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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have looked at several rifles in 25-06 for my son. He is very interested in hunting, has his hunter safety permit and now and needs a his first rifle for hunting whitetail. I am pretty settled on caliber as I have hunted with others that have used it and have been very impressed.

My son is left eye dominant but hunts small game with right handed bolt guns with no problems(as long as they don't have a monte carlo stock). Thinking of going with a right handed bolt due to availibilty and future value. Maybe I'm wrong?

My major dilemma is finding the right make. Cooper and some of the higher end custom rifles are out of my price range. Was hoping to find one with stainless barrel and walnut stock in 25-06 but options are very limited. Have looked at several composite stalk makes (Tikka T3, Remington-various models, Thompson Center, Sako, Savage, etc) and the only make I was impressed with was a browning x-bolt stainless stalker. Did not handle anything in ruger so I will have to check them out.

The T3 didn't shoulder or feel comfortable, the action wasn't as smooth as I thought it would be and the three panel checkering looked cheap(although the skimpy checkering on the browning was only slightly better). The savage felt darn right clunky(no offense), stiff and was the worst of the bunch. None of the barrels seemed bedded evenly in the stalks but the browning was the best. All of the composite stalks flexed allot more then I felt they should(never owned one).

So, I guess I'm looking for more input. I have spent hours researching this site and others, but would appreciate some info more specific to my situation. I want this gun to be something he can hand down to his child, and quality is and will always be important to me. Sadly, American made does not enter into this purchase as I have been burned lately keeping this thought in the forefront(marlin rifle-don't want to go into it). Thank you in advance for your time and consideration!
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Owned several 25-06's and found all of them to be tack drivers with the proper load.

Two Ruger #1's were excellent shooters after tweaking the forends. They can be used by left or right handers.

The one Browning A-Bolt was a great shooter also, even with the buggy whip barrel. The 60 degree bolt lift should be a boon to a lefty.
 

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If you want quality in a modest priced rifle go with a ruger. they are beautiful guns and with the mauser actions they are very rugged.
 

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own 3 rugers and 1 in 25/06.-for strength and dependability,you wont find them lacking.triggers need stoning or replace with after market and relieve the fore end and bed.for precision and silky smooth and good finish,try a look at sako.styer are nice,but very expensive.the older rifles are a lot better than the newer designs.-my opinion only-eg,tikka m65 .early rem actions-7oo bdl and mk1 rugers with adjustable trigger.if new is your choice i would go sako and then ruger.--i am ruger biased.-sakos are pricy,but you get what you pay for.-good luck and hope you find a gem.-p.s.good choice of caliber.
 

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Greetings,

I think the 25-06 is a great cartridge, period. I want one....still.

But, I like the 260 or 7mm-08 Remington a little better as a one gun/cartridge starter rifle. I think your bang for the buck will last a few years longer. I still have the first rifle my dad gave me some 45 years now.

Built in several smaller rifles ( Remington M7 or Ruger Compact plus others ), these milder recoiling yet very efficient cartridges will not be constrained by 20/22" barrel lengths commonly found in smaller OAL rifles.

Good luck....Lj
 

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I'm surprised you didn't find the Tikka action smooth enough, in my experience they are hard to beat in a factory rifle for action smoothness. The ruger is a good solid rifle and the triggers are better now than they were a few years back, but if you think the Tikka action feels rough then you will probably think the ruger is a real clunker. Really any of the bolt actions available from the major manufacturers should fit the bill. I wouldn't worry about the flexibility of a synthetic stock on a deer rifle either - you won't need sub minute accuracy shooting medium game in the field.
 

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I'm surprised you didn't find the Tikka action smooth enough, in my experience they are hard to beat in a factory rifle for action smoothness. The ruger is a good solid rifle and the triggers are better now than they were a few years back, but if you think the Tikka action feels rough then you will probably think the ruger is a real clunker. Really any of the bolt actions available from the major manufacturers should fit the bill. I wouldn't worry about the flexibility of a synthetic stock on a deer rifle either - you won't need sub minute accuracy shooting medium game in the field.
got that right in one.-the older tikkas were like using roller bearings,-smooth as.have not used the new one. -ruger-built like a tank .-only the 6.5 arisaka jap,is stronger than a ruger.-source--stuart oderson in a gunsmiths reference book called the bolt action rifle.
 

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The .25/06 is my all time favorite caliber and I have two Ruger bolts, one M77 and one M77MKII, a Ruger No. 1, and a Remington 700. The only calibers I own more of are .22LR and .44 Mag. I've shot more than 50 deer with a .25/06, probably more but I don't keep count.

I've also taught numerous friends to hunt with that gun, and they all like it. Although it is a perfect deer and antelope caliber, I would not hesitate to use it on black bears, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, or elk.

You've made a good caliber choice!
 

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I sure like my Ruger #1 in 25-06. Very accurate, rugged, and one of the classiest looking rifles made. If I had to buy that rifle all over again, I'd get the same one in the same caliber. I still want another 25-06....probably another Ruger.... a Hawkeye or maybe a MkII.

I can't think of a major brand rifle that wouldn;t last well enough to be handed down to your son....and grandson....and his son.....
 

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Let's see. Your son's first deer rifle. He needs a left handed bolt action. All the rifles you mentioned and many more will last a lifetime for him. He will never forget that rifle. If deer will be his only big game for a while, I would go with a short action cartridge in any of those rifles but I would make sure it had one of the adjustable trigger featurers. I have a T3 that has been great for 3 years. The supplied rings are crap. I have buddies that have M77 Rugers and triggers were a problem. I think they have adjustable now. One friend has a Savage that is very accurate in the composite inexpensive model.

