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Old January 21, 2019, 10:59 PM   #1
PAJoe1022
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Looking for an inexpensive used rifle for deer hunting

Hi all, I'm looking for an inexpensive rifle to use for deer hunting. I'm looking in and around the $200-250 price range. I'd rather buy a quality used gun than a cheap new one. .308 or .270 would be my preference, 30-06 is maybe a little big but would work as well. .30-30 would also be fine, but I have a .30-30 already, I'd like something different just for the sake of variety. A wood stock is a bonus but far from a requirement. Obviously what is available will largely be a determining factor in what I end up with, but if anyone can give me a few makes or models to seek out or ones to avoid, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
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Old January 21, 2019, 11:09 PM   #2
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Thompson center venture
Many savage model 10's out there
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Old January 21, 2019, 11:20 PM   #3
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Check your pawn shops.
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Old January 22, 2019, 01:10 AM   #4
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soon

In my area, deer rifles go up for sale or are often pawned and not claimed, in the months following deer season.

As noted, the Savage 10, 110 series, and I suppose the new price point Axis are all affordable rifles that should sell used very reasonably. Some of the earlier Savages may come w/ a wood/birch stock, and a few were made w/ walnut as well.

Another popular rifle that has a good reputation as a shooter is the Ruger American. These rifles sold new in the $300 dollar range and used should be affordable as well.

Honestly though, if you watch the big stores (think Wally World) NEW price point rifles are selling after deer season for about your price range.
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Old January 22, 2019, 09:13 AM   #5
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Pawn shops generally have about 40% of the asking price actually invested, so there's plenty of room for bargaining.

From what I've seen or heard, bolt guns are very nearly a "drug on the market"; many available.
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Old January 22, 2019, 11:40 AM   #6
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Look for a spotterized 1917....Great rifled. Can be had for $250-$400....
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Old January 22, 2019, 01:43 PM   #7
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I’ve found a good few Savage 110’s in the past few years for under $250 picked up two of them for donor rifles to rebarrel into something else. It seems as soon as I see one that has a price that I can’t pass up, I find one even cheaper soon after. Lots of these rifles in .30-06 and even the .270. Seems the short action Savages carry slightly higher price tags but they are still out there. All the Savage rifles I have, shoot well!


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Old January 22, 2019, 01:47 PM   #8
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I doubt you will find any 308's for that price. Everyone wants one for some reason. In that range you will most likely find 30-06, 270 and 243 rifles. For deer I would go for the 270. I have killed deer with a 243 but just like something a little bigger.

I bought a remington 700 30-06 a few years ago for 4200OTD. The factory shiny finish was flaking off and the blueing was thin. Its an older version from 1968 IIRC. I refinished the stock and bedded the action and its a shooter. Great gun for what I spent and a little work on my part.

I don't much care for the "Bargain" plastic stocked guns being offered now. The Ruger American would be the exception. But like suggested hit the pawn shops and gunshows after deer season and when the christmas credit card bills are starting to come in the mail and you find some dumping their guns for good prices. Also watch the local paper and I suppose facebook. I think a lot of guns get sold there too.

Or maybe just put a decent scope on your 30-30 and buy some ammo. Learn to shoot and your 30-30 is a 200 yard gun. Learn to hunt and you shouldn't have to shoot past 100 yards.
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Old January 22, 2019, 03:53 PM   #9
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Another vote for pawn shops after hunting season. I have bought and seen many great deals on Savage bolt rifles and for a deer hunting gun they are hard to beat.
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Old January 22, 2019, 06:27 PM   #10
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Quality used not cheap new? Boy you make it sound like people get what you term cheap new, use it a year and it become's a quality used gun. Not many quality mod 70's or 700's gonna hit the used market for any $200! Especially with a wood stock! Do yourself a favor and go but a cheap new rifle, one season and it will be quality!
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Old January 22, 2019, 06:54 PM   #11
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Old January 22, 2019, 07:09 PM   #12
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there has to be a parallel universe, that would be the one I live in and the other world that is occupied by all other reloaders.

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Old January 22, 2019, 07:22 PM   #13
PAJoe1022
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Originally Posted by Don Fischer View Post
Quality used not cheap new? Boy you make it sound like people get what you term cheap new, use it a year and it become's a quality used gun. Not many quality mod 70's or 700's gonna hit the used market for any $200! Especially with a wood stock! Do yourself a favor and go but a cheap new rifle, one season and it will be quality!
When I said quality used I mean, if it's 20, 30, even 40 years old, that's fine. My .30-30 is a Savage 325B and it's around 70 years old. It was a budget gun when it was new but I still consider it a quality gun. I don't know what the value of it is but I'd guess around $150-200.

