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Old January 7, 2012, 02:25 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: January 26, 2008
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 1,748
Buzz makes two very good points. The rifle industry right now is very competitive and most guns are very high quality, barring the occasional lemon of course. Accuracy has never been reliably available in lower and mid level rifles like they are now.

And definitely shoulder as many different rifles as you reasonably can before making a purchase. A rifle that doesn't fit is like owning a jacket that doesn't fit.. it'll stay at home no matter how nice it looks or how well it performs.

Having said that, I own a Stevens 200 and a 336. For max of $300, I think the Stevens is a solid option, but if they are going for closer to $400 now, that's kinda high for me. I'm not a fan of the 336, but my grandfather gave it to me. Not sure why other than.. it just doesn't fit me. And over the years I've learned to really not like the .30-30 because it's more kick and noise for less accuracy and distance than most other deer-sized cartridges out there. I know it can do the job and has for many, many years.. I guess again, it just doesn't fit me. Weatherby Vanguard gets my nod in your <$450 category.

In your next category, I own an older Rem 700, have shot the Howa 1500 and Savages. The older Rem 700s I would whole heartedly recommend. Some of the newer ones it would depend on what you are getting. The BDL and CDL still seem to have a great reputation, but the standard, bottom of the line SPS has more complaints than I care to take a chance on. The SPS Varmint and Tactical have a great reputation, and if they fit (weight, length of barrel, etc) your hunting needs, that's probably a good option. The Howa I shot was surprisingly nice. Then I went home and looked up their price on the internet and saw how cheap they were! Savage does have a ridiculous amount of options, but we can use that to your advantage. All the 2 number names (10, 12, etc) are short action and the three numbers (111, 112) are long action. After that, your options does it come with Accu-trigger, quality of the stock, is it packaged with a scope and the finish.. either stainless, blued and I think they have some matte finishes.

I read some of your other post and I would recommend the .25-06. The .243 will definitely kill deer, but since you think the longer shots are possible, the extra energy will be good. .25-06 is a long action caliber. Since you say you are recoil sensitive, I would say the .270 is more than you should go for especially if you plan on shooting 50 rounds in a sitting. And I've already talked about the .30-30. 7mm-08 is a solid choice too, but it would have similar recoil to the .270 though.
The Jeep has been a lot of fun, but time to come back to my first hobby.. shooting.
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