Bolt gun dilemma...


March 30, 2003, 04:13 PM
I am looking into getting a bolt gun for more precision shooting as I already have plenty of pistols, a shotgun, and an AR.

Lately, I have been considering rifles in .308 and .223 as these are the most common calibers for general use -- it seems, anyway.

These are the rifles that I have been considering:

1) Savage 10FP with McMillan stock and new Accutrigger (.308)-- ~$700 from my dealer

2) CZ 527 Varmint Kevlar (.223)-- $625 with harris bipod.

3) CZ 550 Laminate (.308)-- $600

4) Remington PSS (.308)-- ~$700

5) Remington Sendaro (7mm-08)-- on sale for ~$625

I played with the CZ 527 and I was very impressed with the action and the overall feel of the gun, but the rifling twist rate is only 1:9. In the longer barrel, does this still preclude the use of the 75gr+ rounds? The .223 is attractive because it would offer cheap practice in comparison to the .308 or (!)7mm-08.

Are there any advantages with the Sendaro in 7mm-08? The gun seemed very solid, but I have no experience with this cartridge.

The CZ 550 in .308 had a laminate stock, and I really wanted a synthetic stock. I am wondering about the effect that a laminate would have over time with accuracy and overall feel. The Savage sounds good too, but I don't know if the Accutrigger is any good, and I don't know how smooth the actions are in comparison with the buttery CZs that I played with.

Any comments?

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Mr. Purple
March 30, 2003, 04:29 PM
The 7mm-08 is a great hunting round (basically, its a necked down 308). However, if you really want an afordable and accurate gun stick with a Remington, Winchester or Savage (probably the most under rated and best deal on the market) in 308.

The CZ is a great gun also and based on the well proven mauser 98 action (I've given this one alot of thought myself). The truth is though that you can get a great deal on an American made rifle with a synthetic stock from Wallmart so why play with the rest if you are not a professional (Around $400 for all of the above except the CZ)?

Why the 308? Because there is mounds of data regarding the 308 if you reload (places like sniper country are a good place to start). Most from military and police circles. Why reinvent the wheel when you don't have to? Its time consuming and expensive. Additionally, 308 can be found anywhere in the country and most of the world. It will take care of most hunting in North America except maybe grizzly bears and personally I think it can do that too. If not a cheap 12 gauge pump loaded with slugs safely can.

There are tons of accurate factory loadings for 308 if you don't reload.

The 223 is too light and limited to be worth the time and effort for long range accuracy. Besides you already have this covered with an AR. Save some money and stick with the 308, you will be glad you did.

March 30, 2003, 04:38 PM
Hey tet,

As far as a laminate stock, it'll 'move' less than a solid stock, but more than a synthetic. If you like the gun you could always get it now and IF you find that the stock is limiting you, you can replace it later with a different one.

From what I can tell, alot of people end up changing their stocks anyway as they figure out just what they wanna do.

BTW, how did ya like that CZ550?

March 30, 2003, 05:07 PM
don't forget Howa rifles.
They are high-quality japanese guns. In fact they used to manufacture a lot of weatherby's rifles.
has more info.
IMHO get a .308 Howa Barrelled Action, then depending on your cashflow, either a bell and carlson or a mcmillan stock. Bed it, free float it, and you'll have a tackdriver. If you are reloading consider the 6.5-08 or 7-08, but like they said above why invent the wheel, stick w/ .308.


March 30, 2003, 05:57 PM
I'll vote for the PSS.
The price is good and rifle is, too.
Hard to beat for the $.
Go for won't regret it.

March 30, 2003, 08:16 PM
you mention a cz laminate, but you miss, perhaps, the best deal available: rem 700 vls. laminate stock, short action...i'd advise the 308...

as far as the stability of the stock, i wouldn't be concerned about it. float the barrel, glass bed the action, tune the trigger, and don't worry about the stock. it'll be a non-issue.

good luck w/ your choice.

March 30, 2003, 08:59 PM
I'd get the CZ, but with the walnut stock. CZ uses good Turkish walnut. If it's sealed thoroughly and bedded properly, it won't move. There's nothing wrong with the laminate, but the one CZ uses on that gun is hideously ugly...

