Best Bolt Action Hunting Rifle on the Market for the Money


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blackops
May 26, 2010, 12:04 AM
Pretty simple question. What's the best bolt action hunting rifle on the market for the money? I know Weatherby has the 399 deal. Not even sure if it is still going on though. I'm leaning towards the new Winchester or a Savage. Which Savage I'm unsure of. All I know is I'm getting a new hunting rifle and I need range time before September. What you say?

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dakotasin
May 26, 2010, 12:07 AM
remington 700's fit me fine and have killed a lot of critters for me.

confidence in whatever platform you pick matters more than the name stamped into the gun. find one that fits, shoot it, and you'll be fine.

Zak Smith
May 26, 2010, 12:08 AM
"Best" is one thing - and can reasonably be objectively determined.

"For the money" is another - and is almost always a subjective call based on where someone draws the line.

Geno
May 26, 2010, 12:09 AM
My Weatherby Vanguard .270 Win (synthetic) actually cost $420.00 when advertised at $399.00. I don't know why. Anyhow, what you're hinting at is "point-of-rationality": the most for the least. In my experience, the Vanguard walks away from all others. They are forged steel, and use a one-piece bolt. Best of all, they all have a 1.5 MOA accuracy guarantee, and you can see the target before buying.

Geno

benzy2
May 26, 2010, 12:11 AM
Lots of budget rifle shoot well. The vangaurd is a good rifle. The TC venture is another. The base savage line or stevens line(basically identical other than the accutrigger). The Marlin XL7 or XS7 as well. Remington has the SPS line. I'm sure I'm missing a bunch of sub $500 rifles that shoot great as well. Of those listed they all should shoot better than 1.5" at 100 yards with the right ammo, and most will hold under 1" at 100 yards.

Today's bottom dollar market offers multiple accurate rifles. They lack a lot of high end features but in the end, they are great game getters. I would find the one that fits you best and that for whatever reason calls to you most. Avoid the Remington 770 and maybe the mossberg line(maybe), and you should find a decent hunting rifle. Some may argue about which is better than the next or how one tends to be a little better here or there but in the end the sub $500 market is saturated with a sea of great but similar performing rifles that you really have to try to make a bad decision.

blackops
May 26, 2010, 12:22 AM
This is a highly opinionated question and that's why I asked it in the manner I did. I want opinions. I'm not concluding that there is a "Best." I’m sure people will have an opinion of more than one rifle and with that information I can make a more informed decision. Next time I will be more careful with my wording for the technical members of the forum.

Regards,

Travis

jmr40
May 26, 2010, 12:29 AM
Of the 2 you mention I'd go Winchester in a heartbeat. Depending on what features are important to you an argument could be made for almost any rifle. To some people $300 is a lot of money and to others $1,000 is pocket change.

The Kimber 84M at $1,100 is a lot of gun for the money. So is the Vanguard at $400.

If I am buying a new hunting rifle for me it would be either the Winchester or Kimber. They cost more, but it is well worth the price for the features that are important to me.

If you are looking for the absolute least expensive rifle that is accurate and reliable I'd look at the Stevens 200 which is well proven. Or the new Marlin XL-7 or XS-7. I actually like the Marlin better, but it has not been around long enough to say for sure about reliability.

If you can live with the weight the Vanguard at around $400 is a good gun. I had one for a while, it was just waaay too heavy for my tastes.

Zak Smith
May 26, 2010, 12:30 AM
If I were to buy a relatively cheap hunting rifle today, it would be the Tikka T3 without question.

FlyinBryan
May 26, 2010, 01:07 AM
depends completely on "the money"

if you work for white castle sausage-sized-burgers-for-less, it would be the mosin nagant 91/30.

(i have several even though i make slightly more than i would working at a white castle)

for a normal dude (or chick) i would say a nice tikka, ruger, savage, rem700, weatherby, etc, etc,,,,,

they are really all decent.

my preference would probably be the remington 700 in 308, maybe 30-06 since i already have the dies.

usmc1371
May 26, 2010, 01:08 AM
Personaly I am a huge Ruger fan. But my best firend shoots a Tikka 300wsm and I have to say it shoots great and is light I would look real hard at one if I were looking for a new bolt gun.

blackops
May 26, 2010, 01:09 AM
ok ok 700-900 dollars. The chambering is going to be 30-06 no question. As for Tikka sorry, but I've never thought much of Tikka....ever!

