Buying new rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Talk' started by Jeff23, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. Jeff23

    Jeff23 Well-Known Member

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    Hi All--

    Wow, a brand-new board! I'm sure this space will see thousands of great posts in the years to come--my best to all!

    And now for my question. I'm thinking of buying a new deer rifle, since my old Marlin 336 is still in good selling / trading condition, although I might just keep it if I can get a good enough deal on a new rifle. I hunt in Maine, in WMD #17:

    http://www.state.me.us/ifw/wmd/wmd17.htm

    The cover is mixed--some stands are in very thick cover or even swamps, and this was great for my Marlin in .35 Remington. But a good number of the outfitter's stands overlook farm fields, with shots out to about 200 yards. I've never been comfortable shooting the Marlin beyond 100 yards. It has a Lyman peep sight on it, but I did have it scoped for awhile and I think that, at least for me, it's a hundred-yard rifle.

    I recently got to shoot a friend's 7mm-08 Remington mountain rifle, and I really liked it. Recoil was soft, and it shot accurately even in the offhand position. It was much easier for me to keep my groups reasonably tight than it is with Marlin at that range. It had a 3-9X Simmons Prohunter scope on it, although for my purpose I think I might look for a 2-7X one--not necessarily a Simmons, of course. I also spent some time looking at the ballistics for the 7mm-08, and it seems to be a nice flat-shooting round with plenty enough oomph to use on whitetails.

    So I've been looking around the web at all the different manufacturers: Savage, Ruger, Remington, Winchester, and Tikka. The Tikka T3 seems to be a great choice in 7mm-08. What do you all think? I'd like to hear from anyone who has experience with the 7mm-08, the various makes of bolt rifle that come in 7mm-08, and scopes for same. I'm open to any stock type, synthetic or wood. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the caliber, the different makes of rifle, and different makes of scope, given my intended purpose? I'm willing to spend enough money to get a decent rifle and I won't skimp on the scope, but I only use the rifle once a year in Maine for a few days (except for practice session at the range of course). So I don't want to pay extra if it's unecessary, but I'll spend enough to get a good solid gun. I do want a new rifle rather than a used one. What's a good make out of the box, and what rifles need exta tuning?

    Thanks for any opinions. :)

    Jeff23
     
  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I own or have owned most and shot all the brands you have listed and they all are decent guns at the very minimum. I feel they are all so close in quality and durability that the typical hunter would never know the difference. Buy the one you prefer whether on looks, price or other reasons, and don't look back. I have a Savage M-10 in 7mm/08 with the synthetic stock and stainless steel barrel and reciever. I bought it to replace a blued, wood stocked M-10 that I later sold to a friend for his daughter. I really like/liked mine, they have a 20" barrel, are accurate, and are very inexpensive. The synthetic was bought new for well under $400 as the store was overstocked with them. Normally they are in the $450 range and the wood are around $380 for a package gun with scope. I was told either Savage or the distributor required a shop to order one centerfire rifle for every so many 17 HMRs and the shop had more centerfires than needed and too few 17s.
    I had a 1.75x5 power scope on the wood gun which was adequate for all reasonable shots which was about 300 yards. The new model has a 3x9 which was bought mainly to match the finish on the rifle. Vain, I know, but I'm the one who has to look at the gun. I find 3x to be fine for me as I don't shoot at running, unwounded deer and the gun will see service in other places where the shots are longer. I would prefer a 2x7 as I think it is the most versatile for me but haven't seen one in silver yet. I hunt in MN and WI, have been out in ME, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick hunting and so am probably familiar with the conditions you face.
    The 7mm/08 is a good deer round and should serve you well. I like the 140 gr bullets in my rifles and they have done well for others. I have only shot 3 animals with a 7mm/08 (an antelope and two muley does) but I hope to rectify that in the years to come. If we ever draw a moose permit, my wife will use the 140 gr Nosler Partitions in the 7mm/08 and I expect it to do a fine job if called upon.
    P.S. keep your 336, it is a fine gun and you will have a fine backup if ever needed. If you are bound and determined to get rid of the gun, shoot me a price. I like the 336 and it would look good next to my 30/30.
     

  3. uglydog

    uglydog Super Member

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    I forgot to sign in, the first answer is mine, uglydog.
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    The 7mm-08 is a good caliber for deer IMO. I have 2 in that caliber and have taken white tail and mulies with both. I am a fan of the 7's and I am particularly fond of the 7mm mag.
    For the make of rifle and best out of the box, again just my opinion, I go with Remington just about every time. I do shoot Winchesters and they are fine too. I do not put any money or time in Ruger rifles anymore. I know some have them and they like them, I hanot had one yet that was acceptable to me. I do love the Ruger Red Label shotgun though.
    Tika is usually a good quality gun (from what I have seen and those that I own). I am a Remington loyalist I guess. I have some Brownings as well and they are pretty (wood stocks) and I have a couple of the stainless stalkers and they perform well.
    Find one that you like in your price range and caliber and get prices. Hey, have you thought about a Savage? I know alot of people will say they are low grade but I have seen some of them that shot circles around ones that cost 3 times as much. I have thought about trying one out myself.
    As for Scopes, boy I could tell you what I think there and make a bunch of guys really mad. I tend to stick with Swarovski for scopes but they are costly. I also like Shepherd scopes and have 3 on different varmint set ups. Get as good a scope as your budget will allow, you have to see it to hit it.
     
