Duel of the compacts

Quiet

Active member
Was thinking of buying a lightweight compact .308 rifle for backpack hunting in the mountains. I need a shorter than normal LOP because about the only time I'm considered tall is when I'm in the mountains, lol! Also, I'm a lefty but have spent my whole life shooting right-handed bolts and actually prefer them over left-handed bolts for their easier re-sell value.

Anyhow, I'm looking at either a Browning X-bolt Micro Composite or a Tikka T3x compact. Both have a reputation as accurate, have composite stocks with 12.5-13" LOPs and weigh around 6 lbs. naked. If anyone has first-hand experience or thoughts about either gun I'd love to hear about it. Open to other suggestions as well. Was looking at the Browning X-bolt Hells Canyon Speed also...not a compact but weighs less than 7 lbs and a nice looking rig.
 

Smithb9841

Well-known member
I just bought a Kimber Pro Hunter and absolutely love it! Kimber has a couple other models that are more expensive but I’m not going to spen 1500-2000 on a rifle. I took out shooting this weeekend for first time and it is very accurate. I would highly recommended at least taking a look at one
 

Bubblehide

Well-known member
I have a SS Tikka T3. I purchased it years and years ago. It is my go to hunting rifle. It's a sub MOA shooter. I have beat the sh&# out of it, and I have zero complaints. The Tikka is the highest recommended rifle on one of the highest respected national forums, you simply can't go wrong. With that said, I am not taking away anything from your other choices.
 

Quiet

Active member
Internet chatter seems to peg the Kimbers at a 50/50 chance of getting a "shooter." Seems for everyone who likes them there is someone complaining about the gun's accuracy (or lack of) and I think I've read of some feeding issues. Plus, the Kimbers all tend to have an LOP that is longer than what works for me. Aesthetics-wise I'm not crazy about either the Tikka or Browning compacts but do like what I hear about their tack-driving abilities, bare weights and LOPs. I've looked at the Ruger American compact but not impressed with the fit and finish; but I hear they shoot. The Christensen Mesa scales at 6.5 lbs bare rifle but at $1250 is starting to shred the ol' budget. Well, like they say "buy right, cry once."
 

Smithb9841

Well-known member
When I was reading reviews about the Kimber’s most of the negative reviews were a little older reviews. For me I love the way the Kimber fits me it shoulders perfect and fits me. And they guarantee sub moa accuracy at 100yards. And I was able to shoot right on top of each other with touching holes. But if you said the LOP doesn’t fit you then that wouldn’t work for you. From what i read before I decided on the Kimber I don’t think you can go wrong with the Tikka most guys that have them love them that would be my 2nd choice.
 

TheGDog

Well-known member
Remington now has a compact of the 783 with a 16.5" barrel on it offered in FDE color. Currently on sale at Turner's, I might add.
 

Smithb9841

Well-known member
Im not sure if that model rifle will have the same issue but I have a Remington 700 and I’m not sure if it’s the type of metal or what but the entire gun rusts very easily...I didn’t notice until I went bear hunting a few weeks ago, it started raining I got soaked got back to the truck and headed home. When I got home had a headache so just brought my gun inside left it in the gun case didn’t take it out to clean or put in the safe. Next day I went to clean and put away and when I took it out of the case all of the metal on the outside of the gun was covered in surface rust.. did a quick google search and this is a common problem with some of the newer remingtons. Maybe that model uses a different metal composition for its parts but I’d be weary of Remington.

Just do a quick google search for “Remington 700 rust” and you’ll see quite a bit posted about this. Knowing this now I wouldn’t buy another Remington rifle, that’s just me though.
 

parkermann

Well-known member
It’s more than likely a cheap coating on the steel. Bare steel will rust over night from moisture in the air.
 

MariotheBarber

Well-known member
My hunting rifle is a Remington 700 AAC and the barrel rusts very easily, its pretty annoyning for the price I paid and the reputation of Remington. But it is a tack-driver
 

Smithb9841

Well-known member
My hunting rifle is a Remington 700 AAC and the barrel rusts very easily, its pretty annoyning for the price I paid and the reputation of Remington. But it is a tack-driver
I feel the same way! I wish I had known that before I had purchased the rifle or done a little more research when I bought mine it was kind of an impulse buy was the first rifle I had ever purchased (other rifle was passed down to me by my grandpa) it’s not a bad gun but now that I’ve done my research when purchasing the Kimber wish I had bought something different. Well oh well you live and learn... still a good gun for when I decide to make an elk trip in the near future..

so OP have u made a decision or checked any rifles out yet?
 

Quiet

Active member
Every time I think Big Green has turned the corner on their stuff I read/hear things like this.

I've checked the Tikka and it's nice but it's ugly (to me). I've handled the X-Bolt Hells Canyon Speed and although it's not a compact it is surprisingly lightweight. The X-bolt micro composite was not in stock. I cranked the bolt on a Rem 700 American Wilderness Rifle and it felt gritty, trigger pull was not as nice as the HC Speed; played with a 700 SPS in a composite stock called "wood tech" and it too was pretty rough. That little Model 7 Threaded is not a stock item carried by my local Sportsman's Warehouse but I'm wondering if that 16.5" barrel is too short (no suppressors allowed in CA) in the mountains. Eyeballed a few Weatherby Vanguards with camo-dipped stocks, as well as a Christensen Mesa that was very nice and light. Found an old, used Ruger M77 RSI at another shop but it felt heavy like my .308 Rem 788 carbine so decided to pass on it. Might have to give that a second look.

Did buy a nice Leupold VX 3i 3.5-10x40 for $80 off the regular price of about $400 and put it on my old Rem 760 '06 pump but have not visited the range yet. Been busy with the holiday season activities so I'll probably do a more thorough canvassing of local gun stores after Christmas. Thanks everyone for the input, it all helped.
 

TheGDog

Well-known member
16.5" barrels are fine in CA. You just can't go LESS THAN that (if it's clearly a shoulder-fired weapon), otherwise it's considered an SBR (Short Barrelled Rifle) and requires a special tag/permit/application thing to own one.
 

Quiet

Active member
Right GDog, just wondered about a 16.5" barrel on stretched shots in the high country. Always liked the compacts for climbing high above treeline but then there's the conundrum of what to do in the open backcountry with a short rifle barrel. Not that I want to pull off 500-plus yard shots. But in countryside where you can see for miles, yards take on a different perspective. Just covering my bases I guess. Probably overthinking the who thing!
 

Quiet

Active member
Sad to say but all the standard, non-compact Tikkas, Saurs, Sakos and CZs all have stocks too long for me. I suppose I could lop and chop but who wants to do that to a brand new gun, especially one with a composite stock? Those Europeans and Finns must be long-armed outdoorsmen. Plus, Sakos seem to be veritable heavyweights compared to the Brownings and Savages I'm considering.
 


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