SCI Life Member and retired Marine Crops Gunnery Sergeant Louis K. has 60 plus years of using some type of rifle for hunting or in the Marine Corps. His personal favorites are the more traditional calibers.
For small game and varmints, the Gunnery Sergeant uses a .22 Long Rifle, .22 Magnum or a .243 Win. When the game is deer, elk or smaller bears he ups the caliber to the classic .30-’06, and for big bear or dangerous game, it’s a .375 H&H or a .458 Lott.
“All of my rifles have synthetic stocks and relatively low power scopes. Although I have used the 5.56mm, 7.62mm and .50 calibers extensively in the Marine Corps (and since we are talking hunting), I am more in favor of the availability of ammunition in rural areas, bullet types plus terminal ballistics on game.”
As for his shots, the gunnery sergeant generally tries to avoid long-range shots beyond 150 yards.
SCI Member Harry D. started out with an Interarms 7mm Rem. Mag. with a Weaver scope that served him well for many years. When the scope went bad, he tried buying cheap glass until it cost him a shot at a large buck–then he upgraded to a Nikon Monarch scope that he still uses today. As for the rifle, the barrel needed replacing, so he bought a new Remington Model 700, also in 7mm Rem. Mag. That is his main rifle and he’s used it in Canada on black bear, Spain on red stag, mouflon sheep and fallow deer, Africa on everything from Sharpe grysbok to Livingston eland, though he would not recommend it for eland.
Today, the Interarms is rebarrelled in .338 Win. Mag. Harry’s other rifles he uses regularly are: Remington Model 700 in 7mm-08 with a Ziess Conquest scope; Ruger M77 in .458 Win. Mag. with a Trijicon scope; Remington pump in .30-‘06 with a Burris scope; and a Ruger M77 Target rifle in .25-‘06 with a Simmons scope.
This fall he’s planning on getting an AR-15 chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor, but is not sure of the scope yet.