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Thread: Stevens 200 in .308 as a hunter project?

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    Paid Member jhelmuth's Avatar
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    Stevens 200 in .308 as a hunter project?

    Hey guys....

    So - as the title implies - I'm very curious about how well of a choice a Stevens 200 would be as a project for a hunting rifle. Obviously before any of you very savy Savage-phites can give me some of your perls 'o wisdom, I'm quite certain you'd need some criteria from me on that - so here it goes...

    [1] I'm not a hunter (but will be - especially with the right tools), so I am not savy to the best choices where a rifle (for hunting) is concerned. I do think the following features would be of importance:
    > Lightweight. I'm thinking I'd like to shoot for 6 to 6.5 lbs max (and lighter would be better)
    > I'm thinking a .308 for cartridge. Mostly because I own the dies and supplies to handload and because of it's familiarity and popularity. I can't imagine a .308 wouldn't be appropriate for all but the biggest game.
    > Should carry well, as I want to be able to use the rifle in ALL hunting situations
    > Should be very accurate out to 300 yards. Beyond that, I do not believe in taking the shot. I may be fine on bench and with paper - but when it comes to a life, I'm not inclined to take a shot I don't know I can make a clean kill.

    [2] I want to have some fun in the process. Savages appeal to me because I can (mod them). I fancy setting up the headpace to exacting SAMI min. along with the dies to create a good (accurate) load (and obviously the time to find the right bullet and load). I'm thinking of replacing the trigger with something better (or would some modification to the existing factory unit make sense?) Along those lines, would it make sense to mod the factory stock (stiffer while keeping the leightweightness)?

    So I hink that pretty much covers it. I'm sure I've forgoten something(s), but I know you ask me all the right questions.

    Well... does it make sense to get a Stevens 200 (in .308) as a basis for such a project?
    .22LR * 6.5x47 Lapua * .223 Rem * .308 Win * Large Cojones!
    "I can prove anything by statistics except the truth."

  2. #2
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    Yap its a great start. And a great cal. for hunting and the gun come on stock form at 6.5 lbs so with scope it will be around 7.5 or so.

    As for the stock there a little flexible but you can work with it. As for me I replaced it with a lightweight thumphole from stockys.
    rule #2 always double tap

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    I think it's a perfect idea. Kinda what I did here.



    Not sure of the weight, but it's a 308 and it carries real well. Took my first CA deer with it, sitting on a hill, 180yds from the deer. It's wearing a nice 3x9 Burris. A load I have been working on for it (the data is right off the Barnes web site), uses the Barnes 130gr TTSX, and it will give you the velocity and trajectory, and energy of a 270 Win with a 130gr bullets also.

    Enjoy the build.
    Last edited by handirifle; 09-23-2012 at 01:44 AM.

  4. #4
    Tsk Tsk Tsk .
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    'In your pic is that a 20" barrel? Is that an aftermarket stock?

    Other than camo paint I did nothing else to either Stevens stock I have because the barrels were sucessfully free floated out the box. I tried to tinker with the Stevens triggers but ended up installing Riflebasix triggers. They go as low as 24 to 29 ozs.

  5. #5
    Registered User davemuzz's Avatar
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    Yes to all of your choices. I had an out of box Stevens 200 in .308 that would hit a 12" plate at 400 yards so consistently it was boring to shoot.

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    Paid Member darkker's Avatar
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    I think you are definitely on a good path.
    I like the pre-accutriggers. I detest the accu's lack of consistency, but to each his own I suppose.

    You are correct about the 308's killing power, especially in that range.
    I am of the mind(think what YOU will) that the whole notion of "needing" larger calibers for Dangerous Game(Griz) is very out-dated. That notion(again to me only perhaps) comes from the era of bullets generally being able to exit the barrel, with no other certain outcomes.
    I have killed half a dozen elk and large bear with my 308 using 165gr Hot-Cor's, with no fanfare. IF I was going to wait for a Griz to be charging from 30 yards away, then yes, I'd bring out the Barrett. Short of that, My 308 is perfectly fine.
    It has also been my experience that the 308 responds better than others to shorter barrels, without horrible velocity losses.

    Best of Luck!
    I'm a firm believer in the theory that if it bleeds, I can kill it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkker View Post
    I think you are definitely on a good path.
    I like the pre-accutriggers. I detest the accu's lack of consistency, but to each his own I suppose.

