Best rifle for a beginning adult to learn marksmanship?


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jblane
December 30, 2009, 12:38 AM
I'm trying to decide on a rifle to start learning with. I haven't fired a rifle since I was a kid and am definitely a beginner at this point. Although I know very little about guns, I've found some very useful info on these forums and am close to a decision. I just wanted to ask for advice from the knowledgeable people around here before deciding on a rifle. Its main purposes will be home defense and target shooting.

Even though I eventually want to shoot higher caliber ammo, like 30-06, I've gathered from reading around here that a 22lr bolt action rifle is the best way to learn, due both to cheaper ammo and getting a feel for wind and trajectory. So I'm looking for a very accurate 22lr rifle that will allow me to develop precision. At this point I've narrowed it down to the following three:

CZ 452
Kimber M82
Savage MKII

The Kimber may be a bit out of my price range, as I don't want to spend more than $4-500. I'm also considering Ruger and Browning. Any other models I should look at? Also, would it be a good idea to try to save money by buying a used rifle from gunbroker.com or a local pawnshop, or is this risky for a novice? Thanks so much for any advice!

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ArmedBear
December 30, 2009, 12:45 AM
The CZ is a fine rifle, and a bargain price for what it is. It's accurate, has a great trigger, and feels like a real rifle even though it's a .22.

Avenger29
December 30, 2009, 01:02 AM
The CZ 452 is an excellent option, particularly for learning iron sights. The tangent iron sights present on some of the models are great, plus TechSIGHTs offers an aperture upgrade if you want to try that.

The Savage MkII is also a good rifle, but I chose CZ and have absolutely not been disappointed.

ECVMatt
December 30, 2009, 01:03 AM
CZ's are great. You can't go wrong with them.

jblane
December 30, 2009, 01:50 AM
Thanks for all your feedback, the options out there are bewildering and it's really helpful to get some extra advice. I've decided to go with the CZ 452 Lux, for the tangent sights. Can't wait to start practicing! :D

dmazur
December 30, 2009, 01:55 AM
I am so tempted to say "Garand", but only the Army thought that was the best rifle for a beginning adult to learn marksmanship with...and the Army wasn't always right (despite what they thought.)

Any decent bolt-action .22LR should be OK. Ruger has a 77/22 which can be OK, but isn't really target-rifle accuracy. You might look for a used Winchester 52 -- those were a superb target rifle in their day.

Tim the student
December 30, 2009, 01:58 AM
I'm partial to Savages, but thats just me. I can't recall ever hearing anything bad about CZ's.

If you want to improve your marksmanship, you could get an air rifle and shoot in your basement for 15 minutes a night. That will be even cheaper than a .22.

One thing though - This:
Its main purposes will be home defense and target shooting.
Does not jive with this:
So I'm looking for a very accurate 22lr rifle

If that's all you have, thats all you have, but maybe a nice used .22 and a used 870 or 500 may be the way to go if you are thinking about home defense.

jblane
December 30, 2009, 02:27 AM
My mistake Tim, I was a bit unclear in my original post. I meant that my purpose in learning to use a rifle was home defense, not that that job will go to the .22 I buy. Once I've learned the ropes I intend to buy a more powerful rifle. Meanwhile I have a Remington 870 Express shotgun that should do until I'm ready for a real rifle :D I'm buying a rifle because I'd like something with a bit more precision than a shotgun, plus target shooting sounds like a lot of fun.

Avenger29
December 30, 2009, 02:29 AM
Excellent choice on the CZ 452 Lux. The "Training" rifle and the standard CZ 452s would also be good options. Either way, you are covered.

Tim the student
December 30, 2009, 02:30 AM
OK, good. My mistake.

Target shooting is great fun, especially if you can shoot "reactive" targets like cans, pop bottles, clays etc.

Avenger29
December 30, 2009, 02:37 AM
Target shooting is great fun, especially if you can shoot "reactive" targets like cans, pop bottles, clays etc.

The only time I shoot paper, if I can help it, is zeroing/verifying zero/group checking. Other than that, I HATE shooting paper. Boring as all get out to me.

Give me some steel any day!

