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Centerfire Rifles - Manually Operated Lever action, bolt action or other non gas operated centerfire rifles.

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  #1  
Old 02-12-2014, 6:52 PM
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Default Recommendations for lightweight Deer rifle under $1,000

This is not a "what is the best" thread, but more "what should I look into based off of your experience" thread.

I'm shopping around for a lightweight bolt-action Deer rifle. I am currently using a 1978 Ruger M77 in .30-06. They used to build these rifles out of lead and it kills me to pack it on long hunts. I am thinking I want to keep the caliber the same so I can use the same ammo for both guns.

I looked at the Tikka T3 and it looks nice, but want to hear what you guys use for lightweight bolt action Deer rifles so I can go to the gun shops, pick them up, and do my own research.

Thanks
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Old 02-12-2014, 7:15 PM
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I handled a Savage Ultralight and liked it.

The Mossberg 4x4 seemed to be a real nice gun.

Was hoping the store would have a Savage Axis II to check out. They had not gotten theirs yet. Seen the online going for around $360 this includes a very nice Weaver 3x9 Scope.

However I ended up buying a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .264Mag!
A little more pricey...but ohhhh so sexy! I got it for $1100 this included a Redfield Scope and Ultralight Sling.

A very Sexy Beast is the CZ American 557 they go for about $800 and are remarkable shooters!
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Old 02-12-2014, 7:16 PM
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What about a rifle length encore?
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Old 02-12-2014, 7:29 PM
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My vote goes to Tikka T3. The stock is decent, accuracy is good, bolt is very smooth, less than 90* bolt lift (60? 50 something?) and I haven't had any problems with the stock rings.
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Old 02-12-2014, 7:31 PM
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I just took home a CZ 550 American in 270 a few weeks ago; my FFL ordered one in for me of the last stock. Topped it with a Vortex Diamondback for a hair over $800.

I looked hard at the Winchester M70 Featherweight; love that stock! But I just didn't feel that it was worth the $150 over the CZ.
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Old 02-12-2014, 7:35 PM
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I found a model 70 LW in 308 with a 1-4 leup scope very lightly used for $700.

Love it.
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Old 02-12-2014, 7:37 PM
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Encore are fun...can be ***** as your main hunting rifle...carry one as backup!

Sometimes the shells get stuck after firing...or it won't close right...just little things with break open single shooters. Oh yeah the Encore is not really that light.

Check out the Tikka Hunter love mine!
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Old 02-12-2014, 7:45 PM
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Savage weather warrior
Ruger American
Remington 700
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Old 02-12-2014, 7:50 PM
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Weatherby Vanguard 2
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Old 02-12-2014, 7:54 PM
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Tikka T3 lite has got to be up there.
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Old 02-12-2014, 8:06 PM
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I just put together a fairly light weight hunting rifle. Weatherby Vanguard S2 (30/06 ) Luepold VX2 3x9x40 and talley rings total, About $950ish. It is light weight in my opinion.
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Old 02-12-2014, 8:23 PM
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Tikka for sure. Spend the extra 300 on a Leupold VX1 3-9x40. I love that combo.
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Old 02-12-2014, 8:30 PM
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I love my tikka t3 270. I put a Burris fullfield II 3x9x40 in a dnz mount.

I highly recomend the dnz mount on anything you get. The fewer points that could fail the better.
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Old 02-12-2014, 8:30 PM
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Mossberg MVP can be had in .308
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Old 02-12-2014, 9:13 PM
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30-06 Savage 111 Lightweight Hunter at 6lbs would be good, but I think I'd rather have an 11 in 260 Rem at 5.5lbs because I don't think I'd like the 30-06 in a rifle that light.

Last edited by TMB 1; 02-12-2014 at 9:15 PM..
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:12 PM
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I say Tikka T3 or Win Model 70. I haven't used either, but I have picked them up and I fell in love. I plan on picking the two up when I get some money saved up. For now its staying put with my R700
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Old 02-12-2014, 11:02 PM
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I have 2 Tikka T-3 rifles. One is 6.5X55 and the other is 7mm-08. They are great rifles with a Leupold 3X9X40 duplex retical scope and Claw sling. I also put on the Limbsaver direct replacement recoil pad on them.
The 30-06 or 308win or 260Rem would also be good choices. Do not buy a Mag in that light rifle.
The Tikka will probably out shoot you. I have several loads that give one ragged hole 5 shot groups off sandbags when I do my part.

Buy the Tikka and you will not be sorry.
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Old 02-13-2014, 6:14 AM
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I love my ruger american in 308. Great trigger and a good shooter for the price. And the weight is great.
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Old 02-13-2014, 6:34 AM
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I had a Savage 111 in 30-06 that was awesome. I also have handled the Savage Axis and the Ruger American and they might be better for you if being light is your primary concern. I personally don't like the way they feel though.
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Old 02-13-2014, 6:41 AM
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I am leaning toward the Tikka. Going to go to Bass Pro tomorrow and check it out again.

