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Best Bolt-action Deer Rifles Under $400

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SHusky57, Jul 18, 2009.

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  1. SHusky57

    SHusky57 Member

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    At the top of my price range, Weatherby Vanguard.
    Interested in a Tikka T3, but I think it tops my price range.

    Mossberg 100 ATR.
    Marlin XL7.
    Remington 710/770 (not a fan of most Remmy products nowadays, they seem sub-par whether it's the 870's or UMC ammo).

    Just curious if you were on a $400 budget, what you would get? I'm thinking Mossberg 100 ATR + Better Scope FTW.... although I've heard the Marlin XL7 is a much better gun.

    I've already got a 30-30.... I've got some cash lying around and I was thinking "I could get an AR-15" or.... "I could get a rifle, a shotugn, and some ammo for the same price" and I'm leaning towards something more like the latter.
     
  2. Arkel23

    Arkel23 Member

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    I'd get the Weatherby Vanguard.
     
  3. unlearned69

    unlearned69 Member

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    I had a Stevens 200 that was an excellent rifle. It's not on your list, but they are very nice for the money. I've handled a couple XL-7's, and they seem very nice for the money. I'd go with either one of those or the Vanguard. Any of the three should be a great rifle.

    Edited to add: I have handled a couple of the Mossbergs, and I was not impressed. Same for the Rem 710/770.
     
  4. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    old remington 700
     
  5. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Member

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    Save a little and get the Tikka. You'll be glad you did. By the way, Remington makes excellent products. Don't judge them by the 710/770.
     
  6. frankiestoys

    frankiestoys Member

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    Savage makes a good bolt action, shop around.
     
  7. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    I have the Mossberg ATR but in the under $300 category today the Marlin XL7 would get my $ but for $400 I think that Weatherby Vanguard is a lot of rifle. The other would be the new T/C Venture with a 1" 100yrd garantee!
     
  8. BENELLIMONTE

    BENELLIMONTE member

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    Check out the discontinued Rem 700 ADLs at Wallyworld. I picked up my current 243 Win for a closeout price of 300.00. Also the Weatherby Vanguard (300 Win Mag) I bought at Joes is also a very good rifle for the price. But the best for the price if you really hunt around is Tikka T3 Lite Hunter. My T3 in 270 winchester is by far the most accurate, smoothest bolt and lightest trigger out of the box I have. You may have to pay 450.00 or a bit more but it is definitely worth it.
     
  9. thetoad45

    thetoad45 Member

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    I own two Marlin XL7's. Very nice
     
  10. natman

    natman Member

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    The Vanguard is a good rifle, but I'd go with the Marlin XL / XS 7 and put the money saved towards a Leupold scope.

    Quality on the Mossberg is not up to these other two and the Remington 710 family is junk.
     
  11. jester_s1

    jester_s1 Member

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    At that price point it really doesn't matter. You're going to get a decent barrel and a flimsy injection molded stock with every maker. Stay away from the Remington 710. If you don't care what you have and only plan to go through a box of ammo every 3-4 years, it's ok and super cheap used. Otherwise, get something better.

    Does the $400 budget include glass? If so, then it's time to start browsing the used racks at your local gun shop.
     
  12. TexAg

    TexAg Member

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    In with the poster above, you can still get Rem 700 ADLs new. I got my .30-06 ADL with iron sights for $325 last year.
     
  13. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    It does matter. Even at the $400 and under price range there are big differences in features and quality.

    Remington 770 package w/scope: Molded swivel studs, Detachable magazine, button-rifled, w/scope $350 otherwise very inexpensive metal reciever the bolt lugs engage in a specially made barrel extension so the reciever doen'st take the stress of fireing...is really just a bolt guide (much like an AR-15). Pretty accurate but a throw away rifle.

    Mossberg ATR: LBA adjustable trigger, internal mag, molded swivel studs, Barrel nut, target crown muzzle, the stock feels decent. It appears to be 1.5 MOA with most ammo at 100yrds. $250

    Marlin XL7 an adjustable trigger, internal mag, steel swivels studs (not plastic), barrel nut, fluted bolt, enclosed bolt shroud, target crown muzzle, the stock feels decent too. Better overall quality that the Mossy and Rem. It appears to be 1.5 MOA with most ammo at 100yrds $300ish

    Savage 111FCXP3 Package w/scope: Detachable box magazine, NON AccuTrigger, NON AccuStock, berrel nut, flimsy stock, free-floating, button-rifled, and swivel studs. $380

    Weatherby Vanguard: Adjustable trigger, Internal mag (hinged floorplate?), hammer-forged barrel, steel swivel studs and probably the smoothest bolt in this price range. Good quality made by Howa. 1.5MOA or better. $399

    T/C Venture: Detachable box magazine, Adjustable Trigger, free-floating, 5R-rifled, (barrel nut?) and swivel studs. 1MOA Guarantee! $420

    I currently own the Mossberg ATR and a Savage 10.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  14. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    don't forget howa, ... and really , any of the new ones are good, the crappiest of them all would be anything remington lately... God only knows what they
    been thinking. I would proly look for a tikka, howa, wetherby, mossy, marlin, or if you can find it , a smith/wesson i bolt.
     
  15. Dookie

    Dookie Member

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    Savage, Steven, Howa, Weatherby Vangaurd, and 700. Savage and stevens are the same rifle except the stevens does not have the accutrigger. I have one in 300 win and was able to adjust the trigger down to 2.5 pounds and is very crisp, will hold 2 inch groups at 200 yards with me shooting and the factory synthetic stock.

    Marlin and Mossberg will not be as nice as any of these.

    I would suggest getting the Stevens 200 as it will run you under 300 and you get the Savage barrel and action. If you want to swap stock or trigger out later it will be no problem whatsoever. Then top it with a Leupold 3-9 and you are out the door for less than $700 and ready to roll.
     
