The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 14, 2018, 10:19 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2005
Posts: 269
Help me decide on a new bolt gun

Turning 5-0 in the next 2 months and would like to get myself something that is missing from my collection - a nice bolt gun in a medium caliber. My criteria are:

Caliber: .308 or 7mm-08. 6.5x55 Swede (and other 6.5 calibers) was considered but smaller than I'd like. .308 about as high on recoil scale I'd like to go so no 30'06.

Barrel Length - 20" is optimal. Willing to consider 18"-22"
Sights - Must have decent irons with the ability to easily scope
Adjustable length of pull would be nice
Weight - I don't want a featherweight or a boat anchor. Around 8lbs seems to be optimal.
Magazine - Detachable or hinged floorplate.
Nothing tactical (ex. Ruger Precision Rifle)
Budget - Trying to keep it under $2k
Use - multipurpose/fun. Not a hunter but would like it to be good in that role should I try it.

The ones that seem to check the boxes so far are:
Ruger Gunsite Scout
Steyr Scout
Remington 7 LS
Savage 110 Scout (new model). They did shorten the new models to 16.5" barrels though

Mossberg MVPs check the boxes but I view them as low end and nothing special.

Savage 110 Hog Hunter (new model). Checks the boxes but doesn't seem to be anything overly special.

I know a lot of folks speak highly about CZs (I have a 455 .22) but they don't seem to have any models I can find that meet my criteria.
Tikka's are also highly regarded, but they don't seem to come with irons (unless I'm missing something).

And before anyone asks, I do have the Springfield M1A under consideration (even though it's a semi). Always liked the look but may be a tad heavier than I'd like.

Looking forward to other suggestions/ideas.

Blade37db is offline  
Old February 14, 2018, 05:35 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,036
Forget irons. They are about as useful as a screen door on a submarine anymore. The military doesn't even use them on AR's at this point. That will open up a lot more options for you. And if you absolutely must have irons you can choose any rifle you want and have a gunsmith add irons later. And you'll have much better irons. Most of the ones coming from the factory are more for decoration than real use.

You said nothing tactical, but 3 out of 4 you are considering are tactical rifles?

Since you've already opened the door to a tactical type rifle, then this.

They are absolute tack drivers. Barrel is 20" and threaded. While "tactical" is in the name they are really a lightweight, walking around target or varmint hunting rifle. Mine, with a scope on it weighs 8 1/4 lbs, about 7.5 lbs naked. Street price in blue is about $900, $1000 for stainless. They come with stock shims to adjust LOP. Comes with a 10 round detachable magazine.

Calibers are 308, 260, and 6.5 Creedmoor. Mine is 308, simply because that was the caliber the one I found on the used gun rack was. For your use I'd go 6.5 Creedmoor.

The Creedmoor is a little more accurate with about 25% less recoil compared to 308. Out to 600-700 yards there isn't much difference in performance, but beyond 700 the 6.5 Creedmoor smokes 308. The 308 really runs out of gas past 1000, the 6.5 Creedmoor is still supersonic out to 2000 yards. The 260 will do anything 6.5 Creedmoor will do, but only if you hand load. The 6.5 Creed will kill the 260 in another 10 years. If I had one that is one thing, I wouldn't buy one at this point over the 6.5 Creedmoor.

Either caliber has ammo readily available at good prices. Either cartridge will take any large game in the lower 48 out past 400 yards.

If not the CTR, then any of the Tikka's. Or with your budget two Tikka's. And if not having irons isn't negotiable just have them added.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old February 14, 2018, 06:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2005
Posts: 269
Thanks JMR40.
I don't consider scout rifles to be "tactical" like the Ruger Precision (and others like it). Maybe "tactical" was the wrong word.
Appreciate the input.
Blade37db is offline  
Old February 14, 2018, 08:07 PM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: November 13, 2017
Posts: 12
Look at the Sako Model 85. There are some that have iron sights. They will be at the top of your limit and certain ones will be higher.

Just checked the Remington website and they show the 700 BDL with iron sights.

Google is your friend.

Last edited by Number10GI; February 14, 2018 at 08:49 PM.
Number10GI is offline  
Old February 14, 2018, 08:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: September 29, 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,237
I second the idea of not limiting to having iron sights. Quality optics are very durable these days, and limiting yourself will be down to a very few models.

For under $2K I would definitely look at the Sako A7 (Around $1,000-$1,200) or the Sako 85. You will feel the quality and enjoy shooting out fo the box with silky smooth bolts, light, crisp triggers, and what I think is perfect balance for a field gun. And they are about the most accurate factory hunting rifles.

If you want something more tactical than hunting then consider the tactical versions of the Tikka T3.

