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Have you found the "perfect" factory hunting rifle ... at any price?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by MCMXI, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. Picher

    Picher Member

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    My list of "needs" is shorter than yours, though a locking bolt would be nice. My rifle/handloads have to shoot sub half-inch with handloads, not because it's required, but because it's for ME. I get by with two "average" bedded Rem 700 Stainless, with either a Rem Varmint stock or an "Ultra-Walnut" with fibreglass stiffening layers.
     
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  2. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    The closest I've come to perfect is my Anschutz 1517MPR 17HMR. I added a scope and it has become my favorite prairie dog rifle. Earlier this year I bought another 1517 that has a different stock and shoots with the same deadly accuracy.
     
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  3. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    Thanks for the that excellent post. I have a .450 BM and should have bought a .30 Remington AR when I worked for Remington. My boss for a while there was the engineer that designed and developed the cartridge. He's a very smart guy and now consults for SIG. Another Remington engineer I worked with, also very smart, is the one that came up with the steel case head ammunition concept. He was pushing that idea at every meeting back in 2011 and when he moved to SIG they actually listened and the .277 Fury was born.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
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  4. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    I think the challenge for me is finding an action that has a locking bolt handle, sub 90° bolt throw (60° or thereabouts) and is extremely smooth regardless of any lateral loading on the bolt (big problem for most actions). Run the bolt on an Accuracy International which also has assisted opening in the form of a plunger in the cocking piece housing and try to make it bind and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    I've been working on a custom Kimber 84M and it's almost as good as I can get it in terms of the features and performance that are important to me but it has a 90° bolt lift, and the action is no where near smooth enough, even without lateral loading. I can live with the bolt rotation issue since I added an adjustable comb so scope clearance isn't a concern, but the smoothness of the action is not an easy fix. Salt nitride of the receiver and bolt might help and that's in the plan.

    The Kimber 8400 actions which I much prefer, always have and always will be much smoother than the 84s due to the larger bolt bearing surface and consequent support of the bolt. I'm currently building a custom 8400 6.5 PRC but due to the lack of availability of an AG Composites lightweight stock capable of being inletted for bottom metal I won't be able to build the equivalent version of the 84M. And so it goes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
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  5. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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    I’m not a expert by any means but Alex Wheeler builds a lot of top notch hunting rifles on Bat actions
    www.wheeleraccuracy.com
     
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  6. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    BAT actions are essentially Remington clones and don't have locking bolt handles. I was all excited about American Rifle Company and the Archimedes action and got to play with one and it's slick, but again, no locking bolt handle. I sound like a broken record but it's one of the non-negotiable features these days.
     
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  7. South Prairie Jim

    South Prairie Jim Member

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  8. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    I feel I have the perfect commercial hunting rifle, it checks the boxes on all your criteria, but I had to customize it to make it perfect

    MPOvzu4.jpg
     
  9. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    @Nature Boy, I've liked that rifle a lot since I first saw it. I followed your excellent thread when you had it built and probably subconsciously am trying to do something very similar with a Kimber 8400 WSM custom build that's currently under way. The 8400 WSM action is inferior to the FN action but close, and I'm using a McMillan stock that I pillar bedded that's also similar to yours but probably quite a bit heavier at 3lb 14.7oz (but it was free), and I'm also using Proof barrels. Out of interest, what was the final weight of your rifle as shown?

    I'm replacing the front sling swivel stud in the McMillan stock this morning with a QD cup and removable sling swivel stud to help with shooting off a bag or rest, and adding one of Spartan's gunsmith adapters for their bipod/tripod system.
     
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  10. WVRJ

    WVRJ Member

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    Here in WV,rifle season for deer and bear come in this coming Monday.I'll start the day in the oak woods with my custom Remington Model 7 in 308.It's a nicely balanced lightweight carbine.When I contoured the barrel,I left a bit more metal on it to get a little more weight out front so I can hold it better offhand.When I stop for lunch,I'll head to some more open country with my 280 Ackley that I built this summer.With a 26 inch heavy barrel,a Magpul Hunter 700 stock and a VX5HD leupold,it's a cumbersome 14 pound boat anchor that is just wicked accurate and very capable of taking a deer at quite a distance.Those are two very different rifles,and I know there's a happy medium between them.I've bought and built many rifles,and none of them are perfect.There's no such thing.If I could only have one,it would be my 700 in 300 WM with a Brown Precision stock and a 4.5-14 Leupold on it.But it's not perfect.Every time I build one,I try to make it perfect and I fail,so I have to build another one.....
     
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  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    My favorite is a pre-'64 Winchester Model 70 -- made in 1939.

    This rifle had a different bolt fitted at some time -- the early Model 70s had the "doll's head" safety that wasn't good with a low-mounted scope. It has the original stock, complete with steel butt plate. I use stick-on comb pads (designed for trap shooters) to get the correct height of eye and cheek weld.

    It has a peep sight mounted just behind the rear scope mount, for a back-up sight in an emergency.

