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Old March 31, 2013, 09:21 AM   #1
Mastrogiacomo
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Rifle Question for a Beginner

Hi Folks,

I'm a petite lady, 5'2" and looking to get my first bolt action at some point. My father has a .223 but it's obviously too big and heavy for me to use. I have my eye on the Ruger M77 Hawkeye Laminate Compact. Have any ladies used this gun or wives/girlfriends that can comment on the gun? Thank you.

Oooopps...just noticed that I probably put this question in the wrong section. To the Mods, feel free to move. Thank you.

Laura
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Last edited by Mastrogiacomo; March 31, 2013 at 09:46 AM.
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Old March 31, 2013, 09:54 AM   #2
Wyosmith
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Laura, you would not go wrong with the Ruger, but there are many other options available. Please, if you will, tell us what the "mission statement" of the new rifle will be. There are different tools for different jobs and a general purpose tool will cover most of them, but not all or them.

Examples of "mission statements" and priorities to consider are;

Price of the rifle.

Price of ammo.
Availability of ammo
Use of factory ammo or handloads? (will you load them yourself?)

Hunting? If so, hunting what?

Target shooting? (if so would it be formal or informal. For formal you'll need extreme accuracy.
Range at which most shots will be taken?
For 50 yard competition a super accurate 22 LR is going to be the best bet.
For 1000 yard competition something with exceptional accuracy and high velocity with excellent down range characteristics is what you need
And so on and so on....

In most cases the “first rifle” is going to be a "general purpose" rifle, but “general purpose” is vastly different for someone living in New York City than it is for someone living in the center of Wyoming on a large ranch.

I hope I do not belabor the point, but I am only tiring to illustrate the fact that there are MANY things to consider.

A good 22 LR will be the cheapest to buy and to feed, and will be very enjoyable.
A 223 light weight will be a better choice for hunting coyotes
A CZ in 7.62X39 will do very well for hunting deer, is super light weight and shoots ammo that cost ½ as much (or less) than 223.
A light weight 260 Remington in one of the new Savage rifles is going to do well for you if you will be traveling around others states to hunt deer, hogs and even black bear if you use the right bullets (see note above about hand loaded ammo)

I hope this post helps you.
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Old March 31, 2013, 10:11 AM   #3
Mastrogiacomo
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I love the .223 caliber because it's a blast to shoot. I really loved using my Dad's gun but it was too big to be really comfortable but it was a lot of fun to use. It would be just for informal shooting at the range, not hunting. I essentially want a comfortable toy to use. The .22 I'm sure is great but it doesn't have enough punch for me which is why I've since gotten rid of my .22 caliber gun. Thank you for the reply.

Laura
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Old March 31, 2013, 10:27 AM   #4
603Country
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Laura, I have a Ruger 77 Compact in a wood stock (though not stainless and not a laminate stock) and it has become my favorite rifle. It's about the lightest rifle available and short enough to handle in a box blind. I highly recommend the rifle. The only thing about it that I might change is the barrel length. At 16.5 inches, it's a bit shorter than I'd like. I'd prefer 18 or maybe 20 inches. And, I should mention that you can now (if it has hit the market) get the Ruger American in Compact form, with a 20 inch barrel. That's worth a look also.

Length of pull on the Ruger American Compact and the Ruger 77 Compact is 12.5 inches, which should be just right for your small frame. And I've found that even I like the short LOP. I bought the Compact for my wife, but found that it had a tendency to stick to my hands, and the more I used it the more I liked it.
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Old March 31, 2013, 10:42 AM   #5
Mastrogiacomo
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Thank you for the suggestion. I haven't seen the Ruger American on the site. I'll keep my eye open for that...would the 22" long guns be too much gun? I'm sure my father had the 26" Remington which was way too heavy but how would the 22" length fare for me?

Laura
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Old March 31, 2013, 10:59 AM   #6
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Take a look at the Tikka T3 Lite.
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Old March 31, 2013, 11:07 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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Laura, where have you BEEN? It's been months.

