What is wrong with rifles today?


July 16, 2010, 07:48 AM
Guys, I'm an old man, 60 years, and a life long shooter. I also shoot pistols a lot. Today's pistols are better than ever and ACCURATE. But I've had a slew of rifles recently that were so inaccurate it borders on impossible. I purchased a Remington Mountain Rifle that would not shoot for beans --<edited: Sam> (I'm talking one semi accurate round and all others a saucer size pattern).

I purchased a Ruger Ranch rifle in 6.8 cal. - the new "accurate" version. Accurate my azz. A scoped Mossburg shotgun shooting slugs would out shoot the two I shot. I'm talking saucer sized groups at the very best again.

I just returned from the range with a Ruger RSI Mannlicher in .243 and could puke. Love the rifle, great trigger, beautiful but wouldn't be more than a deer gun at 100yds. Groups 4-5 inches or more.

All these rifles had medium priced name brand scopes on them ie Nikon Pro Staff, Bushnell Elites, Leupold VXII etc.

I have rifles that shoot well, and have in the past. I have two AR's that easily shoot 1 1/2" on a bad day. I had a CZ 30-06 that would shoot dime size groups all day long if you could hold it. A Savage .270 that was accurate 1" or so rifle. And many others, but that was a year ago. Today's crop is coming up weeds!

I really believe that I can take two of my 1911 pistols and shoot as well at 100 yds. as all three Rugers and damn near the Rem. Mtn. Rifle. This is not normal for rifles. At least it shouldn't be. Does anyone know why manufactures are some turning out "some" rifles today that are horrible shooters? I've had rifles (in the past - not too long ago) that were really accurate out of the box ie Remington, Ruger Winchester, Weatherby, Howa. But not recently. Ruger should be ashamed to sell the last three I've shot. The Rem. Mtn. Rifle should have never left the factory. I'm beginning to think that CNC milling equiptment and assemblers (not gunsmiths) are turning out beautiful rifles that wont shoot for squat. The gun rags should be ashamed to print the lies they print. Either I'm very unlucky or theirs a butt load of rifles out there that are just the ghost of accuracy that they had a few years ago. These magazines never find them though. Well, I sure have. My next purchase will probably be another CZ or ICON and if they won't shoot I'll buy an older rifle or a custom.

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July 16, 2010, 08:32 AM
Same story why car manufactures failed and went bankrupt, let see poor QC, globalization of the economy, labor unions which will protect their employees even when poor quality products are produced. There are many issues associated with what it is now and how it was, when low middle class flourished in US, its no more about quality but quantity... This thread probably will get locked, or well...

July 16, 2010, 08:55 AM
Try Savage, and Tikka. I don't think you will be disappointed. Rems and Rugers can be hit and miss.

July 16, 2010, 09:13 AM
Personally, I would not buy a Ruger if it was marked half off. Once you get into the "mountain" rifles with their pencil-thin barrels, you open up a whole new can of worms with the barrels heating up so quickly and groups opening up just as quickly. My "new" hunting rifle is a 1980-built Winchester with a fairly heavy barrel contour in .30-06. I will gladly carry an extra an extra pound or two in exchange for accuracy.


July 16, 2010, 09:16 AM
A big +1 for Tikka. Mine is the T3 Hunter model in 6.5x55.

July 16, 2010, 09:23 AM
Between ultralight, a full stock and a "mini" you really have a collection of firearms I wouldn't expect to be particular tight groupers.

IME rifles today are more accurate than ever, but there's only so much you can expect from a full stock, or mountain rifle out of the box much less a mini with a faux heavy bbl.

Are you a handloader?

July 16, 2010, 09:29 AM
^ I have to agree with Krochus, you have 3 rifles that already have a lot going against them in the accuracy department before they even get to the range. The mountain rifle should still shoot very well, you just have to be mindful to allow plenty of time between shots to allow the barrel to cool.

+1 on the Tikka recommendations.

July 16, 2010, 09:56 AM
Yes, I have a reloading bench and used to reload. I just haven't taken the time lately.

Yes, I know that the rifles I mention here are not known for pin point accuracy.

However, all of them should be "reasonably & useful" accurate. They are not.
A rifle with optics should be able to kill a rabbit at 100 yards. That's a questionable proposition with any of these. Actually all should be a minimum of 2" or so with today's ammo. If not it's USELESS as a rifle. Both of my 1911 pistols will shoot 2" from a mechanical rest at 50 yards. That's better than these rifles can be shot from a rest. My 10 year old sons Henry .22 will shoot rings around all these rifles at 100 yards. Shameful I say.

A rifle that's built "right" and shoots, will shoot most anything to acceptable accuracy. Ammo selection is to "refine" what the rifle likes. The worst ammo to the best ammo shouldn't vary more than an inch or so. These rifles won't cast a bullet within 3-5 inches from the last one.

I let the barrel cool several minuets between 3 shot groups. And by the way that's total BS too. A "good" rifle point of impact will vary with barrel heat. But when did it become acceptable that the point of impact vary several inches? Sorry, I don't want a rifle that must cool 15-20 minuets between 3 round groups. Accepting this is total BS. A rifle that's "right" does not do this.

