Best factory rifle?

Jon Bischof

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Oct 25, 2002
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854
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Paragould, AR
Sauer
Oh wow, I missed the 2 replies above the Bergara question. I was eying a Sauer 100 in 7 Rem Mag. I see you were shooting factory ammo in that target, which is totally amazing.

I have heard the M18 and S100 were very similar, but thought there may have been some mechanical differences in the 2 other than the stock. I have heard a few gripes about the M18, but never a quibble about the Sauer. Maybe it was all just about the stock or that the stock sometimes makes a little difference in the overall accuracy. I am going on a foggy memory and 2nd hand info right now, though.

I first started drooling over the 101 and M12 iterations. Got hold of the 101 brand new, but handled as a display and the bolt was slightly tarnished. I got my gunsmith to Cerakote the bolt and the bottom metal plate the Titanium color, which made it look amazing. I got that rifle for $795 out the door on auction. Chambered in .300 Win Mag, it is one you have to hold on to when you touch it off. I believe it to be under 7 pounds, though I've never put it on scales. I keep hoping to find a 101 replacement stock in the beaitiful wood grain, but no such luck, I'm afraid. I have only toyed with it so far, but know that it shoots the 130gr Barnes TTSX and Hammer Hunter 124 grain bullets (very light for caliber, yes.). I made both somewhat reduced and full power loads, and it shoots all of them around 1/2 MOA. I have a wealth of 150 - 180gr bullets on hand to try, and want to get back on the range with it. That stock is very tacky and every piece of lint, fuzz, and dog hair sticks to it permanently. The coating will scratch off leaving a very plain piece of hard plastic underneath, but it needs to be removed from the action to properly do and refinish, and honestly, I haven't had the nerve to try to break it loose and risk messing up the way it's torqued into the aluminum block. Ugly and tacky I can work with. Inaccurate, I cannot. Stock aside, it is one of the great steals I've found all time. That was half price. The M12 is equally stunning, and these 2 may only be eclipsed by the Steyr CL-II. That's a slightly higher price point, however. That one is on the bucket list. I've owned a Steyr before, and it was a tack driver for sure, even if the stock was ugly. Lol!

Oh, and I think I should spend a bit of my wife's money very soon! My birthday is coming up and she works and can afford it!🤣
A Sauer 101 for $795! I wouldn't change that "ugly stock" at all and just call this half MOA shooter your cheap rifle or maybe call her "Superfreak"!
 

.300 Dakota

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Jul 21, 2018
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Moss Point, MS
Sauer

A Sauer 101 for $795! I wouldn't change that "ugly stock" at all and just call this half MOA shooter your cheap rifle or maybe call her "Superfreak"!
That's about what I've decided. I'm sure it will do better with appropriate weight bullets and some better glass. The trigger is what impresses me besides the accuracy and handling ability. It breaks cleanly right on 2 lbs.

I wasn't looking for a rifle at the time, and certainly not a lightweight in .300 Win Mag, but just the fact that it was an unfired Sauer 101 for that price was too much to pass up.
 

Jon Bischof

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Oct 25, 2002
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854
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Paragould, AR
Easy to carry, 1/2 MOA and plenty of power with big bullets. That's what many on LRH are looking for. Bet most never considered a Sauer. Don't know why not. They beat everything else I have tried even my longtime favorite custom model 70. Guess that is why I have 2 Sauer 100's and a Mauser now. I am keeping 1 Tikka, a T1x, my son likes to squirrel hunt with it.
 
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.300 Dakota

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Moss Point, MS
I’ve heard good things from those who have things to say about he sauer. I do t have one of them because of twist rate and caliber selection.
The 1:11 in .30 cal seems to be a European standard to some degree. I reckon you could run up to 200 grains or very close. Maybe more at altitude.
 

cquist

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Nov 4, 2015
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A couple of years ago I bought a Cooper Model 52 in 300 WM. I was saving for a LR gun and walked into Sportsmans and they had it on clearance for $1900. My first Cooper was about 5 years ago used for $1100. I also bought a Model 52 in 30-06. They shoot lights out. May be more than you want to spend, but they are phenominal. I could not ask for a better rifle and I love them.
 

Buckys

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Nov 13, 2018
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Allen, Tejas
I plan on “building” a rifle, and by building I mean upgrading What I deem necessary whether that be barrel (I hope not), stock, lugs, mercury tube, brake etc. caliber aside, in y’all’s opinion what is the best factory rifle under or at a 2k$ price point?

Given that spec, I would start with something that is compatible with the Remington 700 action. i.e., if you are going to swap parts as needed, that is the best place to start if you want plenty of DIY options for the novice gun smith (myself included). I have had a number of Rem700 and only one has not been a very, very good factory rifle.

My next choice would be a Howa/Vanguard or Tikka based platform.

