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Old March 11, 2013, 03:48 PM   #1
Join Date: February 20, 2013
Posts: 75
New Firearms Owner

Hey all, I'm new here so let me introduce myself.

There is so much to talk about these days. I've shot a few firearms in my day and thought about owning one many, many times however it wasn't until all this insanity as of late that I finally decided, better late then never, to exercise my 2nd amendment right and purchase a couple of guns.

The first purchase I made was about a month ago, a Winchester SXP pump 12 gauge. I had been wanting something for home defense/range/hunting so I stopped into my local Gander Mountain to see what they had to offer and I fell in love with this 12 gauge as soon as I put my grubby little hands on it. The weight was perfect, the balance was phenomenal, the size was spot on, the look was sleek and elegant, the fit and finish was nice and tight. Then I held in the ejection button and racked the pump. What can I say, it was like the sound of a Rolls Royce Merlin engine when a Spitfire flies overhead at the airshow. "How much?" I asked the clerk. On sale $350 he said. "I'll take it!" The words couldn't leave my mouth quick enough. As I was walking away I heard another chap ask "Hey, you have any more of those pump shotties that guy just bought?" to the clerk.

Ok, shot piece, check. What next, semi-auto or bolt action? Well, bolt action don't seem to be on the endangered species list so semi-auto it is. Now, where to get one? Quick internet search., eh, looks kinda sketchy, FFL transfer, ah hassle,, eh, not as sketchy but still a hassle. Ok, Armslist, ah, not so bad, kinda like Craiglist for guns. Prices kind of high but what did I expect. Now, what can I get at a reasonable price? Used AK 47 of questionable quality, perhaps. 800 BUCKS? Ouch! Here's one for a grand, ugh. Ok, ok, SKS yeah, usually kind of old and well used but I remember they used to be like $250. $600 DOLLARS? OMG.

Online, Bass Pro Shops, Dick's Sporting goods, Gander Mountain. Hey Gander mountain has DPMS AR 15 MOE for $1100 bucks, not too sure about the brand, I'll wait a couple of hours to ask that gunsmith guy at work. "Yeah, DPMS is ok." He says. Ok, back online, SOLD OUT? Shucks.

Right, ok, we'll figure this out. Local gun shop, SKS $475, looks worn as heck and he's not budging on the price. AR-15 hanging up there, used, $1200 bucks, eh, think I'll pass. Hey, nice Sig 9mm in the case. How much? $500 bucks? "I'll take it." "OK" says the shop keep "I just need to see your CCL or pistol purchase permit first." *** I think to myself, then scoff "Don't you guys do the NICS thing and a 3 day waiting period?" "Not here in North Carolina, you have to go register with the police department then come back with a purchase permit." Arcane racial discrimination law still on the books me thinks.

Back to Armslist. Searching, searching, ah Zastava AK 74 pap. Good condition, cool paratrooper style stock, 400 rds of Bear 7.62 ammo, $800 bucks. Email: "Dear Sir, will you take $650?" Reply: "No but I'll take $675." Well, the ammo alone is worth a few bucks. Now, where was this, Ashville? Damn, that's like 2 1/2 hours away. Oh well, "yeah I'll come get it tomorrow."

Next day after work.....Driving, driving, driving. Look around, beautiful country out here, nice day too. Ok, I'm an hour out, 1 1/2 hours to go. Thinking to self, this is nuts, maybe I should just check out the Walmart out here. Punched into GPS, 5.41 miles, alright, no wait, on second though Gander Mountain. GPS, 6.75 miles, ok. Text message from AK guy "Are you still coming?" me "On second thought, no." AK guy "OK, well screw you then. " Anyways, focus, Gander Mountain. Driving, Driving... GPS "Arriving at destination, Gander Mountain, Mooresville." Where? Oh yeah, this is where all the Nascar teams are.

So anyways, never been to Mooresville but the shopping plaza out here is pretty nice, movie theater and everything. Hey, there's a Walmart right there! Ah, don't let yourself get distracted, we're here for Gander Mountain. Go in, look around and....HOLY -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- they have a lot of guns here, the clerk says "Yea, we're like a GM Gunworld." Gunworld? You've got to be kidding me. Oh well, "What do you have in a 223?" "Not much." he says. Ok, well lets see what else they have, Remington 700 adl, no scope, $500 bucks, I though these came with a scope? Used Remington 7400, semi-auto 5 rd mag, $325. Looks ok but kinda well broken in. What else, new M14, WOW, nice. How much, $1800 to $2000? My wife would kill me. "I'll be back!" On to Walmart.

Remington 700 adl this time with cheapo scope. $425 in black synth stock, $525 in camo synth stock. Very, very temping, won't break the bank either, but I could probably get one of those any time and I really wanted a semi-auto before Barack C-blocks me. "I'll be back, Imma get some launch."

Applebee's. Chicken wrap, couple of Bud Fights, do some research on my phone, still undecided and hate to waste a whole day.

Back to GM. Walking up to counter a bit disheartened. Talking with the clerk, I notice another clerk walk behind him and set 2 rifles down on the back wall stand. "Hey, what are those?" Mini 14 Tactical with ATI stock chambered in 223/5.56. "How much?" $800 bucks. "Sold! I'll take both!" "Sorry" he says "I can only sell you 1 semi-auto per day." Oh well.

And thus, I became the proud owner of a new and improved Mini 14 Tactical with ATI stock, later to find out of course that this is the only version of the Mini 14 on the proposed ban list. Lovely.

