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Ruzai 01-27-2011 07:23 AM

Budget bolt gun suggestions?
My father decided he wanted a bolt action rifle this year and now is a good time to buy for us, and I was wondering if I could ask for a little help finding what he wants. I generally dont want spend more than $500 on the rifle itself if I have to. These are the features I'm looking for in a rifle for him.
Caliber needs to be .308 Win but can be in .30-06 if it really comes down to it.
He'd like less than a 90-degree bolt throw for a large scope, he's thinking more for the 4-16x40 or 50mm.
I'd like for the rifle to have a detachable box mag with capacity with 3 at the lowest, but this doesnt seem to bother him too much, I just want things to be easier for him really.

The options I've looked at are the Marlin XS7, but it has an internal mag, but he loves the price and accuracy of the gun to death because he had a chance to shoot one the other day.
The Thompson Center Venture I was exceptionally interested in but I've read that the magazine's tend to break frequently, nor have I found many aftermarket parts for the gun avaliable.
And, yes I have looked at the Remington rifles, but I'm not a huge fan of them due to the feel of all of the actions I've tested.
If I just cant find a detachable box mag rifle for under $500 I think I'll just have to reconsider the internal mag condition.
Any suggestions?

rjd3282 01-27-2011 10:55 AM

I'll probably get hammered by the gun snobs for telling you this but who cares.

Look at a TOZ 122. It's a russian made (not surplus) 308. I bought one on a whim and like it very much. no it isn't the most beautiful rifle but it functions and is accurate and actually has a good trigger. 5 round detachable magazine comes with two and scope rings and iron sights and you can use the iron sights with the scope rings attached. Also it has a chromed bore. All for 299 dollars.

I bought two at the time sold one. One had a free floated barrel the other was suppose to be but needed a little trimming to make it so. For the money you can't beat them for a new gun.

Poink88 01-27-2011 11:18 AM

Savage Edge/Axis

No mag worth checking...
Weatherby Vanguard
Howa 1500

cpttango30 01-27-2011 12:59 PM

It is going to be a little harder to find a DM in your price range.


Howa 1500/ Vanguard

The only less that 90Deg bolt I know of is Browning and your not getting one for under $700..

Sniper03 01-27-2011 01:20 PM

In that price range other than finding Dad a good used rifle. Howa or Mossberg might be worth looking at. Both are good rifles for that price and quality. I would not be afraid to hunt with either brand even though I am a Remington and Sako fan. Both companies make some good rifles. The box magazine might be another issue. Most have 4+1 internal magazines but some have drop plates.


jsj127 01-27-2011 01:31 PM

Go for the venture. I bought my youngest son one the first year they came out. For Christmas my oldest gave me one in 308. Ive not been able to find another one like he gave me. It's got the weathershield barrel and a mossy oak treestand camo stock. It is a great gun for the money. Nice trigger, very accurate, good recoil pad. As far as the mags breaking, we've not had any problem whatsoever Theyve worked flawlessly but I guess anything can break. My next suggestion would be the tikka but that's going to be more than $500 probably.

jsj127 01-27-2011 01:39 PM

Oh the action on the tikka will be smoother than the venture and I'd say the trigger is better on the tikka.

stalkingbear 01-27-2011 01:42 PM

I was going to recommend the Marlin XL-7/XS-7 until I read you want a detachable mag. For the features you want the TC Venture is going to be your best bet.

dteed4094 01-28-2011 12:34 AM

Savage Axis, Stevens 200 @ $300 gives you room for glass.

Ruzai 01-28-2011 03:57 AM

The Savage Axis looks like a really good deal, if it were upgradable to the Accu-trigger system as an aftermarket part I think that'd be my choice but that would require a custom job. That being said, I'd like to not have to put in a whole lot of work into the gun out of the box. If I were buying a gun for myself on the other hand, I'd be ok with it.

I'm still on the fence about the T/C Venture. I can smooth up the race-ways and bolt in a day, so that wont be exactly a custom job. The T/C does have the 60 degree bolt throw and an adjustable trigger which are a couple of the reasons I'm thinking its a step up from the Marlin XS7 on features but not so much on track record. But no amount of features amounts to a hill of beans if the mags break or are not able to shoot lead or something like that due to the 5R rifling of the T/C, I have no idea what the perks or disadvantages of it might be.
What really bothers me is the fact that T/C doesnt have magazines listed on their website for the Venture at all, what's up with that? We just have to stick with what comes in the box, we cant buy extras or something? lol

rjd3282 I'm glad you were brave enough to put that out there, I like working on odd guns like that one, if I ever come across one in a gun show at a good price I'll be sure to snatch it up for myself so I can make myself a nice bolt action with a little bit of elbow grease. Personaly, I like the ability to have iron sights just because they dont take away from anything but can still be useful, but its never a breaking point for me.

Appreciate the feed-back guys, I'll be heading to do some hands on searching tomorrow evening, so i'll let you know how that goes and if anything good crops up.

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