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£1,200 for a new rifle. What should I buy?

A reader writes: I have around £1,200 to spend on a new rifle, but am in a quandary as to which one to choose. What would you suggest?

How to choose a stalking rifle


That is a good budget for 
a decent rifle, with the Tikka T3, Schultz & Larsen, Steyr Mannlicher CL2, Strasser RS Solo or Browning X-Bolt, to name a few, all around that price level. Any one of these rifles will be a good and reliable choice. You need to handle each one to decide your personal choice with regards to function, style and fit. Remember you will then need to buy a scope, mounts and presumably a sound moderator. That will double the cost, so it is worth keeping that in mind.

Available in this rifle budget

If £1,200 is your maximum budget there are some great rifles and scopes that can be bought within your spending limit. Rifles such as the Winchester XPR, Browning A-Bolt, Weatherby Vanguard, Ruger American or Howa 1500 all offer good value and will give you the accuracy and reliability you need, though perhaps lacking a few frills.

Scopes within the £400 range are available from Hawke, Zeiss Terra, Delta or Yukon and, along with appropriate scope mounts, are all you really need. The same is true with sound moderators, with MAE, J-Zet or Schultz & Larsen offering great value and good performance.

Many dealers and manufacturers offer “combo” deals with rifle, scope and moderator all available to buy together. Howa and Savage rifles come to mind and will fit 
your brief ideally in a calibre of 
your choice. BP

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