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Beginner Deer Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by SCFOOTBALLBEARS, Dec 22, 2006.

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  1. SCFOOTBALLBEARS

    SCFOOTBALLBEARS Member

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    Hello everyone, I am new to THR, but not so new to rifles. The only gun I own of my own is a Mossberg 12 gauge pump, I think the model is "Ulti-Mag", in full camo. I am currently in the market for a new gun, and plan to start a collection, and also plan to start hunting, which I have never done by the way.
    So my question is, what kinda of rifle should I buy. I am only a teenager, with no job, so a $1000 rifle isn't really an option. I am also looking for a nice used rifle for my first gun or two. I am thinking about a .308, 30-06, or 7mm perhaps, or possibly a .270. I am looking for a nice rifle, used, under 400$. Any recommendations? Thanks ahead of time.
     
  2. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    Remington 700 actions have always been great for me, and there are plenty of them in pawn shops. Give a serious look at all the major brands, Savage gets plenty of good fanship, Winchester, etc. I like light triggers, about 3 lbs, but not everyone does. Keep the optics simple, any decent 3x9 will work. Giant 6-20 varmint scopes are not appropriate.

    If you are hunting ONLY deer and not moose or elk, you can also look at smaller rounds, like a .243.

    Some of it kind of depends on how and where you hunt. When our group is going to be ranging through sage brush and junipers, we move more towards shorter 'bush' rifles. A lever gun might be a consideration. My dad has a Remington 760 pump in .257 Roberts that's about 45 years old that he takes out to beat up, that he says still makes him look like a really good shot. On the other hand, if we are looking to hunt in high canyons and open spaces, we lean towards long-action bolt rifles, '06, .270, 25-06, etc.
     
  3. plexreticle

    plexreticle Member

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    For that price range I would look at a Savage.

    I like .308 or 30-06 but everybody has their own opinion on that.

    You can hunt deer with open sights just fine and save a few hundred a decent scop would cost.
     
  4. SCFOOTBALLBEARS

    SCFOOTBALLBEARS Member

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    Well, I was wanting a pretty high powered rifle, in case I did get the chance to hunt moose or elk. Also, I am looking for a nice cheap pistol, partly for coyote protection. Would a .22 revolver or .25 work? Or should I go a little higher?
     
  5. Harry Paget Flashman

    Harry Paget Flashman Member

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    Try a Model 1938 7.62X54R Mosin Nagant carbine. Rugged, powerful, cheap practice ammo and about $100.
     
  6. SCFOOTBALLBEARS

    SCFOOTBALLBEARS Member

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    As far as me buying guns, the only thing I am not allowed to buy are assault rifles and 7.62-cartridged guns. If I could, I would buy any assault rifle, or an SKS.
     
  7. azredhawk44

    azredhawk44 Member

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    I'd suggest an iron-sighted 30-30. Marlin or Winchester. Folks hunted moose, deer, bear and elk for decades with this rifle as the main go-to. You can get them new at Walmart for $300 out the door. Finding an iron-sighted bolt gun is going to be tricky, IMO.

    If you gotta have more power than 30-30, you can look at NEF single shot rifles. I think they make one in 30-06... don't quote me on it though. These run around $100-$150 and come with irons.

    As far as the light sidearm is concerned, try to find a used police service revolver in 38 special... should be about $200 or so. I'd really recommend a 357magnum though. Coyotes don't warrant that power level, it's more a future-thinking thing. 357mag makes an excellent woods sidearm in almost every part of the USA. Every red-blooded 'merican oughta have a 357 magnum, IMO. The only excuse not to is because you already have a 45 auto in Colt Government format.:neener:

    But with the rifle, as a first rifle, stick with something light that you can stalk easily with and doesn't encumber you too much, in a common caliber.
     
  8. SCFOOTBALLBEARS

    SCFOOTBALLBEARS Member

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    Well I don't think a 357 magnum would be in my price range, combined with a deer rifle. Maybe just the 357, but not both. I want to go to osme local gun shows, and see what I can do. Thanks for the help so far guys.
     
  9. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    If deer, and an eventual moose/elk hunt is in your future, and you're on a budget of not more than $400, I'd strongly recommend a Savage in .30-06. In my opinion, that's the best thing out there in your price range.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about coyotes; an extremely shy creature, they are, and they won't come anywhere near you if they know you're around (they most always do).
     
