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Thread: Rifles under $600

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    Question Rifles under $600

    Hey everybody. I've been doing a lot of research lately and have decided to pick of a 30.06. My only problem is that I've been shooting my Savage WM 308 for the last 15 years and have no idea what brand is leading in the 30.06 department and quite frankly my budget is screaming don't spend more that $600. Please point me in the right direction.

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    I suggest a Weatherby Vanguard.

    Smitty of the North
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    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    I have also been shopping for the exact same gun. Here is my list that I came up with from internet research, talking to people, and handling a few:

    1. Weatherby Vanguard Series 2 - Just seemed to handle really well and got great reviews. I liked the trigger too. Comes with a Sub-MOA guarantee. I am buying this one when Uncle Sam gives me back my money.

    2. Remington 700 - One of the most popular and most produced guns ever made. You just can't go wrong with this gun.

    3. T/C Venture - I liked the specs, but I never got to hold one. Seemed to get good reviews. Also comes with a Sub-MOA guarantee.

    4. Savage/Stevens 200 - I liked the way it handled. The plastic stock felt cheap, but the rest of the gun felt solid.

    5. Marlin XL7 - The only gun I didn't like. It felt like the action was made from cheap tin, and the bolt was wobbly and sticky. Overall it just felt cheap.

    Hope this helps. I know I left a few out (Howa, Tikka, Remington, Ruger, etc), but those were the ones I did the most research on and the Vanguard seemed to be the best gun for the money. Good luck with your search.

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    Ya know, you might think about the New England Firearms Handi-Rifle. Don't laugh. Single shot break action, just like a regular shotgun. Excellent barrel for the money. I think I would be good to 125 yards or so on caribou sized game using mine with the factory sights. For 200 yards I would look at an add-on rear aperature/ front post sight by I think Williams - available on line from MidwayUSA. Nice and light for hiking around with too. Maybe a black elastic thingamabob to hang some more ammo off the butt stock.

    30-06 flavor is in the second group of rifles from the top behind this link:

    http://www.hr1871.com/Firearms/Rifles/youth.asp

    Even with the sight upgrade and shipping to Alaska it oughta come in under $400.

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    I would look for an old FN Mauser/Husky/or 60s era Model 700 with a good barrel and a K4 weaver scope with weaver/buehler rings/bases. You probably would be able to find a good shooter with a good barrel and all options for less than 500 bucks. Use the other 100 to replace the trigger or have a gun smith tune it. Sometimes you will find an old rifle that is completely set up as it is.
    An older rifle may weight a bit more but it also has a karma factor that will lead it to function during the nastiest possible situation.

    Many will argue that technology has improved to the extent that older rifles may not be as accurate as new rifles. My view is that for 600 you can get a complete set up that probably has been dialed in with cheap remington corelokt. Once you start reloading or even using modern factory ammo the old guns compare favorably with the new ones. Heavy, yes, but there is quality that is in a different universe compared to Remington 770s or other rifles. Tikkas are good too but they just seem plastic-y to me.

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    Ther is a Rem700 in 30-06 in the swap and sell section right now too I notice, under $600:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...maybe-a-pistol

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    "The .30-'06 is never a mistake." ~Townsend Whelen

    However, some brands are The new economy Mossbergs are particularly chintzy. I'd find a good 1917 Enfield and go from there.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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    Nobody mentioned the Ruger 77 Hawkeye which would be high on my list. I think the TC venture looks decent but the rubber inserts are cheesy. I agree on the Vanguard although I'm not fond of the weak forearm that flexes readily and must therefore affect accuracy, but that could be remedied easily if you found it to be a problem.

    The Rem m700 definitely has the most possibilities and for that reason gets my recommendation.
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdubbin View Post
    "The .30-'06 is never a mistake." ~Townsend Whelen

    However, some brands are The new economy Mossbergs are particularly chintzy. I'd find a good 1917 Enfield and go from there.
    Interesting because Howa makes the Mossberg and the Vanguard.

    I like the Tikka and seems that a lot of other forum members do too. The Vanguard and Howa are nice as well. The Ruger is solid but homely! Not dissing it though as I have a 416 Alaskan which is the ugliest of them all and I love it! I wouldn't count out another Savage as their accuracy is very good but I would not buy a blued Savage as I have seen them be more suseptable to rusting over other brands. The 116 series does very well and shoots fantastic. I'm currenly waiting for a Tikka Super Lite in 270wsm to show up at Sporties. I believe several others are too so looks like I gotta bribe all the countermen back there to get the jump on em.

