Looking for a varmint/deer rifle

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by BlackAndChrome, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. BlackAndChrome

    BlackAndChrome Member

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    Alright so I just got back from a 2 day trip to Western Kansas where we spent some time blasting some prairie dogs, that was a great deal of fun. The only problem was that every previous notion I had about getting a long range rifle came back and I feel my wallet opening up like a P dog hit by a JHP round. This was the first time that we actually used my dads 22-250 (M77 MKII Target with Bushnell Legend 5-15 X40) and the success was mild, I couldn't seem to hit much out to 400 yards like my friend holding a M700 .204 with an old 3-9x40 tasco. I'm sure the JHP rounds weren't much help compared to the .204 with V-Max bullets but they were the cheapest and that's why we bough them. On the bright side I now have plenty of brass to reload if I can get my grandpa to let me actually use his reloading equipment instead of going over with that intent and watching him for 3 hours.

    If I can scrounge up enough money after accounting for student loans then I'll be looking to get myself a long range gun around Christmas time. I've spent hours now going over the possible calibers and models to put it in and came up with the conclusion that just asking would get me better answers then more hours of reading in the wrong direction.

    I read the article on budget long range rifles and that's what I'm basing part of this on. My budget for the gun itself is about $500-$600

    I'm looking for a cartridge that is great for varmint and target shooting out to around 600 yards, with relatively low recoil, long barrel life, and low heat. I also do a fair bit of deer hunting which requires a bullet sized over .23" here in Kansas. Although frankly I'm not that concerned about it, wouldn't phase me to shoot a deer with that 22-250. Right now I use a light barreled 7mm RM and that things been kicking my ass since I was twelve so I definitely don't want to go High Powered. I'd like a cartridge that is easy to find and cheap to reload so that I don't have to break the bank when shooting.

    For the actual gun IDEALLY I would in the end like a thumb-hole synthetic stock, heavy fluted barrel, in stainless finish. So the gun I am looking for has to be good when purchased but easily upgradeable to something great. Although when your on a budget you rarely ever get what you want. Neither weight nor size is any large concern.

    Frankly I'm not really sure what to look for. I was looking at the Stevens 200 for the budget option but that doesn't really have any of my preferred characteristics and even after changing the barrel to a stainless bull it would still have a blued receiver. Not to mention after adding the barrel, accutrigger, and thumb hole stock it would hardly be the same rifle.

    My other option is to have a friend who happens to be a gun dealer get me a good used model, assuming I can give him a list of guns to look for he can find me a good used gun or even a gun with a bad barrel so that the money saved could be used toward a new improved barrel. So what's the thought on used guns? If it's a good idea what's a good gun to pick up used for around $500?

    Thanks for the help.

    -B&C
     
  2. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    look at the weatherby vanguard (made by howa) in .243, or .308. $399.00 retail price, great trigger (fully adjustable) not to bad of a stock, and the 4 I've played with are GREAT shooters.
     

  3. BlackAndChrome

    BlackAndChrome Member

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    Well that's kinda the same deal as the Stevens except it has the accuracy guarantee. What options are there in that price range that come in stainless? Not too concerned about the thumbhole as that can be changed should I get a heavier barrel. Or perhaps someone can recommend a gun I can look for used?
     
  4. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Howa 1500 varmint, in thumbhole fiberglass stock with stainless heavy barrel in 243. Handled a nice on yesterday.

    about $600-675 in most places new.

    BH
     
  5. BlackAndChrome

    BlackAndChrome Member

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    Oh I like the looks of that! Just what I was looking for. How's that manufacture reputation amongst long range shooters? And what's the thought on used guns, since that would bring it closer to my budget and leave a little more budget for a good scope.

