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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a quality collection of beloved milsurps, yet I do not have a designated bolt action hunting rifle and would like to start looking into one. What have you guys personally used and loved?

Requirements:
• 30-06 (it's big, it's popular, it's American)
• I want a laser beam. Something I can group tightly up to at least 600yds. (I know shooter, ammo, and optics also heavily affect this, but I need a stable platform to build from).
• synthetic stock. I love a nice wood stock as much as the next guy, but they require extra attention compared to a synthetic stock, and can lose lock up.
• won't break the bank

I love the idea of a scoped M1A for hunting, but everything I've read places a stock M1A's accuracy "okay." Upgrading to match M1A's helps, but that's some big bucks and requires allot of maintenance.

Thanks for looking!

Feel free to throw in the optic and ammo used as well!
 

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If I were building one for myself I would start with a new Remington 700 receiver and bolt and do the following:

- lap the bolt lugs
- true the receiver and bolt face
- surface grind the recoil lug
- install a McGowan 24" barrel, #5 contour, with a Shrewd brake
- install a Timney trigger and Tubb speedlock firing pin & spring
- bed into an HS Precision stock with Brownell's steel bed and 1" Limbsaver pad
- Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40 with Leupold rings and one-piece mount
- Harris HB25S bipod

Easy half MOA rifle at a mid-range price for a semi-custom.

So it depends on the size of the bank you are trying not to break. If it's a big one substitute a Jewell trigger, a custom bolt body fitted to the receiver, a full size AR style extractor, and a Leupold VX-6. That will get you slightly below half MOA and give you serious bragging rights at any range.
 

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Oh, minimum spec chamber and roll your own ammo. Experiment with powders, charges, and projectiles until you find that sweet spot.
 

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...easier,cheaper and ...?

Agree with the Marine...if you have a large wad to spend. Being the cheapo type,I'd buy a stock Savage 110,Remington 700 or a Winchester 70...all in 30/06....depending on the cash available. If you do not reload your own ammo and are not a very good shot to begin with...then no amount of currency will make you an accurate shooter. Marines are all riflemen...every one...from cooks to generals. This only comes about through hard work on the range...many,many hours of shooting,drills and exercise. Nothing will substitute for practice,practice and more practice. When shooting in my last .50 BMG match,I was clover-leafing shots at 500 yds...touching at less than 1/2". This was with a stock State-Arms bare-bones rifle...but hand loaded ammo and a 36X BSA scope. Not a lot of expense there...but the ammo and the fact I taught as a military instructor for over 20 yrs was the deciding factor. Again...no amount of money will make you an instant match shooter. However...there are new fangled items that are available now that do almost everything electronically...(ie) Tara Kyle had a state-of-the-art weapon with a sighting system developed for the military...and she won a match against some of the best shooters in the USA. I only own 2-bolt guns...a State-Arms .50 BMG and a Winchester 670 in 30/06....and only shoot my own reloaded ammo.
 

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Hmm, sounds like you guys are talking about target rifles instead of hunting rifles..

Just wondering what type of critters are you looking to hunt, and at 600yds ??? If your thinking big critters at 600yds, you might think about the 300 Win Mag..It accurate and will have a LOT more energy at 600yds than an 06..

A Ruger with that 4.4-14x40 Leupold will reach out and Put Down just about anything that is out there...

Lou
 

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In my opinion only, you cannot beat a Remington 700 with a wood stock and high comb in 30-06. Put a $200 scope on it, buy some A-Max or V-max ammo and go drop a deer. I have an all custom rifle with everything you can imagine that would make it cost more and its awesome. The margin of greatness vs. money spent is not there. If you want to plug leaks at 1000 yds, custom is the way to go for sure. If you want to go hunting and walk a while or lean your rifle against a tree in the snow while you pee, stock is the way to go. J (although I will say Timney triggers are pretty sweet.)
 

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In my opinion only, you cannot beat a Remington 700 with a wood stock and high comb in 30-06. Put a $200 scope on it, buy some A-Max or V-max ammo and go drop a deer. I have an all custom rifle with everything you can imagine that would make it cost more and its awesome. The margin of greatness vs. money spent is not there. If you want to plug leaks at 1000 yds, custom is the way to go for sure. If you want to go hunting and walk a while or lean your rifle against a tree in the snow while you pee, stock is the way to go. J (although I will say Timney triggers are pretty sweet.)
Agree 100%. The Remington 700 is a tough one to beat for out of the box accuracy and get the job done.
 

