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Done my research; which .308 bolt you pick for me here?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by DefiantDad, Aug 3, 2012.

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  1. DefiantDad

    DefiantDad Member

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    OK, I've done the research and narrowed down my .308 bolt gun to the below.

    After this, some months later, I will get a .308 Semi-Auto, then a shotgun.

    But for now, which of these should I go for?

    (I am favoring the X-Bolt except for the non-synthetic stock; this might be a dumb question but is Browning considered to deliver the best quality out of all these? I can pay top dollar, but not if it is not actually justified).

    This will be the only bolt gun I will ever buy. So, don't want any "starter" guns.

    Thanks!

    General criteria

    Want stainless bbl - used in coastal weather varying between desert hot and tropical rains (but mostly dry)
    Will mount bipod for target shooting at the range mostly but also occasionally use for hunting
    Will mount decent optic
    Need best trigger
    Need to minimize recoil "pain" (within reason)
    Up to 600 yards range

    Described concisely, I want a sniper/hunting rifle.

    Some key questions I still have

    1) Is 1:10 twist much better than 1:12 for the ammo weights I probably should be shooting?
    2) Is heavier rifle better for felt recoil control (7 lbs 8 oz versus 6 lbs 8 oz) ?
    3) Is 24" much more accurate and powerful and longer range than 22" ?
    4) Is X-Bolt mounting really better than traditional mounts?

    Savage Arms Weather Warrior 16/116 FCSS ($825)
    1:10 twist
    6 lbs 14 oz
    22" stainless bbl
    41.75" overall length
    4 rounds detachable box

    Browning X-Bolt White Gold ($1400)
    1:12 twist
    glass bedded
    6lbs 8 oz
    22" stainless bbl
    41 3/4 overall
    rotary magazine - 4 rounds
    X-Bolt Feather Trigger
    inflex recoil pad

    Winchester Model 70 ($930 to $1200)
    Which stainless model?
    Narrowed down to:

    Extreme Weather SS - Bell and Carlson lay-up composite stock ($1200)
    http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/catalog/detail.asp?family=001C&mid=535110

    Ultimate Shadow SS - Synthetic Stock ($930)
    http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/catalog/detail.asp?family=001C&mid=535135

    Coyote Light - Bell and Carlson Carbon Fiber Composite ($1100)
    http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/catalog/detail.asp?family=001C&mid=535115

    All are 1:12
    All are 5 rounds magazine

    22" for Extreme Weather 6 lbs 12 oz
    22" for Ultimate Shadow 6 lbs 12 oz
    24" for Coyote Light 7 lbs 8 oz
     
  2. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Can I suggest the Tikka T3?
     
  3. browningguy

    browningguy Member

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    Of the guns you list the Savage will most likely be the most accurate, the Browning will have the finest fit and finish, and the Winchesters tend to be middle of the road on everything.

    12" twist will work fine for any reasonable weight of .308 bullet. 150 gr. is probably most commonly used for deer hunting but it will shoot 180's with no problem. For target shooting out to 600 yards something like the 155 gr. Palma load or a 168 BTHP load will work really well.

    For shooting out to 600 yards 22 or 24" barrel will make next to no difference.

    The only issue with the Xbolt as you mention is the wood stock, while I love wood stocks and have several of them they do not hold up as well to rough use as a synthetic.

    Of those you mention and with your requirments in mind the Weather Warrior is probably the way to go. Personally I would prefer the Browning, the White Gold models are really attractive rifles.
     
  4. DefiantDad

    DefiantDad Member

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  5. Abel

    Abel Member

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    The M70 Exreme Weather is a very nice rifle. FN makes/owns Winchester & Browning, but the M70 is actually made in South Carolina. I would go with that. I wish it came in lefty.
     
  6. DefiantDad

    DefiantDad Member

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    Hi - what does this "Bell and Carlson lay-up composite stock" mean?
     
  7. DefiantDad

    DefiantDad Member

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    Yes, the Browning is a truly beautiful rifle. But upon further thought, I don't think the wood stock will cut it (not sure if that was a pun there...).

