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Joined: 11/14/2006
Posts: 66
New Hunter, New Gun

I'm new to hunting and just ordered a gun and I just wanted to get some thoughts and opinions on it and my choice. It is too late to make any changes as the gun is already ordered but I would like to know if I made a good choice or bad for my circumstances.

Gun:
Browning BAR .270 (new model)
Safari Stalker (yes that is correct, I'll explain later)

Scope:
Nikkon
3x9-40

Extras:
Bipod(short)

Here are my circumstances and the reason I chose this particular weapon...

My target animal is blacktail deer as that is what is common in my area (Sacramento, CA). Though Deer will be my most common game I also want to be able to take up to an Elk or Moose though that will be a rare hunt at best. I also intend to do quite a bit of range shooting, both to increase skill and also just because it's fun.

Though I am a rather big guy I consider myself to be a recoil sissy. I wanted something that has the potential to take down Elk but that would be most commonly used on Deer and I wanted something that has as little recoil as possible.

My priorities would probably be as follows...

    Accuracy
    Recoil
    Stopping Power
    Quality/Durability/Consistancy
    Ammo availability/cost

Since accuracy was my main concern I focused on the .270 and the 7mm due to the ballistics. I had originally looked at the 7mm WSM but have since reconsidered due to the expected recoil as there is a rather significant difference between the .270 and the 7mm according to several charts I have looked at (approximately 20% increase in recoil for the 7mm). I was also concerned about meat damage being done to the rather fragile deer which seems to be fairly common with the WSM's. So along with the extra meat damage and recoil I decided that I would stay away from the mags and focus on standard calibers, not to mention the availability and price difference in ammo. While I don't expect to have problems finding WSM ammo at all there is certainly a much broader selection in standard calibers at every gun shop. So the final choice for me was the .270 due to the recoil, meat damage, and ammo while still capable of taking out up to an Elk if necessary though it's target would be primarily Deer (which fit for exactly what I needed).

I Decided on going with a browning rifle due to it's strong reputation for accuracy and quality. I know they can be a little bit more expensive but it is worth the price for me to have a high quality gun vs making a bad choice but paying less for that mistake .

I had considered the new Mountain Ti rifles from browning for a while. They are a bolt action and had many of the features I was interested in already straight from the factory (glass bedding, good recoil pad, light weight, synth stock, etc...). This had two draw backs to it, the first is that they only come in WSM's. But more importantly was the second drawback. There were no longer any available in stock to order. I should also mention that they have a very steep price tag($1600) which I didn't mind paying but certainly prefered to spend less on a rifle if I could. Also due to the weight of the rifle I wasn't sure how bad it would kick as a lighter weight rifle would kick harder.

I decided to consider other options at this point and found a BAR stalker on the shelf. I must say the rifle looked very impressive. While I wasn't looking for an auto-loader it does have the extra benefit of offloading some of the recoil into the reloading action which was a bonus for me. The lower the recoil on the rifle the more likely I will be able to shoot on target and that is 10x more important than the stopping power if you can't hit the right location. The BAR Stalker unfortunately also was no longer available in the caliber that I wanted. However the Safari Stalker was(this is a safari rifle with a synth stock and no BOSS system). While the BOSS system sounded interesting I wasn't sure that I wanted to further complicate my shooting with it or increase the noise, though it would have reduced the recoil a bit. I can always go back and have a gunsmith mod the gun for the BOSS system later or any standard brake if I decide I want to go that route. The BAR was also at approximately an $880 price tag which is significantly better than the Mountain Ti I was looking at earlier. I guess my biggest concern is the accuracy difference between a bolt action vs an autoloader, but I figured that perhaps the difference in recoil would make up any accuracy losses.

All in all I spent around $1400 for the rifle, scope etc... and feel pretty good about the choices I made, but as this is my first rifle I am purely basing my decision off of internet research and memories from shooting many years ago.

I should also point out that I intend to try out the Managed-Recoil loads. I know they won't work for elk or long range hunting but they would work great at the range and should work for most deer hunting as they are supposed to work well at any ranged at or below 200 feet.

What do you guys think of the choices I made and my reasoning behind them? Does it all make sense or am I completely off the wall? Also anyone with any experience using managed-recoil loads please leave your thoughts on them and possibly using them for deer hunting (obviously I would have to go to a heavier load for Elk). My sister wants to do a little shooting too so even if the managed-recoil loads won't work for hunting they still won't be wasted as she could use them at the range (or I would use them at the range).[/]

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Moderator
Joined: 12/03/2005
Posts: 1572
New Hunter, New Gun

Welcome to BGH. My God you're long winded
Handling recoil is a "learned behaviou". and it gets easier with every shot you fire.
Shot placement will determine meat damage, not calibre.
Free Recoil Energy is calculated by total rife weight(including scope) bullet weight,powder charge, for the most part.
Fine choice of calibre, I'm a bolt action guy myself.