  10. bclark1

    bclark1 member

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    i would ditch the pistol idea and go for spending a little more on the rifle. coyotes really don't pose any threat in the wild. savages are a good starting point. synthetic remington 700 is a good starting point too. my deer rifle is a charles daly mauser, they're a lot of gun for the money too, if you shop around you can find them under 300 in synthetic. action is admittedly rough but it's a very accurate rifle. as long as you're comfy with 12ga recoil, 30-06 will treat you well. it's a great cartridge and if you're thinking of going for bigger game in the future it will stop almost anything on the planet with the right load. depending on your locale and the distance of your shots, lever action guns are always great too. if you're not expecting to go over 100 yards a 30-30 marlin (or 45-70 if you want to go bigger) would treat you well, spending $375 (or $450) for an iron-sighted repeater. whatever you get, practice, practice, practice, and factor the cost of ammo into your budget - you sight in and practice with your hunting ammo at $25 a box or whatever, expect to shoot a couple boxes, and maybe a little more for some cheapo plinking stuff.
     
  11. arthurcw

    arthurcw Member

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    7.62 Is a 30 cal round... So a 30/30, .308, or 30-06 would be OK but a 7.62 x 39, 7.62NATO, or 7.62 x 54R is out? Or are all 30 call rounds out?

    Or did I miss something?

    Not trying to be snarky. Just don't want to get you in trouble.
     
  12. SCFOOTBALLBEARS

    SCFOOTBALLBEARS Member

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    Something like a 7.62x39 or the liek is out. Like an Ak or SKS cartridge. I was thinking a 30-06, but I can't remember what it's liek to shoot one. What is a good low-recoil deer rifle? I mean, I'm not exactly a wimp, but after a few hours of shooting my shotgun, I get tired. I think I will shop around at guns shows and stuff, talk to the dealers, etc. I really want a pistol though, because I mean, it's cool as hell, yet practical. Also, coyotes were an example. While a solitary coyote may not pose a threat, and appear shy to a human, a pack will try you, or so I have heard. I mean, you never know what will happen, and like I said, I jsut want one.
     
  13. MrDig

    MrDig Member

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    You can or should be able to find a nice used rifle in the price range you have set. Might I suggest a Caliber though, consider .243 winchester. Not because you are a teenager, and I think it is a Kids gun. It is a very versitle caliber. With the right loads you can do every thing from Varmints to Deer and can find a good one in the 300.00 to 400.00 dollar range.
    I own a NEF Handi-Rifle in .243, heavy barrel singleshot. It is a fine shooter and with a Bushnell Banner Scope it came in at $350.00,
    Any of the Bolt Action rifles mentioned would be good Choices, Take a trusted adult with you and shop if possible. See what fits you the best, (how does it feel to shoulder, do the sights/scope come to view readily)
    Another suggestion would be a Marlin 336 in 30-30, Great deer gun and a fun plinker. Check for the Hammer Block Safety on them though. I have a personal fondness for them as this was my first Deer Rifle.
     
  14. markmc753

    markmc753 Member In Memoriam

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    +1 on the M38 Mosin Nagant
     
  15. Colt46

    Colt46 Member

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    Savage and Howa are worth the money

    Both are budget priced, but as accurate if not more than the others. For a first rifle you might want to get something that won't intimidate you with recoil. 7mm-08, 6.5x55, 257 Roberts, all come to mind for easy to shoot big game rifles.
     
  16. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    Any of the calibers you mention would be fine. If you are concerned about recoil I would lean toward the .270, which is an absolutely grand cartridge. If you are really concerned about recoil, I would hunt around for a .257 Roberts or .25-06. These will likely be more difficult to find than the cartridges you mentioned but are, IMO, the minimum for the average whitetail and pretty iffy for elk.

    I also agree with the Savage recomendations. These are very good guns and you will not regret buying one. I few years back I bought an essentially 100% condition Savage in .30-06 for $300 and eventually passed it on to a friend for $200. Which would leave you with enough to buy a middle-of-the-road scope and still come in under budget.

    HTH, and good luck. :)
     
  17. RCR29

    RCR29 Member

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    A mosin nagant would be good. What about a surplus 98k?
     
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Dick's Sporting Goods had a Remington 700 Combo which has a composite stock and a 3-9X40 scope for under $500 recently. All calibers were available. IMO, that would be a great gun to start with and even keep shooting for many years to come. I think the price was actually $479.95 but I can't remember for sure.
     
  19. rockstar.esq

    rockstar.esq Member

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    Few cogent points. The Mosin Nagant otherwise known as M44's M91/38's are iron sighted bolt action military surplus rifles that are generally under $100.00.

    If you find as many do that the stock isn't comfortable, a replacement can be had for $60.00 through Midwayusa.com and others. Some might mention that there are "scout scope" setups possible for this rifle. Which although true, often fail to mention that the mounting rail is held on with two tiny screws which can and do fail causing much cursing, missing, and frustration. Either way you can have a restocked iron sighted rifle for $160.00 out the door or you could scope it for an additional $60.00 or so. Either way you'd have spent LESS THAN HALF the going price of a Stevens, Savage, and less than a quarter of the typical Remington price.

