Bolt action hunting rifles, Bang per buck


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R.W.Dale
July 12, 2009, 04:41 PM
Ok a couple different threads recently have gotten me thinking about just what you get for your dollar in terms of bolt action hunting rifles, most specifically what do more expensive models bring to the table that today's excellent entry level models don't.

Now for the purposes of this discussion odiously aesthetics get set aside, and I realize super purpose built lightweight models will demand a premium price. As well as powerful rugged professional grade arms.

But in so far as your average weekend warrior's bolt action hunting rifle do you really gain or give up anything with a $750 Steyr Pro Hunter vs a $299 Marlin XL7, OH I'm sure the steyr is smoother, balances better and has a nicer trigger. But I would not wager it would be any more accurate across a random sampling of both. In the end though when it comes time to squeeze the bang switch in the field does any of this matter?

Now I'm not just picking on steyr.....no this is just an example and this discussion crosses all brand and price range lines. Now don't get me wrong I like nice high quality bolt rifles, but to be honest given the same grade optics I can't find what they actually do better than cheap ones.


On another angle, if true doe you think this phenomena is starting to stifle pricier more refined hunting rifle sales and therefor manufacturer offerings?

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P.B.Walsh
July 12, 2009, 04:45 PM
I understand, but I like a rifle that you can easily upgrade, so I bought a Remington 700. It just depends on the shooters personal taste. I like mine to be a bit more "tactical", while others might prefer a lightweight rifle, so I belive that it's all in what YOU want. :)

John Parker
July 12, 2009, 04:59 PM
Or a Mosin for $79.99! :-)

R.W.Dale
July 12, 2009, 05:06 PM
Or a Mosin for $79.99! :-)

I'm sorry but you do not get nearly the level of precision from 77yr old communist rifle any of today's cheapest commercial rifles offer. Mostly because of the arcane safety, no quality optics mounts, 11lb triggers and weight and ammo loaded with bullets of very dubious quality in terms of hunting

and by the time you correct these defficencies you've invested as much in a moisin as you could have bought one of the commercial rifles mentioned in this thread

BMF500
July 12, 2009, 05:13 PM
Enrty level Weatherby Vanguard $399 availble in just about any caliber you want. 1-1/2" groups or less @ 100 yards or they will replace it.

.38 Special
July 12, 2009, 05:16 PM
What do you get for more money? Better materials, better finish, better fitting, better trigger, better barrel...

Are these things important? That's the question you ask in the store and answer with your wallet.

Are they necessary for taking your deer? Nope.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 12, 2009, 06:17 PM
Sounds like a job for a *chart*. Who wants to make it?

Better materials, better finish, better fitting, better trigger, better barrel...

Well not better barrel, as krochus points out. Accuracy is as accuracy does.

The rest, probably, but not necessarily. It's a good question. The T/C Venture for one looks like it could stack up against a Steyr Pro Hunter, to use the same example, in many of those categories.

Vern Humphrey
July 12, 2009, 06:23 PM
by the time you correct these defficencies you've invested as much in a moisin as you could have bought one of the commercial rifles mentioned in this thread
True. At one time there was quite an industry in "sporterizing" military rifles -- and even then, the Moisin was not considered a good candidate. Nowadays, most shooters will admit you can spend more on sporterzing a military rifle than it would cost you to buy a commercial sporter.

1858
July 12, 2009, 06:30 PM
most specifically what do more expensive models bring to the table that today's excellent entry level models don't.

But in so far as your average weekend warrior's bolt action hunting rifle do you really gain or give up anything with a $750 Steyr Pro Hunter vs a $299 Marlin XL7, OH I'm sure the steyr is smoother, balances better and has a nicer trigger. But I would not wager it would be any more accurate across a random sampling of both. In the end though when it comes time to squeeze the bang switch in the field does any of this matter?

I can see this thread getting hot in a hurry. I think I'm qualified to answer this question since I have a Remington 700 Alaskan Ti (.300 WSM) that cost a little over $1800 new when I bought it about 18 months ago, and I also have a Savage Weather Warrior (7mm-08) bought last month for under $600 delivered.

So what does the Alaskan offer me for three times the cost .... NOTHING ... well, nothing that'll make a damn bit of difference dispatching Bambi from 0 yards to 300 yards. Am I an idiot for buying the Alaskan ... sort of. Despite the $1800 cost of the rifle, I changed the stock, the trigger, the box magazine and heavily modified the bolt (different handle now welded on, different bolt knob and painted). Since buying the Savage, I have to wonder what I got for $1800. The titanium receiver is about the only thing I can think of along with a fluted bolt and skelotonized bolt handle (since removed). It's an accurate, beautiful looking rifle, and everyone that sees it seems to want it, but that's back to aesthetics more than anything.

So to answer your question, if I could make the decision again, I'd buy three Savage rifles rather than the Alaskan ... but since we don't get to go back in time just yet, I'm going to enjoy the Alaskan for years to come, now that I have it like it should have come in the first place .... I just won't dwell on the fact that it cost me a small fortune.

:)

RonE
July 12, 2009, 06:35 PM
Comes down to Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Toyota, Honda or Nissian.......Then it is a matter of how fast you want to go and how quickly you want to go fast and how comfortable you want to be on the way. They will all get you to the 7-11 for a six pack and a bag of chips but how far do you want to ride in them?

Pretty much the same thing with rifles, you want something that goes bang when you pull the trigger (they all seem to do that) or do you want something that few people have, that looks great, that has very good wood to metal fit, and fits you perfectly?

Lots of choices, the most bang for the buck? How about a rusty piece of crap from a pawn shop that costs less than $100, still shoots well enough to kill a deer or a ground squirrel?

I see Savage/Stevens is doing well but they don't seem to be driving any of the other manufacturers out of business.

Haven't we beat this subject to death?