Why on earth would you put optics on a rifle that shoots worse than the worst "open" sights available? A rifle with optics is supposed to be a precision
tool. These rifles were shooting shotgun patterns - one pellet at a time.

July 16, 2010, 10:20 AM
Well then the question is "What are you doing to rectify your problem"?

BTW it is not BS to have to allow a pencil thin bbl of a mtn rifle cooling time. They were not intended to be bench guns.

If you dont' like the results of your shooting, and disregard any suggestions given on this forum, maybe you should start over with different rifles, or stick to you 1911's.

Most of the folks that take time to respond to your questions are doing so to assist you in solving your problem. Most don't want to just be a shoulder for you to cry upon.

July 16, 2010, 10:26 AM
I owned that same Ruger No.1 20 years ago - it shot 3/4" groups at 100 yards all day long with the Sierra 85 BTHP - it is one of a VERY few number of guns I regret selling.

Have you had others shoot these guns? No offense, but when you go 0 for 3, maybe it isn't the guns - maybe those eyes are giving you trouble. One friend I shoot with (we do a lot of sporting clays), started missing more than usual - he kept thinking it was his gun fit - I told him to give his eye doc a call just to make sure - he just finished having cataracts removed from both eyes and now has 20/20 vision (he'd been wearing glasses for over 25 years)

July 16, 2010, 11:41 AM
Ruger's are just a name people like, they've never really made any great rifle. Remington is owned by foreign investor's that have brought the company down. If you want a decent american made rifle, try Thompson center.

July 16, 2010, 11:47 AM
Just get a Savage and you won't have to complain anymore.

July 16, 2010, 12:15 PM
I don't shoot hunting rifles, but modern military rifles at least good ones are plenty accurite.

If Sako makes a hunting rifle I'd buy one of those, or something German or Swiss. They know how to make a rifle.

Smokey Joe
July 16, 2010, 12:18 PM
Mes 228--(1) You are NOT an old man, because if you are then I am an older man, and I intend to die young, as late as possible. I too am a lifelong shooter, and I can shoot any rifle that's capable of it, to MOA or better, from a benchrest.

Yesterday I had a treat--Got to shoot a rifle that's older than me--a 141-YO Ballard carbine, that used conical cartridges and musket caps. Wow.

(2) The guys that say get your eyes checked may be on to something. It ain't a bad idea every now & again for us "mature" shooters anyhow, just to keep ahead of the possibility of glaucoma, cataracts, or other nasties. And mebbe get a new prescription for the bifocals.

(3) Re: the inaccurate rifles: I expect you've checked for the obvious, like a forend that pushes on the bbl, a grossly miscut chamber, loose screws/bolts holding the 'scope, etc. Unusual, but it happens once in a blue moon. Barring that short of problem, if you bought the rifles new, now is the time to test the makers' customer service departments. Good luck there--Don't know about Rem or RGR for customer service. At worst, sell the bloody things for a loss--it's only money--and get a rifle that's more satisfactory. You & I haven't got time for messing around with rifles that continue to disappoint.

(4) Second the motion about getting a Savage--they are becoming notorious for out-of-the-box accuracy like you wouldn't believe. If you get one, get one with the Accutrigger (takes getting used to--about 3 shots) and if possible the Accustock (complete metal bedding job--no changes ever!) And if you do ever shoot out the bbl on a Savage they are easy to replace. Not the prettiest rifles in 17 counties, but then I agree with that elder sage of rifle shooting, Col. Townsend Whelen, when he said, "Only accurate rifles are interesting." It would appear that this is your feeling too.

Tikkas, as well as CZ's and Steyrs, all have XLNT reps for accuracy, and cost a price accordingly. If you got the bucks, go for it.

Anyhow, hope you get the aggravation done with. Perhaps you could keep us posted on yr progress.

Dr T
July 16, 2010, 12:33 PM
I am about the same age (58) and have been shooting and hunting for about 50 years (it was nice to grow up on a ranch in West Texas).

Some observations about my own experiences:

1. I view ANY factory rifle as raw material. A few are really accurate out of the box, but most have to be tweaked (barrel bedding, action bedding, and handloads primarily) in order to realize their potential. Almost all can be made to shoot very, very well. My No. 1 RSI will do about 1.25" with its favorite load--but it is a full length stock with a steel endcap. So far, one shot is all I have needed wit this gun on any game animal I have pointed it at and decided to drop the hammer. Factory ammo now is very, very good, but still rifles have preferences. You have to find the right load (either by purchase or experimentation).

2. I hate to admit it, but I used to shoot a lot better when I was younger. On the other hand, I was shooting a lot more. I have started to noticed that fatigue is beginning to be an important factor for me. In the past, after a layoff of a couple of months, I would not shoot very well the first time back at the range, but on the next and subsequent weeks my shooting would improve. This is particularly true of heavier cartridges (e.g. 35 Whelen pushing a 250 gr. bullet at 2500. However, I now notice that longer strings are beginning to take their toll and I am getting a bit more sensitive to recoil with age. I noticed this when I spent an intense session (about 30 rounds in 3 shot groups in 45 minutes) with a new 243. Serious load tests go much better on the second and third trips to the range.

