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My first animal killing tool....... please help me.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 460Shooter, Mar 9, 2011.

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If only buying one American made bolt action, what brand should I go with?

  1. Browning

    10 vote(s)
    10.1%
  2. Winchester

    21 vote(s)
    21.2%
  3. Remington

    23 vote(s)
    23.2%
  4. CZ

    2 vote(s)
    2.0%
  5. Ruger

    15 vote(s)
    15.2%
  6. Savage

    36 vote(s)
    36.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Ok I’m guessing this thread is going to start a lot of debate, but I need help on this one for sure. I’m looking to pick up my first bolt action rifle, and I’m having a real hard time picking between the big name manufacturers.
    Here is the gist of things. I’m not a hunter, I am a pistol shooter. However, I may be taking up hunting in the near future, and I’d like to do it with a rifle.

    I’m an obsessive compulsive person so when I pick up a hobby, I pursue it intensely. For this reason, I may take hunting kind of far, so I don’t know what I’ll be hunting in the future. Thus I am looking for the “one rifle” that will take any north American animal that can be legally hunted. I doubt very much that I will buy more than one bolt action rifle, so I’m considering my options carefully, and boy are there a lot of options.

    I’m looking at .300 Win Mag, .300 Remington Ultra Mag, .300 WSM, or possibly even stepping it up to something like a .375 H&H. I guess the chambering isn’t that important right now, since I can research numbers and trajectories on my own, and I already have. However, I’m totally unsure what brand to look at. I’m looking to spend about $1000 maximum on the gun and scope combined. $700-$800 would definitely be better…………. But I’m not going to skimp. When I buy a gun, I go for something of quality. This rifle will probably be shot 29-49 shots a year for sighting and practice, and then the one bullet to put meat on the table. I’m looking for a nice wood stocked gun, with a bbl between 20” and 24”, and I want an American made gun. And I mean a gun made in America, not one with an American name that has been made in another country.

    THE MAIN POINT. I am looking for debates, opinions, and stories as far as the quality and accuracy of a few model guns. Please share information on the Browning A and X bolt lines, Winchester model 70’s, Remington model 700, Rugers (any model since I know next to nothing about their rifles), CZ’s, and Savage.

    Also, I am going to buy a new rifle not a used one (unless I find one in LNIB condition). So please don’t suggest some older model that I am going to have a horrible time trying to find. I also refuse to spend money ordering online since I insist on inspecting firearms in person before opening my wallet.

    I realize this is a very open and broad topic that has many answers that fit. One final thing. Please refrain from commenting if you don’t have direct or one friend removed experiences. “A friend of a friend” stories don’t really help me, and I am capable of reading on line reviews myself. I’m looking for real experience.

    Thanks all, for the help. This topic seems too huge for me to decide on without input.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  2. hogshead

    hogshead Member

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    Ruger in the fore mentioned calibers would be hard to beat.
     
  3. Abel

    Abel Member

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    Get a 30-06.
     
  4. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    Well...CZ and Browning are not American made, so I guess they should be off your list
     
  5. guntech59

    guntech59 Member

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    Aren't Browning and CZ made elsewhere? (Beat me to it)

    I am a big fan of Savage rifles. I particularly like the looks of the new Model 14 series.

    I don't think anyone will argue with their reputation for accuracy.

    Now, for a bit of unsolicited advice.....It sounds to me like you have never owned a centerfire rifle before. Start with a smaller caliber.

    Your practice sessions will be MUCH cheaper!
     
  6. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    Yes, CZ is made in Czech Republic...full name is Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod

    Brownings are made by Mirokou in Japan
     
  7. longknife12

    longknife12 Member

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    My dos centavos, if ya got the bucks, go with a pre64 mod 70!
    Dan
     
  8. newbuckeye

    newbuckeye Member

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    I am not sure where they are made, but a Rem 700 is another solid platform to start with, and within your price range. I hunted with one in .270 as a kid.
     
  9. Naybor

    Naybor Member

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    Remington Model 700 would be my choice/opinion. But truly, this is like asking which is better ~ Ford or Chevy. Look at them all ~ buy what YOU like.
     
