Semi-Auto 308 for Deer Hunting?


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StopTheGrays
August 26, 2004, 10:45 AM
I am trying to find a new 308 semi-auto rifle for deer hunting. Can anyone recommend one other than a Remington, EAA/Saiga or an UBR (Ugly Black Rifle, Springfield, BM, Armalite, FN-FAL, CETME,... )?

The only one I have found so far has been this:

http://www.internetguncatalog.com/details.asp?ItemNum=32665

BROWNING, BAR Stalker Semi-Automatic Centerfire Rifle, 308 Winchester,
20" Blued Barrel, Black Synthetic Stock, Sights.

I thought more companies made semi-auto hunting rifles other than Remington and Browning?

If there is none, the same question goes for trying to find a semi-auto 30-06 hunting rifle.

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jobu07
August 26, 2004, 11:18 AM
I'd venture to say that an M1 would solve your problem. Fairly accurate in the original 30-06 caliber. Plus you get all that good historical significance if it trips your trigger, so to speak. And if the 60 year old barrel isn't good enough for you, it can be rebarreled in .308. Then you've got everything you could ever ask for in one tidy package.

rbernie
August 26, 2004, 11:45 AM
I've owned both a Rem7400 and a Saiga 308. I sold both.

The 7400 and I didn't get along simply because it's a really cheap design that's too hard to maintain. You cannot easily pull the bolt out and clean it from the breech end. That is simply silly. Moreover, the bolt hold-open is the magazine follower itself, so there's no way to mechanically hold the action open if the magazine has been removed. Due to the shape of the chamber (lack of feedramp of any kind) and mag follower, it would not feed Barnex X-Bullets or any form of hollowpoint. It was poorly finished with lots of sharp edges to make you bleed. Finally, its accuracy was mediocre (best case scenario of 1.5:-2" groups @ 100 yards) with all of the factory ammo I tried.

The Saiga was about as accurate as the 7400, was VERY poorly finished (as expected for the sub-$300 price), had a very poor sight radius for the iron sights, was difficult to get sighted in when scoped without resorting to an adjustable scope mount, and also lacked a bolt hold-open feature. It was also as poorly balanced and as user-unfriendly in the woods as anything I've ever carried, and for that reason alone I also sold it.

Right now, I'm using a sporterized M48 Mauser bolt action chambered in 308 as my scoped woods rifle, and a sporterized SMLE Mk4No1 bolt-action as my open-sight truck gun. I'd love another semi-auto, but the BAR is too expensive, the G3/FAL don't have the ergonomics, and the AR10 is just too over-the-top as a hunting rifle for my taste. :)

Al Thompson
August 26, 2004, 12:33 PM
The BAR is not a bad choice. I'd tend towards the Bushmaster AR-10 with a flattop for scope mounting. Add a decent trigger and you have a rugged, do anything rifle in a serious caliber that uses $10 magazines.

One's on my soon to have list! :)

What's your budget?

StopTheGrays
August 26, 2004, 12:44 PM
Less than $800.00

greg531mi
August 26, 2004, 09:05 PM
My first thought is the Benelli R-1 in 30.06, but my deer hunting gun is the HK SL-7, a carbine in 308, great for the forest of Michigan...the HK 770 is a great gun too.... Expensive, accurate, but worth it....

Mannlicher
August 26, 2004, 09:37 PM
If you can find a used Winchester 100 in a gun or pawn shop, snap it up. That is one great little rifle, and most were in .308

mhpoole
August 26, 2004, 09:39 PM
Plenty of FAL's in the $600 to $800 price range. I love mine.

Art Eatman
August 26, 2004, 10:22 PM
No argument with rbernie's comments, but they're not really relevant to deer hunting. After all, you're only gonna need one, maybe two shots anyway, for any one event. One of the rarest things on earth is two or three misses and then, finally, a hit.

I have an old 742K Remington in '06 that is just fine as a deer rifle. I wouldn't rely on it for a lot of other uses, but it's a bit better than two MOA and functions cleanly.

My uncle killed quite a few deer with his old Winchester 100 in .308. No problems. The caveat about the 100 is to get a firing pin (free; recall deal) from Winchester and get it installed. After that, no glitches.

Art

Harry Tuttle
August 26, 2004, 10:27 PM
A robarm super vepr would do the task

my auditory hunting observations are
1 shot = filled tag
3+ shots = empty tag

my 30-06 ruger bolt action cycles really fast when required

Black Snowman
August 26, 2004, 10:39 PM
Unless it's an UBR I think you're SOL for performance with an $800 budget. Even an UBR is pushing it in that price range depending on your accuracy needs.

Marshall
August 26, 2004, 11:10 PM
Just stop with the BAR, no need to look further. ;)

nico
August 26, 2004, 11:54 PM
My aunt's boyfriend has a BAR and loves it. He says the only thing he'd consider replacing it with is the Benelli R1. I'd tend to agree. Everything I've read/seen about the R1 says its quality, as compared to the BAR, is comparable to its price (ie: it's more expensive, but you get what you pay for). I've also heard that the R1 has a very soft recoil.

rbernie
August 27, 2004, 12:15 AM
No argument with rbernie's comments, but they're not really relevant to deer hunting. After all, you're only gonna need one, maybe two shots anyway, for any one event. One of the rarest things on earth is two or three misses and then, finally, a hit. This is why I no longer carry a semi-auto for deer hunting - who needs the extra weight and complexity? :)

But the question was specific to semi-autos, and the Saiga and Remington were brought up as options. Given that, the fact that the Saiga is so unbalanced as to make a quick presentation almost impossible is relevant, as is the fact that the 7400 is difficult to properly clean, sensitive to ammo, and damn hard to clear when you hit a feed jam.

