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TOTAL VANITY: Need Advice on Hunting Rifles

Posted on 01/06/2006 1:15:15 PM PST by Junior_G

I am trying to save up money for my first hunting rifle and I'm hoping to tap into the vast reserves of Freeper knowledge for some advice on what to go for. I am going to get my hunter's certification this year and am looking forward to my first deer hunt, as well as hours upon hours of shooting at the range. I currently own a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun and a 9mm Glock, but am absolutely clueless about which rifles offer the best accuracy and value (or whatever qualities it is in a rifle that I should be looking for). Any suggestions?


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: banglist; help
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To: kx9088

A good friend of mine bought one of those 338's....it was the first rifle that allowed me to shoot a quarter-size group at 100 yds. (3 shots)

The rifle is far better than me. In my book, anything over 100 yards is a case for artillery.


151 posted on 01/06/2006 4:32:18 PM PST by Loud Mime (Build the Border Wall - Enforce the Law)
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To: Junior_G

Be a snob like me and spend the money on a Weatherby Accumark, a grand without the scope.


152 posted on 01/06/2006 4:33:54 PM PST by junta (It's Jihad stupid! Or why should I tolerate those who hate me?)
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To: junta
I haven't seen any in a while but the local Wal-Marts used to sell an inexpensive Weatherby, made by Howa in Japan, and they were nice rifles. They were chambered for standard calibers instead of the Weatherby Magnums, (actually I think some were chambered for .300 Weatherby Magnum).

They had black synthetic stocks. I was in Panama City and saw one for only $250 on clearance. I was in a hurry and thought I would get back down there before too long. Never made it back.

153 posted on 01/06/2006 4:58:49 PM PST by yarddog
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To: Junior_G

Go and spend a day at a decent sized gun show. Talk to the locals about what they use for deer and elk. Then make your decision after holding 50 different rifles in your hands.


154 posted on 01/06/2006 5:40:28 PM PST by B4Ranch (No expiration date is on the Oath to protect America from all enemies, foreign and domestic.)
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To: kerryusama04
I'm not big on buying "first" stuff. Just buy what you want and only buy it once.

Wiser words were never written.

155 posted on 01/06/2006 5:45:49 PM PST by MistrX
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To: Loud Mime
"In my book, anything over 100 yards is a case for artillery."

You rang, Sir?

156 posted on 01/06/2006 5:47:52 PM PST by Redleg Duke (Kennedy and Kerry, the two Commissars of the Peoples' Republic of Massachusetts!)
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To: July 4th; Junior_G

the bolt is a bit different. (and a b***h to take apart)

Hahaha what a kidder!
It's easy to take apart, putting it back together.......
well, that's not hard either.
Considering also that you can get sixty rounds of match grade ammo for around 25 dollars, which you can then pull
the bullets and reload with SP or HP ones and still be
below the cost of commercial ammo.

The triggers on the K-31s are SWEET and you can get
scout mount scope mounts for them for around 60 bucks
an LER scope for 40 and you are good to go.

If you are over 18 years of age, you can apply for a
C&R license (curio and relic) from the BATF, it costs
thirty dollars and is good for 4 years. it allows you
to purchase C&R rifles , that is ones OVER fifty years
old or of a collectable nature (they have a list) DIRECTLY
from wholesale gun dealers AND THE UPS DELIVERS THEM DIRECT
TO YOUR DOOR!!!

Look it up on the net.
WWW.cruffler.com
or just type Curio and relic into google.
the forms are available from the ATF website.
you can also go to www.milsurpshooter.net to
learn everything you need to know to fill out the forms
and get started.
Battle rifles can be bought for under a hundred bucks,
sometimes as low as $39.95 or less.

One problem though, soon you'll need to buy a gunsafe,
they multiply in a dark closet.

Tet.


157 posted on 01/06/2006 5:55:21 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: tet68
it allows you to purchase C&R rifles , that is ones OVER fifty years old or of a collectable nature (they have a list) DIRECTLY from wholesale gun dealers AND THE UPS DELIVERS THEM DIRECT TO YOUR DOOR!!!

And there are some guns on the list that are surprisingly new! My Albanian SKS, for example, I believe was made in the 1970s. (and unfortunately is still covered in an inch of cosmoline because I haven't had time to clean it...)

