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Rugged .308 Rifle (Bolt-Action, Iron Sights)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by raindog, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. raindog

    raindog Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering if anyone would care to update this old post from 2004:


    I'm in much the same spot. I'd like a .308 Win rifle with ruggedness as the primary feature. I'd like iron sights on it, as I don't plan to scope it.

    I don't want to spend $1000 on this...the cheaper the better but obviously to be rugged you can only go so cheap.

    Something like a WWII battle rifle (e.g., 98k, Mosin-Nagant, etc.) in .308 - though with a decent trigger :p I know it's possible to buy one of those rifles and convert them, but I'm thinking it might be better to just start with a modern commercial rifle. Modern would be lighter as well.

    I checked and a caliber conversion isn't cheap - e.g., buy a Yugo 24/47 for $300, then a local gunsmith here charges ~$450 to rebarrel and I'm not sure that's all that would be required.

    Anyway...advice, oh wise THR brethren?
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Well-Known Member

    If it ain't CRF, it ain't rugged and tough. I'd look for a used stainless/sythetic Ruger and have a gunsmith add iron sights. Should be able to do it for around $600-$700 and get some VERY good sights.

    You can find these for around $750, but I'd want a longer barrel, synthetic stock and would rather not have a detchable mag and flash hider.

  3. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Well-Known Member

    What's CRF?

    and to the OP - I'd get an Ishapore .308
  4. Eureka40

    Eureka40 Well-Known Member

  5. raindog

    raindog Well-Known Member

    Pretty sure jmr40 is referring to a Curio & Relic Firearm.
  6. HB

    HB Well-Known Member

    Controlled round feed, as in a mauser action. The action of a savage and many other "modern" rifles will not feed as reliably as the mauser type action when the rifle is inverted or other such conditions.

  7. eaglesnester

    eaglesnester Member

    get yurself a Marlin lever 308 in stainless for about 750 or so at least thats what they go for here in Canada. I do not own one but I have heard that they are accurate.
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    And the solution to that problem is, don't shoot a bolt-action while standing on your head.

    Most modern push-feed actions are as reliable as CRF actions.

    Every modern military rifle in the world today is a push-feed action.

  9. jon86

    jon86 Well-Known Member

    CRF = Controlled Round Feed
  10. MarkR

    MarkR Member

    I have the SMLE Ishapore 2A1, and am very pleased with it. It's good to shoot, and a piece of history as well. They look to be going for about $350+ on gunbroker.
  11. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Well-Known Member

    Why not just get a Model 98 Mauser that's already been converted to .308/7.62x51. Lots of countries did it. The Spanish FR8s are probably the most known, but the Israelis rebarreled a lot of 8mm Mausers to 7.62x51. My brother's got one, it's a very accurate rifle, and easily fits your "indestructible" criteria.

    For the Ishapore Enfield, I had one, and really liked the way it handled and shot, but I was not impressed with the metallurgy. It developed an excessive headspace problem twice, both times after only a few hundred rounds had been fired through it. I had to get longer bolt snouts to put it back in headspace, telling me that either the bolt body was compressing or the receiver lug race was setting back. Bear in mind this was with 7.62x51 surplus, not .308 Win ammunition. I finally sold it and bought a Savage No. 4 Mk. I in .303, and never looked back. It may have been an outlier, but given the Indian's lack of industrial and military reputation, I'm betting there are others out there like it.
  12. RPRNY

    RPRNY Well-Known Member

    Savage Hog Hunter is a great call. As is a sporterized Mauser in .308 - or stick to 8x57 for that matter. The Ruger Scout Rifle will likely also meet your needs.

    Finally, an FR8 would be very high on my list based on your criteria. Someone here recently made theirs into a "Scout" rifle and it looked very nice indeed.
  13. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Well-Known Member

    What about the Gunsite scout? They were going for the mid $700s before the latest scare. You can get aperature sights, a box magazine, and with the newer version, stainless steel and an 18" barrel.

    If you don't want to spend that much, you could get the savage hog hunter, but it won't have the nice aperature sights that the Gunsite scout has.
  14. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Well-Known Member

    +1 on the hog hunter
  15. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Well-Known Member

    I really just don't understand why you would pay $700 or more for a Ruger Gunsight when a .308 Mauser in full military trim can be had for less than $400. Is the 10 round box magazine really worth an extra $300? If you need 10 round capability and easy scope mounting, go with the Ruger and fork out a chunk of change. If you want a rugged .308 bolt rifle with iron sights, spend $300-400 to get a 7.62x51 Mauser conversion. Splurge an extra hundred or so and you can get it drilled and tapped and have a receiver mounted peep sight installed.
  16. valnar

    valnar Well-Known Member

    I'd say the new Ruger 18" Stainless Gunsite Scout is the way to go. I don't understand why people would say a detachable mag is "less" rugged.

    If they were making modern military bolt action rifles today, it would probably be close to that, except maybe a little longer barrel.
  17. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Well-Known Member

    I just don't understand.(<'.''><'.''>)
  18. Halal Pork

    Halal Pork Well-Known Member

    What about a Spanish FR8? I've seen some for sale here and there in decent shape.
  19. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    I own a Mauser 98 that Chile converted to .308 (actually 7.62 NATO) in about 1951. Fits your specs perfectly. Tough, reliable, not too expensive to leave in the truck, plenty of horsepower, accurate enough for what it is to be used for and lots of history.
  20. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Well-Known Member

    The magazine itself is not what makes the rifle less rugged (however, along with the flash suppressor, it does make it more clunky and unwieldy to handle). It's the use of pot metal, aluminum, and other less than par materials in the action/bolt/trigger assembly that hurts the "ruggedness" of the Ruger. It's great for a sporting rifle, I'm still not sold on it's application for a rifle that is going to be "ruggedly" used. If you look at any of the old Mausers, they are just about 100% forged steel internals. The triggers might be a little sloppy, the lock time may not be the best, and they might be a little clunky when working the action, but they are almost guaranteed to go bang every time you pull the trigger, no matter what conditions they've been subjected to. Obviously, different people are going to have different definitions of the word "rugged". To me, it means battlefield or semi-permanent wilderness conditions. Why not get something that was designed with that in mind, rather than a hunting rifle in fancy clothes?

    I don't not like the idea of the Ruger gunsight, Savage Hog Hunter, and others. I just don't understand paying a price premium for something like that, when the old Mausers are already out there in the proper configuration, and have been battle tested and proven to work. If you need to have the next new fancy thing, that's fine, but no-one has yet to explain why it's worth paying extra for in a utility rifle.

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