    The caliber is somewhere between a 30-06 and a .308 Winchester which is to say that it'd be perfectly fine for anything in North America. The surplus ammo for this caliber commonly runs $2-$3.00 a box of 20. A 30-06 will cost you $15-$30.00 for 20. Obviously the 7.62x54R is a fiscally sensible and perfectly servicable caliber. In point of fact you can't even handload this caliber cheaper than you can buy surplus ammo! Hunting ammo is availible through Winchester, Sellior & Bellot, Privi Partisan, and Brown Bear. All of which can be ordered online for less than the out the door price of a box of 30-06!

    The recommendations for the .243 Winchester are focused on low recoil and the ability to slay varmints as well as Deer. Truth is that a .30 caliber whacks prarie dogs just fine and kills deer MUCH more reliably hence the overwhelming popularity of 30 caliber cartridges for big game hunting.
     
  20. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    id go with a mosin m38, as they are cheap, light, ammo is cheap, they can be surprisingly accurate, and get a slip on recoil pad, and the dog collar sling
    with ammo, you can get everything for 150.
    For new, I would go with a savage rifle package, comes in all the popular cals, and with a boresighted scope allready on it. Also about 400.
     
  21. bub8889

    bub8889 Member

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    I would stay away from the Mosin as a first hunting rifle. I have a "sporterized" M44 The gun drilled and tapped for scope, a scope and having the bolt doglegged set me back 200$ total. I've taken several deer with it and like it, but I just don't feel that the saftey system on it is good for a first deer rifle. I stopped using the saftey period when I realized it easier, faster and safer to leave the chamber empty and only bolt a round when I see something to shoot at btt i have lost many shot oppertunities because of this. I don't see this as a good 1st rifle.

    I like all the other suggestions on guns and caliber, the Stevens would be my top pick for a new rifle in used the Rem 7600 pump is hard to beat for price and caliber options. My cousin has over 12 of them now 11 used and all under 400$ off of racks in like pawn/gun shops.
     
  22. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

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    Good Suggestions

    I'm sure we tend to vote our experience and lean toward what's in our safes.

    Why should I be any different?

    It's been a lot of years since I was in Kentucky, but I seem to remember lots of wooded hills.

    If you're looking to hunt up close, I have a suggestion that hasn't been made yet.

    I have both a Marlin 336C (.30-30) and a Marlin 1894C (.357 & .38), both leverguns. Others have already suggested the .30-30, and I agree that's a good round, especially with Hornady's new LeverEvolution ammo adding another 100 yards effective range.

    Since others have already suggested the .30-30, I'll leave that alone. Let's instead look at the .357 carbine.

    The .357 takes medium and large game from a revolver. It's done some impressive stuff out to 150 yards, fired from a sidearm.

    Fired from a carbine, it picks up another 300-400 fps muzzle velocity, and even more range.

    Now, if you're looking to hunt out at ranges past 150 or 200 yards, then this is where you stop reading. If, on the other hand, the idea of a good general purpose rifle with good hitting power at 150+ yards is attractive, then here are some other points:

    The .357 carbine will also fire .38 special loads of all sorts. This makes it affordable for plinking. It also means that you'll find ammo just about anywhere you go. The wide range of loads and powers available in the .38-to-.357 spectrum offers stuff suitable for varmints, woodchucks, and of course deer and more at the top end.

    The .30-30, of course, offers more punch and longer range, but plinking costs go up.

    Anyway, there's another possibility for you.

    Oh, and the .357 carbine will price in at around $400 (if you were to order it through Wal*Mart, it's right at that price), although they do a dressier version with checkered walnut for closer to $500, and a cowboy version with a longer barrel for between $600 and $700.

    Good luck.
     
  23. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    ArfinGreebly,
    The .357 isn't a bad idea at all. I just might look into it since I have several .38's and .357's so the ammo is already in my home. (like the Cowboys used to do, Handgun=Carbine-=Same Ammo)

    The numbers are a little better than you think. I went to the Winchester site and they are reporting their 158 gr JSP round is getting 1830 fps w/1175 ft/lbs of energy out of a rifle and 1235 fps w/535 ft/lbs of energy out of a revolver.

    Their 150 gr 30-30 is listed as 2390 fps w/1902 ft/lbs of energy
     
  24. dbn

    dbn Member

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    Saiga .308, you can find one brand new for under $400.

    M44 Carbine, $70-80.
     
  25. SCFOOTBALLBEARS

    SCFOOTBALLBEARS Member

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    Thanks for all the ideas guys. And yes, when I go shopping, an adult will be with me, because I don't think I can legally buy firearms, but I know my dad can. Also, I would ask him about the gun I am getting ready to buy, and what he thinks about it. I am not overly concerned with recoil, as it does not bother me so much, I just meant it can become tiring after long periods of time. So it seems like something in the 30 caliber range, as well as the upper 20 caliber range seems to be my target gun, yes? What kind of action should Ilook for? I think most of you are saying bolt action, which I would rather have than Lever, but does the bolt action interfere with scopes?
     
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