June 10th, 2023

Saturday at the Movies: Affordable Rifle Reviews

affordable optics rifle review savage Axis ii mdt guns america
Image courtesy Guns America Digest Savage Axis II Review.

Many of our regular readers are serious competitors who own top-end benchrest, F-Class, Palma, and/or Service Rifles. Such full-custom match rifles can easily exceed $5500 with optic. These premium rifles are a source of pride and competitive success. But many shooters also want something more affordable for fun rimfire matches, plinking, or varmint work. And that’s the focus of this story — good quality rifles that won’t bust your budget.

affordable optics rifle review savage Axis ii mdt guns americaVideo Reviews of Affordable Rifles
We recently found an interesting YouTube Channel that specializes in affordable rifles and scopes. This channel, appropriately named Affordable Optics and Rifle Reviews (AOFF), has 170+ helpful videos online, many with over 100,000 views. The testers are based in Canada, so they offer a perspective that’s a bit different than that of most American gun vloggers.

For todays’ Saturday at the Movies feature, we feature five of our favorite rifle reviews from the AOFF site. These videos are good starting points if you have been considering any of these rifles. Most are multi-purpose rifles that could be used in a tactical match or on a hunt.

1. Savage 110 Precision vs. Ruger Precision Rifle Comparison

These two rifles are direct competitors in the $1300-$1400 market range. The Savage combines the proven model 110 action with a modern Modular Driven Technologies (MDT) chassis. The latest Gen 3 Ruger Precision Rifle comes with a new, free-float M-LOK handguard that provides greater front scope clearance. The Ruger Precision MSR buttstock attaches to an AR-style buffer tube on a left-folding hinge, and the stock adjusts for length of pull and comb height. We have shot both rifles. We like the balance and accuracy of the Savage, but prefer the adjustable butt system on the Ruger.

2. Bergara B-14 vs. Tikka UPR Rifle Comparison

In this interesting comparison video, AOFF tests the Bergara B-14 HMR and the NEW Tikka UPR, both of which could be called cross-over rifles. You can hunt with them or shoot a tactical match. AOFF notes: “Both are GREAT rifles. In our previous reviews on these rifles, both showed great accuracy and performance out to long range (we brought them to 750m).” The Bergara B-14 runs about $1000 USD while the Tikka currently sells for about $1400.

3. Savage Axis II Precision Rifle in MDT Chassis

This video showcases the Savage Axis II Precision, chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. Priced at $899.99, this rifle offers good performance for the price. It’s a good starter rig if you want to try a PRS/NRL competition, but it can also serve well as a hunting rifle. With adjustable comb and adjustable LOP, the MDT chassis offers good ergonomics. AOFF writes: “A great option for those who are looking to get into long range shooting, but aren’t looking into remortgaging there home to do so.” AOFF says the Savage Axis II is one of the best affordable, chassis rifles on the market because it combines an accurate barreled action with a nice MDT chassis. For more info, read this very thorough Savage Axis II review in Guns America Digest.

4. MDT XRS Modular Chassis System for Tikka T3x

AOFF tested the MDT Chassis with Tikka T3x Varmint in .223 Rem and .308 Win. AOFF states that this MDT Chassis offers good value: “This is not a ‘cheap’ rifle stock, although it IS one most can afford.” The XRS Chassis is designed for shooters who want the ergonomics of a traditional-shaped rifle stock with the benefits of a modern precision rifle chassis system. The MDT XRS Chassis is constructed from a full-length CNC machined core of 6061 aircraft grade aluminum with external textured polymer panels. It is available configured for a variety of short actions including Rem 700, Tikka T1x/T3x, Savage, CZ 457, Howa 1500, and Ruger American.

5. Winchester Wildcat .22 LR Rifle

The Winchester 22 has earned very positive reviews from owners, and it is a true bargain. AOFF reports: “This Winchester rifle proved to be a fun little rifle to shoot and plink with. As light as it is, with minimal recoil makes it a pleasure to shoot. This rifle retails for $230 USD making it not only fun but affordable. Mind you it isn’t perfect. The short stock with the short grip are two … things we found that should be improved on the Winchester Wildcat 22.”

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