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which rifle to buy?


Big_D

Question

I am going to buy a new rifle this year and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what to buy. Under 800 bucks.

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Big D

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Hands down. Get a Tika made by Sako. Same trigger action and components as Sako but less expensive. Beautiful stock and shoots 1 inch groupings out of the box. I looked at 10 different guns and they didn't compare to the Tika. I got the 30-o6 Whitetail Hunter model from Capra's for $600. It was also selected as best gun for 2002 by Jim Carmichael of Outdoor life.

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Mille Lacs Guide Service
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If anyone is in the market for a good inexpensive gun, I recommend Howa. I got the .308 with the standard wood stock for only $400 and I am very pleased. Al's Guns in Hugo ordered it for me and gave me a hell of a deal as the msrp is 500 i believe. Very consistently accurate gun.

[This message has been edited by jwilli7122 (edited 03-23-2003).]

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I agree the Tikka rifles are hard to beat. We have a few at our RMEF banquet every year.

If you want a LOT of bang for the buck, look at the Savage 110 and 111 rifles. I have a 111 in .338 Win mag that shoots every bit as good as higher priced rifles.

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REMINGTON 700, ADL or BDL. Plain or fancy.
The 700 has the best trigger from a
factory rifle I have ever seen, and I
have quite a few rifles in my safe!!!

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Browning A-bolts. Lots of different models with a good price range. You shouldn't have any trouble finding one for under $800.

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Grip it and Rip it

IFFWALLEYES

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If you look around you can find some Weatherbys for under $800. I bought my last for right around that price it was discounted $300-400 because it had been shot. Looked brand new, but someone returned after not being able to handle the 7 Mag.

I'd also suggest 7 mm Mag for a great all around caliper.

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I went through the same thing you are going through, but my price range wasn't that high. I wanted to stay in the $500 ball park.

I bought a CZ 550 Lux in .30-06. Really great rifle with all the extras for much less money because it is made in the Czech Republic.

It has a 2-stage safety, in the off position nothing operates, in the first stage the bolt can be worked but the trigger can not, and in the final stage everything works. It also has a set trigger on it, you can either set it or not, very nice feature to have, but you should never set it unless you have committed to taking a shot.

This rifle comes with iron sights and sling hardware already, no need to go out and buy anything. In fact the guy I bought mine from through in a sling too.

This year I added a Bushnell Elite 4200 scope, I think I bought the 1.5x6. The one thing I will tell you about now is that there are only a few people making scope rings for these rifles. Scope rings cost me almost $100 with shipping, but once you look at the rifle and the scope ring construction you will understand why! The rings mount to the gun in pre-machined slots and there is a notch in the rear ring, so once you have it sighted in, you can easily remove it to clean underneath the scope without fear of needing to resight it.

All in all I think the rilfe cost me around $425, +$100 for scope rings and + $350 for the scope total bill ~$875 complete package.

I forgot to mention, they fire every single rifle that comes out of the factory and provide you with a target that shows how accurate your gun shoots. Not to bash any other gun makers, but not many take the time to fire every single rifle!

This gun has many nice features and if you want more information about them send me an e-mail and I will pass along the information I have, website and the place I purchased mine for the best price.

[email protected]

[This message has been edited by Grabs (edited 03-24-2003).]

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The new Savage is really well made. The improvements to the trigger are revolutionary. Check them out.
And Winchester has really gotten off the pot and remade their rifles to great standards. The Supershadow is amazing!

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What are you going to use the rifle for? You have some good suggestions here, but if we don't know your quarry and hunting method, we are left with age-old question of trying to find the perfect all-around gun.
Are you large or slight of stature? Do lots of shooting or just a couple of rounds per year? How big of an issue is recoil for you?
Lots of good rifles out there - and most of them have their fans - for instance I am partial to Remington bolts, but wouldn't trade off my .300 Savage lever, which sees some service every couple of years.

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Pete:

Your question really goes to what caliber to shoot, not which model rifle to choose.

I also loved my Model 99 Savage in .300 Savage caliber (brass cartridge counter, full buckhorn open sights). And with its internal hammer, it was a great saddle gun for the scabbard in the Rockies.
[This message has been edited by stfcatfish (edited 03-24-2003).]

[This message has been edited by stfcatfish (edited 03-24-2003).]

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Pete I will mostly be using the gun for deer hunting and probably not shooting it that often. Im not really sure yet.

The recoil thing isnt that big of a deal since I am shall we say not slight of stature. smile.gif But I do not want a shoulder cannon like a 30-06 even though I am big enough to handle it. I do not really do alot of shooting a year since I really have never had anyone to take me hunting. But now that I am able to drive I can go with friends.

