Author Topic: Have questions about Stevens 325 & Savage 340 Bolt Action rifles  (Read 3723 times)

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Hey Guys,
Can anyone give me some information on these two rifles? Like how well made they are made, any problems, how well they shot, etc?
I saw both makes and models in a gunstore the other day. The two Stevens were going for $249.99 each and the Savage was $279.99. All are Used.. Is this a good price for them?

The only difference I could tell between, the two makes and models was the way the bolt handles were shaped and the rear sights.

I currently have a Winchester made/Sears sold,Ted Williams, Model 100, 30-30 win. lever action rifle. Mechanically it's in good shape, needs re-blued, and it shoots great according to my brother but, I can't seem to hit anything with it while he can drive tacks.

I've been thinking hard about trading it on something that I might like better but, this rifle was given to me by my dad & grandmother when i was 15 yrs old. (I'm now 30) I even asked my dad if he would be upset, if I traded it toward something else and he said he wouldn't. he said he use to have guns that he couldn't hit anything with but, the next person could shoot it really well.

I'm thinking about maybe trading my lever action rifle for one of these bolt actions.. I tend to like a bolt action rifle alittle bit better for some reason.

I also thought about getting a set of lyman flip up sights for on my lever action and seeing if I can hit any better with those. My rifle currently has semi buck horn rear sight on it. It's alittle hard for me to see.

Oh... Can a scope base me mounted on the bolt actions that I'm asking about? One of the guns was drilled & tapped for a scope base. Can't remember which one..

i don't own a makarov anymore.


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Re: Have questions about Stevens 325 & Savage 340 Bolt Action rifles
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 07:39:42 PM »
These are the same guns, and their really cool for real USA iron. I'd say the prices are a little high, but I haven't shopped for one lately. If they are in 30-30, you can really make that caliber shine in a bolt gun.

However, their is NOTHING wrong with a model 94 Winchester. Especially one as old as yours is. If you don't really want to part with the rifle (and it sounds like you don't,) I recomend going with the aperture sight. Also, try to figure out what it is that causes the issue with you shooting it. My brother never could do well with old 94s because they had alot of drop in the comb and he had a skinny short face. We laced on a pad that raised his cheek weld and that did the trick.

I would work with what you got, but their is nothing wrong with those old bolts.

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Frisco Pete

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Re: Have questions about Stevens 325 & Savage 340 Bolt Action rifles
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 08:17:24 PM »
My dad had a 340 Savage for a quarter-century.  As mentioned, it is the later version of the 325.  His was in .222 Rem and was fairly accurate.  He shot it a lot, and by the time I got to play with it, it had lost accuracy.  Knowing what I know now, I think I would have tried a couple of things to see if I could get it to shoot better again.  He sold it to my uncle and bought a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .223.

The 340 is really sort of an ugly cheap rifle.  Plain stocks, and lots of sheetmetal.  Plus the usual Savage barrel nut.  Still, it works, but I never could develop any love for the '50s-era 340, like the love my cheap .222 - the Remington 788 evokes - in spades.  That is probably one reason why 788s have double the resale value of a 340.  The 340 was not missed by me (or him).  Had a neighbor with a .30-30 340, but he was not much of a hunter, shooter, or gun guy.  I think another of our neighbor/friends actually shot most of his deer for him with a '06 Ruger M77.  Not the gun's fault.

The 340 has a single locking lug, rather than the usual two or more of 'regular' bolt rifles.  Less strength, but evidently totally adequate for the lower pressure rounds it was chambered for, like .222 and .30-30 e.g.
The other odd thing is that it has to use a side mount scope mount.  We are used to seeing this on various Russian-derived milsurps, but it is an oddity with Mauser-derived U.S. bolt actions.  My dad had a Weaver mount and never bothered with iron sights (6x Bushnell scope) and was quick and deadly with it.  However B-Square makes a side mount for the 340 that allows the use of irons.  Be aware that doing this is somewhat slower - and an experienced scope user can kick butt for speed on anyone who dithers on what to use on close shots.  But it fills the need.
The trigger on the 340 was only so-so.

I'm a big fan of aperture or peep sights on stuff like the .30-30 because I think they are more accurate if you figure them out (look through the peep and let your eye focus on the front without conscious effort).  Lever guns are a bit finicky to shoot from the bench with their narrow slab sides that cant easily, and a rest ahead of the lever and not under the barrel is helpful.  They seem to shoot naturally from unsupported positions.  

