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 November 30, 2019, 12:27 PM   #1
epl1007
Member
 
Join Date: August 28, 2015
Posts: 49
Best Budget Rifle

Thinking about getting a new rifle. Caliber will be 6.5 creedmor 260 or 300 win mag. Debating Ruger American go wild Tikka T3X lite Savage 110 or 111 and Vanguard Series 2. Looking at preferably spending under 800 and probably 400
On a quality Vortex scope and mounts. Mostly considering a 300 win mag if I ever Hunt bigger game than deer. Anyone own any of these rifles or have advice
Thanks
epl1007 is offline  
Old November 30, 2019, 01:20 PM   #2
mxsailor803
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 8, 2010
Location: Norfolk, Va
Posts: 1,252
I had a American and have a couple buddies that have them. Outstanding rifles for the money. I’m also going to suggest taking a look at the Remington 700 ADL. They can usually be picked up under $400 as a combo from certain Walmart’s. For optics, I’m a Vortex and Leupold fan. I like the Diamondbacks a lot. Don’t cheap out on rings and bases either. I like the Talley or DNZ one piece. I’ve also used the Leupold rings/bases for years. Now for caliber, how big of game animal are you wanting to go after that you think you need the .300? I mean people kill elk or moose with a .243win. Of the ones you mentioned though, I’d go with the .260. I’m not a Creedmore fan since the fanboys think that’s the best thing since sliced bread but have never heard of the 6.5x55 Swede. Now I’m not going to bash the .300 because it is a extremely capable cartridge but do you really want to deal with the extra recoil?
mxsailor803 is offline  
Old November 30, 2019, 01:21 PM   #3
godale
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 22, 2014
Posts: 157
Best Budget Rifle

This is like a Chevy vs Ford thing . I think you should just go out and shoulder them all and see what feels best for you . We have one of the first ruger Americans and the stock was useless . We replaced it with a Boyd’s and got a nice rifle


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Last edited by godale; November 30, 2019 at 01:31 PM.
godale is offline  
Old November 30, 2019, 01:37 PM   #4
Ben Dover
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 11, 2013
Location: High up in the Rocky Moun
Posts: 661
The .300 mag will get the job done. No question. If the extra blast, flash and recoil give you the warm fuzzies, go for it! But it won't do the job any better than the .30-06, .308, .270. 260 etc.

I've killed everything from pronghorn antelope to bull moose with my .30-06 and 150 grain Speer BTSP bullets. One shot. DRT!
__________________
The soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as the prisoner's chains. Dwight Eisenhower

It is very important what a man stands for.
But it is far more important what a man refuses to stand for.
Ben Dover is offline  
Old November 30, 2019, 03:25 PM   #5
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,877
Forget the 300 WM, a 6.5CM, 7-08 or 308 will take any game animal in N. America. With the better bullets and loads available today a 30-06 is a big gun.

If you can afford a Tikka I think they are an excellent choice. But for 1/2 the money a Ruger Predator is almost as accurate. Both will shoot better than the average shooter. I own both Tikka and several Ruger's, I like the Tikka better, but it is hard to argue with the Rugers at the price.

I don't advise buying a Ruger if you're thinking about changing the stock. There is nothing at all wrong with the factory stock, changing it won't make it any more accurate and if anything you risk messing up a good thing. The Rugers are a great $350-$400 rifle as is. Add a $200 stock to it and you have $600 in one. If you're going to spend $600 you'd be better off just buying a Tikka.

If someone already has a 260 it would be hard to justify adding a 6.5 CM, they are very close. But if choosing between the 2 then 6.5 CM all day. It is just enough better plus 260 was never popular and the 6.5 is killing it off. Ammo and brass for 260 is already near impossible to find.

A good argument can be made for 7-08 or 308, but with your options 6.5 CM..
__________________
"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 December 1, 2019, 01:30 AM   #6
P Flados
Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2017
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 91
Another vote to forget the 300 WM. The only application in the US that remotely justifies it is probably hunting specific areas out west where people shoot across canyons at bigger than deer sized game.

Next, think ammo. So many folks have good guns that are a pain to shoot due to ammo cost / availability. And just because a round is popular today, does not mean it will stay popular.

30-06, 308 and 270 are probably the top three for your use when it comes to good ammo choices. The 7-08 is not far behind the above and probably the better round for most US hunters.

If the ammo argument will not sway you over to the 7-08, the 6.5 CM is probably a reasonable choice.

