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Bolt action hunting rifles, Bang per buck

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by R.W.Dale, Jul 12, 2009.

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  1. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    Ok a couple different threads recently have gotten me thinking about just what you get for your dollar in terms of bolt action hunting rifles, most specifically what do more expensive models bring to the table that today's excellent entry level models don't.

    Now for the purposes of this discussion odiously aesthetics get set aside, and I realize super purpose built lightweight models will demand a premium price. As well as powerful rugged professional grade arms.

    But in so far as your average weekend warrior's bolt action hunting rifle do you really gain or give up anything with a $750 Steyr Pro Hunter vs a $299 Marlin XL7, OH I'm sure the steyr is smoother, balances better and has a nicer trigger. But I would not wager it would be any more accurate across a random sampling of both. In the end though when it comes time to squeeze the bang switch in the field does any of this matter?

    Now I'm not just picking on steyr.....no this is just an example and this discussion crosses all brand and price range lines. Now don't get me wrong I like nice high quality bolt rifles, but to be honest given the same grade optics I can't find what they actually do better than cheap ones.


    On another angle, if true doe you think this phenomena is starting to stifle pricier more refined hunting rifle sales and therefor manufacturer offerings?
     
  2. P.B.Walsh

    P.B.Walsh Member

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    I understand, but I like a rifle that you can easily upgrade, so I bought a Remington 700. It just depends on the shooters personal taste. I like mine to be a bit more "tactical", while others might prefer a lightweight rifle, so I belive that it's all in what YOU want. :)
     
  3. John Parker

    John Parker Member

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    Or a Mosin for $79.99! :)
     
  4. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I'm sorry but you do not get nearly the level of precision from 77yr old communist rifle any of today's cheapest commercial rifles offer. Mostly because of the arcane safety, no quality optics mounts, 11lb triggers and weight and ammo loaded with bullets of very dubious quality in terms of hunting

    and by the time you correct these defficencies you've invested as much in a moisin as you could have bought one of the commercial rifles mentioned in this thread
     
  5. BMF500

    BMF500 Member

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    Enrty level Weatherby Vanguard $399 availble in just about any caliber you want. 1-1/2" groups or less @ 100 yards or they will replace it.
     
  6. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    What do you get for more money? Better materials, better finish, better fitting, better trigger, better barrel...

    Are these things important? That's the question you ask in the store and answer with your wallet.

    Are they necessary for taking your deer? Nope.
     
  7. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Sounds like a job for a *chart*. Who wants to make it?

    Well not better barrel, as krochus points out. Accuracy is as accuracy does.

    The rest, probably, but not necessarily. It's a good question. The T/C Venture for one looks like it could stack up against a Steyr Pro Hunter, to use the same example, in many of those categories.
     
  8. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    True. At one time there was quite an industry in "sporterizing" military rifles -- and even then, the Moisin was not considered a good candidate. Nowadays, most shooters will admit you can spend more on sporterzing a military rifle than it would cost you to buy a commercial sporter.
     
  9. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I can see this thread getting hot in a hurry. I think I'm qualified to answer this question since I have a Remington 700 Alaskan Ti (.300 WSM) that cost a little over $1800 new when I bought it about 18 months ago, and I also have a Savage Weather Warrior (7mm-08) bought last month for under $600 delivered.

    So what does the Alaskan offer me for three times the cost .... NOTHING ... well, nothing that'll make a damn bit of difference dispatching Bambi from 0 yards to 300 yards. Am I an idiot for buying the Alaskan ... sort of. Despite the $1800 cost of the rifle, I changed the stock, the trigger, the box magazine and heavily modified the bolt (different handle now welded on, different bolt knob and painted). Since buying the Savage, I have to wonder what I got for $1800. The titanium receiver is about the only thing I can think of along with a fluted bolt and skelotonized bolt handle (since removed). It's an accurate, beautiful looking rifle, and everyone that sees it seems to want it, but that's back to aesthetics more than anything.

    So to answer your question, if I could make the decision again, I'd buy three Savage rifles rather than the Alaskan ... but since we don't get to go back in time just yet, I'm going to enjoy the Alaskan for years to come, now that I have it like it should have come in the first place .... I just won't dwell on the fact that it cost me a small fortune.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  10. RonE

    RonE Member

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    Comes down to Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Toyota, Honda or Nissian.......Then it is a matter of how fast you want to go and how quickly you want to go fast and how comfortable you want to be on the way. They will all get you to the 7-11 for a six pack and a bag of chips but how far do you want to ride in them?

    Pretty much the same thing with rifles, you want something that goes bang when you pull the trigger (they all seem to do that) or do you want something that few people have, that looks great, that has very good wood to metal fit, and fits you perfectly?

    Lots of choices, the most bang for the buck? How about a rusty piece of crap from a pawn shop that costs less than $100, still shoots well enough to kill a deer or a ground squirrel?

    I see Savage/Stevens is doing well but they don't seem to be driving any of the other manufacturers out of business.

    Haven't we beat this subject to death?
     
  11. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    In the OP I specifically set aside high tech lightweight models from this discussion. Certainly you'll pay a premium for titanium and other high tech lightweight materials

    Actually they kinda have run off Remington's crappy halfhearted attempt at the same market, the 770, 710 or whatever they call that abomination these days. I wonder if since Rem now owns marlin they'll drop the 770 and replace it with a Rebadged xl7-savage copy
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  12. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Comparing the Alaskan Ti to the Savage Weather Warrior ..

