.270 or 7mm Mag?

Vermonster

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This is a gun question, but in the context of a hunting discussion. Going for elk and mule deer this fall in CO, taking my 14 yo with me. He will have an OTC elk tag. His current rifle for SoCal deer is a single shot .243, so I need to upgrade him, probably for his birthday in June. So, I am thinking 7mm Mag or 270. This will be our only hunt like this in the near future, and after that, it''ll be back to SoCal deer. What would be the best round to look into?

Remington makes (used to) a good entry level 7mm Mag that gets great reviews, but sold out everywhere. Trying to not break the bank.

Any other ideas? 6.5 Creed, .308 (What I will use), etc. Thoughts?
 

Arima-bob

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All are good choices, although I would pass on the 6.5 cm. Don’t rule out the tried and true 30.06 either.

As for rifles, Savage is good, so is the Ruger American, and for a couple bucks more, Tikka is a nice option too.
 

billa

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Between my kids and I we have killed over 40 elk over the years here in Oregon. Elk are tough to kill. Certainly a 130 grain bulllet from a 270 will work fine assuming a perfect heart or double lung shot placement. Even more experienced hunters do not hit the target perfectly in a real hunting scenario. You don't hear about these things often, but they are true especially with kids. A 14 year old who has never been in that situation before certainly can have more of a challenge. That elk is not going to stand still very much like your paper target that you practice shooting at the range. They always seem to be moving to some degree. Add in other animals milling around your target animal, wind, shot angle etc....... and with a caliber shooting a bullet on the lower end weight wise you have to deal with more variables. Sure 270's have killed a lot of animals over the years, but a hell of a lot more animals have been wounded and not recovered. The same is true of the Creedmore.
Our experience dictates shooting the flattest shooting heavier bullet he can handle. That way even if his shot is 6-7 inches off, you are inflicting enough damage on that elk to get him good and sick to where it can be recovered. Contrary to most of the hunting shows you see on TV, most elk do not drop dead at the shot. They cover some ground.There is a hell of a lot of film editing that goes on on those shows!
I think a 7mm would be a good choice for him. We personally shoot 30 caliber guns. The kids shoot 300 short mags with 180 grain bullets. If recoil is a concern, put a muzzle brake on the gun and it will not be an issue.
Your other comment about mainly shooting deer in the future makes me think 7mm. On a deer it is good to get a complete pass through with the bullet which is nice in terms of having a blood trail to follow. Open up both sides and they leak oil better.
 

Ib1

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.280 Remington might be a good option. Plenty of power, flat shooting and not a lot of recoil.
 
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gettingbentwithbo

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I love my 6.5 creedmoor! Depending on what distance you are shooting from it's a great round.
 

AKSalmon

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Savage 110 in .308. Cheap and effective with little kick.
 

CartridgeCalls

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Go with a 7mm Remington Magnum or .300 Winchester Magnum for Elk at a minimum. If you plan to hunt larger game in the Future like Moose or Brown Bear go with a .338 Win Mag. I have taken moose, black bear and caribou with a .30-06 and knock on wood but non have gotten away. I just prefer to use a little more power if I can handle it. Quick kills are what I live for.

Good luck in your decision.
 
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mike garrahan

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You might want to do some checking around and see what ammo is available before you make your decision. Lead free ammo has been hard to find and when you do find some it is only available in a few calibers. Last year my brother couldn't even find lead free in .270 let alone .30-.30, 6mm., and .300 Savage that he was looking for. We finally found some .270 in Medford Oregon but they only had lead free in a very few calibers.
 

gettingbentwithbo

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abdiver7777

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I've killed several Elk with my Weatherby 270.........

130 grain in my opinion is too light..... I use 170 grain Nosler Partitions and no Elk I've ever shot has ever gone further than 100 yds.... Most of them piled up within 50'....

