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Old February 27, 2013, 04:24 PM   #1
Contrast Man
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Complete Beginner when it comes to rifles

After a year and a half of shooting handguns exclusively, instead of contemplating what kind of handgun I wanted, I figured let's branch out into something new entirely! I know very little about rifle models and makes and have not handled them much at all. I have fired rifles before and did fairly well (in my opinion, probably due to basic shooting technique from handgunning). I've fired a mosin carbine, an 8mm mauser, and an AR with a very off sight. I come asking for advice on rifles to look for that would fit my uses/requirements below;

Primarily a plinking rifle in an indoor range with max range of 25yds. There aren't really any outdoor ranges by me and I don't have the opportunity to hunt at this time. Any action type is fine by me. Caliber is flexible as well as I reload, but I would still like to stay within common calibers. I don't have a steadfast price ceiling yet as I'm using this thread to help get me pointed in the right direction, but I would like to stay around $800. As a lesser note, mounted optics are not a big deal to me. I enjoy using iron sights.

Thanks in advance for your input!
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Old February 27, 2013, 04:33 PM   #2
Ajtozzi
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Complete Beginner when it comes to rifles

Ruger 10/22; it is cheap, easy to shoot and a great way to learn solid rifle mechanics.
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Old February 27, 2013, 04:39 PM   #3
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Check out the Hi Point carbines
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:14 PM   #4
jimmythegeek
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Start with a .22lr

For starters, get a .22lr. You can get a nice one for the cost of 10 boxes of centerfire ammo. You can learn a lot on it before turning to a pricier package. It's basically a free gun.

Especially at 25 yards!

For bolts, CZ-455 or -452 for $400-$500, or Savage Mk II for around $200. Accuracy is similar, most find the fit and finish a little nicer on the CZ.

Semi-auto, 10/22 as suggested for around $220 on up, or Marlin 795 for $150 or so. The Ruger has more after-market parts, but there's a good selection of the relevant parts for the Marlin. Many people find the Marlin to be more accurate out of the box.

Lever action - Henry has the smoothest action. Marlin 39a the most history, possibly more collectable. I like the straight stock Mountie, personally.

Edit: aftermarket adjustable peep sights available for all of these.
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:29 PM   #5
Art Eatman
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For target accuracy in an indoor range where precision and noise are factors, my suggestion is for a quality bolt-action .22. Anschutz is but one of several good rifles.
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:37 PM   #6
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I agree with the others, for what you're doing (and a lot more) you really can't beat a good 22LR. There are a bunch of different models, most of which are good, but for my money you can't beat a CZ452 Lux or CZ455 Lux. They come with good-quality iron sights, and are absolute tack-drivers. I've got the 452 Ultra Lux, which has a 28" barrel, and with subsonic ammo it sounds almost suppressed, while shooting ridiculously small groups. I have a Marlin 60, which is a nice little semi-auto rifle, but for target work I would rather have the bolt-action. Quieter, more accurate, and practically zero-maintenance since the action never gets filled with gunk like the Marlin. In fact... thanks to the lube they put on 22 bullets, I haven't cleaned the CZ in many hundreds of rounds and it hasn't missed a beat or a target.

Whatever you get, make sure it's accurate! The only fun guns are the ones with which you can hit the target. :-)
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:46 PM   #7
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Plenty of bargains in the used market, too many to list, check your LGSs.
The skills developed in shooting a 22RF DO carry over to centerfire rifles.
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:54 PM   #8
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For short range like 25 yards as you stated, any decent .22lr auto with open sights would be more fun than a barrel o' monkeys. 10/22 if you can find one at a decent price right now, or a Marlin model 60 would be a good place to start.
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Old February 27, 2013, 05:58 PM   #9
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And maybe a carbine in a pistol caliber, too.
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Old February 27, 2013, 06:57 PM   #10
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For everyone who suggested a .22lr, I'm a little surprised I didn't think of it myself. I took that same method with handguns, starting with a 22/45. And for the given prices of those rifles it'd be something much easier done sooner rather than later.

For a pistol caliber carbine, it would be nice having a rifle in something i already reload for, but for those that own one, do you feel like you're missing out on any feel compared to a rifle caliber?
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Old February 27, 2013, 08:35 PM   #11
Daekar
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The only thing a rifle does differently than a pistol is push projectiles faster by using a longer barrel to full efficacy. So, what you'd be missing out on is more noise, more recoil, pricier ammo, and damaged backstops with the accompanying angry range officers. If you don't want a 22, then a pistol-caliber carbine is a GREAT idea. My personal dream would be a bolt-action in 9mm Luger, but those aren't available. You can make a single-shot 9mm rifle with a Thompson Center Encore and a custom barrel, but that can be expensive. There are many semiautomatic rifles in 9mm, 40, and 45, like the Hi Point carbine and the CX4 Storm by Beretta, and then there are lever action rifle by Marlin or Uberti that shoot 357 or 44 magnum. Depending on what you already load, any of those would be satisfying alternatives to a rifle-cartridge, and certainly no less effective for uses other than target work. Most deer shot with a 30-06 are taken at ranges within which a 357 levergun would have done just as well. A 9mm carbine with even a 10 round magazine would be exceptional at both 2 and 4 legged varmint control.
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Old February 27, 2013, 10:20 PM   #12
Contrast Man
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I already load for .45, 9mm, and .357 so the pistol caliber carbine does sound very tempting. That and a .22, so for my initial project budget of $800, I could probably be within that for both rifles...
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Old February 27, 2013, 11:37 PM   #13
Daekar
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Definitely! If you shop around, you might be able to get a nice levergun in 357 Mag (look for old Marlins or a decent Henry) and any number of good 22s for that easily.

