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Old February 16, 2024, 12:54 AM   #26
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that should say the lower 48 states
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Old February 16, 2024, 03:22 AM   #27
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"and Watson, bring your ...rifle"

I mentioned the 6.5CM and the 7mm-08 as chamberings for a GP rifle as conversation points. I do not own a rifle chambered in either, , though bamaboy is quite fond of the CM and does amazing things with it at Elkton. Of course he is punching paper and ringing steel, way further than I will ever shoot at a deer or hog. I have his brass and my own a set of 6.5CM dies and have promised him ammo......with his assistance.

The .308 offers a very wide range of bullet weights and .30 cal is well represented in all bullet types. Because of this I think it is likely a better choice as a one-all hunting cartridge for widely varied game types in a short, light, GP carbine. But I have no doubt the CM would cleanly take medium game (hogs and deer) easily. But I think the .308 would take bigger game, like, elk, moose, even the big western bears, better than the CM, especially with the right bullet, namely something bonded or a Partition. Full disclosure, I have never, nor will likely ever, get to hunt elk, moose, bears or buffalo. Could we call this the North American Big ....Four? Wait, there are three species of big bears.....grizzly, brown and polar...hmmmm?
Big Six?

Concerning the 6.5CM as a utility cartridge, launched from a short tube making 2500-2600 fps with its heaviest bullets, I would definitely want a premium bullet to take on big game. I have the same stance regarding taking whitetails with the .223 and possibly the .243. They work, but angles, shot placement and bullet selection are critical. You hear the same comments regards the CM and elk. I do have personal experience to comment on regards those cartridges and deer.

Coming back around to GP use, not just hunting, and discounting hunting the North American Big Six, I see that Ruger offers their Ruger American compact in 6.5Cm with both 16.5 and 20" bbls. The 16.5" model is offered with a brake,and I suppose could thus take a suppressor to result in a shorter rifle, which is likely what Ruger intended. I bet that pepper-pot brake is loud otherwise. The 16.5" model is only offered in Gucci-flage and is higher priced than all the other American family members, making it far less of a bargain. But ditch the brake, damn the cost, mount a simple LPV with an illuminated aiming point (ala' Crossfire II, or if you want to spend more on the glass than the rifle, a Trijicon) and forget about the Big 4, ...I mean Six, and that might be a handy GP carbine. You could add the ACIS mag conversion option to the compact model as an after market and have higher mag capacity if it mattered (it doesn't to me).

The result would be a 36" long, less than 7 lb (hopefully, the naked rifle allegedly weighs 6 lbs) bolt carbine capable of taking medium game cleanly at near all ranges, and some big game if well shot and loaded to distances most of us should likely not be exceeding. With one of the LPV;s to say 6x or 8x, you could theoretically, punch paper and ring steel (with big enough aiming points) to 800+ yds, or crank it down, light up the dot, stuff in the clunky AICS mag, and shoot and scoot out of domestic urban /suburban trouble to save your own skin from human threats. If you buy the plain black version, you can save $200 bucks on the rifle, but the barrel will be 4" longer and the rifle a tad heavier. The 6.5CM reportedly recoils 25% less than a comparable .308, so all this comes at less abuse to your shoulder.

The result would be a budget rifle exceeding $1000 if you went whole hog on the optic and Gucci stock. Since I paid $313 for my blemmed Predator in .308, I'm not gonna do it. Besides, I keep a couple of 200 gr Partitions in the butt cuff, in case a buffalo does wander down Main St.
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Old February 16, 2024, 02:19 PM   #28
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I finally got around to reading most of the posts.

Originally Posted by Webleymkv
It seems like a lot of younger people who have only had experience with the "black rifles" are suddenly discovering just how useful, handy, and downright fun lever-action rifles can be.
It might be the economy as well, as they're realizing the MSR is probably the most expensive rifle to own. I say they're the most expensive for a few reasons.

1. They're modular and easy to change cartridges.
2. Following the first line of reasoning, they're easy to add accessories to.
3. They cost more to feed as they eat larger quantities of ammunition much easier than most other rifles.

Levers while they can be operated rapidly and accurately with practice, still slow the shooter down. That coupled with the slower reload time, keep shooters from expending as much ammunition at the range.

@bamaranger, look at the Burris RT-6 for an LPVO. I think you'll like it.

