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Old September 1, 2017, 06:02 PM   #1
ARqueen15
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Budget MOA Rifle

I've been tossing around the idea of getting a budget MOA rifle that is light on recoil and won't break the bank on ammo. I know that the phrase "budget MOA" might be construed as an oxymoron but is that always true? Some companies are offering MOA guarantees on 3-shot groups with match ammo so it doesn't seem implausible.

Here are some of the rifles I'm looking at and would be curious as to which of these platforms you'd think is the best bang for the buck if the goal is solely a range rifle that can shoot 1 MOA from the bench without needing the planets, moons, and stars quite to align!

T/C Compass combos - for about $250 when it is all said in done in .243, .223, 6.5 creedmoor

Remington 783 - I can get these for about $280 in .223, .22-250, .243

Savage Axis - for about $320 in .223, .22-250, .243

Savage Axis 2 - for about $400 in .223, .243, 6.5 Creed

Mossberg Patriot - $400 in .223, .243

Howa Gameking - $450 in .204, .223, .243

Recoil....I'd like it to be light on the recoil so i'm thinking 6.5 Creed is the very max I'd consider.

Ammo cost...usually you need match ammo or reloads to get the best out of a rifle so ideally i'd keep the match ammo cost at < 0.75/rd. I'm open to reloading but am on a budget so i can't just buy a progressive press and 10,000 primers with 24 pounds of powder to start off.

Scopes....if you notice some of these packages have scopes and that's just to use while I'd save for better glass but the budget scopes would at least let me get out there and start.

Any thoughts? What's the best value that will get me the best chance for consistent 1 MOA?

Last edited by ARqueen15; September 1, 2017 at 06:10 PM.
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Old September 1, 2017, 07:01 PM   #2
agtman
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Adjust your sights higher. Ruger Precision Rifle.

For everything else you listed, you'll just end up paying a 'smith additional $$$ to tune it to actually shoot MOA or better.

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Old September 1, 2017, 07:45 PM   #3
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I've heard a lot of good about the Savage's for a lot of years, I might try one of them. I got two new one's this year, a 243 that ill stay under 3/4" if I do my part. Mossberg Patriot. Like it so well, I went out and dot another but in 308. Plan to only shoot cast out of it so don't know what it would do with jacketed bullet's.

Cartridge I'd choose depend's Depending on the rifle either the 260 Rem or the 6.5 Creedmore. For what your wanting the 243 should work fine also.
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Old September 1, 2017, 07:50 PM   #4
ARqueen15
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I'll be sure to mention that to my boss when I ask him to triple my salary next week

Ironically I've read of some RPR not hitting the 1 moa even with Match ammo.

So yeah it'll be a budget choice from one of those I listed much as a 1k rifle would be superior.
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Old September 1, 2017, 07:51 PM   #5
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Here's a similar thread that may help give you some answers, including some of the rifles you've listed:

https://thefiringline.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=587231

I'd agree with the Ruger Precision from additional research I did, btu there are several that are in that category and are sub-moa out of the box.
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Old September 1, 2017, 07:56 PM   #6
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Ruger Predator in 204, 223, 243, or 6.5 Creedmoor. Also 308 and 22-250. I have the standard carbine in 223 and Predators in 308 and 6.5. These are the most accurate rifles in my safe. I have a BIL with a Predator in 223.

http://ruger.com/products/americanRi...or/models.html

Locally I can buy the Predator for $389 out the door including tax. The standard rifles vary between $320-$350.

Regadless of which one you decide on most of the "package" deals come with throw away scopes. Although some of the Savage 110's I've seen have decent Nikon glass on them. Price is in the $600 range though. Which isn't bad with a $200 scope on it.

The Ruger Precision rifle is a little over $1000. It is the same rifle in a different stock that takes better magazines. It isn't any more accurate than the Predator.

http://ruger.com/products/precisionRifle/models.html

If that style of stock is important to you they are fine rifles. But it is possible to buy the Predator and later upgrade to a chassis style stock and better magazines. There are a few guys posting on other forums who have done so with good results. They claim you save a little by going that route. The Predator is fine as is for my uses.

