You can't beet a good strong reliable rifle like Rugers M77 Mark2...243,270,308,30/06,300winmag,338winmag, 375winmag...
It will last you a life time,I have the 338 Win Mag and it is a tack driver, I changed the stock to a Hogue rubber stock and put a Bushnell 3200 scope on it. It is sweet, then to top it off, I put beartooths neoprene camo 3 peace set on it, due to it is stainless. looks like a tree limb now Well like I said a good quality rifle for the money, and with a few tweaks you can be styling. Aim small hit small. RAMbo.
P.S. Ruger also has a compact only comes in 270/308 a little lighter 6.5 vs 8
I agree the Ruger 77 Mk II is a good rifle, especially for the price. I like my 7x57 a lot, but the factory trigger was horrible and non-adjustable. In fact, it was so bad I sprung for a Timney. It cost about $75, but was worth it. The rifle now is as it should be.
My model 70 Winchester came with an adjustable trigger, but cost more out of the box.
CZ 550 American. This gun is the best bargain around. A true Mauser style action, Cont. Round Feeding. The non-detachable magazine rifles are simply beautiful rifles. You need to check these out before you buy. Price is around 450.00 An excellent value and a good shooter.
I'll buck the trend and say that for out and out accuracy, with the new trigger that's on my new Savage and the relative ease of adjusting the trigger on the previous models, that the Savage is it. We're talking "out of the box" accuracy here, no bedding, etc, etc. It does not look as good as the Ruger, or anything else for that matter, if you're worried about looks. If you want a rifle that shoots, buy a Savage. Please, please, don't buy it from Wal-Mat though, it is the gun shops of America that will take care of you as they always have, most of them at least. I've only got three of them as of now, but they all shoot very well. I'll qualify "very well" as: 5 shots from a cool barrel under 1" in hunting calibers with little fuss, unless you're trying to do something the twist rate would make impossible. I'm not a Savage warrior, they just shoot. My results have been these: Savage Scout 308 with a 150gr Hornady SSP and an adjusted(at home) factory trigger and 2x scope at .875" ( a very light barrel), a Savage 9317 bull barrel/synthetic .17HMR with a Rifle Basics trigger (about $75) and a Weaver 2x10 in the .4 MOA range(not a fluke group, but many), and a plane-jane model 12FV with the new trigger and synthetic stock in .308 at about .5 moa. with a Weaver 6.5x20 Grand Slam. I'm pretty sure this new 308 bull will produce .4 or less groups before I'm done. I haven't had more than 6 weeks of winter/spring to play with it. These rifles have all come into my possession over the last two years, but have all proven their worth, so I can't speak for the used ones.
In a used rifle, just buy a nice Model 70 with a shiny barrel, they're my favorite. I know the Remington 700 is the "king of accurate rifles" according to the gunwriters, and it may well be, but the M70 is it for "me". I've NEVER been outshot with a M700 against my favorite load in my guns, but that means little. I like the way the M70 handles and the features available in the current actions. Oh, don't forget that the extra money you spend on the Ruger trigger replacement is not neccesary with the Winchester, unless you want a trigger that is unreasonable to expect from anything other than a custom rifle. I don't disparage Remington though, they have many tremendously accurate rifles and XP-100 pistols(prior production). I own a couple of them. I just like the safety and the handling of the M70's I own. You can't beat the lines either, unless it's a M700 Mountain Rifle, about a tie in that area.
Good luck trying to figure out what you want. I would try as many as you can and see what you like, and more importantly, what fits you. I would buy a caliber that is one size smaller than what you "think" you need and shoot it alot. Instead of a 30-06 for deer, get a 7-08 or a 308. Instead of a 300Mag for Elk or other Big Game, get a 30-06 and shoot it. The difference in drop is so small that it is nearly irreleant at "reasonable" shooting ranges. I've got a few magnums, but none of them make me look forward to shooting them much, as a result of muzzle blast more than anything.
