New cheaper or Secondhand Quality Make


Active Member
Looking at my 308 options. Would I be better off with a new rifle from a budget brand or second hand from a quality brand. Do cheaper brands not handle abuse and large number of rounds as well as premium brands. Does accuracy drop off quicker on a budget rifle. Do all rifles come out the factories with pretty much the same moa? I have been happy with the performance of my tikka in 223 for a few years now. Thanks


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All depends what you want to spend I reckon.

One persons second hand budget might be 1/4 of another’s, which hugely effects the rifles they are looking at.

I bought a 308 Remington model 7 off this site last year I think it was just over £200.

It shoots cheap Privi ammo within 1 -1.5” at 100 yards.

I’ve not really tested it further. I shot a Roe with it at about 70 yards that we called in and am going to try and book a stalk on something a bit bigger coming up.

The scope and mod I put on it both cost as much as the gun.

I love it as it’s lovely and light and you could carry it all day.

Have a think what you want the rifle for and to do. I don’t need a huge sniper rifle that weights in 14lb+ That can shoot 0.1 MOA.


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Plenty of good ‘cheap’ rifles out there which will shoot as well as the expensive ones. If you’re stalking/hunting anything which reliably puts a bullet within the kill zone will do. Assuming a 4” kill zone and a max range of 300yds, that means you’re fine with anything that shoots about an inch at 100yds.

Tikkas, Howas, CZs etc are all known to shoot very well and be just as reliable as the next thing.

Spending more will get you something with a nicer finish and more ‘appeal’, if you care, but won’t make an iota of difference to you when hunting.

Second hand can lead to some great bargains, certainly helped by our licensing system which kills resale value. However, I’d only suggest it if you have a reasonable understanding of rifles and can spot a deal from a lemon (you may have that, I have no idea) but would be careful of second hand otherwise.


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Hmmm. Interesting question. For what it is worth, I have 2 Remington 700s - one of which is in 308 and it is a super accurate rifle. It vies for accuracy with my .222 but the triple deuce shades it - just. You can pick up a new Remmy SPS in 308 for just on £1k or used for £300 upwards (be careful!) and if my experiences over the last 15 and 30 years respectively are anything to go by, you will be a very happy bunny. As a wild card, and a bit more expensive, I also have a Steyr Mannlicher which I consider to be an excellent rifle although not in 308, rather it is in 6.5x55SE but this rifle punches well above its weight and is great for any legal UK quarry (or indeed anything in your local zoo) and as it is softer shooting than the 308 you can actually see the bullet strike. I can thoroughly recommend either of these manufacturers.
The age-old advice to spend more on the scope and good mounts than on the rifle still holds good though you will see many good offers of quality used scopes on this site at considerable savings.
At the end of the day it is very much your call, dependent on finances. I wish you luck in your quest, my friend.


Well-Known Member
2nd hand .308 that shoots like the devil, QUALITY synthetic stock, great trigger, dual stud up front for sling and bipod, already screwcut for mod?
Have a look for a proper Remington 700 Police with 40X trigger and the right HS Precision stock on one of the sales sites.
Great accuracy, not as heavy as everyone makes out and are superb rifles. Plenty of aftermarket widely available as well, not that it's necessary if you get the Police, but if you feel the need it's available. Easy as pie to get rails etc as well.


Well-Known Member
308W usually has good barrel life so I wouldn't be concerned about buying used. You can pick up some real bargains if you don't feel the need to buy new. Tikka, Sako, Steyr Mannlicher, Sauer or Schultz and Larsen are all quality makes and can be rebarrelled if shot out.


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I was fortunate enough to get a secondhand rifle in 6.5x55 Swe from MacLeods of Tain.
The rifle had been bought by a customer who zeroed it but then decided he wanted a .308!
So although the rifle was secondhand, barely 40 rounds had been put through it.
Cue one happy chappy😁


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Objectively there is not much in it...Subjectively is another matter.

Objectively the Swedish Test showed that the least expensive Howa scored best in test with their criteria. Depends what your criteria include.

Rifle test chart.jpg

Have a look at the full test report with google translate...

Subjectively I think it is really important that you handle the rifle and preferably shoot it before you buy. You are familiar and happy with Tikka so that would seem a reasonable start for you to work from with comparisons.

Geographically you are reasonably well placed to visit the two RFDs who offer "try before you buy" that I know of. Paul Hill at Corinium Range near Kemble/Cirencester for the new rifles from Blaser Sauer Mauser brands, and Steve Beatty at Ivythorn Sporting near Street Somerset who has a great range of new and second hand rifles.

As far as new or second hand goes I have no worries either way...but I have always based any equipment purchase on quality, functionality and personal prejudice rather than price...always buy the one you can't quite afford, and then enjoy it.

My third and fourth air rifles which are PCPs were both new, my first centre fire was a second hand Blaser R93 which I have since replaced with a new R8 and my 22LR is a very second hand (stock repaired) Sako Finnfire. Only 3 out of the 7no. scopes/sights were bought new.

Good luck, Alan
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Well-Known Member
You are familiar and happy with Tikka so that would seem a reasonable start for you to work from with comparisons.
This ☝️☝️

I'd be choosing between a new Tikka or the likes of a second-hand Sako. Which is better for you is largely down to your own personal preference: would you prefer a new Ford or a second-hand Audi?

With cars, I'd probably go for the new Ford. But all my guns are second hand top-league factory rifles.

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
I would always look for quality first. Look for an older quality rifle that has seen little use. Most rifles sit in gun cabinets most of their lives and are taken out once of twice a year for a couple or three days stalking. Most shoot a box or two of ammo a year.

As for accuracy - well if you want ultimate accuracy get a heavy test barrel - but it will useless in real life. Most accuracy is a function of the stalker and their ability to put a bullet into the killzone of an animal. It is quite different from theoretical accuracy from shooting of a bench.


Well-Known Member
I don't buy used rifles at all. This is since I am on the internet. Now I know how people mistreat their rifles.
Wrong or no cleaning, unqualified tinkering with triggers and beddings, leaving mods on during storage and so on.

But please don't do it after me. How should buy my old scrap otherwise?
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