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Fumbles 11-24-2011 08:28 AM

Caliber/firearm choice question
My local gun shop is selling the Howa M-1500 with a Nikko 3.5-10X44 IR AO 'scope mounted on a picatinny rail, for a fairly decent price. The Howa M-1500 gets pretty good reviews. It also comes with a Hogue Overmolded® synthetic stock.

I am very loosely thinking of getting a boltie to compliment my AR, so I can leave the AR set up as tactical multi purpose rifle and use the bolt action as more of a med/long-ish range test my marksmanship, or lack of it. Truthfully, I just love shooting at stuff far away for fun.

This rifle is offered in:
.223, .243, .270, .308, .30-06, 7mm or 300Mag.

What would be your choice for caliber for a bolt action, scoped rifle for a SHTF situation? My first thought would be .308/7.62X51 since it's a fairly common round.

However... with .308 ammo being relatively expensive, it might be more cost effective to keep it the same as my AR, in .223..........but then this does not give me a distance advantage.

Of course should the S ever HTF, I may have to hunt with it as well. Food and zombies!:D

Something else to consider is I do not have a shotgun and while I have 5 handguns (9mm, .22, .38Sp, .357 Mag, .44Mag.) I feel I need a better semi- auto secondary weapon than my 9mm Ruger P-85. It's a super reliable handgun that will eat anything I feed it .....I just feel I need something a tickle more powerful..... .45 or .40 S&W.

So.....:p since my AR has both a RDS and a 6.5-20X50 'scope........ would what limited funds I have left to buy additional firearms with, be better spent getting a shotgun first..... and then a more powerful semi-auto sidearm? Rather than a bolt action long gun?

Perhaps a shottie would be more useful for home or camp defense than a bolt rifle, overall. Since I already have the AR.

Assuming I'd be better off for super accuracy with a bolt action rifle, rather than another AR platform, just rather in .308.

There are a lot of choices and I am sure many of you have thought this through better than I have, or can.

So I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

fireguy 11-24-2011 12:58 PM

First off I can highly recommend the Howa 1500. It is a very well built and accurate rifle. The Hogue overmold stock is a good choice, easy to hang onto and not affected by weather. I own two of the Nikko Stirling scopes, one on my Howa Axiom stocked .308 and one on my DPMS LR308. Very good scopes in my oppinion.

If you want to have accuracy and stopping power out to 400+ yards I wouldn't go with the .223. It just doesn't have enough mass. There are a lot of options in other calibers with the .300 WinMag being probably the best for reaching a long ways out to the target. Ammo cost for .300WinMag was what kept me away from that cartridge.

I compromised and went with the .308. Some very good loads available if you want to spend the money, I have a stock of Hornady TAP ballistic tips for just in case that the rifle shoots very well. Surplus and commercial reloads are also very affordable. That is what drove my purchase of the .308. Obviously you will have to make your own decision and weigh what exatly you want the rifle to do. I wanted a precision rifle that I can trust at up to 600 yards for target shooting and also for defense.
Good luck.

Fumbles 11-25-2011 05:21 PM

Thanks for the vote of confidence on the Howa M-1500 fireguy.

I passed on buying one today at the sale....too many people in the store, I'd rather spend the extra $50 and go back when it is a little more subdued over there and also time to think about it more. Like you said the 300 WinMag is best....I am contemplating hooking up my reloader so if I do that perhaps reloading for it will be a way to keep costs down. They had the Axiom stock models also....they look super but were up in the $800 and $900 range. A bit much for me at the moment. I'd be getting a divorce.

Thanks again. Every bit of info helps.

Catfish 11-25-2011 11:54 PM

The best way to go would be to get 1 of each. :D If you cannot afford that I would recomand something other than the 223 as the AR will do the same thing the Howa will do. The 243 will reach farther and makes a good varmint rifle and deer round. Thr 30-06, I think is still the best alround round out there, but the 308 is not far behind. As for the 7 mag., it will reach out there, but doesn`t have much more range than the 06 and you have to mess with those silly belted cases. Same goes for the 300 mag., but at least with it you can shoot heaver bullets.

Fumbles 11-26-2011 06:47 AM

Thanks Catfish. Yeah I would love to get one of each...always wanted a bolt, my LMT has the ability to change barrels, so I can get a 6.8SPC barrel on there if I wanted. It can do .204 Ruger as well. Haven't read much about that round.

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