Entry level bolt rifle?

Forum dedicated for rifles and shotguns from basic to tactical.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

KnifeStyle
* * *
Posts: 527
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:33 pm

Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by KnifeStyle » Fri May 09, 2014 9:40 pm

Now that college has ended for me and I'm moving to a new area, I'm working on gradually assembling a basic battery of guns just to learn the different styles of shooting, enjoy a few different sports, and generally just get a grasp of the various styles and mechanisms. I started off with a 10-22 like most did, now concealed carry a Glock 17 and keep it on the nightstand, and am gradually getting parts together to have my first AR-15. However, I'd like to own one traditional bolt-gun for long range shooting with a scope and appreciate pure marksmanship and the simple design. This is NOT a hunting rifle, this is just a range toy to hit steel or paper plates.

My requirements:

Affordable. I'm finishing grad school right now, ideally this can be found on the 'used' rack at Cabela's or a local shop. Under 400 at a minimum, any less would be absolutely fantastic as long as durability doesn't become an issue.

Caliber: I...have no idea. I'm torn between going with a .223 so it would be inter-changable with my AR, but I'm considering a larger caliber for the gains in distance.

Durability: Ideally stainless, as low-maintenance as possible, synthetic stock is welcome.

Optics: Honestly, I'm so new at this I'm not aiming for anything high end. If it comes with a functional scope in the deal, I'd probably be fine with it.
jamoni wrote:Zombie Squad, the things you have experience with scare me.

User avatar
crypto
ZS Donor
ZS Donor
Posts: 16637
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:37 pm
Location: City of Saint Louis

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by crypto » Fri May 09, 2014 10:00 pm

In my experience, Savage has cornered the market for quality and accuracy on the cheap end of the market. Their guns are just ridiculously accurate for the money, and the accutrigger is shockingly good.
MF'N TEAM LEADER

"Some people think that the best way to stop the leopard is to cut the horns off the gazelle. This, my friends, is insane."

Image
Image

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3170
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by woodsghost » Fri May 09, 2014 10:48 pm

I have some limited experience with one Remington 770. I read a very favorable review in Field & Stream or Outdoor Life a few months ago. They are supposed to be pretty good. I was having some issues with the zero wandering and I think it was either a cheap scope or cheap scope rings.

I would look close at the Savages. I"m just throwing out the Rem 770 as another possible contender.

Personally, if you just want a target shooter, I would get a 7.62x39. That way you have super cheap ammo if you want, super quality ammo if you want, and you expand your caliber selection to one of the more common calibers out there......as opposed to the .243, .308, 30-06, 7mm, and the other ones I'm about to get flamed over ;) But nobody is going to argue the point that x39 is cheaper!
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

Doctorr Fabulous
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 12210
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Evil Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days/Weeks Later

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Fri May 09, 2014 11:03 pm

What distance? Forgive me for forgetting, but what general geographic area? Aside from suspicious pawnshops, I don't think you'll get stainless for under $400.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/prod ... 23+PACKAGE

Under $400 with a scope that's probably "meh" in the caliber you wanted. I've fired one in aught six with the included scope. Not bad, not great, but the accutrigger is teh shizzle for the price, and down the line you can upgrade glass and the stock and have a whole new rifle. Plenty of barrel makers too. If it was me, I'd go bigger than .223 for target shooting. You're talking about pushing the distance, and something hotter and heavier will buck the wind better.
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/wG6ZMjE.jpg

User avatar
raptor
ZS Global Moderator
ZS Global Moderator
Posts: 16792
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 10:18 pm
Location: Greater New Orleans Area

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by raptor » Sat May 10, 2014 9:15 am

You can find Remington 700 used all day long in area for $400 to $500. Sometimes with a cheap scope other times with just rings.

However as noted you can find new Savage and Ruger turn bolts in the same price range sometimes with a scope package.

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 13568
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Time Out

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Stercutus » Sat May 10, 2014 10:05 am

Just to note again that "long range" is a pretty wide open undefined metric sort of like "high powered".

.223 and 7.62X39 are generally not considered to be long range rounds. In a low end bolt gun .223 is simply not going to be "that" much more accurate than a quality AR in 5.56.

.30-06 is a really versatile round for shooting at ranges up 1200 meters or so. If you are having trouble picking a caliber it is hard to go wrong there. Ammo is still fairly cheap and normally widely available.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

User avatar
Mountainsquid
* * *
Posts: 347
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:34 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead(Snyder), Zombieland
Location: The Capital Wasteland

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Mountainsquid » Sat May 10, 2014 2:12 pm

woodsghost wrote:I have some limited experience with one Remington 770. I read a very favorable review in Field & Stream or Outdoor Life a few months ago. They are supposed to be pretty good.

Personally, I would avoid them.


