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  #1  
Old 02-04-2010, 10:16 PM
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Default Which bolt action rifle should I buy?

I don't currently own a bolt-action rifle, although I shot them a lot as a kid. I miss owning one and want to pick one up. Assume for the purpose of this thread that it will just be for target shooting (not competition) and not for hunting.

I have narrowed it down to these three, all of which I've shot, but not in a long time:

Springfield M1903
Mauser 98K
Remington 700

I seem to remember that the 700 is a simplified Mauser design. For whatever reason, the Springfield and Mauser have a cool factor to me that the 700 lacks. I'm guessing that it would be easier to find .30-06 for the M1903 (and I have a bunch of .308 lying around for the 700) that it would be to find 8MM Mauser for the 98K.

Which would you go with, and why?
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:35 PM
JOliver JOliver is offline
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all good choices...a price range if there is one might help some.
I have a bunch of 700s and they're great,done the 1903 for a little while but I have been helping a buddy of mine chase down nice Mausers...in my area they are hard to find.You can get them online but you have to watch what you're bidding on,they can go from nice to junk quick.
That 8mm is easy to find and cheaper than '06.
Price range would be the key,from what I see you can get a Military 8mm Mauser from 150-500,Sporterized can be all over and these are the ones to watch,some can be great and some can be junk.Then theres the Commercial mausers great rifles but can get way on up there.
700s are hard to beat plenty out there pretty accurate out of the box.
The Mausers do have a cool factor to me and will be more of a challenge to find...
I personally like the CZ line of Rifles,good rifle for the money and they have plenty of styles and calibers offered.

Last edited by JOliver; 02-04-2010 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:37 PM
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If I was gonna plink and target shoot informally...the M1903. Yes, if you're eyesight is good it will kill most medium game and larger out to 300 yards easy. And a nice M1903 will rise in value. Plus its THE historical U.S. WWI rifle.

If you are to seriously hunt. The M700.

Although...a M98 Mauser that has been turned into a custom sporter in .30-06 would be MY favorite for a hunting rifle.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:39 PM
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The most produced 700's are push feeds unlike Mausers which are controlled feed.

Winchester made a model 70 prior to 1964, that was also a controlled feed, if I remember correctly.

I'm a Mauser fan, but not so much of a Model 98K fan although I like them as collectors.

I like '03s, but don't enjoy shooting 30-06's more than a few times in a shooting session.

My favorite Mauser is a Model 96. Soft shooting 6.5x55 and probably the most accurate and flat shooting mass produced Mauser. My second choice would be a Brazillian '08 in 7mm.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:39 PM
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If you want the cool factor the 700 lacks-get a Ruger 77. I absolutely LOVE mine. Plus the controlled feed is important while hunting danderous game down here in Louisiana-wouldn't want to short stroke a cartridge when I'm faced with a charging deer
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:41 PM
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Thanks for the info. If I could get something nice that I could pass on to my grandkids someday, I'd be up in the $800-$1000 range.

What are the differences between the 98K and the M1903 other than caliber?
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aterry33 View Post
Thanks for the info. If I could get something nice that I could pass on to my grandkids someday, I'd be up in the $800-$1000 range.

What are the differences between the 98K and the M1903 other than caliber?

One's made in Germany and one's made in the US. OK, that's a bit of a wise crack, but not too much. The '03 is a copy of the Mauser, so much so that I think the US paid a royality to Mauser for a while.

The problem with both of them is that it's hard to know what you are getting. Where have they been for the last 100 years? I would not buy either with the intention of shooting it unless a competant gunsmith assure me I could do so.

I don't know how one could say the 700 is a simplified Mauser, they are two different ways of doing things.

As has been suggested, I would look at a Ruger 77, although there is nothing wrong (and a lot right) with a 700 if you don't want the controlled feed feature. Then there's the model 70...... (in its myriad versions)
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:26 PM
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I'd favor the 1903 Springfield, on the simple reason that it will shoot cast or jacketed bullets easily with it's two groove rifling. Also, it's one tough rifle that has stood the test of time.

The Mauser 98, preferably a commercial model made before WW2 if you can afford one, is one of the best rifles money can buy.

Also, one rifle not mentioned, a real Pre-1964 Winchester Model 70, or if you are really lucky, a Model 54 will fill the bill nicely. Not only would it be a good shooter, but if not "monkeyed with" will appreciate in value.
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Old 02-05-2010, 01:28 AM
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I have all three...and a Ruger 77. They are all great rifles. It just depends on what you want to do with it.

For hunting....go with a Rem 700 , Win 70 or a Ruger 77. I would choose either .308 or .30-06.

For just playing around, the 1903A3 or a Mauser 98 are great.

If you are wanting to go with the mil surplus, then that opens up a whole array of possibilities.

Nothing is better than the 6.5x55 Sweedish Mausers.

The .303 Brit Enfields are great shooters.

The 7.62x54R Mosin-Nagants are a great bargin, and I would get one of these no matter what else I had.

The 1893/95 cock on closing Mausers are also a lot of fun. These can be found in 8mm, 7mm and .308.

There are just a whole lot of rifles that are worthy of owning.

For a "first", one of what you suggested would work just fine.

As far as the "modern" rifles are concerned, I think all are equally good. (And by the way, I left out the Savage 110 bolt guns....they are a good bang for the buck.)
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:10 AM
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I have five fine bolt actions. A couple pre war model 70s, a finnland built browning safari, a ruger 77 in 7X57, and this custom mauser supreem action in.270 win. Truth is none get shot enough. I hear for the money good things about savage. I probley shoot my ruger the most as I dont have much in it, it is accuarate, low recoil and if I scuff it up I wont stress like I would with the custom mauser.