    Coming from a Browning guy, that is quite strong support for accuracy in the Savage! :)
     
  8. WoodchuckAssassin

    WoodchuckAssassin Member

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    Tikka T3 is a nice choice for sure, but of your 3 choices, I'd say the Savage is your best bet (and at the best price). The trigger is as nice as you'll find (I actually prefer it to most win. 70 and Rem. 700 triggers), and I believe the barrel is free floated for added accuracy. I know the Savage 10/110 is free floated, so I'm not 100% sure if they all are.

    A twist of 1:9 or 1:10 will stabolize any grain bullet you'd want to send down range. The savage doesn't have a bull barrel, and while that WOULD reduce recoil, I really don't think the .308 will buck all too bad. Good luck with your choice.
     
  9. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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  10. Don357

    Don357 Member

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    How about a Ruger M77, or a "Gunsite Scout"? I personally have a Stevens Model 200 in .308, basically a Savage 110 without the 'accutrigger'. LOVE IT!!!!
     
  11. Abel

    Abel Member

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    Hand lay-up is the simplest and oldest open molding method of the composite fabrication processes. It is a low volume, labor intensive method suited especially for large components, such as boat hulls. Glass or other reinforcing mat or woven fabric or roving is positioned manually in the open mold, and resin is poured, brushed, or sprayed over and into the glass plies. Entrapped air is removed manually with squeegees or rollers to complete the laminates structure. Room temperature curingpolyesters and epoxies are the most commonly used matrix resins. Curing is initiated by a catalyst in the resin system, which hardens the fiber reinforced resincomposite without external heat. For a high quality part surface, a pigmented gel coat is first applied to the mold surface:

    http://www.engineershandbook.com/MfgMethods/handlayup.htm

    The Extreme Weather does not have a traditional injected type stock. As per specifications developed by Bell and Carlson and Winchester Repeating Arms, the stocks are "constructed using a 'hand lay-up' process, using a variety of composite materials. These composites -- including fiberglass, aramid fibers, graphite, epoxy gel coats and laminating resins; and polyurethane reinforcement with milled fiberglass -- provide a warm and solid feel rather than the hollow feel one gets from injection molded stocks." The Extreme Weather stock is reliable over a temperature range of -50 degrees to +140 degrees Fahrenheit for extreme stability under any heat and cold conditions you might encounter around the world: Alaska to Arizona and beyond:

    http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/catalog/detail.asp?family=001C&mid=535110
     
  12. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    DefiantDad, I have a Savage Weather Warrior chambered in 7mm-08 (FCSS) and a Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS chambered in .300 Win Mag. Of the two, I would absolutely recommend the Winchester over the Savage. The only part of the Savage that is superior to the Winchester is the AccuTrigger and I say that because I prefer "two-stage" triggers. The rest of the Savage is utter rubbish, particularly the AccuStock. OK ... you can change the barrel easily on the Savage but who cares? If you buy a M70 chambered in .308 Win why would you want to change the barrel since it'll last forever, it'll be accurate and it's fluted. The M70 stock is outstanding as is the action. The only rifle I would recommend over the Winchester is a Kimber 8400 Montana which is even better than the Winchester.

    By the way, I paid $850 for my M70 and that was NIB. I paid $680 for the Savage and for $170 more you get a vastly better rifle with the Winchester.
     
  13. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Which are you going to be doing more? Hunting or target shooting? Target shooting with a 7lb rifle is going to get pretty uncomfortable pretty quickly. If you have to choose one rifle, get a rifle that you will use the most; unless you don't mind hunting with a really heavy rifle.

    My target rifle in .308 weighs 17lbs with the bipod and optics setup. After I get through shooting a 20 round string, I know it. I couldn't imagine doing that with a 7lb rifle.

    In any case, of the three that you listed, the Savage is a good consideration. The price neighborhood of the Browning and Winchester are too close to what having a semi custom built to be worth the price. If I remember right, I think I have around $1500 in my last build. 700 action with a Krieger barrel in an HS Precision stock.
     
