Classic Bolt Action Rifles.... what is your vote?

caiati

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I've long been a fan of the weather warrior, custom, tactical, long range and new technology on a rifle. Not too terribly long ago I remember when 99% of hunting rifles had wood stocks and shiny blued barrels. As I look through my safe, I realize that I'm missing a good old classic bolt action hunting rifle. I have a few lever actions and a pump or two but no classic "pretty" bolt gun. It all started in the mid 90's when my Dad helped me buy a Ruger All-Weather M77 MKII chambered in 30-06. I was 15 and proud to be carrying around this new aged rifle that everyone talked about. I saved all my money for almost a year to get it and ever since then it's been one rifle after the other buy, sell, trade, upgrade etc....

If you were to pick one bolt action rifle to represent fine craftsmanship in the United States what would it be? Remington 700 BDL? Winchester 70 Featherweight Supergrade? Browning A-Bolt, Springfield M1903? Which others? What would be your vote? I'm on a mission to fill this void and I want to choose wisely as it's a rifle that will likely be taken for walks on field edges, big timber and hopefully get a kill with every year. Let's see what ideas are out there...
 

CMP70306

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My vote would be either a Pre-War or Transitional Winchester Model 70 in either 30-06 or 270. They were the highest quality Model 70s produced and those two calibers are pretty much the definition of All American. If you are looking for an expanded cartridge selection or style choices the rest of the Pre-64 rifles are all fantastic options as well.

I have a standard grade made in December 1941 and it has become my go to hunting rifle. The rear bridge was tapped for a scope prior to my owning it and it took a bit to track down a mount to fit it. The funny thing is it was exactly what I wanted though I didn’t know I was even looking. It’s been my go to hunting rifle for the last 4 years and in this past season I used it to take the biggest buck I’ve ever seen in the woods.
 

caiati

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That is awesome! I remember as a kid I’d see the model 70’s in the woods and I loved the way they looked especially with the classic red buttpad. I really liked the featherweight model which is post 64. Is anything post 64 actually garbage or is it just a preference? I know it was pushfeed after 64 but I wasn’t too educated on the model 70’s as I’ve been in the Rem700 based actions most of my life.
 

AZ Wildcat

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That is awesome! I remember as a kid I’d see the model 70’s in the woods and I loved the way they looked especially with the classic red buttpad. I really liked the featherweight model which is post 64. Is anything post 64 actually garbage or is it just a preference? I know it was pushfeed after 64 but I wasn’t too educated on the model 70’s as I’ve been in the Rem700 based actions most of my life.
Lots of great post-64 M70s, particularly in I’d say mid 80s to early 2000s or so? Some of those push feeds shoot very well. If you’re looking for a pre-64 action they produced some excellent versions in their Classic line. I’ve read some very good things about current production M70s as well...I’ve had two, one of which (a Sporter in .270) is an absolute tack driver. The other was an Ultimate Shadow SS in 270 wsm that I never could get to shoot very well.

I love the Model 70s and IMO with a wood stock they look exactly as I picture the classic American hunting rifle. Plenty of good M70 options out there.
 

CMP70306

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There are Pre-64 Featherweights as well though they command a premium. The post 64 was created mainly to save costs so the first couple years were not great as they had many cheap cost cutting features. They weren’t bad rifles and in some ways had some improvements over the Pre-64 however that combined with the fact they were eliminating the CRF design that made the rifle famous hurt their reputation to a point that it never really recovered. After that they came to their senses and refined the rifle fixing many of the mistakes they had made. I would prefer a post 64 over the Rem 700 due to the three position safety but I love and only buy CRF rifles so I don’t own either.

Another option would be to look at the modern versions of the Model 70, FN took over the company and brought the Model 70 back to its former glory in 2008. The new Model 70s are high quality firearms rivaling the best pre-64s. Plus your in luck as they have added several different Featherweight options in the past year or two. I have a super grade in 300 WM that I bought as my first Long range rifle, with handloads I could get it sub 1/2 MOA when I did my part. Pro tip, 230 Bergers at 2750 rock you pretty good in a sporter weight rifle.
 

caiati

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Thank you. I was wondering what year the model 70 came back to gain respect. I am thinking about a stainless featherweight chambered in 270.
 

just country

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morning, my dad received a Rem. 722 in 300savage
in 1955. my dad gave the rifle to me. today
this same rifle is a 22-250AI hart barrel SS #6
contour 28" long, timmey varmint trigger, H&S varmint stock
glassed stock, and accuracized action. just build
by Pete Phiefer Heapstead, TX. warne steel
bases and rings, Bushnell long scope. the
action and workings all cerkoted. justme gbot tum
 

Lefty223

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Vintage - Savage model 99 with a peep sight

Classic - Win model 70 Featherweight ... when alone in the woods with nary a sound at all and no game to observe, one can always look down and admire the nicely shaped wood, reddish tone finish, schnable forend and classic fleur de lis checkering of the MOST gorgeous rifle to ever grace this earth ...

Non-US - Brno 7x57 Mauser with double-set triggers, made at the height of their resurgence to satisfy hunters in the post-war era, delicate in features and ideal balance - a joy to behold!
 

J E Custom

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Mine would have to be the 700 rem, the 788 Rem, the Model 7 Rem and the mark 5 Weatherby actions because of there response to accurizing (They always get better after blue printing and are very dependable.

When you talk about classics, The Mauser has to be mentioned also. At one time almost all custom rifles sported a Mauser action. like everything else It is mostly individual preference and function. Control feeds are better in some uses and push feeds are better in others.

It's like the Chevy versus ford Debate, There is "NO" best one just a favorite one.

J E CUSTOM
 

caiati

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This is all great! Keep it coming. I’m glad all the classics haven’t been forgotten about.
 

bearhtr2

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Pre-64 Winchester model 70 with great wood or one made in the 90's when they used the pre-64 style action again and good walnut wood. One of those with a 26" barrel.

Next would be a Weatherby Mark V Deluxe made in the 60's from Germany. Probably a 300 wby or 270 wby mag with 26" barrel as those are higher sought after. You will find many with 24" barrels but keep looking for the 26" version.
 

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