Guns Like firearms themselves, there's a wide variety of opinions on what's the best gun.

Entry level gun ?

Old 02-03-2011, 11:38 AM
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Default Entry level gun ?

Why do "some" have a problem with the phrase "Entry Level" ?

Which implies; that it's not as expensive in comparison to most others.

Nothing more and nothing less.


Relatively easy concept - no ?
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:06 PM
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I think that in some cases it is as you imply ... that a person may feel "entry level" means cheaper, less quality, or inferior. In many cases an entry level firearm may be a solid machine with only the necessities to perform a good job in the field.

I would consider that a perfect entry level firearm for a new hunter of ANY age would be a used gun from a decent manufacturer in good condition and sporting a decent scope but in a light kicking round. And, of course it must fit the shooter's frame and form so that it is comfortable to shoot. A used .243 in a vanilla model 110 Savage would fit the bill, as would many other guns.

In other cases I think those that may shun the term "entry level" are just being snobbish.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:22 PM
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I have a Rem. SPS which I consider an entry level gun.Put a BDL or CDL stock on it and it's no longer entry level.IMO there are alot of gun companies putting injection molded stocks on guns to keep the price down and it makes the gun seem cheap.
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:47 AM
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Question Entry level?

Entry level guns are viewed by the gun using "elite" as cheap, shoddy guns that they are too good to use, I guess. It is much the same to me as an entry level, or "price point" bow. With bows, there is actually more of a difference in performance between the lower priced options, and top of the line (which are incredibly expensive and getting worse by the year.) With guns, there are some very nice ones out there that could serve a shooter well for many years, if not a lifetime. Most can be made accurate enough, and the performance of an "entry level" 30/06 may be nearly identical to an expensive model. Why should a person who is just finding out if they are interested in shooting/hunting buy a really expensive gun? 3 years ago, I bought my son a Mossberg youth combo 20 gauge. He only shot his first doe with it, and last year in 2 days of PA's youth pheasant hunt, he killed 3 birds with 5 shots. When he asked about trading it in at a local shop, he was advised to keep it, since it had little trade value. Does its job quite well though.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:37 AM
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I guess cause non "entry level" guns don't scream cheap.

When I bought my young son his "entry level" guns I bought the kind of guns he would keep the rest of his life and be proud to own.
He shoots them well because he appreciates that they were not the basement bottom price just to get him in the field. Oh...and they have nice scopes too !
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:03 AM
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Default Entry Level?

In my experience most people who are looking for an "entry level" firearm are trying to determine whether or not they really want to persue hunting and/ or the shooting sports. Many fathers have found that their sons, who have begged to go to the woods, don't really like it once they get there.
Another observation that I have made is that with the abundance of aftermarket parts an entry level rifle can become a custom quite readily.As a matter of fact I have been hunting and shooting for well over 50yrs. and have in the last 10 years built seven custom or semi-custom rifles, all of which began as "entry level" rifles. All except one are Savage/Stevens platforms. The lone exception is a Ruger #3(the little brother to the #1) which is no longer made because of its "plain jane" appearence and low volume sales.
GOOD LUCK and GOOD SHOOTING!!!
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:47 AM
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If my son opted out after I had purchased non entry level guns it would certainly have made my collection that much better. Its a win/win for me.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:14 PM
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In general, the term "Entry Level" is used to describe a product that is not as capable as a "top of the line" model, but will exceed the abilities of a new user, so it gives them a chance to make a "budget friendly" purchase and learn the ropes, and then purchase a more advanced product when their skills finally exceed the abilities of their equipment.

The PROBLEM with that logic, in terms of hunting rifles or optics, is that it really doesn't take that much skill to make a vital area hit of a coyote to elk sized animal at typical hunting ranges. A Stevens 200 .243win with a 3-9x40mm Bushnell Banner spitting Remington Core-Lokts is JUST as effective at killing a deer at 100-200yrds as a Krieger barreled Stiller Viper 7mmWSM with a Nightforce Benchrest 8-32x56mm spitting custom handloaded Bergers, except that the Stevens likely cost about $500 total instead of $5,000, and the .243win has manageable recoil even for a new shooter, compared to the thumping of a 7mmWSM. The 3-9x40mm Bushnell Banner is a budget scope, but is plenty durable enough, clear enough, and user-friendly enough for a new shooter to get it sighted in and hold it on target at 100-200yrds, and it won't have all of the confusing bells and whistles of the Nightforce competition scope. The Core-lokts aint the belle of the ball, but they do the job for JimBob Ownagun, and they don't require the time and experience to hand roll the custom ammo.

