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My First Rifle Purchase

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My First Rifle Purchase

Old 11-30-2009, 04:09 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default My First Rifle Purchase

First off I'd like to say hi and I've been scouring these forums for information and I've found a lot of great threads.

I'm in the market for my first rifle purchase. Since I was 12 I've used a Winchester Model 94 30-30 and it's been fantastic. Now that Im older and completed college I can actually afford to purchase a new rifle for my first time and needless to say I'm psyched.

I've had pretty good luck narrowing down the rifle to a Savage 14 American Classic with a Nikon Buckmaster 3x9x40. I've had a little more challenge with deciding between a .308 or a .270WSM. I know both will be fantastic, it will be primarily used for New England whitetail hunting and maybe some bear hunting if I ever decide to tread those waters.

The other guns I seriously looked at were the Winchester 70, Browning X bolt and this weekend I'm going to go look at a Weatherby Vanguard sporter. Whats your guys thoughts? I'm basically looking for one gun that I will keep as my deer rifle for years and years as my next gun is going to be a nice O/U for duck hunting.

Basically I wanted to say hi and spout out what I can't really talk to my friends around Boston about!
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:20 PM
  #2  
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Can't go wrong with the X-Bolt, and just for whitetails stick with a .270win instead of a WSM. Cheaper to shoot and your not giving up much in speed or energy.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:29 PM
  #3  
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Those are all good choices, look at them, and throw in a Remington Model 700 BDL or CDL-SF into the mix for good measure. As for 308 vs. 270 WSM. I'd say both will serve you well. As a handloader, I'd probably go with the 270 WSM. If you don't plan on handloading, the 308 Win will be cheaper to shoot, ammo will be more available and offered in a wider selection of bullets than the 270 WSM.

The CDL-SF... IMO one of the nicest looking factory rifles available:



Looking at it it's not offered in 308 Win, but 30-06 Springfield is comparable and is offered. It is offered in 7mm-08 though, which is a great deer cartridge in itself.

Mike

Last edited by driftrider; 11-30-2009 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:54 PM
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I have a remington 700 and love it, great looking rifle and very accurate, theres also an endless amount of aftermarket stocks ,parts and accessories for it in case you ever want to customize it. I also had a savage 114 7mag that I got in trade a while back. another very nice gun if you like walnut stocks. cant go wrong w/ browning either.
I also recomend leupold, ziess, sightron or bushnell elite series scopes.

IMO the best calibers for deer for various reasons are 7-08, 280rem, 25-06 & 270win
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:04 PM
  #5  
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Hey thanks for the replies.

I was initally looking at the Rem 700 CDL but they didnt have it in a .308 which is when I started looking at other rifles. I thought the action on the Remm was one of the best that I felt though. I looked at a Ruger M77 but I didn't really like the feel of it in my hands and I thought the bolt felt a little sloppy, might have just been me.

I really liked the feel of the Savage, the action, the trigger and the stock all felt fantastic. I also really liked the Browning Medallion, the high gloss was really nice looking and I thought it had the best feeling bolt / action of all rifles I held. The major downside on the browning was how much thicker the grips are, I'm 5'6" with probably very normal sized hands.

I have yet to hold the Weatherby but I should be going to look at that this weekend which I'm very excited about. Price hasn't really been a concern ~800ish for the rifle but the Savage was 499.99 and everything I read on it was amazing. Lots of talk about just how accurate they're out of the box and how they're trying to make a new name for themselves.

I'm still very undecided on the .270wsm or the .308. For whatever reason that isnt real legitimate I want a short action gun.
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:12 PM
  #6  
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If you really like the Rem700 CDL, then look at the 7mm-08 Remington version. It's merely a 308 Win case necked down to 7mm (0.284"). It'll give you just about the same energy of the 308 Win but will shoot flatter and kick a little less. And it's a short action. I don't think that you'll be disappointed with the 7mm-08.

Mike
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:56 PM
  #7  
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I think you're on the right track with the Savage. In fact, I'm going to buy a 14 American Classic later this month in .243. It's very, very hard to better in the trigger department than the Accutrigger.

If you're still open to suggestions, another fantastic rifle is the Tikka. This rifle is made in Finland by the esteemed Finnish rifle maker Sako and for out of the box accuracy and a durable design, they are tough to beat. The cost is almost exactly the same as the Savage, which technically makes them even better because they share many of Sako's design attributes, but they come at about half the price of a Sako.

As far as your cartridge choices, a couple of thoughts.

