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Old March 25, 2013, 09:55 AM   #1
deckard
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Just getting into rifles - which one?

Avid hand gun shooter here, thinking I need a rifle, since my gun club has a 500 yard rifle range, and well I may start hunting with some buddies just for fun.

..But what one?

I've heard good things about the springfield M1A, I like that is magazine fed, but maybe that nato round it shoots isn't so good long range, say for hunting?

Also read some about the legendary 30-06 that the M1 GARAND shoots, but that gun seems like a very old design, and do they even make them anymore?

Also what do you guys think of this one (Sauer S202 Varmint)?
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=333485596

*** edit M1 GARAND

Last edited by deckard; March 25, 2013 at 04:06 PM.
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:45 AM   #2
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In answer to the question of .308 hunting capability, I'd qualify it as a deer rifle out to 400 yards and acceptable for bigger game to 250-300. All depending on choice of ammo and ability to hit the right place.
The Garand is a battle rifle not conducive to use with a scope. It's heavy and of course all but a very few are 50-70 years old. IMHO there are many choices better than the M1A for hunting or casual shooting.
A good bolt action in .308 would be a good place to start. Since you didn't really state your priorities, this is all just guesswork and assumption.
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Old March 25, 2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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Yes, priorities would be helpful, as would knowing what type of game you want to hunt.

As for "do they make them any more?" Well, I'm not an expert on the M1 variants, but there are some interesting goodies still in production. Here's an example: http://www.springfield-armory.com/ar...icktype=rifles There's also the Civilian Marksmanship Program, but my knowledge of that is limited enough that I'll let others fill you in on that.
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Old March 25, 2013, 11:53 AM   #4
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Priorities would be light hunting at best, mostly be something I could show off at the range and shoot exceptionally well up to 1000 yards. Say price was not really something I would be concerned about; e.g if paying a bit more money to get something that could handle bigger game, I'd go for it.
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Old March 25, 2013, 12:05 PM   #5
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If money really doesn't matter the options are almost limitless, as far as the .308 win it is more than capable of killing a deer (or elk for that matter) at any distance you are capable of shooting accurately. The rifle choice really should come down to personal preference, if you have friends that have rifles ask to shoot and handle them to get a feel for what you like.
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Old March 25, 2013, 12:21 PM   #6
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Ok well the .308 then is the cartridge ill start filtering searches by.

Thanks guys
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Old March 25, 2013, 01:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deckard
Priorities would be light hunting at best, mostly be something I could show off at the range and shoot exceptionally well up to 1000 yards. Say price was not really something I would be concerned about; e.g if paying a bit more money to get something that could handle bigger game, I'd go for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by deckard
Ok well the .308 then is the cartridge ill start filtering searches by
Given all this, I'd give serious consideration to something akin to the FN SPR A1 - a .308 with a 24" barrel, and essentially a Winchester Model 70 action.

The Model 70 has long been a favorite among hunters. FN makes the current M70, which has been getting terrific reviews. The SPR action differs in part from the current M70 actions in that it utilizes the classic pre-64-style M70 trigger, rather than the current M70's MOA trigger. The MOA trigger has it's fans, but many feel the pre-64 trigger epitomized what a good reliable trigger ought to be on a hunting rifle.

In addition to the trigger, the SPR, like the M70, utilizes both a Controlled Round Feed action with a claw extractor, and a 3-position safety.

At 11.6lbs, it's hefty by hunting rifle standards, but if you won't be carrying it a lot, it's got everything it needs to do double duty as a hunting & target rig.

Don't forget some good optics, whatever you decide to get.


http://www.fnhusa.com/l/products/com...series/spr-a1/
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Old March 25, 2013, 02:31 PM   #8
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ok there there are a few things I would like to point out.
1. what is your definition of light hunting? if you plan of killing deer and varmints then the 308 is more than sufficient.
2. it's M1 GARAND, named after the man that invented it.
3. the M1A is based on the M14 which was essentially a M1 garand, converted to 7.62x51mm and given a detachable magazine.
4. 1000 yards is an incredible challenge even for seasoned shooters. contrary to popular belief a bullet travels in an arc and depending on the range you zero at your bullet can drop up to 15 feet depending on caliber. also to put things in perspective, a 1 inch group at 100 yards increases to a 10 inch group at 1000(under perfect conditions, IE no wind, no change in weather conditions, no flies landing on your forehead while shooting etc) so you are combining the necessary skills of shooting less than an inch groups at 100 yards and judging holdover based on unknown distance. those abilities are just not in the cards for a first time rifle owner, it takes years to do that, 500 yards is a much better goal to set for yourself.
5. 3006 and 308 have identical ballistics characteristics with 308 just starting with a little lower velocity.
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Last edited by tahunua001; March 26, 2013 at 10:54 AM.
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Old March 25, 2013, 03:29 PM   #9
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+1 tahunua001 and it is by no means a knock on you or your ability's deckard.

