Cheap(er) Bolt Rifle


March 24, 2008, 10:29 PM
I love the bolt action rifles simply because I simply love performing the cycle. I love pulling the bolt back, watching the ejected case fly out, and pushing the bolt forward and feeding the next round. I'm looking for a non-military surplus rifle that has a smooth bolt action and is fun and cheap to shoot. I'm not looking for a .22LR. I want a larger caliber than that. Any suggestions on what I should look for? I will be using this rifle to plink only. No hunting will be done. I would like to stay around the $200 range. My absolute max budget is $300. Is there a rifle out there for me?

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March 24, 2008, 10:31 PM
Look at a Savage Stevens model in .223

March 24, 2008, 11:08 PM
is the Mossberg ATR in that price range.

March 24, 2008, 11:28 PM
And it's easier to change the barrel on the Savage, if you want to spend more some day and change calibers.

March 24, 2008, 11:49 PM
In January I bought a new Rem 700 in 270Win caliber for $325 at WalMart (2007 deer season was over). It has synthetic stock, no sights, matte finish. It isn't gorgeous, but it shoots like a Remington 700.

March 24, 2008, 11:54 PM
Marlin just put the XL7 on the market. I can get i locally for $276 + tax.. new. Comes in 25-06, 270, and 30-06 - have eard there is a .243 version also available... but it is not listed on their website.

March 25, 2008, 12:10 AM
agree with the savage /stevens, or if you want a package rifle, with scope included, the Savage, and the mossberg will be the best, and closest to the 300 dollar range. If you can go a bit more, the howa 1500 package is the best entry rifle package gun you can get.

March 25, 2008, 12:15 AM
More rifle you say?! How about a Mossin-Naggant in 7.62x54r, they run around $90 and that would leave you $110 for ammo. I bought a tin of 300 rds for $40 making it cheaper to shoot than my .223.

March 25, 2008, 12:16 AM
Right on Doc...can't get much more bang for the buck than a Mosin Naggant!

March 25, 2008, 12:17 AM
Do the Mosins have smooth actions or do they feel sticky or notchy?

March 25, 2008, 12:31 AM
My mosin was smooth as a proverbial baby's buttocks right off the rack. Apparently, this is a fluke, because I've heard time and time again stories of how folks have had to remove all sorts of cosmoline off of their actions in order to operate the Mosin smooth-like. But hell, for the 80 bucks I paid, I wouldn't have minded a few hours worth of intensive grease removal.

March 25, 2008, 12:59 AM
Mosins are incredible, BUT....for the price you're wanting to pay, why not a Mauser? Check on the Yugo M-48 or M-48A. They are post-war copies of the famous German K-98. Also, if you don't mind a straight bolt, the Yugo 24/47 is a great shooter as well.

We're talking $130 to $180 for the action that is THE definitive action that ALL bolt guns are still judged on to this day!

chris in va
March 25, 2008, 02:23 AM
You don't want a Mosin if you're looking for 'smooth'. Mausers are much better, but ammo is getting pretty costly.

Too bad your price range is lower, I have GREAT fun with my CZ carbine in x39.

March 25, 2008, 08:39 PM
A springfield 840 in .30-30 or 222 would fit the bill if you arent looking to shoot over 300 yards. You can get those or the savage equivalent for about 250.

March 25, 2008, 08:46 PM
You don't want a Mosin if you're looking for 'smooth'

all my mosins are smooth. but its a different action than all the Mausers and Mauser based RemChesters. that might be where people start to have problems, they are 2 different actions.

March 25, 2008, 08:48 PM
Another vote for a Savage in 223.

March 25, 2008, 08:52 PM
Sorry, but with today's ammo prices .22 or hm2 is all I can justify plinking with.

March 25, 2008, 10:13 PM

Just to help me wrap my mind around this, are you saying that all that is needed to change the caliber on a savage is change the barrel? I have a springfield/savage .30-30 bolt gun. Would all I need to change it to a .222 is to change out the barrel? What about the ejector and having the bolt line up properly? I don't see how that would work, would you mind expounding on your post a little?

rust collector
March 25, 2008, 11:52 PM
Not quite that simple. Cartridge heads must be the same size, a new barrel must be headspaced, and you may need an action wrench and barrel wrench. Then there are issues with magazine and feeding.

Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be, or that it can be done economically.

March 25, 2008, 11:58 PM
I know you said no milsurps, but take a second look at a Lee-Enfield. Smoothest, fastest bolt-action ever. Most are in .303 British, but Ishapore 2A models are in 7.62 NATO. You should be able to find one for about $200, maybe a little less.

March 26, 2008, 12:10 AM
Just because it can be done doesn't mean it should be, or that it can be done economically.

Good one, using "economic" on a gun board. If we wanted to be economic....we'd all buy one M38 and stop.

I don't know how big the head is on a 222, but Savage only has 3 bolt heads - 223, magnum, and .473. If you don't mind working on your own rifle, it ain't that big a deal. It's about like changing the oil on your car.

March 26, 2008, 12:14 AM
I think mosins are great, but the OP is looking for a "non-military surplus"....I'm not quite sure what that is, however. I guess he means NEW?? or Police surplus?? or just a non-military gun?? I'm not sure what's wrong with a military surplus, some great deals are found in military surplus with plethora of cheap ammo, especially for plinking, which is what he is looking for.

I'd say Mauser or Mosin, but if you want to shoot cheap for plinking, then Mosin it is. Plenty of <$100 Mosins out there and cheap ammo.

March 26, 2008, 12:20 AM
where did you find a tin at that price?????

March 26, 2008, 08:22 AM
Get a milsurp, but that might just be me...

I've had a couple of Mosins that were fun but neither of them were anything like a "smooth" action. You can't go wrong for a typical FFL03 price of about $70 and everyone should have one as a beater gun, but it wouldn't be my most-favorite rifle.

My most favorite bolt action milsurp is my 8mm Mauser K98. Much smoother action and it's a pleasure to shoot.

That said, I've been thinking of getting either a .303 or a .308 SMLE Enfield. I've held one and worked the action on it, and I think the Enfield HAS to be the absolute smoothest bolt action I've ever felt. All I've ever felt is milsurps, so maybe there are hunting rifles out there that are even smoother, but the Enfield is really butter smooth.

March 26, 2008, 09:16 AM
Another vote for the Mossberg ATR. Very light and accurate. The bolt is very smooth. Incredible deal for the money. I have a Burris scope on mine.

March 26, 2008, 10:16 AM
Start checking your local gunshops for a sporterized Mauser or Springfield. You can usually get a rifle with a scope for $300. It will look and feel better than anything coming out of a factory today too.

Essex County
March 26, 2008, 01:39 PM
I'd prowl local gunshops for a used Savage/Stevens in .223. I have purchased used, like new, Package guns for as little as 235.00. Doesn't get much better than that....Essex

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