Which Rifle is Best?

Which gun is best for deer, elk and moose?
-- D.A.

Field & Stream Online Editors

Q: My big game hunting has been limited to deer on the open prairies of southern Saskatchewan. I was supposed to go pronghorn hunting this year but the province canceled the season. The bulk of my hunting will be for deer, but I'd also like to try elk and moose hunting. What rifle is best for all the above animals? I like the 7mm Remington Magnum, but the ammo is too expensive. I've narrowed my choice to either a .270 or .30-06.--D.A.

A:Buy a .30-06, and use 165-grain bullets for your pronghorn and deer hunting. Many of the very best .30-06 ammo for elk and moose is also expensive, but Remington's 180-grain roundnose Core-Lokts are very affordable and work great at any range out to 250 yards. Make sure you buy the roundnose 180's; they're thicker-jacketed than the pointed soft-point Core-Lokts, so penetrate deeper on really big game.

** Q:** When you scope shoots to the left, what's the correct procedure to bring it back to the right?--P.G.

A: Almost all scopes have 2 adjustment turrets, one for left-right and one for up-down. The left-right turret should be on the right-hand side of the scope when you aim the rifle.

These turrets have screw-on caps, covering the adjustment dials. Remove the right-hand cap and look at the dial. It should be plainly marked L and R (for "left" and "right") with arrows pointing in the direction the dial should be turned. Sometimes these directions get worn off, but almost all scopes are designed to adjust to the right by turning the dial to the left. This may sound bass-ackward, but much of life doesn¿¿t make perfect sense.

Most dials have "click" adjustments, which can be felt or sometimes even heard when you turn the dial. Each "click" is (theoretically) equal to a certain amount of bullet movement at 100 yards. These days most scopes have 1/4" adjustments, so if your rifle's shooting 6" to the left at 100 yards, you need to turn the dial 24 clicks in the "R" direction.

Some scopes have friction adjustments, with no clicks. All I've encountered feature very plain hashmarks on each adjustment dial, indicating how far each mark adjusts the scope.

Shoot the rifle again after each adjustment, because sometimes the adjustments don't work exactly as designed. If you still can't get the rifle zeroed, take it to a gunsmith.