.243 manufacturers, any recommendations?

mummel

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You guys may have seen my other post:

I'm a bow guy and I'm looking to purchase my first hunting rifle (never been rifle hunting, only fired a few guns as a kid years back). I'll be using it primarily for deer hunting in the northeast (dense woods, thick brush, vast majority of shots probably around ~100 yards, maybe field shots up to 300 yards albeit this is would very rare/opportunistic).

I'm looking for a simplistic, minimalistic, lightweight, lower noise, low recoil rifle. I'm leaning towards the .243 WIN because of its low recoil which is probably whats most important for me.


So far Ive researched that the Ruger American Bolt Action (22 inch barrel) is pretty popular. Costs around ~$400 and weighs 6.2lbs.

The other rifle I like is the Winchester Model 70 Featherweight model. Costs $900 and weighs 6.7lbs. This rifle is expensive but I like the aesthetics ha. But please keep in mind I’ll only be able to use the rifle ~5 times a year during dedixated road trips so I don’t want to spend too much.

I also don’t know anyone with a rifle so I can’t get a feel what what I would like. I have to rely on internet research for now.

What other models should I add to my research list?

In a bit worried that these rifles may be a bit light (minimizing recoil is pretty important for me). Someone recommended looking for a rifle that weighs 8lbs+. Any opinions on this?

Thanks folks.
 

Boomerusaf

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.25-06, 7mm-08, and 6.5 creedmoor are common calibers that have minimal recoil as well. Keep in mind, adding an scope and rings added to a 7 lbs. rifle will help add weight.

I would look at Remington model 700s, Winchester XPR, or the Bergara 14s!
 

brockel

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been around a couple ruger americans and they flat out shoot. Id pick one up in a 7mm-08 or 6.5 creedbro and rock on
 

NEWHunter

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As I mentioned on your scope thread a .243 is a fine choice. Stick with that and worry about which gun you want and not the caliber.

My brother has a Sako in .243 and it shoots beautifully. I’ve shot lots of Browning’s and have enjoyed them. I probably would look to spend more than ~$400 too. Good luck in your decision.
 

VikingsGuy

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If you need to be sub $500 I would go Howa 1500 (or its rebranded sister the Weatherby Vanguard Series 2). If you can go to $700 I would buy a Tikka T3x Lite SS. I have Ruger (American & m77), Savage (axis, 12, 16 & benchrest) and Winchester - my Howa and Tikkas beat them all easily. All shoot, all will kill things with proper bullet and placement, but all sub $800 guns are not created equal. As you approach $850 Bergara and Xbolt become well regarded options (but I don't have one of those -- Bergara is definitely my next target). And per my post on your other thread, unless you are going up and down the mountains all day for a week, don't pick your rifle by its base weight - focus functional features, stock stiffness, smooth action, stainless vs "blued" vs cerakote, stock shape, length of pull, drop plate mag vs dropbox, cheek weld, free floated barrel, barrel length, muzzle brake or not, threaded barrel or not, after market accessories, etc.
 

oleefish2

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I agree go handle some different guns and find something that feels natural to you. I had a 243 Ruger model 77 and killed antelope, deer and elk with it.
 

std7mag

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Don't forget to work the bolt, and ask if you can dry fire to get a feel for the trigger.

Word of caution. Working the bolt will really make you a fan of Tikka.
Just say'n...
 

SticksMcKinley

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For the money, it's really hard to beat a Tikka. I've got a T3 Lite in .308 that shoots very nicely and a CTR in 6.5 Creedmoor that will do cloverleafs all day long with Hornady Precision Hunter. I would also advise looking at the Bergaras. I know a few owners and all are happy with them. I do not care for the Ruger Americans in the least, I'm afraid. I bought one for my son and between the sticky bolt, finicky magazine, poor fit and finish and overall cheap feel, I will never buy another one. That said, I don't think you could go wrong with a Hawkeye 77-type model. I wouldn't ignore Weatherby, either - their stock design fits me really well. As others have said, find the rifle that fits you best.
 

tzone

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If it were me I find the Kimber Hunter and handle it. I'll be buying another, probably this year. I have one in 6.5 CM and it's a great, lightweight, mid priced rifle. It's a lot of rifle for the money. You'll be able to get into one for $150 less than the Winchester.