The Ruger will probably do you fine, especially if the stock is short.

Otherwise look at "youth" models which will have shorter stocks to suit your stature.
I see the Savage Model 11 International Trophy Hunter XP-Youth. It even comes with a serviceable Weaver scope.
A gunsmith could shorten the stock of about any wood stocked rifle to suit. Synthetics are harder to work with but can be managed, even though my guy grumbles a lot about the extra labor.

A friend of the feminine persuasion is looking hard at the Tikka T3 Lite which is a very nice little rifle but has a 13" length of pull. You could probably manage that in shirtsleeves from a steady position, but it would not be optimum.
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Old March 31, 2013, 11:08 AM   #8
Wyosmith
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OK I think we see what you are looking for now.
Look at the CZ 527, Savage 111 Lady Hunter, the Mossburg Thunder Ranch and the Ruger compact series.
All of them will be interesting to you.
If the stocks are too long for you a good gunsmith can shorten them. Wood and laminated wood is easier to shorten than plastic, but either one can be done.
Years ago I had a girlfriend who was an avid shooter, but was also 5' 2" and was only 96 pounds. She had some guns and none of them fit her well.

So one weekend we got every one out and I shortened them all for her. She was elated after that. Even her 270 which she used to not like to shoot was a delight to her after a shortened stock and a good pad were put on.
Her Winchester 1200 12 gauge was also not a problem for her after that.
Stock fit is important, and at 5' 2" you probably will have to address it, but some of the Lady and the youth models may fir without modification. If not do not hesitate to have them cut to fit. You'll never be sorry.
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Old March 31, 2013, 11:11 AM   #9
Wyosmith
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Here is one that is quite ugly, but certain to be able to fit you.
http://www.mossberg.com/product/rifl...mvp-flex/27743
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Old March 31, 2013, 11:21 AM   #10
Mastrogiacomo
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Thank you everyone for the feedback. @Jim, I've been around but had to drop my gun club due to some heavy medical expenses. I had to correct my bite and everything unfortunately came out of pocket, so I've been away from shooting for a little over a year. I also moved on to a new job out of state for a chance at higher income but the ride is taking half my paycheck so I'm keeping my eyes open. I'm dying to hook up with a new range closer to home and seriously considering getting two long guns: the Ruger I mentioned and possibly the Remington Model Seven....so many guns...so little income....Thank you everyone for all the info about the other brands out there....

Laura
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Old March 31, 2013, 11:36 AM   #11
Edward429451
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My friends petite wife have a RUGER #1 chambered in 243 Win. It is teeny and light and a tack driver. Worth looking at. 243 Win is a fine hunting cartridge.
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Old March 31, 2013, 11:38 AM   #12
603Country
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Laura, you asked about 22 inch barrel lengths and suitability. Most of my rifles have barrels of that length, and they are just fine for me, but all of them have the 13.5 inch LOP. I think that your idea on the Ruger Compact or Ruger American, or the Tikka T3 Lite is great. The Tikka is a terrific rifle, but it didn't feel as balanced as the Ruger Compact did. And the Remington Model 7 would also be a good choice, and it has the 18 inch barrel (I think).
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Old March 31, 2013, 04:52 PM   #13
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My daughter is 110lbs soaking wet and while she shots our 300wsm and 7mm mags fine she wanted her own. Picked her up (she picked it out) a ruger compact in 243 toped it with a leopold 3x9x40. We are all very experenced hunters and shooters and wish I had kept it for myself as she is consistantly out shooting us great gun.
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Old April 1, 2013, 08:58 PM   #14
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The Savage Model 11/111 Lady Hunter has a shorter pull length and a wide variety of calibers to choose from.
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Old April 4, 2013, 03:29 PM   #15
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Laura, I think Your choice of the Remington Model 7 may be good for a Range Gun. I hunt with a Ruger Frontier, its just like the compact, its a good gun but very loud with the short barrel, and recoil is much worse than a standard leingth Rifle. My Ruger is in .308
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