On occasion I am asked what is the right rifle for a certain kind of hunting or what caliber is best. This question can be answered many ways and most would have merit, but would lack the spectrum available to the hunter. My philosophy is simple, let me put same in bullet points:
1. Purchase a rifle of good quality that can do a broad range of things such as a 243.
2. Put your money into a scope that is variable (IMO) 3-9 or 4-12x.
3. Break the rifle in correctly and it will last a very long time, heirloom if you will.
4. Study different loads from 58 grain through 100+.
5. But a rifle with the correct twist for most of what you will hunt.
A great starting rifle is a Weatherby Vanguard 2 and a Vortex scope.
Scope is guaranteed for life and the Vanguard is actually a Howa barrel.
6. Make a dope book of weights and point blank ranges based on sight in data.
7. Treat the rifle with respect and protect it and your scope by storing them properly.
8. Buy quality bases and rings. I prefer steel rings based on dissimilar materials reacting to heat and cooling. They are also more robust.
9. Lubricants are important but do not over lubricate!
10. Take ethical shots so as not to injure your game, and do not shoot into a group or herd!
11. Have the courage to not take a shot if you do not feel comfortable in doing so.
12. A good rifle and scope is a pleasure to carry, shoot, and enjoy. Become very comfortable with it and it will serve you well. Pass it down to a loved one with all the history that surrounds it and the joy it has brought you over the years.
(Pix is of a savage 205 Ruger)
As an aside try to buy American made products, many scopes however are difficult to find at a price point. If you can afford it look at Leupold scopes.
Happy Hunting my friends

In my post yesterday I referred to a 205 Ruger round. I of course meant 204.
This round is the brain child of both Ruger and Hornady. Both projectiles 32 and 40 grain are outstanding. They are very low recoil, flat shooting and accurate. After 200 yards they can be pushed around a bit by the wind. But with 4,000 fps it gets there so fast this is not an issue for me.
The rifle pictured in my earlier post is a 204 with QR bases (quick release) and rings.
It is a Savage 12 FV. Fantastic trigger and inexpensive as well. I paid $299 on sale and put $400 into a Nikon scope.
Between this and my 17WSM I can still hunt after shoulder surgery! The twist is such that I should get 4,000 rounds through it before it degrades a bit.
Once again heavy barrel.

I keep it a bit simpler, whatever I spend on the rifle is the neighborhood for the optic.
I agree. The target rifle I envision will be about $3200 without the scope. The Nightforce I've chosen will be around $3600. I've had the TL-3 action for three years come the middle of June. It's still in the box. Given how much I work, I have to ask myself if I should spend so much money for a rifle that will see so little use.

Before I began with FedEx Ground in June 2020, I had predictable days off. Now, my schedule is "fluid," to say the least. I am at this very moment waiting on word from my manager as to whether or not I'll go west over Donner Pass today. I was supposed to have gone around 1200 PDT, but a power failure in the Linehaul Office has created so many problems that it's now 1505 PDT and I'm still at home in my shorts. Now I'm hoping I don't have to go. A ten-hour trip that departs at 0000 hrs is not my idea of a good time...
Respectfully I disagree. Every rifle has a signature. The relationship of a rifles chamber and its respective relationships to the true centerline dictates accuracy.
Throw in the correct twist and you can have a rifle that is inexpensive. Then and only then after testing do we add bases and a scope.
You can have a very expensive scope married to a very expensive rifle and the marriage will be a great shooter.
You can also have an inexpensive rifle that meets the above criteria married to an expensive a moderately priced scope and have a tack driver.
The repeatability of the rifle is the glue that holds this combination together.
Accuracy is the child of repeatability and a repeatable scope.
Remember the rifle will always shoot to the same x y x coordinate while cold. It is the job of the scope to understand the offset and repeatedly adjust accordingly based on how it has been set up.
I can take a $259 rifle and outshoot a $3,000 set up if the repeatability and reproducibility is present.
Expensive rifle +experience scope most often exhibit these traits.
My Tikka T3x CTR in .308 is a 1000-yd rifle.

Luepold VX-3iLRP 8.5x25-50 FFP MOA turrets, and a Horus-type reticle, in a Badger Ordinance mount.

It REALLY shines when shooting 175gr SMK pushed by 41.8gr of IMR 4064 and CCI #200 primers at 2.8" COL. If I do my part, I can literally shoot you in the eye… repeatedly.
(I slightly jerked the trigger on that first shot, but it's still in the eye-socket, LOL).

I also have a “cheap” (I have more into the scope alone on Tikka rig) Ruger American in .308 with a no frills Luepold VX-2 4x12-40 AO SFP duplex reticle mounted with steel Luepold rings for hunting, it's definitely a MOA rifle for the first 1-3 shots (shouldn't need more than one, MAYBE two rounds anyway!) due to the thin profile of the barrel. I’ve taken two black-tails (the ninja of the forests!) with it using only one shot each.
Last Edited:

Latest Resource Reviews

Back Top