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Old August 3, 2001, 10:11 AM   #1
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Join Date: August 3, 2001
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 4
Need a Cheap Varmit Rifle with Cheap Scope


I am very interested in getting into varmit hunting (groudhogs, squirrels, and coyotes). I don't have too much money to spend so I was wondering if you guys knew what kind of rig I can set up without burning a hole in my wallet.

I'm looking to spend a total of 500-600. I want an accurate and reliable bolt action rifle in a 223 or 243 caliber that can hit a groundhog from 150-250 yards away. I also want a good scope that will let me hit my target from 150-250 yards away and that is also cheap and durable. Also, a good place on the web to buy the products.

I welcome any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
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Old August 3, 2001, 12:01 PM   #2
Art Eatman
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Join Date: November 13, 1998
Location: Terlingua, TX; Thomasville, GA
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The odds are that a Savage will be your best bet. Since you're in Austintatious, you could trot over to McBride's at 30th & Lamar and browse through their used-gun racks.

Another option is to check the monthly gunshow over there on US 290, just east of I-35. (The old "Best Products" building)

I've had good luck with the middle-of-the-line (costwise) Tasco scopes, for all that many don't like them. Simmons scopes do okay, as well. Used scopes are often a good buy, and there is usually room to argue with a guy at a gunshow table.

The Federal .243 ammo with the 85-grain HPBT is very accurate.

For coyotes within 150 yards, a used Weaver K-4 or K-6 will do just fine, and there are many of them out there, fairly inexpensive.

To check a used scope, look through it backwards; any chips in the lenses from rough handling will be quite obvious.

Hope this helps,

You're from BATFE? Come right in! I use all your fine products!
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Old August 3, 2001, 07:54 PM   #3
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Join Date: October 23, 1998
Location: ATL
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If you were willing to go with a single-shot, you could get an H&R for less than $200, probably, new.

Read a recent test in a gun mag. Their .22-250 was shooting something like .25 MOA with the cheapest ammo they tested, Winchester USA.
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Old August 4, 2001, 12:41 AM   #4
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I absolutely agrre with Spectre!

A NEF or H&R Single shot for $225 + a Leupold Vari-X II for $250 + Rings for $25 (scope mount is included).

Total ~$500 for a subMOA rifle with a high quality piece of glass on it.

PLUS, you can send them (NEF only, no H&R can have new barrels fitted) your receiver and have new barrels in .22 hornet, .223, .223 (with heavy varmint barrel), 30-30 win., 45-70 Gov., .357 magnum, .44 magnum, 12 gauge, 16 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, .410, .410/.45 long colt.

Cost is $35 for shotgun barrels and $75 for rifle barrels.

You can go to and email them to send you a catalogue. I had mine in two days.


Last edited by KilgorII; August 4, 2001 at 10:03 PM.
Old August 4, 2001, 12:50 AM   #5
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BTW, the NEF can be bought in other calibers than listed above, such as .243 win, .308 win, 30-06, 7x57, 25-06, plus some others that I cannot recall off the top of my head.

You just can't have them rebarreled in those calibers.

Old August 4, 2001, 07:15 PM   #6
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Join Date: March 5, 2001
Location: south carolina
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NEF's address is
I have several and love em all. they shoot as well as my more expensive rifles and better than some .
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Old August 4, 2001, 08:24 PM   #7
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Join Date: January 9, 2000
Location: Red River Valley
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Scope Price

I recently heard that Bass Pro Shop selling the Leupold 3x9 Vari-X II for less than 200$. If you are willing to travel up from Austin, you can purchase a scope for dealer price. The key here is, I said, "I heard"; I have not confirmed this.
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Old August 4, 2001, 10:02 PM   #8
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Thanks BigAnimal. I guess I had a brainfart. I'll go back and change it.

Old August 6, 2001, 03:15 PM   #9
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Join Date: July 25, 2000
Location: Central TX
Posts: 1,501
Good suggestions for firearms here. For scopes, I'd check AuctionArms or for quality used glass (Leupold, Burris, etc.). For varminting, clearl glass and magnification are both important. Don't skimp on the scope. In my opinion, better to buy better glass used than inferior glass new.
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