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Varmint style rifle for bush hunting?

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Varmint style rifle for bush hunting?

Old 02-20-2012, 10:12 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Varmint style rifle for bush hunting?

So I put a thread on here a couple weeks back asking about some calibers and differents guns and I had my heart set on a browning xbolt stainless stalker 270 wsm.

After some test firing of multiple makes and calibers my cousin had a 22-250 in the browning xbolt stainless varmint special its got a 26" heavy barrel its free floated and glass bedded with a laminated thumb hole stock. It was a dream to shoot being a new rifle my cousin was breaking it in but couldnt get it to group it was a 7" spread at 100 yards. My buddy took a clip and got it to about a 4" group from the same distance. Then it was my turn, I got the gun to group MOA!! I was proud, my cousin is a long time rifle enthusiast and is a very wise guy and a good shot but I beat him! Now it could've been due to the rifle ( maybe it likes to fire dirty ) I don't know. But what I do know is that I absolutely loved the stock it was sooo comfortable to fire i shot off a rest but still it felt soo nice to shoulder.

I'm wondering if having this rifle in 270wsm would be good for hunting white tail and or moose? It's mostly prairies and woodlands no hills so lots of long shots in fields but there would be hunting in the bush (for white tails). Hunting moose would be in Norhern Ontario and central Manitoba in the more swampy hilled areas. So I was wondering if having the stainless stalker would be better cause its more light weight? Afterall its 6lbs8oz bare but the varmint special is 8lbs11oz. Is it worth sacrificing the short light weight and durable gun for the gun I already know is comfy but alot heavier longer and less weather resistant? I have shouldered the stainless stalker but I have not fired it. It is very comfortable but not as comfy as the varmint special in the palm of my hand but the recoil pad feels the same on the shoulder. As for the cheek rest I'm not sure as to what I find comfy yet.


Browning X Bolt Stainless Stalker:
http://www.browning.com/products/cat...5&tid=202&bg=x

Browning X Bolt Varmint Special (note this link is not the stainless version):
http://www.browning.com/products/cat...5&tid=265&bg=x

Last edited by Jarrey12; 02-20-2012 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 02-21-2012, 05:35 AM
  #2  
Nontypical Buck
 
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For the kind of hunting you are talking about, hands down the Stainless Stalker.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:07 AM
  #3  
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That's what I was thinking thanks.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:22 AM
  #4  
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aside from getting a few strange looks while out in the bush, there is nothing wrong with a slightly heavy or longer gun for the bush. just think of it this why, in manitoba back in the early 50's to 60's, the number one rifle was the lee enfield. a gun that gets to be 9.75 pounds once its scoped. today its not as common but none the less people still got there game with heavy guns. as for it being a little longer, well if plenty of guys navigate the bush with 28 inch barreled shotguns to get grouse then a 26 inch barreled gun wont be much harder. just make sure you pick a caliber that is suitable for your game (the .22-250 is no moose gun)

all that said its all up to what feels good to you. my first deer gun was over 9 pounds without a scope. my next one was 10 pounds with scope and my current go to deer rifle comes in around 9 1/2 with the scope and steel rings. a heavy gun has never been a problem because i have never really had to many lighter deer rifles. infact, ive never liked any of my deer guns that were under 9 pounds. and yes i carry my guns up and down the hills and no i havent had to turn around because i was carrying to much gun.

fyi good luck getting that stainless stalker in 270 wsm, both cabelas and wholesale sports are out at the moment.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:44 AM
  #5  
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In general, I always favor a heavy barreled rifle, but that doesn't come without a warning. Frankly, I don't usually ever complain about the length of a rifle, because if I can get my 6ft frame through the brush, I can get a 48" rifle through as well. What shorter lengths ultimately mean is lower weight, and WEIGHT is what's going to matter most to you. Carrying a heavy barreled rifle at low ready will wear you out quickly. Maybe you don't do much stalking and carrying your rifle low ready won't be an issue, but if you ARE doing a lot of spot and stalk, or still hunting, it's going to take the sap out of you.

