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Do you need a new rifle - live and learn

11 Sep 2021
@ 01:36 am (GMT)


Well, it is time to admit I might have been stupid, wrong and fallen in marketing mans nonsense when choosing my gear past 6 years.

I started my big game rifle hunting in 2001 at 16 years old with Antonio Zoli 1900 in 308 win. Happily used that rifle for good 15 years ja took ~20 moose and some whitetails with it. It had all I've ever asked for a rifle for driven game.
Somewhere along the way I got Tikka M55 Sporter 308 win for high seats and range work. Then I noticed that Zolis bolt face had huge pit around the firingpin hole and primers did pop up quite a bit (might been there when bought I didn't much understand guns back then). Asked from some gunsmith how it could be fixed and outcome was new hand made bolt which price did overcome the price of that old already hard used rifle.
After many phases in 2016 I decided to get rid of Zoli and Tikka to buy brand new rifle and ended up with Sauer 202 Classic in 30-06. It is beautiful rifle for sure and bolt slides like on bearings. It is just bit too heavy for my type of offhand shooting in driven hunts. And had couple of problems with it, once the bolt stop didn't do its job and in fast whitetail driven hunt bolt came completely off the rifle when I was reloading to take another shot. Fortunatly I managed to slip it back fast enough to take follow up shot and anchor that running wounded deer.
Another time scope mount came loose and took bad bad shot at running deer, it fortunately still died on sight.
Third time the picatinny rail came loose and again bad shot to standing roe deer at close range, fellow hunter next post thankfully saw it and took the deer down.
Sure the scope mount issues aint rifles fault, but all this made me look up for something else.
At weak moment I bought this year Blaser R8 Ultimate in 308 win.
Now I have two expensive rifles in cabinet that I dont too much like what comes to their features. Quality is exeptiolal in both, but... I really dont trust either one for hunt.
And top loading that seems to be for some reason important to me is impossible in Sauer and hard as hell in Blaser.
Sauers odd safety is something I like, but I want to open bolt with safety on. Can't be done here.
Blaser cocking lever just is not that good in my opinion. Hard to operate and remain sight picture at same time. And no adjustable trigger. Didn't realise that in shop.
And I dont trust to that Blaser bolt. I just dont. I have to be 100% sure without doubt and giving it any thaught to know it will go bang when I squeeze the trigger. I know how it operates and that might be the reason I dont trust it.

So here I am, on the door of another season and I'm not happy with my gear that cost a fortune.
Dont know where to go with this junk and what to get in as keepper rifles for good.

Something I know I like and/or want in a rifle:

-two position safety with bolt opening button so I can open the bolt with safety on. 1,2
-top loadable. Detachable box magazine if possible. 1
-adjustable trigger or possibility to get one off shelf as aftemarket part. 1,2
-possibility to use picatinny/weaver scope mounts. 1,2
-no open sights 1,2
-threaded barrel (both ends?) I really dont need switch barrel rifle. 1,2
-adjustable comb is nice. 1,2
-short bolt throw angle 60° is preferable. 1
-I dont mind about the action lenght, I know I'm fast with any. 1,2
-unloaded overall weight scoped preferred somewhere near 3.5 - 4.2kg. 1
-slick bolt, I hate tacky ones because I need to be fast. 1
-barrel lenght no more than 22". 1
-no bells and whistles. 1,2
-spring loaded ejection. 1,2
-push feed. 1,2
-4-5 shot magazine. 1

There. I realize I need/want propably at least two rifles so all these features dont have to be found in one rifle. I want one to fill my interest in long range (here it is up to ~400m max) hunt roe deer/foxes maybe up to whitetail deers. And another one for driven hunts where it deeds to be light enough and easy to operate. I did put markings over the features to identify where they are wanted. Driven hunt setup 1. And high seat/long range 2.

And I am willing to put all that money that I can get from these two dissapointment rifles (somewhere over 5000€) to make this happen and get some new optics as well. No more marketing hype for me, just good reliable rifles that feels good.


14 Sep 2021
@ 08:14 am (GMT)

Jon Short

Re: Do you need a new rifle - live and learn
Go the Howa, no BS rifles, particularly the solid no fuss action. Best to bed it to get the best it can offer. Trigger can easily be modified to get down to 1.5lbs.

Simple is best.


15 Sep 2021
@ 10:00 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Do you need a new rifle - live and learn
Hi Jussi, when you get some time, perhaps have a look around to see if anyone in your area is stocking Begara rifles. These are a very nice M700 clone and tick at least some of your boxes. The barrels have been very good from what I have been seeing.
17 Sep 2021
@ 12:40 am (GMT)

Jussi Riikari

Re: Do you need a new rifle - live and learn
Thanks Nathan for the tip. I will look in to it.
I actually placed order for your entire collection (ebook&paperback) yesterday and I tell you it was hard to go to bed, I am hooked.
Some five years ago I did read The Practical Guide To Reloading. It put me on road to success for sure.
So maybe I'll go in deph with these books to dive even further.
I found myself even on Corbins site and stuck there for hours more than once. Looks like this is going to be very long road I'm facing and I am thrilled. Cant wait, I'm been looking opportunities to go part time in curret work to get more time for shooting/hunting that truly matters to me. Been trying to make gunsmith studies to take place, but it seems to be pretty hard to get it financed and I would have to be away from family for years, because there is only one school to it in here. Well maybe the time will come, at mean time there is some 1500 pages for me to read.
Thank you!
21 Sep 2021
@ 01:12 am (GMT)

David Landwehr

Re: Do you need a new rifle - live and learn
Jussi, a sako A7 roughtech ticks quite a few of the boxes also but they are not well liked on this site from what I have read. To do with the bedding and stock mounted recoil lug I believe.
22 Sep 2021
@ 04:48 pm (GMT)

Raymond Rugg

Re: Do you need a new rifle - live and learn
You wish list describes a Browning X-bolt Western Hunter in .270 Win. Other calibers have longer barrels. It checks every box. I found that interesting.
06 Oct 2021
@ 09:47 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Do you need a new rifle - live and learn
agree on the Howa.....really enjoy using mine...its NEARLY as good as the old push fed winchester model 70 it replaced...that had 3 position safety you would like and silky smooth feeding..the Howa is actually very slick too.
what sold me ,as a bush hobbit...I threw rifle up to shoulder and was looking through scope.....perfect fit for me. SOLD.


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