    You are correct about the 308's killing power, especially in that range.
    I am of the mind(think what YOU will) that the whole notion of "needing" larger calibers for Dangerous Game(Griz) is very out-dated. That notion(again to me only perhaps) comes from the era of bullets generally being able to exit the barrel, with no other certain outcomes.
    I have killed half a dozen elk and large bear with my 308 using 165gr Hot-Cor's, with no fanfare. IF I was going to wait for a Griz to be charging from 30 yards away, then yes, I'd bring out the Barrett. Short of that, My 308 is perfectly fine.
    It has also been my experience that the 308 responds better than others to shorter barrels, without horrible velocity losses.

    Best of Luck!
    You would have a Barrett..

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    Paid Member jhelmuth's Avatar
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    Hmmm.... well - I guess it's all good. Sounds like there is NO reason to NOT get started on this project.


    Maybe you all could give me some pointers (if you have them) on what are the best mods for such a project. Here are some ideas I have, but I'd love to hear from you all on what you'd do (and why?)...


    [1] stiffen the forearm of the factory stock (how?) and possibly foam fill the butt stock. Mayby bed the action (I believe this is a pillard stock - is it not?). Then a good smoothing of the edges and off to paint. I'm thinking of either camo or fleck in a tan or military green base. Planning to use Duracoat product as I am real familar with it and have all the right gear to apply it correclty (I've done alot of work with this stuff and it's da bomb if properly prepped).

    [2] re-work or replace trigger (rifle basix?) get to a clean and crisp 2.5 lbs pull (too light?) I think it's possible to get the factory trigger pull down to 3-4# ?

    [3] re-set the head space to exact SAMI min. spec. (using GO gauge) and then possibly Duracoat in sinilar style to stock (maybe not camo of fleck - but same base coat).

    [4] Need good mounts - thinking about Talley lightweight (and they'll get painted too).

    [5] Need a good quality scope that'll do the job well and not break the bank. I'm thinking of something in the 6-18x power (variable) 1" tube and probably with a MilDot reticle or something that can be used for hold overs.


    So come on fellas.... help me finish this build plan!
    .22LR * 6.5x47 Lapua * .223 Rem * .308 Win * Large Cojones!
    "I can prove anything by statistics except the truth."

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    Sounds like you got it licked to me I go with the riflebasix trigger there great.
    rule #2 always double tap

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mach2 View Post
    'In your pic is that a 20" barrel? Is that an aftermarket stock?

    Other than camo paint I did nothing else to either Stevens stock I have because the barrels were sucessfully free floated out the box. I tried to tinker with the Stevens triggers but ended up installing Riflebasix triggers. They go as low as 24 to 29 ozs.
    Yes it is a 20" barrel. I cut and recrowned it on my lathe. The stock is factory, but I also cut and added the forend tip. I stripped the finish and gave it a hand rubbed oil finish. It's a "J" series, I have owned forever. It started life as a 243 (still have that barrel, it was a 20" FACTORY barrel) but currently wears the 308. In the 243 it loved the 85gr Sierra HPBT bullet, and in 308 it likes the 150gr Nosler lead free and I am seeing REAL promise with the Barnes 130gr TTSX.

    The barrel was a 22" factory take off. I have to tell you it is one sweet carry rifle. It is NOT my primary carry rifle, but ONLY because it's right handed, and I am left. I still love the rifle but do prefer the bolt on the correct side. Although, not sure why, it has never needed a follow up shot.

  11. #11
    Paid Member darkker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhelmuth View Post
    [1] stiffen the forearm of the factory stock (how?) and possibly foam fill the butt stock. Mayby bed the action (I believe this is a pillard stock - is it not?). Then a good smoothing of the edges and off to paint. I'm thinking of either camo or fleck in a tan or military green base. Planning to use Duracoat product as I am real familar with it and have all the right gear to apply it correclty (I've done alot of work with this stuff and it's da bomb if properly prepped).

    [2] re-work or replace trigger (rifle basix?) get to a clean and crisp 2.5 lbs pull (too light?) I think it's possible to get the factory trigger pull down to 3-4# ?

    [3] re-set the head space to exact SAMI min. spec. (using GO gauge) and then possibly Duracoat in sinilar style to stock (maybe not camo of fleck - but same base coat).

