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Old June 18, 2017, 08:13 PM   #1
Byulos
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Suggestions on first rifle purchase

Hello everyone,

The only rifle I own is a CBC made Nylon 66 .22 that was given to me a few years ago. I have always wanted a bolt action, and have been looking around a bit in the last few weeks. The one I keep coming back to is the CZ 550 with the full mannlicher stock; I love the looks, but know not much else about the model besides whats on the CZ website. It seems a bit pricey online at about $750-800, but I have no idea as far as what is a good price for a quality rifle. I would like something versatile that could/should last a lifetime, and it seems like this model in .30-06 might fit the bill. I like the idea of iron sights, as well as the option to mount optics if I ever decided to do that. Any suggestions as far as alternatives or opinions on this model?

Thanks!
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Old June 18, 2017, 08:15 PM   #2
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$750-$800 on buds or gallery of guns? Or MSRP?
Tikka T3 is another good option.


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Old June 18, 2017, 08:16 PM   #3
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Or browning x bolt, a bolt, or ab3 if your on more of a budget.


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Old June 19, 2017, 12:19 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum Byulos.

There is a wealth of really good information on this site.

What are you going to be using your rifle for?
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Old June 19, 2017, 03:46 AM   #5
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That would be my question also DaleA. 30-06 packs quite a punch and is a bit pricey to shoot.
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Old June 19, 2017, 08:53 AM   #6
Art Eatman
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Another questioner about intended purpose.

I've always been a hunter, ever since I was a little kid. So, what's good for me might not be nearly as useful for someone whose interest is primarily in target shooting.
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Old June 19, 2017, 10:00 AM   #7
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The 3006 is the most popular hunting round in the USA. The 308 comes in second.
Find out what ammunition is available and inexpensive in your area. For a "daily driver" type of gun that you will use at the range but not compete in matches with might be a good used gun in 243, 25, 7mm, or 30 caliber. Those same calibers make excellent dear hunting guns too. What you have available for ammo will narrow your choices a bit but the 243, 308 and 3006 are likely available anywhere in the USA. The recoil of the 308 and 3006 can be a serious consideration in light guns especially. The 243 and 25 calibers are lighter recoiling and every bit as effective on targets or deer.
Let us know what you might be using it for, how sensitive you are to recoil and we can narrow down the candidates.
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Old June 19, 2017, 03:49 PM   #8
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The best thing for you to do is go to a gun shop and hold a bunch of different models.
The one to buy is the one that feels best in your hands.


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Old June 19, 2017, 04:36 PM   #9
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The CZ is a good choice in a traditional styled hunting rifle. One of the Winchester models would be another similar option. The 30-06 has been the round all others are judged by for over 100 years. It is a good choice for all around use.

But..... the 30-06 is less popular than it used to be. Most people understand that it is simply more gun than 95% of shooters will ever need. For an inexperienced shooter recoil can be a bit much. The advancement of better bullets has made the need for bigger, more powerful cartridges much less important. Todays 243 will do just about anything a 30-06 would do 50 years ago. Unless game like large bear, moose and elk were the primary game hunted I'd be looking at something less potent.
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Old June 19, 2017, 06:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShootistPRS
The 3006 is the most popular hunting round in the USA. The 308 comes in second.
Not to derail the conversation, but back 8-10 years ago (most remember that) I could find 30-06 and 270 at any store...not so much with other calibers. Too many internet cowboys buying up the 308.

That said, purpose of said rifle will go a long ways towards a recommendation. Hunting? What and where? Punching paper? Long range?

Too many questions to answer intelligently. Without this information, everyone will lean towards their favorite..in my case, ANYTHING 6.5........

Sorry for not helping,

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Old June 19, 2017, 07:17 PM   #11
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CZ makes a fine rifle. They are one of my favorite companies, and for a reason.

The 550 Mannlicher will be a great rifle if you want an elegant and capable hunting rifle that you can use for a wide variety of game. Treated well, it will last not only your lifetime but more beyond that.

