Looking for the "right" rifle.

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by Taternater, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. Taternater

    Taternater Member

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    For about a year now I have hunted with a shotgun, mainly turkey, and I have gotten a few deer with the slug barrel that came with my mossberg. Now I have started looking around for a more long range rifle. I have had a few friends tell me to buy a 30-06 and others tell me a 7mm. I know generaly about rifles and want to get into hunting with a rifle more. I only have about $15000 to spend and want a gun that I can use for a long time and get a deer about 450 to 500 yards away with some ease. I would use it in brush and also field, but Im still not shure what to do. Any adivce will be great.
     
  2. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome!
    I'm assuming that you mean that you only have $1500 to spend on Rifle scope combo and I will focus on factory rifles rather than costom. You can have a custom built for 1500 easily, but I'll let someone more knowedgeabe fill you in there.

    There are litterally hundreds of options. If you intend to be limited to 500 yards and want to use it in the brush and field then you will want a sporter weight rifle or a mountain rifle. You will not want to lug a Sendero through the thickets. Many will steer you towards a Savage, but not me. I am a Tikka T3 fan because the shoot straight and they are inexpensive. Other options would include a Remington 700, Howa 1500, Win 70, Browning Abolt. Sako are excellent, but getting out of your price range.

    Do you reload?? If you don't than you will want to stick to something that is fairly common so you can get rounds for it. 260, 270, 280, 308, 3006, 7mm rem, 300 WM.... the list goes on. Shot placement is key, so you can take deer sized game at long range even with a 243, but I favor a little more power. I shoot a 300wsm and I can see now that I could have gone with a little smaller round, but I like the added knockdown. If you will hunt in brush most of the time, then stick to the heavier rounds from 3006 and up. My next build for long range deer is going to be a plain old 260 rem.

    The thing is it is always a give and take. If you want a really flat shooting rifle that will give you a little more leeway in your range estimation you will pay for it in barrel life, cost of bullets and recoil. Don't let anyone tell you to get a big mag so you don't have to aim much higher to tag one at 500 yards. Even a 270 AM will drop some at 500 yards. Get a rifle you feel comfortable shooting and won't wreck your shoulder ;)
    Spend money on you glass!!! minimum of 400 dollars in my opinion and if you can afford it, and plan on dialing your shots at great distance, you will want to look at spending more.
    good luck and fill us in on more information of you prefferences.
     

  3. Taternater

    Taternater Member

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    Well today I went to my local gun shop, which has a decent sized selection, and the guy there recemonded a 308 remington 700 sps varmit. I was thinking if I bought it I could always put a differnt stock like an h s stock later, mainly because I'm a college student and dont have that much money to spend except what I make over the summer. The main question I have is would that be a good choice, or would I be better just trying to build my own rifle?
     
  4. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    i'm one of those guys that's gonna recommend a Savage or Remington. i was out shooting my Rem700 this morning, yeah it's a 30-06. for a one gun that'll do it all, i just don't think you can do better. i've hunted many a day in thick woods on foot all day as well as open terrain. i've shot a groundhog at 4 ft and a deer at 550 yards, a doz moose and everything in between. with a 22" barrel and a 4-12 vx2 that's been on it since Moby Dick was a minnow. it's light, compact, and if i do my part i can shoot between 3-6" at 500 yards with it. in my opinion, out to 500 yards, it's like a sore dick. you can't beat it!
     
  5. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    I guess I think that you should know what you are doing if you are going to build a rifle. So I would get a factory rifle first and maybe in a few years you could build one. However, If you buy a stevens (savage) rifle, a Shilan barrel, a better stock better trigger and take it to a gunsmith to put together you could easily get by under $1,100. A 308 is an excellent rifle to practice long range shooting with because it will last several thousand rounds. If you are going to cary the rifle through the thickets, you will be dissapointed in the varmint rifle cuz it will get heavy and it is long. That is why I suggested the sporter weight rifle, but that is just personal prefference. THe SPS trigger leaves something to be desired, it's stock isn't freefloated, but it is a good rifle for the buck. An HS stock isn't very cheap and I think the Sendero has one already. I am a big believer in free floated barrels, so I steared away from the SPS when I picked a 22-250 varmit rifle. I went with the Savage, but I wish I would have paid another 150 for the Tikka.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  6. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    i would agree, don't get a varmint style rifle. the sporter weight is the way to go. a 308 would be hard to argue against. there are quite a few used guns for sale at different places. for a guy starting out in college that would be a very cost effective alternative.
     
