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A hypothetical

17 May 2018
@ 04:10 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Hypothetically speaking, if you had a brother with front row access to the best deals at a large firearms vendor who tells you he could get either of two Savage rifles for you for the same low price, which would you lean toward?

Rifle 1 is a Savage 111 in the venerable .270. It has a Nikon 3-9x40 included. The rationale for owning this rifle (other than "why not?") would be as a starter rifle for your 8 year old when he graduates from squirrels to deer in the next couple of years. The long term possibility would be to restock and rebarrel to .280 AI. This change would simply be because it's a round that holds some interest for me and the 8 year old might like to extend his range when he's 18.

Rifle 2 is a Savage 16 FCSS in .270 WSM. I don't believe optics are included. While the .270 WSM has never been on my wish list the rifle itself would be even more of a "steal" at the price on the tag. The 8 year old could shoot it for a while. The long term possibility would be for an experiment - wildcatting the WSM cartridge up to 35 cal.

I don't have experience with Savage. You who do might know enough to completely deflate one of these trains of thought.

So, hypothetically speaking, after you told your brother "Get thee behind me..." what might you be inclined to do?

Replies

17 May 2018
@ 09:15 am (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: A hypothetical
While I haven't got the most experience with firearms or calibres my initial thoughts lean towards the 270. The difference between to rifles as far as I can tell is that the 16 is stainless where the 111 is blued. That may end up being your decider

But cartridge wise the 270. Simply because it is an established cartridge with a wide range of factory loads and available components, not that the WSM isn't but just moreso with the 270.

That plus the 111 seems more set up ready to go. If it is for your boy this may be the best way, cheaper components for when he is learning then the action is there and ready to roll for a project build/upgrade when he is old enough.

Just my thoughts, take them with a grain of salt. Hope things are good with you Bro!
17 May 2018
@ 09:19 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: A hypothetical
Very limited knowledge on Savage Josh, though told they "accurise" readily using Nathan's directions as guidance.
So couple of thoughts;
Can you readily get a stock better suited for a younger shooter, ie shortened laminated etc. to make it nicer to shoot.

Mag length? may fit the shorter WSM better??

Capacity, is it an issue for your hunting? "guessing!!" 3xWSM & 5x270?

Extended range/power capabilities of the WSM, a big plus for me.

A .358 WSM is known here as a 35 Sambar and Info on that could be found with Grant at Trueflite, he started cambering that a few years ago.
17 May 2018
@ 10:02 am (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: A hypothetical
Hi Joshua:

I used the 270 for many years on whitelails, mulies and javelina and it is a great all around caliber. I've since moved up to 7mm's for heavier bullet availability for larger game.

I agree with Andrew on the availability of the 270 ammo, there are more options and to your idea of making it a 280, that would be great. I hunted twice with one when I was a teenager, it belonged to my uncle and I took 2 big desert mule deer with it, both landed where they stood with one shot.

Hope this helps

Best regards
17 May 2018
@ 09:35 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: A hypothetical
Im assuming you are a reloader???? if not forget them both for a young fella unless you are fitting a suppressor and have access to low recoiling loads.
if you do reload....a 110grn from the mighty .270 winchester will see young fella right if you keep range sensible and wont boot him into next week.
jumping young fella straight into a hard recoiling rifle will knock him around and probably cause flinching issues that will take a lot of fixing...believe me Ive been there and done that....
you can load the .270 win down to .243 levels without any fuss or bother and step it back up as time and needs dictate.
17 May 2018
@ 10:08 pm (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: A hypothetical
I was posting my thoughts earlier when my thumbs went stiff and my phone went flat but pretty much mirror what Mike has said, don't think I would have been happy behind either of those as an 8 year old unless they were downloaded somewhat? may have booted me back into nappies! Only had experience with .270 out of those but out of both platforms I tried it was to be respected.
Other thoughts I guess are if you are reloading are you set up for one over the other?
Is price of practice components an issue?
stainless vs blued?
Which of the rifles would be a better fit/shape/weight/balanced/length of pull for the young fellas physique, all considering you could find a load that was recoil tolerable and suited the game you wish to take.
Personally for my young fella I'm down to two optoins, a fast and small callibre at very limited ranges and alot of practice for shot placement on smaller game and probably working towards a downloaded .308 at close ranges for medium.
Be so easy if there was only one =) good luck with it!
18 May 2018
@ 02:47 am (GMT)