    And it has what I consider essential:

    1. Three-position safety
    2. Non-rotating extractor
    3. Open, no gimmicks trigger
    4. Manual ejector -- it only throws cases out into the wilderness if I want it to,
    5. .30-06, of course!.
     
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  12. d2wing

    d2wing Member

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    My criteria is that it is not too heavy and bulky, operates smoothly, shoots within an inch of where I aim it, and always works. I am very pleased by my Tikka T3 in 7-08. It's never occurred to me to care about some of the stuff you guys are talking about. I also was very happy with my SS BDL Remington 700 in 7MM mag. 3/4 MOA with factory ammo. I gave it to my son due to recoil on my old shoulder with bone chips in it. I recently bought a 700 ADL in 243. After swapping in a BDL youth stock and a DBM It meets my qualifications. Sub MOA.
    I guess growing up poor feeling lucky to get to shoot worn out broken guns that didn't always work made me less picky.
     
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  13. Captcurt

    Captcurt Member

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    Think Loonwolf is on the mark. I caught it for $399 at EurOptics. I thought about buying several but I need to get rid of a couple of magnums and they are not selling well.
     
  14. Peakbagger46

    Peakbagger46 Member

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    Not sure about the “lateral loading” of the bolt, but have you handled a Sako A7? It’s smooth, reliable, and the bolt locks. Also has the short throw you are looking for.

    Ive heard good things about the Browning Hells Canyon too, but haven’t handled one.

    I also hate bolts that don’t lock, it’s a concern hunting oak brush and young growth aspen stands. And... it’s just a bad design really.

     
  15. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    My needs are far less complicated than a lot of the guys posting here, I guess. I have a recent production Model 70 Featherweight in .30-06 (like the one on the right) that is an accurate, sweet-handling with a smooth action, rifle. This is the rifle I've been shooting in one form or another since ... oh, about 1968. It's never occurred to me that I require more. Not shown, but it's getting a new Leupold VX5HD that I'm pretty impressed with.

    Model70Featherweight7.jpg
     
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  16. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I was in the field today hunting in some really open country. I had my Weatherby Mark V Weathermark with me. I looked out over those vast plains, and scouted some large deer so far away that my rangefinder would not even register. Then I looked down at my Mark V. Suddenly that 26" barrel seemed pretty insignificant, as I was contemplating the real possibility of a 500 yard shot. There are a few very thoughtful touches on this rifle. First the very short bolt lift. Second, the minimal LOP perfect for average to small shooters, and helping to bring that 26" swing under control. The barrel contour itself is magic. You have 26" barrel that finishes under .625 and gives the overall feel of a nimble rifle. It doesnt feel like a blunt instrument like so many 26" rifles. It feels like the sporter that it is.
    I can also mention the quality stock similar to H&S which is fully free floating. The super wide creep free trigger. The fluted bolt. The safety that feels like it was dedigned by the same folks who brought you the '55 Chevy, which also locks the bolt.
    Perfect? No. But a lot to like.
     
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  17. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    9lb-3oz if I recall correctly. That’s with scope and empty magazine
     
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  18. Hog huntin Harry

    Hog huntin Harry Member

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    Whoa there, 500 yards ? Your Mark V must be a literal laser shooter if you were seriously contemplating a 500 yard shot. I for sure wouldn't take a shot past 400 yards, I like my game to be cleanly dead and not dragging a broken leg.
     
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  19. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Let's not beat him up. He said he contemplated it, not that he flung one out there.
     
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  20. Hog huntin Harry

    Hog huntin Harry Member

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    Contemplation leads to decision, decision leads to action, action leads to consequences. It's good to remind fellow hunters of ethical boundaries, that way there's less wounded game running about.
     
  21. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    I've got a Leupold with LRD and I am not afraid to use it. But the shot did not materialize. FWIW I have shot high with a Weatherby at over 500 yds.
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...Vaw3z46rpXd9xQBy4O684H4gR&cshid=1606017819302

    Here you go, check out page 21.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
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  22. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    Id take my Model 70 - 300 WSM anywhere to hunt anything* (Ok. No African dangerous game, but never plan on it. Ok no small game either.) You also really dont find many people hunting deer with a 375 H&H either.

    Lighter 150-165 grain bullets for flat trajectories and more rapid expansion and energy transfer works extremely well for thin skinned big game.

    The 180-200 grain bonded slower expansion bullets are more than adequate for Elk, Brown Bear, Moose, or just about anything.

    The gun has a shorter barrel than most longer action magnums, but delivers almost the same performance. Less recoil, a 300WSM has the least amount of recoil for a gun that creates that kind of energy levels, based on my experience. Plus shorter action for a shorter pull.
    25% less powder than 300 Win Mag. Able to enjoy all of the many 30 caliber projectile selection.

    In my opinion, the 300 WSM can cover more bases more efficiently than almost any big game cartridge on the planet.
     
  23. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    This sort of thing is like saying " I have the perfect wife." Many guys can say it, and few of them are wrong.
     
  24. Hog huntin Harry

    Hog huntin Harry Member

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  25. MCMXI
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    MCMXI Contributing Member

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    I don't think my latest build will be that light but we'll see.
     
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