First Rifle, under $600?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Rooster87, Jul 9, 2012.

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  1. Rooster87

    Rooster87 Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm looking to get my first center rifle (already have a 10/22, love it) for deer and coyote. It will be my only rifle for a while, welcome to being a poor guy right out of college haha. I'm thinking of either a 30-30, 308 Win, or 30-06. I've never hunted for coyote before, and don't know if I'll need a semi or if a bolt/lever would be better suited. Longest shots needed to be taken would be ~200yrds, being in southern Michigan in a forest and farm checkered area.

    Top of my budget is $600, and I'd just as soon stay under that. Any advice an pointers would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    I would go with .308 in your situation, though I love .30-06... .30-30 is going to be a little slow for 200 yds, but still doable.

    I would go to all of your local gun shops and check out their used rack. If nobody has a used one, look for a Savage bolt gun. Or a Ruger American. Those would be my first picks, but there are others.

    Semi auto is nice (but not absolutely necessary), but it is really expensive for a semi auto .308, unless you find something that was made it China, or Russia.
     
  3. HOOfan_1

    HOOfan_1 Member

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    I would go for Ruger American, T/C Venture, Marlin X7 or Stevens 200 in .243 WIN
     
  4. Asherdan

    Asherdan Member

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    Is that budget for rifle and glass?

    Tons of options out there so how about this:

    Marlin XS7 in .308
    Redfield 2x7

    With mounts and sundry you should stay just shy of your budget top.
     
  5. 7.62x51NATO

    7.62x51NATO Member

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    My Savage 11 in .308 is an amazing gun. Hard to beat the price for the accuracy you get out of the box. However, all the other suggestions are great as well. You really can't go wrong with any of the big names in bolt guns. .308 is my personal caliber choice though (if you couldn't tell from my screen name :p)
     
  6. HarcyPervin

    HarcyPervin Member

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    does that $600 include sights/optics? There are a million and one guns you can buy for under $600 that will fill the 200 yd and under role.

    What do you prefer to shoot?
    Are you recoil sensitive?
    How often do you shoot --> how much of a problem is ammo cost for you?
    Is this a hunting only rifle or something you're going to go to the range/plink with?
    Are you concerned about keeping the coyote pelts or do you just want to knock off some pests?

    I hate answering a question with more questions, but these are the types of things to look at when picking a gun, sights, caliber etc.
     
  7. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Member

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    Go to a good small gun show. You'll find dozens of good rifles for usually far less than those six franklins. Look for a bubba'd Mauser 98. You'll probably find one for $150~200 and it'll still be taking deer or coyotes for your grandchildren.
     
  8. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Savage 'package deals' can be had that will get you started hunting now. Usually thats a's a golt action rifle, Simmons scope and a sling. Mossberg and Marlin run deals like this as well. Check your big box sports stores sale papers regularly as well as Wal-Mart. .30 cal as in .308 or .30-06 are both good choices for deer, perhaps overkill on coyote--unless you don't care about preserving the hide.

    You can upgrade to better glass later.
     
  9. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    As others have said, 200yds is pushing it a bit with the .30-30, not impossible but pushing it. Its an excellent choice for relatively close ranges in heavy brush, but not ideal for an open field gun.

    Looking at your other two options, either one should work as both are more than powerful enough for deer, and more than accurate enough for 200+ yard shots. THe .30-06 is considered by many to be the optimum do-everything centerfire, capable of taking any game animal in North America, and the .308 is very close in performance. For your price range, I would look first at Savage rifles. They make inexpensive rifles that are renown for their accuracty in a wide variety of configurations (blued or stainless, traditional wood, composite or laminate stocks)

    That said, unless you forsee using this same gun for larger game (Elk, Moose, Bear, etc) you could get by with a smaller caiber. The .243 is considered by many to be an ideal dual-purpose (deer & varmint) round and is widely available. The .25 cal cartridges (.257 Roberts, .257 Weatherby or .25-06) would also be excellent choices, although in small towns it might be harder to find locally. They are all accurate and effective to ranges well past your proposed 200yds.

    Hope that helps.
     
  10. shaggy430

    shaggy430 Member

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    Tikka, wait for it, T3.
     
  11. Rooster87

    Rooster87 Member

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    Thanks for so many quick and great replies. If I could find a good gun and glass combo all the better. This will be my only hunting rifle for a while, and the versatility of the 30-06 & 308 Win is what attracted me to those calibers. Thanks for all the good advice so far!
     