One problem though, soon you'll need to buy a gunsafe, they multiply in a dark closet.

Or in my case, under two guest beds. When you can get a quality item for $100, it's dangerous to the wallet!
158 posted on 01/06/2006 6:18:47 PM PST by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: RightWhale
What is good for a 300 pound deer

That's one bad mo deer.

159 posted on 01/06/2006 6:28:23 PM PST by Lester Moore (The headwaters of the islamic river of death and hate are in Saudi Arabia.)
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To: Lx
Picked up this sweetheart in a private sale last year for two bills. Marlin 30-30 RC, circa 1962. I know what you mean about the Rifleman feeling!


160 posted on 01/06/2006 6:37:45 PM PST by IndyTiger
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To: dangerdoc

I had to read 33 responses before some one had the intelligence to ask, "Where are you hunting?".

Thanks.


161 posted on 01/06/2006 6:44:09 PM PST by ryan71
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To: Junior_G

Would say coastal, likely blacktail, eastern part of the state, muleys.


162 posted on 01/06/2006 8:12:00 PM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: lakeman
But for 300.00 you are looking at used maybe a Handy Rifle (single shot but accurate)made by New England Firearms would do the trick. You can always trade up later.

Man, I just bought one of these a week ago. Never guess what caliber .... Ok, maybe you could ;-) Anyhow, it was S&W 500 Magnum. $240 + tax.

I'm in love.

163 posted on 01/06/2006 8:33:55 PM PST by VeniVidiVici (What? Me worry?)
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To: VeniVidiVici
I bought one of the H&R single shot rifles way back when the .357 Maximum cartridge first came out, and before the original Harrington and Richardson went out of business. It was marked down because no one wanted it apparently. Of course it would also fire .357 mag and .38 special and .38 Long Colt.

I didn't really expect it to be accurate but it was in fact unusually good, probably capable of moa accuracy.

It was one of those which I really wish I didn't have to sell but was in grad school and needed the funds.

BTW that rimmed pistol cartridge was ideal for the short single shot rifle, and very powerful too.

164 posted on 01/06/2006 9:01:41 PM PST by yarddog
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To: yarddog

I like it well enough that I may pick up another in a different caliber.

Come to think of it there is a Gun Show at the Orlando Fairgrounds this weekend. Maybe I'll go take a peak.


165 posted on 01/06/2006 9:17:18 PM PST by VeniVidiVici (What? Me worry?)
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To: yarddog

I'm both a snob and a Made in America kind of guy so I'm sticking with my advice to buy one of the newer Weatherbys. Mine is in .308 and it is a beautiful piece of work that draws praise in any hunting camp that I'm in.


166 posted on 01/07/2006 4:25:34 AM PST by junta (It's Jihad stupid! Or why should I tolerate those who hate me?)
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To: VRing; MonroeDNA; FreedomForce
I am really upset at you people speaking so highly of the Savage. I have done my research...... now I have to break the news to Mrs. Lando that I "need" another rifle! ;)

Lando

167 posted on 01/07/2006 7:40:30 AM PST by Lando Lincoln (God bless Jared Linskens and his family.)
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To: junta
"I'm both a snob and a Made in America kind of guy so I'm sticking with my advice to buy one of the newer Weatherbys. "

At one the Weatherbys were made in Japan. Has that changed?

168 posted on 01/07/2006 7:52:44 AM PST by OldEagle (May you live long enough to hear the legends of your own adventures.)
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To: Junior_G

I'm too old to hunt any more, but I have a remmington 700
in 30-06 with a composit stock. It has a leapers 3x9x40 rubber armored scope. I'd sell it for $325. Good rifle.


169 posted on 01/07/2006 8:03:51 AM PST by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: MistrX
Unlike most things, I find that I really would like to make gun purchases more than once. A fact that purplexes and frustrates my wife.
170 posted on 01/07/2006 8:10:04 AM PST by dangerdoc (dangerdoc (not actually dangerous any more))
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To: Petronski
I recommend a metal rifle.

That shoot little lead thingys out one end. Real fast.

