ULD Update Part II

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.


  1. I just checked and it looks as if the Howa Bravo .308 is sold out most places on line however Impact Guns is showing it available for $975, reading some reviews the trigger can be adjust down but some suggest a $150 Timney trigger for the Howa .308 which would bring the price back up and an aftermarket Magpul magazine will make it run smooth. For years I had nothing but wood stock rifles but now for a true long distance rifle I would not want a wood stock. The Howa length of pull is very adjustable and I would give that rifle a lot of consideration.

  2. Well, the Savage is the prettiest of the listed choices if you need a final tie breaker.

    Although pretty wood is possibly not the best choice in certain environmental conditions.

    1. It’s laminate, not pretty. It just LOOKS pretty compared to all the other Kraft durch Plastik stocks.

      1. IOW a case of “I don’t have to be good looking, I just need to be better looking than the other contestants”.

  3. A range buddy of mine mentioned the Bergara B-14 HMR, which might go into the Premium category price-wise (though it’s not exactly a “pretty” rifle…) as it has MSRP of just under $1200.
    According to said buddy, it comes with a “chassis” style synthetic stock that has a bunch of adjustment for shooter fit, comes in a variety of cartridges, and (best of all for keeping ancillary costs down) is compatible with most Rem 700 add-ons, which I think he mentioned includes scope mounts and the like.

    It’s also available in a variety of chamberings, including both 300WM and 308Win, though the latter has only a 20″ barrel so that may remove it from consideration here…that said, the 300WM has 26″ of barrel, so perhaps I should add it to the prior post.

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