View Full Version : I got my first hunting rifle!!

April 9, 2001, 11:10 PM
It's a Savage 111FXP3 in 30-06. That's the one with the synthetic stock and pre-mounted scope. I just got it last night, so I haven't had a change to fire it yet.

It's pretty light and it shoulders nicely too. I dry fired it a few times and the trigger doesn't seem bad to me. It's a little heavy but there's no play or overtravel. Personally, I'd prefer it to be a little heavy than too light. The last thing I want to do is shoot a deer in the backside because the gloves made my finger bigger.

I'm pretty excited, too bad I won't have a chance to get out to the range for 2 weeks. But that's what happens when you get married. "Lifestyle Management" starts making your schedule for you.


Art Eatman
April 10, 2001, 12:10 AM
Well, murder and marriage--one's a quick death, the other's sure. :D

Even with factory ammo, the venerable .30-'06 will handle any game animal in the Lower 48. Getting on down to the 110-grain, you can have fun on coyotes and such, as well.

One of the things I like about handloading for the '06 is the very-light plinkers you can use, which makes the recoil not a whole heck of a lot more than a .22 rimfire. It makes for cheap practice, so you can get married up to your rifle as well as Sweet Thing.

:), Art

"Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep."

April 10, 2001, 10:07 AM
I was thinking about handloading. I'm getting a 280 round can of ammo, so I'll have plenty of brass once I burn through that. 280 rounds should be enough to get used to the rifle. :)

How much does a handloading kit cost? Also, how much does it cost to handload as opposed to buying new? Being reciently married, money is a little more harder to come by than it used to be. I don't know how much I'll get to hunt with it though. It's getting harder to get game tags out here in Arizona. The human population is going up but the number of game tags are staying steady. It's not like back in Missouri where everyone gets a deer tag and you can apply for up to three more.

The handloading kit will probably stay on the back burner for a while though. The next big thing I want to buy is a new shotgun. All I have is a single shot right now. (Don't laugh, it still gets the birds.) I want to upgrade to a pump, probably a Remington 870 Express.

Also, I've been reading a lot on here about barrel 'break in'. Is there anything to that? I've never seen the liturature for any firearm mention it. All I've ever seen is that you are supposed to clean the barrel before the first time you fire it to make sure that there aren't any obstructions. After that, just clean and oil it normally, right? I went to a high power rifle clinic a few months ago and all they said was to invest in a brush with a wooden shaft so you wont wear out the barrel by cleaning it.


Dave R
April 10, 2001, 10:50 AM
Fuzz, there's a great thread in "Art of the Rifle" right now, on break-in, covering the wisdom of great barrel maker Gale McMillan.

To repeat my post there, Remington officially recommends the "clean, shoot 1, repeat 10x" method. Here's the URL:


That shouldn't cause too much wear, so there's little downside to it. At least you will get lots of practice cleaning your bore.

Art Eatman
April 10, 2001, 11:42 AM
I have picked up a good bit of good used reloading equipment at the February gun show in Wichenburg.

The only critical item is that the inside of the resizing die not have scratches in it. Otherwise, "used" is as good as new. For your style of reloading (not high volume) I'd say a "C" press will do just as well as the somewhat more expensive "O" press. (C and O refer to the shape of the frame of the loading press.) NO, repeat, NO aluminum press, and I really prefer all-steel dies. (I do have quite a few RCBS dies for various cartridges.)

Before buying anything, I recommend getting the Sierra handbooks. They're a bit pricey at around $30(?) or so for the pair, but they have the best information about ballistics for all manner of bullets at the various distances. A ton of general info about all phases of shooting. Check out their website.

Do some reading and browsing, and then come on back. :)

Hard to beat an 870.

The '06 does well on coyotes and javelina, if you have trouble with deer tags. You have Coues deer, way down south. There is a prairie dog town on Old US 66 east of Kingman, a couple of miles west of Seligman.

Later, Art

Hot Core
April 10, 2001, 12:46 PM
Hey Fuzzy, Congratulations on getting the Savage. They make fine, accurate rifles at a very reasonable cost.

You mentioned getting 280 rounds of ammo for it. And you plan to save the empties for reloading. Good idea as long as they are "Boxer" primed. Some of the ammo out there is "Berdan" primed which is more difficult to reload due to the internal design. So, just make sure the ammo you get is "Boxer" primed. If the Seller doesn't know what it is, then I'd recommend you pass on his products.

