Sooner State Pawn Oklahoma Second Amendment Association 2A Shooting Center Harsh Firearms
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  1. #1
    Cannot be Ignored NikatKimber's Avatar
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    Default Entry level hunting rifles

    I haven't paid a whole lot of attention other than just recognizing some names of new arrivals; but what are some worth the money cheap entry rifles? Particularly suited to hunting.

    My brother / father are looking at buying a rifle to hunt with this year, but are starting out on a budget.

    I'm recommending .308 or .243 in particular, because of availability of each, that and they are both plenty suited to central OK deer, AND target shooting later.

    If it's my brother interested mostly, I'm pretty sure he'll want to be able to upgrade later, so that's a consideration.

    Stevens 200 - based on the Savage 110/10 series, lots of upgrades; cheap. No frills
    Howa 1500 - based on Weatherby Vanguard? which would also mean upgrades pretty easy to find. Not as cheap anymore, but reasonable.
    Marlin XS7 - what is the aftermarket on these? They look similar to the Savage 10/110 to me, but don't know how deep the resemblance is.
    Mossberg ATR/Maverick/4x4 etc - these worth anything?

    I know the Rem 710/770 are out, and the Savage Axis/Edge guns too.

    Some that may not have the aftermarket support but may be good guns:
    T/C Venture - stripped down version of the Icon
    Tikka T3 - not really stripped down anything, I've heard these are great if not looking to upgrade a lot.

    Also, what about entry level scopes? I know 3-9x is the most common, but I'm also thinking of range work, and I'd like to steer them to something that can be used satisfactorily for either. Would 4-12x be too much for hunting?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    I would recommend the Howa. I really wanted one when I was purchasing my rifle last year but I couldnt find one in stock. I am pretty inpulsive so I juat went with the Weatherby Vanguard. I am extremely pleased with the Vanguard. It shoots really well. I dont have personal experience with a 4-12x but I think that it should work fine.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    Well, I've got a Mossberg ATR 100 in .270 WIN that has been without issue since day one. Bought for hunting, used for some target as well. It does the best with the cheapest ammo I have put in it so far so that's awesome. It is supposed to be free floated and the stock was contacting the barrel at one point where it shouldn't have been. I shaved that off and haven't shot it since so I can't speak to the improvement that made. So far it has a been a 2 MOA gun, which is good enough for hunting by most people's standards. I am working to get it sub-MOA and I think I am there. With handloads, no doubt it's capable.

    Don't count out the Remington 700. You can get into a Remington 700 SPS for real cheap. The upgrade potential down the road is endless for that.

    I wouldn't opt for the .243 unless you are pretty much certain their pursuit of game ends at OK whitetail. Anything bigger and you'll want a bigger caliber, which is why I opted for the .270 instead of the .243. It's good for anything up to and including elk and black bear and has the ability to reach way out there. So of your two given options, .308 is my choice. It's still plenty soft shooting.

    For an entry level scope, I went with the Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 w/ BDC reticle. I don't know if you would consider that entry level or not but I got a scope that I thought would last me a really long time and I'd be happy with. I didn't want to go with the really low end stuff and need to replace. Buy once, cry once is held in high regard in my household.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    Marlin XS7 gets my vote - basically it's a Savage on budget. Features for the price are unbeatable. Boyds makes stocks, winchester scope bases fit, savage barrels screw in, trigger is adjustable - what else do you need? You can find my 6.5x47 build I posted earlier.
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  5. #5
    Patron sesh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    They had the XL7's at Sportsworld the other day for $255, they are trade show displays and such but they all look like they're in pretty good shape. Just messing with them there in the store I thought the bolt on the Mossberg's they had there were sloppier than the bolt on the XL7. I was pretty impressed with it for the price so I picked up a 243, slapped a Nikon Prostaff 2-7x33 on it and took it to the range. I'm no super marksman sniper shooter but as a casual shooter I was comfortable with it pretty quickly and after a few shots we were pinging metal targets at 225 with it. I was waiting for a good deal on a Rem 700 in 243 for my daughter but I'm glad I didn't pass up the deal on the Marlin. Besides 243 I believe they had 270 and 30-06 on the shelf, that was a week ago so I don't know what's left now.
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  6. #6
    Cannot be Ignored NikatKimber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    Quote Originally Posted by ripnbst View Post
    Well, I've got a Mossberg ATR 100 in .270 WIN that has been without issue since day one. Bought for hunting, used for some target as well. It does the best with the cheapest ammo I have put in it so far so that's awesome. It is supposed to be free floated and the stock was contacting the barrel at one point where it shouldn't have been. I shaved that off and haven't shot it since so I can't speak to the improvement that made. So far it has a been a 2 MOA gun, which is good enough for hunting by most people's standards. I am working to get it sub-MOA and I think I am there. With handloads, no doubt it's capable.
    Thanks for the review.