However, when it comes to delivering a 0.5MOA group at 1,000yrds, the Stevens isn't going to keep up.

At the end of the day, if it were legal, I could drive a NASCAR monte carlo to the grocery store just as effectively as I could a Toyota Camry, but when it comes to Talladega, the Camry just isn't going to make the cut.

Entry level guns will do the job for the average hunter, and they save the new shooter a bit of cash as he/she starts a new hobby. If a guy spends $500 on a rifle and scope, then only hunts one season, he can likel sell it for $350 and only be out a little. Or he can keep it in the closet and not feel too bad about having $500 sitting around collecting dust. On the other hand, a remington 700 Sendero with a Leupold Mark IV scope will run you just under $3,000, and resale will be a lot less than $2,850. And having a $3,000 paperweight in the closet would be a MAJOR waste, compared to a $500 stevens.

How angry would your wife be if you blew $500 in Vegas? How angry would she be if you blew $3,000?

On the flip side, "Entry level" guns are often bought by "entry level" hunters, who are often "entry level" age. A 16-24yr old kid buying his first deer rifle doesn't likely have a lot of money to throw around. My first deer rifle was a USED Ruger Mark II M-77 .30-06 with a 4-16x40mm Tasco. The whole deal cost me $400 when I was 15. I worked my BUTT OFF all summer saving up $400. Now that I'm older, I have pairs of shoes that cost more than $400, let alone rifles. My first car was a 20yr old Chevy S-10 pick up with 150,000miles. It was a great "Entry level" truck because it worked well enough, and it was within my budget. Now that I'm older and have a decent job, it's a '08 Chrysler 300 and a 2010 Dodge Ram, plus the wife's 07Volkswagon Jetta. When price is a MAJOR determining factor, we're sometimes forced to buy WHAT WE CAN AFFORD, when it's not, then we buy WHAT WE WANT.

But in general, I do agree that having a $3,000 rig to do the job of a $500 rig is typically a waste of money, but you don't have to push the envelope very hard before you find the limits of a $500 rig.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:17 PM
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Wink Shoes?

I would not mind spending some money for a good rifle if I needed one. I draw the line at spending more than $400 for a pair of shoes though.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by JOE PA
I would not mind spending some money for a good rifle if I needed one. I draw the line at spending more than $400 for a pair of shoes though.
I have 2 things to say about Joe's wording here...

First off, "Good rifle"... A Steven's 200 is a "good rifle". A Ruger ranch rifle is a "good rifle". A Vanguard is a "good rifle". I can't think of anything from the major players that aren't "good guns". There are guns out there that aren't "Good", like a hi-point pistols, or Jennings pistols, but by and large, the major manufacturers do a good job at producing even "budget friendly" or "entry level" rifles that do a good job.

Personally, a "good rifle" is probably a "GREAT hunting rifle". I'd never knock an entry level rifle as a hunting rifle, and I certainly wouldn't necessarily just call it "a good rifle".

The 2nd thing is "if I ever needed one"... 90% of hunters are guys that sighted their rifle in at 50 or 100yrds and read a balistics chart to guess-timate where it's going to hit at 200, 400, and 600yrds, then they keep their rifle in the closet all year, then go fire a group or two before season to double check the zero (maybe not) and take it deer hunting... And they always come home with meat for the pot. (One of my uncles is still hunting out of the same 4 boxes of ammo he bought 40yrs ago the day he bought his rifle-only sighted in once).

My point is, unless you just WANT something a little more refined (read: drive a luxury car), or you have another USE for the rifle, like precision competition, then the average hunter would never NEED anything more than an entry level gun.

Luxury rifles: A Lexus doesn't necessarily last any longer than a Honda Civic, it just looks better doing it. A Weatherby might not last any longer, or shoot any straighter than a Vangaurd (same company), it just looks better doing it...

Precision rifles: A NASCAR car doesn't last NEARLY as long as a Honda Civic, but the demands for it's short life are MUCH higher. A hunting rifle like a Stevens 200 might last for generations without ever needing any work done, while 1,000yrd shooters can go through a barrel every few months.
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