In the market for a new hunting rifle...


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Ridgerunner665
December 12, 2009, 01:24 PM
It will be a 308 Win. because I have enough ammo (components) to last a lifetime...and I like the round.

Weight matters, I want it light enough to pack through the hills on foot but I do not want a pencil thin barrel. (20 or 22 inch barrel)

Probably stainless steel too...

I've looked at Winchesters offerings and I really like the Model 70 action...but I don't care for fluted barrels at all, and the featherweight model has a pencil barrel and is not available in stainless.

Savage 16...I like it overall and it is my most likely choice, but I've never owned a Savage ceterfire rifle. Educate me...accuracy, quality, durability?

Remington... My son has a Model 7 in 308, very nice rifle, stainless steel...shoots pretty good, but it has a pencil barrel.

Ruger...never owned one (except a POS mini 14)...How are the actions??? I know they are Mauser type actions and I believe they do not fully support the case head (case head fully surrounded by steel...like Remington)


Tear them apart...debate them to no end...anything about any of them that you believe is relevant to accuracy, durability, or quality...post it.


Thank You

P.S. I'm simply trying to see if I've overlooked anything about the above rifles.

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ArmedBear
December 12, 2009, 01:29 PM
P.S. I'm simply trying to see if I've overlooked anything about the above rifles.


Yes. The new Model 70 is head and shoulders above the others you mentioned. I'd suck it up and learn to like fluted barrels. There's nothing wrong with them (especially at said rifle's weight, which is great for hunting, since you dont' want a rifle with a standard hunting rifle barrel, which is what you call a "pencil barrel").

If you want a full-size stainless rifle, check out Cabela's. They have a clearance sale on the Weatherby Vanguard in stainless, which is being discontinued. $489 for a great rifle, but not an especially light one. IMO it's a pretty big rifle to carry around to get the blah ballistics of a .308, but if ammo supply is your concern, then I suppose you don't mind the round's shortcomings. I wouldn't bother with it in anything but a compact rifle, myself, but I don't have it lying around.

Another possibility if you don't need stainless (which I like, myself), is the Howa Ranchland or the Weatherby Vanguard Carbine.

Ridgerunner665
December 12, 2009, 01:50 PM
By "pencil barrel" I'm referring to the extra lightweight barrels...like on the Model 70 Featherweight and the Remington Model 7 SS.

These are not the standard barrel contour....they are lighter, and often don't do so well if shots are fast and ongoing. (barrel heats up alot and the POI shifts)

The Model 70 is a fine action, thats true...but I don't experience any "shortcomings" with the 308 Win., I've been shooting it long enough to know its behavior quite well. Meaning, I'm familiar with it (trajectory, wind drift) without the need for a hand held ballistics program.

I can't even make myself like fluted barrels...I could get the Model 70 Sporter (not available in stainless though) and cut 2 inches off the barrel.

Sock Puppet
December 12, 2009, 02:28 PM
Don't forget FN if your wallet can support it....

Ridgerunner665
December 12, 2009, 06:24 PM
Regarding my wallet...I'd like to keep it around $600 - $800, but nothing set in stone.

I have looked at FN's offerings...fluted barrels :barf:

Encoreman
December 12, 2009, 06:34 PM
Out of the box the Savage with the accutrigger is the "best" buy going. I have a buddy who does 1,000 yd shoots and he shoots an out of the box Savage .300 win mag and kicks some rump with his competitiors and their "high dollar" custom guns.

Frankl03
December 12, 2009, 07:02 PM
I have a FNH PBR xp with a 20 inch fluted barrel, in 308. Great shooter. Not the lightest rifle but with a 20 inch barrel it is very maneuverable. I had the trigger adjusted to about 3 lbs. and got my first sub moa group. Some people don't like the Hogue stock but I like it allot.

Love this rifle!

