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Best rifle for a beginning adult to learn marksmanship?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by jblane, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. jblane

    jblane Well-Known Member

    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!
  2. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. ECVMatt

    ECVMatt Well-Known Member

    CZ's are great. You can't go wrong with them.
  5. jblane

    jblane Well-Known Member

    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
  6. dmazur

    dmazur Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. Tim the student

    Tim the student Well-Known Member

    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:
    Does not jive with this:
    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.
  8. jblane

    jblane Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Tim the student

    Tim the student Well-Known Member

    OK, good. My mistake.

    Target shooting is great fun, especially if you can shoot "reactive" targets like cans, pop bottles, clays etc.
  11. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Well-Known Member

    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!
  12. Sport45

    Sport45 Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. PT1911

    PT1911 Well-Known Member

    I recommend the kimber.
  14. jblane

    jblane Well-Known Member

    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!
  15. PT1911

    PT1911 Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Bobarino

    Bobarino member

    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!

  17. zombienerd

    zombienerd Well-Known Member

    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.


    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.
  18. StrawHat

    StrawHat Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. Uncle Mike

    Uncle Mike Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Well-Known Member

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

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