First Rifle


July 14, 2010, 12:19 PM
Sorry I know this is gets brought up a lot but I am looking at getting a new rifle hopefully in the near future. Right now I have 2 hand guns and a shotgun but no rifles yet! This is mainly for the range for right now to put holes in paper at a good distance but later on I would like to try it for hunting whitetail deer as well.

I know very little about rifles and scopes other than what I have read here. I was looking for something in the $600 or less range if possible for the rifle and scope for now, probably bolt action in a 30-06 or .308. Thanks

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July 14, 2010, 12:30 PM
Rifles are as personal as underwear. If you don't want to dump more than $600 into it, I'd suggest that you get out and shoulder a few and pick the one that feels the best to you. I don't mess with many bolt guns, but I like the Remington and Savage rifles.

I don't know the model, but a guy at the range a few weeks ago was shooting a Savage that he picked up on gunbroker. He said he paid $600 for it and was shooting one hole three shot groups with it. It was chambered in .308.

As for caliber, I'm a big fan of .308. Ammo is reasonable priced and plentiful. This caliber is also easier to shoot a lot of without getting fatigued. It's plenty accurate too and the rifle will suffer less wear and tear than it will in 30-06, but whether this will matter is going to depend on how much you're going to shoot it.

July 14, 2010, 01:16 PM
You want to allow a good margin for the optics, so I would recommend a cheaper firearm. The Marlin XL/XS-7 is pretty decent for the money and will allow a good optics budget. As far as the cartridge, I am a big fan of the 7mm-08 because it offers low recoil, short action, flat trajectory, and good bullets (should you decide to reload). It does cost a bit more to feed than the cheapest .30-06, but not when you are comparing hunting loads. If you want to hunt larger game (like Elk) the .30-06 is probably a better choice.

IMO the best value in scopes is the Sightron S-II Big Sky 3-9x42mm, but some other good ones include the Vortex Viper 3-9x40mm, Nikon Monarch 2.5-10x42mm, and the Bushnell Elite 4200 3-9x40mm.


July 14, 2010, 01:26 PM
A nice savage in 30-06 will leave you some of that $600 for a nice scope.

July 14, 2010, 01:34 PM
Get a Saiga in what ever round you feel best suits your needs. Try to buy your weapons that will shoot the same caliber rounds if possible. I'd buy a decent but less expensive weapon, so I could stockpile ammo. You're going to probably need it in the next 10 years for self protection.

July 14, 2010, 02:25 PM
Thanks for all of the replies everyone, you all raised good points, keep them coming! I did check out a number of rifles at a local shop, also I saw a Remington 700 at walmat with a camo stock and scope for $498.00, I don't know the specs on the scope, I just peeked through it real quick, it sure wasn't anything too fancy, I liked the look and feel of the rifle though although I wish it had a detachable mag but it probably isn't too big of a deal I guess. The rifle was chambered in .270 but they also get it in a 30-06.

Thanks again for the other suggestions, I will check those out as well, also I appreacaite the recommendation on the optics b/c I sure don't know anything about them.

July 14, 2010, 02:46 PM
I have to add another plug for the Sightron scope. I had an SIII Big Sky. Crystal clear glass and the adjustments were very repeatable. I don't know why they aren't a more well known brand. In any case, check out

They have the best deals on Sightrons and have ordered a couple from them.

July 14, 2010, 03:00 PM
How about a Remington 700SPS Tactical in .308? You'll have to save a bit more for a scope, but it'll be more fun to shoot at the range for extended sessions then a lighter weight hunting rifle. Also, its not so heavy you couldn't hunt with it, although its admittedly not ideal for still hunting or hunting other than from a treestand.

July 14, 2010, 03:53 PM
Thanks for that tip on the scope, I'll look into that. I did see a 700 sps tacticl at one shop that I also liked a lot, that rasies a good point about the weight though, I did notice it was a bit heavier, I was kind of wondering what the advantages are of the heavier barrel, does it just mainly soften the recoil?

July 14, 2010, 04:46 PM
I was kind of wondering what the advantages are of the heavier barrel, does it just mainly soften the recoil?It has greater capacitance and more surface area so it copes with heat better, which leads to less "barrel droop" so you can shoot it longer without your groups opening up. This is an important feature in a long range target rifle or a varmint rig, not so much for a hunting rifle. In fact the additional weight may throw off the balance and make carry more tiresome.

Keep in mind that the newer Remingtons (including the model 700) have seen a decline in QC and therefore fit, finish, and accuracy. Additionally their CS is horrible from all recent accounts. If you want a 700, I believe it is best to look at used ones (10+ yrs old).


July 14, 2010, 05:55 PM
Thanks for explaining that Maverick, that makes sense. I have kind of read mixed reviews on the newer Remingtons. I am going to look into some of the other models mentioned here as well soon I hope.

July 20, 2010, 02:56 PM
I saw a Mossberg 4x4 rifle in .30-06 that I liked at Dicks with a factory scope (I know not that great) for about $400.00. The barrel was in a mariner finish so it would even match my mariner 12ga 500 if nothing else, it was a nice looking rifle and seemed to have good balance. The guy at Dick's had the same rifle and really liked it but I was wondering if anyone else could give me some feedback on it here, so far I have read mostly positive reviews on it.

July 20, 2010, 03:10 PM
The Mossberg 4x4/ATR series rifles have had some serious safety problems. It seems that several have had bolts (which are press-fit) come apart and seriously injure the user. Personally I wouldn't own one, but if you really like it I recommend having a skilled welder or gunsmith weld the bolt together (care should be taken to avoid heating the bolt face and locking lugs if this is performed).


