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Old May 8, 2013, 10:01 AM   #26
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Can anyone give a plausible reason for us (non monied) to actually "want" to overspend?
Certainly not.
These days, "entry level" rifles are often capable of the same accuracy as those costing twice as much or more...but if you get one that happens not to be so, you can't complain about it...

Today, I look at the term mostly as meaning "as-is", and either difficult/impossible to upgrade, or not worth doing it from a financial perspective.

I like the R700 and own one, but for me, I've found that I can scrounge up any Savage action, buy an aftermarket match barrel and stock- and make smaller bugholes for less money.
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Old May 8, 2013, 09:27 PM   #27
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For my part, I've noticed that I spend a lot more time looking at and admiring my rifles, even while hunting, than I do shooting them.

As a machinist and gunsmith, I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a fine firearm.

It's the same thing with women... A drunken bagger will get the basic job done, but wouldn't you rather wind up with one that is pretty, stacked, smart, and has a sweet personality?

I own a Ruger American in .308 with a Bushnell Banner 3-9, which is butt-ugly but it's a backup weapon for my BLR, also in .308 which is quite comely with its Conetrol rings holding a Leupold 2-7 compact scope in gloss.

I have around 1500 bills tied up in the BLR, and about 400 bills total in the Ruger.

That's what makes the Ruger "entry level", it's a less expensive bagger that gets the basic job done just fine. - But I'd really rather go out with the BLR.

Wouldn't you?

Heh heh
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Old May 8, 2013, 09:49 PM   #28
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Who's the genius that attatched the phrase "entry level" to anything that has to do with shooting? Match up the firearm with what you want to use it for, and practice! That was easy!
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Old May 8, 2013, 10:44 PM   #29
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Old May 9, 2013, 09:38 AM   #30
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My entry level gun was an $18 dollar .303 Enfield Jungle Carbine because the price was right. My next gun was a $28 22 caliber single shot bolt action 22 and I still have and shoot that one. My last gun bought 48 years later bought my number of 22's up to 13 so I guess I am still an entry level shooter.

Dos centavos from a dinosaurs perspective, an entry level gun is what you learn to shoot on regardless of price or caliber. It just so happens that I believe a single action revolver or bolt action rifle in 22 caliber is ideal but not necessarily the only entry level gun.
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Old May 10, 2013, 01:06 AM   #31
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Never looked at lt like that.I entered the woods with the tools I needed to do the job at hand most of the time filling the freezer.
So I guess all of My rifles are ENTRY LEVEL nomatter the cost.But I know I could'nt taste any difference.So am I going to worry about it ? NAW.
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:03 PM   #32
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"Entry level" for me is the first firearm in any particular class I buy, so that I know I'll be doing enough shooting of a certain kind with it to justify something else better and more expensive down the road. First rimfire, first shotgun, first centrefire rifle, even the first reloading press counts. Invariably cheap and/or simple, even if I've got more than enough money to buy something better. (Okay, so I went with RCBS on the press, but it's entry level RCBS rather than some six-headed monstrosity that does everything except pull its own lever.)
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Old May 13, 2013, 08:33 AM   #33
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WinchesterFirearms Museum tangent

To me the "entry level" firearm is as another contributor described it, "no frills."

One of the best days of my life was touring the Winchester Firearms Museum in Cody Wyoming.

There I saw the art of gunsmithing through the centuries. What Henry Ford did for the automobile, Winchester and others did for the firearm. Mass produced, to a specification, at a reasonable price. Typical of these sorts of firearms are the military firearms. One looks exactly like another, and the parts are readily interchangeable.

Some of the guns I saw there shattered my idea of beauty. The wood grain, the greying or case hardening of some metal parts, the strawing of others, the damascus steel, the intricate carvings, or checkering of the wood... Those were not entry level firearms. Magnificent pieces, really. That they shot buck or ball was a commonality, but the remainder?