Another option you'd have would be to buy a heavy palm swell stock for the stalker. Yeah, it'll probably have a barrel groove designed for a heavy barrel, but that won't hurt anything using a standard barrel.

Maybe you're young and strong and in amazing shape, which is the only reason I can justify carrying a heavy barreled rifle into the deer woods. BUT I also have lighter options at my disposal. Keep in mind that a 9-10lb bare rifle is going to be in the 12-14lb range once you add a bipod, sling, mounts, scope, and load it up. It may not seem like much, but carry a 12lb dumbell with you for a few hours sometime and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Ultimately, no, I absolutely would not buy a varmint rifle if I needed a standard/lightweight rifle, just because I liked the stock. You can always get a different stock, but a 14lb rifle is a 14lb rifle, so once you get it, you're stuck with it, not to mention the difference in price (usually a "varminter" or heavy barrel model is $200+ more than the standard. Maybe you're looking at blued varminter vs a stainless standard, but even at that, I'd bet a $100-200 price difference, cheaper for the standard/lightweight).
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:09 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by dylan_b
aside from getting a few strange looks while out in the bush, there is nothing wrong with a slightly heavy or longer gun for the bush. just think of it this why, in manitoba back in the early 50's to 60's, the number one rifle was the lee enfield. a gun that gets to be 9.75 pounds once its scoped. today its not as common but none the less people still got there game with heavy guns. as for it being a little longer, well if plenty of guys navigate the bush with 28 inch barreled shotguns to get grouse then a 26 inch barreled gun wont be much harder. just make sure you pick a caliber that is suitable for your game (the .22-250 is no moose gun)

all that said its all up to what feels good to you. my first deer gun was over 9 pounds without a scope. my next one was 10 pounds with scope and my current go to deer rifle comes in around 9 1/2 with the scope and steel rings. a heavy gun has never been a problem because i have never really had to many lighter deer rifles. infact, ive never liked any of my deer guns that were under 9 pounds. and yes i carry my guns up and down the hills and no i havent had to turn around because i was carrying to much gun.

fyi good luck getting that stainless stalker in 270 wsm, both cabelas and wholesale sports are out at the moment.
What about in a couple months? Or how bout Macdonald's in Portage?
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:31 PM
  #7  
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Proud owner of an X-bolt stainless stalker.


May I ask what are you going to use it for; Varmint style rifle for bush hunting, white tail and or moose?, mostly prairies and woodlands no hills so lots of long shots in fields but there would be hunting in the bush (for white tails)., swampy hilled areas ?!?!

I do know one thing - I couldn't see myself walking around with this thing ~ LOL !!!

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...5&tid=265&bg=x

Last edited by Sheridan; 02-21-2012 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:10 PM
  #8  
Spike
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Originally Posted by Sheridan
Proud owner of an X-bolt stainless stalker.


May I ask what are you going to use it for; Varmint style rifle for bush hunting, white tail and or moose?, mostly prairies and woodlands no hills so lots of long shots in fields but there would be hunting in the bush (for white tails)., swampy hilled areas ?!?!

I do know one thing - I couldn't see myself walking around with this thing ~ LOL !!!

http://www.browning.com/products/cat...5&tid=265&bg=x
hunting white tail would be mostly flat land in the fieds the occasional bush but the moose hunting would be in hilled areas full of swamps and mossy slippery rocks and your link doesnt work?

Last edited by Jarrey12; 02-22-2012 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:30 PM
  #9  
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Although a couple extra pounds may not seem like a lot, there's a significant felt difference between carrying those pounds on your shoulder and carrying them all day in your hands.

Unless you're planning on parking this rig on a bipod or using it from a stand, I'd stick with a standard-style rifle with a lighter-contoured barrel.
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