1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

General purpose rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hunter125, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    I have been looking at rifles for a while, something for an all around rifle until I can start to diversify my collection some more. This would be my first centerfire rifle.

    I had been thinking a bolt action, possibly a .308, but lately I've been reading a lot about lever actions and am now thinking a lever in .357 or .30-30 might be contenders.

    My ranges probably won't be more than 200-300 yards except possibly the occassional test of ability.

    Purposes would be mostly plinking, possibly the occassional coyote, though I'd probably get a dedicated varmint gun if I were going to get serious about it. And home defense. I live in slug country for deer, so my only option for a deer gun is pistol caliber.

    I already own a GP 100, the others would be brand new calibers. I don't reload yet, though I'm hoping to get into it in the near future.

    What would you guys suggest? If I did go lever action, which would you suggest?
  2. RPRNY

    RPRNY Well-Known Member

    This is a shocker coming from me but based on your criteria, accuracy to 200 -300 yds, plinker, predator rifle and HD : AR15 in 223 / 5.56 and, value for money, the S&W M+P Sport. You can't use a rifle for deer anyway and the AR fits every other criteria. Plus, they are so soft shooting, it's remarkable.
  3. .333 Nitro Express

    .333 Nitro Express Well-Known Member

    Given what you say, a pistol-caliber lever action would probably be the rifle out of which you'd get the most use and the most enjoyment. A Winchester or Marlin in .375 or .44 Mag would fit the bill for all that you say, and do so more economically than a rifle caliber.

    A .308 for self-defense (especially in Illinois!) is not something I'd recommend--and frankly, I'd say the same about most rifle calibers above .223.

    If you like that sort of platform, you can always go with an AR, which would do pretty much all the things you require of this rifle--but I have zero experience with it, so someone else may be better suited to comment on it.

    (Edit: and sure enough, while I was typing the last paragraph, RPRNY beat me to it.) :)
  4. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Well-Known Member

    If you go with a lever action, my personal favorite is the Henry Big Boy in .38/.357

    For general plinking, .38 would be my choice. 'Yotes would drop from a .357, and they can still reach out to 200 yards from a rifle. There are better coyote guns, but for an all around general purpose rifle, the .38/.357 lever gun is hard to beat. They are super durable and reliable as anything I've ever seen. Lots of fun, and if you are a reloader, your options are abundant.

    I'm not a fan of the 30/30 cartridge, but if you are, I'd recommend a Henry lever gun there, too.

    Bolt actions, I'm a fan of Savage. Their 110 with accutrigger in .308 is a fantastic gun. I'd say better than the venerable Remington 700.
  5. Sock Puppet

    Sock Puppet Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with RPRNY on this.
  6. nastynatesfish

    nastynatesfish Well-Known Member

    I'm leaning towards a 243 or a 7-08. Both will shoot out past your ranges to grow with you. Decent glass and a nice stock to be comfortable and be good to go. If it gotta be a pistol round then I'd go 44mag
  7. lefteyedom

    lefteyedom Well-Known Member

    45/70 marlin guide gun.....
    Just kidding

    If you have a shotgun now that should be your HD weapon. Buy a 223 bolt action varmint/target rifle and have fun.

    An Ar would do nicely as well
  8. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    7mm-08 and 308 are FANTASTIC all purpose cartrages (I own both) both are easily capable of cleanly taking all game up to elk, and are highly effective out to 500yd or more depending on the type of bullet used. The only rifle cartrages more versatile are the 30-06 and 6.5x55 IMHO (Own both of those too :D ) If I lived in slug/pistol country I would probably opt for a 44mag or 454 Casull lever gun, but have little use for them here in rifle country.
  9. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Well-Known Member

    For your purposes, I like the higher-quality rifles in the 7.62 x 39mm chambering - .30 cal mid-power and extremely cheap mil surp ammo for plinking. The Ruger Mini-30 is sort of the default in this category, but it is $800 (like the Smith & Wesson M+P Sport) and sort of a hobby rifle to make it as good as everyone thinks it should be (unlike the Smith & Wesson M+P Sport). Nevertheless, a ton if fun and you learn a lot about firearms ;).
  10. Old judge creek

    Old judge creek Well-Known Member

    I would recommend a Marlin 1894 pattern in 44 Magnum.

    However, i must add that I have batterys in 44 mag, 45 Colt, 44-40, and 357. Truthfully, any of those would serve you long and well.