So, today, to point at an example, a $3000 Cooper rifle is not an entry level firearm. It may shoot the same as a $500 Remington 700, but from there the quality and attention to details separate the two.

I think perhaps "entry level" is synonymous with "budget" or "utilitarian," rather than a comment leveled at the skill set of the shooter who buys one of them. Myself? I have a couple "entry level" firearms that I really enjoy shooting, a Ruger 10-22 being one of them.
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Old May 13, 2013, 01:27 PM   #34
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Sweet Shooter, all I can say is the only "entry level" rifle I own is a Ruger American. I bought it because of the rave reviews it received on here. When I was shooting it off the mechanical rest, I loved it. When I started shooting it in real world positions, it utterly amazed me how big a piece of crap the stock is. I really dont care to have a rifle that the stock is made of play dough on.
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Old May 13, 2013, 02:36 PM   #35
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You can pay what you want for a more aesthetically pleasing rifle and still run the risk of being out shot by a Pawn shop special....
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Old May 13, 2013, 02:42 PM   #36
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There are exceptions to every rule. Sometimes you do run into a very accurate cheap rifle. Sometimes you run into an expensive dog. For the most part, you get what you pay for.
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Old May 13, 2013, 06:10 PM   #37
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Personally, I think you should buy the rifle you will be happy forever. That is what I have always done and for my children.

Why buy something "entry level" with the thought that it will not be the long term hunting rifle? It is less expensive to get a nicer one and not keep trying to find one that suits your tastes.

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Old May 13, 2013, 07:59 PM   #38
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Seems to me that "entry level" has more to do with the size of one's billfold at the time of drooling and slobbering.

So the years go by, the billfold gets fatter and aesthetics take on added importance. Fit and finish and all that.

Since most rifles are plenty accurate for basic shooting and hunting, accuracy is not as critical as it once was in the selection process. Affordability is sort of a key, seems like.
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Old May 13, 2013, 09:06 PM   #39
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I think someone else said it right. "Entry level" is a sales marketing tool to get you to buy more, to move up, as it were.
But you don't need to. I have a $100 watch that will do anything my Rolexes did except attract thieves.
I have 2 $250 bikes that will go anywhere the Carbondales will, and at my speed, rather than Lance Armstrong's speed.
And the same is true of guns. You just need what you need and what you want and that's it.
I do have some top of the line items that are expensive, but that is only where that is what I want, at that price, in that category.
Otherwise cheap is just as good, by any name.
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Old May 13, 2013, 10:48 PM   #40
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Anybody remember the Rem Mod 788?

Remington came out with the model 788 as an "affordable" (read entry level) rifle for the sportsman. Round action, rear locking lugs, cheapo stock, clip fed, separate recoil lug. The only problem was, they out shot most of the 700's right out of the box!!! I'm pretty sure that's why Rem eventually quit making them. A plain, but neat little rifle that everyone including the shooting magazines raved over the accuracy!

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Old May 14, 2013, 09:21 AM   #41
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Due to advances in manufacturing techniques, accuracy and reliability are to be expected and are no longer pleasant surprises. Manufacturers know this and as such both are par for the course for any new model being introduced. Items that separate the 'entry level' models from those higher up on the food chain are mostly either cosmetic or ergonomic (fancy stock, zazzy pistol grip angled specifically with re-enacting your favorite Navy SEAL movie in mind, etc). For a guy just banging cans on the farm or popping 100-yard groups at the conservation area range, 'entry level' is adequate for 95% of whatever that rifle (or pistol, shotgun, light sabre, etc) is tasked with doing.'s your money. My personal AR more than likely could outshoot the M4's I took to Iraq. I know that the hardest I ever run it would be in the safe confines of a carbine class (hopefully) and I don't need mil-spec this or the same xxxxxx that SEAL Team-Delta uses, but I'm willing to pay for better gear so why not?

Also, I officially nominate PVL for the Analogy Of The Year Award.
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Old May 15, 2013, 01:47 PM   #42
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I hear both the term entry level and disposable rifle and cringe a little bit.