Sport45
December 30, 2009, 03:15 AM
Meanwhile I have a Remington 870 Express shotgun that should do until I'm ready for a real rifle I'm buying a rifle because I'd like something with a bit more precision than a shotgun, plus target shooting sounds like a lot of fun.

Sounds like you've got the home defense part of the equation covered well with the 870. Anything chambered in .22lr is a "real" rifle and will serve you well for target shooting. When you want to reach out past 100 yards or so with accuracy you might want something that chunks a heavier bullet with more velocity.

PT1911
December 30, 2009, 03:28 AM
I recommend the kimber.

jblane
December 30, 2009, 03:42 AM
I recommend the kimber.
The Kimber is expensive though. I think the CZ should more than do for getting started. I do need to set some money aside for ammo to practice with. Speaking of which, any suggestions for ammo? I've heard some are known for accuracy, but not sure which brands. I'll be using is solely for target practice, so precision is the main priority. I've noticed they come in a wide variety of weights, velocities, and other variables. What should I look for, given my purposes? Again, thanks for all the great advice!

PT1911
December 30, 2009, 04:44 AM
I picked up mine for 325 used a couple years out of the CMP... guess I got a little more than kinda lucky...

as to accuracy... depends on what you are looking to do... if you want to get 1 hole accuracy consistently with it, go with something along the lines of the wolf Match or remington Gold metal IMO... if you just want to do some plinking... pretty much anything will do in a bolt gun... I like the CCI offerings.

Bobarino
December 30, 2009, 05:11 AM
out of the ones you have listed, i'd pick the Savage. they just seem to have their act together and are producing very fine rifles at great prices.

when i was faced with the same choice, i went for a Marlin 981T. the high cap tube mag is great and they shoot wonderfully. their new trigger is better than their old ones but still can't hold a candle to Savage's Accu-Trigger.

however, the Marlin is $189 and has a "grown up" rifle feel to it. i put a spare 3-9 scope on it and it shoots wonderfully. i don't regret it a bit. the $100 i saved on it went towards my "real" target rifle in the form of better glass.

i just couldn't justify too much expenditure on a rifle that shoots rounds that cost 8 cents a piece. it's great practice, don't get me wrong, and of course, 22LR is fun as all get out but unless you're into competition, the .22 is a fun practice and plinking toy. buy a rig that costs less than $400, shoot the crap out of it, and get what you really want after you develop some good fundamental skills.

that said, when anyone says, "hey lets go shooting for fun!" i grab the Marlin 60 and 981T. ain't nuthin funnerer than your favorite .22!

Bobby

zombienerd
December 30, 2009, 05:18 AM
I'd go with a brand new Savage Mark 2 Inexpensive, durable, fun target rifles... It's what the CMP uses for their introductory target rifles.

http://www.thecmp.org/22targetcommercial.htm

I don't think you can buy one from them unless it's going to a youth shooting club, but it gives an idea of what they use.

StrawHat
December 30, 2009, 07:55 AM
Of the three you mentioned, I'd go with the Savage. A well made rifle and accurate. In the price range you mentioned, many well made target rifles can be found used. CMP and most guns shops will have at least one available. I had a Remington that was a tack driver and used it in competition as a youth. It was a single shot but you said you were looking to learn the basics of marksmanship. For that you need an accurate rifle. And paper targets will tell you more about marksmanship than action targets. Stell, NECCO wafers, cookies, etc are all fun to shoot but paper doesn't lie. A good shooting routine incorporating both types of target will benfit your learning.

Good luck with your quest.

Uncle Mike
December 30, 2009, 08:08 AM
CZ 452 The Lux is a fine rifle, very accurate. does not lend itself to optics mounting very well. But it can be done, I wouldn't though!

if cost is a factor, the Savage is good, and most of the time, just as accurate, if not all the time.

ArmedBear
December 30, 2009, 09:13 AM
I also like to support a country where the principles of the free market and individual liberty still mean something to people. That's one reason I'd favor the Czech gun over an American rifle...:p

the Army wasn't always right (despite what they thought.)


The same Army that thought that making recruits smash their fingers in a Garand action slamming shut was a good drill?

MrBorland
December 30, 2009, 09:29 AM
The 452 Lux was an excellent choice, IMO.

