Need help deciding on a new rifle


February 7, 2011, 12:28 AM
I have been reading these forums for quite some time but, this is my first post here so bear with me. In the next couple of weeks I am looking into purchasing a new bolt action rifle chambered in .308 Winchester. I will be using this for deer hunting and paper punching up to 600 yards. I need suggestion on a decent rifle under 480 dollars w/o a scope. I was thinking about purchasing a Marlin XS7 or a Weatherby Vanguard. If anyone has any input on which rifle to get or a decent scope for the rifle I would love to hear it.

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February 7, 2011, 12:32 AM
I would personally go with a marlin xs7 because it is very upgradable, or a stevens 200. Both rifles fit the bill, and you can get a nice new stock with the money left over. I am a marlin fan boy, but I know savage makes a nice rifle, especially the 200 for under 300 bucks

February 7, 2011, 12:36 AM
Do you have any links to where I can buy a new stock for the XS7. I have handled the XS7 and the stock isn't the best. If I could add a new stock that would sell me on the XS7.

February 7, 2011, 12:59 AM
Ill second the stevens being how it is essentially a savage without all the bells and whistles

February 7, 2011, 09:06 PM
Not sure about the XS7, but the XL7 long action version comes in a walnut stock and a laminate stock which looks very nice.

February 7, 2011, 10:32 PM
I believe you can also buy all sorts of differents stocks for the marlin xl7/xs7 from boyds if you wanted to. Here is a link:

February 8, 2011, 08:38 AM
another to go with the xs7, just got one in 7mm-08 for 290otd. shoots good, boyds makes a nice replacment stock. 480? you can get the whole setup for that, i threw a dnz one piece mount and a new redfield 3x9 and my total was 485, and i wasnt shopping around online for the scope. good luck.

February 8, 2011, 11:02 AM
You might be able to find a used Savage. Great out of the box accuracy, and I am a fan of the Accutrigger

February 8, 2011, 11:23 AM
I will go against the grain and recommend the Vanguard if you can get one for less than 480. If not go with a Howa 1500. Great accuracy. The receivers are CNC milled from forged steel bar stock and are not cast. Modified Mauser action. No need to have to upgrade anything. Why should you? Large integrated recoil lug. The supplied synthetic stock while not the best sure beats the Savage or Marlin and there are plenty of after market stocks available. I have a 20 year old Vanguard in a 308 that shoots any factory ammo at less than 1 moa and usually a lot better. My Howas in 270 Win. and 300 Win. Mag. do the same. I just finished a custom stock for my Vanguard in a 300 Wby. Mag. and in the synthetic it did the same. This one is custom pillar bedded, with Devcon, front and back as well as the triggerguard and it should shoot even better. The weakest part about the rifle would be the trigger, but all the rifles shot those groups with the supplied trigger. Polishing the sear face with 2000 grit sandpaper would be the same as a new trigger, but personally with time the triggers seem to get more seamless. I did however add a Timney 3 position trigger to the custom to upgrade it's value.

Thing about today's rifles, is that they all are very accurate out of the box. So it really is a personal choice. 10 years ago, if they shot a 3 inch group you were satisfied. Now you are disappointed. Whatever you get, make sure it is what you want, even if you have to wait a little while. I know I have wanted something that maybe cost a 100 bucks more and settled for something else and I was disappointed later on. So even if what you want costs less, get it and be happy. Life is too short not to be happy. Enjoy it and be proud of it.

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