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Remington Model 783

Field & Stream have reviewed the new-for-2013 Remington Model 783 just days ahead of 2014 . Surprise! They love it! OK, it’s “rough as a cob.” But writer David E. Petzal reckons all cheap as chips (my words) modern rifles are da bomb. “The people who make them have figured out how to construct a gun that costs $300 but will shoot as well as a rifle that costs $3,000. Such a rifle will not be pretty, nor will it be finely made. The truth of the matter is that this sort of rifle may not be made well at all. But it will function, and it will be very accurate. The secret to such astounding (and inexpensive) accuracy? Stiffness. If you design a rifle that can’t twist, warp, squirm, or flex when you pull the trigger, that gun is going to shoot like nobody’s business. These days, every manufacturer knows how to do that.” True story? (Extra points if you can get your licks in before Nick.)

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    • +1

      I am not really interested in hitting an area the size of a ping pong ball over and over again.
      It’s not my thing,
      If I can place shots within an area the size of a grapefruit, I’ll still bring home a deer, or a hog.

      • Exactly. The 300 dollar rifle that shoots well is a meat rifle. Rough country and rough handling rapidly degrades the value of the 3000 buck rifle.

        There’s a place for both rifles. But for my meat rifle I’m going with a Ruger American. My heart won’t be broke if I take a tumble in rough terrain and mess it up.

        • I agree 100%.

          A finely crafted beautifully made firearm is a piece of art. Functional art that with care can be handed down from generation to generation. Art that becomes part of the family.

          But sometimes an inexpensive firearm is more appropriate to the task at hand. I don’t want to damage a work of art. It doesn’t mean I don’t use that work of art, or appreciate it, but there are tasks where the risk to damage is too high to take a finely made firearm.

  1. Yup, they can.
    My 500 dollar savage shoots a ragged hole with 5 shots at 100, nice touching holes at 200. And 2 inch groups at 500.
    Course it’s with hand loads. But it’s got a cheapo tasco 6-18 scope on it.
    I’m not going to touch the gun. It shoots better than me.

    • Your cheapo factory action, barrel, and stock Savage shoots 0.4 MOA 5-shot groups at 500 yards, huh? Lemme guess, it does it *all day long,* right?
      Lol, no.

      • My stock Savage 10 FCP-K in 223 will do 0.6 moa with 77gr federal gold medal match, 5 shot groups, all day long. Done it. Verified it with a flatbed scanner and ontargetshooting. Which is a pretty neat tool, btw.

        Look forward to what my savage will do with handloads. Paid $780 for it. My leupold cost more than that.

  2. Now if we could just get them to spend a few extra dollars to thread all of these cheap hunting rifles so that we can use muzzle brakes and suppressors out of the box…

  3. I’m sure a gun can be made to shoot accurately for a very low price point, but sometimes there is more to it than that. For example, I appreciate firearms for a number of reasons, such as craftmanship, aesthetics, or sometimes sheer brilliance.

    Take something like the CZ-455 American, with a wood stock. I know it’s not a product of a master gunsmith, but good solid engineering and hopefully crafted by people with a genuine interest and pride in a quality product. It just looks right (to me) and when I get one someday it’ll hopefully shoot as good as it looks, even if it’s $500-ish.

    Or the AR-15. A friend and I assembled my stripped lower with a PSA/Magpul lower build kit. It’s beautiful as only a black rifle can be, and it was a fascinating lesson in clever engineering, for example, using various springs to keep pins in place, and so on. It shows the designer’s brillance, and that is something to be appreciated in and of itself.


    • I have a CZ-452 .22lr that I paid $350.00 for, very lightly used. Not only does it group as well as Cooper or Anschutz sporters, it is beautifully finished as well. I just really don’t care for plastic and black “mystery-kote” on sporting guns. I’ve reached an age where my body won’t take conditions that might degrade the condition of a fine gun, so industrial grade materials and finishes are not a compromise I have to make.

    • I purchased a “very slightly used” CZ in Oregon, beautiful gun and is extremely well made and “used” the price was very good. The rest of the story… the chap selling I talked with claimed he only fired it once! The thing is chambered for .416 Rigby planned to use for Moose until he shot the gun. He had a box of 5 rounds and only one was missing which he gave me with the gun. I installed a 2.5 Pentax scope on claw mounts and the gun is very accurate. I have grouped 5 rounds under 3″ at 200 yards “all day long”. Of course all day usually means 5 shots as nobody wants to continue much longer off the bench with this thing. I also picked up one of the Remington box guns (30.06 bolt with sling and crapo scope as their package) It’s a rifle and it shoots that’s the best I can say. I was working in Oregon and had not brought any firearms with me. I used the -06 on a deer hunt while there, it works and it was accurate enough (under 3″ for 3 shots at 100 yards with factory ammo. I paid $243 for this thing and it will leave my collection when I need cash or training material. I am in total agreement with you, while the $300 dollar gun may shoot well enough I cannot warm up to the thing the fit/finish on these older ones is much better than Remington’s latest which shows their continued drive at maximum profit there is just something not quite right. The CZ by comparison is a thing of beauty, it’s not for sale and I will continue to shoot when I get the chance it works for elk even though I may be a bit over the top it’s just easy to carry, shoot and a joy too handle.