I love the Mannlicher stock also, but from my personal experience it is a stock style that is either very comfortable or very difficult to use, depending on your use. If you plan to be standing or in field positions and using iron sights or lower power scopes, they work great. Very comfortable. If you are trying to shoot off of a bench, with high mounted scopes (such as with see-through bases to see your iron sights) or high magnifications copes, they do not tend to work very well at all. That's just been my experience with them. I'm actually about to change the stock on my CZ 452 (my .22 trainer rifle) to a more modern "tactical" style. I wanted to shoot it in field positions with iron sights for a while, now I want to practice rested and tactical (think PRS) type shooting so I have a different set of needs.
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Old June 19, 2017, 07:56 PM   #12
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30-06 is a great round and you would be happy with it. All the recommendations on rifles are spot on. But have you thought about hitting a few pawn shops and check what they have to offer. Low ball them if you find one that you may like. This way you might be able to two guns. I have picked up some nice guns at pawn shops. Never hurts to look.
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Old June 19, 2017, 08:17 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the replies everyone, I have a lot of information to go through and to consider. It seems I need to shop around a bit, and try to hold a few to get an idea which direction I want to go. It will be used to just shoot paper several times a year for now, but I hope to one day be able to hunt deer once I find a way to get into that. No one in my family hunts, so Ive never had the opportunity to learn. I can't imagine I would ever use it for anything bigger than that. ShootistPRS comment has me looking seriously at the .243. It goes without saying I am new to rifles, the hardest recoil I have experienced is shooting a buddies mosin nagant; I definitely enjoyed it though.

Basically it boils down to wanting to own just one rifle (minus the .22), that is fun to shoot and is effective on deer and everything below that. Id really prefer to have iron sights, with the option of a scope.
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Old June 19, 2017, 08:21 PM   #14
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When I got my first center fire rifle, a M70 Winchester in 270 I was 12. Within less than 1 year, I got a press, set of dies, powder scale and powder measure.
I VERY MUCH suggest all new shooters do the same.

Not only is reloading fun, but you will learn a LOT about your rifle, rifles in general, and you will get to fire a bit more then 2 times more ammo than you can buy for the same money. As a rule reloading saves you about 60% on ammo costs.
If you are very new to it all, and you are tight on money, get a small press, priming tool and a set of dies first, followed by a case length trimmer. Lubing can be done on a tight budge with nothing more than a can of STP, a nylon bore brush and a paper towel.

You can use a powder scoop and funnel which when used right is just as accurate as any powder measure.

Next buy a scale.

Last a powder measure.

Even a Lee hand press is a wonderful way to start out. In buying reloading tools in the correct order you will find it can be purchased fairly easily and piece-meal and you will enjoy the rifle far more.

As a side comment, you cannot go wrong with a CZ550. If deer is the largest animal you will shoot, I might suggest you look at the 6.5X55 Swede too. Less recoil, just as accurate, less powder and therefore a bit cheaper to fire. And the 6.5 Swede has one of the best reputations of any hunting round you will find for game under 500 pounds. The 30-06 is the "one gun for everything caliber" (coyotes to moose) but you might look at "everything" and see if that is realistic for you. Often a 30-06 is a lot more gun than needed for target practice and even very large deer. the 30-06 is also a rifle that many new shooter say kicks them too hard. that's not to say it will, but you might go shot a few first before you make the decision. Lighter recoil is usually a good thing for new shooters. Heck I know quite a few men here in Wyoming that hunt elk with theri 6.5 Swedes and using the correct bullet, it works just fine.

Last edited by Wyosmith; June 19, 2017 at 08:27 PM.
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Old June 19, 2017, 08:25 PM   #15
Byulos
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dakota.potts

What caliber would you recommend for the 550 Mannlicher if you were to only own one rifle, and deer would be the largest game you would likely ever hunt? It seems the .243, .308, and .30-06 have a detachable box magazine, while the other calibers available have a hinged floorplate. I read a review that says that the action is the same length, even for the smaller rounds. So does it make more sense to get the larger calibers with this particular model?
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Old June 19, 2017, 08:26 PM   #16
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I second the suggestion to go hold them and find what feels best.