  16. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    We live in good times

    when it comes to good, quality, inexpensive rifles. I have not shot the Mossberg and the Marlin but they seem very well made and the only reason I haven't bought either of them is that the cartidges they are available in, have not appealed to me. I decided to wait for the XS7 to come out in 223 or 308 before I buy. They may be out but I am broke right now.:( My list would be as follows:

    Savage in 243 or 270 available at Wal-mart, with 3-9 simmons scope for $349.

    Stevens (Savage without the accu-trigger) shop gunbroker.

    Mossberg Under $300 at Wal-Mart

    Marlin right around 300 I think at Cabelas. The Marlin has a factory authorized coy of the Accu-trigger as well as a "barrel nut" that makes it very similar to the Savage. I can't wait to see if people start swapping barrel egulary as they do with the Savage.
     
  17. wickedsprint

    wickedsprint Member

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    Remington model 700 ADL/SPS when they go on sale. I've purchased an ADL Synthetic clean barrel for $299 at Walmart when they went on sale to make room for the SPS version.
     
  18. altez

    altez Member

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    Another vote for Stevens 200 ... Wish I found THR before my first rifle purchase. I originally bought a Rem 710. :|
     
  19. kludge

    kludge Member

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    Stevens 200.
     
  20. chevyforlife21

    chevyforlife21 Member

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    i have a savage 111 .243 its super accurate ive hit the same bullet hole at 100 yards with remington and winchester cheap ammo.the stock is pretty flimsy but my main problem is it always has problems feeding from the mag the spring will get stuck not matter how much oil but anywways its a good cheap real accurate rifle
     
  21. jester_s1

    jester_s1 Member

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    Entry level rifles are better than they have ever been before, and perfectly serviceable. I still defy anyone to show how one sub-$400 rifle is significantly better than another (except the cheapo Remingtons which are junk). Yes, small variations exists in features but they all work and all have acceptable deer popping accuracy.

    Glass on the other hand is a different story. With that budget, I'd be looking for a $150 beater to put a $250 scope onto, and I would expect a reliable weapon. The more I learn about glass, the more I see how little the gun matters and how much the scope does.
     
  22. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    Watch Wal-Mart. They are likely to clearance out their current stock in August or September to prepare for the 2009 hunting season.

    Personally, I would look for a used Winchester or Remington to get iron sights.

    I think one of these low-end bolt gun companies (Mossberg, Stevens, Remington, etc.) would mop up if they included iron sights.

    I have no desire to build, tune and store another gun/scope package. Especially on a cheap gun. I like what I have. If I buy a new scoped rig, I will want to put $$ into both the rifle and the scope.

    I think any new shooter shout put in some trigger time with iron sights. It's very difficult for me to recommend a fine cheap rifle but then have to tell the new shooter to invest almost as much on a quality scope. "Which one?" "Uhhh Leupold...it's what I have". Then I have to explain "bore sighting", "sighting in", "scope covers", "eye relief", and a back-up gun in case their scope fails.

    I WOULD buy a few $250 to $400 new bolt rifles if they had iron sights - for plinking, taking out new shooters, loaning to friends, storing as a "truck gun" or "cabin gun", etc.

    These gun companies seem to be very sheep-like.

    They just look at what one another are doing and follow the herd. None of then seem to ever ask us shooters what we would buy. They don't seem to understand that their biggest market is those of us who already have guns.

    There IS a market for an inexpensive, iron-sighted American bolt gun. We will buy then for fun. We will buy them for family and we will recommend a good bolt gun with good iron sights to friends.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
  23. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    Yip, for me they are called Mil Surps or C&R's. I have quite a few and can shoot them all. Nice rant though.
     
  24. crazy-mp

    crazy-mp Member

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    Remington 770

    I picked one up 2 years ago before Christmas, it was around 350 and there was a 50 dollar rebate at the time. So I got a new .243 with a 3-9 scope for a little over 300 bucks.

    Everybody wants to gripe that its a throw away gun, ok I will give you that, but how many rounds does it take to burn up a barrel?

    The point they should be making, and most are not because they have never fired one, is that this bolt gun is cocked when you rotate the handle up, unlike most other Remington bolt action guns which cock when putting the bolt down. SO working the bolt feels a little different and when they are new they are a little tougher and not as smooth.

    Plus you wouldn't feel so bad when you take that gun out and get it scratched up, beat up, rained on, or your buddy drops it at the range, hey its a throw away gun right?
     
  25. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    A 243 will "burn up" a barrel (start loosing accuracy) as early as 850rnds but usually by 1500rnds you'll notice. YMMV

    Yes, that rifle is probably a throw away but many rifles aren't as they can be re barreled. I don't think anyone who gets any one of the above rifles is going to treat them with kit gloves. These are value rifles and will be used as such. But why ride a donkey when you can get a horse? The Remchester 710 and 770 should cost $199. If I was going to spend $400 today it would buy a lot more than that.

    Knowing what I know now I would have purchased a Savage w/accutrigger instead of my Mossberg ATR a couple of years ago. It too is probably a "throw away rifle" as I don't think anyone is making replacement barrels for it (unless something out there is already a fit) But it does have a barrel nut and real reciever so it could possibly be done. Also BTW it's been a really good rifle for only costing $250 + Accessories so I'm not bashing it either. 3 shot groups are consistantly under 1" at 100yrds with me shooting and my father in law can do 1.5" with it. Bolt is smooth trigger is good (but well short of an accutrigger). The cheapest thing about the rifle is the integrated swivel studs...an easy fix.

    [​IMG]

    I love my New Savage 10FP by the way but it was well over the $400 liimit and isn't really a deer rifle either (at 14lbs)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
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