171 posted on 01/07/2006 8:12:26 AM PST by freedomlover (If you read this tag line, all your wildest dreams will come true.)
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To: Junior_G
There has been a fountain of information here for you to digest so far... Take your time and go thru the postings. Compile the information as to caliber - costs - brands - models. Once this information is ready, then go and do some "looking". While looking, do not hesitate to "shoulder" the rifle. See how it "fits". It must be easy to mount to the shoulder and not require a lot of "adjusting" before you are ready to shoot. Some shots in the field require quick response and you don't have a lot of time to "get ready" to shoot.

Major sporting goods stores in your area should offer good prices on a larger variety of firearms. Wal-Mart will offer lower prices on combination packages (gun-scope) but on fewer choices..

Wal-Mart, as mentioned, carries Winchester - Remington - Weatherby brands in standard calibers. .243-.270-30.06

Last purchase I made of centerfire rifle was a Winchester model 70 in .270 with a 3x9 scope for under $400.00 at a Wal-Mart. With my son behind the lens, it will drive tacks at 100 yds and at 200 yrds, you can cover the holes with a silver dollar. We do our deer hunting here in eastern Nebraska and most of our shots are somewhat open terrain of 100 to 200 yds.

IF you are going to go for elk or larger, then as recommended earlier, a 30.06 would be my suggested minimum.

Consider the terrain you will hunt. Will the shots be mostly "long" 100 yds plus, or short, under 100 yds? Under 100 yds and a lever action "brush gun" such as the 30-30 might be the best bet (with a scope). Over 100yrds, then a bolt action with a scope may be the better choice.

Way too much info.... sorry for running on.. Good hunting.

Remember practice - practice - practice.. You owe it to your quarry for a quick, clean kill...
172 posted on 01/07/2006 8:34:36 AM PST by UPcrawfish
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To: Lando Lincoln

"now I have to break the news to Mrs. Lando that I "need" another rifle! ;)"

Another plus for the Savage - they are so inexpensive that coming up with the funds to pay for one without one's wife finding out is a piece of cake!!


173 posted on 01/07/2006 8:46:13 AM PST by VRing ("That every man be armed")
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To: Junior_G
If you are a serious beginner, try Weatherby...

The scope will cost as much or more than the rifle...

174 posted on 01/07/2006 8:58:00 AM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: Junior_G
My favourite is the Lee-Enfield No4 Mk1 *

The No4 Mk1 is a simple, easy to maintain, robust and accurate and it keeps its accuracy even after being dragged through mud and dust and thrown into thr back of trucks by young men on the move.

The star indicates that it was produced in volume by Savage during WWII for Commonwealth forces and as such would be the version most readily available in North America.

175 posted on 01/07/2006 9:05:59 AM PST by Clive
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To: VRing

Bullet: 150 Gr. Winchester Softpoint

In the .270, drop at 500 Yards (200 zero) is -44.1 inches.

In the .30-06, drop at 500 Yards (200 zero) is -51.9 inches.

(Source: Guns & Ammo, 2005 Annual Buyers Guide pp. 152, 161.)

The .270 does push smaller bullets, and is more appropriate for light game as you suggest. But even when the bullets are as similar as possible (Mfg, grain, type, as above), the .30-06 does seem to drop more. Which was my point.


176 posted on 01/07/2006 2:08:04 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Surrender! - Vote Democrat.)
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To: OldEagle

First is Germany (highly prized, Sauer I believe) and then in Japan (Howa) and then by the company that made the M-60 machine gun, Marmount (but don't hold that against them). Mine is a gorgeous yet very functional rifle, synthetic stock and stainless steel barrel. The stock I think is made by McMillan and the barrel by Krieger and both are of the highest quality. Ever since the first grade I wanted a Mark V Weatherby and by the time I was 37 I had one complete with Leupold VariXIII, and it shoots in the inch range with most ammo.


177 posted on 01/07/2006 5:30:39 PM PST by junta (It's Jihad stupid! Or why should I tolerate those who hate me?)
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood

Hey fellow snob. What kind of scope do you place on your Weatherby that costs as much as the rifle?


