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Thread: Experience with light rifles

  1. #1
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    Default Experience with light rifles

    My Kimber experiment has now ended with the sale of the rifle.

    My question is what manufacturer makes a light sporting rifle in standard calibers that is accurate and consistent right out of the box? Please answer from practical experience and not what you have read or what happened to a friend.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    Please describe "Accurate" by your standard.

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    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    Kimber made my 338 Fed. 1 MOA with 180 gr. Accubond, out to 300 yards. Have'nt tried farther. The 200 gr. Fusions dissappointed me with 2" groups at 100 yards. I have hand loaded 180 gr. ballistic tips, full length resized, did'nt accuracy test them much. Sighted them in for 150 yrds, and shot deer with them (6 in the last 3 years).

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    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boliep View Post
    My Kimber experiment has now ended with the sale of the rifle.

    My question is what manufacturer makes a light sporting rifle in standard calibers that is accurate and consistent right out of the box? Please answer from practical experience and not what you have read or what happened to a friend.
    What problems did you have with your Kimber? I had one several years back in 325 wsm, accurate as heck. I let it go to try some other stuff, I should have kept it. That is the only light rifle I personally have experience with. If I had the money I would definately get a Forbes.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

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    My kimber shoots really well w/ a limb saver barrel resinater. Longest shot 364 yards mule deer in MT. I can consistently shoot MOA out to 500 yards w/ this rifle.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Please describe "Accurate" by your standard.
    The difference in my accurate light rifle and yours could be the deffinition; It could also be the required working parameters !! More data is required.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Please describe "Accurate" by your standard.
    Consistent inch to inch and a quarter group at 100 yards. The Kimber will sometimes put two or three shots in that requirement.
    Sometimes it will be in the two to three inch groupings.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigswede358 View Post
    What problems did you have with your Kimber? .
    It is inconsistent. Letting off with the sight picture the same produces rounds in places they should not go. Shooting other rifles at the same time give consistent groups that I expect from them so I presume that means that I am not the problem.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    Quote Originally Posted by boliep View Post
    Consistent inch to inch and a quarter group at 100 yards.
    I think it boils down to "expectations." I expect a certain level of accuracy right out of the box for any model in general, the difference often boiling down to how much I pay for the gun.

    But a bigger part of the expectation is that I can almost always improve on that level of accuracy through a combo of load development and gun mods. In fact it's usually a trade-off between price and what I'll have to go through to bring out the full potential of any rifle. The more I pay, the more I expect the manufacturer/gunsmith to have taken care of the tuning details. The less I pay, the more of the tuning work I expect to do myself, rather than paying for someone else to have already done it.

    My longest experience with light guns has been Win 70 Featherweights (pre- and post-), Ruger M77 Ultralights and Rem M7's. Not a one of them will break an 1 1/2" with factory loads, but with load tuning and gun mods I haven't found a one that I couldn't get at least a few loads under an inch. It's all part of the fun for me.

    On the other hand, I dumped $3k in 1980 dollars into a custom, and you can bet your hiney that my expectations were high. And I got what I paid for. It shot so well right out of the box, I was almost afraid to pull the stock off, much less go to tinkering with my own mods. Even so, it never broke an inch with any factory load of that era or since, even if I can break half an inch easily with a whole bunch of reloads.

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    Tikka and Rem 7's and a Rem 700 Mtn Rifle do it for me. Like Brownbear said, you need to find/develop a load that the gun likes. I have built a few rifles that have disappointed me but for the most part a good quality barrel and the right load will shoot <MOA. Some guns just don't shoot the way you think they will or should and that's when I sell them or get an new barrel....not any more complicated than that.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    My favorite so far is my Model 70 Feather weight.