@stagpanther, I like the .308 for many of the reasons you pointed out.

@FrankenMauser, I love that you mentioned the .270. That is and always will be my first love. It was my first true big game rifle in the form of a Parker Hale 1200 with Japanese Bushnell Sportview 4-12X40. If only I had been wise enough to not look any further into the abyss.
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Old February 16, 2024, 02:38 PM   #29
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The more expensive lever guns were selling out in a day a couple of months back when I was shopping around. I finally gave up and put my money elsewhere.
Was my intention to use it as the go-to-gun
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Old February 16, 2024, 02:48 PM   #30
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Seems like this gets asked several times a year. Then the OP goes on to tell why they think their whatever is better than anyone else's choice, but OK, I get it.

Make mine a commercial Mauser 98. Absolutely idiot resistant, rugged, and reliable. Maybe not a benchrest rifle, but you won't find a better rifle anywhere. The design is so good it has been copied repeatedly and never bested, most famously in the Winchester Model 70.
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Old February 16, 2024, 05:27 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by rickyrick View Post
The more expensive lever guns were selling out in a day a couple of months back when I was shopping around. I finally gave up and put my money elsewhere.
Was my intention to use it as the go-to-gun
Amazing how not to long ago lever guns were what a deer hunter bought if they had a limited budget. Turn the clock ahead 30-40 years and the average blue collar worker can only dream of buying a new, quality lever gun as their hunting rifle or as a backup.
Kinda like blue jeans and fajitas, and I’m sure I’m missing something….
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Old February 17, 2024, 01:48 AM   #32
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We kicked the cost issue regards new levers around on another thread just recently. Time was that a scoped Marlin 30-30 was a very common deer rifle in a lot of parts of the country.

That same Marlin was cheaper than a M70, Rem700, Savage 99, or the Rem pumps or autos, Ammo cheaper than'06 or .270 too. I live a short drive from a public range and scavenged brass there quite often 20- 30 years ago. By far the most common spent centerfire cartridge (excluding 7.62x39, which was selling $100 for a 1200 rd case and SKS carbines for $100 more) was indeed the 30-30. As an aside, you would have been amazed at the .22 WMR brass laying about as well.

All that changed with the introduction of the poly stocked, matte finished bolt rifle. I bought a poly stocked Rem 700 ADL for $333 bucks, but a poly Savage 110 was even more affordable. Thirty-thirty brass started drying up, and '06 & .270 became the norm. With the advent of really affordable bolt rifle, aka the American, the Axis and others, bolt rifles in serious calibers became even more common, while lever rifle prices contnue to climb. I couldn't tell you the last time I saw a hunter with a Winlin afield.

Faced with the choice of a naked lever rifle costing $1000 plus with 150 yd range for deer and hogs, and a scoped Ruger American for about $600 that will kill deer, hogs AND elk farther than you will ever shoot, it is easy to predict what the average fella will buy.

Back to GP rifles , my only argument against the '06 and .270 is that the longer action adds weight and the bigger cartridges require longer barrels to realize their potential. I have a 20" barreled bolt carbine in '06. It is a gorgeous rifle, mannlicher stocked, and it will shoot bugholes with really heavy .30 cal bullets . But it is not all that faster than a .308, and it has a tremendous amount of flash and blast if you run it full throttle. Add to that it is noticeably heavier than the .308 carbines in my safe. The go-to/do-all rifle is desired to be handy and portable and every ounce counts. I'm a big fan of the .270 (read too much O'Conner) but a .270 carbine would be an odd duck.
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Old February 17, 2024, 02:50 PM   #33
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I bought a Weatherby Vanguard .270 Win.from a co-worker that was a 20-18 inch ?lightweight. He had won it in a raffle and was brand new.
Beautiful wood, shoot really good and sounded like an A bomb going off. I didn’t keep it for long.
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Old February 17, 2024, 04:04 PM   #34
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Been doing some thinking while reading through all this and have a few thoughts as well. One, it think that a GP rifle should also be the one and only rifle one has should things go belly up. It would not only serve as a GP rifle but as a SHTF gun as well should circumstances demand such use. Probably barrel length should be in the 20 to 22" range. Probably sort of along the lines of Col.Jeff Cooper's ideas about a scout rifle. Cartridge should be IMO the .308 Win./7.65x51 NATO. Sights, a receiver rear sight and post front and an extended eye relief scope fixed power at 4X.

I have several rifles chambered to the .308 ranging from a Ruger M77 RSI with 18.5" barrel to a Winchester M70 Youth Ranger I won in a raffle. It now sits in a Ramline stock and with its 22" barrel will run the 165 gr. Speer Hot Core to 2610 FPS, the same velocity I got from the now long gone Speer Nitrex ammo. That load does 2550 FPS from the RSI. More than adequate for most game. Velocity for a 20" barrel would most likely be about halfway between the two rifles.

I picked the .308 to be the cartridge because it's common, easily found most of the time, is accurate and recoil is reasonably tolerable. Rifles can be made quite light if weight is a consideration, However, I do have a custom Mauser in a Lawson thumbhole stock that with scope, sling, 20" soda straw barrel and a lightweight but strong piece of wood weighs somewhere between 5.5 and 6 pounds. Not bad off a bench but a bear to hold steady in the field. The very lightweight barrel heat up quickly. It is easy to carry and rough trying to hold on game while winded climbing that mountain. The tin is, if ne wants a GP type rifle, some compromises are in order.
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Old February 17, 2024, 05:51 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Paul B. View Post
From many years to about 1982 I drove a Ford F150 4x4 and probably spent more time than not roaming the first Nevada desert, then the Arizona desert after a job transfer in 1970. During that time that truck had an Indian blanket seat cover that had a pouch that ran alongside the front of the bench seat in the truck. It was a bit uncomfortable with a scoped bolt action rifle but held an M94 Winchester or 336 Marlin carbine right handily. During a deer or elk hunt it held the appropriate rifle for the task at hand. IIRC, it was around 1982/3 that I traded that truck off for something newer and lost the option of that style seat cover. I rigged up a scabbard that hung behind the seat and used it instead and that worked until that truck went down the road. Last two truck though really had no convenient way to store a rifle which is something that bothers me but seriously, health problems pretty much keep this old desert rat out of the desert anymore.
Still, if I were still able to get out and about, most likely it's be my old M94 30-30 that gets to ride along.
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Old February 19, 2024, 02:38 PM   #36
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Limiting this to just what I currently own, reaching into the safe to pick my go to, would be my Model 70 Supergrade, in .270 Win.

It’s not ideal for everything, but good enough all around.

It’s hunted squirrels, prairie dogs, antelope, deer, elk, grouse, and a bunch of other stuff. It may be a bit big for some game, maybe a tad small for others, but it’s always gotten the job done.

I’ve had it since I was 14 (31 years now), and know how it handles and shoots without thinking about it. I’ve have several other rifles, but the .270 is probably the favorite out of the big rifles.

My Ruger .22 Hornet would be a very close second. Been with me 20 years, and has been shot a lot, and like the .270, shoots very well for me, but being a bit on the small side, it dosent quite take first place.
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Old February 19, 2024, 04:18 PM   #37
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A lot of factors go into what one might consider important in their "go-to" rifle including the cost/availability of the rifle, cost/availability of ammo, and what attributes they value over others. As I said, if I lived elsewhere my choice would probably be different, but if I didn't already have my Winchester and was looking to buy a "go-to" rifle I might choose something different too. When I bought my M94 about 10 years ago, I paid $370 for it IIRC; I highly doubt I could find even a well used .30-30 lever gun for that price today. I also reload and have a decent supply of components to keep the .30-30's in the house fed (my wife owns one too). At the time I bought my Winchester, .30-30 was still relatively inexpensive ($20/box) when you compared it to other rifle cartridges loaded with bullets of comparable quality (JSP hunting bullets). Also, at least at that time, pretty much anyplace that sold centerfire rifle ammunition would have .30-30 ammo.

Were I to buy a new "go-to" rifle today I might look at a different action type than a lever-action simply because lever-guns have gotten so much more expensive. Even a well used Wichester 94 or Marlin 336 can easily go for nearly double what I paid for my M94. Also, .30-30 ammo isn't as cheap or available as it used to be though its really no worse, in my area at least, than most other centerfire rifle ammo with the exception of .223/5.56. Honestly, since pretty much any medium-to-large bore rifle requires handloading to maintain affordability these days, my Marlin 1895G would be a serious contender for "go-to" rifle if it weren't an older model which only has a 4-shot magazine tube.

