Hunting Rifle Purgatory


Jul 23, 2019
Alright, I've done my work at home and convinced my wife that buying a new hunting rifle and scope is a great idea...she bit and I've got the green light to get what I want! Problem is, I'm not a huge "gun guy," as every firearm I have is a hand-me-down from my dad. I know, what a terrible problem to have...

I've been big game hunting most of my adult life and have really gotten in to western big game hunting since I moved to Colorado back in 2013. I've had amazing success with my Weatherby .270 and that rifle has put a lot of animals down, but I'm looking to up my game with respect to distance shooting. Now, let me be clear, I'm not interested in distance shooting just because, I considered myself to be extremely ethical when it comes to taking game and ensure a clean kill is top priority. That said, I want to be able to take an animal at 400-500 yards if the terrain forces the situation. I prefer to hunt open sage country for antelope, and more specifically mule deer, and taking longer shots is starting to creep in to my head as I get older and less sneaky. I'm comfortable shooting up to around 350 yards with my .270, but would like to get comfortable shooting a little further.

With all the said, I'm in the market for a new gun and am looking for recommendations on caliber, and whether or not now is the right time to buy a new gun to begin with. With respect to caliber, I already own the aforementioned .270, but I also have a .243 Winchester and .264 Winchester magnum. It's a good array of firearms, but I'm looking for that next step up caliber to effectively hunting mule deer, elk, caribou and larger animals, with more knock down power, in a flat shooting caliber, at long ranges. With recent research I've keyed in on the 6.5 Creedmoor and also the 28 Nosler, but I'd like your thoughts and recommendations.

Also, I'm having a really hard time telling myself that now is the best time to buy a new rifle given the ammo shortage and that I can't waste round after round practicing with my new firearm.

With respect to optics, again I don't consider myself a "gun guy," so your thoughts on easy to use scopes that help you adjust for distance are appreciated. I like the simplicity of the Leupold CDS system, but convince me there's something better our there and I'd love to take a look.

Anyway, I'm curious to see what you all think/recommend and feel free to send me any information/articles/etc. that you think I should check out to inform my decisions.

Happy hunting!

I had the same desires for the same exact reasons as you. So I bought a couple of wsm rifles. Currently I have LEUPOLD VX3s on them but will put LR duplex type scope which has BDC type reticle. Zero at 200 yards (high power setting)with a second focal plane scope and I’ll make it work. Prior to that I figured my 30-06,30-30,22lr,.223 and 12gauge had me covered for most situations planet earth could offer. Actually I still do. But folks often create some rationale to want to buy another rifle. Being you seem covered well in small bore the next thing is a 30cal. magnum to achieve what you want. The 28 Nosler rocks and will give you what you want.
Glad to hear you got the hard part done by getting the wife go along.
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