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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 13:38
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I recently had the pleasure to test the new Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker chambered in 30-06 and all I can say is WOW!  Accuracy is definitely on par with Sako and the trigger is very crisp.  As a result, I decided to buy one for myself, but at the moment I'm undecided on caliber. 
 
I originally posted that I was interested in a custom or a Sako, but after shooting the x-bolt, I decided to put off the "custom" idea until I learn more about what I really want out of it.  More recently, I found a place selling Sako 85 Finnlights for $1250, but then they called back to tell me that Sako is redesigning the 85 and they can't get them anymore.  Don't know how true this is, but I wouldn't be surprised if Sako brings back the 75 design which most people seem to prefer anyway.
 
So getting back to caliber, my current hunting arsenal includes a 30-06, 308(thinking about selling) and 444.  My future hunting ventures in addition to whitetail include black bear, elk, possibly moose,  so I'm thinking about adding a 7mmRM, 300WSM or 300WM in order to comfortably reach 350-400yrd+  range.  Which would you choose?
 
Thanks
 
 
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 13:50
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  Doesn't surprise me. Brownings have always been out of the box accurate.
  If I were you I'd use that Browning and get a top grade scope for it unless you already have one. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 13:55
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The X-bolt belongs to my friend who just bought his first and only deer rifle.  When I do get one, I was thinking about a Zeiss 4x14 44mm
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 13:57
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If you already have a 30-06, why get another one or even another 30 caliber
for that matter? With the hi-tech powders they`re making today (like RL17), you can give your `06 a good boost! It will still down an elk at 400 yards.
 
Go for some real gusto here, diversify away from the .30`s, and get yourself a 338 Win Mag in the X Bolt for the moose and elk. Money better spent imo. You can save your `06 for elk and the smaller stuff.
 
Or for another suggestion, if you want a handier, more manuverable rifle to carry in the field than the Browning X bolt and still come close to the 338 Win in performance with the longer 24" barrels, take a look see at the Ruger Hawkeye 20" barreled 338 RCM.
 
I`d diversify things up a little.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 14:08
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  SORRY l4b!  My fingers are moving faster than my brain.
  If you've got a .30-06 that your satisfied with then I'd go for a GOOD scope that would compliment the type of hunting your thinking of getting into. But if your thinking of an X-bolt, I'd opt for the .300 WM. If you've never shot a .300 before you oughta try one first though. One other option is,since you've already got a .30 cal,maybe think about a .338 WM in the X-bolt if it's offered.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 14:20
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Maybe I should add a little more info about my intentions.  I don't reload YET but I probably will someday.  I have two whitetail outfitter hunts planned this year and I would like to take two bolt action guns with me so the new gun will be used for deer too.  Is a 338 too big for deer?  Recoil doesn't bother me,  I also shoot a 12g sluggun which is brutal compared to something like a 340 Wby. 

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 14:28
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You are the MAN!!!........Recoil doesn`t bother me either! I really like it!!
 
No the 338 Win is not too big for deer. There are lighter bullets available and you can re-load it using lighter bullets in the future when you begin to reload.
 
Heck!.... Some use 375`s for deer. I sure wouldn`t use my 375 for deer, but many do. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 14:34
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Big, gotta love that avatar of yours!  My wife was just looking over my shoulder when I was reading your post and she said "what the hell are you looking at"?
 
BTW, the 338 is available:
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 14:40
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Originally posted by loaded4bear loaded4bear wrote:

Big, gotta love that avatar of yours!  My wife was just looking over my shoulder when I was reading your post and she said "what the hell are you looking at"?
 
BTW, the 338 is available:
...............................Does yer wife have lips like those????.....If not, do UUUU wish she did?..Laugh...I`ll bet that most guys here wished their wives had lips like those!!!...Roll on Floor Laughing..........That`s why I like using that avater. To remind them of what they don`t have!!.........Laugh
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 14:49
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Even though I`m not a big fan of longer tubed 46.75" OAL rifles or detachable magazines, the X Bolt is a very good piece. I`ve handled them and like them. If its OAL length fits into your type of hunting; more open plains or more open mountaineous areas, then go for the 338 Win X Bolt.
 