July 20, 2010, 03:49 PM
Yeah I did come across a post from a few years ago that mentioned the same thing either here or on another site. That sounds like a serious problem alright, I am surprised they wouldn't have re-engineered the defect by now.

I also saw a Remington 700 VTR at another shop that I really liked but they only had it in .22-250, it was a little more than I wanted to spend but I may consider it if it came in .308 or .30-06. Another thing that I noticed is that it had already developed rust in one spot that I could see and it seemed like that may become an issue as well.

July 20, 2010, 04:46 PM
My best advice is to plan to spend as much or more on the scope (should you decide to scope it) than the rifle, or at least $300.00 on optics alone, so unless you expand your budget I would limit choices to the lower end. IME a good rifle can be purchased for a very reasonable price, the same does not hold true for scopes (In other words; you get what you paid for).


Marty B
July 20, 2010, 05:20 PM
Another vote for the Marlin XL/XS7. I saw them at Dicks not too long ago for $299.99. That would leave enough money left for decent optics and maybe some ammo. I've read good things about their accuracy (no personal experience) and have handled them and they feel good to me. As for scopes check out the Nikon Prostaff for one that won't break the bank and has good optics.

Hope this helps some,

July 20, 2010, 05:34 PM
Thanks guys, I have often heard to spend more on the optics but I just can't tell much difference in them due to my limited experience I guess but I will take the advice, I'm sure there is something that I'm missing. Is there something in particular that I should look for, most of them seem to have a good sight pic and are pretty clear from what I can tell whether it is a sub $100 scope or $300 plus dollars.

Marty, I see that you live in Mid TN, I am in the Franklin area, did you go to the Dicks in Cool Springs? I would like to see that Marlin that you mentioned, I may have overlooked it when I was there I guess.

July 20, 2010, 06:24 PM
Getta that / getta this!!
Getta this not a that!!
BE A MAN & GET A M1 GARAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uncle Mike
July 20, 2010, 07:11 PM
Let's see....

A Savage Edge, Stevens 200 or the Marlin X-Series(XL-7) topped with maybe a Weaver V-Series scope and viola...your hovering around 6 bills and have an excellent rig for the mission you have indicated!

Your smart to consider the 30-06, and I would pick that particular round if trying to accomplish a deer/paper puncher set-up.

Yes, the 308 does offer more factory loaded 'target' loadings, and would do just as fine as the 30-06 for extinguishing deer beasts, so you may want to consider this round IF you think you might do a LOT of SERIOUS paper punching....but then again, the rifle(s) mentioned, while seriously accurate for a 'sporter' hunting unit, are not stellar for critical target work.

Either way, the 30-06 or the 308, both would do you fine! I just prefer the 30-06!

As for spending the same amount or more on the scope than the rifle, it is not necessary for what your out to accomplish, as we say at the shop, don't sweat the small stuff, a mid priced scope will do you well.

Check out the Burris Fullfield II's, Weaver V-Series Classics or the Weaver 44/40 Series, the Nikon Prohunter or the Bushnell Trophy. It is true however, that the more you spend on your optics....the better!

July 20, 2010, 07:14 PM
Is there something in particular that I should look for, most of them seem to have a good sight pic and are pretty clear from what I can tell whether it is a sub $100 scope or $300 plus dollars.Everyones eyesight is slightly different, but I would suggest looking at several to get a feel for the ones that appear to have the best clarity, and also have a good reputation, good warranty, and good CS. Sightron (S-II and S-II Big Sky) as well as Vortex (Viper) are the best for the money IMO, but seem to be difficult to find locally. You are likely to find Bushnell Elite 4200s and Nikon Monarchs locally and they aren't far behind. If you decide that is too much to spend, look no further than the Vortex Diamondback, it is in a class of it's own in the sub-$200.00 range.


July 20, 2010, 07:22 PM
Another vote for the XS7 308. I bought mine and a nice 4-12 vortex scope for less than 500. I think I was right around 400 but I don't remember for sure. I know I like shooting the rifle and it performs well. The recoil pad is nice and really make the kick manageable. I can put a lot of ammo down range without feeling it. The trigger is also nice,I have not plaid with it but I think it is adjustable. However, I have no complaints about mine the way it is out of the box.

Keep in mind I am no rifle expert I only bought one so that if I did not fill my tag in archery season I would have a chance again during rifle season.

I hand load 165 grain speer boat tail soft point and more often than not I have a clover leaf at 100 yards. For me and my incredible lack of skill and training, that is awesome.

Uncle Mike
July 20, 2010, 07:59 PM
Mav has a good point with the Vortex scopes...forgot about them, my bad! hehehehe

July 20, 2010, 11:15 PM
a) there's a ton of great rifles in your ballpark: Tikka T3, Howa, Weatherby vanguard, Marlin xl7, Mossberg, Savage and Remington 700sps or 770. As a first rifle in the price you mention, these will make you very happy. Pick the one that suits your personal tastes.
b) the only decent factory-installed scope I've seen is a bushnell banner on a rem770... the rest are crap.
c) forego the factory installed scope and get a nikon prostaff, bushnell trophy (or higher) or Weaver K-series. Total price for gun and these scopes will be under your $600 and you'll have a combination worth keeping for the long haul

July 21, 2010, 12:13 AM
The good news about the scope is that you can pick one of the Centerpoints at Wal Mart.

The 3-9X 40 is $54.99 and the 4-16X 40 is $69.99

They are loaded with features (Mil-Dot and illuminated reticle, Parallax adjustment, turret locking rings) scope cover, flip caps and rings

They are no Leupold but you cannot beat it for the price and they are miles above of the usual cheap glass like Tasco and similar.

