield tracker, but the optics have improved so much you can get by with a lesser scope now for a long time.


    EDIT: for a hunting rifle I would not worry about recoil very much, focusing instead on quick target acquisition and weight. A lighter rifle is less tiring to carry and the adrenalin will keep you from feeling the recoil and hearing the shot (to an uncomfortable ear ringing level anyway). A bull barrel is not necessary because it doesn't have to be a target rifle, you just have to know where your cold shot is going to end up, and the barrel will never get hot enough to change your point of impact during big game hunting.

    That may have been preaching to the choir though, I do not know your experience level and just trying to cover the bases with advise that wasn't asked for... :)
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  19. wirehunt

    wirehunt G&G Newbie

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    Spot on.

    Whatever rifle you decide on needs to fit you properly. Take it to a gunsmith and let him at it.
    Maybe it's time for you to go to the local range and see if you can get a few shots with some different claibre/rifle combonations just so you can see what you can handle.....

    And good luck.
  20. Rambo

    Rambo Your worst nightmare Forum Contributor

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    M wife shoots a Model 70, 30-06, with a synthetic stock. She shoots it just fine and takes game every year and has no complaints of recoil.