  12. Jay the Plinker

    Jay the Plinker Member

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    +1 for the Marlin x7 has a really nice trigger safety that brings the trigger pull way down. I also have a 10/22, I don't have a hunter but I have done my research.
     
  13. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    Since 30-06 is your preference, you should be able to find one easily. The 06 has been around a long time and very reliable. I see them at gun shows all the time. That said, I agree with another poster who said the .243 would be worth considering. I have had great success with .243 and they are easy to reload, but plenty of load and bullet options in factory ammo as well. Have fun with your new rifle:)
     
  14. viking499

    viking499 Member

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    Stevens 200 is a great budget gun. Add a Redfield or Nikon and you are still under budget.
     
  15. ECVMatt
    • Contributing Member

    ECVMatt Contributing Member

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    Like mdauben, I would just throw the .234 out there for you to consider. It is very available, makes a great combo cartridge, and most importantly has low recoil. The .308 is not a heavy kicker, but the less recoil the better with your first centerfire rifle. To me it is more important to learn to shoot accurately than to have a 30-06 or 308 that gets shot little. The .243 will allow you to shoot more ammo. I am not knocking either of the above rounds, I own a rifle in each caliber, but whenever I help someone new start shooting we always start with the .243. I agree with you that the other two are more versital, but better practice means more hits. I was started on the .30-06 when I was 12 and wished it had never happened. It took years of practice to remove the flinch from my shooting.

    I like the Stevens 200, Ruger American, Howa 1500, and Remington 700. The Stevens, Ruger, and Howa, can all be had with glass for about 600 bucks.

    Hope this helps you out some,

    Matt
     
  16. Sock Puppet

    Sock Puppet Member

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    I like the. 243 a lot if you stick to medium sized game. If there is a chance you'll go larger stick with a .30 variant.

    I'm a fan of the Tikka, TC Venture, Savage and How in your range.
     
  17. meanmrmustard

    meanmrmustard Member

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    Ruger American in .308. Leaves plenty for glass.
     
  18. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Member

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    Add a Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 and you'll have a great budget set up that will do anything you need.
     
  19. GlockNation

    GlockNation Member

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    Savage & Nikon Marriage

    Savage .243 will be your best bet. Right now the Model 11 can be had for $499.00 and it comes with a 3 x 9 x 40 NIKON BDC scope. Check the ballistics. With the calibers you mentioned you are not leaving yourself enough of an under size. The 100 grain 243 will take the animals you mentioned and allow the reach to go smaller with 50 something grain bullets. Plus the recoil will not be as surprising as a say 30-06.

    Also check out the 6.5 x 55 Swede. You can probably find one of the old Swedish Army ones sporterized with a scope for 300-400. I found two of them in that range, and one is a Kimber job. The 120 grain round is right in your alley and you can get 156 grain ammo that will take good size hogs.

    Best of luck with your new addiction!:D
     
  20. JTW Jr.

    JTW Jr. Member

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    nice... I actually have one for sale locally , T3 lite in .308
     
  21. 303 hunter

    303 hunter Member

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    If you have a Dick's Sporting Goods near you,check it out. They have many choices in rifle/scope combos. They also have great prices on Nikon and Redfield scopes. Usually,these combos come with a Bushnell Banner or a Simmons scope. They are decent entry level scopes,but after you look at the Nikon's and Redfield's,you'll see the difference. The combo will get you started;then you can upgrade glass as needed. Have fun shopping!
     
  22. wyohome

    wyohome Member

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  23. whatever

    whatever Member

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    I just picked up a savage model 10 trophy hunter xp with nikon 3x9 w/bdc in 308 for under 500 new. I love it.
     
  24. Tex4426

    Tex4426 Member

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    My buddy who just got out of college and was wanting a rifle just like you are for the same hunting...he went with a savage in 30-06 bolt action....with the 30-06 u can get about an bullet you want to hunt anything from a coyote to a moose if you want and you should be good to alot farther than 200 yards if the opportunity presents itself....one of the most verasatile callibers out there
     
  25. C-grunt

    C-grunt Member

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    Weatherby just came out with their second generation Vanguard. Now all the first generation models are being sold off at a huge discount. Ive found several 30-06s and 243s for 350 bucks new. That's a hell of a rifle for 350 bucks.
     
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