View Full Version : Opinions from those more learned than I (30-06)

April 22, 2012, 10:44 AM
I am new to rifles and recently purchased a Remington 770 30-06 bolt action rifle. I am in love with this caliber but I am not in love with the action. Can someone point me to either a semi-auto or a lever action 30-06? It will be used for big game hunting (deer, boar, and black bear) as well as long range target shooting. I know some say that bolt action is the way to go for target shooting (I would agree), but for hunting I would like to go with semi or lever. Any thoughts?

April 22, 2012, 11:09 AM
Hunting is mostly about one accurate shot. Nothing wrong with levers and semi-autos, I have plenty of them. But it's hard to come up with a better hunting rifle than a 30/06 bolt gun.

That being said, Browning has made both semi and lever's in that caliber.

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April 22, 2012, 12:11 PM
there are few options available. 30-06 is a pointed bullet so it can not be used in a tube style magazine rendering about 95% of your lever actions null and void. as for semi autos, a majority of the semi autos available are short action designs based either on 7.62 nato, 5.56 nato or x39 soviet. the only options I see available for 06 in semi are a M1 garand or a browning BAR(both are well over $1000 I believe), browning also makes a lever action that is box fed instead of tube fed so they may have a 06 variant but I can't say for certain.

I will reiterate though that hunting is about making that perfect shot the first time, followups are only to put a wounded animal out of it's misery or to drop a animal that was merely wounded by a poorly placed shot. practice with a bolt action will increase your followup speed but if you really do not like the design then I guess it may be best to switch platforms.

April 22, 2012, 12:20 PM
Yeah, the 770 is not a winner. IMO, you should have gone the few extra $$ and gone with the 700 action. You'd have a lot more options...

Long range lever action? Don't think so...

Far as semi auto in big game caliber, that would be accurate enough to use for true long range shooting, you're looking at far bigger "bucks" to accomplish that than can be done with a bolt action.

You say you're "not in love with the action".

Why is that? You do realize that the 770 is the economy line of bolt actions?

Have you run the bolts on more expensive rifles, like the 700 action- before you bought the 770? The reviews I've read online about the 770 action have nothing good to say. If you haven't done so, handle some quality bolt actions that are more suited to using long range- before you decide you don't like bolt actions.

Darren Roberts
April 22, 2012, 12:43 PM
+1 ^^^ I own 2 700 models, 700 VFS 22-250 and 700 XCR 30-06.

I added an oversize bolt handle to the XCR, just my preference, but it has the expected smoothness of most 700s. My only other issue with the XCR is the trigger pull. Its not adjustable like other 700 series, and I would like about a 1.5 lb reduction.
But action is great wouldn't trade it for anything.

I am a diehard fan of the 700s. My next purchase is going to be the BDL 308.

April 22, 2012, 01:57 PM
The Browning BLR is a beautiful gun and available in 30/06. It is more expensive than the Remington 770.

More affordable options might be the Remington 750 Semi-Auto, which has a lack luster reputation in the reliability and accuracy departments. Though I personally have an old 740 in 30/06 that I've never had any problems with.

There is also the Remington 7600 which is a pump action and essentially the same action sans the gas system. The 760/7600 have always seemed to have a better reputation than their 740/742/7400/750 semi-auto brethren.

As a disclaimer: These are hunting guns that will achieve hunting rifle accuracy. In this day and age of 1 MOA Target rifles you need to meter your expectation of accuracy from a non target rifle.

April 22, 2012, 02:15 PM
You are kind of stuck on options going with semi-auto and lever action rifles in .30-06. Most reliable hunting rifles in semi-auto are going to be the Browning BAR and Benelli R1 the Remington semi-autos aren't known on the for their reliability. I've never owned any semi-auto of the semi autos mentioned but from what I've read the Browning and Benelli are hands down the winners.

Lever action rifles you'll be limited to the Browing BLR if you want to run a scoped rifle in .30-06. If you aren't dead set on a scoped rifle you can find a Winchester 1895 rifle in .30-06. The BLR would be my first choice of rifles in a lever action in .30-06.

As mentioned one rifle that you might not know about is the pump rifle. Remington 760 and 7600's are great rifles. They are faster than a lever, and just a little bit slower to cycle than a semi-auto. Plus they are far more reliable than the Remington semi-auto versions, and from what I understand the accuracy can be outstanding.

