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barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) UberDork
8/3/20 12:52 p.m.

So I'm in an area where shooting sports could not be easier. And it's something I've always wanted to get more involved in. Up until recently I've only dabbled in "real" calibers because spending big money on ammunition is  not my thing. Looking at the goreweb and I see very reasonably priced reloading presses which would allow me to save some dollars in the long.

The plan is 308win because super common, grandpa had one, reasonably capable for a bunch of things, and even if I'm not loading my own it is always available.  But what I'm finding is difficulty sifting out the garbage from the good on those forums, and everyone I seem to talk to is apparently the worlds leading expert and only they can tell me the truth, which at best is irritating. 
So,

what forums are worth digging into? 

what can y'all teach me?

Should I be looking at something other than .308? The goal will be mostly range shooting, possible deer/elk hunting.  

This is not a prepper thing, nor is it political. Just face value, sporting, hobbyist stuff, with an emphasis on affordability and versatility. Thanks!

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
8/3/20 1:07 p.m.

I think .308 win would be a very good choice.  I'm also looking at the reloading thing.  Can't say I frequent any particular forum.   I mostly rely on the advice of knowledgeable acquaintances.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/3/20 1:08 p.m.

I cant say anything wrong with .308, and if I were looking at range shooting/deer hunting there are plenty of rifles to choose from in that caliber.  Here are a few of my favorites (in order of rough cost estimate):

CETME

Savage 99

Ruger Gunsite Scout

FAL

That being said, any of the common calibers (and some of the less common ones) offer plenty of options for what you're looking for.  The benefit of the .308, is that rounds can be had DIRT cheap!  Honestly, when I had my CETME I really never felt the need to go out and by the dies to reload for it since the cost savings were negligible compared to the m2 Ball and 8mm mauser I was already turning out.

Speaking of 8mm Mauser, and because this is GRM.  Have you looked into a Mauser k98?  It'll do deer (very well, I might add.  Drops them right on the spot) and elk as well.  Plus it's a good range conversation piece.  If you were looking for more pew pew pew.  Check out the Yugo M76.  It shares the same cartridge.  This is a cartridge that lends itself VERY WELL to reloading as the commercially available pills are inept at best, and the surplus cartridges (dirt cheap) use corrosive primers. 

http://assaultweaponsofohio.net/products/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUoSHYUG8g8

Source:  Not an expert, or even a knowledgeable person.  But I've spent a lot of time playing with expensive ways to put holes in paper.

matthewmcl (Forum Supporter)
matthewmcl (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/3/20 1:21 p.m.

I really like the Lee Hand Press.  It is slow slow slow, but I can do better than 1/2 MOA with it and they are not very expensive and don't take bench space.  First step is get a good reloading manual (major manufacturer, covering lots of chamberings).  This may or may not be for the load data, but will be for technique, safety, and general information.  I can forward some good info to you, but really, going to a reloading forum is a little like politics and/or religion.  There are a lot of people who really don't understand the science behind it and think they know more than they do.

You can do a lot with .308, but reload the one that is fun and/or too expensive to buy. You really can't go wrong starting with any one chambering.  I have several manuals and I also use Quickload, which is the geekiest piece of software I have every encountered and I have no idea how I lived so long without it.

Head to forums that are target shooting, rather than anything else, at least until you develop a good BS filter.  One of the most common professions for target shooters is engineer, for what that is worth.

http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/tag/german-salazar/

German Salazar (pronounced Herman) is a really good guy and he does some awesome write-ups.  Accurateshooter is a good website for info.  Send me text and/or email if you have questions.  I won't tell you I know anything that I really don't, but I have been getting into long range target work and have knowledgeable friends.  I can point you in the direction of good powders to start with, good places to buy components, etc.

barefootskater
barefootskater UltraDork
8/3/20 1:31 p.m.

In reply to matthewmcl (Forum Supporter) :

Dude, you're coming through for me all over the place! I have your phone# and if I do decide to get into reloading I'll holler at you for sure. 

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
8/3/20 1:41 p.m.

Speaking of Mauser and 308, I recently picked up a Spanish M1916 in 308.  It's based off the Mauser 93 so not as strong as the 98 but strong enough and cheaper than (edit) the 98.  I picked it up in a small gun shop in SC for $400 but I see them online for similar.

Stampie (FS)
Stampie (FS) MegaDork
8/3/20 1:43 p.m.

Also consider that you won't be shooting a lot of 308 rounds in one sitting.  I once put over 60 rounds in one day on my old Remington 700 and I felt it for days afterwards.

barefootskater
barefootskater UltraDork
8/3/20 2:08 p.m.

In reply to Stampie (FS) :

Good point. I can easily Go through a couple hundred .22 or 9mm, but my experience with .308 says 40-50 in a day is gonna be about the most. Still costs more than I like. I could realistically go out 2-3 times a week, but if each outing is $30 that's too much. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/3/20 2:15 p.m.

