Cheap Rifles.

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,913
1,610
I always keep my eye out for a 7-08 that would suit me. Doubt I will buy a cheap rifle, but sometimes I think about it. But for the sake of discussion. Suppose I picked up a so-called cheap rifle in 7mm-08. If you watch you can still pick up a Mossberg Patriot, a Ruger American, or a TC Venture for under $400.

I'm not putting Savage Axis in the mix because I can't stand the looks of the new ones. Perhaps if a fella ran across a Model 10 at that kind of money, then yeah.

But out of the top 3, what would you recommend and why? Pros and cons of any you're familiar with. Thanks.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,467
2,249
All three can deliver good accuracy. I wouldn't be distressed at picking up any one of the three. I've shot them all in various chamberings, and was pleased with what I witnessed.
 

cloverleaf

Handloader
Sep 10, 2006
3,980
372
Uh- not on your list. But I was a dumb @$$ and sold a Stevens 7mm-08. Might have been the most accurate factory rifle I ever owned. A used Ruger American was on your list They were close to affordable when new. CL

PS- Marlin XL - 7's were supposed to be accurate- probably goin' up in price like Rem. 788's.... once cheap rifles too.
Somebody on this board put one heck of a nice Boyds stock on a Axis. Made a pretty nice lookin rifle of it. I imagine cheap went out the window.... but some of those laminates are $100. Least they feel like a rifle...CL
 
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Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,772
1,787
Helped a fellow sight-in his 7-08 Ruger American. It shot rather well. Groups weren't extraordinary, but plenty good enough for hunting, hovering around an inch or inch and a half with factory ammo. He bought mix of different makes of ammo, and different bullet weights too. That had me worried. Hope he's settled on one brand & bullet weight. He hunted last year, but didn't get a shot with it.

I liked the Ruger American. Handled well. Stock wasn't particularly firm, I could twist it a bit with my hands. But it felt good in hand and shot reliably. I forget what he had for a scope on it. Some sort of 3-9x as I recall. A fellow could do a lot of hunting with a setup like that.

Regards, Guy
 

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
928
968
Of the 3 you mention , my daughter has a Ruger All American compact. It is not a bad rifle , just a cheaply made rifle. It puts deer down and that’s what counts. If it were me I would save up get something better than the 3 listed.
 

Blkram

Handloader
Nov 25, 2013
1,995
554
While I will probably never buy one for myself, of the 3 mentioned, the only one I have ever shot is the Ruger American.
My uncle had a nice LH Ruger 77 laminated stainless in 270, but wanted a lesser rifle he wouldn't feel bad about if it got beat up riding around in the side by side.
He picked up the Ruger American in 270 and had me sight it in for him ( do not recall the scope he had on it at this time). With Federal's blue box ammo with the 150 gr bullet, it would do better than MOA. And the trigger was pretty good. Had to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the accuracy of the rifle. The plus for my uncle was that it was available in left hand.
The prices on these new rifles new isn't all that cheap anymore...but the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar doesn't help in this regard.
 

hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,618
1,501
We are fortunate to live on a time when anyone, no matter their budget, can own very accurate rifles. Most won’t win any beauty contests, or fit/handle real well, but very capable of MOA or better. We have a couple Win XPR’s and both are sub MOA, just ugly as farting in church.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,913
1,610
I bought a B14 in 6.5 manbunn about 5 years ok. Shot SUB MOA with anything. Paid just under 500 bucks Grand son borrowed it about 4 years ago to kill his first mule deer. All he does is send me empty brass to reload. Always forgets to bring it home

:ROFLMAO: Well Pap, you're supposed to be the guy that has everything and can do everything. I think that's how it's supposed to work?? :unsure: My Pap never had much and there were enough of us grandkids we were like a colony of ants. Don't think he could've made enough money to keep us all supplied. Ha.

