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Ruger vs Winchester

I am interested in comparisons between the Ruger African and Winchester Model 70 Safari in 373 H&H.

WesternHunter's picture
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Re: Ruger vs Winchester

Ruger are a Mauser "type" action.
Winchester - The Pre-'64 and modern classic CRF Model 70's are Mauser "type" actions.

Ruger recievers are investment cast.
Winchesters, both the older New Haven, CT and newer Columbia, SC made guns have forged receivers.

I believe Ruger still makes it's rifles

FN in South Carolina only makes the finished barrels for the new Winchester Model 70, the rifles is assembles from componenets made by other companies.

Model 70 rifles made in New Haven were typically bedded in a way that is unfavorable by todays standards. But speaking from experience my older Model 70's are plenty accurate.

FN make way too much out of the whole idea that the exterior of the barrels on the new Model 70's are polished to a flawless finish. I'd rather they place more emphisis on making the barrel more inhearently accurate.

Both Ruger and the Winchester are great rifles. Both have the Mauser CRF action and three position safety lever that I prefere. I trust my hunts to both makers.

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Re: Ruger vs Winchester

The above post gives a very good look at both rifles. One more comment I'd like to make that is significant, at least to me, is that the Ruger has an integral ring system, which needs NO base(s). Especially on a hard kicking rifle Hammer , I'd certainly think this feature might just be a plus. Thumbs up

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Re: Ruger vs Winchester

Thanks for your responses and advice. After what I've heard, I'm leaning to the Ruger

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Re: Ruger vs Winchester

I'd add one other thing. While the product is essentially the same, the Winchester has a much higher degree of finish work. You aren't getting nice touches like jeweled bolts, the Winchester wood is of a higher grade typically (except the MK II Safari), and to me, I can't stand how rough the newer Ruger bolt raceways are. It's like running a bolt across gravel. It takes me a heck of a lot of work to polish those down, while the Winchesters tyipcally only need a little trigger tuning. Neither bed their guns well enough for me, but Winchester maybe tries a little more. Out of the box accuracy is a toss up in my experience, I've never had my hands on one that wouldn't do at least 1.5 inches to start. And as far as I can tell the Ruger crossbolt is fake. Just a stupid black dot on the stock, not covering a real crossbolt. The Winchester Safari Express has the real deal and 2 of them and a double recoil lug.
There's a reason they cost more, it's because they cost a lot more to make.

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Re: Ruger vs Winchester
exbiologist wrote:
I'd add one other thing. While the product is essentially the same, the Winchester has a much higher degree of finish work. You aren't getting nice touches like jeweled bolts, the Winchester wood is of a higher grade typically (except the MK II Safari), and to me, I can't stand how rough the newer Ruger bolt raceways are. It's like running a bolt across gravel. It takes me a heck of a lot of work to polish those down, while the Winchesters tyipcally only need a little trigger tuning. Neither bed their guns well enough for me, but Winchester maybe tries a little more. Out of the box accuracy is a toss up in my experience, I've never had my hands on one that wouldn't do at least 1.5 inches to start. And as far as I can tell the Ruger crossbolt is fake. Just a stupid black dot on the stock, not covering a real crossbolt. The Winchester Safari Express has the real deal and 2 of them and a double recoil lug.
There's a reason they cost more, it's because they cost a lot more to make.

Finish work is nice, but overall of little importance to me, others may care more about it than I do. I kinda scoff at stuff like jeweled bolts. Persoanlly I'd rather have all the steel on my guns be bead blasted or matte finished. Heck I'm perfectly happy with a dark charcoal grey Parkerized finished and have had than done aftermarket to a couple of my rifles. But besides the finish work, you make some really good points about raceways, cross bolts, and double recoil lugs. Those details are worth having on a Safari gun. Having said that I can say that my modern CRF Model 70 has a relatively rough raceway, really no better than those on my Rugers. Only my older Remington 700's seem to have smooth lug raceways. But none of mine are Safari guns.

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Re: Ruger vs Winchester

One other thing to take into consideration is that with Safari calibers i.e. .375 H&H or .458 Win Mag those Safari rifles are never going to see anywhere near the amount of rounds fired through them as the more common biggame caliber rifles such as .270 WIn or .30-06 Spgfld ever will.

When you consider the excessive recoil coupled with the exsessive price per round fired, almost nobody spend much time target shooting those Safari guns. Makes me wonder if stuff like double recoil lugs are as important as we think. Think I don't know I'm just throwing it out there for thought.

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Re: Ruger vs Winchester

Regarding the crossbolts, does the Ruger Mark II Magnum have two crossbolts? It appears that it has one, and I assume it's not just cosmetic, but not sure. And how important is this feature in a big bore ?

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Re: Ruger vs Winchester

It looks like the Mark II Magnum only has one crossbolt. I honestly don't know how important they are, as the most powerful rifle I've owned was a .358 Norma. I'm under the assumption that they'd help prevent stocks from cracking, but I have to wonder whether that hole drilled in the stock doesn't harm the structural integrity of the stock in the first place. But I'm guessing they aren't just cosmetic, and if having one is good, then two is better? I dunno.

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Re: Ruger vs Winchester

I have lived to see 14 US presidents and expect to see a 15th after our current one term "president". My son has seen five presidents. I buy Winchesters, he buys Rugers! It is partly because of Bill Rugers attitude, but mostly because Winchester is simply a better choice from many aspects, resale value, accuracy, quality over the years, and pride of ownership I find with the classic riflemans rifle . I am going to reward Winchester by purchasing a new Safari Express chambered for the classic 375 H&H. Thank you Winchester for your confidence in your customer base.

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Re: Ruger vs Winchester

Winchester Model 70 is a nice rifle and I understand your preference for them. I will say that of recent years there are better rifles being made in the same price range. Don't get me wrong. I sure love my Model 70s, but I equally love my Rugers M77 too. I didn't like Bill Rugers attitude either, but he's gone and the company is in control of others now. Resale value is nice to have, but in all honesty I have never bought a firearm based on the idea of resale value. I mean when I buy a gun I buy it with the intent that it will be used and used hard, fired, and taken to the range or into the field. Not to say that I haven't sold my share of guns over the years. Just saying that when I buy, the last thing on my mind is to sell. That's just me.

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