Suggestions please

WannabeWoodsman

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I'm wanting to start hunting and using a bolt action for my first season for the upcoming fall. Gives me plenty of time to get comfortable with shooting through a scope and getting to know my rifle well.

Living in the Midwest I'm partially limited to straight walls. Apparently, Iowa is no longer limited by these constraints (according to the DNR website) but I can't find any further information on legal calibers that aren't SWCs so that's what I'm sticking with.

Regardless, bolt actions are a whole new world for me and I'm kinda looking for suggestions from you more experienced folk.

The first one on my list is the Ruger Ranch. I like the look of it, the overall size, the price and know in my local area it comes in 450 bushmaster and .350 legend which I've read are two great calibers. (shot placement of course being key and doesn't need mentioning)

Another is the TC Compass. As I understand it TC has really pulled all the stops out with this rifle and it's priced very well.

The last of the ones I've looked at (online only unfortunately) is the Mossberg Patriot.

Any other suggestions? Words of caution? Other caliber suggestions and accompanied rifles to go with it?

Looking forward to the comments in this post. Thanks fellas!
 

JS/

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I would look for a Tikka T3x Lite in .308 Win chambering or 6.5 Creedmoor. You want commonly available, over the counter ammunition availability. Then find a mid priced Leupold or ? in 3-9 power range or 2.5-8x36. I'd go with a picatinny rail to mount the optic on, so you can upgrade at a later date without having to buy different mounts.
 

WannabeWoodsman

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I would look for a Tikka T3x Lite in .308 Win chambering or 6.5 Creedmoor. You want commonly available, over the counter ammunition availability. Then find a mid priced Leupold or ? in 3-9 power range or 2.5-8x36. I'd go with a picatinny rail to mount the optic on, so you can upgrade at a later date without having to buy different mounts.
I can't legally use bottle necked cartridges and I intend to stay out jail.

I was thinking the same about a pic rail too. Even considered a red dot and magnifier but the whole point of me getting a bolt action and scope is to learn a new weapon system and way of shooting
 

DocRDS

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How set are you on a bolt action. As an Iowa child I know the pain of the rifle restrictions and straight walled cartridges (in particular over .35 caliber) are rare in bolt actions. You may also want to think about a handgun caliber bolt action. Its a tough requirement.

You can always just get a bolt as a range weapon and then pick your favorite cartridge...but that of course assumes there is a nearby range to enjoy.
 

WannabeWoodsman

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Sorry, I didn't notice you wanted straight wall cartridges.
Unless there are others common in the .350" - .500" range that are safe for deer meat and are fairly common. Outside of the SWCs I mean
 

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WannabeWoodsman

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How set are you on a bolt action. As an Iowa child I know the pain of the rifle restrictions and straight walled cartridges (in particular over .35 caliber) are rare in bolt actions. You may also want to think about a handgun caliber bolt action. Its a tough requirement.

You can always just get a bolt as a range weapon and then pick your favorite cartridge...but that of course assumes there is a nearby range to enjoy.
Im pretty set in my ways on it. I'd love a lever action for the nostalgia of all things American but can't afford one at the moment. .350 legend and .450 BM are the most common calibers here in Iowa for SWC that I've seen.
 

DocRDS

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You could try a 375 H&H--its total overkill but fits the requirements.

SWC--Semi Wad Cutter? THere are other expanding bullets besides that. Basically it needs to be .35 cal or larger and hunting ammo.
 
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Hondo1

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    Im pretty set in my ways on it. I'd love a lever action for the nostalgia of all things American but can't afford one at the moment. .350 legend and .450 BM are the most common calibers here in Iowa for SWC that I've seen.
    A Rossi chambered in .454 Casull should be affordable and more than enough ass for whitetail.
     
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    Baron23

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    Uh, 444 Marlin maybe? Have some friends on Maryland's eastern shore that are restricted to straight wall and shoot these for white tail deer.

    I personally have no experience with them.
     
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    W54/XM-388

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    Stupid politicians making stupid laws that make no sense but just make stupid FUDD idiots feel good and give stupid government thugs another reason to put the boots to someone's neck. That whole straight wall stuff is such B.S. it's sickening.
     

    WannabeWoodsman

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    Stupid politicians making stupid laws that make no sense but just make stupid FUDD idiots feel good and give stupid government thugs another reason to put the boots to someone's neck. That whole straight wall stuff is such B.S. it's sickening.
    Actually this is a big expansion from just shotgun slugs and muzzleloaders. Iowa is stepping in the right direction with constitutional carry added before TN did it
     
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    DocRDS

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    Stupid politicians making stupid laws that make no sense but just make stupid FUDD idiots feel good and give stupid government thugs another reason to put the boots to someone's neck. That whole straight wall stuff is such B.S. it's sickening.
    This adds nothing to this thread. Welcome to the 1950s. Go back to the bear pit. We're trying to help a fellow enthusiast out.

    @WannabeWoodsman Try the Howa in a 350 Legend. Its generally regarded as a 3rd option for Factory rifles behind TIkka (which we all love) and Bergara. Its the mini-Howa action (.223 Size) that may allow you to play with stocks (if you wish) or is generally an accetable 'good' action. The Winchester and Ruger American's don't get a lot of love and Savage is high on the hate list, but Savage does allow easy barrel changes (if you grow) with their barrel nut. Ruger has been very workman (less refined, but works) like IMHO, and the RPR is a good offering, but that's not in play here.