OP, I'm tempted to just tell you to get a Mosin-Nagant, especially since it's a range toy and surplus ammo for it is still available. I know you want a synthetic stock...but I think you'd get a lot more mileage in terms of ammo costs just with getting a 91/30 plus a couple of spam cans.

User avatar
woodsghost
* * * * *
Posts: 3170
Joined: Thu May 16, 2013 3:45 pm

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by woodsghost » Sat May 10, 2014 2:47 pm

Stercutus wrote:Just to note again that "long range" is a pretty wide open undefined metric sort of like "high powered".

.223 and 7.62X39 are generally not considered to be long range rounds. In a low end bolt gun .223 is simply not going to be "that" much more accurate than a quality AR in 5.56.

.30-06 is a really versatile round for shooting at ranges up 1200 meters or so. If you are having trouble picking a caliber it is hard to go wrong there. Ammo is still fairly cheap and normally widely available.
I agree the .223 and 7.62x39 are shorter range rounds, though I would argue both are reasonable out to 300-400 yards/meters. However, here in the midwest, I have a hard time finding a range that allows you to shoot more than 100 yards/meters. The OP might have access to 200, 400, or 1000 yard ranges.

So, to the OP, you may want to figure out where you want to be shooting and get something that fits your range.
Mountainsquid wrote: Personally, I would avoid them.


OP, I'm tempted to just tell you to get a Mosin-Nagant, especially since it's a range toy and surplus ammo for it is still available. I know you want a synthetic stock...but I think you'd get a lot more mileage in terms of ammo costs just with getting a 91/30 plus a couple of spam cans.
Thanks for sharing that image. The fact that it happened once (to you or someone else) does not automatically make the rifle a bad idea. However, if it happened once, it could easily happen again. The rifle IS a budget option, but one that is supposed to be pretty accurate. You have a great point.

Also, the Mosin idea is a good one. A synthetic stock can be bought, though I prefer the wood. If the OP is looking for 1 inch groups at 100 yrds, I would either pass on the Mosin, or look into casting my own bullets on a custom mold made after slugging the bore of the rifle and doing hand loads. Which is exactly what I will be doing with my Mosin when I have the money for a mold. Plus, my Mosin had a sticky chamber problem, and while it ended up being easy to fix, if the OP is fairly new to guns, it might be better to not risk encountering those problems. I don't know.

On the subject of Mosin Nagants, this is a cool video! And "long range" by anybodies standards!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-CTa2l ... NAQJQ#t=18
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

User avatar
Rev
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 2645
Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 2:54 am
Location: Huntington, West Virginia

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Rev » Sat May 10, 2014 3:51 pm

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/prod ... +243+NIKON

.243, which in my area is all the range I need.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/prod ... +308+NIKON

.308


EDIT:

Meets criteria before tax and transfer fee.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/prod ... inlessWSCP

Wander around for an Axis in stainless someone got bored with. Shops are full of them here.
Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

Zombie Squad Forum Rules: Read Me!
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 44&t=19895

User avatar
BullOnParade
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 3020
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by BullOnParade » Sat May 10, 2014 7:05 pm

woodsghost wrote:
Stercutus wrote:Just to note again that "long range" is a pretty wide open undefined metric sort of like "high powered".

.223 and 7.62X39 are generally not considered to be long range rounds. In a low end bolt gun .223 is simply not going to be "that" much more accurate than a quality AR in 5.56.

.30-06 is a really versatile round for shooting at ranges up 1200 meters or so. If you are having trouble picking a caliber it is hard to go wrong there. Ammo is still fairly cheap and normally widely available.
I agree the .223 and 7.62x39 are shorter range rounds, though I would argue both are reasonable out to 300-400 yards/meters. However, here in the midwest, I have a hard time finding a range that allows you to shoot more than 100 yards/meters. The OP might have access to 200, 400, or 1000 yard ranges.

So, to the OP, you may want to figure out where you want to be shooting and get something that fits your range.
I'm going to disagree to a point. Depending on location, and access to things like a reliable transport, you may find yourself a few hours away from a 1000yard range. To me, this would mean I could still access it, just not as frequently as I could access the 300 yard range 20 minutes away. If you really want to learn long range precision shooting, don't underbuy on caliber and gun because you don't get to reach out as often as you like. Practice at 300 yards when you can, and make a point of getting to the 1000 yard range when you have a long weekend or something.

Saying "I want to learn to shoot precision long range" and "I need a budget shooter in the same caliber as my MBR" doesn't make sense to me. I'm in a similar position, I've been out of school a few years, and inherited my dads collection shortly after. While having his guns has allowed me to break into various disciplines, his collection has a lot of jack-of-all-trades performers, that just don't do specific tasks very well. Do the best you can, with the resources you have access to at the time, but if you can save for a while longer, and get something better, do that.
BullOnParade

Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.

