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Old April 17, 2013, 07:05 AM   #1
breakingcontact
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Looking at low cost bolt action guns.

Started off looking at Ruger American, Savage Axis and other sub $400 guns. Then came across a Howa 1500 Varminter Heavy barrel for around $600. Can a guy really get an accurate, reliable and durable gun for less than $400 (Savage Axis at Academy is $279!)?

Handling the Howa it felt like such a nicer gun than the cheaper ones. Is this just in fit and finish and doesn't carry over to actual accuracy, quality and durability?
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Old April 17, 2013, 07:09 AM   #2
hooligan1
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Savage 110's, 111's, Stevens 200, go to pawn shops and look at used rifles, you can find some excellent rifles out there cheap.
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Old April 17, 2013, 07:26 AM   #3
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Get you a .30 caliber plinker, good ol Mosin Nagant 91/30. I bought mine, 1934 Tula Armory Hex head receiver for $105 out the the door.

I can't speak for all Mosins but the ones that me and all my buddies own are built like bricks and have respectable accuracy. I have shot "1.75 groups @100 yards from benchrest with iron sights, thuough I didn't use milsurp ammo, I used some high grade commercial stuff, Remington something or other if I remember right.
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Old April 17, 2013, 09:33 AM   #4
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You'll get the most value buying a used gun. A couple of years ago I bought an older 700 BDL in .243 that had an abused stock for $300. I refinished it and recut the checkering and it looks factory new. Shoots under 1/2" with handloads too.
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Old April 17, 2013, 09:35 AM   #5
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IMO, it would depend what you intend the rifle for.

The Howa is a Whole 'nother breed 'o cat, from econo guns like the Axis or modern designs like the American - although any rifle can be accurized if it isn't good 'nuf out of the box.

Pride of ownership is no small thing - so I would suggest handling & examining as many different examples as possible (maybe travel to a gunshow for some coonfingering).



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Old April 17, 2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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The answer is yes, you can get an accurate, durable bolt action centerfire for less than $400 new. The Axis, Marlin XS or XL, Ruger American, Stevens 200 will all get the job done for years to come and it's a good bet they'll shoot as well as guns costing twice that much. DO NOT confuse this with them being equal quality though. The Howa and other more expensive gun will be a nicer.

Of the cheaper guns my favorite is the Stevens 200. Same basic action as the original Savages and all upgrade parts from barrels to stocks to triggers will bolt right on. Not needed by any means but it's nice to have options down the road and I can't recall using, seeing or hearing about one that wouldn't shoot MOA.
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Old April 17, 2013, 03:24 PM   #7
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I'm looking for an entry gun into the bolt action world. I really like to stick with a brand for a type of gun. So whatever I get, I want to find others in that brand that I would enjoy as well.

I've ruled out the Howa, thought about the idea of the Japanese who make them not being able to own them, doesn't sit well with me.

So I'm at Savage, Remington, Ruger, Winchester and others. I know the Remington 700 was considered the standard for a long time. I've heard over and over how their quality is way down now. Are the new Remingtons really that bad?

Savage seems to be the direction I'm heading in. They seem to be highly recommended and nearly universally praised for their accuracy.
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Old April 17, 2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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Something to consider with the Savage Axis is that it is what it is, if you don't love it for exactly what it is out of the box don't get one. If you don't like the synthetic stock that comes on it, you can not replace it with a different one. A new barrel will cost about as much as you paid for the gun in the first place. It is designed to be a rifle you shoot until it breaks and then you throw it away and buy another.
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Old April 17, 2013, 03:53 PM   #9
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Re: Looking at low cost bolt action guns.

I know its not readily customizable or highly refined but shoot it until it breaks?
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Old April 17, 2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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Frankly it is Savage's cheapest rifle. "Normal wear; tear; and/or corrosion." is not covered by Savage warranty. Warranty for "Any defect in materials or workmanship (performed by Savage Arms) encountered during normal use" is for 1 year.

So I would consider it a rifle to use until it breaks/wears out/you buy a better rifle.

Also keep in mind that it does not have the adjustable accu-trigger which is one of the better features in most of the rifles they produce.

I just don't see much to like about it. Probably shoots straight enough for what it is and what it cost, but for not very much more money you could have a much better rifle.
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Old April 17, 2013, 05:03 PM   #11
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In March I bought at a pawn shop a nicely sportered 1917 Eddystone in 30/06with scope and sling, minty bore, etc., for $330 out the door.

Noticed this week a nice K98 Mauser, sportered, in 30/06, for $275, kinda hoping it's still around next time I'm cashed up.

There's a Howa 30/06 at another shop right now, $595, with 3-9x scope.
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Old April 17, 2013, 05:14 PM   #12
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Re: Looking at low cost bolt action guns.

Just handled a Savage 110 w Nikon scope for $500. Considering the Savage Axis is $279+whatever for a decent scope and rings...it definitely makes the Axis look like less of a deal.

