Rifle on a budget

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Rifle on a budget

Post by Johnat21 » 26 Jul 2022, 1:43 pm

Hi guys, first time poster... lived in oz for 11 years now, was a shooter from a young age in the UK, mainly wildfowling on the Dee marshes and in Scotland, however I've just completed my firearms safety exam here in victoria and waiting for my police clearance certificate from the UK so I can continue my long arms application.
My question is: I'm on a budget of about $13-1500 for a rifle and scope.. looking at a 270win so I can attempt deer shooting too as well as range shooting. What am I best looking at or trying out in my price range?... Ruger American blued, mauser m18, sauer, winchester xpr?.. all seem very similar and I obviously have no idea!

Cheers John
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by No1Mk3 » 28 Jul 2022, 4:05 pm

G'day Johna21,
Very subjective question, answers will reflect the respondents preferences which may not be your own. As you say, the ones you mentioned are all quite similar and only "feeling" them yourself will tell you if your happy with them. Can only suggest you spend a few Saturday mornings visiting dealers and trying a few. Perhaps visit a range like Eagle Park and talk to people there, they may give you a shot of theirs (permitted at a range under direct supervision) Don't discount good low use 2nd hand either, a dealer mate of mine has several nice rifles with scopes in the 270, 308, 30-06 range that are all sub-$1000 at the moment.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Blr243 » 28 Jul 2022, 5:44 pm

Howas are there as well. I have rugers sauers and how as
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by dnedative » 28 Jul 2022, 6:11 pm

Howa/Ruger/Mauser
Whatever feels right, 270/30-06/308 are all good
Put a entry/mid range Vortex on it, get a box of ammo and walk out the door $1500 poorer ;)

Cant go wrong
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Diamond Jim » 28 Jul 2022, 8:21 pm

I have a high regard for Howa - and I don't own one so I'm not invested in the brand. Budget price would let you buy a decent scope and rings and still be well under your price point. Just don't buy a heavy "Varmint" barrel for deer stalking - you will never carry it. They are heavy!
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by in2anity » 28 Jul 2022, 9:01 pm

If you imagine yourself doing range work, maybe go a mainstream target caliber like the 308?. I’m just thinking ammo costs is all.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by SCJ429 » 28 Jul 2022, 10:14 pm

270 WSM instead of Win?
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Oldbloke » 28 Jul 2022, 11:04 pm

308, 270, 30.06. All very good rounds and ammo is plentiful unlike some less common cartridges.

Don't own one but howa do have a good rep and cheap too. But, they are a bit heavy for hunting imo. Handle a few first.

And don't over scope it deer are big targets.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by in2anity » 29 Jul 2022, 8:47 am

SCJ429 wrote:270 WSM instead of Win?

Presuming he's a handloader... else he'll be paying $50+++ / 20 :shock: buuut guess 308 ain't much better. Geeze ammo is expensive these days. I shudder to think what target shooters are paying for factory, and how this probably equates to not much range time..
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by bladeracer » 29 Jul 2022, 1:07 pm

Johnat21 wrote:Hi guys, first time poster... lived in oz for 11 years now, was a shooter from a young age in the UK, mainly wildfowling on the Dee marshes and in Scotland, however I've just completed my firearms safety exam here in victoria and waiting for my police clearance certificate from the UK so I can continue my long arms application.
My question is: I'm on a budget of about $13-1500 for a rifle and scope.. looking at a 270win so I can attempt deer shooting too as well as range shooting. What am I best looking at or trying out in my price range?... Ruger American blued, mauser m18, sauer, winchester xpr?.. all seem very similar and I obviously have no idea!

Cheers John


If you've been resident here for eleven years I'm curious what you would need from the UK to support your application.

Do you load your own ammo? This will be a part of your decision making I think. Anything remotely "exotic" starts costing a lot of money to shoot if you're buying factory ammo. If you load your own then you can load .270WSM cheaper than buying standard .270Win factory ammo.

