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Rugged .308 Rifle (Bolt-Action, Iron Sights)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by raindog, Jan 21, 2013.

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  1. raindog

    raindog Member

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    I'm wondering if anyone would care to update this old post from 2004:

    http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-88331.html

    I'm in much the same spot. I'd like a .308 Win rifle with ruggedness as the primary feature. I'd like iron sights on it, as I don't plan to scope it.

    I don't want to spend $1000 on this...the cheaper the better but obviously to be rugged you can only go so cheap.

    Something like a WWII battle rifle (e.g., 98k, Mosin-Nagant, etc.) in .308 - though with a decent trigger :p I know it's possible to buy one of those rifles and convert them, but I'm thinking it might be better to just start with a modern commercial rifle. Modern would be lighter as well.

    I checked and a caliber conversion isn't cheap - e.g., buy a Yugo 24/47 for $300, then a local gunsmith here charges ~$450 to rebarrel and I'm not sure that's all that would be required.

    Anyway...advice, oh wise THR brethren?
     
  2. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    If it ain't CRF, it ain't rugged and tough. I'd look for a used stainless/sythetic Ruger and have a gunsmith add iron sights. Should be able to do it for around $600-$700 and get some VERY good sights.

    You can find these for around $750, but I'd want a longer barrel, synthetic stock and would rather not have a detchable mag and flash hider.

    http://ruger.com/products/gunsiteScoutRifle/models.html
     
  3. Liberty1776

    Liberty1776 Member

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    What's CRF?

    and to the OP - I'd get an Ishapore .308
     
  4. Eureka40

    Eureka40 Member

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  5. raindog

    raindog Member

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    Pretty sure jmr40 is referring to a Curio & Relic Firearm.
     
  6. HB

    HB Member

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    Controlled round feed, as in a mauser action. The action of a savage and many other "modern" rifles will not feed as reliably as the mauser type action when the rifle is inverted or other such conditions.

    HB
     
  7. eaglesnester

    eaglesnester Member

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    get yurself a Marlin lever 308 in stainless for about 750 or so at least thats what they go for here in Canada. I do not own one but I have heard that they are accurate.
     
  8. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    And the solution to that problem is, don't shoot a bolt-action while standing on your head.

    Most modern push-feed actions are as reliable as CRF actions.

    Every modern military rifle in the world today is a push-feed action.

    rc
     
  9. jon86

    jon86 Member

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    CRF = Controlled Round Feed
     
  10. MarkR

    MarkR Member

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    I have the SMLE Ishapore 2A1, and am very pleased with it. It's good to shoot, and a piece of history as well. They look to be going for about $350+ on gunbroker.
     
  11. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Member

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    Why not just get a Model 98 Mauser that's already been converted to .308/7.62x51. Lots of countries did it. The Spanish FR8s are probably the most known, but the Israelis rebarreled a lot of 8mm Mausers to 7.62x51. My brother's got one, it's a very accurate rifle, and easily fits your "indestructible" criteria.

    For the Ishapore Enfield, I had one, and really liked the way it handled and shot, but I was not impressed with the metallurgy. It developed an excessive headspace problem twice, both times after only a few hundred rounds had been fired through it. I had to get longer bolt snouts to put it back in headspace, telling me that either the bolt body was compressing or the receiver lug race was setting back. Bear in mind this was with 7.62x51 surplus, not .308 Win ammunition. I finally sold it and bought a Savage No. 4 Mk. I in .303, and never looked back. It may have been an outlier, but given the Indian's lack of industrial and military reputation, I'm betting there are others out there like it.
     
  12. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    Savage Hog Hunter is a great call. As is a sporterized Mauser in .308 - or stick to 8x57 for that matter. The Ruger Scout Rifle will likely also meet your needs.

    Finally, an FR8 would be very high on my list based on your criteria. Someone here recently made theirs into a "Scout" rifle and it looked very nice indeed.
     
  13. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    What about the Gunsite scout? They were going for the mid $700s before the latest scare. You can get aperature sights, a box magazine, and with the newer version, stainless steel and an 18" barrel.

    If you don't want to spend that much, you could get the savage hog hunter, but it won't have the nice aperature sights that the Gunsite scout has.
     
  14. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Member

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    +1 on the hog hunter
     
  15. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Member

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    I really just don't understand why you would pay $700 or more for a Ruger Gunsight when a .308 Mauser in full military trim can be had for less than $400. Is the 10 round box magazine really worth an extra $300? If you need 10 round capability and easy scope mounting, go with the Ruger and fork out a chunk of change. If you want a rugged .308 bolt rifle with iron sights, spend $300-400 to get a 7.62x51 Mauser conversion. Splurge an extra hundred or so and you can get it drilled and tapped and have a receiver mounted peep sight installed.
     
  16. valnar

    valnar Member

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    I'd say the new Ruger 18" Stainless Gunsite Scout is the way to go. I don't understand why people would say a detachable mag is "less" rugged.

