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Old February 21, 2013, 02:58 PM   #1
Shep
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Opinions Please: Which .30-06?

I'm going to buy a bolt gun for 300+ yd deer and target use.

I can't decide between a Winchester (FN) M70, Ruger M77, or a Savage 110.
I want to keep the weight (without a scope) under 7.5 lbs, if possible, the barrel length to not more than 24", and the price under $1,000. excluding the scope.

Oh, and I prefer that it be left handed. (left eye dominant)

What do you use or suggest and why?

Many thanks!
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Old February 21, 2013, 03:16 PM   #2
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The Winchester is my preferene, but it is not offered in a left handed version. Ruger does offer a lefty and would be my 2nd choice. I'd learn to shoot a right handed gun from the left side as my 3rd choice.
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Old February 21, 2013, 03:18 PM   #3
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If weight is an issue..... Savage.
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Old February 21, 2013, 03:45 PM   #4
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I've been shooting right-handed or ambidextrous (sp?) guns all my life.
I've still got scars on my hand from teachers trying to convert me to right-handed, (yeah, I'm that old) so just this once I thought I'd indulge myself.

I can shoot (handguns & rifles) with either hand, but lefty is more comfortable.
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Old February 21, 2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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Lefties can't be too picky if they want a Winchester and might have to.settle for a different cartridge than they had planned on. If you aren't willing to settle for something different than the 06 you'll probably have to stick with the Ruger or Savage.
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Old February 21, 2013, 04:20 PM   #6
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I'm left handed and actually most of my bolt guns are right handed. If i'm hunting off a rest or resting the forearm on the window in a box stand I prefer it that way. I don't have to take my firing hand off the FCG and follow up shots are quicker. Any of the 3 rifles listed will shoot well. I do like the Ruger M77's but that's just me.
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Old February 21, 2013, 05:00 PM   #7
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I`m a Savage fan. If you later deside you want a differend cal. you can change the barrel yourself, I like changeing barrels and cal`s, so they are my choice. They shoot good also, can`t go wrong with a Savage.
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Old February 21, 2013, 05:32 PM   #8
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Ruger M77, Hands Down.

I have shot a Ruger M77 in .270 and it was the nicest shooting and smoothest action I have ever felt. It is a great, accurate rifle especially with a Leupold scope.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:13 PM   #9
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You may want to also consider the Weatherby Vanguard S2. It is very accurate, well made and has a great trigger. It is on the heavy side, but still comes in under 7.5 lbs. I do not think they offer a left hand version. The base model comes with a hinged plate magazine, but you can order the long action with a detachable magazine. According to Weatherby's website the MSRP for the base model is $649, but the real world price is ~ $450 (I bought mine for $425).

Last edited by Joe Chicago; February 21, 2013 at 07:18 PM.
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Old February 21, 2013, 07:48 PM   #10
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Savage makes some great rifles and I love my .243 110C from the late 70s or early 80s. It is highly accurate and the trigger is much better than my new Ruger American (although I haven't tried to adjust it yet).

I've always been intrigued by the model 70, but due to the fact that they are made of an alloy of unobtainium and high expensium, one has never found its way into my possession.

To be honest, I've never shot a M77.
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Old February 21, 2013, 09:04 PM   #11
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:31 PM   #12
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You really cant go wrong with any of those three, but for me it would be a toss up between Ruger and Savage.

For the money I would personally get a Ruger American, but they offer no lefty option.

I shoot left handed and don't own a single lefty rifle. It limits you a great deal on your options (especially used) to look for lefty rifles exclusively. I'm used to shooting right handed rifles backwards and even when I order a new gun thats offered in a lefty, I still get the right handed model. Just what I've gotten used to.
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
The Winchester is my preferene, but it is not offered in a left handed version. Ruger does offer a lefty and would be my 2nd choice. I'd learn to shoot a right handed gun from the left side as my 3rd choice.

Winchester does make that model in left handed versions but only short action so you would have to go .308 instead of 30-06. The 300 yard range is well within the capabilities of that gun in that caliber.
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Old February 21, 2013, 11:29 PM   #14
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You might also consider an older Rem 700. Some people don't like the current ones, but there are a lot of older left handed 700s out there. The 7mm Mag would also be a good choice if you feel the need to stretch things a bit beyond 300 yards. I doubt you would be able to tell the difference in recoil. The 30-06, however, is a very good choice. As others have said, Savage and Ruger are both good choices. Go with a left handed bolt if you are actually left handed. You will be happier in the long run. If you are right handed, learn to close your left eye. It is not that hard for most people. I shoot a rifle left handed and bow right handed off my non-dominant eye. I just close the appropriate eye. It soon becomes automatic. Then you can get the Winchester if you want.
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Old February 22, 2013, 01:02 AM   #15
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I hadn't considered an older rifle. I'd like a new one (birthday comin' up) and I want to limit my rifle calibers to the ones I already have.

