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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I received some great advice on calibre and rifle type. (Thanks to all.)

So I have settled on a bolt action in 30-06. My question now is, do you have any recommendations on these rifles? I am leaning towards a Winchester Model 70 Classis Featherweight, but I would like to hear what y'all think about the different makes.

Thanks.
 

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recommendation

Hello TPM,

I think you made a great choice on caliber, you might have considered the 300WSM.
As for make of rifle, I like the Browning A-Bolt. The features I enjoy are the short bolt throw and the detachible box magazine. I hunt with a SS stalker and it has been a great tool in the field. Very easy to maintain and extremely accurate; I use handloads.
You can't go wrong with a winchester but, you might think about recoil managment if you choose a featherweight.

Good Luck!
JB
 

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I think you've decided on an excellent combination! My second choice might be the Ruger. I have kind of a love/hate relationship with them because of some problem rifles & a handgun I've gotten from them, but their design is quite good. I see many people at the shooting range struggling to get top accuracy from Rugers - more so than other brands, in my observation. They shoot adequately, but not great for the most part. (I know I'll be hearing stories about someone who shoots the wings off a fly with theirs, but I believe in what I see at the range.)

Stick with your choice, IMHO!
 

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Just read 7mman's reply. The Browning wouldn't be a bad choice either, but I like a gun that is made in the USA whenever I have a choice. The Browning is Japanese. I'd feel better about it if Japan didn't lobby the U.N. for global gun control.

Also, about the weight/recoil management. I often take a scale down to the sporting goods store and weigh various rifles. That featherweight is likely to be a little heavier than the Browning! Ones I have weighed came in around 7 1/2 lbs while the Browning often weighs a little less than 7. It depends on caliber and wood density, of course.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Plan on putting a good recoil pad on a Featherweight. A friend had a .270 Featherweight and it just kicks the crap out of you, at least it did till I put a Decellerator on it. Now it's much more manageable.

Love my model 70 but there is something brutally tough about the Ruger guns. I have really come to appreciate their scope mounting system. My two older 77's shoot well enough. Guess I may have gotten luck with them.

A friend hunts with a .30-06 A-Bolt and loves it dearly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I must admit, that I also prefer to buy American, as long as what I want is offered. (For example, I recently bought a Browning Gold Shotgun in MOSG, because the Remington 11-87 is not available in a 3" gun with camo. They only offer a 3.5" model, which I did not want.)

Perhaps the Classic Sporter LT would be a better choice, as it weighs 1/2 pound more than the Featherweight?
 

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Another Suggestion

Hello again TPM,
I'm not trying to change your mind; I'm just going to throw something else out there for you to ponder.
Another caliber you might consider is the 7mmWSM; it is between the 2 you were considering. This caliber and all the other WSM's including the WSSM's were pioneered by a partnership between BROWNING and Winchester; if I am not misinformed.
I believe you said you were from Canada and just some info for you if you did'nt already know: John M. Browning was considered by many to the be greatest firearms designer ever. His inventions gave the U.S. and allies arms superiority in 2 world wars and the Korean conflict. Also, Winchester purchased many of J.M. Browning's early designs just to keep their competitors from getting them.
Just in case you don,t have a scale:
7mmWSM Winchester featherweight 7lbs. 8oz
7mmWSM BROWNING A-bolt SS Stalker 6lbs. 6oz
I failed to mention in my first reply that when I purchased my BROWNING, I chose the BOSS option (muzzle brake) so, weight / recoil managment was not a real concern at the time.

Again Good Luck,
JB

Buy American when your shooting needs can stand it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I appreciate the advice. My primary quarry will be deer, however, I also want to use the same rifle for the odd black bear and moose (mostly calves.) To save money, I'm trying to do all this with just one gun, so I am trying to select a calibre that will "do it all," so to speak. The 30-06 seems to fit this bill nicely, but I'm still open to suggestions, as I will be making my purchase in October.

I'm curious as to why a lighter gun has less recoil, assuming you are using the same ammo? You would think the heavier model 70 would be better, all things being equal, no? Perhaps it's the BOSS?
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Your choice of a 30-06 is an excellent one. Stick with it. The longer action dictates a heavier rifle than the intermediate or short action ultra light weight rifle. That's ok, because you'll need the extra weight to soak up some of the recoil from the '06. As stated, a good Decelerator butt pad will really go a long way in helping out in this department.

