The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 3, 2019, 08:41 AM   #1
Hoffman123
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 16, 2019
Posts: 8
Best budget Bolt Rifle

I’m in the market for a bolt action rifle for punching holes and hunting white tail. I’d prefer to buy a more affordable rifle in .270 or 30-06. I see many newer budget bolt action rifles but I’d like your input on best bang for the buck. Thanks in advance.
Hoffman123 is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 09:02 AM   #2
SATRP
Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 2019
Posts: 81
Hoffman123,

If you intend to hunt with your new rifle, save more and buy better quality. It's very easy to have a few grand and more tied up in a big game hunt. I wouldn't risk wasting money on a hunt with a rifle that's prone to malfunction.

I'd rather buy a good quality used rifle than a new rifle of dubious quality.

My take is the Sauer 100 is the best quality entry level rifle on the market.
SATRP is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 09:15 AM   #3
ms6852
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 3, 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,029
For me my take and most accurate out of the box for a given price point is a Savage or Tikka. Have never had issues with either rifle in over a 1/2 century of hunting.
__________________
ONLY TWO DEFINING FORCES HAVE GIVEN UP THEIR LIVES FOR YOU. ONE IS JESUS CHRIST FOR YOUR SOUL AND THE OTHER IS THE AMERICAN SOLDIER FOR YOUR FREEDOM.
ms6852 is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 09:54 AM   #4
FrankenMauser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Potatoes and Hops
Posts: 11,803
Best bang for the buck, in roughly the order I would rank them...
Ruger American.
Howa.
Tikka.
Weatherby Vanguard (also a Howa).


Savage makes decent rifles, but I don't like them. Remington's barrel quality has gone down hill. And I just don't have enough experience with some of the other things on the market (Mossberg, etc.) to offer a valid opinion there.
__________________
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 09:58 AM   #5
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 2,330
I'd pick Savage for features (accutrigger) and accuracy. Over the last couple of decades Savage has taken a lot of quality out of their guns, but not really at the expense of accuracy. Yes, they're a cheap gun, but not to the point such as some of the junk Remington and others have been offering in their super junk big box models with the twenty dollar scopes on them. Those guns have triggers that nothing can be done with, and the tupper ware stocks easily twist like....a piece of tupperware. When you get down to the cheaper guns, Savage still offers something worth buying for the average guy who wants a decently accurate gun with a trigger that works fairly well.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 10:14 AM   #6
ligonierbill
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2007
Posts: 1,600
I can't give you a wide ranging comparison, but I can say the Ruger American is an excellent, reliable and accurate gun for the price. And I agree that, for a few hundred bucks more, the Sauer 100 is a superior rifle. I have both. The Sauer is smoother, better finished. Comparing accuracy is a little "apples and oranges", since the American is a .243 Win and the Sauer is a 9.3x62. But both put everything inside 1 1/2" and both have shot <1" with at least one bullet.
ligonierbill is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 10:28 AM   #7
std7mag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 23, 2013
Location: Central Taxylvania..
Posts: 2,584
Budget is a relative term. Is it $300 or $10,000?
You don't mention where you live.
I haven't bought a new rifle in decades. New to me, sure!
We also don't know what type of hunting your doing.
Are you looking for a 50 yards, woods gun, or a 400+ yard open plains gun?
__________________
This country was founded on two beliefs.
And I'm pretty sure pork rinds was one of them!
std7mag is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 12:21 PM   #8
Don Fischer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2017
Posts: 1,403
Define best? There is no such thing. Mostly best is nothing more than a matter of personal opinion! If I was limited on fund's for a new rifle, I'd get one I liked the feel of and the way it looked. That would be best!
Don Fischer is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 02:24 PM   #9
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,556
Most of the budget guns are on the lighter end of the spectrum, most are a pound or more lighter than standard rifles. A 30-06 or 270 will rock you in rifles that light. I'd recommed 308, 7-08 or 6.5 CM in order to keep recoil manageable. With today's bullets no game animal will ever know the difference.

Priced at about $400 or less the Ruger American rifles are hard to beat. The Savage Axis is even less expensive and may be as good. I just don't have any 1st hand experience.