R.W.Dale
July 12, 2009, 06:36 PM
I can see this thread getting hot in a hurry. I think I'm qualified to answer this question since I have a Remington 700 Alaskan Ti (.300 WSM) that cost a little over $1800 new when I bought it about 18 months ago, and I also have a Savage Weather Warrior (7mm-08) bought last month for under $600 delivered.

So what does the Alaskan offer me for three times the cost .... NOTHING ... well, nothing that'll make a damn bit of difference dispatching Bambi from 0 yards to 300 yards. Am I an idiot for buying the Alaskan ... sort of. Despite the $1800 cost of the rifle, I changed the stock, the trigger, the box magazine and heavily modified the bolt (different handle now welded on, different bolt knob and painted). Since buying the Savage, I have to wonder what I got for $1800. The titanium receiver is about the only thing I can think of along with a fluted bolt and skelotonized bolt handle (since removed). It's an accurate, beautiful looking rifle, and everyone that sees it seems to want it, but that's back to aesthetics more than anything.

So to answer your question, if I could make the decision again, I'd buy three Savage rifles rather than the Alaskan ... but since we don't get to go back in time, I'm going to enjoy the Alaskan for years to come now that I have it like it should have come in the first place .... I just won't dwell on the fact that it cost me a small fortune.

:)

In the OP I specifically set aside high tech lightweight models from this discussion. Certainly you'll pay a premium for titanium and other high tech lightweight materials

I see Savage/Stevens is doing well but they don't seem to be driving any of the other manufacturers out of business.


Actually they kinda have run off Remington's crappy halfhearted attempt at the same market, the 770, 710 or whatever they call that abomination these days. I wonder if since Rem now owns marlin they'll drop the 770 and replace it with a Rebadged xl7-savage copy

1858
July 12, 2009, 06:37 PM
What do you get for more money? Better materials, better finish, better fitting, better trigger, better barrel...

Comparing the Alaskan Ti to the Savage Weather Warrior ..

Better materials ... yep, titanium receiver.
Better finish ... definitley better in EVERY regard compared to the Savage.
Better fitting ... nope.
Better trigger ... hell no ... the X-Mark Pro is a total piece of crap ... I added a Jewell trigger (my third). The AccuTrigger feels a lot better to me but still not as good as a Jewell.
Better barrel ... exterior yes with flutes and a gorgeous satin finish but the barrel is hammer forged whereas the Savage is button rifled.

:)

1858
July 12, 2009, 06:40 PM
did you not read the OP where is specifically set aside high tech lightweight models from this discussion?

Yep, but how can the Alaskan Ti be considered to be a "high tech lightweight model" when it weighs the same as a Savage Weather Warrior? :confused: However, it's your thread so I can delete my posts or just suggest that folks ignore them ... it's your call.

:)

Arkel23
July 12, 2009, 06:44 PM
Spending a ton of money in a gun is ridiculous when you can usually get a cheaper one (not super cheap) that does the same thing, most guns depends on the shooter anyway. If I buy a $5,000.00 custom made precision rifle that doesn't mean my groups are going to be better than a $400.00 rifle.

R.W.Dale
July 12, 2009, 06:45 PM
Yep, but how can the Alaskan Ti be considered to be a "high tech lightweight model" when it weighs the same as a Savage Weather Warrior? :confused: However, it's your thread so I can delete my posts or just suggest that folks ignore them ... it's your call.

:)

No I'm sorry I had to read your post twice before my sluggish brain wrapped itself around the gist of what you were saying and edited accordingly, but just not quick enough

I'm suprised as heck too, are you saying that the super pricy Lightewight Ti weighs about the same as a weather warrior

saturno_v
July 12, 2009, 06:48 PM
I have to agree with Krochus for the Mosin...a hunting rifle is not only pure power...you need the lightness, handling and ergonomics......and by the time you buy a good scope mount and ask to a gunsmith to drill couple of holes you are in cheap brand new sporter territory...or a used sporterized Mauser already scoped.

However, that 80 years old communist gun can be quite accurate, even more than the average "El Cheapo" hunting rifle.

In terms of quality, toughness and reliability I trust more a used Mosin in excellent conditions than any non premium hunting rifle in the market.

Higly polished finishing was not one of the requirements for the Mosin...:D

IMHO, a Mosin is to buy and keep as it is...to have fun with a very powerful centerfire cartridge with iron sights and have a very historically rich piece in your collection.

An alternative is a good used sporterized Mauser 98 in a common American caliber....you can find ton of them around here in Western WA for $150-200 sometimes with very nice wood stocksand almost all of them already scoped....I would take a properly sporterized K98 over an inexpensive plastic stock modern rifle any time of the day...

Oldtrader3
July 12, 2009, 06:51 PM
Get a bore scope, check the bores on (10) different price point, commercial, bolt action rifles, check the trigger system for creep, letoff weight on all of the rifles, look at fit finish and bedding and tell me that you don't get more for the extra money. Quality is not free! If you want to buy cheaper rifles, fine, but don't tell me they are better than more expensive rifles, class for class. It just is not true.

UniversalFrost
July 12, 2009, 06:52 PM
the 100ATR is a good sub $300 gun. The weatherby vanguard is an excellent $399 -500 range gun and of course the remington 700 bdl is still out there in the $500 to 700 range.

also you might want to look at mark v weatherby's that are used. many can be had for under $800 and spend a few bucks more and you can get one with quality optics on it already. The mark v is one of the strongest bolt action receivers out there with extremely quality craftsmanship and a stock that is elegant, but also functional. the mark v is what a majority of the other bolt gun makers set as the defacto standard in the upper end of mass produced rifles.