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Moderator
Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
New Hunter, New Gun

You have done your research well. The BAR is a fine semi and has a reputation for excellent accuracy. You can't go wrong with the Nikon on top either and 270 well that speaks for itself! Thumbs up The one item you may start leaving home is the bi-pod unless you are hunting open country and even then the extra weight may not be wanted when a back-pack rest will do the same trick. Welcome to the sport and enjoy yourself. Shoot a lot (practice, practice, practice) and you will do fine. You won't be able to blame your equipment for a miss. Thumbs up

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Location: Wandering the World, Currently at Ft. Campbell, KY
Joined: 10/05/2006
Posts: 205
New Hunter, New Gun

Welcome to BGH lol You have made a very good choice in a rifle. Brownings are very dependable and accurate. Though accuracy depends mostly on the shooter. Nikon is another good selection for the scope and the powere is good for what you are intending to hunt. Personally I prefer the bolt action as they tend to be the most accurate and easiest to clean and maintain. Thought the BAR should not be too hard to maintain. Good luck and welcome Thumbs up

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Location: Summit, IL
Joined: 10/22/2006
Posts: 705
New Hunter, New Gun

Good Caliber choice....The .270 with the right loads can pretty much handle anything you think you are going to hunt....A note on the reduced recoil loads...Not sure about this but you MAY have a problem with them as far as your weapon cycling them (jams) The BAR (I think) is gas operated therefor it uses the gasses from the fired cartrige to operate the bolt. Since the reduced recoils are simply just light loaded rounds that could create a problem. I wouldnt trust them in the field for hunting just for that purpose. Would be ok At the range just for plinking or practicing your form...But be prepared for Jams just in case.. Good Luck and WELCOME TO BGH

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Joined: 11/14/2006
Posts: 66
New Hunter, New Gun
cam69conv wrote:
Good Caliber choice....The .270 with the right loads can pretty much handle anything you think you are going to hunt....A note on the reduced recoil loads...Not sure about this but you MAY have a problem with them as far as your weapon cycling them (jams) The BAR (I think) is gas operated therefor it uses the gasses from the fired cartrige to operate the bolt. Since the reduced recoils are simply just light loaded rounds that could create a problem. I wouldnt trust them in the field for hunting just for that purpose. Would be ok At the range just for plinking or practicing your form...But be prepared for Jams just in case.. Good Luck and WELCOME TO BGH

Thanks for the heads up. I have heard that slower burning gunpowder can contribute to jams but haven't heard anything about the managed-recoil loads and jamming.

I think the recoil will probably be fine using standard loads but I wanted to pick up some managed recoil loads to start with (and my sister will pobably shoot the gun as well). If they work well I intended to use them in the field but if not I have no problems leaving them for range only shooting.

I have several boxes ordered and will pick up a couple other brands/grains to test with as well.

Any other thoughts/opinions/experiences with managed recoil loads?

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Moderator
Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
New Hunter, New Gun

I agree with the reduced loads possible jamming in your semi. You will probably find that the recoil in a .270 being fired from a BAR will not be bad at all. The semi is a bit heavier and uses gas operation; both help with the recoil management.

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Joined: 11/14/2006
Posts: 66
New Hunter, New Gun

I finally got my gun and took it shooting this morning.

Recoil isn't too bad at all on it but I am glad that I did everything I could to try and reduce it. I think I may still flinch a little bit every once in a while so I need to do a little more practice shooting.

The managed-recoil loads absolutely refuse to automatically eject the shells so I wouldn't recommend them to anyone using an auto-loader.

I only had time to shoot two boxes of ammo this morning and have everything sited in now. I'm by no means an expert shot but I'll try to get some groupings @100yds posted later. So far I have only used the managed recoil loads but I have a box of corelok waiting to be used as well so hopefully I'll make it back out to the range tomorrow morning before work.

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Moderator
Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
New Hunter, New Gun

Shoot a lot and have fun with it. Thumbs up

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Location: Wandering the World, Currently at Ft. Campbell, KY
Joined: 10/05/2006
Posts: 205
New Hunter, New Gun

Using the managed recoil shell in the BAR could cause unnecessary jams on the weapon due to the gas operation of the the weapon. I would reccommend using a fully charged shell in your gun.

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Joined: 11/14/2006
Posts: 66
New Hunter, New Gun

Here is a 5 shot group at 100 yards. If you toss out the flyer that puts me just slightly over MOA. Overall not a bad group especially for a novice shooter.

Gun:
BAR Safari Stalker .270

Scope:
Nikkon Monarch 3x9x40

Bullet:
Remmington Managed Recoil 115 grain

Overall a pretty decent group for both the gun and the load. While managed recoil loads aren't ideal for autoloaders I should also point out that they hit right on target with both the managed recoil loads and a standard 130 grain core lokt load @ 100yds.

Frankly the guns shoots better than I do so I don't currently have any huge issues on grouping sizes. Most of my groups were roughly 2" the one posted here is the best out of about 5 targets shot. But like I said the gun shoots better than I do so I imagine I could get roughly MOA groups regularly if I was a better shooter.

Also the standard 130 grain loads didn't have any problems ejecting shells and reloading but they didn't seem to be quite as accurate for me (though not terribly far off). They also still hit right on target zeroed at 100yrds so if you have a bolt action you could easily switch back and forth between the two loads without having to readjust your sights. I still haven't tried the 140 or 150 loads yet though I have a box of each in the core lokt.

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