The Rugers aren't the least expensive, but beat all others on your list. The Savage 110 might equal the Ruger in accuracy and a good argument can be made that it is a better quality rifle. But it costs more too.
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Old September 1, 2017, 08:19 PM   #7
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Got my my Remington 700 XCR in 7mm-08 with Nikon =3-9x40 prostaff at a pawn shop for, get this, $325, tax included.

And yes, it defiantly is a 1 MOA or less rifle!

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Old September 2, 2017, 02:00 AM   #8
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I’m very pleased with my T/C Compass in .223, it’s accurate with various types of ammo – including relatively inexpensive rounds.
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Old September 2, 2017, 03:04 AM   #9
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OK, you asked:
Quote:
I've been tossing around the idea of getting a budget MOA rifle that is light on recoil and won't break the bank on ammo.
So I will say, look at it like a project that you have to start somewhere.
First of all, it has to be a model 70 Winchester. Did I say period? Since you are on a budget, you may settle for a post-'64, push feed version. But make sure it has a Walnut stock. Life is too short for ugly rifles.
Secondly, since you want low recoil and readily available ammo at decent prices, that means 243 Winchester. I prefer a 270 Winchester, but that's probably more recoil than you want to deal with.
Thirdly, put a Leupold scope on it, probably a 3-9x40, whatever, just make sure it's a Leupold.
Fourth of all, clean the barrel thoroughly with a copper removing solvent.
Fifthly, start shooting with some decent but low budget factory ammo with 100 grain bullets unless you are just going to start in with handloads. I'm thinking Winchester Power-Points or Federal blue-box. You could try some lighter hollowpoints intended for varmints, but I just automatically default to thinking, "Deer-rifle". Now, if the rifle is already shooting M.O.A., or close to it, you can be done right there. But if all you are getting is 3" groups, not to worry, go on to the next step......
Sixthly, go buy a box of Brownell's Accraglas and whatever tools you need to glass bed the action and free-float the barrel. You could, and maybe should have a competent gunsmith do this for you, but you are on a budget, remember? And besides, motivated teenagers have done this, and done it well, by simply following the directions.
And that's pretty much all there is to it.
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Old September 2, 2017, 06:33 AM   #10
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I have a Remington 700 ADL Varmint in 308Win. It was on sale at Dick's plus a rebate which brought it $400 if I remember right. Cut the barrel to 20 inches with a recessed target crown. Sub-moa 5 shot groups with my best being .307 center to center. My average is under .5 center to center at 100. At 200yds its around .065 center to center. This is all with Sierra 165gr SPBT Gamekings.
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Old September 2, 2017, 06:48 AM   #11
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Look at the Savage FV12 at Cabelas. Same action & barrel as the Savage 12 or 112. 1" or better with little to no effort in most cases. I have the FV12 in 223 & 204, shoots factory ammo very well, handloads even better.
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Old September 2, 2017, 12:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Ammo cost...usually you need match ammo or reloads to get the best out of a rifle so ideally i'd keep the match ammo cost at < 0.75/rd. I'm open to reloading but am on a budget so i can't just buy a progressive press and 10,000 primers with 24 pounds of powder to start off.
Ruger American in .308. Around $400...
IMO, best "odds" of getting one that'll shoot into an inch. Always a crapshoot with an intro level bolt action. They've come a long way, but no guarantee you'll get lucky.

Again, unless you get lucky with any rifle you get happening to "like" a lower grade of ammo, the consistency you're looking for comes with match ammo like Black Hills or FGMM and the wallet to feed it. Absent that, you don't need to spend a ton to get set up in reloading with a single stage.

While one can certainly learn basic marksmanship with less than match grade ammo and a TRUE, consistent minute of angle setup you cannot refine the basics into shooting bugholes without precision ammunition. No way, no how- cannot happen.

