Cheap Bolt-Action battle?


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Panzercat
May 14, 2012, 01:03 AM
For some inexplicable reason, I've been bitten buy a bolt-action bug and now find it nessisary to acquire an entry level long gun to send lead down range at high speeds across lengthy distances. My experience in the arena of bolt actions is, however minimal and there are enough options to make my head explode; which is where I hope you'll come in. Can you recommend a decent budget bolt action rifle in the $300-400 of superior value an accuracy? Yes, I know I'm asking a lot in the price range, but it doesn't seem overly impossible. This rifle should be capable out to 500y if not longer*

Two have caught my eye so far and have thus far received fairly decent reviews. The first is the Ruger American Rifle (http://www.ruger.com/products/americanRifle/index.html). While they're not my absolute favorite company, I see only good things about this rifle and it can be had in the $350 range. The second is a Mossberg 4x4 (http://www.mossberg.com/products/default.asp?id=27&section=products). It's easy on the eyes (my eyes, at least) and has a decent amount of value at a rock bottom price. Most of the reviews seem solid enough to boot.

That's my anemically short list at the moment. Anything else I should be considering and why?

*Yes, shooter skill not withstanding, not available in all 48 states, batteries not included and this is not a caliber wars discussion.

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Shadow 7D
May 14, 2012, 01:17 AM
I'll put my $120 swede 96 (its bubba light in a aftermarket stock) against any of them...
for a little bit more, you could have got the savage, it's no frills, just accuracy.

Cal-gun Fan
May 14, 2012, 01:20 AM
Savage!

Jim NE
May 14, 2012, 01:25 AM
I wish I had a Enfield .303 again. I have no idea what a really good one costs now. Beware, though. There are a whole lot of worn out ones out there, I believe.

I did see a BSA version of one of these a few months ago at the LGS. Seemed lighter and newer (and maybe not as good quality?) as the one I used to have, but it looked in good shape and didn't cost much. Could very well have been a non original stock.

Bolt action with 10 rounds is cool.

SANDRAT
May 14, 2012, 03:28 AM
Buy a Savage.It is something you can fix up little by little as there is an entire aftermarket industry built around Remington and Savage,not so much with other makers.The nice thing about the Savage is you can even re-barrel it yourself.

Skyshot
May 14, 2012, 07:10 AM
Savage is a do-it yourself rifle, "YOU" can do any upgrade as your budget permits. Oh ya, they shoot pretty dang good also.

Panzercat
May 14, 2012, 07:13 AM
I knew Savage was going to come up... Any particular model I should be looking at?

303tom
May 14, 2012, 09:08 AM
Savage...............Enfield.

Hunterdad
May 14, 2012, 09:25 AM
I'll vote for the Marlin X Series.

SlowFuse
May 14, 2012, 09:39 AM
You've gotten some good suggestions so far. If you're wanting to dabble in aftermarket accessories as you have time/money to do so I'd go with Savage. If you're planning on leaving it as is, I'd check out the Weatherby Vanguards.

hardluk1
May 14, 2012, 09:49 AM
Savage /steven 200 or savage edge. Both can be bought at your botom end price. You can allway ad a Rifle Basix SAV-1 tigger kit for a trigger the accu trigger can't match.

mcdonl
May 14, 2012, 09:50 AM
I am interested in the model of savage too... I have an Axis, 340 Bolt (30-30) and a Mark II .22 but I know there is a better entry level model than the Axis.

tacdad
May 14, 2012, 10:23 AM
Stevens 200. I have 2 of them. Both shoot sub moa at 100 yards and I just shot this group with my stevens 200 in 223 at 200 yards last week with factory ammo. http://i1248.photobucket.com/albums/hh491/tacdad/PicsArt_1336325105833.jpg

451 Detonics
May 14, 2012, 10:42 AM
Have you considered a Mossberg MPV? A bit higher than some of the other inexpensive rifles it has the advantage of using AR magazines...from the 5 rounders up to a Beta if you want to go that far...lol.

I am getting better than average accuracy out of mine and it has great ergonomics. Worth considering.

Smith357
May 14, 2012, 12:39 PM
Hit the used rifle racks, you will see a lot of nice inexpensive rifles looking for a good home.