  4. My dad is old school about his rifle choices, and he’s become a recent fan of the Savage Axis, which for $300-$400 even comes with a scope, though you’re stuck with a trigger that takes some gunsmithing experience to adjust. Of course, if you wanna shoot less than an inch at a hundred yards, quality ammo is a must.

    I would be personally happy if they would just stop trying to “tacticool up” the synthetic stocks they put on ’em.

  5. In my admittedly limited experience testing and purchasing, you can get accuracy for less than 500, but a reasonably smooth bolt, good extractor, light crisp trigger, etc. cost 800 to 1,100. Everything beyond that is either to add beauty (good wood, engraving) or slightly higher levels of repeatable durable functioning.

    Very demanding hunters have been using stock $1,000 Model 70’s and Brnos for many decades under demanding circumstances without complaint about functioning or accuracy. The only $350-500 gun I seen used in dangerous circumstances is the Rem 870, but that’s not an accuracy item.

  6. Mr. Petzal played his F&S card too quickly – Surely a $300 rifle is “poorly made”!!

    “The truth of the matter is that this sort of rifle may not be made well at all.”

    What a complete load of BS.

    By professing the accuracy of the rifle, he is talking to the quality control of manufacturing. Good QC is the ESSENCE of a well-made object. He is essentially saying “Well sure it shoots awesome and its inexpensive, but I have to justify the GREAT reviews we give to the $3000 rifles!”

    • I agree with the sentiment about having to justify the 3000 dollar reviews. On the other hand, quality control isn’t about making a single 300 dollar rifle shoot well, it’s about making virtually all of them shoot well. Since they only shot one of these guns, in reality we only know one of them shoots well. If their QC is good, then they have a winner, and one I will seriously consider.

  7. Okay, but like any and all hobby you need to have something to ease people into it. I took a friend target shooting once and let him borrow my R700 while I carried a T3. He loved it and wanted to use it again while we went deer hunting so he went to the store and balked when he saw that in a couple of the local stores the 700 and balked at the asking price of $1500+. So he asked and I told him to either look used or go with a cheap $3-600 dollar model to get started like the stuff from Tikka or the lower end Remington stuff.
    So the question is if all the “experts” keep talking about how awesome you are if you don’t have the Lambrogini’s or Porsches of the gun world, then we are going to limit ourselves only to those that afford to be in the hobby. Sorry, but we do need some low-cost guns and tools out there that are on par with can adequately compete at things like CMP shoots or even the bar bets at the range with friends.

  8. Can a $300 Rifle Shoot As Well As a $3k Rifle?

    It depends what you mean by “shoot as well.” Certainly, a $300 rifle can be as accurate as a $3K rifle. But an inexpensive shooter won’t have a trigger that’s as nice as the expensive rifle. The bolt of the inexpensive gun will not be as smooth. The inexpensive gun won’t look as nice.

    When you hand them down, the inexpensive rifle will still be an inexpensive rifle, although it will continue to take game for another lifetime. The expensive rifle will enjoy pride of place at Rock Island Auctions.

    A cheap car and an expensive car will both take you to the same destination. It all depends on how you want to travel.

  9. Any of your budget rifles no matter if they are made by Ruger, Mossburg, Savage, Weathby or whoever will shoot better than 99% of shooters.

    As with as all things guns it’s the man behind it that matters the most.

    • I was waiting for someone to say it gloomhound; A $300 rifle and $1200 worth of ammo fired in practice would vastly better serve a majority of shooters than a $1500 rifle. The absolute accuracy of the rifle is meaningless if it’s operator isn’t up to the task.

      Around these parts an informal rifle match might crop up just about anytime a couple of guys are so much as stopped along a back road together and there is something interesting looking to shoot at. Given that I’ve participated in or witnessed 100’s of rifle ‘matches’ with a dizzying array of weapons. If I were to assume that the shooter meant nothing and the rifle was everything I’d have to say one of the most accurate rifles in the world is a 1903A3 Smith Corona .30-06 (ok maybe a bad example, that thing really is a great shooter), followed closely by a mil-surp GEW98 Mauser 8mm, and bringing up the rear any Chinese made SKS!

      Of course I know that virtually any sporting bolt rifle out there will outshoot an SKS but while many bolt guns sit in racks in the living room SKS’s and other mil-surp rifles become ‘truck guns’ out here and thus get shot a lot while the ‘deer rifle’ stays at home and gets fired only enough to ‘zero’ it when the season comes. It’s not hard to figure out why the locals tend to shoot inexpensive mil-surp rifles better than their supposedly more accurate competition; they actually shoot them, a lot, from challenging positions and at difficult targets.

