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hunter looking to buy first new rifle/scope

Old 01-15-2018, 02:44 PM
  #11  
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For a first gun I would elect for something that is going to be adaptable for any type of hunt. A 30-06 or .270 comes to mind as something you could pull out of the safe and hunt anything from chucks to moose and factory ammo for different uses are widely available. I would elect to put a low to medium power variable scope on it from one of common manufacturers like Leopold or Nikon. IMO investing on a custom gun with high end glass should come after you develop a sense of what you like and what you don't as measured against the type of hunts you have been on. What you may think today as a perfect gun/ scope could change over time as you get more experience under your belt. I would expect over time you will be adding to that first gun purchase. Good luck.
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Old 01-20-2018, 08:00 AM
  #12  
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Hi guys,

I want to thank you all for the excellent and sage advice. I appreciate that people took the time to respond, and I carefully considered every response I got. Just FYI, I also got some private messages with some links and good advice, as well. And based on all this advice and communicating with other folks offline, I have decided on a Browning BLR in .450 Marlin, which will allow me to hunt any big game species if I ever do decide to try something besides whitetails.

I’m going to have it shipped straight from my FFL to gunsmith Neil Jones for a trigger/action job. I’ve read too many reports of BLR triggers being rough and heavy. I’m sure I could get used to it, but being a 1911 guy (with a penchant for custom trigger jobs), I’m just not going to deal with a bad trigger.

I will mount a Trijicon AccuPoint 1-4X24 scope on Badger Ordnance Max 50 rings on a Talley rail. That should be rock-solid and good for shots that are up-close-and-personal out to 200 yards. Total cost for the whole shebang should be approximately $2,300 shipped.

The one issue with the .450 Marlin caliber is that I don’t hand load and there are very few commercial loads available. The loads that are out there seem to be a bit too much for whitetails. In widely-available commercial loads, I basically have the choice between Hornady 325 gr. FLEX-tip ammo at 2225 FPS and the Buffalo Bore choices. The 325 gr. seems to get stellar reviews, but I’ve read complaints about overpentration on whitetails. Regarding Buffalo Bore, I communicated with Mr. Sundles at Buffalo Bore for advice, and he told me that even his 405 gr. JFN would mostly overpenetrate whitetails. I found an ammo manufacturer named Load-X that makes .450 Marlin ammo, but their loads are also pretty hot. There are some boutique ammo makers who work with .450 Marlin, but they also trend toward hotter loads. It appears that manufacturers have decided that this is a big game round for elk, bear, moose, and African species. .444 Marlin and 45-70 have commercial rounds loaded down to whitetail levels, so I’m not sure why those same manufacturers don’t make .450 Marlin rounds loaded down -- maybe because they figured that other rounds already fit the niche, so they decided to focus on the .450 Marlin as a big game hammer.

I found a company called Custom Ammunition, LLC in Tampa, Florida, which lists .450 Marlin as one of the cartridges they work with. I initially hesitated to reach out to them because they mostly work with competition shooters and safari hunters with very special needs, but I decided, “What the heck.” So I gave them a call and spoke at length with Jimmy, the owner, and we had a great chat. He agreed to work with me to develop a load that was more appropriate for whitetails in the BLR with its 20” barrel and 1:20 twist. We settled on a 300 gr. Hornady Hollow Point at 1800 FPS that produces 2158 foot pounds of energy. (Note that the Buffalo Bore 405 grain bullet leaves the muzzle with 3507 foot pounds of energy). So this load should be more appropriate for whitetails and will kick a lot less, too, as an added bonus.

On that note, the more I read, the more interested I am in hand loading myself, but I cannot at this point. I’m overseas, my stuff stays in storage with Uncle Sam, and I only get a few weeks to go home for deer rifle season. In a few years, I might be back stateside, and maybe then I will be able to get into hand loading, but it’s just not possible right now.