178 posted on 01/07/2006 5:33:12 PM PST by junta (It's Jihad stupid! Or why should I tolerate those who hate me?)
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To: junta

I don't know a lot about Weatherbys. I thought Howa made at least some of them. The M60 was a fair to middlin bullet launcher.


179 posted on 01/07/2006 5:53:00 PM PST by OldEagle (May you live long enough to hear the legends of your own adventures.)
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To: OldEagle

I'll disagree with you about the M-60 since I was a custodian of my unit's armory (USMC) and I wrote up the M-60s more often then anything else. Two things one was the bolt operating rod interface which was always wearing itself out and most egregiously the trigger mechanism which was unsafe at any speed. You know its trouble when the first thing they teach you about the M-60 is how to stop a "runaway" machine gun, twist the belt to break it so the gun runs out of ammo. M-249s for everybody


180 posted on 01/08/2006 6:13:04 AM PST by junta (It's Jihad stupid! Or why should I tolerate those who hate me?)
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To: Redleg Duke; Loud Mime; Cannoneer No. 4
"In my book, anything over 100 yards is a case for artillery."

You rang, Sir?

Not always, though often a helpful consideration, particularly when the air-delivered equivalent is unavailable. Though it has been said that Artillery lends dignity and science to that which would otherwise be a vulgar brawl....


181 posted on 01/08/2006 9:03:48 AM PST by archy (The darkness will come. It will find you,and it will scare you like you've never been scared before.)
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To: Junior_G
I am trying to save up money for my first hunting rifle ... Any suggestions?

You have two tasks, acquiring a suitable hunting weapon, but also presumably similarly acquiring the skill to use it an effective centerfire weapon well. That can certainly be accomplished with a single choice, but that which might be usable for the experienced rifleman might not be most suitable for your immediate needs, though you'll certainly find the fields full of well-equipped idiots who can't shoot worth beans.

The military haslong noted the same problemin trying to turn effective marksmen out of inexperienced [usually] youngsters, who have tha additional motivation of knowing that the targets they'll be facing will very likely be shooting back. Accordingly, a military service rifle may be a better choice for you than a purpose-designed sporting rifle, also offering the blessing of particular reliability as well.

Of the easily available military rifles around that are also quite servicable for hunting purposes, I think the #4 Lee Enfield [NOT the earlier #1 Mark III SMLE version] utilizing the British .303 service rifle cartridge would be a good pick for you. The rifle is robust and reliable, is chambered for a cartridge of approximately the same power as the 7.62 NATO service round still in use by US military snipers and machinegunners, and can easily be fitted with a telescopic sight should your experience grow to the point that you can use one as a tool rather than a crutch, or if age dims your eyes and you really need that crutch.

There's a ton of available information about those Enfields, both on the net and elsewhere, including that to be found *here*, and *here*.

A .22 training version is also available, helpful in maintaining proficience once it's established, and even if you should later decide to move on to a lever-action or other telescopic-sighted bolt-action rifle, the Enfield can remain as a suitable alternate or harsh weather piece; it was designed to give suitable service under the most severe of conditions. And there's little about the Number Four that can't be comprehended by even the least motivited young recruit; you should manage a good deal better than that. You canlikely skip the bayonet drill with the rifle, however.


182 posted on 01/08/2006 9:28:56 AM PST by archy (The darkness will come. It will find you,and it will scare you like you've never been scared before.)
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To: archy

183 posted on 01/08/2006 10:28:37 AM PST by Cannoneer No. 4 (Quo Fas et Gloria Ducunt)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Great expectations?


184 posted on 01/08/2006 12:04:40 PM PST by archy (The darkness will come. It will find you,and it will scare you like you've never been scared before.)
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To: archy

The driver of that magnificent beast ought to be wearing crossed cannons!


185 posted on 01/08/2006 4:24:58 PM PST by Redleg Duke (Kennedy and Kerry, the two Commissars of the Peoples' Republic of Massachusetts!)
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To: IndyTiger

I have one like that in my gun safe. It was my Dad's and it was what I used to get my first two Whitetail Bucks, within 2 hours of each other on opening morning back in the 60s in Wisconsin.


186 posted on 01/08/2006 4:26:25 PM PST by Redleg Duke (Kennedy and Kerry, the two Commissars of the Peoples' Republic of Massachusetts!)
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To: junta

Got night vision???

