Another newbie looking for hunting rifle advise

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by azjim, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. azjim

    azjim Member

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    Hi everyone.
    I haven't hunted deer since parchute pants were popular.
    After taking my sons on junior hunts I've got the bug to start again. Being in AZ , there are times when a 400 yard shot might be all you have. I'd like some advise on a rifle. I'll start with a little of what I'm trying to accomplish.
    Budget - like to keep it under a grand ( not counting optics)
    Caliber- not sure , but I'm leaning toward 6.5 cm or .308
    Brand- no real preference, but Tikka looks nice and TC icon is interesting

    Some other factors
    I shoot lefty but have shot a lot of right hand bolt actions, not sure if that affects accuracy. Most sports, I play right handed anyway.

    I used to sight my 30.06 at 200 yds and felt comfortable hunting deer out to 300.

    I would like to advoid reloading ammo, I'm hoping to shoot factory " premium" ammo. I'm willing to learn and invest in equipment if it's required.

    Technique- I've started reading up on basic technique and will spend time at the range working on my part. With that being said, to be honest Im hoping to not be at the range every weekend. ( no offense intended to those who are)

    In short, I guess I'm looking for the " shooting 500 yards for dummies" version.

    Thx in advance. Jim
     
  2. pburton

    pburton Well-Known Member

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    This is just my opinion, but, I think a Tikka would be a great rifle for you. I have a couple of them and they all have shot really well. Savage also makes some accurate out of the box rifles well within your price range. I don't have any experience with the TC bolt rifles. If you are only planning on hunting deer out to 500 yards, .308 would be a great caliber. Easy to find decent factory ammo and light recoiling. If you wanted to go 6.5 there are a lot of good options also. .260 rem, 6.5x55, or 6.5x284 that all have factory ammo relatively easy to find. The one thing for sure is that what ever rifle and caliber you decide on you need to take the time at the range to get comfortable with it. Shooting 500 yards sound really easy but I see over half the people at my range that cannot shoot that far with accuracy consistently. Good luck in your search.
     

  3. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    For what you want to do I'd say it's the best single choice.
     
  4. Dosh

    Dosh Well-Known Member

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    Jim, welcome from Goodyear, Az. +1 what Fear No Wind says and hand loads are much more accurate. Most longrange shooters load their own. Good luck
     
  5. azjim

    azjim Member

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    As always, thanks for taking time to respond. I'm going to hit a couple of shops today and see what's available.
     
  6. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Jim,

    Welcome to LRH and enjoy!

    Check out the Savage 12 LRP in 6.5 CM ... this shooter is hitting targets out to 1300 yards ...

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYOTKrYhvZA"]Long Range Shooting 600 - 1300 yards Savage 6.5 Creedmoor & Custom 7mm 300 Win Mag - YouTube[/ame]

    Good luck!

    Ed
     
  7. Unofficial Gun Addict (UGA)

    Unofficial Gun Addict (UGA) Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to LRH! I lean heavily towards the tikkas, owning 4 of them. I also own 4 savages, 1 Winchester mod 70, a browning abolt, and a Remington 700. All of them are shooters, except my most recent savage which will be going back to the manufacturer because after feedng it every kind of factory ammo, the best of it still barely gets under 2 moa.

    The tikkas have one of the smooths bolts around, are reliable, and guaranteed to shoot 1 moa out of the box. I've found this to be the case, and all my tikkas handle factory ammo very well.

    If you don't mind a little extra weight, I really like the semi heavy barreled guns. I just picked up a 308 t3 tactical and it's a joy, but it'll run more than your limit unless you find one at a great price.

    So... If I was in your shoes, I'd go with the tikka ctr. It's a tack driver, falls into your price point, already setup with a 10 round mag, threaded, smooth bolt, semi heavy barrel, widened fore grip, picatinny rail on top, & cheek rest. It's a lot of gun for the money... Think they are running around $850.

    If I was just starting out again... It'd be a tikka in 308 for sure... Easy to get factory ammo for the 308, tons of variety from military to match, and if you decide to reload at some point, a lot of bullet choices and brass is everywhere. And then it'd either be the t3 tactical, or t3 ctr.

    Or.. If you can find a good price on a sako L61R, it's hard to go wrong with one of those.

    Lots of good choices out there and I'm sure you'll find something you enjoy. Just get ahold of as many guns as you can and something is going to feel good to you!