CDNN has them for about $699.

bpl
December 12, 2009, 07:14 PM
These are not the standard barrel contour....they are lighter, and often don't do so well if shots are fast and ongoing. (barrel heats up alot and the POI shifts)


Are you taking out the whole herd? :neener: Maybe you should go with an M1A or an AR-10! :D

Maverick223
December 12, 2009, 08:20 PM
Why would you need (or want) a heavy, unfluted bbl for a hunting rifle. The lightweight pencil barrels are perfect for a hunting rifle (other than perhaps a varmint rig). Despite the fluted bbl, I would go with the Model 70 Extreme Weather SS if I wanted stainless. It weighs a whopping 6.5lbs!

:)

jmr40
December 12, 2009, 08:29 PM
I have a Kimber Montana In 308. Mine weighs under 6 lbs with scope and mounts. Once finding a load it likes I have not shot 3 rounds into a group larger than 1" at 100 yards. I do not shoot long distance much but the only time I tried it at 300 yards I put 3 rounds into a 2 1/4" group. At around $1,100 they ain't cheap, but you could not build a 5 lb. custom for half that and get that kind of accuracy. The barrel is thinner than you want, but it works.

A Tikka uses a standard contour barrel and it is possible to come in at just over 7 lbs scoped if you choose your scope and mounts carefully.

Despite the Featherweight name the barrel is not really that thin on the Winchester. In its original form the Featherweight was a little lighter than the competition, but by todays standards it is really only slightly lighter than the competitions standard weight rifles.

I like Rugers a lot, they are good dependable rifles, but you will never get one to come in under 8 lbs ready to hunt.

My experiences with the model 7 is that they are lightweight, short and easy to carry. Accuracy was good enough for woods hunting, but not nearly in the same league as the Tikka or Kimber.

Remington actions are the lightest and it is generally possible to build something pretty light and still be accurate using one. I have an older 700 ADL that I restocked 20 years ago in a lightweight fiberglass stock. It still has the standard barrel, but weighs 7 1/4 lbs including Leupold scope in Talley lightweight mounts. If you have a Remington around that you like this is a good option. If you have to buy the rifle and pay for a 20 oz. stock you will end up with more in the gun and than a Kimber would cost, and still be a over a pound heavier and probably not as accurate.

Uncle Mike
December 12, 2009, 08:39 PM
The new Model 70 is head and shoulders above the others you mentioned.

Matter of opinion...the two i have shot are excellent rifles but I would not say they are 'better' than some of the others...they are definitely better than Howa's, Vanguards, even the sub MOA one and better IMO than most of the Remington stuff.

If I was going light and tough, I think it would be the Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather...the Savage's are superbly balanced and for a production rifle are just about as good as it gets as far as soundness and accuracy is concerned.

So, IMHO...the Model 70 EW or the Savage 16/16 Accustock/Accutrigger.

Ridgerunner665
December 12, 2009, 08:48 PM
I don't want a "heavy" barrel...I want a standard contour barrel (not too thick, not too thin...just right)

The M70 Extreme Weather has a fluted barrel...otherwise its perfect.

The M70 Featerweight does indeed have a thin barrel....its thinner all the way down (starting right at the receiver), the noticeable "step down" in front of the receiver can be see in the pics on the website.

Ridgerunner665
December 12, 2009, 08:50 PM
IF I get a Model 70...it will be the Ultimate Shadow.

Other than its not stainless (not really a deal breaker for me) and that ugly stock...it seems it might work.

Is that stock plastic or what??? Is it rubberized like the Hogue overmolded stock?

Anybody got one??? Pics???

Maverick223
December 12, 2009, 09:25 PM
Is that stock plastic or what??? Is it rubberized like the Hogue overmolded stock?Yes and yes.

I think the Ruger M77 Ultra Light Stainless .308 might fit the bill, still light but I think the barrel is a little thicker due to the shorter length (20").