I also love the Winchester M70 featherweight. I have one in the safe and have had plenty of others.

If you're looking for inexpensive, reliability...Ruger American is tough to beat.

Tikka gets a lot of love but they don't fit me at all and have no "soul". The have one action length and put a block in the magzine. I also don't care for the magazines.
 

Don Fischer

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He's wanting a rather inexpensive rifle. Look at the Mossberg Patriot, Savage rifles, Ruger American seem's to work. Ruger and Savage I say based of what I've read. I loved the original Ruger M-77 but mine didn't shoot for diddly! The Savages I have shot were the old 110 kit guns. Lousy trigger's but boy did they shoot. Never was to interested in mossberg but got one Patriot to try out for kicks. Wow! What a shooter. Now I have two of them. I'm a fan of Remington 700's and I think you can get the 700 ADL still in 243. I have one. Lousy shooter in the beginning but completely re-did the bedding and it's light out now. I'd recommend you try one of them.
 

mummel

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So for my own sanity, I complied a list of available models from stores that I can get to (Cabelas, Dicks, Bass Pro and Kittery Trading Post).

The list is sorted according to price. Still a lot to research, but I wonder which one of these offers best bang for your buck.


107598
 

VikingsGuy

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Best bang for your buck is relative to a budget and to what you value. What is the best gun for $500 is different than what is the best gun for $800. Also, what you are willing to do post purchase is also important - if you find the Tupperware stock on a savage or Ruger too flexible are you up for adding a $295 B&D stock upgrade? How much do you care about wood vs synthetic? Are you willing/able to pillar bed a wood stock? Do you want to add a suppressor at a later time? (As most of these sportier weight barrels aren’t thick enough to thread at 5/8” or 9/16”). For example, I bought a few tikkas and threw away their stocks the day I bought them and put them in B&C stocks - my $750 guns just became $1,050 guns - am I happier with that than if I had just bought a Xbolt with a factory stock I was ok with? I am, but someone else may view differently.

What you need is an action, a barrel, a trigger, a magazine and a stock - if you are picky about all 5 you will likely be unhappy with any gun under $500 and find your self either upgrading components or buying new guns. I started in a place similar to you and bought a Ruger American and a M77. But I didn’t like the RAR stock and got a boyd’s replacement stock, but then I pillar bedded, and never could get the M77 to shoot below 1 MOA. In the end, lots of time and effort went into fighting with those two guns to get them where I wanted them. Still didn’t like the stocks, still not happy with the triggers. I then came to the realization that for me they were bad starter platforms, too many gaps, too few upgrade options, etc. I am a tinkerer and with hindsight I wasted money on these two. They both sit in the safe and will likely be sold some day when I get around to it. Then I bought a Howa 1500 (vanguard s2) and put it in a HS Precision stock and my first Tikka and put it in a B&C stock. Loved them both. Love the stocks, love the actions, happy with the triggers shoot sub MOA with handloads. Have added more guns since, but keep in mind what I would need to do to be happy with the result. Where will I want this gun to be in a year or two is a bigger question for me than what it is out of the box day one.

But if you just want to buy a gun and shoot day one without worrying about all this I would go Howa or Tikka based upon your budget. They are two of the few sub $700 rifles with stocks sufficiently stiff to not drive me nuts (I prefer synthetic over wood); they both have extremely usable triggers out of the gate; and they both give you paths to upgrade/tweak if you need/want to.
 
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mummel

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But if you just want to buy a gun and shoot day one without worrying about all this I would go Howa or Tikka based upon your budget. They are two of the few sub $700 rifles with stocks sufficiently stiff to not drive me nuts (I prefer synthetic over wood); they both have extremely usable triggers out of the gate; and they both give you paths to upgrade/tweak if you need/want to.
Definitely this. I'm going to use this rifle a handful of times per year so I dont want to overspend. However, I also want to buy once and buy right. I'm sure you guys get where Im coming from. Im not in the $1000+ rifle camp, but at the same time, its probably not the best idea to purchase a $300 rifle either and have buyers remorse. Im somewhere inbetween.

So no Howas for sale in any of the stores I can access.

Here's the Tikka TX3 line. They have the Lite & Superlite versions at my local store. Not quite sure about the diffs yet.

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