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red ice

Rifle advice

24 posts in this topic

Looking to buy myself a new rifle. I am going to start heading out west once in a while for deer. Also, I plan on starting to apply for a big horn sheep license. So, looking for a rifle that will be used for big game. Been looking around and found a couple. But, don't know a whole lot about big rifles and am wondering what other folks out there recommend. Was at Scheels in St. Cloud today and liked both the Remington 700 and the WInchester Model 70. Haven't decided on the caliber yet either. In the Winchester they had a nice .300 WSM that would do the job. In the Remington, they would be able to get a 7mm or a .300 Ultra Mad. (I'm left-handed so they don't always have all the models in stock for me.) Anyway, any advice or opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks!

RED

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All of which you mentioned above are good choices. Personally, .30 rifles are what I would lean towards if you are planning to hunt bigger game out west. If you plan to hunt in high elevations, you might want to look at a lighter rifle such as the Winchester model 70 feather weight if it comes in larger calibers. Trade off will be the felt recoil but if you can "shoulder" it, that would be a great choice. I would also take a look at Tikka rifles which are very accurate and very reasonable on the budget. If you want a higher end gun with accuracy and great factory loads, Weatherby is a fantastic gun to take afield. Don't forget about Browning, with the Boss system, you can get a light gun with a muzzle break to reduce the felt recoil. Trade off is it will blast your ear drums out so be sure to account for that. Too many choices to list. I am sure others will chime in as well. Good look!

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Don't forget the venerable 30 .06 or the flat shooting .270. If your only going to have one gun I would go with A bolt action.

If your planning on putting a scope on it don't cheap out, it should cost near what the gun does.

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 Originally Posted By: kazabalzich
Don't forget the venerable 30 .06 or the flat shooting .270. If your only going to have one gun I would go with A bolt action.

If your planning on putting a scope on it don't cheap out, it should cost near what the gun does.

Agreed, except the 30-06 is a lunker. I would go for a 270 WSM. More power and much flatter & farther shooting. There may be better than this, but I don't know of them. The Winchester 70 looks very nice. My gun of choice is the Weatherby, but I have one and am biased.

I went about half way on a scope and I'm happy with it, but I still wish I spent more around $4-500 on it instead of $250.

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For 1000 replies, you'll get 1000 opinions. Any caliber you mentioned will do the job. If ammo cost is a factor, check out the prices. Main focus of your rifle should be becoming acquainted with it. Most calibers will outperform their shooters capabilities. Practice, practice, and then practice some more. The longer you go without practice, the less proficient you will become. A proficient shooter with a .223 will outdoo a nonproficeint shooter with a larger caliber. All in all being a proficient shooter will assure you of success! Good luck in finding the perfect rifle for you, Brent

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Good post!

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I would second the recommendation of a Tikka. They area gaurunteed 1" at 100 yards out of the box with factory ammo. How can you beat that? Plus, they pretty inexpesive.

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I bought a Browning A-bolt two years ago and love it. I have the same issue with you being left handed and finding the "right" gun. I was waiting for the Tikka to come out left handed, now its available. Browning's are more $'s than Tikkas.

I put a Nikon 3-9x Monarch on mine, its a nice combo. Cal is .30-06.

Another issue for us lefty's is the availability of wood vs synthetic. Browning has certain calibers that are only available in each, Tikka's I think have a wide range for both types of stocks. Savage is another rifle I would consider, and they have a lot of choices for calibers and different stock types. Plus that new accu-trigger is sweet...

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One more reccomendation for the Tikka T3. 4 years ago, I bought one synthetic/stainless in a 270 WSM and love it. I have shot elk, antelope, muleys, and whitetail. Great rifle, and excellent caliber.

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A Tikka T3 stainless lite will be around for several lifetimes at least.

Craig

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Don't overlook savage, quality gun cheaper price in most cases. Then you can spend more on quality optics. I like the burris line personally. Just a little less clarity than a leupold but cheaper price.

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I make sure the rifle is comfortable for me when I bring it up to my shoulder, how easy the safety is to operated when you are looking down the barrel, and how smooth the action is. I also only buy guns that have removable clips. (I have a Tikka M595, T3 Lite, and Browning A-bolt).

Nikon Monarch, Leupold VX III, Zeis Conquest, and Burris Signature or Fulfield II are all great midrange scopes.

Also make sure you get a good sling. I like the neoprene Butler Creek ones, easy on the shoulders and absorb some of the weight of the rifle. I've heard good things about the Claw slings, too.

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Make sure you buy one you are comfortable with as far as the weight, length, how the safety operates, ect. If you are used to one type, you may be asking for trouble if you buy something that works differently. The caliber is pretty simple, buy whatever floats your boat as long as it is big enough to do the job, and you can handle the recoil. There are alot of good rifles out there. I happen to be a Remington/Leupold guy, but to each his own.

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If you are looking for a rifle that is better at sheep and deer than elk but will still do in big muledeer at typical mountain ranges consider the Weatherby Ultralight in .257 weatherby mag. This rifle is light has a weatherproof synthetic stock and despite being light has very little recoil. This caliber is available in a lefthanded version. If you are serious about going after sheep you may find yourself trying to shoot and cling to the side of some slippery mountainside at the same time. This is not the time to be shooting a heavy kicking 30 cal. mag. Sheep are not that hard to kill and calibers such as the 7mm mauser .260 remington and 25.06 are as potent as you need.

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I shoot a weatherby 25.06 and have taken down big deer and bear with it. Very good calibre for short or long range.