:)

Uncle Mike
December 12, 2009, 10:12 PM
I don't want a "heavy" barrel...I want a standard contour barrel (not too thick, not too thin...just right)

Then you want a Savage 16. The barrel contour is excellent, not too long, not too short not too heavy...just right at around 6 3/4 to 7 lbs.

FRJ
December 12, 2009, 11:13 PM
I've shot most of em but my Browning X bolt and A bolt in stainless stalker configuration are without a doubt the most accurate out of the box big game rifles I've ever seen. I actually like the A bolt II more than the X bolt but that just because of the drop out magazine on the X bolt that I'm not real found of. FRJ

ArmedBear
December 13, 2009, 12:18 AM
Seriously, Uncle Mike, would you compare the Savage 16 plastic molded stock to the B&C composite on the 70? Really?

Yes, the Accu-Stock has made the Savage synthetic stock into an acceptable piece of equipment, whereas the previous version was a throwaway. However, the Winchester in question is a different class of gun (for a higher price, of course).

That doesn't mean the Savage isn't a good working rifle, of course, but it's in a different class.

My Vanguard beats a current CDL in fit and finish, and it's very accurate. I'm not sure what you've seen lately, but again, the ones I've seen are nice guns. They're not in the same class as that Winchester, either, but they're not in the same price class.

Uncle Mike
December 13, 2009, 02:41 AM
Seriously, Uncle Mike, would you compare the Savage 16 plastic molded stock to the B&C composite on the 70? Really?

Well, I wasn't really comparing the two...the Op was in question to our opinions on the various models.

Nope...I think the B&C stocked Winchester to be a tad ahead of the Savage in the stock department, BUT...I'll bet that Savage will out shoot the Winchester...now this is going on the results of the two different Winchesters I shot.

Both those rifles shot into 1"@100y at their best... they were ammo picky also.

The Accustock is a fine stock but I'll agree the B&C is...well, different.

Both will do a fine job. I hear cheers for the Accustock from some of the customers, but I think, IMO that the B&C is better.

The cost between the two is a factor also...better out of the box accuracy for less coinage often will be the deciding factor...and you can live with the hollow thump of the Accustock...If it bothers you, just look through that better quality scope you bought with the money you saved by buying the Savage...lol

I agree, the Vanguards are MUCH better than the Remington CDL...we just received some Vanguards in...I may have to quit badmouthing them...they look to be a fine rifle...looks I says, I'll have to shoot several of these new ones(not our stock!) before I raise the Vanguard flag in my camp! lol hehehe

I just, well almost finished a Savage 116...still waiting on parts, oh yea! I'll post some pic. when she's done.
I am growing accustomed to the Accustocks...they work, no flex now, still effin ugly, and that mold line...thats gotta go!

But they fit and the balance is good...

If cash aint a factor...get the Winchester Extreme...live with the flutes-
Save some cash...get the Savage, live with the mold line- hehehehe
Save even more cash...Sub MOA Vanguard-

Maverick223
December 13, 2009, 03:29 AM
If cash aint a factor...get the Winchester Extreme......or the Coyote Light and rebarrel with a Krieger chambered for .260Rem, and top it with a nice PRH or S&B. :D

Uncle Mike
December 13, 2009, 04:14 AM
Coyote...holes in the forearm...yuk! I hate that look, fine rifle otherwise!

Dookie
December 13, 2009, 04:44 AM
Savage 14 Classic. Weighs in at 7 pounds plus the scope and rings. So maybe 8.5. Oh, wait, you don't want blued.