      Every year we see ‘city’ people come and they bring their rifles since this is shooting country. They often have pieces that we’ve only seen in the shotgun news but virtually universally they shoot for crap and inevitably they lose informal matches to the likes of beat up mil-spec K98s and vintage Enfield SMLEs in the hands of men who shoot such rifles casually on multiple occasions per year and often many rounds at a ‘sitting’.

      Because I live in brush and hill country we don’t get much call for shots beyond 100 yards and thus when a longer shot is needed the go to guns are often inexpensive mil-surp bolties and often firing surplus military ball ammo and yet there are many here about who can hit 6 inch box at 300 yards with such rifles even under adverse conditions . . .and that’s plenty of accuracy for working purposes.

      If you’ve got the cash a really fine rifle with huge potential accuracy is a nice thing but if you really need to make the shots, buy less rifle and shoot it much more, you’ll probably do better in the long run.

  10. A higher percentage of $3K rifles will shoot accurately than $300 rifles. Finding a diamond in the rough is part of the fun in buying a cheap rifle. If you get a good one it feels like you hit the lottery.

  11. These cheap, ugly, gritty rifles will be seen at gun buybacks quite often in the future. The outfits that make them didn’t value them beyond a profit margin, neither will time. They seem to think the target market, hunters, do not approve of nice things, or automatically factor in the cost of the rifle in relationship to the price per pound of venison

  12. How many ugly, ungainly, crude, uncomfortable plastic bolt-actions will Remington design before they give up? Rifles like these will usually deliver good accuracy under perfect conditions with their favorite load, but crappy triggers and ‘cheapest possible materials’ engineering do not make them the equal of fine precision rifles. Savages start out cheap, but the really good ones are in the same price range as 700s.

    Repeatable, consistent accuracy requires structural rigidity and extremely fine tolerances. Durability requires over-engineered components. This kind of rifle has none of the above, and it will be gone within five or eight years.

    There’s a reason police and militaries use AIs and Remington 700s and top-end Savages instead of guns like this.

  13. You pay for the premium rifles if you shoot +1000 yards, or if you just have money burning a whole in your pocket. Granted that premium rifle is going to have the glass trigger, butter smooth action, super tight tolerances, fancy bells & whistles and will most likely be hand fitted. But with the CNC technology of today and production standards why pay premium when you can buy a $300 rifle, throw a little money and/or elbow grease in it and have close to the same thing for under half the price. Will you be shooting off flys wings at 800yrds? Prob not, but you could probably ring a 10″ gong like no ones business. Do I still want a $3K rifle? Heck yeah! But I’ll stick to my poor mans precision rifles for now.

  14. a guy i knew in college had the cheap ass 710… after about 30rds he was shooting reloaded .270 and the bolt sheared off its lugs and blew back into his face. pretty much sliced his cheek from mouth to jaw.. remington told him they wouldnt do anything because he was shooting reloads.

    i dropped out a few months later so im not sure what happened with it. we all told him to sue the shit out of remington.

    • Bad handloads, which that probably was, can blow up a gun. That’s why Remington said shove it, and I don’t blame them.

      • I agree about the reloads. However, there are safety features and redundancies built into even a mere $1,000 rifle that will make face destruction unlikely. A one-piece bolt, gas escape channels, a safety lug, all help. The first big leap in rifle quality appears in the quality (and machining expense) of the bolt and receiver, barrel throat, and trigger/safety/bolt interaction . Quality in these adds $500 immediately to an otherwise $400 design.

    • A81 and Tom. You’re both experienced hunters. Can you think of any of your hunts where the 3000 dollar rifle would have made the difference in success or failure over the 300 buck rifle?

      A precesion shooting match, yes. But busting Bambi’s ass?

      • My first deer was with a Marlin 336 .30-30 and a Bushnell (Banner?) scope. It shot about 2-3 MOA with 170 grain with Federal Premium Nosler partitions. That gun was a private party purchase of $160, and was good for a decent 8 point buck and several other deer. I haven’t yet seen a $300 rifle shoot better than MOA or 1/2 MOA. I could be wrong, I just haven’t seen it. I must admit a bias against the most cheaply built rifles currently on the market. Although the Ruger American and Remington 783 certainly represent an impressive value, I just can’t get excited about the cheap materials used in their design.

        I believe the idea that $300 rifles outperform those at 10x the price to be flawed. Also, one must also account for the handling, materials, collector value, reliability, and smoothness of action if the fine weapons. A wealthy novice could certainly screw things up on a high end gun with an imperfect scope mount, bad ammo, or crappy shooting. Other than that, I don’t see cheapo rifles out performing much of anything.

        One can put meat in the freezer with a Mosin and iron sights, and I totally respect that. The addition of a cheap scope to the package would easily be under $300. Heck, I like the action on a Mosin. I’m just personally a little disgusted by the proliferation of cheapo rifles on the market, and some of the asinine comments made by those who write for paper gun mags.

