The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 3, 2010, 08:29 PM   #1
[email protected]
Join Date: February 15, 2005
Location: Red Stick, Louisiana
Posts: 31
Looking for a good CHEAP hunting rifle

Howdy guys, im in the market for a new hunting rifle.

Im currently using a old winchester 94 30-30 (1970's ish )with a busnell 3-9 scope....ive been using this since I was 15 and im ready for a change. I dont have alot of money to spend so im looking for a good rifle for the cheap.

It will be used for deer so .243 or bigger required....doesnt have to be pretty, or fancy, or have a top notch trigger...just something i can grab and go hunting with....i wont be making any 500yd shots, 200yds max

Ive been looking at the "rifle and scope combo" deals at academy sports, bass pro, and cabelas...but not sure which is the best value.

If you had less then 500 bucks to spend on a new rifle, what would YOU get?

pics would be appreciated is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 08:40 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: November 17, 2007
Posts: 560
savage EDGE in 30-06 ftw
38superhero is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 08:48 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: September 7, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 333
Savage is the best bang for the buck.
A used savage/stevens in 30-06 is going to be the best value.

You may want to get a second job for the optics...
Superman, you are a mean drunk
lefteyedom is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 08:52 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: March 24, 2008
Location: SE Oklahoma
Posts: 491
Don't forget to take a look at the Weatherby Vanguard.
rifle & muzzleloader -- exhilarating
bowhunting -- obsession
reloading -- addicted
ryalred is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 09:07 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Posts: 13
+1 on Savage. While 30.06 is a great round. Ammo is not as plentiful or cheap as the days when the Military was still using them. A .308 Win is a great round and with the military still using them, ammo can be downright cheap. With bullet weights around the 140+ to 155g is a great white tail round. Then 168+ will take elk.
seattlefungus is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 09:10 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: May 31, 2009
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 2,058
I would get a Remington 700 ADL in .270win from Wal-Mart for $397.00 for black synthetic or $449.00 for camo stock. Mine will shoot less than 1 MOA @ 100yds. And yes I did misspell "Hornady"..... Oh and yes it did come with a scope, but the first thing you are going to want to do to that POS is take it off and throw it in the trash then maybe look for a Nikon Prostaff to put on it.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”

-Margaret Thatcher-

Last edited by Palmetto-Pride; November 3, 2010 at 09:17 PM.
Palmetto-Pride is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 10:22 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: June 23, 2010
Location: The Republic of Texas
Posts: 118
Academy has Remington 700 Synthetic BDLs for $349 right now.
SFW is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 10:29 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Location: Minnetonka, MN
Posts: 117
Marlin XL7 or XS7, Savage Edge, Mossberg ATR-100

Any one of them will kill deer just fine. Then again, your rifle that you already have does that......
goalie is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 10:47 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: May 3, 2008
Posts: 3,057
Remington 700 ADL. Great rifle, the Savage Edge and Remington 770 are garbage. Savages are affordable enough, don't buy the edge, just buy a used 111 for probably cheaper, you wont be disappointed.
HKFan9 is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 10:52 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: 1B ID
Posts: 10,103
Forget about the ill-fitting and ugly Savage/Stevens stuff.

Pick up a Marlin XS7 combo (will be on sale for $299 with Christmas coming up). Better looks. Better design. Better performance.

It is far more rifle than most people believe, and a great deal of engineering went into making a great rifle at a low price (in contrast to other manufacturers that just find ways to make an existing design cheaper by using lower quality parts, or fewer of them).
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
FrankenMauser is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 11:30 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: July 8, 2008
Location: The land of green Jello and vanilla icecream
Posts: 1,465
Pick up a Marlin XS7
Helped my sister in law pick one up for my brother (he was going to rechamber it to .35 Whelen)........but the darn thing shot so good as-is, we just couldn't do it. It got some good glass and went hunting. Has proven to be a great rifle, and you can't beat the price.

The Savage is ok from what I have heard (have handled them, but never fired any).........but I just can't get past the bolt handle placement at the extreme rear of the bolt.....its just a bit ugly to me.