I own 5 of them and never had any of them take the recoil of my 338 Win Mag like nothing (the manufacturer claims that they are recoil tested up to a 416 Rigby)

As for the rifle, as your first you may consider a .22 where you can larn a lot about shooting a "single pill" long weapon without breaking the bank (nowadays with ammo prices the way they are...)

Another very inexpensive option (if you initially plan to shoot only iron sights) for a high power rifle is one of the Russian military surplus Mosin Nagant that can be routinely be had for less than $100 at big box sporting goods stores.

But you need someone experienced to buy one of these to avoid picking one in bad shape.

July 21, 2010, 12:18 AM

F-Body Demon
July 21, 2010, 07:24 AM
Go for a Savage!

Inexpensive (note I did not say cheap) and very accurate.

My first rifle was one chambered in 7mm Rem Mag. Its a totally awesome weapon. Great for deer and paper!

Savage Savage Savage!!!

July 21, 2010, 08:42 AM
Thanks for all of the great advice everyone, it has certainly given me a lot to think about, it sounds like a lot of good options out there.

Saturno- That is a good point about the .22, that is high on my priority list but I wanted a good rifle in time for deer season so that is why I wanted the bolt action first. Hopefully I can get a decent .22 soon after followed by a good lever action .357/ .38 carbine and then hopefully an AR at some point. :D

July 21, 2010, 09:42 AM
My vote would be to find a used Rem 700 in 30-06. The ammo can be found anywhere, at a decent price and the 700 speaks for itself.

July 21, 2010, 10:52 AM

If your budget is extremely tight, go for a the best for the money......a Mossberg ATR is good too (and even less expensive...can be had at Wal Mart for about $250) but I cannot "digest" the plastic trigger guard and other details extremely econonic.

A Savage 30-06 or 7mm Magnum usually go on sale for $399 every other week at Big 5 around here (the deal it includes a cheap 3-9x scope).
A Stevens 200 (which is nothing other than an ever lower budget version of the same rifle....same accuracy and action) can be had for about $100 less.
The main difference is that the Stevens does not have a magazine plate, so you have to unload it one round at the time through the action, no quick unloading through the release through the bottom of the mag.

If you can spend few dollars more go for the Weatherby Vanguard, the best rifle for the money at the moment ($400-450). Better finish, better look, 24" barrel in standard calibers (the Savage and the Stevens 30-06 have 22" pipes), accuracy guaranteed including a factory test target for each individual rifle....a nice touch

July 21, 2010, 06:41 PM
Thanks guys, I did see a Whetherby Vanguard the other day, that is a nice looking rifle. Also I did see a Savgae 7mm mag that looked pretty good. I was beginning to wonder if I should consider the 7mm or not. I have heard/ read that is has better ballistics than the 30-06; flatter trajectory and whatnot. I saw that the ammo ofcoarse runs about $5-$10 more a box and it has a pretty sharp recoil, not that I am very recoil senisitive, but I have never fired one. It may be getting a little much for any game in my area or to punch holes in paper but I would like to hear any other thoughts on it.

July 21, 2010, 06:52 PM
you could probably get 270 win it has flat trajectory better then 30-06 or 308, as far as 7mm its more cheaper when you buy 270

July 21, 2010, 07:06 PM
I wouldn't choose any magnum for a first rifle, or second for that matter. Quite simply a .30-06 can do nearly anything that is required of a hunting cartridge in NA.


Uncle Mike
July 21, 2010, 07:17 PM
I don't like the 7mmMag. for target work, if you must have a caliber less than .30, the 7mm is the one to have, look at the .280 Remington, it is 7mm and can be loaded with some of the 165 grain bullets for your long range work.

The .280REM. parallels the .270WIN. in the numbers department but can be loaded with better, 7mm bullets. And either the .270 or .280 will hang with the 30-06 up to about 165 grain and heavier bullets, where the 30-06 shines.

July 21, 2010, 07:31 PM
I agree with Uncle Mike WRT the .280Rem. It is a magnificent cartridge, the only downfall is slightly more costly and more difficult to procure ammunition. I am getting ready to build a .280Rem. rifle for myself, as I find it to be the best cartridge for large game available (and yes I have a .30-06 as well as several magnums).


Uncle Mike
July 21, 2010, 07:42 PM
Mav, are you going with the .280AI or the base model?

July 21, 2010, 08:42 PM
I don't see why you guys don't like 270 win, looking at the performance it will out shoot 280 express (rem) to up to 150 gr, bullets for 270 in 150 gr have better BC then 150 gr 280 I'm just comparing Nosler Ballistic Tips, the only plus I see 280 has more heavy bullets to choose from, 270 currently limited to 160 gr, but with 150 gr going 3000 fps it is great cartridge developed almost century ago...

July 21, 2010, 08:58 PM
Mav, are you going with the .280AI or the base model?I plan on going with the standard round. I will go with AI if that is the only reamer my smith has on hand, but given the option i'll stick to the standard one. Despite the slightly better performance, I would rather have better feeding, and the longer taper should help with that.

I don't see why you guys don't like 270 win, looking at the performance it will out shoot 280 express (rem)I just don't like .277cal bullets, while they are getting better, the selection remains dismal compared to everything around it (6.5mm, 7mm, and .30cal). Additionally the 7mm affords slightly better performance because, like you mentioned, there are heavier bullets available. It is not a fair comparison to say that the BC is better for the same grain weight, because that is almost always the case with the smaller bullet. A more fair comparison would be a slightly heavier bullet for the larger caliber.


