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Thread: New FAC Holer needs advice on rifles

  1. #1

    New FAC Holer needs advice on rifles

    HI All

    Well chuffed that my FAC will be here before the weekend, so I can go shopping at the Game Fair this weekend at Newark.

    Few questions for you lot with a bit more knowledge than me,

    I've put down for


    I have my first Deer Stalk booked for next month and wanted to try and get a .243 for then, been looking around at a few. Do I get one second hand, seen a Browning A Bolt Hunter S/H, but also looked at new Savage Arms Edge, Howa 1500 Black and I really like the Browning X Bolt Stainless Fluted, but don't think I can stretch to that yet.

    Can you guys give me any advice on these .243's or others that will fit the bill, do I go for it and try and get a nice gun, or get something cheap to use and then upgrade?

    I was also planning on getting a .222 and a .17hmr and then later on the .22lr, but again not sure which? with the HMR I have been told to get a new one, as the rounds wear the barrels? If I was to look at a s/h one when looking down the barrels what do you look for, is it marks and pitting like in a shot guns, or harder to see spot because of the spirals?

    Also what sounds mods for the above and scope would you put on what, if you could give me ideas of prices as well, that would be great.

    Hope I haven't come across as a complete numpty on this subject but thought I'd ask for some real experience in the buying of rifles, I've got plenty of experience with shotguns, but new to rifles.



  2. #2
    Hi Mark,

    First piece of advice is to buy some decent glass (zeiss, S&B, Swaroski) then think about the rifle. Forget the edge it's plastic fantastic look at the browning's and Howa as well as Remington's if you can stretch to it look at Tikka's there good to. As a rule of thumb your scope should/will be more expensive than the rifle and the time to look at scopes is at dusk variables are handy but expensive fixed mag scopes are good let less light in because there are less lenses in them to stop light getting through, illuminated reticules are handy the rest is down to personal choice , preference and size of your wallet. Also spend money on the mounts don't buy cheap mounts should be problem on a .243.

    When you look down the barrel way you see will depend on wether the rifle has been cleaned, pitting can be hidden by a jag being run down a barrel with some cleaning fluid might show it up. But your looking for sharp edges to the rifling look through the rifle barrel from both ends if there's a problem you might see dark patches in the barrel, look at the throat of the rifle so the bit of riffling just after the chamber your looking for the amount of rifling in the throat, as the round count goes up the riffling at the throat is eroded quicker than the crown end, inspect the crown any damage to the crown will effect accuracy. I'm not sure but if it's a SS barrel there may be no pitting but I ma be wrong I'm sure the lads on the site will correct me if I'm wrong.

    THere is a lot to look for but I'm sure after you've had a look at a few rifle's you'll work it all out.

    Pitting isn't the end of the world I have a badly pitted .223 and it shoot's really well just make sure it's reflected in the price you pay.

    With .243 because of it's relatively high velocity the barrel can be worn out after a couple of thousand rounds or so, built you have to be going some to get to that round count...

    .17HMR from what I understand a lot of folks don't clean the barrels you'll find a thread not he site about this subject and I don't think buying second hand it's to much of a problem.

    If you buy a rifle this month and go stalking next month get some practice in you'll need time to get use to your rifle and bed everything in ( rifle, scope etc).

    Hope this help.


  3. #3

    I suggest you buy one centrefire rifle only and learn to use it. If I was starting again, I would buy a .308 and shoot F/TR, deer and foxes with it.

    Good luck. JCS

  4. #4
    Forget about the .17hmr for the time being and buy a .22lr first (suggest CZ or BRNO), then get in some good practise not just shoot off a large number of rounds. Then start thinking about a reasonable .243win but as suggested good optics are more important than the rifle itself.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  5. #5

    Tips for what itrs worth

    If your interested in deer stalking;
    First bit of kit to get right is decent binoculars. Buy second hand leica, Swaros, Zeiss anything like that. Get them at the time of the gun. They are the most important pieces of kit. If you can't see at dawn and dusk you won,t hit anything, same with your scope. Buy cheap is not worth it.

    If you buy 243 stick with it. It will do everything from Red deer to fox and learn to shoot it. I shoot 308 on reds but have shot a number of estates where the game keepers use nothing other than 243 and they are shooting hundreds of deer. Its all about bullet placement and the right bullet.

    I would cut back on the number of rifles you want to buy and get one decent set up. Can't beat Remington 700 or Tikka for factory rifles.

    17HMR should not wear out barrel. Bullet only travelling about 2500 so will be good for several thousand rounds.

    Thats my thoughts for what its worth. Whatever you spend on a rifle spend at least the same on Glass and mounts. Its costly but its the best way.

    If you only shoot one gun you'll probally learn how to use it correctly.

  6. #6
    May I suggest you read the post about Optics and also the one on "Yank optics"

    Binos as mentioned are critical in stalking in the UK however I understand that starting out liek you are can be fearfully expensive. So if you have an RSPB reserve with shop near you toddle along and have a look there. You will find some perhaps not so well known makes at least to the stalking world but the birders are just as critical on their glass, plus you can often try them outside in the reserve rather than lookign through a shop window down the high street.

    I did just this years ago at the Pulbough Brooks reserve in Sussex and brought a set og Viking 8x44 which are good. Not quite Swaroski or Zeiss but good enough that I have not needed to change them. Back then they were either 189 or 229.

    A good used scope is a good way of saving money. There is a Leupold European in the classified on here which I believe are good scopes. Some places like Macleods of Tain do get some cracking used scopes and are normally good on pricing.

    As for rifle well there will be plenty of selection at Newark. I do feel you will require time to get aquainted with your rifle and range time is important. More iportant than a lot realise if truth be told.

  7. #7
    HI Guys

    Thanks for the answers, will defo look in to getting some good scopes and binos, with out spending huge amounts I think i could do 300-500 on them, which brands would you recommend?

    I have seen a Browning A Bolt .243 with Leupold Optics, not sure which one, do you think this would be a good combo?

    Also what should I be looking for in a Sound Mod?



  8. #8
    + 1 Decent glass on the rifle will pay divedends in the long run (Swaro or Zeiss) , try a good few rifle's for fit and

    get something YOU feel comfortable with. Perhaps a CZ or BRNO .22 thier reliable & bombproof.

    For a centrefire the X-Bolt, Tikka T3, or Remington are in my opinion the main players,

    unless you want to up the kitty in which case Sako or Sauer.

    Above all take your time.!!

    Atb, Buck.
    "let him without sin cast the first stone"

  9. #9
    I would follow jcambellsmiths advice , i have 4 different calibre rifles
    and use only the 308 for deer , boar and fox 22rf for rabbits , the other 2
    are just taking up space in my cabinet
    Zeiss Pro Stalker and Agent for Starlght Night Vision

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Solwaystalker View Post
    I would follow jcambellsmiths advice , i have 4 different calibre rifles
    and use only the 308 for deer , boar and fox 22rf for rabbits , the other 2
    are just taking up space in my cabinet
    Well get that .243 out and use it. I would love to read about you grassing some beasts with it .

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