There are also a number of other rifles which would be, imho, very good "all-around" guns if they were as widely available or inexpensive as they used to be. A Lee-Enfield No. 5 "Jungle Carbine" is handy and fast-cycling and .303 British is more than adequately powerful for all but the biggest of game, but both rifles and ammunition are a lot scarcer and expensive than they used to be and the Lee-Enfield's rear-locking bolt and often "generous" chambers aren't friendly to long case life for the handloader. Likewise, the various models of pump-action and semi-automatic hunting rifles that Remington used to make like the models 750 and 760 would be nice and came in very capable calibers, but they're out of production, I rarely see used ones ?ZS C
anymore, and when they turn up they're quite expensive. An SKS or Mini-30 would be a capable rifle as they're relatively short and light, semi-automatic, and 7.62x39 is reasonably close to my .30-30 in power, but again both rifles and ammo are a lot more costly than they used to be (I really wish I still had my Yugo 59/66).

I tend to eschew a lot of bolt-actions for "all around" rifles because, while they certainly have their uses and I own several, I find most of them to be somewhat lacking when it comes to defensive use which is an important factor to me. With a few notable exceptions like Lee-Enfields and various straight-pulls, I can't cycle the action of a bolt gun nearly as quickly or efficiently as my lever-actions. Bolt-action rifles also usually have relatively low magazine capacity (5 rounds or less) and often have fixed magazines which are relatively slow to reload. If I were to choose a bolt-action rifle as a "go-to" gun, I'd definitely want a detachable magazine or at the very least one which could be reloaded with stripper-clips. Similarly, many of the bolt-actions I might consider for my "all around" like Enfields, Schmidt-Rubins, and even Mausers and Mosins are chambered for cartridges that, while certainly capable, are becoming increasingly rare and expensive.

As I said before, it's really a balancing act of what each person values and what they have access to. Since I already have my M94, already load .30-30 ammo, and factory .30-30 ammo is, at this time, no rarer or expensive than anything else comparable the Winchester is what works best for me. Fortunately, I'm not limited to just one rifle so I can have different models and calibers to accomplish different tasks.
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Old February 21, 2024, 08:24 PM   #38
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My rifle that feels like it almost shoots itself when I I use it would be my savage 99 in 300 savage. It just feels good, for me anyway. No scope, iron sites only.
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Old February 23, 2024, 11:45 AM   #39
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My brother was lucky enoough to acquire one of those, and is the only lever gun he has.
I had one at one time and is one of the ones I let get away that I wish I still had.
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Old February 25, 2024, 09:59 AM   #40
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I have several bolt guns and both a double-barrel shotgun and several handguns. The family has about 200 acres of land adjacent to our house lot, so I get to hunt varmints and shoot out to about 400 yards on our son's property. My bench is located on an access road that allows shots out to about 300 yards, though my target holders are at 100 & 200 yards, with natural backstops at both locations.
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Old February 25, 2024, 11:12 AM   #41
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all around?

Depends what you are hunting or encountering as others have said.

I would say choose the gun that you shoot most accurately and without forethought.

Mine is a Contender 20" barrel in 7x30 Waters.
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Old March 20, 2024, 10:11 AM   #42
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Definitely agree, depends on what you are doing. I use my 10/22 with a "night vision" setup for eradicating beavers at night on my creek. Pellet for rabbits and squirrels in the garden, glock for EDC, etc.

Context is everything.
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Old March 20, 2024, 07:02 PM   #43
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I tend to eschew a lot of bolt-actions for "all around" rifles

Got a M1917 bubba sporterized. The barrel was original and in great shape. It was cut back to exactly the same length as the OSS guns in WWII used in the Burma Theater. They guy I bought it off had the action and all the metal rust blued before he found out the barrel was cut down. Sold it cheap and back in a military stock it gives off Scout Rifle vibes.
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Old April 11, 2024, 11:45 AM   #44
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I have always said I could get by with just 3 firearms. A shotgun, and I don't care if its a single shot, a 22 rifle and a 30-30 for everything else. I am still a fan of the 30-30. I will buy all I find if the cost is right. But that doesn't seem to happen much anymore.

I am so set up to load 30-30 with around 1500 pieces of brass and over 1200 jacketed bullets. And I just started casting for the 30-30 and loaded some ammo but haven't tried it yet.

