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Old March 25, 2009, 12:19 AM   #1
Telgriff
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Looking for opinions

OK, I've spent the past few weeks digging through the countless threads on here as well as on snipercentral, in the search for my next rifle. I know there are too many of these types of threads as it is, but seriously guys and gals help!

I basically decided on .308 because I don't see myself reloading in the near future and 6.5 swede is almost non existent in factory ammo over here.

It has to be bolt action due to our gun laws, and my main thinking is something reliable (cope with rain, heat, dirt etc), and something with MOA or better accuracy. I will probably get a Lever action 30-30 in the future, so Its mainly focusing on 308 bolt action for now.

I've looked at everything from HS Precision, Blaser and Sako TRG-22 (being expensive at 5+ grand), to Savage ($1,500 base price and no one has them in stock) to Stevens 200 (but not liking the stock and not finding anywhere that can change it). Remington I am still unsure about, there is so much for and against them that I am on the fence with them. Howa is another consideration but I cant find much info on them.

So I looked at what I would use it for. It will be prone out to 600m for Range shooting, with hunting in its future (hence the need for durability). I will be moving to rural areas in the next 6-12 months, so hunting will probably become a more prominent factor.

Tikka's are still an option but part of me wants something else in the safe for some variety in handling and stock designs.

What I am after is opinions, brand loyalty is understandable, I just need feedback from people to help put some more weight on the decision scales in my head.

Sorry for being yet another one of these posts, but I just cannot decide on this and would love some feedback.

Oh and price bracket? Just not over the top (Accuracy International at $AUD8,000+ is classed as over the top), but otherwise if it takes me 2 years to save for it, then its worth it.

Last edited by Telgriff; March 25, 2009 at 12:39 AM. Reason: Price
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Old March 25, 2009, 01:44 AM   #2
sholling
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I've had my eye on the Savage 12 F/TR but can't justify it to myself until I move someplace with a 600m range nearby. I would say it's a great choice for your 600m target shooting but 12lbs is a bit much to hunt with. The Tikka T3 Varmint or Super Varmint is solidly sub-MOA and fun and a good deal lighter but it's not in the same league if you plan on competing.

I'm thinking you're really looking at 2 rifles. A long range target rifle and a hunting rifle.
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Old March 25, 2009, 05:30 AM   #3
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what is ur price range i agree with sholling u want 2 guns a nice 98 bravo in 308 would be the go 4 the 600m stuff but it will cost ya bout 5-8k or steyr 5 about 3k the scout rifle looks good havent heard about its performance if u pm me ill go to my local and have a look at prices and availabilty and if u want anythink they will order it in 4 u and its only in newcastle ...
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Old March 25, 2009, 05:48 AM   #4
Telgriff
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Thats what I have been thinking about also, that I am asking two rifles to be one.

Re-reading your post, I don't see myself competing in anything other than 'nice shot there bob'. No comps or anything of the sort (becomes too much like work and less like fun and enjoyment). Shooting for me is about beating my own best, never anyone else.

That said, the Tikka Varmint was a consideration for a hunting rifle in 308 (though recoil might be a bit much for a light rifle when practicing at the range). Did you ever hunt with yours at all Sholling?

Damien: I had considered Steyr's as an option aswell, and the Scout had certainly caught my eye. Though it kicks like a mule on anything over .243 because of the weight and stock design from the reports I have heard on them. And at around 1,500 for the Steyr, I'd spend a bit more and find a Sako instead I think.
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:24 AM   #5
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Hi Aussies. When you said $1500 for a Savage what model were you looking at ? Some of these prices seem a little high. Is that because of the exchange rate or do you have high taxes / registration fees on your guns ?
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:25 AM   #6
sholling
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Quote:
the Tikka Varmint was a consideration for a hunting rifle in 308 (though recoil might be a bit much for a light rifle when practicing at the range). Did you ever hunt with yours at all Sholling?
No my Super Varmint is in .223 and is used strictly for target practice. It's just too heavy to carry for my taste. The bare rifle is better than 8lbs and I have 22oz of 6-24x50 scope mounted to it. That makes it just about 9-1/2lbs. I have 6.1lb (7lbs scoped) T3 Lites and 7lb Howas for hunting.
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Last edited by sholling; March 25, 2009 at 10:33 AM.
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:45 AM   #7
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Go look at the Remington web site and look at their military M24's a couple of different configurations and not near the price of many.The Remington 700 is by far the most used action for what you have described.
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Go look at the Remington web site and look at their military M24's a couple of different configurations and not near the price of many.The Remington 700 is by far the most used action for what you have described

