This is a zombie thread, so some of the information is ~2 years old. I recognize that the basic question ("What kind of .308 rifle can I get for <$500?") is still a valid question, but I'm going to ask that folks who still have questions about this start a new thread. Given the recent climate in firearms sales, I suspect lots of the old price information needs to be updated, anyway.
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.
If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman