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Classic Rifle help

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by jakearoo, Nov 22, 2007.

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  1. jakearoo

    jakearoo Active Member

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    I have always been a shotgun guy. But, I have a boy approaching 13 who is quite good with a .22 and shotgun and he REALLY wants to move up in rifles. I want one then primarily for me but with him in mind. (When he is truly old enough, he can pick his own.)

    My only big game rifle is a Rem. pump .270. I have some very nice rifle wood and would like to get a "classic" rifle that recoils little and shoots very accurately and hits hard enough for deer and smaller. I will probably have it restocked so trashed wood is ok (and could have it reblued if necessary.) I am thinking a .243 caliber but could use advice on the gun. (Or caliber for that matter.) But I want it to be very common with lots of factory loads available.) My thought was a pre-64 model 70 or something along those lines. I also like lever action guns but don't know them to be real accurate. Would prefer American made. Again, accuracy and a trim gun are important to me. Oh, one other thing, I am cheap and patient. Suggestions?
     
  2. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    The 260 Remington is one of the best for "deer sized game and smaller". It lacks the varmint bullets of the 243 but is better balanced than 99% of all cartridges.

    I like the 243, but in the woods, the 260 with a 140 gr bullet is much better than any 24 cal. rifle, and recoil is still negligible.
     
  3. HHS

    HHS TS Member

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    What's even better than a 260 is a 7mm-08. More choice of factory ammo, recoil is very light and the rifle can be used from varmints to elk. It uses the same parent case as the 243 and the 260 (308 win.)
    There are a number of rifles out there in this cal. that they call youth models. I think if you do some research you'll find it's actually a much better deer round than a 243.
     
  4. jakearoo

    jakearoo Active Member

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    I guess I was not clear. I am not looking for a youth model. I want the gun for me. My son is a pretty big kid and I don't really shoot long stocks. We will both shoot the gun but it will be mine. Regards, Jake
     
  5. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Jakearoo:

    Cheap and a pre 1964 Winchester model 70, in any condition, do not go together.

    I would look for a Remington 700 BDL in .243 Winchester for your classic rifle project. They are very accurate as is and there is a world of aftermarket triggers, barrels and stocks for it.

    If you are considering a lever gun, I would go with a Marlin 336 in .30-30 caliber. This gun is also avaiable in .35 Remington which is one of my favorite caliers.

    I own and use two Marlin 336’s in .35 Remington. The Marlin 336 is more accurate than you would believe, especially for the 1st or cold bore shot. One of the 336’s is a 1968 336 RC and the other is a 2000 336 C. Each is the deluxe model for its year with the nice walnut pistol grip stock. The older Marlin is the smoothest but both are equally accurate.

    I sent the older 336 back to Marlin to be re-blued and refinished and it looks like a new rifle. The action is smooth and the trigger is very crisp and light. It shoots Remington factory 200 grain Core Lokt’s under 1 ½ “ @ 100 yards for a 5 shot group. You need to wait a little between shots for the barrel to cool but it is a shooter. I took my first wall mount, an 8 pointer, with it on a 135 yard shot on a trotting deer. One shot and the big 200 grain bullet rolled the deer like a rabbit.

    For a lever gun, I would look for a Marlin 336 in 30-30 Winchester. They are easy to find and 30-30 ammo is cheap and plentiful. Hornady, I believe, is now offering a special 30-30 cartridge with a pointed bullet that extends the 30-30’s effectiveness to 200 yards for deer sized animals.

    The .260 Remington and 7mm-08 Remington are fine cartridges but they are usually more expensive than the old 30-30 Winchester cartridge. Even the .243 Winchester, IMO, will be more available and lower priced than the .260 or 7mm-06.

    A used Remington 700 BDL in .243 may be your best choice for accuracy, ability to customize, availability and economy priced ammo.
     
  6. OldPshtr

    OldPshtr Member

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    Jack:\
    Pre 64 in 243 is a very good and veryvery expensive choice - expecially in
    standard or higher grade. Take a long look at the
    Savage line. The accutrigger is very good and probably one of the best
    shooters out of box that can be bought. Not the prettiest but as they say
    beauty only skin deep the the Savage is a good shooter.

    Doyal
     
  7. Phil E

    Phil E TS Member

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    Used Remington Model 700 in 270, 260, 308, or 7mm-08, with light or standard weight barrel. Perfect rifle that'll fit your cheap criteria. Look for one at a gun show with wood that's been battered around a little for $300. Phil E
     
  8. jakearoo

    jakearoo Active Member

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    Mates, By cheap I simply mean that I am patient enough to moniter the auctions and gun stores until I find a reasonably good deal. I understand that certain guns have gone up considerably. That is part of the fun. I just don't intend to jump in and pay top buck. Regards, Jake
     
  9. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    Dear HHS and all

    I thought long and hard about the 7/08, as I have owned and loaded both it and the 260. The 7/08, due to heavier bullets and maybe a larger bores, kicks quite a bit more than the 260.

    My personal choice is either 308 Win or the 30/06. If one reloads, they will do most anything needed, from economical low recoil practice, limited varmint applications, to true big game loads.

