How do the basic bolt action rifle makers rank?


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breakingcontact
April 15, 2013, 12:15 AM
By rank, I'm referring to overall quality. I'm looking at common makers, nothing super high dollar or custom.

I keep hearing Remington isn't what they were and is having QA issues. This is unfortunate as I really like to buy whatever the "standard" is in guns and I thought the Remington 700 was it.

Savage, I've always heard how accurate they are, but then I hear they've been having bolt issues.

Ruger?

Winchester?

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Welding Rod
April 15, 2013, 01:11 AM
IMO Winchester is at the top of the heap of the big 3. And by a substantial margin. There floated barrels are a big plus. The workmanship has been really good on the ones I have handled, as have been the triggers and safety movement. The actions have been admirably slick - maybe not in the Tikka / Sako league, but still very nice. The CRF on my Sporter is flawless, and the magazine top loads very easily.

My personal experience with Remington has been good, but I have only owned 4 of them and the newest one was bought probably at least 5 years ago. No problems of any kind. Nice triggers and smooth actions. I don't care too much for a bolt gun without a floated barrel though.

However I have a friend who bought a M700 recently and it just went back for warranty work after it fired upon pushing the safety off. And there seems to be a lot of negative reports on the boards the last couple of years.

I have owned and handled numerous Ruger Hawkeyes over the years. I bought at least 6 in the last 5 years or so. To say Ruger has had QC problems would be an understatement. From the problems I have seen, I am convinced they must put guns out the door without any meaningful form of final inspection or test firing.

Depending on the stock, you most likely get a non-floated barrel. The LC6 triggers I have owned and tried normally have had noticeable creep in them. I have seen several safety levers that were so tight you couldn't even move flick them off without releasing your shooting grip and grabbing the lever with a thumb and finger to shove it over.

The scope mount system is excellent IMO, except the rings frequently need a moderate and sometimes severe lapping as they just can't be relied on to sit on the receiver very true.

I ordered an Alaskan an the barrel was as horribly clocked as any rifle I have seen. It was ridiculous. I rejected it and had my dealer send it back for a replacement.

I have had a couple Hawkeyes that would pop their rounds up out of the magazine lips ahead of the extractor. So no CRF operation on them.

My .416 would jamb the bullet of the top round in the magazine into the square sharp edge on the back of the chamber either tying up the gun or dinging the bullet up. And that is supposed to be a dangerous game rifle.

And the Hawkeye bolt movement is frequently quite cobby compared to say... well just about anything else.... M700, M70, Sako/Tikka, etc.

But they are cheap and IF you find a copy that wasn't fouled up in production they can be a great value.

jmr40
April 15, 2013, 07:39 AM
Assuming we are talking hunting rifles, not target rifles this is the way I see it.

Sako Winchester and Kimber are the best of the bunch. I simply prefer Winchester or Kimber's design, but honestly the Sako might be the best made rifle.

The Tikka is a darn good rifle, really just a budget gun produced by Sako which tells you a lot.

I think Ruger is building the most rugged, dependable rifle made. They can be a little coarse, but are tough as nails and accurate enough for a hunting rifle. Not terribly priced for what you get either.

I'm not a huge fan of Remington, but feel the internet hype over quality issues are overstated. The rifles listed above have design features I prefer over the Remington, but I have owned Remingtons in the past, still own 1 model 700 and a couple of 870's. They have always worked. If I were only interested in pure accuracy, and not interested in durability or toughness Remington is the place I'd start.

I've owned a few Savage rifles, shot a few more. The internet hype about amazing accuracy has not proven accurate for me. I've found them to be as accurate as other guns costing more, but not any more accurate. They have some design features that eliminate them from my consideration. But I don't think they are a bad gun. Especially their less expensive versions. They are going to be just as accurate as guns costing more. I cannot see spending money on their top end guns though. They are in the same price range as a Winchester and no more accurate. If someone is going to pay that much money they might as well get a much nicer, more refined gun.

It is hard to go horribly wrong with any of the major brands. All are pretty good. Some offer features not offered by others and picking the features most important to you will make your decsion.

jrdolall
April 15, 2013, 08:42 AM
Out of the box performance I give the nod to Winchester. These guns are in the $700 range. If you can find an older Remington 700 then I put them in the same category with Winchester and maybe the newer 700s are good but I am scared to buy one.
For more "budget" friendly guns I think Savage is the best rifle out there. Ruger American seems to be a fine rifle but I don't own one. I have shot one a few times and it was adequate. Mossberg and Remington are far below the others in the budget department and by "budget" I am generally referring to the rifles you can buy for -$400 at any of the big box retailers.

I am not a target shooter nor do I need 400 yard accuracy since I hunt whitetails in Alabama with my rifles mostly. Heck for what I need I just expect decent accuracy out to 200 yards and pretty much any rifle will do that.

dvdcrr
April 15, 2013, 09:36 AM
Out of the half dozen brands I have owned, my favorite is the Kimber 8400 in 270 wsm. Ther is no dimension on the rifle which is larger than it needs to be. Next is my stainless vanguard in 257 weatherby. After that the REM, Ruger, savages all kind of lump together. The Kimber is 7.6 lbs loaded with scope and 24" barrel, and strangely in 270wsm has very manageable recoil , which you would not expect since you have near 7 mag power coming out the other end. The kimber has slightly shorter LOP. After I got used to it the Kimber is like a T-bird or vintage 'vette, and the others are buicks.

breakingcontact
April 15, 2013, 10:59 AM
The Winchester Model 70 is a classic right? Still made? Also, who makes Winchesters now, thought they got bought up?

beatledog7
April 15, 2013, 11:35 AM
I think any OOB bolt action rifle of any make is probably as accurate as 99% of the shooters will ever be able to leverage, and as reliable as 99% will ever need.