    If they were making modern military bolt action rifles today, it would probably be close to that, except maybe a little longer barrel.
     
  17. ironworkerwill

    ironworkerwill Member

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    I just don't understand.(<'.''><'.''>)
     
  18. Halal Pork

    Halal Pork Member

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    What about a Spanish FR8? I've seen some for sale here and there in decent shape.
     
  19. critter

    critter Member

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    I own a Mauser 98 that Chile converted to .308 (actually 7.62 NATO) in about 1951. Fits your specs perfectly. Tough, reliable, not too expensive to leave in the truck, plenty of horsepower, accurate enough for what it is to be used for and lots of history.
     
  20. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Member

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    The magazine itself is not what makes the rifle less rugged (however, along with the flash suppressor, it does make it more clunky and unwieldy to handle). It's the use of pot metal, aluminum, and other less than par materials in the action/bolt/trigger assembly that hurts the "ruggedness" of the Ruger. It's great for a sporting rifle, I'm still not sold on it's application for a rifle that is going to be "ruggedly" used. If you look at any of the old Mausers, they are just about 100% forged steel internals. The triggers might be a little sloppy, the lock time may not be the best, and they might be a little clunky when working the action, but they are almost guaranteed to go bang every time you pull the trigger, no matter what conditions they've been subjected to. Obviously, different people are going to have different definitions of the word "rugged". To me, it means battlefield or semi-permanent wilderness conditions. Why not get something that was designed with that in mind, rather than a hunting rifle in fancy clothes?

    I don't not like the idea of the Ruger gunsight, Savage Hog Hunter, and others. I just don't understand paying a price premium for something like that, when the old Mausers are already out there in the proper configuration, and have been battle tested and proven to work. If you need to have the next new fancy thing, that's fine, but no-one has yet to explain why it's worth paying extra for in a utility rifle.
     
  21. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    Where is all the pot metal in the Hawkeye action/bolt/trigger? If aluminum is used in the right places it does nothing to reduce a rifle's "ruggedness" but even so, I don't see much if any aluminum on my Hawkeye African. Some folks are willing to pay a little more for a newer, more refined rifle. If you like converted mausers better, that's fine, but depending on what one's looking for, its not necessarily a better choice, and it's certainly not the only choice.
     
  22. cal30_sniper

    cal30_sniper Member

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    Almost everything in the action is investment cast, including the actions themselves, the bolt, and all the smaller pieces inside. This is a cost cutting measure. They can't afford to build mass produced forged rifles anymore, so they have to find ways to make them cheaper. The Ruger was designed to be a massed produced sporting rifle. Corners were cut, just like corners were cut when designing the Winchester 70 and Remington 700. Lots of corners were cut when designing the Savage action. They function perfectly well for a sporting rifle that might see several hundred rounds a year and be cleaned in between. As far as I know, the only one that has ever been battle tested is the Remington 700, when used as a sniper platform. Even then: meticulously cleaned and maintained. Mausers are all forged, controlled round feed, have heavy duty firing pins and springs, rugged and solid sights (even if they aren't the most precise out there), and have soldiered on for over 100 years, many of which involved extensive combat. You could clean it once a decade, and it isn't going to phase it a bit. The only thing you've got to watch is the bore, which is true of any rifle. I'm not saying the Ruger is a bad rifle for the application, just that it's a lot of money to pay for a rifle with no pedigree in that use and a lot of shortcuts made because it wasn't expected to perform in that environment any longer.

    Simply put, I think it's way too much money to pay for a design that's a little on the silly side. What exactly does a ten round box magazine and flash suppressor do for a bolt rifle other than make it heavier and harder to handle? Then you're supposed to pay nearly $1000 for it? Doesn't sound very practical to me.

    As for the Savage, it has plastic sights and a plastic trigger guard among other things. Nice accurate rifles for a great price, but not what I would call rugged.
     
  23. RPRNY

    RPRNY Member

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    Cal30 - that's simply a reasoned opinion supported by facts. It's unfair and has no place here. ;-)
     
  24. forestdavegump

    forestdavegump Member

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  25. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Most any commercial rifle you buy these days is going to have LOTS of plastic, aluminum and pot-metal parts. It's my understanding the Savage hog Hunter even has plastic sights.....please.

    Like many others have said, find a Mauser of some sort. If you can ignore the paranoid old women types on the internet forums, here's a rifle that fits your description to a "T" and is quite cheap. I used one of these as a basis for a Scout rifle for my wife. With a little imagination and some elbow grease, they can be made into nice little rifles and they're already rugged with their all steel construction and sinfully simple triggers. Here's what I did:

    [​IMG]

    If you can afford an FR-8, they're an even better choice as they come with fairly good sights.

    You can find rifles such as these on GunBroker just by entering 308 Mauser in the search box.

    Good luck!

    35W
     
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