    I'd suggest the Howa, then the Win/Ruger, then the Savage. Mossburg doesn't get a lot of play around here..--its just an unknown. Also look at some of the options you may want--if you want a heavier barrel, you may need to look at the Ruger. Avoid the Savage Axis--the others are better at that price point. Go the 110 if you like the Savage. THe mini Howa may have an adjustable Trigger which is super nice out of the box (My Short Action Howa does).
     

    sparky702

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    I would look hard at the 450 bushmaster . It has a proven track record and has been around for a long time in gas guns . A 250 grain bullet leaving the muzzle at 2200 fps is nothing to thumb your nose at .
     

    DocRDS

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    I would look hard at the 450 bushmaster . It has a proven track record and has been around for a long time in gas guns . A 250 grain bullet leaving the muzzle at 2200 fps is nothing to thumb your nose at .
    That's a good suggestion--Bergara makes one as well as Howa. Two solid Bolt Actions to choose from.
     
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    moosemeat

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    35 whelen is specifically listed and a bottleneck cartridge that would have longer range than any of the straight walled stuff. Ammo is a little hard to find.
    Of those listed 450 Bushmaster would be my choice.
     
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    powdahound76

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    Recently stumbled on a show where they used a Ruger American in 450 bushmaster.

    A good hit is like Thors Hammer.

    Not a match rifle, just a hunter. That and a 2-7 or 2-8 scope and go murder some critters!
    They used to allow any cartridge in late season on the bottom 2 counties from NE to IL from what I remember. Years back. I think it changed after blue tongue killed a lotta critters
     
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    WannabeWoodsman

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    35 whelen is specifically listed and a bottleneck cartridge that would have longer range than any of the straight walled stuff. Ammo is a little hard to find.
    Of those listed 450 Bushmaster would be my choice.

    It wasn't in my original post but I did get ahold of DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and spoke with someone. He said that bottleneck cartridges are allowed providing they are in those dimensional parameters. So, in theory, .50 BMG is on the table if you just want to eliminate deer.

    Can I ask why .450 BM? Honestly that's what I'm leaning hard towards.
     

    DocRDS

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    Recently stumbled on a show where they used a Ruger American in 450 bushmaster.

    A good hit is like Thors Hammer.

    Not a match rifle, just a hunter. That and a 2-7 or 2-8 scope and go murder some critters!
    They used to allow any cartridge in late season on the bottom 2 counties from NE to IL from what I remember. Years back. I think it changed after blue tongue killed a lotta critters
    TBH i have no data on those cals, I was just trying to find a decent bolt action we use on the site in one of the allowed calibers.

    @Baron23 THe trouble with bottlenecks in Iowa is they still have to be between .35 and .50 Caliber..... :eek:

    I found in the hunting regs that there is a Provisional late season antlerless deer for the 4 counties of NE Iowa. .24 cal an up.

    1643392130935.png


    1643392111195.png



    They way the reg is listed, I'd vote 408 CheyTac. But shoot from 1 county over....
     
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    Baron23

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    h ahaha.....why stop at .50? Use this for real ELR deer hunting...LOL

    155-rph-xm1299-1024x532.jpg
     

    JS/

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    Go and look at the Ruger 77/44 bolt rifles. They kind of intrigue me with that rotary box magazine. I saw one on GB with 18 inch barrel. Compact and handy.
     
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    moosemeat

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    It wasn't in my original post but I did get ahold of DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and spoke with someone. He said that bottleneck cartridges are allowed providing they are in those dimensional parameters. So, in theory, .50 BMG is on the table if you just want to eliminate deer.

    Can I ask why .450 BM? Honestly that's what I'm leaning hard towards.
    Cause it's what you want....
    450 bushmaster hits like a sledge hammer inside 150 yards. Seen the results first hand on deer and hogs. 350 legend is stupid. I would take a 357 lever rifle first unless specifically using a AR.
    Since bottle neck rounds between 35 and 50 cal are legal, 35 whelen or 375 h&h would 100% be my choice if I could find one in the budget. If not, deer season isnt for 10 more months. Save up. I am also a poor. I understand.
     

    MakeSawdust

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    My kids are young, 6 and 10, and they both harvested deer this year with a Ruger American in 350 Lengend. With a brake the recoil is minimal and we use electronic muffs while hunting. I didn't want to reload, so we ended up using some Winchester 180 grain power point ammo. It was the only thing available when I looked.

    I put an xtrii on it and both of them where hitting targets to 350 yards. Both of them killed small 8 pointers at a little over 200 yards. The oldest also killed a button buck on an antlerless tag at around 130 yards. None of the bullets expanded, but there were 2 heart shots and 1 double lung shot. All deer piled up less than 75 yards from where they were hit.

    The gun shoots about 1.25 MOA with that load even at distance. Both of my kids are spoiled rotten and have a RimX, an Origin, and a Nucleus with triggertech diamonds. Of course they both complained about the trigger and the clunky action, but for the price I sort of expected it.

    My plan was to have a barrel chambered for one of their custom actions, but I waited until too close to season and could not find a blank and my smith was slammed. I'm hoping the caliber laws will keep getting looser and we can go back to using .243. If not, I'm going to have a .358 Winchester barrel spun up for my TL3.

    I think on a $700 budget the Howa would be a great option. I waited so long I was limited to what was on the shelf at the local Scheels for this past season. The Winchester seemed to feed smoother than the Ruger, but was not threaded for a brake. The brake is pretty much a requirement to get my kids to shoot it.

    The 450 bm will hit harder on both ends. If you are used to shooting a slug gun accurately then it will not matter. If you have not shot much before, it would be a big consideration towards shooting the gun well.

    Iowa caliber laws are dumb. I have lived here my whole life. It was very nice to hunt in the southern 2 tiers for does. I could put 5 deer in the freezer in a morning and concentrate on antlers in every other season. Disease has substantially reduced the population in most areas, so bonus doe seasons are not needed in most of the state.