If your quality criteria are other than accuracy and reliability, YMMV. It comes down to personal preference.

HOOfan_1
April 15, 2013, 11:46 AM
Winchester Model 70s are made by FN in South Carolina

FN owns Winchester

osteodoc08
April 15, 2013, 04:24 PM
Out of the box, I feel the Kimber guns are considerably underrated. I love my 22-250 and it easily my most accurate when compared to my rugers, savages, Remington's and browning. No Winchester to compare to, but I imagine it'd still be the same

mnhntr
April 15, 2013, 04:37 PM
Obviousy there is no corect answer to this question, but since you asked, I will do like everyone else and give you my opinion based on my experience. This is my list in order of good to bad based on accuracy, fit & finish, configuration of offerings, and value.
1) Savage
2) Howa
3) Weatherby
4) Remington
5) Winchester
6) Tikka
7) Ruger
8) Browning

Ky Larry
April 15, 2013, 04:43 PM
CZ. You can pay more money for a gun but you won't get more gun for your money.

dvdcrr
April 15, 2013, 05:56 PM
Mnhunter have you seen the new savages with their plastic mag latches? I don't know how they could be #1 on anybody's list but to each their own.

mnhntr
April 15, 2013, 07:17 PM
Which models would those be? I have 3 savages, 1 is brand new and the others are 2-3 yrs old. No plastic mag latches on mine. I would imagine the low end Axis maybe does but it is still 200% better that that Rem770 POS. I have never shot any Remington that was a factory rifle that shot better than my Savages. The worst shooting rifles I have ever owned were Rugers. Remington and a few of the other companies put out decently accurate rifles but have poor configurations such as twist rate, triggers, and stocks. I really like the Tikka but the all the ones I have seen for under $800 had short action calibers in long actions. I love the accu triggers and if all I have to do is buy a $500 Savage and maybe put a new stock on it that to me is a good deal. I have shot a few Weatherby rifles and Howa rifles and they are good shooters but they do not have as many offerings. The Winchesters I have shot are all pre 64 94s and an older model 70 so I cannot say anything about the newer stuff.

jrdolall
April 15, 2013, 07:26 PM
I bought a new Savage Axis in December and it does have a plastic mag and mag release. I dont have a problem with that as it is a low end gun but shoots extremely well.

greyling22
April 16, 2013, 01:53 AM
I don't know anything about them other than the promo video I saw, but I don't think there is any more basic or classic name in bolt guns other than Mauser, and they have this new rifle called the m12 that looks pretty slick.

Robert
April 16, 2013, 07:53 AM
When I was in the market for a new hunting rifle last year I did a good deal of research looking at CZ, Remington, Kimber and Winchester. I quickly eliminated Kimber, not because it is a bad rifle but because they are what I'd consider a boutique gun maker. Meaning they make fine rifles, but you will pay for it.

Remington was soon out of the running as I could not find one that did not have some kind of issue. Not that I am hyper picky but when I am paying nearly $1200 for a rifle I want to feel like I am getting a good value for my money. So it was down to CZ and Winchester.

I wanted a 375H&H and of the two the Winchester offered more of what I wanted in a rifle in that caliber. Two recoil lugs and two cross bolts to keep every thing in place under recoil. The action is smooth, getting better as I shoot it, and while not a perfect rifle I did feel I got the best bang for my buck as it were. In the interest of honesty I did have to have it bedded to get it to shoot straight and have the crown touched up as the factory crown was a tad off and the bedded was well terrible. But now she holds very nice groups at 100 out to 400 and I know she can take game at any distance I am able to shoot.

So I said all that to say this, I vote Winchester!

Hokkmike
April 16, 2013, 08:01 AM
For me Sako clearly tops any list.

I have always considered Savage entry level. Good, but plain Jane stuff.

All of my Winchesters have been fine.

I have NOT owned Remington rifles. No special reason.

Howa is OK if you like Japanese. I hada Howa under the Smith and Wesson name. It was a .243. Fine rifle, but lacking the quality of a Sako.

Orkan
April 16, 2013, 09:33 AM
Anyone considering a savage needs to put in a call to any of the top precision rifle schools in the country... and ask them if they would recommend a savage to anyone.

breakingcontact
April 16, 2013, 10:27 AM
So I said all that to say this

I first heard this phrase from a preacher in Louisiana. Big fan. Also, I like the classic look of the Winchester rifles.

Anyone considering a savage needs to put in a call to any of the top precision rifle schools in the country... and ask them if they would recommend a savage to anyone.

Of course not, they would want their shooters to have the absolute best I'm sure and that would come with a price. What do you propose they would recommend?

HOOfan_1
April 16, 2013, 10:38 AM
What do you propose they would recommend?