1858
May 26, 2010, 01:14 AM
Pretty simple question. What's the best bolt action hunting rifle on the market for the money?

Without sounding facetious, the answer is ... the one you WANT!! We should consider ourselves lucky that there are so many outstanding rifles available to us these days ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. My next hunting rifle will either be a Winchester, Thompson Center or Kimber. I've narrowed the choice down to the following which are all around the $1000 mark. For me, they're the best bolt action hunting rifles for the money. As stunning as the Kimber wood stocks are, I just can't see myself banging one of those up in the field so I'd go with a synthetic stock for sure. Stainless is important to me too (or at least a very good coating on carbon steel) so here are the three contenders. I'd love a Kimber Caprivi in .458 Lott just to look at if nothing else but that's not going to happen anytime soon. :(


Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS chambered in .30-06

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/winchester/photos/win_mod70_extreme_weather_ss_1.jpg


Thompson Center ICON Weather Shield chambered in .30-06

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/thompson_center/photos/tc_icon_weathershield.jpg


Kimber 8400 Montana chambered in .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag or .338 Win Mag (no .30-06 offered)

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/kimber/photos/kimber_8400_montana.jpg

:)

Big_E
May 26, 2010, 02:39 AM
Nobody has mentioned Savage yet? Surprising since this forum is full of Savage lovers/users.

My next hunting bolt will be a new Winchester 70, I'll trade in my 700 SPS for it. I just don't have high regards for Remington lately.

NWCP
May 26, 2010, 02:51 AM
You might want to take a look at the CZ line of rifles. I have their 550FS in .308. An excellent hunting rifle IMHO.

blackops
May 26, 2010, 03:06 AM
These are my choices so far.

http://www.savagearms.com/accuracy/accustock/

http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/finder/

http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/catalog/detail.asp?family=001C&mid=535114


Also I was thinking of the Weatherby Vanguard and buying a B&C Medalist stock. I think slapping that barreled action down on an aluminum block wouldn't be a bad idea.

blackops
May 26, 2010, 03:36 AM
Wrong second link

http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/finder/

blackops
May 26, 2010, 03:38 AM
Dangit it won't let me post the specific link. Anyways I was looking at the Savage 111FHNS with the accustock.

1858
May 26, 2010, 03:52 AM
Anyways I was looking at the Savage 111FHNS with the accustock.

You mean this ...

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/sav16_7mm-08/photos/savage_111_fhns.jpg

... I think it'd make a fine hunting rifle. Last year I bought a Savage Weather Warrior 16 FCSS chambered in 7mm-08 but I still can't get the thing to shoot worth a damn! I may either sell it or order a 1:9 barrel for it ... most likely the latter since I don't sell/trade my firearms. I will say that for the money the Savage is a great rifle. The fit/finish and overall appeal (to me) doesn't match the Remington 700 but as for being a good field rifle ... heck yeah ... once the ridiculous recoil pad has been incinerated!! The AccuStock isn't anything to write home about either but the AccuTrigger is good, the action is smooth, the three-position safety is excellent and overall it's worth $600 to $700.

I'll trade in my 700 SPS for it. I just don't have high regards for Remington lately.

I don't drink any "coolaid" from any company (ok ... a couple maybe) but I have three Remington 700s that have been nothing short of superb rifles. I upgraded all three bolts to PT&G one-piece bolts with Sako extractors and welded-on bolt handles but that was a personal decision and certainly not essential. All three were sub MOA out of the box with reloads, all three had excellent fit and finish and I plan on keeping all three until the end.

:)

Abel
May 26, 2010, 06:46 AM
I vote for the M70 Featherweight.