  14. DefiantDad

    DefiantDad Member

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    So... with the higher price and the wood stock, Browning is out of the picture. Sad to see it go but I have to stick with my criteria.

    I will MOSTLY be shooting at the range and MAYBE go hunting with the rifle some time later after I get good enough to try taking game humanely.

    Tikka is going to replace the Browning as the contender. I haven't really researched Tikka enough, although I've heard the name mentioned a few times on THR.
     
  15. DefiantDad

    DefiantDad Member

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    Researched the Kimber a bit. Looks like no .308 for the 8400 unfortunately, at least not for the synthetic stocks. The only .308 I could find is their Tactical series but a) not sure if they sell to civilians as it was all designated Police this and that and b) the sniper models are moving into price range for my upcoming semi-autos.
     
  16. DefiantDad

    DefiantDad Member

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    Hi - so you mean basically for range shooting, I should get a heavy rifle, but for hunting, a light one? Seems like I have a dilemma then.
     
  17. Abel

    Abel Member

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    It won't take you very long to get good enough to hit a softball sized circle a 100 yards. 95% of all the deer that I have tagged have been within 100 yards. I've been killing 2-3 deer a year since 1988.

    No, you just have to let a rifle with a lighter weight barrel cool down more between your groups. If you are out at the range trying to get three or five shot groups, you simply wait ten or fifteen minutes after the last shot before you shoot again. A heavy barreled rifle doesn't heat up so quick, but it will be a pain to carry in the woods all day. I would much rather use a hunting rifle as a target rifle than use a target rifle as a hunting rifle.
     
  18. DefiantDad

    DefiantDad Member

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    Hi. You mean wait 10 or 15 minutes between every GROUP, or every SHOT?

    (This is news to me BTW!)

    I assume this only applies to precision hunting / sniper barrels to keep the rifling intact?

    Because I can't see how this would apply to a .308 battle rifle.

    I let my AR and handguns cool down every two magazines, for maybe 5 mins.
     
  19. Abel

    Abel Member

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    It's not to keep the rifling intact, it's because a hot barrel will oftentimes deliver the bullet to a different point of impact than a cool barrel. If you sight in your hunting rifle, and its had two or three five shot groups shot in fast succession, you may notice that it won't shoot as good or in the same spot.
     
  20. DefiantDad

    DefiantDad Member

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    I see. Thanks!
     
  21. tc54

    tc54 Member

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    i suggest the winchester m70 extreme weather. while i only have one fn model 70 (a super grade), i have numerous friends who own the new ew rifles, and every one is very accurate and built to perform in all weather conditions. imo, you can't go wrong with any of the new win m70's being made at the fn south carolina plant.
     
  22. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Member

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    I found a good compromise to the same situation. A Remington 700 VTR in 308. It has a v-cut heavy barrel,weighs 9.5 pounds with optics. It will shoot sub 1" groups. Heavy enough to tame recoil,light enough to carry in the woods. It's not stainless,but I prefer blued guns.
     
  23. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    Take a look at the Kimber 84M Montana .... it's available in .308 Win. I have the 8400 version of this rifle (.300 WSM) but I plan on adding an 84M at some point, either in 7mm-08 Rem or .308 Win.

    http://www.kimberamerica.com/rifles/model-84m/montana

    You can definitely buy the tactical models. I've shot a pair of the 8400 Advanced Tactical models, one chambered in .308 Win and the other in .300 Win Mag ... both very good rifles.
     
  24. Abel

    Abel Member

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    The Kimber 84M is the same as the 8400, I believe in a short action.
     
  25. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    Savage 16, Tikka T3, Remington 700. Take your pick.


    One other thing, don't pay $825 for the Savage.

    Pay $550 and get a decent scope with it.
    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/78613/Savage+16+TH+XP+308+NIKON


    Even if you don't want the Nikon, sell it, use the money towards good rings, a limbsaver pad (will offset the heavy vs light rifle recoil issue), and a Harris bipod.

    Put the $270 you just saved towards whatever glass you want.




    I don't believe you'll find this to be a consensus opinion here, or anywhere else.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
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