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View Full Version : Advice for 'budget' .308 bolt rifle


bvmd73
April 21, 2010, 12:23 AM
So I've finally decided to buy my first bolt action rifle. After filling my gun safe with handguns galore, it's time to expand my rifle collection. I'm looking for a .308 rifle to target shoot with. No hunting for me. I'm brand new to these type of rifles and the .308 caliber. I know that ammo is expensive as well as optics so my budget right now is not much for the rifle itself. From what I've read, here are some choices for a brand new rifle that is around $300-400.

1. Howa 1500
2. Weatherby Vanguard
3. Marlin XS7
4. Stevens 200
5. Savage Edge

I know that Remington, Tikka, FN and Savage (accutrigger) are about $100-200 more. I'd like to save that money for ammo or optics. Or do you think that a used Remy or Savage for $400 is worth it?

Are there any pros or cons with the above choices? Any other options I'm missing?

thanks in advance

kenno
April 21, 2010, 12:57 AM
Marlin or Howa are the 2 best in that list; better one of them new than a used rifle. buy a picatinny rail mount for the scope, buy the best quality 40mm or larger objective scope you can afford, even if it is a lower power with out bells and whistles, the light gathering ability of a scope is vital in low light.

javven
April 21, 2010, 01:20 AM
There are several versions of the 700 that can be had reasonably.

Scorch
April 21, 2010, 01:45 AM
Howa 1500, absolutely no questions about it. The Weatherby Vanguard is essentially the same rifle.

TDK
April 21, 2010, 01:49 AM
If you are located in teh south by an Academy Sports and Outdoors they have Remington 700ADL for $349.99. cant beat that.

Other than that look at Savage or Howa. bTW the Weatherby vanguard action is made by Howa, they are essentially the same gun.

Abel
April 21, 2010, 05:35 AM
Yes the Weatherby Vanguard and the Howa 1500 are the same barreled action, but the Vanguard might have a more rigid stock. If you just want a cheap cartridge, consider a 223 chambering.

uncyboo
April 21, 2010, 10:00 AM
I've always had good luck with used bolt rifles. There's really not much that can go wrong with them that can't be easily corrected.

bvmd73
April 21, 2010, 11:16 AM
thanks for everyone's input so far.

Here are my replies to-

kenno- I agree that Howa is probably the best on the list. I also agree about new rifle instead of used. Just don't know what kind of 'break-in' was done. Then again, for a $300-$400 rifle, it maybe doesn't even matter?

Javven- I'll try looking for a cheaper Remington 700. I know the 770 is not worth the time.

Scorch- yes, the Howa is nice (but it's also on the upper range of my budget-- around $400).

TDK- I live in Las Vegas so no Academy here for me. That is a cheap price for a Remington 700ADL.

Abel- I know that Howa and Weatherby are almost the same rifle but thanks for pointing out the minor difference. Also, I want a 308 because I have enough AR rifles in 223 and want something with more 'kick' on the range and for those 'zombies'. :D

uncyboo- used rifles are a great deal but since this is my 1st one and I'm not much of a gunsmith, I wouldn't know how to fix any 'problems'.


I've added the Savage Edge to the list which is a new model that just came out. There is a good review on Gunblast.

So I'm leaning now more towards the low end of my range- around $300 and have narrowed it down to the Savage Edge and Marlin XS7. I've read good things with both.

Just to let you all know, I'm more of a semi-auto guy- handguns and rifles (AR and AK). But I figured I need to fill the 'bolt-action' niche in my aresenal. I just bought 600 rounds of cheap (but corrosive) 308 ammo. Just enough to get a feel for my new bolt action. But if I don't like the rifle or caliber, I can always sell my rifle when I'm out of ammo. So I want to spend as little as possible on the rifle but enough to not get turned off to bolt action.

So Savage Edge vs. Marlin XS7.....maybe I should make a poll....

crimsondave
April 21, 2010, 03:18 PM
I know that Remington, Tikka, FN and Savage (accutrigger) are about $100-200 more. I'd like to save that money for ammo or optics. Or do you think that a used Remy or Savage for $400 is worth it?

