Home

Best "Cheap" Rifle

Posted By: Donnersurvivor

Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:38 PM

Looking to buy a rifle for a special lady, everything I have is to heavy or to hard hitting. I want to take her hunting this fall and am probably going to try and find a .243. I am thinking I just want something inexpensive, bottom shelf inexpensive. I have no idea what is even out there in the lower price range or how it holds up and shoots, want something simple and bolt action, lightweight is also important.

Any recommendations on the best bang for the Buck?
Posted By: rags57078

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:39 PM

Savage axis 243
Posted By: James

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:41 PM

If she's really special, she deserves a decent rifle.

Jim
Posted By: Sprung & Rusty

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:43 PM

Ruger American. Go 7mm-08. Not much difference in recoil and still a better round.
Posted By: Mike in A-town

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:43 PM

Originally Posted by James
If she's really special, she deserves a decent rifle.

Jim


Fair enough. But make it clear... If she decides to go, the rifle stays.

Mike
Posted By: Donnersurvivor

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:47 PM

Originally Posted by James
If she's really special, she deserves a decent rifle.

Jim


She has shown a strong interest in hunting but has never gone. If she enjoys it and it appears to be something she will continue to do I will get her something very decent and this gun will be regulated to the "Can I borrow a rifle" spot in the gun case.
Posted By: ZionHeritageFarm

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:48 PM

X2. I got my wife an American Compact in 7mm-08 and she loves it. Short, light, inexpensive, quite accurate, not bad recoil, and very efficient round.
Posted By: Donnersurvivor

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:49 PM

Originally Posted by rags57078
Savage axis 243


The Axis it appears can come with a 3x9 Weaver scope, anyone tried one of these with the Weaver?
Posted By: cmcf

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:51 PM

Either one recommended by raggs or. S&Rusty would be a good choice.
Posted By: Donnersurvivor

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:52 PM

Seeing the 7mm-08 has about 20% more recoil than .243, maybe just go with whatever I can find ammo for.
Posted By: Deerkiller

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:53 PM

My wife shoots a Browning 3006 with a break. It does not kick at all.
Posted By: Donnersurvivor

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/01/21 11:57 PM

Originally Posted by Deerkiller
My wife shoots a Browning 3006 with a break. It does not kick at all.


I'm going to be right beside her while hunting, don't want a break and really don't want the expense of one on this rifle. Just want a inexpensive rifle to shoot deer within 200 yards with.
Posted By: backroadsarcher

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 12:10 AM

My opinion would be if your thinking of a 243 why not a .308. Pretty much the same casing. Get a rifle that fits her.
Posted By: ILcooner

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 12:22 AM

Ruger american .243

CVA scout 350 legend.

both shoot MOA and I HIGHLY reccomend both!
Posted By: SpottedOwl

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 12:24 AM

Take her shopping and have her try them on. Nothing worse than a rifle that doesn’t fit in some way. They’re pretty universal but you never know. Get it set up at the same time, scope, scope height and eye relief before a bore sighting.

If you want cheap, look at used racks and hock shops. Might find a jewel in the rough.



Owl
Posted By: BigBob

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 12:30 AM

To hunt what? Likely a .243 with a heavy enough bullet for Minn. Deer, will kick the crap out of her far more than a .308 with a lighter load. Don't know Minn conditions, but howzabout a .257 Roberts, or the classic .30-30?
Posted By: Prn

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 12:34 AM

Get a youth or compact rifle. That will fit her much better, unless she is one of them corn fed, 6' 2" and 275lb gals. When you buy a gun that is chambered in a youth cartridge it may as well have the youth stock to go along with it. My wife shoots the youth savage axis in 243. No complaints at all.
Posted By: That Fool

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 12:37 AM

Go with a ruger m77 in 7x57 if you don't mind showing her your love, if not, get a ruger american in 270, 7mm-08, or 243. Will like eight of them rifles
Posted By: trapperkeck

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 12:49 AM

Is she smaller framed? If so, I would loan you a very nice youth model Remington 700 .243 that is all set up for the season. If she hates it, you ain't out anything.
Posted By: EdP

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:00 AM

How about a Howa in 6.5 Grendel. Good quality rifle in a cartridge with mild recoil but enough power for deer, antelope, and smaller size game. Short action, light, and a perfect fit for a woman.
Posted By: danny clifton