Depends on where you buy the rifle and who makes the scope.

Sako also makes a nice rifle.


187 posted on 01/08/2006 8:47:01 PM PST by Sir Francis Dashwood (LET'S ROLL!)
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To: Brad Cloven

"Which was my point."

Point taken. However, you are comparing two dissimilar projectiles. The 150gr .270 is a high BC, heavy for caliber bullet and the 150gr .30 is a round ball. Plug in the BC for a 180 or 200gr .30 and re-calculate. Please don't get me wrong, the .270 is a superb antelope/deer round but as soon as the OP said "elk" the .270 has to be set aside.


188 posted on 01/09/2006 6:32:37 AM PST by VRing ("That every man be armed")
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To: Clive

"The star indicates that it was produced in volume by Savage during WWII"

No, the star indicates it has the later trigger assy. The early no4's had the trigger mounted on the trigger guard, later, "*" marked rifles had the trigger mounted on the frame.


189 posted on 01/09/2006 6:36:01 AM PST by VRing ("That every man be armed")
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To: Junior_G
First, my bona fides.

I currently own - and use for hunting - a Winchester 30-30, a Marlin 336 lever action in .357 Mag, a Remington 725 in 30.06, a Tikka 270 WSM (Winchester Short Mag), a Ruger .22 Mag, and several .22s. Shortly, I hope to have a Ruger #1 in 25.06.

I consider the Marlin .357 Mag the best for heavy woods hunting, as it is short and light, therefore very fast for those quick shots. I have taken eight shots at deer with the 30.06 and put eight deer in the freezer. I have yet to shoot the Tikka (it was a recent Christmas present), but plan to do so next week. Every one of the rifles mentioned will take a deer (including the .22s [sshhhh!]), and have done so. NOTE: I would not recommend using a .22 for hunting deer except as a last resort in a survival situation. (coff...sometimes things "just happen...")

The prices of all the above ranged from about $100 for one of the .22s to just over $600 for the Tikka. I am fortunate to know a dealer who buys from bulk suppliers and then only applies a 15% markup.

If I could only own one rifle I would go with the 30.06. It's the most versatile in that you can load it with varying loads from 110 to 220 grain over-the-counter bullets, allowing you to shoot varmints with the 110 and even the big bears with the 220 (shots judicially placed, of course). Fortunately, I'm not restricted to only one rifle! The make and model should be to your own personal preference.

And if none of this helps, disregard the whole thing! :)

190 posted on 01/09/2006 6:48:36 AM PST by logos
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To: Loud Mime

I took it to me grandparents farm in DE so that I could sight it in over Thanksgiving. My uncle comes up to me and says "So, what do you need a .338 RUM for?" I said "Well, I figured if I never get to buy another rifle then I want something that can be used for anything. Great power, great speed, insane out of the box accuracy." he says "Yeah, like that will be your last..hehe, you just wanted it so you got it." I just smiled, then he said "That's the same reason I bought a .338 Win and a .300 mag.".

I've killed deer with a bow before. It's not a matter of necessity driving my decision for what some would call an "overkill" caliber, it's just that I wanted it. =D


191 posted on 01/09/2006 10:07:48 AM PST by kx9088
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To: VRing; MonroeDNA; FreedomForce; Junior_G
Well, I did it. I picked up my new Savage Model 10 package .30-06 from Wal-Mart yesterday. I have not fired it yet, but it is everything you said based on feel and looks. The quality is superb and the Accu-Trigger is phenomenal. I have shot many rifles with aftermarket adjustable triggers. I swear, the Savage feels superior to 'em all. Positive feel, no creep whatsoever. Amazing value.

Okay, what's your next recommendation that I have to break the news to Mrs. Lando about........

Lando

192 posted on 01/20/2006 2:37:55 PM PST by Lando Lincoln (God bless Jared Linskens and his family.)
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To: Junior_G

For your first rifle, I would stay away from anything more powerful than a .308 (.30-06 has the same balistics). Anything heavier and you might develop a flinch from the kick.

Savage has some rifles in .308/30-06 that have amazing accuracy for less than the Remington 700.

