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while I was researching rifles and shotguns I was keenly aware of who the established gun companies were and their reputations among gun afficianados. but when I figured out what firearm I wanted to buy I found the process difficult because when I read reviews and/or opinions expressed here and elsewhere, most people seemed brand specific. this bias not only made my choices difficult but since I have no point of reference I couldn't negate the things being said about one brand of rifle over another. again, it's the whole Chevy vs Ford debate. I also know there are plenty of you who own multiple brands, so it's not really an issue.

so why are some of you loyal to specific brands? do you purchase your firearms based on performance? reliability? because you want to support US based companies? or because you got a good deal on a firearm you couldn't pass up? i'm fairly picky about workmanship, quality and performance, hence the reason I spent the last month or so researching rifles and shotguns. I view firearms as an investment and if i'm going to spend anywhere from $500-1000 for a gun it better deliver. I also value input from those of you who are experienced hunters, so choosing a firearm still isn't an easy task for me because I know it all boils down to intended use. I'm always open to different brands and as long as I educate myself on firearms I think i'll do ok.
 

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I like Savage, Ruger, T/C and have nothing against the older Remingtons. Not sure about their newer guns though. I think CZ, Browning, and Tikka make good firearms. I have always liked Model 70 Winchester and hear good things about the new ones coming out of South Carolina even though I don't own one yet.

I tell you this though. I recently bought a Howa 1500 .308 with a Hogue stock. I wish I had bought two. Man is this a nice rifle. The fit and finish are great, the Hogue stock is awesome and it is proving to be very accurate. Great value for the price. Stay away from the package deals as the scopes are cheap IMO. The guns are sweet though!

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=98834

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=108534
 

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Very few products have such a narrow band of features and performance separating exceptional rifles from junk. What many guys consider junk others carry in the field each fall, with remarkable confidence and efficiency. I know guys who aren't interested in a gun unless it has been built or improved upon, at no small expense, by a great gunsmith. I also have a buddy in Wisconsin who has just 2 very average rifles, despite being a very wealthy man.

Personally, I own many different types and makes of guns, including Remington, Winchester, Browning, Savage, T/C and Ruger, as well as half a dozen ex-military rifles. I am not particularly loyal to any of them, although I will take one of my Winchester rifles hunting most of the time because that is the rifle I'm most comfortable with. I guess I'm a lot more concerned about where I'm hunting and the game being pursued than I am with what gun, or make of gun, I happen to be carrying.

I have found it a great deal more satisfying to harvest game with a rifle I have put some work into than one I simply paid a lot of money to buy. I'm sure some of what I shoot would be considered junk by others, but when the difference in group size between a $300 "junk" gun and a $1,500 Remchester is less than an inch, I just don't see how it matters all that much.
 

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I also own a number of rifles in many different brands and models, over 6 dozen at last count actually. I certainly have my preferences and having owned a good number of guns thus far, also feel I have made educated opinions on what a quality rifle is (as most do, I'd imagine). I'd say that many shooters/hunters who are staunchly brand loyal are more than likely ones who only own a few of one (that) brand. They have perhaps heard "Uncle Joe" badmouth a certain model or type of rifle and followed his lead in buying another certain brand.

I can also tell you that like some others have already mentioned here, I prefer quality made guns, most of my guns are traditional blue/walnut ones, but I also own several with laminate stocks and SS finishes too. I am not all about "the cheapest rifle that shoots good". I've read far too many postings where someone asks which rifle is the least expensive that shoots "an inch". I simply do not see myself taking good care of my guns so I can pass down to my kids and grandkids some $399. specials. But as everything else in life, to each their own.

If a buyer looks at some well known brands in some of their higher quality models he/she cannot go wrong with what they select. I may prefer a new M70 to a new Remington CDL, but that doesn't mean I feel the Remington is junk, it's just not my favorite, perhaps. To some, guns/rifles are merely tools. That simply ain't how it is with me. To some a rifle with pinned barrel, plastic trigger guard and cheap synthetic stock is wonderful, if it shoots "an inch". That ain't me either.

It has already been mentioned here that some aficionados prefer older guns, made when quality was indeed higher on many models. There's nothing wrong with buying a storied brand and model that's 20 or even 30 yrs old, if it is still in excellent shape. Many are very high quality guns. I own many guns that are 20 yrs old to 50+ yrs old and think them fully the equal, or even better than some other new guns I've recently purchased. I'd stick with quality brands such as Remington, Ruger, Winchester, Sako, Weatherby, Browning (added), etc. Then take the time to handle some of each. Perhaps select your caliber and buy what you find chambered in it, or even select a group of calibers and buy the gun you like.

