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Life long hunting rifle (help me pick)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2012 at 21:38
jselsor View Drop Down
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All right gents a dear friend of mine is getting ready to purchase his life long hunting rifle. We have been discussing his options over the past few weeks. He has settled on 7mm mag for cal. He does not reload and is not likly to swap out the trigger or stock. We are looking for the best out of the box rifle within his budget. I know you guys are a knowledgeable bunch so your opinions would be greatly appreciated!

budget- $700 max would like to spend less
hunting terain- MO with occasional big game trip out west
range-50-???
Game-mainly whitetails but hopes to go elk or muley hunting occasionally as well




Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/08/2012 at 22:56
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Lots of good rifles out there. If I were to buy a new rifle with unlimited funds, I'd probably get a Christianson Arms custom job. I think Weatherby makes a good rifle with accuraccy garantees for a reasonable price. My Browning 270 BAR has been a great little rifle for about 40 years. Don't think I could ever sell it.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 07:37
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Hard to say a remington 700 doesn't fit the bill.  It will always have parts out there and good support.  Something in stainless would be my choice simply because wanting it to last a lifetime and stainless is a bit less work to keep up over a lifetime.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 07:40
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IMO, a Ruger Hawkeye would be a good, tough, accurate, reasonably priced choice.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 08:44
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Cooper Jackson hunter. Enough said.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 09:38
jselsor View Drop Down
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Originally posted by SVT_Tactical SVT_Tactical wrote:

Hard to say a remington 700 doesn't fit the bill.  It will always have parts out there and good support.  Something in stainless would be my choice simply because wanting it to last a lifetime and stainless is a bit less work to keep up over a lifetime.  

Couldnt agree more on the stainless. I love my model 700 sps tactical but I think their are better options out ther. My friend is taking a hard look at tikka t3 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 09:44
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Does your friend want a hard use, all-weather, low maintenance tool (stainless & synthetic) that will take a lot of abuse? Or, does he want a traditional blued steel, wood stocked rifle that he's willing to take a bit extra care to prevent rust, and is willing to accept some scratches and finish wear from honest use along the way? Does he want a super light rig (less than 7 lbs, scoped), or a typical midweight (7.5 - 9 lbs, scoped) hunting rifle? Does he absolutely want a new rifle, or is he willing to consider a used rifle in decent condition? Are there any particular features (i.e. controlled round feed vs. push feed, 3 position safety, short bolt lift, Monte Carlo vs. "classic" style stock, detachable magazine vs. hinged floorplate vs. blind magazine, etc.) that he prefers in a rifle? Is he interested in keeping it bone stock as it came out of the box, or is he a tinkerer who likes to customize with aftermarket parts?

The reason I ask all these questions is because any of the major brand factory rifles will get the job done, so deciding which is the best fit for your friend is all a matter of personal preference. Each of us have our own likes, dislikes, and biases, all of which are neither right nor wrong. If you know the answer to any of the above questions, it will help us narrow down the choices. Don't overlook ergonomics and aesthetic appeal either. Those are highly personal things that are determined by handling each rifle in person.

In 7 mag, the $700 budget will get you some models of the Remington 700, Savage 11, 14, 16 series, Browning X-Bolt, Winchester 70, Tikka T3, Ruger 77, Weatherby Vanguard, Howa, depending on the particular model, where you buy it, what kind of deal you can make, and whether you go the new or used route. All of those will provide multiple lifetimes of dependable service if taken care of, and you will find devotees of all of them. A case can be made for each, depending on what features are most important to your friend.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 10:04
jselsor View Drop Down
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Originally posted by RifleDude RifleDude wrote:

Does your friend want a hard use, all-weather, low maintenance tool (stainless & synthetic) that will take a lot of abuse? Or, does he want a traditional blued steel, wood stocked rifle that he's willing to take a bit extra care to prevent rust, and is willing to accept some scratches and finish wear from honest use along the way? Does he want a super light rig (less than 7 lbs, scoped), or a typical midweight (7.5 - 9 lbs, scoped) hunting rifle? Does he absolutely want a new rifle, or is he willing to consider a used rifle in decent condition? Are there any particular features (i.e. controlled round feed vs. push feed, 3 position safety, short bolt lift, Monte Carlo vs. "classic" style stock, detachable magazine vs. hinged floorplate vs. blind magazine, etc.) that he prefers in a rifle? Is he interested in keeping it bone stock as it came out of the box, or is he a tinkerer who likes to customize with aftermarket parts?

He wants a work house with synthetic stock, not likely to tinker with it as far as swapping the trigger or stock. He hasnt mentioned wanting a super light rig. I think he wants a brand new rifle to call his own! I know i like the box rotary style mags opposed to noisy hinge plates. I like the option of buying a second mag to keep in my hunting pack..  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 11:45
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Originally posted by 3_tens 3_tens wrote:

Cooper Jackson hunter. Enough said.


For sure but not at stated budget of $700.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 11:49
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Hard to beat a Tikka T3 for the money! Would suit your friend's purpose very well !
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 12:06
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My preference would be a Ruger Hawkeye stainless in .30-06 (1) or .270 Win (2).
 
Both calibers mentioned shoot very close to the 7mm mag up to 400 yds and have possibly more selections of store bought ammo and would provide a lighter more compact rifle.
 
