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Suggestions for a good bolt-action rifle.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Drjones, Nov 7, 2003.

  1. Drjones

    Drjones member

    I'm buying up all the semiautomatic pistols I can right now, but someday I want a very accurate, reliable bolt-action rifle.

    I'm thinking a Remington 700 with synthetic stock.

    What caliber do you recommend? I'm thinking .300 or .30-06.

    What sort of scope?

    I'm still new to rifles, so I'm still learning. :)

  2. Dave R

    Dave R Well-Known Member

    Well, I've got a Rem 700 with synthetic stock that I'm very happy with, so that's what I'd recommend.

    If you're not a reloader, though, I'd recommend .308 instead of .300 or .30-06.

    Leupold scopes are best. There are numerous lower cost options.
  3. Drjones

    Drjones member

    How about Unertl?
  4. Navy joe

    Navy joe Well-Known Member

    I'll go with my new favorite, a K31 Schmit-Rubin. Gun cheap, very cheap. Silly accurate too. Somebody makes a scope mount that replaces the rear sight, slap that on along with a Leupold Intermediate Eye Relief (IER) scope and you have instant scout rifle. For that matter the irons are quite adequate. Personally I am going to make a mount for a Zeiss ZF-4 I have, I got it cheap, a glass of comparable quality ought to be 500 bucks.
    Ammo, not the cheapest, but at 180 bucks for 480rds online it's not bad. Compare this price to .308 match ammo price because that's what this stuff is in quality. I got 60 rounds last night at the local gun merchant for 30 bucks, whereas a 20 box of Federal Gold Medal Match .308 costs 18 or better. Bolt guns should not be a quantity issue where you buy the cheapest crap surplus.
    For 500 bucks you should be able to field a scoped rifle and 480 rounds. That rifle will hit anything you can.

    I had a very nice Rem 700 with Douglas bbl. , trick trigger etc. I sold it for two reasons, I was too cheap to buy the good scope it deserved rather than the crappy one it came with, and I did not have the time to put into bolt-gunning since a lot of driving was going to ensue for ranges over 200yds. Best 100yd group was 5 shots from a bipod into .54" so the baby shot. I will get another built as soon as I shell out the pesos for a left handed action, right now the K31 and M-1A satisfy my accuracy urges without sinking 1500+ bucks into a bolt gun project.

    As for scopes, I say get a rifle with good irons first. Unless you know how to shoot them well before buying glass scopes are just a crutch and I feel hinder understanding of your gun.
  5. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Well-Known Member

    You are on the right track. The Rem 700, Win 70 and Ruger M77 are all good choices. You can explore the differences in actions. All are tested and typically accurate, as well as having reasonable pricing.

    The ballistics is really what you need to work on. A bolt gun basically comes in two flavors: long action or short action. .308, .243, 7mm-08 all give good performance with the short action (as well as many others). The 30-06, 270, 7mm mag are long actions (performance is extraordinary). It will depend on your end use and how fast you want to reload. It is marginal, but there is a difference.

    Next, are you punching paper? Hunting deer? Elk? Grizzlies? African safari? All of the above? The .308/30-06 is the breaking point for utility. Larger usually equates to more punishment at your end, but also at the other. Smaller reduces recoil and typically the size of animal.

    I say get as many as you can

  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    hard to find a modern, name-brand rifle that's not pretty accurate. Most of them, with minor tuning, can enter the arena of "very accurate".

    So, the real question is your purpose, your intended use of this rifle.

    If you're on the learning curve, your best bet--IMO--is a halfway decent .22 bolt action rimfire. You can learn all about eye-finger coordination with the iron sights, and then you can add a quality scope that will later move to your centerfire rifle...

    And that will give you lots of time to study and think on your "real" rifle.

    I've been shooting rifles for over sixty years, but a lot of times I'll grab some .22 and practice and do tuneups on me. Benchrest, offhand, or just sit in a chair on the front porch and plink rocks.

    :), Art
  7. Drjones

    Drjones member

    I'm totally with you on the "get as many as I can" thing. Don't worry about that! :D :D :D

    However, I want to have "the" rifle. You know, just one that's my baby.

    As for use? Paper primarily, but I also want it just in case and because I can.

    I know that .308 is kinda the minimum, which is why I was asking about .300. Isn't that more potent than .308?

    Also, what exactly is the diff btwn long and short action? The actual length the bolt has to travel to cycle?

    Do bolt-actions like, say, the Rem 700 eject the round automatically? I don't have to dig it out, right?