As far as that goes, it's been a long time since I had a Rem 700 that I couldn't make shoot 1 MOA.
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:59 AM   #9
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can you get these down there ??? I've been kinda wanting one, for something different...

http://www.storm.ca/~aiarms/M10-B2.shtm
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Old March 25, 2009, 01:28 PM   #10
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recalled
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Old March 25, 2009, 04:34 PM   #11
Telgriff
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Quote:
can you get these down there ??? I've been kinda wanting one, for something different...
Yep, they are on my list of consideration, especially now the initial problems have been eliminated. Over here they are about $1,500 for the Match grade one (the B2), and about a 1,300 for the standard models. They look and feel very sturdy in the way that WWII Milsurps feel indestructible.

Quote:
I have 6.1lb (7lbs scoped) T3 Lites and 7lb Howas for hunting.
Wow, I didnt realise that the SVarmint was heavier than the Howa's. I found the Howa 1500 (Hogue Stock) to be significantly heavier than the Tikka's I have handled.
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Old March 25, 2009, 05:08 PM   #12
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Whoa.... Let's take another look at your situation. Australia, right? And it has GOT to be bolt action, right?

The .308 or 7.62 NATO caliber is a good one. They have plenty of punch and good ammo is extremely accurate. That's why the NATO and SEATO allies all have .308 caliber sniper rifles. That 7.62 NATO National Match ammo can be zeroed in so fine that it is almost scary! So that is a good ammo choice.

But what do you really want to do with your rifle?

My guess is that you want to be able to protect yourself, your loved ones and maybe bag animals for food when things get really bad, right? If you are looking for a general survival rifle that can function also for personal protection down under, why not go with a high quality .303 SMLE that is scoped? If you get a sniper variant of the SMLE you can hunt with it, protect yourself and loved ones, the ammo for that rifle is more plentiful in Australia than most other ammo and you can probably get a couple of rifles for the price of a luxury hunting rifle. The SMLE was also designed to be stronger for military purposes than most .308 hunting rifles that you can get.

If you really have your heart set on a .308 caliber rifle then Howa, Tikka, Remington, Ruger and Savage all make good rifles. The Savage has an adjustable trigger which can make your shooting feel a lot better. Howa is or was making rifles for Weatherby so the quality of the Howa rifles is right up there.

One other group of rifles that you might want to look at would be the Mauser rifles. Now, when you open up this can, you're looking at good rifles that shoot things like the .270 Winchester or the ever-popular 6.5 X 55 Swedish Mauser rifles. So what I would do is take a look at what support system I would have down under, select a rifle caliber that I could easily get ammo for in the area in a pinch and then buy the rifle that is most practical for the area that fits me. So if Brand X rifles have people in place I can easily turn to down there and if the ammo is right for my needs, that is the one with which I would go. But, again, I would not discount a good scoped or sniper military surplus rifle at all.
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Old March 25, 2009, 05:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Wow, I didnt realise that the SVarmint was heavier than the Howa's. I found the Howa 1500 (Hogue Stock) to be significantly heavier than the Tikka's I have handled.
Yes a Howa M1500 with Hogue stock is a good 1-1/4lb heavier than a Tikka T3 Lite. Both are good rifles but the design goals were completely different. Light weight vs dirt cheap. You'll also find that the Howa's Hogue stock flexes too much for use with a shooting sling or a bipod.

Among the Tikkas most of the weight difference in the Super Varmint is in the longer, thicker barrel. A varmint rifle is made for sustained shooting at long ranges from a fixed position, while hunting rifle is made to carry mile after mile.

T3 Lite (30-06) vs T3 Super Varmint (.223)



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Last edited by sholling; March 25, 2009 at 06:04 PM.
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Old March 25, 2009, 06:03 PM   #14
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Its interesting that you mention the Lee Enfield, I was just looking at them. Though the scope version of them are 4 grand and there arent any available at the moment.
The standard No. 4 MK 1 is at $800 so that's a more acceptable price (for Australia at least). Cant seem to find a source on 303 ammo, but I'm sure the guys at the range know where to get crates of the stuff.

The only reason I chose a .308 over other calibers was purely for the fact that there is tons of it around for semi decent prices and that I dont see reloading in the near future for me. A .308 also covers pretty much every game animal in the country and its ballistics vs recoil and expense are good. Though a 30-06 is also under consideration for the same reasons.