    Quote Originally Posted by ripnbst View Post
    Don't count out the Remington 700. You can get into a Remington 700 SPS for real cheap. The upgrade potential down the road is endless for that.
    Not counting it out, but from what I can tell, the modern 700s are great for base guns, but not any better than the other (cheaper) alternatives as they are. What I did say I was counting out is the 710/770 plastiguns.

    Quote Originally Posted by ripnbst View Post
    I wouldn't opt for the .243 unless you are pretty much certain their pursuit of game ends at OK whitetail. Anything bigger and you'll want a bigger caliber, which is why I opted for the .270 instead of the .243. It's good for anything up to and including elk and black bear and has the ability to reach way out there. So of your two given options, .308 is my choice. It's still plenty soft shooting.
    I rather disagree with this. I bought a .270 first, and *bleepin* hated it. Out of a basic rifle, it's stout recoiling for a beginner (which I was - and my brother and father are). And other than for bear, it offers no advantage on OK game out to normal distances. My only reason for recommending .308 over .243 would be ammo availability and cost. I could of course recommend them get a .375 H&H on the off chance they'd go Elephant hunting in Africa... now that's a line of reasoning!

    .270 is still considered marginal for Elk by many, so I stick with the logic of buy a gun for it's purpose: if you want to hunt Elk, buy an Elk sized caliber.

    Quote Originally Posted by ripnbst View Post
    For an entry level scope, I went with the Nikon Prostaff 3-9x40 w/ BDC reticle. I don't know if you would consider that entry level or not but I got a scope that I thought would last me a really long time and I'd be happy with. I didn't want to go with the really low end stuff and need to replace. Buy once, cry once is held in high regard in my household.
    Had kinda forgot about the Nikons. I was thinking Bushy Elite 3200/4200 as a recommendation, so the Nikon should be right in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoBoost View Post
    Marlin XS7 gets my vote - basically it's a Savage on budget. Features for the price are unbeatable. Boyds makes stocks, winchester scope bases fit, savage barrels screw in, trigger is adjustable - what else do you need? You can find my 6.5x47 build I posted earlier.
    Good to know!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    I recently bought a Savage Axis in .243. So far very pleased with it. My 10yr old loves it because he shot his first deer, a doe, with it during the youth hunt.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    my son was shooting a remington 710 that i picked up cheap. well. last year he was seeinf deer at distances that i knew the 710 couldn't do. i got a mossberg atr after reading the reviews online from real people on forums like this. the views were pretty good. we put a better scope than the stock combo one that came on it and i bought some cheap federal ammo from wally world to get it on paper. with him shooting and using the cheap ammo,he was getting 3-4 inch groups at 200 yrds. i'm betting with better ammo and a more accomplished shooter,those groups can be cut in half. not bad for off the shelf budget gun.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    Get the Tikka T3 and you won't have to upgrade. The action on them is about the best there is, and will shoot sub 1in groups at 100 yards out of the box. I have a Sako Forester in a 243, I am going to sell it at Tulsa and buy the Tikka T3 in a 243 for the action alone.......Don't know about the 243 not bringing down just small Oklahoma deer. My son in 2008 he was 11 at the time, on his first hunt and his first deer shot this deer with a Howa 243. The deer weighed 260lbs. Piled him up in less then 50 yards using 80gr Power Points.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    My stepfather bought my son a Savage Axis 25-06 with the scope package. We took it to the range and it was very accurate and dead on right out of the box. I only had to make a small adjustment and I was very amazed with the accuracy out of the box. I think it is a good gun for the price. The scope on it is a Bushnell I think and I have had good luck with them. I have a 4x Bushnell on my ML and it has been good so far.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    Used Remington 700.

    .308 or 7mm

    Nikon glass.


    Done.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    Most any of the Savage Package guns will provide the most bang for the buck with superb accuracy (many consider Savage rifles to be the most accurate available out of the box). The package guns come with scope mounted and zeroed (usually a Simmons in my experience). Most popular calibers available. Well worth a look.
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  13. #13
    Patron AKguy1985's Avatar
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    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    i got a remington model seven in .260 from sportsworld. They did have weatherby vanguards there for sub $400

  14. #14

    Default Re: Entry level hunting rifles

    I would highly recommend a howa 1500 combo super clear nikko sterling scope houge stock and accurate. I bought a .22-250 for a spare p-dog rifle at outdoor america for right around 400 the come in calibers from .204 ruger through .338 win mag. They make the weatherby vanguard and the scopes are really nice. I'd look into them for a nice rifle and the best bang for your buck. Good luck.

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