Which Budget Rifle?


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Fredericianer
July 24, 2013, 09:35 AM
All my guns have been second hand, so the idea of a brand new rifle appeals to me. I've been mulling over the pros and cons of a few different ones, so I thought I'd post here to see if anyone could give me some info that would tip the scales in favour of one or the other.

Here are the rifles I've been thinking about (all in .308). I'm in Denmark, so the prices are somewhat higher than those you'll find at your local gunshop:

The Mossberg 4X4. I can get an older skeleton stock model for $513 (at today's exchange rates), or a new 2013 model for $708

The Marlin XL7 or XL7VH at $885 (I've only seen the VH for sale, but there standard version must be out there..) I hear that it should be very accurate, but apart from that very little either for or against.

The Savage Axis at $655. I hear it's very accurate, but that the trigger sucks and is non-adjustable. They seem to have a lot of loyal fans though, and I believe that there is an unofficial mod that can help the trigger?

I like the fact that the Mossberg and the Savage have detachable magazines, as it gives a fast unload, and you also have the option of buying a spare mag if you want a quicker reload.

The older Mossberg should be pretty good, but I'm not sure that I'm sold on the skeleton stock. Is there such a thing as an aftermarket plug for it?

Does anyone have any idea on what the updates on the 2013 4X4 are?

Thanks in advance for any input.
Regards
Jeff

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adelbridge
July 24, 2013, 11:38 AM
Of the three listed the Marlin X7 is the best one. Savage Axis feels cheap and the trigger is not the greatest. Mossberg would be last on my list. I mainly buy used and find my best deals on bolt guns in the off months when no one is think of hunting season. Around here you can get stainless Browning A-Bolts and X-bolts used for the price you have listed for the Axis. Remington 700s for much less.

Jackal
July 24, 2013, 11:52 AM
Too bad guns are so expensive there. My Marlin XS7 cost me $350 new in .223.

Fredericianer
July 24, 2013, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the input guys. Yes, the prices here are insane, but I suppose it must be because the market is a lot smaller than in the States.

rule303
July 24, 2013, 07:17 PM
Mossberg or Marlin for me. The Savage is a great shooter, but as you noted the trigger could be better (OK a lot better). If the Mossberg is the newer model with the LPA trigger they are decent, and have the stiffest stocks of any of the budget rifles. I don't suppose they sell the Ruger "American" in Denmark? Doesn't seem like that would be a big seller.

Abel
July 25, 2013, 05:19 AM
Wow. I would consider an European-made rifle. What is the price of a Tikka T3 over there???? It is a better rifle than any you seem to be interested in.

Fredericianer
July 25, 2013, 05:32 AM
The cheapest T3 around here is the Lite model, which costs $1396, and is slightly outside my price range at present. Even European rifles are cheaper in the US than here!

Abel
July 25, 2013, 06:11 AM
Geez. That is a little pricey. I have looked at the budget rifles here in the U.S. and I really like the looks of the new Ruger American. It has good reviews.

TEC
July 25, 2013, 06:29 AM
FredEricIaner (is that something like the Danish version of the southern USA names like "Billy Joe Bob"?) :)

Out of curiosity, what would a CZ-550 in 308 cost there, in $US, not kroner?

Fredericianer
July 25, 2013, 06:45 AM
The standard model is around $1061. What is it going for in your area?

As to my username, no it's from my home town of Fredericia.

Fredericianer
July 25, 2013, 06:51 AM
In the course of my searching I have just noticed that I can get the Marlin for $708 on special at another dealer....

Hunterdad
July 25, 2013, 08:56 AM
Marlin, definitely

ntg
July 25, 2013, 10:38 AM
I just recently got a Marlin in 7/08 and looked at them all. The mossberg leaves a lot to be desired. Didn't like the stock or trigger on the Axis.

If you get a decent price on Howa's there, go that route. I have one in 22.250 and love it. Also, they're finished better than all of the three mentioned and they are shooters.

USAF_Vet
July 25, 2013, 10:49 AM
As a former Axis owner, I do not recommend them. The detachable magazine should not be a deciding factor. In found it flimsy and clumsy to load and remove. I'm surprised the tab never broke on me. The stock on the Axis leaves a lot to be desired, and the trigger is junk. It would be accurate if it were not for the crap stock and trigger.