I don't think you will go wrong as long as it fits him.
 

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North1,

First of all, the 25-'06 is a deer-killing machine and don't let anybody convince you otherwise. If you son shoots it well, meaning he isn't afraid of the noise or recoil, that caliber is capable of killing any whitetail that ever walked. In fact, it's arguably one of the very best cartridges for a young person, or a lady, to hunt with if they're going after varmints, deer and/or wild hogs. Why people insist on suggesting another offering when you stated you have already decided on that is beyond me...

As for the action of choice, you didn't say you were set on a bolt-action, so I'll give you my 2 cents. My son is left-handed and though he doesn't hunt, he still likes to shoot with me, once in a while. I debated several different options and eventually got him an H&R handi-rifle in .243. I would suggest you get your son the same, in 25-'06, or if you want to step up in quality, the T/C Encore Pro-Hunter is just the thing for your situation. The cost of the T/C is about the same, or less, than some of the other stuff you've looked at, but will offer a lot of versatility if your son decides to go after elk, bear, or other big critters in the future.

Since someone in here mentioned the 6.5 Arisaka, I will relate a quick story of a right-handed person who was left-eye dominant. For my first real deer rifle, someone gave my father a 7.7 Jap with the barrel cut back to 22" and a very rough sporterized stock, that needed to be refinished. Dad picked up the gun and had it completely refinished before I got back from summer vacation the year I turned 14, so it was a total surprise to me. I was really excited to have a real, center-fire rifle! However, one of many things about it that wasn't great was how the scope had to be mounted on the left side of the action, off-center. I learned to shoot it anyway and as it turned out, I killed my 2nd ever deer with it but the only other animal taken with it was when a right-handed, left-eye dominant friend of ours used it to take his first deer. It was ideal for him, because that off-center scope lined up well, with his eye.

To tie this all together, your son will NEVER forget his first deer rifle, or any other gun you buy for him, most likely. Dad bought me a Model 70 in 270Winchester for my high-school graduation present and I would never consider selling either of those guns, simply because of who built them and gave them to me. If well cared for, the gun you buy your son will almost certainly outlive both of you, to be passed down to a future generation. Even though mine was a WWII relic and hasn't been used to hunt in over 10 years, it's still special to me and it still works great. Just a couple years ago I bought some Hornady ammo for it and would you believe the darn thing put 5 shots into 1.5" at 100 yards? Not bad for a 60 year-old freebie gun with goofy sights on it! :)
 

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I am left eye dominate but right handed. I shoot a right handed bolt gun for rimfires, but for large game, I use and recommend a left handed bolt gun. rugers are good, as are savage and browning.
 

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American made does not enter into this purchase as I have been burned lately keeping this thought in the forefront(marlin rifle-don't want to go into it). Thank you in advance for your time and consideration!
Reading through the thread, this strikes me as very odd.

"American Made" is actually the "Gold Standard" all over the world. I spend a lot of time in the Nordic countries, as the company I've worked for for the last 15 years is based in Sweden. A M700, in .30-06, is highly respected in the land of Sako.

It's unusual to have a problem with a Marlin, it's almost unheard of to have a problem with a M700. Ruger is in the same class, and apparently even faster if you need a fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I guess I should have elaborated a bit. I'm not looking for rifles other than American made, just not limiting my choices because something is made in another country. Marlin does have serious quality issues at least with some models(see rimfire-39a thread on this board for more info).
I think quality for everything we purchase has fallen over the past few years. Pride of craftsmanship and quality materials in products have taken a back seat to producing something as cheap as possible and **** the consequences. Just want to purchase a quality rifle in the $800-1200 range (scope extra)that will last for years if taken care of properly. I don't think that's too much to ask for?
Thanks for the replies so far. Any and all avdice is appreciated as their is such a wealth of knowledge on this site. It really is amazing so many people have so much experience with different firearms and yet have such varying opinions. Truely is fascinating!!
 

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Well i kinda looked around on the Remington and Ruger web sight for a little to make sure that the guns had the calibers that your wanting. First off, i don't want to sound rude but i would suggest that you get him a gun that he will enjoy shooting, that means a gun that he wants and likes the looks of. If i was him thats what i would like the most. Not only one that he likes but one that fits him well, no matter if it is a remington or a ruger. I love both makes and have shot both guns so i am not going to say anything about either one, except that the remington 700 action is one of the best stock actions that are made and with little work they are very precise and accurate. I have always liked the Remington model 700 XCR and personally own a ruger hawkeye and both have the 25-06. hope this helps and good luck hunting
 

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It sounds like you better take him to the gun store and let him pick one out... I grew up hunting deer with my grandpa's .25/06 M77 Ruger, it was gorgeous and when I saw that rifle, I didn't want anything else. Its mine now and I'll keep it forever until I can pass it on to my children and grandchildren. I was given a Dakota .25/06 and a Ruger .25/06 MKII for a HS graduation present, the Dakota was stolen from my pickup (somebody knew it was there...) I still have the Ruger and hunt with it every year. Most of my rifles are Ruger or Remington, I've never had any accuracy issues with either brand - some were a little more finicky in the loads. None have required any major work to be accurate. I had a cracked stock on a Ruger, I emailed Ruger, they said to send it in, they replaced it free of charge.
 
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