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Old April 12, 2013, 06:02 PM   #1
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Help Picking New SS Synthetic Rifle

Looking at getting a new deer rifle in stainless / synthetic.

Here is what is on my long list in order of intrest.

Winchester Extreme Weather
Browning X Bolt Stainless Stalker
Weatherby S2 SS
Savage 16/116 Weather Warrior
Tikka T3 Laminated
Tikka T3 Lite Stainless

Any opinions welcomed.
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Old April 12, 2013, 06:59 PM   #2
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I vote for the Savage Weather Warrior in .25-06, but there's not a bad choice on your list.
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Old April 12, 2013, 07:27 PM   #3
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I vote for the Winchester...and the Savage...and the Tikka T3 Lite. I'm originally from NW of Chicago so I vote a lot...
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Old April 12, 2013, 07:33 PM   #4
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I'd go with the Browning A-Bolt stainless stalker with the BOSS tuner, as this lets you tune the gun to what load you want to shoot, instead of the other way around.

Anything without the tuner, you have to fiddle around with lots of different loads, or reloads in order to find something that your gun likes. - Or settle for less than stellar accuracy.

With the BOSS system, you pick your favorite load, then adjust the BOSS for bug-hole accuracy with that particular load.

It's like air-conditioning, cruise control or automatic ice-makers... Once you get used to it, you are spoiled thereafter. The BOSS system is that nice.

Saves you untold time, expense and frustration.

If you don't like the muzzle-brake, Browning has a brake-less version of the BOSS.

Personally, I like the muzzle-brake but that's just me. With less recoil, I shoot better. A lot of folks are that way.
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Old April 13, 2013, 05:02 PM   #5
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The Winchester is the only choice that comes with a quality stock. All of the others have cheap injection molded stocks.

The Winchester is the only choice with a CRF action.

You don't need to mess with a silly knob on the end of the barrel to make them shoot straight. One group here from my Kimber, but all of my Winchesters shoot just fine. All are SS/synthetic, either with the Winchester EW stock or in McMillans.

If you want a truly light weigh rifle the Tikka is the lightest, most accurate rifle you will find under $1,000. I like the Tikka's right well, but thier light weight is their biggest selling point. Putting one in a heavy laminated stock makes no sense to me.

The Weatherby is a good gun, especially for the money. But they are the heaviest of your choices. Not my cup of tea, but if you are interested in a heavy recoiling rifle that might be an advantage.

I don't care at all for the Browning design.

Savage makes a good budget gun. They are as accurate as anything else, and their budget lines are reasonably priced. Once you get to their walnut stocked and SS rifles, they are no longer a bargain. If I'm paying that much there are better choices.

Two other choices to consider. If on a budget the Ruger Hawkeye is a best buy in SS/Synthetic. Since they come with rings they are an even better bargain.

If you are seriously considering the Winchester EW a Kimber isn't much more. Around $1,000, and they are also CRF. An important consideration to me. They are very well made, extremely accurate as you can see by the above target. The rifle, with scope and mounts is still a couple of oz under 6 lbs ready to hunt.

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Old April 13, 2013, 05:50 PM   #6
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Good post. I like the target pictures, they speak a thousand words.
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Old April 13, 2013, 06:47 PM   #7
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Help Picking New SS Synthetic Rifle

I've been lurking for awhile, and as my handle says I certainly have an affection for Kimber.

It's all about what you want to spend though... Lots of rifles will shoot. I used to have rems and savages, however when I picked up my first Kimber I never looked back, sold all the others and own only them now.

Here's a 100 yard group from last summer with hand loads out of my .204 varmint. My 06' , .308 and .243 both shoot just as we'll.

I don't think you can go wrong with a tikka or win though... Like someone mentioned though, if you're looking for super light, Kimber makes the Montana and ascent... Both weigh nearly nothing. Good luck with what you decide.

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Old April 13, 2013, 06:55 PM   #8
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I'd go with the Tikka or the Winchester. Probably get the Tikka to save money. I have a Ruger Hawkeye in SS and I like it, but jrm40 is right. The stock was nothing special and now sits alone in a corner of my workshop, in time-out.

I'd have already bought a Tikka, but they don't offer the stainless lite in 260. Dang it. I wanted that rifle in that caliber. Only problem I see with the Tikka is that the stock is so light, the gun felt too muzzle heavy. Not a big problem and is one that I could ignore.
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Old April 13, 2013, 07:40 PM   #9
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On the BOSS system, is tuning it to your load all that much faster or cheaper than tuning a load to the rifle? I have never tried the BOSS, but it seems to me you would likely do the same amount of experimenting.
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Old April 13, 2013, 09:15 PM   #10
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On the BOSS system, is tuning it to your load all that much faster or cheaper than tuning a load to the rifle? I have never tried the BOSS, but it seems to me you would likely do the same amount of experimenting.
Not by a long shot.

Browning has a chart that puts you in the ballpark according to your load's bullet weight. For factory loads, specific settings are recommended.

Here is some general information about the BOSS. Sit through the video as that is the quickest, surest way to see what it does, and how to use it.

Instead of trying a number of different powders, bullets and loads thereof - or buying and trying a number of different factory loads, you pick the load that you wish to shoot, then use the information that Browning provides and then make a few trial adjustments ( perhaps three to six ) to find the "sweet spot" for that load. Record that sweet spot for later reference, as you can do this for any number of different loads.

It is possible to buy a single box of shells and have more than enough left for a big-game hunt after adjusting the BOSS - and getting sighted-in. ( If you use the three-shot sighting in system, that is! )

More detail is available at the Browning website, in the A-Bolt and BAR Safari sections. A lot of benchrest shooters use tuners, because they will give you better accuracy faster and cheaper than by endlessly fooling around with different loads.

Also, if conditions change, lets say like you live at sea level and get a chance to hunt at high altitude, the tuner can be adjusted with just a few rounds, if necessary. - This cannot be done nearly so easily by doing it the old, laborious, expensive, backward way that either requires loading equipment or a wide selection of factory loads to play with.

Same thing goes if you wind up having to use locally available ammo, etc. - instead of your favorite load.

A .5 MOA gun without a tuner can be a .3 MOA gun - with a tuner. That's the difference that has benchrest shooters and discerning hunters using them. The benchrest shooters develop a handload with as little velocity spread as possible, and then use a tuner to make it compatible with the rifle barrel.

Another nice thing about the BOSS is that you can switch back and forth between using the muzzle-brake or not.

Perhaps that is one reason why Winchester is purchasing licensing from Browning to utilize the BOSS system.

I like the Winchester action. If they start making the BOSS system available, I'd seriously consider buying a Winchester. To be honest though, I'm kind of spoiled to the Browning A-Bolt bolt knob, it's the most comfortable one on the market. I like the safety better, too.

The fellow who said that the Browning synthetic stock is an injection-molded piece of junk was full of farina. Take a look at an A-Bolt Stainless Stalker and judge for yourself. - He was probably thinking of a Remington or maybe a Savage.

Last edited by PVL; April 13, 2013 at 09:46 PM.
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Old April 14, 2013, 09:34 AM   #11
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Sako or Tikka.
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