Intended purpose also matters. Big game hunting of longer range plinking is two very different categories. .223 is great for 100+ yard plinker, ammo can be found for about $.25 a round. .308, 30-06, better hunting caliber, less affordable per round fired.

Also how it's gonna be fired. Freestanding one shot one kill, lighter normal barrel is ok. Bench rested, bipod, or other rest, or more shots being fired, heavy barrel is a must have.
Or if you just an active person and can handle it freehand, go heavy.

Some guns come separate from a stock, allowing even more choice. I really like the hogue overstock I got on my long range plinker. But it's not a lovely grained piece of wood that just looks great...

I'd also suggest shopping around plenty, and looking for a gunsmith. Gunsmith can and often does sales too, but they aren't a full time retailer and may have far lower markup.
I picked up my Howa 1500 for $480 out the door at a gunsmith, BG check, stock and scope included. They even boresighted it too. Seen the Howa 1500 for $800 new in retail stores and $500 used on Armslist with similar accessories.
Since I saved $300+ on it, I just bought a second gun with the extra.

Btw, Howa 1500 is a bolt action with 5 round capacity out of the box.10 round mag can be easily equipped. And it is possible to do 5+1 out the box too. And I would recommend it as good but imported gun.
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Old June 19, 2017, 08:48 PM   #17
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.30-06 is a great round with loads from 110 to 220 grain and suitable for just about any kind of game. Recoil in a well-balanced rifle is plenty comfortable for hunting conditions and you have a wide range of commonly available ammo. Even Buddy's corner store and feed mart that doesn't sell guns probably has a box of .30-06.

For hunting deer, I don't really care one way or the other about a detachable box magazine or hinged floor plate, as long as the magazine sits flush and doesn't rattle. A hinged floor plate is what I have on my custom .30-06 and I'm perfectly happy with it.

For a hunter who wanted only one rifle and one caliber, I would probably stick with the .30-06 or a .270. .308 is great but, as noted, tends to disappear during panic buying sessions while "hunting" calibers stay on the shelves. .243 is great and has low recoil and should also be commonly available, but does limit the upper end of game you hunt. A .270 or .30-06 is enough to hunt bear or elk or just about anything else on the continent should you get the chance. There are other good options out there like 7mm-08, .260, etc. but I find it difficult to go wrong with a .30-06 or a .270.

There are also the European calibers to consider: 7X57 and 6.5X55 in particular are popular. I have always wanted a full length mannlicher rifle in one of those two calibers, as they both have a certain elegance; long providence in use for hunting all kinds of game, low recoil etc. But not something I necessarily recommend for a first and possibly only rifle.
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Old June 20, 2017, 01:57 AM   #18
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My preference is model the 70 Winchester in 270 or 30-'06 for their full sized Sporter version. In the Featherweight version there have been some made in 6.5x55mm Swedish, but I'd probably go with 270 anyway.
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Old June 20, 2017, 10:15 AM   #19
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Byulos,
For your intended use it will be hard to beat the 243. Whether you by a Remington, Ruger, Browning or a good used gun off the used table you will have a lot of fun putting holes in paper with it. When you do decide to hunt deer the 243 is up to the task all the way to elk as long as you can hit the vitals with a good hunting bullet. Check to make sure you can get ammo in your area but it should be fairly universally available.
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Old June 20, 2017, 12:39 PM   #20
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The .308 and .30-06 are virtually identical. Ballistically, they are identical. Difference is a half inch of case length and about 100 fps with like bullet weights. If you're choosing between 'em it's about whether or not you like/want a long action or a short and very little else. Both cartridges love 165 grain hunting bullets and a 165 will kill any game in North America you care to hunt, when you get that far. Reasonable accuracy for target shooting too. Or you can go with pricey match ammo with a 168 grain bullet.
If you like the full Mannlicher stock, by all means buy it. Mind you, the 20.5" barrel is a bit short for either the .308 or '06 to get optimum velocity for target shooting. Dandy for hauling around hunting though. The 550 only has a detachable mag in .308. The '06 has a hinged floor plate. Really isn't a big deal though. As mentioned, you should go to a shop and try a 550 on for size. The 14" LOP(Length Of Pull) may be too long. Easily fixed if it is.
MSRP for a 550 is $890. Not unusual for a decent hunting rifle. A Remington CDL M700's MSRP is $1029 with no sights. Highly unlikely you'd pay MSRP unless you have to order one. Bud's Gun shop in KY and TN wants $796 for a 550.
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Old June 20, 2017, 01:12 PM   #21
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On a bolt-action center-fire rifle, I prefer a 24" barrel, but 22" is quite common and acceptable as the minimum length for me. Shorter barrels are noticeably much louder......