I like Savage rifles, but the Axis really missed the mark.

MinnesotaFats
July 25, 2013, 07:01 PM
can you get your hands on a savage-stevens model 200 .308? thier cheaper than the axis and in my opinion its a better rifle. very under rated gun.

TEC
July 26, 2013, 12:25 AM
Fred-
Checking a large online gun shop here in the USofA (Bud's Gun Shop), theCZ-550 308 cal American, walnut stock goes for $709, cash discount, free shipping (in the lower 48 states)

The CZ-550 Varmint, kevlar stock goes for $891, same terms. (I have one, love it)

Both say "In stock". I expect Buds won't ship to Denmark. Bummer. The CZ's even at current prices remain a bargain in my mind. I have the CZ-527 Varmint in laminate grey, .223 Rem - tack driver, the CZ-550 Varmint, kevlar in .308 Win - sub-MOA to 200 yards and still playing with bringing those group sizes down. Have a CZ 550 American, kevlar, in 6.5x55 Swede ordered from the factory -- probably 5 or 6 months out, but I hope worth the wait. Good luck in your search.

gondorian
July 26, 2013, 11:12 AM
Assuming the other dealer has the marlin in the caliber you want I would go for it.

Hunterdad
July 26, 2013, 02:28 PM
Gotta love it when somebody wants feedback on a budget rifle and some posts up $800 guns.

Bobson
July 26, 2013, 02:32 PM
I'd take the Savage out if the options given, hands down. When I was using it, I was comparing it to my Winchester M70 Extreme Weather, and was pleased with the results. And I loved that Winchester. Savage makes a superb rifle.

Eb1
July 26, 2013, 02:37 PM
I paid $252.00 for my Marlin XL7 in .25-06 brand new. Are they really $800.00?

I would choose the XL7. I don't remember if you named what caliber you wanted, but they are good shooters. I replaced my stock with a Boyd Laminated Pepper stock, and it added some weight to the gun. Which actually makes it shoot a lot better to me. Keeps the jump of the .25-06 under control. The .25-06 doesn't have a hard recoil. It just jumps up on me with the lighter stock. Hard to keep what you are shooting at in the scope.

I love the .25-06 in the XL7 platform. Great combo.

Hunterdad
July 26, 2013, 02:43 PM
No, marlins still go for around that I believe. I was referring to the post about the $800 CZ's that were posted.

Fredericianer
July 26, 2013, 02:45 PM
Yes, I'll post a couple of links and you can convert the prices yourself if you like.

http://webshop.huntinglife.net/search.aspx?searchstring=marlin&ItemAccountGroupDescription=Marlin

They're on special offer her! http://tommerupjagtogfiskeri.dk/viewpage.php?page_id=178

TEC
July 27, 2013, 04:36 PM
sorry error

wyohome
July 28, 2013, 12:33 AM
Denmark has the highest taxes in the world, and the COL is much higher than in the US. An $800 rifle would compare with one at half the price there..as well as almost anything except starch and alcohol.

Fredericianer
July 28, 2013, 08:25 AM
I guess I'm going to have to take a couple of days driving round the gun shops and looking at them all 'in the flesh' so to speak.

Another rifle I've been recommended is the Howa 1500. I can get the sport model for around $934 which is about the most I can possibly afford to spend.

Lloyd Smale
July 28, 2013, 08:32 AM
remington adl.

Centurian22
July 28, 2013, 09:44 AM
Wow I haven't seen this much disapproval of the axis in quite Some time. I'll play the other side. I bought the Axis XP in .308 and couldn't be happier (especially getting the camo version with the scope for $329). Yes the stock and trigger aren't 'up to par' when compared to higher classed guns, that's why it's an "entry level" firearm with half the price tag. The trigger was a very quick inexpensive and easy fix and mine now breaks at a smooth crisp 2.5-3lbs down from the gritty 7-8lbs. I'm also exploring the benefits of shimming the forend with cork as is sometimes done with Mosin Nagants. The stock is supposed to be free floating but mine was making contact with the barrel. Even before the trigger and stock fix my Axis shot 1" at 100yards right out of the box with federal GMM 168gr BTHP.