More than likely what ever rifle they are paid to recommend.

Orkan
April 16, 2013, 10:49 AM
To say that those top instructors can be bought, is a severe disregard for the pedigree of those instructors. I know some of them personally... and their integrity has no price. Ever.

I too teach precision rifle courses. Thus far, every class which we've had a savage on the firing line, has led to stoppages of some kind to address equipment failures or ergonomics limitations on those rifles. (bolt lift is indeed... savage)

I'll simply say that those whom would demand performance from their rifles across a high volume firing schedule are likely to be disappointed by savage. I could not, in good conscience, recommend one of their centerfires after what I've seen. This being based on a good sample size, across a wide range of their centerfire models.

HOOfan_1
April 16, 2013, 10:56 AM
Well considering the OP asked about basic bolt actions...I don't know exactly what bearing the recommendation of "top precision rifle instructors" would have anyway...

Orkan
April 16, 2013, 11:08 AM
Well considering the OP asked about basic bolt actions...I don't know exactly what bearing the recommendation of "top precision rifle instructors" would have anyway... I interpreted "Basic" to mean factory rifles that have not been heavily customized. As such, the rifle he described represents over 50% of what shows up to entry level precision rifle classes. Factory rifles completely unmodified, or factory barreled actions that have been bedded in an aftermarket stock or chassis.

Rifle instructors are exposed to a huge cross-section of rifles. I would have thought their opinion would carry some weight, but I could be wrong, as I often am.

Charger442
April 16, 2013, 11:10 AM
FN SPR is pretty damn good out of the box.

pre-64 style claw extractor and control round feeding
Easily adjustable trigger
detachable mag or hinged floor plate (mag can be converted to a CDI bottom metal to take AICS mags)
good options for replacement stocks (factory options include McMillan A3 and A5 for additional money)


to me, seems to be a great set-up right out of the gate. and its not a Remington or Savage, so fit and finish and accuracy are going to be both present, not one without the other.

HOOfan_1
April 16, 2013, 11:31 AM
To say that those top instructors can be bought, is a severe disregard for the pedigree of those instructors. I know some of them personally... and their integrity has no price. Ever.


I didn't mean to sound as if I were saying they would endorse anything they don't 100% believe in.

My apologies if I seemed to impugn integrity.


Rifle instructors are exposed to a huge cross-section of rifles. I would have thought their opinion would carry some weight, but I could be wrong, as I often am.

Very true. Since the OP has not stated the purpose of the rifle, we can not really know what he wants it to do well.

I am sure precision rifle work is much more demanding than a basic hunting rifle. One should always make their purchase with intent in mind.

mnhntr
April 16, 2013, 11:51 AM
I am sure that "top rifle instructors" like gun profesionals such as Vickers and Hawkes have their OPINIONS on what is best. They seem to change everytime the sponsers change. I do not buy that Savages are always stopped on the line in your classes by failures or we would hear more about this. Being this is the first timw I have ever heard this I call shinanagins. So go on and promote your guy who builds 3K rifles but that was not the question.
Edited after viewing your profile. Now it is clear why you would bash a brand working for a custom builder that would have an interest in a factory rifle that shoots side by side with your customs.

ford8nr
April 16, 2013, 12:38 PM
When my son bought his rifle bout 5 years ago he did extensive research, looked and handled tons of guns and ended up buying a Ruger Hawkeye in .308. Take it for what's it worth. I know there are lots of Ruger haters out there, can't figure out why.

mnhntr
April 16, 2013, 12:46 PM
Orkan
Its also hard to take a guy seriously when he is bashing on one site and promoting on another. This is your post on the Hide.

"Yeah, so many places to go with this. Best? or best for the money?

AI would have to be my pick for "best" factory gun.

For best for the money... its hard to beat savage 10FP or remington 700 SPS."

thomis
April 16, 2013, 01:57 PM
The Winchester Model 70 is a classic right? Still made? Also, who makes Winchesters now, thought they got bought up?

I recently acquired a new FN Winchester Model 70 Featherweight made in SC. I posted my comments and pics here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=640550). I am more than pleased with this rifle!

When I was searching for a good hunting rifle back in 2010, I settled on a Savage. I couldn't get the thing to shoot straight to save my life. Only gun I ever sold.

jrdolall
April 16, 2013, 02:37 PM
If you ask a professional fisherman what is the best bass boat I bet they would answer with whatever comapny sponsors them and I bet precision shooters will do the same. Ask Tiger Woods who makes the best golf ball. Not to question their integrity but it's like asking a politician a question. They BETTER say the name of whatever company is paying them. Hey my wife is the most beautiful woman in the world!
I have hunted with a Savage Model 110 in 30-06 for the past 10 years or so and have NEVER had a misfire, FTE, or any other mechanical issue so I have a hard time believing that you see issues every time someone brings one to the range.
There are several -$500 rifles out there and I think Savage is the best.
For the $500-$900 or so rifle I prefer Winchester as far as new guns are concerned.
I use my rifles for hunting and I want a gun that comes out of the box to my liking. The accu-trigger makes the Savage tops in that regard with the guns I have shot.

Welding Rod
April 16, 2013, 03:48 PM
I know there are lots of Ruger haters out there, can't figure out why.