Mp7
May 26, 2010, 06:57 AM
Ishapore 2A :)

aka108
May 26, 2010, 10:20 AM
Howa 1500. Same as Vanguard but less expensive.

rbernie
May 26, 2010, 10:23 AM
Tikka T3, without a doubt. For $100-$150 more than the Howa 1500/Weatherby Vanguard and for the same price as most bottom-level SmithRugRemWinSavTC rifles, you get a level of accuracy and finish and quality that is simply amazing and cannot be duplicated by any SmithRugRemWinSavTC that sells for less than a grand. I like the Howa/Vanguard, but the Tikka is a far nicer piece in virtually every dimension.

It's not the cheapest (the Mossy ATR likely takes that prize), but it's the best value by far.

villemur
May 26, 2010, 10:32 AM
I have a Remington 700 in BDL (30-06) and I love it. It's accurate, has a very good trigger, and I've used it on moose and deer. It is ugly - with the black plastic stock and enamel-type finish, however, I didn't buy it for its looks.

However, if I were looking today I'd really consider a Savage with an Accustock. During the off season it's fun to go to the range and see how small you can make the groups. Everyone says that the Savage is great for that. Also, down the road, it's easy enough to swap barrels on a Savage if you ever want/need to.

HGUNHNTR
May 26, 2010, 10:49 AM
Tikka T3 for a little money.
Sako for a moderate amount of money.

dls56
May 26, 2010, 11:02 AM
http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/icon_classic.php
If you can find one of these in your price range (they may be bordering on your upper limit) it's going to be the most bang for the buck, IMO.
I have one in .308 that is truely a 1/2 MOA rifle right out of the box, best wishes.

thomis
May 26, 2010, 11:04 AM
blackops- does it matter to you where your next prized rifle is made?
just curious. it is a question I often ask myself.
if you go savage, remington or winchester, you'll be buying usa made rifles.

well, for that matter, the kimbers and TC's too.

I know the vanguard is not made here.

I've been in your shoes these last few months and I went with the Savage Model 14 Classic in .308 with Warne mounts and 3-9X 40 Leupold VXII scope. Its a ten year anniversary gift from my wife and I get it tomorrow night. I can't wait.

Kingcreek
May 26, 2010, 11:28 AM
I will never understand why people seeking best value in a hunting rifle don't spend more time looking for used. I have bought a like new synthetic/stainless rem700 (.300wm) for $300 with scope mounts and rings, and a like new Ruger .270 M77 with Leupold VariX-II 3x9, sling, case, and 3 boxes of factory rounds for $400.
Of course, if nobody bought new, how would I get screaming good deals on like-new used hunting rifles?
sorry for the drift, I guess I'm no help here...

Big_E
May 26, 2010, 01:12 PM
Well 1858, my opinions aren't kool-aid driven. Mine has given me problems, sure a trip to the factory might help, but I really hate the SPS finish. When I bought it I was looking for a 700 because they are common and well regarded rifles. I was also new to shooting and didn't know what else was out there yet. Also some other new Remingtons I have shot lately had certain issues. I will use a 700 in the future, not a new one but one from years ago. Anyways...

TC, any rifle from Tikka, Savage, Ruger, Weatherby, Winchester, Browning, Remington will be good (and the list goes on) just stray away from the rem 770. Just find one that has features you want and fits you well.

kenno
May 26, 2010, 01:31 PM
Buy american!

Franco2shoot
May 26, 2010, 01:32 PM
I sure like my Remington Model 7... right money, max performance in .308 easy to carry, but that's just me..

KKKKFL

viking499
May 26, 2010, 01:44 PM
Not a Savage fan. Never had one, but the ones I handled just never tickled my fancy. More of a CZ fan.
I also like Tikkas. But, my friend bought one last year in 30-06. It borderlines brutal to shoot. I would take an 06 with a little more weight. My 7 mag BDL felt like a 22 compared to the Tikka.
Another friend just bought a new winny, that I really like.

blackops
May 26, 2010, 01:50 PM
I just went to the gun store and looked at a Savage. Two piece bolt blaaahhh. Don't like that at all.

mregunz
May 26, 2010, 02:02 PM
win.mod 70,or a howa 1500 is a good one,Ruger 77 is good except for the thin brl's.Definatly stay away from the Rem.mod 770.

mregunz
May 26, 2010, 02:04 PM
Yep 2 piece bolt suck's blackops,talk about a built in wreck.

