first rifle recommendations for a noob


November 7, 2008, 12:22 PM
I'm just throwing this out here to see what you recommend. I'm fairly new to shooting and I've got the handgun and shotgun. I'm starting to get interested in rifles. Here's the deal -

I would like something fairly cheap to shoot, but .22 doesn't quite do it for me. I like to feel some kick. What I'm mostly looking for is a caliber recommendation above a .22 that is fun, cheap, and abundant.

I like bolt action and lever action, but I'm open to semi auto as well (not so much the tactical ones though).

The old rifles like the mosin nagant appeal to me, but it seems like it is (or could be in the future) hard to find the right ammo. I also really like the looks of the lever action marlins. Especially the stainless ones.

I see myself going to an outdoor range once in awhile just to play with it.

Anybody have any recommendations?

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November 7, 2008, 12:25 PM
What's your price range?

How much is too expensive for a box of ammo?

Will the rifle be used for hunting also?

November 7, 2008, 12:33 PM
Price Range
$200 to $400
(I know, bye bye stainless marlin)

Ammo cost
I'd like to keep it under or near $15 for 50 rounds.

No hunting.

November 7, 2008, 12:46 PM
I would say to find a cheap SKS, but the price on that ammo might go up with Obama in office.:cuss:

Finding ammo for $15 per 50 is hard, unless it shoots pistol ammo. A Marlin 9mm camp rifle (i think that's what it's called) will do. But if you're looking for accuracy instead of noise, look into a Stevens bolt action rifle chambered in .223. These are excellent rifles, highly accurate, and brand new priced at $300.

Only thing with the Stevens is that you'd have to place a scope on it. You might be looking towards the $400 mark with mounts, rings, scope, etc.

November 7, 2008, 12:48 PM
Price Range
$200 to $400
(I know, bye bye stainless marlin)

Ammo cost
I'd like to keep it under or near $15 for 50 rounds.

15$ for 50 is an unrealistic number for any center fire rifle except say, a 5.45 AK or AR. but you wont be finding them for 200-400$ not now.

i think the best bet would be say a Savage-Stevens bolt gun ( or what ever brand) in 5.56

the only other option i can think of is a(used) lever gun in .38/.357

EDIT: darn bang_bang great minds think alike

November 7, 2008, 12:50 PM

For every good idea, there is always a million other people out there that will think the same.

November 7, 2008, 05:07 PM
JUst some ideas:

SKS...still the biggest bang for your buck
A Savage in either .223 or .308...cost a bit more but worth it.
Keltec or Hi-point 9mm and very fun(i prefer the keltec)
Marlin or Winchester lever action in either 30-30 or a pistol cal....gotta love those levers.

November 7, 2008, 05:31 PM
The lever guns in pistol calibers are interesting. I could get a .38 that would use the same ammo as my handgun. Is the ammo really interchangable with a revolver?

Thanks for the info, guys.

November 7, 2008, 05:59 PM
Is the ammo really interchangable with a revolver?

Yep. And they are very versatile and very fun rifles to shoot. Shooting .38spls from a Marlin 1894 is very soft, whereas shooting .357 magnums is a bit more kick, but much less than, say a .30-06.

A Marlin 1894 sounds like just the ticket. Hardest part is often finding one.

November 7, 2008, 06:07 PM
A Marlin 1894 sounds like just the ticket. Hardest part is often finding one.

a cheaper alternative could be one of the imported carbines. i looked at one in the 400$ range (new) about a year ago. i cant remember the make, but i think it was a "puma" brand

seemed well made. but iv never fired one

November 7, 2008, 06:09 PM
Get a Hi-point 9mm carbine.........:D

November 7, 2008, 06:12 PM
The Marlin 1894 in .38/.357 sounds like a good choice for you.

It would be worth your while to look at setting up to reload the ammo. You can reload both .38s and .357s dirt cheap. You'd save enough to pay for your reloading equipment in a hurry if you do much shooting at all.

Good Luck !!


Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
November 7, 2008, 08:02 PM
I think Marlin 336 in .30-30. A used blued one will cost you all of $225-$275. Outstanding gun, fair amount of kick for ya, and good range and terminal ballistics. Also, the other .30-30s out there are fine, too - The Winchester 94, the new Mossberg, and the new Henry.

November 7, 2008, 08:12 PM
The 30/30 lever guns recommended by PremiumSauce would be a better choice if you decide to hunt deer later. Ammo can be bought for $13-$15 per box (and can be reloaded cheaper, of course). You can buy a used one for probably at least $100 less than a used one of the pistol caliber 1894 rifles.

