Having sold my Mini-14, I started looking for an "economical" .223 bolt gun. I looked at the Savage Axis, the Ruger American, and the basic model Rem 700 ADL, which has a good trigger, but a higher price tag and, again, a POS scope mounted. Honestly, I didn't care for the feel of these. So, I went online to a website I've used a lot in the past and found a Stevens 200, gray synthetic stock, standard barrel, including scope bases. I bid on and won it. Even with shipping it was very close to one of the deals I had rejected. I received the gun from my FFL holder yesterday. It is like new. I realized that it is the old 110 Savage, with a blind magazine.
I had heard that the triggers on these models were pretty bad, but on this gun, except for being a hard (read heavy) let-off, there is very little movement, virtually no overtravel, so after looking at the trigger, I will probably work with the spring to lessen the tension.
Because I want to keep things economical, I opted for a Bushnell Trophy XLT 3-9 X 40 scope. I have used Trophy model scopes in the past with satisfaction, so I don't expect anything different with this one. Excellent optics for the money. The stock is a pretty typical basic synthetic, but there is a lot of cross-rib reinforcement. I will use some judicious glasbedding to keep things more stable.
As time goes on, I'll report back on what kind of loads and groupings I come up with, if anyone is interested.