July 21, 2010, 09:12 PM
Ok, that would do it, but I will stick with my 270

July 21, 2010, 09:41 PM
have you thought about looking at used rifles. i bought my remington 700 in .270 for less than $300 a couple of years ago. look in the local classifieds before and after hunting season. there are always plenty of them.

July 21, 2010, 09:56 PM
Great info everyone, I appreacate it. I'll probably end up sticking with good ol' aught 6'er for now afterall or maybe the .308 depending on how I like the individual rifle. The other cartridges mentioned sound like some very good ones though.

July 22, 2010, 09:16 AM
Maverick (by mossberg) now has rifles and one is a .30-06. All it is is a mossberg 100 ATR without the lightening trigger. Best part of all is you can get it for 250 at walmart. So if you are just looking for a cheap rifle that is probably a good bet.

Uncle Mike
July 22, 2010, 10:52 AM
Originally Posted by DIM
I don't see why you guys don't like 270 win, looking at the performance it will out shoot 280 express (rem)

You, or anyone else never heard me say I didn't like the .270 Winchester cartridge, it is the epitome of sub 30 caliber hunting rounds...but as Mav opines, there are people that prefer the .284 caliber bullet over the .277 caliber bullet for various reasons...

Mainly because the .284 caliber offers a wider range of projectiles, some with extremely high ballistic coefficients.

As was said, if one was to settle on the .280, over the .270 it probably would be because of the offerings of projectiles one could access for reloading the wonderful .280 Remington!

As for sticking with the 30-06 for your first deer excellent idea!

July 22, 2010, 11:09 AM
I have a Marlin XL7 .25-06. It has a Bushnell 4200 Elite scope and Talley rings.

$249.00 for the rifle
$299.00 for the scope
$35.00 for the rings

$583.00 total, and it is a laser beam of a rifle out past 300 yards. Awesome caliber. Little recoil, and it is just a great gun.

July 22, 2010, 11:21 AM
If paper punching is your primary goal and deer hunting a possible secondary goal, then I would look right at the 6.5 and 7mm cartridges... maybe a 25 caliber or 6mm.

.260 Rem
6.5x55 Swedish
.284 Win
.243 Win
6mm Rem
.257 Roberts

IMO the .308 and .30-06 beat up your shoulder too much for paper punching, and a .30 cal is unnecessary for deer.

I like Savage.

July 22, 2010, 12:18 PM
Ok, that would do it, but I will stick with my 270Fair enough; and while the .270Win. is far from my favorite cartridge, I won't stoop to the level of saying that it won't do near everything that a .280Rem. will (close enough that most folks probably couldn't discern a difference), as well as most everything that a .30-06 will. It is a fine cartridge, just not right for me.


July 22, 2010, 12:19 PM
I know 6.8 SPC that's what you need, not sure if Remington still makes bolt action rifles for it, but its out there ;-) if you handload then you'll be set to punch paper and shoot bambies...

July 22, 2010, 04:29 PM
Everybody seems to have looked past the deal Zeiss has going for a 3x9X40. You won't find better glass for less than $500.

July 22, 2010, 07:45 PM
Everybody seems to have looked past the deal Zeiss has going for a 3x9X40. You won't find better glass for less than $500.Last I checked it was at $400.00; and despite how great Zeiss optics are, that is still far above the OP's budget, unless you can find him a rifle complete with rings for sub-$200.


July 22, 2010, 10:47 PM
I would also like to add that if your budget is a prime concern, try looking at H&R rifles. They are lighter than comparable bolt guns, often less than $300, and surprisingly accurate. I mounted a Simmons (under $100) scope on a Survivor model (available in .308), and it is still the center fire rifle I killed the most predators with. Mine was a .223, but it was still a lethal device out to about 400yds. One of my friends still uses it today.

July 22, 2010, 10:59 PM
Burris Fullfield II's 3-9x40mm are on-sale currently for less than $180. Burris' quality control is industry-leading.

Beyond that -- I know I listed a slew in my earlier post... but I'm actually quite partial to the Howa/Vanguard/ATR/4X4 family when considering sub-$450 rifles.

I'm just itching for that Hogue overmolded stock for the ATR. even as after-market.

July 22, 2010, 11:00 PM
CTD sells Mavericks for 247 bucks its bolt action rifles alright other then that have no idea what they are...

July 23, 2010, 04:53 AM
Nothing wrong with a .270. One heck of a gun. Not my favorite. I am a .25-06 fan. A little less thump for exact same results. Now the .270 can throw a 150 grain bullet, but a whitetail doesn't know the difference from a 115 grain at 3000+ fps to a .150 at 2800 fps.

It is a toss up. Marlin XL7 in both calibers are awesome guns, and I wouldn't know any of these calibers.

.260 Rem
6.5x55 Swedish
.284 Win
.243 Win
6mm Rem
.257 Roberts
.270 Win

All are proven getters, and all of them are accurate. Most are on the shelve at your local HW store or big box sports store.

July 23, 2010, 08:21 AM
Thanks a lot for your help everyone! I still have yet to see a Marlin XL7, I want to check that one out. Also I still wonder what the deal is with Mossberg ATR/ 4x4 rifles, I really liked that one but I am conserned about the issue of it going KABOOM like what was brought up earlier, I wonder why it was never recalled and re-engineered if that was a problem.

Uncle Mike
July 23, 2010, 11:27 AM
Burris' quality control is industry-leading.'s industry leading alright, but not in the sense you mean! It USED to be industry leading, good...but as of late, it is bad!

