New to rifles


June 25, 2003, 02:54 AM
After the SKS and Mini-14 ('cause if I don't buy 'em now I might not be able to later), I want to get into target shooting. I don't know crap about shooting scoped rifles, all I know is how to operate them, mechanical stuff, etc. What do you need to do when target shooting rifles? What special considerations do you need to take while aiming (bullet drop, etc.)? Is a .223 good or should I get a .308?

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June 25, 2003, 07:05 AM
your question is too broad for a really focused answer...

308 vs 223: i have both, and certainly like the 308 better. however, being new to rifles, you will probably shoot better and more often w/ a 223... we are talking target shooting, and not hunting, right?

special considerations for aiming: none, really. especially at the shorter ranges (250 yards and in). the scope handles that for you. at longer ranges there is definitely a science to the process, but as a new shooter, most of your shooting will be done at relatively close range. even the 223 produces enough velocity that once you get your scope sighted for 100 yards, you will at least be on paper for 250 yards and beyond. you will certainly have to compensate for bullet drop, but the trajectory isn't like falling off a table.

there are a lot of choices in rifles, too. available from the factory are rifles that weigh in at around 5.5 pounds (remington ti, weatherby ultra-light) to big-barrelled beasties that will come in at 10 pounds and more (remington vls, ruger target, etc).

generally speaking, it is easier to get a heavy barrelled rifle to shoot well (tight groups), but they make poor hunting rifles due to their size and weight. conversely, the ultra-lights make excellent hunting rifles, but make very poor target guns because they kick so damned hard, and the short, thin barrels don't get as much velocity and are harder to shoot accurately. then there are the sporters, which are the most common.

if you can clearly define how you want to use your rifle, it becomes easier to choose one, and what accessories you want (if rifle shopping doesn't give you a headache, i promise, scope shopping will).

if you go w/ a bigger gun than a 223 (knowing what i know now, if i was looking for a first rifle that was to be mostly a target gun, i'd give a very long, hard look at rifles chambered to 243), and after shooting for awhile recoil becomes problematic, don't distress - that can be helped.

good luck.

June 25, 2003, 10:07 AM
What do you mean by target shooting? Do you mean shooting at paper alone or with a friend?

Do you mean benchrest or some other type of competition?


I would suggest going to some different types of shootin matches just to watch and ask questions. Find out what interests you and go from there.

June 25, 2003, 01:45 PM
Benchrest shooting. Not competing, just want to be a good shot.

June 25, 2003, 01:52 PM
Howabout this ( sweet rifle? Heavy barrel, you think it'll work?

June 25, 2003, 02:02 PM
The CZs are very good rifles. If you want a good shooting one for less money, Savage is hard to beat. The cool thing about the Savage is that Midway has a tool kit for swapping the barrels. One Savage, multiple barrels of different calibers! Life is good!

June 25, 2003, 03:24 PM
I haven't tried one myself, but I hear that .22-250 is a good round...

You might also want to think about starting out with a rimfire. They are cheaper, so you'll get alot more practice in. I got one of these for christmas last year:

And think it would be a great rifle for a newbie. It's rimfire, so ammo is cheaper. It's single shot, so it teaches you to take your time on each shot, and it's accurate as heck (thanks to heavy barrel). The best part is the price tag, you can get one of these things for $120! (thats before you buy the scope)

This one is a .22 WMR, not to be confused with .22LR. The .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire) is considerably more powerful, so you get much longer range. You can shoot at 150 yards, as oposed to about 50 with .22 LR. The downside to .22 WMR (aka .22 Mag) is that it does cost more for the ammo than .22LR, it's about $5 for a box of 50 rounds. Thats still much cheaper than .223 though (about $4 for 20 rounds).

By the time you are ready to shoot at longer ranges, you should get a center fire. You might want something bigger than .223 for that, like I said I think .22-250 is suposed to be a good round. You also might want to think about .243 or .25-06. The only real advantage to .223 is that ammo is so darn cheap compared to other centerfire calibers.

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