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What is the best entry level rifle?

17741 Views 12 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Karl.Luhr
I am going to be buying a new rifle soon most likley in .270win but I can not work out which is the best entry level rifle?

1-Marlin XL7
2-Stevens mod 200
3-Weatherby Vanguard
4-Mossberg ATR

Also if you have any caliber suggestions other than the .270win I will be shooting deer at medium to long range.

Thanks for taking the time to read my thread any suggestions will be much appreciated.
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Out of those choices, I would probably go with the Weatherby vanguard but you have to choose the one YOU'RE most comfortable with,,,
the .270 is a great caliber selection. Good Luck to you
Of your list, I agree with the Vangard. 270 nothing wrong with that.
iv got a mossburg ATR, and if your new to shooting and not sure if your gona stick with it you cant beat the ATR's price tag. it is also light wait, and has never failed me. if however you already know you gona love shooting and stick with it for life. save up and buy a nicer gun. and nothin wrong with the .270
My thoughts on entry level rifles

It has already been said but feel is very important on a rifle.
Go where you have a good selection and handle a half dozen entry level bolt rifles. Keep reducing the group until you have it down to just two or three. At that time you can consider the price of the remaining rifles. You may find that you really like one that costs another 50-100 dollars over another. Only you can decide whether it's worth the extra money. I have recommended several new shooters to take a look at the Marlin XL7. It seems to offer alot for the money. I personally always ask a new rifle shooter to try and save 150 dollars of their budget for a good scope. It is amazing the difference between the 50-100 dollar scopes and a 150 dollar scope. I personally like the Nikon Prostaff line or the new Redfield line in that 150 dollar price range. You already made one of the hardest choices by choosing your calibre of 270 win. I would say you are on a roll have fun..

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The only one here that I have experience with is the stevens 200. I have one in .243 that I absolutely love. Its a very nice rifle, the bolt is really smooth. It has an ambidextrous safety which I really like because I'm left handed. The safety has 3 settings as well, SAFE - BOLT SAFE - and FIRE. Bolt safe is when you can operate the bolt but the trigger cannot be pulled. This is nice for reloading or unloading the gun, it just adds a bit of safety to it so you don't accidentally pull the trigger. All this rifle is is a Savage 10/110 with a different stock. 10 being short action and 110 being long action. This rifle is hard to beat for the price. I've seen them on sale at Scheels for $250 but they're usually around $300 or so.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions im kinda leaning towards the weatherby vanguard does anyone have one what is the trigger like etc.
More on the Vangard

They are showing a retail price of 419.xx on their website so you are probibly going to pay an additional 100 over your other choices you listed.

They also list the factory trigger 2.5-3.8 with an average of 3.15 lbs which will be very nice.

I don't know the area that you will be hunting but this rifle does come standard with a 24 inch barrel. You will get extra fps over the standard 22 inch that most makers use. It will not be quite as handy in heavy brushy areas. Also it will have a more muzzle heavy feel to it. That is very nice if you have a hard time staying steady shooting from the standing position.

I also have to speak for the 200 Stevens. Not only is it the same, proven design as the 10/110, but it has the same accuracy as any other Savage out there. As Wisconsin said, the only difference is the stock which can be easily replaced with another. There are also a lot of aftermarket products available to make the rifle truly your own. When shouldered, regardless of shooting position, the rifle sits and balances very well. It's ultimately and obviously your choice, but the 200 Stevens should not be over looked.
I don't have a Vanguard, but do have 3 MK-5 Weatherby's, I do believe you would be very happy with the Vanguard over the other rifles listed. Weatherby quality has always been very good.
Weatherby.......every time
I do have a Weatherby Vanguard in 7mm 08 and out of the box it is a one holer. For a lot of you that is no big deal, but for me it was my first one in a long time. See, a blind squirrel does find an acorn once in a while!
Really I"m sure that the 270 which is pretty accurate caliber anyways will do a good with the Weatherby
Just a note on rating entry level rifles

I personally don't consider the Vanguard an entry level rifle to be compared to the others listed. To be fair I think that the Marlin xl7 should be compared to the Stephens 200, Remington 770, and the Mossberg bolt. These are rifles that sell at the price point of around 290-310. The Vanguard is another 100 dollars, and that brings in against the Remington 700 sps along with others in that 400-500 range. Would I rather own the Vanguard over the entry level ones? YES. Is it fair to compare it to the entry level rifles not really. If for example Marlin put another 100 into each xl7 it would be a nicer rifle but would miss it's price point of around 300.

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