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View Full Version : The rifle itch.... it burns!!


corrado33
August 12, 2012, 06:02 PM
I've shot handguns for a while now, but I really want to get myself a rifle (and why not, they're usually cheaper than handguns anyway.)

Let me preface this by saying that I've never shot a rifle. Period. My parents hated guns, so as a kid I never had one (besides my BB gun, but that doesn't count.)

Let me also say that I do not want a .22 caliber gun. I want an "all around gun" that I could, for instance, eventually take hunting with me.

Yes I understand that it's good to start out with a .22 as to not develop a flinch, but I think I'll be fine.

I want my rifle to...


Be cheap. Preferably <$500.
Be able to fire cheapish ammo. I understand .22 ammo is a dime a dozen (actually cheaper right?), but I direct you to my first requirement above.
Be able to fire accurately out to a few hundred yards. I have a fascination with accuracy and the ability to deliver accurate shots from WAY down range.
Possibly have a scope mounted to it. This one is more of a recommendation than a requirement. I love using iron sites, but I think I'll have more fun with some optics.
Be a bolt action. (Hence why I'm in this section of the forums.) I think a lever action will be annoying to shoot from the prone position. (Although it'd be awesome for more of a mid range gun.)


As I've been looking at rifle calibers today, I've consistently found that the most common calibers are 30-06, .270 winchester, and .223 (according to most lists.) I'm making the assumption that common = cheap, and from those three I think I've settled on the .270 win. Not only is it considered a great "all around" caliber (from what I've read), it is also considered an inherently accurate caliber with it's nice flat flight trajectory. (Yes I understand that it's the combination of ammo+gun+shooter that equals accuracy.) HOWEVER, I am not stuck in my mindset about this caliber. If you guys think something else would be better suited for me than by all means, let me know.

Where I live now (MT), I have the ability to go out in the forest and shoot. That also gives me the ability to find nice long ranges, so that's probably where I'll do most of my shooting. (And what better gun to carry with you in the middle of grizzly country?)

In my research (sticking with the .270 win theme here.) I've found a few guns that could fit the bill. There are a couple from savage arms (really cheap) but their website gun finder search kinda sucks. I've also seen the Winchester model 70 (little more expensive, I'd have to find one used). And I've seen Remmington 700s.

Sure, I can go to buds guns and search for 270 win, but I have NO IDEA what brands are good and which aren't. Sure, Mossberg makes good shotguns but what about rifles?

I want to get a good gun for my money. If that means buying an older slightly used gun then so be it. I think I can find a good quality gun in my price range, I just need a bit of help finding it.

Again, I'm not stuck on .270 win, so make any suggestions you guys deem necessary.

EDIT: Oh, I'll also most likely be reloading the brass as well.

Discern
August 12, 2012, 06:15 PM
You have not stated what you MAY use the rifle regarding hunting. This is a depending factor as to caliber and cartridge.

I know you don't want to hear this, but I still suggest you get a .22LR. It is much cheaper to practice proper form and work on your skills. I have several hunting rifles and more than one .22LR. The .22LRs get shot more often. It is also a great cartridge to introduce a person new to rifle shooting.

10-96
August 12, 2012, 06:50 PM
Have you taken a peek at the Savage Hog Hunter in .308? That sounds like a pretty darn good way to go to me. .308 ammunition ought to be just as plentiful, of not more so, than the .270. Plus, in my mind, it might be just a tad more flexible with bullet weights afforded to it. And, there's no doubting the .308's accuracy potential and hunting abilities. Not saying anyone has doubted the .270's, just saying the .308 has been around a while as well.

The rifle has sights, a threaded bbl (so you can play with it later with accessories if you like), and I believe a 4+1 capacity.

