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Old October 30, 2017, 05:07 PM   #51
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I wish I had a .308 Win carbine. I could put that dude through a whole lotta serious hunting work.
One of my favorite bolt-action hunting rifles is my Ruger MKII, RSI, a short-action carbine chambered in .308 Winchester. Mine has a Leupold VariX II, compact, 1x4 scope mounted on it with the supplied Ruger rings. Very fast-handling and accurate little rifle; perfect for hunting in the dense cedar swamps commonly found in northern Michigan habitats when seeking whitetail deer.
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Old October 31, 2017, 12:20 PM   #52
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It sure as heck sounds like you have chosen a most perfect rife for hunting big game. And you guys have access to HUGE whitetails in the Upper Midwest.

I hunt the Rockies exclusively. I wouldn't hesitate to shoot 300 yards with a .308 Win carbine. I wouldn't hesitate to hunt bull elk with a .308 Win carbine. I've been told that bull elk are America's toughest big game animal. It might be true if the hunter is a poor shot. Put a 180 grain bullet from a .308 Win fired from a carbine into an elk's equipment that's vital for topside oxygenated blood flow, and he'll hit dirt.

If I found a deal to good to pass on a .308 Win carbine, I'd own a new rifle. Absent such a fortuitous find, I'll be doing the rest of my big game hunting with either a Sako AV or a Model 700, both chambered for .270 Win, and both with fast handling (not as fast handling as a .308 Win carbine) 22" barrels.

If I only knew when knowing would have been most beneficial, I'd of made other choices. What I have now is excellent, but it's not what I wish I had.

I could not imagine carrying a 28" barreled, 15 pound .338 LAPUA up and down ridges at high altitude of the Rockies. I'd rather stay in camp and be waterboarded.
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Old November 2, 2017, 06:56 PM   #53
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Quote: mass production bolt action on the market today in 7mm-08?
Savage Axis.

Now, you have to take into account that in determining what is "best", I give high marks to a rifle that is not only accurate and durable, but also affordable. There are "better" rifles out there, but not, as far as I am concerned, at this price-point.
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Old November 2, 2017, 08:35 PM   #54
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I am not sure I know what the OP means by "Production", but to me it means "not custom" and there are a good number of American Made quality Production rifles. Cooper Rifles, Montana Rifles, GA Precision, Barrett, Kimber, Proof Research, Christensen Arms, Seekins and many others.

Most of the rifles mentioned so far have been mass production or big box available rifles (as the OP asked) and not the high end stuff. But the OP said "best" and IMHO, there are some really good ones left out. Yes, I have some of the inexpensive ones, some of the mid-tier ones, but I hope best still means best, whether the respondent owns one or not.

Maybe it should be best under $1K and best over $1K.
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Old November 3, 2017, 10:41 AM   #55
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Most of the rifles mfg listed above don’t make their own actions and/or barrels, so they should be considered custom rifle mfgs. Buy parts from various companies and modify or assemble to their specifications = custom to me.
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Old November 3, 2017, 10:45 AM   #56
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If a .5. MOA rifle is 2 MOA under stress, then a 2 MOA rifle will be 8 MOA under the same conditions which is a huge difference in POI.
If the shooter can't hold to 4MOA, nothing else matters..... .5 MOA rifle can't be appreciated by 4MOA shooter- still gonna miss.
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Old November 3, 2017, 11:09 AM   #57
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When people mention the Winchester M70 do they mean older ones made in New Haven, CT or the newer ones made in Columbia, SC, or is there no real difference in quality, and accuracy?
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Old November 3, 2017, 12:13 PM   #58
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I read SA1911s post. I agree. I have killed elk ( a few 0f them) and my wife and several friends have too with my 308. 2 seasons ago my wife and my friend all used the same rifle for their elk and we took 4 of them in 3 days. The 308 I am referring to is a Mossberg MVP with an 18" barrel. It was just fine. The secret is not the gun or the cartridge as much as it is the bullet. Any bullet that will penetrate at least 28" after it expands is fin for elk from about any gun or cartridge.
I prefer to use 165 or 180 grain bullets in my 308 for elk, but as circumstances worked out the rifle was loaded with 150 grain Winchester power points hand loaded my me about 20 years ago for use in some military style 308s I have. The shots were all at about 300-375 yards. Most of those bullets exited. I recovered 2 on the skin of the off side on 2 different elk. Both were quartering shots. One weights 124 grains and one weight 129 grains. Both broke bone.
Magnums and their like are just fine. But that's not to say you need one for elk. I have been hunting and killing elk now for almost 50 years. If you have a bullet that will do it's job you'll be fine.
I have killed elk with three 44 magnum handguns, a 454 Casull handgun, two different 270 Winchesters, one 270 Short mag, one 7X57 Mauser, two 308s, one 30-06, 300 H&H, one 8X57, one 338-06, a 338 mag, a 375H&H, one 62 cal flintlock and one with a wood arrow and single blade broad-head.
I have also seen elk killed by friends, family members and hunters I have guided with 25-06s 257 Roberts, 257 Weatherby mag, 6.5X55, 280 Rem, many 7mm Mags, many 300 Mags, many 30-06s many 270s about ten 308s, 7.65 Belgian, 35 Whelen, 9.3X62s 416 Taylor, 416 Rigby, 45-70s, and one with a 458 Winchester. Add to this list a handful killed with arrows. And I am sure I have missed a few that should be on the list too but that's what I can remember off the top of my head.