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:07 AM

remind me to never ask which gun on here
Posted By: Canvasback2

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:14 AM

https://www.winchesterguns.com/prod.../model-70-super-grade-french-walnut.html
Posted By: Canvasback2

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:17 AM

https://www.browning.com/products/firearms/rifles/bar/current/bar-mark-ii-safari.html
Posted By: Canvasback2

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:20 AM

How about a 30-30 ? Easy on the recoil and lever actions are simple to shoot.

https://www.winchesterguns.com/products/rifles/model-94/current/model-94-sporter.html
Posted By: Providence Farm

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:21 AM

Originally Posted by Donnersurvivor
Seeing the 7mm-08 has about 20% more recoil than .243, maybe just go with whatever I can find ammo for.



My boys go back and forth between our 243 and 7mm08. They don't notice a difference other than the 243 had a nicely worked trigger and the 7/08 is crap factory.

They have each killed deer with both. My youngest shot his first few at 7 with the 7/08. Dropped at 97 yards.

Both rounds drop deer. 40gr more bullet at 50fps slower with the 08 vs 243.

The 7/08 leaves bigger holes and is my preference but I will hunt with either with no reservations for deer.
Posted By: Wanna Be

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:25 AM

Heck, you better take whatever you can find, lol. I’m looking for a Ruger American compact for CJ now. I’m getting my soon to be 7yr old a 7mm-08. He shoots the “loaned” Remington 700 Youth .243 like a champ, but it’s in a DeathGrip and out of a ground blind when actual hunting. He shoots off sandbags and the DeathGrip when practicing. Get a good pair of ear muffs, what they can’t hear doesn’t scare them as bad. Got videos of CJ shooting the AR and Remington with no issues. He never notices the kick at all.
Posted By: coalminer

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 02:13 AM

I think you would be better suited with the 7mm-08.
Posted By: GREENCOUNTYPETE

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 02:15 AM

I agree with don't shoot for the bottom of the cost.

a bunch of corners get cut to be the lowest price , a hundred more adds features

when you buy quality and the features you want and like then you only need to buy once in the grand price of things a nice enjoyable rifle is a night in a hotel difference from a lowest dollar rifle.

I like the predator models with the threaded barrel , so you can add a brake is you want , I like the brake on my 308s they become very soft shooting with the muzzle brake not that they were hard , but watch the bullet impact the target through the scope soft with the brake

Ruger , Mossberg , Savage , Howa , Weatherby a used but well maintained rifle or even a Tikka

308 , 7mm-08 , 243 I choose 308 because it can do everything inside 200 yards and it is about the most common ammo around even though I reload

7mm-08 is a good round also
Posted By: Wallace

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 02:22 AM

Ruger has their American Ranch rifle chambered in 6.5 Grendel. It is a 300 yard deer rifle. I did all my hunting with one last year and my 8 year old daughter can shoot it.
Posted By: grisseldog

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 02:22 AM

What ever you do
Don’t skimp on the scope, scope is what makes an accurate rifle
Wouldn’t want her to miss a nice buck because of the scope.
Good luck
Posted By: GREENCOUNTYPETE

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 02:28 AM

Originally Posted by grisseldog
What ever you do
Don’t skimp on the scope, scope is what makes an accurate rifle
Wouldn’t want her to miss a nice buck because of the scope.
Good luck

yes , many of the scoped combos come with just awful scopes , just garbage.

you don't need to pend huge money , a vortex cross-fire will do

I like the 2-7x32 they get you the range you need for game just fine and 2X is really fast on target

my son argued about more magnification till he shot a buck at 100 yards on 2X then I was a much smarter guy once he could see how well it worked
Posted By: Flint Lock

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 02:44 AM

Buddy of mine got a real nice affordable Savage .243 several years ago. I don't know if it was the Axis someone else mentioned. If I was in the market for a cheap rifle, I would also look at Ruger. And depending on your definition of cheap, Tikka makes very high quality rifles. Howa are good too if you can find one.
Posted By: Providence Farm

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 02:52 AM

Originally Posted by GREENCOUNTYPETE
Originally Posted by grisseldog
What ever you do
Don’t skimp on the scope, scope is what makes an accurate rifle
Wouldn’t want her to miss a nice buck because of the scope.
Good luck

yes , many of the scoped combos come with just awful scopes , just garbage.

you don't need to pend huge money , a vortex cross-fire will do

I like the 2-7x32 they get you the range you need for game just fine and 2X is really fast on target

my son argued about more magnification till he shot a buck at 100 yards on 2X then I was a much smarter guy once he could see how well it worked



Was probably a savage 110. Cheap but shoot.
Posted By: Donnersurvivor

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 03:01 AM

Originally Posted by trapperkeck
Is she smaller framed? If so, I would loan you a very nice youth model Remington 700 .243 that is all set up for the season. If she hates it, you ain't out anything.



