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HateHumminbird

New Rifle Help

19 posts in this topic

Finally in-line to buy my first big-game rifle. I've got shotguns galore and even a varmint rifle or two, but have never taken the plunge on some of the bigger bore offerings.

I've got my heart set on the caliber, 7mm Rem. Mag., but haven't found the rifle I'm looking for just yet.

Like everyone, I want it all. It obviously needs to be accurate out of the box, as I'd get some custom gunsmithing options if necessary, but would like to fuss with it as little as possible. It needs to look good. I'm settled on a traditional walnut stock with blued barrel. I prefer a hinged floor-plate, but that's not a deal breaker. Basically, a highly accurate, classic looking rifle for a great price.

I had my heart set on the T/C Icon Classic, after seeing the Icon (which isn't made in 7mag), but the stock is lighter, unburled, and pretty plain-jane looking. Which is ridiculous for the same price as the Icon. I looked at the Browning offerings, and an A-bolt is nice, but you don't get the nice aesthetics until you jump up to the grade III rifles, which also come with other un-needed bells/whistles (along with an $1100 price tag). For that price, I might as well buy a Kimber, Weatherby Mark V, or other higher end semi-custom.

Maybe I should be looking harder at a Tikka, but that's a pretty light gun for a magnum caliber. Sure it's accurate from a lead-sled, but a light gun like that in a mag caliber I think would push a guy into flinching more often than not.

All of which brought me to a Ruger M77 Hawkeye. Pretty modest price-tag at just over $600, comes with rings as well. Good looking rifle, but have never owned a Ruger, and I know alot of guys say the action can be rough. Trigger's been improved in the Hawkeye.

I know I'm nitpicking here! And yes, they make more. But, want to get this one right the first time if at all possible.

Suggestions, advice, other rifles to look at? All opinions welcome!

Joel

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I have been more thasn happy with my Remington 700-7mm mag. I also have a Ruger MK11 in a 300 mag. That is also a rifle I have been more than happy with Joel.

A close friend of mine purchased a Weatherby 270 last fall before rifle season and shot it a few times. His first deer with it last fall came at 350 yards. A very nice rifle.

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Okay Joel, what are you looking to hunt with it? Have you looked at Savage? They have a pretty good reputation with having a really good barrel on it and it has the accutrigger which is huge positive in my book. I have heard a lot of good things about TIkka as well. CZ also has a pretty good reputation too, and they have a single set trigger that can be set to go off with the slightest pressure. If you are gonna be lugging it around the Mt's. out west, I know I wouldn't want a heavy rifle in tow.

Are you planning on starting a new hobby of reloading? if so it opens up your rifle choice immensly. Before anyone else suggests it, have you considered a good ol' 30-06? Of course lots of people will jump in with the 270's as well. 308 will get mentioned as well as some of the WSSM's.

I was reading an article last month about the 308 Norma Mag. I believe it was a 358 Norma Mag necked down to take a 30 cal bullet. Ballistics were amazing, I believe 3200 FPS for a 30 cal rifle shooting the 180 grain Barnes TTSX bullet. The only problem is finding ammo for it or investing the money into the reloading side of it (I found brass at 129 bucks for 100 cases). If I was going to get a new rifle for big game, I would look at the 308 Norma Mag. but they are hard to find and the ammo is even harder to find. You wouldn't find that Petry's in Finlayson if you forgot your bullets at home.

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Picks:

I know rifle-fans frown against it, but looking for as much of a one-size-fits-all rifle for bigger game. Deer in the next year or two, elk & moose in the nearby future.

Looking at one of the smaller belted mags to control recoil (an ultimately improve accuracy), ultimately with enough umph to take down larger game. I think the 7mm ballistically and otherwise fits about all the roles I could ever ask of it. 300 Win Mag being another round to consider.

I shoot best with a gun I'm attached to. I'd like it to become like I am with my turkey hunting guns. You get to a point where the safety seems to come off by itself, the gun shoulders itself for you, almost as if the whole experience was so familiar it's on autopilot. Not your brain, but the mechanics of the gun and how it fits you.

Joel

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I was just giving you options to think of Joel. I have shot a 300 win mag a couple times and I will admit, it sticks to your sholder pretty well. Good luck dude, I am jealous. I don't envy you for narrowing it down, but come on, you're getting a new gun.