TonyAngel
May 26, 2010, 02:39 PM
Not much of a hunter here, but shoot a bunch. On my last trip to the range, I saw a regular out there and he was shooting his newly acquired Savage in .308. He was out there shooting single hole groups at 100 yards with hand loads. I got to shoot it a few times and what impressed me the most was the stock out of the box trigger with that little lever on it. It was sweet.

I've been keeping my eye open for a good "bang for the buck" bolt gun and there are lots out there. The one thing I did take note of though, is that there are LOTS of after market products for the Remington 700, if that matters to you.

The only bolt gun that I have right now is a Weatherby Vanguard in 30-06. I haven't shot it in years. When I got it, I bought it on close out for $300. it was a good price so I grabbed it, but it never really grew on me.

Uncle Mike
May 26, 2010, 04:08 PM
I just went to the gun store and looked at a Savage. Two piece bolt blaaahhh. Don't like that at all.

Yep 2 piece bolt suck's blackops,talk about a built in wreck.

Sounds like you two may be professional gunsmiths, other than unbiased opinion, please, tell us why the two piece bolt that Savage uses is a "built in wreck".....

bpl
May 26, 2010, 08:14 PM
In that price range for me at least, the choice would be easy... new Winchester M70, either featherweight or exteme weather. A new featherweight can be had for less than $700 in some places.

bpl
May 26, 2010, 08:25 PM
1858,

I have that Winchester M70 Extreme Weather in 30-06 and its a great rifle, excellent fit and finish, smooth bolt throw, nice Bell & Carlson Medalist stock.

With regard to Kimber, the 8400 line no longer has the '06 based cartridges. The new 84L, just introduced this year, now has the '06 based cartridges and is lighter and trimmer than the 8400 line. They have not introduced the Montana version of the 84L yet though, only the wood-stocked Select and Classic Select. From what I have read, the Montana version is coming at some point.

blackops
May 26, 2010, 08:40 PM
Uncle Mike, is there even a question in your mind of the obvious difference in strength and consistency between a two piece and one piece bolt? Not trying to argue because the Savage 111FHNS was my first choice in the beginning. Please convince me with the positive aspects of a two piece bolt. A Vanguard in a medalist B&C is looking really good right now.

blackops
May 26, 2010, 10:58 PM
Thom, I would of course prefer american. King, the reason some people don't like used rifles is because you never can fully be aware of how they were treated or what problems they have had. Just because you don't see a bunch of scratches doesn't mean you're receiving a well mainained rifle. Plus I don't want somebody else old rifle. I want my own. If I'm buying used it's strickly for an action overhall or parts.

Uncle Mike
May 26, 2010, 11:20 PM
Uncle Mike, is there even a question in your mind of the obvious difference in strength and consistency between a two piece and one piece bolt? Not trying to argue because the Savage 111FHNS was my first choice in the beginning. Please convince me with the positive aspects of a two piece bolt.

No sir, I do not see the obvious difference in strength and consistency between the two piece and one piece bolt.

So, please enlighten me to why the two piece bolt is inferior to the one piece bolt.

Look, anything behind the lugs, (towards the bolt handle), with respect to these two bolts, does what for strength, reliability and accuracy??

A floating lug(two piece) bolt allows for the lugs to align with the abutments in the receiver 100%, without all the expensive, costly machine work you would have to do to get the same level of performance from a one piece bolt.

One of the reasons a Savage will generally out preform a Remington with regards to accuracy is this very phenomenon, the floating lug bolt.

As for strength, I don't follow you on that one, lugs are lugs are lugs, and once they are rotated in alignment with the receiver abutments....what's left to ponder?

Constancy...well, the floating lug bolt will consistently align the cartridge within the chamber, and fully engage the receiver abutments, 100% of the time...the fixed lug (one piece) bolt, unless it has been lapped in, read, expensive machine work preformed, will not!

