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Old September 27, 2018, 10:19 PM   #1
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Rifle I can’t pass up

I’m looking for the deal I can’t pass up rifle. I’ve got a lot of the bases covered already, but I feel there is a void in my arsenal, but don’t want to spend much to fill it. I’m in no rush so the goal is what to keep an eye open for.

In general, I’m looking for a decent lightweight enough rifle that I am not worried about taking out into the rain hunting. My hunting would be mostly limited to whitetail and pigs at modest ranges, but maybe Elk at the most. I figure anything from 25-06 to 30-06 fits that bill caliber-wise. Recoil isn’t a problem but no real need for a magnum since I’d rather enjoy shooting it rather than saving it for special occasions.

I’ve got a 5.56 AR that meets all weather but the 20 inch is heavy for a marginal deer caliber. I have an open sights 250 savage and a heavy 257 Roberts that are good but heirlooms that I won’t take out in the mud. My Mosin is a great caliber but is best suited to hunting Nazis in occupied Poland than deer in the Texas hill country (the Soviet idea of a safety is a real afterthought, if a thought at all).

I’m mostly interested in the platforms and price points that I can’t pass up if I see it in the LGS. Which of the new entry level rifles (Axis, American, etc.) do you like and which used rifles are worth going for. I prefer the looks of a wood stock but the right price would change my opinion quickly.

Edit: I reload so odd calibers are no barrier

Last edited by tmd47762; September 27, 2018 at 10:24 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old September 28, 2018, 03:10 AM   #2
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Tikka t3. Not really an entry level but the price is right.
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Old September 28, 2018, 04:16 AM   #3
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For the price, I think the Ruger American is the best of the price point rifles.

I'd stay with a short action caliber to minimize weight. You will need a scope, so that will add to the cost, but I don't think the Ruger will disappoint.
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Old September 28, 2018, 04:58 AM   #4
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Another vote for the Ruger American. The Tikka is also a good option, but about $100-$150 more. It's a better rifle, but I'm not sure it is $100 better.

Stick with short action cartridges, the 6.5CM, 7-08, or 308 will all do what you want.

I like the Ruger Predator better and think it worth the small price increase, but it is not available in 7-08 if you are sold on that cartridge. The Predator is available with the original 4 round rotary magazines that come with the standard rifles. But they also make a version that comes with 3 round Accuracy International style magazines that are a much better magazine.

Extra 5,6 and 10 round magazines are available at reasonable prices. The option of using better magazines is worth the cost of the Predator to me.
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Old September 28, 2018, 06:54 AM   #5
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I’m mostly interested in the platforms and price points that I can’t pass up if I see it in the LGS
Yeah, me too. As in, I like guns I want for maybe 50 cents on the dollar?

Otherwise, you get what you pay for.
"I say, boy, I say, you're doing a lot of choppin', but no chips are flyin'."
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Old September 28, 2018, 06:57 AM   #6
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Lots of nice and not so nice firearms will go on sale shortly, if not all ready, as hunting seasons approach. Keep your eyes peeled for that bargain.

You may be able to find a good deal on the Ruger American, as well as a Weatherby Vangaurd or Howa 1500.

For your qualifiers, a 308 Win or 30-06 will not be hard to find. Most times, offerings are made in the good old 270 Win as well.

Any of those three will fill the bill. If you are not a reloader, the ammo can be found anywhere that ammo is sold.

Enjoy the shopping experience.

If you look on line, Brownells has a deal going on with Howa where they are selling barreled action in various calibers and styles. One of those coupled with a stock of your choice and you are all set.
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Old September 28, 2018, 07:57 AM   #7
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I have a bunch of rifles that I couldn't pass up. But, if I'm going hunting in rough country and potentially ugly weather, I'm inclined to take my Ruger American .243. It is not a thing of beauty, but it always works and it is very accurate. I can't say that it's the best of the bargain rifles, but it's pretty dang good.
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Old September 28, 2018, 08:24 AM   #8
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Back when I hunted on a certain piece of public land in Fl, I had to have a rifle that was basically "hurricane ready". The hunts were only allowed on certain days and since hunting season corresponded with hurricane season, heavy rain was a constant threat every hunter had to deal with. I wanted something I could count on not getting ruined in the rain. Something I could easily totally disassemble to clean and dry even if it got submerged in a mud puddle. Plus, I don't like trying to track wounded animals in the rain so I wanted something that stood a better chance of dropping the animal quickly.

What I settled on was a stainless T/C Encore with a stainless 30-06 barrel and plastic stock. The whole thing could be disassembled using only the little Encore tool. That barrel shot both 165gr and 180gr bullets very well so I used 180gr bullets (ranges down there averaged less than 50 yds so trajectory was never an issue).
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Old September 28, 2018, 08:33 AM   #9
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Synthetic stock Mauser M18-($700)--- Comes in a wide variety of calibers --- Voted "Great Buy" this summer in Outdoor Life magazine; in a review of the best & most accurate hunting bolt rifles.
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."