Last edited by P Flados; December 1, 2019 at 01:38 AM.
P Flados is offline  
Old December 1, 2019, 08:06 AM   #7
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 7,481
Keep in mind that game animals are killed with bullets. A given bullet at a given velocity upon impact will have the same results regardless of what shot it.
Bart B. is offline  
Old December 1, 2019, 08:36 AM   #8
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS
Posts: 7,096
In my opionion, the best "budget" rifle is the Weatherby Vanguard/Howa . You can pick them up new for less than $300. They definitely won't win any beauty contests but they are known for being consistently good shooters.
Doyle is offline  
Old December 25, 2019, 10:55 PM   #9
SCgman
Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2013
Posts: 67
There are a lot of drop-in fit replacement stock options for the vang/howa guns should the need arise. These are stout bolt guns that may be budget priced but the actions are solid quality.
SCgman is offline  
Old December 26, 2019, 08:27 AM   #10
m&p45acp10+1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 3, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 3,901
6.5 CM will work on elk. Last winter I dropped 2 with one. Both DRT where hit. Both were between 250 to 300 yards away. Both were hit in the heart, and lungs broadside.

300 WM is a good round, and my Ruger RPR Magnum will drive tacks. The thing is that rifle has low recoil at the cost of it weighs 20 pounds scoped. Also it is huge. It is loud when fired due to the brake. I would not look forward to sighting in a light weight budget rifle in that caliber. The Ruger American is threaded so you can buy a brake for it to reduce the recoil, though that is going to add $100 or more in cost to buy a good one.

Unless I were hunting well north of the 49th I would pick the 6.5 CM. It can be shot repeatedly without a flinch developing from heavy recoil, and noise bast. 130 and 140 grain bullets will do the job. Both elk I killed last year I used 140 grain Nosler BT. I still have 10 rounds in that box left.

If the rifle will be for hunting only, and just shot to sight it in. If you go 300 WM I would advise you study up on 2 shot sight in. Otherwise you will get 2 or 3 shots of near bench rest accuracy. After that it is going to open up like a 7Eleven on Christmas Day. You will start flenching your groups will open up.
__________________
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
m&p45acp10+1 is offline  
Old December 26, 2019, 12:50 PM   #11
BBarn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 22, 2015
Posts: 877
All four are good rifles.

The American is a recent design, while the basic design of the other three occurred decades ago.

From the start, the Ruger American was targeted as a low cost design.

The Savage was also originally a somewhat lower cost design, given the technology available at the time. In the last decades it has been refined and Savage's low cost design is now the Axis line.

In my view, the Tikka and Vanguard designs are a bit more refined than the other two.

But which among them is the best depends on what is important to the individual. Does the bolt lift matter (70 degrees versus 90 degrees)? How about a preference for a removable box magazine versus box magazine with or without a floor plate? Short action or long action preferred (not applicable unless shorter cartridges are under consideration)? Two position or three position safety? Is a two stage trigger OK?

If you have preferences among the above items, that may drive your decision.

The 300 Win. Mag. is a powerful cartridge. Great for elk. If you handload, it can also be downloaded to 308 Win. level performance using H4895 powder as desired for use on deer size game.
BBarn is offline  
Old December 26, 2019, 03:47 PM   #12
reynolds357
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 10, 2012
Posts: 5,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by epl1007 View Post
Thinking about getting a new rifle. Caliber will be 6.5 creedmor 260 or 300 win mag. Debating Ruger American go wild Tikka T3X lite Savage 110 or 111 and Vanguard Series 2. Looking at preferably spending under 800 and probably 400
On a quality Vortex scope and mounts. Mostly considering a 300 win mag if I ever Hunt bigger game than deer. Anyone own any of these rifles or have advice
Thanks
At the price range you are at, you can add many other very nice rifles in the discussion. Cz550, Win 70, Rem 700, etc. Of the ones you listed, I prefer Vangard. Savage a close second.
reynolds357 is offline  
Old December 26, 2019, 05:08 PM   #13
Sequins
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2014
Posts: 394
I'm eyeing the Ruger Predator models myself in a 308, but 30-06 wouldn't be a bad clambering either.
Sequins is offline  
Old December 26, 2019, 05:43 PM   #14
agtman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2001
Location: midwest
Posts: 2,322
Quote:
Best Budget Rifle
Thinking about getting a new rifle. Caliber will be 6.5 creedmor 260 or 300 win mag. Debating Ruger American go wild Tikka T3X lite Savage 110 or 111 and Vanguard Series 2. Looking at preferably spending under 800 and probably 400
On a quality Vortex scope and mounts. Mostly considering a 300 win mag if I ever Hunt bigger game than deer.
Best for what?

Once you've identified the intended use, or at least the primary use for the rifle, then you can answer the 'money' question of which rifle fits that use cheaply enough but can still do it well.

You mentioned 'hunting' and possibly for game larger than deer. That's a caliber or cartridge question, but at least for hunting in the lower 48 a 30-06 rifle is never the wrong answer.

It's also relevant that for hunting purposes, you don't need accuracy in a rifle that's consistently at the sub-MOA 'sniper' level. Whether the species is deer, hogs, elk, moose, or larger (Alaskan bears), all you need is for the rifle to keep 5 shots within 'minute-of-critter' - preferably in the vital areas of the critter which will differ in size depending what you're hunting.