If your talking about putting down $2500 to $3000 on a first rifle I would suggest maybe slowing down and shooting some other rifles before you jump in head first . You can get a pretty nice set up for 1k no problem . Remington 700 , winchester model 70 and lets not forget about Savage . All the before mentioned are bolt action rifles and that is what I suggest if your really wanting to shoot 1000yds .

There are many factors that come in to play when choosing a rifle . If for hunting , what type ? Will you be caring the rifle all day hiking over all kinds of terrain or just sitting in a blind waiting all day . If you plan to carry the rifle all day you most likely don't want to lug a 15lb rifle around . If your target shoot at long distances 15lbs some might say is a light rifle .

I could go on-n-on about this kind of stuff . If it were me I would not spend that kind of money on my first rifle .

Here is a review I did on my new Savage model 10 FCP-K . this set up (as is)right now cost about $1,300 .
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=517846
It is sweet and capible of shooting 1k no problem . I say "It is " cus I'm not yet but hope to soon
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Old March 25, 2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the feedback!
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Old March 25, 2013, 04:24 PM   #11
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Actually at 1,000 yards with a .308 you are going to drop around 30-32 ft depending on your load. The 1" inch at 100 yards will be considerably more than 10" at 1,000 because of a host of factors. My .308 shoots around .5-.6 MOA on average at 100-400 yards.

My son just shot an F/TR class match at 1,000 with it and while he had many 10's, 9's, 8's and 1X, many shots were in the 7's because he was chasing the wind. Which means the group for 20 rounds was probably more like 30-40".
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:09 PM   #12
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I would recommend a rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor. It is an excellent hunting round. A 140 Grain Berger Match Hunting VLD shot at 2,700 fps (completely capable without max loading your cartridge) you get a whitetail round that maintains 1,000 ft/lbs out to 700 yards. For 1,000 yard paper shooting the 6.5 Creedmoor with the same load as above would still be traveling above the Mach 1.2 limit (below Mach 1.2 the bullets flight begins to destabilize) at that range.

Below are some articles for you, which I have linked in other threads (Article 3 is my favorite):

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Article 4
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:55 PM   #13
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Whether bolt or semi-auto, the fit of the rifle to your body is a top priority. When you mount the rifle to your shoulder and have a firm cheek weld against the stock, do it with your eyes closed. When you open your eyes, you should be looking right through the sights or scope--without moving your head.

Check for proper length of pull by holding the pistol grip with your finger on the trigger, and the buttpad set into your bent arm. It should be near to touching your bicep. (Proper spacing will vary with the thickness of clothing, different in summer than winter to some extent.)

You can lengthen or shorten the stock, but doing any bending to the side is not at all easy or cheap.

In today's world, very few bolt-action rifles won't put five rounds into a group of less than 1.5 inches at 100 yards. Scopes of four-power or more make this quite easy for an experienced shooter. It commonly only takes minor tweaking with the forearm bedding or even just a change of brand of ammo to improve on that.

'Nuff for the moment...
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Old March 25, 2013, 07:39 PM   #14
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get a ruger 10/22 or a marlin 795 and add a sling and tec-sights, sign up for an appleseed(info.org) class and after you make rifleman you can answer this question with a solid base of information and you will be trained up to use a rifle at 500+ yards
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Old March 25, 2013, 07:57 PM   #15
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Learning a lot here!
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Old March 25, 2013, 09:08 PM   #16
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Get a nice heavy barrel (fast twist) bolt action 223 and start with that. No flinch issues to worry about. Accuracy will be great and you can shoot cheaply (in a normal ammo market). Shoot with that for a while and then you'll have more info and experience to help you make a decision on what you'd like next. Put a really good scope on it, and you can later swap the scope to the next rifle if you wish.

I'm just thinking you need a little more hands-on rifle shooting before you spend the big bucks on a rifle that may or may not be what you really want or need.

Of course, I just remembered that you said you might want to hunt, and if that's the case, the caliber I suggested isn't really suited to that. So...same advice shown above, but go with 243.
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Old March 25, 2013, 09:53 PM   #17
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308 +1
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Old March 26, 2013, 12:40 AM   #18
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Go to a gun store, get a nice looking used.22 that fits you, take some lessons and put a few thousand rounds down range.

Take a hunters safety course. Hunt some small game with the .22.