If I went new, the Ruger American is one of the ones I was looking at, it seems to have very positive reviews.
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Old January 23, 2019, 08:35 AM   #14
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Used gun deals are just where you find them. I've never gotten a deal on a used gun when looking for a deal on a used gun. They just fall into my lap unexpectedly. Virtually all of my guns were bought used but you just have to be patient.

Part of the problem with buying used is that most everyone thinks their used gun is a "classic" and worth a lot more than I want to pay. And while buying older used guns increases the probability of getting high quality blue and real walnut, it decreases the odds of getting an accurate rifle. A lot of the new $400 budget bolt actions with plastic stocks beat the older guns accuracy wise by a wide margin.

If you're patient deals on quality used guns are out there, but I'd not go too old. The Ruger American rifles sell new between $350-$425 depending on the exact version, but $200-$250 is a fair price for a used one.

If you decide to go with a new Ruger I'd strongly advise one of the Predator versions that takes Accuracy International style magazines. Those magazines are MUCH better than the standard Ruger magazines. That is the weak link in the Rugers. Otherwise they are a solid rifle for the money.

Between now and mid-summer is a good time to shop pawnshops. Don't be afraid to make a low ball offer. The rifle on the shelf may have a $400 price tag on it. The guy MIGHT have $300 in it, he might have $50 in it. If he has $300 in it he won't sell it for $200, but if he only has $50-$100 in that rifle he may just take $200 now rather than wait until September to get $400. The extra $200 now can be used to pawn other items and earn him 20% interest for the next 9 months instead of having a $400 rifle sit on the shelf.
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Old January 23, 2019, 10:05 AM   #15
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I always thought you were in your own little world; glad you now admit it.
A friend was getting up in years and knew he needed to get things in order if he was going to have control over a life time of collecting. the first thing I suggested: He had an off campus office that was going to be impossible for anyone to sort/organize so I suggested we start at the office. I offered to disseminate between dumpster, home, family friends. That did not happen because he said a family member would take care of; as long as the sorted items were in the office the family had to pay the rent.

And then it came to his shop; I got help from one of my grandchildren. A wild guess, he had just over 2,000 pounds. And then there were loose ends, rifles he build in the early '60 were being rebuilt; problem he had not heard from the smith doing the work, the smith never signed the rifle into his shop. My friend was worried he would never see the rifles he had promised to friends family members. and then there is that part where I do not live in your universe, when things go wrong no one wants to see me get involved. I got all of his rifles, one had a bullet stuck in the barrel? I decided I would jack the pressure up in the barrel and point it at something cheap. That is when I found a jag with the bullet and a broken .250" drill bit.

What to do? I donated a 7MM Remington mag. barrel,

I live in a different world, I made it very clear my friend was not going to loose his rifles and as usual I was threatened.

Among the rifles he gave me was a 1891 Argentine chambered to 308W. It was his loaner, when friends came to hunt without a rifle they got the 1891 Argentine. He told me it was a 308 W, I told him it was a Belgium Mauser. During the inspection if the rifles I discovered I was wrong. I contacted friends about parts. In the other world the parts would have cost me $700+ as it worked out the parts cost me $100, the parts included a complete rifle.

I had to drive all the way to Irving, TX, round trip had to be 50 miles.

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Old January 23, 2019, 11:28 AM   #16
Don Fischer
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Originally Posted by PAJoe1022 View Post
When I said quality used I mean, if it's 20, 30, even 40 years old, that's fine. My .30-30 is a Savage 325B and it's around 70 years old. It was a budget gun when it was new but I still consider it a quality gun. I don't know what the value of it is but I'd guess around $150-200.

If I went new, the Ruger American is one of the ones I was looking at, it seems to have very positive reviews.
Budget gun new and quality 70 yrs later. See what I mean?
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Old January 23, 2019, 02:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by PAJoe1022 View Post
Hi all, I'm looking for an inexpensive rifle to use for deer hunting. I'm looking in and around the $200-250 price range. I'd rather buy a quality used gun than a cheap new one. .308 or .270 would be my preference, 30-06 is maybe a little big but would work as well. .30-30 would also be fine, but I have a .30-30 already, I'd like something different just for the sake of variety. A wood stock is a bonus but far from a requirement. Obviously what is available will largely be a determining factor in what I end up with, but if anyone can give me a few makes or models to seek out or ones to avoid, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!
Sorry, but a quality used rifle with a wood stock for $250 would be called a "project gun" that someone wants to salvage.