Accuracy/consistency at the target is the result of a SYSTEM. Accurate rifle. Precision, no-stress stock fitment. Consistent ammunition. All of these, and more, must act together in a precisely repeatable manner so that the rifle and ammo does the exact same thing every time the trigger is pulled. The ammunition must produce barrel harmonics that release the bullet from the muzzle at the correct time, with the muzzle in the same location in space.

Without all this, when you're shooting groups you have no way to isolate the cause of the 2" groups you might be shooting.

Is it the ammo? Or is it the rifle? Bad fit of the receiver in the stock? Combination of the above? As a beginner, not a bad idea to get an experienced shooter to drive the rifle to rule out shooter error/inexperience.

If you don't handload, using match ammo- across several manufacturers and bullet weights- at least at the beginning to come up with a "good as it gets" baseline. If you can't get it to group tighter than 1-1/2" with any type of match ammo- safe to bet that's pretty close to as good as it's going to get with that particular rifle/barrel.
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Old September 2, 2017, 01:17 PM   #13
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In you price range, I would look to the Ruger American (probably the Predator model) or the Savage Axis 2. If you were able to add a little money I'd look at the Tikka T3.

I don't have any experience with Mossberg rifles, but do think the make a good value shotgun.
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Old September 2, 2017, 01:52 PM   #14
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"...can shoot 1 MOA..." That's mostly about matching the ammo to the rifle. And having a rifle that's capable of it.
All those rifles are entry level hunting rifles that may or may not be capable of 1 MOA. Probably not. Target rifles they ain't.
Start with figuring out your budget. How much money do you want to spend? Cheapest, least recoil, shooting will be a .223. Absolute least felt recoil will be out of a semi-auto, but those aren't budget rifles. And Mini-14's are absolutely not MOA of any kind rifles.
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Old September 2, 2017, 02:59 PM   #15
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I would look at the Cabella only Savage 12FV $419 and there are often Cabella and or Savage rebates.

Its available in 6.5 Creed which I am told is like shooting an AR.

It has the very nice acu trigger adjust down to 1.5 lbs

Barrel is a Varmint contour, nice heavy that won't warp during shooting.

You can upgrade to a better stock latter (Boyd's makes some good drop in fit)

It has the preferred top bolt release and a segmented barrel nut, you can replace the barrel down the road when its worn out with a pre fit after market, any contour you want.
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Old September 2, 2017, 06:41 PM   #16
agtman
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Quote:
Accuracy/consistency at the target is the result of a SYSTEM. Accurate rifle. Precision, no-stress stock fitment. Consistent ammunition. All of these, and more, must act together in a precisely repeatable manner so that the rifle and ammo does the exact same thing every time the trigger is pulled.* * *

Without all this, when you're shooting groups you have no way to isolate the cause of the 2" groups you might be shooting.
All that just re-Inforces my point above about the Ruger PR. Yeah, it costs a bit more than the options the OP listed, but if you want MOA or better, going cheapo won't get you there, no matter what the internet "experts" claim. Most are just lazy "Sunday afternoon snipers" anyway, not hard-core precision guys who shoot LR matches twice a month.

Quote:
Is it the ammo? Or is it the rifle? Bad fit of the receiver in the stock? Combination of the above? As a beginner, not a bad idea to get an experienced shooter to drive the rifle to rule out shooter error/inexperience.
True, that ... Likely as not, the major factor that will wonk open his groups into MOA x 2 will be the imprecise shooter himself.

I've seen 2"+ @ 100yds, 4"+ @ 200yds, etc., from a decent rifle with consistent match-grade ammo because the shooter was a fugly who didn't shoot his stick much except on intermittent weekends ... Hence the meaning of the aforesaid reference to "Sunday afternoon snipers."

Make any excuse you want for lack of dedicated range time, but at the end of the day, when checking the targets, it's the singer not the song. An inherently accurate rifle using match ammo will get you only so far.

Word, my dudenals.

