I agree with everything said. For entry centerfire rifles, the best value is a ruger american, with the remington 783 or 770 coming in next. (I think the remington 710 has been discontinued.) The problem is that the original poster wanted a rifle for varmints in .223. Neither the ruger nor the remingtons are offered in those chamberings.
You can get a ruger american chambered for .22-250 and that could be an alternative. Another possibility would be to spend 150 bucks more and get a howa chambered in .223, which is a much better rifle, by light years, than the ones already discussed. If you still want the savage brand, I would pass on the axis and get a savage 11 hunter. They list for 525 $ and the street price is usually a little less.
Of course the gorilla in the room is finding any rifle chambered for .223 right now and .223 ammunition at reasonable prices.
Last edited by hammie; March 16, 2013 at 06:58 PM.