Myself, I am partial to Rugers, which would be my first choice, although I don't think I have ever seen a combo deal (with a new gun), and it would probably put you over the $500 mark.
The answer to 1984 is 1776
Crankylove is offline  
Old November 3, 2010, 11:55 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: December 26, 2007
Posts: 373
CZ 550 American in .243. Rifle can be had for $495, just need to switch the scope over.
mesabi is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 01:05 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: January 30, 2009
Posts: 293
Look for a used rifle. Browning A-Bolt, Remington 700 (skip on the cheap synthetic stocked ones because they really just suck), or old Savage hunting rifles. I suggest .308 Winchester because you can practice the most for the cheapest and get commercial loads that are heavy or light to match the rifle.
"From my cold, dead hands!" - Charlton Heston
Volucris is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 09:51 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: February 24, 2010
Location: Central NYS
Posts: 104
I second the recommendation on the Marlin XL7 series rifles. They are well made and accurate to boot. This rifle is really making waves in the economical rifle world with many owners buying 2, 3, and 4 of them. Go to this website for some good reading about this rifle <WWW.MARLINOWNERS.COM>. I also would highly recommend looking at Tikka rifles as they are also up-there in value and performance for the money.
Woodyed is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 10:31 AM   #15
Junior Member
Join Date: November 2, 2010
Posts: 4
nobody has mentioned one yet, but the new mossberg 4x4 is getting some pretty solid reviews. i shot one and had been looking for one ever since. i haven't priced one new but i finally bought a used rifle/scope combo for $400. the stocks on these rifles are a little funky looking, but you should shoot one, they seem to fit the shooter very well. these rifles are pretty acurate too. haven't got mine completely zeroed in yet, but its shooting about 2-3" groups at 200 yards every time. its a newer version of the 100ATR. got a floating barrel and adjustable trigger, available marinecoat finish and synthetic or laminate stock.

where i live in ky, the old dirty-30 probly holds the record for the most kills, so you already have a great deer rifle in my mind.
my new 4x4 is a 7mm rem mag, which is probly overkill at the ranges ur talking about. but if you ever wanted to hunt slightly bigger game at longer distances, you'd have the punch to do it. you should look into one of these rifles in a 308 or 30-06. they're cheaper to shoot than a 7mm and will definitely do the job.
steve7mm is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 10:41 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: February 2, 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,676
Went shopping for a budget rifle recently and here is what I found:

The Savage Edge: IF all you have is $275-300 then buy the Savage. If you can possibly scrap up another $100 forget the Edge. It in no way compares in quality to the following rifles. Bad stock, bad feel and bad trigger. And I'm a life long Savage fan.

Now comes the Marlin, the Weatherby Vangard and the T/C Venture:

With me it came down to a choice between the Venture and the Marlin. Both were $400 +/- but I liked the Looks, feel, trigger, etc of the Venture so it came home with me. There weren't any Weatherby Vangards at the show I was at so it wasn't in the mix that particular day. But my hunting partner has one that came with both a youth and adult stock and 20" barrel in 7mm-08 and it's a sweet shooting and handling gun. Wouldn't hesitate at all on buying a Vangard.

Caliber: The long action .30-06 and it's derivatives (.270, .25-06, etc) are dinosaurs. Stick to any of the short action .308 based cartridges like the .243, .260 or 7mm-08 and you'll be much happier. Accurate, better actions, less abuse on your shoulder etc. Some will think that the .243 is too small for deer, they are of course wrong. Most of those same folks will tell you that a .250 Savage, .257 Roberts and .25-06 are fine. If you look up the ballistics of those and compare them to the .243 you'll see that the .243 only gives up .014 in diameter and bullet weights will get you close to those of the .25's. Velocity is also comparable to the .25's above. Still, for a dedicated deer rifle the .260 and the 7mm-08 are better and are my personal favorites. Anything bigger (.30-06, .270, 7mm mag, anything else with the word mag attached to it, etc) is a waste for North American game accept the big bears.

L_Killkenny is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 11:51 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: May 18, 2010
Posts: 273
I was kinda in the same situation last week. I'm not a hunter, but I wanted a camp/truck rifle in the levergun variety that could take any game or threat short of a brown bear (where they live, it's too cold for me to go traipsing around) so I wanted more than the 30-30. However, I didn't want something as costly as .45-70 to shoot, but I also planned on reloading.

Shoot a ton of .38 special and not so much big .45, so when I stumbled upon a 336 in 35 Remington, I couldn't pass it up. It's an old one, but for $250ish bucks with a scope it was perfect. Now I just need to save up a lil brass and get a die set. Cheap .357 bullets for plinking varmints and camp defense (two legged kind). Big ol' 200gr thumpers for dangerous game.
Fiv3 is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 11:58 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: April 11, 2010
Location: Rensselaer Co NY
Posts: 221
If you don't need it right now and are not dead set on a particular gun or cal. I would be cruising the local papers and want ad for a good quality used gun. That is where I have purchased 99% of my guns I have found some great deals. Everything from a Original Charter arms Undercover for $75 to a Winchester 16ga trap grade Model 21 for $1200
jhog1 is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 12:49 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: February 27, 2006
Location: Lane County Oregon
Posts: 2,547
(skip on the cheap synthetic stocked ones because they really just suck)
They work just fine for
just something i can grab and go hunting with
The long action .30-06 and it's derivatives (.270, .25-06, etc) are dinosaurs.
Apparently, dinosaurs is another word for proven and reliable hunting calibers...
U.S Army, Retired

Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. -Potter Stewart
davlandrum is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 12:55 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: May 1, 2010
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 190
I would go with a Marlin for a cheap rifle also! They are nice and light and shoot very good groups for a sub $300 rifle.
srkavanagh6621 is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 01:00 PM   #21
Junior member
Join Date: April 16, 2009
Location: Brooksville, FL
Posts: 161
Dick's has the Remington 700 ADL in Stainless Steel for $449.

