Is it silly for non-hunter to buy nice hunting rifle?


January 12, 2011, 09:58 PM
Although I do not hunt and I already have a .223 EBR, I have thought about getting a good quality ambidextrous rifle with classic lines in .270 or .308. On my short list are the Ruger No. 1, the Remington 760 and the Savage 99. I would also consider other American made lever guns chambered for one of these cartridges.

Should I expect to enjoy shooting a handful of rounds several times a year enough to warrant the purchase, or is a rifle like one of these totally wasted on a non-hunter. I know that it makes no sense for me to get the Dakota No. 10 calling to me from my local dealer's gun rack, but a modest quality used rifle seems like it could be a lot of fun while retaining its value. I also know that I would not enjoy a right hand bolt action.

Comments from non-hunters would be the most helpful but all suggestions are welcome.

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January 12, 2011, 10:04 PM
I have a few rifles that although they only get out for some fresh air a couple of times a year, they are a joy to shoot.
If you want to do it and would enjoy it, you should do it!
Precision paper punching is a most enjoyable activity!

January 12, 2011, 10:15 PM
i can't say you would go wrong with a 99 or a #1. it's hard to find a 99 that isn't beat all to pieces. believe me i know.
there was a time when i was on the hunt for a #3. i gave up on that but i still want one.
it doesn't matter what your purpose is. just follow your heart. i shoot paper far more than i hunt. no matter the rifle i enjoy them all.

January 12, 2011, 10:32 PM
I just bought a savage 99 that wasn't beat up on gunbroker before christmas. There are over a million 99s that were made. You can find ones in good condition. And in .308

Jim Watson
January 12, 2011, 10:49 PM
I am a target shooter with some hunting rifles. They seldom get out, I shoot paper with guns made to shoot paper. The 8 lb .30-06 is gathering dust, 17 lb .308 F class gets the range time.

January 12, 2011, 11:20 PM
I'm kinda like Jim, I spend more time at the range than in the field. Partly it's all the things keeping me busy lately - getting to the range is easier.

I don't think there is anything wrong with getting any rifle including one t just hang over the fireplace. They are functional works of art, ergonomic machines, whatever. How you enjoy it is up to you? Polishing it, or punishing it :evil:

I have a 99 in 308 - keep looking, you will enjoy it. Be on the look-out for hairline cracks in the wood. If they are dry, epoxy will fix them easily (open the crack slightly and work in some slow set). Try to get one with scope bases. Have your local gunsmith show you how to disassemble for complete maintenance as they can be a tricky to reassemble. But they are very reliable and can go years without a major disassembly :)

Welding Rod
January 12, 2011, 11:28 PM
I am a shooter, not a hunter. I love a good "hunting" rifle. They shoot nice.

I don't think it is ever a bad decision to buy a nice firearm.

January 12, 2011, 11:41 PM
Im not a hunter but I do enjoy a beautiful hunting rifle.

Al Mack 1
January 12, 2011, 11:47 PM
There are people out there doing worse things to make them happy. Go for it!

January 12, 2011, 11:58 PM
ARs and other such rifles were originally specifically designed to kill humans, yet many people use them for shooting and even for hunting.

You might just want to go out with someone in the field someday who does hunt, and take your hunting rifle with you. You might just find you enjoy hunting.

January 13, 2011, 12:07 AM
Hey I'm a hunter not a Tommy Tacticool but I've got a couple of EBRs.

Cool tools are cool tools and everybody should have a couple.

January 13, 2011, 12:12 AM
I have a wonderful light rifle suitable for small game, and it only goes to the range. Buy what YOU want, use it how YOU want to, and have fun.

January 13, 2011, 01:45 AM
Heck, I don't intend to ever use my guns for their actual purpose.

My PX4 Storm .40 is designed as a service pistol. I truly hope I'm never in pistol combat.
My LCP .380 is designed as a last-ditch weapon to save my life. I truly hope I never pull that trigger.
My Remington 870, while great for door breaching, is also great at breaking clays.