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Old 02-05-2010, 06:58 AM
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Another vote for the M77 Ruger or one of the CZ rifles. Both are excellent value for the money and are accurate. I have a Ruger M77 in .308 and have shot a CZ enough that I want one.

Charlie
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:11 AM
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I went thru the bolt action ''have to have'' thing. I bought the 700 in 308 with bull bbl. I dont get much better.
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:27 AM
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I have two 700's .308 & .30-06 you can pretty much take anything down with either, but it depends how much you want to spend and what you'll use it for. I also have a savage II .22 and it will take deer, dogs & hogs down when needed. Plus the .22 will provide practice at an affordable price unless you want to use the ammo reserves.
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:17 AM
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Out of the three you list the K98 would be my first choice, because I like the features of the Mauser action. The 03 is a copy of the Mauser, and the 700, well it's a good rifle too. The 96 Swedes mentioned are great Mauser rifles in a fantastic caliber that deserve a hard look.

I personal choice for a vintage rifle would be an early Commercial or FN Mauser such as the Browning Safari, or a pre-64 M70. For a new rifle I would buy a Kimber, or Cooper.
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  #15  
Old 02-05-2010, 09:24 AM
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I feel like the value of the 1903 will increase more rapidly than your other two choices. However, the 98 Mauser's price has been steadily increasing the last few years as well. There are way too many 700 Remingtons for them to ever have a value beyond the worth of their utility.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aterry33 View Post
Which bolt action rifle should I buy?
Which bolt action rifle should I buy first?

I fixed it for you!
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:50 AM
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[QUOTE=SWID;1293506]I don't know how one could say the 700 is a simplified Mauser, they are two different ways of doing things. QUOTE]

It's true they all are.Weather it's push or controll fed, Round or square reciever they are a copy of a Mauser.


Ken
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:53 AM
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The only bolt action rifles I've owned are Marlin, Remington and CZ. All used for hunting. I like all your choices, but you might consider the CZ line as well. Price is obviously a consideration for just putting holes in paper.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:55 AM
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Do you really mean an 1903 or an 1903A3?

I'd rather have an 03A3 with the better sights, and of course not have to worry about serial number ranges of the poor metal 1903's.

Emory
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:06 PM
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Default Which Rifle?

If you have the eyes to use a peep sight, get a clean Springfield '03-A3. Ammo for it is universally available; it is a classic that should rise in value, if you get a decent one.

My two '03-A3s are good shooters, as is my 1917. Love the '98 Mauser, but the vee rear sight and barleycorn front sight are harder for me.

Also like the No1 Mk 4 and Jungle Carbine Enfields.

Good Luck

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Old 02-05-2010, 12:36 PM
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The Remington is a long standing quality gun and very accurate. However, do not overlook the Savage 110 series of rifles. If, as you say, you are just going to use it for target shooting/plinking, you will save a lot of money with the Savage, and I will put the accuracy of the Savage up against any comparable factory rifle. I consistently get a half minute of angle out of my Savage in .243. It is a heavy barrel, in a Varminter stock.
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:48 PM
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If you want better sights go for the M1917.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:22 PM
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H Richard nailed it.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:54 PM
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I personally like the '03 and the 98 but in Military form, I'd pick the '03 if forced to take only one.
Do lots of homework before buying as there are tons of made up guns around for every one in original form. Not that it will be the exact way it left the arsenal, that's a long shot for sure,,but at least try not to get stuck with a gun made up of non-period correct parts or aftermarket. I prefer the '03 to the '03-A3 but that's a personal preferance and has nothing to do with their performance. The A3 has receiver sights, but stamped parts and on some 2 groove barrels (that shoot VERY well).
A WW2 Remington or SmithCorona '03 isn't a bad choice either if you like the '03 style without having to wade through the Low#/High# thing of the WW1 guns.

European built sporters on the 98 are great rifles. I find them very appealing and you can quite often find a no-name gun for a decent price. I even bought a JP Sauer built 98 sporter in 8x57 recently for $550. I'd take that any day over a 700 or even a M70.

A Sedgley built sporter on the '03 action is a very nice 30-06 but usually built on a low# action. Mine was $350 and continues to hold together just fine.

Don't overlook the Krag rifle in military form. Though no surplus ammo is around,,a simple reloading set up can turn out some fine loads from target to hunting and they are fun Military rifles to shoot.

Mannlicher Schoenauers are nice,,,Enfields including BSA sporters,,etc
So many choices...but I tend to stay away from the run of the mill standard commercial rifles available. I just like something a little different.

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Old 02-05-2010, 07:50 PM
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I have no real experiance with the 03-A3 or K98. I have handled and owned a lot of 700's. My favorite is the 700 LTR. I do not own one but I set one up for a guy and had a blast with it. It was chambered in 308. This will be my next 700.
http://www.remingtonle.com/rifles/700pltr.htm
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Old 02-05-2010, 07:59 PM
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Default Which bolt gun to buy?

Since you indicated target shooting as primary use; on the low budget end I like the S&W I-bolt, you can see it is low budget but it hasgood working parts. If budget isn't a consideration; then T/C Icon (same working parts as I-bolt).
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Old 02-05-2010, 08:02 PM
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My three favorite actions are the 98 Mauser, Model 1903 Springfield, and the pre-64 Model 70. I think the Model 1903 gives the slickest, smoothest function of all.
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