Come deer season, I’ll post some pics of the rig and let you guys know what I think about it, how my choices worked out for me, and how the Custom Ammunition, LLC load performs. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even get a deer. All that said, I’m sure I would have done well and been happy with any of the fine suggestions I received here. And there’s nothing stopping me from getting another rifle if the need arises. If I ever do go hunting western whitetails with Rob in VT, I’ll get that 300 WM with a 14x scope. Thanks to all for taking the time to reply to this thread.
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Old 01-28-2018, 03:45 PM
  #13  
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I personally think your making a small mistake not hand-loading , as it will significantly reduce the cost of ammo and pay for the cost of the required, reloading equipment rather quickly.
I would not be a bit concerned if the bullets exit the deer this allows a much better blood trail if (the deer were to try to run after a good hit.. very unlikely,)
now I fully admit that I tend to be far more interested in hunting Elk than deer, but I recently purchased a 450 marlin BLR just because I found one on sale and the fact that my late hunting partner used a BLR in 358 win to kill over a dozen elk, and I know he never shot one at over 200 yards) did not hurt my expectations either.
the best load I found so far is not near the max level, its a 405 grain remington, bullet over a 215 fed primer and 50 grains of IMR3031
1.5" 3 shot groups are very common, with that load.
my rifle looks very similar to this picture I found posted



factory ammo costs between $1.60-$3.00 a shot, reloads would be less than $.70 to as low as $.50 each, on average
saving $15-30 a box of 20 cartridges will pay for the loaded ammo and reload equipment fairly quickly... especially if you get a deal on some used reloading press and powder scale etc.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/44...ding-box-of-20

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/69...oint-box-of-50

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/10...rlin-box-of-50

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/713164/rcbs-3-die-set
Re: 450 marlin handloads.

Wt. Bullet Powder Manufacturer Powder Charge Velocity (FPS) 250 Barnes XFN Hodgdon H-4198 57.0 2,288
Remarks: 2.10 group
300 Nosler Partition Accurate XMR-2015 60.0 1,970
Remarks: 1.95 group
300 Nosler Partition Accurate XMR-2015 62.0 2,091
Remarks: 1.80 group
300 Sierra JHP Vihtavuori VV-N130 51.5 1,751
Remarks: 2.25 group
300 Sierra JHP Vihtavuori VV-N130 53.0 1,869
Remarks: 2.10 group
300 Sierra JHP Vihtavuori VV-N130 54.0 1,990
Remarks: 1.90 group
300 Barnes XFN Hodgdon H-4198 50.0 1,982
Remarks: 1.65 group
350 Hornady FP Hodgdon H-4198 48.5 1,842
Remarks: 1.60 group
350 Hornady FP Hodgdon Varget 59.0 1,770
Remarks: 1.65 group
350 Hornady FP Hodgdon Varget 61.0 1,821
Remarks: 1.70 group
350 Kodiak FP IMR IMR-3031 56.0 1,827
Remarks: 1.55 group
350 Kodiak FP Hodgdon H-335 60.0 1,872
Remarks: 1.20 group
400 Speer FN Hodgdon H-4895 56.0 1,773
Remarks: 1.75 group
405 Kodiak FP Hodgdon H-322 52.5 1,842
Remarks: 1.50 group
405 Magma cast IMR IMR-4198 32.0 1,332
Remarks: 2.00 group
415 RCBS cast GC Alliant RL-7 48.0 1,875
Remarks: 1.80 group
415 RCBS cast GC Alliant RL-7 50.0 1,960
Remarks: 1.45 group

300 Lead Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 38.7 1,928
Remarks: start chg
300 Lead Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 43.0 2,096
Remarks: max chg
405 Lead Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 36.0 1,716
Remarks: start chg
405 Lead Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 40.0 1,865
Remarks: max chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-5744 43.2 2,034
Remarks: start chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-5744 48.0 2,211
Remarks: max chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-1680 52.2 2,198
Remarks: start chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-1680 58.0 2,389
Remarks: max chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2015 54.9 2,217
Remarks: start chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2015 61.0 2,410
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2230 58.1 2,226
Remarks: start chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2230 64.5 2,420
Remarks: max chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2460 60.3 2,214
Remarks: start chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2460 67.0 2,407
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2495 59.4 2,001
Remarks: start chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2495 66.0 2,175
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2520 56.7 2,034
Remarks: start chg
300 Sierra FNHP Accurate AAC-2520 63.0 2,211
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-5744 39.4 1,813
Remarks: start chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-5744 43.8 1,971
Remarks: max chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-1680 46.1 1,919
Remarks: start chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-1680 51.2 2,086
Remarks: max chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2015 50.0 2,030
Remarks: start chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2015 55.5 2,207
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2230 55.8 2,067
Remarks: start chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2230 62.0 2,247
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2460 55.8 2,010
Remarks: start chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2460 62.0 2,185
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2495 54.9 1,892
Remarks: start chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2495 61.0 2,057
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2520 55.8 1,982
Remarks: start chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2520 62.0 2,154
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2700 55.8 1,719
Remarks: start chg
350 Speer FNHP Accurate AAC-2700 62.0 1,869
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 36.9 1,688
Remarks: start chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-5744 41.0 1,835
Remarks: max chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-1680 41.4 1,732
Remarks: start chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-1680 46.0 1,883
Remarks: max chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2015 47.3 1,883
Remarks: start chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2015 52.5 2,047
Remarks: max chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2230 49.9 1,877
Remarks: start chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2230 55.4 2,040
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2460 54.0 1,909
Remarks: start chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2460 60.0 2,075
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2495 49.5 1,689
Remarks: start chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2495 55.0 1,836
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2520 53.1 1,875
Remarks: start chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2520 59.0 2,038
Remarks: max chg; compressed load
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2700 53.1 1,620
Remarks: start chg
400 Speer Flat Nose Accurate AAC-2700 59.0 1,761
Remarks: max chg; compressed load


