According to Winchester, the main values of its Short Magnum (WSM) cartridges are that when compared to conventional, long-action calibers, the 270 WSM, 7mm WSM and 300 WSM exceed the ballistics of the 270 Win., 7mm Rem. Mag. and 300 Win. Mag. respectively. Also, WSM rifles achieve these improved ballistics in short-action configurations which purportedly are lighter and faster handling than their long-action counterparts.
We've tested several of the fat-but-fast WSM and WSSM cartridges over the years, usually comparing them to their closest standard-action competitor. As you might expect, sometimes we liked the WSM/WSSM guns better than standard chamberings, and sometimes we didn't.
This time around we wanted to set aside the multiple-cartridge matchups and put three similar 270 Winchester Short Magnums to the test. Toward that end, we acquired three rifles, each measuring about 43 inches in length and weighing about 7 pounds. Our test subjects were the Savage Arms 16FSS No. 17425, $569; a Browning A-Bolt II Composite Stalker No. 035012248, $734; and the Ruger KM77RFP MK II No. 17839, $695.
When we tested three inexpensive hunting rifles suitable for a range of big-game field use, we were pleasantly surprised at their accuracy and functionality.
The bolt action rifle is easily the most popular type of centerfire hunting rifle in this country, and for good reasons. They are accurate, reliable and easy to use. The second most popular type of hunting arm is the lever action rifle. Such guns aren't accurate at long distances, but these easy-handling firearms are just what is needed in the brush where distances are short.
Excluding rimfire models, the least popular type of hunting firearm is the pump action rifle. This is probably because one of the main contact points between a rifle and a shooter or rest, the forend, isn't fixed and typically has some side-to-side play. If a gun isn't held steady, it is difficult to hit the intende...
The domestic rifle market is well populated with brands that consumers know well and trust, and as a result, they buy a lot of Weatherbys, Remingtons, Winchesters, Savages, Marlins, and Rugers. These companies make a number of grades of bolt-action guns, ranging from $300 to $350 entry-level guns to much more expensive custom-shop products, and everything in between. But across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, there are few pretty talented production gun makers whose products find favor overseas—and to a lesser extent on these shores—and we wondered how such bolt actions would rank when pitted against more familiar marques.
Thus, we arranged to test three rifles not made in the United Sta...
Ruger's Magnum takes the cake as a dangerous-game gun, and we also like Sako's 75 Hunter. Pass on the Winchester Model 70 Safari Express.