    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
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    Youwill find that the Tikka T3 is one of if not the best out of the box shooterout there. Light weight, durable, and smooth as glass action you will everfind.
    The only two draw backs were and they are minor is the magazine is a bit priceyif you lose it and the scope rings that come with the rifle are a bit light.The wife had one in a 308 and it consistently did 3/8 to 1/2 moa all day long.The rifle is priced well; I have heard they went up a bit but still a great price.The stock is Kevlar or composite, and the finish on the rifle is non rustsilver. Sorry i forget what they callthat

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  13. #13

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    My SS/Syn Tikka T-3 in 30-06 shoots factory remington and federal 165 grn ammo into under 1" groups very consistently. It's topped with a 3x9 Burris and weighs in under 7.25 lbs. I did change out the recoil pad to a limbsaver (there's one that is a direct replacement) it just bolts on.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Weatherby Mark 5 .300 wby ultralight

    I shoot a Weatherby Mark 5 .300 wby ultralight. I've had it for years and I would not want to skin everything I have shot with it. It has been an awesome rifle and I have made several shots between 400-450 yards. Loaded with 180 Barnes X Weatherby factory ammo and sighted in a 300 yards, it is a seriouslly flat shooting rifle. Like most (maybe all) light weight rifles it, is very accurate for several shots and not meant for a bunch of fires on a bench.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I have (had) a few light rifles:

    My Nosler M48 (.300WSM) will shoot 3/4 MOA or better with Nosler 180gr ammunition, Federal Blue Box and my handloads. 7.5lbs ready to hunt. Nosler guarantees these to shoot 3/4MOA in non-belted catridges.

    Tikka T3 (.300WSM) would shoot Federal Premium ABs and my handloads in less than 1 MOA. 7.5lbs ready to hunt.

    Steyr Scout (.308WIN) will shoot most factory 150gr loads I've tried into 1MOA from a good rest if I take my time. 7.2 lbs ready to hunt.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Well hey is what I have. About 6years ago I got a tikka T3 30-06 for about $600 and it has always shot great i think it is shooting around 1/2". the only bullet I have found it does not like is accubond. Now this last spring I was wanting a new rifle so I checked around and had been hearing greath things about the new win SS weather extreme. So i got one in 300wsm and so far it has not come close to shoot as well as my tikka that cost half the price. I am going to try some other different loads in it but so far I am a little dispointed.
    Now their are little things I dont like about the tikka but I cant dis it to hard.

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I've been real pleased with my Kimber Montana 7WSM. 140gr TTSX bullets have gave me less than MOA on many occassions and used that bullet on a caribou this fall. Both bullets landed 2" apart at 400 yards and gave a softball size exit. Impressive. 160gr Accubonds went consistent MOA for me with a couple of groups at 3/4 MOA. Next up is the 162gr AMAX and 168gr Berger VLD that I'm going to test this winter. Depending on the results, one will be used for sheep hunting next year.

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    My brand new, just-out-of-the-box Tikka T-3 Lite in 270win put 6 rounds of Federal Premium 140g AccuBonds into just over an inch at 100 yards off of a bench. 6 rounds of Winchester Supreme 140g Accubonds were just a little over that. Both were shot in variable 15-20 mph winds at about 12 degrees. They would have likely been much smaller groups if it wasn't so darn cold and windy. But, I'm not going to find out until it warms up a bit. Could be a while...

    EDIT: I will add that the Remington 130g Swift Scirroco's had huge groups compared to the others. Even the regular green box Remington Core-Lokt 150g did better than the Swift's. Could be that my Tikka doesn't like light bullets, doesn't like the Swift's, or just didn't like that box. Whatever it was, it doesn't really matter, as I was just getting a baseline over the chrony anyway. I'll be loading up 140g Accubonds for it this winter.
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    The Tikka T3 Superlite is fantastic! Worked with a friend to sight his 270win in using 130gr Winchester Ballistic Silver Tips. That rifle will shoot sub MOA groups all day with that load. Tried Hornady no lead loads in 130gr (can not recall the bullet, sorry) and the rifle shot those just as well although with the no lead load they were high and right from the Silver Tips POI ??? There was very little fouling in the barrel as well after shooting 30 rounds! The only issue was this rifle kicked a lot more than I expected. A bolt on Limbsaver pad cured this issue quickly and painlessly though. I am waiting for the Superlite to be offered in 270wsm. Then I'll buy one but the old 270win is still very nice too!

    Good Luck!
    John
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