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Old November 10, 2008, 09:02 PM   #1
Jynx92
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What rifle will match my needs?

Christma is coming up and Obama will take the throne come January. My dad is going to buy me my first very own rifle bigger than a .22 LR. My dad owns an AR 15: Rock River 5.56 16 inch barrel A3. It's a nice rifle, but I am enrolled in this program called Appleseed, founded by RWVA. My shooting habits require a rifle which can shoot reliably ALL DAY at really long range. The AR 15 is okay for this. It's usually in the dirt or rain so I had several jams, once which required about 20 minutes or oiling and re-oiling. I had my eye on an m14, but the 308 is too big and expensive. The ruger mini 14 was another option, but my uncle has a few and I have heard too many horrer stories about it's accuracy. All I am looking for is a few suggestions as to what rifle I may be looking for (under $1200). Anything will be appretiated.
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Old November 10, 2008, 09:21 PM   #2
j.chappell
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Have you considered a bolt gun in say 223 or 243?

You could get a nice bolt gun in a varmint or target configuration from Remington, Savage, Tikka, Ruger, or Weatherby and top it off with a really nice piece of glass for your budget.

If you want more ideas in that area just ask.

J.
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Old November 10, 2008, 09:21 PM   #3
cerberus65
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I was at an Appleseed shoot just 9 days ago. 80% of the folks there (myself included) brought .22's. I would highly recommend a .22 for that. They prefer a semi-auto but a number of us had bolts and had no trouble keeping up.

As for what rifle to get for Christmas...

What else will you use it for?

What do you consider long range?

Are you only interested in a semi-auto?

Does it have to be tacticool?

I personally prefer the accuracy and reliability of a bolt. Besides my .22 I have a .243 that will work for varmints and up through mid-size deer.

But again, it really depends what you will use it for.
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Old November 11, 2008, 05:12 AM   #4
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G'day. Be aware that the .243 is just a necked down .308. So if the .308 is to big so then the .243 probably would be also. The .223 would be my first choice. It is a popular size and a current military round.
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Old November 11, 2008, 05:37 AM   #5
SR420
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Quote:
Jynx92 I had my eye on an m14, but the 308 is too big and expensive.
Take another look at the M14/M1A...
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Old November 11, 2008, 08:25 AM   #6
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a .243 is a necked down .308 but it isn't the case the creates recoil it is the bullet beinging heavier. A .243 is a very very mild recoiling gun and is one of the best or thee best caliber for small or young shooters
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Old November 11, 2008, 08:43 AM   #7
j.chappell
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I'll just throw this out there for you.

I calculated the recoil energy for my favorite 243 target/varmint load and my 308 hunting load.

243 WIN 88gr Berger FBHP High BC at 3182fps in my Remington Model 7 Predator = 8.33fpe (foot pounds of energy)

308 WIN 165gr Hornady FBSP at 2713fps in my Ruger 77 = 17.46fpe (foot pounds of energy)

Both rifles weigh right around 8 pounds with scopes.

J.

Last edited by j.chappell; November 11, 2008 at 08:50 AM. Reason: Weight was incorrect, corrected weight in post and calculations.
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Old November 11, 2008, 09:44 AM   #8
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As understand it, the Appleseed events are mostly 22rf. But if you are looking for a sporter centerfire rifle that allows you more distance, I'd suggest a bolt action rifle in .223 or .243. Everyone seems to suggest Tikka or CZ, but Savage, Remington, and the Smith line are pretty good too. I'm thinking about buying another 223 and I'm personally leaning toward a CZ for this rifle. The 243 would give you more range and would be more effective as a whitetail rifle if you lean that way. My first centerfire rifle was a .243 win. It straddled the use fence between a long distance varmint rifle and deer rifle. Hunted lots of chucks with that rifle and it was the source of many a pleasurable summer hunt. Then it would get cranked up for deer season later.

The Ruger Mini-14's aren't target rifles, but the new ones do shoot better on the average than the old ones if you are leaning that way. They are very reliable and you can easily mount a scope or other optics on them.
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Old November 11, 2008, 12:14 PM   #9
j.chappell
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When the OP stated that he was envolved in the Appleseed, founded by RWVA, I looked up the program as I had not heard of it. This is the site that I found.

http://www.appleseedinfo.org/

The program speaks of hitting a 500 yard man sized target, this is why I have suggested the 223 and 243.

I know nothing of the actual workings and the "norm" rifle so if my suggestion is misleading I am sorry about that.

J.
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Old November 11, 2008, 04:43 PM   #10
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shot my friends m48 today, a yugo mauser and it cost 145 dollars in good condition
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Old November 11, 2008, 05:05 PM   #11
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Hey, jinx!

Take another look at the Mini. Ruger put out an accurized, NRA edition of it this last year. Takes 20 round magazines that are still easy to use from prone. Heavier barrel that accepts longer firing strings (300 rounds a day at an appleseed). Comes in .223, and 6.8 SPC. I'd suggest the .223 though.