When you're ready, there's an inexpensive & simple trigger kit available to markedly improve the stock trigger (but don't go overboard and make an unsafe trigger with it). It's available from cz452.com; Whittaker's (whittakerguns.com) also used to sell it. I've heard spotty reports about unreliable delivery from cz452.com, so it might be worth looking into Whittaker's.

CZ452.com also sells a ghost ring that simply replaces the stock rear blade (i.e. without messing with the entire rear sight).

Lee Roder
December 30, 2009, 11:12 AM
i'm having a lot of fun now with a 15 year old marlin 25N i picked out of a pawn shop this year. at $120 without a scope, it's quite a challenge for me eyes at 25 yards. but went from notebook size to notecard size 50 round groups, so i'm encouraged. and it's _C_H_E_A_P_ to shoot!

but it is rather anemic though.

oldfool
December 30, 2009, 12:02 PM
"my purpose in learning to use a rifle was home defense, not that that job will go to the .22 I buy. Once I've learned the ropes I intend to buy a more powerful rifle."

you can't go wrong with any of the choices named, and a bolt action is certainly best choice for "target" shooting
however, given your criteria (a more powerful rifle for home defense), you could consider going with a 22 of same general style or action type... semi-auto, lever action, or pump.. especially if "action shooting" offhand, that sort of thing

no 22 rimfire will really feel quite like a centerfire, but the basic skill set is the same
bench rest or slow fire not really quite the same as "defensive" practice
especially not if contemplating a high X scope for targets
they are ALL fun though !

project88
December 30, 2009, 02:22 PM
savage...accurate and affordable..idk about where your at but around here you can purchase a heavy barreled markII with a factory mounted and boresighted scope for under 300 otd which given the 4-500 dollar budget posted by the OP that leaves 1-200 for fair amount of ammo, a sling and possibly a bipod if you feel so inclined.

just my $.02 tho

d2wing
December 30, 2009, 03:07 PM
+ CZ 452. An air pistol is great to brush up on basics off sight alignment and trigger control.

Brimic
December 30, 2009, 03:17 PM
The 452 LUX is a very nice rifle, but I would rather go down a few grades to the 452 Trainer and use the exrtra $200 in my pocket to buy some good sights.

There are a lot of old Remington, Springfield, and Mossberg target rifles on racks in gun shops with excellent Lyman or Parker Hale target sights on them that can be had for around 4 bills or less.

jblane
December 30, 2009, 05:00 PM
Wow, so many options. I'm still leaning towards the CZ 452, but I'll look into the Savage, Marlin and Kimber guns some have recommended. I won't be buying for a couple weeks, so I have time to think it over.

One other question: I was assuming that iron sights are the way to go for learning and didn't plan on buying a scope right away. Does this make sense? How far can you shoot with iron sights before you'd need some kind of magnification? Will I be able to go out to 100 yards?

OhioChief
December 30, 2009, 05:21 PM
I'm teaching my wife to shoot. .38/.357 Ruger Handgun. And the Colt .22LR which looks feels exactly the same as my AR. She's doing great with both. We fire the $##$ out of that .22LR and the ammo is almost free it's so cheap. When I'm ready to put the AR in her hands, I'll have no worries that she'll shoot great. I have a couple .22LR The Remmington VTR and Colt. They are both very reliable (with quality ammo) and tons of fun to just rip up with. And a great learning tool. Will do the same with my son.

benzy2
December 30, 2009, 05:45 PM
There are two different things here that pull me in two opposite directions. First is the marksmanship. For this the three rifles you listed do great, some do certain things better than the others, but all are good options.

The second point is home defense, or at least practice for home defense. In a home defense situation I would not be looking for a bolt action rifle. I would want something semi-automatic, be it pistol, shotgun, or rifle. I think for the home defense idea something on the lines of a Marlin model 60, a Ruger 10-22, or a Remington 597 would fit well. These rifles will teach you basics of how to shoot but will also be usable in more speed oriented drills to practice for home defense. You don't need to be able to shoot bugholes at 100 yards in a home defense situation. You need speed and maneuverability. Something that is fairly compact and shoots follow up shots quickly is my pick, which doesn't fit the three models you selected in the slightest.