3. As one ages, one gets comfortable with their capabilities. However, one forgets what it took to get proficient in the first place and will not practice as much (while maintaining the illusion that the level of proficiency will be maintained--like riding a bike). I my own case, I find that it is just as true for shooting as it is for landing an airplane. I got good with my 270 after about 500 rounds at the range. (We won't go into how many landings it took for me to learn that properly, but it was over 1000). I recently saw a show (American Rifleman) on double rifles that made the point that if you want to be proficient with the heavies, you need to shoot 40 to 50 rounds per month and expect proficiency to occur at about 200 rounds. I think that this is likely to be close for most rifles.

4. As your body gets older, your eyes get older, your joints get older, and you get a bit more sensitive to getting pounded when you touch off the 375 H&H. It happens, but I consider getting older to the alternative. All of these things affect your performance. I just have to live with it.

Dr T
July 16, 2010, 12:37 PM
"f Sako makes a hunting rifle I'd buy one of those..."

Sako has made hunting rifles for a very, very long time. My TRG in 300 Weatherby (old version, no longer in production) is one rifle that would print 1.25" out of the box with Remington factory ammo. It is not for sale...


July 16, 2010, 12:47 PM
I think most manufacturers became more concerned with cranking out as many rifles as possible and many shifted production capacity to military pattern rifles so QC and attention to detail has likely taken a back seat.
The craftsmanship and pride doesn't seem to be there anymore, unless you are willing to shell out big $$ for custom rifles.

July 16, 2010, 12:51 PM
No offense, but all 3 rifles you mention have long, well established reputations for mediocre accuracy. All of them are designed for light weight, ease of carrying or looks.

I have found that for the dollar you can get a much more accurate rifle for the money now than ever.

Smith&Wesson AR 15's are available now for $600 with a $100 rebate from Smith. I'll guarantee it will out shoot the Ruger Ranch Rifle. They have never been known for accuracy. Nothing new here.

Weatherby Vanguards are $400 and one of the most accurate rifles on the market. If you want a lightweight mountain rifle $500 will buy a Tikka that will shoot much better than the Remington and weigh less. Remington standard rifles are still as accurate as anything, but the mountain rifle was never intended to be a tack driver.

Nobody buys a mannlicher stocked rifle for the accuracy.

July 16, 2010, 01:45 PM
I don't own any Ruger centerfire rifles anymore, but all of them (aside from a couple of Mini-14s) were quite accurate. One of those was a mannlicker stocked 77 in .308 that would always shoot 1.5 inch groups and, interestly, maintained it's point of impact throughout the seasons. They all looked good and shot well - makes me wonder why I don't have them anymore.

July 16, 2010, 02:17 PM
my 64 year old lee enfield smle can out shoot the ruger rifles mes228 mentioned.

July 16, 2010, 02:26 PM
I'm a little down on the new firearms so I simply don't buy any. The "old" ones I have will outlast me so I really don't have much interest in staying up with the newest items to hit the market. I quit even looking at the gun magazines.

July 17, 2010, 12:04 AM
Ruger makes good revolvers and maybe the singleshot rifles. There bolt rifles suck for accuracy. I have lots of rem rifles and they are all very accurate...so are a lot of other brands. Not ruger though. You can float a barrel on a ruger and the accuracy will get worse.

Robert Wilson
July 17, 2010, 02:03 AM
Ruger has something of a poor reputation because they used to farm out barrel production. Many of those barrels were great. A few were awful. Ruger has been making their own high-quality barrels in-house for many years now.

Having written that, the Ruger #1 does have some built-in bugaboos that often need fixing. That fine full-length stock on the International tends to exacerbate the problem.

Essentially, there is a spring under the forearm than bounces around when the gun is fired. Because it and parts to which it are attached are often in more-or-less kinda-sorta contact with the barrel and receiver, it can make the gun pretty inaccurate.

The fix is to force the spring (the spring hanger, to be exact) into solid, repeatable contact with the barrel and then properly bed the whole thing into the stock. I like to drill and tap the hanger for a small set screw which is then turned enough to force the hanger away from the barrel about 1/16". It sometimes takes some experimentation with more or less tension, but most #1s like 1/16" in my experience. Non-tinkerers can also buy a pre-made solution sold under the name of the Hick's Accurizer.

Bedding is relatively simple and follows the usual pattern. Be careful not to slop any bedding material on top of the spring hanger or into the nooks and crannies as it's a bit easier to lock a #1 action into the stock than with the typical bolt action. And the International stock often likes a pad of bedding material under the muzzle as well.

I personally have not seen a #1 that cannot be made into a 1.5 MOA rifle at worst.

July 17, 2010, 02:13 AM
Another Ruger #1 solution is to replace the Ruger barrel with a "known" barrel, and bed the forearm into the front of the action and the spring hanger (with no barrel contact.)

Combined with a trigger job by a competent gunsmith, this can work wonders for a Ruger #1.

I would pay $2000 for a falling block set up like this, but Ruger has to keep their costs down. The present price (around $900) just doesn't get you all the hand work.