    Happy hunting and welcome back!
     
  8. JOHNNIE WALKER

    JOHNNIE WALKER Well-Known Member

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    I'm personally a huge Savage fan. If you go with a Savage or a Rem 700 your gun can be easily modified or worked on if needed. It might surprise you how accurate factory ammo can be. If you go with a real common caliber like the 308 or 30/06 you can find really nice factory ammo that shoots amazing. I really like the 6.5mm calibers but they are limited on factory ammo. The 30s and some of the 7mm rounds are a little easier to find. Reloading is the best way to go, but not nessasarily required. One of my Savages shoots one hole groups with Winchester Supreme ammo.
     
  9. azjim

    azjim Member

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    Thanks for sharing your experience with Tikka and Savage rifles. The CTR is a very nice rifle that I wasn't even aware of. Too bad they aren't more available. The 260 rem is more than enough to hunt AZ deer. Ammo is harder to find, but it sure has the range and low recoil I want.
    Seems like the more I research calibers and brands, the more indecisive I become. Kinda like being hungry and having to many good menu choices.
     
  10. Jluck

    Jluck Well-Known Member

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  11. ntg

    ntg Well-Known Member

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    I think you've got some pretty good advice. IMO I'd stick with 308, 270, or maybe 7mm-08 for ease of buying factory ammo. A 260 isn't much different than a 7-08, and it's harder to find factory ammo for it. A 308 will loose speed faster than a 260 or 7-08(comparable bullet weights), but it won't matter at all inside of 400 yards honestly. There's nothing wrong with a 308. The 6.5CM is hard to find factory ammo around here as is the 6.5x284.

    I'd also look at the no nonsense 270win. Many factory 270 rounds can be dialed in to have approx. 300 yard zero. That is pretty good, really, especially for what you've stated for your desires, hunting location/shots. I like the fairly simple ballistic drop reticles (burris ballisticplex, or the leupold LR duplex, for example) in a hunting rifle that you don't plan to use over 600. My 270, handload, with the burris ballistic plex, is sighted in at 250, and hits the bottom post at ~630 yards. It works well for me.
     
  12. JOHNNIE WALKER

    JOHNNIE WALKER Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly how you feel and find it very interesting that you are considering the 260. A couple years back I was in a similar situation. I wanted a very versatile rifle, varmints to deer, low recoil, 20"-24" barrel, very effective out to 500yds or so, not to heavy but not a light weight rifle. I also wanted something that could be customized easily. I spent about a year talking myself in and out of calibers and rifles. I was dead set on the 308 because of how common it is. But I couldn't stop reading about the 6.5mm bullets. The problem was I knew ammo would be hard to find. I argued with myself for about three months over the 6.5X284 and the 260. I narrowed down the rifle I wanted to the Savage model 10 Predator Hunter Max 1. And then chose the 260. Easy on the shoulder, and hard on the targets. Factory ammo sucked, but a set of dies fixed that problem. I love the set up. It's now my go to rifle. I've done a few little things to it, just to make it more comfortable. But it shoots awesome. If you do go with the 260 I really recommend that you reload. It's a very easy round to reload for, and really opens up the possibilities for the round.
     
  13. 7magcreedmoor

    7magcreedmoor Well-Known Member

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    On the left/right question, the hand isn't the issue, it is the eye that is important. To check your eye dominance, use this simple test. Extend your arms, and form a small triangle with your two hands to use as a peep-sight. Look at an object, and slowly bring your hands back to your face. Your hands will end up with the opening in front of your dominant eye. If you are right-eye dominant, life will be easier (or at least cheaper) since bolt action rifles are easier to find in right-hand configuration. Standard popular calibers such as 308 are going to be more plentiful in your price range, and will serve your purpose pretty well. The higher BCs you can get in 6.5s mean less windage under the same conditions, but within 500 yards you shouldn't feel too limited. The main thing is to practice shooting from the practical field positions, getting away from the bench. Don't waste time on groups after zeroing the rig, just go for first-shot hits on kill-zone sized targets, like gallon milk jugs (cheap and practical). When you can bust that jug the first time, 9 out of 10 attempts at your maximum intended distance, go hunting. (10 for 10 would be better, of course, but you said you don't want to live at the range).
     
  14. azjim

    azjim Member

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    Thx 6.5
    I'm left eye dominate for sure. I will practice hitting targets from more realistic hunting positions, it just makes sense to me.