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Rifle Choice

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Category: Firearms, Bows, and Ammunition
Forum Name: Firearms
Forum Description: All makes, models and uses
Printed Date: January/20/2020 at 12:34
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.01 -

Topic: Rifle Choice
Posted By: pcrage
Subject: Rifle Choice
Date Posted: March/08/2010 at 15:37
Quick question:

Looking at a rifle for some hunts out west (mulie/elk) over the next couple years. Need a .30-06 in my stable and was considering the following in that caliber:

Kimber Montana
Cooper Excalibur
Sako synthetic or Finnlite

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks much..... Pete

Posted By: bugsNbows
Date Posted: March/08/2010 at 16:28
Good choices there. The Coopers are great, I have one in 25-06. It's a DANDY. Sako's are also a good choice, although I prefer the older model 75 to the newer 85 and A7. Mine is a model 75 in 30-06 and it shoots great. Kimber's are funny... some are shooters and some suck. I've heard purchasing a Kimber is like roulette. Good luck with your selection. BTW, welcome!

If we're not suppose to eat come they're made of meat?

Posted By: Foxman
Date Posted: March/08/2010 at 17:26
Remington bdl 700, can't go wrong!

Posted By: lucytuma
Date Posted: March/08/2010 at 18:15
All very nice rifles, but given the choice I'd go Cooper.

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." - Thomas Jefferson

Posted By: Tip69
Date Posted: March/09/2010 at 08:59
my local Scheels has a Model 52 Cooper for $1500...... seems like a pretty good deal.

take em!

Posted By: SVT_Tactical
Date Posted: March/09/2010 at 09:05
I have heard hit or miss things with Kimber and while i think the sako is a fine rifle, there is something to be said about owing a cooper.

"Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be" - Abraham Lincoln

Posted By: jonoMT
Date Posted: March/09/2010 at 09:09
Don't forget to consider the total rifle package. An $800 rifle with a $1000 scope would be better in most cases than a $1500 rifle with a $300 scope.

Reaction time is a factor...

Posted By: BillyWayne
Date Posted: March/09/2010 at 09:15
I would go with the Cooper.  Second choice would be the Sako.  As people have said the Kimbers are hit or miss.  I prefer Remingtons because I like to customize them.  I change most springs, pillar bed, lap lugs, etc.  If you like to play go Remington, but if you want a sharp shooter off the bat go with Cooper.  Just my 2 sheckels. 

John 11:35
The're taking the hobbits to Isengard!!

Posted By: cbm
Date Posted: March/09/2010 at 09:17
Wow finally one I can comment on !!! I have owned a Sako 75 greywolf .30-06 and currently own a Cooper Excalibur .30-06 . And my best friend owns several rifles but one of them is a Kimber Montana .270wsm ............I have shot the gun a lot since he's owned it !
Sako was a great shooting gun, has a nice 5 round clip, smooth action, great trigger. Mine was just a little too heavy for me, the wood stock dinged up easy, and there was some slop in the action that I did not like (however it worked perfectly......just didn't feel right to me). Shot under MOA.
My buddy's Kimber- nice lightweight rifle. It's a nice rifle but I don't like it that much. The barrel heats up really fast and makes it hard to sight in. The trigger pull from the factory is stiff (I measured his at 4lb 10oz), it's got a blind magazine(I like clips better). I have never got his gun to shoot under MOA but it is probably a 1.5" gun at 100 yrds.
My Cooper - best handling/feeling gun I have toughed, smoothest/tightest action I have handled. Mine's been some trouble.......needed a new magazine, needed recrowned, and the extractor has been replaced. I still don't like the magazine but it is functional and I am still concerned it has extractor issues (but I need to shoot it more). The good's a freakin' shooter now. I shot a 3 shot group recently with Fed matchking 165's that was about 1/4" at 100 yrds. I also shot a 4 shot group of Win. Ballistic Silvertip 168's that was under 1/2" at 100rds ! I locked everything down and made a perfect shot on a whitetail doe at 190yrds ! I love the gun but I am a little put out for the trouble it's caused me (having said that ....I did a lot of research and never heard of anyone else having any trouble)!
If I was in your shoes ........I'd buy the Cooper. I feel like my problems are isolated.

Posted By: pcrage
Date Posted: March/09/2010 at 12:10
Good pioint and no worries.  I have a swaro Z5 3.5-18 x 44 to put on this rifle when I buy it.