That is very generous, Thank you! I will just buy her one though, we will probably go out to Montana to shoot does.

Lots of good suggestions on here, thank you guys. She is slight but tall 5' 10", a youth rifle may fit her.

As far as going cheap... I am not afraid to spend well into 4 figures on my rifles, I very much appreciate good guns and really like Weatherbys personally. I just want to make sure she is going to actually use the gun and hunt before I get her into something high end.
Posted By: Diggerman

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 03:03 AM

.243, good choice, get it in an auto-loader like a Rem 742. No recoil. used about 350 american.
Posted By: 20scout

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 03:15 AM

Originally Posted by rags57078
Savage axis 243

A friend of mine got one for is soon to be bride. She is small framed (shall we say "fun sized") and she is deadly with it. A .243 should have no problems with taking just about anything here in MN.
Posted By: charles

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 03:16 AM

Get her what you want. She may not always want to tag along.
Posted By: Donnersurvivor

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 03:17 AM

Originally Posted by charles
Get her what you want. She may not always want to tag along.

One Weatherby Mark V Backcountry coming right up!
Posted By: Turtledale

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 08:58 AM

Originally Posted by Donnersurvivor
Originally Posted by rags57078
Savage axis 243


The Axis it appears can come with a 3x9 Weaver scope, anyone tried one of these with the Weaver?


Not that particular gun with the Weaver. I do have 6 Weaver 3×9's on heavier shooting rifles and have had no problem with them
Posted By: Badger23

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 09:06 AM

Thompson center venture would also be in the range your looking at.
Posted By: Whopper Stopper

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 09:27 AM

A friend of mine had a rifle built for his wife.

Unfortunately, she hates cool/cold weather so she never went hunting.


WS
Posted By: charles

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 11:34 AM

If you are lucky, you might find a 700ADL at WalMart.
Posted By: martyd

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 11:51 AM

Savage axis with accutrigger with vortex crossfire scope. Mine shoots 1 inch groups with cheap 100 gr soft points any brand. Death from 275 yards in. Marty
Posted By: bearcat2

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 12:24 PM

I bought my wife a Savage Axis in 260 Remington when we were dating. I like the rifle so much I've thought of buying myself one. For a cheap rifle they really shoot. I prefer the 260 or 6.5 Creedmoor over the 243 for a light, low recoil round. But we have elk here, if she isn't ever going to use it on elk 243 will be fine.

Just if you get the scope combo, take the scope off and check the screws on the bases, they are commonly known to be loose. And for the love of all things holy, don't listen to the people recommending a Vortex Crossfire! Worst optics I have ever looked through! Spend a very few bucks more for a Diamondback if you are going Vortex and you get a huge jump in noticeable quality
Posted By: GREENCOUNTYPETE

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 12:54 PM

every base screw or mount screw gets blue locktite , never trust the factory put any thread locker on or that they torqued them properly.

you will most likely need to take it off and move it to fit her any way
Posted By: GREENCOUNTYPETE

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:01 PM

Originally Posted by bearcat2
I bought my wife a Savage Axis in 260 Remington when we were dating. I like the rifle so much I've thought of buying myself one. For a cheap rifle they really shoot. I prefer the 260 or 6.5 Creedmoor over the 243 for a light, low recoil round. But we have elk here, if she isn't ever going to use it on elk 243 will be fine.

Just if you get the scope combo, take the scope off and check the screws on the bases, they are commonly known to be loose. And for the love of all things holy, don't listen to the people recommending a Vortex Crossfire! Worst optics I have ever looked through! Spend a very few bucks more for a Diamondback if you are going Vortex and you get a huge jump in noticeable quality


if it is the worst thing you have ever looked through you must only hang out in very high end shops , there is a mountain of garbage scopes out there especially on combo guns.

