I Just Bought a Rifle. What Can I Do with It?


June 3, 2013, 03:57 PM
So, I saw this very nice looking Savage Axis .223 bolt action at Wal Mart. They had the rifle and a Mil Dot Scope for about $360.00. I've never been hunting, but always wanted a rifle and this one felt good in my hands, so I bought it. Now what?

What gun games can I play with a .223 bolt action rifle?
Anything I could hunt with it (no prairie dogs around here)?
Do they have high power postage matches?
Can I shoot in HP matches in--what--the open division?

Suggestions--and especially web links--welcome.


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Ed Ames
June 3, 2013, 04:12 PM
You can...

Use it as an excuse to be frustrated by the lack of .223 ammo on store shelves.
Use it as a reason to look up hunting regs for your state to determine if .223 is a legal deer cartridge.
Use it to practice shooting.
Use it to play "oh noes it's rusting!" A very fun game that involves blued firearms and humid climates.
Use it in some formal or informal target shooting maybe.

Umm... I think that's about it. Sorry.

June 3, 2013, 04:31 PM
Clean it.
Buy ammo. Good luck.
Find a range and practice safe gun handling and proper marksmanship.
Most of all have fun and share your experience with others.


June 3, 2013, 04:31 PM
LOL. Stack up cans and shoot them down... If you can find ammo to do that with.

June 3, 2013, 04:37 PM
If foothills of the Blue Ridge means Virginia, no .223 is not legal for hunting deer.

In Virginia coyote and groundhog are good fodder for the .223, you can hunt them year round, but not on Sunday and you still need a hunting license.

I've never had any of my guns rust....

Ed Ames
June 3, 2013, 04:43 PM
I've never had any of my guns rust....

Truth be told neither have I, though some of mine came pre-rusted. I wound up with a used Savage 340 (I think) in .222 that, when I got it, had rust everywhere you couldn't see without a screwdriver.

June 3, 2013, 06:14 PM
I've had a Ruger 77 MKII in .223 for many years now, and it's my favorite range gun, (and carrying-about-shooting-groundhog gun when I had my land). If you're limited to shooting ranges, paper, water jugs filled with water, and rocks at range will provide no shortage of smiles. (I sometimes just laugh like a fool!)
Anyway, if you're even considering getting into reloading; I'm assuming you don't currently- you might consider it. I have more brass than I really need, and I don't think it's that hard to come by used. I've even been able to get bullets and suitable powders locally. Primers might be a trick, but they are out there, and that will improve. A single stage Lee press, set of dies, scale and other nice to have bits won't set you back that far if you do some shopping, both new and used.

June 3, 2013, 06:39 PM
Varmint hunting comes to mind. Pretty much whatever trips your trigger including target shooting. I have no clue what your taste in shooting is or what about shooting you enjoy?

The rifle should have a 1:9 barrel twist rate so I suggest you work with bullets weighing no more than 69 grains. Not that heavier won't perform well, just a suggestion.

If target shooting and or varmint hunting do not trip your trigger the rifle should have an over all length of 43.875" making it suitable for staking small pepper plants in the garden if you have one.


June 3, 2013, 07:29 PM
.223 is good for shooting varmits and targets,besides that its not very useful in my opinion. It also is a caliber that is hard to find and if you do its not exactly cheap,they are fun to shoot though,just not much of a hunting caliber.

June 3, 2013, 07:42 PM
OleReb, I must take exception to that. Here in the South East, the whitetail bucks make Midwest doe's look like giants! Although no high power .22 would be considered the ideal whitetail round, I can tell you a decent shot inside 200 yds. with a Nosler part., or the like, is way more than adequate for even big deer. That leaves EVERYTHING else you can do with a rifle like this pretty much for ****s & giggles for most folks. Nothing wrong with that. Now, if I'm going continent hopping, hunting the Big Five, well, I'm sure I'd wake up from that dream in short order.

June 3, 2013, 07:47 PM
What kind of mil-dot scope is that? Mil-dots are fantastic, in my opinion. Learn how to use the dots for determining ranges. It's a fun exercise!

June 3, 2013, 07:57 PM
I have the same gun and its fun to shoot.

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