New Deer Rifle - Looking To Be Educated
Hello all. I've done some side jobs and I'm going to get a new rifle/scope with the money.
I hunt white tail deer in "sort of" Northern Kentucky. This area of land has moderate hills. The lease we have contains a combination of standard woods, thick brush, cleared power lines, and the occasional open field. The multi-purpose rifle I have my eye on is the Remington 700, Stainless barrel in .308 caliber. All this is up for debate and change but that's my starting point. The base version of the Rem 700 Stainless .308 is around $650 I think.
I'm willing to put my money into just the rifle and put on a cheaper scope that I already have and put on a nicer scope next year. I know I won't get full value out of rifle in year 1 with a cheaper scope but in the end I'll have what I want instead of having to go cheaper on the rifle.
I will have about $1000 to spend but I don't want to buy a rifle just to use all that money meaning I don't want to spend to my budget but rather find out what I want and hope it is within budget.
Question: Do you agree with the Remington 700 and in a .308 caliber? If not what do you suggest? I started with it because it is all I really know... two of my hunting buddies have one and like it.
With whatever base rifle you suggest would you get the cheapest stock then upgrade with an aftermarket?
Go with what feels right in your hands...
I think that you have a solid plan inplace. Get a quality rifle this year next year buy a new quality scope for it. If you have the 1000.xx to spend you could get both this year. A good scope will cost around 150-200 dollars. A high qualitity rifle will cost around 600-650. Very good entry level models start at around 300.
You already like the Rem SPS stainless M700, that is a very nice rifle and the 308 Win is a sound calibre. There really is no difference to the animal at normal ranges whether you use the 270 Win, 280 Rem, 308 Win, or 30-06. Some will argue why one is better than others but from 0-200 yards they all perform stellar. The short action choices like the 308 Win or 7mm-08 will be placed in a shorter action (1/2 inch). The short actions usually weigh about 1/4# less.
I would go to a gunshop with a large selection of different Manufactures of bolt action rifles. It will be easy to have 1/2 dozen different rifles to choose from that are at the same price point.
Try to get it down to 2 or 3 choices then go online and do your homework. Finally take the one that you want to have at you side for the rest of your life. In the end you will make the right choice.
Thanks for the reply. I certainly will go with what feels good but I'd certainly like to have a base of generally accepted rifles to start with.
Once I narrow things down I will go online to look at prices but if I go to a local place to try them out I'll buy from them. I'll check THEIR prices before I pick one up because if they are way pricey I won't bother.
As for the stock would you go the basic cheap one and then upgrade to the free floating, glass block, etc? I don't know if Remington has one off the shelf that people feel good about in that area. There are so many choices my head swims when I start comparing.
Thanks. It's comforting to know that I'm not looking at something that is unconventional. Two of my hunting partners have Rem 700's and of course many sites have that on their list of deer guns so I figured I wasn't nutso.
My thoughts on various bolt guns
This is a Chevy, Ford, Dodge thing but here goes...
Stainless is really cool, but most hunters don't let their rifles rust. A stainless barrel will outlast a blued one but it is going to take more shots than most of us would ever fire through it.
Walnut wood stocks are the best for looks. Synthetic stocks are the most durable against abuse. Laminated are as stable as Synthetic and feel like wood because they are. The laminates are the heaviest of the stock choices.
I really like the quality of the Winchester M70. The M70 action is one all the others is compared to. I also like the featherweight contour of the barrel used on the Featherweight model. The new M70s have the controlled round claw action. The one I have had for about 30 years is their older push feed action. The safety is three position and the trigger on the M70 is a good one. The newest ones have an improved one.
The Remington M700 is a really good action. The Marines went with the Remington M700 in the late 60s inplace of the Win M70 due to Winchester having some business issues. I personally like the stock design of the Mountain rifle and also their new CDL version. Some shooters complain about the fact this a push feed action, I personally think the whole push/controlled argument is overrated. The M700 has always had a good trigger, they also have improved their trigger now being used.
The Ruger M77 is Bill Rugers answer to when Winchester changed the M70 in 1964. The Ruger has built in scope mounts which are part of the action. The original M77s had a tang mounted safety the newer style M77s have a three position thumb safety. My Son just bought a new M77 Hawkeye in 30-06 that we are excited about shooting. It is a very nice rifle.
The Savage 110s are very accurate. They have a multiple piece bolt compared to the others that are either machined as one piece or welded together. Savage uses a barrel nut attachment system that allows the rifles to be very accurate and consistant. They offer a new style trigger system that is safe and allows for a very light trigger pull. I don't find the Savages as smooth an action when working them and they are not as attractive for me when I compare them to the competition.
Browning A or X bolts, these are popular. One of my buddies has an A bolt and it is accurate. The X bolt is suppose to be an improved version.
Weatherby Vangards are Weatherby's entry level rifles made for them by Howa in Japan. These are old school push feed actions with a one piece bolt. The only negitive I have for these is they tend to be long with a 24 inch barrel, and are also on the heavy side.
I hope these observations from me help to get you noticing their little differences when you start comparing them in the store.
Karl -> Thanks for the detailed response. I will read it a few times and I branch out form your post and look those rifles up.
As far as caliber goes the 308 is perfect. Deliberations beyond that are entirely theoretical.
Will not go wrong with a Remington Model 700. For deer hunting there is doubtfully any measured advantage to the multitude of other choices.
I personally like wood.... although many will argue that synthetic/camo etc is more practical for hunting. Regardless, I still enjoy a rifle that looks good and frankly the synthetics have no visual appeal to me what so ever.
Finally, as has been mentioned on this forum many times, don't skimp on the optics. As Karl says, for $1000 you could have it all, as quality scopes these days are very affordable - $150-300.
Good luck. The days are getting shorter, the leaves are subtly beginning to turn.... the season is upon us!
I'm a wood guy also! The Remington model 700 Mountain rifle is dollar for dollar one of the very best ever, period. If I was honest, I would have to rate my Mountain rifle above everything else in the vault. I have stuff much higher in value but if I had to rely on just one it would be the mountain rifle. Mine is in 270 win. Pre 64 Winchesters in model 70 may rate slightly higher but it's the generation right before me that truly knew how near perfect it was. I now have one in 243 and have not gotten to the range yet to compare to the mountain rifle. To me I'd put my money in a good used rifle than most of the new budget rifles currently being produced. I'm talking up to $500.00 I think Browning A & X bolts are great rifles but price is above the $500 mark.
I'm in agreement with the wood look, I think. I've gotten all excited about an after market stock, free floating, etc. but I don't think I'm a high enough performance guy to have it matter much outside of bench firing.
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