Entry level rifle on a budget

MileHighTiger

New Member
Nov 16, 2020
6
2
Denver, CO
Hey everyone,

New to the site here and wanting to get some advice. I'm looking at the following rifles as an entry-level deer/elk rifle and am hoping to pull the trigger (pun intended) this weekend. I was wondering if any of you have experience with these particular platforms or if you have any suggestions otherwise:

Budget: $650 (not including optic)
Caliber: 30-06

Option 1: Ruger American
Option 2: Browning AB3 Composite Stalker

Any thoughts? I'm heading to the gun show in Loveland this weekend to see if I can score a used rifle of higher quality for less than a new rifle, but if that doesn't pan out, I'm thinking of a Sunday run to Cabelas for the Ruger or an FFL transfer from Reeds Sports in Minnesota on the Browning. Thanks for any advice!
 

JimP

Veteran member
Mar 28, 2016
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Gypsum, Co
Both that you listed will fit the bill for a first rifle. Right now it may be hard to find either in the used market, rifles and handguns along with ammo have been either hard to find or they are getting premium prices for them.

You might also look at the used rifles at Cabela's, I can't believe that I just said that they way that I feel about Cabela's. Also gun shops in your area may have some on consignment or just used ones that may fit what you want.

Don't count out other rifles either if you find one in your price range. I picked up a Weatherby Vanguard a few years ago for less than what you expect to spend and I purchased it brand new. It is a great rifle. Remington and Winchester along with Savage make fine rifles.
 
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MileHighTiger

New Member
Nov 16, 2020
6
2
Denver, CO
Savage has some great models that are pretty close to the budget that you are looking for.
I've also looked at the Savage 12 FV in 6.5CM or .308...I've noticed that the CM is quite the popular round these days, but does it have enough behind it for elk? .308 enough?
 

JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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In my book if you are a experienced shooter/hunter and pass up a lot of questionable shots then a 6.5 is good for elk but........if not go with a larger bullet such as the .30 calibers that you mentioned.

In my book you can not beat a .36-06. But then I like it better than either of the other ones that you mentioned. I used one for years on mule deer and elk and it is one of the most popular rounds out there. The .308 would come next unless you also throw in the .270 Winchester
 

MileHighTiger

New Member
Nov 16, 2020
6
2
Denver, CO
In my book if you are a experienced shooter/hunter and pass up a lot of questionable shots then a 6.5 is good for elk but........if not go with a larger bullet such as the .30 calibers that you mentioned.

In my book you can not beat a .36-06. But then I like it better than either of the other ones that you mentioned. I used one for years on mule deer and elk and it is one of the most popular rounds out there. The .308 would come next unless you also throw in the .270 Winchester
That was kind of the reason I was shying away from the 6.5, as I'm not an experienced hunter and with OTC DIY elk being my first experience before I have the points to draw on mule deer, I'd be more inclined to stick with the .30s.
 
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mosquito

Active Member
Nov 1, 2012
192
238
NE ohio
Ruger American are great rifles. I own one and love it. Stock is junk but there are lots of after market options that can be upgraded later . They are really starting to get a loyal falling and every year i notice more and more aftermarket accessories.
 

Turbodude

New Member
Oct 17, 2017
36
8
Red side of Ca
Here in Commiefornia Bass Pro has a Black Friday Special going on starting next week for Savage Rifles. If there is a BPS in your vicinity yiu may want to check it out if the sale applies there. TD
 

go_deep

Veteran member
Nov 30, 2014
2,315
1,106
Wyoming
I've got the Browning AB3 Composite Stalker, nice gun, smooth bolt. Only thing i don't personally like it's the drop out magazine, always worried it'll somehow fall out, or I'll forget it at home.
 

manitou1

Member
Mar 21, 2017
65
41
United States
I've got the Browning AB3 Composite Stalker, nice gun, smooth bolt. Only thing i don't personally like it's the drop out magazine, always worried it'll somehow fall out, or I'll forget it at home.
Buy a spare and load it, keep it in your pocket... your fear is gone!!!
 

RICMIC

Veteran member
Feb 21, 2012
1,384
561
Two Harbors, Minnesota
I have owned a .308, and 7mm/08, both in the 700 Rem. Mountain Rifles. My son and grandson have them now. The 7mm/08 is very, very close ballistically to the 6.5 Creedmore, and any disadvantage it has only comes in at very long range. My go to rifle now is in 30-06. Some say the long action is a disadvantage, but most would never notice that. It has the greatest range of bullet weights of the others, and ammo is always available (except for right now). I have built up a stockpile of 06 (mostly Remington Corelokt in 150, 165, and 180 grain)
when the rebates are out I got them for $13 for a 20 rd. box.) Have used them for deer and antelope. I use Nosler partitions for elk, with Barnes as an alternative.
 

MileHighTiger

New Member
Nov 16, 2020
6
2
Denver, CO
Anything to report on after the weekend?
Expanded my budget by $50, had some heart to heart discussions with my shoulder, and ended up purchasing a Savage 110 Hunter in 300WM. Picked up two boxes of 180gr rounds (Hornady and Sig Sauer). Now looking for a nice budget optic (thinking the Burris Droptine 4.5-14x) and start sighting it in. Really excited. 4 day wait period can't go by fast enough!
 
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JimP

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Mar 28, 2016
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You should really enjoy that rifle and cartridge.

I haven't heard anything about that scope but I do have a couple of Burris scopes on hand guns and they have held up great.

All of my rifles pack Leupolds except for one old Redfield
 

Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
5,078
1,864
Ohio
Expanded my budget by $50, had some heart to heart discussions with my shoulder, and ended up purchasing a Savage 110 Hunter in 300WM. Picked up two boxes of 180gr rounds (Hornady and Sig Sauer). Now looking for a nice budget optic (thinking the Burris Droptine 4.5-14x) and start sighting it in. Really excited. 4 day wait period can't go by fast enough!
Congrats on the new rifle. I'm sure it'll be great!