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Cooper 54 7mm08

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 10:13
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Somebody please elaborate on the pros and cons of this rifle.  All I know is what I read on the 'net....never laid eyes on one.  I have a Tikka T3 (actually it's my son's) that shoots exceptionally well, so why would I spend the $$$ on a 54 when I could buy my own Tikka, Kimber, Win 70 FN, etc.  Is the Cooper 54 all it's cracked up to be?  Thanks. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 10:29
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Coopers are works of art
Heirlooms

I have has Tiikas that would shoot one hole groups so you can't get more accurate than that.

"Worth it"
"Needed"

Those are subjective terms..
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 10:40
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Comparing a semi-custom Cooper to a Tikka is like comparing a Counter Sniper to a Swaro Z6. Big Grin
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 10:42
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It's purely a want item, admittedly.  I'm wanting to find out everything I can about the Cooper from first hand experience around here, if possible.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 10:43
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Originally posted by bugsNbows bugsNbows wrote:

Comparing a semi-custom Cooper to a Tikka is like comparing a Counter Sniper to a Swaro Z6. Big Grin


So tell me about the Cooper 54 please. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 11:49
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As lovely and well crafted as a Cooper rifle is, I'd go straight to H..E..double hockey sticks if I marred it up in the briars where I go.

Edited by cheaptrick - July/19/2013 at 11:55
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 12:09
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

Somebody please elaborate on the pros and cons of this rifle.  


I don't have a M54, but I own 2 M21's and have shot and handled quite a few Coopers of all models and configurations.

PROS:

- They're beautiful. Fit and finish, checkering, wood and metal finish, inletting precision, etc. is all very good to flawless. Wood is frequently (but not always) at least above average. You can specify some drop dead gorgeous wood, as they have it. You usually won't be disappointed by their "AAA" walnut. They generally use Claro for their walnut stocks.
- They're accurate. Typically very accurate, though they do have a few leave the factory that aren't any more accurate than a typical factory rifle. With their reputation, you stand a better than average chance of getting one that shoots really well. Cooper uses Wilson air gauged barrels, and they are capable of putting out some very good barrels, especially compared to other factory or semi-custom rifles. They aren't quite up to benchrest quality standards (they'd cost a lot more if they were), but very good barrels nevertheless, by factory rifle standards. Cooper is now owned by Wilson Arms, in fact (not to be confused with Wilson Combat of custom 1911 and AR fame).
- They're pretty well designed. I like their stock ergos and proportions. It balances well. The action is of their own design, and the bolt works smoothly. It has a pretty good trigger. If you're a fan of the "American classic" stock style as I am, their stock shapes are nice variations of the theme, with their own unique, tastefully done design elements thrown in.
- Cooper offers many options so you can really customize your rifle the way you want.
- Although expensive, they really are a good value for what you get compared to other semi-custom rifles.

CONS:

- The bolt stop is weak. It uses a small dowel pin on the back side of the release button to stop rearward bolt travel. I've seen several of those pins break if you have a habit of slamming the bolt open against the stop. The bolt stop projection should have been designed as an integral part of the button.
- I don't care for the safety design. It basically copies the original 2- position Kimber of Oregon pivoting toggle linkage arrangement that blocks the trigger only. It just doesn't seem as positive or robust as other designs. In general, I prefer safeties that block the firing pin/ cocking piece, or those that block both the trigger and firing pin. However, I've not had one fail, and mechanical safeties are not a substitute for safe gun handling anyway.
- It's not the kind of gun you'd want to use in inclement weather or rough conditions (or at least their wood stocked models). It's just too pretty.
- It has a DBM. That may not be a negative to some, but I generally prefer hinged floorplates or blind magazine boxes to DBMs on a hunting rifle.
- The magazine is a straight single stack, center feed design. It feeds smoothly and reliably, but the downside is it only has a mag capacity of 3 rounds in standard .473" head dia cased rounds.
- You sometimes have to wait a long time to get one.

Cooper's centerfire actions are based on a 3 locking lug design with 60-deg bolt lift much like the Sako 75/85. They also use a Sako-style extractor. They have round receivers, much like Rem 700. They do minimal glass bedding in the front receiver ring / recoil lug area. Usually the bedding is sufficient, but sometimes re-bedding is helpful. Barrels are free floated, with a very nice, extremely small gap between barrel and forend.

They're nice rifles, but they aren't for everyone. I believe everyone needs at least one "pretty" rifle in their collection, but wood stocked Coopers wouldn't be my choice for a hardcore inclement weather, hard use hunting rifle. They are a good choice for someone who appreciates quality craftsmanship and nice wood, but isn't prepared to spend mega bucks on a full-blown custom rifle.

I've been very happy with my Coopers and plan to buy another in the future. Hope this helps you with your decision.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 12:24
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A little eye candy to tempt you!

http://tacticalgunreview.com/blog/2012/08/staff-sneak-peak-cooper-firearms-custom-25-06/
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 12:47
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No offense to anyone who has a Cooper. My cousin has the Jackson Hunter (synthetic stock). It's real nice, not beautiful IMHO, definitely a tack driver, but a little on the heavy side for my likings (I hunt out west). I'm betting their rifles with wood finish are esthetically much nicer... but I'd be afraid to tear up the wood.

Charles, I think you had them do custom work to lighten yours up as well as other tweaks? My cousin's rifle, there wasn't much customization beyond what you normally get from Cooper.

Edited by mike650 - July/19/2013 at 13:07
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 13:13
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I just told Mike Hudgins what I wanted and he delivered!
Goal was basically:

6.5 to 6.75 lbs
Pretty wood but not worth $ for ultra fancy to me
Slight Monte Carlo cheek piece
Told him I liked the feel of old Sakos

It came in beautiful at 6.66 lbs
He hollowed out the stock, lightened barrel, etc..