        • Agree with it all. I have a marlin 336 that I paid very little by todays standards for. It gets the job done. The 3000 buck rifle is a better investment and on a rifle range it’s a better rifle. But the under 500 dollar rifle will fill the deer and hog tag just fine.

          at least that’s what I’m going to try and prove in the coming year.

  15. People here are assuming that said $300 rifle was assembled properly. 75% of which are not. I cant speak about $3000 rifles, as my G.A. was $4100.

  16. I like cheap rifles that shoot well, anything made by Savage + the Marlin .22s for example. But a 300-500 USD rifle wont be as good as a 2-3k rifle, but it will be 9 times out of 10 lighter than the expensive rifle.

  17. Yes, in the same way as a $30,000 car drives as well as a $300,000 car, given all you need is a daily driver.

  18. Well yes a $300.00 rifle can shoot (And I’ve proved this to myself and others that witnessed such) as well/better…sometimes much better than a $3,000.00. Hell….I’ve smoked dudes with $8,000.00 rifles not counting the optics with my cheapo Savage/Stevens.

    Now let’s be honest. No matter if you spend $300.00 or $3,000.00….you cannot mount a scope of decent quality on top of your smoke stick incorrectly…you ain’t hitting noth’n with repeatability if you do. So what is the real cost of that rifle…decent mounts and rings can run from $100.00 to $300.00…I usually opt for the $300.00 range and yes…right on top of a cheapo Stevens and check the alignment with Kokopelli alignment bars and bed/shim (If needed) the mount to the action. A one piece mount sometimes a E.A. Brown steel mount…sometimes a Ken Ferrel mount but always glass bedded to the action. etc…etc…etc.

    Look….the average cost for my Savage/Stevens rifle setup is $1,500.00 (+ some at times) with decent optics. Those that shell out $3,000.00 for a rifle will still have to cough up hundreds if not thousands more for the optic setup…so what I’m getting at…..for me to invest $1,500.00 + some for a rifle rig that outperforms a rig costing thousands more and if I knock around my rifle/s some…well…use’m and you will have injuries to that rifle…gauranteed. We’re talking about “USING” a rifle. Not just heading to a local 100 yard rifle range with nice benchs and gondolas to boot! And road hunting in your favorite vehicle with the heater on while playing the C.D. doesn’t count either! Really use a rifle and that rifle will show it.

    Most of the people I hang with/know cannot afford a Gunwerk’s type socalled custom rig. And most can fill an elk tag with regularity using off the shelve reasonablly price many times cheap rifles. So what is the usual distance a deer/elk/antelope is taken anyways? The exaggerated distances I hear off (First hand exaggerations at that!) are just that…exaggerated! Mostly. So if you can buy a rifle for $300.00 and it shoots 1 1/2 MOA…..sub MOA is at times a bunch of hot passing gas.

    I love accurate rifles and since I’m a serious tightwad…I get goose bumps everytime I build another Savage/Stevens based rig and work up a very accurate load that I’ve had people over that simply could not get passed how much a rifle didn’t cost….I just smile.

    • You’re cheating, that ugly Savage is one of the most accurate rifles ever built. Buy ’em cheap build them up and sell them you’ve got a good plan. I think the difference is I have one of those Soviet made Remington’s which are a not in the same league. The Savage design was/is inexpensive and well thought out as a platform. The Remington is a CHEAP rifle therein is the difference. I do notice that many SWAT units use lightly modified heavy barrel Savage rifle for that reason very accurate and they are still inexpensive. I’m never going to appreciate the barrel nut design used by Savage but I never want to be downrange of someone who can shoot and have one of them in hand. I currently have 3 of the model 99’s, a couple of Ruger varmint rifles and a .22 Hornet made my some guy (P.O. Ackley) which by far is the most accurate. All shoot better than I can and all cost more than $300 the difference is the fit and finish are all so much better that unlike the Remington I don’t need to wrap them in a paper bag when I go hunting. Thank You, I may just add a Savage Tactical into my collection though I had forgotten just how good they are and in black with a big scope who will notice that barrel nut? Cheers

  19. Can a $300 Rifle Shoot As Well As a $3k Rifle?

    The correct answer: It depends completely on the skill and ability of the shooter.

  20. of course they can! I mean, all the experts on arfcom say their playskool savages and 700 ADLs shoot sub .5 moa ALL DAY LONG! I’ve told my f-class buddies this and they are ditching their AIs and grabbing up the latest special Dick’s $300 special like they are going out of style. After all, why spent $6K on a GAP or AICS w/ NF or S&B glass when a rifle costing less than a tenth of the price can shoot just as good!