This old .30-06 Winchester M70 was $450 but it came with a 3x9 Leupold too. Better quality than any new budget brand.
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y266/smith357/armory/Model%2070/win70c.jpg

CountryUgly
May 14, 2012, 12:57 PM
You can find used Savage 110's all day long in your price range. Personally I love them. 111's are great too. All of mine were manufactured after 2000 but before they brought out the accu trigger and all are DN's accurate. If you don't mind recoil get a .300 win mag Stevens it's just the less expensive version of Savage and it'll do all you want or better yet get the Stevens in .270 and save your shoulder and 500 yards will still be a chip shot for the gun if YOU CAN make hits at that range. Don't forget to find a round your gun likes before trying the uber long shots or you will just aggravate yourself. Now that I'm off my Savage soap box I've also seen some good groups out of the Marlin XL7 but the gun was made before the whole Remlin deal and I can't account for their performance after that. If you can find a first or second year production XL7 it should be a shooter.

jogar80
May 14, 2012, 01:00 PM
Stevens 200.

jmr40
May 14, 2012, 01:25 PM
The Mossberg and Remington 710/770 are really the only 2 bolt actions I'd say "Never Buy". It is not that they are going to fall apart or be horribly inaccurate, but because for about the price of 2 boxes of ammo you can get a gun 2X-3X better.

I think the Ruger has potential, but am withholding recommendations until more people actually buy and use them. The Marlin XS series get good comments and I like the ones I've held. The TC Venture may well be the best of the budget guns, but selling at about $450 are on the high end of a budget gun.

Either the Vanguard or Howa get my vote for the most gun for the money of the ones I've owned. Savage and Stevens will get lots of praise, but I've owned several and all left me disappointed in both accuracy and quality. My brother recently bought a Stevens 200 in 243 that is mediocre at best.

Panzercat
May 14, 2012, 02:13 PM
Have you considered a Mossberg MPV? A bit higher than some of the other inexpensive rifles it has the advantage of using AR magazines...from the 5 rounders up to a Beta if you want to go that far...lol.

I am getting better than average accuracy out of mine and it has great ergonomics. Worth considering.
The MVP does look nice, but at the risk of instigating a caliber crusade, no. Looking for something in the .300ish range.
Alright, So Savage is almost unanimous which was not surprising, but actual models to research helps. Choices choices.

Thanks all :)

greyling22
May 14, 2012, 02:23 PM
in no particular order:
savage axis/edge
ruger american
marlin xl7
stevens 200
used savage 110
howa 1500 (cdnn, way less than 400)


is weatherby still clearing out the mk V's at cabelas?

NELSONs02
May 14, 2012, 02:46 PM
bolt action rifle in the $300-400 of superior value an accuracy? Yes, I know I'm asking a lot in the price range, but it doesn't seem overly impossible. This rifle should be capable out to 500y if not longer*.[/I]

In your mind, what is superior accuracy @ 500 yards? Sporter profile barrels will heat up very quick and aren't suitable for an afternoon of target shooting, especially when the steel is lower quality.

Look for a used rifle with some sort of heavy profile barrel. Remington or Savage would be ideal and make sure you mount up at least a 10x optic.

long range shooting is expensive and addictive and there's a ton of info you'll need to learn about rifles, ammunition/ballistics and optics if you want to start shooting at "500y if not longer"

goon
May 14, 2012, 04:05 PM
I agree on the advice to hit the used racks - if you're lucky and persistent sometimes you can find a pretty sweet deal on a quality used rifle.
Also, I've seen very lightly used Savages with decent scopes for around $300 used. Like others, I've shot some very good groups with the Savage rifles I owned.

MilsurpShooter
May 14, 2012, 07:48 PM
I'm always a fan of the old school stuff so I'll throw a vote in for the K31 surplus rifle. Cheap surplus ammo is still around and is accurate as all heck, and it's a cool little rifle that's accurate in of itself. Straight pull bolt might disqualify it but I had to throw her out there.

Ignition Override
May 14, 2012, 11:59 PM
Lots of milsurp guys claim that the K-31 might be the best.

You might find an Enfield #4/Mk. 1 which meets your demands (those with 4 or 5-groove rifling can do well for BT bullets), but the K-31 has a good bit more power.

Milsurpshooter: would Enfield #4s with nice rifling normally do well at 500 yards? Mine are only used at 50-100 yards, and seldom against paper targets. Concrete blocks painted with orange spots are much more fun.

wlewisiii
May 15, 2012, 01:08 AM
Find a cheap Mauser. Even a weak Spanish Mauser 93 will be better than either rifle in the OP.

But what do I know?