    Better materials ... yep, titanium receiver.
    Better finish ... definitley better in EVERY regard compared to the Savage.
    Better fitting ... nope.
    Better trigger ... hell no ... the X-Mark Pro is a total piece of crap ... I added a Jewell trigger (my third). The AccuTrigger feels a lot better to me but still not as good as a Jewell.
    Better barrel ... exterior yes with flutes and a gorgeous satin finish but the barrel is hammer forged whereas the Savage is button rifled.

    :)
     
  13. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Yep, but how can the Alaskan Ti be considered to be a "high tech lightweight model" when it weighs the same as a Savage Weather Warrior? :confused: However, it's your thread so I can delete my posts or just suggest that folks ignore them ... it's your call.

    :)
     
  14. Arkel23

    Arkel23 Member

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    Spending a ton of money in a gun is ridiculous when you can usually get a cheaper one (not super cheap) that does the same thing, most guns depends on the shooter anyway. If I buy a $5,000.00 custom made precision rifle that doesn't mean my groups are going to be better than a $400.00 rifle.
     
  15. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    No I'm sorry I had to read your post twice before my sluggish brain wrapped itself around the gist of what you were saying and edited accordingly, but just not quick enough

    I'm suprised as heck too, are you saying that the super pricy Lightewight Ti weighs about the same as a weather warrior
     
  16. saturno_v

    saturno_v Member

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    I have to agree with Krochus for the Mosin...a hunting rifle is not only pure power...you need the lightness, handling and ergonomics......and by the time you buy a good scope mount and ask to a gunsmith to drill couple of holes you are in cheap brand new sporter territory...or a used sporterized Mauser already scoped.

    However, that 80 years old communist gun can be quite accurate, even more than the average "El Cheapo" hunting rifle.

    In terms of quality, toughness and reliability I trust more a used Mosin in excellent conditions than any non premium hunting rifle in the market.

    Higly polished finishing was not one of the requirements for the Mosin...:D

    IMHO, a Mosin is to buy and keep as it is...to have fun with a very powerful centerfire cartridge with iron sights and have a very historically rich piece in your collection.

    An alternative is a good used sporterized Mauser 98 in a common American caliber....you can find ton of them around here in Western WA for $150-200 sometimes with very nice wood stocksand almost all of them already scoped....I would take a properly sporterized K98 over an inexpensive plastic stock modern rifle any time of the day...
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  17. Oldtrader3

    Oldtrader3 Member

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    Get a bore scope, check the bores on (10) different price point, commercial, bolt action rifles, check the trigger system for creep, letoff weight on all of the rifles, look at fit finish and bedding and tell me that you don't get more for the extra money. Quality is not free! If you want to buy cheaper rifles, fine, but don't tell me they are better than more expensive rifles, class for class. It just is not true.
     
  18. UniversalFrost

    UniversalFrost Member

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    the 100ATR is a good sub $300 gun. The weatherby vanguard is an excellent $399 -500 range gun and of course the remington 700 bdl is still out there in the $500 to 700 range.

    also you might want to look at mark v weatherby's that are used. many can be had for under $800 and spend a few bucks more and you can get one with quality optics on it already. The mark v is one of the strongest bolt action receivers out there with extremely quality craftsmanship and a stock that is elegant, but also functional. the mark v is what a majority of the other bolt gun makers set as the defacto standard in the upper end of mass produced rifles.
     
  19. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    The Alaskan Ti (SA) supposedly weighs in at 6lb ... the Weather Warrior 16 series is 8oz heavier at 6.5lb. Those are total weights i.e. the stock is included, and the crappy little B&C stock that comes with the Alaskan could easily account for the 8oz difference. I realize that I must sound very bitter about the Alaskan ... that's not the case though ... it's an excellent rifle but I wouldn't buy another ... it's just too much work (and money) getting them to where I want them to be.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  20. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    I'd really like to have a Shelby GT 500, yet here in America, there are no real high perfomance roads to TRUELY wring it out. All the roads are more or less low performance roads. (With speed limits)

    Same with rifles, very few shooters hunt in a high performance manner- long shots, steep angles, swirling winds, etc. Nor are many actually practiced and prepared to. The better produced rifle will show itself, the mass produced, profit through volumne rifle may not.

    So, just like the beater that gets ya from A to B, the mass produced profit through volumne, ok at 100 to 200 yds rifle will put the meat in the freezer.

    But sometimes...

    You just WANT a nice rifle. :D
     
  21. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    wow! You could make that up with proper scope and mount selection.
     
  22. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I had hoped, when I wrote that, that nobody would assume that I meant always, in every situation, without exception, and that folks would take it for the generalization that it obviously is.

    Not the first time I have had my hopes dashed, I'm afraid...
     
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    To my way of thinking, rifles are for shooting. Fit and finish, fancy wood and so on don't contribute to accuracy or reliability. And while a trigger is important, bore scoping won't really tell you how well the rifle will shoot -- only bench resting will do that.

    Savage makes some very accurate, very reliable rifles with very good triggers. And they sell them for less than most other brands.
     
  24. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Member

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    AAHHHH.

    But wouldn't the fit of the reciever to the barrel, and the squaring of both be of benefit to the bullets destination.

    And wouldn't the fit of a reciever to a piller/glass bed/full length bed contribute to accuracy?
     
  25. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    In which case Savage with it's shoulderless bbl combined with a semi floating bolt head has em all licked.

    That's just it these newer rifles don't have to have the accuracy fit into each unit, They already have it designed in.

    Not really the above is the old school 1950's way of doing things. many rifles today mate to machined aluminum recesses in the stock there simply is no need for bedding, pillars. Just look at the new Accustock. Plus in the end the above bedding methods are only as good as the person doing them and as far as I know aren't offered on a factory rifle anyhow
     
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