No hunter wants to take a subpar weapon into the field, but at the same time, not everyone can afford a $2,000 Weatherby.
Finding a quality deer rifle for a reasonable price can be challenging. But, with a little research and understanding of performance needs, finding a good weapon on a budget and keeping it under $500 is actually pretty easy. Manufacturers such as Remington, Mossberg, Ruger, and Savage all offer quality deer rifles at great prices. The real challenge is trying to pick the best rifle for your personal deer hunting needs.
Every hunter hunts different terrain and situations, so what's deemed the best hunting gun for one hunter may not work for the next. Big game hunting is a versatile practice, but narrowing it down to deer only helps.
Take a look at the following four options for deer rifles under $500 to determine which one best meets your own personal hunting needs.
Savage Arms Axis Next Gen. 1 Combo bolt action rifle and scope combination is an inexpensive but accurate rifle that packs a powerful punch. The carbon-steel 22" barrel is made for heavy field use and pinpoint accuracy while the lightweight synthetic stock gives hunters the ability to carry comfortably all day. At a price range of under $450, shooters have the choice of adding the Savage Axis to their arsenal in the following calibers: .25-06, .270, .308, .223, .243, .22-250
Remington 770 bolt action rifles are designed to be field ready straight out of the box. The addition of a factory installed and bore-sighted 3-9x40 scope gives hunters the added advantage of a full setup right from the start. The barrel of this rifle is super accurate and designed with a six-groove, button-rifling system that ensures pinpoint shooting at longer distances.
Comfort in shooting is another benefit of this ergonomic, lightweight deer rifle. A contoured stock with a raised cheek piece and a textured forearm give hunters an added edge when it comes to positioning and shot control. Remington offers hunters a variety of choices regarding calibers in this lineup, including .308, .243, .270, and .30-06.
Ruger American Compact bolt action rifles are lightweight and reliable deer hunting rifles. The Ruger American Compact features a hammer-forged barrel designed for incredible accuracy and dual-cocking cams make cycling from a shoulder position much easier. The affordable rifle is available in a number of calibers under $400. Ruger American Compact bolt action rifles are available in .243, .270, 7mm-08, .223, .30-06, .308, .22-250
Mossberg's ATR Super Bantam .243 bolt action rifle is a great choice for youth or small frame hunters. It is lightweight and features a durable synthetic stock, recoil pad, and integrated sling swivel studs for easy carrying. Hunters who face the challenge of maneuvering through thick woodlots or clear cut undergrowth will love this gun since there is no need to worry about excessive barrel length.
The ATR is built with a free floating barrel capped by a recessed muzzle crown and is only 20" long overall. This lightweight rifle is also designed with long-range accuracy in mind and sports a 1:10 rate of twist. With a price tag of under $400, this is an excellent choice for young hunters or women who prefer a lighter weapon.