The Savage 10/110 series are in the low $500 range and bridge the gap between budget rifle and are a step up

Personally I think the Tikka's are the most rifle for the money. They aren't the cheapest, but are far from expensive. You won't buy a more accurate rifle off the shelf.
__________________
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 04:33 PM   #10
Pathfinder45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2008
Posts: 2,719
If you were me and needed a good bolt rifle but didn't have much available cash, the rifle would be used, it would be a 270 or 30-'06, and it would most likely be a Winchester model 70. The push-feed versions made from 1964 onward are not expensive. They have been much maligned as inferior to the pre-'64 version, but in reality, they are a lot like a Remington 700 except they have the much superior safety and trigger system of the Winchester 70. And me being me, it would have a Walnut stock, a leather, "military", sling, and most likely a Leupold scope. Do I like the model 70 Classic with the controlled round feed better? Heck yeah. But that's around a grand versus a $350 rifle that's still better than a Remington 700. Used gun shopping is fun; you never know what surprises await you.
Pathfinder45 is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 04:44 PM   #11
NoSecondBest
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 7, 2009
Location: Western New York
Posts: 2,330
I've got to go with Pathfinder45 on the used gun idea. They're out there and often can be had for a very good price. You can get a real quality gun and it can be affordable. Just don't be in a real hurry and look around. Estates are often a good place to find gems.
NoSecondBest is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 05:02 PM   #12
ndking1126
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2008
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 1,864
I'd second everything jmr40 said. I'm also a fan of Howas, so if you can find a good price on them it's be a fantastic option. As much of a fan as I am of Savage, I'd probably pick the Howa over the Savage 110 unless you plan to customize it.

My LGS usually has 30-06 Americans "on sale" for 299.99 plus tax. I've almost bought one just because, haha.

I personally love the used market. You can get a cheap Savage 10 or 110 on gunbroker for less than $300 (and that's after shipping and FFL fees) without too much work. It may be a little beat up, but the deals are out there.
ndking1126 is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 05:08 PM   #13
precision_shooter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2007
Location: DFW, Texas
Posts: 2,420
I'm a Tikka Fan myself, but also endorse Savage as every one I have had shot light out with no modifications and the accutrigger is very very good.

That said, I sold all my Savages and now just shoot my Tikka T3X CTR 6.5 creed, and a CZ 527 7.62x39 bolt action. Neither are budget rifles, but instead of having 5 budget rifles, I finally decided to reduce my inventory and go with 2 upper tier rifles.

I've spent 2x or 3x as much on budget rifles over the years compared to just buying a quality rifle to begin with.
__________________
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson, 1776
precision_shooter is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 05:16 PM   #14
Sure Shot Mc Gee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 2, 2012
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,691
Have experienced the difference between High dollar and entry level. Hunt with Rem 700 MTN in 270 win and hide from the view of strangers my sig sauer 202 supreme take/down 3 barrel set.
The difference between the two I have? Sig 202:__{270_25-06_30-06 barrels} exterior finish_ action smoothness.
The Rem 700 MTN 270-win quality's? _ sturdy_trustworthy and shoulders like a baseball bat._ But both I guaranteed are very able to remove the wings of a Georgia Gnat at 100 yrds.
So my advice:
which ever path in buying you choose? Choose a rifle that fits your shoulder & lift and a sight plane down barrel: >requiring little adjustment of eyes or head.
__________________
"JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEMABLE."
Sure Shot Mc Gee is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 05:16 PM   #15
ndking1126
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 26, 2008
Location: Madison, AL
Posts: 1,864
"instead of having 5 budget rifles, I finally decided to reduce my inventory and go with 2 upper tier rifles."

Me too! I'm right in the middle of this transition. Nothing wrong with with volume, but I've hit a point if I have to pick between volume and quality because of budget restraints (and I do) I'm picking quality. I've sold three of my lower quality rifles to fund building a semi-custom hunting rifle.

I got to thinking about how much money I spent trying to find ammo that shot well in my rifle. I also would make small changes to see if the gun would shoot better (tune the trigger, free-flat the barrel, etc) and kept having to go back to the range to test them and some of them never got to a level I was happy with. I realized there wasn't much "budget" about them when figuring in the cost of ammo.

