View Full Version : Please help me find this rifle!

July 12, 2012, 09:31 PM
I'm GASing again (formerly Guitar, now Gun Acquisition Syndrome), and this time it's for a rifle that has the following characteristics:

1. Cheap! (or as cheap as you'd go before quality suffers noticeably)
2. Bolt action .243, .270, or .30-06
3. No fanciness, just a bare bones, solid performer.
4. proven reliability
5. This will mostly lie around, but I'll hunt whitetail with it eventually. I just want a long range shooter put away for when that day comes. I.E. I don't need something that comes with "braggin' rights"

I've done a little research, but can't decide between the Savage/Stevens 200, Marlin X7 series, or Mossberg ATR 100 series. That, and I know there's more out there I'm missing. Any suggestions as to what you'd go for?


July 12, 2012, 11:05 PM
IMO, they are all similar in many ways with no real standout. Which ever one you like and you can get a good price on. Try not to skimp on the optic and you'll have a nice hunter.


July 12, 2012, 11:31 PM
Define "Cheap!". I am out of touch with current prices, cheapskate that I am I have find used-gently used-rifles a bargain.

July 12, 2012, 11:36 PM
As with guitars...
Start cruising your local pawn stores to compare prices and availability of the .243 that appeals to you.

July 13, 2012, 01:25 AM
Given the choices you listed, the Stevens 200 is going to be the best bang for the buck (no pun intended). This rifle is a stripped-down version of the Savage bolt action rifle, well-known for their accuracy, and the combos even come complete with a scope. Check out WalMart's selection of rifles, they are generally plain-jane versions in plastic stocks, but it seems like that is exactly what you are looking for.

Also, check out the Howa 1500 rifles sold by chain sprting goods stores like Big5, their combos come complete with scopes and are great shooters as well as a great value.

July 13, 2012, 07:27 AM
Stevens 200. Marlin X series (XS7, XL7, etc).

gun nut
July 13, 2012, 07:33 AM
I like the savages for cheap. I also have a howa 1500 that shoots pretty well. Have not tried the Marlin or Mossberg.

July 13, 2012, 08:38 AM
The new Ruger American is reasonably priced and is getting good reviews.

Big Shrek
July 13, 2012, 11:38 AM
Marlin's X-7 series is unbeatable for the price...heck, gotta get into a $1500+ price range to out-do 'em...
Sub-MOA from the box...Factory Pillar Bedding, Adjustable Trigger, Factory Recoil Pad, Fluted Bolt, etc etc etc...
and they start at $299!!!

All ya gotta do is get good glass on 'em...and since you save a bundle from the low price, grab a Nikon :D

Also, Boyd's Riflestocks makes a wide variety of Laminate Stocks...around $99 each...if you prefer wood :)

July 13, 2012, 01:48 PM
+1 on the Marlin. Hard to beat for the money.

July 13, 2012, 02:16 PM
I just bought the Mossberg in the 270. It is a tack driver at 100yds with good glass on top. Picked mine up at Walmart for $278 OTD. Can't hardly beat that price.

July 13, 2012, 02:16 PM
The Stevens 200 is being phased out in favor of the Axis. They are still out there, but they are getting harder to find, and may not be available in the calibers you want. I'd pass on the Axis as well. The Mossberg is a no go for me. I do like the Marlin. The Axis, Mossberg and Remington 770 are all what I call disposable rifles. They shoot well enough when new, but are not designed for long term use. After a while something will eventually break and the cost of repair will easily exceed the value of the gun.

If I were buying on the cheap I'd look at the TC Venture. At around $450 it is not as cheap as some others, but offers a lot more and is worth the money to me.

The Weatherby Vanguard is a good solid gun. It has been replaced by an improved S2 version, but the older guns can still be found on close out for around $350 in many places. The newer S2 is selling for about $470.
Either are a lot of gun for the money, but are a lot heavier than I care to drag around in the mountains. They do shoot well if you don't mind a heavy rifle.

The new Ruger shows promise, but has not been out long enough to say for sure. At $350 it would be my 2nd choice behind the TC. After it is out a while it might move up to #1 in my recomendations, but we'll just have to wait and see how it does.

July 14, 2012, 08:18 AM
My best advice is to make sure you shop around. Any of the rifles you mentioned will be about the same for quality, so the biggest variables are how well it fits when you shoulder it, how easy it is to get a good cheek weld when your are looking through the scope, and, of course, price. I would start by finding a store that carries the rifles you are considering and see which ones fit you. Eliminate any that don't feel right, and then start shopping around for the best price. Online sellers like Bud's and Cheap as Dirt can often beat the price of local stores, just remember to account for shipping and FFL fees.

Also, don't overlook used options. The used market varies by location, of course, but check out what is available in your area. You may find a higher quality rifle in your price range, and many will have much better glass than what you will get from the factory.

July 14, 2012, 09:25 AM
I know there's more out there I'm missing. Any suggestions as to what you'd go for?

You could add the Weatherby Vanguard to your list. It offers a lot of rifle for a reasonable price.

July 14, 2012, 10:11 AM
I feel ya, Elliottsdad.

I could REALLY go for a 7mm RM.



The only problem is spousal opposition.

July 14, 2012, 02:12 PM
I bought my son a Marlin XS7 in 7-08. I was impressed, solid moa rifle with a good trigger. Mounted a Burris 3-9x50 FFII and It rocks. Very hard to beat for the money.