Hard to beat a used Remington 700 (mid 90's and older) for shooting tight on a tight budget. The things will flat out SHOOT.

Brandy
April 21, 2010, 03:47 PM
that crap about any scope with more than a 40 mm objective. It's the QUALITY of the scope not the size of the objective.

Case in point 2.5-10x32 NF....bright enough to shoot in any legal light.

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z231/leadloader/DSCN3062.jpg

My Marlin 270 XLC and a five shot group from a freshly cleaned barrel. Nikon Coyote 4.5-14x40 (FORTY) scope.

http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z231/leadloader/DSCN3039.jpg



http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z231/leadloader/270group.jpg

troy_mclure
April 21, 2010, 05:15 PM
you can get used savage 110/111 accu triggers for around $300.

are you set on a bolt gun?

the h&r single shot rifles are pretty accurate.

mrawesome22
April 21, 2010, 07:21 PM
Why would you buy such a cheap gun for target shooting? If you're looking for accuracy, it's gonna cost ya.

bvmd73
April 21, 2010, 08:56 PM
I don't really want a single shot gun. I'm so used to semi-auto, that bolt action is different enough for me. The Savage Edge has a removable magazine so that is appealing to me. I'm looking at a few used Savages but still weary of buying used (unless it's too good a deal to pass up).

Accuracy can still be found on these 'budget' rifles. I'm not looking for 0.5 MOA. Around 1 MOA is fine with me for punching paper. It seems the Marlin XS7 is a 1-1.5 MOA rifle while the Savage Edge might be even < 1 MOA if you believe the gunblast review.

Irish80prf
April 21, 2010, 10:58 PM
"Why would you buy such a cheap gun for target shooting? If you're looking for accuracy, it's gonna cost ya. "

I'm sorry but that just isn't true. You can get good accuracy with a lower priced gun no problem. If I were to suggest a gun it would be a Savage or a Stevens. I haven't owned any of the other guns on your list but here is what my Savage .243 will do with handloads. This is my first 5 shots ever handloaded for this gun. It's a .46" group at 100 yards Oh I also have a Stevens in .223 and it will shoot sub moa at 200 yards, last group I measured was 1.38" center to center. Now if that isn't accurate I don't know what is.

mrawesome22
April 22, 2010, 04:39 PM
Savage .243 will do with handloads.
Exactly.

Irish80prf
April 22, 2010, 09:22 PM
What do you mean by "exactly"

Bamashooter
April 22, 2010, 09:35 PM
The T/C Venture was on sale in my area for 379.00 recently. They are guranteed to shoot MOA with good ammo. If i was looking for another bolt action rifle, I guess i would have to give them a look.

TX Hunter
April 22, 2010, 10:01 PM
I would buy the Stephens Rifle, its basicly a Savage 110, and thats an excelent rifle.

bvmd73
April 27, 2010, 08:47 PM
well, I finally made my decision- I bought a Savage Edge XP .308. I couldn't resist the price for the package- includes scope and mount. Paid only $270! I know I'm taking a risk with a new model that just came out. Hopefully it's 'still a Savage' and will be accurate and reliable. I'm picking it up this week so I'll post more details then.

thanks for everyone's input. :D

Irish80prf
April 27, 2010, 09:05 PM
Let us know how it is. I've been really curious about those. I know a lot of people don't like the looks of them but I dig it. I held one a couple of weeks ago and I really did like the feel of it.

Willie D
April 27, 2010, 09:09 PM
There is a good review on Gunblast.



There are no bad reviews on Gunblast.

I love reading their stuff but it's usually only a small step up from an advertisement.

slowr1der
April 27, 2010, 11:41 PM
Honestly, I think one of the best choices in that price range is the Savage Model 10 with the accu trigger they sell at Walmart. It's right at $400 with a cheap Simmons scope. They are accurate and nice handling rifles and the accu triggers are great. My next choice would probably be the Marlin or Stevens 200. I just think the Savage Model 10 is a better rifle. The Stevens is basically the same but I think the accu trigger is well worth the extra money.