Buying A Used Rifle

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Considering a bolt .308 barely used looks good, but....
How do you know if it can hit what it's pointed at.
Some rifles just won't shoot straight and others
aren't consistent and that's from the factory. If
it was an individual I'd say meet me at the range; but
this is a pawn shop gun. Advice?
 
It depends a bit on the rifle. If it has a good pedigre and the price is right, go for it. You'd have to shoot the snot out of a 308 to burn out the barrel. Simple bedding, free floating, or worse yet a bad crown, are easy fixes. If its a total lemon, you have a donor action for a rebarrel semi-custom rifle.
 
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It depends a bit on the rifle. If it has a good pedigre and the price is right, go for it. You'd have to shoot the snot out of a 308 to burn out the barrel. Simple bedding, free floating, or worse yet a bad crown, are easy fixes. If its a total lemon, you have a donor action for a rebarrel semi-custom rifle.
This is the best answer I think you'll get. NO REGERTS! :s0003:
 

P7M13

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I've owned some sketchy rifles in my life, and with each one, the limitation of its accuracy was me.
What are you looking for specifically?

I bought a Marlin XL-7 in 7mm-08 for my daughter. With my Savage 308, she can put 5 inside a nickel at 100, but she's 1moa + with the XL7. She'll still kill whatever she's lookin' at.

If its a total lemon, you have a donor action for a rebarrel semi-custom rifle.
Or a cumbersome club....
 
If its a known brand with a good rep, fairly new condition or not used very much ( which most hunting rifles are not) chances are pretty good you will end up with a fairly decent shooter, and like posted above, likely issues are usually easy to correct! Best advice I can offer is pull the bolt, and shine a nice bright light down the bore and have a good look! Nice and shiny with clean and sharp rifling should tell you most of what you need to know! Smooth running bolt and crisp trigger would round out the list of things to look at! Most good rifles built in the last 60+ years will out shoot most shooters!
 

Mark W.

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I have a couple of rifles that the bores look so bad you would think they would be lucky to hit a school buss at 50 yards yet will kick a pop can around the range at 75 yards all day long.

Make sure the last inch of the bore is good and theres no pitting in the bore and most likely it will shoot just fine.
 
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If its a known brand with a good rep, fairly new condition or not used very much ( which most hunting rifles are not) chances are pretty good you will end up with a fairly decent shooter, and like posted above, likely issues are usually easy to correct! Best advice I can offer is pull the bolt, and shine a nice bright light down the bore and have a good look! Nice and shiny with clean and sharp rifling should tell you most of what you need to know! Smooth running bolt and crisp trigger would round out the list of things to look at! Most good rifles built in the last 60+ years will out shoot most shooters!
Good post. You and No Regerts hit the nail on the head. Most times you can tell if it's going to be good by just looking it over. My quick checks:

1. Chamber and bore condition: Should have nice sharp lands and rifling with a clean chamber and throat.

2. Crown condition: Should be very uniform (nice and round) and not dinged.

Everything else can be fine tuned: For example, the bedding and trigger are very easy to fix and will help with getting the best accuracy out of a rifle. JMHO.... I've never been burned on buying a used rifle when it comes to accuracy by doing the usual checks, but have been burned by buying a rifle that didn't function properly. Those issues can only be found out in the field. Most times it's problems with weak extractors and failure to extract on some pushfeed models. Not going to name names because I know many love those rifles for some reason..
 
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This is the fun in buying guns. If it's not doing what you need, try and change it...Or buy another gun. I'd probably just buy another gun. Cause I have a problem. Lol.

Really though, it's a lot of fun with production guns. Some shoot; some don't. I have a Ruger American ranch in 300 blk that just doesn't want to do better than an inch and a half. Cold, warm, various ammo manufacturers. But it's ok. I got her for deer, brush gun, something light to pack around, ect.

One project I'm excited about is I recently picked up a howa1500 in 6.5x55 swede.
 
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It's a crapshoot. Even new I have had rifles that shot sub par for me. And not to pick on Savage but I had a bolt SS model in .223 that my ARs would spank at the range. With several loads and weight bullets. And my AR build for accuracy just smoked it. Soooooo the Savage went by by. But I am picky about hitting to point of aim. A CZ or something built for accuracy in good shape, boar , riflings crown as others have mentioned you may get lucky. Any way you could try it.? Tell em if it's a shooter it's sold. Good luck.
 
