View Full Version : New To Firearms, and Hunting

September 9, 2009, 11:13 PM
Hey everyone I just joined the forum and am impressed by all the different insightful posts. Soon I'm looking at trying to purchase my first gun, and want to know some suggestions you guys may have for me. My perimeters are that it has to be a rifle, relatively cheap, and relatively cheap to shoot. The only thing I can really use this rifle for is hunting coyotes and range time, because I live in IL which prohibits rifle for deer hunting. My budget is >$300 and I am not opposed to buying older firearms (ww2 era and such). I've done some research on inexpensive guns and i've thought about getting a Mosin-Nagant rifle. Suggestions for other decent inexpensive firearms would be great. Thank you.

September 9, 2009, 11:24 PM
Mosin Nagants are pretty good along those lines, as are Savage 110's, Marlin 336, and possibly a Mauser in 8mm as you can find 8mm surplus ammo pretty cheap these days.

September 9, 2009, 11:54 PM
You could always try a single shot Rossi, NEF, etc. They're available in a variety of calibers and are fairly reliable in the accuracy department.

September 10, 2009, 12:06 AM
The idea of single shot I guess kinda scares me. Bolt action of the Nagant is a little better, and probably more accurate than a semi-auto. I don't believe I'd get a second opportunity for a shot in a hunting situation anyways. For my purpose so far though the Nagant seems practicial. I've read plenty of reviews saying it has pretty good accuracy at fair range. Also you can buy a 440 round case of ammo for around $85, so i guess that's pretty cheap for ammo. Any more suggestions for decent cheap rifles? I'm kinda partial to the historical rifles. Anyone know if .303 British for Enfield is available at a decent price in US?

September 10, 2009, 12:26 AM
I would consider it to be a very lucky find if you located 440 rounds for $85. About the cheapest I've seen in a while was $100 for 440. Which is still a great deal, but I don't want you to be disappointed.

I know of a .303 for sale in Washington for $175. I don't know if he'd be willing to ship though. :confused:

I've also been kind of partial to the K31s. Though the ammo is not so common. You can still find decent deals for it online though. Those can range anywhere from $250 to $500+.

And a bolt action doesn't necessitate accuracy. While a Mosin will most likely be plenty for your needs, I wouldn't expect it to be shooting tiny groups either. There are plenty of modern semi autos that will shoot rings around any Mosin. Though those are probably going to be out of your price range.

An SKS is a decent semi auto that would fit your budget though. The majority of them aren't particularly accurate, but they'll shoot minute of coyote all day. And they're a blast. Ammo is cheap for them.

Another avenue you might be interested in pursuing would be the old 8mm Mausers. Those can be found for relatively cheap and the ammo is cheap too. Again I know of one in Washington for $180, but don't know if they'll ship.

I'm in no way trying to steer you away from Mosins either. I think that would be a fine choice and would probably be the simplest for you, but I like throwing around other ideas too. :)

September 10, 2009, 01:31 AM
$300 seriously limits your options. Start browsing used gun stores and looking in the paper.

A lot also depends on how you will be hunting those coyotes. If you are close enough a shotgun or .22mag will do the job. That would save you a bunch of money.

I don't think much of a Nagant as a first rifle. Too much recoil, crude sights and they just aren't that accurate.

You should reconsider getting a single shot such as this

surplus .223 and .308 ammo is available and you can find several rifles chambered for those rounds.

September 10, 2009, 02:25 AM
Yeah it is a bummer being limited to $300 but I'm pretty broke at the moment. Also, it is my first gun so I don't want to over-commit to it. I wouldn't be using a scope or anything for whatever rifle I purchase, so I'm not opposed to iron sights. Actually its the only thing I've ever used with any effectiveness. Honestly I have no idea how to set a scope. Single shot rifles do offer a pretty cheap alternative, but for whatever reason I'm not comfortable with a single shot rifle. I like the idea of having a magazine I guess. Also it allows me to make a second shot in the event of an animal coming at me. Obviously not the idea situation with a bolt action either, but still not as bad as single shot. I wouldn't like anything to be close enough to me to have to whack it with my machete instead of shoot it. Another reason that I neglect single shot rifles is that my aim isn't that good. I haven't shot many guns, so I don't expect it to be. Not to mention it'd be really annoying spending time at a range reloading my rifle after each shot.