.308 is a wonderful and ubiquitous caliber.  I have a Remington 740 in .308 that is wonderful, but being semi-auto I can't use it for hunting in PA.  I looked for a 7600 (pump) in .308 for a long time for hunting, but a screaming deal on a 30-06 came into my view and I couldnt pass it up.  Overkill for deer hunting, but careful projectile selection makes it great for deer all the way up through Elk and Caribou if I ever get to that point.

30-06 is a nice and common caliber.  It shares cartridges with .270 and .280, just necked down for the projectile.  So far, all of the ones I have mentioned are pretty common, and relatively similar ballistically.

.223 will never go away.  .243 is a wicked caliber and pretty common.  tiny projectile, lots of powder.  Fast and straight.

I also shoot a fair amount with an 8mm Mauser which is becoming more rare.  For fun plinking and also common is 30-30.  Find a nice Model 94 Winchester and you'll have fun destroying cans at 100 yards.  It is pretty useless at target/competition, but wicked fun blowing holes in cans and watermelons at 75 yards.  Great brush gun.  Fat, heavy bullet that doesn't get deterred by a twig.  I hunted for years with a Model 94 in .32 caliber.  Light, compact, and reliable as dirt.

I'm no gunsmith by a longshot, but a buddy of mine gets into it hardcore.  He loves the Mauser action and has been able to convert it to nearly any caliber chamber.  He converted a Remington 780 with a Mauser action.  He's a genius.

KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
8/3/20 2:18 p.m.

I had a Remington PSS for a while.  It was capable of as much accuracy as the optics allowed.  Highly recommend it for bench shooting.

I found I wasn't shooting it very often however and traded it in on an AR platform since 5.56 works as well as I could ask for less money per pew.

 

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
8/3/20 2:20 p.m.

308 isnt always available, right now most ammo sucks to buy really. Finding 30-30 has been a chore too.

 

First thing I would do is make a list by importance. If it's just some fun range stuff.....  ARs are cool and you can fire 223 all day. If you could find any in stock. 308 is a good all arounder definitely, but it's not something you'll for 300 rounds of in a sitting. If deer hunting is a big plus then 223 won't really work though.

 

Gun forums suck, they suck a lot. I'm on thehighroad.org but it's not a great forum really. All gun forums are filled with people with too much opinion and not enough facts so......kinda pick one really.

matthewmcl (Forum Supporter)
matthewmcl (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/3/20 2:23 p.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

Primer = $.05

Powder approx 40-45 grains (7000 grains to the pound) = $.20

Bullet (decent but nothing special) = $.25

Brass, reuse and pick up range brass.  Even still, you are $25 for 50 rounds of decent ammo, plus a fair bit of time and the cost of tools.

If you are shooting just to shoot and want more than .22, bang for the buck is .223. Quality ammo and quality rifles are easy.  If you are trying to learn what you can do, then the cost of sending careful handloads downrange a couple times a month is not all that high.  For trigger time, though, nothing beats .22.  If you have not tried Wolf Target (or Match Extra), they are made by Lapua and put in Wolf boxes.  I have a Marlin semi-auto that will hold 1 MOA to 100 yds on Wolf Target. It is an unusually good rifle, though...

barefootskater
barefootskater UltraDork
8/3/20 2:24 p.m.

I've considered .223. Cheaper to shoot, super common, just not quite as versatile for hunting if I decide to get into that. 
Leaning heavily towards semi auto, not an issue for hunting around here. Probably an Armalite design, again, just more versatility. 

barefootskater (Shaun)
barefootskater (Shaun) UberDork
8/3/20 2:28 p.m.

In reply to matthewmcl (Forum Supporter) :
 

Around here there is no .223, 9mm, .22. None. I've yet to see a shelf that didn't have .308. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/3/20 2:31 p.m.

re-reading your initial post, I would start with a boomstick that you will be able to take hunting.  No point in buying a big, heavy, competition range/target bolt action, then have to buy another boomstick to haul into the woods.

Deer and Elk, I really like several calibers, but it depends on your woods.  Are you shooting across a field at 200 yards, or in the thickets shooting 50 yards?

The go-to workhorse around here is .308.  If it was good enough for snipers for 100 years, its good enough for deer.  Enough reach for 150+ yards, enough lead to have some impact.  If you need to go farther, .243 is a good choice if you select the right projectile.  The difference between small/fast and big/heavy is generally the accuracy you need.  Something like a 38-55 bullet will hit like a mack truck, mushroom into a quarter-sized slug, hit the far side of the rib cage and likely stop.  In the process, it will turn most of the organs within 8" of it into jello.  The downside is that you could likely catch that bullet at 100 yards with a baseball mitt.  Something like a .243 will have a ton of speed and flat trajectory, but it will go straight through without pausing.  You'll want to be more sure of hitting something vital or you're in for a chase.

It's one of the reasons I like the .308 for PA.  I hate making something suffer.  I want it to be dead before the pain signals get to the brain.  The .308 has enough reach that I feel confident taking a shot at 100 yards or more, but it also has enough of that jello-inducing impact that I know it's done even if I'm an inch off from drilling the heart.

