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Good intermediate rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by pdowg881, Mar 14, 2006.

  1. pdowg881

    pdowg881 Well-Known Member

    Since I am now old enough to leggally own a rifle, I need advice on what would be a good choice. I'm looking for a medium caliber, but I need something that's not too expnsive and the ammunition has to be relatively cheap. I haven't shot much other than 22's and every air rifle out there, but I can tell you that a 22 is just too wimpy for me. I need something I can use for target practice and possibly use if I get into hunting. I'm pretty big at 6'4 so I can handle a weapon with a lot of recoil. I'm not sure how much i'm willing to spend so im open to any advice.
  2. Jacobus Rex

    Jacobus Rex Well-Known Member

    A Marlin .30/30 might be a good starting place. Cost is not too much and it can be used for a lot of different purposes.
  3. Shows what I know... I thought most anyone could own a rifle that was old enough to own one. My first one was when I was 8yrs old. I myself an quite fond of .30-06.
  4. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Well-Known Member

    "Medium caliber" is pretty subjective, but I'd suggest a .308Win (caliber) rifle. It's extremely versatile and useful, and you'll find the ammunition more reasonable than any other "medium" caliber. For manufacturers, there's several to consider. Savage makes a very good quality rifle at a reasonable price. Avoid the Remington 710. If you can afford it, a Rem 700 is a top choice for the money. CZ rifles are worth a look, as are Ruger 77s. Best of luck on your purchase!
  5. Darth Ruger

    Darth Ruger Well-Known Member

    Stevens 200, made by Savage. Basically a Savage rifle but without the AccuTrigger. Available in all the popular calibers (except the new short magnums) from .223 up to .300 Mag. Around $275 new.
    Stevens 200
  6. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Well-Known Member

    Form follows function my friend. You want something for "target practice" and maybe hunting. Target practice at what range? And hunting what? If the answers are <150 yards and "nothing bigger than a fox" that's a lot different than 500 yards and "bears and elk".

    Assuming you mean 100-200 yards and deer sized animals or below then you have a ton of options. I'd recommend figuring out what kind of manual of arms you want "bolt, lever, semiauto, single shot, pump..." and then narrow in on a caliber. Suggested calibers might include 30-30, 35 remington, 45-70, 7mm, .308, 30-06. Don't forget some of the pistol calibers like .357 or .44 magnum. They make great rifles that are a blast to shoot, cheap to feed, and you can still hunt with them if you take a notion. My Marlin lever in .357 is one of my favorite guns to shoot and could easily take white tail at 100 yards if I chose to hunt with it.

    If money is a real issue consider some of the mil surp stuff. 7.62X54R in soft point is as good as .308 at putting a deer down and you can get a rifle for under a hundred bucks.
  7. Stiletto Null

    Stiletto Null Well-Known Member

    If by intermediate you mean intermediate, the SKS is always a good choice. If you're a bit too big for it, you can always add to LOP with slip-on buttpads and the like.

    If my intermediate you mean medium, something in .308, .30-06, 8mm, 7.62x54R, etc. should do fine. (Note the extensive milsurp options in the latter three calibers.)
  8. Savage.250

    Savage.250 Active Member

    I have a Ruger M77 MKII with a variable Leupold that I love. It's realtively accurate and, like the 30-06, there are tons of different bullet weights and loads availible. 7mm is equivilant to .284 cal. Right now I am shooting light 120gr. reloads that have a muzzle velocity of about 3330 fps. I'm not a hunter but it's said the 7mm can take any game in N. America.

    As for something smaller I've been interested in the new .204 Ruger or the 22-250. Both of which are fast, flat trajectory loads. Neither of which I have. (Yet) :p

    Oh ya. Ones height/weight has little to do with the amount of recoil one can handle. From my experience recoil (felt recoil) is probably 95%+ psychological.
    Just my 2 Cents.
    Happy Gun Hunting!!!!
  9. Furncliff

    Furncliff Well-Known Member

    If you see yourself doing ALOT of target shooting the cost of ammo becomes very important (unless you get into reloading). It pays to go with caliber that can be purchased anywhere and is CHEAP. The .223 would fit the bill I think. It will be good for varmint hunting, and maybe deer...others here will have some input about that. Look into the cost of ammo, maybe 223 and 270 and 308 see how that works out. The 270 and 308 are common hunting rounds for deer etc..

    {a quick search found 1000 rnd of .223 for 180$, .308 was roughly double that}

    Hope this helps. Good luck.

  10. rust collector

    rust collector Well-Known Member

    Recoil tolerance is not just a function of size or mass. My objective is to use a rifle that is pleasant enough to shoot that I enjoy using it a lot. That means, as a corollary to a famous writer's entreaty to "use enough gun", don't use more gun than you need.

    The humble 223 is accurate, cheap to shoot, has minimal flinch-inducing recoil, and will do well on game smaller than deer. The next step up on the sturm und drang scale is the .243, then the 6.5 Swede/260 rem, then you're into the 270, 280, 7mm-08 country, then 308 and 30-06. All wonderful fun, but unless you need the added range or energy on target, you're not going to shoot as much or as often.

    Do yourself a favor and ease into centerfires as you would ease into a physical training program. Try to do too much too soon and feel the pain. It's tough to get rid of a flinch, and once you've been scoped, it's just not as much fun. Go light and get it right.

