Keep the Rifle & Deck It Out or Sell It?

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by McPatrickClan, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. McPatrickClan

    McPatrickClan Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    I am brand new to rifle hunting. I have bowhunted for three years (was not so good at it :rolleyes:) but decided once I entered seminary full-time that I just would not have time to bowhunt anytime soon. With the practice involved, etc. I just knew with three kids and a wonderful wife, something would have to go & it was the bow. I sold it easily (nice Diamond bow) and ended up buying a Savage 111 from the used rack at Bass Pro Shops.

    I chose the rifle after researching rifle cartridges. I found that the .308 was readily available throughout the U.S. and it seemed to be a nice blend of power & speed.

    I have shot the rifle about four times, only at the range. There are limited public hunting opportunities in Texas for centerfire rifles, though they can be had if you are willing to drive. Plus, I work at a church in town and a few kind members are willing to let me take hogs, cull bucks, etc. once in a while at their leases/hunting ranches.

    I decided that I want my 111 (manufactured in 1994- I researched it via a Savage website) to be more fun to shoot. I can hang in there for about two dozen shots but get kind of bored and feel like I am being sloppy after that. I know it will never be a .22 but I figure a few aftermarket upgrades will help me stay focused on the target without flinching.

    I called Stockade Gun Stocks and spoke to Kevin. He quoted me a total of about $650 for all the upgrades I think I need. They would be:

    1) New Rollover Thumbhole Stock- $375 (painted, finished)
    2) Stock bedding- $125
    3) New trigger- $125

    Plus shipping costs, unexpected costs, etc. I am figuring about $650.

    I have about 300 rounds of .308 ammo, some bulk battlepacks, some match grade, etc. I bought a ton of what I could before the unfortunate election of the gentleman from Chicago.

    So I have plenty of ammo (soon to be brass, for reloading), I basically have a barreled action from Savage, albeit built in 1994. I have a Nikon BDC scope that is virtually brand new as well. I want to use the rifle from occasional medium-size game hunting (deer, hogs, etc.), fun shooting and of course, a means of survival if things go downhill in our fine state of Texas. gun)

    Is there anything wrong with using the barreled action from this rifle? Should I attempt to sell it and start over or is this a good platform to begin from?
  2. KQguy

    KQguy Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    I started out with a Savage 110 300WM,then I had Kevin go completely through it,new stock,bedding,rechamber to 7mmWSM,new benchmark barrel,new trigger,time & true the action,bigger recoil lug,tactical bolt handle.Now this thing is one accurate longrange hammer.If I could turn back time,I would have just had Kevin build me this same rifle from the beginning,but when I originally bought the rifle,I had no intentions of doing anything to it.It's amazing sometimes how much things change,once you get started in this game.I would just do what you can afford for now,and keep your options open.BTW,Kevin is a great smith.

  3. jmason

    jmason Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2008
    Keep the Rifle

    I think your off to a great start. I didn't start long ago myself. Be warned though it's addictive :D and will easily be more time consuming than the bow was. Just wait till you start loading your own! I'd keep the rifle and shoot it for a while. Then, if it maintains your interest, you'll have a much better idea of what you really want than you do right now.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
  4. A/C Guy

    A/C Guy Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Wrong solution for a common problem.


    It is very unlikely that a thumbhole stock will help with your flinching problem. Thumbhole stocks are designed for shooting off a bench; when was the last time you saw a bench set up to hunt deer or hogs? The trigger upgrade will also not only NOT help with flinching, it will actually make you a worse shooter because you are already flinching, part of flinching involves jerking the trigger and a very light trigger will NOT teach you to squeeze properly. A light target trigger will teach you to jab because it really doesn't require any squeeze to release it. Ironically, heavy, harsh triggers actually teach proper trigger control better than light target triggers. The key to proper trigger release is steady pressure (increasing the pressure gradually) and not knowing when it will release. Then there is the follow through of the trigger pull, which a light aftermarket trigger will not help in that area either.

    Invest in more trigger time. If you are serious about improving, take that $600 and buy a used 22 and a few thousand rounds of .22 ammo and practice, practice, practice.

    The second best advice for you is:

    Attend an Appleseed event and they will teach you proper trigger control, sight picture, how to shoot like a man standing on your back legs, how to shoot siting, kneeling, prone and most importantly, proper use of a sling. All for about $40 for 1 day (Sat.) or $70 for 2 days (Sat & Sun)
  5. Coldzero

    Coldzero Active Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Sounds like your of to a great start a good stock and trigger make a world of difference. But, if i can offer some advice, the flinching may need some help. Try snap caps, A-Zoom make some great snap caps for practicing dry firing. Watch your target through the scope and look for movement, don't let your eyes close while firing (and of course controlling breathing cycle).

    A great drill you can try at the range is letting a friend load snap caps for a while then every now and then load a live round (so as you will not know which one is loaded). This will prevent having a conditioned response to recoil/noise.


  6. AJ Peacock

    AJ Peacock Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2005
    +1 Coldzero,

    Also, use double ear protection. Use inside ear plugs AND muffs. In my experience, the sound is as likely to cause flinching as the recoil (maybe more).

  7. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    If you are handy with wood gouging tools and not afraid to mess things up somewhat then you can get a laminated thumbhole stock from Joel Russo and finish inletting, bed it, shape it to fit your hand, and finish coat it for about half of what you are going to pay someone else to do. What you are paying for is quality of workmanship and if you are not afraid of your own poor quality workmanship then you can save some money and learn some things at the same time.