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Getting my first gun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ThatGuyHank, May 28, 2011.

  1. ThatGuyHank

    ThatGuyHank Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone at The High Road, I turned 18 not too long ago and after some nudging from my grandfather and a rather convincing "opposing viewpoints" style debate on the Second Amendment and personal defence I obtained my "long arms" permit (I live in NJ and after reading the legislature it seems im kinda screwed in a way lol).

    I have some experience operating, dissassembling and cleaning guns from the time I spent with granddad (mom's dad RIP). He showed me alot and always told me it's best to "die on your feet than to live on your knees" and to defend your way of life, your family, your friends and neighbors and your country.

    Anyway, I am not sure as to what rifle/shotgun I want to get first. I like the lever action rifles like the Marlin 336 in 30/30win but a friend of mine who shoots said that I would love a Mosin Nagant 91/30 or M39. I have no idea as to what would suit me best. It would be incredibly helpful to have opinions and ideas presented. Im not asking to pick between the two rifles lol. What do YOU think a good "beginner" rifle would be for me?(shotguns are ok too)

    Some considerations- I live in NJ, Im not small framed/weak, I plan on hunting eventually but I dont think my first rifle will have to fill all roles, I am LEFT handed, I have about 600$ saved for this specifically. Cheers.
  2. mdThanatos

    mdThanatos Well-Known Member

    A .22 will do lots of good and should not be dismissed. You say you have some experience but that doesn't really describe what you know. Shooting isn't just squeezing a trigger, there is much more to it in my opinion, an experience that will constantly change. With $600 you can get a good .22 rifle, attend an Appleseed course and find out what you really know and what you will learn.

    In the event that you are dead set on a centerfire as your first rifle, make a decent attempt at trying something before you buy it. If your friend recommends the MN I am thinking he may have one, see if you can shoot it. Go to a store and get a feel for various rifles.

    One other thing that you have to think about at this point is what do you want this rifle to be used for since it doesn't have to fill all roles, you need to prioritize.
  3. chevyman097

    chevyman097 Well-Known Member

    MDthanatos made a great point. Going and putting hands on would deff help.

    First of congrats and happy late birthday.

    As for the choices you named.

    The lever action would be a very fun first rifle, and 30-30 would be a great all around load.

    The mosin nagant is also a great rifle and fun to shoots. Cheap surplus ammo is a plus.(although I dont know where you shoot, some ranges may not allow this ammo)

    The shotgun would also be a wonderful choice. You could hunt(i dont know your state laws, some dont allow shotguns from what I understand) deer or bird. You could sport shoot(sporting clays is very fun).

    All three choices can very easily be fit into a 600 budget depending on brand. Heck you would buy 4 or 5 mosins with 600 bucks lol.

    If you have the money saved already you may decide you want both of two worlds. But dont rush, as said before...go shop feel some guns and decide what you like.
  4. Shotgun wg

    Shotgun wg Member

    I 2nd the 22 idea. Bullets are cheap and u can learn alot about handling and cleaning and accurate shooting. A 22 can be as much fun to shoot as any weapon. U can also find them pretty cheap 2nd hand. This could allow u to pick up a second rifle for hunting such as a marlin 30/30.
  5. ThatGuyHank

    ThatGuyHank Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the mention of the Appleseed courses. When I say I have experience I don't mean that i've handled every weapons platform under the sun, I just grew up around guns and have used them for most of my life.

    I think that this rifle will just be for me to learn basic shooting practices like trigger control, breathing, positioning and the like. I'm not expressely worried about home defense as im still with my parents and they both have guns for it (not that i wouldnt like to have one for myself but thats a matter for a later date).

    A centerfire rifle was just the first thing that sprung to mind when my grandfather(dad's dad) asked what I was getting. My friend actually has a Mosin and she likes it very much, ive seen her shoot it and it seems a bit much for a first gun (not to mention id be likely to punch myself in the face lol).

    maybe that helps?
  6. mdThanatos

    mdThanatos Well-Known Member

    Ok, trigger control, breathing, positioning screams out .22 to me, but again that is me. I apologize for assuming your friend was a male, no offense meant by it in anyway. Ask your friend if you can shoot her Mosin. When I say shoot I mean put at least 20 rounds down range. I have my experience with Milsurps and some of them are not forgiving. You may not need the 20 rounds but I say 20 is a fair amount to shoot in that platform.
  7. ThatGuyHank

    ThatGuyHank Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I like the idea of a .22 now that you mention it. .22's are inexpensive as well right? likea box of 500 is $25~.