If you go to Davidsons they list the Howa and Beretta as being stainless and in your price range. If you go blued you can easily find what you want, except the stainless of course. Or you could suck it up and get a fluted barrel, after all, it's about how it shoots and how it packs.

http://www.galleryofguns.com/genie/default.aspx?pg=list&mfg=All&mdl=All&cat=2&type=Rifle&cal=308&fin=Stainless+Steel&sit=All

Maverick223
December 13, 2009, 11:15 AM
Coyote...holes in the forearm...yuk! I hate that look, fine rifle otherwise!I um, kinda like it (as you can see below), and it comes with an extra sling swivel. :neener:

http://i642.photobucket.com/albums/uu141/Maverick223_album/IMG_4418-1.jpg

Uncle Mike
December 13, 2009, 11:36 AM
Yea, Yea...holes in the forearm is 'A OK' on one of them thar red vs. blue, space trooper, terminator 4, phased 10mm caseless pulse cannon looking rifles...! hehehehe:neener:

As for a old world bolt gun.....no! hehehe

jmr40
December 13, 2009, 11:52 AM
Please define what light weight means to you. I don't consider the Winchester in either the Featherweight or Extreme weather to be a lightweight. Either rifle will come in at between 7 3/4 to 8 lbs with the lightest scope and rings you can find. Their barrels are a little thinner than standard, but not as thin as the Remington 7 or the 700 mountain rifle. There is enough weight there to get the job done however.

My Kimber looses most of the weight in the action and stock and uses a barrel about the same diameter as the Winchester. I consider it a lightweight rifle at 5 lbs. 15 oz scoped. To get a light weight sacrafices must be made somewhere. The Tikka is the only rifle I know of that you can get all up at about 7 lbs using a lightweight scope and still using a standard contour barrel. I consider anything under 7 lbs (with scope and mounts) to be a lightweight rifle, 7-8 lbs is pretty much a standard weight rifle and anything over 8 lbs is a heavy rifle. All have their advantages and disadvantages, but you said you wanted a light rifle to carry a lot.

Don't trust what manufacturers list as weights in their catalogs. Get on the net and ask people to actually weigh their guns. You may be surprised. For example Savage has their rifles weights all listed about 1/4 to 1/2 lb lighter than they actually are. They used to use aluminum bottom metal and plastic trigger guards. They have switched to steel in the last few years and have not updated the listed weights for the guns. The aluminum bedding blocks in the accu-stocks ahve also added a lot of weight.

Knowing how much you want to spend will help as well

ArmedBear
December 13, 2009, 01:30 PM
jmr40- I agree re trusting listed weights. So what is the Extreme Weather's actual weight?

Not knowing what it is, I'll start with the listed weight.

It's listed at 6 lb. 4 oz. Put a Leupold 2-7X scope on it at 10.5 oz. and you get 6 lb. 14.5 oz. If the bases and rings weigh 4 oz., you're all the way up to 7 lbs. 2.5 oz.

I don't think that Winchester's weights are way off, because they claim 8 lbs. for some of their standard rifles. Doesn't sound like a lie. Also, I've lifted some of their guns, and, while I didn't have a scale, I am pretty good at guessing, from wing and clay shooting, where we pay a lot of attention to weight and balance.

Of coures, given the OP's interesting and rigid set of specs, he probably wants a varmint barrel, and a 4-12x50mm scope on his lightweight rifle, but that's beside the point...:D

Maverick223
December 13, 2009, 01:33 PM
Yea, Yea...holes in the forearm is 'A OK' on one of them thar red vs. blue, space trooper, terminator 4, phased 10mm caseless pulse cannon looking rifles...!I am glad you approve. ;) I have to agree with you for the most part, but if you are going to disgrace a rifle by using a stock made from recycled Coke bottles you might as well go for broke and add holes. I prefer a nice wood stock, unless of course it is a phased pulse cannon looking rifle. :cool:

scchokedaddy
December 13, 2009, 03:07 PM
Why has not anyone mentioned the Marlin xs7? Got one in xl7 in 25 06 basicaly just to check it out. No not rich just had a 260 I did not like at all, so I traded it along with future credit to get rifle. Figured later I could get rid of it, but that aint gonna happen. I was really surprised with it to say the least. Put 3-12X50 I.R. Konus Pro on top and am extremely happy with set up. But this is a 308 question so I contacted person who bought 308 and he is as happy as I am with performance. Both will shoot 1 inch at 100 yrds with factory ammo. Not pretty weapon, but pretty is not allways perfect. At the price you will have more for optics. Sorry for rambling
Good Luck and God Bless

bpl
December 13, 2009, 03:57 PM
Maybe this will help.