My favorite do-it-all cartridges are the 280AI, 270WBY and 7RM. I'm glad that I had plenty of ammo for the first two in 2020, though (I have more for the 7RM than the other two, but it has been easier to find that ammo since 2020 than the other two). If those concerns were not in play, I'd pick the 280AI since the vast majority of my hunting is deer sized and smaller ... and at appropriate ranges, it is plenty for elk as well.

Finally, it still seems much easier to find 270 components than 7mm components. A 270WSM is hard to beat. No beef with the 6.8Western but Winchester and Browning are not the platforms I would start with if I wanted to custom a factory build as you stated.
 

WYO300RUM

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Mar 23, 2011
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Wyoming
It's a pity you can't get an excellent quality scope like those in their price range anymore. No guarantees on anything now south of $2k+. Hit or miss otherwise. You sacrifice either optical quality or mechanical quality for just about anything less. All the major makers are outsourcing to China and CONSISTENT quality is suffering. Even Zeiss and US Optics. Leupold still made here, but there are enough reports of mechanical issues to prevent assurance on one other than the Mark 5 - 8 models. Then most all the really good ones in that upper price echelon weight around 2 pounds or more, which defeat the purpose of a pack or prairie rifle that will be carried long distances. Japanese and European made scopes are still good, just super expensive and mostly heavy. You could buy an excellent quality and reliable scope for $350 and up to $1000 until a few years ago. You can still get one, but your odds of getting a dud and lower quality optics go way up. I didn't understand why guys spent $3k and $4k+ on a scope, but now after searching for one, I see why. If you have the funds, it's the safe bet. The last really good/affordable scopes that Bushnell made were the Elite 3200s, 4200s, and 6500s, which is where the wheels started coming off on quality. Nikons had excellent offerings in the old UCC Monarchs and the newer Monarch 7s, and the best was the Monarch Gold 30mm. You could get a S&B for around $1300 - $1400 on the extreme end, and ALL the Zeiss and Swarovski offerings were top quality and priced well under $2k. Some around or just under $1k. The Sightron Big Sky models in the SIII line were once plentiful and started out around $400 before going way over $1k, and becoming only available in huge and bulky models that fell in price and usability. Vortex has excellent warranties, but most of the glass is "meh". Even the highest end models have lower ratings than comparably priced scopes. Lower end Leicas, NFs, Swarovski Z3s, Zeiss V4s, and Vortex Razor LHTs are probably not as good/dependable as old Leupolds, Burris Signatures (original model, NOT new ones!), and the models I mentioned above being very good. There are examples of really good scopes for fairly reasonable prices today, and MOST of the ones made would hold up for awhile, but far more have issues today than in years past. SWFA has some good models, but plenty of them have low ratings because many duds get through QA. For a lightweight scope that I could see in low light with for under $1500, I'd have to roll the dice with a Leupold Firedot or a Zeiss Z3 or Z5 and hope it was mechanically sound and allowed me to see the crosshairs and my target in very low light. I don't think the Swarovskis have so many mechanical issues other than limited travel on some models, and good glass, but the crosshairs are pretty fine like the Leupold duplex. I won't have anything Chinese made or several low ratings on quality, customer service, or light transmission. Light weight is a must for me, and that leaves out most of the high end models. I hear March has some very good lighter weight than most scopes, but that's WAY out of my price range. Everybody sourced out to China or similar countries and cut corners on QA and parts quality. I'm sure the Chinese government has some of the best scopes in the world, but they aren't made with those exported, I'm sure. I like Trijicon, but most with decent power are too heavy. Same with Viper PST Gen II. If I'm missing something, somebody speak up. I'll probably shop estate sales and used inventory from when the Burris Signatures (original) and the Bushnell/Bausch & Lomb Elites predating the 6500s were made.
👍🏻 Right on the money .
 

Clem Bronkoski

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Jun 23, 2019
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Locust Gap, PA
My New Tikka superlite in 7mm-08 loves Eld-m 162 with 4166. I have 7”x14” railroad plates staked at 100yd spacing starting at 400 - 800 yards. No problem for the 800yd if I do my part. Here’s the paper work at 100yd[
ATTACH=full]373111[/ATTACH]
As much as I love my Tikka, this is a target shot at 200 yards with my Bergara B-14 HMR. Really ticked me off throwing that one out of the group. Not sure if it was me or the round.
1656462319892.png
 

Brent21

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Jan 29, 2019
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124
Location
Tennessee
As much as I love my Tikka, this is a target shot at 200 yards with my Bergara B-14 HMR. Really ticked me off throwing that one out of the group. Not sure if it was me or the round.
View attachment 375130
The Bergara may be a little heavy but they shoot very well. I have had two different both from the Premier series and both had smooth actions and tight groups. My son still loves his Tikka and I understand that as well. There are several factory rifles that I wouldn’t hesitate using.
 
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