I am sure others will share their opinions here, but do take a look at the rifles I suggested. Savage is a good rifle and there are different grades available. CZ's can have some really good wood on them as well. Tikka has a great reputation as well.

When you do bring the new addition home, post some pictures and your review of it.

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Look at the Sako A7. Big sister to the Tikka (same company), but with a bolt release lever. I just got one in .300 WSM and love it. It does not kick too hard. Guarunteed 5-shot 1" group with factory ammo out of the box. How many others do that??

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Joel, if your looking at the Weatherby line, check out the MKV line up. They have it in many different calibers and she's a pretty one also.

Anyone would be proud to carry it. Topped with a better scope, one may be looking at $1,600-$1,800 and maybe $2,000

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CodyDawg: That accuracy, at that price, on an out of the box gun is unrivaled. Call me a sucker for the classics though, I have a hard time moving away from the more traditional look of a nice walnut stock.

Am considering stainless however? Anyone have a strong opinion one way or the other about stainless?

Tom - I looked at the MarkV, but it's outta my price range. Like you said, a sweet rifle!!!

After more review, I'm moving away from the Ruger. An accuracy guarantee of some sort is interesting to me. Seems as if it would prevent a lemon.

Right now, I've got 4 in a dead heat:

-Tikka T3 Stanless Hunter

-Tikka T3 Deluxe

-Weatherby Vanguard Deluxe

-Weatherby Vanguard Sporter Stainless Stalker

The Tikkas and the Weatherbys both have guarantees, with the Tikkas being lighter by 3/4lb. I like the monte-carlo stock of the vanguards, along with the aesthetics of the gun much better. Tikkas cost less I think. Hard decision. Stainless or blued. Tikka or Weatherby?

Joel

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My buddy/guide on my recent bear hunt uses a 338-378 weatherby magnum in stainless. I am positive this rifle has never seen the inside of a gun case. It rides in a pickup, Suziki Samari, four wheeler, Cesna, or one of several boats (it may have even been on horse-back). It is seldom cleaned. Yet it looks as good as the day he got it. The point is the stainless will last forever. With a silver scope it can be a "pretty" rifle.

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I have a stainless 300 with a silver scope and yes it does look nice. I never need to worry about it getting wet either.

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I would have to disgree on the stainless steel. Yes it does look good but it can still rust. I have two ss guns a DPMS and a springfield XD. The DPMS has never had anything other then surface rust, but the springfield has rust like crazy. If I had it to do all over again the DPMS would have the teflon coating on it and the XD would be all black. Just my two cents, think about it we live in Minnesota lots of humidity.

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I do wipe it down with some chemical to help prevent rusting twice a season. After 7 years, no issues to date.

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I own the Tikka T3 Hunter in Walnut / blued style. I am like you in the fact that I wanted a 'classic' looking gun. It's an awesome rifle and shoots straight out of the box. Very simple to tear down and clean so no gunsmithing degree needed and the trigger sensitivity has 3 settings that can be changed fairly quickly with the included allen wrench.

I will say that I am seriously looking into a recoil reducing stock pad of some sort but it did take more than a box of shells through it before I said 'ok I've had enough'.

All in all this gun WILL be passed down to my grandson when he is old enough and should last through his children as well.

As always, your milage may vary...

Good luck with whatever you choose to buy.

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I might not be much help here but I did get a Tikka T3 Stainless Hunter with the Grey Laminated stock in the 7mm Mag and love the gun, Looks good, feels great! Its nice to have the clip to just pull out where as my Ruger M77 25-06 has the drop plate. that works but its nice to just pull the clip out and throw it in the pocket and not worry about all the shells falling all over. Its a great value for a very good gun. I wouldn't shy away from the Tikka at all. Happy Shooting!!

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I forgot to mention in post that I am shooting the Tikka in 30.06

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I have to vote for the Remington ADL, I have one in 30.06 and out of the box, put 4 in the same hole at 100 yards.

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The sako a7 is not too expensive ($600-$900) and comes in walnut/bluing. Seriously take a look at it. My dad just got a Tikka in wood/bluing in .300 Wizzum. He likes it.

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Thanks all for the help/suggestions. Great to have all the responses and personal experience in helping select a gun.

Cody - going to take a much harder look at the A7 if I can find one in the walnut/bluing!!!

Thanks for the responses on stainless too. I know it can rust, but it does seem more weatherproof.

Will report back when (if ever) I make a decision.

Joel

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