I doubt I'll get one of these modern cheap rifles.......but at the prices on them it sure is tempting sometimes. Looks like the Ruger American is well recommended among them. I'd like the tang safety on it as well, but I'm mostly just talking. If I was gonna spend money on a new rifle in a plastic stock, which in general I dislike, I'd probably spend a little more on something like a Sauer, Tikka, Howa, etc. Even then I probably would always be wishing it was wood instead.
 

oldillini

Beginner
Jul 14, 2021
2
2
Ruger American. Good rifle for the money, accurate, low bolt lift just to name good things about it. Poor stock, flimsy but works. Put a Mcarbo spring in the trigger for quick, cheap fix and your set. Had 2 still have 1 helped with others. I like them. Dan.
For the money, the Ruger American is a good option. I have 2, a 223 and 7-08. Don't plan on getting rid of either only. The 223 was my initial American. Bought it when I sent my R700 in for the trigger recall a few years ago and I didn't want to be without my groundhog gun. The out of the box accuracy was better than the 700, so kept the American and sold the 700 after it returned.
 

salmonchaser

Handloader
Dec 13, 2013
3,580
1,092
:ROFLMAO: Well Pap, you're supposed to be the guy that has everything and can do everything. I think that's how it's supposed to work?? :unsure: My Pap never had much and there were enough of us grandkids we were like a colony of ants. Don't think he could've made enough money to keep us all supplied. Ha.

I doubt I'll get one of these modern cheap rifles.......but at the prices on them it sure is tempting sometimes. Looks like the Ruger American is well recommended among them. I'd like the tang safety on it as well, but I'm mostly just talking. If I was gonna spend money on a new rifle in a plastic stock, which in general I dislike, I'd probably spend a little more on something like a Sauer, Tikka, Howa, etc. Even then I probably would always be wishing it was wood instead.
Nothing in life has compared to the status of G pa!
 

Slimfinn

Handloader
Nov 28, 2018
725
404
I would go with the ruger and if you could find it in the predator model, i think they made one.
I have had a ruger American predator in 260 that shot very well, I let it go after i picked up a sako in 260, but it was sub moa, and had the slightly heavier and threaded barrel. I do still have the 223 American ranch shoots moa with many varieties of inexpensive 223/556 ammo. It now has the timney trigger and boyds stock.
Big pro to the ruger is the aftermarket stocks, trigger and even barrels
I will say one con of the American is on some of the bolts the machining marks left makes it sound like a zipper. There are YouTubes on polishing to smooth it out, but i never have yet.
 
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KinleyWater

Handloader
Jun 15, 2019
542
525
I have very little experience with the three types listed, and most with the Ruger. I found that on the base model American, the bolt was very basically machined, likely as a way of speeding up machining and lowering costs. I doubt it would in any way reduce accuracy, but if you do get one, I suggest investing the time and elbow grease in honing it down for a smother operation.
 

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,913
1,610
Well miracles for undervalued rifles online today do exist apparently. Watched this rifle end without a starting bid. Done a little detective work and got the number for the vendor. Got money off this starting bid price, and now it's not going through GB, so you can take from that what you will on what that means for me.

Advertised as a compact youth which is maybe why it didn't garner any bids..........it's not. I got them to measure the LOP. It's standard. It's a Savage Model 10 Sierra if you look at the bolt. Which is their 20" barrel light weight version of the model 10.

Should make for a handy, accurate rifle in this chambering. If for some reason I don't like it, the Amish around here will eat a gun like that up. Has some kind of 4-16x50 scope on it. That will come off and be sold. Thinking with shipping and all I'll be into it for $300 when all is said and done.

 

Vince2

Beginner
Jan 21, 2022
227
247
While none of the listed options are very pleasing to the eye the accuracy per dollar spent is about the best deal out there.

We are blessed to live in a time when accurate rifles are more common than nought. Wasn’t always that way. We used to have to pay some crusty Ol’ hermit to take our guns back to his cave and work his sorcery on them to attain MOA size groups.

Vince
 
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