Last edited by Telgriff; March 25, 2009 at 06:29 PM.
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Old March 25, 2009, 06:30 PM   #15
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just about 48hrs. right on schedule for this question. I asked it too a few cycles ago. LOL
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Old March 25, 2009, 06:35 PM   #16
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if you don't mind spending 3k, i think the trg 22 is the best of the high end. Battle tested, superb accuracy, less money than its peers, and available now all over the place. If they made it lefty bolt, i would own one.
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Old March 25, 2009, 06:45 PM   #17
Telgriff
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Quote:
just about 48hrs. right on schedule for this question. I asked it too a few cycles ago. LOL
Yeah I know, I actually avoided starting this thread because there are so many of them already.

I do like pretty much everything about the TRG-22 and despite its $4,600 base price here in Oz, its still on my list of range rifles. The couple of instances of the trigger problem made me wary for some time, but I think expecting 'perfection' for a factory made rifle is asking too much.

Thanks to the feedback in here, its definately going to be two rifles. One range rifle, one hunting rifle.

Last edited by Telgriff; March 25, 2009 at 07:06 PM. Reason: removal of text
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Old March 25, 2009, 09:17 PM   #18
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The problem with the Trg is that all the extras, which you need, are spendy and not universal. But, EVERYBODY says this is a superbly accurate rifle. The AI's are nice but lots more, The blaser LRS 2 is also very nice but still lots more. You might look at Dakota rifles. They will make you a beautiful hunting style rifle with tactical long range precision. Also in this price range the Blaser Varminter in 308 is exceptionally accurate- their barrels are unbelievable and the rifle may be taken down in less than a minute and put in a suitcase. Because the scope attaches directly to the barrel, when you put it back together, in less than a minute, its still zeroed! I have one in 300 WM and its cool.
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Old March 25, 2009, 09:21 PM   #19
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MODEL 88 WINCHESTER CHAMBERD IN 308 lol
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Old March 25, 2009, 09:43 PM   #20
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So, .308 is the most common round you can find in your area, right? How about a SMLE made in India that uses the .308 ammo? They hold 12 rounds. Bolt action rifles and you can scope them. Just about any Enfield can be scoped by a competent gunsmith. I would have thought that you could get a decent .303 Enfield in Australia for a lot less than a much more costly hunting rifle. I would check with the guys at the shooting club to see if anybody has an Enfield for sale that you can have a scope mounted on for your needs. The scope probably does not have to be expensive or super complicated. A decent 4 or 6 power magnification scope will probably serve the overwhelming needs of your shooting situations. If you set the rifle so that you can switch scopes then you can have more than one scope to use on the same rifle later. For general work you use a 4 X scope. For really accurate shooting you switch to your variable power 10 X to 40 X scope for long range shooting. You can do the same thing to any hunting rifle you buy too if you know a good gunsmith. Have you got one near you? Have you talked over your options with the local gunsmith too? He might also be able to guide you to a rifle you like for a lot less money than you need to spend too.
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:11 PM   #21
Telgriff
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The choice just got a lot easier

Quote:
The problem with the Trg is that all the extras, which you need, are spendy and not universal.
Very true. From memory it was looking at around 6 grand to get a decent long range rig setup with the TRG. Oh and Blasers are about 6 grand here.

I just did some more research about common pests and most likely game within my future rural location as well as my expected plans for the next couple of years. Rabbits, foxes, feral cats, pigs and Grey Kangaroos are the primary animals within that area. With the exception of Pigs, all of the other can be taken by my current 223 Tikka.
As far as hunting outside of that area of southern New South Wales, I dont see that happening for some time and even then the game only changes to Goats being added to the list.

Oh and OLN's suggestion wasn't bad, though I was thinking more along the lines of a Lever Action 30-30 as far as Lever action's were concerned.
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:27 PM   #22
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my tikka 595 in 223 will put as many as you want in a dime size hole at 100. absolutely love it.
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:32 PM   #23
Telgriff
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Likewise but mines a T3 Lite, that is of course when I am on the ball, instead of making it look bad by shooting poorly. It LOVES 69g HPBT, but they are essentially useless for anything outside of the range.
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:37 PM   #24
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i am getting repeatable .5 MOA with factory 55gr hornady ballistic tips and a bipod. Love to try some heavy bullets, but ammo scarce in the socialist states of america.
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Old March 25, 2009, 10:45 PM   #25
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So I hear, rather concerning how rapidly ammunition availability has dropped over there. I've ordered up some Federal Nosler Ballistic Tips in 55gr, to see if the rifle likes them or not.
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