However, it is not a rifle better suited for the heavier brush and timbers.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 14:50
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If most guys wives had lips like those I doubt very much that their wives would make that kind of gesture, at least not towards their husbands!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 14:53
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Originally posted by loaded4bear loaded4bear wrote:

If most guys wives had lips like those I doubt very much that their wives would make that kind of gesture, at least not towards their husbands!!
................................Laugh
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 14:54
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I'm not thrilled about a 26"barrel, would rather have a 24 but I guess thats one advantage of a WSM
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 15:22
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Originally posted by loaded4bear loaded4bear wrote:

I'm not thrilled about a 26"barrel, would rather have a 24 but I guess thats one advantage of a WSM
............Two inches in the field won`t make that much difference in either barrel length or OAL.
 
What does make a difference in the field are rifles that are 40.5" long and less, which I have in both of mine. However, no 338 W/M`s from the factory with shorter than 24" tubes. You`d have to cut the barrel down.
 
That`s why I suggested the 20" 338 RCM at about 40.5" OAL. That would make a great field rifle under any terrain, whether in the brush, timbers, mountains or on the plains.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 21:29
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Originally posted by loaded4bear loaded4bear wrote:

I recently had the pleasure to test the new Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker chambered in 30-06 and all I can say is WOW!  Accuracy is definitely on par with Sako and the trigger is very crisp.  As a result, I decided to buy one for myself, but at the moment I'm undecided on caliber. 
 
I originally posted that I was interested in a custom or a Sako, but after shooting the x-bolt, I decided to put off the "custom" idea until I learn more about what I really want out of it.  More recently, I found a place selling Sako 85 Finnlights for $1250, but then they called back to tell me that Sako is redesigning the 85 and they can't get them anymore.  Don't know how true this is, but I wouldn't be surprised if Sako brings back the 75 design which most people seem to prefer anyway.
 
So getting back to caliber, my current hunting arsenal includes a 30-06, 308(thinking about selling) and 444.  My future hunting ventures in addition to whitetail include black bear, elk, possibly moose,  so I'm thinking about adding a 7mmRM, 300WSM or 300WM in order to comfortably reach 350-400yrd+  range.  Which would you choose?
 
Thanks
 
 
 
 


Your suggestion that the Sako 85 might be redesigned grabbed my attention.  I like mine and was thinking of selling some stuff to buy another.  When I checked with my dealer lots of the calibers were no longer available.  I called BerettaUSA and they could not/would not give a satisfactory explanation.  Anybody know?

Squeeze.  What about recoil in a 6 pound 13 oz. X-Bolt 338 compared to my Ruger Sporter 338 (8 1/4 pounds)?  It's one of the reasons I bought the Ruger (heavy duty action was another). 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 22:08
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I don't believe the 85 is turning many heads these days, at least from what a few dealers have told me.  Last year Cabelas had a few Grey's and Finnlights in stock but the last time I was there, they only had 2 on display with no intentions of ordering anymore.  Gun sales have been strong so I tend not to blame the economy.  Who knows?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/21/2009 at 22:52
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Originally posted by loaded4bear loaded4bear wrote:

Maybe I should add a little more info about my intentions.  I don't reload YET but I probably will someday.  I have two whitetail outfitter hunts planned this year and I would like to take two bolt action guns with me so the new gun will be used for deer too.  Is a 338 too big for deer?  Recoil doesn't bother me,  I also shoot a 12g sluggun which is brutal compared to something like a 340 Wby. 

 
Squeezer and 300S&W are your go to guy's for your question, but I wanted to chime in to say. When you do start reloading, be sure to gear up for your 444. You will be very pleased with what you can get out of that masher. I started loadin for mine and found that I could get 300yds. with no problem. Atleast if you can live with a 4in. group, which is kill zone all day long. Its something to see a ground hog "you know" they tend to do that when 240grs. hits under their chin. Good Luck with your choice!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/22/2009 at 00:47
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Originally posted by timber timber wrote:

Originally posted by loaded4bear loaded4bear wrote:

I recently had the pleasure to test the new Browning X-Bolt Stainless Stalker chambered in 30-06 and all I can say is WOW!  Accuracy is definitely on par with Sako and the trigger is very crisp.  As a result, I decided to buy one for myself, but at the moment I'm undecided on caliber. 
 