I also just got the new Lodge 2010 hunting catalog from Dicks and inside it is a coupon for $50 off any purchase of $250 or more. So even if the above sale is done, the 700 ADL's are listed for $499 in this so it'd still be $449.
full.tang.halo is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 01:13 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: October 11, 2009
Location: Hansen Idaho
Posts: 1,465
I bought a new Marlin XS-7 308 and a nice Vortex 4-12 scope for about $510.00 I paid 360 ish out the door for the rifle and about 150 ish for the scope. I really like the way it shoots. The trigger is nice and I can routinely make nice little clover leafs @ 100 yards with mine.
If you used your old scope you would have quite a bite of money left over from your budget to get ammo or other gear.
* (Swinging club) Whack! whack! whack! *

Nope, the old nag's still dead .
(Capt Charlie)
grubbylabs is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 01:34 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: September 12, 2008
Posts: 714
This is a little off topic, but after seeing the bashing someone gave the "long action" calibers I feel I must come running to thier defence.

There is nothing wrong with the 270 or the 30.06. (really big dramatic period)

While cheap plinking rounds in the form of mil-surp ammo is more plentiful for .308 there is still nothing the 308 can do that the 30.06 can't do just slightly better True, you have to live with an action that is at least a half inch longer, but its a fairly minimal consideration to most average white tail hunters.

I also have to nit-pick a bit with the post about bullet weight - there are few if any 30.06 rounds in the 140gr range. There are some light varmints bullets, down around 120-130, then you generally jump up to 150, 165, 180. Depending on your shooting situation anything 150-180 will do, personally the white tail I hunt tend to be a bit larger than they are in the southern states (about eqaul with northern states) and I generally use cheap 180gr soft points. (because that's what my rifle likes to shoot) Don't let anyone tell you that is to much bullet, half the time it fails to penetrate fully at mid to long range. But IF my rifle liked 165s and I could afford something slighter better constructed than cheap lead soft points I would gladly try them.

Personally I would not use 150gr econobox soft points unless I was hunting smaller deer, they tend to come screaming out of the barrel at high velocity and nearly explode on contact with big thick skinned deer at close range, and at longer ranges they lack punch. A premium 150gr bullet would surely perform better, but that isn't my thing.

For economy scopes, I've had good luck with the Bushnell banner dusk to dawn series. I'm not sure what the general consensus is on them, but I've put a few years on one and it hasn't failed me yet.

Last edited by 300magman; November 4, 2010 at 01:53 PM.
300magman is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 02:16 PM   #24
Junior Member
Join Date: December 31, 2006
Posts: 3
any interest in a surplus military bolt action ?
mosin 91/30 are inexpensive right now (starting around $85) and yugo 24/47 in 8mm mauser are starting at around 180. With some gunsmithing you can end up with an inexpensive shooter in calibers easily capable of 200 yds.

there is alot to be said for a brand new savage in 30-06. top it with a $150 nikkon prostaff scope and you'd also be good to go within your your budget.
06lover is offline  
Old November 4, 2010, 06:01 PM   #25
Join Date: October 1, 2009
Location: Alabama
Posts: 54
Around here the marlins are on sale for $299 for black and $319 for camo. Search the net I've found nikon 3-9x40 prostaffs on sale this week for $99. Have also saw nikon monarch 3-9x40 on sale for $199. Add a set of rings for $20-$30 and you have a good hunting rifle. If you don't like the marlins stock boyds has walnut or laminates for around $100. I won't suggest a caliber any caliber from 243 and up will be fine for deer. It's not what you shoot but where! Would also suggest the venture or the vanguard. The venture has a better trigger than the vanguard(my opinion) but the vanguard trigger can be worked to acceptable performance. These two are in the $400 range. The tikka is also a great gun for the money. You'd probably have to buy a used to get one for less than $500 though. Remington ADL at academy for $349 is another good one. Tons of after market stuff for this rifle for later when you just have to tinker with something. Lol. And you can always buy used excuse me previously owned. Never know what some people sell when they are in a tight for money.
JSJ127 is offline  

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 01:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2016 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11759 seconds with 7 queries