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Looking for a light rifle

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Looking for a light rifle

Old 02-18-2015, 09:43 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Looking for a light rifle

Hi guys,
I have not big game hunted for the better part of 10 years. I have bad knees and cervical stenosis pretty bad. Some of my friends hunt down here in S.E. Arizona and I have been having the itch to get out again and join them. I can't hike over hill and dale anymore so my hunting would involve mostly sitting somewhere nice and glassing whilst they go about their business. I think I would mostly like to get into small game hunting but given the opportunity I would like to go out for Javelina and Coues deer.
I am looking for a rifle that is light and is of a caliber that will allow me to participate. I am from the Coastal Northwest and have never hunted with a small bore center fire rifle. I also have never shot any animal over 100 yards away. Not even a target. So I am looking for something that won't break the bank to target shoot and reload, yet give me the opportunity to hunt coyotes and small deer out to a maximum of 200 yards. No more.
Now, recoil is an issue. As the Stenosis progresses it will effect my ability to carry heavy things and recoil is always on my mind. I think a bipod is a good idea. I have considered something along the lines of a .243 or 25-06 with a Limbsaver pad on it. But what about a .223 or .22-250 bolt action? I would think with good bullets both would work. The .223 would be cheaper to reload I expect but the .22-250 has a bit more punch at 200 yards. My friends are really good shots out to many, many hundreds of yards. I doubt my abilities at those ranges and would prefer to limit myself and get a perfect shot in. I have never shot a big game animal more than once. But as I have said all my shots have been close and I always waited for the best shot possible. Would either the .223 or the .22-250 be too much for rabbits if head shots were taken? I plan to spend as much time as possible at the range. I need a new hobby. :-) I have a friend who recommended a single shot T/C Encore rifle. I don't mind the idea of a single shot. But I am open to all suggestions.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:11 AM
  #2  
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I would go with a 22/250 for what you want to do, especially since pig and deer may be on the plate. You could use a FMJ style bullet for rabbits so it doesn't tear them up and then a Partition or TSX for the bigger animals.

I personally don't like single shots, I have an H&R in .270 that never comes out of the safe.

I'm not sure what your budget is, but any production bolt action will be more then accurate enough out to 200 yards. I would recommend going to a gunshop and shouldering several models to see what fits YOU best.

Also, if the recoil gets too bad you can always get a muzzle brake installed. I have one on a 22/243 and recoil is non-existent.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:24 AM
  #3  
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I would look real hard at a 25 06. There is no recoil there, and it has the ability to take larger game than deer. They are easy to load for, and extremely accurate. I have had more bang flops with it than any other caliber. They shoot extremely flat, don't wreck a pile of meat and don't beat you senseless. A 120 grain will do all that you ask and more. An 87 grain will really ruin a coyotes day. I turned a buddy onto it, and it is his go to for everything up to and including moose. He sold his 7mm mag and will never change now.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:32 AM
  #4  
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I would look at a Remington Model 7 chambered in .223. I normally would not suggest such a light cartridge for deer but it should work for you. A 22-250 needs a longer barrel which means a heavier rifle.

http://www.remington.com/products/fi...synthetic.aspx

Put a lightweight scope and rings on it!
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:14 AM
  #5  
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Here is my recommendation in .223.

http://www.tikka.fi/rifles/tikka-t3/t3-lite-stainless
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:03 PM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Sheridan
This is a good choice also. Both this and the Model Seven are lightweight and both are good quality.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:35 PM
  #7  
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Sorry to hear about your medical issues and hope you get better with good medical treatment.

You mentioned a lightweight rifle with low recoil for hunting Coues deer, javelina and rabbits. I checked Arizona's laws and it looks like they only require a centerfire caliber for hunting big game so it looks like you're on the right track, caliber wise. Some of the guys have already given you pretty good suggestions on 22 calibers and some of the barrel length requirements. Personally, I think you'd be fine with a .223 as it's plenty of caliber out past your self imposed limit of 200 yards and you could find lots of fairly inexpensive FMJ ammo for target shooting/plinking.