We buy and shoot guns because they are beautiful and mechanically intricate works of craftsmanship, or because they are admirably effective tools, depending on your perspective.

Buy a rifle and send some high-velocity lead into some paper. :)

January 13, 2011, 05:43 AM
Is it silly for non-hunter to buy nice hunting rifle?

IMO absolutely not!
I own a former Yugoslavian military rifle, but that doesn't make me a Yugoslavian soldier!

January 13, 2011, 05:47 AM
Hey, you're an American. Do it because you can; no justification necessary.

January 13, 2011, 06:42 AM
We have plenty of folks here who have 'safe queen' guns that are NEVER and have never been shot. Guns are a lot of things to lots of folks-great engineering, art, feelings of confidence, signs of a free country, etc. All are valid reasons for owning.

If you want it, get it. Enjoy it in whatever way you want. You certainly don't have to justify your ownership to folks on this forum!

January 13, 2011, 08:06 AM
It is only a hunting rifle if you hunt with it right? Have fun!

January 13, 2011, 09:27 AM
I enjoy shooting larger caliber centerfire rifles. I have a great old sporterized 98 Mauser rebarreled to .308 Win that is a tack driver. I have had lots of rifles over the last 45 years,including several 99's and other lever guns and never was much of a hunter-just a shooter.
Be aware, though-this might lead you to handloading!



January 13, 2011, 09:31 AM
I own a bunch of U.S. and foreign stocks that are more useless to me than an elephant gun. And less valuable at this point.

January 13, 2011, 11:54 AM
There is no rule that a "hunting rifle" can only be used for hunting. There isn't much functional difference between a scoped hunting rifle and a sniper rifle, for instance. Many sniper rifles that have been used by militiaries are designs that were originally made for hunting. And many hunting rifles are designs based on service rifles.

I am into battle rifles like you are. I like to have a more long range precision bolt action rifle to extend my capabilities for those situations that call for more range or precision than the battle rifle can provide. This rifle can also serve as a good hunting rifle. I like the Savage 11 in .308 for what you're talking about. I'd take the .308 over the .270, just because you can shoot it cheaper since you can use surplus ammo and/or cheap Russian stuff out of it for practice. The .270 is flatter shooting and has a better ballistic coefficient, though. If cheap ammo or the ability to cheaply put together an ammo stockpile isn't much of a concern, I would go with the .270 for reasons of ballistics. It can take most game on the continent.

January 13, 2011, 12:09 PM
Well, if it is, just call me silly.

I don't hunt any more and last year I bought one of those new Winchester Model 70 featherweights. VERY nice rifle. I like it a lot. May never take a deer or antelope, though. ;)

January 13, 2011, 12:29 PM
No Sillier than a person who isnt in the Military buying an AR-15...meaning, not silly in the least, a good firearm is a good firearm. Sometimes the only purpose one has to have is "I enjoy shooting it". I NEED, My .45, My 12 guage, and my ' that all I, not even close...

January 13, 2011, 12:34 PM
Definitely not silly. Actually it is a shame how many wonderful hunting rifles only get to stretch their legs a couple times a year. I love hunting, but I enjoy shooting more. It is amazing how much enjoyment I get just from taking them out, wiping them down, and reminiscing about past experiences with each firearm. Buy the rifle and enjoy it however you choose.

Daniel Boone
January 13, 2011, 12:42 PM
I'm not against anyone that wants to shoot - as long as they buy their guns for legal purposes.

Hunting doesn't always have to mean shooting with a rifle or a shotgun.
There is trapping, archery hunting - all different types of hunting.
In the gun world, I would rather had people on my side then against me.
Every time a person with a full auto rifle or pistol - does something wrong, it gives a black eye to everyone that owns a firearm.
The worst people are the ones who bought the large capacity magazines - just for the sake of wanting to shoot rapid fire.
There is nothing to be gained by shooting 100 rounds in 10 seconds.

A true marksman - every shot counts.

The firearms that you have described were all good weapons back in the day and were all fairly accurate and reliable and will give you a lifetime of enjoyment and will not make you look bad in the non hunting - anti firearms society this world is slowly becoming.