That might be 4-6 MOA @ 100yds, ... but unless you completely fugly the shot, you'll still put the animal down.

Some Alaskan folks hunt caribou, musk ox, and moose with pretty well-trashed Mosin rifles (full size, not the M44 carbines), and they always seem to get one of these critters on the first shot.

Last edited by agtman; December 26, 2019 at 05:49 PM.
agtman is offline  
Old December 26, 2019, 05:52 PM   #15
Number10GI
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2017
Posts: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mxsailor803 View Post
I had a American and have a couple buddies that have them. Outstanding rifles for the money. I’m also going to suggest taking a look at the Remington 700 ADL. They can usually be picked up under $400 as a combo from certain Walmart’s. For optics, I’m a Vortex and Leupold fan. I like the Diamondbacks a lot. Don’t cheap out on rings and bases either. I like the Talley or DNZ one piece. I’ve also used the Leupold rings/bases for years. Now for caliber, how big of game animal are you wanting to go after that you think you need the .300? I mean people kill elk or moose with a .243win. Of the ones you mentioned though, I’d go with the .260. I’m not a Creedmore fan since the fanboys think that’s the best thing since sliced bread but have never heard of the 6.5x55 Swede. Now I’m not going to bash the .300 because it is a extremely capable cartridge but do you really want to deal with the extra recoil?
I also recommend the Remington 700, there are a lot of aftermarket parts for the Remington. I've owned two Ruger American rifles, .223 and .243, and they worked well for a budget rifle. I've also owned Savage rifles, again in .223 and .243 but just couldn't warm up to them. I own a couple Rem 700's and I prefer them over the other manufacturers products. A few months ago I picked up a new 700 ADL with a cheap scope, which I replaced with a Vortex, for $407 out the door and used it on a prairie dog shoot last June. Shot very accurately.
Number10GI is offline  
Old December 26, 2019, 06:09 PM   #16
agtman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2001
Location: midwest
Posts: 2,322
Quote:
I also recommend the Remington 700, there are a lot of aftermarket parts for the Remington.
Q.C. on Remington 700 rifles has nose-dived ever since the Freedom Group took over. Not even close to what the firm's product once was.

Sourcing aftermarket parts might well correct factory deficiencies if you want to get spendy on their cost + the necessary 'smithing work after the rifle comes outta the box and immediately disappoints at the first range session.

Quote:
I've owned two Ruger American rifles, .223 and .243, and they worked well for a budget rifle. I'v
And better Q.C. than what Remmy is churning out.

Buy once, cry once ... even for 'budget' rifles.
agtman is offline  
Old December 28, 2019, 08:56 PM   #17
gw44
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 15, 2015
Location: Michigan
Posts: 310
The savage 110 has been around forever, that would be the one for me !!
gw44 is offline  
Old January 26, 2020, 07:49 PM   #18
wilford
Junior Member
 
Join Date: September 2, 2015
Posts: 6
agtman you are so right you do not need a sniper rifle to hunt
wilford is offline  
Old January 29, 2020, 03:30 AM   #19
kilotanker22
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2012
Location: North Central, PA
Posts: 1,262
My two favorite rifles of what is normally referred to as "Budget" are the Ruger go wild, and the Winchester XPR Sporter. With my preference leaning toward the Winchester

For not a lot more money you can buy a step up. Savage 110 with accifit and accustock can be had for around $650. The same for their Tactical 110 model or a Browning xbolt stalker, or a Tikka T3 Forrest.

For $800-$900 you can get some pretty nice stuff. X-Bolt Hunter, Savage 110 High Country, Winchester Model 70 Feather weight.

I love the Remington 700 action, but you'll notice that I did not mention them. The reason for that is the trigger. The X Mark Pro trigger breaks pretty clean, but most I have adjusted wouldn't break below 5 pounds. For me that's just too much for comfort. Yet if you bought a Remington 700 BDL or CDL, bed the stock (float the barrel), and replace the factory trigger with a Timney or Trigger Tech and you would have an outstanding Rifle. You could do the same with the SpS rifles as well. If you went the SPS route you could do it all within your price range.
__________________
“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 January 29, 2020, 09:02 AM   #20
O4L
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 16, 2015
Posts: 610
Good budget rifle review here.

https://youtu.be/STMTNCu96kQ
O4L is offline  
Old January 29, 2020, 02:12 PM   #21
Pathfinder45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 7, 2008
Posts: 2,883
I would just look for good second-hand Winchester model 70 that I could afford. The two most common calibers encountered in that rifle are 30-'06 and 270 and either one would do fine. The 6.5 Creedmoor would be good, but finding a used Winchester 70 in that caliber would be lucky at best. In a hunting rifle, the 270 Winchester will do everything that the Creedmoor will do and more besides. Plus, the 270 is commonly found wherever you go.
Pathfinder45 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 06:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, 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 0.11001 seconds with 10 queries