As others have mentioned you might warm up to the bolt action if you have a different one. The 770's are cheaply made and don't offer the feel of a quality bolt action rifle. What you should do is go to a large gun store and handle as many different bolt actions as possible, work the bolts and get the feel for which ones you like.

April 22, 2012, 03:08 PM
If you want a 30-06 in a semi-auto, I'd recommend the Browning BAR. I had one in 270 and reloaded for it. It would shoot under 1 inch groups at 100 yards. If I had cared about accuracy as much then as I do now, I probably could have made it shoot even better. The only reasons I switched to a bolt gun were that the BAR is pretty heavy and that it's more trouble to clean. That fine gritty south Texas dust was getting up into the action. I think my longest shots with it were on coyotes at 365 yards and at just about 400 yards. The BAR is a fine rifle. However, there weren't many times that I needed a second shot. I can't remember a time (though my brothers and friends might be able to remember a time or two and would be way more than happy to comment :D). Get a good bolt gun and make that first shot count. And if you want to target shoot and reload, the bolt gun is a better choice for fine accuracy than semi-autos, pumps, and lever guns.

April 22, 2012, 04:34 PM
+1 for trying out other bolt rifles before you let the 770 sour you on them all. As far as feel and ease of cycling, the couple of 770s I have handled have convinced me that they are the absolute bottom of the barrel as far as bolt actions go. It really doesn't cost much more to step up to a much higher level of quality. The Stevens 200, Marlin X7 line, and some of the Savage 11/111 rifles are not that much more expensive, but there is a world of difference in the quality of the build and the feel of the rifle, including they way they cycle.
That being said, if you really don't like bolt actions after giving some good ones a try, I would recommend considering a .308 instead of a .30-06. It gives pretty much the same performance, but has far more availability in a modern semi-auto platform.

April 23, 2012, 01:38 PM
Sounds like you need an M-1 garand. I think that would fit your needs.

roberto mervicini
April 23, 2012, 03:34 PM
Browning BAR, reliable, accurate, in my opinion best ammong .06 semi auto.
Browning BLR, if it must be a lever action .06

April 23, 2012, 06:20 PM
If you don't see yourself needing/wanting a scope and want a lever-action, I'd go with a (replica) Winchester Model 1895.

April 23, 2012, 06:32 PM
If you get yourself a steel (not alloy) receiver Browning BAR, I can guarantee you'll be one happy camper.

Good lookin' - good shootin' . :D


April 23, 2012, 07:30 PM
So you bought a Ford Pinto, and now you wish to get a Chevy pickup? Not so fast, give the bolt actions another chance. I like vintage guns, and some good vintage options for you would be: Remington 721, Sako Finnbear, Winchester 70 pre 64, etc. For your purposes stated, I would want a bolt action for reliability and accuracy. Not that a lever or semi could not duplicate it, but not as easily, so I would rather have a bolt action myself.

If you didn't want a vintage Remington, Sako or Winchester, you could look for a Belgium made FN Browning Hi Power rifle:D This one is a safari grade. It wears a Weaver V9. It is not a salt wood gun. The quality is excellent. It'll cost more coin than a Remington 770, but its also in a different league. Beautiful wood, blue, a slick action, excellent trigger - the quality just radiates from it when you hold it in your hands.

Remember, for the most part, a cheaper gun often costs you more money in the end. Between upgrades, repairs, and the eventual sale (presumably at a loss) to get something better, you are better off to buy quality in the beginning. I have lived by that maxim, and never looked back. Occasionally you can find a gun that has both quality and value, but not very often.


April 24, 2012, 12:11 PM
Beautiful rifle, Winchester 73. I've been interested in getting an older (either Sako or FN) Belgium-made Browning bolt-action for a long time but the prospect of ending up with salt wood always keeps me out of the "hunt".

April 25, 2012, 01:17 PM
The other option is of course, with the animals you describe as targets, to switch to a 308, and have all the semi-auto options you like. No dear, boar or black bear will notice the 20 ft/s difference between the 308 bullet or 30-06.

