Comparing Bolt-actions

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by TrueNorth, May 13, 2012.

  1. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

    Hi again,

    looking into getting a larger calibre (ie not rimfire) bolt-action rifle for hunting. Now I can figure out the calibre I need, but when comparing makes and models, frankly I'm coming up a little short.

    I see lots of bolt-guns from various makers and they all seems really similar. With the simplicity of the action, and typically no built-in sights, what should I look for to compare bolt-guns. I've looked at all the big brands - and like I said they all seem the same - is the bolt gun technology sorta maxed out and even across the board, or do some brands/models have a better reputation?

    Hunting/target practice, would be the main use.

    Anyone have advice on what to look for when comparing bolt guns?
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    smoothness of the bolt, an adjustable trigger is good too, good fit and finish and a reputation for accuracy. as long as you stay with all the major players, the choice is yours to make. all depends on how much you want to spend. whether you want more of a utilitarian type rifle or one that is made of fine walnut and blued steel.

    there is Remington, Marlin, Winchester, Ruger, Savage, Howa, Weatherby, Tikka, Sako, and many more to choose from.

    caliber choices, finish, either blued or stainless, wood or synthetic, ect., ect...

    how much do you want to spend on the rifle and what is your intended game to hunt? these are just suggestions to help you make your choice. i have many different brands of bolt action rifles and they are the bulk of my rifle collection. i have many Remingtons, a couple of older Rugers, several Marlins and a couple of Winchesters. they have various ranges of prices paid for them too. all mine shoot very accurately and serve me well.

  3. Werminator

    Werminator Member

    For my two cents I have hunted with my father's Remington 700 BDL and I think it is a beautiful weapon. The wooden stock and blued finish on his rifle are both in good shape and they look great together. The weapon is pretty accurate and now that he threw a Leupold scope (unknown model) on it I think it is very nice. With that said, I own a stainless and synthetic Winchester model 70 (got it in a great trade...) and both he and I take my gun hunting way before his. I prefer the safety of the model 70 over that of his model 700 and the trigger on my Winny just has a much nicer feel to it than his.. Either of those weapons are good choices though. There is a lot of truth to what was said before me though, in that most of the major players got into the game by making good rifles...
  4. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

    right on, thanks for the responses.

    It seems that so many guns are so similar, with semi-autos with so many moving parts reliability and quality seems more distinctive, but I guess fit and finish play a good part with bolt guns. I do find it interesting that the "tactical" bolt-guns are twice the price, despite being as faras I can tell identical except that they have synthetic black, or green stocks. I guess I can understand wood, or stainless steel barrel premiums, but the tactical ones don't seem to be any different except in cosmetics. I bet they kill zombies better though! :rolleyes:

    Thanks again for the responses. If anyone has a recommendation feel free to speak up - I'd at least look at them!
  5. ineverFTF

    ineverFTF New Member

    Would you consider a pump gun? My grand pa had one in 30-06 ( brand model unkown) and he used it for 25 years flwlessly would put the rounds in the same hole at 300 yards
  6. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

  7. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Food for thought- a large caliber benchrest rifle is NOT something you would want to carry all day hunting. A hunting rifle may give you decent accuracy, but is not a benchrest gun.

    The major brands listed are all good rifles. For the money, Savage is making VERY good rifles. But you pays your money, takes your pick. .308 or 30-06 will give good accuracy, and is suitable for about anything walking in North America.

    KEYBEAR New Member

    The word tactical put on anything has made more money for sellers of firearms and stuff then the word NEW or IMPROVED ever did .
  9. TrueNorth

    TrueNorth New Member

    There's some real truth to that.

    To the other posters,

    I would consider alternative actions, but I like the simplicity of a bolt-gun. I do know people with and have used lever and pump rifles - good guns, but not what I'm looking for at this moment.

    While we're at it, I'm considering .308. It's a common, fairly affordable, and funstional round for what I plan on doing. Additionally, I am a smaller framed/lightweight guy with limited rifle experience - so I'm looking for something that I can control right away. - I havn't tried 30-06 (though I hear good things) but I have some experience with 7mm Rem Mag - I handle it okay, but I can't use it to it's potential, and I want something that I can be more confortable with.

    Anyone have a recomendation on a calibre beyond .308? Keeping in mind I want LESS recoil than 7MM, and I assume 30-06, or other common large calibres.
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

    i would give heavy recommendation to the 308, because of many reasons, mild recoil for someone getting into a larger centerfire caliber, very good selection of factory ammo selection, which allows for reasonable ammo costs which will allow for more shooting, also the 308 with the proper ammo will make a good hunting rifle at decent ranges, and just about anybody who makes a bolt action rifle chambers one in 308, so you have many brands to choose from, depending on how much you are wanting to spend. several makers also will have the same action with various different barrels and stock options.

    C3 is absolutely correct, in that target rifles and hunting rifles are different rifles in respect to intended use. yes you can hunt with a target rifle and you can target shoot with a hunting rifle. hunting rifles tend to have more slender barrels and are lighter in weight. target rifles tend to have heavier and langer barrels and are usually heavier to absorb more recoil for prolonged shooting. so my suggestion would be to go for one that will suit the intended use, the majority of the time.

    another suggestion, once you have picked a caliber choice, go to a well stocked gun store and start looking at rifles chambered in you caliber choice. if they don't have the particular rifle in the caliber you want, i am sure it can ordered.
  11. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member


    Felt recoil has more to do w/ the firearm then the caliber. There should be a good deal on a 6.5x55 in your neck of the woods. You won't be undergunned in the least. Bigger is not always better.

    There should be hunters around, but this will do.
  12. lucznik

    lucznik New Member

    For alternative calibers with even (a little) less recoil than the .308 you could look to the 7-08 Rem or the .260 Rem. They are both derived from by necking down the .308 (as is the .243 Win and then the .338 Fed comes from necking the .308 up) Either one will cleanly take any game animal in North America and is an absolute joy to shoot.

    Accuracy trumps power every time.
  13. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

    Sounds to me like you're looking for a .308.

    I'm big- 6' 2", so carrying a heavier rifle doesn't bother me,

    but, IMHO, you want to have a well-balanced load,

    as well as carefully selected gear.

    Crushing the brush with bull barreled rifles isn't for

    everybody. The lighter rifles generally have a better balance

    point for faster TOT aiming, as well.