I am a Ruger fan but I have to admit other rifles mentioned here have strong points also.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 19:38
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Tikka T3 in stainless in 7mm would be a damn fine choice
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 20:29
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I would seriously consider both the ruger and the tikka t3
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 22:29
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I'm a .308 fan.   Not much in North America you can't drop with one.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/09/2012 at 22:33
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Originally posted by Steelbenz Steelbenz wrote:

I'm a .308 fan.   Not much in North America you can't drop with one.   


+1 And ammo is everywhere and is much more reasonable priced. Which allows for range time or a bump up in optics.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2012 at 19:45
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The Tikka has the excellent Sako extractor. The Ruger is built like a tank. The Savage and the Sako tend to shoot very well.  The Ruger is a tad heavier than the Tikka so a bit less felt recoil but a bit heavier to carry in the field. The Savage with accustock and accutrigger is also a fine choice. All of those I trust more than the stock Rem but when you get to the  heavy barrel remmington they shoot exceptionally well especiallly the R5 Mil Spec.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/12/2012 at 20:45
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There are others on here who know more but I can speak from experience, and what I've experienced is a Winchester Model 70 Ultimate Shadow in 7 rem mag. I've got a thread in the range report section with pics, but I bought it last spring. With HSM loaded 168 grain Berger VLD's it will shoot better than me all day long (it will easily cover a quarter).
 
The gun weighs just over 9lb's scoped though, so it kind of depends how far you want to carry it. The recoil pad is also very nice. I know you said your friend wasn't likely to tinker, but the mod 70 comes with an adjustable trigger. I lightened mine up a touch and it made a world of differance. I know everyone has there favorites, and maybe I would have liked a 700 as much, but I like the one I bought. I don't know what kind of stores are in your area, but fit and feel have as much to do with buying a rifle as mechanics. I would HIGHLY suggest getting into a store and handling as many models as possible BEFORE ordering or buying. Just my 2 cents.
 
Good luck and keep us posted.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2012 at 16:13
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Update:
My friend is currently looking into a used rem 700 in 30-06 that is owned by a widow. All he knows about the rifle is that it has an aftermarket stock. I could see it being a custom rifle as he said this gentlemen was very well off. It may be to good to pass up however if he doesnt care for it he is still looking very hard at the tikka t3 in 7mag. I will let you all know what happens!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/14/2012 at 20:13
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That sounds like it might well do the trick. For most people, I think a common caliber like .30-06, .270 or .308 Win is a good way to go. Guys say all kinds of things about their ballistics, but without a hell of a lot of range time, a range finder and a really good scope it's mostly wishful thinking to need anything that shoots beyond 300 yards. If he doesn't go for the 30-06, I'd also recommend the Tikka T3. I'm seriously considering getting one.
If he goes light, consider that a .308 Win will have less recoil than most. But don't let anybody tell you it isn't enough for elk. It is.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2012 at 10:29
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The '06 is a great old round. It is probably responsible for stopping more beating hearts than all other cartridges put together. But that being said, the 7mm will always have better ballistics, and about the same recoil in comparable rifles.

As far rifle's go, I am sold on Savages. Weatherby Vanguards/Howa's are usually a good choice as well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2012 at 10:54
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If I could only have one hunting rifle it would be the 06. With over a 100 years of proven performance its hard to find fault in this caliber.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/15/2012 at 11:21
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Originally posted by lucytuma lucytuma wrote:

If I could only have one hunting rifle it would be the 06. With over a 100 years of proven performance its hard to find fault in this caliber.


+1

over the counter bullet/round selection means you'll never be over or under gunned in north america.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2012 at 10:53
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I do also continue to be impressed how my friend, with his POS tupperware stock $350 .270 (including scope) can still get animals. After shooting a cow elk Thursday, he mentioned he hadn't even fired the rifle since 2009. For those who aren't aware, a .270 is a necked-down .30-06 cartridge with better ballistics...if you can up the weight in similarly-shaped bullets.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2012 at 11:21
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Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:



I do also continue to be impressed how my friend, with his POS tupperware stock $350 .270 (including scope) can still get animals. After shooting a cow elk Thursday, he mentioned he hadn't even fired the rifle since 2009. For those who aren't aware, a .270 is a necked-down .30-06 cartridge with better ballistics...if you can up the weight in similarly-shaped bullets.


I think it is unethical to not run some test rounds through your equipment before hunting season! Especially with low end optics!!! But to each ther own...
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: November/17/2012 at 11:47
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Originally posted by jselsor jselsor wrote:

Originally posted by jonoMT jonoMT wrote:



I do also continue to be impressed how my friend, with his POS tupperware stock $350 .270 (including scope) can still get animals. After shooting a cow elk Thursday, he mentioned he hadn't even fired the rifle since 2009. For those who aren't aware, a .270 is a necked-down .30-06 cartridge with better ballistics...if you can up the weight in similarly-shaped bullets.


I think it is unethical to not run some test rounds through your equipment before hunting season! Especially with low end optics!!! But to each ther own...
 
Same here. In fact, I went back to the range between hunts just to verify a high-end rifle and scope because one shot didn't feel quite right. I guess as long as the rifle doesn't get banged around and he connects without merely maiming or wasting meat I can only encourage more practice. "C" seems to know his limits and never shoots over 100 or so. I did have to remind him to unchamber a loaded round from his rifle when we started to drag the carcass down. I always make that my first task before field dressing.
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