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snuzzo29
July 8, 2012, 06:46 PM
I am looking to get a rifle for hunting this year and plan on using it for deer. I was looking at keeping it around or under $450. Any recommendations? I checked out the Marlin X7, Savage Axis, and Savage 11 Hunter XP. I liked the Marlin X7 the best but don't know much about them. Any other rifles I should check out?

Picher
July 8, 2012, 07:09 PM
Take a serious look at the Ruger American. They can be had for about $350 and shoot about 1" at 100 yards with factory ammo.

I handled one at Cabelas and the buttstock seemed a bit long for me...and I'm a 6-footer.

taylorce1
July 8, 2012, 08:10 PM
Check out the used gun racks for good deals. If you want new take a look at Howa, Weatherby Vanguard, and T/C Ventures. I'd pass on the Savage Axis and go with the model 10/11/12 series or a Stevens 200. I like Savage rifles but not the Axis, it will be a long time until there will be a lot of after market support for these rifles.

GlenF
July 8, 2012, 08:49 PM
A few years ago I got a Mossberg ATR in 30-06. It has turned out to be a sweetheart.

May be a bit light, but the trigger is wonderful, and the accuracy with my hand loads is easily under 1 MOA. It's easily as accurate as any Rem 700 I've worked with. But the REM 700 is pretty.

Mine came as a package (with 3x9 no name scope and rings) for about $320.00. A great price for something that's going to be carried on a hunt.

h2opumper
July 8, 2012, 10:58 PM
I have three Marlins; 30-06, 270, 7mm-08. All are very accurate and suit my feel. I did free float the barrels on mine and added a metal trigger guard for <$20. If I had one thing I'd change on them would be to have the bolt lock when in safe. A magazine or floorplate would be nice, but it also compromises the rigidness of the stock. One thing about the Marlin, they are Marlin's "flagship" centerfire rifle. They are not competing against themselves in the same calibers.

jimbob86
July 9, 2012, 02:21 AM
Check out the used gun racks for good deals.

THIS.

You can find servicable guns in deer calibers with good glass already on them for $400.

There are also milsurps that will work for much less.

There's a Yugo M-24/47 at Cabela's for less than 300 ..... $150 Mosins.

BigMikey76
July 10, 2012, 01:57 PM
The Axis is lacking in the quality of its construction, but almost all first hand accounts I have read show them to be good shooters, which is the most important factor, of course.

I like the Marlin X7 rifles. They have a reputation as good shooters, and they are well constructed, The prices on them tend to be quite competetive.

For a bit more, you can go up to the Savage 10/110 or 11/111 models and have a good well made firearm, as well.

Used is definitely a good option, assuming there is a decent used market in your area. Just make sure to check the rifles for signs of misuse and unusually rough treatment or neglect.

I also recommend checking online pricing. New rifles are available from online vendors for far less than what you are likely to pay at a local store.

slow944
July 10, 2012, 03:26 PM
Just picked up the Mossberg ATR 100 in 270. Can't wait to get it to the range.

dab102999
July 10, 2012, 03:32 PM
Used racks is where i would look too but i am partial to wood stocks...but with that said i have been doing a lot of reading on the rugar american and can defintly see one of those in my safe in the near future if that means anything to ya.

snuzzo29
July 10, 2012, 08:01 PM
What about a Remington 700 ADL?

gun nut
July 10, 2012, 09:20 PM
I've been very happy with my savages for cheap guns. But the worst part of the axis IMO is the crappy trigger. But they seem to be fairly consistently accurate.

Scout
July 10, 2012, 10:41 PM
You may like the Stevens 200, I do.

sholling
July 10, 2012, 11:35 PM
I'm a big fan of Savage's AccuTrigger system and it looks like they have some model 11s and 111s with AccuTrigger at Bud's in your price range. The bundled scope is probably crappy but will get you by for a year. You just pick out a local dealer with reasonable transfer prices and have Bud's ship it to them. Just a heads up it usually takes them about 3-5 business days to ship.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/62_974/products_id/78513/Savage+111+111FXP3+.30-06+Springfield+with+Scope

They also have some Howas and Weatherby Vanguards in close to your price range. I like the Savage myself.