P.S. I did exactly what Wyosmith did in post #14 above. Even the rifle and caliber were the same. Except I was 17 at the time.

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Old June 20, 2017, 04:03 PM   #22
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I'm going to give you advice in a different direction.

Haunt your local shops (and the want ads, too), and look for a used rifle in decent mechanical shape. Forget about the finish. Lots of deer rifles got carried a lot, and used very little. Consider it a "trainer", something you can learn on, and not worry if it gets a little dinged up.

Save up for the dream rifle, get a cheap beater to learn on.

ALSO, beware of getting "too much gun".

My (at the time, future) wife got talked into getting an 06 by a family friend who was one of the .30-06 for everything crowd. She had no real experience with centerfire rifles. Nothing bigger than a .22. I told her she wouldn't be happy but she didn't listen to me. ONLY time (ever) she didn't take my advice about guns. She would up getting a Savage 110CL (she's left handed) in .30-06. The "helpful" clerk sold her 180gr RN Remington ammo.

TOO MUCH, TOO SOON!!!
I don't think she ever did finish the whole box. After a few shots, she had a terrible flinch. I shortened the stock and put on a recoil pad, and while it did help a bit, she still had a very bad flinch. Simply put, the rifle scared her.

Since she's not a very enthusiastic shooter, it literally took me decades to get her over it, to where she could shoot a .30-30, without being scared of it.

One of the easiest ways to ruin a new shooter is to shoot too much gun, too soon.

I agree, Mannlicher stocks do look cool. They have their drawbacks, but they look grand. Mannlicher hunted in the Alps. Lots of steep slopes. He often used his rifle as a aid to climbing, or a walking stick. His stock design gave him something more comfortable to hold on to than the bare barrel when doing this.
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Old June 22, 2017, 01:55 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byulos
What caliber would you recommend for the 550 Mannlicher if you were to only own one rifle, and deer would be the largest game you would likely ever hunt?
6.5x55 Swedish Mauser. Any of the 6.5s (6.5 Swede, 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington) are ideal for deer-sized game. You won't likely find the ammo at your local Walmart, but it's not all that rare, either.

The 6.5 Swede has legions of fans, and would be a classic and highly effective cartridge in a classy rifle like the 550 Mannlicher. A friend had this exact setup, and it was a fine combo, to be sure.
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Old June 22, 2017, 09:15 PM   #24
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I think the .243 would be a great choice. I have 3 of them. A Browning blr,Remington 7600,Winchester m70. I have shot quite a few deer with them and they always dropped or gone 10 yds. I like the 243 because of the light recoil so that I can practice more(I practice with a 44mag for deer also but because of the recoil I never shoot many more than 5 rounds compared to a box of 243s). I think that the 243 would be great for your target practice and then if you get to hunt,it will be great for that too
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Old June 22, 2017, 09:24 PM   #25
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30-06 is good for everything, including giving new shooters a sore shoulder...

Still have a little scar above my right eye from when my dad handed me his 3006 for the first time haha.

I agree with the used gun first, you can find a very good shooter for around $400 used and really find out if what you've bought is right for you.

Jumping to a 30-06 or another large caliber from a 22 is going to be a huge eye opener. Something like a 243, might be more enjoyable. It is still a great deer cartridge and you can find the ammo just about everywhere, including my local gas station!

I'd even look at the 223, That'll be the cheapest caliber to shoot, and as a result can really get good at shooting with it.

Last edited by Pops1085; June 22, 2017 at 09:30 PM.
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