1858
July 12, 2009, 06:53 PM
I'm suprised as heck too, are you saying that the super pricy Lightewight Ti weighs about the same as a weather warrior

The Alaskan Ti (SA) supposedly weighs in at 6lb ... the Weather Warrior 16 series is 8oz heavier at 6.5lb. Those are total weights i.e. the stock is included, and the crappy little B&C stock that comes with the Alaskan could easily account for the 8oz difference. I realize that I must sound very bitter about the Alaskan ... that's not the case though ... it's an excellent rifle but I wouldn't buy another ... it's just too much work (and money) getting them to where I want them to be.

:)

DRYHUMOR
July 12, 2009, 06:55 PM
I'd really like to have a Shelby GT 500, yet here in America, there are no real high perfomance roads to TRUELY wring it out. All the roads are more or less low performance roads. (With speed limits)

Same with rifles, very few shooters hunt in a high performance manner- long shots, steep angles, swirling winds, etc. Nor are many actually practiced and prepared to. The better produced rifle will show itself, the mass produced, profit through volumne rifle may not.

So, just like the beater that gets ya from A to B, the mass produced profit through volumne, ok at 100 to 200 yds rifle will put the meat in the freezer.

But sometimes...

You just WANT a nice rifle. :D

R.W.Dale
July 12, 2009, 06:58 PM
The Alaskan Ti (SA) supposedly weighs in at 6lb ... the Weather Warrior 16 series is 8oz heavier at 6.5lb.

:)

wow! You could make that up with proper scope and mount selection.

.38 Special
July 12, 2009, 06:59 PM
Better materials, better finish, better fitting, better trigger, better barrel...

I had hoped, when I wrote that, that nobody would assume that I meant always, in every situation, without exception, and that folks would take it for the generalization that it obviously is.

Not the first time I have had my hopes dashed, I'm afraid...

Vern Humphrey
July 12, 2009, 07:01 PM
Get a bore scope, check the bores on (10) different price point, commercial, bolt action rifles, check the trigger system for creep, letoff weight on all of the rifles, look at fit finish and bedding and tell me that you don't get more for the extra money.
To my way of thinking, rifles are for shooting. Fit and finish, fancy wood and so on don't contribute to accuracy or reliability. And while a trigger is important, bore scoping won't really tell you how well the rifle will shoot -- only bench resting will do that.

Savage makes some very accurate, very reliable rifles with very good triggers. And they sell them for less than most other brands.

DRYHUMOR
July 12, 2009, 07:30 PM
AAHHHH.

But wouldn't the fit of the reciever to the barrel, and the squaring of both be of benefit to the bullets destination.

And wouldn't the fit of a reciever to a piller/glass bed/full length bed contribute to accuracy?

R.W.Dale
July 12, 2009, 07:33 PM
But wouldn't the fit of the reciever to the barrel, and the squaring of both be of benefit to the bullets destination.

In which case Savage with it's shoulderless bbl combined with a semi floating bolt head has em all licked.

That's just it these newer rifles don't have to have the accuracy fit into each unit, They already have it designed in.

And wouldn't the fit of a reciever to a piller/glass bed/full length bed contribute to accuracy?

Not really the above is the old school 1950's way of doing things. many rifles today mate to machined aluminum recesses in the stock there simply is no need for bedding, pillars. Just look at the new Accustock. Plus in the end the above bedding methods are only as good as the person doing them and as far as I know aren't offered on a factory rifle anyhow

Vern Humphrey
July 12, 2009, 07:42 PM
But wouldn't the fit of the reciever to the barrel, and the squaring of both be of benefit to the bullets destination.

And wouldn't the fit of a reciever to a piller/glass bed/full length bed contribute to accuracy?
The accuracy of a rifle is determined by shooting it, not making suppositions about how it's put together. Savages have a very high reputation for accuracy, regardless of what one thinks of their fit and finish.

Geno
July 12, 2009, 07:55 PM
I prescribe the the merits of "point-of-rationality", getting the most quality for the least price. In terms of "PoR", Remington, Weatherby and Savage really shine. Sure, there are prettier rifles, but at what cost? The same can be said for accuracy...what cost to exceed 1.0 to 1.5 MOA? Any rifle that will hold MOA will harvest game ethically and reliably to 500 yards if the trigger-puller does her part....or his part.

DRYHUMOR
July 12, 2009, 07:57 PM
Good points, krochus.

But doesn't bang for the buck also take into consideration regional preferences? Some parts of the country (world) have preferences for the familiar. Some places are Browning country, Remington country, Savage country, etc, etc, etc.

That's most of what's bought new or used. And accuracy does vary among the different makes, as does the pricing. And bang for the buck would presume to buy used, which means some times it's an older rifle.

And bang for buck has to take into consideration ammo as well. Along with the accuracy of the ammo.

KzoneAL
July 12, 2009, 08:17 PM
Tikka is a great bang for the buck.Accurate,good trigger,Good fit & finish.

flipajig
July 12, 2009, 08:43 PM
After reading some of thees threds what it all comes down to is the shooter
you can have the most accurat rifle in the world and it all comes down to the
shooter. and you have to know your limitations and the limitations of your gun..

jpwilly
July 12, 2009, 08:58 PM
krochus, If the only criterea is bang for the buck than no I don't believe you get more by spending more. It's kind of a catch 22 with this type of question. But in the end I'd still rather have one of the new Winchester mod 70's vs my Mossberg ATR (nothing against the ATR it's been great). My newest Savage 10 is sweet and out of the box accuracy is good. Could I have gotten more for the money - doubt it!

1858
July 12, 2009, 09:05 PM
This thread seems to be drifting away from the original fundamental question ...

"just what you get for your dollar in terms of bolt action hunting rifles, most specifically what do more expensive models bring to the table that today's excellent entry level models don't."