    • Yeah well unfortunately, alot of those same people are the ones that come here and spread that kind of utter stupidity

    • So look at the design of the Remington 783…..does this “Sporter Rifle Design” say anything about F Class? Do you support people toting around a Barrett 50 BMG rig to shoot elk or even deer with when anybody that knows hunting…that really knows the hunting game and laughs at those that buy into all the hunting channels malarkey….when the average distance that deer/elk/antelope are taken…(Elk is around 100+ – yards…fact) and deer are taken mostly under 200 yards that such a overkill type rig is ever warranted. I cannot ever remember anyone carrying an F Class type rifle out slugging thru mud and sage or up the side of a steep mountain side slipping on sharp rocks etc…wanting to kill a deer/elk.

      I’m certain we’re talking about hunting rifles on the sporter style…not rail guns or F Class or having to have an ammo bearer/spotter/electronics expert plus the shooter (A total of 4 people so why the hype about 50 BMG’s and 338 Lapua’s!!!) when the average killing distance for big game doesn’t warrant this kind of rigging/fire power or accuracy? And besides that fact…338 Lapua’s and 50 BMG’s aren’t particularly that accurate. I know a guy that sports a 300 Remington….nice expensive rig indeed! MOA accuracy is 1+ inches and this guy can shoot. But I guess 1+ inches MOA is worthless since it isn’t an F Class quality of rifle. It’s a Remington so I guess it’s trash.

      I’ve shot side by side with people with very expensive hunting rifles….my Upgraded Steven’s and/or Savage rig/s had a few of these “Good Ol’ Boys” fuming mad…..what sort of accuracy do you suggest is needed to kill a 100 lb plus/minus deer with a kill zone the size of a large diner plate?

      Bear in mind…shoot/practice enough with any particular rifle and you will know what kind of performance can be expected even from a cheapo rifle. Optics are critical and decent to premium optics with quality mounts and rings go far in the performance of any firearm. So why not spend $500.00 for a rifle (As long as the action is straight and true!) and double the money spent on the scope alone? Moounts and rings oh I’d say Ken Ferrel will work nicely which is the correct avenue to go.

      The Remington 783 isn’t F Class…nor is a Savage 110 sporter rifle.

      • What in gods name are you talking about? 50 BMG in f-class? Sir, do you know what f-class is? I shoot a 308 in F-class TR and it weighs about the same as many full size hunting rigs. Of course, more accurate.

        And 4 people to shoot an f-class rig? I think you may need to join TTAG’s newest project, ARFCOM2.

        • You bet I do…why don’t you read the context of your post….get it now?!

          I sense your distain for cheapo firearms…reread your post…then get back to me on that. And would you really take an F Class rifle hunting….seriously. I don’t think so.

        • If you are referring to me,,,,thank you.

          I’ve been arond the shooting sports for a whole lot of years. Not only have I hunter most western states and have taken deer…many many…many deer. Far fewer antelope but I’ve taken more than I care to think about. Enough elk to know that everytime I killed an elk I’d cuss myself because I knew that hard work lay ahead….hence even though I live in the elk capital of world (And the elk numbers are dropping year rafter year so I stopped hunting period)….it is too easy. Many days I have twenty to thirty deer right outside the house so why does anyone need target accuracy to kill big game?

          Here’s my point. The Remington 783 is a cheapo rifle by all standards. But with the huge swing of the tide over to the barrel nut system….why is there so much smuggness by owners of high dollar rifles that most of these owners cannot install a barrel because of design and needing a lathe/etc? The Remington 783 or the Stevens 200 (Which I prefer for builds) or the Savage Axis even the Ruger American rifle are entry level rifles….or is this entry level idea just a twisted ideology pushed by the gunsmithing mindset which has/pushes the concept that if you have a bolt together rifle it is garbge.

          Besides my hunting experience…there is the competition side of metallic silhouette in hunter rifle….hunter pistol….small bore rifle and small bore pistol….small bore night shooting…trap….air rifle silhouette and on and on. I’ve had the very expensive target rifles. I’ve was on the road to competitions weekend after weekend and if we were not competing we were hunting or at the range or out shooting at ground squirrels using our big game rifles testing and pushing our distance perception and windage/elevation memory. Kentucky Windage was how we trained ourselves and it work. Shooting uphill/downhill…windy conditions/calm condition….cold/heat/high humitity.

          Here’s the point…I dig on tearing down the snob attitude of high priced rifle owners. If you’ve got the money and that’s what you want in the way of a firearm then go for it. But mostly it is a status symbol “Look What I ‘ve Got”! I know. But by god…we routinely smoked these dudes accuracy wise time and time and time again. Why? We used our rifles and we didn’t buy ready made ammo either save of course target 22 mmo.

          The gentleman gasping for air because he thought I didn’t know what F Class was? Tell’m yes I do…and tell’m that F Class open shooting rifles weighing up to 22 lbs and front/back of rifle can be support via front rest and rear sandbag is fun….it isn’t has easy as it looks but certinly you do not compet and win using $300.00 scopes. We know how to build an F Class…that ain’t hrd. We know how to build an F/TR Class rifle….but the bottom line is these are target rifles. Cheapo rifles are accurte enough for all hunting of big game needs.