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Got to thinking about this.. There are a LOT of Nice Modern bolt guns out there and I've had my hands on a lot of them.. Can't say there was any I didn't like...LOL I mentioned the Ruger because I like the claw extractor...

It might be easier to start a list of any to stay away from.. Right off hand, I can't think of any. LOL!!!
 

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this is pretty much the old "what is the best gun" string. the posts have all made great points. but the real question is what do you want? What are you going to hunt ? Where are you going to hunt ? Do you shoot a high power rifle every week, or once a year ? What is your target budget ? Are you going to spend Weeks or months working up a load, or shoot whatever Walmart has in stock ? Are you buying a chinese knock off 4x scope or a Zeiss ? the 30-06 is a great round, and the Remington / winchester / Savage/ ruger rifle is great too. Unless you can make a list of what you want the rifle to do, you cannot make a rational decision. AS an example - you might be hunting elk above 10,000 ft. on foot. I could recommend a real nice super accurate target rifle in my rack, only weighs 13 lb, but it is real accurate and if you take a 6 Month period to develop a perfect 168 gr load for the 10k elevation, you can shoot an elk at 1000 yds. But you will die humping that rifle up the hill. (guess that is what gun bearers were for ? )

If you let the collective wisdom have some basic info, I think they can get you in the right direction. Personally, I have probably 10-12 30-06 rifles, (granted some are M1s and those don't really count) but I have gone the "custom build" route before, and I have a box stock Remington 700 or two. Probably the only axiom I would use is buy the best glass & mounts you can afford even if you have to borrow some money for them. does not matter what rifle you get. oh - and shoot it a lot .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I were building one for myself I would start with a new Remington 700 receiver and bolt and do the following:

- lap the bolt lugs
- true the receiver and bolt face
- surface grind the recoil lug
- install a McGowan 24" barrel, #5 contour, with a Shrewd brake
- install a Timney trigger and Tubb speedlock firing pin & spring
- bed into an HS Precision stock with Brownell's steel bed and 1" Limbsaver pad
- Leupold VX-3 4.5-14x40 with Leupold rings and one-piece mount
- Harris HB25S bipod

Easy half MOA rifle at a mid-range price for a semi-custom.

So it depends on the size of the bank you are trying not to break. If it's a big one substitute a Jewell trigger, a custom bolt body fitted to the receiver, a full size AR style extractor, and a Leupold VX-6. That will get you slightly below half MOA and give you serious bragging rights at any range.
I love the idea of this devil dog, but unfortunately as a college student, I hardly have the time to hit the range, much less a build like that. But you can be assured, once I'm out of school and steady, a project like that will happen!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So far the general consensus is:

• M700
• Savage

And I really like the idea of an M70, isn't that what Hathcock used?

I'm going to start hitting the local stores to see what's around. But honestly it sounds like I can't go wrong with any of those 3.

I hate asking this question but, I've seen allot of people recommend .308.... Is there really that noticeable of a difference?


Thanks to all who have chimed in, you guys are great!
 

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So far the general consensus is:

• M700
• Savage

And I really like the idea of an M70, isn't that what Hathcock used?

I'm going to start hitting the local stores to see what's around. But honestly it sounds like I can't go wrong with any of those 3.

I hate asking this question but, I've seen allot of people recommend .308.... Is there really that noticeable of a difference?


Thanks to all who have chimed in, you guys are great!
To take your questions back to front: No, there isn't a significant ballistic difference between .30-06 and .308 Win., for hunting purposes; if you go with Remington stay away from the SPS series. The stock is a hollow synthetic and weighs next to nothing. The result is brutal recoil even in the calibers you are considering. Look for a good used BDL with a wood stock or one of the "police" tactical series with HS Precision stocks. Easy to find in .308; the M70 that is offered by "Winchester" today is a very different animal than the true Winchester Model 70 of Hathcock's era. I have worked on several to correct mechanical and grouping problems. It doesn't help that I have a four digit Model 70 in .30-06 that my dad purchased as a young man to compare them against. It kills mule deer and pronghorn antelope as neat as you please to this day.