Runningman
May 27, 2010, 12:23 AM
Two piece bolt blaaahhhIf a one piece bolt is desirable to you, I think you narrowed down your choice to a Ruger or a CZ bolt gun. I can't think of any other modern bolt action rifles that use a one piece bolt body.

benzy2
May 27, 2010, 12:51 AM
A bolt with a floating bolt head like the Savage is a great design for a rifle built to a price point. Cheap to make and solid lockup. It takes a precision to get those lugs to match up perfect. A floating bolt head doesn't rely on the entire bolt being 100% in spec to have great alignment. If budget is no concern a quality one piece bolt would be my choice but it certainly is a good feature when price is considered.

The Savage design is one that allows for great accuracy. The external barrel nut, while not pretty, allow headspacing to be done quick and easy. The floating bolt head allows for great lug contact area. They aren't a beauty queen but many shoot fantastic. I really think this reputation comes from being able to run headspace down to minimum spec as well as the bolt head getting a good contact with the lugs. If it isn't for you though, by all means, look at something else. I think they are leading the way (though maybe not all by themselves) when it comes to accuracy in the sub $1000 bracket. Still a ton of quality rifles out there.

Look back at my first post. A ton of different options with their followers that have positive first hand experiences. Doesn't seem to be a bad option in the group does there, well short of the Remington 770. Find the one that feels the best, is the weight and length you like, has the trigger you like, and just seems like the winner, and be happy. Today is a great day to be in the new rifle market.

blackops
May 27, 2010, 02:40 AM
Whooaa, thanks Mike exactly what I wanted from ya. I knew I could count on you to blow up for a informative Savage report! Rrrrrr! haha I'm not a Savage guy, but I know you are and honestly it took you too long to get to my thread.

Why is it inferior? Because a one piece is more stable and less likely to malfunction! More parts means more problems. And how is a two piece more stable than 1? Even though the lugs are locked into the recess the bolt is still going to feel some pressure. Am I wrong? Yeah Savage has found a economical way to align the bolt head with more contact and I will give Savage that over the recent years they really have developed a quality rifle, but I took a look at one in the local gun store and wasn't pleased. I turned the bolt head, locked the lugs, and the bolt handle still could move slightly back and forth while not moving the lugs. Basically the lugs were locked, but the bolt handle still had a little play in it. It just gave me a cheap feeling to the Savage. Hopefully I described that so you could understand. It's hard for me to think it would be more accurate than a weatherby sitting on an aluminum block for the same price.

caribou
May 27, 2010, 04:38 AM
Sako manufactured Finnish Mosin Nagant M-39 with Czeck light ball.
Valmet made in the same is what the wife shots with.....
200$ for the rifle , a case of ammo is 150$ deliver'd and I been feeding my family with mine for years..........I just have too many pix to post of the sucess I have with such an accurate rifle, but you fellas can look up my huntig posts............350$ and I get all the practise I need as well as a couple years worth of hunting for that price.

1858
May 27, 2010, 04:42 AM
Today is a great day to be in the new rifle market.

+1 ... everyone should be able to find the BEST rifle for them given the incredible range of choices these days. I do wish that more manufacturers offered true two-stage triggers though. I'm not a fan of single-stage triggers these days and will be selling all three of my Jewell triggers to finance two-stage triggers for three Remingtons and one Badger Ordnance action. From what I've read, I seem to be one of the few people that actually like the Savage AccuTrigger "shoe" since it gives the feel of a two-stage trigger. I also like a 60˚ bolt lift if possible and the ICON has that feature.


1858,

I have that Winchester M70 Extreme Weather in 30-06 and its a great rifle, excellent fit and finish, smooth bolt throw, nice Bell & Carlson Medalist stock.

With regard to Kimber, the 8400 line no longer has the '06 based cartridges. The new 84L, just introduced this year, now has the '06 based cartridges and is lighter and trimmer than the 8400 line. They have not introduced the Montana version of the 84L yet though, only the wood-stocked Select and Classic Select. From what I have read, the Montana version is coming at some point.

Thanks very much for that information ... I really appreciate it. I will most likely buy a Winchester or the Icon (or both) and then an 84L Montana when they're available. I recently saw a stunning Kimber 84L Longmaster Classic in .308 Winhester ... wow ... but I can't for the life of me think what I'd use it for other than as a range gun.

:)

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