If you want a synthetic, McMillan makes one for the CZ. It's called their AHR model.


March 30, 2003, 10:15 PM
If you already have an AR, I'd probably suggest you get a heavier caliber bolt gun.

I've have or have had several of the choices on your list. I like the Savage for the cost but haven't had much experience with the new triggers other than playing with them in the shop. The Remington VS (I don't thin they make the Sendero in 308) has a lot going for it but you're probably going to want a trigger job right off which can run from $35 - $80 and makes a world of difference.

As mentioned, the Howa Varminters look and handle awfuly well. Never done any long range shooting with them so I can't comment first hand on their accuracy though all accounts are good. My Ultralight in 243 can shoot into 1.5" and it weighs half of what the heavy barrel guns weigh and I'm not a great shooter.

I like the CZs, and hear nothing but good things about them both in person and via the internet. Tikka also makes a heavy barrel rifle that is certainly worth checking out. On my short list of rifles to get is either a Tikka or a CZ550 in 6.5x55.

I think the PSS/Police is overpriced for what the shooter gets unless you really like that palm swell which I do. :D But for $75 to $100 less, I'd probably suggest the VS. But I do like those Savages for a reliably accurate rifle out of the box. I've had several of them and they've all been shooters.

March 30, 2003, 10:21 PM
And concerning the 1:9 twist and 75 Gr bullets... the following are three targets shot by me from my 700 Police in 223 with a 1:9 twist shooting 75 Gr BTHP reloads from Black Hills. 200 yards from a bipod on a Monte Carlo (am I showing my slightly red neck? :cool: ) Very cold day with a bit of wind.

I'm not big into measuring groups but I'm pretty sure the the boxes are 2" from far side of black to far side of black. And I'm not a very good shooter. More important than group size is the fact that the holes are round meaning the bullets were stabilized. At least at 200 yards.

March 31, 2003, 10:46 AM
Interesting comments from everybody, thanks.

Those groups from the .223 are great for 200 yards. It is good to see that a 1:9 can stabilize a 75gr bullet out to that distance. What was the barrel length?

atek3 and Cratz2,
I saw a Howa rifle, but I had never heard of them, so I didn't investigate further. I recall the price being substantially less expensive than the other choices above. I'll have to have another look into them.

I agree that the laminate stock on the CZ 550 is butt-ugly. The only reasons I was considering the CZ 527 in .223 is because of the kevlar stock, smoother action than the 550, and cheaper practice ammunition. I am unsure about shooting mil-surp .308 in a precision bolt-gun, and cheap, decent .223 ammo is readily available... :scrutiny:

I don't want to have to replace the stock immediately, though I might be willing to do a trigger job right off the bat if the price for the basic gun package isn't prohibitive. I too like the palm swells found on the PSS and CZ 527. I have never played with the McMillan stock that is coming with the Savage rifles, so I cannot comment on the overall feel of them. The gun looks like a champ with the new stock, though.

The 550 was nice, but the action on the model I played with wasn't nearly as nice as the 527. The 527 bolt felt like it was on ball bearings and the stock was beautiful. I had the 550 bind on me once when I tried to close the bolt, and that tarnished my impression a bit. Perhaps it only bound up because the guy behind the counter didn't have a bipod on it so I couldn't pull it tight into my should to play with the actual pull that I would be using from the prone position.

I think I'll pass on the 7mm-08. The Sendaro was beautiful, but like everybody said, I don't have enough experience or $$$ to reinvent the wheel in regards to ballistics and what have you.

Keep 'em coming! :)

March 31, 2003, 06:59 PM
Those groups from the .223 are great for 200 yards. It is good to see that a 1:9 can stabilize a 75gr bullet out to that distance. What was the barrel length?
Remember, most of the rules for twist and bullets are formulated by AR-15 shooters shooting 20" barrels. Since stabilization is improved by higher RPM's which are increased by higher velocity, a 22-26"bbl bolt rifle will stabilize heavier and longer bullets than a 20" AR with an identical twist rate.

March 31, 2003, 08:00 PM
My 700 Police has a 26" barrel.

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