  7. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    One thing to keep in mind is that the heavy barrel will give you some advantages: more shots in a row before the rifle heats up, heavier for a more stable LONG RANGE platform, and the extra 4" of barrel length will give you a little more speed. HOWEVER, you are looking for a rifle that will hunt big game so you should only need a couple shots at a time, your stated limit is about 500 yards so a sporter barrel will be very sufficient for that, and the extra length will grab a lot of extra brush when you are going through the woods. Accuracy kills, speed misses faster. I am a HUGE believer in a good trigger, and one thing to note is that the SPS doesn't have a standard adjustable 700 trigger. You will need to get a BDL, ADL or a Mountain rifle 700 for that. When buying a used rifle, the 308 will last for upwards of 7000 rounds provided the thing wasn't abused, whereas a 300 mag will only last about 1/3 or less than that due to the increased powder burnt each shot eroading and heating up the barrel. Think of it as a comparison between the amount of powder burnt compared to the size hole it has to push it out. Same sized cases in different calibers like the 22-243, 243, 260, 7-08, and 308 will have a progressively longer life span as you get a bigger diameter. Performace also decreases as you do this. As I said before, it is always a compromise. Point being, if you are buying a used rifle, a 308 is probably one of the best cals to get since it will last so long. If someone was trying to sell you a used 22-243 with "only" 500 rounds down the tube, you can just plan on rebarreling in after you sight it in lol!
     
  8. Taternater

    Taternater Member

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    After looking through some rifles, I found a few that I would probaly pick from. Either a remingotn 770 sporter 308, a browning BAR short track 308 semi-auto (although with the chances of jaming mabey a an A or X bolt 308 rifle). Im just a fan of those brands, but I would like something with a good trigger. THe Weight dosent bother me to much because Im used to my shotgun, but accuracy is very important to me, espically at 500 to mabey even 600 yards.
     
  9. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    I would look at the Rem 700 sporter, the Bar is a good rifle, but almost all serious long range shooters will use a bolt rifle unless they are going to use an expensive automatic. The standard 700 trigger is adjustable by a smith for about 35 dollars down to 2-3 pounds. They usually come factory at about 6-9 pounds. Not familiar w/ browning triggers.
     
  10. KRP

    KRP Well-Known Member

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    If you are buying a Remington I would buy a 700, not a 710/715/770. In the <$300 class of rifles I would buy a Stevens 200 not a 710/715/770.
     
  11. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, I just looked at the site, and I thought you said 770 meaning a 700. THERE IS NO COMPARISON between the cheap remingtons and the classic 700!!! No offense to anyone out there who is shooting the 710 or any of the upgrades (two of my family members do, but they aren't into accuracy like me;) ) but they are not upgradeable and are designed to be fairly good out of the box Cheap rifles. Go with a savage 110, Tikka T3, Browning Abolt, Win 70, Rem 700, if you want a decent rifle for the money.
     
  12. Taternater

    Taternater Member

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    Well now it looks like I have narrowed it down to either a remington 700, sps or varmint, or a browning x bolt composite stalker. (i couldnt find a 308 in an a bolt). I think Im leaning more towards the browning.
     
  13. Buzzsaw

    Buzzsaw Well-Known Member

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    Either one

    Both are great rifles. I prefer the Remington, great trigger but the Brownings are great too both very accurate for factory guns. 308 is a wonderfull cartridge. Very accurate and fairly inexpensive to shoot.

    What we haven't discussed is your optics. Please don't skimp here!! Get the best you can afford. In my opinion, in the $600 range would be Leupold or Nikon. You will get what you pay for.
     
  14. grit

    grit Well-Known Member

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    I think you should take another look at the Tikka. A few folks mentioned them. Doesn't sound like you've seen one. They offer a couple of advantages over similarly priced Rem 700. First and foremost is the stock. The Tikka stock is rigid and will not flex. Just grab the barrell and forend in your hand and squeeze. The synthetic stocks on other brands flex easily. First this puts pressure on the action. Next, you'll get some muzzle jump, occasional barrell contact and fliers from the flimsy stocks. Tikka realy shines here. The Tika also has a great adjustable trigger. Finally the Tikas come with a 1moa accuracy guarantee. This is before you bed the action and tune the trigger! These rifles shoot! I'm not knocking the rem 700. But, Tikka is the new kid on the block. And they are offering a lot for the money to get your business.

    If you want to go with a rem, savage, or browning, I suggest looking at models with a laminated stock, or one of the serious synthetics like HS. An aftermarket stock will run 250-450. Better to spend an extra 150 up front and not have to replace it. Another great rifle is the CZ 550. These are exceptionally accurate and they come with a set trigger. Use the regular trigger for still hunting and the set trigger for long range. These triggers are also easily adjusted. I have one in 243. It is the most accurate factory rig I own.

    The xbolt looks great. I haven't handled one in synthetic. So, don't know if it's a good stock or not.