Probably because their QC is poor. They start with a solid design but the execution of their manufacturing is hit and miss. If you get one that isn't fouled up, they can be a great buy, but if you get one with a canted front sight, a safety you can't push with a firing grip, a mile of creep in the trigger, CRF that doesn't, scope rings that don't line up true, incompletely threaded ring components that prohibit assembly, or a barrel that walks the POI significantly during heating, it was not a good buy at all.

I almost bought a new Ruger Magnum in 458 Lott until I worked the action and found the bolt wobbled enough that during the forward push it could and would catch on a square sharp edge in the reciever that would completely prohibit forward movement. Mechanical interference, not just binding. Foward pressure on the bolt handle had to then be relaxed, the bolt wiggled, and then pushed forward. And this is on a serious dangerous game rifle. It is (was) Ruger's flagship rifle.

I already mentioned the feed issues on my .416 Ruger.

I still have 3 Hawkeyes out of many that I bought, and 2 were fine enough rifles for the money. I agree they are a robust and solid design. But between some of the manufacturing problems I have found on some of mine, and problems I have seen on rifles that I have handled in stores, it is easy to find a reason to look to Winchester or some other manfacturer.

stumpers
April 16, 2013, 04:10 PM
I don't know much of their center-fire line, but a CZ 452 I used to have was the most accurate .22 lr I have ever had, and its quality seemed infinitely better than Remington, Marlin.

Based on my experience with the 452, I'm going to check out CZ center-fires to see what I think when I'm next looking for a bolt gun.

ford8nr
April 16, 2013, 04:41 PM
I'd bet if you asked who had sucky x brand rifles EVERY BRAND would have a list of people posting. I've had people tell me how bad 10/22's are 'out of the box' then look sad and stupid when my stock 10/22 Target out shoots what their favorite rifle is.

ldlfh7
April 16, 2013, 04:52 PM
Anyone considering a savage needs to put in a call to any of the top precision rifle schools in the country... and ask them if they would recommend a savage to anyone.
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I love how people like to talk crap on Savage as a budget rifle. I mean get real. For hunting purposes it is more than accurate enough. I have had a savage 11 in 308 for 3 years. It shoots factory ammo in 1" groups all day from the bench at 200 yards. This is pretty good for a basic cheap rifle.

dvdcrr
April 16, 2013, 05:16 PM
I have no problem with Savage. But I was in a big store looking over new dBm models 110 s not the axis. And they had a plastic mag with a plastic latch on the mag. I couldn't recommend a rifle with this setup to someone. But that's about it.

PlaneJain
April 16, 2013, 05:26 PM
I prefer Sako
http://i1009.photobucket.com/albums/af219/Planejain/100_3757a_zpsf77bb9eb.jpg

breakingcontact
April 16, 2013, 05:45 PM
I just had Sako recommended to me at my LGS.

I was handling a Howa which felt very good to me but there was a Sako as well.

HOOfan_1
April 16, 2013, 05:56 PM
I just had Sako recommended to me at my LGS.

I was handling a Howa which felt very good to me but there was a Sako as well.


Well Mercedes is to Hyundai what Sako is to Howa. They play on completely different fields.

Tikka, which is made by Sako is closer to Howa in price and performance.

The cheaper Sako rifles are generally over $1000.

Orkan
April 16, 2013, 06:53 PM
I do not buy that Savages are always stopped on the line in your classes by failures or we would hear more about this. Being this is the first timw I have ever heard this I call shinanagins. Then I must be lying, in order to push a subversive agenda. Thank you for being so forward.

Orkan
Its also hard to take a guy seriously when he is bashing on one site and promoting on another. This is your post on the Hide.
"Yeah, so many places to go with this. Best? or best for the money?
AI would have to be my pick for "best" factory gun.
For best for the money... its hard to beat savage 10FP or remington 700 SPS." What was the date of that post? Things change, as experiences change. Secondarily, I often tried to give savage a break back then... as their stuff was a new and exciting. They were listening to the tactical shooting community, and coming to the table with products aimed at us tactical shooters, so I was willing to give them a chance. If I'm to be persecuted for learning they were not to withstand scrutiny and changing my opinion based on first hand experiences, I'm fine with that. Sling as much mud as you think will stick. Find others to help sling mud with you. Shouldn't be hard.

dvdcrr
April 16, 2013, 07:16 PM
Tikka T3 stainless : "This bad boy will change your life."

mnhntr
April 16, 2013, 08:21 PM
What was the date of that post? Things change, as experiences change. Secondarily, I often tried to give savage a break back then... as their stuff was a new and exciting. They were listening to the tactical shooting community, and coming to the table with products aimed at us tactical shooters, so I was willing to give them a chance. If I'm to be persecuted for learning they were not to withstand scrutiny and changing my opinion based on first hand experiences, I'm fine with that. Sling as much mud as you think will stick. Find others to help sling mud with you. Shouldn't be hard.

I am not slinging mud just pointing out that you are bashing a brand on one sight then recomending them on another while working for a company the makes rifles. Seems pretty obvious you would have a bias or agenda. If it is truely due to a change of opinion or whatever fine but don't make some generalization and not provide the facts. I have never seen anyone talk about failures of Savage rifles at any events or classes except on your post. How many Savages have you personally seen fail? And what are the problems? What type of classes are these?