It would be useful to have a set of essential criteria that any hunting rifle should have and a set of desirable but non-essential features that a hunting rifle could have. It's also be useful to have some idea as to how much you'd need to spend to get all of the essential features and how much you'd have to spend to get some or all of the desirable but non-essential features. If I'd had access to a list like that 18 months ago (before joining THR) I most likely wouldn't have bought the Alaskan Ti. For example, an experienced hunter would know that the bolt handle can snag on brush/branches thereby opening the bolt .... the Savage bolt can be locked closed, the Remington bolt can't.

Talking of non-entry level hunting rifles, I've been intrigued by the T/C Icon for many months. Surely they fall right into this discussion since they're not cheap but they have quite a few innovative features.

http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/icon.php

:)

Uncle Mike
July 12, 2009, 09:16 PM
Some of you weren't around in the days of fine craftsmanship, when a rifle was a work of art, both aesthetically and mechanically. Several of our manufacturers that are thought to be better builder of the rifle, and which were in the days of old, simply are no longer in this same class.

Remington used to produce some of the finest rifles on the market, now, and without offending the Remington folks, they make scat for the most part, not all their models, but most.

We have more Remingtons returned for repair than ANY other brand of rifle we sell, and that's not because we sell them the most.

Browning seems to be doing well, however they, for the money, are hardly worth it. And, for you American made positives, the Brownings are produced in Japan.

Not that I am picking on these two fine manufacturers but, in the past they both built some of the finest rifles, hands down. Today they plain ol' suck as far as quality vs. the dollar.

What happened, skilled labor is dyeing, the economy, whatever, but these two companies still demand a high dollar for their products.... still riding on their reputation of past.

What's the difference between a super accurate rifle and a accurate rifle... about $1000! hehehe

Tolerance, quality control, better materials... all this adds up to your better rifle.

Savage fell on bad times with their piece work policy and lacking employee moral of the past, but since the chapter 11 incident and Ron Coburns new structuring, Savage has become as they were many, many years ago.. a top shelf 'production' firearms manufacturer.

True the Savages are not the classy looking gal as compared to some of the others, but she'll cook, clean, keep the house and provide you with a happy ending, and all for less than many other supposedly better gals.:D

Excellent quality, Stock, be it wood or the awesome Accustock, the slick Accutrigger and one of the best 'production' barrels you'll run across.

Give a Savage a try, you won't be disappointed.

And yes... the high dollar Remington 700 Ti weighs in as much, or a little more in some cases than the Weather Warrior.

:D

P.B.Walsh
July 12, 2009, 09:37 PM
The reason I went with Remington is because it is currently used in military sniper rifles (M40 and M24) , so I went with that reputation, regard less if it looked pretty or not. :)

Uncle Mike
July 12, 2009, 09:44 PM
The reason I went with Remington is because it is currently used in military sniper rifles (M40 and M24)

...this make for a 'gooder than others' rifle...? :scrutiny:

The 700 action is a good un', but so is a Stiller... is it not P.B.?:D

:D

P.B.Walsh
July 12, 2009, 09:48 PM
Oh yea, I WANT a Surgeon. But from the pictures I've seen the M24's and M40's have baisic actions, no fancy bolt handle or flutes, just a plain jane bolt like I got. :)

Uncle Mike
July 12, 2009, 09:52 PM
ever look at the prints of a Stiller and a Savage action.....

:D

R.W.Dale
July 12, 2009, 10:12 PM
Um is this thread about high end aftermarket actions suitable for benchrest competition?

P.B.Walsh
July 12, 2009, 10:16 PM
No, I'm sorry to get off subject. :)

Grey Morel
July 12, 2009, 10:39 PM
I'm sorry but you do not get nearly the level of precision from 77yr old communist rifle any of today's cheapest commercial rifles offer. Mostly because of the arcane safety, no quality optics mounts, 11lb triggers and weight and ammo loaded with bullets of very dubious quality in terms of hunting

and by the time you correct these defficencies you've invested as much in a moisin as you could have bought one of the commercial rifles mentioned in this thread

Emaculate condition 91/30 - $100
Custom Mosin pillar bedding kit - $40
Gunsmith recrown - $30
Free floating the barrel - $3.50 (sanding sponge)
Lightening the simplest trigger mechanism known to man - $5 (bottle of flitz)
Smoothing the bolt throw - $0 (already have the flitz)
Learning to use Iron sights - FREE

The Mosin is a good rifle with a rough finish. A few dollars and a few hours will turn it into a good rifle with a good finish.

The $120 you save over a bargain basement "sporting rifle" will buy you a set of dies and 1/2 dozen boxes of brass cased commercial soft points to solve the imagined ammunition problem.

R.W.Dale
July 12, 2009, 10:48 PM
If you're comparing a mosin to a modern sporting arm it's odvious you don't have experiance with both. I've owned spec to totally worked over custom moisins as well as just about every sporting bolt gun model. I assure you no matter how worked over a mosin simply doesn't compare

John Parker
July 12, 2009, 10:49 PM
I'm sorry but you do not get nearly the level of precision from 77yr old communist rifle any of today's cheapest commercial rifles offer.

The OP asked for 'bang for buck.' You can't beat an $80 rifle that can kill most game on the continent. It's not pretty and it has its shortcomings, but it will do the job. I understand that it's not what you want and thats fine, but it's a dependable, accurate rifle that can serve very well as a meat gun.

chevyforlife21
July 12, 2009, 10:57 PM
i have a savage 111 243 with the factory scope i paid like 350 bucks ive hit the same bullet hole in a target a few times so i think buying a remington or winchester or ruger or whatever is pointless. i will say sometimes the magazine jams up and thats with lube

R.W.Dale
July 12, 2009, 10:59 PM
The OP asked for 'bang for buck.' You can't beat an $80 rifle that can kill most game on the continent. It's not pretty and it has its shortcomings, but it will do the job. I understand that it's not what you want and thats fine, but it's a dependable, accurate rifle that can serve very well as a meat gun.

