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Old September 2, 2014, 01:44 PM   #1
Kavanaughty
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Searching for new rifle

Hi folks, first post here on The Firing Line.

I've recently taken up hunting and as a result I'm finding myself immersed in the world of firearms. As the title implies, I'm going to be buying a new rifle soon but I'm having trouble finding the right one.

I intend to use this rifle for hunting (mostly deer, black bears and moose) and possibly target shooting. So far I've come up with this:

• Bolt-action or lever-action
• Regarding calibers, I was recommended to choose between .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield
• Stainless steel/aluminum alloy/titanium (not many guns around with titanium as far as I know, still worth mentioning I suppose), no carbon steel
• For the stock, I'd prefer laminated wood but I'll still consider synthetic as well (as much as I admire the beauty of wood I worry it about its durability in my weather)
• All-around simple; I tend to avoid proprietary designs (especially when gimmicky) if they make it more difficult to maintain or repair the gun
• Quality is of the utmost importance
• New (as opposed to used)

I'm giving myself a $1500 budget for this purchase. If I spend less, whatever's left will go toward a new scope (in addition to the $750 I'm already willing to spend on optics). All in all, I'm looking for something that I'll be able to cherish for a lifetime.

Any recommendations are appreciated.

Last edited by Kavanaughty; September 2, 2014 at 02:22 PM.
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Old September 2, 2014, 03:11 PM   #2
ligonierbill
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Pretty wide range of options there, but let's focus on your biggest animal. Either caliber will easily kill a moose, but if you want some margin when the angle isn't perfect, you'd like a bigger bullet. The .308 vs. 30-06 debate will go on forever, but most would agree the '06 has an advantage when shooting heavier bullets. I would load a high quality 180 for Bullwinkle. So caliber '06. Do you really like lever actions? If so, you are going to be limited to, say a Browning BLR. Excellent rifle, but I'm not sure they make an "all weather" version. But turnbolts will give you many choices, and most major makers sell a stainless synthetic version of their rifle. The new FN Winchester Model 70 has quite a following. I have an older "New Haven" Classic Featherweight in walnut and blued steel, and it is a great, accurate rifle. The only "all weather" rifle I own is a Savage 116 "Weather Warrior". You can buy two for your $1,500 (even Canadian), so you could get both calibers! But seriously, it's an ugly beast, but rock solid and a great shooter. Mine is a .338 Win Mag, which will really put the hurt on your critters, but it's more than you need. Good rifle, though. Browning makes good bolt actions also. Remington has been taking their lumps lately. I do have a '60's vintage 700 that is excellent, but I'm not sure I'd go there now. Bottom line: Go buy a Winchester Model 70 all weather 30-06. Put a good Leupold 2-7 (yes, 2-7...folks go with too much magnification on hunting rifles these days) on it, and you're good to go. Put the money you have left over into ammo, and practice much. Good hunting!
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Old September 2, 2014, 05:24 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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The real-world differences between .30-06 and .308 are essentially zero.

Folks can (and have) argued until they're blue but the differences are academic at best. Until you get to very heavy bullets, there's often no difference whatsoever. Check some load data for both cartridges, you'll see such over-lap that in most cases you could never guess which one was which.

If you can't decide, roll dice or throw darts. For me , when all else is equal I'd rather have a short-action, which means .308Win (although neither would be my first (or second) choice).

It'd be hard to go wrong with a Browning X-bolt White Gold, although the stock is real (unlaminated) wood. Their composite 3D Bird's Eye Maple is cool too.

The X-Bolt is an excellent firearm and would serve you and your descendants well for generations.
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Old September 2, 2014, 06:02 PM   #4
MrBorland
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A Tikka T3 Laminated Stainless, perhaps? Tikka T3 are excellent rifles, and ought to be well within your budget.

http://www.tikka.fi/t3models.php?laminatedss


A little pricier and at the top of your price range, but a bit more refined is the T3's cousin, the Sako 85 Laminated Stainless:

http://www.sako.fi/sako85models.php?hunterlamss
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Old September 2, 2014, 06:55 PM   #5
taylorce1
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Four words: Ruger Hawkeye Compact Laminate
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Old September 2, 2014, 09:36 PM   #6
Savage99
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Welcome to the forum Kava.

You have good ideas. Get a rifle with a good three position safety like the M70's or Rugers. Leupold scopes are a standard. A 2-7X is just fine.

Don't worry about making a choice and then it's the only one for a lifetime!

