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Least expensive rifle/caliber combination, centerfire

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by dasmi, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. dasmi

    dasmi Well-Known Member

    What is a good centerfire rifle/caliber combination that is not expensive? I've already got a .22 for plinking. I want a centerfire rifle, but as usual, money is tight, so the gun and ammo must be on the inexpensive side. Milsurp is perectly ok with me, as long as the ammo is cheap and plentiful.
  2. boofus

    boofus Guest

    70 rounds of Turkish 7.92x57mm in strippers can be had for $4. :D

    Lots of places offer yugo, german, turk, egyptian, israeli, czech mausers fairly inexpensively.
  3. Shalako

    Shalako Well-Known Member

    That sounds like an SKS with 7.62x39 ammo. Cheap, fairly powerful, and accurate enough for plinking.
  4. dasmi

    dasmi Well-Known Member

    Ya, I was thinking SKS, but I can't seem to find any locally, that aren't over priced.
  5. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

    Bingo. 7.62x39 is the cheapest. .223 rem / 5.56mm NATO is 2nd cheapest. SKS or AK clone in 7.62x39 is a good bet. Or a Savage Stephens turnbolt rifle in .223 - that's a bargain basement proposition as well.
  6. Shalako

    Shalako Well-Known Member

    Yep, .223/5.56 would be the second choice for this role. Its actually my first choice for all around shooting (velocity!) but the rifles that shoot it are typically much more expensive.

    Stephens eh? That might just be the ticket...
  7. dasmi

    dasmi Well-Known Member

  8. foghornl

    foghornl Well-Known Member


    OK, if the Mil-Surp route is OK, you can still sometimes find some of the Mosin-Nagant rifles & carbines for under $70. And even find ammo in small quantity cheap as in $4 or $5 per 20 for the 7.62x54R
  9. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

    that Savage Stevens

    Yeah, $316 MSRP (actual price under $250) for a dual-pillar bedded, and button rifled turnbolt is just a ridiculously good value IMO.

    (just noticed that it's Stevens, not Stephens...oops)
  10. Lonestar.45

    Lonestar.45 Well-Known Member

    Yugo SKS or Mosin. You'll spend more on the SKS, but ammo is cheaper (which is a good thing, because being semi-auto, I'm betting you'd shoot a lot more of it). The Mosins can be had for around 70-100 bucks these days, SKS's around 150 or so depending on condition.

    For someone on a budget, it just does not get any better than those two choices. Of course, you can pick up a used 30-30 for $125-$150 if you look around, and 30-30 ammo is not all that expensive.
  11. dasmi

    dasmi Well-Known Member

    I just found a nice lever action winchester in .30-30 for cheap. (I'm not saying where, so don't ask) :D
    Can someone point me to cheap .30-30 online?
  12. Eightball

    Eightball Well-Known Member

    SKS should fit the bill for the reasons already mentioned. Or, an MN 91/30 ($80, anyone :) )?
  13. gbran

    gbran Well-Known Member

    NEF scoped single shot with weaver scope mount, numerous calibers available for about $200-$225. I'd suggest a .223. This would be a real tack driver that shoots fairly cheap ammo and is a lot more accurate than an SKS or many other mil-surps. But, many mil-surps are fun. My Mosin Nagant is high power, dirt cheap, but not real accurate.
  14. Cpl Punishment

    Cpl Punishment Well-Known Member

    The absolute cheapest will be a Mosin Nagant. The rifles are the cheapest, and the ammo is cheap (very cheap when bought as surplus in full cases).

    The next step up in cost would be a Mauser. The rifles are a little more than Mosins, but they're practically giving away surplus ammo.

    Next step up is an SKS.

    I like mil-surp guns and milsurp is the way to go, IMO.

    For commercial guns, there's the NEF single shots in about any caliber you could want.

    Then leverguns, the handgun caliber ones are cheap and shoot cheap ammo, the .30-30 is a top choice IMO for commercial all-round cheap guns.
  15. longhorngunman

    longhorngunman Well-Known Member

    For shear semi-auto, cheap-shooting and also will make a good SHTF rifle, I don't think you can beat a Yugo SKS. For a more accurate, harder hitting bolt action gun I don't think you can go wrong with either a rearsenaled Russian Mosin(long rifle) or a M44(carbine), or any of the current Yugo, Czech mausers. Both shoot a caliber similar to a 30-06(the Turk ammo is said to be near light magnum caliber loads). You might find an old Turk Mauser with a good bore for around $50. I just got in on a special for 5 93/03 Turks, 1 rifle had no bore left, two were mid-grade, and two of them looked like they were rearsenaled and never shot. :D If you don't mind paying a little more for ammo, and want one of the most accurate rifles there is for under a thousand dollars, get a Swiss K31 rifle for around $100. I've never seen one with a bad bore and they are a amazing piece of craftsmanship and very accurate. The 7.5*55 round is said to be similar to a .308. For info overload on milsurprifles check out www.surplusrifles.com and visit their forums. :)
  16. Cueball

    Cueball Well-Known Member

    Another option is a 223 in a Savage or CZ. I got a Savage Model 12FVXP varmit rifle with a 4-12X40 AO scope already mounted for $479. The CZ 527 is an inexpensive piece as well. And there is PLENTY of cheap 223 surplus ammo available. The Savage and the CZ tend to be very accurate out of the box. I'm thrilled with mine so far.
  17. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    "I just found a nice lever action winchester in .30-30 for cheap. (I'm not saying where, so don't ask)
    Can someone point me to cheap .30-30 online?"

    You did well, that's a good choice of rifle and caliber for a lot of uses. It won't get a lot of negative attention either, heck it's just a 'cowboy gun' after all.

    Don't tell anyone it's also known as a 'redneck assault rifle' and quite useful in defensive roles as well, OK? http://www.suarezinternational.com/leveraction.html

    Does Walmart sell ammo in your area? One of the 'big box' sporting goods stores like Dick's maybe? Those are usually good bets for inexpensive ammo. You should also look into reloading, a Classic Lee Loader ( http://leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1124353443.2982=/html/catalog/cleeloader.html ) is a great way to get started, and inexpensive to boot. Reloading lets you save by reusing the brass cases from your fired cartridges, reloading them with new primer, powder and bullet. This is easily done and as safe as you are careful, it is the best way to get started in reloading and the .30-30 is a great candidate for a Lee Loader. It's how I got started myself...


  18. dasmi

    dasmi Well-Known Member

    Haven't bought it yet. Looking to see if I can afford the ammo first.
  19. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    At the big box stores hereabouts, .30-30 usually runs about $9- 10.00 a box of 20 rounds, your best online sources will be hard put to match that. That's relatively expensive compared to imported 7.62X39 ammo for the SKSs, but you wouldn't be blasting quite as hard with a lever gun compared to a semi auto, and you might therefore slow down and shoot a little straighter 8^)- and not have to shoot so much... .

    You should seriously look into reloading if you get the thutty-thutty- it will up the fun factor a good bit. Be sure you only load flat-nosed (or round nose soft point) bullets tho... tubular magazines are picky about spire pointed bullets.

    Best of luck whatever you decide- stay safe,


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