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Last edited by Erno86; September 28, 2018 at 09:02 AM.
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Old September 28, 2018, 10:41 AM   #10
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Just saw at Walmart 20 minutes ago a Vanguard in .270 for $249 and a .308 Deluxe for $349. If I didn't have both those cartridges covered, I'd probably have bought both. I liked the Deluxe the best as I'd want to replace the stock on the regular Vanguard.
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Old September 28, 2018, 11:01 AM   #11
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Bud`s has this.
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Old September 28, 2018, 11:04 AM   #12
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I figure anything from 25-06 to 30-06 fits that bill caliber-wise.
For your intended use, I would look for short action cartridges. .308, 7mm-08, .260, 6.5 CM seem like the best potential candidates.
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Old September 28, 2018, 11:55 AM   #13
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"...odd calibers are no barrier..." They will be if you can't get brass or the calibre is really odd. Odd stuff needs the Walmart Test applied to it. If you can get ammo in your local Wally World, you'll be able to get it anywhere. Really only matters of you're prone to leaving stuff at home.
"...don’t want to spend..." Decide on that first.
"...into the rain..." The ideal thing for that is SS with a synthetic stock. Wood can be sealed to keep moisture out but the synthetics just don't expand and contract.
"...short action caliber to minimize weight..." Difference between a .308 and .30-06 American is 1/10th of a pound.
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Old September 28, 2018, 07:30 PM   #14
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Get on the phone and start calling walmarts. The 249.00 Weatherby Vanguards are a steal. I bought 3 of them because I felt stupid if I just bought one. You will never find them for that price again.
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Old September 28, 2018, 07:36 PM   #15
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If I were you, I'd be looking for a used but well kept Model 70 or maybe a wood stocked Tikka. Or, if you find one used in your price range, a CZ anything
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Old September 28, 2018, 09:59 PM   #16
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I have mostly Remington 700 BDLs and a few medallions but I must say I've been hunting with my 25-06 savage axis 2 xp. Excellent rifle in wood and excellent accuracy. And last seasons buck didn't even move, but that's the amazing 25-06 not any rifle. But I must say the quality and style and customer support has been great with regards to outfitting and accesories.
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Old September 29, 2018, 06:29 AM   #17
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my to go rifle is a Remington sps LH 700 in 7mm08, short(20" barrel) light (a little under 7 lbs) and shoots moa with varget and nosler 120 gr bullets.
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Old October 22, 2018, 06:57 PM   #18
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Deer season is close here in Michigan, lots of gun will be showing up in the LGS big time !!!
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Old October 22, 2018, 07:02 PM   #19
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I see you are from Texas, the land of gun shows, we have a gun show or two a week here that a great place to start looking !!
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Old October 22, 2018, 09:05 PM   #20
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A few years back I decided to retire my 1903 Springfield that was customized and buy another 30-06 because I really love that caliber and I reload 30-06 as well. I looked at a lot of guns but bought a TC Venture 30-06. I dont abuse it but I dont baby it either and its been a great replacement for the old Springfield. There are plenty of guns out there that are good guns for the money. The Venture isnt perfect but its very accurate and its reliable and I dont worry if it gets wet or dirty or dinged up. Good luck in your search.
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Old October 23, 2018, 07:14 AM   #21
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My suggestion: A moderately priced 25/06 with synthetic stock. SS or blue isn't important unless you live where you're in the rain/snow daily.
I've become a fan of the 25/06 after years of using many calibers from .224 to .338. The 25/06 has great flexibility of use, is easy to handload if you like, and can handle critters from coyote to elk(with properly chosen bullets). OH yeah, it doesn't beat you up in the process.
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Old October 23, 2018, 10:25 PM   #22
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Cool thread.
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Old October 25, 2018, 03:15 PM   #23
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I like my Ruger 270 stainless with boat paddle stock I bought back in 1998.

It also helps that it is also the best shooting hunting rifle I own, I don't even want to state what kind of groups it shot because nobody would believe me.

I actually bought it to hunt in South Africa and sell it to a friend there, once I sighted it in I decided no way in hades will this stay in Africa, so I bought another one. It shot good as well, but not as well as the first one. I had a 243 stainless Ruger that shot OK, but also nowhere as well as the 270.
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Old October 26, 2018, 09:21 AM   #24
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I hunted in Travis and northern Uvalde counties for some twenty years. A .243 is plenty good for any whitetail or Axis deer you'll ever see.

Pawn shops are loaded with little-use bolt action rifles. They typically have only around 40% of the asking price invested in them, so if you are any good at bargaining, there's your good chance.
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Old October 26, 2018, 09:37 AM   #25
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I would look for a 6.5 or 7mm to keep the recoil down.

CDNN has some real bargains on cool Ruger/Winchester/Browning rifles that you should check out. It looks like overstock on distributer exclusives.

Or, if you just want low cost & tough, the Ruger American, T/C Compass cannot be beat.

My favorite: LINK

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