  5. Jeff23

    Jeff23 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys, and Dawg I'll definitely keep you posted if I decide to sell the 336. All is up in the air right now, because I'm busy at work, but on Friday I'm going to go take a look around a couple of my favorite gunshops. There's nothing like shopping, huh? :) I visited the Savage webpage, and I keep reading in reviews that they are remarkably accurate for the price. For scopes I've been looking at the lower-end Leupolds (VX I & II), Nikon, Bushnell and the like. I haven't seen a Swarovski yet that I can afford in terms of this outfit. I do think I'll do a 2-7X because some of the locales I hunt in are quite brushy and woody. The Marlin was great for close cover, but to tell the truth, I could just as well take my Weatherby SAS 12-ga with slugs and do fine in the swamps if I had to. What I'm looking for is enough accuracy to place a 200-yard shot well in a whitetail's vitals.

    I also looked at the Remingtons and will check them out. I generally like Remington and have owned a number of their shotguns over the years. I don't think I can justify a Weatherby or a Browning, but anything else is at least a possibility. I'm also thinking that this rifle might be my first synthetic stock.

    Thanks again guys, also to anyone else who wants to post on this--one of the great things about Shotgunworld is everybody giving advice on gun purchases and then taking communal joy in the outcome. :) It's like looking for a gun with a few of your hunting buddies. :D
     
  6. uglydog

    uglydog Super Member

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    I forgot to voice an opinion on scopes. I think about any scope in the $150 range and up (as priced in the Cabela's catalog) decent for typical use on guns in this recoil range. The Leupolds are noted as good scopes and there are some great buys out there on the older Vari-X I and II models. I have Leupold Vari X II, Simmons Aetech, Tasco World Plus, Nikon, and 2 Bushnell 3200 scopes on various guns and they have done well by me so far. There are many brands out there and I don't think one can go far wrong with those in my price range and above.
     
  7. GordonSetter

    GordonSetter Member

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    I have 2 thoughts:
    First look at the ammo avalible to you. Around me 7mm-08 is not common so you are stuck ordering it off the net or buying what is in stock at gander. This is why on my last purchase I went with a .308. You can get it just about anywhere. If you like the 7mm-08 and you can get ammo, go for it, but there is nothing worse than not having enough ammo for your hunt and knowing that UPS package will come a day ot two too late.
    Second is the scope. A high end scope won't have to cost an arm and leg. Check out the following site and look at thier NcStar line. These scopes have all the bells and whistels of the expencive guys, including a Lifetime warranty, but at half (or better) the price. How about a variable scope with lit crosshairs for $55. At that price if you hate it after one season you can sell it or give it to a buddy and by a $150 scope. That is what I planned to do, but after shooting with it and having the NcStar stand up to my .308 handgun recoil, I don't see me spending more on a scope any time soon.

    The Hunters Mall
     
  8. gwp4ever

    gwp4ever Super Member

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    Jeff, the price on a Browning A-bolt is usually competetive with Remington or Winchester around here. I have a Savage model 110 in .270 win that was the first gun I ever purchased years ago. It was inexpensive and to this day is the most accurate gun I have ever owned. You will definitley get way more than you pay for with Savage.
     
  9. cowpoke

    cowpoke Member

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    One of my good buddies has 3 7mm-08's , one Remington Model 7 and 2 savages. They are all very respectable shooters. It is a very good cartridge for deer. As mentioned above ammo might be hard to find in some areas.

    Strictly from an ammo availability standpoint just about everywhere carries 30-06 and 270 of some kind or another.

    I have a Browning a-bolt stalker blued and black stock that around here are usually priced at $500 dollars at the honest gun stores.

    I would say that if you can readily get 7mm-08 ammo and like the cartridge there is nothing wrong with that.
     
  10. Jeff23

    Jeff23 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I took a visit to one of my favorite gun stores--large selection and their prices are usually close to what you can find on the web, especially if you add in shipping and paying the $20 or so that my local FFL charges me. My most recent shotgun buy, a Weatherby SAS in 12 ga, was made at this place, Hoffman's in Newington, CT. I saw and handled some really nice rifles. My current favorite is a beautiful little Ruger MKII compact in 7mm-08. Price was $529, which seemed pretty reasonable to me.

    But I also held and admired some really fine .270's and .308's. I spent a good two hours looking at every new bolt-action centerfire rifle in the place, and there were a hundred or so at least. By the end, I was much less sure about this purchase than I was when I went in. As I left (all I bought was some Remington turkey loads in 3" magnum 12 ga for the Weatherby), I had to chuckle at myself. First, I find that I still have a pretty hard time falling in love with a synthetic stock, despite the fact that I was determined to get one if the price was better. It would make sense to get a synthetic--every deer hunt I go on seems to involve rain, sleet, or snow. But a sweet-looking walnut stock with a satin, non-glossy finish just appeals to me on some personal, or you might call it "old fart traditionalist" level. This despite the salesman's confident assertion that when you're dealing with centerfire rifles, wood stocks can warp or swell slightly and ruin tack-driving accuracy. I'm no expert on rifles, but I have to think my own shooting will somewhat undermine any "tack-driving" accuracy that I'm trying to produce long before the stock does it.

    Also, I had to laugh at some of the thoughts that went through my head as I started to hold up and admire the .270's and .308's. I began thinking, "gee, maybe someday I'll get to go on an elk or moose hunt and a .308 would be a much better bet." The fact is that it's all I can do to get away for three or four days in November spent chasing Maine whitetails. I wonder, though, how many .308's or other larger caliber rifles have sold because of that momentary dream of going after bigger game. :) It's only human, I guess.

    So I'm taking a couple of days off to mull it over, going to shoot some informal clays tomorrow. My best to all, and thanks for your advice thus far. :) Any and all opinions welcomed cordially. Thanks for all the tips on scopes too!

    Jeff23
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Unless you have a deep pockets, for the accuracy and price give savage arms a look (unless you get a HR/NEF). Priced right. I got my son a bolt action 270 package. At BPS. Believe it or not , 299.00 tommy
     
  12. Jeff23

    Jeff23 Well-Known Member

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    Well, I finally did it--after thinking it all over, I ordered a nice new Remington Model 700DM mountain rifle in 7mm-08. I looked at them all again this morning and the mountain rifle was just too great-looking to resist. Of course, I spent more money than I'd originally intended, but I think the gun's well worth it. I'm hoping this will be my main rifle for years to come. When I take delivery on it I'll start asking you all questions about bore lapping, etc.

    Thanks to all for your help in making this purchase, I really appreciate having a place to get feedback!

    Jeff23
     
  13. clayshooter25/25

    clayshooter25/25 Well-Known Member

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    Although I am MUCH more experienced with shotguns I trust that you made a good purchase.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Jeff23

    Jeff23 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Clayshooter--

    I'm really excited about this. :)
     
  15. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    I own 6 calibers at the present but I don't own 7mm08.I own 308,the 7mm08 is a necked down 308 case for a 7mm bullet.Even though I own several calibers I stick with the 30 caliber cause I can load 308,300 savage,30,06,300 weatherby and 300 winchester mag.I can stock 1 caliber and cover a large aray of offerings.30's make big holes and causes blood loss and internal shock that ends with almost always instant kills.But that is only my opinion and opinions are like elbows,most of us have more than one and usually lean on them too much.Drop-Shot
     
  16. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    Even the best rifle is no better than the optics you screw onto the top or the ammo you feed it! :wink:

    There are reasons why good optics cost more. They can mean the difference between an early morning or late afternoon trophy opportunity turning into that monster buck on the wall...or becoming nothing more than a story about the big one that got away. :oops:

    Use good ammo with quality bullets of sufficient size, also. If you stop to think a moment about all the expense and time you devote to making that special hunting trip every fall, the price of a quality complete package...rifle, scope, ammo...doesn't seem so high after all. :idea:
     
  17. Jeff23

    Jeff23 Well-Known Member

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    Hi All--

    Thanks for all the excellent advice. :) I've just brought the rifle home, haven't been able to get to the range with it yet, but possibly tomorrow or Monday. I ended up mounting a Sightron Sii 1.5-6X42 scope on it. This should be just about perfect for the combination of brush and open fields in which I'll be hunting. Can't wait to get out and break in the rifle!
     
  18. luv2safari

    luv2safari Moderator

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    Jeff,

    Excellent choices all around :!: :!: :D Remember to use good ammo...and, don't skimp on the scope mounts :idea:

    luv2
     
  19. Jeff23

    Jeff23 Well-Known Member

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    Leupold mounts. :)
     
  20. Winchester70

    Winchester70 Member

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    Congrats on purchasing a great new rifle. Remington makes great rifles but as you can tell i am partial to Winchester model 70's. The only thing maybe i would of done diffrent is get the bdl ss model. Considering if you go on that elk hunt you do want a synthetic stock, most outfitters will tell you that. All in all i think you did a great job at selecting a rifle. Take it home, clean it and break in that barrel the correct way. Visit remington.com and they have a piece on correct barrel break in. Do it, its worth it! Good Luck Jeff!