    An extremely accurate and well priced rifle is the Browning A-Bolt II. Some of the most accurate long guns I have ever owned with a factory barrel have been these fine rifles. The trigger can be tuned, and with the BOSS, has little recoil, in the 308 and even the fabulous 30/06, my personal all time favorite.

    It seems to me the caliber with the most different factory loads is the 30/06. If one is limited to factory fodder, surplus military is still available.

    The pre '64 M-70 is an old classic, but if I am going to have a M-98 clone, I prefer the Ruger M-77 MKII. One of these in stainless is a very efficient, nearly bombproof hunting tool.

    If I had a pristine pre '64, I doubt it would see anything but occasional range time.
     
  10. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Over the years I've whittled my rifle selection of favorites down to just two centerfire rifles. A Rem.600 in 6MM with an added 24-1/2 inch Douglas premium grade air gaged barrel, shoots extremely good for a hunting rifle. Took my biggest mulie ever with it in Colo. at about 250 yards. My big rifle is a Sako 300 Win. mag that shoots great groups at all yardages also. Both of my rifles shoot better groups than I can hold at any yardage from the bench, which my buddy has shown me time after time. Both are all I could hope for in good accurate hunting rifles for small to large game. Hap
     
  11. jakearoo

    jakearoo Active Member

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    Waterhouselake,
    I appreciate any help and pointers where to look. As I said at the start of the thread, I am primarily a shotgun guy and my knowledge in rifles is limited. Everyone else thanks too and specific suggestions where to look are appreciated. Regards, Jake
     
  12. motrap

    motrap Member

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    Shooting Coach ..........

    You have a somewhat general view of the Model 70 Pre'64 ........

    "....... if I am going to have a M-98 clone ........."

    Almost as much as I admire my several Pre'64 M/70's ....... I also like my 1988 Corvette ...... you know ......... the Model T clone .........
     
  13. Buddy O

    Buddy O TS Member

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    Sakos have the smoothest bolt throws I've tried & are very, very accurate. Not exactly cheap but worth every penny you pay for. Winchester Fail Safe .308 caliber ammo are deadly for deer & elk.
     
  14. Buddy O

    Buddy O TS Member

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    Sakos have the smoothest bolt throws I've tried & are very, very accurate. Not exactly cheap but worth every penny you pay for. Winchester Fail Safe .308 caliber ammo are deadly for deer & elk.
     
  15. ole

    ole TS Member

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    Jakeroo:

    I can think of a few of sites where you might find either a nice pre-64 model 70 or another "classic." Check out Dave Riffle's site for model 70s, and Champlin Arms, Steve Barnett's Fine Guns, Ivory Beads, Hallowell & Co., Griffin & Howe and Dakota for used pre-64 model 70s and other classics. There are many others, but these ought to have a pretty wide selection. None will be cheap, however.

    One rifle that gets overlooked all the time is the Swedish-made Husqvarna. Those old Huskies made in the 50's and 60's are some of the best small ring Mauser (my favorite action) rifles ever made commercially in terms of workmanship and accuracy off the shelf, and there are still plenty around under $700. The model 146 was kind of the standard, if I recall correctly. Check out the site of Simpson, Ltd. They ain't fancy, but man do they shoot. Wonderful for cusomization, too.

    Older Sakos made before, say, 1973, and Belgian-made Browning Safaris are also great rifles, although you need to be careful about salt wood on the Browings.
    Frankly, a well-preserved Remington model 700 made before, say, 1980 would be hard to beat, and they're available by the thousands under $700. Accurate, well made (IMHO, prior to 1980) and easily customized. My only knock on the Sakos and Remingtons is the lack of a Mauser-style claw extractor, although this isn't a big deal unless you're going to hunt truly dangerous game.

    Personally, I think the best all-around bolt rifle made today in terms of quality, features and relative affordability is the Kimber 8400. Not exactly cheap, but excellent quality and, in my experience, outstanding accuracy out of the box. Not an exact copy of a pre-64 model 70 action, but extremely close, and the slight differences are actually improvements in my opinion.

    As for caliber, it all depends on what you're going to shoot THE MOST OF. A .243 or 6mm is plenty of gun for all but the largest whitetails (but not for mulies), and either is a nice varmint caliber, although a 22-250 is probably a better choice for varmints. Remember, however, that the 22-250 is not legal in many states for deer or other big game.

    If I had to have only one rifle to give to my son at the appropriate time, I'd probably go with a 30-06. I can't think of a caliber with a wider range of available bullets (they range from about 120 to 220 grains), and depending upon the loading, a 30-06 will handle virtually any North American game animal. Won't be a truly-great varmint caliber, because the lightest available bullets probably won't have quite the stability or ballistic coefficient of similar 6mm and smaller rounds, but entirely satisfactory unless varmints are goint to be the MAIN thing you hunt. Additionally, I'd probably opt to use something heavier on the biggest American bears, but from Elk or Moose on down, the '06 is just great. And, you can find a wide range of ammunition almost anywhere, unlike many other cartridges.

