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Thread: Budget 243 options - any gems/lemons I should know about?!

  1. #1

    Budget 243 options - any gems/lemons I should know about?!

    I'm in the process of applying for my FAC and will hopefully soon be in the market for a 'pre-loved' 243. Now to be clear from the outset my budget is officially 'as little as possible'. We are talking page 1 on Guntrader here! At the moment that spans sub-200 up to just about 400 and there are clearly guns out there at that price - not fashionable or bang up to date but presumably up to the task in hand i.e. shooting the occassional Roe deer safely and humanely.

    Currently there are:

    Parker Hales
    BRNO/CZ 501/601s (are they the same maker? )
    Gibbs Rifle Co (Mauser 98 action)
    Savage 110
    Ruger M77s (Mk 1 & 2)
    Sako A11
    Remington 700
    Browning A-bolt
    and.... (if I have peek onto page 2!) a Howa 1500 at jst over 400

    I'm not buying now but I have been looking for a while and this selection seems fairly representative. I know PH are well regarded as are the Howa's and I am presuming the older Sakos could be a good purchase. Of the others are there any you would actively recommend or suggest I steer clear of?

    I'm aware condition and history is all-important and will be down to asking sensible questions of sellers and presumably maybe shelling out up front to get my hands on guns on approval, but at a maker/model level what would you recommend?!

    Many thanks in advance for your help and advice!

    Cheers,

    Andy

  2. #2
    andy

    i had an xbolt which the model above the abolt and i didnt like it at all, swapped it for a rem 700 - this mite be a good option for you if you fancy buying something cheap that you can add bits and bobs to at a later date when your a bit more flush.

    My dad has a PH and he has had it for 20 odd years and its a trusty and reliable work horse, its taken many roe over the years.

    Dont really have any experience with the others but sako is always a good name that crops up and i here a lot that the older actions are the best.

    Good Luck

  3. #3
    If you can muster 500, I would suggest this, or something very like it:

    http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...595-Deluxe-243

    An older Sako is nearly always a good choice.

    Take your time and watch the classifieds here and Guntrader etc. Something decent will turn up in short order.
    Brian.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  4. #4
    Savage, SAKO, Howa, Browning, BRNO from personal experience. Not much experience with the PH but I hear good things.~Muir

  5. #5
    BSA CF2 You could pick one up for 100-250 pounds I was playing with mine on saturday smashing 3inch rocks at 165yds off quad sticks I love it to death but it is in 6.5x55.
    AT THE AGE OF 50 I DECIDED I WAS GOING TO GROW OLD F***ING DISGRACEFULLY

  6. #6
    so long as it has a clean bore with plenty of rifling it doesnt really matter.

    I have collected 3 Parker Hale or variants of for next to nothing. all private sales all under 100.
    one was a .243 and even shot 100gr very well

  7. #7
    I would phone a few gunsmiths to see what they have lurking in their cabinets.

    There are a couple of Sako AII on guntrader for 350 and 395

    There is a Sako AII Super Deluxe on guntrader for 700 with a Walther barrel fitted by Border Barrels, bargain.
    Sako .243 AII SUPER DELUXE OAK LEAVES Bolt Action Second Hand for sale. Buy for 700.

    When Sako stopped making the AII they sold the tooling to Howa, hence the similarity.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Claret_Dabbler View Post
    Take your time and watch the classifieds here and Guntrader etc. Something decent will turn up in short order.
    Good advice there from CD... when I first got a deer calibre added to my FAC I raced out and bought pretty much the first rifle I could find in my budget (not much)... well, me and that rifle never really got along. It saw me through my DSC1 but as soon as I could afford the upgrade to a T3 the deal was done... I am now a very happy and confident shot whereas my first rifle did nothing for my shooting confidence... Take your time, save the pennies, buy a rifle that you like, trust and that will give you confidence...

    Stig

  9. #9
    Thanks for the advice guys. Exactly what I was after as the whole thing is a bit daunting. I don't have tons of cash to throw at this so I do need something that will last me, not that I want to trade in 6 months later! For the same reason I would exclude anything that needed money spent on it to come up to the mark.

    Is it practical to 'try before you buy' from a remote RFD? I guess even if they were happy to send guns out on approval I'd be stumping up for transfer fees x2 for any rifle I decided to send back... Probably doesn't make sense when I'm on a budget.

    I'm thinking if/when the FAC comes through I should get myself out to local RFDs and see what they have, even if only to try some for fit. Will be a fun shopping trip at least!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by andyf View Post
    I'm thinking if/when the FAC comes through I should get myself out to local RFDs and see what they have, even if only to try some for fit. Will be a fun shopping trip at least!
    Exactly what I did. Fit is very important, as is how each gun feels in the hand, balance and overall weight.
    I found newish guns to be heavy and bulky, those with plastic stocks in particular, whereas the old Sako felt slender svelte and just right

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