October 5, 2023

2023 Budget Rifle Roundup — Make Your Shots and Dollars Count

Studio image of budget rifles on a cement background.

We cover the best budget rifles of 2023 in 10-Minute talk episode 244. If you’re in the market for a reliable and economical hunting rig, look no further. Discover the top budget hunting rifles so you can select the one that’s right for you — and your wallet. Prices listed reflect approximate cost at retail and may vary.

Browning AB3 Composite Stalker Rifle

Browning AB3 Composite Stalker - $600

The Browning AB3 Composite Stalker is a popular choice for cost-conscious hunters seeking a bit more refined rifle that doesn’t break the bank. Boasts a free-floating, button-rifled barrel (the same barrel used on their premium X-Bolt series) for exceptional accuracy and consistency. Features a 60-degree bolt throw for fast operation, durable composite stock, and detachable box magazine. Top tang safety locks the bolt. Bolt unlock button lets you unload the rifle with the safety on.

Franchi Momentum Rifle

Franchi Momentum — $550

The Franchi Momentum is another contender in the budget hunting rifle category. Its free-floating, cold hammer-forged barrel is threaded to accept a muzzle brake or suppressor. Features an ergonomic synthetic stock with integrated sling attachment points. Fluted bolt with 60-degree throw for fast cycling. Single-stage trigger adjusts from 2 to 4 lbs. Hinged floorplate magazine. Advertised 1-MOA accuracy with premium factory ammunition.

Winchester XPR

Winchester XPR — $540

The Winchester XPR will not only work hard for you but is worth a hard look. Polished features deliver standout fit, finish, and performance. M.O.A. Trigger System is notably crisp and breaks clean. Button-Rifled, free-floated steel barrel delivers accuracy you can count on. A durable and comfortable synthetic stock withstands the rigors of any hunt. Detachable box magazine. 5/8"x24 threading for suppressor or muzzle brake. Bolt unlock button lets you unload the rifle with the safety on. Talley Picatinny scope rail included.

CVA Cascade Rifle

CVA Cascade — $700

The CVA Cascade is a high-quality, value-packed hunting rifle. It lands on the upper end of our self-imposed price ceiling but has the features to back it up. Elements you generally find on more expensive rifles include the Cerakote barrel finish in Flat Dark Earth that complements the grippy camouflage finish on the ergonomic synthetic stock. Trigger break is crisp and clean. Threaded barrel for the addition of a muzzle brake or suppressor. The rifle features a two-position safety and detachable box magazine.

Savage Axis Rifle

Savage Axis — $350

The Savage Axis is known for its sound performance coupled with absurdly low price. The most affordable in this group, its synthetic stock offers a comfortable grip and is extremely durable. Carbon steel barrel is button-rifled, guaranteeing consistent accuracy. As with most rifles in this category, it features a two-position safety and detachable box magazine.

Ruger American Rifle

Ruger American — $500

Notable accuracy has earned the Ruger American a legendary reputation for low-cost precision. Ruger Marksman Adjustable trigger offers a crisp release with a pull weight that is user adjustable between 3 and 5 pounds. Ergonomic, lightweight synthetic stock. One-piece, three-lug bolt with 70-degree throw. Cold hammer-forged barrel. Features a tang safety and detachable box magazine. Factory-installed, one-piece picatinny scope base.

Mossberg Patriot Synthetic Cerakote

Mossberg Patriot Synthetic Cerakote — $450

Finally, the Mossberg Patriot is a very worthy mention in our roundup. This rifle features a synthetic stock to withstand harsh hunting environments. The fluted bolt-action operates smoothly and reliably, providing shooters with consistent performance. A fluted barrel with Cerakote finish is accurate, aids in heat dispersion and resists whatever mother nature wants to throw at it. And, the barrel is threaded to accept a muzzle brake or suppressor – a feature not to be ignored. A two-position safety and detachable box magazine round out its feature set.

All these rifles offer excellent utility, performance, and value for their price. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference, specific hunting needs, and of course, budget. Choose the model that’s right for you and hit the field with confidence.

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