The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: Bolt, Lever, and Pump Action

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old June 26, 2013, 12:01 PM   #1
bricz75
Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2012
Posts: 60
Budget bolt-action rifles, which is most durable?

In recent times a number of budget bolt-action rifles have come to the market-place. Articles and posts will typically comment on the accuracy, trigger, and ergonomics. How about durability? Which one of two of the below rifles are least likely to need gunsmith repair? Which one or two can be knocked around and manipulated without breaking?

Savage Axis
Ruger American
Marlin X7
Stevens 200
Any others in this price range


Happy Shooting
bricz75 is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 12:05 PM   #2
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,723
The most tried and true of the bunch is the Stevens 200. It is essentially the old Savage Model 110 (or is it 10? ) action with a very plain-jane composite stock.
Doyle is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 01:13 PM   #3
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,891
The Marlin and Savage are based on quality designs with cosmetic shortcuts to save money

The Axis and Ruger are new guns designed from the ground up to be as cheap as possible. We won't know how they will hold up for a few more years. The Savage and Marlin would be the safest bet in my opinion.

Others to consider that have been around for a while are the Howa/Weatherby Vanguard rifles which can be found for $350-$400. They are rock solid. The Remington ADL's are still in the $400 range and are based on a well proven design.
jmr40 is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 06:04 PM   #4
steveNChunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Location: Southern Appalachian Mtns
Posts: 1,282
Missing from your list is the toughest budget rifle of all. The Howa 1500. The action is built like a brick house and smooth as silk. The Hogue stock that comes on them is pretty tough too. The Weatherby Vanguard shares the same action but will cost you a little more for the Weatherby name and accuracy guarantee. Stevens 200 is a good one too. It's nothing less than a pre accutrigger Savage 110. One rifle I would mark off the list is the Axis. Flimsy, flexy stock that cant be upgraded and a horrible trigger. And while I really like the Ruger American, the detachable mag looks and feels like it belongs on a toy gun. I can see them breaking/wearing out over time.
__________________
I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it. - Clint Eastwood

Last edited by steveNChunter; June 26, 2013 at 06:27 PM.
steveNChunter is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 06:20 PM   #5
4runnerman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: Minnsota
Posts: 2,780
The Savage Axis is going to be the one I would go with,in fact I did 17,000 rounds ago. Give or take 100 or so. Still shoots very accurate and never a issue yet. In fact 3 months ago I picked up another in a 243 Camo. Very accurate rifle for $239.00 . This post is slanted as you can tell. I only own Savages and I have 9 of them now. They will out shoot almost everything out there and match the rest hole for hole. The Howa is a good one also at twice the price and twice the weight. Have not tried the Ruger, but what I have heard is good so far. Yes I have Also had Remmy,s. did not care for them. Unless you get a costly one IMHO they are junk.
__________________
NRA Certified RSO
NwCP- Performance Isn't Optional
4runnerman is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 06:50 PM   #6
steveNChunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Location: Southern Appalachian Mtns
Posts: 1,282
I wont argue with the accuracy or service life of your Axis, but if for any reason you wanted to rebarrel it, you can't. Its pressed on the action, not threaded. You throw it away and buy another one. If you want a better stock, nobody makes one. If you just want a cheap, disposable rifle to hunt with and never upgrade, then the Axis is just as good as anything else. But not my cup of tea.
__________________
I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it. - Clint Eastwood
steveNChunter is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 09:33 PM   #7
4runnerman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: Minnsota
Posts: 2,780
Steve--all you say is true. What I'm getting at is you have a very accurate rifle, it's cheap, lasts forever (almost anyhow). Only costed 200.00 and as you say disposable. I could buy 3 rifles for what you would pay to re- barrel once. And still shoot as accurate or better. As for looks--- we'll it's a shooting rifle not a display toy.. I have my own F- Class rifle too, but I have to baby it and make sure I don,t scratch it.. My axis--- chuck it in the truck and go.

All said and done I guess both points are valid here.
__________________
NRA Certified RSO
NwCP- Performance Isn't Optional

Last edited by 4runnerman; June 26, 2013 at 09:40 PM.
4runnerman is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 09:59 PM   #8
Weatherby Fan
Member
 
Join Date: May 9, 2013
Posts: 40
Vanguard by FAR. This rifle has no plastic parts except the stock and the bolt handle is machined rather than cast so there can be no voids or flaws.
Weatherby Fan is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 10:03 PM   #9
Weatherby Fan
Member
 
Join Date: May 9, 2013
Posts: 40
Quote:
I wont argue with the accuracy or service life of your Axis, but if for any reason you wanted to rebarrel it, you can't. Its pressed on the action, not threaded.
Quote:
Steve--all you say is true.
IT IS?!?!!? Since when does the Axis have a press fit barrel?! It obviously has a threaded barrel. What do you think the barrel nut is for!?!?!