I'm the OP:rolleyes:

Yes I did ask about bang for the buck...specifically amongst model sporting bolt actions

Ok a couple different threads recently have gotten me thinking about just what you get for your dollar in terms of bolt action hunting rifles, most specifically what do more expensive models bring to the table that today's excellent entry level models don't.

John Parker
July 12, 2009, 11:03 PM
So spend the $80 on the Mosin and quit complaining! :-D

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 13, 2009, 12:14 AM
True the Savages are not the classy looking gal as compared to some of the others, but she'll cook, clean, keep the house and provide you with a happy ending, and all for less than many other supposedly better gals.

That's ONE (pretty good) way to put it, UM! :) :p

Sheesh, folks, forget about Mosins, fercryinoutloud. This is krochus's thread, and he's asking about modern commercial sporting rifles. :scrutiny:

1858, are you aware of the existence of the Venture? It's the Icon minus the high price, but with most everything else. I have an Icon, BTW, and it's a gem.

RonE
July 13, 2009, 01:00 AM
Emaculate condition 91/30 - $100
Custom Mosin pillar bedding kit - $40
Gunsmith recrown - $30
Free floating the barrel - $3.50 (sanding sponge)
Lightening the simplest trigger mechanism known to man - $5 (bottle of flitz)
Smoothing the bolt throw - $0 (already have the flitz)
Learning to use Iron sights - FREE

The Mosin is a good rifle with a rough finish. A few dollars and a few hours will turn it into a good rifle with a good finish.

The $120 you save over a bargain basement "sporting rifle" will buy you a set of dies and 1/2 dozen boxes of brass cased commercial soft points to solve the imagined ammunition problem.

And you still have a rifle that the safety is not safe and hard to operate, a rifle that costs about $100 to get a scope solidly mounted on and a rifle that is pretty heavy and cumbersom with a barrel that is longer than most hunting requires. Mouse(in)'s are fun to tinker with but in the real world are way behind the entry level hunting rifles.

The reality is more like:
M-N 91/30 $100
Plastic stock $59
RockSolid Scope mount $99
Cheap scope $200
Cut and crown barrel to 24" DIY
Turn down bolt handle DIY ($10 +/- for grade 8 bolt and threaded knob and silver solder)
Adjustable trigger DIY ($10 +/- for drill, tap, set screw)

So why would you buy a M-N 91/30 and go to the trouble of trying to make it into a hunting rifle with a poor action (split bridge) and poor safety when you can buy for about $500, this: http://www.savagearms.com/11fcxp3.htm

I have experience with Mousen-Nouguts, they are fun to tinker with but not really an entry level hunting rifle: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=369278&highlight=snipper

jpwilly
July 13, 2009, 01:18 AM
what do more expensive models bring to the table that today's excellent entry level models don't.

Aside from aesthetics, fit and finish....not much.

My Mossberg ATR 30-06 will put bullets on target. It's been MOA at the range. Trigger isn't amazing but certainly worlds apart from virtually all the milsurps I have save for just a few (K31, smoothed M1 Garand, and my 1903). The bolt is smooth and the stock is more firm / less flexible than most low end rifles. A recent pickup Savage FP10 with Choate Tactical stock is even more amazing for only $700! Only reason to pay more is for a "Nicer" look fit and finish. These rifles deliver the payload just the same if I do my job.

natman
July 13, 2009, 03:27 AM
But in so far as your average weekend warrior's bolt action hunting rifle do you really gain or give up anything with a $750 Steyr Pro Hunter vs a $299 Marlin XL7, OH I'm sure the steyr is smoother, balances better and has a nicer trigger.

There's three pluses right there. Also the Steyr has a stiffer stock, a more sophisticated safety, a removable magazine and a better barrel.

The Marlin is a fantastic rifle for the money. I wouldn't hesitate to take one hunting for anything, anywhere. If you are on a budget, you would be far better off to get a Marlin and a Leupold than a Rem/Win/Browning and a cheap scope.

But the Steyr is a better rifle. Which is only fair since it costs a lot more. Whether or not the extra quality is worth the extra money is a matter of personal choice.

This thread is like comparing a Ford Fiesta to a Lexus and saying "They both get you from A to B. Why would you spend more on a Lexus?".

R.W.Dale
July 13, 2009, 03:32 AM
This thread is like comparing a Ford Fiesta to a Lexus and saying "They both get you from A to B. Why would you spend more on a Lexus?

I think a more apt comparison would be comparing late 80's vintage Cadillac Sedan DeVille or Lincoln Town Car to a Rolls Royce of the same vintage

A Lexus does a lot of things a Festiva doesn't. A $300 stevens/marlin compared to the $750 synthetic stocked steyr/rem/win/sak of your choice...well....???that's what this thread is about

jmr40
July 13, 2009, 07:02 AM
I think the Ruger Hawkeye is the most bang for the $. It is one of the most expensive rifles discussed so far but I feel that it also gives you a lot more. If you go with wood and blue they are the only rifle that uses nothing but steel and walnut. No plastic or aluminum parts. In stainless/synthetic they are the least expensive option. Even the Savage which many consider to be the value leader costs more than a Hawkeye if you go stainless.

The Hawkeye offers a classic American style gun that is rugged and almost never has any problems compared to other brands you read about. The one complaint is with accuracy, but that rumor should have died 15 years ago. Current rifles are shooting just fine. My 308 and 280 are 1/2" shooters at 100 yards with my handloads.

There are guns that cost less that will shoot as good and there are guns that I think are better put together. Kimber and Winchester come to mind. But the Ruger is the most gun for the money in my book.

Uncle Mike
July 13, 2009, 09:36 AM
A $300 stevens/marlin compared to the $750 synthetic stocked steyr/rem/win/sak of your choice...well....???that's what this thread is about

Well... have you gotten your answer yet...?