I'm a handloader and the .270 WSM is one of those "short" cartridges like the .243 WSSM that doesn't offer a whole lot of advantages over its "long" cousin other than the shorter bolt action, of course.

As a tradeoff, you're sacrificing a lot in terms of off-the-shelf ammo selection and WSM ammo almost always sells at a significant premium. It wouldn't be unheard of to spend $25 or more per box for WSM ammo. I don't know about you, but when I get a new rifle I want to shoot it and I personally don't feel prepared unless I shoot at least a box of ammo before each season. That could run up quite a tab with the WSM.

There's nothing wrong with a .308, but have you considered a .30-06? Ballistically, they're fairly close, but with a slight edge to the 06. In terms of ammo selection, however, the 06 beats everything hands down. You can get everything you'd ever want off the shelf in .30-06 and for your needs I think it's worth considering.

Welcom and good luck.

Grouse
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Old 11-30-2009, 07:40 PM
  #8  
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Since you're in New England and not out west somewhere I don't think that you need the 270 wsm. If you want the short action take a look at the 7mm-08, it's a .308 necked down to 7mm. You don't need the extra power from the short magnum, and the 7mm-08 will be much easier on the shoulder.
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Old 12-01-2009, 05:46 AM
  #9  
Spike
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Ok so here it goes.

I haven't held a Tikka in my hands yet but I was looking at the Sako A7 but that was before I decided I want to go with a wood stock of some sort. The Sako felt great but it was real light and at my size it would have just abused my shoulder.

I have considered a 30-06 and there is one major reason I'm staying away from it. I have 3 of them coming down the pipline once the generations start knocking off, Grandpa has 2 dad has 1. I know its a fantastic and incredibly universal round but thats the primary reason I'm not getting one. My grandpa's primary deer rifle his whole life has been a Winchester 100 .308, he swears by it has shot countless bucks and wouldn't bring anything else in the woods so naturally he thinks I shouldn't be shooting anything but one of those.

Im going to look into the 7mm, its one of the rounds I always knew about but never really looked into. Plus I don't think my family owns any so definitly worth a look.

Thanks guys!
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Old 12-01-2009, 06:57 AM
  #10  
Spike
 
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Originally Posted by DrHouse
Ok so here it goes.

I haven't held a Tikka in my hands yet but I was looking at the Sako A7 but that was before I decided I want to go with a wood stock of some sort. The Sako felt great but it was real light and at my size it would have just abused my shoulder.

I have considered a 30-06 and there is one major reason I'm staying away from it. I have 3 of them coming down the pipline once the generations start knocking off, Grandpa has 2 dad has 1. I know its a fantastic and incredibly universal round but thats the primary reason I'm not getting one. My grandpa's primary deer rifle his whole life has been a Winchester 100 .308, he swears by it has shot countless bucks and wouldn't bring anything else in the woods so naturally he thinks I shouldn't be shooting anything but one of those.

Im going to look into the 7mm, its one of the rounds I always knew about but never really looked into. Plus I don't think my family owns any so definitely worth a look.

Thanks guys!
Fair enough, just wanted to ask about the 06 because it fits in the range of calibers you mentioned.

Re the issue of recoil, I'm not sure you should place too much stock in how hard a gun may or may not kick. Granted you are of--errrrm--slight stature, but there are a couple of reasons why I'm not sure you can make recoil too much of an issue.

First, all of the guns you're looking at are within 1 pound of each other and all are bolt actions so the action isn't going to give you any recoil reduction as an autoloader would. The 16 ounces between the lightest and the heaviest will only change the felt recoil the slightest amount if at all. And for that price, you get to carry extra ounces around the woods.

IMO, to really reduce recoil, you have to have a gun that's dramatically heavier than the ones you're looking at.

I suppose it depends on how much recoil really bothers you keeping in mind that if you shoot this rifle 20 times each year, you'll be shooting it about twice as much as most deer hunters do. If recoil really bothers you, using a good recoil pad (at the range) and possibly a muzzle brake are better options than buying a heavier gun, IMO.

Personally, I think you're on the right track with the .270, but again I wouldn't get the wsm, just the regular .270. The .270 is a really good caliber, it's not a shiny new thing, but some things are popular because they just plain work. It's a real workhorse that can dispatch deer and bear with plenty of authority.

Other options would be the .280 Rem and 7mm-08. Ammo will be more limited for these options, but that may or may not matter to you all that much depending on if you have access to stores with a good selection. Obviously if you got into rural areas, the hardware store selection of .280 ammo could be a real issue, but most Walmarts will stock it.

Good luck and let us know what you pick out.

Grouse
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