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Thread: Rifle for life

  1. #1

    Rifle for life

    Hi all,

    I will soon be looking to purchase my 1st stalking rifle in .308 .
    I dont want to start with an ok rifle, and trade-up, I want to 'buy good, buy once'.
    Given that many of you will have owned rifles from a number of different makers, it would be great to know what you have settled with, and why. Factors I am interested in are accuracy (of cousre), simplicity of use, ease and cost of ownership in the long-term, quality of build, versatility of use in different terrains. I will be shooting mostly off sticks and from high-seats.
    Dosent have to be anything fancy, just to do the job and not be a pain to own.
    Also, are there any longevity issues with stainless barrels vs carbon steel?


  2. #2
    My first rifle was a Sako, still in almost perfect condition in my cabinet!
    To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

  3. #3
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    East Midlands M1/M69 Junction 21
    I use rifles based on the tried, true, and trusted Mauser 98 action. Either Parker-Hale or artisan made on a Mauser action.

    Why? Because it has been around over a century and everybody everywhere either has, or can source, spares and understands how they work and disassemble.

    Now this year's Model XX or whatever is all well and good. But, fact is, makers go bust - Winchester the perfect example - or discontinue once popular models.

    Try getting ANY sort of Winchester spare for the Model 94 for example or any sort of Remington spare for the Model 30 or perhaps spares for the Mauser 66.

    A rifle for life means that you should be able to have a reasonable chance of replacing broken or worn parts or springs FOR LIFE.

    Today's "whizz bang" latest model all the whistles and bells model may, just, have no spares available in just ten years...

    As to calibre again choose an established calibre as one wonders how many of these new calibres will still be around in ten years time...

  4. #4
    Sako all the way

  5. #5
    Sako all the way too. Got 3 of them and happy as Larry.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Ronin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Lancs / Cumbria Border
    A 308 in stainless or Moly steel will last circa 4000 - 6000 rounds if looked after.

    Any rifle in this calibre from the major manufacturers will serve you well, I suggest you look long and hard, try for fit, comfort and pull triggers.

    If your looking for a buy once and keep - I suggest looking at a semi custom or full custom built rifle as you will invariably yearn after such a thing eventually ,,,,,,,,,

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RobNorfolk View Post
    Hi all,

    I will soon be looking to purchase my 1st stalking rifle in .308 ......
    Have a read of what Chuck Hawks and Nathan Foster have to say.
    The Practical Guide to Long Range Hunting Rifles (Ebook + Paperback Version) - The Long Range Hunting Series - Terminal Ballistics Research

    Both opinions are worth paying for as Which? Welcome to Which? don't do reviews of rifles (yet) Regards JCS

  8. #8
    all depends on how much you want to spend middle of the road factory rifle I would go for a Sako 85 finnlight, lower end a Tikka T3.

    If you want a full custom build I would go for a Valkryie custom build that's what I'm saving for should have one by Easter if all goes well have a look here these will most certainly last a lifetime thats for sure The Valkyrie Action -

    Left Handed Rifles. -
    Last edited by MONGOOSE; 27-01-2013 at 22:03.

  9. #9
    Sako all the way will last a life time

  10. #10
    I was in the same position as yourself - looking for one rifle for life in a calibre that was easy to run in terms of finding ammo etc.

    I settled on 308 as the calibre and have been very pleased I did. Hunt around here for posts by people who end up with a full time job tracking down ammo whereas I get my choice of ammo in a filling station in the Hebrides. Easy decision to make.

    For the rifle I ended up with a Blaser R93 and after 5 years I've got to say that I'm still very pleased with it and am glad I went down that road. It is a lot of cash up front and the bolt isn't to the taste of everyone but once you live with it day to day you realise just how handy it is. It breaks down and packs into something not much bigger than a brief case for travel, if it gets wet it is trivial to take it apart and dry it out, the scope goes on and off with no change in zero, the trigger is first class, left or right handed, it is relatively short for adding a moderator, I think all UK ones come threaded for a mod, they have a great reputation for accuracy out of the box, you will never need to modify it, the barrels have a great reputation for barrel life, mine will shoot almost every load I put into it to the same POI at 100 yards though clearly things move apart at longer distances, and so the list goes on. These might not be the big things that make a magazine advert but I've still got the same rifle after 5 years and as time goes by, and I see how tricky some other rifles are to live with day to day, I just get more pleased I bought the R93.

    There are a lot of nice rifles out there and almost all of them look better than the Blaser in my view but I just don't know of another rifle that is just so simple to live with and to travel with and that means more time free for stalking.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:

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