If you're looking for a tool to hunt and shoot with, most any type or model will likely work well. Perhaps you'd prefer a synthetic stock and low luster finish. If you want something more special, then look until you feel you've found it. I can promise you this, if you look at a new M70 Winchester, a new Remington CDL, a new Ruger 77, a new Sako 85,(and others) I feel confident you'll find something that really speaks to you and you'll be very happy driving home with that new box in your car. You also may find yourself driving home with a 50 yr old Husqvarna instead!!:D

Edited: I am embarrassed to admit that for some odd reason I completely left the Browning brand out of my original posting. I've owned way over a dozen Browning rifles & shotguns in my life and still own at least nine now. They are quality made firearms and a favorite of mine as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I also own a number of rifles in many different brands and models, over 6 dozen at last count actually. I certainly have my preferences and having owned a good number of guns thus far, also feel I have made educated opinions on what a quality rifle is (as most do, I'd imagine). I'd say that many shooters/hunters who are staunchly brand loyal are more than likely ones who only own a few of one (that) brand. They have perhaps heard "Uncle Joe" badmouth a certain model or type of rifle and followed his lead in buying another certain brand.

I can also tell you that like some others have already mentioned here, I prefer quality made guns, most of my guns are traditional blue/walnut ones, but I also own several with laminate stocks and SS finishes too. I am not all about "the cheapest rifle that shoots good". I've read far too many postings where someone asks which rifle is the least expensive that shoots "an inch". I simply do not see myself taking good care of my guns so I can pass down to my kids and grandkids some $399. specials. But as everything else in life, to each their own.

If a buyer looks at some well known brands in some of their higher quality models he/she cannot go wrong with what they select. I may prefer a new M70 to a new Remington CDL, but that doesn't mean I feel the Remington is junk, it's just not my favorite, perhaps. To some, guns/rifles are merely tools. That simply ain't how it is with me. To some a rifle with pinned barrel, plastic trigger guard and cheap synthetic stock is wonderful, if it shoots "an inch". That ain't me either.

It has already been mentioned here that some aficionados prefer older guns, made when quality was indeed higher on many models. There's nothing wrong with buying a storied brand and model that's 20 or even 30 yrs old, if it is still in excellent shape. Many are very high quality guns. I own many guns that are 20 yrs old to 50+ yrs old and think them fully the equal, or even better than some other new guns I've recently purchased. I'd stick with quality brands such as Remington, Ruger, Winchester, Sako, Weatherby, etc. Then take the time to handle some of each. Perhaps select your caliber and buy what you find chambered in it, or even select a group of calibers and buy the gun you like.

If you're looking for a tool to hunt and shoot with, most any type or model will likely work well. Perhaps you'd prefer a synthetic stock and low luster finish. If you want something more special, then look until you feel you've found it. I can promise you this, if you look at a new M70 Winchester, a new Remington CDL, a new Ruger 77, a new Sako 85,(and others) I feel confident you'll find something that really speaks to you and you'll be very happy driving home with that new box in your car. You also may find yourself driving home with a 50 yr old Husqvarna instead!!:D
good insight. I'd say i'm like you (and probably most people on this forum) and prefer quality guns with blue/walnut stock, but that doesn't mean i'm against a cheaper gun with a laminate stock either. i'm also trying to avoid the pitfalls of sticking to one brand, because I think that variety is the spice of life and I won't know how a gun performs if I don't give it a chance. I'm glad I've been able to read up on other brands like Ruger, Sako, Savage, etc., and know that I have so many options open to me.
 

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Hey Carl, they're all good and serve a purpose. If they didn't, the companies would be out of business.

I don't have one of everything - yet - but I'm trying. :D There are differences in how the stocks feel and the guns handle. Put it up to your shoulder and if it feels right it probably is.
 

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My first choice would be Ruger for the following reasons: Quality product at a reasonable price, great looking and outstanding customer service. That being said, I do not limit myself to Rugers. I also own several other brands (Savage, H&R, browning, remington, etc.) and am happy with many of them, unhappy with some.
 

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I've owned rifles from Remington, Ruger, Savage, Browning, and Sako. They all went bang. The Remington, Ruger, and Savage just never impressed me. I gave them a fair shake but from now on I see no reason to repeat old mistakes. I shoot all Brownings now and thats how it will probably stay. I would buy another Sako without hesistation as well, even at near twice the price of a Browning.

Am I biased? Maybe. Satisfied? Definately.

I dont begrudge others for choosing differently as long as they show the same respect.
 

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I'm not brand-loyal, but I AM very PREJUDICED

From Wikipedia: A prejudice is a prejudgment: i.e. an assumption made about someone or something before having adequate knowledge to be able to do so with guaranteed accuracy.

Example: I'll own a rifle "made in japan" IF it was taken from a dead Japanese soldier....

I'll own a .270 IF it was freely-given by someone who loved it....

And you know something? Those are the only two prejudices I can think of! And the "IF" statements came along because I've met owners that were passionate about their arms.

