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Thread: Buying a New Rifle, Stainless or Blued Steel?

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    Default Buying a New Rifle, Stainless or Blued Steel?

    Hey everyone,

    I was wondering if you could give me your advice. I am getting ready to do some big game hunting this coming spring for the first time in Alaska and was needing to buy a bigger caliber rifle. I have only used a .270 throughout my life hunting in Utah, but wasn't hunting anything bigger than elk.

    I am looking to buy a Browning .325 WSM X-Bolt, but didn't know whether to spend the extra cash to get it in a synthetic stock and stainless steel barrel. Given the weather conditions here in Alaska, is this the best idea or can I save some money and get the wood stock with blued steel barrel and still have the rifle hold up well?

    I appreciate your thoughts,

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    I have no experience with the .325, as far as finish goes you'll find you can't beat stainless synthetics given the weather conditions we have up here. If you find yourself hunting along the coast stainless is the way to go.

    I honestly dont have anything wood in the safe. The few extra bucks will pay off in the long run.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member Berto's Avatar
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    Default absolutely

    stick with stainless steel and synthetic stock here in AK. far too much moisture here regardless of whether or not you are hunting along the coast or inland.

    you can check the swap and sell forum for a good deal on a new or used rifle, but i think a .270 in SST/synth would do all you need because shot placement is the key. that said, i am a hypocrit and altho i own a couple SST/synth .06's i recently bought a used .300 win mag in stainless with synthetic stock from the forum. i wanted a not-so-nice mag to use in AK because the .338 mag (blued/wood) i already own has too much sentimental value to possibly ruin or lose!

    good luck and have fun shopping

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    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    All boils down to bucks. I stick with stainless synthetic, but have plenty of hunting buddies using wood/blued. Of course the wood/ blued guns look a lot more “experienced”. Still they seem to shoot fine. You can always add an aftermarket synthetic stock and a coat of spray paint if you want.

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    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default + for SS & Synthetic

    I'm probably lazy when it comes to working on rifles. I really don't want to oil a rifle after a day's hunt in the rain. For that reason, all my hunting rifles are synthetic stocks with stainless actions & barrels.

    For Alaska - where it usually rains - they are worth the extra $$$.

    BTW, the Savage Weather Warrior is about as "plain Jane" as you can get but they shoot well. Something to consider.

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    Default My Two Cents

    I shoot a .300 Rem Win-Mag, pretty standard Alaska gun; I love it. I've got the XCR (extra corrosion resistant) with synth stock and it's proven to be a very valuable asset. Our moisture is a killer and even when you're not lugging your rifle around and have it in its case; moisture still works away at your metal. In spite of being retentive about wiping off your gun when you take off your boots at night, H2O is still your guns nemisis and that's when you benefit from protecting it. You can buy and XCR off the shelf for a reasonable amount; if you go the more affordable route, I'd recommend getting it Parker-ized (spelling?) to add some more protection to stainless finish. You'll get many different opinions from guys here; we all have them - what it comes down to is your preferences and budget constraints.

    One other thing you have to consider in new gun purchases is the availability and cost of ammo. If you are like me with good friends that are reloading nuts; you should be in decent shape. Some of us are not as fortunate and in that case I'd recommend going with a more common caliber that has tons of ammo available.
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

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    Default Thanks!

    Thanks everyone for giving a "newbie" some sound advice. I will start pricing out synthetic/stainless options. It sounds like it is well worth it. I also better start softening up the wife to the idea of my future purchase .

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntin' Fool View Post
    I also better start softening up the wife to the idea of my future purchase .
    Tell her you can either buy it once, or buy it again in 5 years.

    FYI Certified diamonds can be exchanged and upgraded
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    If you shop around online you can get a stainless/synthetic Ruger Hawkeye for under $500.

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    Member Kort's Avatar
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    Default Nothing but stainless steel in Ak.

    A couple of years ago, I got myself into a hairy situation and had to leave all of my gear including my rifle in the field and totaly exposed to the environment for two weeks. When I was able to get back into the field where my gear was, my stainless TC Encor w/syn stock was in perfect shape. A blued rifle with a wood stock would not have faired as well.

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    Default

    I would definetly avoid the wood. Primarily for weight savings.

    However my two most used hunting rifles I have are blued finish with synthetic stocks.

    The one gun is a tang safety ruger ( i put a synthetic stock on it) and definatly looks like its been around the block. I used this gun mostly between 14-21 years of age and really beat on it! 270 winchester BTW! So on a side note my .02 is that your 270 is just fine for up here if you want.

    The other is a remington ADL. it has a differnt type of blueing on it, maybe a coating even, but so far after 5 years of montague, kodiak, and wet fall moose seasons its holding up well.

    I like stainless guns though too! But just thought Id add dont be scared if a good deal on a blued rifle comes up if money is an object. They can be well taken care of with a quick wipe down with a cloth or sheath take-along by birchwood-casey

    Somebody might chime in on the alloy differences too. Seems that Ive read somewhere that blued steel is superior to stainless in strength or accuracy or something like that. but in real world probably doesnt matter. Never broke a gun barrel before. And I have had stainless barrels that were tackdrivers. But now Im just rambling.... gotta go

  12. #12
    Member oakman's Avatar
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    Default

    Stainless/Synthetic...and I like the look of a silver scope to top it off!

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Consider the market...

    If you one day sell the new rifle, what will your market likely want?

    From what I gather, although many hunters in the Lower-48 prefer a blued rifle, the market for a .300 or larger magnum rifle would be smaller in the Lower-48.

    In AK, there's a large market for these medium/larger bore rifles, but less so for blue/wood rifles.

  14. #14
    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    I have some wood/blued guns and I don't see why I would buy another blued barrell. I wouldn't rule out a wood/stainless combo, but from my hunting experienes, synthetic/stainless is the only way to go.

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    Hoose I second that.
    Paul

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    Default I'll be the dissenting opinion...

    I prefer wood stocks, and blued (or or even better--matte black teflon, ArcticKote, or whatever). I'm okay with wood/stainless, too, just don't like the plastic stocks. Having hunted from the North Slope to Kodiak and PWS, my wood, blued rifles have survived with no warping or accuracy issues...although the bluing did suffer a bit of rust on a couple of 'em, which is why I like the corrosion-resistant black finishes now.

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    Default Stainless is best option

    If you are soley hunting in Alaska, I would suggest the stainless steel/synthetic option as your best bet. I really like my Browning in a .338, topped off with Leupold gold ring scope. I use the flip scope covers that will help protect the lenses.

    I have hunted in the lower as well in Michigan and Indiana and here, blued is Ok as it is not nearly s damp as AK. If you choose to take blued rifle into AK make sure you keep it well oiled and cleaned. The constant change in temperature from outside the tent to inside will cause it to rust quickly.

    Mooseman17

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