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Old July 21, 2010, 08:39 AM   #1
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First time Rifle

I've never owned a rifle, but I am wanting to get my first one (with the idea of plinking and occational hunting). After browsing the boards for a while, I think I've narrowed it down to either a Savage Edge series or a Stevens 200 series (both .308). As you can tell, money is definitely a factor!

Any thoughts on which one would be a better choice for a first time rifle? Or any other suggestions around this price range. Thanks
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Old July 21, 2010, 08:48 AM   #2
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Thumbs up on the Stevens 200,,,

American Rifleman call it one of the best rifles ever for the buck.

I do not own one but I do shoot with two buddies who have them,,,
One in .223 and the other I think in .270

These guns are very accurate,,,
With nice optics they perform very well,,,
And by nice I mean only in the $125.00 price range.

I can't comment on the other rifle as I have never seen one,,,
But I can say that the Savage 200 is one fine gun.

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Old July 21, 2010, 10:02 AM   #3
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I would suggest going out to a range where there are people firing different chamberings. If you approach them politely and with respect, explain that you are new to the sport, and that you intend on getting a rifle for youself soon, most will let you fire a couple of rounds through their rifle.

Its a lot easier to decide what YOU like. Its not that important what WE like.
No such thing as a stupid question. What is stupid is not asking it.
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Old July 21, 2010, 01:58 PM   #4
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Well after reading around some more, it looks like I might go with a .22 or .243 since I've never used a rifle. I want to get decent with it before just grabbing a bigger size. If I go down to .22 or .243, would the Savage/Stevens still be a good choice, or is there different ones for reasonably the same price? Also, what can you hunt with the .22 or .243?

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Old July 21, 2010, 02:34 PM   #5
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Hard to beat a 22lr

Hard to beat a 22lr for a first gun if you were talking rim fire. If you were talking about the center fire 22's out there then they are of course more expensive to probably buy and operate.

I bought one of my sons a Remington 22 bolt action around 10 years ago for Christmas that was around $130.00 out the door including 4x scope. It does not have the smoothest action but feeds every time and is great fun to shoot.

As for hunting 22lr is only good for small game and varmits. If you want to hunt deer here in Texas a centerfire cartridge is required by regulation. 22Hornet is legal but .243 is a much better choice IMO.

I have no experience with either the Savage or Stevens so I cannot comment on them. I feel I have gotton more bang for the buck buying used guns and then spending more on optics.

Good luck with you first rifle.

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Old July 21, 2010, 03:07 PM   #6
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I'd go Stevens 200

Nothing wrong with the newer Edge. It's even cheaper!

The absolute best feature of the Steven's 200 is the action. It is a Savage 110 . You can strip everything off it and add whatever parts YOU want.
Seriously, any fool can work on a savage with a minimum of tools and expense. Darned accurate rifles too. They will regularly outshoot Remington, ruger, Winchester, etc.
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Old July 21, 2010, 03:14 PM   #7
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Again, this may be a stupid question. But let's assume I go with the Stevens/Edge. Over time, I get better and actually know what I'm doing. You say I can strip everything off it and add whatever parts I want (stock, barrell, trigger, etc.) Do people usually do this to improve the performance of the rifle, or is it a more for looks thing because I hear these rifles are accurate but I see a lot of people complain about their looks.
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Old July 21, 2010, 03:42 PM   #8
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Bit of both

Savage 110/Steven's 200 Yes.
Edge, not so much. The Edge is new and there is virtually nothing available to allow customization. That may change.
Savage barrels are pretty good. Unless you want to do long range target work I'd stick with the one you've got. Most people tinker with the 110 series to give them multiple caliber capability off the same reciever. You can switch a savage barrel in about ten minutes to another caliber in the same family(say .30-06 to .25-06, or .308 winch to .243 winch).
Accuracy wise the 110 platform can benefit from a trigger upgrade and machined recoil lug. A good trigger will run you about $100 and the lug about $30.
Many times you won't need either as savage will often shoot sub MOA out of the box.
For what you are looking for you probably would never need to do anything but sight it in. Most savage fans just like to mess with things.
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Old July 21, 2010, 03:44 PM   #9
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Sounds like you may have half your mind made up....there's nothing like knowing where you're going,,,I just traded a stuffed-bobcat,(yes that very same one I shot in the left hind leg trottin away at 120yds, but that's another story) for a 270 win Savage 110, in a black composite stock. So far it's been cool, a good accounting for the Savage brand. I haven't shot it much so I'll have to get back to you. However the man I traded with said he didn't shoot it much,I found he didn't clean it much either so after a thorough cleaning I found a rifle that had not been fired much. In the end I got what I wanted, You will to.. I hope this won't further confuse you.
Happy shootin
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Old July 21, 2010, 09:04 PM   #10
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You'll be well served by a Stevens 200. You can upgrade parts but the odds are you won't need to. You can adjust the trigger down to 3.5 lbs and that is light enough for most target shooting. Yeah a 1 lb trigger makes it easier to not pull your shot but really 3.5 lbs isn't to bad. I've shot some guns with really light triggers and I hate them, that's just me though. I have a Stevens in .223 and it is very accurate (3/4"@100yds) and just down right fun to shoot. Good luck.
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Old July 21, 2010, 09:19 PM   #11
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Hey, you want some really CRAZY ADVICE . If you have not done too much shooting you need to get lots of practice. For that a 22 rimfire is hard to beat. If you keep your eye peeled for bargains you might be able to get a Marlin semi-auto for about $100. You can put a cheap Tasco $8 scope on it and be shooting squirrels in the head at squirrel ranges (25 yards or so.) Now, you ought to still have some money left over. I would then get a MUZZLE LOADER. In this case a CVA Buck Horn 209 magnum in line for about 100-139 dollars and put a 4X fixed power scope on it. That in line is trouble to clean but the accuracy is very good- say 3" groups at 100 yards. NOW for the same amount of money you have a 22 for target practice, squirrels, rabbits, plus a heavy rifle for deer, etc that can be used in the Muzzle loading season (In most places) as well as regular gun season. Just a thought.
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Old July 21, 2010, 09:54 PM   #12
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Savage 110/Steven's 200 Yes. 

But start with a .22Lr and get the mechanics of aiming down using cheap ammo.
Start with a bolt action; those are cheaper. Also (and this is personal opinion)--semi-autos can make you lazy. And bad habits set in fast if you are first learning and practicing bad form. If you have to hand cycle a bolt to take a second shot, you tend to pay more attention the second time around.

If your hunting will include animals something larger than a bread box, you can choose a larger caliber later.
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Old July 22, 2010, 02:18 AM   #13
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Other category...Marlin XS7 in .308

Adjustable target trigger
Pillar bedded at the factory
Factory installed recoil pad
Fluted bolt
Recessed Target crown.

And only $290.98 + tax at Walmart

Have yet to see one which wasn't sub-1" at 100 yards.
You do your part, it'll definitely do the job.
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