New Rifle Time, But Now What?

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Jul 14, 2008
On a whim, I sold my custom Mauser 6.5x55. I got a good price so I let it go. But now I'm in a bind to replace it. The replacement will fill the role of primary deer rifle and also hog rifle. Here's my current hunting rifle lineup: new beautiful Ruger No. 1 in 243 that I absolutely love, T/C Encore synthetic/stainless in 25-06 that I'm "meh" about but it's my go-to for bad weather days and I'm not afraid to beat it up, and an A-Bolt in 270 that I'm really "meh" about due to mediocre accuracy and more recoil than I want. It hasn't been shot in several years.

So I'm looking for something to replace the 6.5x55 in terms of light recoil, but something slightly better than the 243 for deer and hogs without sacrificing on the recoil end. I'd really prefer something unique and not a garden variety Rem 700, Savage, etc. It needs to be wood stock because I already have a "beater" rifle, but doesn't need to be so expensive that I'm afraid to carry out in the woods like I am with my Ruger No.1 (I use that rifle for hunting fields in nice elevated box blinds, easy to keep it looking nice.)
perhaps a model 70 in 7mm-08. The featherweight model is about $800 +- new right now. Recoil shouldn't be too bad compared to other off the shelf rifles due to the stock design and the pachymer pad.
ruger m77 or weatherby bolt gun sounds right up your alley. the wood rifles are beautiful. Chambering would be interesting to stay in .243 range but not be .243. Deer and hogs are easily dispatched so a lever gun would be another good choice in 44 mag, 30-30, 35rem etc.
I'm confused about what you really want to gain here. Does a 25-06 not smack down any dear or hog in the Continental US? Wouldn't a 120gr core-lokt or fusion into the vitals be lethal and effective? If you would like another rifle to have another rifle, by all means get one, but you have three rifles that will effectively take deer and hogs already. A fourth won't kill them any more dead.
I like the 257 and 260 but there does not seem to be many current offerings for production guns.

I looked at the CZ 550, but I'm not crazy about the full stock.

I could skip buying another rifle altogether, but I've got a nice VX-3 scope that I took off my Mauser that will just collect dust.
The Winchester Model 70 in 7mm-08 would be my suggestion. They are nice rifles, accurate, wood stock, and are very nice but the new model 70's aren't collectors like the pre 64's are so if it gets beat up a little its OK.
My ideas:

  • Custom Mauser 98 in 7x57
  • Any bolt or level gun in 250 Savage
  • Model 70 Featherweight in 257 Roberts
  • Another 6.5x55 Swede - just can't go wrong here
  • 6mm Remington in an early ADL
Weatherby Vanguard S2 Sporter (satin finish wood) in .257 WBY Mag. It'll be your new favorite rifle.
I looked at the CZ 550, but I'm not crazy about the full stock.

I could skip buying another rifle altogether, but I've got a nice VX-3 scope that I took off my Mauser that will just collect dust.
You don't have to go with the Full Stock in the 550.
I'm curious on your background with the CZ FS guns -- have you shot them, handled them or just checked them out online? The reason I ask is that a lot of people form a different (very favorable) opinion of them after shooting them, but of course they're not for everyone.

And if you like Mauser actions, you're off to a very good start with the 550.
I second the suggestion for a Vanguard Series 2 Sporter, but I'd vote for 308 or 7mm-08. If you're looking for an accuracy gaurantee; I believe that Weatherby, TC, and Tikka are the only manufacturers that gaurantee accuracy.
Lot of good options here. I was hoping to buy a new production rifle because I can get the rifle at dealer cost.

I actually have been looking at the Weatherby S2 Sporter, but in worried that 257Wby might be more recoil than I want. My 25-06 with the thick pad is about right at my limit.

Nothing wrong with the CZ 550. I just don't care for the look of a full stock gun. Too European for my taste.
I've got it! Only problem is it has been discontinued. Remington model 7 CDL in 6.8spc.
I'll look into the recoil of the 257Wby a little more, but 250 Savage and 257 Bob is right around the sweet spot for me in terms of recoil.
If you want to stay traditional, then I'll chime in another vote for a 7mm-08.

If you want a bit more unique, build a 6.8 SPC AR how you want it. AR and AR parts prices are disgustingly low right now.
Looking for a bolt gun or single shot. An AR is too heavy and awkward for me to pack through the woods.
I would suggest a nice 6,5x55, maybe a custom mauser of some sort. :evil:

just kidding of course.

on a budget: tikka t3
on no budget blaser r8 professional is very out of the ordinary, to be had in a miriad of calibers, with different barrel lenghts and contours etc.
just run the configurator on the blaser website
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Looks like everything is saying that the 257Wby has about the same recoil as a 270. So I'm going to pass on that caliber.

What about a 7mm-08 in an automatic like a BAR? Wouldn't that help drop the felt recoil a little more?
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You can build an AR to weigh under 6lbs and be only 32" long with fully collapsed adjustable carbine stock or otherwise between 34" and 37" with a fixed stock and a 16" barrel. Just choose the parts that best fit your wants/needs.
For recoil, don't sneeze at the 6.5 Creed round. Most of the makers carry rifles in it. I've seen a Ruger Hawkeye and a Howa at would fit your bill nicely.
For the 7-08 shoot the 120gr Nosler Ballistic Tips. It will be plenty for deer and it kicks like a kitten. My Weatherby Vanguard S2 shoots the 120gr NBT at 2900fps and its accurate, deadly, and kicks very little. Plus the 120gr NBT are tougher than the 140gr NBT because they have a thicker jacket.
Ruger M77 in .257 Roberts would make a nice looking, low recoil package. Or the Savage 14 Classic in .250 Savage.
For something a little different, a Marlin 336 in .35 Remington is a great combination out to 175 yards or so. About the same recoil as the .243, but launching a 200gr .358 slug at around 2,000 fps.
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