    [4] Need good mounts - thinking about Talley lightweight (and they'll get painted too).

    [5] Need a good quality scope that'll do the job well and not break the bank. I'm thinking of something in the 6-18x power (variable) 1" tube and probably with a MilDot reticle or something that can be used for hold overs.
    Remember this is all personal, so take it for what you will.
    1) I wouldn't waste your time. I have a PILE of Savage stocks in my closet. The stock from my FP I did the Devcon trick in the fore-end for stiffening. Really doesn't work IMO. The stock still flexes, and now has a worse nose-heavy balance. For $90 get a Boyds, or a B&C Duramaxx and be done with it.

    2) No experience with a Rifle Basix. YES you can easily and SAFELY get factory 2-screws down to a lighter weight, with no creep. If you do this yourself, As I have done many times; DON'T FILE!!! polish!!!! Single biggest mistake everyone makes is removing A PILE of metal and go too far.

    3) Not really any help here, other than questioning WHY you think you need to be at any extreme in the spec??

    4) I have used everything under the sun. Honestly because of NO particular reason I have a pile of Leupolds. Really I personally don't think it matters at all. I have some cheap NcStar's on my 1,000 yard gun

    5) This is completely individual, and USUALLY over-thought. If you are hunting big game limited to 300 yards, it REALLY doesn't matter. 3-9 is perfectly fine, and there is no "Hold-over" worth fretting about.
    My FP,
    165gr Speer Hot-Cor.
    MV = 2600 fps (which is not trying hard)
    Zeroed @ 200 yards
    Shooting to 300 yards =
    1.1" high @ 50 yards
    2.3" high @ 100
    1.9" high @ 150
    0 @ 200
    3.7" low @ 250
    9.2" low @ 300

    There is no hold over. Use their back as the sight line.
    Last edited by darkker; 09-19-2012 at 08:25 PM. Reason: clarity
    I'm a firm believer in the theory that if it bleeds, I can kill it.

  12. #12
    Paid Member big honkin jeep's Avatar
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    The Stevens 200 in .308 is a very good place to start.
    Why stiffen the forearm? I know a lot of guys complain but I have not had a problem with them. Yes you can make them touch by putting pressure down on the barrel with one hand while pulling up on the forearm with the other but under real shooting conditions with a standard sporter barrel I have not noticed the "problem "others speak of.
    Just to be sure on one rifle I did relocate a sling stud rearward to minimize the possible flex effect off a bi pod.
    The stock will already be foam filled.
    Tuning a factory trigger or obtaining a 3 screw if it doesn't have one and tuning it will definitely yield a light crisp trigger. If you want to install an aftermarket go ahead there are several very good ones on the market.
    When I set headspace to minimum I do so using brass fired and resized in my dies for a perfect fit. It just seems like the right way to go for both brass life and accuracy.
    Paint is a personal choice. I like to paint the stocks but not the metal. Some guys like to paint the whole thing. Either way it's up to your taste and preference. I think properly done Sponge Camo looks good.
    Lots of bases and rings to choose from. for light weight 2 piece with solid lockup It's hard to beat dual dovetails. If you want picitinny style one piece I'd recommend an EGW HD. these are what I like but there are nearly endless options.
    When It comes to reasonably priced hunting glass The Burris E! is a fine piece of work. It has an etched holdover reticule with windage as well as elevation without being too cluttered. It also has fully multicoated indexed matched lenses and is sharper than anything I have used in it's class. It is very bright and tough with positive click adjustments and is resettable to zero. I think I would stay away from a 6-18 just because of the ability to pass light through in the morning and evening when game is most active and 6X can be too much magnification if a buck walks right under your stand. All you will see at 6x at 15-25 yards is a brown blob. The Burris E1 also comes with a $50 rebate right now. Yeah I bought one in 3-9x50 and it is by FAR the best glass I have seen in it's price range. (the best price I've found and remember you get $50 back) http://www.bigsupplyshop.com/Burris-...0_p_19034.html

    Good luck and post up pics when you're done
    A good woman and a steady job has ruined many a great hunter.