The #1 factor in poor kills has been poor bullet placement but the #2 factor is poor bullet construction.

I have seen MUCH better kills from hard cast handgun shots and hard round balls shot from muzzleloaders with hits in the right place than I have from the same placements with poorly made high velocity rifle bullets. And not only a few times either. Poor bullet construction is a big factor in elk rifles. Any bullet that breaks up badly or doesn't exit as a rule, should not be used on elk.
Bullet HOLES kill. Not bullet, not guns, not shell cases. It's the wound that does the job. Use a good bullet and the 308 is a very good elk rifle, (just as most other rifles are too.)
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Old November 3, 2017, 12:17 PM   #59
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This is the one I would go for:

I had a workmate back in my employment days who shot benchrest hunter matches for a couple of years, and used one of these in your OP caliber. It was unbelievably accurate @ 200 yards, and as I remember, he won a few matches with it using his hand loads. It was used "right out of the box" as from the factory (couldn't say if he adjusted the trigger on it or not, though). The "classic" year for the 7MM-08 REM was 2001, as it shows in the seller's pics. Maybe you can get the winning bid on this one for substantially less than the "buy it now" price, if you're looking to buy.

Your opening OP was quite general in your inquiry; "What do you consider to be the best mass production bolt action on the market today in 7mm-08?" I believe the best answer is, the most accurate one. It's out there... I'd go for that 700 classic.
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Old November 10, 2017, 11:42 AM   #60
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The best Mass Production Rifle? 60yrs ago I'd say Remington and Winchester(they were probably the only two). 50 years ago Ruger was making super rifles. Today - I just throw my hands up in the air and shake my head while buying a Savage. I throw it on the bench and install a match grade barrel, bed it, tune the trigger, reload ammo, break-in and develop load and shoot consistently inside of a .4in. at 100 yards. All joking aside, My vote will go for Savage as the best mass production rifle today with Ruger the second best. Tomorrow? Who knows.
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Old November 10, 2017, 07:58 PM   #61
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The genius of Remington's Model 700 is that it allowed working men opportunity to buy an excellent quality factory production rifle at a price they could afford. It allowed many hunters to own an excellent quality rifle with which they could enjoy hunting. Remington's Model 700 made the sport of kings available to everyone who wanted to hunt big game.

My first big game rifle was a Model 700 .270 Win. I bought it brand spanking new some 44 years ago. It'll still shoot .25" at a hundred with hand loaded hunting ammo, not tricked out target stuff. I use the standard .270 Win load of W-W brass, Fed 210M or CCI 200 primers, 60 grains of H-4831, and 130 grain GameKings. Mule deer drop in their tracks with this rifle and load. If I'm drawn for a once-in-a-lifetime desert bighorn tag this year, I'll kill a ram with my model 700 .270 Win with the aforementioned load.

Two of the most accurate rifles I've ever fired were Model 700's.

I've hunted the Rockies taking only my Model 700. I never thought about a back-up rifle.

I've read 'net reviews that Remington's quality has slipped. I hope they're just rumors.

I do own a couple Sako AV rifles. They'll shoot very tiny groups. If were talking reliability and accuracy, Sako might not have anything on a Model 700. However, Sako has a feel of quality that I cannot describe. I don't need another rifle, but were I to find a Sako carbine in .308 Win or a Finnwolf in .308 Win, I'm sure that it would become my primary hunting rifle.
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Old November 11, 2017, 07:38 AM   #62
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My Remington early 80's 700 BDL .270 and Nikon Buckmaster scope deliver nickel sized groups at 100 yards. Drops deer like a sledge hammer. I bought my son a Remington 700 SPS Youth model .243 a couple years ago and it has also impressed me on woodchucks and deer. My old 721 .270 from the late 40's (Gramps), is a tack driver with its fixed 4X scope and Walker trigger... Very smooth. I'm pretty satisfied with Remington.
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Old November 11, 2017, 05:19 PM   #63
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No such animal

The term "best "is too subjective. Best for whom, and under what circumstances. It's another one of those "if you could only have one" questions.
a wonderfully accurate Tika with a 4-12 scope in brush county, is as handy as carrying a Ford axle. By the same token, as fast handling carbine would be of little value for that once in a lifetime 450 yd. across the canyon shot .
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Old November 11, 2017, 07:53 PM   #64
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The new model 70 Super Grade rifles with controlled round feed action and free floated barrel with adjustable 3.5-5lb jeweled trigger is a great option for a hunting rifle. Fit and finish better than Ruger or Savage, and a lot better than Remington. I have one in .300 win mag.

Browning A-bolt with octagon barrel is also a great rifle, I have one in .270 win.

For the money? An accurate meat stick? Ruger American rifle. Accurate, decent trigger.