Orkan
April 16, 2013, 08:37 PM
I am not slinging mud just pointing out that you are bashing a brand on one sight then recomending them on another while working for a company the makes rifles. Seems pretty obvious you would have a bias or agenda. If it is truely due to a change of opinion or whatever fine but don't make some generalization and not provide the facts. I have never seen anyone talk about failures of Savage rifles at any events or classes except on your post. How many Savages have you personally seen fail? And what are the problems? What type of classes are these? I have no intention of discussing something in detail with someone openly claiming I have no integrity. Openly stating I have an agenda, and am providing false information for financial gain isn't slinging mud? Interesting take on things you have there.

Secondly, I do not work for a company that makes rifles.

Thirdly, the post you referenced was from January 2010. Over three years ago. Kind of a lot can happen in three years, don't ya think? Matter of fact, it only took me about 2 years or less for me to see savage rifles poop out on the firing line.

Fourth, we stock, sell, and advocate savage rimfires. The brand bias you speak of... how does that work exactly?

Fifth, something tells me that I'll have a difficult time convincing someone that is in the market for a bone-stock rifle in the $500-1000 range, to buy a $5000 DTA, or our cheapest traditional rifle package @ $2500. (w/optics)

I guess since this is the first you've heard of it, and the fact that it's coming from a liar with no integrity and an agenda to push, you probably shouldn't give it much weight. After all, three years ago that person can be quoted as saying a rem700 sps and savage would be hard to beat for the money.

Matter of fact, I wouldn't give anything I say the slightest bit of consideration, were I in your position, seeing things as you are.

taliv
April 16, 2013, 08:45 PM
guys , there's nothing here worth getting all hot and bothered over. put it behind you


edit:


and let me add that per policies and common sense, Orkan is disclosing he's a dealer in his sig in every post. So it's not like he's shilling. We are all entitled to our opinions and we are all aware of a financial interest that might color some opinions (though I don't get how some of you think it makes him anti-savage). In any event, I think it's inappropriate so let's keep the discussion fact based

PlaneJain
April 16, 2013, 08:49 PM
BreakingContact, instead of getting a bunch of internet opinions, I suggest you go to a very large gunstore and hold each one. The feel and natural point of aim is an important factor. Then read up on the pros and cons of the few you have narrowed it down to. Me, I prefer rifles with a monte carlo stock over the traditional american styles. Sako's are awesum, but you also have to pay for them. For a lower end rifle, I enjoy Weatherby Vanguards. Enjoy the shopping part of it, and take your time. :)

What caliber are you looking at?

joed
April 16, 2013, 08:53 PM
I agree with jmr40. Never owned Kimber or Sako but have handled them, they are well made. I've owned Winchester, Remington and Savage.

Winchester is my first pick. Very accurate right out of the box, well made and nice features like the 3 position safety and free floated barrels.

Remington is OK but they cut to many corners. Their stocks are junk and triggers horrible. The last one I owned shot great once I changed the stock and trigger.

Savage is a decent gun but I've had trouble with the 2 I've owned. The 10fp I had was very accurate but wouldn't feed the next round reliably 30% of the time. My second Savage would string the shots as the barrel warmed up. After 6 months I gave up and sold it.

Savage99
April 16, 2013, 09:06 PM
My preference in bolt action sporters is for the features I want, value and quality.

Some of the economy rifles lack features that I demand in a rifle. I want control round feeding and a three position safety that holds the firing pin. Not just a push feed gun with a trigger safety.

I use the first M70 that I got new in 1957. It was a 243 Varmint model with the SS heavy barrel. I wore that barrel out and now there is a Winchester .220 Swift barrel on it.

I have old M70's, Savage 99's, single shots and my pet of the last few years is a custom on a mauser. I like Kimbers as well and in fact all of my SS/Syn rifles are Montanas. Some of my most accurate sporters are WSM Montanas.

The last new CF rifle I got was a M70 7mm WSM when they came out. I sold it as it did not shoot all that well.

Propforce
April 16, 2013, 10:17 PM
I do not see Browning mentioned and one poster rated it last among all manufacturers. I'd like to ask fellow THRers what don't you like about Browning? Specifically I am looking at the A-Bolt series. Are they reliable? Accurately? Good Quality? I know they tend to be on the higher end price wise, but I want to make sure if there are any issues besides price.

Scooter22
April 16, 2013, 10:26 PM
You don't say what you want or how much you want to spend. So as a basic get the most for your money go with a Savage based on the 110/111 action. Not the Axis. You can get them dolled up or basic with a synthetic stock. Great trigger, accurate and inexpensive. A used one is 300.00 or so. Sure you can get the "other" names and pay more but the Savage are just as good and accurate out to normal hunting ranges.

thomis
April 17, 2013, 06:57 AM
Browning is made in Japan, if that means anything to you. I prefer an American-made firearm, if I can afford it.

So is the Weatherby Vanguard, by the way.

breakingcontact
April 17, 2013, 08:07 AM
Speaking of Japanese, how about the Howa?

Started off looking at Ruger American, Savage Axis and other sub $400 guns. Then came across a Howa 1500 Varminter Heavy barrel for around $600. Can a guy really get an accurate, reliable and durable gun for less than $400 (Savage Axis at Academy is $279!)?