Joshua Mayfield

Re: A hypothetical
Thanks, Everyone. As always, the feedback here is solid, sensible, and politely communicated. I'm starting to think this is the only courteous place left on the internet.

As you guys point out, the .270 makes sense on several levels and offers great value. Mike and Hamish, I do reload. You guys are right on the money - I'd be getting to know the light bullets for a while as my son grew into the rifle. He likes to shoot now and I sure don't want to ruin it for him. He fired some Trail Boss loads out of my .30-06 last summer and I believe he felt ready to go after a lion.

Martin, after I saw your post I located the older thread about the 35 Sambar. Awesome! There's a grain of disappointment that my idea isn't particularly original, but I'm more gratified to know the idea wasn't completely without merit. Capacity is not a large concern to me but the mag length is - Savage mags seem to have ample space.

All that said, I'm pumping the brakes a touch since I've been told that some recent Savage rifles have serious concerns with rough bores. If my (hypothetical) brother is able to inspect the bore we may move forward.
18 May 2018
@ 04:18 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: A hypothetical
From way back in the last century, I have been a die-hard Savage fan. Many Savage rifles met their demise in my hands. If only I had a tutor such as we have today, I'm sure they would still be around. They are amazingly accurate out of the box. Even with a bore that looks like someone skinned a 'gator, they shoot quite well. In the early Savage days, we had no TBR, no help from the net and very poor info handed around the fire. It's truly astounding that I got the results I did. But this attests to the quality of the action more than anything. I now use Savage actions for any project that requires experimentation. They are safe and reliable, incredibly easy to accurise and to work on, and there is a good choice of extremely good triggers available (I've settled on Rifle Basix, reasonably priced and just as good as some more expensive ones.) The accutrigger is a wonder. Nathan has good info on the bedding, and this can be tricky and frustrating at the same time, not impossible, but it can tax your patience. I've never had either of the calibres that you mention, so no help or opinion there.
18 May 2018
@ 04:29 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: A hypothetical
A lot like my sorely missed Marlin XL7 Paul!

Yes giving any new or developing shooter a high recoiling rifle regardless of cal is never something l do either. With care and as you say Josh, reduced loads many cal's can be used given a suitably fitted/weighted rig.

My eldest sons first deer rifle was a reduced load 308w/150 Tikka which he very quickly mastered then stepped up to use with full charge loads. Then we lucked into a terrific laminated, sub .5 moa Howa in 30-06 For "later on". Once a load with the 150 was set up we both wondered why we didn’t go this way from the start. His comment was “It’s easier to shoot than any load in the Tikka” simply due to the bit of extra weight in barrel/action/stock and nice ergo’s.

If you had asked my a few years ago if my son would be wielding a 30-06 l would have fallen of my chair! Never mind well inside moa.
19 May 2018
@ 08:17 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: A hypothetical
Just a few basic notes:

1. Do be careful of barrel quaility at this current time of posting. Ask yourself, do I like this rifle enough to put on a new barrel if need be (good that you have access to pre-fit in the U.S).

2. Bedding (and or stabilizing) is generally required, you can't really avoid this unless downloading. The .270 Win is quite a powerhouse when loaded with a 150gr at 2900-2900fps, but it needs a stable platform (bedding) to achieve this. This may be a consideration for later.

3. The trigger is OK but the weight is not ideal for training youths. I cannot suggest mods (same as your pet mods Paul) as these drastically alter the trigger unit. Consider an aftermarket trigger.