I prefer a short-action rifle rather than a .270Win.
My preference is 7mm-08 but .308 is also an excellent choice if you want to use factory ammo.
You don't need a .270Win to hunt deer in Victoria, just anything that fires a bullet .270" diameter or larger.

For deer you want something compact and light, for realistic range shooting you want a heavier longer barrel. If you enjoy time in the bush then get something lighter and accept its shortcomings at the range, if you prefer range shooting then get something heavier and accept that it's going to be a workout lugging it around in the bush. For range shooting you're going to want a larger scope that gets up to about 20-power at least, but for deer you'd probably want a compact 1-6x or 3-9x, a red dot, or open sights. You can use a larger scope for range shooting and remove it for the bush, or swap on something more compact.

Personally, I would get two different rifles.
A bolt-action with a heavy-ish barrel and a decent scope for range work, in 6.5Creedmoor, 7mm-08 or .308, and a lighter bolt-, pump-, or lever-action rifle for hunting with a low-power optic, in 7mm-08, .308, .30-30, or .44 Magnum.

I tend to want my rifles to be "all-rounders" that I can happily use for whatever I'm doing, so I went with the Ruger American and Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18x40 scopes. I have this rifle/scope in .204, .223, .243 and 7mm-08 in MDT chassis with 10rd AICS mags. The only thing I don't like about them is that they don't come with sights.

What area of Victoria are you looking to hunt?
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Trav » 29 Jul 2022, 6:17 pm

Hey mate,

With the current market, as some of the above have said, I’d be looking down the route of a Howa 1500. I don’t own one, but have heard from friends that they’ve been extremely satisfied by the rifle. However, there are a few reviews online which are slightly less favourable.

I’d recommend checking out a few of the gun stores near you and seeing what fits best in hand. As for the optic, you can’t go past Vortex’s warranty.

Cheers,

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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Die Judicii » 29 Jul 2022, 7:59 pm

Hi and welcome.
For your price range and to get both accuracy and quality within your price range it'd have to be HOWA for my two cents worth.
I own four of em in three different calibers.
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If your looking to buy from a dealer,,,,,,, feel em first,,,, and make looking at the price tags the last thing you do.
There's no point in buying according to price if you can't get comfort/good fit,, accuracy,, or quality.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Shootermick » 29 Jul 2022, 9:28 pm

Blade is on the Ruger’s, DJ on the Howa’s.
I’ve got four Ruger’s, so I’ll recommend one of them. But, as has already been said, go in and have a look for yourself, I doubt either brand would disappoint for the price.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Oldbloke » 29 Jul 2022, 10:32 pm

FYI, here are the cartridge requirements for deer hunting in Vic.

Min Deer Cartridges New.JPG
Min Deer Cartridges New.JPG (78.3 KiB) Viewed 481 times
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by deye243 » 30 Jul 2022, 1:09 am

since the department of Sparks and Embers reviewed the rules to allow for the Winchester Short Magnums now you can go and chase sambar through the scrub with a 357 magnum or even a 32 long Colt for that matter but you cannot use a 6.5x55 it's a joke
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by northdude » 30 Jul 2022, 7:19 am

Hell thats a joke alright. They would flip their lids if they saw what we use over here. The cullers ended up using 222s in the end...
22 hornets and most things 6.5
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Border_Bloke » 30 Jul 2022, 7:37 am

Two years ago the YouTube channel “backfire” did a review of 8 rifles under $750 (US)., it’s still relevant https://youtu.be/_Yao7mYsrio.

They didn’t like the soft stock on the Howa. One thing I will say is that if you want to get factory velocities from a .270 or 30-06 then you really want a 24” barrel (this is less important on a 308). The Weatherby vanguard is (in my humble opinion) a better option - its the same action as a Howa but in a better stock with a 24” barrel as standard. The Bagra is also a good option.

