Good Budget Rifle


November 30, 2008, 10:42 PM
Hey there guys, I've got a quick question for ya. Due to my youth and paranoia, I have only bought semi-auto rifles for the last year and a half(besides Mosins) and would really like to pick up a new bolt action beater. I don't mean that I would mistreat it or carelessly leave it unsecured in my truck. But I need a low-cost bolt action that me and my girlfriend can share. Normally I have all my gun bases covered, but my situation requires something different.

Me and my fiancee need something simple and versatile. My two bolt actions are a Remington 700 Sendero Special in .25-06 with a Leupold 2.5-8 w/ 26" Bull Barrel, and a Remington 700 VLS in 7mm Rem Mag with a muzzlebreak and a Leupold 3-9 VX-II 40mm w/ 26" Bull Barrel. These 2 guns are both super accurate, super nice, and super heavy, super long and unweildy for my girlfriend and even sometime for me and getting in and out of stands and crossing fences (inner property). I used to have a Remington 700 ADL 7mm Rem Mag w/ Leupold 3-9 VX-I. My first deer rifle, bought I sold it like a stupid young child that I was. Now I'm thinking the same rifle could give me just what I'm looking for. Since me and my girlfriend are soon to be leaving town next year, I wanted to take a basic battery of rifles that aren't to extreme in any one area. I'm thinking shotgun (Remington 870, 2 BBLs), semi-auto defense rifle (stock Stag AR), .22 (Marlin 60), and finally deer rifle (insert opinion here). Since we're moving to a new part of Texas that we are unfamiliar with and the criminal element is unknown, we don't want to take more than we need and some of these guns can do double duty. I would take my M1A or 6.8 SPC AR but that gets funny looks from people and ranchers sometimes in my experience. So the bottom line is, that I already feel nervous taking the AR but if I keep it out of sight then that's no big deal to me.

So I went to Gander Mountain to look around, then Walmart, then Academy, and finally I'll be going to Carter's Country. I have heard about the Tikkas, Weatherbys, Mossbergs, Remington 710, Savages, and etc. I am looking for a scoped combo. Now I know that my only experience is with Leupolds, so I'm a little spoiled in that department. But I would like to see what these other scopes have to offer before I ever knock them. I have a couple friends that have Simmons and Tascos, never shot them, but they still get deer every year.

What I liked and didn't like.

Pros: Good reputation, accuracy guarantee.

Cons: Polymer everywhere, made overseas, magazines are expensive plastic but useless gun if lost.


Pros: I hear that they're buildable like ARs, American!, that trigger thing they've got.

Cons: Feels a little cheap, didn't get to handle a whole lot though.


Pros: Know the system, know what to expect, American (I think), lots of parts out there, kind of a standard out there.

Cons: None really, just want to see if I missing anything out there.


Pros/Cons: Didn't see any samples.


Pros: 100 ATR, Seems kinda nice, but I really did like the 4x4 and the idea of a laminate stock.

Cons: Lots of polymer, So low priced it scares me, don't know if action is proven.


Pros: Feels good, accuracy guarantee, they offer wood stocks direct from MFG.

Cons: Made overseas, the more expensive model (for a reason I'm sure).

Overall, I think I'm leaning towards the Remmy, the Walmart near me that still sells guns had a Remington 700 scope combo, it was an ADL w/o iron sights however, and I'm sure it wasn't a 770. It was a 7mm Rem Mag that caught my eye and it ran only 467.00. I'm sure that it has been there for a while, since I thought they didn't make ADLs anymore.

Looking for:

-American made
-Strong Action
-Long life
-Quality without concerning aesthetics

Well guys I appreciate your insight and your patience with my rant.

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November 30, 2008, 10:49 PM
For what its worth, I love my Savage's "accutrigger". And its a very accurate rifle too. I ditched the original black stock and packaged Simmons scope. I replaced them with a Ramline Realtree stock and Nikon Prostaff Realtree scope. Its a .30-06, by the way. I couldnt be happier.