September 10, 2009, 05:53 AM
I agree look used and look for rifles with iron sights that way you can shoot them until you get enough money together for a scope. New rifles to look at besides the H&R, NEF, and Rossi single shots are Marlin XL7 and Stevens 200. New both these rifles are right at the $300 mark so if you can find a used one, you could get it with a scope for around that. If you buy new these rifles come without sights so you would have to pony up extra money for mounts and optics.

Check right here on the forums as here is a great starter coyote rifle; http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=374391&highlight=H%26amp%3BR+handi
I don't know if it is still available but you would have to find an FFL to do the transfer. Go to Gunbroker.com and use their links to find an FFL in your area that does the transfers. My FFL does them for $15 on rifles and shotguns.

September 10, 2009, 05:55 AM
Hmmmm so what sort of ranges do you anticipate being comfortable to shoot? You admit to not being a great shot, which is good, a lot of people take a long time to admit that. If you're willing to stay within 50, maybe 100yds depending on how good you get, you could try a Savage 93F. Its a bolt action rifle, chambered in .22WMR, 5 round mag, and comes with Accu-trigger. NIB MSRP is $240.

September 10, 2009, 06:52 AM
Just me but I have seen a lot of Guys go the really cheap rout and regret it .As said above the new Marlin XL7 and the Stevens 200 are good rifles in the $300.00 range. And for yotes the 223 is a good cheap round. The old Military rifles were not made for great accuracy. And hitting a running coyote at 75 yards is no easy task

September 10, 2009, 08:00 AM
There are many different types of Mosin Nagants.
The M44 is a cheapo carbine made by communists, it has a bayonet attached!
Supposedly more accurate with the bayonet extended, and I am not making that up. But it is not accurate at long range, it was designed for the first Commie to carry, and when he was shot down 40 yards from the American lines, the second Commie, who was unarmed, and who probably had never fired a rifle in his life, would run up and pick up the rifle!

On the other hand, some Mosin Nagants were specifically designed for accurate long range shooting.
The Finnish M39 is one such rifle.
The Finns were very serious about marksmanship, they had it reversed from the Commies, the Finns had lots of guns and ammo, but few soldiers. They had to build accurate rifles and make every shot count.
The highest-scoring sniper ever was a Finn, Simo Haya killed 534 Russians with an iron sighted Finnish Mosin Nagant, average range 400 meters.

If Simo can shoot a Russkie at 400 meters, you can shoot a coyote at 100 yards.
The Finnish Mosins are the only Mosin Nagants with screw-adjustable front sights.
The Finnish M39 fits your budget.

Check empirearms.com, they always have a good Finn Mosin for sale.
If not a M39, you might get a deal on a M28, or a M28-30, both are very similar to the M39. The M28-30 is the rifle that Simo Haya used.

September 10, 2009, 09:05 AM
Another rifle you might consider is the Swedish Mauser.
This is the most accurate military Mauser ever made.
These rifles are just beautiful, I have 4 of them.
You couldn't do better for an iron sighted coyote rifle.
Like the Swiss, the Swedes took a pass on the wars of the 20th century, so hardly any Swede Mausers have seen combat.

You might find one for $300 if you look around. I have never heard of anyone getting a Swedish Mauser and complaining that the rifle was not accurate.

You can get milsurp ammo for 37 cents a shot.


It says "slightly corroded," don't worry, this is just surface tarnish, this stuff shoots great.
It is some of the finest military surplus ammo ever made, the Swedes were like the Finns, lots of guns and ammo, no troops to spare, they wanted to make every shot count.
Also, this is the only European milsurp rifle ammo I have ever heard of that is non corrosive.

Plus, those green battle sleeves of 200 rounds look cool.

September 10, 2009, 09:11 AM
Brand new for $317:)
...Unless it has to be milsurp.

September 10, 2009, 09:15 AM
I'd also caution against Nagants, mostly due to my experiences with several of them. A lot of steel jacket ammo with corrosive primers have been fired through a lot of them. You need to really inspect the bores well. Also, the safety lever is very difficult to manage in a quick minute. If you want to rely on a repeating bolt gun, don't leave out the new Stevens 200 for about $279, and the newer Marlin that runs around $350.


September 10, 2009, 12:16 PM
I certainly go along with that complaint, the Mosin safety is a bizarre device.
Very difficult to use.

