Never fails. You'll be back at camp after a day in the field, or loafing on the gun forums during a bitterly cold winter day inside with nothing to do... and some tard will stir the pot up by asking "What Is The Best Hunting Gun?" ... and the pie fight starts! HAR HAR HAR! I have gotten so bored at times that I have done it too on occasion...🤣👍 It's cheap entertainment!
Gun club duffer and part time sniper - Polimath - does the honours for us today. The old gun rags used to try and address this one but never could because it is a huge topic and will spawn any number of others. WHAT are you hunting? WHERE are you hunting, and at what ranges? Are you worried about meat damage? Are you concerned about barrel life? WHO's going to be shooting the gun, you, or maybe your wife or 14 year old daughter?
I have no dog in these pie fights, I learned long ago that what goes on in the next place on the firing line STAYS over there too. I have my own declining marksmanship problems to contend with. I have my own trusted sources for information too (Polimath is one of them). Maybe we should turn this into one of these internet "Roast Me" things? I will go first!
Personally, I am dubious about all these new proprietary and miracle chamberings that come out once a week these days. I am happy with all of the old standby's for hunting AND range work. All my shooting is 300m or less, all my serious shooting is done offhand or from the standard positions with a GI sling. I can and will work with anything... .30-06, .25-06, .270, 6.5x55, .303 Brit, .243 - you get the idea. I require that reloading data is plentiful and established, that components are readily available and easy to stockpile in bulk and quantity and at reasonable prices. Smaller bullets are naturally cheaper, so my personal preference for a hunting/do-it-all gun is the .25-06, stoked to the nuts, coming out of a barrel no shorter than 24". With the right bullet that will kill everything up to and including moose... with maybe the exception of big bears. You have to bust them up to kill them... but I never shoot at bears anyways so it's not an issue. Even on the range, with hot loads the .25 will shoot like a cream puff, and flinching is not something you have to contend with during the longer matches. My old bull barreled Ruger No.1 would stack its preferred ammo into groups 0.5~0.75 MOA all day long off the bench. After 20 years of hard shooting I burnt the throat of the barrel out, having put at least 30~40 pounds of IMR 4350 through it. I've since rebarreled it to .243... and preliminary results are mixed. I swear that the wind pushes the bullets around a bit more but I could be full of beans on that. I have only found one load that will consistently duplicate the accuracy of the old barrel. Gawd... I need to hit the range in the worst way, but this cold weather make the range really uninviting... I guess it was -43C with the wind chill for awhile this morn, but it has since warmed up to -38C. Warble gloaming, my hairy corn-spackled ass!
So what is your 'go-to' rifle? And why? Leave an explanation in the comments if you are so inclined, and feel free to participate in this Rifleman's Geek-Fest. As always, your two cents are sincerely accepted and appreciated.