I can also say that many hunters around here also hunt bear, so they often opt for the .270 and .280, and sometimes the 30-06.  A wee bit more firepower for bear, but they can just get smaller-grain projectiles for deer.

KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
8/3/20 2:35 p.m.
barefootskater said:

I've considered .223. Cheaper to shoot, super common, just not quite as versatile for hunting if I decide to get into that. 
Leaning heavily towards semi auto, not an issue for hunting around here. Probably an Armalite design, again, just more versatility. 

The AR platform is possibly the most adaptable one out there.  You can even trade out the upper and shoot different calibers from the same lower.  From .223 through .500 beauwolf (sp)  

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/3/20 2:35 p.m.

Try shooting all different flavors of actions.  I personally strongly prefer a pump action.  I think it carries over from my shotgun/small game/skeet.  I just learned how to pump while keeping my eye on the target.  Many folks prefer bolt, and I think it's because they come from a range background where bolts are often preferred.  My second choice is lever, mostly because of my years of hunting with a Model 94.

 

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
8/3/20 2:37 p.m.

I think a good range toy and a good hunting gun are 2 different things. 
 

i have a "ar-10" rock river, basically an ar-15 in .308. A normal ar-15 is MUCH more fun to shoot. The .308 with the short barrel i have is loud even with plugs and muffs. Kicks pretty hard, ammo costs too much(im a bulk .22 $ kinda guy). I still have it but i dont know why,  other than its cool. 

for a fun range toy, a rifle in 9mm handgun would be great. A SKS or AK-47, something in 7.62x39 that likes to eat a steady diet of cheap steel case ammo, any .22 rifle or handgun. Cheap, fun to shoot. I dont find myself counting up how much $$ in ammo im shooting. 
 

i have a remington 700 in 30-06 i got for a good price just to say i had a proper "hunting rifle". Im not a wuss, but i can only enjoy shooting it a few times before its just too much. 

matthewmcl (Forum Supporter)
matthewmcl (Forum Supporter) Reader
8/3/20 2:38 p.m.
barefootskater said:

Around here there is no .223, 9mm, .22. None. I've yet to see a shelf that didn't have .308. 

If you find yourself in a pinch for any of those three, let me know and we may be able to work something out even if I can't point you towards good sources with stock on shelves.

Buy it cheap; lay it deep. Otherwise known as investing in precious metals...

Sadly, I have not yet made it out to go shooting since moving to Utah.  I hope to fix that soon, though.

barefootskater
barefootskater UltraDork
8/3/20 3:00 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

I don't mind bolt guns. For skeet I prefer break action o/u. Lever is fun, that's what grandpas .308 is. Hybrid lever/bolt really. For pistols I prefer to muzzle load just because it's so theatrical. But I generally shoot semi auto. 
As for hunting, chances are low. I've never been. And I'm not a huge camper either. I have some good friends and family that go out for elk every year so it just a matter of tagging along. One day I'd like to go, to learn and experience it. I am of the belief that it helps conservation and helps the self. It's like gardening. Grandma taught me how, and why. I don't garden regularly, but I'm glad I learned how. 

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/3/20 3:07 p.m.
barefootskater said:

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

 Hybrid lever/bolt really.

Got it!  K31 Swiss.

 

Dang, that was easy!  You should have said something sooner! laugh

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/3/20 3:11 p.m.

Honestly though, if hunting really is "out" then I'd take a solid look at the semi-auto options for range plinking.  Generally they're easier on your shoulder.  FAL would be high on my list.

Not sure what Utah's rules are like, but you might even be able to take the FAL out hunting should you eventually decide to go.

Matt330LS
Matt330LS New Reader
8/3/20 3:14 p.m.

.308 is a decent choice for range and hunting.  Versatile, many platforms available chambered in that caliber.  Very little recoil if you go with an AR platform, definitely notice it if you go with a bolt action.  Relatively cheap hunting rounds compared to other hunting calibers, plus you can get bulk range ammo as well.  If you go with an AR style look at Aero Precision.  There are some that may be cheaper, but for the money it's the way to go.  If you go bolt action I'd look at Tikka T3, Savage, or if you're looking for a bit different but cool the Ruger Gunsite Scout.  I'd stray away from newer Remingtons considering the bankruptcy and quality issues.  

A good long gun forum with lots of great information is Sniper's Hide. 

Bottom line, don't go cheap.  You don't have to spend big money, but if you buy a gun that sucks you'll quit taking it out, fully defeating your purpose for buying one to begin with.

bentwrench
bentwrench SuperDork
8/3/20 4:33 p.m.

Savage 99 in .308, it's older than me.

Justjim75
Justjim75 Dork
8/3/20 4:41 p.m.

If you aren't prepping I'd say .308 is a great choice, depending on what gun you decide on.  An M1 Garand probably wont go through as much as an AR10 because of the type of gun they are.  .223, 7.62x39, 9mm, 45 ACP are either common and cheap (which means you may not be able to save much) or impossible to find, but you said no prepping.  For Elk and deer it's a great round, .308 is my go to for deer in Alabama 

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