You'll get better M14-style reliability from this rifle than from an AR. It will shoot well within the 4 MOA accuracy requirements of an appleseed. And it will cross-train you on the M14 platform so that when your finances change in the future, you can grab yourself an M14 or M1 Garand and have some familiarity already.

Good luck on the Appleseed trail!
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Old November 11, 2008, 07:02 PM   #12
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I have both the Mini-14 and a Rem 700 .243. If you want to nail a man-sized target @ 500 yds. the .243 is the way to go and you get a nifty hunting rifle too. 500 yds. is really pushing a Mini in 5.56.
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Old November 11, 2008, 09:37 PM   #13
Jynx92
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Alright, thank you everyone for the replies. I learned that the M14 indeed chambers the 7.62 NATO round lol. Anyways, at applesead and a training course at my local range I will easily burned through 250 rounds a day... usually for a three day weekend or event. For expense sake I think I'm going to have to go for the .223 (I still go to school, only have part time job, Obama will jack up ammo prices). The .243 is favorable when considering ballistics and hunting, although I think I'm going primarily for a range rifle. As far as the rifle goes... it needs to be gas operated (all about cadence). I keep falling back on the AR 15. Despite it's occasional jams, It really is an excellent rifle. So If you can think of another rifle completely, it would be appretiated, but if I decide to go with an AR... is a 16 inch barrel favorable? I love RRA, the quality and factory preparedness they deliver the rifles with sells me over remintgon, DPMS, etc... What about twist rate: I have read that a 1:9 twist is best for the .223 in a 16 inch barrel. I'll most likely go with another AR just looking for feedback.
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Old November 11, 2008, 09:42 PM   #14
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May I suggest looking at a Saiga? AK reliabilty, and some who use them say they are quite accurate, plus relatively inecpensive, and low recoil. Just a thought.
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Old November 12, 2008, 07:33 AM   #15
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If only had three rifles it would be .204 ruger, a .243 and a 7mm rem mag. The 243 would help you get used to a big gun with mild recoil. The .204 is a great bullet. Flat shooting high velocity and it isnt noisy so can plink all day.
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Old November 12, 2008, 07:51 AM   #16
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AR

".. is a 16 inch barrel favorable? I love RRA, the quality and factory preparedness they deliver the rifles with sells me over remintgon, DPMS, etc... What about twist rate: I have read that a 1:9 twist is best for the .223 in a 16 inch barrel. I'll most likely go with another AR just looking for feedback."

I'd go with the 20" barrel. Longer sight radius. I suppose, though, if you are shooting through glass, that the 16" will be adequate. Rifling - what you need depends more on what kind of bullet you are using than the barrel length. If you are going to be shooting mil. surplus type rounds, then the 1-9 should work.
Note: the High Power Service Rifle guys, shooting at the 600 yard line, are using bullets that require 1-7 (or faster). My own AR works well enough with a 1-8 twist and 75/77 grain bullets. That would apply to 500 yard targets, though I suspect that a man-sized target is more forgiving than the high power bull (Maybe? Maybe not.).
Pete
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Old November 12, 2008, 01:05 PM   #17
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Ruger has a Mini Target rifle in .223. Check out budsgunshop.com.
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Old November 12, 2008, 05:39 PM   #18
trublu
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jynx92
My dad is going to buy me my first very own rifle bigger than a .22 LR.
Although probably not relevant to your appleseed shoots, I think a marlin lever action 30-30 is the ideal first centerfire rifle. Good all-purpose rifle.
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Old November 12, 2008, 07:03 PM   #19
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Appleseed Qual

Do they use the Army pop-up target qualification course or is it a paper "Alt-C" target at 25m?

If you're doing a pop-up range...a bolt action will be a significant disadvantage. Our snipers are the only soldiers who use a bolt action and their qual is very different.

I would love to go to some of these shoots, do they have the 500yd target up at each event? Maybe they'll let me take a few shots at it with my M4~

3SA
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Old November 14, 2008, 12:31 AM   #20
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I don't think anyone has mentioned a good AK varient. Reliable and accurate enough for what your doing. But the AR platform would be far more accurate and my pick for this type of shooting. As far as reliability what kind of jams you have with the RRA AR?
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Old December 13, 2008, 11:06 PM   #21
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Considering the cost of centerfire ammo, it is almost cheaper to get a Ruger 10/22, Tech-Sights and a sling set up, for the cost of centerfire ammo at an Appleseed shoot.

This gives you a good tool to use at the Appleseed, as well as a loaner for your family and friends at their Appleseed.

This will give you some time and ideas as to what rifle you really want.

Let me suggest that you contact Appleseed, they may have a loaner 10/22 at the location you will be shooting at.

308 is not too much, not for any healthy American. The recoil out of a M1A or FAL is not so impressive, as to consider a different caliber.

Appleseed is an instructional course, so you will go throught 200+ rounds in a day, however, you would not normally do that with your 308.

Good luck
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Old December 13, 2008, 11:51 PM   #22
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For what you are wanting to do.. I would suggest a:

Ruger 10/22 with a aftermarket match barrel, scope and bi-pod. They can be a really nice target gun if you build it right. You should be able to get a very very nice one for well under what you want to spend.
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