These folks are out of stock at the moment, but the link does give a photo and some details. http://www.kygunco.com/products2.cfm/id/58730/name/savage-arms-11-hog-hunter-threaded-barrel-308-winchester-20

berettaprofessor
August 12, 2012, 07:15 PM
For that price, a Savage would be a great choice...and I'd suggest in 243; there are loads for smaller varmints and for deer-sized animals; accurate out to the range you want, flat-shooting, and less recoil by far than the 270.

But, like others, I'd suggest a 22LR first; Ruger 10/22 or S&W MP 15-22; either will be addicting and lead to a life long collection of guns.

And please don't think you can stand up to a charging Grizzly with a bolt gun.

carprivershooter
August 12, 2012, 07:43 PM
I also think a 22 lr rifle is a way to start shooting rifles. Get the basics down. I have 3 22 rifles, a old bolt action of unknown origin that was handed down to me. Still shots flat is a tack driver, also a henry 22 lever action. and a S&W 15-22. They get shot far more often then my AR-M4 carbine and my M1 carbine or my M-14 clone in 308 from Springfield Armory. You are researching different rifles thats good, you are the one that is going to buy and shoot the gun so you have to make the final decision. I recommend talking to friends and see what they shot and see if they will let you shoot theirs or check out some ranges and rent a couple of guns you are most interested in. These forums can provide lots of good information in the end you have to make the final decision you have to live with it. I hunt with a 12ga pump with a rifled barrel and shoot slugs, good for deer out to a hundred yards and been know to stop a Michigan black bear.

corrado33
August 13, 2012, 08:31 AM
Thanks for the info guys. In all honesty, I would love to start out with a .22 but... I'm don't like to buy otherwise useless guns. Everything I buy has multiple purposes. It's why I didn't start out with a .22 handgun. I REALLY wanted a Ruger Mark III Hunter (or whatever it was called) with a 6.8 inch long barrel. It would have been a tack driver. It would have taught me great skills since there is almost no recoil whatsoever. I stewed for months on it, going to the store, handling the guns etc. But in the end I convinced myself to buy a 9mm. Why? Because the gun can be used for more than just basic target/small game shooting (and is powerful enough to use for defense, if need be.) However, I WILL look into them. And I will go to the store and see which one I like more.

I will also check out the .243.

And no, I didn't think using a bolt action against a charging grizzly was a good idea. My statement was made in jest. I carry bear spray for a reason. (And as soon as I get my CCL I'll carry a small .45 for that reason as well.)

spacecoast
August 13, 2012, 08:36 AM
I understand .22 ammo is a dime a dozen (actually cheaper right?)

Not really, the cheapest .22LR ammo runs close to 4 cents per round.

I'm making the assumption that common = cheap

Not really

EDIT: Oh, I'll also most likely be reloading the brass as well

Suggestion - start by learning to reload your handgun ammo, it's a great way to learn some reloading fundamentals and saves a lot of money.


I'll echo the others in encouraging you to start with .22LR for rifle.

PTS1
August 13, 2012, 09:23 AM
Rifle: Weatherby Vanguard S2- There are many other good rifles out there under $500, but I think this is the best in that range. The best answer is the rifle that fits you best, but since you asked for an opinion, there it is.

Cartridge: If you are going to reload, any cartridge you want ( since it will all cost about to same to reload) If you are not: 308, 243, 270 and 30-06 all cost about the same and are the cheapest priced ammo out there. All will do what you described you want to or may want to do with the rifle. Best all-around of those 4, 308 or 30-06.

xLPlushy
August 13, 2012, 11:31 AM
I'll second the Weatherby Vanguard Series 2, around here they can be had for $499. Have one in .223 on lay-away at the LGS. I also have a Series 1 Vanguard in 7mm Rem Mag since 2002. The S2 is an updated version with a slightly more comfortable stock and a much nicer trigger and the same silky smooth bolt. There are others out there that will perform better such as the Remington 700 line and some of the Savages, but IMO the Weatherby's are the best blend of quality, reliability, affordability, and accuracy all in one slick package.