    My friend isn't offended at all lol. She actually likes to make fun of me when I've gone to the range with her always something like "What? a big strong man like you can't shoot better than a lil lady like me?". She is one hell of a shot too. I'm sure she'd be delighted to have me shoot her Mosin and then her Kelltech rfb and her ruger vacquero... she loves her guns.

    You wouldnt have any suggestions of a specific model of .22? hopefully one that is left handed friendly.
  8. mdThanatos

    mdThanatos Well-Known Member

    A really good quality one would be the CZ452, comes in left hand configuration, but it will be somewhat pricey. I have never had a problem with Savage rifles, they make some in left handed configs as well. I personally love my Marlin 75c, had it for close to 20 years myself, was my old man's before that. My first was an old Remington single shot that my uncle gifted to me but that is out of commission as someone broke the handle on the bolt.
  9. yhtomit

    yhtomit Well-Known Member

    Good luck in your quest.

    I don't shoot long guns as much as I would like, and have a big bias toward .22. My first rifle was a .22 (a .22 Magnum ;)), and though I've bought a few more, that's still the one I've shot most. Cheap ammo is a great thing!

    (I wonder how bad the Ruger 10/22 is for a left-hander, or if they make a left-handed version ... I have a Savage bolt-action, but have come to like 10/22s.)

  10. ThatGuyHank

    ThatGuyHank Well-Known Member

    Im liking that marlin 75, gunbroker has it for less than 200$ and thats well within my budget range. Although they are all used considering they are discontinued lol. The new models from Marlin look real nice too especially the model 60 which seems like an exact copy of the 75. they also have a model 795 that uses a detachable magazine.

    Both look really good and solid and i can use them with my cursed left hand. I would say im going to go with one of them. You've been very helpful with my decision process lol thank you.
  11. avs11054

    avs11054 Well-Known Member

    If you have $600 to spend, then get two!!!

    Definitely get a .22. I have a Marlin model 60. It holds something like 15 rounds, and at $15 for a box of 500, the fun is endless. You could pick one up for $150 or less.

    Then, you can get a hunting rifle with what is left over if you plan on eventually getting into that. There are plenty of threads on here about what gun to use for hunting. The reader's digest version is probably that most people would recommend a 30-06 if you are going to hunt big game. I have a .243 and .270 in Model 70 Winchester. Both are great guns too. A .270 will take down any kind of game in North American up to an elk.
  12. Vaarok

    Vaarok Well-Known Member

    Start with a cheap $100 .22 rifle- a used Marlin 60 or the like, then follow with a centerfire rifle and a shotgun.

    Or blow half your budget on a Marlin 39 and be glad you did, and buy a good M39 and a case of ammo with the remainder. Basically, you're on the right track.

    I would not personally advise buying a hunting rifle if you're a newb. Hunting rifles are for hunting, and not nearly as interesting as a military surplus rifle, as well as not having the option to use cheap surplus ammo. They're generally not meant for heavy use, and they're generally more expensive. Yes, they're generally more accurate, but you don't have to have a purpose-made "hunting rifle" to take game.

    Regardless, the hivemind has served you well and your research and gut feelings based on that research are correct. Stay safe and remember to buy what you like and have fun with it.

    And as a lefty, as long as you stay away from bolt-action huntin' rifles with super slick-down bent-back bolts, up-and-over isn't that terribly difficult. Straight-bolt milsurps are not bad at all. I'd almost suggest a K31 or M95 Steyr, but both of those use spendy ammo and the K31 doesn't agree with this lefty at all. And while I love my Ross Rifle, it wasn't cheap and other people have bad opinions of them.
  13. ThatGuyHank

    ThatGuyHank Well-Known Member

    Thanks, and if i decided to get an out of state tag to go take a whitetail in PA an m39 would be able to take the game humanely and efficiently out to 100~yds right? While my friend can get 3" groupings out to 200yds with her rifle im not that confident in my abilities (yet) although im sure with practice I could make those shots. I am not by any stretch of the imagination a "long range" hunter. I go by the teachings of my granddad to get as close to the animal as possible using what tools and skills you have at hand and making a safe, accurate and ultimately humane shot.

    I am definitely picking up a .22 though for practice of my fundementals and just target range fun.
  14. bcp280z

    bcp280z Well-Known Member

    Man, people actually have to wait til 18 and/or get permits for long guns.........never knew, that's pretty bad.

