which rifle...multiple choice


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gspn
December 4, 2012, 06:56 PM
I'm looking at a new rifle for my son who turns 13 later this month. I'm looking at the following rifles in .270:

Winchester Model 70
Remington 700
Weatherby Vanguard S2 sub moa
Browning x bolt

As a wildcard I found a Browning A-Bolt II in .308 at a nice price.

My goal is to get him a rifle he can use to deer hunt with the rest of his life.

Any thoughts on these rifles is appreciated.


****UPDATE****

After receiving some very good advice here I put aside my desire to achieve surprise and I brought my son down to the store to make his own decision. He's had a pretty good day. He won 2 out of his 3 wrestling matches tonight at practice, then when he got in the truck I told him where we were going. He was excited.

I was there as a sounding board...providing advice but not steering in any direction. He handled all four guns and there was nobody in the store so we had plenty of time. He must have gone through each one at least four times before deciding. In the end he bought the Weatherby Sub MOA. I had them put a Leupold VX2 3-9x40 on top and off we went.

With any luck he'll be in the field with it this weekend. Its supposed to be bad weather though so he might have to wait another week.

Thanks to all for the advice. Your collective input has helped make a great day for a 13 year old kid who really deserves it.

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horsemen61
December 4, 2012, 07:02 PM
I would personally go with the model 70 I have a friend with one in 270 nice gun shoots well he is five for five with it on deer last five years:D.

bjs1187
December 4, 2012, 07:03 PM
Get the .308.

Teachu2
December 4, 2012, 07:04 PM
My last three rifles have been Tikka, CZ, and Remington 700. The Tikka and CZ have both been excellent out of the box, the Remington nearly doubled in price to get a decent stock and trigger.

Hokkmike
December 4, 2012, 07:05 PM
Of your choice I would go with the Winnie!

USAF_Vet
December 4, 2012, 07:10 PM
Another vote for the Win 70.

Kachok
December 4, 2012, 07:10 PM
Winchester; LOVE my Featherweight 308, but then again remember I am a sucker for a Mauser style action. Real world accuracy 1" with factory core-lokts and 1/2-3/4" with handloads.

Remington; The new ones are $#!^ and I won't waste another cent on their rifles (or handguns) Hopefully CCM will sell them to someone who gives a darn about quality, yeah they are that bad.

Weatherby; never owned one, not because they are bad rifles but because the raised cheek rest on the stock feels too weird to me. Their reputation is very high quality and exceptional accuracy for what they cost.

Browning; I own an A Bolt II (no X Bolt sorry), slick little gun, compact and not heavy but I have been having the darndest time trying to get it to shoot good. Finnaly found a load today that shows some promise but overall not my top pick. If you want the ultimate featherweight GET A TIKKA! Lighter, smoother, more accurate, and with a better trigger.

Don't overlook Savage, they build some fantastic rifles, no Mauser actions or slicker then black ice bolt, but I have owned half a dozen of them and they stack up to most higher end guns.

308, 270 and 30-06 are all great, I own all of the above and I prefer 308 myself but even that is second to my 6.5x55 which is the perfect deer rifle.

snakeman
December 4, 2012, 07:15 PM
I would opt for the s2

Ro1911
December 4, 2012, 07:16 PM
30-30 lever action, ar15, or Remington 700 in 308 would be my choices but none of those are yours so I have to ask why the 270? 308 would be much preferable to me and 30-30 or 223 would be much preferable for a small shooter. He may need a smaller caliber to start with I remember when I started shooting 30-30 was really powerful lol.

Sock Puppet
December 4, 2012, 07:35 PM
I would go for the A-bolt in. 308, but I prefer short actions. I own an A-bolt and it's a great gun.

allaroundhunter
December 4, 2012, 07:36 PM
I like my Remington 700..... But I love my Winchester Model 70

gspn
December 4, 2012, 07:39 PM
30-30 lever action, ar15, or Remington 700 in 308 would be my choices but none of those are yours so I have to ask why the 270? 308 would be much preferable to me and 30-30 or 223 would be much preferable for a small shooter. He may need a smaller caliber to start with I remember when I started shooting 30-30 was really powerful lol.
I appreciate the thoughts but some background on this kid might be in order. Recoil isn't a problem. This is a kid with solid fundamentals who has been hunting with his own rifle since he was six. He has been shooting my 44 mags (full house loads) since he was 10...he is better with a gun than every civilian adult that I've ever been around. He can literally pick up any gun I own and run it safely and effectively. You can hand him a rifle and he can stalk and kill a whitetail.