Robert Wilson
July 17, 2010, 02:17 AM
Re. Ruger bolt actions, for what it is worth, I currently have three of them. The worst, according to my notebooks, averages a bit over two MOA. The best is currently around .75" average at 100 yards. All three are stock except for trigger and/or action jobs.

I haven't personally seen that any of the major American manufacturers put out a rifle of significantly better or worse accuracy than another. I think most people with a strong opinion on the matter are working from an unforgivably small sample size.

July 17, 2010, 02:31 AM
Sako has made hunting rifles for a very, very long time.

That depends on what you mean by "very" and "long." Sako started out in 1921 and made only military rifles at first. (The name is an acronym for Suojeluskuntain Ase- ja Konepaja Osakeyhtiö, which means "Civil Guard Gun and Machine Works.") They didn't enter the consumer market until after WWII.

Still, they are very fine firearms, and I'm proud of "my people" for making them. ;)

July 17, 2010, 05:04 AM
I haven't personally seen that any of the major American manufacturers put out a rifle of significantly better or worse accuracy than another. I think most people with a strong opinion on the matter are working from an unforgivably small sample size. Then you haven't been paying much attention.
Savage is KILLING in the accuracy department. Marlin is seriously stepping up. Remington is still good. Then we have a LOT of smaller but much more refined rifle companies like Cooper that are great. Ruger is, well.............decent at best. In the accuracy department.

When it comes to build quality Ruger is amazing, one of my favorites, and built like a tank. But if I want accuracy I can go buy a $300 Stevens 200 that will out shoot a Ruger hands down.

July 17, 2010, 10:46 AM
Wow. There are some broad brush approaches to this topic posted here. Of the set of firearms owners, only a small subset regularly posts on these forums. Of those, I notice that most are simply repeating the tired old saws of years past, especially with respect to "Ruger being .... decent at best" or similar. These myths then perpetuate themselves to the derogation of any semblance of reality. Here's my broad brush then:

I will point out that I have not purchased an American made firearm in the last 15 years which did not need to go back to the factory for some QC issue. I am to the point now that I am tempted to purchase the firearm, roll down to the BBT depot, and ship it off to the warranty department before even dropping the hammer on the first shot.

I will also point out that I have not experienced this with any of the CZ firearms, Glock firearms, or others such as HK firearms.

IMO, this is a huge issue with American manufacturers.

And yet I still buy American made firearms, I just don't have very high expectations of them anymore.

July 17, 2010, 10:55 AM
From post above by Lopezni:

"Ruger's are just a name people like, they've never really made any great rifle. Remington is owned by foreign investor's that have brought the company down. If you want a decent american made rifle, try Thompson center."

Mr. Lopezni, this is interesting news. Which foreign investors? What is the name of their company and what country are they from? I think we should know more about them and I'd like to follow up. Wonder who owns T-C now? thanks

Taurus 617 CCW
July 17, 2010, 10:58 AM
Most major rifle manufacturers do a great job on their actions but cut corners on finishing and using a quality barrel. I hunt with a Howa 1500 that hits what I aim at every time. I did quite a bit of work to it though. Most rifles will benefit from a good glass bedding job. I also used pillars in the bedding process. I hand lapped the bolt lugs to achieve 90% contact and that also helped. I installed a Shielen barrel, also making a difference. The point is that most production rifles out of the box are pretty good but they require work to accurize. Savage, Tikka, and CZ shoot very well out of the box. It's also important to select a bullet weight for your rifle's twist rate. You don't want to shoot 45 grain (.223) bullets out of a 1/7 twist barrel. They over stabilize and won't group worth a darn. Working with your current rifle (Remington), you can have a smith bed the action and install an oversized recoil lug. If you're target shooting then you will probably want a free float bedding job. Otherwise go for a full length bed. The key is 1:1 contact around the rifle action. Good luck in your accuracy endeavors.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 17, 2010, 11:00 AM
I think it would be a lot shorter answer if you asked "what's right with new rifles today?"

July 17, 2010, 11:10 AM
I had a Ruger HB Varmint that would put 5 .308's in 1/2 inch at 100. I got lucky.

I had a .270...well it was not very accurate.

I had a #1-S in .25-06 that would not stay on a paper plate at any reasonable distance.

I had other Rugers that were just as bad...when you call the factory, the have an attitude of, "Oh, well!"

Knowing that, I do not subject myself to the aggravation any more. Oh, I may buy another...if the deal is super...but if it does not shoot, I just get rid of it.

I have many of the 70's and 80's Winchesters...the worst of them goes 1 1/2.
Couple of 700 Rem.s that are the same or better...
a 600 Mohawk that is stellar.

I have a Rem. 742 .30-06 that does 2 inches on a good day...but it works on deer and hogs where I shoot.

Inaccurate rifles are a hassle regardless of MFG. If you want to pour a bunch of time, money and effort into one, it might get better...
but it may not. If you don't want a project...dump 'em. My 2 cents.

July 17, 2010, 11:51 AM
Duh, know something before you post your resposnse. TC is owned by Smith and Wesson, an American company. Remington, Bushmaster, DPMS, Marlin, N.E.F.(now closed), and probably several others I forgot to list are owned by Cerberus Capital Management, which is HQ'd in NYC, but is controlled by foreign banks and investors.