I would go for one with a rubber butt pad, too, to take some of the recoil.


193 posted on 01/20/2006 4:39:27 PM PST by MonroeDNA (Look for the union label--on the bat crashing through your windshield!)
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To: Lando Lincoln; VRing; FreedomForce; Junior_G

Great choice! Getting the accutrigger was a very smart move, IMHO.

Savage makes a great rifle, right out of the box.

What kind of scope are you thinking about?

I recently picked up a (discontinued model) Fujinon 3-9X for $150 from

http://shop.sportsmansguide.com/

It was sold for $400 two years ago.


194 posted on 01/20/2006 5:00:48 PM PST by MonroeDNA (Look for the union label--on the bat crashing through your windshield!)
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To: Junior_G
Since it is all opinion anyway... With either the .308, 30-06, and .270, you can cover most situations. All are powerful, but not too heavy on recoil. Most mag rifles (such as the 7 MM) can knock you around pretty well. The additional power is rarely needed, and can affect shooting accuracy. It is also easy to find ammo for these calibers, as opposed to some of the other alternatives like the .280, etc.

I have hunted with autoloaders, bolt actions, and lever actions. My problem with the lever action is (1) they are as slow to load as a bolt, and (2) when a round is chambered, the hammer is back in a "safety off" position. Historically, autoloading rifles were not as reliable as repeaters, and I steer clear of them to this day. The first shot usually knocks the animal down or it doesn't. Second shots are rarely needed, at least not in a hurry.

Bolt actions are inherently more accurate, more reliable, and don't have a big weight problem. A bolt action in a 30-06 is the "standard" big game rifle for a reason... it is so reliable and presents so many options. I personally prefer a .270, which is supposedly more accurate and has a little less kick and nice trajectory numbers. But I don't hunt elk.

You won't be happy with the 30-30, which has a lot of bullet drop (it is slow) and less energy than either of the three rounds I mentioned. The .243 or 6 mm are, in my opinion, too small for big game unless very long shots are needed. The lightweight bullets may not carry the knockdown power, and are not really suitable for brushy settings.

Like I say, just an opinion.
195 posted on 01/20/2006 5:14:13 PM PST by TN4Liberty (Sixty percent of all people understand statistics. The other half are clueless.)
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To: MonroeDNA; VRing; FreedomForce; Junior_G
Thanks for the link. The rifle came with a Simmons 3-9x40 scope which is serviceable. I will likely upgrade to a Leopold at some point - but I want to give this one a "shot". I see I missed a "1" in my previous post...it is a Model 110. I'm still so impressed....I took it out of my gun safe 3 or 4 times tonite. The bolt seems as strong as anything this side of a true Mauser. The trigger, the balance.... all for $440! Amazing value.

Lando

196 posted on 01/20/2006 8:06:09 PM PST by Lando Lincoln (God bless Jared Linskens and his family.)
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To: Lando Lincoln

Nice! I know what you mean about taking it out just to handle it, several times.

Such a great piece of work.


197 posted on 01/21/2006 12:29:18 AM PST by MonroeDNA (Look for the union label--on the bat crashing through your windshield!)
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To: Lando Lincoln

"The bolt seems as strong as anything this side of a true Mauser."

Hey Lando, great choice in rifles!! That action, for what it's worth, is at least half again as strong as any mauser.


198 posted on 01/23/2006 9:28:55 AM PST by VRing ("That every man be armed")
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To: MonroeDNA; VRing; FreedomForce; Junior_G
I have twin sons who love to hunt. Their birthday is in the summer. I just placed on order, 2 more of these fine rifles chambered in 7mm-08. That is how impressed I have been with this rifle.

Lando

199 posted on 01/26/2006 8:13:49 AM PST by Lando Lincoln (God bless Jared Linskens and his family.)
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To: Lando Lincoln

"2 more of these fine rifles"

Same thing happened to me. After years of spending much money and time getting factory Rems and Wins to behave like they should I took a fellow's advice and tried a Savage. I now own 3 and the only other types of bolt actions I own are a couple of Mausers I built up years ago and a Rem 700 action that lives on the coffee table.


200 posted on 01/26/2006 9:05:40 AM PST by VRing ("That every man be armed")
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