  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Ahhhh. So Brownings and CZ's are not made in America. Ok I was wondering about that. Thanks for the info. As indicated by my post, I am ignorant on this topic. And already, I have learned something. Wonderful forum........

    And yes Naybor, I realize this is a hard question. I'm just looking for opinions and first hand accounts. I'll read, learn, and ultimately make my own choice. I am relatively ignorant on bolt actions.

    Also..... Chevy is better.........:D.... just kidding.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  11. SleazyRider

    SleazyRider Member

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    Allow me to save you some time and aggravation: get a Marlin XL7 in .30-06, .270, or even .25-06, with a synthetic stock. Scope it with mid-priced 3-9 powered glass, and go get your hands dirty. There's plenty of time later on for pretty rifles and scopes.
     
  12. jbr

    jbr Member

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    Reguardless of it's country of origin i have never heard of anyone not liking their Browning rifle. Love my Bar Safari 06. Federal 165gr. Nosler Ballistic Tips.
     
  13. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    If you want to spend $1000 max on scope and gun. I would say you are better off spending about $600-$700 on gun and $300-$400 on scope. Savage 110 or 114 would be good for that. Or Thompson Center Venture or Icon
     
  14. wow6599

    wow6599 Member

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    $ for $, it's hard to beat a Savage..........114 American Classic.
     
  15. Lazerbeans

    Lazerbeans Member

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    I will also put a vote in for the Remington 700 in 30-06. Theres a reason why the 700 has been loosely referred to as the standard in bolt actions for a few decades now; they are accurate and durable. I recently brought an ADL in 30-06 which is half the money your looking to spend and its a sub-MOA rifle straight from the box. I recommended the 30-06 because you mentioned this was going to be your only rifle and you might want to hunt anything in North America. While certain calibers will do specific jobs better, there are few calibers that will do several well, and the 30-06 is one of the few. Also it will be more available than the calibers you mentioned, in case you run into a situation were you are limited on which calibers are available, such as a backwoods gun shop or whatnot.
     
  16. Abel

    Abel Member

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    Ruger is made in the USA.
     
  17. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    Rem. 700 in .30-06. Ammunition is availabe everywhere, in a variety of loadings. Parts for the gun are also plentiful. You can set it up any way you like. Personally, I would go for a synthetic stock.
     
  18. Don357

    Don357 Member

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    While Ruger, Remington, and Winchester are hard to beat and do build some entry level guns that are affordable, of the ones you listed that are actually American made, I would have to say Savage. You can buy one of their upper mid-level guns for about the same price as an entry level of those others. And, If you look at Marlin (as was suggested), Mossberg, or Stevens (which is a no frills Savage) you may find a very good quality rifle and even afford some ammo to go with it. Which brings me to a caliber suggestion. Unless you plan to shoot mountain goats at 500yds+, a .30-06, .270, or a 7mm Mag should do you proud. Although, I shoot a .308 and would not hesitate to take a 300yd shot at a moose with it. My rifle is a Stevens Model 200 by the way.

    And before you berate me about how unethical it would be to shoot at a moose at 300yds with a .308, think about how many people tout the virtues of deer hunting with a .223 AR!
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  19. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    What he said. At LEAST shoot one of the fire-breathing, eardrum-splitting, budget breaking magnums before you commit to buy. Then remember: any game animal will die with a hole in each lung, and a .308, 30-06, and other similar cartridges will do so on just about anything that walks this continent. The late Jack O'Connor did it with a .270...'cept maybe for Brown Bears.
    35W
     
  20. ants

    ants Member

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    I bought a Rem 700 several years ago. Box says Made in Illion NY.
    I bought a Rem 770 last year, box says it was made in Kentucky.

    No question that Ruger is US made.
    Some Rugers are made in New Hampshire, some in Arizona.

    Savage has a plant in Canada, but I think they only make 22 rifles there.
    You should confirm whether Savage makes centerfire rifles in the U.S.

    Didn't Winchester move its production to Belgium?
    Aren't they made in the FN factory? Identical twin to the FN Scout?

    Browning & CZ are european.

    Kimber makes rifles in the USA.

    Ed Brown makes rifles in the USA.