No doubt the Rem 870 is just an excellent shotgun. The Express model just has a few appearance tricks done to them so Remington can offer them at less cost. I actually prefer the Matte finish of the Express to the High Gloss of the old Wingmasters.

I agree with Art about beginning to look for " pieces " of your Reloading equipment at Gun Shows. One of my local Gun Shops even has a table set up for Used Reloading Equipment and you can occasionally find a deal on stuff there.

Also agree with Art that you do not have to start out with the ultimate Reloading outfit in order to get ammo you can enjoy at the range and also plenty accurate for hunting.

As a STRONG recommendation, let me suggest you get a Speer Reloading Manual before you get any other relaoding equipment. You can occasionally see used ones on ebay or at Gun Shows. The varoius Speer Manuals are all excellent Reference books that will provide you with a lot more information than just how much Powder to dump in.

You will also want to get catalogs and fliers from Cabelas, Midway, Graf, Weidners, etc. to give you an idea of what things are actually worth. (Real bad to pay more for something "Used" than you could get it "New"!)

Good hunting and clean 1-shot kills, Hot Core

April 10, 2001, 03:19 PM
To save money on reloading, get an older (5 years or so) Speer or Sierra manual for instruction on handloading. Then get your loading data on-line! Almost all of the major powder manufacturers have data on line for free. Also, check with folks in the Reloading forum here. Be aware however, unless you like shooting lots of high quality ammo all the time, it may take you awhile to recoup your investment on reloading gear with a 30/06. Check online for good deals on cheap practice ammo (Cavim boxer primed is pretty good.)

April 11, 2001, 10:04 AM
Thanks for all the info guys. I'm going to hold off on reloading for a while, though. For now I'll just collect brass and then get a reloading kit when money isn't so tight. Now that I'm married, the wife seems to have her heart set on a house. And I thought the ring was expensive...

Remmington's advice on barrel break-in sounds reasonable. Only ten shots, so it doesn't sound like they're trying to get you to wear out the barrel.

Any recomendations for a cleaning kit? I just have a $10 one from Wal-Mart. Should I take the advice of the clinic instructor and get a wooden shaft for the brush? Which solvents are the best?

Thanks again for all the help,

April 11, 2001, 02:55 PM
For reloading I would strongly reccomend the RCBS Rockchunker Master Kit. It has everything you need to get started. Check around for different prices, currently www.wideners.com has the kit for $259, but check www.midwayusa.com and www.tntreloading.com to compare pricing. For reloading dies I would reccomend the RCBS small base sizing die because it sizes the brass closer to its original size that any other dies on the market.

Art Eatman
April 11, 2001, 11:44 PM
Get a teflon-coated rod in .22 caliber. I use the pull-through type patch holder which screws into the end of the rod, and the 2"x2" GI-type patches.

The copper solvent bore cleaner does wonders after a large number of shots, but for basic, day-to-day cleaning you can use anything from WD 40 to Hoppe's #9 or whatever. I like the smell of Hoppe's.

I do a final wipe-down with some brand of gun oil on a not-too-dirty patch. Or use the wipe-down patch as the first go-round in the next cleaning. (I'm just cheap, chintzy and a recycler by nature. :) )

Never spray anything directly on the barrel or the action when it's in the stock. If you happen to get caught in the rain, and can't get home for a day or two, you can spray with WD 40--carefully, with the scope protected--but then disassemble the critter as soon as you get home and do a thorough cleaning and oiling. If you go through a lot of dusty condition, you can spray the trigger assembly with brake or carburetor cleaner and then spray with a light oil.

Careless use of WD 40--and other stuff--and a good, wind-driven application of dust, can lead to a buildup of grunge which can affect the trigger group. Don't be sloppy.

Nuff fer now,


April 12, 2001, 04:39 PM
Is there a good place online to get cleaning supplies? Or, does anyone know a good place in Tucson to get them? Most gun stores here don't have that great of a selection. Jenson's might, but they're generally expensive so I tend to stay away from them.


April 12, 2001, 06:29 PM
First, congrats on the Savage. I bought the same model last year and I'm quite happy with it. Unfortunately, all the deer I saw the week before opening day last year moved out of town before I got a chance to shoot them!

You can get all the cleaning supplies you need from http://www.midwayusa.com

I'd get a bore guide and a Dewey one piece coated cleaning rod with appropriate sized copper brushes and cleaning jag.

I'd also recommend a GI leather sling, also available from Midway.

Semper fi.

Bruegger out.