buying a long rifle gun on kind of a budget?

My father bought me a spotting scope for Christmas. It's really nice and I would love to get some real use out of it, but the problem is that I own a shotgun. A Mossberg 590. Not something you'd really need a scope for. However, it does provide me with an opportunity to purchase another long rifle. Alas, unlike my preferences in shotguns, the world of rifles otherwise eludes me. So I ask the internet for help. Here's my criteria:

Most important:

-Up to 500 dollars, or around there.

-California legal. Yes, I know gun laws in Cali are super shitty, but I enjoy living here regardless. Hurts me to see people hate this place because of it. So if you could skip the Cali bashing I'd appreciate it. It's implied.

Less important:

-Calibur. As long as its ammo is relatively easy to come by and somewhat reasonably priced, anything is fine. Except .22. I plan on getting a plinker one day, just not right now.

-Synthetic. I just prefer the look and feel of a synthetic stock over wood.

-I don't know what it's called, but it's this little plastic chunk that fills the gap between the stock and the grip that makes it so you can't wrap your hand around the grip itself. I really dislike it. I assume this is part of the California requirements on certain types of guns. Actually, if someone could tell me what that is, I'd appreciate that as well o.o

Almost not important at all:

-Not a Mosin. At least, not the 91/30. A friend of mine has it, and I don't see the point in us both owning it when we go to the range.

-Bolt action or semi-auto. I don't care which it is. I like the feel of using a bolt action, but it's really not a deal breaker.

-Aesthetics/accessories. I'm (almost) unashamed to say that I do buy into the tacticool lifestyle from time to time. Picatinny rails make me giggle. Of course, I don't believe that there would even be a whole lot of things I could put ON a rifle in the way of flashlights and all those doodads, but I don't know. Guns like the R700 have always just...looked too plain, I guess. Again, this is of minor importance.

9 Answers

  • Mike
    Lv 5
    8 years ago
    Best Answer

    Remington 700 30.06.... best basic rifle you can buy for the price, and since you would consider used, you might check out used ones at a pawn shop or gun store to get the price down.

  • 8 years ago


    Since you're relatively new to rifles, I'd say get a .22. I do both, but grew up on the .22 and shotgun -- and they're two totally different animals.

    A .22 at 100 yards is a challenge and does require a spotting scope.

    Another option you can look at is a dedicated slug barrel for your shotgun (if it doesn't already have one). Not sure if you have a smooth or rifled bore, but a slug is precise enough to take advantage of a rifle scope, and they actually make slug hunter scopes for that purpose.

    I've never owned even a smoothbore shotgun that shot outside of 3" at 100 yards. I've had some do 1", and that's pretty amazing given that with a 12 gauge, that's almost a single hole!

    You might really enjoy a Hi-Point carbine (cheap and pot metal, but they work!) or a Mini-14 or Mini-30. The prices on those are going up, though, so you'll have to shop around. Plenty of tacticool options for all the above, though.

    You say you don't want a Mosin-Nagant, and I honestly think that's a mistake. Have you seen some of the accessories available to dress them up? An M38 or M44 carbine dropped into a synthetic stock and equipped with a rail (yes, they make them!) is pretty cool. Slap on a holosight or low-power handgun 'scope and you'll have yourself a scout rifle. Need to improve the trigger? I'll show you some old WWII plans the Finns and the Russian snipers used, or Timney makes a trigger group for it. (The Russian and Finn trigger jobs are so good I don't seen the need for a Timney, but other folks do, especially if they're used to varmint rifles).

    I'm just thinking you might like something you can shoot a lot for a little but still have pretty good precision. This is where the above suggestions come from. (The shotgun mod you could just buy slugs instead of a whole new gun!)


    Josh Smith

  • 8 years ago

    Hey I live in CA also, go to your closest Big 5 and look at the guns on sale. Sometimes they have the Savage 30-06, or the Mossberg ATR on sale. You can also look at some used gun stores and get some good deals from time to time. Although if you and your friend DID have a 91/30 you could both split the cost of ammo and get a spam can for dirt cheap. This would give you a gun that was equivalent to a 308 Win. Besides for 500.00, you could have a 91/30 and 1200 rounds of ammo. Not a bad deal! You can also buy the synthetic stock for the Mosin and throw the old wood stock away!

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I just posted this same answer to another guy looking to buy a rifle, too. Go to your local gun shop & shoulder a few rifles in your price range. Pick the one that makes you say "Oooohhh", you'll know it when you find it. Keep in mind too, what features do you want? Internal magazine, hinged floorplate, removable magazine (clip), etc. I prefer the clip because it's quick & easy to load & unload. Monte Carlo stock or not? Also an option is start small & work your way up. I own a Savage model 111 chambered in 30-06 that I paid $369 for a few years ago. It started life with an ugly black synthetic stock & a grainy-sighted Simmons scope. Since then, I replaced the stock with a wooden one directly from the factory, it now has a Leupold VX 2 3x9x40 and a Timney trigger. It's a much nicer looking gun now. I just did what I could when I could. I haven't had a single problem with it, the things I changed were " felt like it" improvements. It can shoot a group of 3 rounds at 200 yards the size of a nickel with the right ammo. I've been shooting 165 grain Sierra bullets with a lot of success. Whichever you go with, just remember that it's YOUR rifle, so pick the one you want for features & comfort. Good luck & enjoy.

    Source(s): I love my 30-06.
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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    A Savage 11 or 110 seems to be just the gun you're looking for.

    it's very accurate, to where a spotting scope is needed at longer ranges since you can't just use the binoculars.

    you can get a scope combo for about $460 or the basic rifle for about $380.

    they're very reliable rifles

    Source(s): I just bought a Savage 11 in .223 Remington. wish I have a spotting scope right now, since a 9X scope isn't great for spotting out past 300 yards. it cost me $420 because I wanted a wood stock, I really don't like synethic. there's many options if you prefer polymer over wood. but for me there was only one.
  • Mr.357
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    A Remington 700 would be your best choice, but it is beyond your budget, especially when you figure in a scope. I have seen Mossberg ATR-100s at Academy for around $300, including a scope.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I know that its a little over budget but a Remington 700 is a great gun but it is six hundred dollars and they come in tonnes of calibers for you to choose

    Source(s): I have one.
  • 8 years ago

    savage 110 bolt action

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    i didnt read the criteria but here is a good gun at a budget

    221 dollars for a bolt action 7.62 nato gun

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