    Thanks for the help,
    -B&C
     
  6. liltank

    liltank Well-Known Member

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    BH is right up my alley. I automatically thought of the Howa varminter. I can tell you that you won't be disappointed in that rifle. It is based on a Mauser action. It is a very strong action, and with a little tweaking to the factory trigger, you can hold one hole groups without a problem. My dad bought a sporter action in 25-06 and had it fitted to a nice piece of wood. The action got bedded and the trigger worked on. I found a load using IMR4831 and 120grn SGK BTHP cutting one hole groups. That would be an awesome platform to start on. You can also get it in a .308 which you could give you big lead for dear and load with 110 V-max for 600yrds and less varminting. The 243 would be a good way to go though for what you are asking.

    Tank
     
  7. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    if you reload you could load your 7mm down a bit. use 139 btsp or 120 baltip for deer. load them to 3000 fps deadly on deer very little recoil.then you could get a 204 or 22-250 for var mints
     
  8. BlackAndChrome

    BlackAndChrome Member

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    Yeah but my 7mm is not accurate at all, my relatives reloads, my anticipation of the recoil, or a combination of both could be to blame. It's a light barreled 70s to 80s rifle that has been has seen plenty of use. I need to go shoot some more paper and try again but I just can't seem to zero it in to a kill zone past 50 yards. The last deer I shot it with was at around 30 yards. Bullet entered behind the left shoulder and hit the inside of the right shoulder on the way out, left an exit holea little smaller than a softball and almost completely detached the right leg. That's almost a little too effective....
     
  9. 300R

    300R Well-Known Member

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    Go for the howa have heard plenty of good things about them, seems a lot of people now making after market parts for them if you decide to trick it up down the track, someone mentioned they are a mauser style action but they are actually closer to a rem style receiver with a flatter base and integral lug,one piece bolt and m16 style extractor.Good luck with your purchase.
     
  10. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    Band C- my soninlaw won the first 1000 yard match with a 7mm( of mine with my reloads) he participated in. he had never shot a centerfire before in his life. my remington 700 adl shoots .6-.7. it is quite light and kicks more than i like. my sendero has a kreiger barrel and shoots way less. however , i have shot more .243 rounds than all others put together. i have killed more with it than all the others put together. and i won my first 1000 yard match with a .243 with 12 twist barrel. get the .243 heavy barrel and a enjoy. roninflag
     
  11. trebark

    trebark Well-Known Member

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    Don't leave out the Remington 700.

    You can pick up a Rem700 Varminter in 308 for $479 at Dick's. This rifle would meet virtually all your criteria. It's within your budget (with room to spare), it has a 26" heavy varmint barrel (.820 at the muzzle), the 308 gives long barrel life (3000+ rounds), 308 ammo is readily available in a multitude of factory offerings and reloading gear is easy to get. Also you can shoot varmints with a 308 as far as you can see (well past your perameter of 600 yards) and it's an effective deer cartridge.

    I've done it....

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f53/my-308-1k-rifle-evolution-continues-43510/

    As you will see at the end of the thread for my 308, it became a 260....

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f53/my-260-mcr-59628/

    Also, my nephew's rifle, although not a varmint weight rifle, is a great example of the types of things you should/could do with a factory rifle in order to maximize the accuracy potential...

    http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f53/nephews-transformed-rifle-53634/
     
  12. roninflag

    roninflag Well-Known Member

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    Tree barke-it is no secret i am a remington/sako fan. the sps varmint comes in .243 and a lot of other calibers too
     
  13. zupatun

    zupatun Well-Known Member

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    I picked up a 308 Howa (same as the Vanguard) for $250. I hated the stock and put a $212 B&C Medalist on it.

    BTW I was considering a Savage 300wsm thumbhole at the time from a pawn shop for $350...could have gone either way, but I wanted to stay with .308 because I already reload for .308.

    Lots of good prices on 308 brass, factory and surplus rounds so you get good bang for your buck (literally).

    Matt
     
  14. BlackAndChrome

    BlackAndChrome Member

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    Talked to a guy at Cabela's and had him do a special lookup. He called me back and told me that he couldn't get the Howa 1500 from any of his suppliers... I'd assume it was more of an issue with the stainless/thumbhole, wouldn't think the standard 1500 would be that hard to find.

    -B&C