I also have a Remington model 7 in 7-08. One of the originals with 18.5" barrel and schnabel forend. Thats a deer killing dude.

For a truck gun to have around me everywhere it might be my new Henry in 22 mag. Man that gun is slick and a real shooter. And I have over 5000 rounds of ammo for it.

But if I had to choose one rifle it would be one of my 30-30s. As long as I can reload for it I can make it very versatile to use. It can do about anything from small game up to moose as long as I watch the range its used at.
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Old April 11, 2024, 12:38 PM   #45
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I'm inclined to agree with Scorch on the Mauser. I do love 'em, and I still have my "first" centerfire, a Danzig '98 with a Redfield aperture sight and a Marbles front bead. But "all around" I have to go with my Sauer 100 CLS XT 9.3x62. Yep, the cheap model with a plastic stock. I recently put an older 1.5-6X Tasco Titan 30mm scope on it, and it shoots the lights out with bullets from 232 to 300 grains. Yes, that's a bit of overkill for most critters, but the moderate velocity won't mess up too much meat. And it will literally kill anything that walks the earth.

In truth, if you can forego shooting across two counties, most of our centerfire rifles do pretty well.
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Old April 11, 2024, 12:53 PM   #46
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1. Go-to all around gun: 12 gauge shotgun. It might be an Ithaca Model 37 pump or a Wingmaster or your choice of top-tier semi-autos. From squirrels to bear, skeet and trap.

2. Go-to all around centerfire rifle: Remington 30-06. You might say .308. This is my personal bunnies to bears rifle, 90 grain "plinkers" at 1200 fps or 180 grain stompers.

3. You could argue for a .22 LR

4. Savage ML2 modern powder muzzle-loader. For the Paco-Lips. If you can find shotgun primers, it can shoot just about any powder from any bullets you take off a zombie and break apart. Or the tips of old match heads. It'll shoot it.
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Old April 11, 2024, 03:52 PM   #47
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I got a BAR DBM "Hog Hunter" this year. 18.5" barrel, 10 round clip, left hand eject. 165 Grand Slam reloads. I'm comfortable to 250 yards with the 1x4 Vortex sitting on it.
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Old April 13, 2024, 04:41 PM   #48
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I've tried to come up with an answer for this and really can't, it sounds more like "If you could have only one gun for every single situation you'll ever encounter" and I genuinely cannot come up with a single answer for that. If instead it were phrased like "what is one of your all around favorite guns and why" That would be something I could respond to a bit more readily; certainly one at the top of my list would be my savage 110 long range hunter in 338 lapua magnum because:

1. the cartridge is inherently accurate across a large range of configurations.
2. the cartridge is inherently easy to dope the scope for and bucks winds well.
3 The cartridge can reach WAY out there if needs be and hit hard.
4 The rifle is remarkably affordable and easy to shoot, delivering felt recoil no worse than some rifles shooting cartridges half the size of the 338 LM IMO.

The problem I have with it--if you want to call it a problem--is that it shoots almost everything I put through it with MOA or less accuracy; so it takes a while and a lot of cartridges through a chrono to find the unicorn node(s). Even reloading is an expensive proposition and doing lots of em is very expensive.

Rustled mine out today just for some big bang fun.

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Old April 14, 2024, 06:13 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by bamaranger View Post
Ready.......a Mini30

Wait, .........consider it the modern saddle rifle, near 30-30 power and near the same size and weight. Accuracy equal to a lever carbine (maybe?). Easily scoped if needs be. Range to 200 yds plus. Fair trigger. Hi cap mags available if that matters. Wood and steel models available. Ruger support net. Soviet/Russian ammo is not as cheap as it was, but 7.62x39mm is still widely available. Plus I think about all domestic ammo companies offer the cartridge.

Somebody will mention that the rifle has a bad reputation with fail to fire and steel case. OK........shoot brass domestic and quit griping.
This is my thought as well. I had one many years ago and with a little tweaking of the trigger and proper handloads it was a solid 1.75 MOA shooter. But I sold it and have regretted it ever since, looking for a replacement these days.
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Old April 14, 2024, 08:20 AM   #50
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This is my thought as well. I had one many years ago and with a little tweaking of the trigger and proper handloads it was a solid 1.75 MOA shooter. But I sold it and have regretted it ever since, looking for a replacement these days.
7.62 x 39 AR wouldn't do the same thing for you but more accurately?
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