As promised yesterday, here are the .308 Win rifles I’m looking at. I’ve split them into two groups: inexpensive and premium. “Inexpensive” means quite a bit less than $1,000, while “premium” means more than $1,000 but less than $1,200 — that budget constraint again. Once again, all these rifles have good reviews from people whose opinions I trust, and I’ve shot a couple of them myself — with astonishing results.
Here are the inexpensive choices:
I have to say that the XPR is a little dubious to me because on several occasions, shooters have complained about the uneven trigger pull (i.e. gunsmithing needed) and the rifle itself is suspiciously cheap. The Ruger has good reviews, but that 20″ barrel is not a good idea (in my experience) when shooting the .308 Win past 300 yards in windy conditions; the bullet hasn’t got up to speed by the time it leaves the barrel. So while I’ve listed these as options, I looked at them before I’d received a few more entries and I think I can do better. Such as with these:
For me, this comes down to the trigger. I have an admitted bias towards the CZ’s single-set trigger (pull it back, and it releases at about 4 pounds; push it forward to “set” it, and it releases at about 3 ounces) — and the CZ is at the low end of this group, price-wise. That said, I have very fond memories of Savage’s Accu-Trigger, which can be adjusted (even by a schmuck like me) to the desired weight, and Savage rifles are renowned for their out-of-the-box accuracy. Which leaves the Howa, and while I’ve never shot this particular model, I have many fond memories of Howa rifles so it made the cut.
Ultimately, though, I prefer a long barrel when shooting the .308 Win at distance, so right now I would say that I’m leaning towards the 26-inch-barreled CZ and the Savage Model 12 — although the Savage 10FCP has quite possibly the best reviews of any rifle I’ve ever seen. (I’ve shot a .308 Savage 10 before, but only the hunting type — which was excellent — and never the target rifles.) So that might be a tie-breaker.
As with yesterday’s .300 Win Mag rifles, I don’t think that any of the latter group is a horrible choice. (I should point out that I looked at both the Ruger M77 and Winchester 70 as part of this exercise, but neither comes with a heavy-barrel option, which I consider a must-have for Boomershoot.)
I might go to the Fort Worth gun show this coming weekend to see if I can find a diamond in the rough amongst the thousands of AR-15s [groan] but I’m not holding my breath.
Feel free to add comments and suggestions below, based on your own experiences; but remember my earlier admonition against customization and modification.
Next up: the scope.