If you’re looking for your first rifle, you obviously don’t want to spend too much money.
This is especially the case if you’re just entering the world of guns and aren’t sure if you’ll take to it as a hobby. That’s why it’s always a good idea to start out with a budget rifle.
What should you look for in a rifle?
Some important elements include unblemished, finely-machined surfaces; accuracy; and ease of use. You don’t want your first rifle to be a headache to use and maintain.
Budget rifles don’t have to mean that you’re not getting quality guns. You can find excellent rifles on the market that have stellar features without breaking the bank. With that in mind, let’s explore the best budget rifle for beginners, along with four alternative choices.
Best Budget Rifle For Beginners – Reviews & Buying Guide for 2021
Best Budget Rifle, Winner: Hi-Point 9TS 9mm Carbine – 995TS
If you want a user-friendly rifle that you can use whether you’re a beginner or experienced gun owner, this is a great choice. Here’s what you should know about why it makes the number-one spot on our list of the best budget rifles to buy.
- This is the best beginner-friendly rifle that’s value for money because of how easy it is to handle and control. Those are important to have in your first rifle otherwise you’ll find learning how to use it a chore.
- It’s built to last. It’s made out of rugged polymer stock and also has a 4149 steel barrel to boot. This will keep it strong against a variety of factors, such as wear and tear, bad weather conditions, and damage.
- It comes with rear and front sights that are fully adjustable for more convenience.
- It has a quick two-position thumb safety to increase your security. Safety first!
- It’s also got a grip-mounted clip release for more comfort and user-friendliness.
- It comes with Weaver-style rails. This is beneficial because its slots are .180 inches in width, which is quite a bit thinner than Picatinny slots that are .206 inches wide, creating a sleeker and more streamlined design.
- This rifle was built to combat the assault rifle restrictions, which are quite prominent in many U.S. states. This is why it uses less than 10 rounds, but you can get 20 rounds upon request.
- This gun has been found to be solid and accurate, giving you the power you need – and perhaps didn’t expect – in a budget rifle.
- This gun does lack a few details that would make using it more comfortable. For example, it doesn’t have ambidextrous controls and its safety lever is quite flimsy.
- If this is not your first rifle, you might find yourself disappointed with its Weaver rail as your optics might not be the right size for it.
Runner Up: Hi-Point 995TS Carbine Camo DD Luger Semi Auto Rifle
Our number-two spot on our list of reviews goes to Hi-Point again! This time, their Carbine Camo 9mm Luger semi-automatic rifle hits the sweet spot at an affordable price.
The “TS” stands for “Tactical Stock,” and it’s an upgrade to the company’s classic 995 model. Let’s check it out in greater detail.
- It has an internal recoil buffer, making it great for you if you’re a beginner.
- It has multiple Weaver rails for greater accessory attachments.
- This budget rifle comes with a quick and easy to use on/off thumb safety mechanism to keep you safe.
- It has a last round lock open feature. This means that the rifle will be easier and faster for you to reload as a result of how its bolt stays open after the last round is fired.
- Just like with the previous Hi-Point rifle, this one comes with fully adjustable sights.
- This best budget semi auto rifle is resistant to weather conditions, thanks to its polymer skeletonized stock.
- If you’re a beginner who’s using this gun for the first time, it’s worth noting that not all ammo feeds well from the magazine. A good tip is to choose full metal jacket (FMJ) or round-nose ammo.
Alternative: Hi-Point 995TS Carbine RD Luger Semi-Auto Rifle With Red Dot Scope
This Hi-Point offering has the same weight, round capacity, and barrel length as the previous rifle on our list. So, what makes it different? It has some noteworthy features you should know about. Let’s dive into its pros and cons.
- This budget rifle has a twist rate of 1:9. This is great for offering a balanced shooting experience because it isn’t too fast that it causes problems with the bullets but it’s speedy enough to keep your bullets stabilized.
- This best budget rifle is fitted with a polymer skeletonized stock with an internal recoil buffer to make using it much more comfortable.
- It has a quick on/off thumb safety so you can always ensure you stay safe when carrying it around and shooting it.
- It’s got fully adjustable sights.
- To make finding your target a breeze, this gun comes with a red dot scope.
- This gun comes with a free trigger lock.
- Just like the previous gun on our list of reviews, this one has a last round lock open feature.