Great gun actually, been reading good things about the accuracy with the new barrel design and the reliability seem on par with a good AK. Have not shot it yet as ammo is a bit pricey and hard to come by.

Driving home from work early morning (3rd shift sucks) stop by Dick's Sporting goods for the heck of it so see if they have anything in stock and of course they don't. I'm 1 of the 3 customers in the store so I'm walking out the door and this guy is walking out beside me. He asks, "What kind of ammo you looking for?" "223" I say. "You know where I can get some 9mm?" He asks. "No sorry." I reply. "Oh, well he says, I know where you can get some 5.56 though, drive down the street 3 blocks, take a left on Edwardia, drive to the end and you'll see Southern Firearms. They have like 5 cases." "Thanks, man!" I drive over there ask about the 5.56. "Winchester white box 5.56 FMJ 55 grain $9.65 per box of 20. I can sell you 10 boxes." "I'll take 200 rounds please."

Last edited by rfxcasey; March 13, 2013 at 10:44 PM.
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Old March 11, 2013, 07:04 PM   #2
Metal god
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I enjoyed your story . most of us would not have that kind of patients to get what we want . nice job .
Tolerate- allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that one does not necessarily like or agree with , without interference.
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:06 PM   #3
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Wow, that was quite a read. Welcome to The Firing Line.

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Old March 11, 2013, 09:40 PM   #4
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You went whole hog, but good for you. About the Mini, not sure about the new ones, but my 1990 model absolutely hated 55 gr fmj loads, it would shoot patterns with it. Found out it had a 1 in 7 twist and tried some heavier bullets in it, made a world of difference, shot some 64 gr PP bullets that would group right around an inch at 100 yards.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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Riveting story! Truly welcome.
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:27 PM   #6
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After reading all of that it is obvious you have a lot of tenacity and patience. Way more than I do. But I'm glad it worked out for you in the end.
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Old March 12, 2013, 02:00 AM   #7
Join Date: February 20, 2013
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Nice to meet you all. I'm sure I'll be doing lots of searches and asking several questions.

The only thing I'd like to add to my story was the fact that the Zastava AK pap was only legal with a 10 rd mag. As I'm sure most of you know a conversion to take standard AK mags is possible but requires several US parts on the gun and could probably get a bit complicated and expensive, hence my opting out on that deal.

As far as getting what I wanted goes, well, I'd have really liked to get the same style gun in a mini 30 but figured I had to take what I could get. I've always been a fan of the 7.62 from demonstrations I've seen of its sheer power but believe the 223/5.56 is more accurate in general. I really don't know though to be honest, I have very little gun experience.

As for my newer model mini, I really don't have any experience be it older or newer ones. First impression though, the build quality seems great and the I'm hoping the improvements made in the last few years will have me pleasantly at its accuracy. I'll take some video of my first outing to the range. I don't have anything other then this Winchester 55 grain to test it out with but we'll see how it goes.

Last edited by rfxcasey; March 12, 2013 at 02:17 AM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 09:39 AM   #8
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Welcome to the play pen!

Okay, now you have a couple of guns. Next is that old learning curve to develop your skill.

For the shotgun, I suggest going to a skeet/trap range and just watching for a while. Ask questions, but don't worry about shooting on that first visit. Start out with learning about patterning your gun. That's one of the key items, and the guys at the shotgun forum here can help--but going to the range is a must.

Another thing I suggest, although ammo is hard come by right now, is a good used bolt-action .22 rimfire. Overall, it's the least-cost way to develop eye/sights/trigger-finger coordination. A bolt-action takes away the urge to "spray and pray" and promotes serious learning. And, right now, the hockshops are full of what are for now slow-moving items. And they have at most half the asking price actually invested in a used gun.
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Old March 12, 2013, 10:06 AM   #9
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Enjoyed your story. Now that you have the rifle and some ammo when are you going shooting. Be sure to let us know your shooting experience. Good luck. Nice looking rifle.
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Old March 12, 2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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Welcome! Thanks for the story. Go to a local range and do a little BS'ing. You're bound to find someone more than happy to help you get started on the right path. Safety first. Then practice, practice, practice! I agree with getting a .22. Best to start with a single shot to learn proper technique but you don't have to. For the gauge I'd get some cheap bird shot for practicing and home defense. Bird shot is "less" likely to shoot through walls in your home. Get some buck shot for doing business. As for the .223... when you get a chance buy a variety of ammo and see what you rifle likes best. Above all things... be safe.

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Old March 13, 2013, 12:12 AM   #11
Join Date: February 20, 2013
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Thanks for all the great replies and info. I was thinking about a 22lr or possibly even a 22 magnum. Would there be a huge difference concerning both learning and cost of shooting if I were to just go full bore and get something like a Remington 700 adl in a 308? I'm sure the 22lr are probably much cheaper overall.

I'd looked at a few 22lr autoloaders like the Marlin 795, Remington 597 or the Ruger 10/22. Really liked the feel of the Marlin and the fact that they are dirt cheap is a bonus too. I've looked at a few bolt action 22lr as well but the higher quality ones seem to be a bit overpriced. How about 22 mag? Anyone have any thoughts on that? I'll have to peruse the local pawn shops and see what if I can get a good deal on something. I really kind of hate pawn shops though as in my experience they are always trying to rip you off.

Oh and bye the way, here is that beautiful Turkish made Winchester SXP I picked up on sale. I'm no firearms expert but for $350 I'd say its a heck of a great deal. I couldn't be happier with it, well, perhaps it the tube took more then 5 shells.
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