Stalking Rifle advice

Hello gents

after a few months of jumping through various hoops for the police (largely caused by previous house moves and having to register at local GP and waiting for my records to be transferred from old GP) I've had a call from Police this week to confirm that my FAC is pretty much granted...

Refreshingly, I'm told that its been granted with no mentoring conditions on the basis of previous experience - yet to confirm land conditions but it looks like its open (as I haven't got any of my own land at present, just some paid stalks for now) - was a keen stalker in the early nineties, and my BDS quals from then seem to have carried some weight in the application hence no mentoring, FEO was quite surprised at that decision!

Huge thanks to Ugly for advice and guidance on best way to approach application etc.

So, I'm now in the market for a good woodland .243 stalking rifle on a limited budget...

Used to use a .243 Ruger (early model synthetic stock with SS barrel) and played round with a few others, was quite taken with a full-stock Sako forester belonging to someone else - so I'm sure I'll set of an argument by asking if I'm making a huge mistake in considering a stutzen?

Have seen a nice s/h BSA CF Stutz for a reasonable price, any experience or comments on that rifle or similar would be welcomed...

Not bothered about moderators and bipods - fairly old fashioned on that front and prefer the ability to carry round the rifle and get it in and out a vehicle easily (no comments regards allegations of it being easier to take a quick shot out the passenger window with a nice short rifle!)

Will also need a scope - thinking fixed magnification, 6 or 7/42 ish - budget up to £300 - any pointers on that front welcomed!


Picked up a Ruger 77 international (stutzen) in .243 from Biped
Polished dark wood,Classic lines, a real beauty and I had to have it!
Topped it off with a new Gameking 3-9x40 scope.

My daughter saw it, fell in love with it, and is now booked with Ugly for one of his "try stalking days" :D
Meanwhile she allowed me to test fire "Her Rifle" last week. :lol:
It was very pleasing to shoot and accurate too !

My comment?

For me it just feels "right"
The Steyr Pro Hunter 2 is an excellent rifle. I have one in 6.5x55 and wouldn't change it. The 'safe bolt' system is an excellent safety device; you can stalk with a round chambered, which makes a big difference if you don't have to cycle the bolt within earshot of the deer.


Book Reviewer
I've got about 8 different .243 rifles in at the moment, such as Ruger Stutzen, Tikka T3 and M595, Weatherby Vanguard, Ruger M77, Parker Hale, Remi 700 (fluted barrel synth), and a CZ550.

Prices range from £250, and go up to about £800.

Hope that helps. :)


Ruger, pretty soldier proof and damned accurate out of the box. Simple safety catch and dedicated rings. downsides are deicated rings, costs almost as much as a Tikka when new and secondhand prices are rising!
I do like them though and Biped has a nice full stocked one going for a song. They also do factory left handed ones!


If you want a better trigger then evryone seems to recommend the Savage accutrigger. I have CZ 500's as they come with a single set trigger. The thing is none of them are as bad as the service rifle trigger and you can get used to just about anything!
Have a look around on guntrader, and any gunshop you pass, for something like a Parker Hale, BSA or CZ or BRNO second hand. These rifles aren't particularly fashionable any more, so they don't command much second hand value, but many of them were purchased for infrequent paid stalking and have seen very little use. IMHO a lot of them are better built than more modern rifles too.

As to scopes, if you want new, the Burris Fullfield range are developing a following, I know several proffessional deer managers who use them in preference to more expensive makes. You may well be able to find a second hand Zeiss or S&B scope within your budget as well, especially if you will be happy with a fixed magnification scope.


Just returned from the LI reunion and pleasantly pleased to meet 2 other stalkers. I knew we were like minded but not that close. Now back to the point, neither of us with all our combined years experience could agree on the ideal calibre, barrel length, synth or wood, maker us or euro. That said we each had something for the others to drool over including a few rimfire shooters who were earwigging us big bores!
Needless to say an LI stalking exped is being organised, that said none of us is light anymore!

As for calling full stocked rifles schtutzens (UK) or Manlicher (US) neither is strictly correct, they are full stocked.
I have a couple and hopefully more on the way!

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