- This gun is very accurate and is said to have the same reliability as what you’d find in a more expensive firearm.
- What you might not like about this rifle is that it isn’t very simple to disassemble and you’ll require some tools for the job.
- The safety lever on the left side of the gun’s receiver is weak and flimsy, while also not being ambidextrous.
Alternative 2: Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22 Sport
This gun has positive reviews and an excellent track record. Should you own it? Here are its advantages and potential drawbacks.
- This M&P rifle doesn’t weigh a lot – in fact, at just 4.8 pounds, it’s the lightest budget rifle on our list, which makes it compact and easy to carry. This makes it the best hunting rifle.
- It’s got a slim handguard that includes the Magpul M-LOK system. This means that you can easily customize it according to your whims without having to remove the gun’s handguard.
- This is also compatible with Picatinny-style rail sections so you can further customize your gun.
- It comes with Magpul MBUS front and rear folding sights. These are both strong yet light so they won’t weigh you down.
- It comes with a shell deflector, which is a nice touch.
- This gun also has a six-position CAR stock. Adjustable stocks are useful because of how they enable you to adjust the length of the stock depending on what you need to use the gun for.
- While this gun can be said to be the best budget deer rifle, it does have a bit of a problem with its plastic handguard. Usually plastic handguards are equipped with metal shields to protect the plastic. This one has a thin metal protection which can make your hands feel warm, and it can especially become an issue if you’re using your gun for a longer shooting session.
Alternative 3: Savage Arms Axis XP 308 4 Round Bolt Action Centerfire Rifle
If you’re looking for an entry-level rifle that you can use for activities such as hunting, this Savage Arms Axis XP rifle has some powerful features. Let’s explore if it’s worth buying and what you should know about it.
- This rifle has a factory-mounted and bore-sighted Weaver 3-9x40mm scope. This ensures greater accuracy.
- It’s made of strong synthetic stock for greater durability.
- It’s designed with smooth bolt action.
- Both its barrel and receiver materials are made with carbon steel for greater durability.
- This rifle makes use of a detachable magazine box. This is useful because it enables you to remove and attach the mag and load it separately. So, if you’re carrying more than one magazine that’s pre-loaded with cartridges, you can switch between them when you need to without a hassle.
- The gun has some light texturing so that your hand will have a good grip when holding it. This makes it much more comfortable to shoot.
- To make it safer and easier to use, this best best budget bolt action rifle comes with a cocking indicator so you can see when the gun’s ready to fire.
- One of the drawbacks some people have experienced with this rifle is that it has a trigger take-up that’s inconsistent at times.
- The scope that’s installed on the rifle is of average quality.
Budget Rifle FAQ
After reading our reviews of the best budget rifles on the market, you might know which one you should purchase. Before you go ahead, make sure you read our FAQs.
What is the most accurate rifle caliber?
There are quite a few good choices at your disposal if you’re looking for the most accurate rifle caliber. A good all-round and accurate caliber is the 6.5 Creedmoor. This has become a very popular caliber for various applications, and it’s effective for hunting.
If you’re skilled, you could strike a target at 600 yards with it. The 6.5 Creedmoor also has a bit of an advantage over the .308 Winchester when it comes to wind drift, such as in hunting or competition situations, which certainly makes it the best budget long range rifle caliber.
Another caliber worth knowing about is the 6mm PPC. This is usually used in benchmark shooting. It’s known as one of the most accurate cartridges to shoot with at around 300 yards.
In case you’re wondering what makes for an accurate caliber, an important factor is having less powder in the case. This directly influences how accurate the cartridge will be. Too much powder translates into more recoil and increases the rifle’s vibrations.
Another important factor to consider is the case itself. It should fit the chamber perfectly and have a low amount of body taper, as well as a sharp shoulder and lots of neck. This design will ensure that there are no wobbles produced inside the case, so the bullet will fit well inside the bore.
These are all important to look for when shopping for budget long range rifle calibers as they will certainly make a difference in your shooting experience.
What are the 3 main parts of a rifle?
A rifle can be broken into three main parts: an action, a barrel, and a stock.
- The action of a rifle is the heart of the gun. It’s where ejection, firing, and loading take place. It’s made up of three important components: a hammer, trigger, and bolt.