Urban BOB/Range (& Bailout) Bag/EDC/Vehicle Kit

User avatar
FelixArchon
* * * * *
Posts: 1075
Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 5:02 pm
Location: Las Vegas

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by FelixArchon » Sun May 11, 2014 12:06 am

Dude, don't let the high-power zealots talk you into a big expensive rifle unless you want a big expensive rifle.

As a casual beginning long-range shooter, a .223 Savage (look at the 12FV) is all you'll need, and probably what you want. No, it will not hit targets that a .308 or .30-06 can reach. But rest assured that it will be a long time before the ballistics of .223 are the limiting factor in your shooting. It takes a lot of practice to hit a target beyond 500 yards with any rifle, especially if you try doing it in conditions other than on calm sunny days at a measured range.

If you end up shooting enough to outgrow .223, and really do need to move up in caliber to reach 600 to 800 yards, you'll have spent enough time with the Savage that you'll recognize its value. You certainly won't regret having having bought it.

ArmchairRacer
* * *
Posts: 329
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 4:56 pm
Location: Utah

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by ArmchairRacer » Sun May 11, 2014 8:24 pm

I have a Ruger American in .308 that I've been very pleased with, but I don't do much in the way of shooting beyond 100 yds and I've heard the thin barrel can affect accuracy, just not a concern for me.

User avatar
procyon
* * * * *
Posts: 1101
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 5:56 am
Location: Iowa, USA

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by procyon » Sun May 11, 2014 8:47 pm

Rev wrote:.243, which in my area is all the range I need.
If you aren't going to get a .223 for a common round, and want a round that is pleasant to shoot, is plenty adequate for targets out to 600 yds and beyond (proper gun and load), and if you ever choose to hunt will take just about any animal in th lower 48 adequately - it would be hard to fault the .243. A nice Savage .243 with a decent scope will probalby be able to shoot as far as you would care to. Longer than many ranges have available.
And it won't kill the bank, although I am not sure you will be able to get it in your preferred price range without a bit of shopping.

Have fun whatever you choose.
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

User avatar
RonnyRonin
* * * * *
Posts: 1612
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 8:11 pm
Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun May 11, 2014 10:27 pm

I'll put a tentative vote in for the Ruger American. My brother has one and has been happy with it, it's no precision rifle but is very cheap and accurate enough. Trigger is quite good, maybe not savage good but nothing to complain about. I'll have to sit down and think about it for quite awhile when it comes time for me to decide between a Ruger and Savage when I enter the bolt gun market.

There are lots of calibers I'd rather have (6.5 grendel, 260 remington, etc) but I'll probably go with .308 just because it's default cartridge. If you wanted a .223 I'd save up and buy a nice upper for your AR before I'd buy a .223 bolt gun.
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

Doctorr Fabulous
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 12210
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Evil Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days/Weeks Later

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun May 11, 2014 10:37 pm

Another option. Look for a decently sporterized surplus rifle. Worst case, ammo costs about what everything else does and you get a scope-ready rifle that's cheap.
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/wG6ZMjE.jpg

User avatar
procyon
* * * * *
Posts: 1101
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 5:56 am
Location: Iowa, USA

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by procyon » Mon May 12, 2014 12:34 am

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Another option. Look for a decently sporterized surplus rifle. Worst case, ammo costs about what everything else does and you get a scope-ready rifle that's cheap.
That is a good idea. My oldest boy got a decent sporterized Enfield.
Then spend a couple dollars getting a simple reloading kit. The decent brass cased/boxer primed ammo may cost a bit to buy compared to surplus - but you can reload a .303/8mm/6.5x55/etc for pretty much the same price as a .308/.30-06/.270/etc... And you can tinker with the loadings to get better accuracy a lot of the time.
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

Doctorr Fabulous
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 12210
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Evil Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days/Weeks Later

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Mon May 12, 2014 12:51 am

procyon wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Another option. Look for a decently sporterized surplus rifle. Worst case, ammo costs about what everything else does and you get a scope-ready rifle that's cheap.
That is a good idea. My oldest boy got a decent sporterized Enfield.
Then spend a couple dollars getting a simple reloading kit. The decent brass cased/boxer primed ammo may cost a bit to buy compared to surplus - but you can reload a .303/8mm/6.5x55/etc for pretty much the same price as a .308/.30-06/.270/etc... And you can tinker with the loadings to get better accuracy a lot of the time.
Me too. Cost me a $150 .22 revolver and came with a box of PRVI 174gr SP. Trying one of the cheaper no-drill mounts, and the stock needs be be shimmed. Might try the 870 stock mod instead. Also on the lookout for a few sporterized Husqies. Pawnshops, HO!
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/wG6ZMjE.jpg

User avatar
procyon
* * * * *
Posts: 1101
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 5:56 am
Location: Iowa, USA