Light weight barrels tend to heat up quickly, but if you plan on just one or two shots in heavy brush, they will be fine. Usually takes sustained 4-5 shots before they start walking the POI's around.

Now that we're discussing standard weight rifles, the Win mod 70 Classic, Rem Mod 700 BDL, Ruger M77 MkII (although, I prefer the older tang safety type), The Browning Std (don't care for the high gloss finish on either the Rem or the Browning) will all serve you well. It's Hobson's choice - personal preference will decide.
 

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TPM,

The Winchester 70, " The Rifleman's Rifle" and the Featherweight are both very classy. Both are good choices. If have an affinity for good bluing and nice walnut, the Model 70 Super Grade. The are a bit more in $, but beautiful.
Another light rifle in Blue/Walnut is the Ruger 77UL, They're pretty and petite. The barrels are only 20" which is a bit short for MY tastes in the -06.

Now, If you are leaning toward a lightweight rifle, all weather rifle, or a bit of both. Take a look at these.

Ruger's Stainless/ Laminated stock. They're not light but more weather proof. The laminated stock isn't impervious to the elements but are a bit warmer in feel than synthetics.

Remington has several ss/lam versions, Plus, there Titanium model with synth stock. I've held a few of the Ti. models, and they're definately trim and light.

And last the Weatherby "Super Big Game Master." (I hate the title.) This rifle combines a synthtic stock, and stainless 24" barrel in a 5 1/2- 5 3/4 pound rifle (unscoped) in 30-06. They have the short bolt lift, like the Browning. The down side is, they are probably the same or higher $$ than a 70 Super Grade. This rifle has kinda caught my eye of late. Held a few, but haven't had a chance to put one thru the range yet.

You can't go wrong with a Winchester. but I just thought I'd give you some more to chew on,
 

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Re: the discussion about recoil in the Featherweight. Recoil is very subjective, based on your build and the dimensions of the rifle, so recoil numbers may be misleading. I owned a Mod 70 Featherweight prior to my current 30-06 (which is the Mod 70 Classic Stainless) and did not find recoil at all objectionable. I only sold it because a friend at work really wanted it, and I had a hankering for the stainless model. Both these Mod 70's have been the most consistently accurate 30 caliber rifles I have owned. BTW, my stainless synthetic model weighs a bit less than the old Featherweight - 7.25 vs 7.5 lbs. More food for thought!
 

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I own a remington mountain rifle in 30-06. It recoils similar to my brother's model 70 in 338 win mag. My rifle, with burris compact 4x scope weighs about 7 1/2 lbs.
Brother's rifle with 3-9 zeiss conquest is a little over 9 lbs.

Another consideration in favor of a standard weight rifle is the greater ease in making shots in the field...offhand, kneeling and sitting. I have found that a portable rest (steadystix in my case) aids greatly in keeping that lightweight barrel steady.

One of the reasons that the 30-06 would be my choice is that the availability of ammo is so great. In addition, there is a large variety of bullet weights. I have shot accurate handloads (and factory loads) in weights from 150-220 grains.

Any of the rifles you mentioned should be a good choice in terms of manufacture. Good luck and good gun hunting!
 

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Hello,
I went through the same decision about a year ago. I chose the rem 700 adl in 300 win mag. I wanted a rifle that was simple, durable ,and accurate. I like not having a floorplate under the magazine, I have seen several problems with springs in my friends rifles.I also chose the 300wm over the -06 because in my humble and ametuer opinion it was a little more versatile. Good luck in deciding,
Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Don't you find the 300WM to be a bit "overkill" for deer? Most guys I know use it strictly for moose.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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TPM, you'd think so, but you haven't been deer hunting in Texas and seen the cannons that people use for 90 lb. Whitetails.

On the other hand, you don't spend much time trailing them, if hit square.
 

