Only One Rifle
Only One Rifle

Only One Rifle

Jack Ellis with his first buck. Taken with Remington's 62 grain Core Lokt Ultra Bonded load.
Jack Ellis with his first buck. Taken with Remington’s 62 grain Core Lokt Ultra Bonded load.

Choosing one rifle cartridge might seem to be a difficult decision. The key to making the choice easy is to remove all emotional attachment to the cartridges you love to shoot, roll between your fingers and pontificate about. I really enjoy the .30 Remington AR, like the .250 Savage and it seems I cannot live without a .35 something. Truth is, these cartridges are fringe cartridges. Yes, they are great but ammo is hard to come by.

Here are some rules to keep it simple:

If you can only have one cartridge, you don’t want one you have to handload for.

You’d want one for which ammo is easy to come by.

You want a cartridge anyone in your family or that you might be with can shoot well.

You want a cartridge that could do as much of what you might ask a rifle cartridge to do for the rest of your life.

For me the choice comes down to two cartridges; the .22 LR or the .223 Remington.

As much sense as the .22 LR makes its has two main detractors; it cannot be handloaded and it will not work very well for large game. The .223 Remington on the other hand can be handloaded; will work for large game and it also meets all the criteria listed above.

Remington’s 62 grain Core Lokt Ultra Bonded load makes the .223 Remington a true big game cartridge.

For me the only remaining question would be which rifle? If it was just one rifle it would have to be an AR which could be used by shooters of most any size for every thing from hunting to personal protection.

50 years ago the choice would have probably been a lever action .30-30 but times have changed and America’s new multi-purpose rifle is the AR and the new multi-purpose cartridge – thanks to new ammunition like Remington’s 62 grain Core Lokt Ultra Bonded – is the .223 Remington.

What would be your choice?


[poll id=”18″]


  1. Jim Dodd

    I have used the .308 Win all over, including two African safaris (of five). Rem M700 is well-supported in the aftermarket, and flocks of custom gunsmiths support them…

    jim dodd

  2. Craig

    I am doing this based off of the ammo, because all of these guns are good/great. The .30-06 if probably the most versatile round every made, because you can shoot 100 to 220 grain bullets. People have taken a .30-06 to Africa and successfully hunted everything you can hunt there. You can hand load or buy light loads so anyone can shoot it. It is easy to find ammo for it. It is the only ammo listed that I would not hesitate to take on any hunt for any kind of game in North America. the .35 Whelen can do it too, but if there is only one box of ammo on the store shelf, it is more likely to be .30-06. .308 Win and 7.62 Nato a close second. If we don’t keep our congressional representatives straight, the M-14 could be banned everywhere. It has already been banned is some states.

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  4. Dave

    I voted for the AR in .223, but I have to throw some love to the .308. Whether out of my M1A or my Ruger Gunsite Scout, it’s pretty darn versatile…and my 16-year old niece can handle it!