January 20, 2023
The days of having to spend thousands of dollars for a rifle that produces MOA accuracy are gone. “Budget” rifles may not feature some of the bells and whistles that their more expensive counter parts do, nor can you expect cloverleaf groups every time. However, thanks to technological advancements in manufacturing processes, gun companies are able to produce accurate and reliable rifles at a fraction of the cost.
Several of these budget friendly rifles were showcased at the 2023 SHOT Show and various consumer shows by a variety of manufacturers. Below are a few of our favorites.
Mossberg Patriot LR Tactical
Mossberg’s newest member to their line of bolt-action rifles is the brand-new Patriot LR Tactical. The Patriot LR Tactical gives both hunters and target shooters a semi-customizable rifle designed to improve accuracy and extend your effective range.
The Patriot LR Tactical features Mossberg’s push-feed, machined-steel action paired with a medium-bull carbon-steel barrel, and their patented LBA user-adjustable trigger with a range of 2 to 7 pounds. But what sets this rifle apart is the adjustable MDT Field Stock chassis system, allowing shooters to adjust length-of-pull from 13.5 to 14.25 inches. The system also offers up to two inches of adjustable comb-height. The Patriot LR Tactical comes in three popular, flat shooting chamberings: 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and .308 Win.
Howa Mini Action 6mm ARC
Howa announced an exciting new addition to their Mini Action line of rifles with the launch of several new models chambered in the ever-popular 6MM ARC. These new models include a variety of configurations including Carbon Stalker, Carbon Elevate, HS Precision, EXCL Lite, MDT ORYX, and Walnut.
Mini Action rifles feature a cold hammer-forged barrel, pillar-bedded stock, three-position safety, threaded barrel and detachable magazine. Chambered in 6MM ARC, the Howa Mini Action would make an ideal truck rifle or predator gun when quick follow-up shots are required.
$529 - $999; howausa.com
Savage Stevens 334 Rifles
Savage’s new Stevens 334 series of rifles merges value with performance, offering shooters a variety of options and chamberings at one of the lowest prices on the market. Available calibers include .308 Win, 6.5 Creedmoor, and .243 Win. All calibers are available in either a synthetic or walnut stock model.
The Stevens 334 rifle features a two-stage trigger and 60-degree bolt throw for quick follow-up shots and faster reloading. The Stevens 334 also includes a three-round detachable magazine and a drilled and tapped receiver conveniently mounted with a picatinny rail. Last but not least, the Stevens 334 rifles is fitted with a free-floating barrel for optimized accuracy and performance.
$389 - $489; savagearms.com
Mauser M18 USMC and Old School Camo Models
Mauser’s M18 rifle has built a solid reputation of precision and reliability since its inception in 2018. Internally the rifle remains the same, but two new stock color options were announced this year with the launch of USMC and Old School Camo. These two new camo variations give shooters a traditional hunting flair with a modern, precision rifle.
The M18 is built upon Mauser’s proven action and cold hammered barrel, laid in a robust, polymer stock. Other features include a smooth-running action with a 60-degree bolt throw, three-stage safety, removable magazine, and a threaded barrel to accommodate a variety of muzzle breaks and suppressors. While not a flashy rifle, the M18 totes a bold promise of sub-MOA accuracy and a 10-year factory warranty giving shooters confidence and peace of mind when the moment of truth arrives.
For 51 years hunters across the country have put their trust in the Weatherby Vanguard series of rifles. New for 2023 is the same Vanguard rifle we have come to know and love, featuring the whitetail-specific Specter camo pattern, which utilizes a nature-based algorithm to distort the visual presence of a hunter and their gear.
The Vanguard Specter features a Monte Carlo designed stock, cradling their proven action and a fluted, cold hammer forged barrel. Like other Vanguard configurations, the Specter model utilizes an adjustable, two-position safety, Vanguard recoil pad, hinged floorplate and a threaded barrel fitted with Weatherby’s Accubrake ST.
Bergara B14 Carbon Wilderness Ridge
While it stretches the top end of the word “inexpensive,” the B14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness offers a unique blend of features that make it worthy of busting your budget. The Sniper Gray Cerakote-finished B14 action assembly features a spring-loaded ejector, a side-mounted bolt stop, and a one-piece fluted 4140 Chromoly bolt body. A two-position safety mechanism is integral to the trigger assembly, allowing the rifle to be unloaded when the safety is engaged.
The B14 Ridge Carbon Wilderness features a No. 6 carbon-fiber barrel crafted from 410 stainless steel. The muzzle end is 5/8-24 threaded, and the Omni muzzle brake comes standard. Barrel lengths range from 20-24 inches, dependent on chambering. The rifle is lightweight, approximately 6.4 pounds, and is available in several popular cartridges, including 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Winchester, and .300 Winchester Magnum. All come with a sub-MOA guarantee.
Christensen Arms FFT Upgrade Kit
Last year at SHOT Show Christensen Arms announced their new line of FFT rifles, shaving off over a pound in total weight from previous models. This was achieved via their Flash Forged Technology used to produce a stronger and lighter stock as well as bolt knob and floor plate. While this isn’t a new rifle, Christen Arms did announce that they are now selling FFT Upgrade Kits for shooters with older model Mesa and Ridgeline rifles so that they can utilize the FFT Technology. The kit includes a new FFT Sporter stock, FFT Bolt Knob, and FFT Floor Plate. This upgrade kit can also be used for any rifle built on a Remington 700 action.