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Cooper model 21 or others?

General discussion and information about the .204 Ruger.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:49 pm
I am looking at buying my 2nd 204. I am very interested in a Cooper Model 21 Varminter. I also have had my eye on the CZ 527, and Savage 12 BGTV. Any info or input on which model is better and y would be appreciated. From what I've found so far, I will be happy with any of these rifles.
Cooper M21 Varminter 204 Ruger with Leupold VX-3 6.5-20x40mm LR VHR
Custom Remington 700 6.5 x 47L with Leupold Mark 4 8.5-25x50 M1 TMR

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:52 am
I will admit up front that I am biased. I shoot a Cooper and think the world of those guns.

In my opinion, you're comparing apples and oranges here. There's nothing wrong with a Savage or CZ, but they certainly do not offer the blend of aesthetics and accuracy that a Cooper does. Whether that blend is worth the extra money is a personal decision that only you can answer, though.

Have you fired any of the guns that you're considering? For me, the Cooper is on another level there as well. Shooting my Model 21 makes me smile every time.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:04 am
I'll go along with Mike. The Cooper is in another class when compared to a CZ or Savage. Both shoot well, but the engineering, workmanship and materials start to show through on the higher quality guns.

You'll find that the CZ Varmint carries nicely, has good balance from the bench, bipod, or position shooting and is quite accurate in all the varmint calibers I'm familiar with. The Savage is more suited to bench shooting (IMHO), and feels like a club when carrying when compared to the other two. We all know they shoot well, but there's more to it than that.......

Like Mike, when I take a rifle out for a day, there's more to it than just shooting it. I want eye-pleasing asthetics in addition to stellar accuracy and handling. If that also appeals to you, then you should consider the Cooper. Best bang for the buck.....I'd vote CZ. If you just want an accurate rifle, and don't mind bent sheet metal parts, crude workmanship and rough machining, then maybe there's a Savage in your future, although they're getting quite proud of their rifles, and their price is also creeping up to the higher quality rifles.

Here's my Cooper M21 on the bench cooling her barrel between hot strings of ground squirrel action last season:

Image

In the end, you owe it to yourself to try to shoot a sample of each of these rifles in the field prior to making a decision.
Semper Fi
Rick in Oregon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:56 am
I have Cooper MTV's in .204, .223, and .243.
They are a sweet rifle, and very accurate.
My next one will be in .223 AI.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:54 am
I bought my first Cooper Varminter in .204 just over 3 years ago. Looks great, shoots great, what's not to like about a Cooper. Liked it so well, I bought a Phoenix in .204, and it is just as accurate, if not more so than the Varminter. Never owned a CZ or Savage, but for now, I'm pretty much sold on Coopers.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:02 pm
Mike and Rick in Oregon nailed it. Although I disagree the statement about Savages being crude. I would not buy a Cooper for predator hunting where a quick follow up shot may be needed. I own Coopers in .204, 20VT, and a model 22 currently being barreled in 20BR. I also own two Savages. It is awesome to be able to swap barrels when ever I want. In the best bang for the buck I still would consider the Coopers to be in the game because the other two will not be as consistently accurate. It is tough to beet Coopers accuracy for the price. If money is tight you could build a Savage and have a couple of barrels for about the price of a Cooper. For all out pleasure to own and shoot Coopers are the winner hands down. Be careful they are addictive.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:32 pm
Thanks guys! That's exactly what I've been hearing from everyone. I'm probably gonna get the Cooper. I had the chance to hold one last night and it felt perfect. I agree, the Savage felt like club although I've heard they're VERY accurate. I already have a 204 in Ruger M77 MKII Target so I have a rifle I can switch to if I want more than 1 shot. And I also have a 222 Rem. What are your thoughts on the Sako 85 Varmint? I've heard they're good as well.
Cooper M21 Varminter 204 Ruger with Leupold VX-3 6.5-20x40mm LR VHR
Custom Remington 700 6.5 x 47L with Leupold Mark 4 8.5-25x50 M1 TMR
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:59 pm
jd: Can't comment on the Sako M85 Varmint, but I've been shooting a M75 Varmint now for four years. It's accurate right out of the box, the set trigger is pure heaven, and it fits me perfectly. I load my SBK's long to get a tad closer to the lands, so don't use the detatchable magazine. As the M85 is an improved/updated version of the M75, I'm betting you'd like it.