IMHO..... a 30-06 is the most versatile caliber for large North American big game. Use 130 grain for Deer, 150-170 grn for Elk and 180 grn for Moose or Bear
I prefer my 270 though because it kicks less and is such a flat shooter.

I suggest you google up ballistic charts and compare.....

Have fun....
 

Ib1

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.280 essentially splits the difference between a .270 and 30-06.
 

Fish Sniper

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All are good choices, although I would pass on the 6.5 cm. Don’t rule out the tried and true 30.06 either.

As for rifles, Savage is good, so is the Ruger American, and for a couple bucks more, Tikka is a nice option too.
.270 with Barns 140 grn works like striking bolt every time. When back home use 130's you'll never go wrong. Easy to shoot.
My 2c good luck in your hunt.
 
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Aggro

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Sean, how big is the kid now? Going magnum means recoil and you don't want a kid that flinches trying to shoot one of these bigger calibers. He'd be better off with the .270 or 7 08.

7 mag is gonna have a very sharp kick with heavier bullets. Recoil velocity is a real thing and this is a good chart

Rifle Recoil Table (chuckhawks.com)
 

marlyn

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270 if it was me,I agree with kurt about the magnums for a kid.
 
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Ali

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I went down this road several years ago.

Since I have no interest in shooting an animal at more than 300 yards, I went with the 30/06.

It's truly the do all caliber, cheap to shoot, low on recoil/noise and you can buy ammo at walmart.

It's tipped over everything I've pointed it at with no issues.

Couldn't be happier with my decision.
 

Heatmaster75

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The first time I fired a 7 mag educated me. I did not think anything under 30 cal could kick that damn hard. Great ballistics, but hard on shoulders if not set up with a break. Mild recoil with a break, but unforgivingly loud in a hunting situation.

Young and experienced shooters can kill elk just fine with 270, '06, 7mm08, 6.5, 308 etc at 300 yds. Are they marginal? That depends on who's holding it. Being a marksman is much more important IMO. Magnum cartridge's generally do not help mediocre shooters.

The OP has to be the judge of what his son can handle, Some 14 year olds can, some cant.

I started my daughter at 11 with a 7-08, at 13 she started carrying her Grandfathers 30-06, and she usually kills a couple critters a year, Antelope, Elk, deer. This year at 19 years old she killed her buck with my safe queen 300 WBY. Now she tells me she wants to start hunting with it. I told her to go buy her own!
 
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icscommand

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I have owned all those discussed here and believe the 7mag the most versatile from bear (black bear) and moose in Alaska, elk, deer and even coues in AZ. I presently shoot a Browning A-Bolt with a Leupold CDS scope that Duncan Gun Works did my trigger, bedding and a custom muzzle brake. I spent more to improve it than I paid for it to begin with. Truly a death ray now. 160 gr Nosler Partition. The brake brings the recoil down equal to my .243 in recoil and the one on my .338mag down to my .308. LOUD but recoil manageable even though guides I use want a little notice before i start shooting. LOL
 

Ib1

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.308 is vanilla, but might just be the ticket
 

Vermonster

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Thanks for the replies guys. I actually have a 30-06 back in Vermont I could bring out here, that would solve my issue. He could shoot the 308 or 06 and see what he likes.
 
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el Toro

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Magnum for a beginner shooter is just a bad idea all around. Not only do they kick hard, they are also really loud, and generally much heavier. Recoil makes for bad shooting habits, and a heavy gun means the kid is not going to enjoy hiking through the mountains lugging that beast.

I have too many rifles to count, including magnums in 7mm, .300, and .375. Of course 30-06 too. When my kid draws an elk tag, hopefully soon, he will be taking my short barreled .308. It’s got a good Limbsaver recoil pad on it, kicks barely more than his .243, and is easy to carry. A .270 or 7-08 would be appropriate too. Keep his shots at a reasonable distance and make sure he practices a lot and you won’t have any problems.

Even as a grown man with plenty of other options at my disposal, I would not feel even the slightest bit undergunned with a .308 or .270 or 7-08!