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Looking to begin hunting - need a rifle recommendation

Old 12-27-2012, 01:16 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
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Default Looking to begin hunting - need a rifle recommendation

Hello All:

I am looking to get into hunting next season and I am in the market for a good rifle to purchase. Most of my experience is in short range quick reactionary competitions which is usually pistol and assault rifles.

Since I'm new to this side of rifles, I wanted to come to the experts for advise. Here is some information on what I am looking for (but I am willing to adapt to recommendations) and my experiences:

The things I'd like in a rifle is: magazine loaded, bolt action, light weight, good recoil control, and picatinny rail system for inter-changeable scope mounting (if available).

Since my experiences are typically in the semi-automatic weapons I know I might be off on what is ideal for hunting, so I am open to feedback. For example I'm use to wanting a lighter weapon because the semi-automatic function eats a lot of the kick (if built right) to allow controlled firing, so less weight is ideal. But in a bolt-action I heard it's actually better to have a some weight to manage control during firing.

I am looking to get into deer hunting for sure, but the potential to go to bigger game could grow if I really get into the sport (I live in PA). So I am thinking .308 is a good caliber since it gives me power to grow into, but not over-kill for deer. Obviously a good scope recommendation is also welcomed.

I am not one to shy from putting money into a quality piece of equipment as long as the features pertain to my uses. So please don't shy from high price options if they really are worth the cost.

My last investment was a LaRue OBR assault rifle which to this day continues to amaze me in the quality of its performance. If they made bolt action hunting rifles I'd buy one today.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts - thank you.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:26 PM
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You will have to look into the specs, but my personal favorite that I own is my Browning A-Bolt Composite Stalker in 300 WSM with the BOSS System (muzzle break). I hunt whitetail in MO with a 168 gr Branes TTSX 3100 FPS handloads with great success. This cal. will let you take those long range shots. I have seen videos of guys shoting at 1000+ yards. And as long as you are not using bullets with billistc tips or soft lead core it does not damage meat with a well placed shot. That why I stick to Branes bullets plus they shot dime groups at 150 yards( at least thats the farthest I have tried to group.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Upstate NY
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I have this rifle in .243 caliber and hunt mainly whitetail with it.
I have used it for 30+ years and have been very happy.
I agree it's not much of a brush gun but sure is flat shooting.
I also like the Ruger .270 cal
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Ontario
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A 308 is an excellent cartridge for whitetail deer. Up in Canada the locals use 303's and 308's for moose and they don't seem to have any problems. I use a 30/06 there is very little difference in the ballistics but the 308 has less recoil and is proven to be more accurate. The ammunition is by far cheaper then short magnums. I may be old fashioned but the 308 would be my choice for sure.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:06 PM
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I have a cz 527 american in .223 and it is a tack driver, the link i attached is of the cz 550 which is available in .308 with detachable mag optional.
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:16 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: NE Kansas
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you can shoot a .243 all day. Piece of cake for recoil and conventional wisdom is that it's adequate for deer.


I am looking to get into deer hunting for sure, but the potential to go to bigger game could grow if I really get into the sport (I live in PA).
I didn't notice tis when I scanned your post. .308 will work great and gives you ability to move to bigger game. Recoil is manageable. Ditto for a .270

Most people can manage a .30-06 recoil. Maybe shoot one and see how you do. It opens more possibilties in terms of loads and shells.

Last edited by Father Forkhorn; 12-27-2012 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2

Thank you for everyone's feedback. I've been taking a lot of your posts and researching more.

One thing I stumbled upon during a lot of cross referencing was the Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 .308 rifle. Any experience with that rifle? A lot speak highly of the weight, accuracy, and over-all control of the rifle.

I found an option on Weatherby's site that includes 3-9 x 42mm Redfield Revenge scope. It seems to be a good scope as well.

I also liked cmoutos' recommendation for the Browning A-Bolt Composite Stalker. The Browning BOSS feature really caught my attention, if anyone has feedback/experience with it I'd appreciate it as well.

Thanks again and I'll keep taking this feedback to research. Thanks!
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:40 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: golden co
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All guns have trade offs.
Mags more recoil, louder.
Smaller calibers less recoil, lighter. But I woudn't hunt elk or bear with a .243.
BOSS reduces recoil, but it is much louder
Lighter guns have more recoil, heavier guns are more work to carry.
For deer some of the calibers mention are good .243, .270. 308 as well as some others.
Rifles weights vary between the makers. The weight of the stocks vary depending on their material.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:00 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: VA, USA
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I will add the new FN made Winchester M70's to the list of rifles to consider. I have the M70 Extreme Weather in 270 Winchester with a Zeiss Conquest 3-9x40 that I use as one of my whitetail rigs. These are very well made rifles.

As the others have said the 243 and 308 are great choices but don't overlook the 260 and 7mm-08 for short actions. For long actions the tried and true 30-06 and 270 are hard to beat but the 280 and the 25-06 are excellent as well. If you want to look at magnums, I personally prefer the "standard" 7mm Rem Mag and the 300 Win Mag over any of the short magnums.

Whatever rifle you decide on, pick some good glass to go on it. Generally speaking, the scopes that come on a rifle as part of a "package" gun are not very good. However, there are a lot of good choices out there. I tend to favor the Leupold VX2 and VX3's for a hunting rig.
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:17 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
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I supect lots of good advice coming your way. And as you will read, there are a lot of personal choices .... none of which will be off base. I hope this helps.

The 308 Win. cartridge combined with a quality bolt action is going to be difficult to beat as far as a fine set-up for deer hunting. Though I ahve hunted with both auto loaders and lever actions, I have found that I seldom get (or need) a second shot opportunity but if I do I usually can manage one well with a bolt action. I haveused a 308 Win. for hunting for well over 30 years.

As far as which maker? There are several fine offerings out there. My personal favorite is a Styer Pro-Hunter "Mountain". It is has a removeable clip, an easily adustable length of pull, a very good trigger from the factory, and a 20" barrel which I find great for my style of hunting. The accuracy of my particular one is excellent. I also have a couple of Remington 700's, a Browning BBR (out of production now) and a Mauser hunting rifle. All of these are fine shooters as well. I say that to say I am fairly confident that any maker will do.

I use a 165 gr. bullet in hand loads, either the Sierra Game King or Nosler Partition. I have cleaned killed critters as large as 350-400 pound feral hogs. As far as this cartridge and a 20" barrel for long range shot effectiveness on medium game ... I have one shot, clean killed mature mule deer out as far as about 325 and have made one long shot kill on a coyote ranged at about 400.

Scope ? I harp on this probably too much ... but the best bang for the buck so to speak is the scope. The Ziess Conquest I think is a very good value. I am partial to the top end Swarovski and Ziess scopes, but I realize that these are well outside the budget of most of us. There are a lot of very good scopes in the $350 range as well. Vortex is getting a lot of "love" in the hunting rags, as well as from folks that have used them. Hard to beat the top end Leupold and Bushnell Elite lines as far as performance for the dollar.
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