These are my opinions and not meant to ruffle any feathers. I like the way the Savages shoot for out and out accuracy, and I like the Model 70 for hunting things other than vermin.
Timberwolf - I can't add much to what's already been said here but I've had some of my best luck with finding good rifles at resonable prices crusing the used gun racks and private ads in the bargain papers. Sometimes you can get a great deal on a high quaility rifle from some nimrod that was long on money and short on brains. Just a thought... CEJ
Dollar for dollar in my book Sav. is currently the best on the market. Not the best looking,but functional. Have three of them and all do better than well. As far as all around, love my 700 Rem in 7Rem, and my 722 in 223. Looks wise, gotta love my #1 45-70, but if I had the extra bucks and the inclination to get another rifle today, it would be a savage and with the money left over, buy a decent scope.
I'm on the Savage bandwagon too...I have a Scout in 7-08, a 300 WSM Hunter and a 300 RUM in weather warrior SS. The 7-08 likes R19 and 140 gr Ballistic tips (.375 MOA), the 300 RUM likes AA870 and 220 gr Hornady RNs (.425 MOA)and the 300 WSM shoots everything from 110 PSPs to 220 gr RNs .625 MOA or better with several powders from different manufacturuers. I have 4 five shot groups under .325 MOA with Nosler 180 BTs and W760. This is with the OLD triggers.
If you handload, seriously consider the 300 WSM in a Hunter. The short, fat case does extremely well with reduced loads and the .308 and 30-06 are a snap to duplicate, using LESS powder than you would in the smaller cases (go figure).
I think the key to the Savage accuracy is the lock ring collar that makes the barrel receiver interface extremely rigid. The barrel threads pull the chamber into the receiver and the lock ring collar pulls it the opposite direction. The portion of the barrel under compression is right over the chamber, and significantly dampens the vibration moment of the barrel...the effect in a floated bbl is similar to that of a custom bedding job. They also believe in short, tight throats and very little freebore, so you are never far from the lands even when shooting short, light bullets.
The CZs and the Rugers are not far behind, and are more graceful and attractive. Once you get to big stoppers 375 and up, the CZ Safari Mag beats everything for the price, hands down. It has a true Mag action and holds three 416 Rigbys or five 375 H&H rounds in the magazine. Its one of the most beautiful rifles made and you can own a new one for $695. I have fired over 200 rounds through one and the smooth cycling and feeding of that big action is hard to believe.
I once said that their is nothing better than a model 70 Winchester, better known in past years as "The Rifleman's Rifle" for hunting big game. However today with the money being tight and several manufacturer's guns NOT being what they have been in years past, I will give a plug for the imported Chech guns, better known as the CZ's.
I have looked at the .416 Rigby and the 300 Win mag several times and fired them as well at the range.......just can't help but tell folks for the money and workmanship in a CZ gun (along with extra's) you can't beat it for the price and quality they have. A Ruger in the same caliber costs $1400 dollars, while that CZ with Mauser type action is only around $700 dollars for an African safari rifle.
Dave S.......You won't see me getting rid of the model 70's in my vault by any means, however over the last 18 months are so, I have seen a lot of sloppy work done when it comes to the Winchester's and Browning rifles. Now after all you still get very good accuracy out of the box with factory ammo and most importantly a big claw extractor and control fed Mauser Action in a CZ rifle and to me that sums everything up in a nutshell. It just don't get any better guys!
We used to see the model 96/38 Swede go for about 40 dollars when they were bought over by the ship load. I bought the stronger of the two , the model 38 in 6.5x55. I removed the handguard replaced the trigger and installed a peep site. total investment for two hundred bucks.
It is as good a shooter as anything.
Now the mauser 98 in 8mm can be just the ticket if your willing to cut the stock and reload. In a good stong gun the 8mm can go what the 3006 does.
The enflied Mark four can still be had at a fair price . reloads can tighten the groups.
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