Best of the "Big 4" American rifles.

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Andrews, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Andrews

    Andrews AH Member

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    Hey everybody, I'm looking for some opinions here. Around a year ago, I decided I needed a 338-06. To me, it is the perfect all around rifle cartridge, not including dangerous game. I picked up a nice/rebarreled new age Model 70 for a steal off Gunbroker. However, when the rifle arrived, someone at some point, for some reason unknown to me, had ground off half of the feed rail. It took a lot of bending of the feed lips and grinding on the ramp to get the rifle to the point where it was even able to feed a cartridge without jamming. But it still loves to jump cartridges out of the mag, especially at just the wrong moment. Works fine for whitetail hunting from my stand, just not something I would take on a costly, once in a lifetime hunt. So I'm planning on having a new one built. My question is, of the big four American names in rifles (Remington, Ruger, Savage, and Winchester), which would you choose for the starting point. I have other rifles in all 4 brands that I love, just not sure which to start with. What would be your pick for your "one gun" if you had to choose?

    Thanks
     
  2. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    There is building a rifle and their is BUILDING a rifle. I recently did the latter in .404 and used a CZ action for that becasue I love mausers and I love integral scope bases. Based on your question, I think your preference is to adapt (by rebarreling?) a current production rifle into a .338-06. I like control round feeding and so either the Ruger or the Winchester would be my starting point for a rebarreling job. Do remember if you are planning to go to Africa with caliber, you should try to find brass with the correct headstamp.
     
  3. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    If you like the rifle that you have except for the feeding, consider picking up an action or a rough rifle for the action and swap the parts.
    If you want a totally different rifle then I'd go with a CZ , Ruger or Winnie for the CRF.
     
  4. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    A little confused:confused:, is this a detachable box mag or box with floor plate? Talking about 'feed lips' which you would normally see on a detachable box magazine, not on a fixed box. The .338-06 is a great round in a field of great rounds. I had one once, in fact a rebarreled Win 70 with Shaw barrel. The barrel was good, nothing special and thus I sold the rifle some time ago and have since owned 3 Ruger .338 Win mags, which I like even better than the '06 version. But curious about the feed lip thing. I would go with whatever you are used to and like in the action. For North American hunting, the CRF thing is not such a big deal, I too prefer it for African game, especially dangerous. But lots of push feed guns are used every year there with total satisfaction.
     
  5. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    If the 70 is shooting well for you, and it's just a feeding issue, why not just take it to a smith and have him fix the feeding issue instead of dumping money into a new rifle? To answer your question though, I personally like the 700's (terribly fond of them) and the CZ 550's, fantastic accuracy for a CRF.

    With ses on this one, just a little confused, If it's a detachable mag then first question have you tried a different mag? If it's not a detachable mag, then I go with my previous statement as in having a gunsmith fix the problem. In having it fixed, your confidence in the rifle will be better, and it won't cost as much as buying a new rifle and re-barreling it.
     
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Have a good gunsmith work on your current gun, get it fixed. Otherwise to me it would be best to buy a .338 Win Mag in a Ruger, CZ or Win.
     
  7. Just Passing Through

    Just Passing Through AH Senior Member

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    If accuracy is top of the list I would start with a M700 for a non-DG rifle. Otherwise it would be either a M70 or a M77 action that I would choose. The other option would be a very distant fourth.
     
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Good advise but if you are set on a custom build then start with the platform strongly preferred by most gunsmiths for custom builds, the Remington 700. Hands down #1 choice.
     
  9. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    A lot of people build guns on the Rem Action and I own more than few...hmm questioning my wisdom, growing older, anyway my first .270 Win would never feed consistent, really frustrating. I didn't give up and several others feed just fine and shoot awesome. A friend of mine had a fancy Weatherby do the same thing. Now that I supposedly smarter, I love CF rifles and would not buy anything else.
     
  10. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Im not sure why some rifles just seem to be that way. I have only had that problem with clips. My wifes Browning A-bolt feeds perfectly with 1 clip but not at all with the other. My Sako M995 feeds perfect with one clip but only feeds shells 1 & 3 with the "spare", #2 sticks and requires a hesitation and second push to get it to feed.
     
  11. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I think Homer simpson said it best "I am so smart, s-m-r-t" LOL
    JK When it comes to med students you have to take your shots when you get them. ;)
     
  12. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    I had a 30-06 M700 that I couldn't get to shoot no matter what I did. Tore it down. re-barreled to 338-06 and I now have a great shooter that feeds perfect. I don't worry about push feed on plains game and this one has never let me down on 4 African hunts. 225 gr Partitions at @ 2450 fps and it's a thumper!
     
  13. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    The detachable clips are not a good idea, I figured out that was the source of the problem they had to be stacked just right to feed, all the way back in the clip. The Remington's with no detachable clip feed fine!
     
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Yes, at med school people with a great deal of power and intelligence play with your mind all day, making you doubt your every decision. It's all good, it forces you re-exam your thinking. Somedays I go home and can't get my mind to slow down. Every day is a chance to re-exam past choices and hopefully make better choices down the road.
     
  15. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    If you are going to take an existing action and then have it trued and bedded for accuracy and then a new barrel put on it I'd say Rem 700. Far more after market parts available to do the job. If you look at the long range hunting forums where accuracy is essential then Rem is usually the top choice followed by Savage. The Savages usually look like crap, but also usually shoot great right out of the box. Bruce
     
  16. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Savages are probably the best deal on the market. The fit and finish is poor but they have the best factory trigger on the market and, your right, they shoot with the best factory rifles right out of the box. The low price also leaves the average guy a bunch of extra cash to spend on a quality scope so he can get the benefit of his new inherently accurate rifle.

    Having said that I wouldn't plan a custom build around one.
     
  17. Andrews

    Andrews AH Member

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    Hope I don't sound to idiotic here lol, but what can a gunsmith do with half a feed rail? I do a little gunsmithing in for family/friends in the area (redoing a 91/30 Nagant into a decent hunting rifle, installing an Accutrigger into a Savage Axis, rebarreling a Savage 308, drilling and tapping for old military beaters etc) and am not even going to call myself skilled enough to be considered an amateur :) But as far as I can tell, it needs steel to be added. I will try to get pictures uploaded later this week showing the problem. And it is one of the PF Model 70s, so if I need a new action anyway, I would much rather go with CRF like a true Winchester or Ruger.
     
  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Like you said it might be too much, I see metal added in other projects at my old job, skilled machinist can do a lot. Then again it might be too much money to do the project. And pictures will help determine how bad the problem is.

    But I like your thinking with the CRF for a different gun. Nothing again the Rem and Savage, they are super accurate. It's just that I feel better knowing the gun is going to load every time.
     
  19. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    So I guess it is a feed RAIL problem , not a feed lip problem, as in a detachable magazine (NOT clip!). If the rails were buggered its likely much simpler to get a new action as when the rails get built back up, then the smith has to spend a fair amount of time getting the thing to feed again. Beware also, you probably already know this, that the original Ruger 77 is NOT a CRF action, only the later MkII's and the Hawkeye are. The first 77's are push feed. Surprising how many shooters dont know that. Many see the big Mauser extractor and just assume its CRF.
     
  20. Andrews

    Andrews AH Member

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    Sorry, I should have clarified. The feed rail is gone, so on I slightly bent the top of the mag well steel, creating lips like what are found on detachable magazines. Works great about 75% of the time, sure beats the ZERO % I had when I first got it. BTW, good job catching difference between magazine and clip :) one of my pet peeves lol
     

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