While I still have the M70 I bought new in 1957 I shoot and hunt with many other rifles.
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Old September 2, 2014, 11:33 PM   #7
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Another vote for the Tikka T3 Laminated Stainless.
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Old September 3, 2014, 06:08 AM   #8
Bennyfatsack
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Howa stainless fluted 1500, laminate thumbhole stock, ten shot mag kit, leupold 3-12 power vx6. Will all come in under your budget, or if going to be a one rifle man try Burris eliminator range finding scope. I rate howa got three of them now and perform flawlessly. Paired with thumb hole laminate they perform and look great!! In a .308 or if like me I'd prefer .270 but .308 proven and I've got both

Last edited by Bennyfatsack; September 3, 2014 at 06:51 AM. Reason: Forgot cal.
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Old September 3, 2014, 07:27 AM   #9
jmr40
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Quote:
The real-world differences between .30-06 and .308 are essentially zero.
Close, but not zero, and with other factors thrown in I'd still pick 308. While the performance does in fact overlap, and original 308 loads were designed to equal WW-2 era 30-06 loads, with the BEST loads the 30-06 is 100-150 fps faster with 150 gr bullets. As bullet weight goes up, the gap gets wider.

308 is still my pick, even after using 30-06 for 40 years. The 308 does it in smaller more compact rifle, with about 25% less recoil. Accuracy is a tad better, probably because less recoil makes more accurate shooters. With today's better bullets there is far less real need for the heavy bullets. In a nutshell there is nothing I'd hunt with a 30-06, I'd not hunt with a 308. The lighter recoil and more compact rifle are more important to me than 100 fps. If I want more power, I also have a near identical rifle in 300 WSM, that will beat 30-06 by 300-400 fps.

While not one of your criteria a CRF action is high on my list for a do anything, dead nuts relable rifle. I chose a Winchester 70 Extreme Weather in 308 for my go to rifle. I did replace the factory stock with a McMillan Edge to lose 1/2 lb and just too look better. It weighs 7.25 lbs as it sets, shoots around .75 MOA with my hand loads and I'd use it on anything in North America except the large Alaskan Coastal Brown bears.

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Old September 3, 2014, 10:27 AM   #10
Unlicensed Dremel
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Quote:
• Bolt-action or lever-action
Either is good, but I'd go turnbolt in a tie, for sure. Easier to clean, more positive extraction in dirty conditions, slightly lighter typically.

Quote:
• Regarding calibers, I was recommended to choose between .308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield
Almost a wash, but I'd go (and have and do) .30-'06.... ammo is cheaper and more plentiful. And a little more oomph. But doesn't really matter - pick what appeals to you. Shorter bolt throw on .308. I don't buy that recoil is "25% less" - with same bullet, more like 10% less.

Quote:
• Stainless steel/aluminum alloy/titanium (not many guns around with titanium as far as I know, still worth mentioning I suppose), no carbon steel
Sure, why not.

Quote:
• For the stock, I'd prefer laminated wood but I'll still consider synthetic as well (as much as I admire the beauty of wood I worry it about its durability in my weather)
Wood, definitely. Or a composite of various materials including fiberglass, aramid fiber, carbon fiber, and graphite. Down with ordinary polymers. See sig.

Quote:
• All-around simple; I tend to avoid proprietary designs (especially when gimmicky) if they make it more difficult to maintain or repair the gun
Good call, but all turnbolts are proprietary in the strict sense, exept perhaps the 98 Mauser and other old designs in the public domain.

Quote:
• Quality is of the utmost importance
Yes. Think Weatherby Mark V, Browning A-Bolt, Winchester 70, Steyr, Sako 85, Blaser (straight pull), or even a Mauser M12 or M3. Or if you can find it, a NIB (discontinued) T/C Icon Classic. Rem 700 and Ruger 77 are OK as well, particularly a high-end Remington 700. With this parameter, why get a Tikka when you can get its higher-quality big brother, a Sako?

Go for the Blaser R8 or R93 if you want the utmost quality, as you said:

http://www.blaser-usa.com/index.php?L=1
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Old September 3, 2014, 10:52 AM   #11
old-dog
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Just a few comments. A 30-06 will take the game you want although I might go with a little bit more for large Moose. A synthetic stock while not as appealing as wood, will not warp and your gun will get wet eventually. I love the look of wood but my working long guns all had synthetic stocks.

I like bolt action as I have pinched myself too many times with a lever action plus it is a pain to unload versus a bolt action with a magazine. A lever action requires you to eject all the unspent rounds to empty and not quick to reload either. My choice would be a bolt action with a magazine.

My favorite was a 7mm magnum. It was controllable and made such a noise that guys would come over to the rifle range to see what I was shooting. Definitely a double ear protection gun.

Although inexpensive, check out the Ruger American Rifles. Great price and from what I have read, pretty accurate and durable. Plus they are so inexpensive that you can buy two. One for deer and one for Moose Black Bear. Around here, they take Blackies and deer with 30-30 but I would prefer a 30-06.
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