If you’re going 308 the ruger American is hard to beat.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by northdude » 30 Jul 2022, 7:42 am

If you were allowed 6.5x55 a sporter m96 would punch well above the price you pay for them. Little on the heavy side but mine shoots just as good as any of my other sporters pretty good considering its over 100 years old...
22 hornets and most things 6.5
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Oldbloke » 30 Jul 2022, 9:14 am

Where is the OP?
He is in Vic. So needs to comply with the above indicated minimums.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Oldbloke » 30 Jul 2022, 9:20 am

deye243 wrote:since the department of Sparks and Embers reviewed the rules to allow for the Winchester Short Magnums now you can go and chase reds & sambar through the scrub with a 357 magnum or even a 32 long Colt for that matter but you cannot use a 6.5x55 it's a joke


Since the 270 WSM case is 2.1" long and for years the minimum for Sambar was, 270 cal x 2" case length I doubt that's correct. I think it was an administrative cock-up.

Resized_Screenshot_20220730-091009_DuckDuckGo.jpeg
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by mickb » 30 Jul 2022, 11:30 am

Yeah thats a pretty crazy list . A 350 grain bolt allowed in a low poundage bow/crossbow but 400 grain minimum in a more powerful bow/crossbow because more powerful bows apparently cant throw a 350 grain as effectively than the lighter bow. :crazy:

Who kicked off the idea for minimums anyway? Govt or hunting groups? The list smells a little like hunting groups self regulating then government jumping in and bungling it totally.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by bladeracer » 30 Jul 2022, 1:53 pm

mickb wrote:Yeah thats a pretty crazy list . A 350 grain bolt allowed in a low poundage bow/crossbow but 400 grain minimum in a more powerful bow/crossbow because more powerful bows apparently cant throw a 350 grain as effectively than the lighter bow. :crazy:

Who kicked off the idea for minimums anyway? Govt or hunting groups? The list smells a little like hunting groups self regulating then government jumping in and bungling it totally.


RSPCA states that shooting is the most humane method of euthanising animals, but they have zero faith in their fellow man so they only believe in "professional" shooters having firearms. This was probably something that was thought up as "hunter training" as a way to appease those groups to get them off our backs, but what was put together is entirely nonsensical and unenforceable.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by mickb » 30 Jul 2022, 2:49 pm

cheers Blade and another example why appeasement doesnt work.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Die Judicii » 30 Jul 2022, 10:44 pm

Shootermick wrote:Blade is on the Ruger’s, DJ on the Howa’s.
I’ve got four Ruger’s, so I’ll recommend one of them. But, as has already been said, go in and have a look for yourself, I doubt either brand would disappoint for the price.


I've got two Rugers as well as my Howas.
Nothing wrong with the Rugers,,,,, but I do like Howas better.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by 22Whorenut » 31 Jul 2022, 4:46 pm

Second hand Tikka T3/T3x. They are light, great value and are available second hand. Can trade out of it if you want to change calibres pretty easily without losing a fist full of cash as well.
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by deye243 » 31 Jul 2022, 4:51 pm

Oldbloke wrote:
deye243 wrote:since the department of Sparks and Embers reviewed the rules to allow for the Winchester Short Magnums now you can go and chase reds & sambar through the scrub with a 357 magnum or even a 32 long Colt for that matter but you cannot use a 6.5x55 it's a joke


Since the 270 WSM case is 2.1" long and for years the minimum for Sambar was, 270 cal x 2" case length I doubt that's correct. I think it was an administrative cock-up.