Handling the Howa it felt like such a nicer gun than the cheaper ones. Is this just in fit and finish and doesn't carry over to actual accuracy, quality and durability?

HOOfan_1
April 17, 2013, 08:42 AM
What do you want to use the gun for???
Again...intent is the most important factor.
I wouldn't buy a Savage Axis for practical shooting matches...and I wouldn't even buy it for a range toy. I might consider it for a bare bones hunting rifle.

I've heard complaints about Howas having rough barrels with copper fouling problems. If you are using this as a hunting rifle...that isn't a problem. If you are using this as a target rifle firing hundreds of shots a month...that is a problem.

breakingcontact
April 17, 2013, 09:13 AM
Purpose, general use. Cover multiple roles.

Rifleman1st
April 17, 2013, 02:03 PM
Winchester. Free floated barrel, 3 position safety, CRF, American made. I have owned Remingtons, Rugers and Savages. If you look in my safe the Winchesters outnumber all the others 5 to 1.

breakingcontact
April 17, 2013, 04:25 PM
I'm looking for an entry gun into the bolt action world. I really like to stick with a brand for a type of gun. So whatever I get, I want to find others in that brand that I would enjoy as well.

I've ruled out the Howa, thought about the idea of the Japanese who make them not being able to own them, doesn't sit well with me.

So I'm at Savage, Remington, Ruger, Winchester and others. I know the Remington 700 was considered the standard for a long time. I've heard over and over how their quality is way down now. Are the new Remingtons really that bad?

Savage seems to be the direction I'm heading in. They seem to be highly recommended and nearly universally praised for their accuracy.

I do like how the Winchesters look but haven't handled them. Again, they once had something that was considered a standard and now a classic, the Model 70.

I am looking for a short (20-22") barrel.

I6turbo
April 17, 2013, 04:42 PM
I'm looking for an entry gun into the bolt action world. I really like to stick with a brand for a type of gun. So whatever I get, I want to find others in that brand that I would enjoy as well.

Sir, you are a candidate for CZ-itis, an affliction where you buy one CZ, then a year later you have a bunch.... maybe with a few BRNOs sneaking in there....

It starts innocently enough with just one.
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh640/I6T/CZ452FS013smallfile-1.jpg

Then you find yourself with another...
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh640/I6T/IMG_5022.jpg

Then another...
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh640/I6T/550rightsideonbag_1.jpg

Then they just keep coming...
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh640/I6T/CZ452SMT_1right_zpse7ff7639.jpg
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh640/I6T/CZ452Scoutright_1_zps35220919.jpg
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh640/I6T/UltraScout_1_zpsd5523c27.jpg
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh640/I6T/452Americanrightsideonbag_3_zpsd15c0881.jpg
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh640/I6T/Brno3rightside_2_zpsc2004ddf.jpg
http://i1255.photobucket.com/albums/hh640/I6T/Brno611rightside_1_zps3c2f65c5.jpg

I'll stop now, but you get the picture how bad the disease can be.... :what:
Just be sure you really want it before you ask for it. :D

SwampWolf
April 17, 2013, 04:58 PM
I think that most manufacturers (including Remington, Winchester, Sako, Savage, CZ, Weatherby, Browning, etc.) make decent bolt-action rifles. I've shot and hunted with Ruger Model 77s and their iterations since the early seventies (I currently own four of them) and have always found them to be well-made, plenty accurate, reliable, durable, nice-looking and affordable. Ruger is my rifle of choice when it comes to center-fire, bolt-action rifles with the Winchester Model 70 being a close second.

breakingcontact
April 17, 2013, 05:08 PM
I'd think your view that they all make decent rifles has to be more accurate than the team players out there who trash everything but their brand. I like Smith pistols, but Glocks/Rugers and most others are good too.

The CZs are fine rifles indeed. Their prices are higher then the domestics no?

I6turbo
April 17, 2013, 05:13 PM
I think that most manufacturers (including Remington, Winchester, Sako, Savage, CZ, Weatherby, Browning, etc.) make decent bolt-action rifles.
I agree. 90% of people could probably get their rifle job done with just about anything from an entry-level gun to the "finest" money can buy. For someone who is really interested in the guns themselves, they need to find the guns that speak to him/her beyond just what it is on paper. Frankly, that can't be reliably done on the internet. You can do a lot of useful research, but you can't necessarily pick your ideal gun without at the very least handling them, and the real proof is in shooting them some.

I6turbo
April 17, 2013, 05:21 PM
The CZs are fine rifles indeed. Their prices are higher then the domestics no?
Higher than some, lower than some. The 527s and 550s (the centerfires such as the examples shown in my 2nd and 3rd photos above) can be found anywhere from excellent condition to LNIB for absolute bargains if you do your homework and are patient.

breakingcontact
April 17, 2013, 05:24 PM
Agree it helps to handle different brands and models. As far as shooting all of the ones a guy is considering, that's very impractical for most people.

