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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The county I hunt deer on in NY (at my parents farm-I have a lifetime NY hunting license even though I'm a VA resident now) may soon allow us to hunt deer with rifles. Currently we can only use shotgun slugs, muzzleloaders and handguns. It has to work its way through the state legislature, but it seems it will, as several neighboring counties have gotten this done in the past 2 years. So with that being the case, I'm now considering buying a good deer rifle. I won't buy until the bill is actually signed into law, but am thinking about what to go for.

As of now the leading candidate for me is the Savage 111 Trophy Hunter XP series package in .30-06. Reasons are:

1) it's a bolt gun that comes in left hand version, which is important to me as a southpaw. Yes I could make a right hand gun work, but I just don't want to.

2) I like the caliber. .30-06 will give me plenty of accuracy, range (I'd be shooting 250-300 yards max), power and the versatility to hunt other big game in the future like elk, mule deer and even black bear (all of which I plan to do). It's also has a good variety of loads available for it.

3) I like Savage's quality and accuracy. I've shot a model 10 series owned by a buddy and was very impressed by it, especially the Accutrigger. My brother has an Axis in .223 that is pretty good too, but the trigger in it sucks. I figure for a little bit more I can get the Accutrigger and not have to worry about it.

4) Price. I can save up and spend what's needed but I don't want to go hog wild either, especially since I won't be using this gun that much (1 week per year for deer at most right now). I'm seeing these on gunbroker for around $450-480 or so.

5) Simplicity. By that I mean it already will have a scope out of box, a Nikon ProStaff 3-9x from my research. Not the best scope in the world, but for my use it'll be fine and it'll save me time of having to buy and mount one.

So with all that said, does anyone have any reason why I SHOULDN'T get this gun? any experience pro or con that you can share? I'd also be willing to entertain other suggestions if they meet the above criteria.

Thanks guys!
 

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I think you've nailed it; it ticks off all of your criteria, and it's a great rifle.

Go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks Cuda! Yea it seems the more I read on it the more sure I am it'll be the way to go. Now just have to wait for the legislature to actually pass the bill...
 

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The prostaff is actually a good little scope. I have a 111 in .270. I like it. The bolt was much smoother than similarity priced bolt guns, which is what sold me. And the trigger. I have mine set at 2.5 pounds. It's great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The prostaff is actually a good little scope. I have a 111 in .270. I like it. The bolt was much smoother than similarity priced bolt guns, which is what sold me. And the trigger. I have mine set at 2.5 pounds. It's great.
Good to hear on the ProStaff scopes. I was sure they're at least good enough for my purposes (it won't have to withstand a high round count as a hunting gun anyway), but I didn't have any first hand exposure to them. I also love the Accutrigger having shot it on a buddy's gun several years ago. Thanks for the input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well the bill PASSED! Got signed into law yesterday, so guess I'm gonna be getting me a Savage after all! Will post up here when I get ahold of one!
 

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Well the bill PASSED! Got signed into law yesterday, so guess I'm gonna be getting me a Savage after all! Will post up here when I get ahold of one!
Hey good deal, you'll like that setup, only thing that I can recommend is taking it out beforehand and making sure it's zeroed in

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You'd better zero it in. It ain't coming that way. Trust me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey good deal, you'll like that setup, only thing that I can recommend is taking it out beforehand and making sure it's zeroed in

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You'd better zero it in. It ain't coming that way. Trust me.
Oh I definitely plan to sight it in! I never trust when the factory says a gun is sighted in out of the box. My experience is that their definition of "sighted in" means barely being on paper at 25 yds.

At this point I've gotta save up another month to be able to afford it. Bud's has the best price on it, so I'm just gonna get it from them and have it shipped up to my local FFL back in NY. I'm going home over the Veteran's Day weekend, so I'll pick it up then and zero it, and it'll be ready for deer season a few weeks later. Can't wait!
 

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Good deal. I expect a range report when the funds are mustered together!

Test different loads. All of your generic soft point loads from 150-180 grains are all perfectly adequate for deer (hi shoks, core lokts, super x). Hornady customs are a good choice too, only being about $8 more per box. I've gotten very good accuracy out of everything, less the super x which I haven't used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good deal. I expect a range report when the funds are mustered together!

Test different loads. All of your generic soft point loads from 150-180 grains are all perfectly adequate for deer (hi shoks, core lokts, super x). Hornady customs are a good choice too, only being about $8 more per box. I've gotten very good accuracy out of everything, less the super x which I haven't used.
Yea I'm planning on testing it with a couple different loads. Gonna Try Federal PowerShok, Fusion, and SuperX and Cor Lokts probably. I really hope my gun like the Fusion, as I've read a lot of great reports on it, and I like Federal ammo in general.

As for grain size, I'm probably gonna go with 150s due to slightly less cost, seems a little flatter shooting, is the classic weight for the caliber, and I've read that it will expand more rapidly in a whitetail. 180 seems a bit much for whitetail to me and I've read reports it may not expand as quickly in thinner skinned animals like deer, and is better suited to thicker game like Elk. If I'm wrong in that assumption please correct me. I admit this is somewhat new territory for me. I have no doubt that any of them will drop a deer dead, but want to do it as efficiently as possible (beyond proper shot placement of course).
 

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FYI, just got an email from KY Gun Co about some rebates on Savage rifles. Might be something to check out.
 

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If you want a 150gr hunting bullet, why not a 270win? I'd think it will be flatter shooting than the 30-06 in 150 gr (but I might be wrong on that) and is still plenty for Elk. Honestly, I think 130gr. from my 270 is too much for white tail, and I've been playing with the intermediate calibers lately.
 