    Good luck!
    John
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    Chinese proverb

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    Me and Smitty are down on this one. My best shooting rifle, bar none, is my Vanguard in a 300 Weatherby. I have killed most everything in AK and elsewhere with it. Actally, it (well me) has only missed one animal it has ever been fired at. 7 foot + black bear, 100 yards, shot 4 feet over it. Bear fever!
    Mike
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    That wasn't your fault! That bear was going to go all karate kid on you until it got a leg cramp right before it stood up. You were just anticipating the shot that's all........... Yeah that's it. That's why that bear ran off favoring it's left hind leg........ Yeah. That's what totally happened. Freakin ninja bears!
    Life is too important to be taken seriously.

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    Thanks everyone, I'm going to the range next weekend with a friend and I'm going to try out a few rifles that he has to see if what fits. I'll let you guys know what I decide.

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    Member bigswede358's Avatar
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    You can get a Remington 700 at Walmart for around $400, and then still have $200 to spend on a Leupold scope to put on top of it. Or better yet hit up pawn shops, gun shows, and the swap and sell. You should be able to find a good one well below your budget or even find a higher end rifle in your budget. Good luck and let us know what you end up with.
    LIVE TO HUNT....HUNT TO LIVE!!!!

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    "used rifles" .... I've sold a few in my life ..... sometimes it was because I needed the $$ and sometimes it was because the rifle didn't live up to my expectations .... YOU decide, which is which "under $600" .... Tikka T3 (no brainer)

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    Personally I'd look for a used Ruger M77 mkII all weather. If you can find a used one it should be in the $400-450 range and I don't think you can buy a new rifle that is anywhere near as durable for the same price. I know some people like to make negative comments regarding the Rugers accuracy, but I've yet to shoot an M77 mk II that wouldn't group 3 shots into 1 moa at 100 yds if shooting it's preferred loads, and many that will do even better than that.

    That said, with a .308 I see absolutely no reason to get a 30-06. A .308 is a 30-06 with a 50 yd handicap. Other then that, same bullets hence same terminal performance. If you can't kill AK big game out to 300 yds with a .308, a 30-06 is not the answer.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    Arcticmayhem gave the Marlin Xl7S a bad review IMO. I bought my daughter in law one in a 3006 for Christmas and put a Vortex Crossfire scope on it just a few weeks ago, and for under 600 including a few boxes of shells, she has one hell of a nice rifle that is Stainless with a Synthetic stock. I personally am an M77 or Model 70 man, but the gun was under 400 bucks, IMO thats a smoking deal. I plan on getting one more in a 308 for my son later on. I think Marlin hit a home run for an affordable rifle with great features, IE the Profire Adjustable Trigger. Give it a look see before ruling it out.

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    I think the best priced rifle going, is the 338 ruger compact mag. Ordered from wally world, it's dang near $600. Open sights, powerful, light, compact, and reliable IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    I think the best priced rifle going, is the 338 ruger compact mag. Ordered from wally world, it's dang near $600. Open sights, powerful, light, compact, and reliable IMO.
    Mainer, thats a nice rifle. My son wants one as he hates scopes. Cheapest I've found so far was Wally world at 709.00 He plans to buy one before hunting season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I suggest a Weatherby Vanguard.

    Smitty of the North
    I concur. The only downside to the Vanguard I could identify is that it is a bit heavy. I didn't get one myself (opted for a Browning X-Bolt) but the vanguard was very tempting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    That said, with a .308 I see absolutely no reason to get a 30-06. A .308 is a 30-06 with a 50 yd handicap. Other then that, same bullets hence same terminal performance. If you can't kill AK big game out to 300 yds with a .308, a 30-06 is not the answer.
    I would love to use my 308 but its currently stored and unavailable to me. Even if it was available to me given that its sat unshot for roughly 6 years, the last time my grandfather and I went out hunting before he died, I feel like it would need some TLC before I could shoot it. Add to that Its a 1962 model so I'm a little worried what might happen with it if I was to use some of the factory loads available for it now a days. My grandfather handloaded all his rounds, which I have neither the time nor desire to do. Some might call it a cop out, I call it a reason to buy a new gun.

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