  13. #13
    Paid Member darkker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big honkin jeep View Post
    The Stevens 200 in .308 is a very good place to start.
    Why stiffen the forearm? I know a lot of guys complain but I have not had a problem with them. Yes you can make them touch by putting pressure down on the barrel with one hand while pulling up on the forearm with the other but under real shooting conditions with a standard sporter barrel I have not noticed the "problem "others speak of.
    Just to be sure on one rifle I did relocate a sling stud rearward to minimize the possible flex effect off a bi pod.
    The stock will already be foam filled.
    I think I am confused....
    You don't notice the flex issues under real conditions.... but changed it, SO you wouldn't??
    The stock is only filled with foam in the butt-stock, not the forend that the OP is asking about.
    I'm a firm believer in the theory that if it bleeds, I can kill it.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jhelmuth View Post
    Hmmm.... well - I guess it's all good. Sounds like there is NO reason to NOT get started on this project.


    Maybe you all could give me some pointers (if you have them) on what are the best mods for such a project. Here are some ideas I have, but I'd love to hear from you all on what you'd do (and why?)...


    [1] stiffen the forearm of the factory stock (how?) and possibly foam fill the butt stock. Mayby bed the action (I believe this is a pillard stock - is it not?). Then a good smoothing of the edges and off to paint. I'm thinking of either camo or fleck in a tan or military green base. Planning to use Duracoat product as I am real familar with it and have all the right gear to apply it correclty (I've done alot of work with this stuff and it's da bomb if properly prepped).

    [2] re-work or replace trigger (rifle basix?) get to a clean and crisp 2.5 lbs pull (too light?) I think it's possible to get the factory trigger pull down to 3-4# ?

    [3] re-set the head space to exact SAMI min. spec. (using GO gauge) and then possibly Duracoat in sinilar style to stock (maybe not camo of fleck - but same base coat).

    [4] Need good mounts - thinking about Talley lightweight (and they'll get painted too).

    [5] Need a good quality scope that'll do the job well and not break the bank. I'm thinking of something in the 6-18x power (variable) 1" tube and probably with a MilDot reticle or something that can be used for hold overs.


    So come on fellas.... help me finish this build plan!
    1.. I would just get a Boyd's and be done with it. I stiffened the stock on my Stevens .223 and ended up with a boyds. Get one and bed it with devcon.

    2. Get the Rifle Basix or Sharp Shooter Supply comp trigger

    3. Unless you change the barrel, I wouldn't mess with the factory headspacing

    4. Talley lightweights are a great choice, but it sounds like you might do some modifications on the gun in the future which is why I would suggest a EGW rail and Burris Tactical Rings. If you decide to change the barrel or stock later or paint it a different color, you are going to have to remove the scope. Its so much easier to take off and put back on with a picatinny system because you don't have to worry about leveling or rezoring the scope. For this reason, I have went to all pic rails on my gun.

    5. If you want a 6-18, I would reccomend a Nikon Buckmaster 6-18x40. It will do fine for what you need. I would also recommed this scope if you decide you don't need that much magnification. http://www.midwayusa.com/product/598...-reticle-matte

    6. Get you some 165 sst's and load them with 43.5-44.5 grains of Varget. It will be all you need for North American big game.

  15. #15
    Paid Member big honkin jeep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkker View Post
    I think I am confused....
    You don't notice the flex issues under real conditions.... but changed it, SO you wouldn't??
    The stock is only filled with foam in the butt-stock, not the forend that the OP is asking about.
    :) I don't mind explaining. Most of the time in the field I don't use a bi pod. I find them to be bulky heavy and in the way. At the range I much prefer bags because they are much more stable. I own several and occasionally use a a pod just not very often. Most of the flex issues with Savage stocks I have seen raised seem to have either a heavy barrel a bi pod or both in common. Therefore to help eliminate the possibility of a problem when using a bi pod on my 110FP in 25-06 (sometimes I feel a little tacticool and it wears a bi pod) I simply moved one of the studs further rearward to reduce the leverage placed on the stock. A little preventive maintenance if you will. Heck a tinker worth his salt frequently fixes things that aren't broken :)
    If you re read the thread the OP asks about foam filling the "butt stock" which we agree should already be factory filled.


    Sorry OP don't want to derail the thread just respond to a question asked.
    Good luck and happy hunting with whatever you decide. Lots of fine suggestions here.
    A good woman and a steady job has ruined many a great hunter.

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