I have heard many great things about the Ruger American at a similar price point possibly a little better than the axis. Also heard many great things about the Marlin but for me it's Axis all the way. Good luck, and you have my condolences on your prices.

Fleetman
July 28, 2013, 09:50 AM
I opted for the Marlin in .25-06 shortly after they were introduced....love it. I did install a Boyds laminated stock on it and have a cheap 24x scope on it but no target is safe at 400 yards.

WYcoyote
July 29, 2013, 06:29 PM
Another vote for the Marlin here. Mine is a .25-06 also.

SlowFuse
July 29, 2013, 07:13 PM
If you can swing the Howa i'd go for it out of what you've mentioned. Weatherby Vanguard is pretty much the exact same rifle just for info.

I have the Weatherby variants and am very happy with them.

CountryUgly
July 29, 2013, 09:00 PM
Honestly all the above mentioned rifles shoot "lights out" for an entry level hunting rifle. I'm a Savage Fanboy so that would be my choice ( a used Stevens 200 or Savage 110 they're both the same gun would be my overall choice) but advise you to "handle" as many of them as you can and purchase what feels best to you. Really hate you get raked on the price like that though. The Axis is $277 NIB in my neck of the woods.

MondronT
July 30, 2013, 01:35 PM
187111
yesterday's shooting. Savage Edge (Axis) 7mm-08 @100yrds. 9 shots of home loads. 3 shot groups at 100yds are under 1/2". Only mod was RifleBasix trigger. But honestly, the stock trigger after I worked it was just as good so I installed it on my friends Axis to save him the $100.

Fredericianer
July 31, 2013, 10:53 AM
Nice shooting MondronT! That shows that all the hype I've been hearing about the Axis might not be hype after all!

big boom
July 31, 2013, 11:33 AM
My xs7( short action xl7) cost me just under 300 with bases, shoots about half to one and a half moa

Arkansas Paul
July 31, 2013, 11:59 AM
Another rifle I've been recommended is the Howa 1500.

I will vouch for that one. I have a Weatherby Vanguard which is the same exact thing with a different label and it is a tack driver. Great gun for the money.

How many hoops do you have to jump through in Denmark to own firearms? Just wondering how stringent the regulations are there.

mdauben
July 31, 2013, 01:17 PM
I really like regular Savage rifles for their generally excellent performance/cost ratio, but in the economy price range I think the Marlin X7 generally edges out the Savage Axis. Both are good rifles, though, and it would be hard to go wrong with either.

CountGlockulla
July 31, 2013, 01:33 PM
You should buy the savage hog hunter I have listed in the classifieds.

MondronT
July 31, 2013, 02:03 PM
That shows that all the hype I've been hearing about the Axis might not be hype after all! I was so happy with my Edge (Axis) I bought a Model 10 in .223 thinking it would be even more accurate. I have to say that my Edge is still shooting better. I don't think it's just the caliber because my vanguard sporter .223 is giving me 1/4" groups with home loads. My best buddy has the newer Axis with the faster twist in 7mm-08 and I'm loading him 139 hornady SP's and he's been doing about 3/4" @ 100yrds BUT at 200 he's shooting about 3/4"...??? ok I'm confused too. But the Axis is a good platform to work with with just a little tweaking and very little extra money.

Fredericianer
July 31, 2013, 10:43 PM
How many hoops do you have to jump through in Denmark to own firearms? Just wondering how stringent the regulations are there.

Quite a few actually!

Airguns of .22 calibre and above can only be bought by hunters. Air weapons of .177 calibre are at present free of restriction for those over 18.

CO2 weapons, which are not Paintball or airsoft weapons require a licence (usually through a target shooting club).

You can buy a shotgun if you've passed your hunting test (both theory and a practical test on gun safety, and range estimation), or if you are a member of a clay shooting club. These must be registered with the police. As of 2014 new hunters must also pass a shooting test with their shotgun before they are actually allowed to hunt with them.