Robert Wilson
July 17, 2010, 11:58 AM
Then you haven't been paying much attention.
Savage is KILLING in the accuracy department. Marlin is seriously stepping up. Remington is still good. Then we have a LOT of smaller but much more refined rifle companies like Cooper that are great. Ruger is, well.............decent at best. In the accuracy department.

I'm familiar with the internet lore. I just haven't seen it borne out in real life. I have a four MOA Savage, if you'd like to see it. I had a seven MOA Remington 700 (the stock put so much pressure on the barrel that when you removed the barreled action you had to be prepared to catch it as it came back down) but Remington wouldn't help me with it and an aftermarket stock still didn't get it below 3 MOA, so I don't have it around to show you anymore.

July 17, 2010, 12:13 PM
All this just tended to confirm my opinion that any manufacturer puts out some really good ones and some really bad ones and a whole bunch of average one


I go through a lot of rifles. when I get one that won't shoot well I'll go through the cheap basics of load development and minor dIY tweaks. If it still doesn't shoot to my somewhat strict standards it goes down the road. Life is too short to waste time trying to make an inaccurate rifle shoot. Besides If i'm going to invest part of my finite money supply into a gun to improve accuracy it's going into a gun that shows a initiate accuracy potential.

By this method of buy and sell I've acquired one of the most accurate factory bolt guns I have ever owned which also happens to be a ruger allweather 30-06 that box stock produces many 5 shot groups like this


July 17, 2010, 01:26 PM
" Remington is owned by foreign investor's that have brought the company down."

Rem clearly had some start-up problems with a totally new facility but that's normal. I don't consider Remington's new FN owners to suffer the killing mindset of US educated MBA-bean counter mentality nor does it seem the new plant's workers suffer the quality destroying lax work ethics of the previous plants. I expect Remington, as a brand, will do quite well for a long time yet. (Unless the Federal gobbermint destroys them, and that may well occur.)

Vern Humphrey
July 17, 2010, 01:29 PM
The newest centerfire rifles for deer and larger game that I have are a pair of flat-bolt, shotgun safety Ruger M77s -- one in .30-06, the other in 7mm Rem Mag.

Other than that I have a Swedish Mauser (sporterized by Kimber), a Winchester Model 94, a pre-64 Winchester Model 70 in .30-06, a sporterized Krag and a custom '03 Springfield in .35 Brown-Whelen.

July 17, 2010, 01:32 PM
The craftsmanship and pride doesn't seem to be there anymore, unless you are willing to shell out big $$ for custom rifles.

IMO, this is a huge issue with American manufacturers.

DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, We have TWO winners.

It's not just in firearms either. We Americans used to take great pride in producing fine products. Now, most Americans take great pride in getting paid the most money for the least amount of work/effort. It doesn't matter what field it's in... autos, firearms, clothing, housing, technology, etc.... It's everywhere.

I, myself, blame unions. I may be wrong, or may be right. But when people get increases in pay based on length of employment, and not based on quality or performance, there is something seriously wrong. The best should get paid the most, regardless of how long they've worked there. Similarly, the worst should be looking for another place of employment, regardless of how long they've been there. If American companies got back to those roots, people would once again take pride in what they produce, and quality would go way up.


July 17, 2010, 02:01 PM
I've owned several different brands and calibers of rifles, and some shot well, others weren't worth throwing away. I am not happy with a rifle if it will not shoot 1" or less groups at 100 yards. Now that being said, I have never found a savage that I wasn't pleased with (in regards to accuracy). I'm not a huge fan of the appearance of savages, but their accuracy is excellent. Thompson center rifles have match grade barrels and are also extremely accurate. Weatherby gaurantees 1 1\2" accuracy at 100 yards with their rifles and will send a target with a 3 shot group that was shot at the factory with the rifle that you purchase, that way if it wont shoot in your hands you know it isn't the guns fault. Just a few ideas for you.

July 17, 2010, 03:17 PM

Remington is still American owned. It was Winchester that was purchased by FN

July 17, 2010, 03:31 PM
Remington and Marlin are both owned by Cerberus Capital Management:


July 17, 2010, 04:30 PM
Personally, I don't care who owns the brand name of the rifle I own. An accurate rifle speaks to me in any language.


July 18, 2010, 06:52 AM
Thanks for all the reply's to my rant. Just for those that don't know, I work Gun Shows and trade a lot. Thus, own, and shoot many rifles regularly. I suspect I have owned more rifles, and shot more rifles, than the bottom 90% on these boards. Am I the worlds greatest shot? No, but I have no problem shooting 1-2 inch groups if the rifle/ammo combo will do that. Can I bed, work a load up and improve a rifles shooting? Yes, but the darn things should be USABLE from the box. You shouldn't have to do anything to make a rifle hit a rabbit at 100 yards.

I've not had a Browning A-Bolt that wouldn't shoot, nor a Howa, nor a Savage, nor a Sako. I've had many other rifles that would shoot (even Rugers), but I didn't particularly like the rifles aesthetics. I liked the concept of the Mountain rifle, The Ruger Mannlichers, and the Ruger Ranch. By the way I've had the Ruger Mannlicher in 30-06 & .270 &.308 and 7x57. The .270 was the most accurate, the 7x57 was the worst of the lot, even worse that the 6.8. The point I was making in the OP was that none of the rifles mentioned should have left the factory if they were USELESS as rifles.