JTJones
July 10, 2012, 11:37 PM
I would look at the weatherby vangaurd S2. I was looking at one at my lgs.The rifle shouldered nice and balanced very well. I see buds has them for $474.00. I think that's a pretty good deal for a moa rifle.

Mosinka
July 10, 2012, 11:42 PM
You can find servicable guns in deer calibers with good glass already on them for $400.

There are also milsurps that will work for much less.

There's a Yugo M-24/47 at Cabela's for less than 300 ..... $150 Mosins.

I'm with Jimbob86 in his thinking here.

The M24/47 is a handsome and well made rifle, but the 8mm ammo is difficult to find and expensive, similar to .303 British.

I'm totally in agreement on the Mosin-Nagant. One of the finest rifles ever made. You can easily buy THREE of them for $450. Ammo is very reasonable, especially for plinking. Soft tip for hunting is available in 7.62x54R, anywhere from 150 to 203 grain.

I know you guys are talkin' bolt action here, but the SKS is worth a consideration for deer.

jimbob86
July 11, 2012, 01:57 PM
I'm totally in agreement on the Mosin-Nagant. One of the finest rifles ever made.



Ummmm .... "finest" must have a different meaning in your part of the country, I guess......

A Mosin is a robust design, and there are very sevicable examples out there .... and even the beaters will outshoot 85% of the people shooting them...... but "fine"?

Any rifle with a standard scope mounting system that precludes a good cheek to stock weld is not a "fine rifle".

Any rifle that needs a hammer to adjust it's irons for windage is not a "fine rifle".


I know you guys are talkin' bolt action here, but the SKS is worth a consideration for deer.

Depends upon the size of the deer and the range anticipated ..... it'd be a poor choice for my hunting...... if the animals are small and the shots are short, sure.

Mosinka
July 11, 2012, 09:36 PM
I apparently misunderstood your reference "$150 Mosins". I thought you were indicating that a $150 Mosin would be a good option. I happen to like the rifle. A lot. But that's me.

WildBill45
July 11, 2012, 09:42 PM
It is better to buy a used quality rifle, than a new less quality rifle. The bigger the bore the less shots will have been put through it. The better the brand the higher the resale value if you upgrade later. The lighter the rifle the more you will carry it. Only great triggers are interesting. Iron sights work, spend all the money on a rifle this year, get a scope next year.

jimbob86
July 12, 2012, 12:05 AM
It is better to buy a used quality rifle, than a new less quality rifle.
Truth. ....though defining "quality" can be problematic......

The lighter the rifle the more you will carry it.

Only true for lazy people .... which is 90+ percent of Americans.

Iron sights work, spend all the money on a rifle this year, get a scope next year.

Iron sights work, but a good scope works better in low light and at longer ranges. True, but if you can't hit a deer's vitals at 300 with irons ( provided you did your due diligence and practiced at that target size and range), I'll bet dollars to doughnut holes you can't do any better with a Swarovski or Zeiss, either.....


apparently misunderstood your reference "$150 Mosins". I thought you were indicating that a $150 Mosin would be a good option. I happen to like the rifle. A lot. But that's me. ]

Don't get me wrong, now: A 150 dollar mosin that will shoot to 4 MOA :eek: will be more than sufficient medicine for any sized bambi (or even elk!) within 100 yards of the shooter, and still have 4" of shooter error to spare! If the Mosin weilding hunter were really determined, and took up handloading, tuned his rifle, etc, it would be more than enough to 3-4 times that.... after that, he'll have to sart reading the wind/mirage and might need optics........ but for 85% of North American big game hunting (and 98% of it east of the Mississippi) a properly stoked 91/30 would work!





The bigger the bore the less shots will have been put through it.