These are obviously hunting type rifles. For competition shooting, there really isn't a good production rifle Except maybe the Savage F/TR.
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Old November 11, 2017, 09:23 PM   #65
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I'm with Mississippi on the above. I too own a new model 70 Super Grade but in 338WM. Love that rifle! While it would not be considered a "budget" rifle, I still think you get alot for the money in terms of very nice fit, finish, overall appearance along with flawless function and very good accuracy. Lightweight is not it's game though. Mine has a 26" barrel and between that and the grade V walnut it is by no means something that would be considered lightweight. But I don't mind

I also agree with gunman5646 that there really is no end-all be-all "best". Only best for a specific task for a specific individuals needs and taste. Good example is my cheap little Remmy 700ADL synthetic in 270 Win. It has a cheap plastic stock, matte finish, 22" barrel, and came from Bass Pro Shops new in 2004 as a combo with a Redhead (Bass Pro brand) 3x9x40 scope mounted for just over $400. Now it is nowhere near as elegant as my Super Grade, but the thing is freakishly accurate and the cheap scope holds it's zero year after year and just plain works in any environment I have hunted in from clear sunny to spitting snow and rain. Now that rifle is my best for going out in conditions that I don't want to subject my Super Grade to, it's much lighter and more compact for those days where I plan to do alot of walking, and along with that I can always count on it putting the bullet right where the reticle is centered.

To get the best, try to get something that is well suited to your intended task, and is to your personal tastes for function and form.

Better yet, have a couple options to choose from depending on the day
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Old November 14, 2017, 08:40 PM   #66
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I am a big Ruger/Winchester fan, but if you have ever handled a Sako 85, it is pure enjoyment.
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Old November 16, 2017, 07:54 AM   #67
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They are all very close, so get the one that feels the best. My current favorite is a Savage LH Weather Warrior. It comes with the Accutrigger and Accustock (Full length aluminum bed). Shoots my 260 handloads 1/2" and comes in most standard calibers, short action and long action.
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Old November 16, 2017, 09:51 AM   #68
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Have to know. In you guy's opinion of best, what make's your choice best?
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Old November 16, 2017, 11:49 AM   #69
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Cooper Rifles, Montana Rifles, GA Precision, Barrett, Kimber, Proof Research, Christensen Arms, Seekins and many others.
Some of those ARE custom built rifles. Just because their website offers popular combinations with names to market them doesn't make them "production". I have several GAP rifles, one of which they market as a certain model, but it really isn't. If they have one it's because someone reneged and lost their deposit. They are all custom built. They send you a build sheet that's partially filled out if you choose one of the combinations they recommend/market, but it's not like it's cheaper than if you spec the whole thing yourself. Everything on the build sheet is ala carte and itemized. Replace the Defiance action with a Big Horn, and you can see exactly what it's going to cost or save you.

Even the decent, competition, chassis rifles are "custom built". Some stores/schools that carry finished rifles from custom builders are ordering them from the builder in a specific configuration, and then selling them as "their" version of that rifle, but they are still custom ordered and hand built after receiving the order.

I ordered a chassis gun this summer and it will probably ship in December, and it's one of many combos that builder shows on their website. Even though it is a chassis, and the chassis itself is "production", the rest of the rifle is hand fitted and assembled.

They're not rolling off a line and just tacking on a couple of thousand dollars for their names. They would not be in business long if that were the case, because the competitors who are shelling out that kind of money are very serious marksmen who will be a couple of impacts apart at a match. That's the kind of diminishing returns you are talking about in a built rifle.

I wanted a certain finish (that doesn't look like anything fancy at all) on a rifle built on a Manners stock, and they told me it would be an extra two months. They don't have a warehouse of them. They order them as they build them with a few on hand that sell a lot. If you want something different you have to wait till they till the stock builder can get to it.

I took the OP to mean the best off the rack rifle.
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Old November 18, 2017, 08:00 AM   #70
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I like the tikka,s. eastbank.
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Old November 19, 2017, 10:41 PM   #71
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Old November 20, 2017, 12:26 AM   #72
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I am a fan of the M70. I prefer that action to any other sporter rifle.
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
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Old November 20, 2017, 01:21 AM   #73
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a Savage. I throw it on the bench and install a match grade barrel, bed it, tune the trigger, reload ammo, break-in and develop load and shoot consistently
I've got one of those. But it's not a rifle, it's a do it yourself kit.
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Old November 21, 2017, 10:24 AM   #74
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I don't hunt at all, so for me the "best" rifle is going to be one I shoot prone or from the bench at my local range. Tough to go wrong with a Tikka. Mine is well made, has a smooth action and shoots lights out.

Also, for an out of the box selection - Sig SSG3000. Again this is not a hunting rifle, and although a non-custom it's no longer produced. But based on what my rifle can do, you'd be hard pressed to find a more accurate rifle. My last outing at the range with this rifle (Saturday) shooting at 300 my worst 5 shot group was .90 MOA. Best about .35 MOA.
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Old November 22, 2017, 07:59 AM   #75
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TIKKA builds a very excellent rifle.

Fire up the grill! Deer hunting IS NOT catch and release.
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