Also consider a Browning, Kimber or Cooper rifle. Lots of smaller firms making quality rifles in the $1,500-$2,000 range. The Savage and Ruger scouts are good rifles but are not in the same league of quality feel, finish, and design as the ones mentioned above.
"The ultimate authority ... resides in the people alone. ... The advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition."
- James Madison
NWPilgrim is offline  
Old February 14, 2018, 09:48 PM   #6
Join Date: December 1, 2017
Posts: 37
just my .02, I'd go with either a good Rem 700 SPS in 6.5 cm, at only 7.5 lbs. Maybe do a Rem/Age conversion on it down the road. It's hard to beat a finely tuned Rem 700 without spending a fortune.
Or go with a Savage 10/110 in 6.5 cm, it's only 8.5 lbs. And if you tire of a caliber, simply switch it out, run the go/no go gauges, and you're good to go. You can change up from .204 Ruger, 22-250, .223, .243, .260, or 6.5 cm with the Savage 10/110 Predator.

I have and love my RPR 6.5 Creedmoor, but you said you didn't want a heavy tactical type rifle. But this thing drives nails. g/l on your choice, just don't rush in a decision.
Zeroed is offline  
Old February 15, 2018, 06:15 AM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: June 23, 2013
Location: Central Pennsyltucky...
Posts: 1,591
It may help us to know what type of shooting is planned with this rifle.
Hunting,? What type of terrain, altitude, distance of expected shots.
Target? 100 yards, 300-600 yards, 1000+ yards.

If target, what type? Informal range fun, silhouette, F class, PRC?
std7mag is offline  
Old February 15, 2018, 07:53 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: July 20, 2016
Location: Upstate NY.
Posts: 541
For me, based on your criteria/budget I'd look at:

a 7mm-08 rifle made by:
Montana Rifle Co

Can't go wrong there.
In God we trust.
jackstrawIII is offline  
Old February 15, 2018, 09:52 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: November 18, 2005
Location: On the Santa Fe Trail
Posts: 6,861
Originally Posted by jmr40
Forget irons. They are about as useful as a screen door on a submarine anymore. The military doesn't even use them on AR's at this point
The Army still has sights on the M4, and the last time I qualified in 2016 before retiring we still had to use them. We had optics sure Aimpoints, ACOG, and night vision scopes, but we were still mainly training on the use of aperture sights. However, I do agree about forgetting the sight requirement for a new rifle. Most new production rifles have stocks that were designed for the use of optics and not sights.
NRA Life Member
taylorce1 is offline  
Old February 15, 2018, 10:18 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: January 23, 2016
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Posts: 182
Blade37db - There are a lot of great options in addition to what you mentioned, but I'd like to affirm one in your list!

I think Remington 7 LS in 7mm-08 would be a great gun! I have a 7mm-08 Ruger and my Father in law has Rem 7 in 6mmRem. I've actually had the thought that if the two would come together and have a child, I would happily adopt! 7mm-08 excels in shorter barrels, and the Remington 7 is a quality set-up. I have never had any issue with Rem triggers, having owned 3, but if you have or ascribe to the school of thought against them, a Timney would be a minor upgrade to have a really rock solid set up.

I would keep the irons. One of my greatest laments is that all of my current rifles are scope dependent. And while 95% if my shots will be great with a scope, it'd be nice to be prepared for the other 5% and be in a position to take them when they offer themselves.

"This is God's universe, and he has a plan. You might think that you have a better plan, but you don't have a universe." - Dr. J.V. McGee
Tallest is offline  
Old February 15, 2018, 05:09 PM   #11
Join Date: September 30, 2015
Posts: 34
Seems like the only option you have is to have a rifle built for you. Not that being picky is a bad thing, but, IMHO I don't think you are going to find what you want in a commercially made firearm.
lordvader is offline  
Old February 16, 2018, 10:30 AM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2005
Posts: 269
Thanks for all of the replies and insight.

It looks like the Sako Bavarian 85 is the leader in the clubhouse. If the price tag ends up scaring me off, I think the Remington 7 LS is next up.


Last edited by Blade37db; February 16, 2018 at 10:57 AM.
Blade37db is offline  
Old February 17, 2018, 01:17 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: November 26, 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 791
Here is your new rifle:

Or if you prefer wood:
disseminator is offline  
Old February 18, 2018, 11:00 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2005
Posts: 269
Wow.Thanks disseminator! That never came up in my searches. It checks all of my boxes. Awesome!
Blade37db is offline  
Old February 20, 2018, 11:17 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: November 26, 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 791
Wow.Thanks disseminator! That never came up in my searches. It checks all of my boxes. Awesome!
Glad I could help.

Now, get one and report back how sweet it is.

disseminator is offline  
Old February 23, 2018, 09:20 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2005
Posts: 269
It'll be a few weeks for sure. Got to save up a little more and return a few more bottles if I want the Sako
Blade37db is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07897 seconds with 9 queries