I had a few real nice bolt action hunting rifles in various calibers and I decided I wanted to try and build a budget rifle for around $800.00 that would shoot just as good if not better than what I had. I wanted this rifle to be lightweight as well. I also wanted that rifle to be chambered in .308. It would be my first .308 bolt action rifle. I searched high and low for deals and found a Stevens Model 200 made by Savage.
The Stevens 200 is a bare bones rifle built on the popular Savage Model 10 short action. It has a standard Savage trigger with a lightweight polymer stock in a grey color and a free-floated sporter style 22″ barrel with 1:10 twist. It has a three position safety: fire, safe-open bolt, safe-locked bolt. It holds four rounds in an internal non-removable box magazine. It weighed in at 6.48lbs. and is 41.75″ long.
The first thing I did was order a scope and rings for it. I found a sale on a Bushnell Elite 3200 Rifle Scope 10x and bundled some Burris Zee rings. I picked up a Burris Extreme two piece base from another vendor and got to painting the rifle and scope. Using Krylon Fusion paint, I gave it a nice subdued camo paint job for the area I would be using it up in the mountains.
The factory trigger broke at 7.2lbs, so I added a Rfile Basix trigger set it at 3lbs, a cheek pad and recoil pad and I was off to the range. The trigger has a crisp break with no creep. The limb saver was definitely needed on this rifle due to the weight and was worth every penny. The cheek piece is adjustable and allowed for a great cheek weld. I zeroed it on a sled and have ben out shooting it a lot over the years.
The Priv Partizan 168 grain boat tail match was my zero ammo.
Here is an initial grouping at 100 yards:
I also tried out 180 grain core lokt hunting ammo on the 168 grain zero and it opened up quite a bit at 100 yards:
and 200 yards (3rd shot off target high):
Here is my most recent grouping, at 200 yards with the 168 grain match ammo,a s you can see I have gotten more accurate with it over time:
So I was able to build a great shooter for a great price.
The final build weighs in at 8.2 lbs
Here is the build details and cost:
All prices include tax and shipping at the time.
Burris Xtreme Tactical Scope Steel 2-Piece Bases from Optics Planet $22.28
Karsten’s Custom Cheek Rest A-Model from Tactical Works $65.00
Rifle Basix Trigger 1-3lbs from Midway $83.07
Model 10111 Limbsaver Precision Fit Recoil Pad from Walnut Creek Archery $35.36
Camo sling on sale Rack at the local K-Mart $10.15
Grand Total: $812.91
About the price of a Remington 700 VTR without optics and an inferior trigger. I am very happy with it. In the future I plan on modifying it to accept detachable magazines.