Personally, I would keep the lever .30-30, forget the 340, and save for a newer and nicer bolt action sporter rifle in more powerful and flatter shooting cartridge - .308, .270, whatever.  Then scope that rifle and you would be set and have a gun that can reach out much flatter and farther.  I think it is possible that you can get a good used rifle of this type for around the same price or not tons more - if you shop around.  But I have "been there" with the 340 and certainly have my own preferences and likes.
A lot of people who want to mess with reloading the .30-30 with pointed bullets and see how accurate they can be in a bolt gun will buy a cheap used 340 .30-30 to play with.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 08:24:10 PM by Frisco Pete »
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Re: Have questions about Stevens 325 & Savage 340 Bolt Action rifles
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 11:18:19 PM »
The first centerfire rifle I owned was a Savage 340B in 30-30. My parents bought it for me for Christmas around 1970 when I was 15 or so. At the same time my dad bought a Stevens 325 also in 30-30 for himself. These were both well used but fully functional and I think they paid about $60 apiece. I added the side mount and a Bushnell 4x scope to mine shortly after I got it and it has always held zero. With ammo it likes, it will put 3 shots into an inch at 100 yds and several friends have offered to buy it from me. I shortened the stock and this was the centerfire rifle my kids learned to shoot with and my wife used it to take her first deer. After the kids grew up, I added a thick recoil pad to bring the stock length back to normal. My dad gave his Stevens to my oldest boy. I took it down and had it drilled/tapped and found another side mount for it and he now has it. These are good solid rifles and when used within the effective range of the cartridge in which they are chambered, can certainly bring home the venison. I've seen them in my area for $200-$225. If you hunt in heavy brush and your shots are 150 yds or less a
30-30 works fine, be it a bolt action or lever action. Whichever shoots best for you.


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Re: Have questions about Stevens 325 & Savage 340 Bolt Action rifles
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 05:08:00 PM »
Well, I've been thinking hard about this and looked the bolt actions over some more yesterday.. Even though, I liked the bolt action alittle bit more then my lever action, I've decided to hang on to mine.

For one, it was a gift. Just can't get rid of presents that were given to me.. And two, I think it would be alot cheaper just to buy a set of Lyman flip up sights or a aperture sight and try to make it work.

Even if I would of traded the lever action toward a savage, I might still had to pay money toward it.. Like I doubt that a gunstore owner would of traded even up for it.. It might not of shot good, Might not of liked the rifle after I bought it, etc.. So, I decided to just keep it.. I have other rifles to use for hunting, just trying to get this one to work better.. Thanks for all the replies though..

I do have another question about the aperture sights.. If I do decide to go this route, Could I just buy a aperture sight and still be able to use my original front sight? (Kind of a dumb question)

Second, Does anyone make a aperture sight that slides into the rear dovetail groove? I've seen an SKS in another gunstore that has a similar setup and was wondering if the same thing could be accomplished with a lever action 30-30.
I know Winchester lever action rifles had the peep sights back on tang where to grip the rifle at. Saw those before espically, on the real old ones..

Well, Thanks Again!!
 Appericate it!!
i don't own a makarov anymore.


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Re: Have questions about Stevens 325 & Savage 340 Bolt Action rifles
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 08:45:45 PM »
mak, I think you are making the right choice.

I had a Sears branded version of the 325 in 30-30.  It was fun to have the 30-30 in bolt action, but the magazine was clumsy, and as already stated here, the rifle was decidedly low end in many ways.  Perfectly functional.  The kind of gun that deserves to be banging around in the back of the pickup cab, or kept at the cabin as a loaner for hunting buddies.

You could have your rifle drilled and tapped tapped for a peep sight.  You could fit a tang peep sight.  You might also consider using Williams Firesights.  I find those fiber optic type sights work much better than a buckhorn sight, because they are easier to see, and particularly on a hunting gun, are very fast to use.  They would fit in the rear dovetail.

Tang and side-receiver mounted peeps can usually work with the existing front sight.  Top receiver mounted sights usually need a taller front sight.

Go to MidwayUSA's web site and search on "peep sights Winchester" and/or "firesight winchester"
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Re: Have questions about Stevens 325 & Savage 340 Bolt Action rifles
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2011, 02:03:08 PM »
Where you need to spend some time is on a "pair" of sand bags. You need to build confidence in the fact that you can group with that particular gun. Blade or peep may tighten or loosen your grouping.... but you have to show your self the gun can group with you fireing it. Please dont use a pillow, rolled up jacket, 2x4, range log... A pair of rifle sand bags it the best way to build a ROCK SOLID rest on a good range table. As FP said, its a bit harder to keep a straight grip lever from canting on the bags but it can be done and you will save a pile of money in the learning process. Sight alignment, breath control, trigger sqeeze need to be nailed down from a rock solid rested gun first before you pi** rounds away with flinching, whobbling n jerking the trigger free style. Once you "see" you can group that gun, take away the rear rest first, work your grouping, move to hunting possitions after that. You need to see your self print a good group first... its all about confidence first!  8)
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