Though there are many good choices in .308, I want to stay away from any more calibers that the military or police use. I like the '06 and there are lots of factory loads available for it. Besides, I'm a traditionalist

Anyone have any experience with the Tikka T3? It's not one that I've thought about before now, but I've seen several mentions of Tikkas on TFL.

...and thanks!

Last edited by Shep; February 22, 2013 at 01:46 AM.
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:47 AM   #16
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I own a Ruger M77 in .270 win. 2006 wood stock. No mods. I have no experience with the other rifles listed.
My M77 is very accurate at 100m using factory ammo with a $70 3-9x40Chinese scope. It'll shoot 3 shot groups and put 2 bullets ontop of each other and the 3rd close enough for it to all look like 1 hole.
It has the Mauser action, which is quite nice and the trigger on mine feels decent, but could easily benefit from some trigger work.

Also, to me, the rifle feels pretty light, it has a 22'' barrel and seems to be under 10lbs unloaded w/ optics. I can shoulder and aim the rifle with only my trigger hand and keep the rifle somewhat steady.

Spent about $750 and walked out of the store with the rifle, a cleaning kit, optics, a sling and 2 boxes of ammo.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:22 AM   #17
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My experience with the T3 is limited to handling and dry firing, but they have a great reputation. My dad had several .308s (his favorite cartridge) including several various bolts and levers. He tells me his favorite bolt for deer hunting is his T3 Lite SS. He prefers it over his Savage Weather Warrior, but just barely.
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Old February 22, 2013, 06:55 AM   #18
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You could pick up that Savage WeatherWarrior in a Lefthand version in 30-06, for about 750.00, its stainless, accustock, accutrigger..... It's a super rifle.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:52 AM   #19
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I agree with hooligan 1 on the weather warrior. I have a Savage model 16 weather warrior in .243. SS Barrel, accutrigger, accustock, and I love the thing.
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Old February 22, 2013, 11:38 AM   #20
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I would go with the Savage. Although for $1000 if you really want to spend that you could pick up the Weather Warrior as mentioned above which I tend to believe would be my choice.
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Old February 22, 2013, 12:04 PM   #21
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You might look at the CZ 550 American

I have one with a Kevlar stock and it comes with a set trigger.

I shot it last weekend in 20 to 25 degree temperatures with hand loads - IMR 4350 powder and 175 grain Nosler bullets while I was testing loads shooting 3 round groups to see what it might like.
It seemed to like this load.

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Old February 22, 2013, 02:36 PM   #22
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Opinions Please: Which .30-06?

Although it isn't one you named I'll throw out Tikka T3 Lite. It meets all other requirements you listed and is very accurate. Unfortunately it is also ugly. I'm also left eye dominant, mine shoots < 1 MOA.

Sorry I don't have experience with the specific rifles you named. They are probably all great. I've been eyeballing the M77 Hawkeye for quite some time. I do have one friend that owns two. Both are shooters.

Last edited by wyobohunter; February 23, 2013 at 02:00 PM.
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Old February 22, 2013, 03:00 PM   #23
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For a $1000 budget you can get a lot of rifle. I would look for a Kimber or used Sako 75. The Savages are very accurate and the new Ruger American is as well and at $350 you can spend a lot of glass which is a smart investment. My advice is buy a basic rifle and spend as much on glass as possible. High end Nikon, Leupold and Ziess are your best bets.

I'm left eye dominant too but don't have issues with scopes. I struggles for a while with shooting shotguns with both eyes open finally conditioned myself to compensate and overcome the problem.
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Old February 22, 2013, 04:13 PM   #24
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Most of my bolt-action rifles are Rugers and they have never disappointed in terms of all the important categories of workmanship, reliability, durability or accuracy. Too, Ruger's customer service is second to none in my experience. That said, the other rifle brands you are considering are doubtless good choices too.
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Old February 22, 2013, 04:22 PM   #25
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You can get a Remington 700 and a Nikon or Redfield scope under a thousand dollars, in brand new CONDITION, - they are auctioned on gunbroker all the time! Remingtons 700 bolt action is legendary - its what a lot of military and LEOs use.
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