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Old September 5, 2012, 03:08 AM   #48
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Join Date: July 24, 2012
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 4,075
Is the XDM 45 sub compact really $700?! Any particular reason for 45? The 9mm version is about $100 less I seen. (or did you mean "compact" which is really what I call duty sized... smaller than say a 1911 or M9 but bigger than the sub-compacts designed for CCW... those I know are about $550-600 if you shop around)

45acp is a good round, don't get me wrong... I like it, I've owned firearms that shoot it, as well as 9mm an 40s&w... but modern hollowpoints like Federal's HST and Speer's Gold Dot, especially when in the 124gn +p loading, level the field as far as effectiveness... Statistics don't lie, there is very little difference between the 3 major handgun calibers when it comes to effectiveness. Then there is the capacity and recoil aspect of it, which in a subcompact really makes a difference. (that being said, my person caliber of choice is 40, my fiance uses 9mm)

As far as a rifle... I have a couple suggestions.

First, I suggest a good 22lr semiauto as a good idea. Cheap and fun to shoot, for when you just want to punch paper. You can even hunt small game with it if you are so inclined.

The Ruger 10/22 is pretty much the go to as far as semiauto 22s are concerned. You can get one for $200 just about anywhere for the basic model in wood or polymer stock. A cheap low power scope or red dot and you can have a blast. You can deck it out and make it "tactical" if you want. Mostly just for the fun factor, but it still is viable as a small game hunter when set up like that. it also has factory high cap mags available to make time at the range more about fun than constant reloading. Sometimes the gun or the individual mag may need a little break in, but reliability is pretty much top notch.

If all you want is a fun plinker with a tactical feel, the M&P 15-22 is a good choice... and so is the Sig 522. With the edge going to the Sig as far as reliability with many ammo types and build quality. (aluminum upper on the sig, polymer on the M&P, Sig uses common 22 ar mags the M&P uses special mags, also I feel the bolt design on the Sig is better) You could hunt small game with them if you wanted, despite their "tactical" design. They both cost around $450 though, so more than the basic Ruger without addons.

Next... do you want bolt or semiauto for your centerfire rifle? Thats the question.

Bolt action makes an excellent hunter, and they are fun at the range, if you have a range that has enough distance to make it challenging, and you like slow precision shooting.

It is not a good choice in a defense situation. You mentioned hurricanes.. I am assuming you mean similar situations to Katrina or similar times of widespread lawlessness. A pistol is fine when there is only one or two intruders, but if you have a large group, a shotgun that holds more than 3 rounds, or repeating rifle works better. Though a gun is a gun, and a bolt action can be just as intimidating as any other, its when you are called to actually use it that it is less effective than other options.

If you go with a bolt action, a "scout" type will serve you well unless you need real long distance accuracy. Inside a few hundred yards, I would guess it would be just fine. If not a scout type, then a find one you like and fits your budget. You don't "need" a $1000+ bolt gun, a $400-600 version from a quality manufacturer like Winchester, Remington, CZ, Ruger, etc etc will get the job done well.

If slow fire/precision shooting is not your cup of tea, and the 22 semiauto does not fully fill your need for faster fire or general plinking... then you need to get a semiauto centerfire.

You can go with an M1A in .308 if you want... it has plenty of punch for most hunting in the lower 48 when matched with the right bullet... but the cost of the rifle and/or ammo may put you off.

The AR in .308 is a good option, but also expensive.

Then there is the AR-15... the .223/5.56 round is not overly expensive... and you can get a very reliable rifle for $800-1000... The big benefit of the AR platform is the fact that you can swap uppers very easily... While getting a new upper may not be in the budget now, it can be looked at as a future purchase. I hear the 6.8 round is a good round for dear hunting. Its basically a .270 short... They even make 22lr conversion kits (a bolt swap which is about $150-200, or a complete upper kit that costs a good bit more) So if you went that route, you could skip the 22 semiauto. You could have a rifle that you can afford to shoot all day, then swap out for centerfire practice, and if you get a second upper with a target/hunting barrel, convert it over to a decent hunter. Though a good target/hunting upper is going to cost you about the same as a good bolt gun by itself... its the price of modularity. If you want the ultimate in modularity... the new Colt 901 is a .308 AR-10 that can also convert to using AR-15 uppers, so any upper that fits an AR-15 will work for the 901... but be prepared to spend near $2000 for the rifle before any new uppers.

So its up to you... you have a wide range of potential uses, but I didn't see any concrete talk of your shooting style and idea of a fun day at the range. So I tried to cover many bases with my reply.

As far as the .223 for hunting goes...

You can hunt deer and similar sized game with .223 but it isn't the best. It is pretty much the standard round for varmint hunting though.

The 7.62x39 is not as powerful as some, but its powerful enough for game up to deer size I would think. (its compared to the 30-30 which was a popular deer cartridge) Its effective on humans, and deer share similar sized/shaped chest cavities.

They make bolt action rifles in 7.62x39, that would be pretty accurate, so long as they use the proper bore size. 7.62x39 uses a .311 bore, the 7.62 Nato (.308) is .308 bore... surplus 7.62x39 is standard .311 bore, some domestic hunting/defense geared 7.62x39 use standard .308 bullets... So know your ammo and gun as well for max accuracy. From what I hear, done right, the 7.62x39 can be accurate out of a bolt gun, Hickok45 was using a CZ bolt carbine and hitting a steel gong at 230yds with iron sites in one of his videos. And I would think you could take deer at 150-200yds without much trouble with good ammo. Beyond that, its ballistics make it harder to shoot, bullet drop is fast as I understand. Which makes knowing your optic and hold over for each range is important.

BTW... I am not a hunter myself, so take what I say on that subject with a grain of salt... I do know and talk to several hunters, and read a bit about it in the forums, so I can pass along things as I understand them. And I may be understanding wrong.

Last edited by marine6680; September 5, 2012 at 03:57 AM. Reason: Spelling, grammar, clarification
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