          People with high dollar rifles need to stop the judgmental attitudes and I could go on about dudes paying ultra thousands…ULTRA!…to kill a bull elk with a lot of antler growth just so these can say…”Look what I did”! I see it every year during hunting seasons and it’s all vanity.

          If I sound like you…well….maybe you’re the wise ones.

        • I can’t make heads or tales what this comment’s thesis is. I will say that no savage axis is “smoking” trained guys running custom AIs or GAPs in f-class.

          It’s intellectually dishonest to mislead new shooters that some cheapo plastic bolt gun at Walmart will provide them with exceptional accuracy and room to grow.

          New shooters: do your due diligence at snipershide or 6mmbr for actual realistic information. The guys over there are exceptionally knowledge and friendly.

  21. How much would a 1903 or a K98 cost today to make just like the surplus ones I already own? If less than $500 and given their track record on the battlefield then F the $3000 rifle. I would put an iron sites Yugo M48A against any other iron sites rifle on the market today and buy a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue for the loser.

  22. I do not own a gun that I cannot be outshot with by someone with more skill than I have. And I’m a far better than average shot, myself, especially with a pistol. The point is that you’ll almost always reach the current limits of the shooter before you reach the limits of the firearm. So don’t stress too much over this or that brand unless and until you’re certain that the firearm is the bottleneck in your process. In the theory of constraints approach to proficiency, you usually have much bigger fish to fry than firearm quality itself.

    • Framing the question as $300 versus $3000 isn’t really useful. The big improvements upon a $300 or 400 bolt gun aren’t found at the $3,000 price point, but rather at the 800-1,200 point. The improvements are to safety and durability, not so much to accuracy, although average accuracy is more assured due to factory test firing.

      I often wonder why people go for a $3,000 rifle when they would get so much more from a $8-12,000 rifle.

      • At the 3k and up price point, you are paying for for a lot more than durability. Custom or blueprinted actions, hand lapped precision barrels with customer specified chambers cut with ptg reamers, expensive chassis or bedded stock systems, clear and precise glass.

        Rigs like this allow a shooter to truly shoot exceptional accuracy all day long, unlike playskool low end factory savages that hit sub 0.5 MOA every time, if you eliminate that flier from every group. That flier had nothing to do with the gun of course, it was me, I swear, not my $500 Dick’s special!

        • See! Now there you re showing your arrogance again.

          You remind me by your comments that you’d rather buy success than to build success….you rip into “Dick’s Specials”…yeah so what!! I’ll have two Savage based rifles that I build up that will shoot tight cloverleaf sized groups shot after shot….both 308 bull barrel Savage shooting 168 Gr Nosler Comp bullets..Lapua brass necked sized…45.5 grains of BLC2 and using Tula Large Rifle primers. That’s right! I’ve had these “Dick’s Special” for few years now and guess what? I have around $1,300.00 total into these two rifles…each. And taking out the distance to 500 to 600 yards…well….I JUST SMILE. And I have another that does this as well…so much for my “Dick’s Special”.

          Ah….where I live…I have lots and lots of BLM land to roam round on….I have the previledge to be able to setup targets waaaaaaaaaay out there and doesn’t cost me range fees to boot….just quad fees for fuel and registration.

          You are not the “All Knowing One”…..nor am I. Vanity…straight up vanity

        • Presumably, with the 1300 you say you put into each of the rifles, you took a 500 or so savage and now you have about a 2k savage. Congrats, you proved my point.

  23. My *best* rifle is a Rem 700 action in a Field Strike Chassis. Wanted the Lite Strike but couldnt justify almost $1200 more for a (albeit much) nicer stock. The Field comes with a Magpul PRS while the Lite comes with a super nice full custom top of the line stock.
    Anyway, it shoots much better than I do. Just as some cheap rifles will.
    The point of a nicer setup is to make it EASIER to shoot that well.

    Really wishing I could have afforded the Lite Strike over the Field Strike though….lol

  24. I’m a younger guy (I’m 24) and I didn’t grow up shooting, only shot a shotgun once when I was 17 and then not again til I bought my first handgun at 22. The second time I took that shooting, I remember bumping the target out to the full 50 feet on the range and I put about half of the 12 round mag on a standard B-27 target. Suffice it to say, I was not a great shot. Let’s fast forward 2 years. This past weekend, I shot a standard IDPA target at 23 yards, 7 rounds in the A, 5 rounds in the C.

    What changed? Sure wasn’t the gun, it’s still a stock Springfield XD that I got for $400 on a great sale. What changed is that I have pulled the trigger on that same gun about 1000 times in the interim, training myself on my stance, trigger pull, anticipation, etc. Whether I had shot my XD or a Wilson Combat that first time, I would have sucked. Maybe now, I might be able to take advantage of the superior workmanship of the Wilson Combat over the XD and get all those bullets in the A zone.