July 18, 2010, 07:19 AM
And now you have your answer, no wonder why these riffles which can't shoot were allowed to leave the factory, when today's folks, can't even read and comprehend what was asked from them :scrutiny: instead you got bunch of replies on how good this and that brand is, when in reality, all of them do produce lemon slips, just some produce more then the others, and yes they do get slipped through quality control at the factory...

Dr T
July 18, 2010, 09:57 AM
If you are trading a lot, you might want to consider why the original owner was willing to off load the gun onto someone else.

I made the mistake once of trading off an accurate gun (A Ruger Blackhawk 45 Colt with 7.5" barrel). I will not make that mistake again....

July 18, 2010, 12:26 PM
funny thing about all the Ruger bashing,I've owned 3 of them,a Mini-14,a M77MKII and a SP101,they all were accurate as I think they should be.
The Mini was the closest to be a disappointment,it made 2-3" groups at 100yd...that was a problem if you were going to try and kill a thundering herd of coyotes,the first shot was always right on,I shot at exactly one coyote with it,170yds (rangefinder) and I dropped her on the spot,if I'd have missed I'd have had to let her go.

The markII shoots about MOA with federal 140grain,and I think it's a pretty rifle to look at.

The SP101 was the stubby in .357mag,and shot great,I never measured the groups,but they were better than I expected with that short barrel.

The best rifle as far as accuracy I ever had was a Mod70 "black shadow" .270, a ugly and poorly constructed rifle if I ever saw one,but that thing would make a group that you could not tell for sure how many rounds were fired,around .5 across,with a 4x weaver scope on it,but I kept the Ruger...

Really,if you want a tack driver it would be best to avoid Ruger,but I gotta say I've never really understood all the bashing,the Mini is not really as good as it should be,but if it were then I don't know why anyone would bother paying for a AR.

(As Mr.Wilson said,unforgivably small sample size,but I shoot everything I can get my hands on)

July 18, 2010, 01:22 PM
I've never been a Ruger fan at all, and then I made some trades and ended up with a very early Model 77, .30-'06 in a Bell and Carlson composite stock. It's in primo condition, so before trading it away, I took it to the range. Fantastic shooter. That's the only Ruger I've ever had good luck with and I'll keep it because it's an early one and it's in great shape.... and it shoots. I had a gorgeous #1 in .243 and I could barely keep it on the paper. They seem hit or miss... pun intended.

Most of my good shooters are older rifles too.

July 18, 2010, 01:32 PM
Bought a brand new M77 Ruger 270 4 years ago grouped shots horrible i traded it for a revolver. I have a Remington 700 Varmit special that ive heard they are hit and miss in accuracy, but i cant complain bout it other than i wish id gotten it in a different caliber. Knowing what i know now i wouldnt even look at a brand new hunting rifle rather buy a old Mauser or Springfield sporter thats been built right. Can see and fill great difference in quality between pre and post 64 winchester lever guns, therefore i only buy pre's. Qualities been slipping for awhile i think.

July 18, 2010, 06:16 PM
What happened to the factory testing their guns before they leave the plant?

I have Weatherbys (circa 1962) in .300WM, .257WM, .378WM and .22LR - all of them came with test targets in the box. If I didn't like the way the test target looked I'd ask to see another rifle. There were no disappointments after I got the rifles home.

Apparently, most of today's rifles are a take it or leave it proposition and the manufacturers leave it it to the customer to cull out the inaccurate ones at the customer's expense.

July 18, 2010, 07:02 PM
And even if the company says send it in we'll fix it but the parts are less then the shipping and loss of time waiting to get it back from them how many even bother to send it back? So the consumer loses more often then the maker or he trades it to someone else and they have to deal with it.

July 28, 2010, 03:36 PM
Only "accurate" rifles are interesting, ALL others are merely Junk. My 2cents worth!!

July 28, 2010, 03:39 PM
Buy a new FN Winchester Model 70, and get rid of the Rugers, Remingtons, etc.

The Model 70 is again everything it once was, plus it's now lighter, more accurate, and with a perfect trigger out of the box without any fooling around.

Some things are better than they used to be, and some are worse. Autoloading shotguns are way ahead.

Vern Humphrey
July 28, 2010, 03:50 PM
Only "accurate" rifles are interesting, ALL others are merely Junk.
The late, great Colonel Townsend Whelen would be proud of you -- and me, too.

Bill B.
July 28, 2010, 04:30 PM
What is wrong with rifles today?

Try a new Savage and I think the problems will go away .......based on the new Savage I just bought!

July 28, 2010, 05:04 PM
I have an older ruger m77 tang safety, it is the only gun I own. When I bought it, it grouped at about 2 inches. I did everything to it, had the action trued, new premium douglas floated barrel, and pillar bedded the action. The smith who did the job specialized in m77s, and he did a great job. The thing is so accurate it is unbelievable, i dont have a bench but off a backpack I can get 3 shot groups with all of them touching.
Any bolt action rifle, I think, no matter what, will work if it is set up properly. If a skilled gunsmith works on any rifle to achieve accuracy I do not see how anything could happen otherwise

July 28, 2010, 05:53 PM
I've owned 3 of them,a Mini-14,a M77MKII and a SP101,they all were accurate as I think they should be.