I like the .270 due to the conditions we hunt in. One thing that gives the .270 a bit of an advantage over the .308 for me is that I already have a set of dies and a bunch of components lying around.

I thought about buying the .308 for myself as I've hunted with an A Bolt II for the past 20 years and it's been so accurate that I've never considered getting another rifle...but it's cheap enough that it might make me buy it.

I hesitate to get him the A Bolt II only because it's the older model and as he gets older it may become harder to find parts for it if he needs them. I also like the X Bolts ability to unload the gun while on "safe".

I'm an accuracy freak...I can't stand a rifle that won't shoot tight groups so the Weatherby really grabbed my attention with the Sub MOA.

They all seem to have their positives...it's a bit tough to choose.

Kachok
December 4, 2012, 07:47 PM
I'm an accuracy freak...I can't stand a rifle that won't shoot tight groups so the Weatherby really grabbed my attention with the Sub MOA.

They all seem to have their positives...it's a bit tough to choose.
Tikka also comes with a Sub-MOA guarantee, and in my experience they over deliver on that, quite a bit lighter then the Weatherby too. Try one of those before you put your money down, they will impress you. I love the fact that mine won't just shoot fantastic with one load, but I can run darn near anything through it and get superb accuracy.

gspn
December 4, 2012, 07:55 PM
Tikka also comes with a Sub-MOA guarantee, and in my experience they over deliver on that, quite a bit lighter then the Weatherby too. Try one of those before you put your money down, they will impress you. I love the fact that mine won't just shoot fantastic with one load, but I can run darn near anything through it and get superb accuracy.
thanks...I'll definitely check that out!

Robert
December 4, 2012, 08:02 PM
I'd go with the Winchester. Well, I did go with Winchester and I could not be happier. It will cloverleaf at 100 off of sand bags. Love my 375H&H.

K1500
December 4, 2012, 08:09 PM
Why don't you ask him and let him help pick it out? One great memory from my childhood was obsessing over catalogs and finally picking out MY .30-06. I can still remember almost everything that happened that day, including what and where we ate. Let him have that kind of fun, even if it is a gift.

Sock Puppet
December 4, 2012, 08:15 PM
Why don't you ask him and let him help pick it out? One great memory from my childhood was obsessing over catalogs and finally picking out MY .30-06. I can still remember almost everything that happened that day, including what and where we ate. Let him have that kind of fun, even if it is a gift.

That is an excellent suggestion.

Oh...and buy the .308 for yourself.:)

allaroundhunter
December 4, 2012, 08:15 PM
Why don't you ask him and let him help pick it out? One great memory from my childhood was obsessing over catalogs and finally picking out MY .30-06. I can still remember almost everything that happened that day, including what and where we ate. Let him have that kind of fun, even if it is a gift.

This is some good advice. I was given my first gun (a single shot 20 ga) as a birthday present but did not help pick it out. Don't get me wrong, I loved the gun, and the fact that my parents got it for me showed a lot of thought and care on their part that I really appreciated. However, when they took me to pick out a gun for graduation, I enjoyed it even more. We spent time together looking at guns, and I got to learn the pros and cons of each and was finally able to decide which I wanted.

ttheel
December 4, 2012, 08:16 PM
I was posed with this same dilemma recently. I ended up going with the X bolt. It just felt right in my hands and shouldered well. I bought the Stainless Stalker in 300 WSM. It is a fine weapon and I am very happy.

gspn
December 4, 2012, 08:17 PM
Why don't you ask him and let him help pick it out? One great memory from my childhood was obsessing over catalogs and finally picking out MY .30-06. I can still remember almost everything that happened that day, including what and where we ate. Let him have that kind of fun, even if it is a gift.
I've been thinking about that. I can't determine if I'd rather have it be a total surprise...or let him know up front and pick one out.