Tear a Steyr, Sako, Remington, Winchester, Savage or the Marlin apart and what do you have...? a barrel, a receiver/action/bolt and a trigger group, that's it... three major units.


The more costly units are 'supposed to have' a better barrel, actions are to be of a tighter tolerances and the triggers are to be crisper, not too mention the better materials.

If people knew where the major players obtained their component materials... I bet there would be a lot of raised eyebrows.

You mean to tell me that my $750 rifle is made of the same material, held to the same standards as your $250 rifle...yip! Sorry!

To get a MOA rifle, it HAS to be to a certain tolerance, does it not?

So if a $250 rifle will shoot MOA, and so will a $750 rifle...what am I paying all the extra cash for...?

Aesthetics, manufacturers name and reputation, part durability, marketing and advertising costs(18 wheeler road crews are expensive, as are corporate aircraft), the more you make, the more EPA impact you generate... more money off your bottom line.. what to do, pass it on to the customer.

All this, and more, is why the price difference in your firearms... but there is no quantifiable, justifiable reason a machine that will preform the same as another machine should have such a wide price difference.... or is there?

:D

GodGuns&Guitars
July 13, 2009, 10:17 AM
I have a Weatherby VanGuard in 300 Weatherby Mag. I've seen them in stores for around $400 with some kind of scope on them but mine has a Nikon ProStaff 3X9 on it. At 300 yards I can put five rounds in the bottom of a coke can. Trigger has been adjusted down to 3 lbs. For under 100 yards I use a Smith 629 and have also taken three deer with the Kimber Custom TLE II at 25 yards or less.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v374/KIMBER45TLE/100_0152.jpg

Matrix187
July 13, 2009, 12:05 PM
I'm thinking about buying a CZ550 American .30-06 /w woodstock, and probably a nikon 3-9x. Is this a pretty solid setup, and cost effective?

BMF500
July 13, 2009, 12:17 PM
I have a Weatherby VanGuard in 300 Weatherby Mag. I've seen them in stores for around $400 with some kind of scope on them but mine has a Nikon ProStaff 3X9 on it. At 300 yards I can put five rounds in the bottom of a coke can. Trigger has been adjusted down to 3 lbs. For under 100 yards I use a Smith 629 and have also taken three deer with the Kimber Custom TLE II at 25 yards or less.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v374/KIMBER45TLE/100_0152.jpg
Yes Sir, that's mighty fine right there! I have the exact same rifle. Best bang for your buck IMO. Bullets are kind of high $ though....

UniversalFrost
July 13, 2009, 12:33 PM
I'm thinking about buying a CZ550 American .30-06 /w woodstock, and probably a nikon 3-9x. Is this a pretty solid setup, and cost effective?


the caliber is perfect and is my main choice for everything from antelope to moose.

can't comment on the gun. never owned a CZ550

which nikon?

I have several monarch ucc's and 2 of the new buckmasters the 3-9x40 with nikoplex reticle in realtree camo and the 3-9x40 matte black with BDC reticle. the glass is as good if not better than my older monarchs and I was told by the folks at SWFA that the buckmaster and primos line of nikon scopes are actually the old monarch ucc's. I have seen several prostaff scopes, but they are ok and I would spend the few extra bucks on the buckmaster scopes or some older monarchs.

JOE

Paradiddle
July 13, 2009, 01:02 PM
Dave Petzel's top 11 most accurate rifles of 2007/2008 - Field and Stream

I'm sure this applies to "new" rifle models in 2007/2008.

http://www.fieldandstream.com/node/1000022230

I took the costs from Buds Guns - they are approximates

1 - Vanguard Sub MOA - $700
2 - Thompson Icon - $850
3 - Savage 14 Classic - $635
4 - Jarret Custom 700 - ? (easily over $1K)
5 - Sako A7 - $780
6 - Browning XBolt - $750
7 - Marlin XL7 - $300
HERE ENDITH THE SUM MOA RIFLES (average group size)
8 - Mossberg 464 Lever - $375
9 - S&W I Bolt - $450
10 - Remington 700 LSS - $1000
11 - Winchester M70 Sporter Deluxe - $785

What I found most interesting is that the average group size in this test takes a pretty substantial jump after the Marlin XL7. Which begs the question since you can get the Marlin for 1/2 of the other rifles listed, why not buy that and put a really nice scope on it, get some reloading gear, a new pair of boots and still come out ahead. I agree they are not pretty, but one thing they have going for them is that they shoot and if the airlines damages or loses your rifle, or your drop it, you aren't going to have a heart attack.

Jeff

Arkel23
July 13, 2009, 01:13 PM
I have the same rifle in .300 wby mag.

natman
July 13, 2009, 01:20 PM
This thread is like comparing a Ford Fiesta to a Lexus and saying "They both get you from A to B. Why would you spend more on a Lexus?

I think a more apt comparison would be comparing late 80's vintage Cadillac Sedan DeVille or Lincoln Town Car to a Rolls Royce of the same vintage

A Lexus does a lot of things a Festiva doesn't.

Really? Like what?
Fly? Drive underwater?

A Lexus does many things better than a Festiva, with more style, more comfort but it does the exact same thing: get you from one place to another. My point was that this thread deliberately ignores style, comfort, quality and concentrates exclusively on accuracy.

R.W.Dale
July 13, 2009, 01:45 PM
Of course it focuses on function and accuracy, amongst ugly plastic rifles cheap and expensive what else is thre to compare

comparing the cost of ugly plastic and paukerizing vs wood and blue wouldn't make a very intersting discussion

dubbleA
July 13, 2009, 01:51 PM
What I found most interesting is that the average group size in this test takes a pretty substantial jump after the Marlin XL7. Which begs the question since you can get the Marlin for 1/2 of the other rifles listed, why not buy that and put a really nice scope on it, get some reloading gear, a new pair of boots and still come out ahead. I agree they are not pretty, but one thing they have going for them is that they shoot and if the airlines damages or loses your rifle, or your drop it, you aren't going to have a heart attack.



