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Which vintage military rifle is best for hunting? See first post...

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  • #16
    Keep the .35 Whelen and get rid of all the others!

    LOL

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    • #17
      .35 Whelen heck of a caliber,,,

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      • #18
        My best with the .35 Whelen was 308 measured yards. Boom, DRT. Longest wuz a 'yote at 345 yards - .300 Roy. Boom, yuck.

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        • #19
          Amflyer - Your story reminds me of the man who owned the original hatchet used by George Washington to chop down the cherry tree.
          Of course, the handle had been replaced.
          And come to think of it, the head had been replaced also:-)

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          • #20
            WAM, I can tell you why I did it. Because even for $2000 to $5000 no rifle manufacturer would guarantee me .1 MOA of accuracy. Even .2 is pretty hard to find. The rifles you mentioned are nice looking hunting rifles for around $2000 but they don't shoot like that. There are certainly many $2000+ rifles out there that look nice but very few will deliver the accuracy of a premium Kreiger, Lothar Walther or Bartlien barrel. You need something to attach those barrels too in order to shoot them.

            I already had the M98 receiver and was happy to use it to prove that a $2000 - $3000 receiver is NOT required for .1 MOA accuracy. Not all Mauser receivers are trash either... as a matter of fact, mine will take three times what I can possibly do to it using a .300 Dakota cartridge. That is more than enough for my intended purposes and probably more than 90% of the hunting rifles used in America.

            I can have a premium target barrel put on one and be pretty well assured that few rifles will shoot more accurately and more reliably. They will even outshoot a Cooper making something like a M48 or Forbes look a bit pedestrian. An M98 or O3A3 receiver is as good or better than most if you happen to have one of the millions that are out there.

            My Mauser based rifle cost me less than $1000 and I am elated at its performance. It has never been beaten by an off-the-shelf rifle of any cost including several that cost over $5000. To me, accuracy is my top priority and that is hard to buy off the shelf. For the record, I'm not hung up on Mauser receivers... I would just as happily have built it on a Howa receiver.

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            • #21
              'Flyer,
              My old hunting buddy has a Savage 110 with the factory "hardwood" stock with a .35 Whelen 24" Shaw-made magnum contour barrel from MidwayUSA that shoots beyond great. It is a heavy bugger, but it sure will shoot! He can't shoot since his stroke and I think he is giving it to a non-hunting grandson in hopes he might take up the sport once his testosterone levels drop back into the normal range.

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              • #22
                If a hunter prefers semi-auto rifles, I suppose the M1 Garand could be considered vintage.

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                • #23
                  That is the same bbl, WAM. I wish it were a bit lighter contour as the caliber is such a natural for Wapiti, but I can't argue with the groups I've been getting. Using 250 gr Hornady protected points and IMR-4064. If just shoots.

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                  • #24
                    Beekeeper has a similar rig in .338-06 A-Square and it shoots, too. I keep thinking about another .35 Whelen 24" sporter contour barrel on a Mark V 9-lug chassis to squeeze another 50+ fps out of my handloads. or just buying a Nosler 48 TGR in that configuration which might be cheaper in the long run by the time a good stock is added. Trouble is, mine shoots so well, a new one might not be as good!

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                    • #25
                      Out of the box it's hard to beat an '03 Springfield or M98K Mauser for big game in North America. Of course, an AR-15 is a better coyote gun.

                      Today, excellent-condition military surplus rifles are more expensive than their commercial counterparts. A Ruger M77, Winchester M70, or Remington 700 can be purchased for the price of a nice as-issued surplus '03 or '98. Personally I'd go with a new M70 in '06.

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