    That’s my longwinded way of saying, my first bolt action rifle is probably going to be a Savage Axis left handed model for $300 so that I can then buy 1,000 rounds of ammo and a decent scope and mount and still be well under any $3K rifle. And a year or two after buying it, I will be just as accurate with it as I would be with the high end rifle, probably more accurate because I will have been able to get much more trigger time and experience than with the high end piece.

    • I suggest to at minimum is to replace the trigger. This is a $100.00 upgrade to the Rifle Basix. Extremely easy to install and this trigger breaks (Another term which means the trigger is crisp and clean operation with no creep and the sandy feeling is gone!) nicely.

      Whatever you do…you are not cheap out and buy poor optics or cheap mounts and rings. This is the area that gets many people into poor accuracy reports. I do not like Nikon for squat….Bushnell Elites are decent with the last Elite I bought was online for $500.00 (I have a total of 5 Elite series scopes)…the Redfield Revolutions (I have three) 4x12x40’s are decent and can be had off of Amazon for sometimes $230.00 but no matter…buy decent optics and mounts/rings. Take a steel edge and lay it across the top of the rifle receiver for a quick view to see if the action is straight. One piece mounts…lay it on top of action and be sure there isn’t any seesaw movement. Press on front of mount then back of mount…does it seesaw? If it does you probably have a warped reciever.

      Cheap rifles are not custom jobs. The point I believe this question was asking is “Will a $300.00 rifle shoot as well as a $3,000.00 rifle will. Both need optics and correct mounting and USAGE!! Again…you are correct. Everyone wants to be another Carlos Hathcock the Marine sniper (RIP) and that guy knew his rifle…I believe a worn out Winchester Model 70 that wouldn’t group any better than 2” MOA. But Hathcock would sit in his bunk and dry fire that rifle and feel the breaking of the trigger and practice his breathing and feel his heartbeat…tough act to follow with such an inaccurate rifle no?

      Do learn to reload however…it isn’t that expensive to get set up into reloading.

      We have a nice pawn shop here…I have bought used Savages in excellent condition…the Savage 10’s…11’s…110’s…Stevens 200’s etc…off of pawn for way under $300.00! Turned these into some nice looking and nice shooters to boot! I picked up a Savage Long Range Hunter rifle in 6.5 X 284 that had a single box of ammo ran thru it for $600.00 (Street price these days is over $900.00)….look into your local pawn just may find a jewel for a bargin price.

      Good luck!

  25. I’m looking at deer rifles several days ago and the Mossberg Trophy Hunter w/4×9 scope was only $329 at Dicks. I’m not getting it but an interesting exchange occurred. I looked at a black synthetic stock model and one that appeared to be Walnut stock. My friend looks at it and says, “That’s not real wood.” I thought he was crazy but as I looked at it more I started to wonder. If its fake it is a very good fake wood. Salesman swears it’s hardwood atleast. Buddy says it is plastic. I swear I can’t tell. Anyone have experience with this rifle? Is it wood or not? Can’t find squat on the web.

    • I’m replying to my own comment from several days ago if anyone happens across this and was curious. I purchased this rifle, the Mossberg Trophy Hunter 30-06. I took it to the range the next day and zeroed the scope to 200 yards. It shoots like a dream. Brought it home and removed the action from the stock. To put it simply, my buddy didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. It’s a solid wood stock, maybe walnut but more likely birch. It’s a very nice rifle. People on the Internet poo-pooing this Mossberg Trophy Hunter are either misinformed or have an agenda. I love it and the stock is beautiful.

    • Birch most likely.
      Don’t want to get into a pissing contest but this is a good rifle. The stock is wood and Birch is the most likely choice these days. It is cheap, easy to cut and pretty stable. Downside is that is has little grain an as a rule not very pretty. I have re-finished many of these stocks (Ruger loves Birchwood) strip them down, float the barrel and use some JB weld in the bedding area and away you go. I often stain them in a color of my choice and either finish with Linseed oil (long and slow process) or quick using marine grade clear coat depending on my needs. Add a white line recoil pad, a rosewood or black plastic end cap and maybe a white line grip cap and these can look really expensive and will last or a many lifetimes.

  26. This whole thing is like comparing a pick-up truck($300 rifle) to Porshes($3K rifle). Is the pick-up going to be faster and better on a nice controlled range, no neither are the $300 rifles. But are you going to take the Porshe into the middle of the woods, and beat it like a redheaded stepchild, HECK NO! They are not even in the same class other than they are automobiles. Sure you can soup up your truck and make it run like a scolled dog but it’s still a pick-up truck. But what utilitarian use does a Porshe have? None, but it is a high precision speed machine that I’m sure no one would mind have sitting in the garage. I hope my little analogue helped here. Though I’m sure yall will still just keep arguing till you’re blue in the face.