Last edited by agtman; September 3, 2017 at 07:21 AM.
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Old September 2, 2017, 07:14 PM   #17
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My most accurate cheap rifles.
Savage 10 270 WSM 1/3 MOA avarage with handloads. $450
Browning A-Bolt II 7mm-08 cloverleaf shooter with handloads but HATES every factory load I have ever tried. $399
Tikka T3 Stainless 6.5x55 THE MOST ACCURATE RIFLE EVER! The cheapest import factory crap shoots 3/4MOA and my best handload is a legit one hole shooter at 100yards $408

The 6.5 CM would serve you well, almost the same ballistics as my 6.5x55 handloads which are impressive and anchor game with an authority, clearly superior to the 243 I used to use. Don't turn your nose up at a 7mm-08 either, it has a well earned reputation as a fantastic sissy kicker, I let the kids shoot mine and even without a recoil pad it is a pleasure to shoot.
Probably the best budget scope on the market is the Nikon Prostaff, I have three of them and have been thrilled with their performance.
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Old September 3, 2017, 09:55 AM   #18
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My TC Venture 243 shoots sub MOA with Federal Power Shock. Haven't tried anything else
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Old September 3, 2017, 12:41 PM   #19
ARqueen15
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Thanks for the many comments here.

It seems most threads I have to say the same thing so once more. .. i'm not a dude (see user name) and I'm not a beginner.

I do agree that reading online solely you could conclude that people are shooting sub-moa, offhand, with steel cased bulk tula ammo, in 40 mph crosswinds.. wait for it...."all day". Which is why I posted here since this board seems to have more mature and realistic folks.

Sure you might get a great 3 shot group on occasion but in my mind repeatable 5 shot groups, say the average of 5 such groups on one target are what I'm thinking of upon saying "moa rifle".

Seems many suggestions for the ruger american, savage (axis/axis 2, 10, 12), the remington 700 of course, tikka, and mossberg patriot.

I'll have to make the rounds at some of the local gun shops to handle some of these rifles to see how the fit, finish, and quality are. Some, like the t/c, aren't sold locally.
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Old September 3, 2017, 01:33 PM   #20
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Is no one going to suggest the CZ 527 range of rifles?
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Old September 3, 2017, 08:19 PM   #21
Kachok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pond, James Pond View Post
Is no one going to suggest the CZ 527 range of rifles?
I never thought of a CZ 527 as a budget rifle, if we were talking about that price range I would include the Savage 10FP/LRH and Tikka tactical. I consider "Budget" to be a rifle that can be had for under $500 real world price, ARqueen seems to have the same idea.
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Old September 3, 2017, 11:12 PM   #22
Pond, James Pond
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Fair enough!
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Old September 4, 2017, 01:12 AM   #23
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Savage 10 series in 6.5 Creedmoor. .308 would likely be MOA but more recoil.
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Old September 4, 2017, 09:16 AM   #24
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Back to the Savage that is a Cabella only carry, 12FV. This is a true 5 shot sub MOA. (I would guess 3/4 at worst)

http://www.cabelas.com/product/SAVAG...LE/1994604.uts

With the $100 rebate that's $319

There is a lot of match grade 6.5 ammo out there.

They offer it in .204 as well, not a caliber I know anything about.

308 is another good choice, more recoil but a lot of match grade stuff.

22-250 is another one I don't have any knowledge of.

223 of course is a classic, probably lowest cost ammo and a huge selection.

Last edited by RC20; September 4, 2017 at 09:25 AM.
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Old September 4, 2017, 09:22 AM   #25
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Quote:
It seems most threads I have to say the same thing so once more. .. i'm not a dude (see user name) and I'm not a beginner.
As we are a diverse and welcoming group!

Also note that the ref to a Safe Queen and your handle can leave some question as to gender. I for two would have used "dude" as well.

No ding but handles can be interpreted a number of ways. 45 years ago I worked with a guy by the name of Shirley and knew a Rossie when I was a kid (not a clue what they were thinking)

Mine happens to be a ref to a Honda Motorcycle model (CB700SC is the show name, RC20 is the actual Honda model)
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