Best .308 hunting rifle under $500?


April 23, 2008, 02:40 AM
Can I get a .308 hunter rifle that's accurate and not too expensive? It doesn't have to be new by the way. What do you think?

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April 23, 2008, 02:46 AM
Get a Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic...

It'll bring a smile to your face...



April 23, 2008, 03:35 AM
I just bought a Remington 700 SPS a couple of months ago for $484 out the door. So far it seems pretty damn accurate, though I haven't shot for groups yet.

Savage makes some pretty decent rifles too, for around $300-$400 or so. Stevens, a subsidiary company to Savage, makes essentially the same rifle for cheaper, but they don't have the AccuTrigger that the Savage does.

Weatherby is a good company, but I don't have any experience with their rifles. So I don't really know how they compare to the Remington or Savage. The accessory after-market for the Remington/Savage is much larger than for the Weatherby, however, so if you're looking to accessorize it may not be the best choice. If not, it probably wouldn't be a bad choice.

April 23, 2008, 03:48 AM
Where did you get the Remington 700 SPS from? That sounds like a good price.

April 23, 2008, 03:52 AM
I bought it from Bi-Mart, which is a Northwest store (they're only in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho) that's a bit like Costco, only smaller. They were still using 2007 prices, and it looked like the 2008 prices were going to be a bit higher, so they probably don't have them at that price any more. IIRC, they were 80% of the MSRP.

April 23, 2008, 03:58 AM
Just checked Remington's page: The current MSRP for the Rem. 700 SPS in .308 is $620, so if you got it at a similar discount to what I got mine at (20% off MSRP) it'd cost around $494.

April 23, 2008, 08:04 AM
in semi automatic you could go with saiga. well under 500.

April 23, 2008, 08:59 AM
There are a lot of budget bolt-actions in this range - Savage-Stevens, Savage, Mossberg, Remington, but also Howa, Weatherby and Tikka. I asked a similar question with a survey not long ago in Inexpensive .30-06 rifle? ( Savage, in both budget Savage models and the economy Savage-Stevens line, was the overwhelming favorite.

Don't forget that you don't always need more than one shot -- besides the Rossis and Spartans, there are also a couple of choices from H&R/NEF. All the break-open single shots will generally be lighter and handier than the bolt guns with the same length barrel. I like the NEF Survivor in .308 ( $300 including 22" bull barrel, stock with storage, sling, swivels and scope base and plenty accurate, I hear. It's also as the same overall length as a bolt gun with an a barrel 3-4" shorter and weights only 6 1/2 lbs.

April 23, 2008, 09:05 AM
Stevens Model 200. And it's infinitely upgradable, in your garage.

April 23, 2008, 10:16 AM
Yeah, i agree, in a under $500 bolt action, i'd lean heavily toward the Stevens model 200,too.

April 23, 2008, 10:20 AM
Another vote for the Stevens Model 200 here... I have one in 7mm-08...

April 23, 2008, 10:36 AM
Like I said, check out these poll results ( a thread a couple of weeks ago--different caliber, same answer.

April 23, 2008, 10:46 AM
look for the new Howa, in the green or black Hogue over molded stock, with heavy bbl. Exceptional value.

April 23, 2008, 10:52 AM
No one has mentioned the new Marlin bolt, not sure it is available in 308 though but MSRP is well under $500
Used it is a buyers market, probably 90% of the used bolt actions, or hunters guns, on the rack in pawn or gun shops in this area are under $500.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
April 23, 2008, 11:23 AM
Yeah, you have a myriad of good choices if willing to buy used under $500. First of all, do you want a pump, levergun, turnbolt, or single shot? That would help. But limiting the discussion now to turnbolts, you could find the following in that price range at pawn shops, gun shows, or private sellers on the net and elsewhere:

-Remington 700 (ADL, CDL, BDL, SPS, others)
-Winchester 70
-Browning A-bolt
-Fancier Savage 10, 11, or 12
-Tikka T3 / Whitetail
-CZ 550

New or used:
-Howa 1500
-Weatherby Vanguard
-Savage 10, 11, or 12 (the basic models anyway)
-Stephens 200
-Remington 770

the new Marlin is not offered in .308, I don't believe. Nor do I believe the Mossbergs are offered in .308, so Owlnmole, you're mostly right, but the answers are not *exactly* the same as when asking about .30-06.

Look for one of my bolded choices if you want a turnbolt. Then there's pumps and single shots. I can't think of any leverguns in .308 under $500 except a used Browning BLR in .308. The Marlin uses a proprietary round called .308 marlin, so that ain't .308 win.

April 23, 2008, 11:33 AM
I vote remington

April 23, 2008, 12:04 PM
If you're looking for rugged utility for the absolute rock-bottom bucks check out the Ishapore 2A1 version of the SMLE.

You can buy one in very nice condition with an almost pristine bore, an NG (no gunsmithing/DIY) mount and serviceable scope and have a hunting combo capable of 1-1.5 MOA accuracy with good ammo for under $350 total.

You might not impress anyone with its looks, but you won't wince every time it bumps against something in the field, either.

April 23, 2008, 12:15 PM
I have had good luck with the Stevens and Tikka T3's. Both under $500.

April 23, 2008, 12:20 PM
Remington 700

April 23, 2008, 01:48 PM
Stevens 200, Savage (with accu-trigger) Mossberg ATR-100 or 4X4 series.

Not familiar with the Tikka/Howa/Weatherby rifles.

Have a Mossberg ATR-100 in .30-06. With most of the cheaper soft-point hunting ammo, will keep 3 shots inside 2"@100Yds in MY hands....and I don't claim to be any great shakes as a rifleman.

April 23, 2008, 01:52 PM
Ishapore Lee Enfield in .308. Either the 2 or 2A variant.
Under $300 IIRC.

Used Rem 700 if you shop around. Used Savage...

April 23, 2008, 01:53 PM
No one has mentioned the new Marlin bolt, not sure it is available in 308 though but MSRP is well under $500

Eliphalet, The Marlin XL7 is only available in 25-06 Rem, .270 Win and 30-06 Spgfd currently. No word about a short action version anywhere to be seen... Good rifles though...

April 23, 2008, 07:27 PM
savage 10, the 26" barrel on the varmiter model is a great deal, walmart has them for $485, most people say they can shoot under 1" at 100yards right out of the box, i got mine and i wouldnt trade it for anything, well mabey not "anything"...

April 23, 2008, 07:44 PM
Go with savage they are a great great rifle and you can do all of your own gunsmithing. I own 2!

April 23, 2008, 08:34 PM
Mossberg 800. Walnut stock, deep polished blue, iron sights, 6 forward locking lugs, 60 degree bolt throw and recommended by Robert Stack!


Doc S
April 23, 2008, 11:50 PM
Buy a Savage and save up for decent optics...

God Bless,
Doc S

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