There appear to be more pro's than con's to letting him pick one out himself.

The parent in me wants to see the look of surprise on his face when he opens it...but the realist in me wants to make sure that he gets one that fits him best. He's smart enough to make the decision on his own...I'll probably just bring him up there after school one day this week.

Kachok
December 4, 2012, 08:21 PM
Hey gspn how tall is your son? LOP makes a big difference in the fit of a rifle. If he is short might want to check out a short LOP rifle.

allaroundhunter
December 4, 2012, 08:27 PM
The parent in me wants to see the look of surprise on his face when he opens it...but the realist in me wants to make sure that he gets one that fits him best. He's smart enough to make the decision on his own...I'll probably just bring him up there after school one day this week.

Just make the remark that you are going to be getting a new rifle and you want it to be one that he can use on occasion. That will give him a reason to go with you and hold a few, and you can act like it is actually for you. You will be able to see which gun actually makes his eyes light up, and then you can still surprise him later!

gspn
December 4, 2012, 08:43 PM
Just make the remark that you are going to be getting a new rifle and you want it to be one that he can use on occasion. That will give him a reason to go with you and hold a few, and you can act like it is actually for you. You will be able to see which gun actually makes his eyes light up, and then you can still surprise him later!
Dastardly! I love it!!

bpl
December 4, 2012, 09:00 PM
Of those you listed, I would go with the new Winchester Model 70 hands down. Of those you listed, I own multiple Winchester 70s, including two new models, a Featherweight in .243 and an Extreme Weather in 30-06. I also have multiple Remington 700s and 7s, a Ruger 77 Hawkeye Ultralight, a Browning Abolt and a Kimber 84M.

RetiredUSNChief
December 4, 2012, 09:02 PM
I think k1500 has an excellent point.

We all have personal reasons for purchasing the guns that we own, and those reasons are as individual as the person.

Given what you are trying to do (buy your son a deer rifle he will essentially have and use the rest of his life), his personal opinions should weigh in very heavily.

Yeah, I know...it kinda takes the "surprise" out of doing something like this as a gift. But the trade off is your son will get a rifle that HE likes because it's tailored to HIS personality...and this is in addition to having it picked out by (with) his Dad as he is growing up.


Consider this as an example of what I'm talking about:

Glock makes some of the finest handguns in terms of reliability and accuracy. They have a lot going for them as a concealed carry, too. But I personally wouldn't buy one myself because I think they're uglier than sin.

If one of my brothers bought me a Glock as a gift, I would cherish it as a gift from my brother. But that wouldn't change my opinion on how it looks. And it probably wouldn't get anywhere near the use/carry time that another gun would get as a result.


Now, if you already know what your son has is sights on for a rifle, that's another story.


Just something to think about.

K1500
December 5, 2012, 12:39 AM
To add to my story, me and my dad spent the day going from gun shop to gun shop. He was a saint, as he is not a gun guy. I thought I wanted either a 700 or 7400, but the ones we looked at didn't 'feel' right.

We stopped at a local gunsmith and looked at yet another uninspiring 700 ADL (used). My old man asked what the smith had that was a bit nicer. He brought out a Husky ultralight in .30-06 (I HAD to have an '06). A Husky is a Mauser action with a svelte stock with a schnabel forend and it had a Weaver K4 on it.

It was minty and gorgeous and spoke to both of us. I was buying it with my own money, and it was out of my budget by $100, but I wanted it SO bad. My dad asked me if I liked it and my answer was clearly YES! He told the smith we would take it and I could hardly believe it.