Buy them, shoot them and enjoy them.

January 13, 2011, 12:57 PM
^ I have gained plenty (of satisfaction) by shooting 100 rounds in ten seconds. As long as you are within the limits of the law I could care less how frequently you are forced to reload your magazines.
Every time a person with a full auto rifle or pistol - does something wrong, it gives a black eye to everyone that owns a firearm.

-Just so you know, rarely does the media make a distinction, or even know the difference between full or semi auto. Every firearm seems to be "automatic" in the media's eye. When is the last time you can recall a crime being commited with a legally owned F/A rifle or handgun?

January 13, 2011, 01:02 PM

Go get whichever one you want! Just because you buy a Colt SAA .45 doesn't mean you're going to try to be the next Johnny Ringo! If you want a good rifle, JMHO, try a Savage '99 in .308, nice handling rifle, nice shooting. I've got two of the '99's, one in .300 and one in .250-3000, they are both good shooters. They don't get as much fresh air as I'd like them to get punching paper, but they still know how to hunt when the time comes too. Like the gun collection Charlton Heston had in his basement, no, he didn't get the Browning water cooled SMG's out every weekend, nor the huge collection of BAR's either, but they were there if he decided too! Get yourself whatever trips your trigger{ no pun actually intended!}, punch paper, or spend hours shining the barrel and action, its your right? An American freedom to do as you choose.

January 13, 2011, 02:14 PM
I'm a shooter/collector and hunter who someday would like to own a fine, big bore, double rifle appropriate for hunting cape buffalo, elephant and such. And I have no illusions of being able to afford a safari in Africa any time soon. :) :(

January 13, 2011, 02:38 PM
you know our answer is gonna be.. buy it / collectors buy guns that NEVER get shot

January 13, 2011, 03:37 PM
By hunting rifle, you mean thin barrels, wood stocks with super pretty grain, lightweight, kick like a mule? I personally wouldn't enjoy shooting 60-100 rounds out of one in one setting, but you go ahead:D I like my black on black heavybarrel paper punchers, but don't like carrying them to far. If I hunted, I'd go balls out on some lightweight gear, but for now my R700 LTR .223 is my lightweight, at 9.0 lbs.

January 13, 2011, 07:02 PM
I don't hunt either, but when the wife is out of town I sleep with them.

January 13, 2011, 07:20 PM
this thread needs a pic. don't get any ideas brotus2 :neener:

January 13, 2011, 08:04 PM
get what you want! i have a .308 VTR that i love to just take out and shoot. its my primary hunting rifle but its such a fun gun that i shoot FMJ's out of it a good bit.

January 13, 2011, 08:09 PM
I gave up hunting almost 33 years ago but I have acquired guns that are plenty capable of doing it because I admire them, I enjoy shooting a variety, and also maybe just because I could at the time. At almost 51 yrs old I am now saving up for my first EBR.

To me the only thing silly about it might be spending money you don't have and putting you and your family in a bad way. Outside of that have at it and have a ball!


January 14, 2011, 11:42 AM
Its no sillier than to buy a vehicle capable of speeds in excess of 75 MPH, diamond rings, or a 200$ skillet hawked by a nationally known cook.


That wouldn't just happen to be in 35 Remington would it?


January 14, 2011, 01:15 PM
SD said:

That wouldn't just happen to be in 35 Remington would it?

it's a 300 savage. the bore needs a good scrubbing but i can't bring myself to clean it from the muzzle. i've always been fascinated by the savage 99.

January 14, 2011, 01:25 PM
This may not be quite the answer you are looking for, but I was not a duck hunter. Hence, I only owned several pump shotguns. Then one day a friend invited me to go duck hunting, the first time I used an 870. This shotgun and myself were not a matching pair for ducks. Now I have added an 1100 and an I-12 to the group and for a lack of a better way to say it, I should have already purchased a semi-auto. Sure your 223 is fine for hunting, should you ever go, but owning at least one "hunting rifle" is not a bad idea whether you hunt or not. As others have mentioned, you can derive pleasure from them in other ways, not just hunting.

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