I have a new M70 Extreme Weather SS in 30-06, which is a few ounces heavier than .308. I has a Leupold VX-3 2.5-8x36 scope in Leupold standard rings (2-piece) and a Browning Horsehair/Leather sling. I just weighed it on a scale accurate to 0.02 lbs. It weighs 8.10 lbs with scope and sling, 8.32 lbs with Alumina flip-up lens covers.

I also have a Kimber 84M Classic Select in .257 Roberts. It has the exact same scope, mounts and sling as the M70. It weighs 7.28 lbs with all accessories. This rifle is a joy to carry in the field. This rifle will shoot a 1" 3 shot group, but subsequent groups will open up if you don't give the barrel time to cool adequately. I can only imagine the 84M Montana would be even better to carry in the field. I'd like to eventually get an 84M Montana in either 7mm-08 or .260 and carry the Montana in crappy weather and the Classic Select in nice weather!

I'm very happy with both rifles! I don't think you would go wrong with either.

Uncle Mike
December 14, 2009, 12:39 AM
but if you are going to disgrace a rifle by using a stock made from recycled Coke bottles you might as well go for broke and add holes.

Well now...All this time I thought the stocks were made from those plastic bullet separators in the ammo boxes!

I'm with Mav. on the wood stocks, although I'm just finishing up a stainless Synthetic 30-06 for myself...IF the dang parts EVER get here!

Maverick223
December 14, 2009, 12:47 AM
Don't get me wrong a synthetic stock has its place (Lord knows I have no shortage of stocks made from bullet separators sitting in the safe), but they don't exactly look good, and I don't feel the need to wring out that extra tenth of a MOA on a hunting rifle. OTOH if you want durability or are particularly hard on rifles (particularly the working variety ones) then syn/SS is the ticket, so I guess you can say I am an equal opportunity gun-nut.

:)

Ridgerunner665
December 14, 2009, 12:57 AM
Keep the posts coming...I'm reading and researching.

I'm more interested in barrels and actions than stocks though...stocks can be changed.

Haven't heard a peep about the Rugers yet...

Maverick223
December 14, 2009, 01:00 AM
Ruger makes a pretty decent rifle, but I like the Winchester (using a very similar action) a little better. That said I think a Ruger M77 Mk-II is in my not-so-distant future due to better chambering offerings.

:)

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 14, 2009, 12:08 PM
+1 to the idea of.... Just get a "pencil barrel" - you take ONE shot when hunting; maybe 2 tops. Thin barrels with one shot can be superbly accurate if high quality. Get the Win 70 featherweight and be done with it!

Uncle Mike
December 14, 2009, 12:28 PM
I'm with you guys and the 'pencil barrels'... why anyone would want to pack a hunk of steel they use for heavy barrels around for a hunting rifle is beyond me!

Rugers...what do you 'want' to hear?

I think Ruger has definitely improved their quality over the last couple years, whereas we do not sell a large number of Rugers, they do have a localized following.

From what I hear from the clientele, Ruger has improved in the accuracy department, not being a dyed in the wool Ruger shooter myself, I cannot offer much first hand experience other than what I know from modifying and repairing them.

A modified Mauser design, they are heartily built and exhibit somewhat pleasing aesthetics. Accuracy has always eluded Rugers as compared to some of the other manufacturers but I heard that Ruger changed their barrel vendors, or started doing the tubes themselves...Who knows, but the accuracy is supposed to be fairly descent now.

Maybe some of the Ruger pilots will offer some input!

I have had several M 77's and have gotten rid of them...never really appealed to me.
I have a 77/22 that I have heavily modified for bushytail bustin'...about the only thing Ruger about it is the receiver and bolt, again it is well built and the accuracy before mods began was good for a 22MAG.

