Great Guns, Great Prices


Budget minded hunters, rejoice! There’s a herd of inexpensive yet accurate rifles out there. Last season, I had two difficult shots and dropped a trophy 10-point whitetail at 208 yards and another at 258 yards in a stalking situation, using my backpack as a rest. The ammo was Hornady Superformance in .270 caliber and the performance couldn’t have been better. The rifle was a Mossberg ATR, which costs less than $300. I’ve tested both the ATR and the 4X4 in previous years and they performed amazingly well. Here’s a look at some great guns for small potatoes:

61842[1]Mossberg: 100ATR rifles now come with the premium look and feel of fluted barrels. With its unique skeletonized lightning-bolt trigger blade, the LBA trigger system (patent pending) offers hunters the best in form and function in the field. Super Bantam models feature an innovative adjustable stock perfectly designed for the needs of a growing shooter. The guns come with factory-installed Weaver-style scope bases.

AB3-stalker-side-image[1]Browning: The AB3 includes a host of features you’ll also find on the X-Bolt rifle, notably the barrel. Arguably the most important factor in accuracy, the AB3 sports a high-quality barrel that’s made from cold-rolled steel and is precision button-rifled. A premium Inflex Technology recoil pad reduces felt recoil by absorbing recoil and using directional deflection to pull the comb down and away from your face when shooting. The bolt unlock button allows the bolt to be opened with the top tang safety in the “on safe” position.

CO Rifle Elk 2011 102 - CopyThompson/Center Revolution: The unique feature of this bolt-action rifle is the ability to interchange barrels. Although more expensive than some of the other rifles listed here, you can build a stable of caliber choices on a single stock, greatly reducing the cost. I used it with incredible results for one season and bagged two long-range whitetails and an elk at 300 yards.

Traditions Build-It-Yourself Rifle Kits: These kits are one of the best ways toKR52206[1] get a real hands-on muzzleloading experience! With easy step-by-step instructions, this kit is simple to assemble. It’s perfect for families, groups, and clubs to do together. When you’re finished, you’ll have a fully functional rifle that you can use for hunting, shooting, or display. Traditions Build-It-Yourself Rifle kits are available in a variety of models, calibers, and ignition systems.

Rossi: Rossi Single Shot Rifles feature hand-fitted wood stocks, Rossi’s recoilH_R308MB[1] pad with the distinctive white-line spacer, fully adjustable sights, and sling swivels. The center-fire models feature an extra-wide positive action extractor to ensure easy removal of the spent case when you open the breech, while the rim-fire models carry a powerful ejector that kicks the spent case clear every time.

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.