Since you mentioned range time, can I make a suggestion? After you get a rifle you like, if you hunt in open country that could offer shots to 500 yards, take it to the range and sight it in at around 250 yards. That will mean you are no more than 4" high between 0 and 250 yards and about 38" low at 500. Your mileage may vary slightly. If you don't reload, ALWAYS use good quality commercial ammunition from the same manufacturer and with the same series name and projectile weight. (168 grain Federal Premium Ballistic Tip is very consistent across different lot numbers.) Once you are sighted in buy an inexpensive range finder and try this drill with a friend on weekends.

Go for a hike somewhere that you can shoot. Hike for a bit, then have your friend call out a target - something like "that white rock next to the trunk of the big pine tree". Your job is to find the target and tell your friend what you think the range to it is. Then take the shot. Your friend can range the target while you shoot and tell you where you hit. Have him/her pick out targets about four to six inches square, since that is the size of the kill zone on most large game. Also tell him/her to vary the distances from 100 to 500 yards or so.

If you miss, have your friend tell you what the range really is and where you hit, then retry the shot. If you hit with the first shot, have him tell you the range anyway so you can compare against your original guess.

Keep hiking and repeat the drill eight or nine more times with no more than two shots on any one "target". If you are both shooting, alternate who spots the target and who shoots.

This is one of my favorite drills. My son and I both hunt deer and elk at or above timberline. Shots tend to be long and relatively fast so range estimation has to be second nature. We go out together and run this drill at least six or eight times during the summer. You get experience at both skills during a pleasant day in the woods and you move closer to that old saying, "beware the man who owns only one gun."
 

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Southpaws?

How many of the respondents in this thread are left handed? I love bolt action rifles but stay away from them because of my handicap. The only bolt gun I have is an M44. Absolutely love it except for the busted knuckles.... I'd love to expand my collection but resist. If I own it, I'm gonna shoot it regularly.
 

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I'm right handed but lost most of the vision in my right eye many years ago. I shoot right handed bolt rifles from the left shoulder, controlling the rifle with my left hand at the wrist of the stock while cycling the action with my right hand. With short action bolt guns I don't even have to break cheek weld. This system works very well when shooting over a bipod or other rest, plus it is easier to monitor reloading in your perifeal vision while maintaining cheek weld and sight alignment. I know of right handed bench rest shooters who use the same system even though their right eye vision is just fine.
 

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I'm a lefty so I am limited in hunting rifles. I have a savage 30.06 with a Leupold scope. This was a gift for me when I was 13 years old and started to hunt. 36 now and still use it every year. Every time I pull the trigger, I have meat in the fridge. Haven't even sighted the gun in for a few years and haven't had any issues. Great gun and not very costly.

David
 

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Garrett,

If your still in school and thinking about hitting the local gunshops, a thought for you... Unless you have to have something Bright and Shiney new, I wouldn't over look some of the old Springfield and Mauser Sporters made up over the last 50-60 yrs...I've seen a lot of Really nice ones out there!!!

I've built a couple heavy bolt guns with both the Springfield and Mauser actions that someone else made Uncollectable.. There both almost 600yd Ground Hog Rifles...LOL!!! 30-06 and .308

While I'm a big fan of the .308, when things get tight, you can ALWAYS find more 06 brass and stuff than you can for the .308...

Lou
 

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It's all a function of what your budget is. Style and accuracy in rifles is like style and speed in cars - you can always get more, but you have to pay for it. How much is enough?
 

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I have been thinking the same thing

I am all about .308 for target / hunting but I accumulated a bunch of 30-06 ball (and tracer) ammo for my delinker. Sold the delinker and now have a bunch of 30-06 ammo to shoot (and 12 unneeded starter tabs LOL). The internet says the .308 is about 2X the accuracy of a 30-06. Who knows. I have seen some darn fine Savages in .308 right out of the box, and would also like to get a good 30-06 bolt rifle.

Come to think of it I had a hard time with an ex-jarhead with his 30-06 hunting rifle when we were shooting for bengis and I had my .308 - we were sighting in for deer season and you know how beer and boys will soon turn about anything into a contest.
 

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Airwoofer SEZ: ".... you know how beer and boys will soon turn about anything into a contest."

You bet, a pissing contest -- all to no avail! .308 versus 30.06 is a good example. Shoot what ya got and sort out the brass. If you're getting a new (different) rifle, get the one which has greater general ammo availability, rather than on "Who shot John."

Carry On!
Gary
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