Confucious say, key to happiness is low expectations!:D

July 28, 2010, 06:41 PM
Ruger's are just a name people like, they've never really made any great rifle. Remington is owned by foreign investor's that have brought the company down. If you want a decent american made rifle, try Thompson center.

Incorrect - do your homework

July 28, 2010, 06:48 PM
If that is the only rifle you will ever need, then it is money well spent.

Uncle Mike
July 28, 2010, 08:17 PM
The Model 70 is again everything it once was, plus it's now lighter, more accurate, and with a perfect trigger

Seriously...! Not even close...!

Yes, way better than the last attempt, but the old Model 70's spank the new ones something awful!

The new(FNH) ones are definitely 'closer' to the good, old, Model 70's of yesteryear, but they ain't back yet! And the old ones didn't 'break' like these new ones seem to be doing.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hating on the new Model 70's, but the good ol' days, and their rifles, for the most part are gone!

July 28, 2010, 09:07 PM
Only "accurate" rifles are interesting, ALL others are merely Junk. My 2cents worth!!

Depends on the type of shooting you do. Some people don't like to sit at a bench and punch holes in paper.

Vern Humphrey
July 28, 2010, 09:07 PM
And the old ones didn't 'break' like these new ones seem to be doing.

What is the story on new FNH Model 70s breaking?

July 28, 2010, 10:15 PM
AR-15 would be the best bet for an accurate semi-automatic, at any price.

Savages are nice.

Or, you could just get an AK, and not expect a ton of accuracy.

Uncle Mike
July 29, 2010, 02:20 AM
What is the story on new FNH Model 70s breaking?

We have had no less than 4 new(FNH) Model 70's come in with broken safeties, every instance the customer said the safety was 'hit' on something, or bumped against something.

We had to change the safety levers on all 4 rifles, the shaft snaps in two if hit really hard... no concern, it was all warrantied, but I cannot ever remember seeing this happen with the old ones, or any other model 70 style safety.

Nothing was made of it at FNH, the new parts were sent and the broken parts were not requested back. If it happens to you, take note, the little detent ball will usually leave the scene.

Vern Humphrey
July 29, 2010, 09:33 AM
Thanks for the information.

July 29, 2010, 11:43 AM
Here's some VERY recent experience (yesterday).

I'm 67, and I went to the range yesterday with a friend who happens to be well into his seventies.

We had three Mini-14s, two 581s and a 580. My pal fired several CONSECUTIVE 5-round, 100-yard groups with his stainless/synthetic 581 which were right in the one-inch bracket. Mine, also a 581, didn't do quite that well, but it was grouping under 1.5". (Rifles were scoped, ammo was handloaded).

I also took along my daughter's new Browning Micro-Medallion A-Bolt 7mm-08 with handloads, and it grouped three Hornady 139s into the magic inch on THREE attempts out of three.

My (new in December) DSA FAL, wearing a Bushnell 3200 scope, kept up this performance level, also grouping three rounds into 1" several times as I refined the zero.

From my recent experience, and not just with the rifles mentioned above, there's very little wrong (accuracy-wise) with recent-production rifles that *I* have bought. Maybe I've just been lucky....but my .338 Savage 116 groups 225 TSX bullets into less-than-0.75" for three rounds at 100...consistently. My #1 in .416 Rigby groups TEN RCBS cast bullets in an inch from 100 yards at 2100 fps.

I don't have many complaints.

Greg Mercurio
July 30, 2010, 09:03 PM
FWIW: I have 2 Ruger #1's. One is a .375 H&H and will shoot under an inch all day long. The other is a .30-338 that was rechambered from a .30-06. It too shoots under an inch all day long. My reloading records show that the load development was done with Nosler Partitions only as it went to Alaska on a moose hunt. The worst load development group was just over 1.8 inches and the best, which is the BEST group I've ever shot was .4" From a sandbag rest. The Remington 700 Safari that I owned also a .375 H&H would also shoot under an inch but it took a lot of load development to get there. Nothing to do on the rifle, just the loads. Wish I still had it.

All manufacturers deal with production tolerances. It's how they make margin. Sometimes the tolerances stack in the right direction, sometimes in the wrong direction. It's life. But if they had the margin to test fire every rifle they produced the "bad" rifles would go back to the line for rework until they could shoot. Unfortunately margins are tighter than ever and getting worse. Labor, energy, taxes, regulatory compliance costs, and materials are all going in the wrong direction. But to hold costs to "reasonable" or no-objection price points, some things go south. Accept it or not, you are going to do what the factory doesn't do anymore. :banghead:

Grey Morel
July 30, 2010, 09:48 PM
Not to be disrespectful of my elder... but Sir:

You do realize the rifles you listed are VASTLY different guns? The guns you listed as "inaccurate" (Mountain Rifle, RSI, and Ranch Rifle) are all very light guns which balance very differently than the CZ, Savage, and AR's you listed as "accurate".