The new deer rifles being offered in the $250 price range really are bargains. One thing all the gun mfg have seemed to have figured out is how to mass produce good barrels. Along with the cheap but functional plastic stocks, they all seem to shoot very good & sometimes amazing! If you only do a minimum of practice with the proposed deer rifle & a couple of shots getting your deer, the rifle will last multiple lifetimes. By one definition, that is quality on the cheap!
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Old January 23, 2019, 02:59 PM   #18
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"...in the months following deer season..." Usually within days or weeks and you'll probably find a higher end rifle with a scope that some guy decided caused him to miss. So look in your local gun shops. However, as mentioned, finding anything for $200 to $250 is highly unlikely. Mind you, there are some used H&R Handi-Rifles in that range on Gunbroker.
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Old January 23, 2019, 04:25 PM   #19
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do you reload? if so go to, if you don't go there also...

https://www.simpsonltd.com/collectio...rice-ascending

i got a husky m46 in 9.3x57 for $310(includes s/h).
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Old January 23, 2019, 06:12 PM   #20
PAJoe1022
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Originally Posted by Don Fischer View Post
Budget gun new and quality 70 yrs later. See what I mean?
I apologise, I don't think did a good job of explaining my thought process. That 325B was a absolutely a budget gun when it was new. I don't think budget automatically mean "not quality". The fact that it is 70 years old, has fired hundreds, if not thousands of rounds, and killed dozens of deer between my grandfather, my dad, and myself, and it still shoots accurately and reliably is a testament to it's quality construction. I think I would put the Ruger American in the same class of a quality budget rifle with new ones in 30-06 selling around $350.

I just don't want some chinesium piece of junk that is going to fall apart within a few years. As I had said before, a wood stock is a nice bonus, far from a must.
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Old January 23, 2019, 07:34 PM   #21
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PAJoe,
You don't mention what part of PA you live in.
Here in central PA (Altoona/ State College) pawn shops are few and far between.
Not like it was 20 years age.
Flea markets everywhere, but most of them price, thinking it's a one of a kind commemorative Weatherby Mark V.

Check your local gun shops. Used Savage 110 can be had for a deal.
Overlook the stain that looks more akin to paint. If you strip it off, there is actually some nicely grained wood to be had.

If your in the Altoona, SC, Clearfield, Johnstown area give me a PM. I can help hook a brother up.

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Old January 23, 2019, 08:12 PM   #22
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PAJoe,
You don't mention what part of PA you live in.
Here in central PA (Altoona/ State College) pawn shops are few and far between.
Not like it was 20 years age.
Flea markets everywhere, but most of them price, thinking it's a one of a kind commemorative Weatherby Mark V.

Check your local gun shops. Used Savage 110 can be had for a deal.
Overlook the stain that looks more akin to paint. If you strip it off, there is actually some nicely grained wood to be had.

If your in the Altoona, SC, Clearfield, Johnstown area give me a PM. I can help hook a brother up.

Std7mag
Std7mag,

I'm in metro Pittsburgh. Honestly there aren't a lot of pawn shops here either, and the ones that are here are a little sketchy. I checked one gun shop today and they didn't stock hardly anything, everything they sold was special order. Big Bucks is another gun store I looked at, and they had decent inventory, but nothing that was quite what I'm looking for. A Savage 110 would be perfect.Altoona Johnstown area is an easy drive though.
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Old January 23, 2019, 09:10 PM   #23
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Check out the Ruger American series. Ugly and not my cup of tea but very functional and accurate rifles. Spring sales should put some south of $300 at the big box stores or on line
sales. These low end Rugers & Savages that end up used and pawned may be the best deals
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Old January 23, 2019, 09:29 PM   #24
PAJoe1022
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Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
Check out the Ruger American series. Ugly and not my cup of tea but very functional and accurate rifles. Spring sales should put some south of $300 at the big box stores or on line
sales. These low end Rugers & Savages that end up used and pawned may be the best deals
The Ruger American does seem like a very nice gun for the money. I've always been fond of Ruger products. I'll be keeping an eye out at the box stores. I agree they are pretty ugly with their plastic stocks, but aftermarket wood ones are available.
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Old January 23, 2019, 09:33 PM   #25
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There is supposedly a good shop in Indiana.
There is a place called The Vault. Decent selection, fair pricing.
Note, even though they are cheap, stay away from their sporterized Mausers.

There is Sportsmans Discount in Johnstown. Lots of used rifles there.
I dang near bought a stainless Modle 7 in 7mm RSAUM.

Grice's in Clearfield. Ton of used guns. Price, ehhh.
www.gricegunshop.com

I've been buying my firearms from Belding & Mull in Philipsburg the past couple of years.
Great people, really great pricing!
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