Also I still wonder what the deal is with Mossberg ATR/ 4x4 rifles

They have improved as to safety, but....stay away, you'll be much happier with a Savage, Stevens or Marlin X-Series.

July 23, 2010, 11:39 AM
You might be able to pick up a centerfire and .22 at the same time for not too much money.
If your state allows hunting with an autoloader, look for a Remington 7400 in .30-06.
Also, the Remington 597 in .22LR.

Advantage to this idea is they are both from the same manufacturer and will be similar in operation, with the safety in the same location, etc. There's a plus side to that, for sure. Practice with the .22 will be less expensive and a good understudy for the '06.
If you keep the rifles clean and use good ammo, they are reliable as anything else.
You could have your cake and eat it, too.

Look on for pix and prices, then ask around locally to see if they're available.

"GET BOTH!" as the saying goes.


July 23, 2010, 01:02 PM's industry leading alright, but not in the sense you mean! It USED to be industry leading, good...but as of late, it is bad!I have been hearing a good bit about this lately. I haven't much experience with Burris, what is the bulk of the problems that they are having? I know that a fellow member here (1858) had a good bit of trouble out of one, his problem was a chip in one of the lenses (upon delivery) IIRC. Also the CS was horrible, that alone being enough to keep me away.


Uncle Mike
July 23, 2010, 02:08 PM
Burris USED to make one of the finest scopes sold, but like all things bottom line, profit and a measure of greed has fouled up the works.

The Black Diamond scopes were some of the finest....we started seeing problems arise like chipped lenses, o-rings that didn't seal allowing water intrusion, to black junk floating around in the scope.

Burris does stand behind what they sell, but I can speak from experience when I say you might have to return your scope 2 or more times before the repair is done correctly.

And the CS....well, Burris' CS, at least the last time I went a few rounds with them, did leave a a lot to be desired to say the least!

I understand new management was the culprit!

One of our guys who attended the shot show,came back telling us that most of the problems that plaqued Burris in the past has been dealt with, I do not know for sure.

July 23, 2010, 02:20 PM
Something I've noticed throughout this thread is that people keep suggesting Savage rifles. I 100% agree with this. However, what I haven't seen mentioned is that Walmart sells a Savage Model 10 or 110 depending on if you get the long or short action one. It's right under $400 and has the famous accu trigger which imo is great. Also included is a Simmons 8 Point scope, and a sling. Now the scope isn't great, but seems to be serviceable until you can get something better. I have several friends that use these scopes with okay luck as well as myself using one with no trouble.

IMO that's a much better deal than a Stevens 200 that's basically the same rifle without the accu trigger for around $300-320. The accu trigger and having a cheap scope is worth the extra to me. These rifles seem to be sub moa.

The other option I'd look at is the Marlin XL/XS-7's. They have a similar trigger and are supposed to be very accurate rifles for around $300. The issue I have with these is I don't like the stock with the cheek piece. It just doesn't fit me as well as the Savage. However, you really need to try both and see which one fits you best as no two people are the same. I also don't like that Marlin is now owned by Remington as imo Remington puts out a lot of crap nowadays and that quality control doesn't seem to be there. However, so far I have not read these reports about the Marlin. So as of right now I'd give it a try. I just hope their quality stays good.

Those are about the best two options imo for a rifle and still leave you a little for a scope. If this will be a hunting rifle I think the Burris Fullfield II, or Vortex Diamondbacks would be about your best options in the $200 and under price range. You could afford either of these with either rifle and still be in your budget. Here is a good writeup of sub $200 scopes that is worth reading.

As for the Simmons 8 point that comes on the Savage package deals as I said I have several friends that use this exact same scope and I even have one myself. All of them except for me seem to be really happy with these scopes. You read a ton of crap about them online, but in the real world my experience has been that they are a lot better than they make them sound online. The online complaints I've read would lead you to believe that the glass was soo bad it looked like looking through a coke bottle, they don't hold zero, they don't track reliably, and they just don't work. This is not what I've seen.

One thing I've noticed is the one I have doesn't track reliably. It says move it one click for 1/4" at 100 yards. Yet it seems like this isn't always accurate. When getting it sighted in you just have to see. If you are trying to dial the scope in for longer range shooting and constantly cranking on the adjustment knobs this is not the scope for you. This is why I'm not super happy with this as I'd like to be able to adjust for longer ranges, then adjust it back to the same spot and have it zeroed back where I was at 100 yards.

However, 99% of the people I know want a scope that they zero, then they leave it set and just use the holdover method for longer range. This scope works great for this, and my experience is that the one I have as well as the few my friends have seem to stay zeroed once they are set. I have 5 friends I know that are using these scopes not including myself. I'm not sure if any others I hunt with are or not. I only know one guy I hunt with that tried one and had an issue.

So the not tracking properly seems to really be a concern. However, 99% of the people that will be using this scope aren't going to use it for long range shooting where they are constantly adjusting it.

As for the glass, while I'm not super thrilled with it I don't think it's horrible either. I've compared it to my Leupold VX-I and it's better in low light, and in good light I can't see a huge difference between either one. In daytime shooting it's perfectly clear for me. Now when comparing it to better scopes like the Burris Fullfield II or better, it's obviously not up to the same standards as it's not as clear as the Burris. However, it's plenty clear to shoot any animal you want to in the day light.

In low light is where this scope suffers. It's better than the VX-I I have, but it's still not great. With the Burris I can see things through the scope that I can't make out with my naked eye it's so dark. Yet with this if I can't see it with my eyes, I can forget seeing it through the scope. I can also sometimes see something with my eyes and not be able to tell what it is and you can't see it at all through this scope. Where as the Burris you can usually tell what it is when looking through it. This is not a big deal as you shouldn't be hunting at night in most places anyway, however, this is the big thing that I see lacking in cheap scopes.