All the WW2 rifles were shooting corrosive ammo, and the troops knew how to clean them. If cleaned properly, the bore will be pristine.
Any rifle from this era should be inspected carefully, of course, since the war some goober may have gotten hold of it and not cleaned it properly. Or, certainly, if a troop fired off twenty shots one day, and got killed before he cleaned his rifle, that rifle may have a ruined bore.

If empire arms tell you the rifle has a good bore you can take it to the bank.
Plus, empire has a no questions asked returns policy, if you don't like the rifle, send it back for a full refund.

September 10, 2009, 12:22 PM
Also you can buy a 440 round case of ammo for around $85, so i guess that's pretty cheap for ammo.

That would not be hunting ammo. Find a good, used bolt in 308. You can shoot mil-crap and still find reasonable hunting cartridges.

September 10, 2009, 01:21 PM
If you go with a Mosin for your first rifle, then buy the cheepie muzzle brake and but pad from amazon. Use these until you get used to the recoil and the rifle and so you don't develope a flinch. In fact you can buy 5 stripper clips,a cheap rail scope mount and muzzle break for like $15. A friend sold me his Bubba'd M44 with that stuff installed, and the brake works.

September 10, 2009, 03:23 PM
Thanks for all the input in general, and especially about the Nagant. I guess for me using it would mostly be just for fun and targets. So far the cheapest one I've found has been like $79.99. I'd say that's a pretty fair price for a rifle. Also for me cleaning isn't an issue because I don't mind taking the extra 5 minutes to save some money. Also since most of my shooting would probably be at targets, I have nothing against mil-surp ammo. Ideally I'd like to have something semi-auto in .223, but that would be far out of my price range. Unfortunately it seems that almost anything in .223 caliber is much higher priced than relative calibers. So far(aside from a .22 LR or something) the Nagant has the cheapest ammo per shot of any rifle I have looked at. This is online though and I still need to look at ammo in my area. Anyone know of any gun shows maybe in Northern Illinois?

September 11, 2009, 04:35 AM
well, a bit off topic but theres an abundance of factory bulk paks of 223 all aver florida!!!! but everyone should have a mosin nagant of any flavor and a couple 440 round packs!!

September 11, 2009, 03:54 PM
Lol on a bit of a humorous note, with the nagant anything I shoot at close range would be fried by the fireball if I miss =p. In regards to the abundance of .223, I'll have to check around up here. I live in a small town, they don't even sell ammo here I don't think. It's like 15 miles to the nearest place to buy ammo, so I'll have a lot of shopping around to do.

September 11, 2009, 04:57 PM
May need help validating this, but it'd be awesome if it was true. This is bulgarian surplus ammo, 149 grain, FMJ, and also claim to be non-corrosive. Berdian primed, not sure what that means. Like I said, new to the world of firearms. 880 rounds for $170. or 440 rounds for $90. Here's the link. http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/880-rds-bulgarian-762x54r-149-gr-fmj-ammo.aspx?a=465896

September 11, 2009, 05:49 PM
Not sure about corrosiveness, but that ammo used to be a lil cheaper, still a very low budget way of soing some shooting, and the gun will destroy anything in front of it, should you need to fire a shot in anger

September 13, 2009, 10:40 PM
I got nothing against Russian fireams but there are alot of K98 Mausers floating around out there for around $200 (Russian capture imports). If you clean all the old cruddy cosmoline out of them you might find them to be quality rifles, great shooters. Mauser actions are still the gold standard for bolt actions. Yugoslavian and Czech mausers can also be had cheaply. I also reside in Illinois (northern) - check out website for rGUNS.

September 13, 2009, 10:54 PM
p.p.s. ; Kane county gunshow runs at the Kane county fairgrounds in the fall and winter. I think its the 2nd Sunday of every month from 8am-1pm - located in St. Charles illinois. Check out their website. Hope this helps:D

September 13, 2009, 11:50 PM
Sounds great. Yeah I've checked out the Mausers as well and they also seem to be decent, fair priced rifles. The 8mm ammo is a bit more expensive I think than 7.62x54r, but not by much. In general most of the 98k rifles are more expensive than Nagants as well. Which gun has a stronger punch, 98k or Mosin-Nagant? I also would need to figure out the availability of 8mm ammo locally. I'm waiting for my FOID card to come in the mail so I can't go out to gun shops yet and look at ammo and stuff. Since you live in Illinois, you are fully aware of how much Illinois hates on gun owners and hunters. Not being able to hunt deer with a rifle really sucks!