April 25, 2012, 09:47 PM
Beautiful rifle, Winchester 73. I've been interested in getting an older (either Sako or FN) Belgium-made Browning bolt-action for a long time but the prospect of ending up with salt wood always keeps me out of the "hunt".

Thanks, DG. My gun is of course not saltwood. I have researched this a lot, and I was able to find out that the Saltwood was more used on the higher grade guns, such as the Superposed shotgun, and the medallion and olympian grade FN Brownings. For standard Safari grades (still a great rifle) saltwood was not used since the saltwood type was a better grain / wood type which was reserved for higher end FNs. Remember, you could always find a pre-saltwood gun.

Here is the original thread about the rifle I posted here


I had the chance to acquire a vintage T-bolt, and started a thread about that too. Some saltwood info in there as well


April 25, 2012, 11:07 PM
I say if it HAS to be a semi or a lever, in '06, get a garand. Yes, they are costly, my buddy got one for 600 at a local gun show, but they usually sell around 800. Then get a new gas system/plug and you can shoot off shelf ammo and have great ironsights. I don't have the slightest clue on how to scope one though.
Anyways, best of luck with your choice.

April 26, 2012, 07:23 AM
I have 2 Rem 7600 pump in 30-06 carbine. I know these guns are not noted for accuracy but at 200 yds my group is under 2". As a hunting rifle its fantastic. Second shots (not that I have ever neaded one) are fast and it has a 4 rnd clip.
My dad killed a lot of deer with his and thats what he bought me for my first about 20 years ago. I have just never needed more.

April 28, 2012, 01:00 PM
My first .30-06 was a sporterized 1903 Springfield. Compared to the rattle trap .30-30 I'd had before it was a Cadillac.

Recently saw a sporterized 1917 Enfield looked real good to me.

I know a lot of people look down on Bubba, but I had real good luck.

April 28, 2012, 10:47 PM
Browning BAR will serve you well as the others have stated.

April 29, 2012, 04:21 PM
A good option if you are only sour on the bolt because of Remington is Savage.

They put a lot of effort into accuracy and succeed at a good price.

Big Shrek
May 3, 2012, 04:59 AM
I'm loving the Marlin XL-7 in .30-06 :)
$299 for a sub-MOA factory bedded, factory recoil pad, fluted bolt, Pro-Fire target adjustable trigger, & button-rifled barrel!!

They've been getting rave reviews since they came out...what more could ya want??

Oh, right...wood instead of synthetic stocks...Boyd's Riflestocks makes some interesting styles...all under $100 :)
Bed 'em yerself, tho

And if you prefer Older Marlins...track down an MR-7...freakishly precise!!!

May 4, 2012, 08:57 PM
In my opinion, the 7400 was the best auto hunting rifle Remington ever made. We had one around here that was used by the whole family for 15 years. It gobbled hatfulls of reloads and around a hundred factory loads and it never jammed the entire time we had it. The trigger was a little challenging for fine work but it would cut 1 1/4" groups with Nosler BT reloads or several factory loads.

An old friend has another one, also a 30-06, which is just as good as ours. Maybe we both just got lucky.

May 6, 2012, 09:35 PM
In my opinion, the 7400 was the best auto hunting rifle Remington ever made. We had one around here that was used by the whole family for 15 years. It gobbled hatfulls of reloads and around a hundred factory loads and it never jammed the entire time we had it. The trigger was a little challenging for fine work but it would cut 1 1/4" groups with Nosler BT reloads or several factory loads.

An old friend has another one, also a 30-06, which is just as good as ours. Maybe we both just got lucky.

I did buy a 7400 in 30.06, somewhere around 1992 and used it for about 4 years. I killed whitetail deer with it and it performed flawless. Grouped around 1 1/4" like what Sarge said. Was not a bad rifle, but I just got the itch to try the Browning Bar Safari so I traded the 7400 in on it and had to pay some boot.

May 6, 2012, 09:36 PM
You might look @ a Remington 7600 pump action pretty nice fast action rifle.
Just another opp.

May 6, 2012, 10:06 PM
I've got a 7400 in 30-06 and love it. It has been extremely reliable, never a jam, and is capable of making any shot that I am capable of making. I nailed a nice buck with it last season @180 yds right in the heart. He didn't go 20 yds.

I highly recomend one.