My M75 in the field on a ground squirrel shoot:

Image

This rifle out of the box with my handloads has shot paper groups in the .2's, and field targets with both 32 & 39 SBK's in the .3's. It's "Minute of Rat" for as far as I can hit the little buggers. ;)
Semper Fi
Rick in Oregon
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:08 pm
How does the Sako compare to the Cooper though? I can get the Sako 85 for about 1750 and the Cooper 21 for about 1500
Cooper M21 Varminter 204 Ruger with Leupold VX-3 6.5-20x40mm LR VHR
Custom Remington 700 6.5 x 47L with Leupold Mark 4 8.5-25x50 M1 TMR
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:59 pm
If I was making that decision right now, I'd order my new Cooper immediately. Both very nice rifles, but there's just something about Cooper that defies words.

The smallest group I ever fired with a 'factory' rifle was with my Cooper in the field under field conditions using my handloads during a ground squirrel shoot last year. If memory serves, it was something like .190". I didn't want to waste any more ammo on paper, as squirrels were everywhere, but that was the "zero'ing" group on paper that day after a scope changeout.

Decisions, eh? :D
Semper Fi
Rick in Oregon
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Oregon, East of the Cascades - Where Common Sense Still Prevails
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:22 pm
Oh no..... Not more Cooper Kool Aid....? :lol:

-BCB
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:36 pm
Image Go for the Cooper! I can't wait to shoot this puppy come spring. Gary

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:18 pm
Two more points that I'll make about Cooper, then I'll have to get a refill on my Kool Aid. :D

1. I have never heard anyone regret a Cooper purchase. Ever.
2. Coopers hold their value extremely well. If you're not sure why, look at #1 again.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:38 am
Befor I got an itch for the .204,I wanted my local rifle builder to build me a 243AI,on a Rem 700SA.He couldn't give a time frame short of a year,so I asked ,"what is the best production gun I could buy"? He didn't hesitate to say,"Cooper".I checked out the web site and was impressed with what they have to offer.I called a Gun shop I've bought from before and the owner was about to order some Coopers.I was now thinking about a 22-250 and wanted a faster twist than offered.I didn't know that Savage had the Left port/Right bolt Varmit guns,which is the reason I wound up with the Savage LRPV in 204.I still have the 243AI being built by Jim Hart,but I wanted somnething to play with,while I waited.If it wasn't for the left port(always wanted that feature)I would have bought the Cooper in .204.My Savage has been back to the Factory(their expence)because the primer cratering was unbeliveable,and it would only extract 30% of the time.A new bolt head fixed 95% of the cratering,but they didn't fix the ejection problem.In fact it barely extracts the case from the chamber.Bottom line..........BUY THE COOPER, and never look back.

I still love the left port,and will build on a stillers or bat custom action for my next 20cal.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:04 am
Mike wrote:Two more points that I'll make about Cooper, then I'll have to get a refill on my Kool Aid. :D

1. I have never heard anyone regret a Cooper purchase. Ever.
2. Coopers hold their value extremely well. If you're not sure why, look at #1 again.


Answer to #1. I do.... I bought my first Cooper in 1997 and now I have several. I could have used the money more wisely and paid for a Doctorate Degree in Nuclear Physics and possibly saved the world from global warming... Instead all I have is a bunch of great shooting rifles that look great too.

Answer to #2. Why would you ever want to sell one to find out how well they hold their value? Maybe go out on limb and find a new wife occasionally, but buying a Cooper is a life-time commitment...

Bottom Line: A Cooper is never a bad investment.... And you can shoot them too.... And they are far from any mass produced rifle in terms of quality... Am I right, Rick..??

There....that's my contribution to the Cooper Kool-Aid...

JMO - BCB
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