I originally posted that I was interested in a custom or a Sako, but after shooting the x-bolt, I decided to put off the "custom" idea until I learn more about what I really want out of it.  More recently, I found a place selling Sako 85 Finnlights for $1250, but then they called back to tell me that Sako is redesigning the 85 and they can't get them anymore.  Don't know how true this is, but I wouldn't be surprised if Sako brings back the 75 design which most people seem to prefer anyway.
 
So getting back to caliber, my current hunting arsenal includes a 30-06, 308(thinking about selling) and 444.  My future hunting ventures in addition to whitetail include black bear, elk, possibly moose,  so I'm thinking about adding a 7mmRM, 300WSM or 300WM in order to comfortably reach 350-400yrd+  range.  Which would you choose?
 
Thanks
 
 
 
 


Your suggestion that the Sako 85 might be redesigned grabbed my attention.  I like mine and was thinking of selling some stuff to buy another.  When I checked with my dealer lots of the calibers were no longer available.  I called BerettaUSA and they could not/would not give a satisfactory explanation.  Anybody know?

Squeeze.  What about recoil in a 6 pound 13 oz. X-Bolt 338 compared to my Ruger Sporter 338 (8 1/4 pounds)?  It's one of the reasons I bought the Ruger (heavy duty action was another). 
............Imo, the Ruger Hawkeyes like your sporter and mine, seem more stout and stronger than the X bolts. Because of its lighter weight, the X bolt in the 338 Mag, will have more recoil than your new Ruger. But in my my case and for others where recoil is not a bother, the top priority should then be a lighter weight rifle.
 
Think about this.....Your on a hunt where there are hours and hours of daily hiking and climbing and yet when it comes time for the kill shot, for only a split second you`re getting nailed hard just one time (assuming a one shot kill) in the shoulder. I`d much rather prefer  many hours of day to day easier carrying with a shorter, lighter, more manuverable rifle and faster rifle, as opposed to the split second inconvenience of heavier recoil. If there is little hiking and climbing on the hunts that`s a different ball game.
 
For the bench, there are ways to tame a lighter but heavier recoiling rifle. When firing my 375 Ruger Alaskan (8 lbs 12 oz with scope), I use a front tripod for the front rest and a Caldwell bunny eared bag for the rear rest. I shoot right handed. I rest the palm of my left hand on top of the scope with my left elbow on top of a small folded towel resting on the bench. I apply some downward pressure on the scope and rifle. That will reduce the recoil to the shoulder and with some practice and good breathing, doing so should not affect group sizes.
 
Sometimes, I do the same thing with my 7.5 lb 300 WSM compact. With the 375 Ruger, I use that technique all the time on the bench. That one recoils more.
 
Also, if given the choice of two rifles of equal weight with scopes and same caliber, but one is four, five or six inches shorter or more, I`ll take the shorter rig as long as the ballistic performance is fairly close where no game will ever know the difference. Even if the shorter rifle weighs say a 1/2 to 3/4 lb pound more, I`ll still take the shorter rig.
 
That`s why I also suggested the 20" barreled 40.5" OAL 338 RCM Hawkeye as opposed to the 46 3/4 " long X Bolt in the 338 Win. Carrying and ease of handling in a shorter OAL rifle imo, trumps the X bolt`s 60 degree bolt lift, a little smoother action and its lighter weight.
 
If given the choice between the two, I would take the Hawkeye 338 RCM over the 338 Win X bolt and then buy a Limbsaver slip on recoil pad for $20 to use for the bench and take off for the hunts, as the Ruger factory recoil pads still,,,,,SUCK!Baby 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/25/2009 at 23:15
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I'm not suggesting the following applies to you Big Squeeze.