I did the exact same thing but had to chip in for the scope and then some on my XL7:D

The Marlin isnt a bad little rifle for the price, it's about 1moa with 3 shots on a very good day, easily minute of deer every day.

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/270WinXL7.jpg

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f268/dubbleA/IMG_8768.jpg

kmullins
July 13, 2009, 02:05 PM
I would stay clear of Remington (my own opinion), I had a VLS that came from the factory looking like a used rifle. Never again will I buy a Remington I cannot physically see.

Best bang for the buck: hands down, Howa. Love mine and it has been great. Very quality rifle and well-built.

Paradiddle
July 13, 2009, 02:12 PM
I did the exact same thing but had to chip in for the scope and then some on my XL7

The Marlin isnt a bad little rifle for the price, it's about 1moa with 3 shots on a very good day, easily minute of deer every day.


Nice paint job! What caliber did you buy?

Oldtrader3
July 13, 2009, 02:59 PM
I still would go with the Model 70 for form, fit and function. Usually, accuracy is good also. I have owned (18) Model 70's in the past 45 years and all (yes all) were 3-shot group, accurately handloaded, MOA rifles to 200 yards. Some needed a little Accraglass bedding but all made the grade, for accuracy and having good triggers! Remington's (at least the older ones) needed recoil lug bedding as well.

Vern Humphrey
July 13, 2009, 03:06 PM
I personally prefer the Model 70. I'm quite disappointed in the new Model 70s, though, with their new triggers. The old Model 70 trigger was an elegant thing, easy to adjust. Of course, I'm prejudiced against enclosed triggers ever since I was elk hunting in a freezing drizzle and had a Mashburn trigger freeze up on me.

dubbleA
July 13, 2009, 03:33 PM
Quote:
I did the exact same thing but had to chip in for the scope and then some on my XL7

The Marlin isnt a bad little rifle for the price, it's about 1moa with 3 shots on a very good day, easily minute of deer every day.

Nice paint job! What caliber did you buy?

Although I am not a fan, it's a 270 Win. With the Leupold Mark 4 and Federal Premium 15Ogr Nosler Partitions it's printed a few groups just over 3 inches at 300yds, which isnt bad considering factory ammo and a non floated barrel.

As far as the paint job goes, I was just screwing around with some duracoat that was fixing to go bad. Anything to get rid of the black.:)

ElToro
July 13, 2009, 04:03 PM
what i think you guys are arguing is about the merits of capitalism and the market system that produces things at all manner of price points for guys who can afford what they feel is right. a $300 used rem-win-tika-whatever will kill deer just as dead as a $15,0000 blaser as will flying to england and getting a custom fitted $100,000+ H&H royal double

if a guy can afford it, and shoots it well, who are you to criticize how he spends his money ?

just imagine how great it would be to live in a country where all the decisions of production come from a bureacrat who likely has never even shot a rifle?

Uncle Mike
July 13, 2009, 04:48 PM
just imagine how great it would be to live in a country where all the decisions of production come from a bureacrat who likely has never even shot a rifle?

Problem is this is what's starting to happen in this country... most of the decisions made today concerning what you and I have available to us for purchase(in the firearms industry)is not decided by a guy who has deer blood under his nails, but some CEO that is figuring the bottom line profit on the item in question.

Just look at some of the ridicules shortcuts taken today by the firearms manufacturers, all in the name of we are building it better and faster for you.... but you gotta' pay more...of course!

:D

JImbothefiveth
July 13, 2009, 04:58 PM
in the field does any of this matter? Yes, the trigger definantly matters. Better balance might also matter.

Vern Humphrey
July 13, 2009, 05:00 PM
Just look at some of the ridicules shortcuts taken today by the firearms manufacturers, all in the name of we are building it better and faster for you.... but you gotta' pay more...of course!
That's why I buy used guns, not new. I can get guns made in the old way, without all the internal locks and other foolishness.

Gryffydd
July 13, 2009, 05:07 PM
I've owned spec to totally worked over custom moisins
you've invested as much in a moisin
the Moisin was not considered a good candidate.


Everybody say it with me:
MOSIN NAGANT...
There is no such thing as a "Moisin" I don't know why this spelling seems to be so common. I guess it's just the people who think it's pronounced "Moy-Zen" :rolleyes:

Edit:Yes, I know about historical spelling variances...but you used to be able to buy ammo marked for .45 Long Colt too :D

DRYHUMOR
July 13, 2009, 05:40 PM
Well I've slept on it. Thought about it.

Firearm engineering has come a long way when you think about it over just the past 10 or 12 years.

Tooling is expensive though, so in order to shave a few pennies off of every rifle, there has to a trade off whether in the plus column or the negative column. Looks, accuracy, trigger quality. They all come into play.

I read some posts about aftermarket triggers and bedding, nicer optics. Could it be that these are the negatives, as far as trade offs? If the tradeoffs cost additional money, then what happened to "best bang for the buck"? If the scope rifle package out the door is 399.00, and the scope replaced with one that costs 399.00, you've got a 798.00 rifle package.

I figure it this way, by the time it's all said and done, a rifle, scope, rings and mounts, ammo, sling, case, and practice time is still going to push the "buck" part of the equasion to between 500.00 and 1000.00 nearly every time. New or used, for an average.

jmr40
July 13, 2009, 05:59 PM
When you consider "bang for the buck" don't forget to think long term. A lot of these $300 rifles are essentially throw away rifles. Use them a few years and when something goes wrong it will cost over 50% of the value of the gun to get repaired. Most people will just buy another and throw away the gun rather than getting it repaired.

