Every once in a while I like to look at the current market and see what is a solid deal, and what really isn’t.
Bolt action rifles. There is one rifle that keeps standing out as a solid value, the Ruger American Predator in either 6.5 Creedmoor or 308 Win. Pick your preference. The rifle is about the closest thing you can get to the old Steyr SSG-69 sniper rifle feature for feather from the synthetic green stock to the 60 degree three lug bolt, to the four round detachable box magazine. The Steyr SSG-69 would set you back well over a grand, the Ruger American Predator can be had for less than 400 bucks. If someone doesn’t have a “big game” rifle that can double as a “tactical” rifle, this is the one purchase answer to fulfill both needs.
Semi-Auto rifles. The AR-15 market is weird, you can buy the parts and build your own, or pay just a few dollars more to get an assembles S&W or Anderson or Colt. Right now is probably not the time to be buying ARs though. The AK market has nothing I would currently recommend. My opinion is that now is a great time to buy ammo and components for firearms you have, not ARs or AKs.
Service Pistol. Used Glock 17s and 19s for people who don’t want to upgrade the trigger on a S&W M&P. We’ve been looking at “wundernines” for decades now, they still work, and they are still a good buy.
Semi-auto Shotguns: The Stoeger M2000 is still the best bet for someone looking for a shotgun that doubles hunting and tactical.
Pump action Shotguns: Rem 870 still holds the title as a solid buy. Too many variations to count, but you can mix’n match to your hearts content. Sure yours will be just another 870 like everybody else has, but just like having an AR that means repairs and upkeep is cheaper.
Revolvers: Nothing currently on the market that I would call a screaming deal, but the used market always has something for everybody willing to shop around.
Rimfire Pistol, Semi Auto: Ruger MkIII and 22/45 series. They are still a good buy, and a great training tool. The 22/45 is great for die hard 1911 shooters who don’t want to buy a rimfire conversion for their 1911. For manipulation drills, getting an airsoft pistol the same model as your carry pistol is probably the best training option out there right now.
Rimfire Rifle, Bolt Action or single shot: Savage MkII variants and Ruger American Rimfire are better values than CZ right now, although I’m quite fond of the CZs with real walnut stocks. With the cost of 22lr being what it is now, I recommend getting a quality air rifle for training marksmanship fundamentals. The cost will be comparable up front, but the cost of ammunition on the backside will save you hundreds of dollars with use.
Rimfire Rifle, Semi Auto: Ruger 10/22. The aftermarket support is better than any other semi auto ever built. Pretty much everything else will work, but long term the 10/22 is about the best bet there is.
So Ruger gets a nod in four categories, which is a pretty solid recommendation for the brand. Savage has fallen off the list, but I still think they are solid rifles with a lot going for them. Remington only gets a nod in the shotgun category, and that is simply because of installed market base and aftermarket support rather than purchase value. Smith and Wesson came up twice with their M&P line, but I honestly recommend buying either used if you can.
Comments are open, did I miss one of your favorites? Did I pick something you disagree with?