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Old November 5, 2012, 10:24 AM   #1
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1st gun for a newbie

I'm not starting this thread for myself. I've owned dozens of firearms (until they all fell in the river ahead of federal registration) I have a friend who is a graduating college student who was never owned a gun. He is interested in buying his first firearm. His parameters are less than $500, can be used for home defense, and is sufficient to legally kill deer and small game in TN. I suggested a short lever action or a "scout" type rifle in .308. Any suggestions from this esteemed forum would be greatly appreciated by my friend.
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Old November 5, 2012, 10:33 AM   #2
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I think a lever or scout rifle would be great. Or maybe a pump. Also 308 is good
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Old November 5, 2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
I suggested a short lever action or a "scout" type rifle in .308.
A good idea, but I'm not sure you'll find a new scout rifle for under $500. I"ve seen the Savage 10FCM for just a bit over $600, but nothing under $600.

On the other hand, if you abandon the ready-to-go new scout idea, there are plenty of nice .308s for under $500. The Ruger American for example, can be found for under $400, and a Remington SPS can be had for not much over $500.

You may not have considered this, but don't discount the idea of a surplus rifle like a Schmidt-Rubin K31, Yugoslavian Mauser... or even a new lever action .30-30.

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Old November 6, 2012, 01:30 AM   #4
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In that price range I suggest a Mini30 or SKS. for HD, I highly recommend a semiauto.

Also a good shotgun is an excellent alternative. Mossberg 500's can be bought for $300 new and is usable for HD and hunting.
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Old November 6, 2012, 05:46 AM   #5
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+ 1 on the 30-30 or even 357 lever gun . Maybe you guys can help me out here . It really seems like the only gun that would work well for both hunting and HD for under $500 . The price is whats holding things back here . There are plenty of choices out there for $600+ . Scout , AR 6.8 spc to name a few . The other issue I see is anything good enough to take down a dear will have over penetration problems in a HD situation .
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Old November 6, 2012, 09:10 AM   #6
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Remington 870 Combo

Remington 870 (or Mossberg 500) combos would be an option. The 870 is about $360 for the gun and field barrel. Barrels can then be had for around $100 each so he can add a rifled slug barrel or an 18" barrel for HD, or for $450ish, you buy the combo and it comes with the field barrel and a rifled slug barrel.

p.s. I know this is the rifle forum, but thought I would throw out an option...
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Old November 6, 2012, 10:49 AM   #7
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A nice, clean, used, scoped .22 bolt gun. Then go shot A LOT.

Later branch out into some other stuff, but keep the .22. They are ALWAYS a lot of fun.
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Old November 6, 2012, 11:01 AM   #8
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He's never owned a gun? Have you let this friend shoot any of yours?

I'm fairly adamant that a newbie should own a .22 rifle and work on eye-finger coordination with sight picture. A good used bolt-action gun is as much as is needed.

For deer and home defense, an SKS is as adequate as any other. A decent soft-point bullet will serve either use.
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Old November 6, 2012, 11:05 AM   #9
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Check the consignment racks for a used rifle in good condition ...... and get a handloading set-up. Within reason, caliber is not that important......

At the point the guy can "shoot up to his rifle*" ...... then he can shop for something else, and will know more about waht it is he really wants.


*Be able to shoot as well from field positions as the rifle and load will from a benchrest..... it is a rare and wonderful thing, assuming a reasonably accurate rifle/load to start with.

So many electrons (and dollars) are wasted on "sub-MOA" equipment when the shooter is almost always the weakest link in the system.

I can not shoot up to my rifle, now ..... but I have gotten much better at shooting in general in the effort to get there.
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Old November 6, 2012, 07:19 PM   #10
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I think the recommendation of a lever action in .30 WCF (.30-30) is spot on. Used Marlin 336s are running in the $350-$450 range depending on location and desirability. I would look for one of those (pre cross bolt safety) and stock up on some ammo for it. .30 WCF is plentiful nationwide and cheaper than most other centerfire ammo. An SKS wouldn't be a bad choice either but I personally think you get more for your money in the Marlin 336. Ammo would certainly be cheaper for the SKS though, Wolf 7.62x39 ammo cost me $4.15/box last time I bought it.

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Old November 7, 2012, 02:43 PM   #11
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Check out Dicks Sporting goods, They have great Sales. 308 is a Great Caliber, but if you haven't been shooting long, start out with a good 22lr. so you don't pick up bad habbits (flinching). Either way, you need alot of trigger time. Bolt guns are easier to learn on, easier to take apart, clean, and very accurate. Have Fun & be Safe out there Chris

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Old November 7, 2012, 04:30 PM   #12
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IMHO any "Newbie" should start with a .22LR. Having said that, I don't believe you can go wrong with a .30-30 lever gun. The .30-30 won't be appropriate for small game, but, if he starts with a lever .22 he'll already be familiar with the action.

Note: I personally am a huge fan of lever guns. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned.

Last edited by 9ballbilly; November 7, 2012 at 04:40 PM.
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Old November 7, 2012, 07:11 PM   #13
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I still say 22 is the place to start.
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Old November 7, 2012, 08:36 PM   #14
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I also think a .22 LR is the way to go for a new shooter. He is asking a lot by needing home defense, deer, and small game. Really needs 3 different weapons for those.

Go with him to some pawn shops, ect... and look for a good used one.

Start with the 22 simple rifle, works for small game, and practice.

If he likes that, and proves proficient, then:

Home defense would be a 12 gauge pump, Mossberg 500 for starters.

Then a Savage model 100 for bigger things.

Just my opinion for a new shooter.
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Old November 7, 2012, 08:43 PM   #15
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Buds Gun Shop has a Mossberg 10 +1 22LR for $161 new. Might be the place to start.
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Old November 7, 2012, 10:51 PM   #16
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Really the only gun that does well at all three of those is a 12 ga anyways. In my experience the 12 ga is a big compromise on all but the HD anyways.

Slugs take a deer down, but accurace, range, and cost are all worse than alternatives. Almost any rifle or big bore pistol is better.

you hit a squirrel square with a 12 gauge you just wasted your time. 22 is much better.

Home defense 12 ga is about best though.
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