Has anyone tried the Browning A bolt WSM? I heard that they are good deer guns.

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Big D

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In bolt action rifles, I'm particularly partial to Mauser style claw extractor actions. Many modern bolt action rifles use a much smaller extractor. I remember trying to shake out a cartridge that the extractor failed to grab, as the deer was still looking at me. (that rifle was a Remington 700). In my opinion, it's hard to go wrong with a Ruger.

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OK then, if you're not looking at an .06, try its little brother, the .308. Great deer cartridge, one of the best ever, especially with the heavier of the two bullet weights (can't remember if it's the 170 or 180 grain).

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I'd also suggest the .308. If a .30-06 is too big, I'd have to think any of the WSMs would be too big also. Those are real fast cartridges. You can never go wrong with a .308 or .30-06. If you hunt thick woods and most of your shots are within 100 yards or so, you also might consider the .44 mag. Minimal recoil, and the increased bullet diameter is a good thing for close range.

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I bought a .270 which is a very nice caliber too. Shoots great with about 20% less recoil than an 06. Enjoy your time looking and look at EVERYTHING.

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The last few years I have hunted with a .280 Remington and love it. It is an all around good gun and might be worth it for you to look into that.

Ely lake expert

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jwilli7122 its not the recoil that I am worried about. Like I said I am not shall we say small. I can handle almost anything. I was wondering if the WSM are good deer rifles. I have really been considering buying one.

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Big D

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How about hunting style? Stand hunting, spot n stalk, drives?
Lots of guys opt for the bolt action guns because it is commonly accepted that bolts are inherently more accurate. However, not all bolts, autos, pumps and levers are created equal, and in my experience acceptable groups can be achieved in most rifles (with the exception of an older Browning semi-auto in 30-06 which I finally gave up on - it just plain sprayed rounds all over the paper without rhyme or reason).
One rifle that really surprised me was a Remington pump in 30-06 - looked like it had been through a tornado and then run over by a tractor, but the darn thing shot consistent sub-MOA groups.
I would suggest hitting a few gun shops and handling several types, pick up the brochures, and then picking one based on what feels best in your hands and up against your shoulder.
Calibers? .308, .270, .280 are all nice choices. While the -06 and 7mm are both in my cabinet, they see little use - more oomph than I usually want or need. The .44 is OK, but the range is limited - think of it as a specialty gun for the guy who likes to do his hunting up close and personal. I don't know as I would consider the magnums, even the new short mags, for a primary deer gun.
Spending adequate time sighting the gun in, finding out what brand of ammo it prefers, and what it can really do (as opposed to the ballistics tables - which are usually wrong) are every bit as important as initial selection. Knowing your guns capability and also your own "comfort zone" for making shots will put you in the upper echelon of deer hunters. Ask the average guy what kind of bullet drop he has at 250 yards and most likely he'll have no clue. Don't be that guy.
I write distance, conditions, ammo type on my siting in targets. Save 'em. Try to shoot at least to 200 yards - 300 is better, even if you never need it in real life. If you haven't done a bit of it, ask around at a local gun club and see if you can find someone to spend a few minutes while you're getting started.

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sure, the WSMs are fine deer rounds. But in my opinion, for deer, within 250 yards, there isn't anything a 300 wsm can do that a .30-06 or .308 can't do. same goes for the .270 wsm and .270. Now, if you hunt elk, or if you see a lot of long shots and are good enough to hit something past 300 yards, maybe a WSM is for you. Remember that the ammo goes about $45 a box.

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I have over 30 long guns in my cabinet right now but my favorite rifle is the Parker Hale in the 7mm. This gun fits me like a glove and I am very familiar with the gun. I feel that is very important. Now U say you find the 7mm may be too much of a kick, well, I hand load and download it to almost the same balistics as the 270 when I go deer huntin. This way I can use my Nosler Partion 150s for deer then when I am after elk or moose I put it back up the full 7mm stats and use 180 Grand Slams. If you get into hand loading you will be able to stay with one gun for most game.

There are so many opinions on the right cal and that is a good thing, especially for the gun makers.

I personally would want the gun to be a bolt with a clip.
Right now in Canada with our new crazy gun laws there so many guys getting out of guns that there are some very good buys and one can never have too many guns.

Good luck.

