View Full Version : Did I Make A Good Choice?

March 16, 2006, 09:06 AM
I have just recently gotten into hog hunting, and let me say that the bug has really bit me. It really seems to be filling in those gaps between deer and turkey season for me like squirrel and coyotes couldn't quite do (although I haven't given those up entirely). Anyway, I was thinking that it was time for me to snag a new rifle. My previous rifles are a .243 that pulls deer and coyote duty, and .300 win mag that has been WANTING to pull elk duty. Well, I figured that the .243 was a little on the light side for hogs, and my .300 was too nice and expensive to drag through brush and all for hog. Ok, I just wanted a new rifle. So, my criterion was a good gun that was relatively rugged and inexpensive in a caliber that would be good for hogs and could serve as a backup gun when I get to finally go on that elk trip. What I ended up getting was one of Savage's package guns in 7mm Rem Mag. Synthetic, detachable magazine, but no accu-trigger (which I am starting to regret a little, but it was in stock and I am impatient). It now has a Leupold 3-9X40 on it on a Leupold base (which, all told, almost equalled the price of the rifle and the scope that came on it). I'll mostly be doing sit hunting at mid range distances (probably 250 yards at the most). Probably very little stalk as the land I'm on doesn't really lend itself to it. So, did I make a fairly reasonable choice?

I don't have reload equipment, so as of now that isn't an option for me. So, what factory loads and weights would you guys recommend for the 7 mag? Right now I have some Hornady 162 grain BTSP, but I have been considering some partition loads.

Any input is appreciated.

March 16, 2006, 10:21 AM
You made a good choice. Savage package rifles are the most under appreciated rifles ever built. The first 5-shot one hole group I ever fired was from a Savage WalMart Special in .270 w/a $70 scope, Weaver mounts and shooting factory PMC ammo (back when PMC was the cheapest ammo on the shelf and wasn't well regarded). A novice was trying to sight it in at the range where I worked, and couldn’t keep his shots on paper. He asked me to shoot it for him to help “sighting in.” Being such a cheap setup I told him that, although my sight picture would be different from his, I would shoot it anyway just to confirm that his cheap parts were to blame for his accuracy problems and therefore I could at least verify that it wasn’t working properly so he could take it back and get a refund towards a real rifle.

Five careful shots later, I figured the thing was major broke, as I only hit the paper with the first shot. WRONG. 5 shots, one ragged hole at 100 yards. I helped him move the zero, gave him some tips on basic shooting, told him to go buy every box of ammo with that lot number that he could find in the state, and gave him my card and told him to call me if he ever decided to sell it. I have since seen this same scenario repeated several times. Those cheap Savage rifles, man, they frequently can just flat SHOOT!

March 16, 2006, 12:01 PM
I'd say you made a good choice there. If I picked from scratch a dedicated hog gun, it would probably be in .30-06, 8mm mauser, .35 whelen, something like that (.30 cal or bigger), but 7 remmag will work just great as well, particularly with 160s or even 175s for big hogs, and the savage is a good rifle. The money you spent on better scope & rings is also money well spent, IMO. You don't really need accu-trigger on a hunting rifle anyway - that's useful for a precision target or 'sniper' rifle, but not necessary for minute of hog vitals.

March 18, 2006, 02:18 AM
not necessary for minute of hog vitals

Haha, I like that a lot. I'm glad to hear the good reports too. This is my first Savage rifle, and I was just a little apprehensive about it. I'm hoping to do some shooting with it tomorrow and take it afield. FirstFreedom, your points about the caliber are also well received. The model I was looking at (and obviously got) is only made in .270, 7 Mag, .30-06, and .300 win mag. I already have a .300 Mag, and Dad has a .30-06 that is more or less mine now, and you know how it goes...new rifle, want a new caliber to go with it. Also, the guy I always hunt with uses a 7 mag and I figured that was a small bonus, that we'd both be carrying the same cartridges into the field in case we ran into a bunch of them. I tell ya too, I had a Marlin .45-70 that I let go a few months back before I got into hog hunting. I didn't need/use it much then. Now, I really regret letting it go. It would've complimented this new gun well in the field I think for up close use. After getting this new Savage and then setting up the new scope on it, the pocket book doesn't run deep enough to buy another Marlin, but I've been vaguely considering snagging one of those New England single shots in .45-70 to take out there as well...