If you want to buy new guns, then a new HiPoint Carbine in 45ACP:

http://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/carb...45caliber.html

and a CZ455 Lux:
http://www.cz-usa.com/products/view/455lux/

... would be just the ticket! The CZs are very popular and very accurate, with a lively online community to boot. However, don't limit yourself to only what I and others suggest. Get ye to a gun shop and go fondle some rifles!
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Old February 28, 2013, 02:44 AM   #14
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Absolutely start with a good bolt action 22. There are a lot of skills to learn and a lot of practice required and a 22 lets you do it without spending a mint or beating you up with recoil.

Once you've mastered the 22, you can transfer the skills to a centerfire. And you'll still have a 22 you know how to shoot, which is always a good thing.
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Old February 28, 2013, 11:49 AM   #15
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Aalso consider that a 22 is the right place to start with newbies when you get a chance to teach them to shoot. So don't get rid of the 22 even if you don't use it for a few years.
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Old February 28, 2013, 05:43 PM   #16
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.22lr yes, bolt action? NO. You stated plinkin and 25 yards in you OP and that = complete boredom about about 3 range trips with a bolt gun.

Hands down the 10/22. Even in stock form it's some of the best fun you'll ever have and they're easy to learn on.
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Old February 28, 2013, 06:15 PM   #17
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That's funny, I've never found my bolt-guns boring. Now muzzleloaders, THOSE can be boring, especially since you spend more time cleaning than shooting! I won't say that I can shoot just as fast with my CZ as I can with my Marlin, but for aimed fire the difference really isn't that great at my skill level. Maybe for guys who are really fast at target acquisition it matters more.
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Old February 28, 2013, 09:54 PM   #18
Contrast Man
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Haha, this is the debate I'm going through in my head now; bolt or semi? I'm pretty quick on sight acquisition, but thats with a handgun, I don't know how well that translates though. The CZ is a couple hundred more than the 10/22 which sticks in my mind too.
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Old February 28, 2013, 09:55 PM   #19
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Boring? Naaaahhhhh. I didn't even find this slow-firing critter to be boring.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/atta...2&d=1036364684

Rather precise, in fact. Particularly considering that it's over a hundred years old.
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Old February 28, 2013, 10:49 PM   #20
Daekar
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Oh, there are cheaper bolt guns, the CZs are just well thought of because they offer almost match-grade accuracy together with an old-world quality feeling for a very nice price. You could get a bolt-action from other manufacturers for quite a bit less, and more than likely not notice much difference at the ranges you're talking.

The 10/22 is extremely popular, but I have been told that it requires significant investment in aftermarket parts to make them tack-drivers.

EDIT: Art, what exactly is that? It looks neat.
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Old March 1, 2013, 08:29 PM   #21
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If you have around $800 to spend, or maybe a bit more, that should get you into used-Anschutz territory.

But if you're just starting out and want a nice bolt-action .22, a CZ will likely make you just as happy, for a good bit less money. I love my 452... the trigger needed a little work, but other than that, it was a joy to shoot right from the get-go. Bolt-actions are good when you're learning, because you have to take a bit of time with each shot, and not just bang away.

And if you're going to be doing most of your shooting at a 25-yd. indoor range, you'll almost certainly be limited to .22 or other pistol calibers. That's how it is in my neck of the woods, anyway.

And for some of us, accuracy is never boring. I've had that dang CZ for a few years now, and it's still more accurate than I am...
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Old March 2, 2013, 12:32 AM   #22
KO3422
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Get a .22lr for sure. A Ruger 10/22 would be a good start. Lots of ammo, good practice, range time, and you'll do great.
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:10 AM   #23
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I would definitely suggest a .22 LR, especially for 25 yards.

I love my Henry .22 lever action. It is versatile in the ammo I can use for it. Any velocity long rifle or shorts. Fairly light rifle. Well within your price range. Holds 17 long rifle rounds or 21 shorts. The action is smooth, the gun is accurate. If you enjoy iron sights, I can reliably hit a 1/4"-1/2" target with my Henry .22 at 30 yards with iron sights no problem. Although currently I have a red dot on it, mine is grooved so that an optic can be put on it.

Mine has given me around 12 years of dependable regular use. So many thousands of rounds.

If you prefer a semi automatic, Ruger 10/22 all the way.

A bolt action with a scope will bore you to death at 25 yards. Not saying don't get one, but you need a better range to enjoy it.
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Old March 2, 2013, 01:32 PM   #24
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If you want to get into rifles my advice is to start with a 22LR and take an Appleseed class. The only problem is that ammo is little more than a fond memory right now - but my advice stands.

As for what 22 to buy a 10/22 is a wonderful if only moderately accurate semiautomatic plinker that you can customize to your hearts content and even turn into a very accurate target rifle with a bit of work and money. There are more aftermarket parts for the 10/22 than any other 22.

CZ's 452/453/455 are very accurate bolt action 22s and a great place to start.

Anschutz is the Ferrari of of 22s but their lower priced ($800-1300) models have well known issues and their support is in my experience far-far-far less than acceptable for a premium priced rifle.
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