Bolt action caliber recommendation for a newbie?


August 25, 2003, 11:29 PM
My friend is a new shooter, and wanted my advice..

He wanted a bolt action, and was thinking about a 300WinMag..

I told him probably a 308 would do him very well, and cheaper and more available ammo also.. He doesn't hunt..

Was that good advice?

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August 25, 2003, 11:38 PM
From the location on your signature .308 would be a wise choice or what ever centerfire cartridges are most available to the public.

August 26, 2003, 07:35 AM
when it comes to introducing a non-hunter/new-shooter to shooting, the 300 win mag is a bad choice.

308 is better. 7-08 better than that. in fact, 243 might be the perfect gun for a new-shooter/non-hunter... he'd probably enjoy a 22 centerfire the most, though...

August 26, 2003, 07:51 AM
.22 LR if he needs to learn how to shoot a rifle. If he's just looking to get smacked around I'd say go with a 12 ga. mag or super mag. and shoot some 2-ounce turkey loads.


Art Eatman
August 26, 2003, 08:04 AM
If he wants to do a good bit of shooting, the .223 and .308 allow the most for the least cost of any centerfire.

If he's wanting to become a good shot with a rifle, a .22 rimfire is the best training aid; he can progress to centerfire after the basic skills are developed.


August 26, 2003, 09:48 AM
.22 rimfire or .223 would be my choice. I guess it depends on the laws in The Isle of Formosa, if that is where your pal lives.

A more interesting thread might be to discuss the ins and outs of privately owned firearms in Taiwan.

If I were Chang Kai Shek, and wanted to repell an assault by the Commie Hoards, I would make weapons ownership and proficiency mandatory.

But that would be too simple, wouldn't it?


August 26, 2003, 10:14 AM
7.62x54R in a Mosin-Nagant carbine.

Sure it kicks like a mule, but just think of the big beautiful shoulder bruises you can get at 10 cents a round!

August 26, 2003, 09:04 PM

He's in the Army.. stationed in Cuba ;)

He carrys a SAW around; that's about it.

I'm actually quite surprised, I thought most military boyz were very very gun enthused like the rest of THR, but I guess I'm wrong. I am always surprised that my knowledge of guns (what little I know) is usually a lot more than they know..

I've seen him shoot; I've gone shooting with him.. There's a reason why he uses a SAW..

I was plinking with my M1A out to about 400 yards no problem, he wasn't hitting in the ring and barely touching paper at 100 yards.. (and that's TOUGH to do with my M1A!! How do you miss so badly??) And so I told him to slow down, and consider a bolt.

He refuses to go .22LR even though it's probably what he needs..

I hadn't considered a .223 but that might be perfect for him.. I'll let him know.


August 26, 2003, 10:35 PM
US Army in Cuba? Perhaps the Marines?

Well, we know that Army guys call in air support when engaging 400 yard targets. ;)

Quintin Likely
August 26, 2003, 11:02 PM
.300 Win Mag is an awful lot of rifle to introduce to someone. It's very loud, it's very expensive to shoot even if one reloads, the recoil's pretty brisk and the barrel life is relatively short. Someone who's not accustomed to the big .300 can develop a flinch very easily too.

A .223 or .308 bolt gun would be a goodie. Tons of different loadings available for either, lots of cheap surplus available for practice, and neither will beat him up like a .300 will. Even though he doesn't want one, a .22 would be a good choice too. Lots of practice can be had with a .22 for very cheap, and it'll all pay off in the long run whenever he steps up to a centerfire.

August 27, 2003, 01:24 AM
Well, we know that Army guys call in air support when engaging 400 yard targets.

And I have just the tool for that.

Can anyone say "Warthog"!!:D

Zeke Menuar
August 27, 2003, 02:34 AM
If I was suggesting a round for a new shooter, these would be my choices

270 Winchester
280 Remington


August 27, 2003, 02:35 AM
I have no idea why a .22LR is seen as "un-macho". Or in Skunk's case, probably "untactical". I love the .22LR!! I think everybody should have one, in every configuration. It's the best practice tool, and cheapest to shoot..

Brian Dale
August 27, 2003, 05:29 AM
that one reason you can hit with your M1A is that you've spent lots of time shooting .22s (assuming that's true for you).

And, I've gone shooting with him.. There's a reason why he uses a SAW.. :p :neener: :evil:

And the most important reason that everyone should have .22s is ... (drum roll, please) ... that they're FUN!

August 27, 2003, 09:57 AM
.308............ .300Win??????----------split the difference get a .30-06-----or better yet for a newbie a .270 for a step down in recoil

Dave R
August 27, 2003, 11:30 AM
If he carries a SAW...he may want to start out with a .223. He's already familiar with that round, right?

If he doesn't want to hunt deer with it, .223 will be fine. Accurate, inexpensive, low/no recoil, and capable of accuracy at 200-300 yards.

August 27, 2003, 09:15 PM
A nice .22 lr.

I was looking at an old used Remington Targetmaster today. To show me the "new" .22, the guy brought out a heavy barrel semi-auto Thompson Center 22 Classic Benchmark rifle.

Nice! Less than $400. (Plus scope).

August 27, 2003, 09:19 PM
Honestly, anything with the number .700 and the words Nitro Express will do just fine for the young lad.:D :eek: :D
[/tounge in cheek]

He needs a .22. I went against the grain and bought a 8mm Mauser, and I havent shot it on paper yet so I dont know the outcome yet.

August 27, 2003, 09:29 PM
Oops! I missed the bolt action part. I still say .22. The old Remington Targetmasters are awesome if you can find one that's not beat up or Bubba'd. So are the Mossberg M44 US training rifles. Of course he could go all out and get a spendy target or biathalon .22. The newer inexpensive bolt-action .22s seem very cheesey to me.

.308 seems like a great 2nd rifle or 2nd choice with all the inexpensive surplus ammo out there. Also good if your friend ever does go hunting.

CZ makes a bolt-action in 7.62x39. I really don't see the point for $500 when you can get an SKS or SAR for $200-$300, but you probably make it up in ammo savings.

August 27, 2003, 11:29 PM
For cheap ammo, that CZ 527 ( would be a good choice.

If ammo is a consideration, and more range is desired, .308 is a good choice. Otherwise, for a newbie shooter, I'd probably say .243.

SAW's can be accurate. I hit all targets out to 600 meters the only time I fired one, using three-shot bursts. (Annoyed the DS mightily. They wanted everyone to fire the ammo in 6 to 9-round bursts, and at least one was encouraging his line to hold the trigger down through the entire belt!)

4v50 Gary
August 27, 2003, 11:35 PM
Remington 700 VSS in 223. If he's in the Ahh-mee, he can probably get all the ammo he wants.

August 27, 2003, 11:44 PM
Or not.

"Brass and ammo check!"

August 28, 2003, 11:40 AM
Where he is.. I think a .223 is a great recommendation..

What's the military policy on non-mil issued guns??

Also, as much as I love the .243, I think 308 or .223 would serve him better, simply because of the ammo availability around him, and probably round familiarity..

.22LR's are just FUN!!

Ask my Ruger 10/22.. 30,000+ rounds at least through her, and she hasn't even gotten started yet..

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