I've seen a number of videos of heavy recoiling scoped rifles being shot at the bench.  It's surprising to see how close the ocular gets to the shooters eye during recoil.  I've even noticed it on TV hunting shows.  I'd guess most of these shooters had no idea it was happening.  I know I've been 'kissed' a couple of times shooting a lightweight rifle.  Nobody wants the 1/2 moon eyebrow cut.  This has made me very cautious and is as important to me as the felt recoil of heavy recoilers.

I use a similar technique at the bench to what you've suggested but I have not been putting as much pressure on the scope.  How much downward pressure are you using?  It sounds like a good idea.   Also are you using a slip-on pad with your Ruger 375 at the bench and does it make it difficult to get a decent scope picture?  Using "Past" shoulder pads I've noticed this problem with the scope sight picture.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2009 at 11:59
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Originally posted by timber timber wrote:

I'm not suggesting the following applies to you Big Squeeze.

I've seen a number of videos of heavy recoiling scoped rifles being shot at the bench.  It's surprising to see how close the ocular gets to the shooters eye during recoil.  I've even noticed it on TV hunting shows.  I'd guess most of these shooters had no idea it was happening.  I know I've been 'kissed' a couple of times shooting a lightweight rifle.  Nobody wants the 1/2 moon eyebrow cut.  This has made me very cautious and is as important to me as the felt recoil of heavy recoilers.

I use a similar technique at the bench to what you've suggested but I have not been putting as much pressure on the scope.  How much downward pressure are you using?  It sounds like a good idea.   Also are you using a slip-on pad with your Ruger 375 at the bench and does it make it difficult to get a decent scope picture?  Using "Past" shoulder pads I've noticed this problem with the scope sight picture.
.................The Hogue stock on my Alaskan has a pretty good recoil pad and all I need. I don`t use additional shoulder pads. In Caleeeefornia when it`s warm enough, most of the time, I wear my Hawaiian shirts to the range. I use my slip on Limbsaver on my compact 300 WSM. The pads on the factory Frontiers and even on the new Ruger compacts are too hard and too thin.
 
The downward pressure I use when shooting the 375 Ruger, is I`d say medium. Not too little and no too much. You`re going to have to play around with different downward pressures. Works rather well. My 1.5-5x20 Leupold VX3 has enough eye relief for a good sight pic.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/26/2009 at 19:47
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The more I think about it the more I like the idea of putting downward pressure on the scope.  It's like adding weight to the rifle and that will reduce felt recoil.  It shouldn't be hard to apply 3-4 pounds of pressure and not affect shooting ability.  I can't wait to try it.

What I was thinking about shoulder pads and slip-on pads is the increased LOP.  Too much and it causes stock 'crawl' and that can put your eye in danger of a hit IMO.  It's a trade-off for less felt recoil.

Thanks for the suggestion and explanation.


Edited by timber - February/26/2009 at 22:23
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2009 at 08:02
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I decided to go with the SS X-Bolt in 7mmRM from Buds for $899.  My FFL doesn't collect tax so this deal is about $195 cheaper than buying locally. 
Big Squeeze, your right about getting a 338 to diversify a bit but I think I rather have that round in a heavier gun with a wood stock.  My current 06 and this new addition will be my go to bolt actions for whitetail and when and if Sako brings back the 75, I'll buy it in 338.  The Hawkeye does look nice, never handled one, gotta  check it out too
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2009 at 11:19
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FWIW, just got the March edition of "Gun Tests" magazine and they tested three rifles in 270 Win,  Remington CDL and Savage 114 Classic both got a "C" rating and the new Browning X-Bolt Medallion got an "A". 
Sam
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2009 at 14:04
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if there was one thing i really liked about both of the brownings i have owned/ still own is the detachable clip. i really like that and the 60 degree bolt lift too. i do not like the two position safety that rem and browning both use, i really dislike the browning one because of its placement. i really prefer the 3 position style like ruger and winchester use. browings bolts are also very smooth out of the box and i havent met a browning rifle with the button pulled rifling that didnt shoot well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/03/2009 at 18:06
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BTW, where is the X-Bolt made here or Japan?
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