    I'll say 22 as well. My little brother's a southpaw, growing up with our 22's he didnt like my or my fathers semi auto, the expelled gas/shells from the chamber kept hitting him. He got a very nice Remington Pump, tubefed, held 15 or so rounds, of all but about wmr(short, long, long rifle) was quite accurate, dunno if it's me or the gun but I always shot better with my 22, Rem 597, super accurate.

    Also yadda yadda, 22's are cheap, fun, easy to learn on. That Nagant could take a deer or so, but they aren't known to be quite accurate, I'd say since you're willing to spend up to $600, get something a little nicer you'll keep/last forever. Some 22's, not only the "tacticools" have rails for sights,scopes, so modding it once you get good on irons is good, less craving to get another gun so fast. But once you buy one, I'm sure you're gonna buy a few more, so maybe don't go all out.
  15. chevyman097

    chevyman097 Well-Known Member

    I guess its just a different world kids grow up in these days. lol

    I cant imagine starting out on a .22 at 18. As far as I can remember back as a kid I was always shooting a 20ga shotgun. I'm positive thats the first gun I ever shot. But its different times I guess.

    Sorry dont take that wrong, not intending to sound like im demeaning the ideas in this post or anything else. Im just reminiscing for a moment lol. Although I am from Texas...you know we're just a bunch of rednecks an awl. jk

    Well let us know what you decide on. Now im really interested in what you decide on.

    Btw. Are you interesting in joining any shooting sports or what not? Your never too young, and dont start too late. I didnt start trap shooting late in life and wish I started years ago.
  16. wrench

    wrench Well-Known Member

    Welcome to The High Road, and Happy Birthday!
    With $600, here's my 2cents.
    I'd get a .22 rifle, not real fancy, and a 12g pump shotgun.
    That way, you've got the .22 to practice position shooting, trigger control, all that. Cheap ammo, tons of fun.
    With the shotgun, you can shoot trap and other clay games, again, tons of fun.
    When you go to the range, check out what guns the other shooters are using, and if you admire them out loud, lots of friendly folks will let you put a few rounds through them.
    You'll probably buy lots of guns in your lifetime, these are two solid choices to start, develop technique, and enjoy yourself silly.:D
  17. Johnonthebass

    Johnonthebass Active Member

    I have to agree on the .22 its cheap shooting and a lot of fun. Of course I love my 91/30 as well, but it ain't exactly cheap shootin'
  18. steven58

    steven58 Well-Known Member

    I'm left handed and my first rifle was a Ruger 10/22.
    Its accurate enough for Appleseed and semiauto helps in the timed portions. Also you don't break position to cycle it. Works great for lefties to.
  19. Fred in Wisc

    Fred in Wisc Well-Known Member

    I agree with that .22 recommendation as well. I have a stack of guns, but the .22s get used the most. With $20 of ammo, you can shoot all day with a .22, or 20 rounds with a centerfire.

    You should be able to pick up a good one for under $200 new or used if you shop around. I like the Savage or Marlin bolts (althought the Marlins have a wierd backwards safety), Marlin 39 or Henry levers, or the Remington 597 / Ruger 10/22 / Marlin 60 auto loaders. Try to shoot a bunch of them and see what you like best.

    Most of the new shooters I take out prefer the 597- Volquartsen makes a $30trigger upgrade that makes it shoot a lot nicer, and get a couple of 30 shot magazines. We put about 450 rounds through it today shooting bowling pins without a hiccup.

    Bolt 22's seem real common at gun shows, at least in the midwest, and you can usually get them for about $100-$125.

    Levers are cowboy cool, but you will pay for it. The marlins are seldon under $400 used, and the Henry is $250 ish new. The Marlin is more because it's better.

    If you are planning to use a scope, Cabelas has a great deal on some of the Nikons right now, you can get a 2-7x variable for under $100. That will cover hunting, plinking, and informal target shooting. Or an inexpensive holographic sight- fun and cool, but not quite as precise. If you wait for them to go on sale you can get one for about $50.

    Then buy a couple bulk packs of ammo, a big pack of Shoot-n-See targets (on sale at Midwayusa.com right now) and you should still have a couple hundred dollars left over.

    Congratulations on your first firearm purchase, stay safe out there.
  20. chevyman097

    chevyman097 Well-Known Member

    At the drop of a hat I can name multiple center fire cartridges you can shoot around 100 rounds worth of for 20 bucks. You thinking of 300 win mag or something?

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