Joined: 01 Dec 2005
Man, this is a great thread. Thanks for starting it, pbr streetgang! My vote is for the 7x57, but there are so many classic and useful rounds. For the task you mention it is hard to beat the classic 7x57 with a bullet of around 174 grains -- 140 to 160 is OK too if your rifling twist rate is OK with it. In fact, the 7x57 is about everything one would ever need in this hemisphere except for grizzly, especially if you are within a couple of hundred yards of the game.
Just about everything ever built off the 7x57 is also quite nice -- the Bob and the 6mm Rem. Nowadays (for the last 50 years) folks are hung up on the short actions, (for good reasons, too) so it's everything made from the .308 that'll do what the derivatives of the 7x57 will, as well as all the other Mauser cartridges of the 55 to 57 mm length. Derivatives of the .308 are too "new" for a traditionalist like me, but it's hard to argue the sense it does make.
You know, the .30-06 is almost never the wrong answer. All it's derivatives are great too, .25-06, 270 Win, 280 Rem, 35 Whelen etc. The equivalent to the .35 Whelen (or slightly better because of bullet selection), the 9.3x62 Mauser is another great and versatile round. Seriously, load it right, and the .280 Rem will get so close to the 7mm Belted Rem Mag the difference is inconsequential. I'm not a belted mag dude -- OK, maybe the .300 and .375 H& H and the .300 Win Mag.
And who doesn't like the .416 Rigby (those who haven't shot one) -- mostly overkill for this side of the planet, but a hell of a versatile gun, actually.
I love the old Winchester lever actions, but lately I've had the yen for a Savage 99 takedown in the not-oft-seen .25-35, simply because when I was very young, my dad's only rifle was an octagon barreled 1894 Winchester long rifle in that caliber, and I still have a 94 in .25-35, except it is a carbine (boo-hoo). Dad made his own rifles eventually, and got a long way performance-wise beyond the .25-35 when he could afford it, but he always kept one. Maybe the Savage 99 should be a custom. There are lots of old ones out there in 303 Savage that would do with a re-barrel and re-stock (good money after bad??). Hell, but get serious, why not go for the .250-3000 and join the 20th century at least, since it wasn't too awfully long ago it expired. Dreams.
Anybody want a double rifle? How about one in .303 Brit? I'd go for that -- what the hell for, except nostalgia, I don't know. Have you seen that book by W. Ellis Brown, entitled "Building Double Rifles on Shotgun Actions"? I've sized up a little SxS on a 28 gauge CZ shotgun action -- barrels sleeved and trimmed for the .25-35 (for which I have a ton of brass and factory loads). Haven't pursued it further. Would be fun to carry for deer or hogs under 100 yards.
Winchester 1890 .22LR
Winchester Model 94 Carbine .25-35
Mauser M93 7x57
Springfield 03-A3 sporter .30-06
Remington Model 30 Express .30-06
Remington 700 .35 Whelen
CZ550 American .416 Rigby
Joined: 12 Feb 2009
Location: Far northern Wisconsin, I can see the UP from here
My favorite of all time is the 6.5x55 swedish mauser. I grew up on this caliber. My father sporterized one back in the 1950s. My brother has that one, but I own three more of this soft shooting hard hitting caliber. My sons have used these with me for northern Wisconsin deer hunting. I reload my own and have fun trying different weights and powders. This one works for me.
Last edited by gwpw16 on Sun May 27, 2018 2:05 pm; edited 2 times in total _________________ Take time to introduce someone new to the shooting sports. Share what you know and love.
Joined: 01 Dec 2005
@gwpw16 -- +1 on the 6.5x55, another great and versatile cartridge. I'm not a deer hunter, but the only time I ever did hunt deer was when I was 15, and I carried a Swedish Mauser carbine in 6.5x55 sporterized by my dad (used a Fajen pre-inletted stock blank). It was nice. What a pleasure to shoot, and certainly adequate for the mule deer we were after in the North Dakota badlands along the Little Missouri River.
Dad's first and second sporterization jobs back in the '50's were Krag's, the first an 1898 Springfield Krag in .30-40 of course, and the second a Norwegian Krag-Jorgensen, the Model 1894, in 6.5x55. Somewhere I have a photo of Dad in his Sunday best, holding both Krags with nice Herter's stocks with roll-over cheekpieces and contrasting forend tips, grip caps and buttplates -- all the rage back then. The Norwegian Krag must have made my mother very happy, as her ancestry was completely Norwegian and very recent. It must have been a downer for her when Dad traded that Krag-Jorgensen for the Swedish 1894 Mauser -- we were taught the Swedes were the enemy from which the Norwegians had won their independence -- "A thousand Swedes went through the weeds chased by one Norwegian" -- ha ha!
I see a lot of votes for the .257 Roberts. It's a classic wildcat. When you think about it, it doesn't seem so very different from the 6.5x55 -- .257 bullet instead of .264, case length 57mm vs. 55. However, the bullet weight choices are so different for these two calibers. The 6.5x55 was a military round similar in concept to the 7x57 (the parent case of Ned Roberts' .257 as well as the .244/6mm Rem). The 6.5x55 and the 7x57 were designed for relatively heavy high sectional density bullets -- long ones requiring high rifling twist rates -- for good penetration and energy delivery on human targets at fairly long ranges. The Bob, on the other hand was designed for long range performance on small varmints with high velocity light-weight bullets, but it is also quite useful for North American plains game. The Bob can do the job. It'd be nice to have one in the Remington 30 Express, but that is one heavy chunk of a gun. Maybe one in the simple Remington 722 would be better. Hmmmm . . . . got me thinking of revoking my self-imposed gun-buying moratorium . . . . .
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