Cosmoline
May 15, 2012, 02:56 AM
Can you recommend a decent budget bolt action rifle in the $300-400 of superior value an accuracy?

CZ 452 Lux with tangent sights (for .22 LR)
Finnish M-39 Mosin
K-31 or 1911 Swiss

dugasgunner
May 16, 2012, 06:53 PM
Thomson Center.

Murphy4570
May 16, 2012, 07:02 PM
I'd recommend either a Finnish Mosin-Nagant, or a Lee-Enfield. Both can be had within your price range, and are fair shooters, if not worn out and the correct ammunition is used. Don't expect MOA accuracy if you want to use cheap surplus ammo.

Hell, a regular M91/30 would work, if you don't mind having to tweak the rifle a bit to get it down to around 1.5-2MOA, from the average 4-6MOA those rifles have. You could probably accurize two of them and stay within your budget, LOL!

jogar80
May 16, 2012, 10:35 PM
Did I mention the Stevens 200? Lol.

Texaszach
May 17, 2012, 11:09 AM
Ill agree with the savage/stevens 200. I purchased my stevens for 250 plus tax and threw in a 85 dollar trigger and now it is a sweet shooter.

You will hear all sorts of complaints about the stock, but it works just fine for me and I really dont have to worry one bit about beating it up.

Also in your budget is the Weatherby Vanguard/Howa 1500 and it feels/looks like a much higher quality firearm but I havent shot it enough to say if it is more accurate than my stevens. It is a very smooth gun though, and it just keeps growing on me.

I havent shot/handled one yet but I would definitely want to take a look at the new ruger american as well with all the features.

henschman
May 17, 2012, 03:45 PM
Stevens 200. You could afford to get one plus a halfway decent scope with your price range.

Then as you get more money and get more of an idea of specifically what you want to do with your rifle, you can upgrade it with all of the many aftermarket parts that are designed for the Savage action. But they are pretty awesome lightweight hunting rifles right out of the box, with the lightweight plastic stock. And they are usually MOA or less out of the box, so 500 yards would be no sweat, if your skills are up to it. Of course that will be true for any modern bolt action.

BoltActionPrepper
May 17, 2012, 04:52 PM
look for a used finnish m39.....best mosin ever made and cheapest centerfire ammo around.

foghornl
May 17, 2012, 05:39 PM
I have a Mossberg ATR-100 in .30-06. Will hold under 2"@100Yds with most cheap hunting (read as Rem Core-Lokt) ammo in my rather unsteady hands. With GOOD ammo (read as Federal Gold Medal Match) will hold under 0.7"@100Yds.

rehorne
May 17, 2012, 07:14 PM
I love my Marlin X7. Has the heavy barrel in 308.

rehorne
May 17, 2012, 07:17 PM
Thats 20 rnds of my national match handloads. 200 yrds. I can't complain. It will do it all day as long as I do my part.

mustanger98
May 18, 2012, 07:43 PM
I'd tend to recommend the #4mk2 with the micrometer rear sight. .303British, for this kind of shooting, will probably be a handloader's game for cost.

My other recommendation would be a 1903A3. The rear sight is simple and elevates to 800yds. Get comfortable with surplus M2 ball closer in then farther out. As you learn more and get better at hitting, move up to gov't 173gr match ammo, and maybe try a commercial 168gr match load and see how it compares.

35 Whelen
May 18, 2012, 11:12 PM
No offense to anyone, but there so many more options other than the new, trendy ultra-cheapo rifles that have more plastic on them than metal. Like a few others have mentioned, hit the used rack and find a model that's time proven.

Last gun show I went to a few months ago, there were 3 or 4 nice commercial Mausers in 30-06, with scopes, in the $350-$400 range. In my opinion, they'd fit your description perfectly.

A quick search found these all $400 or less:

1909 Argentina Mauser 30-06 (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=286927253) $200

KENT FIREARMS L&D MAUSER - 30-06 (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=286267876) This one's a steal! $325

Mauser 30-06 Sporter (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=286408459) $260

MAUSER with scope 30-06 (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=286558575) $275

Santa Fe Field Mauser M12012 .30-06 (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=287024495) $289.95

Santa Fe Field Mauser Model 12012 .30-06 (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=287037882) $300

National Arms 30-06 (http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=287150284) $389

35W

Panzercat
May 19, 2012, 12:26 AM
A quick search found these all $400 or less:

All 30-06, huh? You're just trying to start a fight. ;)
Just so happens I was looking in that direction as well.

Thanks again, all :)

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