The reason the Axis is not as durable as the vanguard and others are the plastic trigger guard and safety, the magazine which has a fragile plastic release. The bolt which is not easily maintained in the field, the fact that the recoil lug is not even part of the barreled action, and a crappy trigger that necessitates that people start clipping away at spring coils. Oh, and tiny ejection port removing the ability to easily single load, and one size action even for short cartridges and a horribly long scope mounting distance....um horribly flexy stock which affects point of impact if using a sling to steady shot, potentially flawed or less sturdy cast parts, and finally a horrible finish prone to rust very easily No need whatsoever to make things up about this rifle, it sucks enough as-is.
Weatherby Fan is offline  
Old June 26, 2013, 11:18 PM   #10
big al hunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2011
Location: Washington state
Posts: 932
Take a look a the Mossberg 100 atr http://www.mossberg.com/products/rif...e/mossberg-atr I hear good things about them. I traded for one, but haven't put it through its paces yet. It is more solidly made than my Savage edge (same gun as the axis). Replacement stocks are available if you don't like the options from the factory.
__________________
You can't fix stupid....however ignorance can be cured through education!
big al hunter is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 05:15 AM   #11
steveNChunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Location: Southern Appalachian Mtns
Posts: 1,282
Quote:
IT IS?!?!!? Since when does the Axis have a press fit barrel?! It obviously has a threaded barrel. What do you think the barrel nut is for!?!?!
You are right. I was getting it confused with the Remington 770, which does have a press fit barrel and is an even bigger piece of junk.



Quote:
The reason the Axis is not as durable as the vanguard and others are the plastic trigger guard and safety, the magazine which has a fragile plastic release. The bolt which is not easily maintained in the field, the fact that the recoil lug is not even part of the barreled action, and a crappy trigger that necessitates that people start clipping away at spring coils. Oh, and tiny ejection port removing the ability to easily single load, and one size action even for short cartridges and a horribly long scope mounting distance....um horribly flexy stock which affects point of impact if using a sling to steady shot, potentially flawed or less sturdy cast parts, and finally a horrible finish prone to rust very easily No need whatsoever to make things up about this rifle, it sucks enough as-is.
well said.

And I agree about the Vanguards/Howas. Awesome rifle for the money
__________________
I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it. - Clint Eastwood
steveNChunter is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 05:16 AM   #12
4runnerman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: Minnsota
Posts: 2,780
weatherbyfan- You can not deny they are a great very accurate rifle for the price. ( no other rifle in that price range will out shoot it). Actually for up to 3 times the price that statement is 90% true. Cheap stocks,, yes they are,but of the 4 that i have had and 2 i still have, it has never been a issue. trigger tension--Horrable -yes-- 2 screws out clip 1.5 coils,2 screws back, 5 minutes at the most. Life span 17,000 or so and still shooting one hole at 100 yards.
Contact me when your Vanguard gets there and let me know how it is doing
__________________
NRA Certified RSO
NwCP- Performance Isn't Optional

Last edited by 4runnerman; June 27, 2013 at 05:44 AM.
4runnerman is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 05:29 AM   #13
Beentown71
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2009
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,493
Re: Budget bolt-action rifles, which is most durable?

Howa. I have had the Axis, Marlin XS7S, and Howa 1500. The Howa is the better built and the most accurate of the three. I sold the other two. The Marlin was a fine rifle also and was under an inch shooter with handloads and a good day on the trigger for me.

I wanna try a Ruger American.
Beentown71 is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 09:12 AM   #14
Dirty_Harry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 11, 2006
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Posts: 1,042
Weatherby fan, you know the vanguard is basically a Howa correct?
__________________
"The only purpose for a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you never should have laid down."

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." -John Wayne
Dirty_Harry is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 09:13 AM   #15
Dirty_Harry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 11, 2006
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
Posts: 1,042
Oh, and to answer the original question, mosin nagant.
__________________
"The only purpose for a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you never should have laid down."

"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them." -John Wayne
Dirty_Harry is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 09:39 AM   #16
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,723
Quote:
Take a look a the Mossberg 100 atr http://www.mossberg.com/products/rif...e/mossberg-atr I hear good things about them
You'll hear just as many negative comments. Most people think they are not even up to par with the Axis.
Doyle is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 11:37 AM   #17
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,891
Quote:
This post is slanted as you can tell. I only own Savages and I have 9 of them now. They will out shoot almost everything out there and match the rest hole for hole.
I'm not being critical, everyone has a different perspective on what is important. But 9 cheap rifles just doesn't do anything for me. The Axis is $277 here, a Savage can go anywhere from $350-$650 depeiding. You're looking at close to $3000 in cheap rifles with very poor resale value. And another $1500-$2000 in cheap mounts and glass to go on them.

