First rifle


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highfive
August 7, 2007, 12:16 PM
Hey guys, I'm a handgun fanatic even though the army mostly gave me rifles.
But right now I want to get a rifle. I have looked at some but I don't really know a lot unless is an ar-15 or the sort. I actually would like to have something that i can use for hunting, mostly deer probably and also that i can have some fun at the range.

One rifle for both things will be nice at the moment, money don't grow on trees :( also I have never had a rifle at the house before. Any advice will be appreciated

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gp911
August 7, 2007, 12:51 PM
There are a lot of variables to consider.

Is there a certain type of action you like or dislike? If you hate bolt actions or love semi-autos that would be handy to know. I assume you want a scope too?

You'll want bigger than .223 for deer, most likely. Are you particularly recoil sensitive? A .308 or .30-06 will have inexpensive ammo available in more places than, say, a .243 WSSM. .270 is a popular deer caliber from way back, and still pretty common. A .45-70 can be used on deer and on up to big hogs and the like. If you find you like lever guns it is a particularly viable choice. If you have any fondness for break-action single shots a Handi-Rifle can have numerous barrels fitted cheaply and you can have a gun ready for anything, although you may have to do some tweaking on it to optimize accuracy. My suspicions though, are that you are looking for a semi-auto or a bolt action as those are most likely what you have experience with from the military.

Basically there are a ton of guns out there that will suit your needs, you just have to figure out your preferences with regards to action, recoil, and intended usage. You'll want to shoot other people's guns a bit to see what you like the most, as I have found this tells me more than any amount of time handling them in a gun store.

Good luck in your search.

gp911

The Deer Hunter
August 7, 2007, 12:57 PM
You can pick up a Mosin Nagant for ~$70-$100, and the ammo is cheap too.

Shipwreck
August 7, 2007, 01:17 PM
I have been a super handgun fanatic too. I finally got my 1st rifle in Dec - but I got this :)

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g320/mistershipwreck/PS90/ps90-68.jpg

amprecon
August 7, 2007, 01:34 PM
Sounds like an SKS is right up your alley. Accurate, rugged, reliable, tough as nails and it shoots an affordable round with power comparable to the venerable .30-30. It's also semi-automatic with a 10-rd fixed magazine and the price will be right. They're not the most attractive looking rifle but regarding function, you just can't go wrong with them for the price.

amprecon
August 7, 2007, 01:36 PM
Sounds like an SKS is right up your alley. Accurate, rugged, reliable, tough as nails and it shoots an affordable round with power comparable to the venerable .30-30. It's also semi-automatic with a 10-rd fixed magazine and the price will be right. They're not the most attractive looking rifle but regarding function, you just can't go wrong with them for the price.

MatthewVanitas
August 7, 2007, 02:04 PM
This depends on a lot of factors:

Do you prefer semi-auto, lever, bolt, pump, or single-shot?

Would you be hunting in open areas, heavy brush, or what?

Do you want a rifle that would double for self-defense?


Just tossing an idea out: if you live leverguns, and are hunting in brush, and want it to double for self-defense, consider a lever-action rifle in .357 Mag. Old-school looks, fun to shoot at the range, decently affordable ammo, and compact for hallways or thickets. I like the Winchester 1892-style variants (Rossi/Puma, EMF/Hartford) more than the larger Marlin and Winchester 1894 variants.

Just one of many options.

RockyMtnTactical
August 7, 2007, 02:14 PM
An SKS or a Mauser would be a good starter rifle. Ammo is plentiful and cheap (relatively speaking), these rifles are built super solid/rugged, good for hunting, etc...

The SKS is a really good value.

A Saiga is a good option as well.

Whitman31
August 7, 2007, 05:03 PM
Have you thought about an AR-15 in 6.8 spc? My buddy has one set up as an M4 and uses it successfully for deer at mid ranges, plus it doubles as a great HD gun.

ArfinGreebly
August 7, 2007, 05:04 PM
Unfortunately, most of the "hunting calibre" (.308, .30-06, etc.) rifles in any self-loading configuration are gonna be a bit pricey. At least in anything domestic.

You've got some good suggestions above, and I'll add some variety.

I don't have enough information on your hunting circumstances, so I'll try to go with something generally useful.

The .30-30 cartridge will do the job on most things up to, and including, mule deer -- even elk and moose in close. The Marlin 336 series is an excellent example of a rifle that uses this cartridge, and the 336A & 336W are priced in affordable territory.

The only problem is "fun at the range." You're looking at substantial ammo cost if you want to punch paper or do plinking. And if you're planning to go through more than, say, 50 rounds a day, you'll need a recoil pad. My shoulder can do about 40-50 rounds of .30-30 before it tells me to lay off.

A better alternative may be the .357 carbine. Marlin has the 1894C in .357 mag.

You are probably well aware that sizable game can be hunted using .357 in a 4" or 6" revolver, to good effect, even at 100 yards. The .357 round picks up another 300 to 400 fps out of a rifle barrel, improving its effective range and accuracy for the same load.

That round will take deer and bison within 100-150 yards.

Fun at the range? Switch to .38 special in the carbine and punch paper or plink at a substantially reduced cost.

My original suggestion was going to be a Saiga in 5.56, but you said "deer."

You could actually use the Saiga in 7.62x39 (AK) and take deer with it out to about the same range as the lever gun. Depending on the price of 7.62 ammo where you are, this could be a viable alternative.

Me? I started with the lever guns. Won't get my Saigas until later this year.

Bones11b
August 7, 2007, 06:07 PM
On the AR-15 platform I have been looking at the new .450 Bushmaster. I know usually new is not better but it seems like a well thought out shooting platform. The idea of getting into handloading also appeals to me using the .450 bullets.

one eye joe
August 7, 2007, 06:28 PM
Where in Texas are you? If you are in the Dallas/Tyler region, we can get together and I can let you try a few different calibers to give you an idea of what you might want. There are too many variables to say buy this or that.

highfive
August 7, 2007, 10:10 PM
I'm in the Ft hood area but definitely i'm going to try and fire some to see. especially try to shoot the ones you guys have told me

testar77
August 7, 2007, 10:24 PM
Another good option for a lever gun is the above mentioned Marlin 336 in .44 mag.

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