You might be asking, “What is unspent cash?” But there are always prepared bargain hunters who squirrel away a few dollars throughout the year, supplemented by holiday gifts of money, with the goal of finding post-Christmas sales. 

Whether you’ve got a few greenbacks or a blank check, we’ve curated some proven, used, reliable hunting arms – shotguns, rifles, and handguns – worthy of your hard-earned money. 

Guns $150 – $300

Heritage Rough Rider
From budget plinkers to affordable home defense, here are some low-price picks. (Photo: Kristen Alberts/

Here are our picks for the $150-$300 range:

Handgun: Heritage Rough Rider

These single-action rimfire revolvers are inexpensive, yet they offer considerably more enjoyment and reliability than their price tag suggests. Whether you grab a .22 LR version or – better still – one of the combo rigs with the .22 WMR magnum cylinder, the Rough Rider is a pure budget-cowboy gun. 


Shotgun: Stevens 320

When it comes to budget home defense, the Stevens 320 is a perfect choice. This model comes equipped with tactical-style sights and aggressive grip texture on the pistol grip and forend. With a five-round capacity and a price tag under $225, this is ideal for home defense on a budget. 


Guns $300 – $500


Benelli Nova
Hunting doesn't have to be expensive with these cost-saving options like the Benelli Nova. (Photo: Paul Peterson/

Moving on to the $300-$500 range, here are our top choices:

Rifle: Savage Axis

Let’s get right down to brass tacks. The Savage 110 is a better all-around rifle with many more frills and features. Yet, there’s good reason the entry-level Axis variants continue to sell. They’re affordable, accurate, meat-and-potatoes rifles. Quite simply, they get the job done. Best of all, they can be had in dozens of chamberings, left-handed variants, scoped combos, youth models, and even upgraded versions with AccuTriggers and customizable stocks. 


Shotgun: Benelli Nova

We could have gone with a number of other reliable pump actions here. The Mossberg 500 and Remington 870 immediately come to mind. Yet, Benelli’s time-tested Nova and SuperNova Magnums represent similarly impressive bang for the proverbial buck. These lightweight models use a singular piece stock and receiver unit with skeletal steel framework. Grab any of these pumps and get after the birds – feathered or clay – with no doubts on reliability. 


Guns $500 – $700


Winchester Model 12
There are some nice classics in the $500-$700 range, like this Model 12. (Photo: Kristen Alberts/

Got a bit more cash on hand? Check out these winners in the $500-$700 range:

Handgun: Ruger Single-Action Revolvers

Sure, this is a rather broad category, but who doesn’t dig Ruger revolvers? At this price point, look for bargains on two modern classics – the rimfire Single-Six or centerfire Blackhawk lines. Both are Western-style, single-action six-shooters with quality steel builds. Keep an eye on the used racks for specimens that still have their original boxes or conversion cylinders. 

Bonus points for those who track down an early flat-top Blackhawk at standard model prices. Hunt small game with the former and bigger game with the latter, as folks have been doing now for decades. 


Rifle: Mossberg Patriot

We’ve said it before and here we are again. Mossberg’s Patriot remains one of the best buys in budget-minded rifles. They pack in features – like an adjustable LBA trigger, spiral-fluted bolt, and sturdy dropbox magazine – while shooting lights out. Plus, the options are plenty. Go for walnut stocks, a Vortex optics combo, a Bantam with buttstock spacers, or models like the Patriot Predator or LR with additional features including a threaded barrel and optics rail. 


Shotgun: Winchester Model 12

Though out of production for more years than we care to count, Winchester’s pump action Model 12 will hold a special place for many hunters. These old-school steel and walnut slide shotguns can still be found at surprisingly affordable prices even as the collectability grows. Plenty of hunters still knock down deer and waterfowl with a classic Model 12. 


Guns $700 – $1,000

Henry Lever Action
Henry and other brands bring plenty of desirable guns if you have a bit more cash on hand. (Photo: Kristen Alberts/

If you’re lucky enough to have two hands worth of Benjamins hanging around, check out our picks for the $700-$1,000 range:

Rifle: Henry Lever Action

If you don’t already dig Henry Repeating Arms’ “made in America or not made at all” guarantee, skip this one. The biggest knock against the company these days is buyers not being able to find the new model they desire. But lucky you, online shopper, the Vault is filled with sweet used specimens. At these price points, you’ll find a wide range of rimfire special and limited editions, handgun-chambered Big Boy rifles and carbines, and the occasional larger centerfire Side Gate models. With the durability and exceptional warranty, buying used is no concern. 


Shotgun: Remington 1100

Another gun on the list out of current production – and with an uncertain future at the time of this writing – is Remington’s Model 1100 semi-automatic shotguns. These gas-operated repeaters were introduced in the early 1960s and offered in every common gauge – 12, 16, 20, 28 gauge and .410 bore. 

They’re versatile guns used for every type of hunting and sport shooting with the classic aesthetics of blued steel, simple receiver engraving, and glossier walnut. Find one of the earlier models for a real bargain on a do-all scattergun. 


Guns $1,000+


BFR Revolver
Or you can go big with a BFR revolver. (Photo: Kristen Alberts/

Finally, for those with a cool grand or more burning a hole in their pocket, we have some good deals for you as well:

Handgun: Magnum Research BFR

Rifle calibers on a handgun? Heck, yes! That’s what you’ll find on the long-cylinder Magnum Research Biggest Finest Revolvers, and that’ because those overbuilt stainless-steel wheelguns can stand up to the pressure and power of the hottest rounds. Whether you choose a .45-70 revolver for game that wants to eat you or a tamer, short-cylinder caliber like .45 Colt, the BFR is built – in the USA – to be passed on for generations.  


Rifle: Ruger No. 1

Who’d think a single-shoot rifle would claim one of the top spots on our list in terms of both price and the form-meets-function factor? Yet, here we are with Ruger’s falling-block centerfire rifle classic. For 55 years, these fine pieces of American craftsmanship have been claiming everything from vermin and varmints to deer and bears. Even big and dangerous game the world over is on the list. Name a chambering, and there’s likely a No. 1 out there with your name on it. Besides, no collection is complete without a No. 1. 


Shotgun: Browning Shotgun

While it’s another vague category, it will please any hunter with some cash in hand. Seeking a semi-automatic shotgun? Grab an original Auto 5 “Humpback” recoil-driven repeating shotgun for a collector-meets-hunter piece. Want the modern amenities on that same platform? Shop for the remake A5s with their updated coatings and practical features in a gun you never have to be afraid to drag out to the duck blind. 

Meanwhile, upland hunters and clay shooters will be wishing for one of Browning’s proven over-under shotguns. The long discontinued Superposed or the current production Citori sporting guns. Choose the former for occasional hunts and as a gun-safe queen or the latter for an upscale shooter. Bust clays and birds alike with these well-built Belgian or Japanese-made shotguns. 



No matter the choice, investing in firearms has proven – year after year, decade after decade –to be a wise investment. That’s especially true when purchasing arms proven for their durability and value. Will you be one of the savvy post-holiday shoppers this year?

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