As far as what cartridge to go with, it all depends on the shooter and purpose. .243 Win or .270 Win would be good starter cartridges.


Tapatalked via my highly abused iPhone

gak
August 13, 2012, 11:58 AM
You say you will reload, so that broadens choices a bit. Look at a new Savage or CZ (or used anything) in 7mm-08. Basically ".270 lite," it recoils less (and less than it's parent .308) while delivering similar performance out to 300 or so as either, and offering more flexible performance for the larger animals than it's little brother, the .243. Both it and the .243, like the .308 they're based on, are short action which means shorter OAL, slightly lighter weight and, as it suggests, shorter cycling/follow-up shot time. The more compact form (but same LOP as the standards, unless a "junior" rifle) makes for a great "mountain rifle" (trekking-hunting) in any of these calibers.

The 7mm-08 is an "inherently" accurate round and seems to do better with shorter barrels than some others as well.

I mention reloading since it is not as available over the counter as your (OP) mentioned top calibers, but it is not esoterica either--many stories carry. Reloading just expands your envelope of availability of the cailber/cartridge, but like the .270 or '06, is not critical just makes for more affordable shooting. Reloading-wise, you've also got a great selection of 7mm (.284) bullets to choose from for your quarry--from paper targets and varmints to elk.

Again, very similar ballistics to the .270 Win to/through 300 or so (ie, most hunter's practical range) making it a very viable round up through large Rocky Mt and desert mulies and elk within range. Great great round, and this coming from an appx 45-year dyed-in-the-wool .270 shooter...and continuing as one, so I applaud the .270 choice as well...but since you're starting out, I'd look at the 7 as an all'rounder. I've got--and will keep--my .270, but the often overlooked 7 is my next gun...just because, and for that Mountain Rifle role.
I also admit to really liking the 7mm-08 for the "not everyone has one" aspect.

Choice #2 - .308 - near identical characteristics to the above except greater recoil/report, but in the trade-off better off-the-shelf ammo availability (the Wally World factor) and "elk" performance at slightly longer ranges.

mike7.62
August 13, 2012, 06:25 PM
Saltydog, It's post like yours that worry me. That you don't understand why I say this is the issue.

big al hunter
August 13, 2012, 07:03 PM
My recommendation for you would be hit the used gun racks. Look for weatherby vanguard, Remington 700, Winchester70, ruger 77, all of these should perform as well as you or better for as many rounds as you can shoot in a lifetime. As far as cartridge choice, it can be a very personal choice. The 30/06 has a slight advantage on larger game such as elk, versus the 270. They have the same case size and the 30/06 can shoot heavier bullets, getting better penetration. As you can probably tell I am partial to the 30/06 but the 270 is also an excellent choice. Let us know what you get.

misterE
August 13, 2012, 07:18 PM
Why not get both?

Get yourself a used Remington 700 in any of the calibers previously mentioned. 270 is a great choice. So is 308, 30-06, and 243. Ammo is readily available for all of them at Walmart. (except for after elections sometimes, when all the ammo runs dry). You should be able to find a nice used rem 700 in the $350 range.

Then take the rest of your money and get a 22. I would highly recommend the ruger 10-22. I sometimes think it should be mandatory to find one of these in any gun owners closet. They are extremely fun to shoot and way more useful than I think you are giving them credit for. Just my 2 cents.

Anyways, welcome to the forum.

xLPlushy
August 13, 2012, 07:55 PM
SaltyDog,

The OP DOES have shooting experience, he stated that he's been shooting handguns for awhile now. Albeit he doesn't have rifle experience.

OP I learned to shoot long guns with a double barrel 12ga and my step-fathers Remington 700 7mm Rem Mag.


Tapatalked via my highly abused iPhone

Hawg Haggen
August 13, 2012, 08:27 PM
A .22 is far from useless. It wil be the most fun and most used gun you have. If was me for a first hi power I'd find an older Remington 700 in .308 or 30-06. With factory loads the 06 doesn't have much on the 308 but with reloads the 06 shines.