Resized_Screenshot_20220730-091009_DuckDuckGo.jpeg

Well I got that one wrong I can remember in the early 2000s the ADA kicking up a hell of a stink over a couple of cartridges that wouldn't make the grade just looked through a couple of loading manuals buggered if I know what it was now but I can remember them kicking up a stink for over 12 months my memory sure is not what it used to be
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Johnat21 » 05 Aug 2022, 2:12 pm

bladeracer wrote:
Johnat21 wrote:Hi guys, first time poster... lived in oz for 11 years now, was a shooter from a young age in the UK, mainly wildfowling on the Dee marshes and in Scotland, however I've just completed my firearms safety exam here in victoria and waiting for my police clearance certificate from the UK so I can continue my long arms application.
My question is: I'm on a budget of about $13-1500 for a rifle and scope.. looking at a 270win so I can attempt deer shooting too as well as range shooting. What am I best looking at or trying out in my price range?... Ruger American blued, mauser m18, sauer, winchester xpr?.. all seem very similar and I obviously have no idea!

Cheers John


If you've been resident here for eleven years I'm curious what you would need from the UK to support your application.

Do you load your own ammo? This will be a part of your decision making I think. Anything remotely "exotic" starts costing a lot of money to shoot if you're buying factory ammo. If you load your own then you can load .270WSM cheaper than buying standard .270Win factory ammo.

I prefer a short-action rifle rather than a .270Win.
My preference is 7mm-08 but .308 is also an excellent choice if you want to use factory ammo.
You don't need a .270Win to hunt deer in Victoria, just anything that fires a bullet .270" diameter or larger.

For deer you want something compact and light, for realistic range shooting you want a heavier longer barrel. If you enjoy time in the bush then get something lighter and accept its shortcomings at the range, if you prefer range shooting then get something heavier and accept that it's going to be a workout lugging it around in the bush. For range shooting you're going to want a larger scope that gets up to about 20-power at least, but for deer you'd probably want a compact 1-6x or 3-9x, a red dot, or open sights. You can use a larger scope for range shooting and remove it for the bush, or swap on something more compact.

Personally, I would get two different rifles.
A bolt-action with a heavy-ish barrel and a decent scope for range work, in 6.5Creedmoor, 7mm-08 or .308, and a lighter bolt-, pump-, or lever-action rifle for hunting with a low-power optic, in 7mm-08, .308, .30-30, or .44 Magnum.

I tend to want my rifles to be "all-rounders" that I can happily use for whatever I'm doing, so I went with the Ruger American and Bushnell AR Optics 4.5-18x40 scopes. I have this rifle/scope in .204, .223, .243 and 7mm-08 in MDT chassis with 10rd AICS mags. The only thing I don't like about them is that they don't come with sights.

What area of Victoria are you looking to hunt?


Hey bladeracer, I need a police clearance because I've lived outside of Australia while over the age of 16, I've had a look at a few guns now and my birthday budget will now stretch to a Tikka T3x hunter, but im thinking cheaper rifle with better optics atm... I will be hunting around Marysville and Eildon region with a buddy. I don't self load, as I said, I'm a complete novice.... I will probably spend more time at the range than hunting until I get the hang of rifle shooting instead of shotgun.
Thanks for all the replies, there is a lot to think about...
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Lazarus » 05 Aug 2022, 2:30 pm

G'day Jonat21 :welcome:

My 24" Howa varmint is unbelievably good for the price.

Gets my vote
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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by Oldbloke » 05 Aug 2022, 3:23 pm

Johnat21

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Re: Rifle on a budget

Post by bladeracer » 05 Aug 2022, 7:32 pm

Johnat21 wrote:Hey bladeracer, I need a police clearance because I've lived outside of Australia while over the age of 16, I've had a look at a few guns now and my birthday budget will now stretch to a Tikka T3x hunter, but im thinking cheaper rifle with better optics atm... I will be hunting around Marysville and Eildon region with a buddy. I don't self load, as I said, I'm a complete novice.... I will probably spend more time at the range than hunting until I get the hang of rifle shooting instead of shotgun.
Thanks for all the replies, there is a lot to think about...


Thanks John, never heard of that before, regarding living outside the country in the past requiring international checks.

If you think you'll mainly be shooting at clubs I would focus on a rifle that suits that. You ca adapt it to hunting later on, or buy something better suited.

Do you a particular interest in some kind of competition, like PRS or Silhouette?
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