300 Barnes XFN IMR IMR-3031 52.5 1,870
Remarks: 35,000 psi; compressed powder charge
300 Barnes XFN IMR IMR-4198 44.2 2,000
Remarks: 39,000 psi
300 Nosler Partition IMR IMR-3031 57.0 2,100
Remarks: 35,000 psi; compressed powder charge
350 Hornady IMR IMR-3031 56.0 2,030
Remarks: 38,000 psi; compressed powder charge
350 Hornady IMR IMR-4198 45.0 2,050
Remarks: 40,000 psi
400 Barnes Flat Nose IMR IMR-3031 50.8 1,860
Remarks: 40,000 psi; compressed powder charge
400 Remington soft point IMR IMR-3031 50.0 1,840
Remarks: 40,000 psi; compressed powder charge (VERY ACCURATE)
400 Barnes Flat Nose IMR IMR-4198 40.0 1,820
Remarks: 40,000 psi


ID suggest you buy a couple GOOD QUALITY RELOADING manuals and read through them,(ILL LINK a few of THE GOOD ONES BELOW)
before you buy any tools, or supplies but its just not all that difficult, but yeah better understand the process because mistakes can potentially be dangerous, these three are very good

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/93....ProductFinding

a good single stage press may be comparatively slow, compared to some progressive designs, but with the correct accessories will load almost anything, in the common rifle or pistol calibers.

quality press


http://www.basspro.com/RCBS-Rock-Chu...duct/10200311/

decent powder scale

powder measure/dispenser

get a basic press , powder scale, powder measure and DIES, shell holders and some reference material too start
THEN READ at least TWO GOOD MANUALS CAREFULLY

shell holders

DIES FORE EACH CALIBER YOULL RELOAD

http://garage.grumpysperformance.com...s-rifles.1873/

DECENT HAND PRIMER TOOL

ERASER OR CARTRIDGE DIS-ASSEMBLER

Last edited by hardcastonly; 01-29-2018 at 03:38 AM.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:49 AM
  #14  
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Hi Hardcast,

I agree with you completely about handloading. But as I mentioned in my post above, that is not an option. I live in a containerized housing unit in Afghanistan, and I cannot ship powders or bullet casings to this address through the APO system. Plus there would be nowhere to store the stuff. It simply isnít possible for me to handload right now, and the best I can do is to have someone else handload for me, which is what Iím doing. Iíll be getting the rounds as specified above for $2.53/round: roughly the cost of good factory 450 Marlin loads, but loaded way down for hunting whitetails. That will have to do for me for this hunting season. Maybe next year Iíll be back stateside in time to get started with handloading. I appreciate all the links, and I will be checking out your info when I am ready to get started.

As for penetration, what I mean is that the commercial loads wonít be very ďefficientĒ for deer. Yes, theyíll kill them plenty dead, but I donít need that kind of velocity with the bullets in question: unnecessary recoil, report, etc. And Iíve read reports of those commercial .450 Marlin loads zapping through deer and not expanding very much, if at all. I can get much better expansion and still get complete pass-through on a whitetail with a broadside shot with much lower velocities. Some of the handloading recipes you mentioned in your post would probably be excellent for me, such as the 300 grain Barnes XFN @ 1,870. If you want to make some for me, Iíll happily take them.
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Old 01-29-2018, 07:18 PM
  #15  
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Ok! Sounds like the choice has been made! I would have said don't limit your self with any so-called brush busters! I'll always remember a buddy of mine that did not like the recoil of his 30.06! He always used his trusty 30-30, it's all he needed! Until the biggest buck he ever saw appeared out of range for the his setup! Seeing the dust fly a couple of feet below the lifetime buck, has been his regret ever since!
The moral of the story:
There is no such thing as a "brush buster!" All cartridges will deflect to one degree or another!..... Then it boils down to luck!
Second, any good, flatter shooting caliber from .27 to .30, with a quality 3X9 scope, will serve you well, up to "dangerous game!"
If deer size game is all you will ever hunt, the .24's up to the .27's will serve you well, with the right ammo, under any conditions!
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Old 01-30-2018, 12:54 AM
  #16  
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If you wanna go classy, try the Henry rifles in 44 Mag or .45-70.