    You won't go wrong with a 7mm Rem Mag or 300 Win Mag either, but they're going to carry greater recoil, and with factory loads, fewer bullet selections than the '06. You can buy a lot of neat rifles for "short action" calibers too, but with the exception of the .308, don't expect to find ammunition for such rifles at "Bob's Beer, Bait and Barbecue" when you're out in the sticks.

    Hope this helps.
     
  16. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    As a very old head, I DO generalize pre '64 rifles. By the mid to late 50's, QC had put the rifle to a shameful condition. The acme of these guns are the older ones. Late 40's guns have modern steel and were mostly hand fitted, but the only caliber I would consider from them is the versatile '06.

    The new models are well built, but a patient shooter might wait on the newest one, reportedly in the works to be made in the states by a major manufacturer.

    I still prefer the stainless M77-MKII Ruger for a bombproof hunting tool. The Browning turnbolt will outshoot most firearms anywhere near its price, and has a decent extractor. I despise the flimsy Remington extractor. I replaced dozens of them when performing warranty service and repair for Remington. I NEVER performed warranty service or repair on a single Browning turnbolt rifle. EVER.

    Decades of gunsmithing has reduced my passion for any particular model of firearm unless it is truly a stellar performer. Centerfire bolt guns are, for the most part, recreational tools to have fun with and to harvest game. Yum, Yum!

    The semi-auto patrol rifle is a different critter, and is what the Second Amendment is REALLy about.
     
  17. Cold Iron

    Cold Iron Active Member

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    I’m surprised no one brought up the fact that the pre64 Win. is coming back in a couple of months. Pretty pricey and ole brings up some very good other choices.
    EDIT: SC did before I could post this LOL.

    If you didn’t want to spend as much the CZ is worth looking at as is the Savage which was mentioned.

    I’ve owned and shot many of the rounds mentioned and have to say I agree with the .260 or the 6.5x55. First saw the 6.5x55 on a blacktail 30 years ago and it was impressive. Still is, the 6.5 outperforms itself in the field far beyond what it should. In the 1,000 yard competition it is now the most common wildcat and shouldn’t be long before a commercial round comes from it. Although throat erosion and barrel life has always been a problem with the hotter 6.5 rounds. Remington makes the 700 in the classic series and production is only one year for each caliber and can’t remember the year that they did the 260. If you stumble across one for a decent price I’d grab it.

    I know you said commonly available cartridges but to me it is worth it to get the 260 or 6.5. Buy in bulk and always have extra on hand then caliber choice is not a problem. Of course you could always reload and if you get serious about it you most likely will. The 6mm and .243 are a bit light for 300lb.+ plus whitetail IMO but if your shooting smaller deer they will work well. Shot placement is everything, along with bullet selection, so yes you could use 6mm on larger body game if you shoot it well and have the right bullet. I’d try to keep the recoil down if you want to keep accuracy up Hap gave a perfect example of that.

    I’d like to recommend that you both shoot off hand as much as possible. I see a lot of people that shoot off the bench a couple of times a year then head to the woods. The .22 is fine for practice too, set up a 15 yard pistol target at 50 or 100 yards and see if you can put 10\10 shots into the black offhand. If it is frustrating move it back to 25 yards. It will help you both in actual hunting situations with the centerfire.
     
  18. jakearoo

    jakearoo Active Member

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    Ole and all,
    Thanks. My education is getting better and better thanks to you all. As I mentioned in the first post, I own quite a bit of real nice rifle gunstock wood (blanks). Someone suggested getting a "barreled action" and having a stock made. Is this process straight forward? Where does one get a "barreled action?" I have been directed to Midway arms but their selection seems to be limited. Also, I am unclear if these barreled actions are blued finished and ready to go on a stock or what all is involved. Suggestions on the "barreled action" issue?
    Again, thanks for all the help. I love this board. There is some real deep knowledge here. Regards, Jake
     
  19. jimbotrap

    jimbotrap TS Member

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    I have had excellent results and experiences with the Rem. .25/06. Very accurate and excellent results on deer. The new 25 WSM is also an excellent choice.

    I just returned from an Elk hunting trip. Gentlman I was hunting with has shoulder problem and shoot the new .25 WSM. He took a fine bull at 320 yards with it. Difficult shot quartered toward us. Shot just to left and hib the Bull in side and went through the hind quarters and broke it's hip. Second hit was more broad side and hit just behind right shoulder, broke left shoulder and exited. Better than my 7MM. Which I shot a bull first from 450 yards, hitting a little low quartering from me. Did not exit and left very
    little to follow. We finally located him and I shot him just behind shoulder
    hitting rib, bullet did not exit opposite side. From now on I will stick with
    the .25/06. - Jim
     
  20. Roger IL

    Roger IL TS Member

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    I would think a .308 Win. or any of the necked down versions of that case would be a good starter caliber. The Pre 64 model 70, in my opinion, is not what it's cracked up to be. The action alone is great but by todays standard the pre 64 model 70 is not nearly as good as some other choices. Dakota Arms, Cooper, and a host of other rifles along with the Remington 700 are actualy better rifles in hand. I have three Pre 64s and eleven other rifles I do know how to get them to shoot well and the pre 64s are not easy to make shoot well. In its day the Pre 64 was as good as it gets but not today..............Roger
     
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