I think the Winchester Sporter and the Savage 14/114 are fine rifles, superbly balanced with barrels long enough to offer descent ballistics from 'most' cartridges. The Savage has proven to be somewhat more accurate than the Winchester, but your splitting hairs at that point.

ArmedBear
December 14, 2009, 12:50 PM
Accuracy has always eluded Rugers

Gunsmith, wordsmith. :D

Maverick223
December 14, 2009, 01:32 PM
+1 to the idea of.... Just get a "pencil barrel" - you take ONE shot when hunting; maybe 2 tops....with no hand truck necessary. Call me a wuss but I like light for hunting (unless a long day varmint hunting is on the docket). ;)

ArmedBear
December 14, 2009, 01:47 PM
Call me a wuss but I like light for hunting

It doesn't matter how strong you are. It just makes sense to save your energy for hunting, not use it up, lugging a rifle around.

You know when game shows up? Usually, it doesn't show up when I'm bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It shows up when I've been trudging for hours, I'm tired out and headed back to the Jeep. If I have energy left, I might bring something home. If I've wasted it on a heavy rifle, I probably won't.

That said, while I'm picky about shotgun weight, I hunted with a 24" .30-06 Vanguard Sporter this year. Heavy sucker, but a great shooter.:D

Ridgerunner665
December 14, 2009, 02:57 PM
I like to practice (just shootin) a lot...thats why the heavier barrel. So I ain't sittin around with a hot barrel...


You guys are making it out like I want a 26 inch bull barrel or something...I don't, I simply want a standard contour barrel. One that will withstand shooting a 5 shot group without throwing fliers all over the paper (or game) after 2 or 3 shots.

jogar80
December 14, 2009, 04:39 PM
I've shot most of em but my Browning X bolt and A bolt in stainless stalker configuration are without a doubt the most accurate out of the box big game rifles I've ever seen. I actually like the A bolt II more than the X bolt but that just because of the drop out magazine on the X bolt that I'm not real found of. FRJ
Same here. Got the X-bolt micro-hunter in .308 and it is very accurate. Love the hair trigger as well. Also the shape of the stock is kinda racy, looks great to me! 20" barrel makes it very handy. Doesnt come in stainless though

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
December 14, 2009, 04:47 PM
I don't, I simply want a standard contour barrel.

Well, ok, BUT...that's exactly what I would call the Win 70 featherweight - a 'standard' hunting barrel; not really a 'pencil' barrel. They get a lot thinner than that, and can truly look 'pencil-ish'. Steyr Scout for example.

Ridgerunner665
December 14, 2009, 09:51 PM
Well said Dr. Tad...

The Featherweight is back on the list of possibilities.

ReadyontheRight
December 14, 2009, 10:06 PM
Ruger Model 77 RSI International (http://www.chuckhawks.com/ruger_M77RSI_firearm_fun.htm)

http://www.chuckhawks.com/rugerM77RSI.gif

Ridgerunner665
December 14, 2009, 10:10 PM
Oh No...cannot do the Mannlicher stock thing

jmr40
December 14, 2009, 10:13 PM
Ridgerunner, I have family all over east Tennessee so I have a pretty good idea what type of terrain you are hunting in. Very similar to where I live in north Georgia. I've spent the last 30 years searching for the perfect lightweight rifle to carry up and down the mountains here, without sacraficing too much accuracy.

In short, no one makes it. Without going the custom route either the Winchester Featherweight or a Kimber Montana is about as close as it gets in my experience. I have both and slightly prefer the lighter weight, and stainless of the Kimber, but either will work for what I think you want to do.

Ridgerunner665
December 14, 2009, 10:21 PM
jmr40,

You're right...nobody makes one.
I have been knocking around the idea of a custom on a Winchester Model 70 action...

Thats a mighty steep price tag for a hunting rifle...but I may do it anyway. For now I'm gonna keep thinking on it and see what comes out new for 2010.

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