    And welcome to the monkey house. We are glad to have you here.
  11. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Well-Known Member

    You really can't go wrong with a $100 Yugo SKS or an even cheaper Mosin Nagant. Both have cheap ammo available. And the prices of both rifles will eventually go up.
  12. Slingster

    Slingster Well-Known Member

    In rifle parlance, "medium"--as opposed to "light" and "heavy"--generally means .338 through .375 caliber, but I'm sure you don't mean that. :D

    If by "medium" you mean something above "small bore" (.17 through .22 caliber), then I'm guessing that the caliber range you're referring to is from .243" through .308". For availability of lots of cheap surplus ammo, it's hard to beat the .308 (7.62 NATO) in this class of cartridges. With factory loadings of 150, 165-8, and 180-grain bullets and superb factory match ammo, it's fully capable on the target range as well as in the field on any game you'd like to shoot in North America except for the big dangerous bears. At your size, you should have no problems with the .308's recoil.

    On the other hand, my standard recommendation for a first centerfire hunting rifle is one chambered in .260 Rem, which comes in factory ammo loaded with 120 and 140-grain bullets, and can be handloaded with up to 160-grain bullets. It's plenty enough for up to deer-sized animals with the 120s and 140s, and with careful shot placement can easily take elk and moose with the 160s. Recoil is lighter than with the .308.

    If pure value is what you're after, probably the Savage bolt action is the way to go. On the other hand, if you're looking for a reasonably handy and very accurate rifle that does well on the target range but is still manageable to carry in the hunting field, and given your size, I'd suggest you at least consider the Remington 700 LTR in .308.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2006
  13. neo-con

    neo-con Active Member

    I just bought a Remington 700 ADL 30/06. I put a Burris 3x9 on top of it. The set up cost me $700. This is third rifle that I bought for almost the same reasons you descibe. The first was a Savage 30-06 with a Simmons 3x9, I hated it. It just felt cheap. The next was a Marlin 336 C 35 Remington. I loved the gun but it had a very limited range.
    If you've got no money go buy a New England Arms 30/06 for $200 and put a cheep scope on it. If you want to shoot a lot get a 223.
    If you've got a little money buy a used ruger, or remington.
  14. rangerruck

    rangerruck Well-Known Member

    a lever is a good walking around rifle, in many diff calibres. the 223 or the 308 are inexpensive to shoot. the best to shoot between those two cals is the 6mm remington, not the 243. the 6mm has a far longer bbl life than the 243, it is also about 200 fps faster at the muzzle than the 243, this is also with a 100 grn bullet. it is also a very long and flat shooting bullet , that you can hunt everything from P-dogs up to deer! At academy here in houston, they sell the 6mm bullets for about 8 to 10 bucks a box.
  15. Darth Ruger

    Darth Ruger Well-Known Member

    Since it will be his first rifle other than a .22, it's safe to assume he's not a handloader. In that case, a .243 is a much better choice.

    I was discussing this just the other day with someone who came into the store searching for 6mm loads. He usually has to load his own if he wants good performance with the better bullets currently available. The 6mm would be a good choice for a handloader, but browsing through the various ammo manufacturers catalogs (which we did just to see the comparison) will show that there are far more commercial loads available for .243 than 6mm, many of them with 'premium' bullets. pdowg881 would find himself with a much more limited selection with a 6mm if he's not a handloader.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2006
  16. LAK

    LAK Well-Known Member

    .25 through .35 calibers.

    I would suggest shooting some at a range first; take some cash and ask around to try some out, offering to pay for ammo. Felt recoil is theoretically increased with upper body weight as there is more resistance to the movement of the rifle.

    If you find the 30s a bit much to enjoy I would go with a 25-06, 6.5x55 (or .260 Rem), .270, or 7mm Mauser. Depends on what you want to hunt but these are fine for most big game with the right load/bullets.

    As far as rifles I would look at CZs and Weatherby Vanguards. The latter can be had for well under $500.00 and seem to be very well put together. CZs have excellent triggers; both have good reputations.

  17. CB900F

    CB900F Well-Known Member


    As was mentioned in passing, the 6.5 X 55 Swede. This caliber has a military history, therefore surplus ammo is available. Recoil is not generally regarded as excessive by any standard. The terminal effects on game are all out of proportion to the diameter of the bullet due to the sectional density factor. The cartridge has been the winner of 1000 yard international competitions.

    I gave a Remington classic in 6.5 Swede to my son for his 16th birthday several years ago. It has simply been an outstanding performer from any viewpoint you want to judge it from that's at all realistic.

    You can buy a mil-surp gun, or any of several current production modern firearms. Me, I'd get both, :D .

  18. Stiletto Null

    Stiletto Null Well-Known Member

    8mm Mauser for the win! :D
  19. MattB

    MattB Well-Known Member

    I just purchased a CZ 550 in 6.5x55 swede. I am having the scope mounted today and should make it out to the range this weekend. I will let you know how it does.

  20. Red Tornado

    Red Tornado Well-Known Member

    In the milsurp sense, intermediate cartridges are usually .223 (5.56x45) or 7.62x39. Either of these would be inexpensive and readily available, in spite of the current "shortages."

    An SKS is inexpensive, fun, and a great plinker, but not a target rifle by any stretch. However, it should work fine for deer and smaller at the range to which it's accurate. There are a few bolt guns in 7.62x39, but they cost a bit more.

    .223 will give you loads of options as far as rifle selection. Everybody makes one.

    Where are you finding the 6.5x55 surplus?!? I need some.


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