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Considering a bolt .308 barely used looks good, but....
How do you know if it can hit what it's pointed at.
Some rifles just won't shoot straight and others
aren't consistent and that's from the factory. If
it was an individual I'd say meet me at the range; but
this is a pawn shop gun. Advice?
So Raylan, if you met someone at the range, the rifle would have to shoot awesome for you or the owner? I don't know how many times I've been at the range and someone was having issues with a "poorly shooting or inaccurate" rifle, but that all changed with a different shooter. A funny story to share:

A work buddy and I were at the range and I let him shoot one of my rifles. The rifle is a known shooter (for me and the previous owner). Long story short, the rifle didn't shoot well for my friend. 3 shots went into about an inch and I told him the usual line, "It's not a group until you fire 5 shots". He fired 2 more shots and his group opened up to 2.5". He said, "the rifle isn't a shooter, something is wrong with it".... Being an ex airbore ranger, he must be the best shot in the world right? Let's just say the rifle shoots like this on a regular basis with the right nut behind the butt:

003-71.jpg
002-86.jpg
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These groups were fired on the same day. Testing a couple different charge weights and finalizing load development. Based on the results from load development (see pics above), this is what I decided on and then fired off 10 shots to confirm the load and rifle after testing and adjusting new scope:
IMG_0582_zps6ae9ff10.jpg

The first thing I do when I get home with a new rifle is start fine tuning it. Trigger has to be down to 2.5 pounds, glass bedding has to be done, crown may need to be touched up a bit, then it's off to the range. When you take a rifle that's been sitting in the closet for 50 years and it shoots like this on its first outing, I'd say it's a keeper:

Pre 64 model 70 (made in 1951) 30-06 std. wt. rifle. First group fired after dialing in scope:
Image033.jpg
It's sweet when you can find a used rifle that shoots this good the first time out. I'd also have to warn you to not expect an out of the box rifle to shoot this well. Don't expect a new rifle to shoot sub moa, 5 shot groups, out of the box. I know a lot of guys that buy a "HUNTING" rifle and expect bench rest rifle groups from it. It just doesn't happen like that usually and most rifles need to be "tinkered" with and good straight handloads used to get phenomenal accuracy..;)
With this being said, give us a little detail on the rifle in question. Your OP is just a little vague.. Thanks..
 
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Hey! I'm an ex Airborne Ranger and the best shot in the world... :p:D
Just kidding ... there are days when I couldn't hit the ground , if I was foolish enough to drop my rifle.

Lots of truth to the right nut behind the bolt statement.
Andy
I have nothing against rangers, pretty cool group of dudes usually. Very head strong and tough guys to say the least. If SHTF, I'd damn sure hope they were on my side....
 
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I knew you were kidding ... Sorry that didn't come across in my post.
Andy
Nah, I got it. I just didn't want people thinking I was talking bad about Rangers. Having grown up in a Navy background though I think the Seals are tougher...:p.. Just kidding with you buddy... Somewhere I have a picture of me playing ball with some seals when I was about 5 years old, so I'm a little partial.
 

Andy54Hawken

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Seals .. ain't that what you use to patch a leak?....:D
Just kidding ... Anyone who serves in any branch or MOS , my hat is off to 'em!

Back to picking a used rifle...
One thing not mentioned is the overall fit of the rifle.
Will you be able to carry and hit with this rifle while out hunting?
After a long day in who knows how bad weather... or rough terrain?

If the rifle doesn't fit you in the comfort of store ... it might not work for you in the field.
Andy
 
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Certaindeaf

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If you're ever buying one a them newfangled home "built" guns.. you know, the ones that are worth like $300, just get a couple extry 40 round box magazines and yer all set!
 
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Raylan, I bought a (gently) used bolt action .308 from my LGS a few years ago. I won't say what 'cuz I don't want to get flamed. I read up on the pros and cons, mostly cons. The rifle was very clean and the right price and shouldered well. Since I don't plan on hunting in Alaska or Africa anytime soon I went for it. I went to the local range and the range master bore sighted for me. I shot some, tweaked the scope some, shot some more and call it good, actually very good. I haven't shot out to real long range, 200+ yards or whatever, but I'm very confident within my "zone". I've used the same factory ammo throughout and the rifle functions perfectly.
 
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