So far All 6 of us, me and my 5 friends have not had these scopes lose zero, and they seem to be pretty reliable. I know 1 of our hunting friends did have one fail to hold zero on him after about a year, and I've read some reports of this online. Since 6 of us have had good luck with this though it makes me wonder how big of an issue this really is. For comparison 2 friends and myself have Leupold VX-I's and all three of us have had ours fail and quit holding zero.

Another complaint I've read is of people having the cross hairs break loose and spin inside the scope. We have not had this happen, but I don't doubt it does. You can't expect a scope that will never break at this price point. If it does break, then you can upgrade. IMO I would get the Savage rifle and if you can upgrade, if you can't upgrade, I'd use this scope for a few years until you either can afford to and get tired of it, or until you break it(which may or may not ever happen).

So while I don't think the Simmons 8 Point is a great scope or anywhere near up to par with the Burris Fullfield II or other decent scopes like that, I don't think it's horrible either and I wouldn't hesitate to use it at least until I decided I could afford something better.

As for calibers, this is a personal preference too. I like 30-06, as ammo is super common. I think everyone should have a 30-06 and most do. You can get it basically anywhere that sells ammo and it's a great caliber for most anything. It's just a favorite of mine. I also really like .243 and 25-06 if you want something for deer sized game that doesn't have a lot of recoil. These are just much more fun to target shoot imo due to the low recoil. This is really all a personal preference though.

Now, I know I wrote a super long post that many of you may not want to read. I just wanted to cover all the bases here and throw my opinion out there on what was the best for $600.

July 23, 2010, 02:22 PM
Thanks for the info, Uncle Mike.


July 23, 2010, 03:57 PM
I forgot to mention scopes.
Costwise, the new Redfield would work on the 7400.
A low-power 'turkey' scope on the .22LR works well.

I have played around with these concepts:
7400 Carbine .30-06

597 ( & 10/22 )

Good luck.
Good shooting!

July 23, 2010, 06:53 PM
Wow, thanks for all of the replies. Hometheaterman- I sure appreacaite you taking the time to write that post, that Savage setup sounds like a great deal.

July 23, 2010, 07:44 PM
Yeah, it's a favorite of mine. There are for sure better guns out there, however, not that I've seen in that price range or anything anywhere near that price range. By better I mean there are guns out there with nicer stocks, and nicer fit and finish etc. I don't know that you will find a much more accurate and or reliable gun unless you spend thousands more.

BTW for the .22 rifle, that's always a good rifle to have imo. However, the Remington 597 imo is one of the worst options there is. Marlin, Savage, Ruger, Winchester, and several others all have made way better .22's. There are also some great older Remingtons, but the 597 is not one of them.

I know a lot of people don't agree with my opinion with Remington, but imo Remington used to be a name you could associate with quality. With most of their newer stuff, it's a name you can associate with crap. I'm a big fan of older Remingtons, both high powered rifles and .22's, as well as shot guns. Their newer stuff however, seems to not be up to par with the others, yet still cost just as much or more and they seem to have lots of quality issues.

July 23, 2010, 08:44 PM
:evil: Of course I'm back to call hooey on the anti-Remington remarks.

First, though, I'll admit that before I even bought my first big-game centerfire rifle, I was enticed by an article in Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement regarding the Savage 110FP / .308 with a Weaver 4-16x40 AO scope in Weaver rings.
I almost bought that setup!
Had I done so, I would've been shooting two years sooner. I got caught up in the Winchester vs. Remington / Controlled Feed vs. Push Feed, etc. Really delayed my entry into rifle shooting.
In 1997, I ended up getting a 1989 Remington 700 BDL - AS ( arylon synthetic stock, matte black finish ) in 7mm Rem.Mag. for my first rifle.
BIG SMILE when I pulled the trigger on that one!
Never regretted that purchase and still have the rifle.
It just 'fit' me and I knew when I held it I was going to love it. True that.

Now, as for Remington quality...I've never had any issues with quality.
The 7400 shown above has never had a failure of any kind, period.
It shoots 1.5" groups at 100-yds. with either 180-gr. or 220-gr. loads.

The 597 has had some 'issues' which I've addressed with the new redesigned ejector and 2nd generation magazines that Remington sent to me for free.
They took care of that problem long ago.
The rifle is more accurate than my Ruger 10/22, which hasn't been problem-free either, lest you think they are perfect.
The 597 feels like an adult-size rifle when you shoulder it, because it IS an adult-size rifle to begin with.
There are tricks to making the 597 run 'better', but you don't have to spend a bunch of money to do so. It's more about adjustments. has a Remington section specifically for the 597 to answer any questions about it.

No brand is 'perfect'.
You'll make a good choice based on the many qualified opinions here on the forum.
Just don't wait too long! :)

July 23, 2010, 08:50 PM
I know a lot of people don't agree with my opinion with Remington, but imo Remington used to be a name you could associate with quality.I agree, well kind of...I don't know if most are "crap", but some are (some whole series are, and even in the good models some tend to be pretty bad). I don't like to take my chances on a new rifle, so I wouldn't buy one (a new one that is), especially considering that there are others that are both cheaper and IMO better, and how horrific Remmy CS has become. OTOH, I am strongly considering a used Remington 7600, as the old Remmy turned out a quality product with regularity.


