Which bolt .308 for $500.00?


January 4, 2003, 01:19 PM
Hi All,

I'm serching for my first bolt gun in .308. My criteria is: removable mag and synthetic stock. Good accuracy and decent trigger would also be nice. I was considering a Tikka...but I'm not thrilled about all the plasic underneith the gun. However, it's still the frontrunner.


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Quintin Likely
January 4, 2003, 01:49 PM
Why do you want a detachable magazine in a bolt gun? The few that I've had experience with (mostly Remingtons) have intermittent feeding problems that are more annoying than they are dangerous for the average shooter.

Define "decent trigger." Most rifles have fairly heavy triggers to keep the lawyers happy, none of this "trigger was light enough to accidentally be pulled."

If you can live without a detachable magazine, you couldn't go wrong with a Savage 10FP...wait a month or two for the Accu-Trigger, its fully adjustible from like 1-1/2 lbs to 4 or 5 lbs, got a synthetic stock, and its a sub MOA rifle to boot. The price is right, at around $450ish on average.

January 4, 2003, 01:55 PM
There are a ton of good 'uns out there. Have you tried any out in the shop yet? The most important thing is how the rifle fits you. I for one, don't like Weatherby stocks or any other high monte carlo style. The straight comb ones fit me much better.

January 4, 2003, 02:20 PM
remington model 700 is the route i would (and have, and will again) take.

regardless of model and brand you decide for, i would advise against going w/ a detachable mag. they are a hassle regardless of brand...

January 4, 2003, 02:34 PM
i second the rem. model 700

Ron L
January 4, 2003, 02:37 PM
There was just a Savage Weatherguard (stainless/synthetic) package gun in 308 with scope and sling for around $460 on one of the gun auction sites (I know it's an oxymoron, but that's what they call themselves :rolleyes: ) I've seen the Savage package guns with blued steel/wood stock starting at around $380. These generally don't have a detachable box mag though, but I don't see it as a huge issue with a bolt gun, though if you're all thumbs, loading may be easier than trying to get the rounds under the scope into the slot.

January 4, 2003, 03:25 PM
Good advice on forgetting the detachable mag unless it's a military configured platform like the AR or FAL or HK. You can't go wrong with any of the common manufacturers, but I prefer the Winchester 70s. Do you want a heavy barrel version? If so, find a Winchester Stealth or Remington VS or PSS. The Savages have been building an excellent reputation for accuracy too, but I've never tried one. The secret is finding something you really like and pay the cash. Then outfit it with decent optics, rings and base. Buying the rifle is only the beginning.

January 4, 2003, 03:29 PM
I would agree with the suggestion of a 700. If you are really set on a detachable mag, the HS Precision conversion is a nice option. A freind of mine has one on his custom 700 and it's quite nice. Forget about the $500 price limit you set though.

January 4, 2003, 03:33 PM
Not sure if you're wanting a heavy tactical/precision type rifle or a lighter carry weight rifle. The Tikkas are probably tops for the light weight rifles in this price rance. The stocks are really pretty nice though they are synthetic. They don't flex. Nothing like the Savage stocks. Also, the CZ 550 has a lot going for it if you really want a wood stock. The included single set trigger is about as good as you can hope for without a dedicated benchrest trigger.

For heavier rifles, the 10FP or similar Savage is probably your best bet at staying under $500. The Remington 700 VS or Winchester Stealth or HBV (if you can find one) are going to be a bit higher - at least $560 or thereabouts.

January 4, 2003, 05:02 PM
whats better, tikka or savage?

Quintin Likely
January 4, 2003, 05:17 PM
I doubt you'll find a new 700VS or M70 Stealth for under $500. When I was shopping around for my 700VS, I considered the Winchester as well, although the general consensus (at least in my neck of the woods) is that the Winchester's a hard find in 308.

I've never shot a Tikka, so I dunno what's better or not...still, its *very* hard to beat the Savage if you're on a budget.

Bruce H
January 4, 2003, 07:19 PM
If you really want a detachable mag look at a Savage 11FC. Their web site says $487.00 suggested. Should be able to do quite a bit better on price. I have an old 111CL in 7mag that has never caused a moments problem. Leaves lots more money for quality optics.

January 4, 2003, 10:10 PM
I'm no expert but I happen to be looking at rifles to buy too. One for hunting outdoors preferably in .308 maybe even .300 winmag.

What I have realized is that synthetic is actually better for my purpose. If you are going to be spending time outdoors in any kind of wet weather the wood is going to be a problem. There is nothing wrong with a plastic stock. Laminated wood is good too.

January 4, 2003, 11:28 PM
At $671.00 "RETAIL", GET ONE OF THESE IN .308

Composite Stalker (http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/itemdetails.asp?value=001B&cat_id=035&type_id=012&item=035012218)

I have one one in stainless (.300WSM), very accurate! Although I prefer wood, I use this in rough country.

Complete A Bolt Section (http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/firearms/category.asp?value=001B)

Marshall ;)

Dave R
January 4, 2003, 11:46 PM
Have heard many good reports on Savage, Tika and Remington 700. I got a Remington 700. No removable mag--sorry. But satisfyingly accurate. Alway shoots MOA, with occasional cloverleafs.