- The barrel of the rifle is a hollow rod that’s attached to the action. It basically functions to push the bullet out of the rifle. Barrels have spiral grooves on the inside that help to make bullets spin when they’re fired. This also helps to produce stability. This type of design is called rifling and it’s one of the differences between rifles and shotguns.
- The stock is the back part of the gun that helps to keep your gun stable during shooting. It also enables you to aim accurately as well as deal with recoil. You can choose wood or synthetic stocks. You can find stocks that have a foldable design, while others don’t.
- What’s the most important part of the rifle? It’s said to be the barrel. This is because if you have a good barrel on your gun, you can’t do much to make the gun shoot badly, but if the barrel isn’t of a high quality you won’t be able to do anything to improve shooting with the gun. The gun’s barrel is basically 90 percent of the gun, so it’s highly important!
What distance should I zero my rifle?
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to where you zero your rifle. Different distances will help you in different ways. However, it’s said that zeroing your rifle at a distance of 100 yards is useful because it makes it easier to find a place to zero and recheck the zero, and any light wind won’t have much of an effect.
You can also zero at 200 or 300 yards, but it does become more difficult to do so. This is because it’s easier to encounter errors, such as when it comes to the environmental conditions. You’ll find that the zeroing will only be accurate for that day, and you’ll have to keep redoing it.
When zeroing a rifle, there are some important tips you should follow, such as the following:
1. Install the scope properly. It has to be tight and accurately mounted to your rifle otherwise it will just cause you to have to redo the zeroing process. The scope should also be mounted with 3 to 4 inches of eye relief and the windage turret should be on the right side, while the reticle should be aligned at a 90 degree angle to the bore.
2. Choose the distance that makes the most sense for your activities. For example, if you hunt game at 40 yards, you should zero your gun at 40 yards.
3. When zeroing your rifle, it helps to set up a target and then adjust your scope until you strike the bullseye.
4. But, you can also make a rough adjustment of the sight, and this is especially worth doing if you have newly installed the scope on your rifle. Here’s how to do it:
- Rest your gun firmly on the shooting bench or support. This step is essential to give you accurate results. If you don’t have a shooting bench, your support could take the form of a wooden bench or a sandbag.
- Look through the barrel so that you can see the target.
- Center the target ring through the barrel.
- Glance up through binoculars to see that you’re zoned in on the target.
- Adjust your scope until you are inside the target. There are different ways in which to adjust your scope depending on the type of scope you have. For example, red dot sights usually have small knobs you can move to adjust the reticle on the lens up and down, or left to right. On the other hand, iron sights allow you to adjust the elevation by turning the front sight tip to lower or raise it, while you can also adjust the windage by moving the knob on the rear aperture.
Extra Tips For Zeroing Your Rifle:
1. It could help to use a laser bore sighter. This laser pointer is designed in such a way that it mimics a round you would load into your gun. Load the bore sighter on your rifle The red dot will display where the barrel’s pointed on the target. This will help you see where on the target your rounds will strike. Look through the sights at the dot so you can adjust them until the red dot is centered.
2. When aiming for the center of the target, fire one round. Then do two more. This will give you a group of shots, known as a shot group, to help you figure out if you’re shooting consistently and if your sights are set up effectively.
3. When you’ve made an adjustment to the rifle’s sights, you will have to fire another shot group at the target. This will finetune your zeroing.
Does the government know what guns I own?
In order to find out if the government knows what guns you own, it’s important to understand the rules when it comes to gun ownership. Federal law deems it necessary for licensed firearm dealers to keep records of gun sales for a minimum of 20 years.
This must include information about firearms that have been purchased as well as the purchaser. However, federal law does prohibit the federal government from being able to collect firearm sales records in a central repository.
Interestingly, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) records concerning gun sales and gun owners are maintained on paper instead of electronically, which makes it tricky to search the records. This is done on purpose because the ATF is legally prohibited from doing so.
It’s understood that the National Rifle Association (NRA) doesn’t want any government entity to have a national registration record keeping system as it can violate personal rights regarding the Second Amendment.
Buying a rifle doesn’t have to be expensive, and it shouldn’t be if you’re just starting out with your shooting hobby. In this article, we’ve outlined the best budget rifle for beginners along with four competing products to help you find the best gun.
After reading the FAQ section of this buying guide, you now also have a better idea about using rifles, such as how to zero them for greater accuracy.