What weight are you looking for? You could probably find a .22 centerfire rifle that weighs 5.5-6.5 pounds fairly easily as there are mountain rifles made and others made for smaller people. (Edit--Kimber does make a rifle under 5 lbs but it's pricey at around $2K. Savage makes a lightweight hunter model at 5.5 pounds but it's listed for almost $1K).

I 2nd the advice on a Limbsaver pad. I put a slip on Limbsaver pad on a 45-70 and it makes a huge difference. I was looking to add a little length of pull because of the short stock and my buddy and I were very impressed with the felt recoil reduction. As a bonus, you can simply slip it off whenever you like and it's fairly inexpensive to purchase.

Something else you may want to consider is buying a rimfire rifle for hunting rabbits. Ammo is cheaper and they generally tend to weigh less than centerfire rifles. I know it's buying 2 rifles but hey, you did say you were getting an itch to go out hunting so why limit yourself to just one gun. Another possibility for the rabbit hunting is a rimfire pistol, scoped or not to your taste. You could wear it in a holster and not have to "carry" it on a sling.

Hopefully this helps give you some ideas to consider. Good luck with your hunting and let us know how it works out.

Last edited by CalHunter; 02-19-2015 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:05 PM
  #8  
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I would look at the ruger american in 22/250 or 223 both have 22" barrels and weigh 6.38 lbs. Also the 223 has a 1:8 twist barrel. They also have a compact model with 18" barrels and and all weather model.
http://ruger.com/products/americanRifle/index.html
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Old 02-19-2015, 01:26 PM
  #9  
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Default Marlin X7

I gave my God Son a Marlin X7 in .243 Winchester. On my digital shipping scales the rifle weighed 7.81 lbs with a 3.5-10X40MM Leupold mounted to the rifle, a sling attached, & 5 rounds of ammo in the magazine. The rifle only weighed 6.6 lbs without the scope, sling, or ammo. The rifle shoots very tight groups with Winchester Super-X 100 gr. Power-Points that are less than $20 per box locally. The rifle was for sale at Academy for $269.99. So, I think this rifle would meet all of your criteria. Also, even though it has the standard injection molded stock it fits very well and the stock is thin in the wrist and just feels really good in my hands.
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:52 PM
  #10  
Spike
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Originally Posted by Bbj270
I would look at the ruger american in 22/250 or 223 both have 22" barrels and weigh 6.38 lbs. Also the 223 has a 1:8 twist barrel. They also have a compact model with 18" barrels and and all weather model.
http://ruger.com/products/americanRifle/index.html
Yes, I have looked at these. They have some here in town. :-) I plan on using a bipod with any rifle I buy so it will cut down on the weight I have to hold up.. I am really considering either a Weatherby VANGUARD S2 or a Howa 1500 rifle. This could very well be my last rifle so I want something nice. These are not really entry level rifles but are not the best, most expensive either. I have handled the Weatherby's and like what I saw. The actions are the same I believe on either rifle. I am not slamming entry level rifles. I have owned my share of cheaper rifles through the years. But, on this gun I want a middle ground rifle.
I am not really concerned about "getting a deer" anymore. What I really look forward to is just being able to get out and participate. I'd much rather see my friends kids and grandkids get their deer, javelina and so on. A better feeling is hard to come by. :-) But I want to have a rifle just in case something walks close enough. I also want to spend more time at the range. The .223 is cheap enough to reload for I think but I am leaning towards the extra stretch of the .22-250. I wonder about the barrel life of the faster .22-250? I need to check the rifling twists in these rifles before I buy. I walked through Walmart to look at the price of ammo. They had a few shotgun shells, lots of pistol ammo and some 7mm and .300 magnum for center fire rifle ammo. Nothing else. :-( But I can order a few boxes when the time comes and reload the brass after I shoot them.

Last edited by Michael51; 02-20-2015 at 02:08 PM.
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