Rifles can be bought by hunters too, but they've got to pass a rifle shooting test (a minimum of five out of six shots within 20cm at 100 metres) before they can hunt deer etc. with them, this isn't necessary if you only hunt smaller game though. Members of rifle clubs can of course also purchase rifles.

Hunters may use semi-autos, but their magazines must be restricted to two shot capacity, and permanently attached to the weapon if they are to be used for hunting in Denmark. There is no restriction as to capacity for weapons used for hunting abroad, but it can be difficult to obtain permits for these, even though it shouldn't be.

If you want to shoot pistols you have to join a pistol club and shoot with club weapons for two years before you can apply for permission to buy your own. Though you may buy one through the club beforehand, and store it at the club if the club foreman agrees.

All firearms apart from air weapons of .177 calibre or under are subject to registration (this is free for airguns and shotguns).

Rifle permits cost 840kr (about $149) for the first gun, and 420kr for each additional rifle and are valid for 10 years.

You can also obtain your permit through a shooting club, in which case they cost 200kr (about $35.50) per gun and are valid for five years. The cost is the same for rifles, pistols, and CO2 weapons.

If you want to reload you will need an additional permit.

Breechloading weapons with a model or manufacture date before 1892 can be held on a collectors permit, but no ammunition may be held for any weapons held as collectors items. There is no limit on the number of weapons which can be held on a collectors permit. Unlike normal rifle permits where you have a permit for each rifle.

Original muzzle loaders (pre-1870) can be held without restriction, but modern copies require a licence.

All firearms and firearms parts which require a licence, must be stored securely in an approved gun safe or similar.

Hunters must remember to buy a new hunting licence each year at a cost of about $94, or their rifle permits will be cancelled.

I think that about covers the basics.

Arkansas Paul
August 1, 2013, 10:44 AM
Wow!
I guess that's what we are trying to avoid happening here. :)
Only 3 out of 50 states require registration here. Most require a permit to carry a firearm. I just got my Concealed Handgun License and it was relatively painless. $250 and a background check and I'm good for 5 years. And that allows me to carry any handgun I want basically anywhere I want. (There are a few restrictions/prohibited places such as government buildings).
We've got it pretty good I guess.

ErieLurker
August 1, 2013, 08:06 PM
Don't own either, but Marlin X7 and especially Howa 1500/Weatherby Vanguard would be good bets. I've considered an X7 for a light, handy coyote/deer rifle (still haven't pulled the trigger on that idea, yet). I kinda like to think of the X7 as a sort of successor to the old Remington 788 (though others might argue that that title belongs to Savage). And the Howa/Weatherby is a really solid, proven rifle. Go with what you like.

I'd really hate to see what a Winchester Model 70 would cost over there...

TEC
August 1, 2013, 08:20 PM
Gotta love it when somebody wants feedback on a budget rifle and some posts up $800 guns.

Read the thread again (or for the first time?), please. Then reconsider your comment. Thanks

fatcpa
August 2, 2013, 04:55 PM
Is Ruger a dirty word on this forum?

Fredericianer
August 2, 2013, 05:06 PM
No I hear good things about the Ruger American for example, but the only place over here that has it is asking $1018 for it. More than any of the other rifles I mentioned.

Bearhands
August 27, 2013, 07:04 AM
For what it's worth Fred,

I am having the same dilemna..... Can't find a Marlin anywhere around here, the Ruger is really nice too @ $359, but a local store has the Axis XP (mit scope) on sale for $279... I think I'm going to be an Axis 243 owner

Manny
August 27, 2013, 08:18 AM
You're investing some pretty serious cash in whatever you choose, you have to be dedicated to be a shooter where you live. A reminder to us here to keep fighting the goverments drive to emulate or surpass your restrictions.

The two most expensive rifles you listed would be my picks:

-The Howa as it is a very high quality and well proven traditional actioned rifle that can easily be upgraded in the future should you wish. I'm not wild about the stocks on the low end Howa models I see here as they as typically flimsy. But it will certainly work to get you started and there plenty of upgraded stocks are available that would turn that budget rifle into a terrific lifetime rifle. Given what a commitment it takes to be a shooter over there this might be your best course overall.