The 30/30 will have just about triple the effective hunting range over the .357 magnum and about twice that of the .44 magnum.

Good Luck !


November 8, 2008, 06:52 AM
I'd say the Marlin in 30-30 as well. They are not too expensive. Ammo is readily available. They take a scope easily. And if you reload, you can shoot cast lead in 'em so cheaply that it's ridiculous.

November 8, 2008, 08:58 AM
Cool, thanks for the input guys.

November 8, 2008, 09:11 AM
My Marlin 1894 .357 is simply my favorite rifle. With .38 spcl it is the step up from .22 you want, but they don't come cheap and the used ones bring so much you may as well go new which will be way over 400 but believe me, you'll thank yourself for years to come.

November 8, 2008, 09:15 AM
About the .30-30: I recall reading earlier this year on the Marlin 336 Club thread that you can extend the usefulness of the .30-30 even further by handing a single buckshot pellet (#1 or 00?) over a wee bit of powder in a .30-30 case for some really cheap plinking fun. As I recall, it was surprisingly accurate, too; maybe even enough to do a little small game hunting. Anyone remember this?

The thread's monstrously long, but the info's buried in there somewhere, I think:

November 8, 2008, 09:45 AM
+1 on the Marlin 336 in 30-30. Great guns that are fun to shoot and a real deal for the price.

Plank Road Farm
November 8, 2008, 10:43 AM
What "MrBorland" said:

The thread's monstrously long, but the info's buried in there somewhere, I think:

Go to this thread and do a search for "reload buckshot" and it will take you right to it.

Be careful though.

November 8, 2008, 11:28 AM
My first rifle was my bushmaster M4A3... NIB.

November 8, 2008, 12:04 PM
I say you pick a 30-30 marlin or winchester. No need to buy a new gun, find a used rifle in good shape for around $275 and spend your remaining cash on ammo witch should get you around 240 rounds depending on local ammo prices and start shootin

November 8, 2008, 12:11 PM
I just looked at posts concerning 30-30 ammo prices and WOW!

I might have to get one, just because you can buy ammunition for as low as $5 a box at Dick's. Shooting $40 boxes of 7mm Magnum and .270 are putting a hurting on me. Plus, 7.62x39 will be twice as expensive, if it hasn't already, in the near future.

Thank You Mr. President-Elect:cuss:

November 8, 2008, 12:18 PM
Wow, you're me from 6 months ago, new to shooting and wanting a rifle. I was also attracted to the mosin nagant but I was talked out of it by forums like this one because they said the considerable kick would cause a noob to develop bad habits.

This is a thread I created on the topic:

I ended up buying a savage 10 (Model 10GXP3) in .223 and I'm really happy with it. It has a light kick but it's a long way from a 22, which seems almost like an airsoft rifle. It also makes a good size bang (report) so after you fire it, you know you've shot it. On the other hand, I'm never sore after a day at the range and the ammo is cheap.

I don't have much experience with different scopes but I do daydream about something better. On a good/lucky day I can put 5 shots within 1" of each other at 100 yards but I can barely see the center of the target at 9x. If I'm going to shoot outdoors at 200 or 300 yards I'd want a better scope. Maybe I can mount my existing scope to a less precise rifle, like an older military rifle. On a side note, I can also see why people have so many guns. If money was no object I'd have one in every caliber and with every action.

Bottom line: If I was starting over I'd get the exact same rifle. I've had a lot of fun with it, it's cheap to shoot, and I've become a better shooter because of it.

November 8, 2008, 12:24 PM
Anyonw know why Dick's Sporting Goods doesn't show guns and ammo on their website ?:confused:


November 8, 2008, 12:28 PM
Probably the same as Wal-Mart in the sense that every store is different.

November 8, 2008, 10:48 PM
M44,buy lots of cheap surplus ammo,You'll get plenty of "kick" and muzzle blast and it's big enough to hunt with.

November 9, 2008, 01:28 AM
M44 will definitely give you the kick and the fireworks display.

November 9, 2008, 07:47 AM
mossberg atr-100 at walmart new $ of 150 gr winchester soft points $15. Rock mount $39 and a 3-9x50 center point $69.I love mossberg's and walmart more

November 9, 2008, 09:30 AM
Savage-Stevens .223 bolt-action for around $300.00

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