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Rifles – 7mm mag, 30-06, 300 WIN mag Questions and Thoughts. Updated Login/Join 
Picture of ontmark
I have a Browning BAR 7mm mag and 270 Win both Belgium made. I bought them used for deer hunting in California with oldest daughter 18 years ago. I hate cleaning them and long for a bolt action rifle for years.

I have won a Bergara B-14 Timber Rifle in 30-06. Finally a bolt gun. I can pay $100 dollars and upgrade to the Begara B-14 HMR. The Bergara B-14 HMR is threaded for the addition of a muzzle brake or can. I am thinking to do the upgrade and also go to the 300 Win Mag as the caliber. Then plan to sell the Browning BAR 7mm mag with a really nice scope on it to fund a nice scope to put on the Bargara B-14 HMR in 300 Win mag. PS: Scope suggestions appreciated. $500 to $700 range.

I am one year away from retiring and leave California and looking at Idaho. My health probably will prevent me from hunting hilly areas for my lungs are not good nor are my knees. I figure the 300 Win Mag may offer some joy in learning long distance shooting with me reloading. It also could do a long prairie shot if I ever get to hunt again with someone.

Yes – No or am I way off my thinking.


Update: Well I did upgrade to the Bargara B-14 rifle. Decided to go with the 308 Win Caliber. Thanks for all the info.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ontmark,

Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it! - John Steinbeck
Posts: 3683 | Location: Vallejo, CA | Registered: August 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Green grass and
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Might be able to find a Leupold vx-5hd for the top of your budget. Might be used but still about the best scope you can get in that budget. Might also be able to find a lower end Swarovski as well.

I do not know that rifle. But if you do not have much experience shooting large caliber bolt action rifles you might be surprised on the recoil. I am not shy of recoil. I shoot them regularly. But a lot of people are. I have all three calibers you mentioned. A good muzzle brake will help but the trade of is increased noise and deflected muzzle blast. so it is not all good. I do like the 7mm RM is that is a choice.

"Practice like you want to play in the game"
Posts: 14653 | Registered: September 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of sourdough44
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Just some general thoughts. I’ve had a few Browning BARs over the years, 30-06, 243, & 308. I only have the 308 now.

For hunting, one(I) usually carry a lot & shoot little. Then the weather may be bad. A simple bolt does it for me, I’m also not a ‘spray & pray’ kinda guy. That 1st unhurried shot is where it’s at.

I’ve seen CA deer, never saw a large one. I can see you ‘needing’ at least two rifles, one 243 to 6.5 Creed area, & one larger, just in case, when you retire out of CA. You handloading, (the 30-06 you own) can mitigate that some. Yes, the 30-06 can ‘do it all’.

A few years ago when I was looking I chose the 300WSM, though nothing wrong with the 300 WM.

While at it, give thought to the idea of prairie dogging, or other colony varmint shooting. Once you get schooled up, it’s rather enjoyable. One doesn’t need legs of a sprinter or lungs of a soccer player to participate. Often the 223 makes sense as a stating point.

I just bought a Leupold 3i 4.5x14 - 40, with a Duplex. A guy was selling it a bit below retail. Topping at 10 Pwr is plenty for most big game hunting, this may double in dogtown. A few of my hunting rifles have a Zeiss Conquest, topping at 9 or 10 power.

If selling your BAR look at prices on Gunbroker, then go slightly below. I’d also separate, or keep the scope for another gun. Have a price with or without.
Posts: 4128 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like the idea of paying the extra $100 for the B-14 HMR as it's a lot of gun for the money, but I don't think you need to upgrade to 300 Win Mag. You'll have a tremendous amount of options with the 30-06 in terms of factory loads, and even more if you start hand loading. You'll find factory ammo for the 300WM more expensive and in my opinion you only need the extra power if you're shooting at over 500 yards, but it's also my opinion that you should get closer.

You can get a lot of scope for $700, as others have said, used Leupolds would fit the bill, but a used Swarovski Z3 would be great too.

Posts: 818 | Location: California | Registered: March 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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My advice is to get a chambering that’s comfortable for you to shoot. Also watch your rifle weight and don’t go too light on a magnum caliber. I can’t tell you how many times I have shot great rifles that were just miserable to shoot. Example - a Colt Sauer in 300 Weatherby Magnum. Beautiful rifle with awesome optics, but it kicked like a mule and was so uncomfortable to shoot that it affected accuracy dramatically. I had the same experience with a Mark V in 7mm Mag that was zero fun to shoot. If you don’t enjoy shooting it, its going to sit in the safe and never get used.

Posts: 2628 | Location: Unass the AO | Registered: December 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I don’t see a need for a 300WM or a 7mm Mag. Perhaps I’m just getting old and tired of lugging around long barrels and dealing with belts on cases when reloading.

Stay with the 30-06, 270, or better yet, go 280 if that is an option.

On a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam.
Posts: 6447 | Location: Utah | Registered: December 18, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The guy behind the guy
Picture of esdunbar
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I’m a big Bergara fan and have two of their Premium line guns. The B14 HMR is a heavy gun. I like my field guns in between 10 and 11 pounds. Most people like them lighter than that, so I already like the fat.

Having said that, that gun comes naked out of the box at 10 lbs in a long action. Depending on your glass, it’s easy to be up to 13 or 14 lbs, so look for a light optic.

As for caliber, I’m a fan of the .300 win mag and have two of them. One is a Bergara and the other is a Christensen. The Bergara weighs just under 14 pounds scoped but without bipod. The Christensen weighs just barely shy of 11 pounds. Even at those weights, the recoil is pretty stout.

I’m not recoil shy and it doesn’t bother me, but after a day at the range, I can sometimes have a headache. Hunting it’s fine, but practicing you feel it the next day.

I really like the 7mm Rem Mag and recommend it to older hunters. I’m 42 and still dumb enough to dell with the recoil. My dad is 72 and I’d never put him behind my win mags but he’d be fine on a 7mm Rem Mag.

7mm has killed plenty of Elk. Granted, ought six has too, but the ballistics are just better on a 7mm bullet. I don’t care about drop really, it’s just a few more clicks, but the wind drift on a 7mm rem mag is what would have me choosing that over -06.

Having said all that, if you shoot regularly and know the recoil won’t be an issue, I think the win mag is an outstanding cartridge. Berger has a 215 grain pill that is a beast at over 3k FPS.

E.S. Dunbar
I'm confused...wait, maybe I'm not.
Posts: 7264 | Location: Toledo, Ohio | Registered: April 19, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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30-06 is a fantastic cartridge, I’ve taken 6 species of animal here in Alaska with a 30-06 including large bear. There’s nothing a 30-06 can’t do in North America, especially when you hand load for it.
Posts: 5005 | Location: Alaska | Registered: June 12, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Update in original post.

Thanks everyone.

Beware the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it! - John Steinbeck
Posts: 3683 | Location: Vallejo, CA | Registered: August 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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