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The M-77 is a conventional "improved" Mauser actioned all steel & walnut rifle. The American features a vastly different designed action and was/is meant to compete in the current economy centerfire bolt action movement. If you can afford it I'd definitely suggest a M-77. I have 1 in 300 win mag that's my pet elk rifle, (or was until I gave it to my son). My personal favorite flavor is the older tang safety models. Also the M-77 weighs a tad more so it should recoil slightly less and if you get the wood stocked M-77 model you can put a better recoil pad on it easier. I'm just a sucker for steel & walnut.
 
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