Then start thinking about a centerfire. Any modern rifle in any of the standard hunting cartridges will do fine for deer. .243win up to .30-06spr will all kill bambi.
The odds are that if you go back to the used gun rack and just pick the gun that fits best, it will be in an acceptable round.
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Old March 26, 2013, 11:13 AM   #19
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Quote:
and the 308 is not one of them. You have to have >1800 fps remaining at impact. I suggest that most of you need to google for some ballistics charts. Also, boattails bullet shapes tend to have problems holding the bullet together, point forward, for deep penetration in flesh, and plain based bullets lose velocity rather quickly. So do the "non-needlepoint" sort of reliable expanding, deep penetrating big game softpoint.
nobody here is suggesting 1/4 mile kill shots, we are trying to tackle to of the OPs criteria including both hunting and target shooting at 1000 yards. it's hard enough to hit a 4 foot steel plate at 1000 yards without having to worry about hitting a 4x2 deer that's walking around at that distance... it's just not going to happen. kill shots generally happen within 400 yards, for a newb, I'd suggest limiting it to less than 300 yards. I've seen it done with a 30-30 so a 308 can definitely handle it.
Quote:
A non-expanding bullet can of course EVENTUALLY cause the death of an animal, even with a poor hit, but you are a slob to risk such an inhumane thing! Almost any rifle bullet takes 1/2 second to cover a 'mere" 500 yds, and any animal can take a step in 1/2 second. Presto, you have gut-shot that critter, and it may well travel a mile or more and suffer for an hour or more before it dies.
again you are confusing 2 separate topics of discussion. also in some places like central Idaho, hunting Elk at ranges of 500+ yards is a necessity, nobody does it with a 308 mind you but such is a way of life for many people and yes game gets away, just this fall my little brother got his first elk, a cow with an atrophied shoulder from being hit and escaping the year before. botching shots is a fat of life. eventually it happens happens to everyone especially when dealing with illusive game.
Quote:
The Garand has long been noted for not handling commercial 06 ammo well. Such rds bend that long operating rod, (or so I have heard, at least). I know for a fact that the M1A tends to take chunks of lead off of the sides of softpoint noses during the feeding stroke. That hurts long range accuracy quite a bit. So you probably will have to use the "gameking" series of big game hp's, from Sierra.
this is for the most part correct however in the case of the M1 garand it has almost nothing to do with soft points, bullet weight or velocity(though a combination of such can be a contributing factor). it has to do with the burn rate of the powder and pressure at the gas port, it's not hard to hand load for the M1 and there are a few varieties of M1 safe hunting ammo if you know where to look.
Quote:
I don't know why anyone would want to lug around a 12 lb (scoped, bipoded) M1 or M1A just to hunt, tho. The alloy version of the sporting, commercial BAR, (Browning) or the Remington 748,etc, are at least a couple of lbs lighter, if you want fast repeat shots with your hunting rifle (which is a hellva good idea, in my book) And they cost about 1/3rd what an M1A does, too. :-) Just because you have an autoloader does not mean that you should be "spraying lead" in rapidfire, either!
also a good point but judging by your rants of long range hunting earlier it is safe to assume you are still talking about those shots that take half a second to reach the target, a follow up shot, if needed will be made at a target that is now at a full run and it's hard to imagine anyone that can make that shot. fast follow ups are not necessary and I do prefer bolt actions to semis for hunting as the do tend to limit the weight a lot. a good Ruger M77 would serve quite well.
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Old March 26, 2013, 11:52 AM   #20
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I think I've settled on the Ruger Gunsite Scout in 18 inch barrel:

http://www.ruger.com/mobile/products/6822.html

It is an interesting rifle, something Jeff Cooper proposed (a man who I highly respect).

Thanks for the overwhelming feedback and info.
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Old March 26, 2013, 01:44 PM   #21
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The Gunsite scout is a great all around rifle . You will enjoy it . It how ever will only shoot about 800yds accurately because of the lower velocity do to the shorter barrel . Still a great rifle enjoy
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Old March 26, 2013, 05:29 PM   #22
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I think I've settled on the Ruger Gunsite Scout in 18 inch barrel:
IMO either make a mauser scout or by the real thing (a steyr) the ruger "scout" rifles I have handled are not in the same category as the original steyr model but you'll still need a good solid 22. If you go bolt action I'd buy a CZ of your liking. With a little work you could figure out how to put an EER optic on one of those.
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Old March 26, 2013, 06:51 PM   #23
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The civilian M14 is an excellent rifle and the M1A ain't bad either.
Get one with a 22" barrel and learn how to shoot with iron sights.

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Old March 26, 2013, 07:32 PM   #24
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the ruger gunsite is a great rifle. a M77 action with detachable magazines and lightweight barrels.
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Old March 26, 2013, 10:26 PM   #25
deckard
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Quote:
The civilian M14 is an excellent rifle and the M1A ain't bad either.
Get one with a 22" barrel and learn how to shoot with iron sights.
Whats the difference between the civillian M14 and the M1A?

Quote:
IMO either make a mauser scout or by the real thing (a steyr) the ruger "scout" rifles I have handled are not in the same category as the original steyr model but you'll still need a good solid 22. If you go bolt action I'd buy a CZ of your liking. With a little work you could figure out how to put an EER optic on one of those.
What models of Steyr would you recommend?

Last edited by deckard; March 26, 2013 at 10:47 PM.
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