Justice06RR
August 13, 2012, 09:28 PM
May I also suggest the Ruger American rifle. It comes in calibers of 243, 270, 308, and 30/06. Take your pick. American made and is priced very well under $500.
http://www.ruger.com/products/americanRifle/models.html

Welcome to the rifle world and good luck on your journey. Just to relate to you, I was an avid pistol-only shooter before and made the transition to rifles on my own without any assistance. You'll be fine if you do your research, practice, and be careful with handling firearms as always.

I can definitely understand that Budget sometimes dictates your choices. In my case I started with an all-purpose AR15 rifle in 5.56/.223, then another AR in 300BLK, then finally a bolt action Mosin Nagant. The process may take months to acquire the funds you need, so be patient.

TurkeyOak
August 13, 2012, 09:59 PM
Great question, and mostly great answers.
The three rifles I enjoy most are my Mosin-Nagant ($100-150) in 7.62x54R and either of my .22s. They are about all I shoot now.
The MN is a fun cannon that is very satisfying to shoot, and cheap too.
A .22 is essential. I cant eliminate either my Mossberg Plinkster or my Henry lever. I usually take both to range.
You may be convinced you don't need one, but you'll realize everyone needs one eventually. But you've got time.

Discern
August 13, 2012, 10:07 PM
Only one .22LR? Nah - can't stop at just one. You have to have a least one in each action. I am not there yet, but have been working on it over the years.

drfroglegs
August 13, 2012, 10:10 PM
I agree with some of the others, Savage is a great choice. I actually prefer savage over Remington, but lets not start that war!

If you're interested in a 22, I would suggest the 64 TRR-SR. You can get them for $300 all day brand new. You can read about it here: http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/64TRRSR

If you're looking for a higher caliber, I would suggest the 110 Long Range Hunter (also savage). It comes in 308 (not 270), but you wont see significant difference in the recoil especially since this model comes with a muzzle brake. If you get a long range hunter in 308 I will guarantee you you'll be sending me thanks later. It comes with accustock (similar to glass bedded stock) and the accutrigger (you can reduce trigger weight without compromising safety). Here's the details on the gun: http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/11LONGRANGEHUNTER

It's closer to $900 (well above your limit), but the features definitely make it worth it. You'll spend at least $200 to add a muzzle brake, add another $100 for trigger job, at least $100 for glass bedding, $50 for cheek rest... It's best to have it already integrated into the rifle...

Good luck with your choices! P.S. I also like the Remington VTR, it's pretty bad ass and VERY accurate!

silvrjeepr
August 13, 2012, 10:16 PM
Another vote for the weatherby vanguard.

270 would be my
Preferred cal unless you plan on hunting large and dangerous.

MarkDozier
August 14, 2012, 02:24 AM
I would love to start out with a .22 but... I'm don't like to buy otherwise useless guns[/B]
A few facts about that useless gun
It has taken more game then any other caliber.
ruger 10/22 or marlin 60 instantly becomes a heirloom rifle.
It is a wonderful survival rifle with a very high ammo load out
It is a great fun to shoot at distance. I shoot 4 inch clay birds until they are dust at 100 yards.
They are addictive and you will have more. Right now i am looking for a Henry lever gun in 22.
When you are broke and can barely afford gas to go shoot and want to shoot the 22 is a great mood changer.
You can get by without a 22 caliber rifle but of the dozens of shooters I know who have lots of rifles they still all have at least 2 or 3 22 caliber rifles.

Your a bit arrogant to think you should not have one and you will never learn the secret gun owners handshake if you don't own a 22.

Did I mention they are fun.

xLPlushy
August 14, 2012, 07:02 AM
Mark,

I'll agree, .22's are boatloads of fun. I love shooting them mini clays at 100 yards with iron sights. They let me shoot for $20. I barely shoot my 7mm Mag because factory ammo is pricey and so are components to reload, ( in comparison to the .22).