November 30, 2008, 10:58 PM
If this is a gun for your girlfriend - or even one that she's going to be using - i'd say get her input on it.
Her opinion and what she feels is cheap or not - is going to be a lot more important then ours :D

November 30, 2008, 11:08 PM
Honestly she didn't like any without a woodstock and that was her major complaint. She likes light guns and all of these rifles had sporter bbls. I'm thinking of something that can later take a wood stock that would be easily available.

November 30, 2008, 11:10 PM
How strong is the action on a Savage compared to one a Remingtons?

Grant, that Nikon working out for you? What do they run about normally?

December 1, 2008, 12:27 AM
Those Rem 710s have a terrible reputation. Mossbergs and Savages have a much better history of being good out of the box.

These are the only 3 I've shot.

December 1, 2008, 12:38 AM
I've been a Remington 700 guy for over 25 years...there is a reason for that. I've also owned two Model 7 Remington's and I have no complaints there either. And I agree...the 710 are "factory seconds" IMO.

The Winchester Model 70 also deserves to be mentioned.

But you said you wanted a "package"...that narrows it down a bit...get the Savage.

December 1, 2008, 12:49 AM
I've got a 700 in 30/06 and a Ruger MK2 in 280 (7mm express)
Fine rifles,I got the 700 out of a pawn shop about 15 years ago for $250,it had a weaver K4 on it,the scope finally went bad,so it's got a peep on it now.
The Ruger I bought about 2 years ago for $400,it's got a Elite3200 on it,works good.
They are both fine rifles,I think that the Ruger has the "controlled feed" action,which I guess is some kinda big deal,since that seems to be why everyone worships the pre'64 Model 70s (a fine rifle no doubt)

Anyway,both are good shooters,and I think either are a good choice.

December 1, 2008, 12:54 AM
but would not wish the 710/770 on just about anybody. They are horrible. I bought a Steven's 200 here back to build up as a loaner when I take folks varmint hunting. It shoots really good and I am very happy with it overall. You might be able get a Steven's and still add a Leupold Rifleman or VXI. That would make a great combo.

I have also heard good things about the Marlin from some guys in my hunting club. They seem to think it is a great buy and they shoot very well.

You also might look into a 7-08 instead of the 7mag. It is a great little cartridge and would work well on TX whitetails and hogs. It might be easier on your GF's shoulder as well.

I am not sure which action is stronger, but the Remington seems stronger to me. I am sure some of the hardcore Savage guys could give you more accurate info on that.

Good luck,


December 1, 2008, 09:03 AM
I have a Mossberg ATR-100 in .30-06. Mine is the black synthetic stock, 22" barrel.

It will hold 2"@100Yds 5 shots with most cheap soft-point hunting ammo (read Rem Core-Lokt, PMP Pro-Amm 150-180 gr ammo). Shooting Budd with much steadier hands and better eyes than mine got a smidge under 0.7" with Fed Gold Medal Match ammo.

December 1, 2008, 09:43 AM
The Savage rifles are known to be some of the most accurate out of the box. They are strong, inexpensive, and reliable. They aren't meant to be Gun Safe Jewelery, but they do produce... My pick is the Savage.

December 1, 2008, 12:26 PM
My Bolt actions are Remington's and Savages. Remington 721b and 700 the rest are Savage 110 (long and short action) The only real differences is the Savage barrel nut. The barrel nut allows easy DIY barrel swaps and excellent head-spacing. Both Remington and Savage triggers are easy to clean up.

Get a heavy barrel Savage/Remington in 308 . Stick the best scope you can afford and go shooting.

December 1, 2008, 01:25 PM
I just helped a friend pick an econo rifle. We got a Stevens 200 in 7mm-08 with a Burris Fullfield 3-9, the whole package for under 500. I'd be happy hunting with it anywhere. I can't see how he could have done better.

December 1, 2008, 04:20 PM
Have you looked at the new Marlins? I hear they are in your price range...


December 1, 2008, 04:36 PM

December 1, 2008, 06:11 PM
You can get a Marlin XL7 for about $300, put some nice scope on it for $200. Hard to beat, you can later upgrade the stock if you like to something that looks nicer.

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