Firearm Talk

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?

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3 Responses to Firearm Talk

  1. DW says:

    Great outline/post and helpful. My comments are:

    1 – Will definitely look at picking up a Predator .308. Looks like a sweet rifle & a great price. Scope recommendation?

    2 – Agree on the AR market, been buying parts as budget will allow. Also saving for a Ghost Gunner. I have milled out 80%, but being a techie I like the Ghost Gunner concept and the pc CNC hookup seems infinitely expandable over time to do other things! Would love your comments on it. Plus I want to support a dude that is messing with the Fed’s! Doesn’t get more American & liberty-minded than that!

    The other thing I would like feedback on is I buy raw forged 80%. The reason is, I like to mod the trigger guard and I buy raw as after the milling I like to send it out to be fully anodized inside & out. Any recommendations or experience with anodizers?

    3 – Pump action shotguns – still like my mossberg 500, never had an issue with it. Looking for a good deal on a tube extension add-on for it.

    4 – Service pistol – I am old school, I like da/sa – been carrying a sig p228 for years, never had an issue, it’s been good to me. I like the sig p series.

    I am now working quite a bit in one of the USA’s more fascist states and concealed carry is not allowed. I know that the local gestapo, sorry I mean the police, will lock me away in a heartbeat, but I am not working anywhere unprotected. So I picked up a couple Bersa Thunder Plus pistols. Basically they stole the Walther PPK. I know it’s .380, but it’s small, so more concealable and the quality is pretty amazing, so I am happy with the pistol. My gal likes it a lot as well, easier for her to handle.

    5 – We’ve butted heads before on S&W. Those bastards betrayed the 2nd amendment back with the first Clinton regime and I don’t care how many suits they run thru their corporate office, I don’t trust them. Look they call their supposed “cool” line M&P. So military and police – really S&W. I guess they still look down on the citizen-serfs.

    Their CEO is a Brit and has been lucky to be CEO while Americans have short memories and are buying guns like never before, and he’s smart enough to stay out of the way and let sales soar, not that you have to be a genius to figure that out. We’ll see what he does when the Fed and MA state gov’t crack down again. I won’t ever buy S&W – too many other & better options!


    • rthtgnbs says:

      1. For a general purpose rifle use, a 4-12×50 Vortex Crossfire II would be a good place to start. You get a reticle that can range and provide known drops for rapid shots. For a “sniper rifle” use then something like a Bushnell Elite 10×40, Weaver 3-10×40 or Swift Premier Tactical all with a mildot scope and good finger adjustable target turrets might be better, or if you want a little more top end, the 6.5-20×44 Vortex Viper can be had for about the same cost as a Ruger Predator, and it is a very solid long range scope.

      2. I have not worked with any anodizers, but the Silicon Greybeard had a post on how he did it himself a while back. I think if you want to keep people from knowing you’ve got something, best to do the work yourself. Aluminum will naturally form an oxide layer which will offer some corrosion resistance, but it will still look like bare metal.

      3. The Mossberg 500 is definitely my #2 choice, but under heavy use the Army has found that the safety system can get worn and fail. Obviously you shouldn’t bet your life on a mechanical safety, and the ones with worn safeties still fire and function just fine. But it’s enough for me to recommend the 870 to someone who doesn’t already have a shotgun. If someone already has one, odds are they aren’t running so many rounds through them that they run into the problems the Army has, and I don’t see any need to ask them to change.

      4. Service Pistols, if you have one, there is no point in buying more unless you are stocking up for friends/family. Sig is very good, but on the used market they generally go for a bit more than the used Glocks, probably because they are generally a better pistol than a Glock for most people.

      5. Yeah, S&W has a checkered past, but they also sponsor Julie Golob who has been one of the shooting communities best ambassadors on social media, but whether any good done now makes up for bad done then is just one of those things that every consumer is going to have to decide for themselves. Ruger also has a history of not supporting the 2nd Amendment consistently, but they still have a pretty solid line of American made firearms. Colt routinely overcharged the DOD for firearms, so it isn’t like there a bunch of pure angels to choose from in the category.


      • DW says:

        Thanks for the optic recommendations and anodizing reference. I haven’t noticed any issues with the mossberg safety, but I don’t have a high number of slugs down it either, so I will keep an eye on that.

        As far firearms manufacturers, S&W sticks out to me because they did such an obvious FU to US citizens and a$$-kissed the clinton administration. But sadly you are right, a majority of big corporations will toss any concerns about the bill of rights aside in the quest for profits if the gov’t is running the show. All the more reason to return the US to constitutional and free-market principles. But that’s a whole separate blog post, some of which you addressed a few posts back with some ideas.


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