And to whoever mentioned the Leupold scope, I am with you 150%. I put a VX-1 on my Ruger and it completely changed my life. I never knew you could have a scope that was so rugged, could hold zero practically forever, and could be had for just over $200 until I found Leupold.
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Last edited by NickTheGreek; 02-13-2014 at 7:36 AM..
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Old 02-13-2014, 6:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickTheGreek View Post
I am leaning toward the Tikka. Going to go to Bass Pro tomorrow and check it out again.

And to whoever mentioned the Leupold scope, I am with you 150%. I put a VX-1 on my Ruger and it completely changed my life. I never knew you could have a scope that was so rugged, could hold zero practically forever, and could be had for just over $200 until I found Leopold.
Try a VX3 you'll be overwhelmed versus the VX1
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Old 02-13-2014, 7:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmCheese View Post
My vote goes to Tikka T3. The stock is decent, accuracy is good, bolt is very smooth, less than 90* bolt lift (60? 50 something?) and I haven't had any problems with the stock rings.
75 degrees.
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Old 02-13-2014, 9:39 AM
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Remington model 7. Like a 700 only smaller/lighter.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
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Try a VX3 you'll be overwhelmed versus the VX1
What's better VX2 or VX3?
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:30 AM
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I have a Kimber 84M in 7-08 that I love - very light and shoots well. Not sure of current price.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
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What's better VX2 or VX3?
Here is the order
rifleman same as redfield line
vx1
vx2
vx3
vx6
the Mark and patrol series fall under the various vx's
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickbowen5 View Post
What's better VX2 or VX3?
VX3 of course.

But frankly I have no problems with my Vari-XII on my hunting rifle (precursor to the VX2) and I would have no qualms of replacing it with a VX2 compared to VX3.

Both simply great scopes.

Here's a tip:

You can find old var-XII scopes for a song and dance online. Send to leupold, and they come back basically new. Best thing I ever did with mine.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
VX3 of course.

But frankly I have no problems with my Vari-XII on my hunting rifle (precursor to the VX2) and I would have no qualms of replacing it with a VX2 compared to VX3.

Both simply great scopes.

Here's a tip:

You can find old var-XII scopes for a song and dance online. Send to leupold, and they come back basically new. Best thing I ever did with mine.
I got a vx2 for the holidays. Just couldn't tell the difference. I have all my grandpa's old leupold scopes that i have to go through and send in
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Old 02-13-2014, 1:15 PM
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I've got a 1955 Mod 70 '06 feather weight Weaver bases Burris rings & a 3x9 Leupold compact , like carrying a broom stick in the field. It will take anything on the North American Continent . Probably not the best gun compared to the plastic stocked stainless steal guns of today .
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Old 02-13-2014, 1:37 PM
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+1 for the Tikka. Very light and awesome trigger pull.
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Old 02-13-2014, 2:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickbowen5 View Post
What's better VX2 or VX3?
The VX 3 is one VX better....
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Old 02-13-2014, 2:21 PM
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I have a kimber montana in .308 in the for sale section, its very light.
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Old 02-13-2014, 6:00 PM
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One last seldom mentioned feature on the Tikka.

They have a longer throat to a accommodate heavy big bullets.
Reloaders love this.
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Old 02-13-2014, 6:13 PM
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The Tikka rings work just fine for me.
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Old 02-13-2014, 6:59 PM
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Look used, I bought a Sako AV .308 "Mannlicher" in great condition for under a $1,000. It's my favorite deer rifle.

It's very quick handling to the deer's dismay.

I also picked up a Sako .243 for my sons for $800.
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Old 02-13-2014, 7:02 PM
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Man I wish my Ruger M77 (300WM) was HEAVIER. It's too light to enjoy shooting it.
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Old 02-13-2014, 8:04 PM
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^^^ I Mag-N-Ported mine and that helps. It also does not get your ears like a brake.
I also installed a Pachymer Decellarator recoil pad. Did the same with my 338win mag, 7mmRem mag(now a non-ported 264Win mag),30-06 Ultra-Lite and my daughters 257Roberts before rebarreling it. They are all Tang Safety Ruger M77 rifles.
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Old 02-13-2014, 8:13 PM
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Rem model 7 7-08

sent from a Galaxy near you.
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Old 02-13-2014, 9:43 PM
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Remington 700 cdl in 30-06 - It rocks! Commentary: Yes, it had an old fashioned but beautiful wood stock, but that stock absorbs recoil. If you go ultra-light, you should get a 25-06 or a 243. My 2 cents
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Old 02-14-2014, 7:34 AM
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Since you know what your doing when it comes to hunting if you are looking for what kinda of rifle in the future drive up to Scheels in Reno. All of their rifles are on circular racks on the sales floor and not behind counters. It's a lot more enjoyable to walk around and pick up various models in various calibers vs. having to ask the guy behind the counter every time. They have zillions of rifles.

I found the tika t-3 light to be well... pretty light.

Also I 2nd the VX-II over the VX-I. It's all opinion but I wasn't really wowed by new leupolds 3 years ago until I had a VX-II in my hands. If you have time you can find some really good deals on used ones over at 24 hour campfire. I saw a VX-I (lnib) go for $220 the other day in a 3x9x40.
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