The rifle plus a box of Winchester Supreme 165gr Silvertips, and a pair of blaze orange Silencio earmuffs left the store with us. The smith threw in a nice soft case and the rifle had a leather military style sling on it. We then ate Chinese food for lunch. It was one of my fondest memories from my youth. It was WAY better than any box I have ever opened under a Christmas tree, and I cherish both the rifle and the memory to this day. Despite all the guns I have purchased since, this memory stands alone. The experience made the rifle so much sweeter for me. Can you tell I am having fun re-living the moment now? Take advantage of that youthful exuberance, it doesn't last long. Whatever you do, have fun with it.

wlewisiii
December 5, 2012, 12:46 AM
13 yo? For what little it's worth, I'll offer the free suggestion of 7x57 (in a bolt action) or .30-30 (lever) instead.

But hey, said opinion is worth what you paid for it, right? FWIW, IMO, IME & all that.

.270 is much more, in all ways, than a 13 yo needs.

K1500
December 5, 2012, 12:56 AM
FWIW, if you don't handload, I believe they make great low recoil ammo for the .30-06 and .270 (and maybe others). It really tames the gun and is 100% adequate for hunting. This would let him get the caliber he wants without punishing him or forcing him into a smaller caliber. Of course, if he wants a smaller caliber...

jmr40
December 5, 2012, 12:58 PM
Any of the model 70's will be a rifle he'll be proud to own for the rest of his life and he will proudly pass it down to his grandkids.

Caliber is less important. A 270 is as good as any. Low recoil, flat shooting and with the right loads capable of anything in North America. I'd find the rifle I liked first and let that determine chambering. 270, 7-08, 308, 30-06, 7X57, or any of about a dozen others will all work fine.

bearman49709
December 5, 2012, 04:42 PM
I own or have owned every rifle on your list and the X-bolt is the best of them!

shaggy430
December 5, 2012, 04:52 PM
Of your choices I would pick the Model 70. I have 3 and they are all fantastic rifles. You cannot go wrong with one.

That being said, my favorite rifle and the one I find myself grabbing every time I go into the deer woods is my Tikka T3 SS in 30-06. They are hands down the best rifle for the money on the market, IMHO. It is also the most accurate rifle I own and I have done absolutely nothing to it but put a scope on it. I had to glass bed the stocks and adjust the triggers on two of my Model 70's to get the accuracy I get out of the stock Tikka.

amflyer
December 5, 2012, 05:20 PM
Another vote for the Mod. 70. The South Carolina guns are well made and solid. If I had to complain about two things...it would be the non-adjustable trigger (they list as otherwise, but all I could do is make mine heavier) and the sometimes stiff three-position safety.

Check the safety in the store, and if you can live with a 4 to 4.5 lb. uber-crisp letoff trigger, you're set. With the wide profile of the trigger and aforementioned crispness, it really is a decent trigger. I'm just a snob.

ttheel
December 5, 2012, 06:10 PM
I was posed with this same dilemma recently. I ended up going with the X bolt. It just felt right in my hands and shouldered well. I bought the Stainless Stalker in 300 WSM. It is a fine weapon and I am very happy.


I forgot to mention this earlier but Browning is also offering a free black and gray softshell jacket(similar to North Face etc) right now with the purchase of any X bolt through December 31, 2012. I just got mine in the mail today and wow it is really nice. Much nicer than I was expecting. They list the retail price as $150 and I have seen very similar coats from other manufacturers priced that high or around that. A really nice addition free of charge with my new X bolt.

gspn
December 5, 2012, 08:23 PM
To add to my story, me and my dad spent the day going from gun shop to gun shop. He was a saint, as he is not a gun guy. I thought I wanted either a 700 or 7400, but the ones we looked at didn't 'feel' right.

We stopped at a local gunsmith and looked at yet another uninspiring 700 ADL (used). My old man asked what the smith had that was a bit nicer. He brought out a Husky ultralight in .30-06 (I HAD to have an '06). A Husky is a Mauser action with a svelte stock with a schnabel forend and it had a Weaver K4 on it.

It was minty and gorgeous and spoke to both of us. I was buying it with my own money, and it was out of my budget by $100, but I wanted it SO bad. My dad asked me if I liked it and my answer was clearly YES! He told the smith we would take it and I could hardly believe it.