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by procyon » Mon May 12, 2014 1:16 am

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
procyon wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:Another option. Look for a decently sporterized surplus rifle. Worst case, ammo costs about what everything else does and you get a scope-ready rifle that's cheap.
That is a good idea. My oldest boy got a decent sporterized Enfield.
Then spend a couple dollars getting a simple reloading kit. The decent brass cased/boxer primed ammo may cost a bit to buy compared to surplus - but you can reload a .303/8mm/6.5x55/etc for pretty much the same price as a .308/.30-06/.270/etc... And you can tinker with the loadings to get better accuracy a lot of the time.
Me too. Cost me a $150 .22 revolver and came with a box of PRVI 174gr SP. Trying one of the cheaper no-drill mounts, and the stock needs be be shimmed. Might try the 870 stock mod instead. Also on the lookout for a few sporterized Husqies. Pawnshops, HO!
He spent the same amount and it already had the bolt handle turned down and tapped for the mount. He bought a couple boxes of those same PRVI and they shot fairly well so he picked up the dies for it and started loading the brass. I wasn't super impressed at first but it has turned into a nice little shooter.
... I will show you fear in a handful of dust...

Nick Adams
* *
Posts: 253
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 2:43 pm

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Nick Adams » Mon May 12, 2014 7:16 am

I suggest getting a sporterised military rifle too.Pretty easy to get a great deal on something like this, I picked up Savage Enfield for $40 that a guy had made into a hunting rifle by just removing the top wood and cutting the forearm back. Shoots great
I also have a US 1917 Enfield that was sportised by removing the rear sight ears, mounting a scope and installing new iron sights. Got it for $60 at an auction probably owing to it's ugly original stock that was cut up.I picked up a sporter stock off Ebay for around $40 and am good to go. Shoots fine and I like that it is a 30 06
While back I bought a lot of gun parts at my weekly auction for $10. In with them was a 1903A3 sporter barreled action with a stripped bolt and nice pre inleted sporter stock for it. I had most all the parts to complete it only had to buy the rear sight [$25 at a gun show]. I sold the parts that were with it for $225...I think once I get around to putting it all together it will make a real nice rifle

User avatar
Stercutus
* * * * *
Posts: 13568
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Time Out

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Stercutus » Mon May 12, 2014 7:17 am

Look for a decently sporterized surplus rifle.
Those words don't often go together. However if he can find one that hasn't had the dog snot beat out of it that would work.
You go 'round and around it
You go over and under
I go through

User avatar
BigSal
* *
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:48 pm

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by BigSal » Sun May 18, 2014 1:28 am

Everyone on this page is wrong. In the low end space, nothing comes close to the Tikka T3. Guaranteed sub moa accuracy or they replace your unit. Free floated, cold hammer forged barrel and a shit ton of aftermarket support make it a no brainer.

You will regret any other purchase, and I couldn't live with myself if I didn't try to stop that from happening.

Doctorr Fabulous
ZS Lifetime Member
ZS Lifetime Member
Posts: 12210
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:06 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Evil Dead, Zombieland, 28 Days/Weeks Later

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Sun May 18, 2014 1:30 am

BigSal wrote:Everyone on this page is wrong. In the low end space, nothing comes close to the Tikka T3. Guaranteed sub moa accuracy or they replace your unit. Free floated, cold hammer forged barrel and a shit ton of aftermarket support make it a no brainer.

You will regret any other purchase, and I couldn't live with myself if I didn't try to stop that from happening.
OP's $400 limit kinda puts the Tikkas out of reach.
Opinions subject to change in light of new information.
Image
http://i.imgur.com/wG6ZMjE.jpg

User avatar
RonnyRonin
* * * * *
Posts: 1612
Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 8:11 pm
Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by RonnyRonin » Sun May 18, 2014 1:34 am

today my brother tells me he's buying another Ruger and showed me this:
http://www.ruger.com/products/americanR ... odels.html
18" threaded barrel on the .308 at 6.25 lbs. gonna have a hard time talking myself out of one. (keep in mind my brother paid $100 under MSRP for his first one)
share your tobacco and your kindling, but never your sauna or your woman.

AK, Glock, Pie.

Zimmy
ZS Member
ZS Member
Posts: 965
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 11:11 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days later, Return of the Living Dead
Location: Trinity City, Texas

Re: Entry level bolt rifle?

Post by Zimmy » Sun May 18, 2014 12:20 pm

crypto wrote:In my experience, Savage has cornered the market for quality and accuracy on the cheap end of the market. Their guns are just ridiculously accurate for the money, and the accutrigger is shockingly good.
This.

In .243 or .308 depending on sensitivity to recoil and personal preference.

You can probably get one already with a decent starter scope as noted elsewhere.
Boldly going nowhere

Post Reply

Return to “Longarms - Shotguns and Rifles”