I like the diamnond back I have one and I have several crossfires and they work well the crossfire may be lower end of good but it is light years ahead of the garbage Remingtion was putting on their 783 and 770 combos , those were absolute junk they didn't even bother to put a brand name on them.

at deer sight in a couple years ago had a kid scope himself with a 243 blood running down his face, he had to get up to within an inch and a half to even see through the scope and that is when it bit him
Posted By: Donnersurvivor

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:14 PM

Originally Posted by GREENCOUNTYPETE
every base screw or mount screw gets blue locktite , never trust the factory put any thread locker on or that they torqued them properly.

you will most likely need to take it off and move it to fit her any way



I will mount the optics myself. I will go check out the suggestions in the thread but it seems like $350 for a Savage Axis with a Weaver scope is the likely winner.
Posted By: BuckMink

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:21 PM

Ruger 22-250, light but cousin has shot deer with hers.
Posted By: GREENCOUNTYPETE

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 01:24 PM

Originally Posted by Donnersurvivor
Originally Posted by GREENCOUNTYPETE
every base screw or mount screw gets blue locktite , never trust the factory put any thread locker on or that they torqued them properly.

you will most likely need to take it off and move it to fit her any way



I will mount the optics myself. I will go check out the suggestions in the thread but it seems like $350 for a Savage Axis with a Weaver scope is the likely winner.


when at the gun counter take a look at the farthest thing you can in the store or through a window. I have asked to take scopes with a clerk to the front doors of the store and with the 2-3 that were my final ones look at license plates in the parking lot 150-200 yards away or down the street reading things is a good test of clarity and focus. compare the Weaver to some others when they have a deal with a 330 dollar gun for 350 with the optic it isn't because they are discounting the gun , they found that cheap of an optic to put on it and often the worst rings around.

some people hate on aluminum rings , I think it is because of the absolute junk often found on combo guns , I run weaver quad-locks at about 16-20 dollars a set they work well for the cost
Posted By: super cub

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 02:22 PM

A few years ago I bought my wife a Savage light weight Hunter model in a 243. She has killed Deer, Antelope and 2 elk with it. I don't even load for it, it shoots 100 gr factory ammo under a 1 inch group.
I know every one thinks you have to have a BIG gun for elk but if you shoot them right....

The light weight hunter has a smaller stock and a shorter barrel, It has been a great gun for her, She was shooting a M77 Ruger in 308 and was about to quit hunting because of the recoil, when target practicing she got to flinching bad with the 308

Stick with the 243 or 7mm08

Oh and she is 5'10" also

Good luck
Posted By: Trapper7

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 03:39 PM

Originally Posted by rags57078
Savage axis 243

Exactly! I bought one for my granddaughter. She has killed two nice bucks with it, an 8 pointer and an 11 pointer.
Posted By: Steven 49er

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 06:53 PM

Guns aren't like wimmin. You buy them to last forever. Why buy a "cheap" one. Get a good one for yourself and borrow it to her.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 06:55 PM

Savage axis.
Posted By: Hodagtrapper

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 08:40 PM

Savage Axis in .243. My sons' both enjoyed shooting that model and caliber too. 100 gr. bullets will do just fine on whitetails. If you can't find a .243, a 7mm-08 would also work just fine IMO!

Chris
Posted By: jbyrd63

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 09:02 PM

Originally Posted by rags57078
Savage axis 243


X2 for money can't beat accuracy and dependability.

Haven't read the rest of the comments but I already know some will forget the word cheap and suggest 1,000 dollar combos lol
Posted By: jbyrd63

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 09:04 PM

Originally Posted by Sprung & Rusty
Ruger American. Go 7mm-08. Not much difference in recoil and still a better round.


ammo
Originally Posted by EdP
How about a Howa in 6.5 Grendel. Good quality rifle in a cartridge with mild recoil but enough power for deer, antelope, and smaller size game. Short action, light, and a perfect fit for a woman.