Handling the 110, it felt a world better than the Axis for not that much more. Might need to start a new thread about which Savage to get.
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Old April 17, 2013, 05:17 PM   #13
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ok my 2 cents

the ruger america is the best with built on features

the savage axis comes with a scope that is zeroed - similar design to ruger america (if you liked that)

the mosin nagant

there are plenty of these to mess and customize the 9130 is a large version mainly suited to long distance while the m44 is suited to a little less distance but easily fitted with a muzzel break

the new archangel stock is definatly going to have you drooling though

mosin (ANY) drop in and it converts your mosin to a detachable mag and can have 10 rounds and is a similiar stock to the m1a sniper rifle design.

but a mosin with boyds stock and a scout rifle in my opinion is just what i prefer and it is a head turner at the range

here is a pic of my mosin currently distance shooting 300 irons and im trying to zero its new scope
PIC

mosin for 98$ (big 5 sale), boyds stock 100$ brass stacker mount 50$, scope 24$ and still cheaper than the others unless i put a timny trigger on it(2 stage trigger)

achangel mosin
PIC

PIC

*sorry mixed up pic*
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Old April 17, 2013, 05:39 PM   #14
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Good, clean, used bolt-actions are a drug on the market, right now. If a person is pretty good at bargaining, a bunch of gun can be bought for not much money.

Hock shops rarely have over half their asking price invested in a rifle.
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Old April 17, 2013, 05:49 PM   #15
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You can't go wrong with the Mosin nagant 91/30! Less than $200 you have a rifle AND ammo to shoot all day!
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Old April 17, 2013, 06:21 PM   #16
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Re: Looking at low cost bolt action guns.

Cz and milsurp guys have invaded!

Art has a good point about pawn shops. Got a lot of them here. Need to find out which ones are good for guns. I'm not against buying used, just don't want someone else's mess.
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Old April 17, 2013, 06:41 PM   #17
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nothing wrong with used guns if you know what youre lookin at. my father was a gun smith and i never owned a new rifle til i grew up and moved out . when i started working for a living and could afford my first new rifle i was pretty excited it was nice but it didnt realy shoot any better then the ones my dad picked out or i selected from his racks, HTH.
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Old April 17, 2013, 08:41 PM   #18
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Re: Looking at low cost bolt action guns.

Did some browsing on gunbroker and found some nice looking used Savages. May try and hit the pawn shops this weekend too. Academy apparently gets some nice Savages in as well, beyond the 110 and Axis.
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Old April 17, 2013, 11:52 PM   #19
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Especially try pawn shops. I've had great luck finding nice condition guns for a reasonable price.
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Old April 18, 2013, 08:03 AM   #20
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Came across an interesting Savage last night.

Dick's Sporting Goods (yes, them).

Savage 11 VT 24" heavy barrel, Bushnell 4x12 40mm scope (i believe), on sale for $550, plus another $50 off.

Any opinions on this package? (not on Dick's)

Believe the scope on it is similar to this.

Last edited by breakingcontact; April 18, 2013 at 09:09 AM.
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Old April 18, 2013, 09:32 AM   #21
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A good used Remington 700 ADL or 788 would be a terrific bargain. Strong, smooth and accurate.
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Old April 18, 2013, 10:00 AM   #22
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Agreed, the 700 ADL you can get brand new with a 3x9x40 bushnell scope for 430 at walmart. Much better gun than the Axis or the Ruger american. Not to mention the customization aspect of the 700.
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Old April 18, 2013, 02:08 PM   #23
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Upstate you would think that the 700 is a better purchase than the Ruger American, but from what we've been hearing lately here is the Ruger is the one to own, in this class.
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Old April 18, 2013, 03:44 PM   #24
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Im sure the Ruger is accurate enough. I have read through the posts of people shooting something like 600 yards quite well with them on this forum. Its more or less ergonomics for me. The over all feel of the Ruger feels very cheap in my hands especially those rotary mags and the fore grip on the gun. Not that the remington has an outstanding synthetic stock itself! To each is own really, but in all honesty you can do anything with a 700 and the versatility is hard to compete with. In the end buy what fits you best and enjoy shooting!
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Old April 21, 2013, 01:15 AM   #25
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+1 for Ruger American

I was in the same boat a little bit ago going between the savage, ruger american and 700 ADL I picked up the ruger in .308 a few months back. No regrets

It's my first rifle and I'm very happy with it. For me, it's light but feels sturdy, Fits me well, the trigger is adjustable. Accurate. versatile, I can target shoot or potentially go hunting one day (not a lot of hunting opportunities in Los Angeles...) But if I ever wanted to I could.

Remingtons have more aftermarket products. And you will have to buy a scope for the Ruger so it will cost you more than a savage (which comes with a scope).
I dropped another $150 for a Burris FF2 3-9x40 on sale.

Honestly, if i had a bigger budget i probably would have gone with a tikka or rem 700. But the RA Is a quality rifle IMO and inexpensive. I'm happy.

Just my $.02

Did you already pick something up?
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