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Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting to research 308 rifles for a future purchase and wanted to see how you guys weigh in. I'm looking for a stainless steel gun with a synthetic stock for hunting in western WA. I want the best accuaracy and durability I can get for my dough but I don't want to pay over about $1k for the shooter. I'm not looking for bells and whistles but I want a silky smooth action.

I've beenlooking at Tikka, T/C and savage, who do you think makes the best shooting rifle in this price range? My purchase may be a year or more out so I have plenty of time to cogitate on it. I would also like a detachable box magazine but it is not a requirement.
 

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i'd probably go with the t/c of the 3 you've listed. if it were me i'd go with the ruger hawkeye... just my thoughts.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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A Ruger - not sure if the Hawkeye series is made in synthetic, might be available in a laminate. Next would be a new Win Mod 70. Can usually beat the retail pricing if you look right.
 

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My vote is for the Remington 700, Winchester 70 or a Browning A-Bolt. A great value is the new Marlin bolt actions but I dont think they come in stainless.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I've had several different ruger modles Liked em just fine. I checked and the hawkeye does come in an all weather version that is stainless/synth. I'll have to take a look at that one. also looked at the mossberg. I have two guns made by them now and while they are ok I'm looking for something a little more special.
 

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I'd say Browning A-bolt or Sako Finnlight (might not be able to get new and stay in budget with Sako). But then again I'm a bit biased towards these two brands.
 

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Haven't used the T/C, although reviews of them indicate a good rifle for the money, with some unique features. The Tikka T3 is a solid rifle with a smooth action and a good reputation for accuracy. It also has a detachable mag and you can buy higher capacity ones. I like mine a lot. Sako also have a budget rifle now,I think its called the A7, price wise it's closer to the Tikka (also a Sako) but has features similar to the discontinued Sako 75 (if I remembered that right.) They should be an outstanding rifle for the money.
The Ruger Hawkeye's are rugged and reliable and would rate high on my list but you said you "want a silky smooth action" and I'm afraid Rugers, or most other 98 Mauser derivatives such as the CZ 550, don't rate too high in that department! Strong and reliable, yes, smooth, generally not. Push feed actions have a definite edge in that department (one of their only advantages if you ask me.)

If action smoothness is critical, you could always hunt around for a Mannlicher Schoneur...
 

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The Shadow
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You want to pay about $1,000, But don't want tons of bells and whistles?!! That much money buys ALOT of bells and whistles!!

If you want a shooter, Savage's FP series will give ANY, ANY gun a run for it's money. The drawback is they don't have a "Silky smooth action"

I like my new Ruger Hawkeye, Stainless syn. But isn't the same class shooter as either of my FP's. Also not a silky action.

My Marlin(yes stainless now) is essentially a Savage/Rem hybrid, No silky here either. Same goes for the Mossberg.

CZ's aren't terribly smooth.

I don't personally know about the Winny's current stuff.

Remmy makes quite smooth actions. If you want "I can't believe it's not butter-Is this a Krag-WOW smooth, The A-Bolt is the king.
I don't personally like them, but they are smooth.
 

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My 1st choice would be a Tikka T3 stainless. For around $600 they are hard to beat for accuracy and handling. They come with a 3 shot clip and have a 5 shot available, but they cost $50 for 3 rounds and $75 for the 5 round. So I wouldn't be losing them.
 

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Likes & Dislikes

Add this to your "pondering".

Silky smooth action ---> as stated,Rugers aren't that....unless....you break out the "dreaded Dremmel". I have Ruger M77 MkII Compact(stainless) that I did this to. Dremmel turned at the slowest speed,fitted with one of the small felt wheels,with some polishing compound added. Do the tops and bottoms of the bolt rails. Do the parts of the bolt that contacts those rails. Do the bolt lugs that "turn in" to the receiver. Every part that slides or cams on each other. Results.....20degree angle butt down,bolt slides open,20degree angle muzzle down,bolt slides closed. Turn in the bolt,no grainyness,smooth as glass.

NOW....you gotta do this keeping in mind that you do not want to REMOVE any material. You simply want to POLISH the material that is already there.

I personally do not like the controlled round feed type of actions. I want to be able to quietly slide a round into the chamber and close the bolt. Of course for dangerous game hunting,that would be a different story.

A detachable box magazine is a real plus. I have owned a couple of bolt guns that had them and for the convenience thang,they were great. Especially the Browning design.

For the money,Savage makes a great weapon. I have an older 110FP in .308 and it still(after thousands of rounds)shoots great. The T/C's seem to be well built and accurate but maybe slightly untested at this point. Can't speak to Remington,never owned one......course they sell ga-zillions of 'em.

Go to gun shops,and gun shows. Handle 'em,ask questions about 'em,talk to people that own the models that you are considering. Consider the caliber vs. bbl' length. Will you reload for it. I suggest that you either get it "pretty" of "functional". "Pretty" means shiny wood and highly blued."Functional " means dark steel and plastic(or laminate) stock. I have never cared about pretty,only accurate and reliable.

Good Shootin' ----pruhdlr
 

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Weatherby Vanguard, SUB MOA.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You want to pay about $1,000, But don't want tons of bells and whistles?!! That much money buys ALOT of bells and whistles!!
There are lots of fancy rifles obtainable between $1k and $4K. That I'm sure function well enough and have been shiney polished all up with fancy wood grain and 16 different safeties and an extra cup holder for your buddy's cup of joe. That is not what i"m looking for.

I'm looking for a shooter that can handle the amount of rain I normally see while in the woods and I'd like it to be less than $1K. I'd like MOA accuracy or better. I don't want to feel like I'm running the bolt accross a stream bed of pebbles when I close the bolt. I don't want to listen to the bolt while I close it. I want smooth and quiet I'd like it that way out of the box if that can be achieved. I have a dremmel tool. I'd rather not have to lap the bolt on a new gun.

So far the Tikka and the Savage are at the top of my list but I have yet to handle them this is just based on the reviews I'e read and the lit available on their web sites. does anybody have either of these and know of any drawbacks to using them in this fassion?
 

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To me, the Tikka feels trimmer in my hands than the Savage and has the 60 degree bolt throw like a Browning, and the Tikka T3 comes with factory rings. I know Tikka has a factory accuracy standard of 1" or less with factory ammo. Savage does not, but there are few Savage rifles that won't shoot into 1" or less.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've seen a savage that was lucky to shoot into 4 inches at 100 yards but I don't think the owner ever cleaned it so I wont disqualify the brand for that experience.
 

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The Hawkeye's are plenty smooth, and can be made smoother with a little hand rubbing with some metal polish. I would definetly go that route.
 

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Buy the one you like best I reckon. Of your 3 choices listed: I wouldn't own a Savage, I'm not sure what T/C offers in stainless although I do know their rifles shoot pretty good. Don't know about the detachable magazine in either. Boils my choice down to Tikka. Avavilable in stainless, synthetic stock, detachable magazine and will shoot with anybody.
The smoothness question seems in vogue these days but what you might really want to ask is which ones feed reliably. Playing with them in the stores is one thing but when a brisk cycling of the bolt on a loaded rifle produces a dry hole, then maybe it aint all that smooth. Also, many rifle feel different loaded and that's the smoothness that matters most to me. Another reason I would go with Tikka.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks lumberjak. The smooth action/not smooth action issue for me is just a feeling like running finger nails on a chalk board when it's missing. I like the old bolt guns much more than what I find in stores new these days most of the bolts I try make that scratching sound I hate. maybe I'll go look on the used rack for that shy wall flower waiting to bloom.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Lapping compound in the raceways and lugs will do wonders for a slick sliding bolt.
 
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