The rifle plus a box of Winchester Supreme 165gr Silvertips, and a pair of blaze orange Silencio earmuffs left the store with us. The smith threw in a nice soft case and the rifle had a leather military style sling on it. We then ate Chinese food for lunch. It was one of my fondest memories from my youth. It was WAY better than any box I have ever opened under a Christmas tree, and I cherish both the rifle and the memory to this day. Despite all the guns I have purchased since, this memory stands alone. The experience made the rifle so much sweeter for me. Can you tell I am having fun re-living the moment now? Take advantage of that youthful exuberance, it doesn't last long. Whatever you do, have fun with it.
K1500 - What a great and special story. I always love it when I get a glimpse into the perspective my kids have on something in their lives...and to hear your perspective on that day from your childhood really hits home. That convinced me...I just told his momma that he and I are going down to the store on Friday so he can pick one out.

I now count you as literally one of the wisest people I have ever read on the internet.

Thanks again.

lefteyedom
December 5, 2012, 08:35 PM
Why don't you ask him and let him help pick it out? One great memory from my childhood was obsessing over catalogs and finally picking out MY .30-06. I can still remember almost everything that happened that day, including what and where we ate. Let him have that kind of fun, even if it is a gift.

It will be surprise enough that he is getting a rifle. Getting the one that tickles his fancy will be priceless.

bushmaster1313
December 5, 2012, 09:22 PM
Why don't you ask him and let him help pick it out? One great memory from my childhood was obsessing over catalogs and finally picking out MY .30-06. I can still remember almost everything that happened that day, including what and where we ate. Let him have that kind of fun, even if it is a gift.

Great advice

DM~
December 5, 2012, 09:38 PM
I would take him to the gunshop, and see which one fits HIM best!

DM

K1500
December 5, 2012, 09:44 PM
I'm glad my story helped, I had fun telling it. Be sure to update this thread and let us know how the day went and what he picked.

Savage99
December 6, 2012, 12:02 AM
Get him the Winchester M70 because it has that 3 position safety that controls the firing pin.

When your son is unloading his loaded rifle in the dark at the end of the day by your car you will be glad he has it on safe yet he can work the bolt and extract the live round.

Also the M70 is made in the USA!

Kachok
December 6, 2012, 12:05 AM
^ Hard to beat a model 70 I love mine, my Tikka is more accurate sure, but the fit/finish/feel of the new 70 is unsurpassed and a top pick even if it will ONLY shoot 1/2-3/4" groups :D Great gun HIGHLY recommended.

P.B.Walsh
December 6, 2012, 12:25 AM
Another Model 70 fan here, better finishing than a Rem. 700, can't comment on the others. If I were buying a hunting specific rifle, it would be either the featherweight or supergrade, both beautiful rifles.

VAPOPO
December 6, 2012, 03:56 AM
Another vote for the Tikka. My 7mm08 has been nothing short of amazing. Very close to my SAKO 75 varmiter in 22-250 accuracy wise at half the cost. The CZ 550 would be my next choice all walnut and steel no plastic and a gun that will be handed down for generations to come. My Experience with the model 70 was not as positive as others here but with the proper replacement parts could have been.

tiwil
December 6, 2012, 07:01 AM
I own 5 rifles on your list two X-bolt,two Fn Mod 70 and one Vanguard.All these rifle have been accurate and trouble free so far,but if I would have to choose one it would be the X-bolt,I think they handle better than the rest,the DBM is one of the best I've seen and I like the tang safety.They are also a bit more accurate than the other.

Lloyd Smale
December 6, 2012, 07:07 AM
out of your choises if your talking new recently made guns id take the model 70.

303tom
December 6, 2012, 09:38 AM
Go with the Browning in .308/7.62 NATO............

allaroundhunter
December 6, 2012, 01:26 PM
Just don't let gun store guys talk your son out of the rifle that he likes. Any of the rifles you mentioned are fine rifles that, as long as he takes care of them, will last him through his lifetime.

ErieLurker
December 6, 2012, 03:28 PM
Unless it's meant to be a total surprise for his birthday, try to get your son over to the LGS and let him handle them to see what feels best to him; chances are that might be the Model 70 anyway, especially if it's a Featherweight he handles. Otherwise, either of those Brownings would probably be pretty nice.