Chances are, for the box a year dear hunter or two box a year recreational shooter, they will last just fine and be plenty accurate.

However, I do like the ability to re-barrel a rifle if I want to.

I know some of the "entry level" rifles marketed by Remington aren't capable of being re-barreled, so that is sort of a turn off to me.

That being said, I have a Mossberg 4x4 with a BSA Sweet .30-06 scope that is super accurate, with Winchester Super-X loads out to at least 400 yards. Don't have a range to shoot any further than that. I would say that is a case of a "disposable rifle" being more capable than the shooter.
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Old May 15, 2013, 07:22 PM   #43
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Comparing a WBY Mark V Weather Warrior to a Lazermark would be what I would call comparing "finish." It would be comparing a pretty apple to an ugly apple. Both Rifles are equal quality, one is utility and the other is presentation grade. Same rifle, different finish and accessories. On the other hand, comparing Ruger American to a Lazermark would like comparing apples and pecans.
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Old May 17, 2013, 06:31 AM   #44
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Art in post 38 has it right! Quit trying to defend your "entry level" purchase. Buy the best you can afford and make it work for you. If your happy with it good, if latter on your situation allows you to upgrade then do it. But don't try to tell we who have been thru the evolution from entry level, when we were young ,to something better that they are the same!
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Old May 17, 2013, 09:04 AM   #45
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I never use the term "entry level". I call them budget bolt guns. They do the job.
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Old May 19, 2013, 01:14 AM   #46
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I have a weatherby vanguard s2 in stainless, 270 Winchester.

It's been a dark secret of mine.

The damn thing is accurate as hell, recoil little, fits me very well, and is tough as nails. No plastic parts aside from the stock and even it has nice grippy inserts. The trigger is light and breaks cleaning. The bolt can be taken apart in the field for a clean after a rainy day.

I have hunted with it in all manner of weather, killed many game with it. The action has even withstood a few heavily overloaded rounds with no problem.

As far as actual functionality goes, it's the perfect hunting rifle. It simply does everything you need from a hunting rifle, perfectly. That is to say, you can spend more money but not be able to do a single thing better than this rifle can.


That's an evaluation of the rifle as a TOOL.

Rifles aren't just tools to everyone. Just as different people have hobbies and might dump a lot of money into season tickets for their favorite sports team or signed memorabilia or jerseys or hats, people who are firearms enthusiasts sometimes spend more money on the rifle than would be necessary for just a simple tool.

For some people, they view a hand crafted stock made from fine Walnut with a beautifully polished and blued barreled action with hand engraving as more of a piece of art. To them, the value of the rifle is not limited to its utility as a tool but rather, as an object to be enjoyed for its other characteristics as well.

Some people regard such an item as an Heirloom Piece.
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Old May 20, 2013, 10:37 AM   #47
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Old May 20, 2013, 02:26 PM   #48
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The only problem was, they out shot most of the 700's right out of the box!!! I'm pretty sure that's why Rem eventually quit making them.
No-Remington stopped making Model 788s for the most basic of marketing reasons: they weren't selling enough of them to warrant the continued manufacturing of them. It does seem ironic, though, that used "entry level" model 788 rifles are fetching higher prices than the mainstay model 700 rifles; at least at the gun shows I attend.
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Old May 20, 2013, 04:30 PM   #49
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Re: "Entry Level" bit of a rant.

So, can anyone reccomend a good entry level scope?
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Old May 20, 2013, 08:25 PM   #50
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Sure, what"s your budget? That'll narrow it down a bit, then you can get all anal about optics in that range, convince yourself it's the best buy and shoot the same clover leaf a buddy of yours does after spending twice the money.

But hey, it's all worth it. I say buy what you like that fits your budget. Personally I love the Nikon line ups and can't tell the difference between my Monarch and my Leupold. Both are clear both are solid and both hold true.
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