Yeti

Best all-around rifle for hunting in Montana?

NKQualtieri

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Jun 4, 2015
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Bozeman, MT
Looking to purchase for elk/deer mostly, will be picking up a Weatherby.

Curious as to what you all think...I'm leaning toward a 30-06 but could be persuaded otherwise with some pros/cons.

--Nicole
 
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StHubert

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Jan 28, 2010
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Arizona by North Dakota
I would give a 338 win mag serious consideration. You can go from 180 gr bullet up to a 300 gr bullet. The ammo is very common to get in North America.
 

Pagosa

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30-06 or 7mm Mag is all you need. Any solid copper-lead core bullet between a 150 to 180 grain will work great. Ammo is still inexpensive compared too some belted magnum rounds.
 

NKQualtieri

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Bozeman, MT
Thanks guys! All great info! I recently shot a .308 that I really liked, might look into that as well :) Will let you all know what I come out with.
 

Nameless Range

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The .308 is a great round that will handle any critter Montana has to offer and if you find one that feels right for you I'd go forward with
 

----

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Nicole-

For the most part, any caliber larger than a .243 will cover anything that roams the mountains in Montana. It sounds like this may be your first rifle purchase, so I would spend more time looking for a rifle that fits your stature and arm length then I would worrying about caliber.

I'm a pretty short guy, as is my wife. There's a lot of factory rifles that just don't feel comfortable for a person of our height. We both actually enjoy shooting youth/compact model rifles more than full size ones due to our size.

Another thing to consider is a short action rifle (.308, 7mm-08, etc.) will be a slightly more compact and lightweight rifle than something in a standard length action (.30-06, 7mm rem mag, etc.). Weight should also be somewhat of a factor. You'll likely be carrying a rifle for many miles in pursuit of elk, and if you can shave 2-3 pounds off, your shoulder will appreciate it.

Good luck.
 

NKQualtieri

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This is just the type of advice I'm looking for--I'm 5'6 and wouldn't have thought of that factoring into what I'm going to shoot.

What are the best ways to try different rifles? Curious as to how people do that. I have a lot of hunting pals that tend to be taller/bigger than I am, and I've shot a few of theirs, but at this point I'm not entirely comfortable shooting anything at this point. Planning on practicing a ton this summer at our local range and on USFS land near town, would like to try a variety of guns before I commit!
 

----

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This is just the type of advice I'm looking for--I'm 5'6 and wouldn't have thought of that factoring into what I'm going to shoot.

What are the best ways to try different rifles? Curious as to how people do that. I have a lot of hunting pals that tend to be taller/bigger than I am, and I've shot a few of theirs, but at this point I'm not entirely comfortable shooting anything at this point. Planning on practicing a ton this summer at our local range and on USFS land near town, would like to try a variety of guns before I commit!

Bob Wards has something they do every year caller 'shooters weekend' where you can try out a bunch of different rifles at a per shot price. I don't think they have it until late summer though, and I doubt you want to wait that long.

I'd just go to the sporting goods stores around Bozeman and try them out for feel. You should be able to tell just by holding a gun up how it fits you. It'd be especially good if you have an experienced shooter go along with you to help you out.

Also, Shedhorn sports in Ennis is a great gun shop that has a ton of stuff in stock and usually pretty helpful guys working the counter.
 

jryoung

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Unable to determine due to velocity
At 5’6” I would look at a lightweight/mountain rifle type option. Given a lighter platform that I would look towards the 7mm-08 or .308 cartridges. If you get into hunting some thick lodgepole a shorter barrel is a blessing. I have barrels from 22”-26” and am not tempted to cut the 26” down to 22”. Further, you may want to consider the stock length of pull too (distance between the trigger and butt of the stock). Any gunsmith can cut this down for you if necessary for a proper fit.

Depending on what your budget is I would look at the following rifles (estimated new prices):
Howa Alpine - $1,100
Kimber Montana - $1,100
Remington Mountain Rifle - $750
Winchester Model 70 FWT (featherweight) -$850
Tikka T3 Lite - $650
 

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At 5’6” I would look at a lightweight/mountain rifle type option. Given a lighter platform that I would look towards the 7mm-08 or .308 cartridges. If you get into hunting some thick lodgepole a shorter barrel is a blessing. I have barrels from 22”-26” and am not tempted to cut the 26” down to 22”. Further, you may want to consider the stock length of pull too (distance between the trigger and butt of the stock). Any gunsmith can cut this down for you if necessary for a proper fit.

Depending on what your budget is I would look at the following rifles (estimated new prices):
Howa Alpine - $1,100
Kimber Montana - $1,100
Remington Mountain Rifle - $750
Winchester Model 70 FWT (featherweight) -$850
Tikka T3 Lite - $650

J.R.'s got some awesome rifles listed there, and you'd be set with any of them. Don't think that you have to does that much though if you don't want to. The Weatherby Vanguard, Howa 1500, Ruger American and Remington SPS are all a good bit cheaper, and would still be accurate, dependable rifles. The Ruger is also a pretty light gun, but the others weigh a bit more than the ones on J.R.'s list.
 

npaden

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Feb 3, 2011
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Lubbock, Texas
The Tikka T3 Lite is a great rifle for the price. Doesn't fit me well at all, but I'm a bigger guy.

The 7mm-08 is a really nice caliber that seems to keep gaining more and more followers, not sure that's an option with the T3 though.
 

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