-The Ruger American is a budget rifle (at least here in the states) that offers top level performance. Google the shooting event at the FTW ranch a large number of respected gun writers participated in with the Americans. Those lightweight hunting type rifles delivered some great shooting and very good groups out to as far as 1000 yards over a three day course. The American puts together the essentials of a smooth action, good barrel & trigger and proper bedding in a decent stock to provide a rifle that really delivers the goods. I would just be sure you like the rifle in stock trim as at least for now, there is no aftermarket support.

gunownerz
August 27, 2013, 10:26 AM
Mossberg or Marlin for me. The Savage is a great shooter, but as you noted the trigger could be better (OK a lot better). If the Mossberg is the newer model with the LPA trigger they are decent, and have the stiffest stocks of any of the budget rifles. I don't suppose they sell the Ruger "American" in Denmark? Doesn't seem like that would be a big seller.

We love Mossberg and Marlin both. None of us have a problem with a recommendation for either of those guns. They shoot very well.

All my guns have been second hand, so the idea of a brand new rifle appeals to me. I've been mulling over the pros and cons of a few different ones, so I thought I'd post here to see if anyone could give me some info that would tip the scales in favour of one or the other.

Here are the rifles I've been thinking about (all in .308). I'm in Denmark, so the prices are somewhat higher than those you'll find at your local gunshop:

The Mossberg 4X4. I can get an older skeleton stock model for $513 (at today's exchange rates), or a new 2013 model for $708

The Marlin XL7 or XL7VH at $885 (I've only seen the VH for sale, but there standard version must be out there..) I hear that it should be very accurate, but apart from that very little either for or against.

The Savage Axis at $655. I hear it's very accurate, but that the trigger sucks and is non-adjustable. They seem to have a lot of loyal fans though, and I believe that there is an unofficial mod that can help the trigger?

I like the fact that the Mossberg and the Savage have detachable magazines, as it gives a fast unload, and you also have the option of buying a spare mag if you want a quicker reload.

The older Mossberg should be pretty good, but I'm not sure that I'm sold on the skeleton stock. Is there such a thing as an aftermarket plug for it?

Does anyone have any idea on what the updates on the 2013 4X4 are?

Thanks in advance for any input.
Regards
Jeff

I've shot the Marlin XL7VHI and it's a solid weapon. I haven't touched the others quite yet. But I would just follow simple advise that was given to me several years ago, "You get what you pay for."

That goes for most purchases in your life though. That doesn't have to apply to guns or ammunition.

ArchAngelCD
August 29, 2013, 12:24 AM
Of the 3 you listed i would also go with the Marlin X7.

BUT, the suggestion of buying a Howa 1500 if you can is a very good suggestion. Like said above, it's the same exact action as the Weatherby Vanguard and a few others. I own 2X Howa 1500 rifles, one in .223 and the other in 30-06 and both are 1/2MOA rifles @100 yards. (with my handloads) If the Howa 1500 is available there I would look into it if the price is low enough.

Kachok
August 29, 2013, 08:02 AM
Of the 3 you listed i would also go with the Marlin X7.

BUT, the suggestion of buying a Howa 1500 if you can is a very good suggestion. Like said above, it's the same exact action as the Weatherby Vanguard and a few others. I own 2X Howa 1500 rifles, one in .223 and the other in 30-06 and both are 1/2MOA rifles @100 yards. (with my handloads) If the Howa 1500 is available there I would look into it if the price is low enough.
+1 the X7 is a fine tool for the money, I had one in 308 and it was among the more accurate rifle I have owned, not as tight shooting as my Tikka but on par with my Savages. Only word of caution is that the finish on the X7 does not like a hot humid climate I did have to clean and oil mine on a very regular basis.

MrDig
August 29, 2013, 09:22 AM
I own a 4x4 in .243 and a MVP in .223 both came in under $600.00 and a better shooters than I am:). I like mine a great deal.
I shop and shoot the Breeze at a place called Capras in Fridley MN and the Guy there really likes the Ruger Americans.
I have no experience with the Marlin or the Savage budget bolt rifles.

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