Cee Zee
December 6, 2012, 03:44 PM
They certainly do make low recoil ammo for a 30.06 now and for a .270 and for other calibers. They get the 30.06 down to about the same power of a 7.62 x 39 round which is MUCH less recoil intense than the full power 30.06 loads. I can't speak to the other calibers because I don't own the guns. But with the full weight of a hunting rifle a 7.62 x 39 level round is going to feel like a .22.

BTW I would have considered a Savage. They are making fabulous rifles these days and IMO they are the best bang for the buck by far.

Gtscotty
December 6, 2012, 06:38 PM
I have had a couple Tikka's and they were excellent, very accurate guns. I recently sold off my last Tikka to fund a Browning Stainless x-bolt in 30-06, and do not regret my decision at all. The Browning fits me a little better than the Tikkas did, and shoots just as well. I think my next rifle will be a Winchester M70, they are such a classic rifle, and people have reported stellar accuracy out of the newer FN-made versions. That said, if a great deal on a Tikka rolls by, I doubt I'd be able to turn it down. I think it would be hard to go wrong with a Tikka, Browning, or Winny (or Weatherby S2, they have a great reputation, I just don't have any first hand experience with them).

Kachok
December 6, 2012, 07:22 PM
^Wish my Brownig shot half as well as my Tikka :( Fought with it for months trying to get it to group, though I will say that mine is certainly the exception not the rule. I did finnaly find a handload that it shoots good but it was alot of work. Factroy ammo was 3-6" avarage groups simply unacceptable even for hunting.

ttheel
December 6, 2012, 07:32 PM
Good gosh kachok, I have never heard of anything like that. There had to be some kind of problem with the gun.

bpl
December 6, 2012, 11:48 PM
Kachok,

I'd have sent that rifle back...my Browning Abolt .243 shoots great, I just prefer my Winchesters and Kimber so tend to hunt with them instead while my Abolt sits unused in the safe.

Kachok
December 7, 2012, 01:31 AM
I have thought about contacting Browning just to see if they had any ideas what might be wrong with it. As long as it shoots handloads good I am not going to get upset about it even if they cannot give me a quick fix, I don't really shoot factory ammo much at all anyway, besides the one load that groups happens to be the fastest load listed for 7mm-08 in the Nosler #6 manual 47.5gr of Big Game listed at 2953fps! Only downside is that officially takes it out of the sissy kicker category, it feels just like a 30-06 at that speed.

K1500
December 7, 2012, 10:19 PM
Well, how did it go?

gspn
December 7, 2012, 10:46 PM
****UPDATE****

After receiving some very good advice here I put aside my desire to achieve surprise and I brought my son down to the store to make his own decision. He's had a pretty good day. He won 2 out of his 3 wrestling matches tonight at practice, then when he got in the truck I told him where we were going. He was excited.

I was there as a sounding board...providing advice but not steering in any direction. He handled all four guns and there was nobody in the store so we had plenty of time. He must have gone through each one at least four times before deciding. In the end he bought the Weatherby Sub MOA. I had them put a Leupold VX2 3-9x40 on top and off we went.

With any luck he'll be in the field with it this weekend. Its supposed to be bad weather though so he might have to wait another week.

Thanks to all for the advice. Your collective input has helped make a great day for a 13 year old kid who really deserves it.

Boattale
December 7, 2012, 11:32 PM
Nice move.

K1500
December 8, 2012, 12:27 AM
Nice story. I am sure he was thrilled!

gspn
December 8, 2012, 12:51 AM
Yeah he's pretty excited. After they got the scope mounted I shouldered it and with great admiration told him that on second thought...I was going to keep this rifle for myself and let him have my old one. HA! He didn't like that thought one bit. I thought he was going to knock me over on the spot.

We drove by his grand-daddys house on the way home so he could show it off.

Oh...and as a kicker he asked if he could grab some candy on the way out...so I gave him a $20 and told him to get what he wanted. It was a great night all the way around.

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