4. The .270 Win can be good for making mild loads. Consider the 110gr V-Max loaded between 2600 and 2800fps for general hunting. Suggest using thick brass, try Prvi (PPU head stamp). Try H4895 powder when reducing loads. Hodgdon suggest a start load of around 36.5gr to create a reduced loading yielding around 2600fps.



19 May 2018
@ 09:13 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: A hypothetical
Have a look at this page Joshua. I have put links to the Hodgdon download data sheet which also has reduced loads for the WSM if that takes your fancy.

https://www.ballisticstudies.com/Knowledgebase/Hand+loading+manuals+and+reduced+load+data.html
19 May 2018
@ 12:02 pm (GMT)

Hamish Gibbs

Re: A hypothetical
I hope you don't mind me draging out this little gem from your blog back in 24th March 2016 Nathan, certainly got me thinking a little more about suitable starter youth platforms, if only because I may have a suitable rifle on hand, so thanks again.

"PS: A quick Review of the Sierra TMK:
Recently I have been testing Sierra’s Polymer tipped Matchking (don’t worry, I’ll be into the new ELD-X range soon enough). This is a relatively new high BC bullet design from Sierra boasting a massive hollow point behind its big green tip. As a quick summary - it works extremely well as a long range hunting projectile. The 168gr .308 in particular has been a great bullet. As a testimony to its performance I made up a batch of downloads for Riley (now 9) with a hefty load of Trail Boss and a magnum primer yielding 1650fps. I zeroed at 120 yards and the load shot fairly flat in between and beyond, again thanks to its very high BC. Riley was able to shoot accurately at the range (as if I would let her get away with anything less) and also use the load in the field to bag two feral goats. Both went down immediately (one shot at exactly 120 yards and the other around 30 yards). Wounding was thorough and penetration excellent. Recoil was near nonexistent for the wee lass yet the pay load was emphatic for close range work.

The 168gr TMK works equally well at full velocities and can tackle reasonable body weights at close ranges without issues. Wounds are devastating.

This is a very long projectile and takes up good deal of magazine space with a COAL of around 2.815” / 71.5mm working effectively. I you are looking for something a little different to try in your .308 or .30-06, give this a go."
19 May 2018
@ 04:09 pm (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: A hypothetical
Thank you for the links, Nathan. Good stuff indeed. Not to hijack the thread....but taking a fellow employee to the range tomorrow. Going to start her on the 22lr and then onto the TrailBoss loads in my 243 (might as well let her do the fireforming). Back to the thread.....the TrailBoss loads for any of my rifles are really good for trigger control and breath control practice before moving up to full loads. Most enjoyable to shoot. I've never attempted downloading, but now with the links you gave us, maybe I'll give them a shot.
20 May 2018
@ 11:42 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: A hypothetical
No worries Hamish. The TB .308 loads work OK but the downside is that you do have to try and jam in as much as you can (I used a drop tube) while using a case of good capacity and a mag primer, all to get up to a velocity that would give acceptable close range killing.

I have been playing around with various ideas and methods for a while now, experimenting with Riley. The consistency of a very slow but medium to heavy weight bullet can be useful where deep penetration is required but the window for expansion can be very small. In contrast to this, a lighter V-Max can be driven a bit faster and boast acceptable penetration on a wide range of game due to mild impact velocities.

There are certainly a few ways to approach this. Regarding Josh's ideas, the .270 WSM holds more TB powder than the .270 Win. It therefore reaches velocities of around 1700fps or so without great difficulty (without drop tubes etc). Further to this, the step between this and H4895/2206H loads is less dramatic than other combinations. As a different example, the .243 cannot easily be loaded for anything beyond plinking with TB, so we are forced to start in the mid 2000's with H4895. Recoil is generally fine but the noise can be intimidating for some. The .223 is fairly good as is, no need to alter loads, using the 60gr V-Max for lighter deer species etc.
 

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