A few rifle questions


December 24, 2008, 08:43 PM
Hello. I think I've finally decided on a rifle to get. I want a 7mm-08 for hunting (deer and in the future black and with elk if its powerful enough) and I think a bolt-action is the way to go. I was really considering .243 for awhile, but after some researching on the internets there was some debate as to whether or not it had an adequate punch for bear, and particularly elk. I've read that a mauser action is good to have, but that may have been when I was reading about dangerous game (something about that being good to have when you have to shoot upside down or something, nothing I anticipate having to do). I'm looking at the Weatherby Vanguard (399 version) but thats probably because the name Weatherby alone is pretty alluring to me (I read an article when I was 10 or 12 about the .300 weatherby and it sounded like the bee's knees). Also Savage seems to have a pretty good rep. I'm probably not going to have any long range shots, but I would like to hunt antelope at some point in the future (out west of course, probably won't see any outside of the zoo around here) so I'm not really interested in a .30-30 at this point. What Savage models are the ones to look at? They all seem the same on an initial inspection and I don't know enough to really know what the difference is between them. My knowledge in general of bolt-actions is pretty much lacking, I've only shot one once.

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December 24, 2008, 09:30 PM
First, if you get around to hunting those other species you will probably have other rifles by then. But you can't beat a .308 or 7mm-08 for all around. A Savage would be an excellent choice. The Stevens 200 is the econo model and lacks the accutrigger. The differences in other models are long vs short actions. An advantage of .308 and 7mm-08 is they are short action cartridges. .30-06 and .270 for example are not.

Jeff F
December 24, 2008, 09:39 PM
The 7mm-08 is plenty for elk if you pick your shots and place them in the right spot. I favor the .303 British and a 30-06 is probably the best all around cartridge in the US.

December 24, 2008, 09:46 PM
For a do-it-all rifle, a Savage, Weatherby, Ruger, Remington, or Marlin, in any of the more prolific cartridges (read .270, .30-06, .308, 7mm-08, 7mm Rem Mag, etc) will do just fine.

Myself, I'm partial to Weatherbys, and I've been impressed by the new Marlin XL7 I recently bought.

December 24, 2008, 09:54 PM
Actually I had a question to about the long vs short action. I know basically which cartridges are long and short, but what does it matter? Does it just mean you can make a more compact rifle with a short action, or is one mechanically better than the other? Also how good is the stevens model? I've noticed that they're quite inexpensive and are still made my savage, but would I be better off just saving up to get a "better" rifle?

December 24, 2008, 10:20 PM
Short actions have about 1" overall less length, so you have to deal with that much less. They are supposidly also have less action flex... (they are "stiffer", but it doesn't matter at all for hunting)

As said above, the Stevens is really just a Savage (some have slightly worse stocks) without the accutrigger. I have heard more stories about Stevens having bad barrels than Savages, but i don't know the credibility of those stories....

What are a few things you like in rifles? Blued or SS? Wood or sny stock? Barrel length? Bull barrel or standard contour?

December 24, 2008, 10:27 PM
I think I'd prefer SS since it sounds like less maintenance (not sure if it actually is) Wood or synth stock doesn't matter to me. I don't care if its a bit heavy, since that'll help soak up some recoil anyways. I have no idea what a bull barrel is, so i probably need to know what that is to :D

December 24, 2008, 10:35 PM
Bull barrel is just a heavy profile barrel.

December 24, 2008, 10:50 PM
"...have no idea what a bull barrel is..." Heavy barrel is a more correct term for a rifle. Has to do with the diameter of the barrel. Some of 'em, on serious target rifles, are the same diameter over the whole length. They usually have some taper though. Takes longer for a heavy barrel to heat up and they're stiffer. Varmint rifles usually have heavy barrels. Good target rifles always have one. You wouldn't want one on a .300 Win Mag hunting rifle though.

December 25, 2008, 10:12 AM
Short actions mean less overall length and less weight. You are going thru a stage that is very common - trying to make this first rifle perfect for everything and for all time. It won't happen. Truly, my best advice is get the rifle now for what you will be doing in the foreseeable future. If it is for deer at close ranges then don't be overgunned. Save the money. Maybe a marlin .30-30 is perfect for now. No it isn't for elk but 99 of 100 of people in your situation will have some other rifle by elk time anyway.

December 25, 2008, 11:03 AM
I think I'd prefer SS since it sounds like less maintenance (not sure if it actually is)

Stainless steel should really be thought of as "stains less" steel. I treat stainless just like a rich blue when it comes to maintenance although I do worry less about fingerprint etches and other minor surface woes.

I prefer stainless handguns but for some reason I only like wood and blue on long guns.

December 25, 2008, 12:26 PM
I shot a stain less ruger mini 30 till the rain was steaming off of it and then (stupidly) put it in the case and drove the 30 mins home. When I got there the barrel was rusted just as if it were wrought iron. Treat your stainless just as if it were blued and you won't have any problems. The big benifit is that it is LESS LIKLEY to rust from normal climactic conditions and will allow a greater DELAY in proper treatment. Scratch stainless with something steel and it will start to rust in the scratch.

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