North Dakota Fishing and Hunting Forum banner

Which one?

8562 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  BigDaddy
Okay fellas, I need to get 2 rifles, both bolt-actions. One for varmits and one for elk/ deer. I would like input as to which one: Win mdl 70 (pre or post '64) or Rem 700. Calibers for varmits? Optics?


1 - 4 of 14 Posts
Big questions, but let me offer some advice. First, I am a Winchester man through and through. However, the Remington model 700s are quality rifles. Although Winchester got real cheap with the looks of their model 70s for a few years, the new ones are absolutely gorgeous. The pre-64/post-64 thing is overrated in my humble opinion. Although collectors want a pre-64 rifle, remember that a pre-64 is close to 40 years old at this point, and getting one that is not beat up or shot out is not going to be easy. Plus, the biggest difference in a pre-64 to a post-64 involves the cartride extractor. This is not a big deal unless you are trying to cycle rounds while lying flat on your back. Last, we must remember that gun manufacturers have made significant leaps in understanding metals and harmonics since 1964.

I would advise that you seriously look at a Winchester model 70 or a Remington model 700 BDL. If you have a little more cash, I would look at a Sako. However, I like rifles that feel "small", meaning I don't like heavy rifles with big, clunky stocks. I am not impressed with the Browning A-Bolt actions, but some people like them. Plus, the Browning BOSS system, if used properly, can really make a difference in shooting tight groups. I wouldn't use a Ruger or a Savage even for a canoe paddle (sorry to the Ruger and Savage fans).

For deer and elk, a .270 is more than capable. Contrary to what the magnum freaks propose, you don't need a .300 magnum for whitetail, mule deer, or elk. There must be something right about .30-06s too, because there are lots of them out there. I have owned a .270 and a .30-06, and I think I like the .270 ballistics better. If you are looking for a cartridge strickly for deer (and not elk), I would recommend that you look seriously at a .25-06. I like shooting smaller calibers simply because I hate lugging a heavy rifle up and down hills. Plus, I like to shoot a lot, and shooting groups with a .300 magnum is not a pleasant experience.

For varmints, it depends on how you like to play things. Personally, I hunt coyotes with a .222, but I like the idea of getting close. Plus, the low recoil makes shooting the cartridge a dream. Likewise, a .223 is a nice cartridge. For longer shots 250 yards+), a .22-250 may be a better choice.

Optics? You get what you pay for, plain and simple. I was pricing out optics last summer when I bought my .270, and was impressed at the number of quality scopes on the market today. You don't need a 20x scope for most species. I have a 3X9X40 on most of my rifles,and I have never felt that I needed more. In the $200-$300 range, I recommend checking out the Leupold Vari-X II series, the Nikon Monarch series, the Bausch & Lomb 3200 series, and Burris. If you want to jump up one price range $300-$425, I recommend the Bausch & Lomb Elite 4200 series, the Leupold Vari-X III, and the higher end Nikon and Burris scopes. If you can afford to pay over $500, you don't need my advice. Just go to the store and whip out the Visa card. Bottom line... don't buy a cheap scope (low-end Bushnell, Simmons, Tasco, ect) and expect to have a quality killing machine.

Last, match the scope with a high-quality set of bases and rings. This will make a huge difference on accuracy.

See less See more
Burning out a barrel is possible, especially for "hot" calibers like a .22-250. I've never owned a .22-250, although I know lots of folks that do. I have nothing against the ballistics of the caliber, but the rifles can be bes characterized as "obnoxious". In other words, most .22-250s are loud with a decent muzzle blast. In other words, they are not as pleasant to shoot as smaller cartridges like a .222, .223. or even a .243.

The surest way to avoid shooting out a barrel is to not let your barrel get too hot. Shoot a few rounds and let things cool down a little bit. This will also have huge effect on your groups.

Also, I think that many people that claim their barrels are "shot out" may not be correct. People tend to ignore things like copper fouling. I found a .243 a couple of years ago that was a pre-64 model 70. The owner was frustrated by the fact that it didn't shoot like it used to. The first thing I did was to clean it good. I bought some high quality copper solvent, and you would be amazed by the amount of copper than can deposit in a barrel's rifling over a 30 or 40 year period.

See less See more
The Remington 6 mm is a nice cartridge for somebody that wants a compromise cartridge that can be used for small game, varmints, and whitetails. However, if you are looking for a cartridge in this bullet weight and ballistics range, I would recommend a .243. The ballistics are comparable, although you can get slightly greater muzzle velocity with the 6 mm. However, you will have no problems finding factory cartidges and reloading components for a .243. The same can't be said for a 6 mm.

Leave no doubt about the killing ability of a .243 (or a Rem 6mm, for that matter). I have seen whitetails shot with a .243 at 200+ yards that never took a step. It all comes down to using a high-performance bullet. Also, a .243 is a great varmint load... it will do a vicious job on a coyote, fox, prairie dog, etc. Plus, a .243 is light enough to allow you to hike all day without feeling like you are carrying around a cannon. I have heard of guys using a .243 for mule deer, and it is possible if you are a good shot and you have good bullet expansion.

Heavy barrels? Yes, they are nice if you are sitting on a bench or if you are plunking prairie dogs while stationary. However, hiking around with a heavy-barreled rifle for a few hours will remind you why folks are so interested in synthetic barrels and short-action magnums. Heavy barrels are indeed heavy!

See less See more

Sorry I took so long to reply to your question, but I haven't checked this message thread in awhile. You asked what type of copper solvent I use, and I'll tell you.

For routine-type cleaning, I use either Sweet's Solvent or the Hoppes Copper Solvent (with the black label). However, for more aggressive copper cleaning, I use Break-Free Bore Cleaning Foam.

A few years back, I knew a guy that had an old Winchester .243 that started shooting like crap. This is a guy that is an avid fox hunter in MN, and he has shot thousands of rounds through this rifle.

We ran some liquid copper solvent through a few times, letting the solvent sit awhile. I was amazed at how much copper we got out of the barrel. After we were getting clean patches, I put a small plug in the chamber and shot in the Break-Free Foam. I let the thing sit overnight to let the foam expand and do its thing. The next day, blue foam was oozing out the barrel! I ran a few rags through to remove the residue, and I can tell you that the liquid solvents hadn't made a dent compared to the foam.

After the copper cleaning, the rifle was back to its former self. This leads me to wonder how many rifles get "burned out" and how many simply have layers of copper interfering with the rifling in the barrel. This is especially true for solid copper bullets like the Barnes.
See less See more
1 - 4 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.