I just picked one up for my Dad (.45-70). Add a (Leupold VX3 1.5-4x) and the price came in under $1250 in Brass (Wildlife edition) version all inclusive with rings, etc. (See Attached)

Consider the.35 Rem Marlin or .35 Whelen in any vendor or one of my favorites the .338-06 available only in pretty custom rifles...

Add a way under-priced Bushnell 1.5-4.5X (I hate to recommend this brand, but the scope is absolutely awesome for under $100)

REM7600

PS: LOVE to hear other opinions! That said, my choice for whitetails is a 7mm-08. Short, fast, low-recoil and kix the crap out of any NorthEast whitetail or Western mulie.
Attached Thumbnails hunter looking to buy first new rifle/scope-henry_4570.pdf  

Last edited by REM_7600; 01-30-2018 at 12:58 AM. Reason: Needed to add a remark
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:04 AM
  #17  
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I'll definitely post some pics and a review once I get the gun set up and do some shooting and hunting with it.
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Old 01-30-2018, 11:42 AM
  #18  
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Id remind anyone looking to purchase an accurate dependable hunting rifle that youll want high quality optics and rock solid scope mounts, the best rifle available will be seriously hampered if its not matched to clear and solidly consistent optics!
one of the most common failures I've seen over the decades was not related to the basic rifle function (although that did on occasion happen) but much more commonly loose scope mounts or cheap optics that failed to retain zero or fogged.
for most hunting you don,t need some huge high magnification scope , what you need is decent quality and rock solid dependability.
the newer LEOPOLD and NIKON 30mm tube size scopes are mostly an excellent value for the price.
yes theres hundreds of options, but if your looking for a good value Id suggest you want to select one with top quality optics for the price, a 30mm tube and 50mm front lens in a well known respected brand is a good start point for good low light transmission and clear target,vision. something similar to these linked below would provide an excellent match to a deer or elk rifle to be used for precise shot placement with most reasonable caliber elk/deer rifles, set on the lowest setting they allow you to make very rapid and accurate shots, if you have the time to get a solid field position, jack the magnification up as required.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/13...-9x-50mm-matte

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/13...10x-50mm-matte

https://www.opticsplanet.com/v/12325...yle-mount.html

https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/51...iABEgIgfPD_BwE

https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/91...adhesive-10-ml

Last edited by hardcastonly; 01-31-2018 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:43 AM
  #19  
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Agreed on the value of high-quality glass and rock-solid mounts. After the trigger job by Neil Jones is finished, I'm going to send this BLR to the fine folks at New England Custom Guns, who specialize in mounting optics. I want a Trijicon AccuPoint 1-4x24 scope on this gun, and I'm going to just let them pick the mounting system they think is best.

Last edited by MG1911; 01-31-2018 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 01-31-2018, 08:25 AM
  #20  
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most modern quality scopes are far better than they used to be, but there are some advantages to buying the larger objective lens and 30mm tube designs.
if you've ever taken a scope like one of those linked below, out at dusk too actually compare how clear the details are you can see, you might be amazed at the difference between the scopes similar to these compared to the older 1" tube and smaller lens size scopes, the newer scopes are a quantum leap in quality over the scopes available even 10-15 years ago.
If you get the chance take out several rifles with different optics , out at dusk and look at fine details on something like a fence at even 150 yards, the difference in the finer detail you can see in less than ideal lighting will astound you!
(this may not seem that important as most scopes look crystal clear in some well lighted store, but if your still hunting the thick timber at dawn or dusk it makes a world of difference if your trying to figure out if your looking at antlers or branches in the lodge pole timber

in my experience youll get about 90% of your shots looking like these, at under 200 yards rather than game standing out in a well lighted field





https://www.midwayusa.com/product/13...-9x-50mm-matte

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/13...10x-50mm-matte

Last edited by hardcastonly; 01-31-2018 at 09:41 AM.
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