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Rifle recommendations

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I have been wanting for a few years now to get a new hunting rifle. I am traditional in the fact I love the old wood stock, sporter barrel type rifles. So I want to stay in that area. I know they are not as long range( sporter barrel) as some custom guns or as practical, due to the wood stock, but I’m willing to live within those limitations to get what I want. With that said, I know they are capable, if set up right, of delivering great shooting as well. This would be a 500 yard rifle or less, possibly out to 6-700 yards on a rare occasion. What I’d look to do or get is , freefloated barrel, possible muzzle break, bedded action, tuned or lightened trigger. I would like to stay in a common caliber but would consider others. Maybe 7 rem mag, 257 wby, etc. No wildcat rounds. Deer, for sure, and elk gun depending on caliber. I’ve looked at Winchester model 70s and Browning’s, and weatherbys to start. Nothing is set. Any suggestions, thoughts?

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I've always liked Kimber for wood stocked rifles. That's what I used in Africa. Miss that rifle. 

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Winchester MOD 70 in 270, 280 or 30-06. The 270 with the Hornady 145gr ELD-X Precision Hunter ammo is traveling along at 2162fps and carrying 1500 ft/lbs of energy which should work on Elk. Magnums kick a bit and make it unpleasant to shoot and with a muzzle break the blast is also quite unpleasant to shoot. To be proficient at ranges past 500 it would require a fair amount of shooting at ranges you might think you want to be proficient at. 600-700 yard shots call for a scope with dialup turrets. a LRF (laser range finder), a ballistic app with a tuned up BC and MV for your setup and rounds and rounds downrange. Do you have the time and desire to put in a year or two getting comfortable hitting first shot at 600? Unless you like extra power or are serious about shooting past 500 yards, a magnum is not necessary.  I have 4 MOD 70's classics from when they first reintroduced them and they are all accurate. The two newer 270's and a 243 shoot under and inch with both Federal Fusion and Hornady ELD-X ammo. Lots of good factory ammo choices for the 270,280 & 06 (you never mentioned reloading). If you don't plan on shooting past 500 then you save money on ammo and optics so heck buy a MOD 70 Supergrade for a few bucks more. Sure free float and definitely bed the action and the trigger on the MOD 70 is tunable by any competent gunsmith.

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I have bought a lot of Browning X Bolts over the years as prizes for the Deer Contest I used to run and people seemed to like them. I like the A Bolts too. They still have some with the wood stocks. Tikka is also a nice rifle. Pretty sure they still make one with a wood stock.

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Tikka hunters series will give you that wood stock and great accuracy.  

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14 minutes ago, AZAV8ER said:

Winchester MOD 70 in 270, 280 or 30-06. The 270 with the Hornady 145gr ELD-X Precision Hunter ammo is traveling along at 2162fps and carrying 1500 ft/lbs of energy which should work on Elk. Magnums kick a bit and make it unpleasant to shoot and with a muzzle break the blast is also quite unpleasant to shoot. To be proficient at ranges past 500 it would require a fair amount of shooting at ranges you might think you want to be proficient at. 600-700 yard shots call for a scope with dialup turrets. a LRF (laser range finder), a ballistic app with a tuned up BC and MV for your setup and rounds and rounds downrange. Do you have the time and desire to put in a year or two getting comfortable hitting first shot at 600? Unless you like extra power or are serious about shooting past 500 yards, a magnum is not necessary.  I have 4 MOD 70's classics from when they first reintroduced them and they are all accurate. The two newer 270's and a 243 shoot under and inch with both Federal Fusion and Hornady ELD-X ammo. Lots of good factory ammo choices for the 270,280 & 06 (you never mentioned reloading). If you don't plan on shooting past 500 then you save money on ammo and optics so heck buy a MOD 70 Supergrade for a few bucks more. Sure free float and definitely bed the action and the trigger on the MOD is tunable by any competent gunsmith.

Desire to shoot, most definitely. I love to just shoot for the sake of shooting. Time can be an issue but I’d adjust. I’ve been shooting since I was a kid. So understanding that longer ranges requires more trigger time and or upgraded equipment doesn’t escape me. And no doubt, breaks can be unpleasant. 

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Consider a lightly used rifle that has already been modified.  I'd bet there are members here that have what you are looking for. 

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2 hours ago, Swivelhead said:

Consider a lightly used rifle that has already been modified.  I'd bet there are members here that have what you are looking for. 

That would be something to consider

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2 hours ago, no worries said:

Tikka hunters series will give you that wood stock and great accuracy.  

Tikka is impressive. I sold a 223 T3Lite years ago and have regretted it ever since. It was ridiculously accurate right out of the box shooting factory ammo

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There’s a Winchester on Rokslide classified in 300 WSM.  Aftermarket barrel and some gunsmith work done. 

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I've had 3 of the newer model 70's and they all shot. A Tikka Hunter model with wood stock will shoot right out of the box also. I wish Tikka would chamber the 6.5 PRC in one of the lightweight hunting rifles!

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Weatherby Vanguard

CZ 557

Tikka 

All would be good choices. 

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I used this out of the box Weatherby Mark V Classicmark in 7mm mag on my sheep hunt and several others. The only change was to install a Timney trigger. The gun always shoots 3 Barnes 145 LRX into .6”, not bad for a sporter-weight barrel and wood stock.  It cracks me up that there are people out there that believe that you are handicapping yourself by using a traditional finish rifle.

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I have a win 70 in 7mm STW that my dad got me for my birthday when I was 12.  Killed a pile of stuff with it.  I personally wouldn’t try to make a true LR rifle out of a wood stocked sporter rifle.  That gun has always shot sub moa and most places will tell you that makes for a 1000 yard rifle.  The problem I’ve had with it is the consistency.  It will group 0.6-.75” any given day, but the POI will vary a lot with it with different temps and humidity.  I have sunk thousands into this gun trying to make a “classic” long range rifle and I’m convinced it isn’t possible.  I’ve killed a pile of critters with it.  Hundreds actually.  From 7 to 700 yards but I just can’t get it to hold a consistent point of impact.  I had a smith guy the stock and pillar and glass it so there isn’t any contact of wood, it’s been rebarreled a time or two as well and has a $2500 scope on top of it and I just can’t get it to do what I can easily do with my proof research 28 nosler any time any place any weather.   The reason I put so much into it is the sentimental aspect of it.  I’ve killed 11 NA big game species with it and considered trying to take a slam with it someday and may still, but if I have an important tag where I might need to drop something at 750 and not sweat it it’s not the gun I go for.  

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Cooper would be my next rifle with the specs you mentioned.  I would get it in .270 or .280.  I bought two so far but one is a Varminter and the other a rim fire.  They are really good shooters and the fit and finish is something you want to stare at for hours.

Weatherby Mark V would be another.

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