So is this to learn how to shoot accurately or how to shoot to survive? That plays all the difference.

I really like the CZ models. The iron sight options are great and the stocks fit very well for irons use. Their sightless models are also designed well and all are of great quality for the price. I also am in love with my Savage Mk II FVT. This gives me aperture sights on a very accurate rifle. It has become one of my favorite rifles to use, though I have been bitten a bit by the prone shooting bug so it take it for what it is. The Kimber is big, heavy, and expensive. I have heard some people claim the accuracy is great while others find it average at best. I have also heard, though have no proof, that the reason the kimber rifles are available is that the government ended their contract with Kimber as they did not measure up to the accuracy guarantees Kimber promised. True or not I can't say. Just what I heard. For the price I am hard pressed to find out first hand. A heavy barreled Anschutz or two aren't too far from the $600 price of the Kimber. These are all rifles to really learn how to shoot accurately, not so much for home defense.

Maybe I misunderstood what was meant but I would be looking at two different rifles to learn marksmanship and home defense.

jblane
December 30, 2009, 06:07 PM
There are two different things here that pull me in two opposite directions. First is the marksmanship. For this the three rifles you listed do great, some do certain things better than the others, but all are good options.

The second point is home defense, or at least practice for home defense. In a home defense situation I would not be looking for a bolt action rifle. I would want something semi-automatic, be it pistol, shotgun, or rifle. I think for the home defense idea something on the lines of a Marlin model 60, a Ruger 10-22, or a Remington 597 would fit well. These rifles will teach you basics of how to shoot but will also be usable in more speed oriented drills to practice for home defense. You don't need to be able to shoot bugholes at 100 yards in a home defense situation. You need speed and maneuverability. Something that is fairly compact and shoots follow up shots quickly is my pick, which doesn't fit the three models you selected in the slightest.

So is this to learn how to shoot accurately or how to shoot to survive? That plays all the difference.

I really like the CZ models. The iron sight options are great and the stocks fit very well for irons use. Their sightless models are also designed well and all are of great quality for the price. I also am in love with my Savage Mk II FVT. This gives me aperture sights on a very accurate rifle. It has become one of my favorite rifles to use, though I have been bitten a bit by the prone shooting bug so it take it for what it is. The Kimber is big, heavy, and expensive. I have heard some people claim the accuracy is great while others find it average at best. I have also heard, though have no proof, that the reason the kimber rifles are available is that the government ended their contract with Kimber as they did not measure up to the accuracy guarantees Kimber promised. True or not I can't say. Just what I heard. For the price I am hard pressed to find out first hand. A heavy barreled Anschutz or two aren't too far from the $600 price of the Kimber. These are all rifles to really learn how to shoot accurately, not so much for home defense.

Maybe I misunderstood what was meant but I would be looking at two different rifles to learn marksmanship and home defense.
The .22 will be solely for learning to shoot accurately. Once I've done that, I'll buy a higher caliber rifle for home defense, which would probably be a semi-auto. Meanwhile, I have a shotgun for defense. I was a bit vague in my OP, for me the rifle is really more about recreational target shooting than home defense. It's hard to be precise about these things as I'm still learning the basics. So I think bolt action is the way to go for my first rifle.

Brimic
December 30, 2009, 09:52 PM
One other question: I was assuming that iron sights are the way to go for learning and didn't plan on buying a scope right away. Does this make sense? How far can you shoot with iron sights before you'd need some kind of magnification? Will I be able to go out to 100 yards?

Plenty of people shoot 1000 yards and beyond with iron sights. If you use a rear aperture sight with a front aperture globe sight, a bullseye target will actually appear a lot more clearly and sharply through the sights than with the naked eye. With such a sight set up, you focus on the front sight and the target sort of 'lights up' (its the best description that I have for it) when centered. Using a front post with a rear aperture, the target still looks sharper. Another benifit is less eye strain.