    There's nothing wrong with 30-30 or 308 either. I have a Ruger 308 M77RSI that's a perfect all purpose rifle for the continental US and it comes from the factory with iron sights and scope mounts. Iron sights could be critical under certain circumstances.
  11. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    In the bolt gun category I had my eye on the Savage 11 Hog Hunter in .308. One of the reasons was iron sights.
    Do the Henry's feed .38's as well as .357 Mags, or do they have to be loaded long? I've heard some levers are picky.
  12. ExAgoradzo

    ExAgoradzo Well-Known Member

    1894 44 mag is a great gun... If you can hunt with it or a shotgun but not another rifle, I'd go with that. Someone will hate me, but my 357 lever is not a dependable gun: I would trade it in if it weren't my FIL's.
    if you have money/time, go with Kachok's 6.5x55...
  13. crazyjennyblack

    crazyjennyblack Well-Known Member

    I would take a look at a Mini 14. I know some people get crabby about them, but the newer ones are better than the old ones. I've got one, and it's my go-to rifle for when I'm out in the country. A friend of mine has a nice acreage with woods and fields and that's her go-to rifle as well. Puts skunks, possums, and coyotes down very nicely.

    Reasons I like the Mini:

    1. Nice wood stock. For "sheeple" areas it looks PC, plus I like wood. :)
    2. Familiar feel - it's a lot like many other hunting-style guns since they
    don't always come with a pistol grip. There's no option to use a stock
    like that with an AR-15
    3. For me, it just fits my shoulder nicely. I own a couple AR-15's and a Mini,
    but I shoot the Mini better for some reason.
    4. New ones come with scope mounts in the box. Nice touch.

    Things I wish I could change about the Mini:

    1. Rock and lock mags. Not as nice as the AR system
    2. Expensive mags. You can buy 2 or 3 AR mags for 1 Mini mag.
    3. Better accuracy. Yes, an AR wins in this department for most people. I'm
    one that's different I guess, but an AR is typically better. Expect 1-2"
    groups from a new Mini if you do your part
    4. The Mini isn't as easy to accessorize, but then why would I really want to?
    5. The Mini should be a $400 gun, not a $650 gun.
  14. Kachok

    Kachok Well-Known Member

    Love my Sweed, but you simply cannot cannot find the Tikka in 6.5x55 in the states anymore, they make you buy the Sako version here and it costs five times as much!!!
    For anyone wanting a good 6.5x55 on a budget CZ supposedly makes a good one as does Howa. I am sure the Sako is a world class gun but for two grand it better be!
  15. Roadking Rider

    Roadking Rider Well-Known Member

    Two of my all time favorite all purpose rifles are the older Marlin 336 30/30's and the newer Ruger mini 14 ranch rifles. Own both, love both.
  16. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    For an all around general purpose rifle I would be thinking about a .308 bolt action rifle like maybe a Savage flavor. If you want to go the lever or pump action route there is no shortage of other rifles out there. I would not consider a handgun caliber for a 200 / 300 yard rifle. I have a .44 Magnum old Ruger and while it is a great handy little rifle it is a 100 yard rifle. Anyway, I would stick with a .308 in whatever trips your trigger.

    Just My Take
  17. DM~

    DM~ Well-Known Member

    You guys are recommending lever guns chambered in pistol cartridges for 200 and 300 + yards shots????

    To the OP, get something is a RIFLE cartridge, .308 would be fine!

  18. RSVP2RIP

    RSVP2RIP Well-Known Member

    You can use any firearm in any chambering for coyotes in Illinois, except a shotgun with slug (yeah, I don't get that one either). So you're AR with 100 round beta mag and night vision is OK, so is a NAA mini revolver with 22 shorts. I'd go with an AR platform with 16" barrel. It will handle anything you're asking of a rifle and if you decide 223 isn't your cup-o-tea, then it comes in a bewildering assorment of chamberings and switching between most of them requires only an upper swap and maybe a new magazine. Most leverguns won't have a very good trajectory at 200-300 yards and marginal accuracy past 100 yards. I know there are exceptions in the accuracy department, but all the Winchester 94's I've seen couldn't hold 3" at 100 yards, when most AR's will do better than 1-2".
  19. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Well-Known Member

    I guess I meant that most of my shooting would occur within 200-300 yards. A shot that far probably won't happen too often. You guys do have me leaning toward the .308 now though. Maybe the lever will end up rifle #2.
  20. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Well-Known Member

    You have a lot of "criteria" in mind to expect them to all be adequately filled by just one rifle. As others have said, a 223 AR might be the ticket for coyotes and the range but I personally don't think 223 is all that great for "home defense," especially if using it in the home is a possibility, but you do have your GP 100 for that. A lever gun in 357 would be better for in and around the home, makes a great "plinker" and you can shoot cheap 38’s but it won't be useful on coyotes beyond 100 yards so "200-300 yards" is out. A 30-30 will do a better job on the coyotes than the 357 but still doesn't have the trajectory for “200-300 yards." I'd either get the aforementioned AR, a lever gun in 357 which would be a great plinker and "home defense" rifle or a bolt gun in 223 or 22-250 for the coyotes and long range "pinking." If you go with the 357 my first choice would be an old Marlin. My second choice would be a new Rossi…

Share This Page