September 14, 2009, 03:26 PM
I only hunt with a bow or shotgun in Illinois. I own a scoped M2 Benelli slug shotgun and can usually reach out and "touch" a deer at 75-100 yards with a saboted slug-round Beyond those ranges I really have no interest in shooting a deer. My real passion is bowhunting. As far as punch (mauser vs Nagant) goes - how much punch do you need for hunting. Another thing about Nagants (I own3) - they kick like mules. their stocks are usually pretty crude w. sharp corners. You want a rifle that you can practice with and be proficient and efficient in knocking down game - not acquire a flinch factor. Yep, I keep my rifles strictly for the range or in case the zombies invade . . . If punch and range are what you want for hunting in Illinois you might consider one of the in-line muzzleloaders -ranges of 200+ yards, and legal to hunt with in Illinois. thats my 2 cents:o

September 14, 2009, 10:36 PM
For this rifle, I'm considering installing a scope that's currently on a Browning BLR .358. I was told that I'd need a turn-down type bolt to replace the strait bolt I currently have. Anyone know where I can get one? The cal. is 6.5x55. Thanks.

Fat White Boy
September 14, 2009, 10:49 PM
If you get a Mosin, don't use it anywhere dry brush or chapparal- It has a muzzle blast that looks like a frickin' Flamethrower....

September 14, 2009, 11:41 PM
Lol yeah. I'm aware of the dangers of starting a brush fire by firing the Mosin. But hey, I find the fireball to be rather amusing. I'm not hunting deer with the Mosin by the way, that'd be highly illegal in my wonderful state of Illinois. I'm just using it to help a friend thin out some coyotes. Providing I can hit them, I don't think they'll be walking away from a Mosin shot.

roy reali
September 15, 2009, 07:01 AM
May I ask why?

Your handle suggests that you like history, as do I. Then you should know that our country was founded, explored, and developed by men using single shot rifles. These were guns that took more then a few seconds to reload even if you were good at it. A single shot using metalic cartridges are very fast to reload.

I have and use several single shot rifles. They cause me no fear at all.

September 15, 2009, 01:30 PM
I don't doubt the effectiveness of a single shot rifle nowdays. After the advancement from black powder I'm sure the reload time increased significantly. However, I could imagine myself in a panic trying to reload it and dropping my shell or something like that. Also, if I was target shooting at a range it'd be very inconvenient to reload after every shot. I'm not disputing there are some good single shot rifles, just saying they're not for me.

September 15, 2009, 01:59 PM
History, A single is super easy after a few rounds... Heck, a guy can put 2 rounds 'tween his fingers on his left hand and pull off second and third shots as fast as or nearly as fast as a bolt action... I have taken shots at double clay birds with a .410 single and 2 shots on pheasant and rabbit too...

September 15, 2009, 10:16 PM
I'll certainly keep it in mind. I don't have a lot of cash, so the price of the gun and ammo for it will be big determining factors for me. Hopefully I'll get hired somewhere soon, then I can afford something that would be more suited for the purpose of coyote hunting.

September 15, 2009, 11:22 PM
History, Look into the NEF/H&R lineup of single action rifles... I know of many folks who absolutely love their accuracy for the lower cost. Nostalgic as well and nothing will make a shooter refine his skills like the one shot, one kill ideal of a single shot.
As you see there are tons of calibers to choose and I think this isn't all if you dig deep into their line ups.

roy reali
September 16, 2009, 07:44 AM
I can afford something that would be more suited for the purpose of coyote hunting.

It isn't the cartridge or the rifle that is suited or not for coyote hunting. It is the shooter. A skilled and practiced hunter can eliminate many coyotes with a single shot .22 rimfire rifle. An unskilled, unpracticed hunter won't get one even if he went out with a full automatic 50BMG. Heck, he might never see one.