Open iron sights are ok, especially for a hunting rifle, but for serious marksmanship practice, aperture sights are 1000x better.

project88
December 31, 2009, 02:26 AM
if you would like a heavier barreled rifle with iron sights consider these two fom savage
MarkII FVT
MarkI FVT
one is magazine fed and the other is a single shot or if you want something with a little more range
93 fv
here's the link to savage's sight
http://www.savagearms.com/firearms/models

cbrgator
December 31, 2009, 02:45 AM
Savage Mark II.

blackops
December 31, 2009, 06:10 AM
I'm not a CZ guy. Savage out of your options.

dak0ta
December 31, 2009, 06:27 AM
Marlin 925, check it out. The T-900 trigger is very crisp. Microgroove barrel is highly accurate. Plus the wood stock seems better than that of the Savage MkII G's. They also come in synthetic 925R models with scopes.

Sav .250
December 31, 2009, 08:15 AM
Buy what you can afford........

A rifle in .22 cal makes a good "starter" round and a good rifle for your collection( that will come.) :)

Are you a member of the NRA ? If not..........join.

nulfisin
December 31, 2009, 10:55 AM
If you are going to use a rifle for HD, it may be an AR. There are 22 LR ARs that are fun to shoot, affordable, and as useful as any other gun for teaching marksmanship. They are, after all, rifles.

Rancho Relaxo
December 31, 2009, 11:43 AM
I love my 452 Lux because it is super accurate and feels like a full size rifle.

goon
December 31, 2009, 01:39 PM
I'd also heavily favor the CZ-452.
But you can get a Savage for about $130 new at Wal-Mart.
You might even consider a used Marlin model 60 for that matter if a good one presents itself.

Having said that, looking back on the purchase of my CZ-542 trainer, I definitely don't feel any regrets!

jblane
December 31, 2009, 02:35 PM
Marlin 925, check it out. The T-900 trigger is very crisp. Microgroove barrel is highly accurate. Plus the wood stock seems better than that of the Savage MkII G's. They also come in synthetic 925R models with scopes.
This looks like a good rifle, and much cheaper than the CZ. Guess I need to figure out how much I want to spend on a starter rifle. The money I save on my .22 can go towards buying a better 30-06 and/or scope when it's time to move up. Still, I like the CZ's rep for supreme accuracy. Seems that will allow me to really hone my skills from the get-go. This is cool, even deciding on a rifle is fun. Can't wait till I can start shooting one!

EDIT: Does the Marlin 925 have adjustable sights? What about the 980? It's not that much more expensive and I believe it does have them. I do want to learn how to use adjustable sights, so that would be an important factor.

XxWINxX94
December 31, 2009, 10:37 PM
I'd go with a Remington 512 Sportmaster .22LR. I don't know how common they are now but I've used mine and its a great plinking gun. It is a small caliber and recoil is nothing. The Blue Book Price is like $150.

goon
January 1, 2010, 02:59 AM
You gotta get yourself to a gun store and handle them both. I have nothing against a Marlin but a Marlin isn't the equal of a CZ-452 IMO.

benzy2
January 1, 2010, 04:44 AM
The problem is that the Marlin and Savage options are half the cost of the CZ, yet the accuracy is close to, if not equal to, the CZ. I have all three, Marlin, Savage, and CZ. My Marlin and Savage aren't quite as accurate as my CZs but they are very close. They in all honesty do very well and shoot amazing for their price. What they don't have is the feel of the CZ. Both the Savage and Marlin rimfire actions feel like cheap rimfire actions. The CZ feels like a small centerfire. It looks and feels like it could handle .22 hornet without a hiccup. It is one of those things that I can't put a value on and is subjective to each user. From the aspect of dollar spent per group size the Savage/Marlin are tough to beat. If you consider the craftsmanship of the CZ it is easily the winner. These three are again three great shooting rifles that will be great learning tools. Today's .22lr market is pretty tough. Everyone has a good shooting model out there for little money. I wouldn't worry to much over the rifle in this market. While the Savage/Marlin are the budget side they still on average shoot amazing and will allow for you to learn all you need.

I guess the short of it would be to buy what you like as today they are all pretty good. Don't sweat the petty.

scythefwd
January 1, 2010, 05:08 AM
See of the CMP has any mossberg 44us(a) on tap. Good solid very big rifle feel to it, and it isn't a slouch in accuracy. Add some of the redfield olympic sights that CMP has for sale and you have a rifle that will last longer than you will.

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