I am trying to avoid the phenomenon of people going overboard with their wants/needs. I don't want junk. But don't need $1000 gun either. Thinking about a Savage in $400-$600 price range.

housecat
April 17, 2013, 05:30 PM
(Just replying to a previous poster's question about Browning)

I was wondering about the lack of love for Browning. A friend with a 30-06 A-Bolt Stainless Stalker with a BOSS told me it would shoot groups of less than .5 MOA on demand (from a dead rest). Because he was a friend, I didn't scoff, but did ask to go shooting with him. I'm glad I kept my mouth shut. It is indeed that accurate. As far as reliability, I only shot it that one day. However, it is his regular deer harvester, and judging from the amount of venison I've eaten at his house, it works pretty good.

I6turbo
April 17, 2013, 05:30 PM
Agree it helps to handle different brands and models. As far as shooting all of the ones a guy is considering, that's very impractical for most people.
I didn't say it was practical, I just said that's where the proof lies. :)

I am trying to avoid the phenomenon of people going overboard with their wants/needs. I don't want junk. But don't need $1000 gun either. Thinking about a Savage in $400-$600 price range.

I paid less than $600 for each of the centerfires above (2nd and 3rd photos), and recently bought another 550 (like the 3rd photo) that is in that range but included a $200+ Sightron scope and $60 rings. If you're shopping for new in the box, you won't get those deals, though.

xfyrfiter
April 17, 2013, 05:54 PM
I have owned Winchester, Ruger, 77and#1, Mauser etc. I have fired many more and as far as a budget minding rifle, the Howa or Vangard are pretty hard to beat, IMHO only, others are free to agree or not, YMMV. The Savage is a good rifle but I just couldn't like the stock at all, 110 version.

The Grand Baboon
April 17, 2013, 06:21 PM
Hah, it looks like I'm not the only one out there, I6turbo. I caught the CZ bug when I purchased a 452 Trainer. I was so impressed by the quality and workmanship on the little rifle that when I came time to put down the money for a decent elk rifle, I bought a 550 in 30-06. I'm kissing 1 MOA @ 100 yards with handloads...and open sights.

...or maybe I just have a thing for walnut and blued steel. :D

PlaneJain
April 17, 2013, 06:26 PM
Heres one ya won't get your hands on 16turbo:
http://i1009.photobucket.com/albums/af219/Planejain/100_5932_zpsb977392a.jpg


And BreakingContact, CZ's do make some beautiful rifles, and their handguns are excellent as well.

The Grand Baboon
April 17, 2013, 06:49 PM
And another...
http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m522/zreed042/cz_550-1_zps576dfdc1.jpg

HOOfan_1
April 17, 2013, 07:16 PM
CZ rifles used to be cheaper than pretty much any wood stocked rifles...then everyone figured out how awesome they were...price shot up.

CB900F
April 17, 2013, 07:24 PM
Breaking;

I've got a "coupla" rifles, many brands represented. However I'm also a left-handed shooter, and tend to go with the makers who make my life easier.

Here's my take on your question:
Tikka, best value for the money. Winchester hasn't made a left gun since the USRAC days, but now making a helluva gun I'm told by people I believe. I have several CZ's, but not a 550, no lefties though they are available in Europe. The 452's & 527's are fine guns. And Sako, but the Tikka is the same gun without the frills and the price.

I won't have a Savage for a couple of reasons. Look at the bolt diameter, it does not fill the action. Crud can, and does, get into the magazine well because of it. I don't like that. And then, the bolt head screws onto the bolt body, it's not a monolithic bar of steel. Which lets them change the bolt face if you want to convert the gun from a standard caliber to a magnum. But I don't like the idea of a thin bolt with screw threads in it.

With that said, put anything you're considering to the shoulder. The fit can significantly mitigate the amount of felt recoil. A proper fitting stock is a joy, and an ill-fitting one is a pain in the shoulder.

900F

HOOfan_1
April 17, 2013, 07:31 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=167591&d=1341459037

d2wing
April 17, 2013, 08:12 PM
I, for one, appreciate the observation of someone of Orkan s experience and professionalism. Reports of feeding problems with Savages have been reported on other sites and the only Savage rifle I bought new failed on the first shot. The bolt was defective.
They are a good rifle but like other products across the board quality control is an issue.

I6turbo
April 17, 2013, 10:53 PM
Heres one ya won't get your hands on 16turbo:
http://i1009.photobucket.com/albums/af219/Planejain/100_5932_zpsb977392a.jpg

Nice! Is that a 455 Lux? I've wondered how those feel. Different stock and barrel length than a 452 Lux/Trainer, but they look like they'd be nice.

I6turbo
April 17, 2013, 10:59 PM
And another...
http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m522/zreed042/cz_550-1_zps576dfdc1.jpg
Looks great! What caliber? I almost grabbed one that looked quite a bit like that (with that checker pattern but I don't think the wood was as nice) in .30-06, but I had about 700 rounds of .308 ammo and nothing chambered in .308, so I found the .308 above. What year proof is yours? I see it's got the earlier checker pattern, but the three-position safety...

I6turbo
April 17, 2013, 11:02 PM
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=167591&d=1341459037
At the risk of this turning into a CZ thread.... :D HOOfan, what is that one?

PlaneJain
April 17, 2013, 11:11 PM
Nice! Is that a 455 Lux? I've wondered how those feel. Different stock and barrel length than a 452 Lux/Trainer, but they look like they'd be nice.


Yep, 455 Lux. And my first ever CZ rifle I have held. I have shot many 22 rifles, and this one by far has been my favorite.