  8. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    DrJ, I'd suggest wandering down to Mr. Friendly's Gun Shoppe and feeling and fondling a few rifles of various sorts. You can compare semi-autos of several types, lever actions and bolt-actions...Just tell'em you've only been messing with pistols, and you're thinking about getting a rifle. The real deal is, you're nowhere near ready to buy anything, right now. :)

    Even if you never take up handloading, I still recommend that you buy the Sierra Reloading Handbook. It not only gives performance comparisons for multitudes of rifle and pistol cartridges, the appendices give a wealth of information about shooting rifles. The exterior ballistics for many different kinds, sizes and shapes of bullets; how to deal with wind, and the uphill/downhill thing. It gives more of this sort of information than any of the others.

    :), Art
  9. Drjones

    Drjones member

    Mr. Art, you are awesome!!!

    That book you mentioned is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for!

    And you are very right: I'm not ready to buy anything and I fully realize that. I'm just looking around and learning. I have decided to spend more time in this forum too. :)

    Funny you should mention the .22; I already have two; both bolt, one single-shot, one tube-fed. They were my grandfather's. I guess I should shoot them more. I need to get them to a smith or something, because the sights are loose. They have old ring/ghost type sights.

    What's the best way to clean a .22? Don't they make a boresnake for them? The metal cleaning rod kits I have are a bit too big and I don't want to ruin the bore, 'specially not on my grandfather's rifle! :uhoh:

    Thank you sir!
  10. 7.62FullMetalJacket

    7.62FullMetalJacket Well-Known Member

    I am with Mr. Eatman on this one. You need resources to study. Remington has an excellent ballistic presentation for the various cartridges. Again, using the .308 ~2700 fps velocity and 2700 fpe energy is a good mid-point. I would not suggest that you get a superubermagnum out of the gate. They offer a lot of punishment (usually). Remember, every action has a reaction.

    Since you are familiar with pistols, let me give you a guage. a .308 is to .38 special as is a .300 win mah to a .357 mag. There are significant recoil differences.

    You may want to work out the .22 rimfire, then move up to a .222 or .223 . Then you should be studied on the subject.

  11. David4516

    David4516 Well-Known Member

    If you want a cool bolt action with alot of history and that will have every guy at the range asking you "wow, whats that?", you want a Krag.

    The Krag was the first rifle to use a .30 caliber smokeless power cartridge. It's what we took with us to the Spanish American War. It has perhaps the coolest magazine I've ever seen on a rifle.

    The downside is, they stopped making them well over 100 years ago, so they are a bit harder to find. But they are still out there. I had a friend that found one for sale in the newspaper for $200. I saw one at a gunbroker store for $150 (it looked like it needed a new stock though).

  12. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    You can shoot an awful lot of 30-06 or 270 for $10 a box, even at Walmart.

    Speaking of which I'll mention the Savage 116 series of rifles. They might cost a little less, but they shoot just as well as the other brands.

    I've been shooting/hunting with Savage rifles for a long time. Killed a lot of game with them. Haven't broken one yet.
  13. CaesarI

    CaesarI Well-Known Member


    I'd strongly recommend Cooper's "The Art of the Rifle" I got the Special Color Edition which was an extra $10, but I thought it worth it.

    Re: 300 Mag vs .30-06 vs .308

    The .308/.30-06 class of cartridge is considered most suitable for general purposes. The .30-06 offers slightly greater velocity, and a slightly greater range of bullet weights, the .308 offers Mil-Surp, and a shorter cartridge, which allows for a shorter action, which allows for less weight.

    For the "one-gun" sort the Scout Rifle Concept has a lot to offer.

    Be aware that with Bolt-guns the issue of being "cross eye dominant" can be a serious problem that is non-existant for pistol shooters. For example, I am left eye-dominant, but right handed. I find I cannot shoot rifles designed for right-handed people.

  14. 308win

    308win Well-Known Member

    Remmy 700BDL, Synthetic stock, .308 with Sightron scope and Leupy mounts is the best value for the money.
  15. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    "I do it this way on account of that's the way my uncle taught me," in 1950: I've been using a stainless steel .22 cleaning rod. I use the 2"x2" GI patches for 30-caliber; scissors allow sizing for smaller stuff...Clean from the breech-end if possible; otherwise, I religiously use the conical bore guide.

    For my .22 rimfires, I occasionally run a patch through, that I've sprayed a dab of WD 40 on. I'd only use a copper brush if a barrel is really grungy. After that, patches only...Anything that's not gonna be shot for a while, I'll run a patch through that's had some sorta RemOil or suchlike sprayed on it.

  16. txgolfer45

    txgolfer45 Well-Known Member

    Remington 700 ADL

    I just bought one in .270 with the synthetic stock. I put a Leopold VX-I 3-9X40 on it. Great combination.

    It's raining like cats and dogs right now. So, no range today! :(


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