New Member
Hi all,

Ben here, I'm new to stalking and have just got my firearms ticket through so will be buying my first rifle soon.

I have permission near Huddersfield and York, both very different permissions one is hilly ground with a good head of roe whereas the other is flat as a pancake with some roe and fallow. I am also pursuing a career in gamekeeping/ estate and wildlife management so will eventually use my rifle as a workhorse, not just a stalking rifle.

I've got a .243 and mod on my ticket so any suggestions on which rifle and mod is very welcome, hence why I am posting on here.

Total budget is 1500 but could push to 2000, but this is for rifle, mod, scope and mounts, sling and bipod.

Been looking at tikka t3x hunter, browning x bolt hunter or the eclipse thumbhole version, I dont like plastic stocks and prefer wood or laminates.

Please help its a minefield out there and can't really decide.


Well-Known Member
Hi Ben welcome to the site, for that budget you will easilly get a very nice set up,but you need to decide exactly what you want, traditional wood stock ??? Harder to care for or plastic type stock, or laminate stock, traditional blued steel or stainless,,,,,,, ok your choices are endless so check out the online sites,, guntrader , gunstar etc plus check out all the gunshops near and far, handle the guns , get familiar with the choices, and jump straight in,,,, I absolutely guarantee you after 3 - 6 months you will decide you have not got it right and need to buy another or change the one you have, just enjoy the experience
When I was looking at my first gun , the only choice I had was, wood and blued or wood and blued
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Well-Known Member
Hi there, welcome to the site.
You could spend a fraction of that budget and still get yourself a good workhorse. Think BSA, Parker-Hale, etc etc. Good solid British rifles that have stood the test of time. My first stalking set up came to less than £300, of which £150 was the rifle. For my second rifle I really pushed the boat out and spent £175. The deer don't really care how much you spend.
Keep the change for ammo.


Well-Known Member
Hello and welcome to Stalking Directory. I would try to get a good second hand rifle first because as said you may want to change your mind after a while and you wouldn’t lose so much changing it

bullet chucker

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the site.
Another consideration on your choice is weight, you do not need to lug a heavy rifle up the hill when a lighter model will be just as effective. Don't forget, Scope,Mod all add to the lift. Good luck on your choice but don't rush in.



New Member
Thanks for the advice, most of you seem to be saying buy 2nd hand for a first rifle which I'm tempted to do and I've had a look at Parker hales on guntrader, they look smart but just how good are they? Will they shoot 1 inch at 100 yards or to be realistic about things would it pass the dsc 4 inch target test, I want a good solid rifle that will be as accurate as possible not because I want a stupid accurate rifle or to shoot long range but I want to be able to be comfortable out to say 150 to 200 yards, the first munjac I shot was at 135 yards and it dropped on the spot.


Well-Known Member
Buy one you can try & take someone who can shoot.

The above is good advice.
Certainly for your first rifle (and possibly any subsequent ones) stick with second hand as already mentioned. This will save you money which can be spent on other kit such as scope etc etc.
There are lots of second hand rifles out there which have had little use, like buying anything second hand, patience pays dividends.

You mention 1" at 100 yards, which is a fairly tight group. Certainly there are several manufacturers who guarantee this level of accuracy from new hunting rifles & you could be lucky with a second hand model. However, I feel you would be lucky to achieve this level of accuracy from a Parker Hale. That's not to say it's the end of the world, there is a vast difference between grouping 1" @ 100 and the 4" test requirement. Something like a Parker Hale, unless it's shot out, should easily meet the 4" requirement. It may be necessary to experiment with different makes of ammo to get the best grouping (assuming you will use factory loads).

At this stage don't get too hung up on pin-point accuracy. Remember, you are likely to change this rifle after you have gained more experience.
Confidence in your set up (rifle, scope etc, ammo & yourself) is vital, so get plenty practice so that you are consistent. If your rifle will "only" group say 2", then as long as you remember this, have confidence & concentrate in aiming for the "engine room" (not fancy head or neck shots) you will be fine.

Remember it takes time to build experience & confidence.

Best of luck.



Well-Known Member
I would be wary of boa Parker Hale or BSA unless you can see them shoot. The reason I say this is the youngest of these will be nigh on thirty years old. However that doesn’t mean they will be past it, just you need to know if it’s ok. It is a lot of hassle to change it if it’s not. By the time you have got a variation etc you could be without a rifle a while.
Man alternative to the above with the possibility of a much younger less used rifle would be CZ550 same controlled feed etc. Mine shoots under half an inch with home loads. Has mag feed a lovely piece of walnut and stands me at £150. By the way my first rifle was a BSA CF2, both belonged to recreational stalkers. The CZ in particular was much carried little used. With a good bore but marks on the barrel where the moderator was screwed on and off.
The fact is that most modern rifles will shoot well enough if you go to the trouble of finding which ammunition it likes. The main factor is whether it suits you, you always shoot better with something you like.
Buy yourself a decent scope S&B Ziess etc do budget (for them) scopes or get second hand. Then look at a rifle and moderator. Don’t forget you want some binoculars too if you haven’t already got some.
Whatever you decide good luck and happy hunting.


Well-Known Member
I've had a look at Parker hales on guntrader, they look smart but just how good are they? Will they shoot 1 inch at 100 yards or to be realistic about things would it pass the dsc 4 inch target test, .

When I did my DSC1, I was one of the very few people on the course who passed the shooting test using the minimum number of rounds (9). I was also the only one using a P-H rifle. My daughter also passed with flying colours using the same rifle. So yes, they will do it, but so will lots of other rifles if you point them in the right direction!
I had no particular preferences when I bought my first rifle, only that I prefer a traditional look. However, I liked the P-H so much that when buying another rifle I've gone for another P-H, same model (Safari Deluxe), just a bigger calibre.