I left it to him on how to accomplish what I wanted.
I got if last August when my dad was in the hospital
Sure wish he would have for to see it, he would have approved.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 13:28
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That's a great write up Rifle (was hoping you'd chime in), so thanks for the details.  Thanks to everyone else too.  I usually don't buy rifles for beauty's sake, so I'd probably go the Cooper 54 jackson route.  I'm a Texas Tech ex, so that black and red synthetic looks sweet to my 52 yr old eyes!  The main thing I'm looking for is top notch accuracy without top notch price tags that go along with it.  There are a couple of dealers that have them in stock, so the wait is nil.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 14:17
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Sounds like a Model 52 Jackson Hunter would be a nice choice. Mine was a .25-06. Real shooter. I (as Ted said earlier) didn't much care for the safety either. The DBM was absolutely fine and without issue. The initial bolt "lift" was heavy, but it got better. The long build times are a bit confounding. I thought is was a bit thick in the wrist and heavy for caliber. That in a .338-06 would be great. BUT, it was an all-weather deer killin' machine. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 15:02
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I will say this:
If push came to shove I would take my Nosler TGR in 280AI over it.
It is the rifle that sees the most use during deer season.
Well, this season I will be hunting supresses most of the time.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 16:24
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Originally posted by mike650 mike650 wrote:

No offense to anyone who has a Cooper. My cousin has the Jackson Hunter (synthetic stock). It's real nice, not beautiful IMHO, definitely a tack driver, but a little on the heavy side for my likings (I hunt out west). I'm betting their rifles with wood finish are esthetically much nicer... but I'd be afraid to tear up the wood.

Charles, I think you had them do custom work to lighten yours up as well as other tweaks? My cousin's rifle, there wasn't much customization beyond what you normally get from Cooper.


Yeah, I was speaking of their wood stocked rifles when I was referring to their good looks. Not all their rifles are heavy. The Classic and Custom Classic version of the M54 is intended as a general purpose hunting rifle, so it has a sporter weight barrel and is pretty light -- in the neighborhood of 6.5 lbs. For the most part, Cooper specializes in medium to heavy barrel varmint rifles, so most of the centerfire Coopers you're likely to see will be variations of either a "walking varminter" or dedicated bench gun that has 1-2 lbs more weight.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 16:32
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Originally posted by JGRaider JGRaider wrote:

That's a great write up Rifle (was hoping you'd chime in), so thanks for the details.  Thanks to everyone else too.  I usually don't buy rifles for beauty's sake, so I'd probably go the Cooper 54 jackson route.  I'm a Texas Tech ex, so that black and red synthetic looks sweet to my 52 yr old eyes!  The main thing I'm looking for is top notch accuracy without top notch price tags that go along with it.  There are a couple of dealers that have them in stock, so the wait is nil.  


No problem JG. I'm an A&M alum, so I hope you won't hold that against me.

All the Coopers I've shot have been the wood stocked models. I've only handled the synth stocked rifles at shows. If I was a betting man, I'd bet that the odds of you getting a shooter are very high with Coopers and that you'd be pleased.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 16:34
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My cousins Jackson Hunter m52 chambered in .280 must be close 8 pounds minus the ammo, sling, scope and mounts. It's the synthetic stock (black with copper spiderweb), my m700 laminate in 7mm at around 7.5 pounds (minus the the extras) is noticeably lighter.

I really like the Cooper Excalibur though, dig the camo stock.
  Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 16:54
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Maybe Doug can chime in too here. Man, those rifles are killer nice.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/19/2013 at 17:22
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Please don't get me wrong as I'm not knocking them, I think they're killer nice too. Thunbs Up  Doug's is sweet!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2013 at 09:25
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I have a Tikka T3 stainless with a BC medalist stock and a Cooper 52 Excalibur . I like the Tikka better for hunting, I like the Cooper better for showing off.
 
The Tikka ejects shells way better and the magazine functions way better. I have had two Tikka's and they are plenty accurate.
 
I would not get another Cooper without having it Cerakoted, the factory matte finish is not very durable. Not trying to bash Cooper but my gun has been back 3 times, they have fixed the issues each time but I still am not all that happy with mine. It is a very accurate and very nice looking rifle.
 
But meat at potatoe wise............I'd take my Tikka over it ! Shocked As a matter of fact, if it does not perform well this season. I will buy another T3 and put a stock on it , or possibly get a Kimber Montana.


Edited by cbm - July/20/2013 at 11:04
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2013 at 09:26
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The 30.06 I picked up is sweet. The trigger is crisp and breaks cleanly with no take up. The bolt is as smooth as any I have ever cycled. I like it so much I am adding a .270....go figure.
My brother here at O.T., coyote95, just ordered one in 7mm08. I will give him a shout.
By the way, I will use mine in any weather and conditions. Mine will get wet in the forests off of Lake Superior.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2013 at 10:08
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Good
A rifle will have real field wear
Nothing wrong with that!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2013 at 11:39
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/20/2013 at 15:34
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Curious why the classic stock instead of Monte Carlo style as in Jackson hunter model?  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/21/2013 at 11:42
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Not sure on that JG, I think it was an impulse purchase based on having a bird in the hand. I have both classic and Monte Carlo stocks and really don't mind either way.
The next one I get will probably have a Monte Carlo stock, though. I am just really happy and agree with just about everything Ted said except using it it bad conditions. None of my double guns would have seen field use if I was worried and they cost more than a Cooper.
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