    • With me…the facts speak for themselves. There are those that have an extremely snobbish attitude about those that do not want to spend mega thousands for a rifle to go kill a deer/etc. Somehow because of association to cheap rifles…we cannot hunt…shoot…judge wind speeds and because of this…we have no right to even be called a hunter/shooter. That has been relayed to me though I laughed til I cried. I’ve killed more deer/elk/antelope than this dude and his associates friends combined! That’s a fact.

      I do not own what is called expensive/custom (?) firearms/rifles. But I own one hellava assortment of rifles/shotguns/pistols/revolvers and reload for every one of these…except the five 22 rimfires I own. I assure those that have a superior attitude cause they tote a custom/expensive rifle that doesn’t shoot nearly as well as a ,lot of cheapo rifles that 1″ MOA for a rifle that costs mega thousands isn’t a bargin…it’s a ripoff yet I’ve seen these and I scratch my head with amazement.

      So…the sporting hardhead that I am….I’m going to buy/order a new Remington 783 and leave it just as it comes out of the box save the optics of course and I will not go big time with the optics…I’m gonna mount a spare Redfield 4x12x40 Revolution scope I have in the rack and mount the scope by my usual mounting process…using Kokopelli alighment bars…bedding the mounts to the receiver etc etc. I will use handloaded ammo of course. I guess I’m fortunate…I have a 100 yard shooting lane right here on my property. I will be honest and fair and we shall see what Hkfan has to say….this person may be right….but I’ve seen Savage Edge and the Savage Axis and the Stevens 200 shoot amazing groups. I want Hkfan to understand that these cheapo rifles are not target rifles and the posed question never referred to cheap rifles as being target rifles…but these are plenty accurate for any big game hunting/killing of such.

      I shall inform when the deed is done. Will buy a 30-06 since this caliber is stout and ample.

      In the same mindset however…I challenge Hkfan to do the same and whether he/she accepts this challenge…I will proceed with my own purchase and testing…sound good to you there Hkfan?

      • I don’t waste hard earned money on guns/scopes that I may rely on to survive built with disposable, chinese-made crap. If that’s the thing you enjoy, enjoy. But I certainly wouldn’t recommend a new shooter enter the sport with that attitude. There are plenty of used high quality firearms that can be had if one is committed to the sport to save up a bit. But, it’s your money.

        • Sure…I see.

          And uh…about attitudes….wink!

          Yeah I’ve toasted my share of wannabe’s that had the same outlook. I’ve trained my share of people with firearms and pointed these people in the correct direction to take firearms wise…but then there are those……

          Dude I have more guns than you could imagine so don’t boost about your survival ambitions….I see thru that smoke screen real easily.

          I’m gonna enjoy this.

  27. Man I hope I never get crossways to you like the aforementioned “fan” let me know how the Remington works for you. As I stated earlier I can develop no affection for mine. In my earlier post I stated the Remington was A CHEAP rifle versus your choice of Savage which I have always found very accurate and fun to shoot. Despite hunting all my life (started about 13) and have taken more than my share of antelope, deer and elk my family were basically cowboys. Being such everyone I knew carried the 30-30 or the Savage 99 lever guns. I had a late intro into bolt action firearms, we had several (Krag’s, Mauser’s, Springfield’s, etc) but none that anyone else used for hunting mostly war relic’s. I moved on and relocated to the big city where I began college and began shooting DCM matches and metal with high powered pistol. I inherited all those classic bolt action riles when my grandparents passed. I decided to take a close look and discovered one of the Springfield’s was a arsenal refinished that was I think unfired. These all sold for less than $150 back then, the difference is the fit, finish and action on all these guns is better than anything costing $300 in todays dollars. I agree with you in a lot of ways I still have one of the Remington “package” rifles and there is really nothing wrong with the firearm it just does not gain any fondness from myself. I still use it as a backup rifle when on a hunting trip (never go hunting w/o a backup rifle!) will probably hand to my stepson as his first big caliber rifle. I’m not that comfortable with the optics and rings though they both seem a bit too rough and cheap for long term shooting. You talked about accuracy for hunting and I agree you don’t need .5MOA for a hunt. I’ll add fuel to the fire my long-term deer/elk rifle is an HK-91 with a 4x Nikon which has served me well for many years. I’ve also used a Garand “tanker” for pig and deer in CA. neither are as accurate as a basic bolt gun but all are more than enough for game under 200 yards. My backup in both was a Browning High wall copy with a Tasco 2.5×7 scope in 30-06. If the weather is good I’ll use the Browning as primary for elk/deer. I reload as well: frankly I’d much rather go on a hunt with you and swap stories at night and enjoy hunting during the day. You have been refreshing compared to many of these posts…

  28. So you guys are saying it would be a waste of my time to buy a rem 783 or savage axis Il and replace the crapthetic stock with a nice Boyd laminate stock? Something I have been contemplating. A nice .243 or .308 is what I had in mind. Currently I have a Weatherby vanguard Sporter 2 in 7mm08 and a savage model 12 22-250. With a nice laminate stock and heavy barrel.

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