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Thread: what rifle do you recommend?

  1. #1

    what rifle do you recommend?

    Hi i am just saving up for my first centrefire rifle, I have decided i want a 6.5x55 but not sure what make of rifle?
    regards paul

  2. #2

  3. #3
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire....and Sutherland
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    Thought I'd reply before you get a whole flood of replies trying to convince you to go with another calibre

    You'll find a few threads on the site talking about this subject. First you need to decide your overall budget, including rifle, scope, bino's, knife (the last of these is superfluous for you I think ), roe sack, stalking sticks, bipod, etc, etc (there's a great thread on the site about what kit we take with us when stalking - everything from the "stalker lite" to the kitchen sink it seems). Once you've worked out your budget, figure on spending most of it on the optics.

    Regarding the rifle, Are you thinking new or secondhand? There are lots of good rifles out there that people are selling, so give secondhand a thought.

    So far as make, I use a Sako 75 which I really like. Sako, Tikka, Remington, Howa, CZ all get good write-ups. If I was in the market for a first rifle I would be tempted with a Remington 700 stainless synthetic. I'd go for stainless synthetic as the rifle is first and foremost a tool for getting the job done, so I keep the nice wooden stocks for my game shooting I'd pick the Remy as there are loads of upgrades available (trigger, bases, stock, barrel) whereas it can be more problematic (i.e. pricey) with the other makes. Although personally I don't use one, I'd make sure any new rifle came threaded for a moderator.

    Of course if your budget is higher you can go for something a bit more special - Heym, Blaser, Merkel, Mannlicher, etc.

    Apologies if this answer isn't giving you much help, posing more questions than answers.


  4. #4
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Noth Yorkshire(ish)....Other places in Scotland depending Which deer i'm after!
    Paul.....Welcome to the site!

    To answer your question as to which rifle to buy, the only thing i can say is go to a Gunshop that holds a good selection of different rifles and handle as many as you can!.....this way you will find something that feels comfortable to hold ie: has the right length stock, a comfortable pistolgrip, and balances well in the hands.
    There are so many different makes of rifle out there and each have their good points and bad points, but if you narrow it down to a couple that are comfortable then you've made a good start.
    Obviously your budget is a major determining factor , as is whether you are adding a sound moderator or not. If you give us all a little more insight as to your requirements and funds etc. we can offer more educated and specific advice.



  5. #5
    Whilst I agree with all that has been said above there is one thing that I would beg to differ on !
    It was said go to a gun shop and look at several different rifles, I would suggest you go to several different Gun shops and look at as many rifles as you can.
    Most gun shops are 'selective' on what they sell and will naturally push what they have, the Sportsman is very good but tends to push Steyr.
    Once you have made your decision on which rifle, scope, moderator etc bounce between the shops to see which will give you the best deal and don't forget to price the cost of 'scope mounts and threading.
    Good luck with your choice, there are so many out there to choose from and most are as good as you could wish for as nearly all second hand rifles are only second hand because somone has decided a different calibre is better than another when in fact they will all do the job.

  6. #6
    forget the make or the calibre,what is the gun going to be used for?
    open hill,woodland,long range etc.
    purposeful or aesthetic.
    To me those are the first questions you should ask your self..

    Design the gun round the requirements.


  7. #7
    If you know of a commercial or club range within striking distance I would strongly recommend you pay and visit and have a chat with the regulars. Better still if the range owners are in the position to let you try various makes and calibres (regulations permitting).

    Whatever course you take, do not rush and certainly avoid falling victim to fashion or current trends!

    Enjoy the shopping!

  8. #8
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    Unless you are shooting "in the old fashioned way" then it won't just be a rifle equipped with its iron sights that you will need. Indeed that will be the least of your worries!

    The "modern way" is to have certainly a telescopic sight (and mounts) plus maybe a moderator and a bipod.

    Personally I don't like either moderator or bipod! But you may!

    So accepting that, at the very least, you WILL need to buy a telescopic sight the next issue is mounts for the same.

    Some rifles are fairly standard so large production runs give a scale of economy - Remington and Winchester - so will take cheap generic Redfield type mounts and rings.

    Others - Mannlicher and Sako - will use mounts that cost considerably more such as the maker's own. The cost of these can be considerable!

    However you may be very lucky! Stalking rifles are somewhat of a buyers' market in that secondhand they have poor residual values.

    Try for their end of July "Sporting Guns Sale" in London. You've just missed that of but they have another in September as do in August.

    Avoid certain Nottingham based auction houses. Mostly recycled offcasts being cleared out by dealers at the cheaper end of the trade.

    Or that someone's "pride and joy" at auction or on sites like or the bigger dealers such as the very, very good may be easily less than half the new price...and may even have mounts included!

    Calibres that are deemed unfashionable such as 270 Winchester also can be picked up cheap. I've seen decent maker's rifles in that calibre for as little as 95! Nothing wrong with them...just no longer in fashion!

    Optics. Buy the very, very best that you can and you'll only ever buy once. Again be careful with this but secondhand Zeiss and etc. from reputable dealers may offer a saving. But avoid the cheap rubbish that at 100 new price looks attractive but won't last more than a few months!

    A good start? Buy a copy of the monthly "Gun Mart" and that will give contacts galore!

    Lastly? Avoid being sold someone else's bizarre idea of the "ideal rifle". These things usually have sixteen inch barrels, moderators the size of the Queen Mary's funnels and a telescopic sight so powerful that Patrick Moore could view Uranus with it.

    A good safe bet? A second hand Parker-Hale or BSA or similar quality factory made European rifle that takes generic Redfield "off the shelf" mounts.

    Iron sights? I like them but really most shooting today will never ever require them. Barrel length in 6.5 x55? Don't go below about twenty-two inches.

    The "extras"? I've managed quite easily with just the rifle, a spyglass and a knife! Oh an maybe my "piece"! But some seem to go out festooned like the gunshop Xmas Tree display on 24th December! Each to his own.

  9. #9
    Some excellent advice to which I'll only add:

    don't neglect or skimp on the scope mounts, and

    if you want any kind of knowledgable dealer advice or reliable after sales service, don't go to one of the 'stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap' big retailers. Spend an extra few quid with a trustworthy supplier who will look after you if you have any problems later on.


  10. #10
    I have 2 mates who both have 6.5x55 Sakos one wood and one plastic and they both shoot exceptionaly well. I had a go with the plastic stocked one last week and shot 1/2 inch group; you cant fault that for a standard rifle.


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