Newbie rifle advice


September 28, 2003, 07:56 PM
I'm looking to get my first rifle and to this point I was set on a Remington 700 VS .308, but now I'm starting to wonder if it's a smart decision or not. I'd like to stay with Remington, but I'm not sure if the .308 is a good choice anymore.

All I plan to do with the rifle is target shooting now, but I want the option down the road if I ever start hunting. I picked the .308 because I want a powerful rifle so I can get good with a decent kick instead of getting comfortable with something not as "kicky."

That said, I've started looking at a .223 because it's a cheaper ammo rifle, but I'd still like to have something with some power behind it.

What would you guys recommend? Stick with the .308 Remington or go with a .223? If you say .223 which Remington can you recommend?


If you enjoyed reading about "Newbie rifle advice" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Art Eatman
September 28, 2003, 08:24 PM
First rifle? Or first centerfire rifle? If it's the first-ever rifle, I'd suggest a .22 rimfire with iron sights to get used to the basics of shooting rifles. Sight picture, eye-finger coordination, uniformity of everything, from shot to shot. The self-discipline to control yourself and not just "point it and pull". After a few months or weeks, then move up to centerfire.

You don't walk in off the street and get a ride in an Indy car.


I don't think there is enough difference in bulk-ammo costs between .223 and .308 to make it worthwhile to worry. I don't think that's the proper reason for judging the two chamberings.

I generally suggest checking how any particular rifle fits you; how it mounts to your shoulder with your eyes shut--and you then should be looking right through the sights or scope without any movement of your head, or any awkwardness. "Shootability" is more important than brand name; they're all very close to equal for accuracy.

$0.02, Art

September 28, 2003, 09:46 PM
i'm a huge rem 700 fan, so i commend your decision to go 'big green'!

do you have any future designs on hunting w/ this gun? if so, you might look at something a little lighter, and don't forget the model 7.

if you just want a target/varminter, make sure to check out the 700 vls. it is a great value... w/ that heavy barrel and laminated stock, it really soaks up the recoil. i haven't put a decelerator pad on mine yet, but it needs to be done before going on an extended prairie dog shoot w/ it.

as for caliber... i really don't like the 223. i like the 308 much more than the 223... another good option is a 22-250.

my decision would be a rem 700 vls in 308...

Brian Williams
September 28, 2003, 09:54 PM
Ditto What Art said
Also look at a nice Savage 10 in 223 with a nice scope. The get a barrel swap from Brownells and others.

Brian Dale
September 29, 2003, 11:15 AM
If you see that you might take up hunting in the future, what do you think you'd be likely to hunt? The .308 will be appropriate for a wider range of game in North America than the .223.
However, as Art wrote, First rifle? Or first centerfire rifle? If it's the first-ever rifle, I'd suggest a .22 rimfire with iron sights to get used to the basics of shooting rifles. We all listen to Art, for a lot of good reasons. He knows what he's talking about. I'll add that, no matter what else you shoot, everybody needs a .22 rimfire rifle. Some real beauties, including old, well cared-for Remingtons, can be had inexpensively. The ammo's cheap, too, so you can practice a lot, and you'll be doing that extra practice without the distraction that recoil can add.

I'm a big Remington fan (like my Dad, and Granddad, and...). There are lots of good brand names out there, and you might find others that you like. The way a particular model fits you can drive your decision. Some folks might offer good advice about excellent buys from other manufacturers, and they'll be right. With all that, however, "I just like this one" is all of the reason that you ever need to buy a rifle. It probably won't be a poor choice (especially since you're asking this group for input), and your first rifle almost certainly won't be your last.

September 29, 2003, 11:33 AM
I'd say get the .308 AND get a .22. You can probably find a nice Remington .22 similar to whichever Remington .308 you buy for less than $200 or less than $100 used.

.308 because you can use it for many many, more things than .223. And surplus .308 ammo is inexpensive.

My 1/50 of $1.

September 29, 2003, 02:27 PM
what is the price of a remington 700 in .223?

and where are you all finding .308 that is just as cheap as .223??

Art Eatman
September 29, 2003, 03:36 PM
I like to pick up a copy of Shotgun News every couple or three months, to sorta keep track on prices. You can add a bit for your local gun store's handling or profit, of course, but at least you have a working idea.


September 29, 2003, 05:21 PM
Gunshows are a great source for Milsurp ammo, Ditto shotgun new's. Most of the 7.62 nato/.308 Ive been see'ing/buying lately is South African. I am still unsure of it's quality however. I think the most consistant surplus Ive shot is Portugese. Ive been paying about the same for 7.62 as 5.56/.223. Ditto the thought's on a nice o'l remington bolt action .22 AND a .308. I'm a sucker for mauser actions though!:D

September 29, 2003, 05:31 PM
For a first rifle I'll have to second the 22LR suggestion. A good bolt or break action is a outstanding choice. If you are already a shooter and just look for a good pick for a rifle, then there are more choices. Like do you want new or used. Used dosen't mean wore out or won't shoot worth a damm, but a good used rifle will sometimes work better than a new crappy one. New or used, adds a lot of questions to the task, like: what will the rilfe be used for, how much money do you have, are you going to need to scope it (in optics you get what you pay for, honest!!!!) can you get ammo for it etc......

My first center fire is a Remington 700P DM in a .308, and is a out standing rifle, and has preformed well with the TACSO super sniper I put on it. But there are others that you will be happy with also, CZ, Savage, Winchester, Browning, New England, Bushmaster, Armlite, and Rock River. The list is long and you alone with have to spend the shoe leather to figure it out.

If you figure out what you want and want to buy it on the internet, I'm sure that there are folks here that would love to find you a deal for you, but it's always good to support your local monger from time to time.

Just my .02 that is just as worthless as yours

September 29, 2003, 06:21 PM
unless you are completely unfamiliar w/ rifles, i see little to no benefit wasting money on a 22. they are so different from a centerfire that the practice aspect of the argument holds little water. the triggers will be different. good chance the action will be quite different - and even if you go w/ a bolt 22 and a bolt centerfire, they will feel nothing alike. the trajectory of the bullet is quite different, the recoil, noise, weight of rifle... and on and on...

i would reccomend against a 22 unless the person in question has little or no experience w/ a rifle. think how much ammo could be shot up for the price of a 22 and outfitting it. or, the higher quality of scope that could be had for a centerfire...

i know i'm rocking the boat a little, but i just don't think 22's are the answer.

October 10, 2003, 07:58 AM
A good, full size .22 rifle should be in everyone's collection. You'll get more practice with it than any other gun you own and that practice will contribute to your centerfire accuracy.

Most people buy 20 rounds of centerfire rifle ammo at a time. But at the same time they'll pick up a brick of 22's. That's 500 rounds.

And, everyone in the family can shoot the 22 and have a good time. My wife loves our Marlin 39A lever action.

If you enjoyed reading about "Newbie rifle advice" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!