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I'm not much of a ballistics expert but I purchased a Ruger M77 30.06 two years ago and absolutely love it. The reason I went with the Ruger.06 was an article I read in a sporting mag (I think it was Jim Zumbo in OutdoorLife?)it was in his opinion the best all around rifle. The author used his Ruger .06 to hunt big game in Africa,Alaska,and the lower 48-big enough to kill about anything but small enough to work for whitetails. Bolt actions are very accurate,easy to repair and less likely to malfunction. I think the police snipers used to use 30.06's as well. The nice thing about an 30.06 is that you can pick up ammo in just about any gas station or hardware store nationwide and it won't cost an arm and a leg for a box of bullets. I put a Leupold vari-XII 3X9 scope on it, had the barrel glassed and bedded and had the trigger pull set down a few pounds. I am very happy with my purchase and grand total it cost about $750. Good luck on your search and happy hunting!
redhooks

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wow redhooks, sounds like you got one hell of a deal. a glass bedded m77 with a trigger job and a leupold for only $750? Nice work. Sounds like a real nice setup.

[This message has been edited by jwilli7122 (edited 03-26-2003).]

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Big D

Before you consider a Remington, do a search about the ongoing trigger problems. Most of the riflesmith/gunsmith goups are loaded with discussions about inadvertant discharges with unaltered Remingtons discharging when the safty is released. Aparently the trigger group is not easily cleaned, and gunk in the trigger will disrupt the connector funtion. There have been deaths and lawsuits aobut this trigger. I would not own a gun with the factory Remington trigger. The market is full of safe replacement triggers if you want a Remington.

For Bolt guns, I think the Tikka, the Howa and the CZ are fine and all represent good value. The Savage is the best out of the box shooter, is well built, but usually considered ugly. The Ruger and Winchester are ok if you get a good one, but quality is variable. Many have just plain poor workmanship.

Roger

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Big D
I have a Browing A-Bolt medallion in 300 WSM. It is a very nice gun. If I were you i would buy one of the new short mags. I think the 30-06 is an outdated caliber. I do still own one too. The 30-06 factory rounds are not what they could be, because of liability reasons with all of the old rifles out there. The price of the shells is not $45. You can get standard winchester 180grains for $20. Federal Premiums are around $25-$30 so the shells are not too high. I my self will probably never buy another standard caliber rifle. The short mags are the ticket in my mind. I also have a Ruger M77 Mark II stainless composite in .260 Remington. I would not purchase this caliber again, but the Ruger is a great gun. The action is a little bit sloppier that the Browning. The price is only around $425-$450 for the Ruger compared to $650 for the Browning. I have a Remington model 7 in 6mm, I am not too fond of the Remington rifles myself. To round out my rifles I have a Savage 110 .243, And a Winchester 670A 30-06. If I were to rank them the Browing would be #1 and the Ruger #2. All of my rifles have Swift scopes on them. Nothing like a lifetime over the county warranty.
Brian

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Big D
I have a Browing A-Bolt medallion in 300 WSM. It is a very nice gun. If I were you i would buy one of the new short mags. I think the 30-06 is an outdated caliber. I do still own one too. The 30-06 factory rounds are not what they could be, because of liability reasons with all of the old rifles out there. The price of the shells is not $45. You can get standard winchester 180grains for $20. Federal Premiums are around $25-$30 so the shells are not too high. I my self will probably never buy another standard caliber rifle. The short mags are the ticket in my mind. I also have a Ruger M77 Mark II stainless composite in .260 Remington. I would not purchase this caliber again, but the Ruger is a great gun. The action is a little bit sloppier that the Browning. The price is only around $425-$450 for the Ruger compared to $650 for the Browning. I have a Remington model 7 in 6mm, I am not too fond of the Remington rifles myself. To round out my rifles I have a Savage 110 .243, And a Winchester 670A 30-06. If I were to rank them the Browing would be #1 and the Ruger #2. All of my rifles have Swift scopes on them. Nothing like a lifetime over the county warranty.
Brian

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SXViper do you like the Savage? I was looking at Savage also because they are about 225 dollers cheaper than the Browning and they also come in the WSM.

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Big D

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Big_D -

I LOVE my Savage 111. Granted, it is not the most attractive gun in my collection, but it is one of the most accurate. I don't worry about dinging it up when hunting like I would my Ruger #1.

The bolt was not glassy smooth at first, but a little clean up and it was fine. Savage give you a dang fine rifle for a very reasonable price.

I spent some time trying different powders and bullets, and I now get sub-MOA groups off of a bench rest. Not bad for a .338 Win mag.

I would buy another Savage in a heartbeat.

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Big D

One thing I do when deciding which gun to buy is fit. I close my eyes, mount the gun and aim it, then open my eyes. If the sights are in line, its a good fit. If the sights are pointing at the floor it means you will have to think harder about getting sights aligned. When that big buck trots by your stand you are more likely to make a clean harvest with a good fitting gun. You can also go to a gunsmith to redo the stock. Most guns are made for the mythical average human. Have fun shopping!

lakevet

p.s.take a kid hunting (or gun shopping)

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