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First Bolt Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Dynasty, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Dynasty

    Dynasty Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    I'm thinking about purchasing my first bolt rifle. What's the best rifle for the money that fits the following criteria:

    - Accurately shoot up to 300 yards
    - Shoots a round that is readily available at any gun shop/sporting goods store/WalMart
    - Will be used primarily as a range toy, but could be used to hunt if a SHTF scenario ever played out
    - Reliable
    - Parts are readily available
    - Gunsmiths are very familiar with the rifle if any work needed to be done
    - Strong aftermarket support
    - Under $700

    *Optics will be mounted, but that is to be determined after my rifle is decided upon.

    Please share your thoughts & thanks for your time
  2. RPRNY

    RPRNY Participating Member

    Mar 8, 2012
    Front Range, CO
    Weatherby Vanguard 2 or Howa 1500 (prefer Weatherby stock, barreled actions are the same and Weatherby customer service is fantastic) in Win .270 or .308. Not sure what aftermarket support you need other than a scope?
  3. TurtlePhish

    TurtlePhish Senior Member

    Nov 25, 2011
    The (Un)Constitution(al) State
    It sounds like you need a Savage 10/110 or one of the cheaper models of Remington 700 in .308.
  4. elrowe

    elrowe New Member

    Jan 26, 2012
    Weatherby S2 Vanguard in .308 http://www.weatherby.com/product/rifles/vanguard_2/series_2_synthetic

    - Accurately shoot up to 300 yards - sub-MOA at at 100 yards - more accurate than almost any shooter
    - Shoots a round that is readily available at any gun shop/sporting goods store/WalMart - yes, in more flavors than you can digest
    - Will be used primarily as a range toy, but could be used to hunt if a SHTF scenario ever played out - hunt what? Deer and elk yes, anything smaller, no
    - Reliable - never heard of any problems
    - Parts are readily available - direct from Weatherby
    - Gunsmiths are very familiar with the rifle if any work needed to be done - yep
    - Strong aftermarket support - so far with mine anyway.
    - Under $700 - synthetic model MSRP is $649, can add optics and a case for $999 (http://www.weatherby.com/product/rifles/vanguard_2/package) provided you're willing to accept Redfield optics.
  5. Swami

    Swami New Member

    Mar 16, 2010
    I'm sure you are going to get a wide variety of answers, but I would (and did) choose a Remington 700 in .223. I think the 700 model answers all your criteria, and the round choice is among the best value out there. For under 300 yards, .223 is really fun at the range and works really well as a good, accurate range round.
  6. v8stang289

    v8stang289 Member

    Oct 1, 2006
    Eastern NC
    I would go with a Rem 700, Stevens 200, or Savage 10/110 in a common caliber such as .223, .308, .30-06. Tons of aftermarket support and very common rifles so gunsmiths should be familiar with them. They should all shoot well out the box as well.

    I really like my Remington 700 SPS Tactical in .223
  7. Abel

    Abel Senior Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    Eastern CONUS
    Ruger M77 Hawkeye 223!
  8. adelbridge

    adelbridge Participating Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    Remington 700 in .308 .30-06 for surplus ammo
  9. The_Armed_Therapist

    The_Armed_Therapist Participating Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Obsession, Guntopia, USA
    All of those criteria are great, but don't really limit your options very well. My experience with Savage has been very positive, so a 10/110 or 11/111 would be my recommendation on rifle. However, you can't go wrong with most of those mentioned here. The Vanguard 2 is especially great as well. I'll add the Browning A-Bolt, too. I'm not as hot on the Remington 700.

    Now, as far as caliber, if it's mostly a range toy, I might suggest the .243. It's readily available, relatively inexpensive (more than .223 or .308, though), low on recoil for all-day bench shooting, but powerful enough for most critters you'd care to hunt on occasion. Additionally, it's very accurate, with a great trajectory compared to the .308 or .30-06. My second choice would be tied between the .223 and .270 (Have to decide whether to have more power for potential hunting or lower recoil for range fun).
  10. RSR

    RSR New Member

    Nov 13, 2012
    Ruger American-$400
    Optic bases/rings included-$0
    Burris Fullfield scope-$250
    3 boxes of .308 FMJ-$50
    Total-One nice package for $700
  11. Dynasty

    Dynasty Member

    Sep 20, 2007
    I'm leaning towards the Remington 700 model rifles. They seem to be very common and parts readily available. However, I read that compared to the Remington 700 rifles a decade or so ago, the new rifles today are not near the quality that they used to be.

    Can anyone confirm this?
  12. Boomie

    Boomie Member

    Aug 24, 2010
    Ruh roh. You may have opened a can of worms with this one.

    I can say that I have two Remmy 700's. One is about 15 years old, the other 3. Both are very accurate and mechanically as good as it's going to get in that price range. I did not get fancy BDL or CDL models so I don't have fancy blueing or walnut stocks (I restocked both anyways) so I can't compare to the CDL's of old. When I hear people bellyache about quality drops, that is the sort of thing I usually hear.
  13. pseudonymity

    pseudonymity Member

    Jan 25, 2012
    All good suggestions so far, but really you need to decide which is the best for you, and really the only way to do that is just to spend some time shooting one. There are a few dogs out there in the fairly new bolt category, but you really have to almost try to find a bad bolt centerfire out of the newer rifles.

    If just basic target shooting was the primary goal, I would say a Stevens 200 in .223. Not because it is the best for the money you have, but because it is good quality relatively cheap, and better parts are easily available. If you want a different trigger and stock, you can find them easily, and there are enough choices that you can get almost any rifle you want built for you.

    I say .223 for one reason - cost. They all put holes in the paper accurately to 300yds, but there is no better combination of cost and availability of both plinking and match ammo than .223. If you want the best accuracy, look into reloading as well. Match bullets are cheaper in .224, powder goes at least twice as far as most .30 or larger loads and you will probably never have to buy brass in your lifetime unless you want something that is absolutely top of the line.

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