Yes, the 742/7400 have killed a lot of deer, and are certainly respectable firearms. But I'd not recommend one to anyone unless it was the best that they could locally find. A good bolt action (or T/C Encore) will be just as appropriate for deer hunting, and will likely be more user-friendly and cheaper as well.

Failing that, I suspect that a used BAR is the best option for the budget.

Combat-wombat
August 27, 2004, 12:43 AM
My first thought is the Benelli R-1 in 30.06...
I thought that, too. I don't know what the cost is, but please note they're also made in .308 now.

Art Eatman
August 27, 2004, 02:08 AM
rbernie, if that 742K hadn't been like-NIB and sorta cheap (and in '06), I wouldn't have bought it. :) I've always been a bolt-action guy. But, it's sorta handy for the few times I hunt in the swamps near Blountstown, Florida. As near as I can tell, it still hasn't had over a couple of boxes' worth of ammo run through it.

Art

Jaywalker
August 27, 2004, 09:32 AM
Re the BAR, I understood the bolt could not be removed for cleaning - that was a significant negative for me and I didn't buy it. Did I understand that right?

Jaywalker

mete
August 27, 2004, 10:53 AM
Benelli R1 - 308,30-06,300Win, MSRP $1,080. Haven't seen one yet but if it's like the shotguns [I love mine] it should be good.

nico
August 27, 2004, 01:21 PM
mete, the R1 uses benelli's gas system (as opposed to the recoil system used in most of their shotguns). From what I've heard, it's very accurate for a semi-auto (more accurate than the BAR or 7400) and in 30-06 has a recoil that more closely resembles a .308

MAURICE
August 27, 2004, 02:38 PM
rbernie says:
It was poorly finished with lots of sharp edges to make you bleed.

I was shooting a friends 7400 last weekend. Something, I think the bolt or bolt handle, took a chunk out of my palm. Was fairly accurate and all, but that turned me off the gun to say the least.

rbernie
August 27, 2004, 02:55 PM
I was shooting a friends 7400 last weekend. Something, I think the bolt or bolt handle, took a chunk out of my palm. Was fairly accurate and all, but that turned me off the gun to say the least. That would be the charging/bolt handle. :what:

This occurance can be avoided by performing a judicious melting/refinish of the bolt handle, but it's a PITA to have to deal with. It also seems as if the older 742s were MUCH more nicely finished than the 7400 - you don't run across this kind of complaint nearly as much with the 742 as you do with the 7400.

Dr.Rob
August 27, 2004, 07:05 PM
HK made a series of semi auto hunting rifles that use the same roller locked action from the G3... they were awfully heavy compared to a 742 and really expensive.

Ruger was going to make the mini 14 into a .308 (called the XG-1 I think) but that really didn't go past a few prototypes.

The new 742 based "patrol" rifle would seem to fit the bill, it might have the bolt hold open option built-in.

Truthfully as far as getting a fast follow-up shot from a lightwieght rifle... a 760 pump action rifle is almost as fast as a 742... and it has the same controls as an 870 shotgun.

The big advantage in military semis is they have enough wieght to keep recoil to a minimum, there fore fast on target follow-up shots are pretty easy.

artherd
August 27, 2004, 07:58 PM
erk, what's this now? I have a 7400 and would like to prevent this occurance!

greg531mi
August 27, 2004, 08:51 PM
Dr. Rob, my HK SL-7 cost only $562 retail in 1984...only that the demand for them has jump the used gun price way up. The HK 770, with the sporter barrel, weighs in at around 8 lbs, the SL-7, with the bull barrel, wieghs around 81/2 lbs, but with a sling and it's short 17.7 inch barrel, it is handy in the thick stuff...
Too bad that the word got out about these sporting rifles, I can put sub MOA groups in mine..... It's one rifle I will never sell...

flatdog
August 27, 2004, 11:24 PM
I have handled but not fired the Benelli R1. It's lightweight and handles much more like a shotgun than a rifle. A "natural pointer" kind of feeling.

It's non-American styling fades quickly once you pick it up. In comparison the BAR that I also handled at the same time felt heavy and slower to mount but more solid.

I realize that this skimpy evaluation is entirely subjective. In a perfect world I would leave the shop with both. But since I'm already familiar with the proven BAR. I would take the Benelli. There's just something about it.


flatdog.

rbernie
August 27, 2004, 11:50 PM
I really had high hopes for the Benelli R1 when it was introduced, and I do like the way that it handles in the shop. Trigger didn't seem stellar, but it pointed well. It is kinda porky in the midsection (due to the magazine shape) but ti still felt like it'd carry OK. I really like the design A LOT, and hope that Benelli hangs in there with this rifle.

Problem is the price - I've NEVER seen it under $900, and it's usually over $1000 at the shops I frequent. That's too rich for my blood, and above StopTheGrays $800 threshold...

flatdog
August 28, 2004, 12:18 AM
Agreed the Benelli is a little portly around the middle. But the BARs' "hump" took some getting used to for me.

The price is an obstacle. But I hope I can find a used one in good condition later on.

flatdog.

gaven
August 28, 2004, 02:26 AM
As someone else suggested get an M1 have it rebarreled to .308

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