I was riding back on a truck-cart on Ossabaw Island a few years ago. The guy next to me looked at my 11mm hammered double in disdain and began to passionately expound upon the virtues of his plastic ShootzenBoomer he lovingly cradled in his arms.

I looked at the floor, where my two deer and 100lb pig were, and remarked, "I sure am glad they picked me up. Dragging three critters for three miles ain't much fun in my book. Lucky there was some room here where you're sittin'."

A couple of the other guys laughed, and, after a minute, he did too....
 

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It depends what you prefer

I go for quality no matter who made the firearm. The older guns tend to have better fit, finish and wood. Most of my guns came off used gun racks in various gun shops. Brand loyalty can be deceptive today because quality standards and craftsmanship vary widely. I cannot always define quality, but i know it when I see it. Take care...
Oberndorf
 

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Am I brand loyal, no. Do I have a favorite, yes. Ruger! If I had to own just one it would be a Ruger. Great customer service, never let you down when it counts, good looking and made in the USA. Can't wait for my new Hawkeye .358 Win. to arrive next week. C'mon deer season!!
 

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Ya know what blows my mind ? People who want quality, and still use Winchester rifles lol :p
Ladies and Gentlemen...TANG, the stirrer of pots and wielder of boat paddles! :p
 

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Ladies and Gentlemen...TANG, the stirrer of pots and wielder of boat paddles! :p
Indeed. But the pot is so easily stirred in the other direction:

I have purchased two of those Rugers Tang thinks are so great. They do make about the 2nd or 3rd best US Mauser action based rifle which aint bad. No comparison in fit and finnish to my forged Winchesters, but more than acceptable. Love the scope rings too. But the triggers? OMG! Compared to the finest adjustable trigger ever put on a production rifle (the classic model 70s), Ruger triggers are a joke. You'd think after what five decades, they may be getting it close to doing them right with the Hawkeye? Not according to this gun rag writer: The M77 Hawkeye features Ruger’s new LC6 trigger (standing for “light and crisp”). It is not a bad trigger and it has no discernable take-up so I can go along with the “crisp” designation. It breaks at about four pounds eleven ounces, by far the heaviest of all the rifles tested. The Savage AccuTrigger put it to shame and so did the CZ trigger in standard mode, without being "set." The LC6 is not awful, but it is clearly inferior to both the Savage and the CZ.

Yeah not to mention inferior to Weatherby/Howa, Remington, Sako, T/C, Browning and probably H&R Handi Rifles for all I know. Seriously, both Remington and Winchester have been producing great triggers on bolt guns for nearly a century, so it's not rocket science, but for whatever reason, Ruger never did. Well, maybe on their 5th or 6th version of the M77 (whatever they will be on next), they will finally make a trigger for marksmen rather than lawyers. I do hear they have put a good one on their new tatical models, so it is possible. Of course, on the bright side, Ruger has done wonders for the business of Timney and Riflebasix, no doubt about that.
 

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Rugers are without a doubt the toughest actions out there. Just like their revolvers, which have their own section in reloading manuals. I've never seen a Remington/Winchester/Browning/TC/Sako only section of a reloading manual.
 

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Rugers are without a doubt the toughest actions out there. Just like their revolvers, which have their own section in reloading manuals. I've never seen a Remington/Winchester/Browning/TC/Sako only section of a reloading manual.
First of all, what is a revolver?

Seriously though, is there is a Ruger Bolt gun only section in some loading manuals, or were you just talking about those short range hand held thingies they make?

I do think the M77s are rugged, I have purchased two in the last year, a .350 and a 7 Mag. It is hard to mess up the classic Mauser design after all. I am not sold on their accuracy yet, but today's standards are pretty high and they are in the ball park. The required aftermarket trigger is partly paid for by not having to buy bases and rings. That is a great feature.
 

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Just like their revolvers, which have their own section in reloading manuals. I've never seen a Remington/Winchester/Browning/TC/Sako only section of a reloading manual.
True, but have you seen a Remington/Winchester/Browning/TC/Sako revolver? Anyway, arguing the virtues of a revolver in an attempt to prove how strong a rifle action is doesn't do much to help your case.

The M77 action is a fine one, but it isn't the be all-end all of the bolt gun world.
 

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True, but have you seen a Remington/Winchester/Browning/TC/Sako revolver? Anyway, arguing the virtues of a revolver in an attempt to prove how strong a rifle action is doesn't do much to help your case.

The M77 action is a fine one, but it isn't the be all-end all of the bolt gun world.
It could be, nothing stronger than a ruger action.
 

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I think my primary criterium is ergonomics. Most of my rifles are the older tang safety Ruger 77s and #1s because they fit me and I like where the safety is located. Plus, they were quality firearms. Now, I'd be inclined to go with CZ.

Unfortunately, brand loyalty means very little. Quality control runs in cycles and many of the major "manufacturers" have become importers, stamping their name on anything they think they can sell regardless of quality.
 
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