Looking to buy my first rifle.


July 8, 2006, 07:08 PM
I just turned eighteen this year, and am looking to buy myself my first rifle. I have several shotguns tapped for my inheritance, along with a few war pistols, but not a single rifle. I plan on using my rifle for range-shooting with some of my older friends, and, possibly, for some small game hunting. I am, also, not looking to spend too much money (no more then several hundred dollars). Does anyone have any suggestions for any specific guns, any companies that make good, affordable rifles, or suggestions on how I might go about buying my first rifle?

Benton C. Glaze

Edit - Ok, after talking with the clerk at The Bullet Hole, my local gunshop, I decided to go with the Ruger 10/22. Thank you all for your imput and advice.

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July 8, 2006, 10:01 PM
For your 1st rifle I suggest buying a 22LR. You can learn to shoot and not develop any flinching and you can learn trigger control. 22 ammo is inexpensive, so you will shoot more often and hopefully become a better shooter. You don't have to spend a lot of money for a 22. The Ruger 10/22 or a Marlin or Savage bolt action can be purchased for $150 or less.

July 8, 2006, 10:16 PM
You can pick up a Ruger 10/22 or a Marlin 60 at your local Walmart. Both are good rifles. The Marlin is cheaper, but the Ruger has more options as far as customizing it later on.

July 8, 2006, 10:39 PM
by all means make your first rifle purchase a 22 nice to shoot inexpensive the marlin model 60 would be my first choice then the ruger 10/22 both r fine guns buy what you feel most comfortable with and that u like.
And welcome to the high road

July 9, 2006, 11:09 PM
I agree 100% with the .22 recommendations above. I've also heard the CZ bolt action .22 is a good buy and VERY accurate.

July 9, 2006, 11:23 PM
The lever action Marlin 39A Golden .22 is another to consider. Beautiful and indestructible.


July 10, 2006, 12:27 AM
Thank you all for the advice. I am going to check out my local gun shops, and see what my options are, keeping your suggestions in mind. God bless.

Benton C. Glaze

July 10, 2006, 01:19 AM
The only Ruger product I've ever bought (or will buy) is a 10/22. It was filled with sand new from the factory which I had to clean out. It worked ok but wanted expensive ammo to shoot well. I gave it to my Mom. :)

I have several military surplus rifles, the best and most accurate of them is a Swiss Schmidt Rubin K-31 straight pull bolt with a 6rnd box mag. 1.5moa or better with the swiss surplus ammo. These are beautiful guns, the machine work is complex and awe inspiring. The stocks can be ok or can have damaged wood on the stock from being sat in the snow. They are at about 160 and rising in price and well worth it.

The turkish mauser I have is a five round box magazine bolt action in 8mm. It's good for 3-4 moa but I've not done anything to help that yet. This was 80 dollars. Store prices run around 125 locally.

I have an Ishapore Enfield 2A1 in 7.62 Nato, good for 2" moa, maybe better with the right ammo. This one was 150.00

The SMLE Mk4 No1 in .303 should be able to do as good as the 2A1 but it's not been shot yet. It's a Long Branch and in very good condition. This one I paid too much for. Should be 300 or so if the metal and wood are perfect. If it's in the mummy wrap they are more but those are for closet queen collectors.

I picked up a M1917 someone had professionally sporterized to be near identical to a Remingon Modeld 30 . The model 30 is is a post war rifle using unissued miltiary parts. I paid way less than the *stock* is worth. It shoots extremely well and I suspect with better ammo it will do better than 1moa. It's in .30-06. An equivalent used one will run over 400, with the stock this one has add 200. It's a very pretty rifle.

For self loading rifles
An SKS properly cleaned and checked is a good first rifle. I have a Yugo that does ok and I can shoot golf balls with a Bloom Automatic. :neener:
They can be 'minute of pie plate' or better it's something of a crap shoot. You can research ways to give it better accuracy and reliability without spending a fortune with some effort. These should be under $150 in excellent shape, shooters maybe $100 if the bore is good.

The AR-15 is hard to beat for accuracy, accessories, parts and reliability. You can get them now for around 800 or so. I like my flat top varmint variant but that's a bit more money and it's a bench gun cause of the pig heavy barrel.

Red Tornado
July 10, 2006, 10:40 AM
Definitely a .22, but for a first rifle I'd suggest a bolt action or even a lever, as cavman said. I've never heard anything bad about an M39, and it's fairly high on my want list. Bolt's are 'generally' more accurate than anything else, and are great for practicing making every shot count.

Beware starting on a lever, though. There seems to be some sort of disease out there that infects lever shooters and makes them disdain other actions and just want more lever-actions. I've not seen any medical reports so this is just anecdotal, but I'm pretty sure it's happening all over the country. :evil:

July 10, 2006, 12:48 PM
A 22LR is a great first or one hundreth rifle and later on you may want something larger, think about a mil-surp.

Buy a Mil-Surp, everybody needs a used fighter.

July 10, 2006, 07:33 PM
The always correct first rifle is a good bolt action .22LR. CZ's seem to be the current value choice. Ruger 77/22 is another very nice bolt action .22. The old Remington 5'teen series of bolt action .22's were also very good. Marlins are fine too, but I just cannot abide a magazine that projects below the stock at the balance/carrying point and the current crop of Marlin bolt rifles is so afflicted. Do yourself a favor and buy a first rifle that you will always want to keep and use by making it a decent bolt action .22LR. I 100% guarantee you will NOT be sorry if you do.

July 11, 2006, 04:17 PM
Ok, after talking with the clerk at The Bullet Hole, my local gunshop, I decided to go with the Ruger 10/22. Thank you all for your imput and advice.

Benton C. Glaze

Red Tornado
July 11, 2006, 05:48 PM
You'll be very happy with your choice. Everyone needs a 10/22 at some time, so you're on the ball. So the thing to do now is start deciding on what mods you're going to put on it. :evil:

July 11, 2006, 05:59 PM
To Red Tornado:

I know a bit about the vast amounts of modifications available. :) My research on the Ruger 10/22 revealed a huge market for Ruger mods. Have any suggestions on good mods or companies who make them?

Red Tornado
July 12, 2006, 10:15 AM
Well now...10/22 mods...hmmmm???

I'm fairly minimalist, and the only mods I made, in order, were:
Extended magazine release: $3.50 - Makes it very easy to get mags to drop free. If you ever shoot in gloves, this is almost necessary, if not, get a feel for it before you change it out.
Replacement hammer: ~$35 (best I remember) - this dropped the trigger pull from ~12# to ~ 4#. Sorry, I don't remember the brand. There are all kinds of trigger kits, but the trigger, sear, springs, etc. aren't necessary if you just want a lighter pull, like I did.
Recoil buffer: $6 - This takes away the clank when the bolt cycles, and may or may not extend the receiver life, which is almost forever anyway. Since it's unlikely I'll ever shoot my 10/22 to death, this was primarily to make it quieter and seemed to dampen the recoil somewhat, too.

If you search you can find literally hundreds of opinions, the best of which is shoot it first, and see what you personally would like to upgrade. It's a great rifle as is, but there are always improvements. The 10/22 run the gamut from "it's fine, shoot it out of the box" to "unrecognizable, but there's a 10/22 receiver underneath", like no other rifle made.

Basically, you've got a great rifle that'll give you years of service and loads of fun whatever you do to it.

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