I saw a 257 WBY syn. last year at cabelas for under $400 new. I almost bought it, just for the good price and it being weather resistant.

The wood looks very nice, but if I was going to buy another gun now, it would be a synthetic with a stainless barrel. They have come a long ways with their looks.

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Also, a buddy of mine bought a Savage last season. Very nice looking gun and a great price!

Browning may be very good, but I couldn't buy one just for the way they look. JMO

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Man, I sure love you Weatherby boys! Anyway, great posts all and very solid advice. I agree, lots of opinions will be shared and all most likely with be from personal experience and will be good. That is the benefit of looking and posting on Fishing Minnesota and Hot Spot Outdoors! Great place to seek advice and get prompt and solid information. Now, if you are on a budget, I agree with the above posters, please take a look at Savage. Man have they come a long ways in the last couple of years. Their trigger systems are great and their accuracy is right up there with the higher end guns. Save money on the rifle and splurge on the optics....that is a great choice! Good luck!

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Just wanted to say thanks to everyone so far for sharing their opinions and experience. Haven't made a decision yet, but have a few more ideas now. There's quite a few options out there that would fall in my budget ($1000 or less on the rifle and $5-600 on the scope). Still leaning toward a .30 cal. Whether it would be a WSM, ultra mag, or weatherby. As far as a rifle I am making a few phone calls to see what places have on hand so I can get a feel for them. Thats the part that kinda sucks. Stores don't usually have many left-handed guns on hand. Also, manufactures don't always offer all the calibers in left-hand. I do understand why though. We left-handed shooters are the minority. Has anybody had any experience or seen the new Remington 700 XCR's?

Thanks again!

RED

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I shoot a Winchester Mod. 70 in 300WSM and love it. Shot the deer in my avitar with it. VX III scope to top it off.

I also own a Browning A Bolt in a smaller caliber and think it is a great gun. To the guy who doesn't like the way this this gun looks. What are ya, nuts? grin.gif I bought it because it is so pretty. That's important you know. \:D

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I go to Montana and do some deer hunting and I bought myself a 270 WSM Browning A Bolt Micro hunter and topped it off with a Burris 4.5 x 14 Short Mag scope. I wanted, on a working mans budget, the lightest rifle I could find in wood and I've become a fan of Burris scopes. In my own opinion I don't think that there's a bad rifle out there for hunting. I'd be surprised that with the right ammo and practice that MOST guns will shoot 1 MOA with some doing better then that. I also believe that ALL 1 MOA guns don't have chance at shooting that unless the shooter spends time using the rifle. Buy what you like first and not what someone else talks you into getting. I had my step dad talk me into buying his 7mm BAR and I hated it. It was a HUGE CLUB and felt like it to carry it around. I just know that walking up and down coulies that it's a lot easier to do with light equipment.

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A lot of caliber options. 30.06 gives you the widest range of loads - 55gr. to 220gr. But like they said, "Buy any caliber you want, as long as it is large enough for the job."

I shoot a 30.06 Browning A-Bolt, but I bought my wife a .243 A-Bolt and it is a dream to shoot. If you are just hunting deer, it is large enough, shoots flat, and has little recoil.

Best scope for the money: Leupold VX-1 2x7 or 3x9 about $200.

The best advice would be to shoot as many different rifles as you can before deciding - ask friends and hunting buddies to go to the range and try their rifles.

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Last January I bought myself a Remmington Model 700 with a 3x9 Pine Ridge Scope in .270 caliber. It is an awesome. Last november i took a deer at 200+ yards free standing, and put the lead where it needed to go. That was right out of the box. The 700 also comes in a 7mm. I seriously contemplated going with the 7mm, but relized i would probably never hunt anything larger than a whitetail. Both sounded like very good guns, but i would personally recommend the .270.

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Red ice, any pref as to wood or synth? blued or stainless?

I just have to be a little different so I'm going to suggest 300 win mag in one of the following rifles:

Win M70(classic sporter or if you can find one in 300, a FWT)

Rem 700(I like the CDL)

Ruger M77 (blued & walnut in either of the standard MK series or Hawkeye)

Sav 114 (I like the classic American, they cleaned the barrel nut up this year, looks very nice & they also moved the bolt release to the front of the trigger guard.)

Of the above mentioned the Rem & the Sav have clips, the Win & Ruger have drop plates. I feel the M70 & 700 are tied for the nicest action catagory with the Ruger & sav tieing for second place in the action catagory.

Out of box accuracy & best out of box trigger goes to Savage.

Now I'm not saying you couldn't get one of the others to match accuracy with the savage but if you bought a hundred of each of these rifles & tested them all for accuracy the savage would show you the most consistantly accurate batch of rifles.

With either of them I'd float the barrel & glass bed for further shooting consistancy from season to season.

And, I'd put on good bases/rings & a good scope. You don't have to get fancy with the scope, there is a reason the 3-9 40 mm is the most popular offering in hunting scopes, it's because time has tested the [PoorWordUsage] out of it & it just plain works.

Leupold, Burris, Nikon, spend bare minimum 200-225, they only get better from there.

I like one piece base/ring sets like talley offers, "ded nutz" offers an interesting one piece base/rings.

If you go 2 piece with the bases rings, match steel to steel or aluminum to aluminum. I don't so much like seeing heavy steel rings on aluminum bases.

Good luck, have fun, tons of options.

Dave

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I got a Remington 700, 7mm, and I absolutly love it.

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