Posted By: RifleDude
Date Posted: March/09/2010 at 14:03
Welcome, pcrage!

Since you said the rifle will be used for hunting elk and mule deer, the real question becomes:  how important is rifle weight to you?  The Kimber Montana will be the lightest of the bunch by between 1/2 lb. to a full lb.  There's nothing wrong with any of the 3 rifles.  I have personal experience with the hit or miss accuracy of Kimbers.  My 84M had some issues out of the box, but I fixed them, and now it shoots quite well, as long as you allow the pencil thin barrel plenty of time to cool between shots. 

I'm a big Sako fan, but I detest the Finnlite stock personally.  I hate the looks of the grey contrasting grip inserts.  I like the regular black synthetic stock of theirs only slightly better.  Something about their synthetic stocks just doesn't appeal to me.  If I were getting an "all weather" Sako, I'd get the Hunter Laminated Stainless model, as I really like the way the black/gray laminated stock looks with the stainless.  But, that's a rather heavy rifle, so if you are looking for light, the synthetic stocked versions are the way to go, but they are still considerably heavier than the Kimber Montana.

I love Coopers too!  I have 2 of their M21 Varmint rifles, and both are spooky accurate.  Every Cooper I've shot, which have been several, have been tackdrivers.  I like the Sako action better than the Cooper action, though they are both 3 lug designs.  I think the Sako action is a little more foolproof.  However, Coopers have better barrels, and the average Cooper will kick the other 2 rifles' butts in the accuracy department!  Stylistically, Coopers are nice looking rifles with great fit and finish.

The Cooper would probably be my first choice of those rifles as well, followed by the Sako. 

...Unless I was trying to put together a super light rig -- which certainly makes sense for a mountain rifle -- in which case the Kimber Montana wins out.  For a rifle that you're likely to carry for miles in the high country and only shoot it once or twice on a hunt, shaving 1/2 lb. from the weight of your gear makes a world of difference!


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.

Posted By: Tip69
Date Posted: March/09/2010 at 14:06
Those Coopers at Scheels all come with a target from the factory and the holes are tiny...just one ragged hole!

take em!

Posted By: pcrage
Date Posted: March/10/2010 at 19:57
many thanks for the opinions...
picked up the cooper excalibur today... nice piece of machinery.  Mounting the scope this weekend and looking forward to putting a few rounds through it.

Posted By: Urimaginaryfrnd
Date Posted: March/10/2010 at 20:12
 I really like the Remmington stainless R5 mil spec 300 WM  and the Tikka.  The Sako A7 in 300 WM has a magazine which likes a short overall length case.  The Tikka is the bargain of the group guaranteed sub moa.


"Always do the right thing, just because it is the right thing to do".
Bobby Paul Doherty
Texas Ranger

Posted By: 55spartan
Date Posted: March/10/2010 at 20:35
Kimber Montana

Posted By: Corndawg
Date Posted: March/12/2010 at 20:33
Very, very fine rifles you're considering. Costly, but fine. Why a 30/06? For mulies & elk?
I'd consider a .280 long before a 30/06, and for what you want to shoot, nothing would fit the bill better than a 7mm mag.

I like to measure powder by the cup.

You can tell a lot about a man by the edge he keeps on his pocket knife.


Posted By: pcrage
Date Posted: March/19/2010 at 20:43
Brought the cooper to the range today...  after a few rounds and adjustments to the Z5 this rifle was incredibly accurate at 100yds.  Happy with the choice....

Posted By: Ed Connelly
Date Posted: March/19/2010 at 21:08
Go to a gun store............look at a bunch of the one you like the best......

Be sure to visit, - THE ED SHOW

Ju Cucarachas!!!

Posted By: Tip69
Date Posted: March/20/2010 at 10:03
No Pics

take em!

Posted By: SamC
Date Posted: March/20/2010 at 16:45
I have a Kimber Montana in 30 06 that shoots great but like Ted said, while at the range you have to let that light barrel cool down which isn't a problem in a hunting situation.


Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
Winston Churchill

Posted By: RifleDude
Date Posted: March/20/2010 at 16:46
Originally posted by pcrage pcrage wrote:

Brought the cooper to the range today...  after a few rounds and adjustments to the Z5 this rifle was incredibly accurate at 100yds.  Happy with the choice....

Thunbs Up


Money can't buy happiness... but it's much more comfortable to cry in a Porsche than on a bicycle.

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