Heres one plus where he gonna get ammo
Posted By: jbyrd63

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 09:10 PM

My sons first rifle was a savage 243. After sighting it in with cheap ammo LOL I lined it up with rem corelock 100 grain. At 100 yards I shot 3 shot group . Looked thru binos and thought crap it's slinging bullets as there was only one hole .Nope it had all three shots in the same hole that looked like a 30 cal hole rather than the 243. YES put a vortex crossfire on it . Last her as long as she wants to hunt. PLUS kills them as dead as 1000 dollar tikkas and 300 win mags .. LOL
Posted By: Wanna Be

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 11:21 PM

I sighted in two of whatever the cheap Savage combos were around Christmas time and will say this, get something besides a cheap Savage. Guns were junk and the scopes they came with are even worse. They definitely put “cheap” into that model. Will they work, yeah but mags were falling out on the shots and their bolts are like trying to push a nail into and oak by hand. And good gosh that .270 kicked. I’ll shoot a .300 Ultra Mag one handed without a rest before I’d want to sight one of those guns in again.
Posted By: rszwieg

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/02/21 11:54 PM

Can't recommend Mossberg.
Posted By: GREENCOUNTYPETE

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/03/21 06:32 AM

Originally Posted by rszwieg
Can't recommend Mossberg.


I would , have a few of them the MVP, Patriot Predator and my son uses a patriot with the walnut stock all 308 the threaded muzzle and a brake make them very light recoiling.

they have a good bolt design that is easy to clean with no tools , the mag and mag housing feel cheap but work and actually have a metal latch

I had bedding issues wit the MVP and epoxy bedded it , even with the bedding issues it was about 2 1/2 inches at 100 yards but it was making 2 one small groups 1 1/2 inches apart as it moved in the stock.
Posted By: ILcooner

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/03/21 11:18 AM

most of the kit scope are trash

I just spend < $300 on a new deer rifle and then $300 on a quality Leupold scope. Its going to be a kids rifle and they will be able to see clearly
Posted By: bearcat2

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/03/21 11:30 AM

Originally Posted by GREENCOUNTYPETE
Originally Posted by bearcat2
I bought my wife a Savage Axis in 260 Remington when we were dating. I like the rifle so much I've thought of buying myself one. For a cheap rifle they really shoot. I prefer the 260 or 6.5 Creedmoor over the 243 for a light, low recoil round. But we have elk here, if she isn't ever going to use it on elk 243 will be fine.

Just if you get the scope combo, take the scope off and check the screws on the bases, they are commonly known to be loose. And for the love of all things holy, don't listen to the people recommending a Vortex Crossfire! Worst optics I have ever looked through! Spend a very few bucks more for a Diamondback if you are going Vortex and you get a huge jump in noticeable quality


if it is the worst thing you have ever looked through you must only hang out in very high end shops , there is a mountain of garbage scopes out there especially on combo guns.

I like the diamnond back I have one and I have several crossfires and they work well the crossfire may be lower end of good but it is light years ahead of the garbage Remingtion was putting on their 783 and 770 combos , those were absolute junk they didn't even bother to put a brand name on them.

at deer sight in a couple years ago had a kid scope himself with a 243 blood running down his face, he had to get up to within an inch and a half to even see through the scope and that is when it bit him

Generally Tasco sets the bar for poor quality scopes out here, but all the Crossfires I have looked through are way worse than any Tasco I have ever used. Yeah I like high end scopes, and have some. But I also have a bunch of various brands of under $100 scopes on rifles.

Crossfires are virtually unknown out here even though Vortex is extremely popular. Never seen one in a store and until I started guiding I had never seen other than the one I had ordered to try out. Discovered when guiding elk hunters that probably 1 out of two hunters from Wisconsin/Iowa showed up with Crossfires on their rifles. Apparently they are really pushed there? Maybe it is my eyes, but I have looked through a couple dozen of them and stand by what I said.
Posted By: GREENCOUNTYPETE

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/03/21 12:18 PM

Vortex is based out of Barneveld Wisconsin about even distance between Madison and Dubuque off Hyw 151

Maybe I lucked out but the 5 cross fires I have I seem to get good ones , I agree they are budget I would put them even with Nikon Prostaff which was my go to scope before Vortex.

I also have a diamond back , a venom red dot , and a spit fire Prism

it may be that we seldom shoot past 200 yards in most of WI hunting

I also prefer the 2-7x32 so at the low magnification maybe I am not seeing what you see.

I have had the 2-7s to 420 yards the 3-9 to 500 yards the 3-9x50 wasn't quite as clear as I would have liked at 500 but nothing noticed at 1-200 really

the 4-12 diamond back is clearer at the longer distances
Posted By: Leftlane

Re: Best "Cheap" Rifle - 06/03/21 12:26 PM

I have a Marlin X Bolt with a Vortex 3x9. Great function for not a lot of money.
© 2021 Trapperman Forums