I understand the OP's reasoning for wanting to jump to the big guns off the bat. Budget affects decisions like this, I've been down that road. Looking back, I wish I would have bought a .22 pistol or revolver. I thought that they were useless aside from being range guns, I was wrong, I love shootin .22's all around, just have to go to the range with my buddy so I can shoot his 1911-22, for the time being.



Tapatalked via my highly abused iPhone

Scott429
August 14, 2012, 08:12 AM
The op states he has never fired a rifle before, the thing I think should be considered would be comfort shooting. Most of us have no problem shooting and enjoy shooting the 270 or 30-06 but... a new rifle shooter would probably be suprised by the recoil of these rounds. A 270 while not a heavy recoil does recoil sharply. My opinion he should start with the 308 family of cartriges and then move up after some experience I whole heartedly agree with the 7-08, mild mannered accurate easy to reload for and good up to elk and even bigger with proper bullet selection and shot placement. fun to shoot = more shooting = better shooting ability = more fun to shoot.
just my 2cents

shaunpain
August 16, 2012, 06:06 PM
Whatever bolt gun you might pick, and you've been given great suggestions so far, make sure it has a nice set of irons as a good foundation. I think that's the only real caveat I can find that you will probably want to address. I know Remington's 700 BDL line, for the most part, have a good set of rifle irons if you want to pull off the glass and still use the gun. I'm sure the other manufacturers have this option, but I am 100% unsure of which ones do. I, myself, don't see how you could get any better than a Remy 700 bolt in .308. It will immediately be the most modular platform to purchase outright and you could literally spend thousands upgrading it to your heart's content. My dream would be to get one in long action (30-06 or 7mm) with an AI chassis system. We can all dream, can't we?

jimmythegeek
August 16, 2012, 09:31 PM
Some portion of 200 shots wasted with a centerfire while you learn, vs. a whole 'nother practice rifle you won't outgrow...Honestly, you'll be ahead financially.

Check out a Marlin 795 or 60. Crazy accurate and soooo inexpensive! For a bolt, Savage Mk II is well-regarded and a great value. I went with a CZ 455 instead.

Good luck, I like shooting my rifles more than my handguns.

tahoe2
August 17, 2012, 09:32 PM
Hey Corrado, welcome aboard. "My Opinion"... 22's are great for learning the mechanics of shooting at a low cost (both gun & ammo), but to become proficient with a big bore, you need to shoot a big bore, and shoot it often. I have several 22's, but I don't shoot them all that often, because I am always developing loads for my hunting guns. As far as caliber goes, that depends on your needs, if you ask 10 people, you will get at least six different answers. All of them will probably suffice, ... it's a matter of personal taste. Narrowing down some specifics(coyote,hogs,deer,bear, etc...) will help in your determination.

L_Killkenny
August 18, 2012, 01:24 PM
Thanks for the info guys. In all honesty, I would love to start out with a .22 but... I'm don't like to buy otherwise useless guns. Everything I buy has multiple purposes. It's why I didn't start out with a .22 handgun. I REALLY wanted a Ruger Mark III Hunter (or whatever it was called) with a 6.8 inch long barrel. It would have been a tack driver. It would have taught me great skills since there is almost no recoil whatsoever. I stewed for months on it, going to the store, handling the guns etc. But in the end I convinced myself to buy a 9mm. Why? Because the gun can be used for more than just basic target/small game shooting (and is powerful enough to use for defense, if need be.)


Every gun nut should own a Ruger 10/22 (I suppose you could substitute some other .22's but I won't) but I can't say that for ANY centerfire rifle. As a matter of fact if it wasn't for big game hunting and coyotes I'd find very little need or want for a centerfire rifle and consider them nothing more than a drain on the wallet. From plinkin to practice to serious target shooting to long range shooting there is nothing a .22 won't do. Useless my butt.