Most every gun I have ever owned has been a quality gun bought used for around $300 to $400. Most would have cost 2X that to buy new. I am forever trading and usually after a few years I find something else I want and I will sell or trade to come up with the funds to purchase another gun. I rarely ever loose money and often get more than I paid.

Even though a lot of $300 rifles shoot as good as a $700 rifle now. What is it going to be worth 10 years from now. Better to buy a quality used gun with that $300.

THE DARK KNIGHT
July 13, 2009, 06:12 PM
Mosin Nagant!

Yeah it's communist garbage from last century. Yeah it weighs a million pounds. But damn, that thing goes bang every time, no matter what, and 7.62x54r will put venison on the table for ~$100.

chuwee81
July 13, 2009, 06:33 PM
i got 2 guys from Mongolia working with me and they grew up hunting sheep (mountain goats), boar, etc with mosins amongst other things. They even had a full auto AK just to shoot at wild hogs/ boars in the woods (Vast lands, nobody around for miles). After having a mosin and felt the power it had, i have no doubt that you can successfully go hunt with it. The iron sight is not great but does its job well. mine can shoot grapefruit size 10 rd group at 50 yds and better if i can see the damn sight and target. My pastor (long time shooter) did 4 shot group the size of ping-pong ball.

Safety sucks but it can be achieved in a different way by loading a round, point it at a safe direction, hold the cocking knob and release the trigger and gently bring the cocking knob to rest. When you are ready to shoot, just rotate the handle 90* upward and bring it down again without pulling (extracting) it back. Sorta like decocking handguns with hammers i guess.

Maverick223
July 13, 2009, 08:42 PM
I think more expensive models come in three categories...Looks (whether tactical or a better fit/finish), Name (no real upgrades), or Performance. The former is the most prevalent, followed by marketing (name). A performance upgrade in a rifle is getting rare IMO. Many of the budget rifles can shoot as well as the pricey competitors, and some can do a bit better. :)

amlevin
July 13, 2009, 10:22 PM
I have two bolt action rifles in my safe. One is a 1903-A3 (Remington mfr 1943) that was purchased from DOD in 1946 for $12.50 then Sporterized for about $100. The other is a month old Remington 700 SS 5-R Milspec that I paid $1050 for then added another $800 of accessories to (Scope, Case, Bipod, etc.). As hunting rifles they both make the deer dead. The Rem 700 SS is lots more fun to shoot. First groups were less than 1/2" @100 yards and the best group I have ever shot with the old '03 was 1" at same yardage. Fpr hunting I will stick with the old "War Surplus Sporter". If I break it I won't cry as much as if I were to drop the Remington into a canyon.

chuwee81
July 13, 2009, 11:22 PM
lol, but you had your 1903 since 1946 though, you must have some fond memories with it.

Back on topic:
due to the long barrel, the perceived loudness is not as bad. An AR with bird cage muzzle break and shorter barrel sounds louder. Some people report seeing HUGE fireball size muzzle flash though.

oak1971
July 13, 2009, 11:31 PM
Savage. Hands Down.

BornAgainBullseye
July 14, 2009, 12:19 AM
well they all for the most part go bang and they usually cost a few bucks. Hopefully it goes bang and down goes a buck, but for the bang for buck Id get in this order. Savage 10 110 series, Howa 1500-Weatherby Vanguard SUB-MOA for tack drivers. And The Remington stamped Euro 798 which is really just a Interarms Mauser 98. I believe the SPS version with a cheap synthetic stock is under $500 in some places. This is a fine time proven action that has been copied by just about everyone for over 100 years. It would make a fine hunting rifle that you know will not break some flimsy part because there is no flemsy in a Mauser 98.

amlevin
July 14, 2009, 10:19 PM
lol, but you had your 1903 since 1946 though, you must have some fond memories with it.


Definitely memories. It was my Dad's and it's all I have today that was his. He died over 40 years ago when I was 19. I plan on passing it on to one of my 5 grandkids. It just depends which one takes up hunting/shooting. Who knows it may even be my only grand-daughter. With a little luck it will still be a good shooter 100 years after it was made.

Maverick223
July 15, 2009, 01:47 AM
With a little luck it will still be a good shooter 100 years after it was made.With a little care is will still be a exceptional shooter 1000 yrs from now. :)

falldowngoboom
July 15, 2009, 07:28 AM
I'm not sure you could do much better than a Marlin XL7 in the bang for the buck category. It's got features that aren't offered in some guns twice it's price. I'm guessing this comes at the cost of not having quite as exacting tolerances as pricier guns, but accuracy is accuracy, right?

The synthetic stock feels more solid and rubbery than plasticky (like some budget guns) and the adjustable trigger is a huge plus, IMO.

amlevin
July 15, 2009, 08:06 PM
With a little care is will still be a exceptional shooter 1000 yrs from now.

But what will we be using for ammo?

Vern Humphrey
July 15, 2009, 08:11 PM
Hopefully by then the ammo shortage will have eased a bit.

P.B.Walsh
July 15, 2009, 08:23 PM
Na, will be arguing what lazer power is sufficient for marshan deer. :)

Maverick223
July 15, 2009, 10:16 PM
Na, will be arguing what lazer power is sufficient for marshan deer.I doubt that WE will. :neener:

P.B.Walsh
July 15, 2009, 10:23 PM
Well.......... not US, mabey are great x 30 grandchildren, while there exploring the "new worlds". :)

yesis'loaded
October 6, 2010, 02:26 PM
My gunsmith took an old Rem. 722 in .308, converted it to .300WSM Flutted the barrel & bolt, ported the barrel on top to compensate for barrel rise,tefloned the whole thing and dropped it in a Hogue rubberized stock(Full Pillar Bedding).Topped it off with a 4x14 Zeiss.
It's lightweight,accurate and will take down anything in N. America. This one will never leave me.

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