Skip to comments.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?
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.
Be a snob like me and spend the money on a Weatherby Accumark, a grand without the scope.
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.
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.
Wiser words were never written.
You rang, Sir?
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.
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.
That's one bad mo deer.
I had to read 33 responses before some one had the intelligence to ask, "Where are you hunting?".
Would say coastal, likely blacktail, eastern part of the state, muleys.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At one the Weatherbys were made in Japan. Has that changed?
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.
That shoot little lead thingys out one end. Real fast.
"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!!
The scope will cost as much or more than the rifle...
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.
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.
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.
Hey fellow snob. What kind of scope do you place on your Weatherby that costs as much as the rifle?
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.
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
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....
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.
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.
The driver of that magnificent beast ought to be wearing crossed cannons!
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.
Got night vision???
Depends on where you buy the rifle and who makes the scope.
Sako also makes a nice rifle.
"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.
"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.
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! :)
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
Okay, what's your next recommendation that I have to break the news to Mrs. Lando about........
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.
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
It was sold for $400 two years ago.
Nice! I know what you mean about taking it out just to handle it, several times.
Such a great piece of work.
"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.
"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.