I ended up with a safe full of guns a few years ago. Mostly Rugers, Remingtons and Winchesters that I bought used. I took several to a LGS and sold them on consignment, all for more than I paid. 2 months later I walked out with a new Kimber and close to $2000 in my pocket. Since then I've been slowly selling off lots of other stuff and either saving the money or upgrading.

I cannot use 9 rifles. I'd rather have 1-2 good ones.

I've owned several Savage rifles in the past. I never found the internet myth about them being any more accurate than anything else to be true. I've found them to equal many more expensive rifles, at least sometimes, but never better. Never owned or shot a Savage that could shoot as well as the Kimber.
jmr40 is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 02:07 PM   #18
4runnerman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: Minnsota
Posts: 2,780
jmr40- Only 2 of them are Axis. 2 are F-Class, 2 are FVSS, One Model 111 Int trophy Hunter, 1- 10/110 Preditor Hunter, oops-- Only have 8 not nine--
I keep the Axis,(Actually one is the older Edge version) only because they shoot so well and as you say-Resale is nothing, That and I never sell a gun
__________________
NRA Certified RSO
NwCP- Performance Isn't Optional
4runnerman is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 03:03 PM   #19
emcon5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 10, 1999
Location: High Desert NV
Posts: 1,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty_Harry
Oh, and to answer the original question, mosin nagant.
This. Even with the prices going up in the past year, you won't find a more durable rifle for the money.

Probably not the answer you are looking for though.....
emcon5 is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 04:04 PM   #20
bricz75
Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2012
Posts: 60
@jmr40: I felt that about the Marlin and Stevens/Savage, though I prefer a detachable box mag.

@steveNChunter: Yes the Howa is good. The rubber stock isn't for me though. I wonder how others feel about rubber stocks.

@4runnerman: Impressive round count. I wish the mag held more than three rounds, though.

@Weatherby Fan: I didn't know a sling will affect the POI with the Axis. Is that such with the Ruger American? Others?

@Dirty_Harry: +1 on the Mosin for durability. I don't know what kind of adjustments are necessary for POA to equal POI are necessary. I also haven't read anything on groups at 100 yards.

All: I vaguely remember reading something that the bedding in the Ruger American is such that if you sight it when its summer temperature, the POI will be different if you then shoot it at winter temperature. Or vice-versa. I have know idea if this is true or if it is, it applies to the other rifles.

Thanks for the comments, all!
bricz75 is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 05:51 PM   #21
steveNChunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2012
Location: Southern Appalachian Mtns
Posts: 1,282
Quote:
@steveNChunter: Yes the Howa is good. The rubber stock isn't for me though. I wonder how others feel about rubber stocks.
I personally like the rubberized finish on my Hogue-stocked Howa. The whole stock itself isn't rubber, just the texture of the finish. But I realize its not for everyone. I actually bought mine as a barreled action and bought the Hogue stock with the full-length aluminum bedding block seperately. (The Howa/Hogue package comes with the pillar bedded stock)

They offer the Howa in several different stocks such as a walnut, laminates, a couple different BLACKHAWK! synthetics, and a bunch of different camo finishes.

Or, you could just do what I did and buy a barreled action and put it in whatever stock you want.

The standard profile/blued finish barreled actions can be had for under $400 last time I checked.

Check out all the options-http://www.legacysports.com/barreled-actions
__________________
I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it. - Clint Eastwood
steveNChunter is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 08:45 PM   #22
4runnerman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 16, 2010
Location: Minnsota
Posts: 2,780
brizc75--Mag holds 5 rounds. Howa- The rubber stock- I also very much like the feel of it.
__________________
NRA Certified RSO
NwCP- Performance Isn't Optional
4runnerman is offline  
Old June 27, 2013, 11:05 PM   #23
big al hunter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2011
Location: Washington state
Posts: 932
Quote:
You'll hear just as many negativecomments. Most people think they are not even up to par with the Axis.
The Mossberg has an adjustable trigger. And you can get them with a wood stock. The two issues most complained about with the Axis is the tupperware stock and the terrible trigger. I have yet to hear a complaint from someone that actually owns a Mossberg 100 atr.
__________________
You can't fix stupid....however ignorance can be cured through education!
big al hunter is offline  
Old June 28, 2013, 05:37 AM   #24
hooligan1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 18, 2010
Location: Independence Missouri
Posts: 3,262
I'm a Savage Freak for sure and on this list the OP has the Stevens 200, thats where I'd start and finish.....
The Howa is heavy, Vanguard one in the same...although very accurate rifles of course.
__________________
Thanks for coming!
hooligan1 is offline  
Old June 28, 2013, 06:46 AM   #25
jehu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2005
Posts: 346
TIKKA!
jehu is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13818 seconds with 9 queries