January 5, 2003, 04:03 AM
Thanks for the replies!

What I had in mind was a lighter rifle - not a heavy barrel.

I was considering a Rem, but have heard that the quality has dropped.
(I love my 870)

I was thinking "detachable mag" for the SHTF factor. The gun could double as such a weapon, but a hinged floorplate might be just fine. The whole terrorist/bioweapon/nuke "what if" mentality has infiltrated my decision making lately :uhoh:

I already have a 3-9x40 Leupold VX-II.

It might be the Tikka Whitetail Hunter...if I can get over the plastic underneith.


Robert inOregon
January 5, 2003, 04:40 AM
Bang for the buck lightweight rifle would be the Browning A-Bolt Stalker. About five hundred and fifty bucks. A true 6 1/4 pound, synthetic stock, free floating barrel, adjustable trigger and more. Just what you are looking for.


January 5, 2003, 02:00 PM
Tikka hands down. Best action you'll ever get for the price.

I wouldn't buy another remington unless it was $100.

January 5, 2003, 02:14 PM
At a bench, I can get my Wal-Mart special Savage 110FXP3 in .30-06 to shoot 7/8 of an inch using Winchester's 165gr Super-X brand. Have yet to try other weights and manufacturers, though for my purposes, 7/8 of an inch is just fine.

Off-hand, I get 2 to 2.5 inches at 100 yards. The trigger is not great (an unenviable Savage reputation), but it's something that, for the time being, I can live with.

And, by the way, I paid just under $400, including taxes and a box of ammo, for it.

January 6, 2003, 02:55 AM
Hi again TCW,

I still say the Browning A-Bolt Composite Stalker is your gun. (previous link in last post I gave you)

However, one more rifle I would check out for sure is the Howa Lightning. Available in .308 and meets your price. Here is a link for you.

Howa Rifles (http://www.legacysports.com/product/index.htm)

One other thing. I don't know what your intent is at 500 yards, ie. paper targets, hunting, etc., but, if you're needing a caliber that will provide effective downing of medium size game for example, I would look into a cartridge that carries more energy out to 500 yards. I would use a .308 out to 300 yards for this and have no concern but, it drops off a great amount those last 200 yards.

Lets say you want to have at least 1250 ft.lb of energy at 500 yards to be effective without having to place an extremely accurate head shot. A .308 is going to give you an average of 800 to 1200 ft.lbs.

Additionaly, todays bullets may require a faster speed at which to fully expand the bullet. A .308 traveling at 1200 to 2000 fps at 500 yards may not have enough velocity to ensure proper bullet expansion.

If you expect to be using your rifle for this, I would move to a magnum caliber rifle. A 7mm WSM - 7mm Rem SAUM or .300 WSM would be good choices. These are still short action calibers as is the .308! Another benefit is, magnum calibers have a much flatter trajectory out to 500yds!

Food for thought for you. Good luck on your first bolt action rifle!

Marshall :)

January 6, 2003, 03:04 AM
Thanks All,

How's the recoil of the 300WSM? I'm an average size: 6 ft, 185 lbs. Pretty strong also, but I've not done much rifle shooting. Also, how's the ammo cost comparison? I know I can get surplus .308 pretty cheap.

I'm not sure how mush 500 yard shooting I would be able to do w/ a 9x magnification. Is 9x adequate for that range?


January 6, 2003, 09:07 AM
The magnum cartridges are significantly more expensive than surplus .308. A box of Remington 7mm Mag, for example, averages around $15 in my neck of the woods.

http://www.aimsurplus.com has 1000 rounds of .308 surplus for $139.50.

$15/20 = $0.75 per round of 7mm Mag
$139.50/1000 = $0.1395 per round of surplus .308

500 yards is one helluva long shot to take on game, or anything else for that matter. Stick with the .308 because inside of 300 yards, the animal hit will not be able to tell the difference between a magnum and a .308 class cartridge. Dead is dead, you know.

Also, your check book/credit card will thank you if you plan to shoot quite a bit.

January 6, 2003, 09:34 PM
Yep, 300WSM's are definately going to cost more than .308's.

As for recoil, a .300wsm is more but, not bad. IMO, a .308/.30-06 isn't a rifle you go out and blast 100 rounds a off with anyway! If you want to be a frequent shooter, get a small caliber rifle with less recoil than either of these. Use it for practice and becoming efficient with a rifle. Take your .308 and higher calibers out to zero in with and remain use to shooting them. If you look at it this way you're not locking yourself into a certain caliber based on recoil and ammo cost. You also get two rifles this way, the small caliber can be an inexpensive rifle while the nicer, larger rifles caliber can be more taylored to your main use while remaining in newish shape and not end up shot to death.

Just another avenue to think about? :)


Ps There's a whole lot of inexpensive, decent used rifles out there! And, they're cheaper when hunting season is ended, like around now. ;) Decent practice scopes are a dime a dozen too!

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