July 23, 2010, 09:57 PM
I should have said that. I don't know that most "Remingtons" are crap, but some are. You said it perfectly. Even the ones that aren't now though seem to be expensive enough that you can get something way better from another company for the same price, or something just as good for cheaper. Remington's cheaper products seem to be the ones that are crap, yet other companies manage to make quality stuff in that price range.

July 23, 2010, 10:13 PM
I've shot what seems to be 1000 different types, cals, etc. of rifles, and for some reason that I can't put my finger on, to me, a good 270 is the best combination of all 3523 factors to consider when choosing a rifle.

You'll get close to a million recommendations, but I've always lived by "you canNOT go wrong with a good 270".

July 24, 2010, 12:09 AM
+1 on the Nikon Pro Staff scopes. Best bang for the buck IMHO.

July 24, 2010, 12:34 AM
I've never used a Nikon Pro Staff, but a buddy has one he just bought, but hasn't mounted on anything yet. It seems clear enough in the day light. The thing holding me back from recommending them though is the Optics Talk review and other similar things I've heard about them. It seems like they are good scopes, however, it seems like there are better clearer scopes that don't cost much if any more. I don't think having a Nikon Prostaff is a bad choice or means you have a crappy scope. However, if buying one it seems like you can get a better scope for the money when it comes to glass quality.

July 24, 2010, 01:26 AM
The problem with reviews is that the reviewers generally have access to a lot more scopes than are available for inspection to the average guy at the local sporting goods store. I based my opinion on comparison to scopes behind the counter. I could not tell a significant difference until I started comparing the $150 Nikon Pro Staff to the $400 Leupolds. And my opinions are based solely on my perception of clarity and brightness, not extra features. Plus, the Pro Staff is widely available for hands on inspection, unlike a lot of the brands mentioned in this thread. So, my advise would be go to a larger sporting goods store and ask to look through all scopes in your price range and pick one. Don't take anybody else's opinion as gospel. Everyone is different.

As far as a rifle, I guess I would try and save enough to get the one that I really wanted. Don't settle for less. Personally, I love my Ruger M77 Hawkeye 30-06 with the above mentioned Nikon Pro Staff 3-9x40 with the BDC reticle. Should be able to get into that for about $800. Definitely accurate, at least mine is. And pretty too! Definitely one that I will be proud to hand down many years from now.

July 24, 2010, 04:11 PM
shop the used racks and shop them hard. in the past year i have bought a 1971 vintage rem 700 BDL in 308 with leupold vx11 compact 3-9 that was like new for 450$ and a late 70s 700 in 30-06 for 350. no glass. you can get a used vx11 3-9 on fleabay for under 200.

within the year i have passed on a rem 700 in .280 with leupold for $500 and both rem and ruger in 7mm mag, both with leupold vx11 glass the rem was 600 and the ruger was $500

if i was starting over and only wanted one rifle id get a used rem 700 in .308 or 30-06 dependingif you like long or medium action, preferably with good glass and be done. your grandkids will thank you. if you can afford to shoot enough to shoot out the barell, you can afford to rebarrel it or get a new rifle.
ammo is affordable and plentiful and will allow you to hunt about anything on this continent

July 24, 2010, 06:11 PM
I started shooting high power rifle using a Winchester model 70 in 30/06 caliber in 1950. Since then I have shot a vast array of center fire calibers from 22 Hornet to 458 Lott - including countless wildcats and magnums - and here I am back to 30/06 as my primary caliber. It's hard to beat that old war horse for versatility and all-around usefulness.

July 29, 2010, 06:36 PM
I went and check out some rifles today; I saw a few that I liked including another Remington 700 SPS in .30-06, it had a factory scope but it seemed to be the best one (to me) for $599.00 and it had a walnut stock it was a very nice looking rifle and seemed to fit well. I think overall that is my favorite one so far in that price range. I saw others that were more though ofcoarse, really liked a winchester model 70 and one ruger but can't remember the model. Also I saw a wheathrby that I really liked again with walnut stock for around $700.00 I believe.

I was surprised once again at another shop the guy there was really talking up the 7mm mag over the 30-06, said the balsitics are a lot better and has a lot more knock down power at further range. He said most people are moving away from the 30-06 in favor of the 7mm for those reasons, don't know what the deal is with that. I figured 30-06 was by far a more common and versatile round and reading back through the posts it seems like it is not very highly favored over the 30-06.

July 29, 2010, 06:47 PM
I figured 30-06 was by far a more common and versatile round and reading back through the posts it seems like it is not very highly favored over the 30-06.The 7mmRM is a good round...but the .30-06 will do everything that you require with less recoil and much less cost. IMO there is no good reason to use the 7mmRM for hunting.


July 29, 2010, 07:34 PM
Thanks Mavrick, that is kind of what I figured but was surprised to here it had fallen out of favor so much with some people over the 7 mag.

July 29, 2010, 08:07 PM
...but was surprised to here it had fallen out of favor so much with some people over the 7 mag.It hasn't; the .30-06 has been, and remains to be, the most popular big game (deer, et al) hunting cartridge since the .30-30. The .270Win., .308Win. and .30-30Win. are the only ones that even get close. FWIW, the .30-06 isn't my favorite cartridge, but it is far from the worst, and has the tendency to get the job done with boring regularity.