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I'd look at the 150gr Barnes TSX/TTSX; it does a great job on almost anything out of a .30-06, and tends to be very, very accurate.
 

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If you want a 150gr hunting bullet, why not a 270win? I'd think it will be flatter shooting than the 30-06 in 150 gr (but I might be wrong on that) and is still plenty for Elk. Honestly, I think 130gr. from my 270 is too much for white tail, and I've been playing with the intermediate calibers lately.
You are right that the .270 is plenty for elk. O'connor would attest to that. The .270 is also adequate for moose with broadside shots using heavy bullets of controlled expansion. A 150 gr core lokt would even do the job.

Some people don't realize how powerful the .270 is. It has near identical case capacity of the .30-06. It is the round that flat shooting big came cartridges are compared to. It is more powerful than the .308.

The .270 is a bit much for white tails in moderate range. The 30-30 is an overlooked round these days for all deer up to 200 yards. The .270 does shine however where longer shots must be taken. I do most of my deer hunting in Texas flat country, so the ranges often surpass 200 yards (although I'm not one of those gun magazine idiots that will take a shot at a deer 500 yards away).

Now to the question of what is flatter shooting; the 150 gr .270 or a .30-06 of the same weight? If the bullets are identical, and velocities are nearly identical, the .270 in theory would shoot flatter because of its better BC. In the attached picture, the red is the .270 150 gr federal fusion and the green is the .30-06 150 gr federal fusion. You will see that the .270 gives a slightly flatter trajectory even though it is 50 fps slower out of the muzzle than is the .30-06.

Just to illustrate an overlooked aspect of hunting bullets, the blue path is also a 150 grain .270 @ 2850 fps. However, it is a round nose and has a poor BC. It really starts to show after 250 yards. I do use this exact round here in florida because it is cheap and groups well out of my gun. It does what it is supposed to and is not at a disadvantage until after around 250 yards.

There are many factors that go into bullet trajectory. Overall, both the .270 and the .30-06 are very versatile rounds. The .30-06 has the advantage of being able to use much heavier bullets and is probably more effective on game larger than elk. The .270 is a flatter shooting round that is more ideal for slightly smaller animals.

You can't go wrong with either.
 

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Yea I'm planning on testing it with a couple different loads. Gonna Try Federal PowerShok, Fusion, and SuperX and Cor Lokts probably. I really hope my gun like the Fusion, as I've read a lot of great reports on it, and I like Federal ammo in general.

As for grain size, I'm probably gonna go with 150s due to slightly less cost, seems a little flatter shooting, is the classic weight for the caliber, and I've read that it will expand more rapidly in a whitetail. 180 seems a bit much for whitetail to me and I've read reports it may not expand as quickly in thinner skinned animals like deer, and is better suited to thicker game like Elk. If I'm wrong in that assumption please correct me. I admit this is somewhat new territory for me. I have no doubt that any of them will drop a deer dead, but want to do it as efficiently as possible (beyond proper shot placement of course).
You are correct. I would definitely use the 150 grainers for all deer, antelope, and similar sized animals. I'm talking about the generic soft points that go for $20 a box. You simply don't need premium bullets for light framed animals. You could even use the generic 150 grain soft points on elk, although I would limit them to a broadside at a short to moderate range. For a dedicated elk or moose hunt, I would use 165 or 180 grain bullets of more of a controlled expansion type.

In regards to the generic, reasonably cheap soft points (power shoks, core lokts, and super x), it is my opinion that the core lokts hold together better, ie more of controlled expansion. The fusions are supposed to hold together well too, but they are slightly more expensive.
 

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I have all the above mentioned rifles and then some, imo, the 30-06 is the most versatile rifle you can get for anything, you can buy factory ammo from 120 gr hp sabot rounds all the way up to 220gr gut punchers, for 1st choice you have the right gun to have

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have all the above mentioned rifles and then some, imo, the 30-06 is the most versatile rifle you can get for anything, you can buy factory ammo from 120 gr hp sabot rounds all the way up to 220gr gut punchers, for 1st choice you have the right gun to have

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The versatility is why I chose .30-06. It can take down pretty much any North American big game with proper shooting and ammunition. I plan to hunt elk and bear in the coming years too so I wanted one rifle/caliber that will handle all of those. Plus I'm about to get an M1 Garand too so this way i only have to invest in one caliber rather than two. 30-06 is also somewhat more plentiful and affordable in my area.

Thanks for the input.
 

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The versatility is why I chose .30-06. It can take down pretty much any North American big game with proper shooting and ammunition. I plan to hunt elk and bear in the coming years too so I wanted one rifle/caliber that will handle all of those. Plus I'm about to get an M1 Garand too so this way i only have to invest in one caliber rather than two. 30-06 is also somewhat more plentiful and affordable in my area.

Thanks for the input.
Id agree. while the .270 is a good choice. you can find 30.06 ammo in damned near every mom n pop store and gas station from coast to coast. 270.. not so much.
fyi Winchester silver tip and federal champion, both 150 grain are my favorite 30.06 loads.
 

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The versatility is why I chose .30-06. It can take down pretty much any North American big game with proper shooting and ammunition. I plan to hunt elk and bear in the coming years too so I wanted one rifle/caliber that will handle all of those. Plus I'm about to get an M1 Garand too so this way i only have to invest in one caliber rather than two. 30-06 is also somewhat more plentiful and affordable in my area.

Thanks for the input.
Yeah, but you really don't want to run a lot of commercial .30-06 hunting loads in a Garand, unless you buy an adjustable gas regulator.
 
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