Three Bolt Action Rifles For Lefties

09/27/12 8:00 PM | by

My father was left handed. My son may be. I lucked out, in a way, in that most guitars and guns have a right handed orientation. They’re built by right handed people who can test their performance in the same way that they’ll be used.

And that has me thinking. What if my son is left handed? He’ll inherit some guns that are set up for me, not him. The world will continue to turn, I guess.

Lefties used to have to make some tough choices.  Two of my best friends are left handed. Both play guitar. One learned to play right handed instruments. I can’t imagine how hard that is. The other, who has the money to fund such a search, scours the nation looking for really great left handed instruments.

But left handed guns are much easier to find, and it seems to be getting easier every day.

Three Left Handed Rifles

The guns I’m going to include in this preview are built specifically for the southpaw. These are not right handed guns that are easily converted to left handed guns. And I’m not looking at the ambidextrous weapons (though there are more of those out there these days, too).

I’m talking about true left handed bolt action guns.

Ruger’s M77 Standard Hawkeye

Ruger understands the sporting rifle market. Their guns embrace tradition, value and craftsmanship. The M77 represents a big chunk of their bolt action market, and the guns come in a variety of configurations and calibers. For lefties, there are 12 Standard models, each in a different caliber.
Ruger M77 Standard Hawkeye Left Handed rifle
This is a staple hunting gun. The Standard, as the name suggests, is the model that provides the base for comparison.

And what you will find with the M77 Standard is also a fine baseline level of performance. The rifle is set up for mounting a scope, perhaps a standard 3-9×40. There are no iron sights. The stock is wood. While it has a nice finish, it is in no way fancy. The finish is a flat matte black that weathers well.

This is a gun that will look much better after it has been taken on a few hunts. It begs for honest wear, and will provide you with honest results. The price? MSRP on all calibers comes in at $859. While this isn’t chump-change, the rifle will last forever (if you take care of it). And if you practice, the M77 will shoot 2 MOA, easy.

The Savage Model 14/114 American Classic

If you aren’t going to call a gun a standard something-or-other, I’d suggest the name classic. Especially if what you are selling is the Savage Model 14/114. This left handed rifle is another solid performer with a look that reminds me of a by-gone-era.
The Savage Model 14/114 Left handed
But the performance of most of Savage’s rifles is anything but “classic.” When I think of classic bolt action rifles, I don’t think of guns capable of shooting the way the Savage guns shoot these days. I hear amazing things. Their performance, according to some dedicated fans of the rifles, is almost too good to believe.

Why? Mainly because of the price. The Model 14/114 comes is priced at $860. It is available in eight calibers. All of which, I’m told, will shoot groups just over an inch, or better. I’ve yet to get my hands on a Savage bolt action, though I have a Model 42 in for review right now and I’m hooked on the Savagery, for sure.

Classic lines. Incredible performance. And a great anachronistic Indian head logo. What more could you ask for? I guess something tasty to shoot at.

The Tikka T3 Lite Stainless

Maybe these standard, classic hunting guns aren’t for you. You’ve had enough of the warmth of natural materials, like wood. You are, after-all, a modern left handed shooter. You prefer to eat your venison off of a table bought at IKEA, not Ethan Allen. What are you to do?
Tikka T3
No worries. There are guns out there for you, too. The Tikka T3, for one. Tikka is now a part of Beretta Holding. As such, there is a lot of history backing these guns. They are Finnish, originally, and part of Sako (who makes ridiculously accurate rifles).

Tikka is their entry level rifle. As such, the T3 comes in under the Savage and the Ruger, if only just. The T3’s MSRP is $850.

The T3 line does away with almost all elements of decoration. Their materials are excellent, though not as aesthetically appealing as many rifles. And there is no extra adornment. The T3 Lite Stainless barrel is free floated. The stock, made from polymer, is sufficient (if not pretty).

Conclusion

If you’re left handed, shooting a left handed gun matters. I can’t say that from personal experience, but I know trust that it is true. I have it on good authority.

I have had a couple of holsters built by Tony at Multi Holsters. He specializes in left handed equipment. “I would say 10 percent of our holsters are for lefties. I have people who were close to throwing in the towel from carrying a certain weapon until they found my website.”

Throwing in the towel. That’s the type of frustration I hear from my family and friends. But there are options. You just might have to do a bit of digging to get you hands on one.

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