July 30, 2010, 02:06 AM
A few things to consider:
1. Don't believe everything some dude in a store tells you (no offense gun store workers). While many are honest, several dishonest and a few in a weird brackishness of mixed honesty, the fact remains that 7mag is more expensive and the guy who sells you the rifle might also sell you the ammo. See a reason for his suggestion developing here? When I was younger and less gun-wise I got a 300wsm on a guy's suggestion. Turns out I love it and most definitely prefer the short actions to the longer action of the 300 mag i was looking for at the time. I got lucky in that, but I still find myself thinking "man those 300 mags sure are cheaper." So think about that. Just to complete the story, I've heard the same guy in later years raving about how the 300 mag was the best thing ever. It's just a sale to him.
2. a lot has been said about rifles and I believe more has been said of scopes. Don't make the same mistake I did on my first rifle and forget about the all important mounting hardware. It's every bit as important as rifle and scope because neither is any good without something decent holding the two together. I guess I should do like most on here and suggest what I have, and that would be (for my factory rifles) the dednutz gamereaper one piece system. What you choose is up to you, of course, and that's the way it should be. But don't leave that factor out.
3. I don't know if this calls for its own number, but some rifles limit your mounting options. For instance, a lot of newer rugers come with rings and as far as I understand it those are the only rings that fit their rifles. Good news: you get rings at no added cost. Bad news, you didn't choose them and may not like them. To replace them guess where you have to go? Ruger. They aren't the only company that does that but they ARE the only one that comes to mind. (it's 2am)
4. Whatever you get, if it doesn't hold zero, don't start cussing and trash the scope. some scope mounts shoot loose. It doesn't seem to be a brand specific problem either. Sometimes on a single mounting system a few of the screws will be perfect and some will vibrate themselves loose. It's not a common problem but it happens. (of all my scoped rifles only one has ever done that and it was a military rifle with the whole scout-style mount deal) Calm down, get some blue thread locker, and try it that way.
It's your rifle (or it will be) and it's your scope (prostaff) but many of us, when we first got into the bolt rifle scene, didn't ever stop to think about ammo affordability (get a 308) or scope mounting hardware.

July 30, 2010, 10:34 AM
Thanks courtgreene, you raised some good points about the mounting hardware, I will also take a closer look at that. I was also thinking of mounting a bi-pod to whatever rifle i choose at some point as well.

July 30, 2010, 12:15 PM
I second courtgreene's recommendation of mount. The GameReaper is a good system at an affordable price...kinda ugly (IMO), but it works.


July 30, 2010, 08:37 PM
and by ugly, he means beautiful. just trying to clarify, because sometimes things get lost in dialect. (kidding of course)

August 28, 2010, 10:16 PM
Hey guys I have not been here in a while but I checked out some rifles at Dicks the other day. They have a Remington ADL with a laminate wood stock and factory scope "on sale" for $599 and a Savage Edge with a camo synthetic stock and factory scope for $399. Both are in 30-06.

Overall I like the look and feel of the Remington and the scope has more horizontal lines across it for longer distance shots. The Savage is very lightweight, maybe too light weight but the finish looked a little better than the Remington. I heard that remington has a reputation for poor quality finish, I don't know this first hand but have read about it a number of times here. The scope on the Savage was nothing too fancy but seemed pretty clear to me. I liked the price of the Savage better ofcoarse but want to get other opinions on these 2 spacific rifles before I decide on one. On whichever I choose I will probably stick with the factory scope for now but am open to upgrading them later on. I appreacate all of the suggestions on optics as well that I have gotten so far.

Ruger GP100 fan
August 28, 2010, 11:12 PM
I hope this post is not considered a hyjack,but I just bought a 22-250 a few days ago and now I'm seeing on several website that they seem not to be a real popular round and I'd like to know why so many don't prefer it.

Not picking on you,Dee. This is my first rifle so I know next to nothing. And I have only been shooting about 4 or 5 months(revolver).

August 29, 2010, 01:41 AM
I hope this post is not considered a hyjack,but I just bought a 22-250 a few days ago and now I'm seeing on several website that they seem not to be a real popular round and I'd like to know why so many don't prefer it.

Not picking on you,Dee. This is my first rifle so I know next to nothing. And I have only been shooting about 4 or 5 months(revolver).

The .22-250 is mostly a varmint/predator round. In many States it is not legal to hunt bigger game like deer with the .22-250. The .22-250 at 1 time was pretty much THE quintessential varmint round. Now that ARs are all the rage though, the .223 has become extremely popular, which translates into being cheaper. The .22-250 is not light years ahead of the .223 in performance, so the economy of the .223 has made it more popular and thus more guns are chambered for it.

August 29, 2010, 02:51 AM
First rifle? Only one choice - a bolt action 22.

Learn to shoot without having to deal with the distraction of recoil and with ammo you can afford to practice with. Once you've mastered trigger control, positions, breath control, etc, you'll be ready for a centerfire rifle and you will be able to pay for with the money you saved on ammo. You'll also end up with a 22 in the deal, which is pretty much a must have item.

When the time comes, take a good look at the Marlin XS/XL 7. Hard to beat for the money.

Ruger GP100 fan
August 29, 2010, 02:51 AM
So there is no function/reliability/accuracy issue? I was looking for a long range target caliber and this outfit seemed to be about what would fill that. Also,I think I got a great deal. Looked too good to pass up.

August 29, 2010, 09:09 AM
Well if I get the Savage that will leave a few hundred for a .22 which is another thing I considered, maybe get them both at the same time. A lot of .22's were in the $150-$300 range it seemed.

August 29, 2010, 10:52 PM
So there is no function/reliability/accuracy issue? I was looking for a long range target caliber and this outfit seemed to be about what would fill that. Also,I think I got a great deal. Looked too good to pass up.

no, .22-250 is a great small caliber round. You won't see it in many extreme range competitions though, because the lighter bullets it shoots are subject to more wind drift. Up to ~400 yards it is a tack driver though.

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