September 16, 2009, 11:01 AM
May need help validating this, but it'd be awesome if it was true. This is bulgarian surplus ammo, 149 grain, FMJ, and also claim to be non-corrosive. Berdian primed, not sure what that means.
All Eastern Bloc Berdan-primed surplus ammo is corrosive. Do not believe vendors who claim theirs is not. They are wrong. :rolleyes:

FWIW a Berdan primer uses an ignition anvil on the case and a pair of offset flash holes to ignite the powder charge. They are common on European and Russian ammo. Boxer primers, the type normally used on Western ammo, have an ignition anvil within the primer, and ignite the powder charge through a single central flash hole. Boxer primers are easily replaceable if you handload your own ammo; Berdan primers are not. This is why lots of American shooters will pay a premium for Boxer-primed ammo.
It isn't the cartridge or the rifle that is suited or not for coyote hunting. It is the shooter. A skilled and practiced hunter can eliminate many coyotes with a single shot .22 rimfire rifle.
+1. If you are new to shooting, you need a .22, because you can dump vast quantities of lead downrange for very little cash, and it will allow you to learn the fundamentals of position, trigger control, and breathing without having to simultaneously learn recoil management. Old military bolt-actions generally have very fierce recoil because they were designed to kill at ranges considered absurd by military planners nowadays (1,000m+), and the designers generally weren't very concerned with ergonomics and/or minimizing felt recoil. Small steel buttplates were the norm.

It sounds like you, the OP, like milsurps. Here's my advice. Czech out (ha ha) the CZ 413 Basic, CZ 452 Lux, and CZ 452 FS in .22LR, .22Mag, or .17HMR. These rifles look, feel, and function like a vintage Mauser military rifle, but they use inexpensive rimfire ammo that can be purchased anywhere, and you don't have to worry about rust, pitting, poor rifling, or cosmoline. :cool:

I love milsurps, but I use mine for blasting holes in stuff for fun; I would not use one for hunting. There are too many inexpensive modern Western centerfire rifles that are more accurate than any inexpensive milsurp, don't require value-destroying hacksawing or drilling to mount a scope or a recoil pad, and won't cause pangs of guilt if I gouge the stock on a fencepost. :( A Marlin XL-7, synthetic-stock Savage 11x, or Remington 770 will shoot circles around most sub-$200 milsurps while ingesting ammo that can be purchased at your local Wally World. :)

September 16, 2009, 04:19 PM
Sadly you're right about the fierce recoil and potential lack of accuracy on milsurp rifles. Also the ammo for .22 is obviously much cheaper per round. Ideally I'd like to find a switchable barrel rifle(H&R have some) for a decent price. Unfortunately I'd want a combination that I haven't seen, .223 and 12 gauge. The 223 would be for coyotes(I've heard it's pretty good for this purpose) and the 12 gauge for deer and other game. Also if I was to stick with a milsurp firearm, it would mostly be for the fun and novelty of it. I've heard from many people that the Mosin-Nagant in particular has some fierce recoil, so if I do buy one I'm definitely going to invest in a recoil pad. For hunting coyotes I'd go with a .22LR but I've read many coyote forums that say that .22LR doesn't work very well for the purpose.

September 19, 2009, 07:43 AM
YOu can find a nice sks, which is pretty adaptable for hunting, and it fires the 7.62x39 round, which would be a pretty good all around smaller to midsize game cartridge, imho. But you sound like you are looking for a bolt gun.

September 19, 2009, 02:34 PM
I've read a lot on different forums about sks, and got mixed reviews. A lot of people say that they aren't very accurate , having like 4 inch groups at 100 yards or so. I'm sure there are some things you can do to improve its accuracy though. What is the average price of an sks? Anyone know?

September 21, 2009, 07:11 AM
they can be had for cheap! I'd say $100-$400 depending on condition, etc, but you can get a nice one for like 200 bucks. They're good, dependable, versatile rifles. and cheap!!:cool:

September 21, 2009, 10:54 PM
Yeah sks are definitely dependable and versatile. Really the two things applying to me would be cheap and dependable. I have heard a lot of talk about AK's being less accurate than sks on many different forums. Is there truth to this, or just phenomena?

September 22, 2009, 12:48 PM
I've shot a few of both, and I feel that the sks is the more accurate of the two. It's also heavier. But If I was huntin coyotes, I'd take and sks over any of the other choices in the price range. I like Ruger Minis, but thats twice the money.

September 22, 2009, 01:04 PM
If I overlooked this in a previous post, sorry -

With the economy in the state it is in, I would be looking for a used rifle. Classified ads, pawn shops, gun stores that take consignments, etc.