Hawg Haggen
August 18, 2012, 05:17 PM
There's much better guns for the money than a 10/22. Its great IF you want to customize. If you want accuracy out of the box there's better.

g.willikers
August 18, 2012, 07:07 PM
How about this:
Two guns, one centerfire and a twin in .22.
That way you get all the fun and practice you want.
Many of the competitive rifle shooters do this.
The .22 has about the same behavior at 100 yds as most centerfires do at 300.
So, it provides meaningful, inexpensive practice for the centerfire.

L_Killkenny
August 20, 2012, 10:08 AM
There's much better guns for the money than a 10/22. Its great IF you want to customize. If you want accuracy out of the box there's better.

There's a big ol' load of BS right there. 10/22's are $200 NIB, You name me one semi-auto .22lr that is better, let alone MUCH better, than that for that price. Sure there are better .22's out there but you ain't gonna get em for $200. As for part 2 of your BS the 10/22 doesn't need customized. Contrary to internet lore the 10/22 isn't inaccurate for it's intended place in the shooting world. The 10/22 was intended to be a durable, reliable, fast handling plinkin and small game gun and in that role it's great. Accuracy to spare in that role. Low and behold it's not a target gun out of the box, cry me a river. If that's what you want go buy a .22lr bolt gun cause none of the lower priced semis are gonna come close out of the box.


Now I'd be full of crap if I said there wasn't more accurate semi-auto .22lrs for comparable, maybe even less $$$. But there is more to a .22lr semi than SLIGHTLY smaller groups sitting at a bench. I'll take all the positives of a 10/22 over an extra fraction of an inch gain in accuracy any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Joe Chicago
August 20, 2012, 10:27 PM
Another vote here for a .22 bolt action to start with. You can buy a good new one for well under $300 and a good used one for well under $150. I recommend a CZ452/455 or a Marlin.

Hawg Haggen
August 21, 2012, 09:21 AM
There's a big ol' load of BS right there. 10/22's are $200 NIB, You name me one semi-auto .22lr that is better, let alone MUCH better, than that for that price. Sure there are better .22's out there but you ain't gonna get em for $200. As for part 2 of your BS the 10/22 doesn't need customized. Contrary to internet lore the 10/22 isn't inaccurate for it's intended place in the shooting world. The 10/22 was intended to be a durable, reliable, fast handling plinkin and small game gun and in that role it's great. Accuracy to spare in that role. Low and behold it's not a target gun out of the box, cry me a river. If that's what you want go buy a .22lr bolt gun cause none of the lower priced semis are gonna come close out of the box.

Marlin model 60 is 150.00 and is more accurate out of the box. I never said the 10/22 was inaccurate just that there's better for less money. I do own a 10/22 and a Marlin 60. The 10/22 needs mods to shoot as well as the Marlin.

L_Killkenny
August 21, 2012, 01:57 PM
Marlin model 60 is 150.00 and is more accurate out of the box. I never said the 10/22 was inaccurate just that there's better for less money. I do own a 10/22 and a Marlin 60. The 10/22 needs mods to shoot as well as the Marlin.

See, you are equating a slight increase in accuracy to quality. Not so fast. I've seen el'cheapo Marlin/Glenfield 25's out shoot Marlin 800 series bolt actions, seen Savage MK's out shoot CZ's, seen Savage centerfires out shoot Sako's, bet there's more than one M60 that will out shoot the average CZ semi .22 or Henry may out shoot a Marlin 39 or a Winchester 9422, etc etc etc. Does that mean they are better than the competition? Heck no. It means the cheaper, less quality gun is more accurate than it's competition. That's all it means, absolutely nothing more. You measure quality by a number of traits for any given product, accuracy being one of many when it comes to guns. You can't take that one trait your product is better at and claim it's top of the food chain when it comes to quality. The 10/22 wins easily on a handful of other fronts.