Again, not to be rude, but you mysteriously shoot well with a wide spectrum of middle weight guns, and poorly with a wide spectrum of light weight guns... I think you can see where i am going with this - Contrary to popular myth, your problem isn't lazy gun makers, or barrel profile voo-doo... you just need guns that fit you.

I shoot light weight guns better than I shoot heavy ones. I will be happy to take those "inaccurate" featherweights off your hands for a small disposal free. :D

Savage is KILLING in the accuracy department.

No, they are doing well in the decent trigger and cheap gun departments - actual accuracy or precision are no better than any other brand... and the others are catching up on their triggers.

Once you get into the "mountain" rifles with their pencil-thin barrels, you open up a whole new can of worms with the barrels heating up so quickly and groups opening up just as quickly.

Funny... because in any other kind of barrel, heat causes vertical stringing, not opening of patterns. More weird barrel Voo-Doo; must be sun spots. ;)

July 31, 2010, 09:02 AM
me too...

a scoped centerfire hunting rifle that cannot reliably hit a rabbit at 100 yards is not a hunting rifle worth having
and lightweight, shorter barrels is a pitiful excuse for that

American manufacturing in the new millenium is in it's death throes (all manufacturing,all goods, other than niche market quality at high price). The companies that did not care about quality went to Mexico, the ones that did care went to Canada. The dirt cheap stuff moved from Japan & Taiwan to China.

"luck of the draw" is very real and anybody can occasionally draw a bad hand, but that is not what OP was saying.

for an "American" name that still delivers quality at a decent price, look north of the border, Savage
(if nothing else, they at least put improved triggers on the map for factory hunting rifles, and woke up the rest of the industry)

otherwise, look across the Atlantic (Howa, Tikka, etc.)

July 31, 2010, 10:32 AM
a cousin bought a "custom shop" rem 700 mountain in 338WM couple of years back that wouldn't even chamber/extract properly, new. sent it back and works fine now. no idea about how his current handloads are working for accuracy though.

usually wood contact with bbl will create erratic groupings. they expand/contract at different rates from heat/humidity. plastic/synthetic stocks will do same, but rarely come molded to fit against bbl. buy rifles that need to be accurate with this in mind, or "free float" existing stock. not a difficult job.

also, some firearms will shoot better MOA #'s beyond 2-300yds than at 100. same a function of bullet/bbl twist. i used to have a steyr SSG PII that shot nearly identical groups at 100 and 300 yds with FGMM 308. took the sierra BTHP match bullet that distance to "go to sleep". before discounting the firearm, try it out further. may be just an ammo issue.


Robert Wilson
July 31, 2010, 11:51 AM
I haven't generally found old guns to be better than new ones. In fact, tolerances and materials in many old guns (including my beloved pre-64 Model 70s) aren't quite as good as they are in many modern guns. Modern manufacturing techniques are simply more accurate than older ones, and "hand made" is only as good as the hands that made it. I do suspect that quality control was better "back in the day" (in that at least as many bad ones were made, but fewer of those mistakes made it out the door) but have no way of really confirming it.

August 11, 2010, 05:49 PM
We need to be careful as we undertake to paint with broad brushes...

...has the Chevy/Ford debate taught us nothing?

Espousing widely held beliefs, or worse yet, simply parroting the opinions of singular dubious sources can leave one with a smidgen of egg on one's face.

The most accurate AND the least accurate long gun in my battery have both been Rugers. They also both happen to be flavors that common knowledge would dictate that one would not be looking to find a tack-driver nor a shotgun pattern from. And both were very lightweight rifles.

A stainless Mini-14 that I owned could not keep half of the rounds fired through it on an 8" paper plate at fifty meters. Three different style stocks, glass bedding, and free-floating barrels made no difference.

On the flip-side, an M77UL in .270 that I received in a trade for a Winchester shotgun... and, that I have to confess, I had just assumed would be somewhat handicapped in the accuracy department by the pencil barrel in this little 6 pound rifle, produced a five-round grouping of .439" at 100 yds.

August 11, 2010, 06:54 PM
otherwise, look across the Atlantic (Howa, Tikka, etc.)
For Howa, wounldn't you have to look across the Pacific?

August 11, 2010, 06:59 PM
For Howa, wounldn't you have to look across the Pacific?

Well, you could cross the Atlantic and then follow the Silk Road...

gun guy
August 11, 2010, 10:43 PM
It's not just rifles, it seems to be quality vs profits. Our name is famous, stamp it on junk, pocket the profits. Pride in craftsmanship is a vanishing concept. It is cheaper to just replace a defective unit with a new one, than build a good one, and have a repair deptment on hand to fix any bad units. caveat emptor.

August 14, 2010, 08:16 AM
Savage and CZ are imo two of the best production rifles made today for the money ,and their customer service is great.

August 14, 2010, 10:19 AM
Frankly I wish the QC was better on ALL the new rifles. I don't want to buy a hunting rifle and then have to modify it to work the way I already paid the factory to make it work in the first place.
And that, "Oh, just send it back." routine drives me up the walls. If they couldn't do it right the first time, what has changed that would make them do it right the second time? Sorry that's just my pet peeve rant.

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