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Hey tpm,
The deer I've shot (1) in northen wisconsin fell to a 150 grain bullet. It dropped dead on the spot at 100 yards.The wound was almost exactly the same as my friends 30-06. He shot his witha 180 grain{I pretty sure} . I really looked at all my options and after talking to several (probablyy about 25) more experienced hunters I am really glad I chose the 300 win mag. The short mag was very apealing as well but couldnt spend the extra money.The deer up here do get pretty big, not as big as other places but I also hope to hunt bigger game in the future. I like all the bullet options as well. The -06 is close to the 300. It really comes down to what you like and are comfy with. My deer was not more dead than my friends. Go with what you like. Good luck-hey shopping for em is half the fun.
Nathan
 

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TPM,
you've made the best choice in my opinion. I've got a M70 Winlite in .280 Remington, which is a Classic Featherweight with a McMillan synthetic stock and the old push feed action of the day. The thing shoots like a pussycat, and I've got lots of dental work that is still IN my mouth. My favorite deer rifle hands down. I'm a M70,M98 guy so I'm biased. As stated, Ruger M77 are darn tough rifles, especially the little curved part that you pull to make it go off. If you don't mind spending an extra $100 on a trigger, that would be better spent on glass in my opinion, the Ruger is a fine choice.

I'd stand by your choice of the 30-06, none of the rounds mentioned will do it better in a light rifle with moderate recoil. If you're worried about recoil of a 30-06, I stay far away from a 300 Weatherby. The WSM cartridges are impressive, but don't do anything that hasn't been done before. You WILL pay the price in recoil and you will need premium bullets for reliable performance when game shows up close. There is more variety of 30-06 ammo made by each single manufacturer than all brands of WSM's per caliber combined. That may change in the future, but it is a fact of reality right now.

I'm thinking of picking up a cheap M70 Super Shadow in .270 WSM to see how it shoots and ammo performance to compare with my M70 in .270 Weatherby(2nd favorite deer rifle). How much money can you lose on the deal when the rifle only cost $380? I've got about 3 projects ahead of that at present though, so perhaps I'll come to my senses.

You might be well served with a heavier rifle, like the standard M70 sporter, if you plan to shoot of the bench alot. That's what I have the .270 Wthby in. I will say that the Featherweight is MUCH more pleasant to carry, and I carry it a lot more than I shoot it off the bench. In my opinion, you're looking to take a pounding when you buy a really light rifle in a magnum caliber, short or otherwise.

Did John Browning design the A-Bolt?

There isn't a partnership between Winchester and Browning, they are owned by the same company, so they work together under those parameters.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Once again, thanks for all your input. It is much appreciated. The terrain up here is very "hilly," dense hardwood/white pine forest with many small lakes and rivers. Thus, most of the shooting is less than 200 yards, so the long range flat calibre's are not essential to success.
 

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Hey TPM,

If you aren't an, 'every week-end', 200 round a week shooter, stick with the 30-06. It will kill anything on the continent WITH A QUALITY BULLET THAT IS DESIGNED FOR THE ANIMAL YOU ARE HUNTING. It will also not beat you to death WITH A GOOD STOCK CONFIGURATION.

Case in point for good stocks;
My son and I were shooting, side by side. My rifle was a 77Ruger(old model) in .270 Win. 130 gr, bullets. His was a 'custom' 7mm Rem. Mag, model 700 with 150gr bullets. His rifle was the, all-time ugliest gun I'd ever seen. It has a yellow-looking wood with a teardrop grip and dark inserts in various places. It is like an old style 'Weatherby', wanna-be look-alike. We shot our own guns for a while then traded.

I couldn't believe it. His 'fugly gun' seemed to recoil less. A lot less. We traded back and forth a couple times to confirm it. I was bumfuzzled. We weighed the guns with a digital fish scale that I had in my truck: 4 ounces different.

I borrowed his gun when we went home. Dismantling both guns I found that his buttstock was higher than my Ruger by 3/8". I wrote down the measurements(don't remember what they were) and started calling stockmakers. Guess what? Bell & Carlson, Carbellite stock was nearly an exact copy of his stock.

I ordered one from Cabella's and have never looked back. I now have 7 B&C stocks and I'm not done. Raising the buttstock(correcting drop) just that little bit does wonders.

I'm running my mouth here.... As far as 'good bullets' go, make sure they have a bonded core and shoot well in your rifle. I like Swift bullets, either style.

Hope this helps.

Bud
 
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