Now I go to the range because I want to enjoy the afternoon, not because I'm trying to figure out some kind of problem.
ndking1126 is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 05:30 PM   #16
LineStretcher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2018
Posts: 619
If you want a hunting rifle that's also a range gun the 270 and 06 fill the hunting bill fine but not so much the range side of it. There are a lot of 600 dollar rifles out there that will shoot deer moa but some of them will struggle with range 100 yard bullseye moa.

The Weatherby Vanguards will do it in both 270 and 06 but you won't last long shooting either of those at the range. You really need to be in a heavy barrel rifle if you're going to enjoy range shooting. To get that you're going to need to step up to the plate and throw some cash.

So as others have said, a good 30 Cal alternative is the .308 and a little softer shooting is the 7mm-08. I'm a Weatherby fan so I'm always going to recommend them first but I also have Sako's Tikka T3x and think it's a darn good rifle.
LineStretcher is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 05:42 PM   #17
RC20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2008
Location: Alaska
Posts: 6,053
Quote:
If you intend to hunt with your new rifle, save more and buy better quality. It's very easy to have a few grand and more tied up in a big game hunt. I wouldn't risk wasting money on a hunt with a rifle that's prone to malfunction.

I'd rather buy a good quality used rifle than a new rifle of dubious quality.
Well all the low cost rifles shoot fine, so no you don't have to spend 3 grand for a reliable rifle.

Reliable and expensive are not in the same wheelhouse.

A $300 Axis is as reliable as a Blazer.
__________________
Science and Facts are True whether you believe it or not
RC20 is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 06:39 PM   #18
1stmar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 2,361
My savage shoots better than it has a right to. Well under 1/2 moa with a variety of bullets. All for $500. I have a tikka that is a much better rifle but cost 3x more.
1stmar is offline  
Old April 3, 2019, 11:38 PM   #19
BigBL87
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 13, 2014
Location: Tonica, IL
Posts: 449
Alot depends on your definition of "budget." For me, budget was $400 and under but don't know if you are in the same boat regarding funds.
BigBL87 is offline  
Old April 4, 2019, 06:45 AM   #20
SATRP
Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 2019
Posts: 81
If I were restricted to one rifle for all North American big game hunting, it'd be a Sako AV chambered for either .280 Rem or .30''06. I wouldn't need another rifle.

My advice is save enough to buy one excellent quality rifle.
SATRP is offline  
Old April 4, 2019, 06:47 AM   #21
SATRP
Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 2019
Posts: 81
ndking1126,

You have it wired. I agree with you 100%.
SATRP is offline  
Old April 4, 2019, 06:49 AM   #22
SATRP
Member
 
Join Date: March 28, 2019
Posts: 81
I had a friend who spend a small fortune on a Weatherby Mark V .270 Wby Mag. At one time, it was a gorgeous piece of furniture. It'd shoot solid 4" groups at a hundred.
SATRP is offline  
Old April 4, 2019, 08:09 AM   #23
indie_rocker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 21, 2014
Location: Michigan
Posts: 177
I've had great success with my Savage Axis II in 308. Worked up some handloads with Nosler BT and it'll put 5 rounds inside a half dollar at 100 yards.

For the price, that's darn good.
indie_rocker is offline  
Old April 4, 2019, 09:03 AM   #24
kilotanker22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2012
Location: North Central, PA
Posts: 1,011
My vote would be.

Winchester XPR
Ruger American
Savage axis 2.

Probably in that order
__________________
“We do not seek peace in order to be at war, but we go to war that we may have peace. Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against, and bring them to the prosperity of peace.
– St. Augustine
kilotanker22 is offline  
Old April 4, 2019, 10:20 AM   #25
LineStretcher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2018
Posts: 619
Quote:
Originally Posted by SATRP View Post
I had a friend who spend a small fortune on a Weatherby Mark V .270 Wby Mag. At one time, it was a gorgeous piece of furniture. It'd shoot solid 4" groups at a hundred.
All my Mark V's shoot sub moa at 100 yards. They need proper break in to polish the throat. Once that is done, they drive tacks.
LineStretcher is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 06:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08858 seconds with 8 queries