    You didn't mention if you were interested in Mossberg.
     
  21. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Firstly, forget the magnums for now. Get yourself a deer rifle, practice with it, become proficient with it and kill some critters with it. Then, if you need more for bigger critters down the road, get another rifle in a more powerful chambering. Although you can't discount standard cartridges for elk and moose. However, if you can afford to hunt elk and moose, you can certainly afford another rifle. Some folks spend more on an elk hunt than it costs to take half a dozen African plains animals.

    I'm not impressed with where Remington has been going the last few years with all the third world imports. Never really cared for Savage's centerfires either. I do hear lots of good things about the new Winchesters, regardless of where they are made. Ruger makes a good rifle and IMHO, their reputation for inaccuracy is undeserved.
     
  22. ants

    ants Member

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    Caliber

    You must be a rookie. Never shot a big magnum before, have you?

    Better shoot a bunch of big magnums before you choose one.
    I happen to love them. I'll bet you don't.

    If you absolutely MUST get a big magnum, get a 300 Win Mag so you can find ammo.

    29 to 49 rounds to sight in and practice?
    I bet you don't even make it HALF WAY before you give up.
    But maybe you're a recoil junkie like me. Maybe you'll like it.
    I shoot them for fun, not hunting. I hunt with 30-06 and 270.
    I've actually had the scope cut my eyebrow with a big Weatherby.
    The experience is not like you're dreaming it to be.

    Anyway, what's wrong with 30-06? That's my first choice.

    Or if you absolutely MUST have a magnum, what about 7mm Rem Mag?
    Ammo is everywhere, and it will definitely kill anything in North America DRT.
    Shoots flat, too. And that bullet goes a looooong distance.
     
  23. HM2PAC

    HM2PAC Member

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    My personal vote goes to the Savage. However, the important thing is that you find a rifle that you like.

    One great thing about the Savage is that you can get one in a manageable caliber that you can learn to shoot with, and then if you want to switch to a magnum, buy a new barrel and swap it out yourself.
     
  24. snake284

    snake284 Member

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    If I were you, I'd buy me a good Savage, Remington, or Ruger bolt gun of some variety in .338 Winchester Magnum. I normally would not suggest a magnum for a first rifle, but you sound very insistant on this being your only catch all rifle and you say you will undertake this intensely.

    If you were a more mild mannered person, I would suggest a .308 or possibly a 30-06 or .270 Win. Then I'd tell you to learn to hunt with one of these milder rifles, and once you master the necessary skills, if you wanted you could sell this rifle and buy a larger one such as the .338 Win Mag.

    The reason I say .338 is because it is capable of taking any North American game animal but it's not ridiculously large. It is capable of sure kills on even larger animals than a 300 mag. would be, because of the available bullet weights. It's not as abusive as a .375 H&H or even something like a .358 Norma.

    One thing about the idea of buying a standard caliber rifle like a 270 or 30-06 and moving up later is that you could learn hunting skills without becoming skidish with a hard recoiling rilfe and then in time you could move up to something even bigger than the .338 without ill effects. But I warn you, even the .338 can be recoil abusive so to speak. Any large bore belted magnum is going to punish your shoulder. The ..308 Win., .270 Win., or the 30-06 while they have moderate recoil, you can learn not to flinch easier with them. But I would almost guaranty you that if you start out with even a .300 mag. you will develop a flinch which can be a pain to cure. In fact, for a first rifle, I might even recommend a good 7x57 Mauser or 7mm-08 Rem. or even a .260 Remington. These will take deer and maybe elk at reasonable range. But you can get used to shooting and not develop a flinch. Believe me, it's hard to shake it and a flinch will definitely affect accuracy. Anyway, that's my .02.
     
  25. vaherder

    vaherder Member

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    Winchester Model 70 is currenly produced in SC.

    American Rifleman did a comparison of a current Model 70 to pre 64 Model 70's
    and the current Model 70 was just as accurate and in some respects better then pre 64.

    I have a current Model 70 in .308 and a buddy has pre 64 in the same caliber.
    Mine is little more accurate and just as well built as the pre 64.


    VA herder
     
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