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Old May 20, 2011, 04:03 PM   #1
hopeisnotastrategy
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Testing Rifles Before Purchase

I'm a complete newbie, so forgive me if this is a dumb question.

Are there services that allow you to try different caliber rifles before you make a purchase? I'd like to fire a variety of calibers just to familiarize myself with how they feel.
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Old May 20, 2011, 04:06 PM   #2
wogpotter
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The local range would be a good bet. Most owners will be delighted to allow you to try the prized toys they bring with them. Just remember that a little manners go a long way & say "please" & "thank you"
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Old May 20, 2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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Depends upon where you are, some local ranges do rentals and some people can be nice if you ask.
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Old May 21, 2011, 05:58 PM   #4
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At risk of sounding mean, Google it. Find some ranges in your area, and call to see if they have rentals.

The other alternative is to find some friends who own rifles and treat them to a day at the range.
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Old May 21, 2011, 06:00 PM   #5
hopeisnotastrategy
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Quote:
At risk of sounding mean, Google it.
I said it might be a dumb question. I honestly didn't know if that was even done in the industry or not. Now I know it is. Thanks.
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Old May 21, 2011, 06:04 PM   #6
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In my area the only range that actually rents guns is a skeet range. So unless I'm buying a shotgun I kind of have to just buy it and see how it goes. You however live in a bit of a better place so finding a range that rents guns won't be hard.
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Old May 21, 2011, 08:33 PM   #7
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Not only rifles, but some folks have questions about your whole rig. I was shooting my M1A yesterday and I had taken a Bushmaster along also. The Bushmaster has an Eotech sight on it and the fellow next to me asked me about it.

I was shooting the 300 yard gong and he could hear it clang. He said he had been told the holo sights were only good for 100 yards or so.

I asked him if he wanted to run a magazine down range and try it for himself.

I loaded up one for him and asked him to try the 300 yard gong. He hit it the first 2 shots and I asked him to try the 200 yard gong and he hit that also.

He got 7 out of 10 split between the 200 and 300 yard gong and I made a friend. How great is that?

One of the CZ factory team shooters was there and I asked him if he wanted to try the CZ97 they had worked on. He said sure and I let him run two magazines down range.

He asked me if I wanted to shoot his factory gun. Sure, I said. He posted a new IPSA target and let me have at it 15 times.

Another friend of mine wanted to try the gun so I gave him a magazine to try.

Now I am down to one magazine of .45 so I figure I will shoot that and then load them up again. . .I brought a box of .45 to load up. . .right???

Actually I had brought a box of .40. . .bummer!!

All in all, a splendid day doing what I like with people I like. Does not get much better than that!!

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Old May 21, 2011, 09:11 PM   #8
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That's a great question actually!! A lot of people jump in head first going for the "biggest and best" and then are very disappointed as they have an expensive rifle, that takes expensive ammo and kicks too hard for them to be accurate and comfortable shooting it. Great job trying to do some research!

If you can't find a range that loans guns, your best bet is to buy a cheap .22lr (say Marlin 60 or Ruger 10/22--should be less than $200.. buy used if you can and it will be even cheaper), go to a range and start up a conversation with the people around you letting them know you are new the firearms world and am just trying to learn some of the basics. You'll meet the nicest people at gun ranges. And most people love to show off their rifle and tell you how great it is and will usually let you take a few shots. I guess it makes them feel better about their purchases and themselves

And then get some actual instruction on how to shoot.. don't learn bad habits right off the bat. It's easier to learn right first then to learn wrong and have to break habbits. Find and Appleseedpe or an NRA event (I think they do this kind of stuff) in your area and learn the basics.
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Old May 22, 2011, 07:50 AM   #9
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When I was young and very eager to learn, I'd go to the range and try and sit close to someone who had something I'd never seen before or wanted to try before buying it. Never failed. I still do it today and I'm 65. One young fella had a Winchester M70 in .257 Roberts that I drooled over. I admired it and he offered to let me shoot it several times. After the first shot my drooling became wetter. After the 2nd magazine full I had to get a towel to lay over the rifle so my drool wouldn't dirty it up.

Whenever someone at the local range asks me about my equipment I offer to let them try a couple of magazines worth of ammo. I'm thrilled, they're thrilled, it's a win-win. MY problem is that sometimes I don't take enough ammo with me. My last time out I took my Win 94 '66 Centennial with me. It wears a 26" octagon barrel, laced leather butt protector. I just had finished installing a Williams FP receiver sight on it. I got to fire 3 rounds and had it all sighted in when an honest-to-God line formed behind me with guys admiring it and wanting to shoot it. Two boxes of Hornady LeveRevolution .30-30 later I was out of fun. Still, for 20 minutes after that, guys were admiring the rifle and wanting to fondle it. It was just that kind of rifle that people don't see much nowadays and wanted to experience it. When I told them I planned on using it to hunt with they were aghast. Gold plated receiver, high gloss fancy wood stock.

So yes! There are NO dumb questions. The worst that would happen to you is that the person would say "NO". Don't take it personal. There might be a very good reason for his saying No. But ASK.
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Old May 22, 2011, 10:15 AM   #10
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Good responses. What part of our great state do you hang your hat in, OP? I'm taking a c&b revolver to the range today but could case up a rifle if I have one you're interested in.
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Old May 22, 2011, 10:26 AM   #11
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TX,

Sidebar to Arizona. . .maybe?

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Old May 22, 2011, 10:32 AM   #12
ndking1126
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Coolest gun I've gotten to shoot was a Sako TRG 22 (in .308) wearing a Mark 4 scope.. amazing gun/scope combo! I only took 2 shots because I know the more I shot the harder it would be to stop
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Old May 22, 2011, 10:34 AM   #13
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Road trip! You have some stuff I'd like to shoot as well, IIRC. I'll be driving the white chevy with the back end sagging from the load. Could we meet in Raton? I know aboout a cool little place to shoot there.
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Old May 22, 2011, 01:41 PM   #14
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I think I like you!!!

My former manager spends some time shooting there. He shoots and does some RO work there during the shoots.

Seriously though, lemmie know if you get to the Phoenix area. Rio Salado is a great range and there are a number of people who really like shooting and know how!!

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Old May 22, 2011, 04:55 PM   #15
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Warning, Warning!
The last time I admired another guy's rifle, and he offered to let me try it ---- I bought it!
And had to go mugg my wife for the dough, too.
Gotta' watch out for that.
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Old May 22, 2011, 05:47 PM   #16
geetarman
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g. willikers,

At least you have an excuse. . .right? Most of my reasons for buying a new gun are pretty lame. . .

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Old May 22, 2011, 09:22 PM   #17
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Prabably better places to eat in Phoenix. I've fired and RO'd a few PPC matches at Whittington Center. Sometimes I just go there to sight in a new rifle.
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