HOOfan_1
April 17, 2013, 11:21 PM
CZ550 Varmint laminated stck .22-250

The Grand Baboon
April 18, 2013, 01:33 AM
Looks great! What caliber? I almost grabbed one that looked quite a bit like that (with that checker pattern but I don't think the wood was as nice) in .30-06, but I had about 700 rounds of .308 ammo and nothing chambered in .308, so I found the .308 above. What year proof is yours? I see it's got the earlier checker pattern, but the three-position safety...

It's a 30-06.

2012 as far as I'm aware. It has "12" stamped on the receiver and barrel next to a stamp of what looks like a little lion (or something) standing up.

jehu
April 18, 2013, 07:41 AM
Those CZ's are beautiful, although I'm a Sako guy.

thomis
April 18, 2013, 07:46 AM
Where are the CZ's made? I've always wanted one in .22 rimfire.

HOOfan_1
April 18, 2013, 08:42 AM
Where are the CZ's made? I've always wanted one in .22 rimfire.

Czech Republic...Uhersky Brod

breakingcontact
April 18, 2013, 09:03 AM
Came across an interesting Savage last night.

Dick's Sporting Goods (yes, them).

Savage 11 VT 24" heavy barrel, Bushnell 4x12 40mm scope (i believe), on sale for $550, plus another $50 off.

Any opinions on this package? (not on Dick's)

I6turbo
April 18, 2013, 09:18 AM
It's a 30-06.

2012 as far as I'm aware. It has "12" stamped on the receiver and barrel next to a stamp of what looks like a little lion (or something) standing up.
That would be a 2012. I guess they must have made some with that more elaborate checker pattern, and I was mistaken thinking that it was only from a few years ago. Gun looks great. Is that a 1907 sling, or something very similar?

rodinal220
April 18, 2013, 09:22 AM
Sako,Tikka,the new FN produced Winchester Models 70s look really sweet. Have a look at CZ 550s too.

I6turbo
April 18, 2013, 09:24 AM
Came across an interesting Savage last night.

Dick's Sporting Goods (yes, them).

Savage 11 VT 24" heavy barrel, Bushnell 4x12 40mm scope (i believe), on sale for $550, plus another $50 off.

Any opinions on this package? (not on Dick's)

I've never fired one, but from what I've seen I'd expect it to be an accurate gun. Is that a Korean-made Bushnell, one of the ones that retails for about $100 street price? IME, the Bushnells from Korea are good scopes for the money. What caliber are you looking at?

breakingcontact
April 18, 2013, 09:38 AM
From what I've read online. Its a special model for Dicks. I just want to make sure its not an odd gun and has interchangeable parts.

Scope? I believe it's similar to this one. http://images2.opticsplanet.com/755-405-ffffff/opplanet-bushnell-734120-trophy-xlt-riflescope.jpg

The Grand Baboon
April 18, 2013, 02:54 PM
It's a leather 1907 sling. It's actually a little too short for the rifle. For me to use the sling as intended (half turn, looped over bicep, etc.) the forward most claw on the sling has to be in the last set of punches. It's still a bit too tight even then.

Edit: I had really poor lighting in the previous pricture I posted. Add a little sunglight and a polarized lens filter and...
http://i1130.photobucket.com/albums/m522/zreed042/cz_550-1-2_zps23297d2e.jpg

OP, consider CZitis. You're a perfect candidate.

I6turbo
April 18, 2013, 03:18 PM
^^^ That's a beauty right there!

GCBurner
April 18, 2013, 03:26 PM
I can't think of any current production bolt action rifle manufacturer that I would consider a BAD rifle maker. As far as quality and accuracy out of the box, pretty much every new rifle on the racks is pretty darn good.

03Shadowbob
April 18, 2013, 07:01 PM
No way I put Winchester up there.
For budget no frills bolts:
Savage or Tikka. Hard call for me
Ruger
Marlin
Remington
Stevens
TC
Winchester

Lj1941
April 18, 2013, 07:16 PM
:confused::)Would not Kimber be comsidered high dollar and not really an ordinary rifle? I am just asking because I have only owned 3 Savages and 1 Remington in my lifetime not counting a DCM 1903A3.:)

Offfhand
April 18, 2013, 07:20 PM
Dakota. Why is there even a question?

Cee Zee
April 19, 2013, 12:42 AM
I got through the first page of this thread and I was shocked at the mis-information about Savages. Have you people paid attention to the F T/R and F-Class competitions? Those are high end Savages beating the pants off of custom built rifles. None of those other companies being mentioned can point to anything remotely equivalent.

Yes that caused me to buy a high end Savage and I am amazed at the accuracy.

Orkan
April 19, 2013, 02:03 PM
I got through the first page of this thread and I was shocked at the mis-information about Savages. Have you people paid attention to the F T/R and F-Class competitions? Those are high end Savages beating the pants off of custom built rifles. None of those other companies being mentioned can point to anything remotely equivalent.

Yes that caused me to buy a high end Savage and I am amazed at the accuracy. So in your estimation, if people are reporting experiences different than yours, it is "misinformation?"

breakingcontact
April 19, 2013, 03:07 PM
Dick's Sporting Goods (say what you will about them) has these available now for $445 (after discounts).

taliv
April 19, 2013, 03:40 PM
this one has gone on long enough

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