Depends upon the wallet size and the level of masochism of the former owner, but in general true: I have ben advised against buying a varmit caliber rifle (.22-250 IIRC) just on the GP that it had probably had a bajillion rounds shot at prairie dogs out of it, and likely less maintenance than would be due such a round count.......

sholling
July 12, 2012, 03:24 AM
Perhaps some have never used a Howa or Weatherby Vanguard (almost the same thing) but they're remarkably well built rifles that within the OP's budget. The stocks they use on the cheaper models are a bit flexy but that can be fixed down the road with an aftermarket stock. Out of the box they're accurate and completely reliable and have decent triggers. The rifle itself will last a lfetime. The Savage 111 with AccuTrigger (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_62_974/products_id/78513/Savage+111+111FXP3+.30-06+Springfield+with+Scope) is no slouch either.

What should be replaced within a year is the bundled scope but even the doesn't need to be radically expensive just good. If you shop well $150 (http://www.natchezss.com/brand.cfm?contentID=productDetail&brand=WE&prodID=WE849403&prodTitle=Weaver%202-10X38%20Classic%20V-10%20Riflescope%20Ballistic-X%20Reticle%20Matte) will actually get you a pretty decent scope. But the cheapo that it comes with will get you by to start with.

dos0711
July 12, 2012, 04:25 AM
I'll also recommend you look at both thr Ruger American and the Weatherby Vanguard. I have the Vanguard and is a very good consistent shooter. The American has gotten very good reviews thus far.

WildBill45
July 12, 2012, 10:00 AM
Depends upon the wallet size and the level of masochism of the former owner, but in general true: I have ben advised against buying a varmit caliber rifle (.22-250 IIRC) just on the GP that it had probably had a bajillion rounds shot at prairie dogs out of it, and likely less maintenance than would be due such a round count......

You are right there! Rifle nuts like me and you may do it, and even then not by much, as the wallet does get in the way with the big bores these days. A box of Federal .450 Lott with TB 500 grain loads is $200.00 ... a rip off is my polite term of the situation! But, and there always is a but in life, I take care of all my guns, big or small...

Even slightly bigger can cost more, and less rounds are sent down range. A .308 is cheaper to shoot than a .300 Weatherby as an example, with easy to find cheap factory rounds and parts for reloading and, most folks won't shoot a Weatherby as often as a .308... For a beginner getting rounds down range is important for growth in the discipline!

Buzzcook
July 12, 2012, 12:29 PM
There are reasons .338rum don't get shot a lot and for the same reason they don't make very good first rifles.
Any standard cartridge from .243 up to .30-06 will do fine and shouldn't tear up your shoulder.

I agree that iron sites will work for a new shooter. They may even be a better idea for a young person with good eyes. But the majority of used bolt actions come with a scope, so looking only for iron sights limits your choices.

WildBill45
July 12, 2012, 05:12 PM
Iron sights work, spend all the money on a rifle this year, get a scope next year.

My statement above has been misinterpreted by some. I only mean that you should spend the majority or all of your money on a quality rifle first, as that will last a lifetime. You can get a scope later, because you don't have to have one, that is a luxury that can wait. Iron sights are not a handicap to a good shooter, but a scope can make a good shooter better I agree. If you find a quality rifle with a scope for that money, you either have a questionable rifle or a questionable scope. Most good scopes cost more than what you want to spend on the rifle only. My tip was for long term use, and a top shelf hunting setup that will not only last, but perform. You won't have to make excuses, like, "This rifle is AS GOOD AS, because it is the GOOD that other rifle owners say their rifle is AS GOOD AS ... THAT IS WORTH SOMETHING, EH?

Joe Chicago
July 12, 2012, 05:55 PM
I second JT: Look at the Weatherby Vanguard S2. It has great build quality, a sub MOA guarantee, three position safety and great two stage trigger. I got mine for $429 at Cabelas with a bit of haggling.

The only downside is the weight compared to other hunting rifles. Also, if you do not like two state triggers, this may not be the rifle for you.

On a final note, avoid new Remingtons as the factory quality has dropped. If you like Big Green, look for a used 700 or Model Seven from before The Freedom Group / Cerberus bought them. I had a 1997 ADL in 30-06 that never failed to function, felt great in my hands and would shoot a hair over an inch at 100 yds. I wish I had not traded it in toward a new Model Seven.