A good rifle is a versatile weapon. Shooters can often use the same gun for hunting, self defense, and shooting sports. They can also be perfectly affordable. A good rifle needs to have a caliber that fits with its intended use, be light enough for easy transportation, and as accurate as possible. The market is large, so it can be hard to sort through the chaff and find the right weapon. We wanted to narrow it down, so we made a list of ten contenders for the title of best semi auto rifle under 500 dollars based on their ease of use and performance.
10. Savage A17
The A17 is ideal for target shooting at long ranges. It uses the 17 HRM cartridge, which benefits from a very flat trajectory. That doesn’t make a huge difference at close ranges, but it makes aiming at distant targets much easier. The rifle’s design also encourages accuracy through the AccuTrigger system, which makes it easy to adjust the trigger pull to suit the shooter. The rifle can also accept a scope easily because it is drilled and tapped for a mount, and most shooters who are aiming at distant targets will want one. Use this if you prioritize long-range accuracy, but look elsewhere for close targets.
|Manufacturer||Henry Repeating Arms|
The AR-7 is a dedicated survival tool, intended for hunting small game in an emergency. The rifle can be disassembled quickly and easily, and all of the components fit inside the stock for easy storage. Reassembly in the field is similarly easy and does not require any special tools. The AR-7 remains accurate even after being assembled in the field. While it won’t compete with most sporting rifles for raw accuracy, and it isn’t the most powerful weapon, it is the best semi auto rifle under 500 dollars for staying alive in an emergency.
8. Hi-Point Carbine
Hi-Point’s carbine is ideal for pistol shooters who want to branch out into long guns. It takes one of the heavier and more powerful pistol cartridges, so it can share ammo with a pistol and still have enough power to be useful in a defensive situation. The added barrel length can also help with accuracy, so it is a decent choice for casual target shooting. This model includes a skeletonized stock to cut down on weight and a recoil pad to make shooting more comfortable. It’s great for pistol users, but it doesn’t stand out from the pack for most other shooters.
7. Kel-Tec SUB-2000
The SUB-2000 is optimized for convenience, especially for people who have a large collection of handguns. It can accept magazines from many popular pistols, so shooters with large collections will not need to buy any more. The stock is adjustable to three positions to accommodate shooters of various heights, and the entire structure can fold for easy storage and transportation. Full disassembly and even basic maintenance are possible without special tools. Casual shooters who want a gun that is easy to use, store, and maintain should look into the SUB-2000.
6. Mossberg 715T
The 715T is an AR-15 chambered in 22LR. The gun isn’t quite as powerful as a traditional AR-15, but the experience of shooting it is similar. The gun’s recoil is lower than that of other AR-15 variants, so it can be a good way to introduce young shooters to the platform. Those who find that they like the way the gun feels can purchase a more expensive AR-15 in a larger caliber while keeping their 751T for cheap practice sessions. People who are looking for an AR-15 are the main audience for this gun, and those who aren’t interested in that platform should look at alternatives.
5. Savage Arms A22
The A22 is a good choice for shooters who need a rugged weapon. The receiver is milled from steel instead of using the more common cast aluminum, which makes it extremely resilient to damage. It also performs well, with an adjustable trigger that allows for extremely light pulls, which still has safety features to prevent accidental discharges from bumping or dropping the gun on the lightest setting. It’s an acceptably accurate weapon, but not significantly more so than other quality rifles at this price point. It’s perfect for shooters who are rough on their guns, but it can still compete with most weapons on performance.
4. Mossberg Plinkster
The Plinkster is the best semi auto rifle under 500 for young shooters. It is slightly lighter than most of the other rifles, which makes it easier for young or small individuals to lift as they practice. The 22LR ammo is also cheap, so they can easily afford to practice regularly. While the default magazine is fine for most shooters, this gun can also accept a much larger alternative for people who prefer not to reload regularly. New shooters should certainly consider starting with this gun, but experts will probably get more use out of other models.
3. Mossberg Blaze-47
Mossberg’s Blaze-47 is ideal for people who want the experience of shooting an AK-47 without the expense of a larger caliber or a more expensive variant. It has the same shape and feel as an AK-47, but it is chambered in the economical 22LR caliber. This model also has an adjustable stock, which makes it ideal for sharing within a family and ensures that most shooters can operate it comfortably. It’s a good choice for general use, but it’s the best semi auto rifle under 500 for people who want to practice with an AK-47 while on a tight budget.
2. Marlin 795
The 795 is the best semi auto rifle under 500 for pure target shooting on a tight budget. The gun’s components and manufacturing are all of excellent quality, especially for the price. It comes with fairly standard open and ramp front sights, but the receiver is grooved for a scope mount for those who want to add one. The rifle is also reasonably comfortable to fire, both because it has a gently sloping stock and due to a small amount of checkering. It is ideal for novices that want to plink at the range, but experts will also have a good time with it.
1. Ruger 10/22
The 10/22 is the best semi auto rifle under 500 for target shooters. It also works well for hunting some small game. It feeds more reliably than most rifles due to a unique rotary magazine, which combines with quality internal components to make a highly reliable rifle. The rifle comes with fiber optic sights, but it also has the potential to take scopes in multiple styles. The small caliber can be a deal-breaker for some shooters, but anyone who can meet their needs with it should try this rifle.
Making The Right Choice
There are plenty of precise and maneuverable rifles out there at an affordable price. As long as you keep your goals in mind, it isn’t too hard to sort through them and find the best semi auto rifle under 500 for your purposes. It’s still wise to look at plenty of options, so you should definitely look at this best semi auto rifle for home defense list. If you used a gun that we didn’t review you can describe your experience in the comment section.