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First Rifle, Last Rifle.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Szymborska, Mar 9, 2011.

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  1. Szymborska

    Szymborska Member

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    Hey all, I'm a teacher in Indiana who is getting ready to move to either Mississippi or Arkansas. Recently, I've gotten into cultivating some old-time skills (woodworking, gardening, etc.)

    I'd like to start hunting small game, but I've never owned (or even fired) a rifle before. Plinked around with a BB gun when I was a kid, but that's about it.

    In the course of my research, I kept coming back to this site. You guys are awesome--knowledgeable, funny, and light on the BS.

    My idea for the thread is (as the title suggests) First Rifle, Last Rifle. That is, if you only had ONE .22 to last the rest of your life, which make/model would you choose and why?

    I'm considering the normal things like accuracy, durability, reliability, but ALSO things like *ease of maintenance*. If you had to be your own gunsmith, which of these .22 rifles would you trust to give you the fewest problems?

    I look forward to hearing from you!
     
  2. Abel

    Abel Member

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    A CZ bolt action 22 of some sort.
     
  3. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    If I only had one rifle, it would have to be something heavier than a .22 rimfire.
     
  4. Domino

    Domino Member

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    As far as ease of maintenance? 10/22 hands down. Not only is it very easy to build these rifles from the ground up, spare parts are cheap and super abundant. Reliablity is very high and depending on parts these guns can be as accurate as any other 22 LR.
     
  5. Red State

    Red State Member

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    The 10/22s are great, but if I could only have ONE durable .22 rifle, I would choose the CZ.
     
  6. Szymborska

    Szymborska Member

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    Whoops, AlexanderA, I should have clarified. I meant First Rifle, Last Rifle *for small game.*

    If you have easy-to-maintain rifle recommendations for a larger caliber, than by all means, offer. Since I'm just getting into firearms, though, I thought it might make sense to start small, learn how to shoot, then go bigger if I choose to go after deer.
     
  7. Szymborska

    Szymborska Member

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    Any reason in particular, Red State?
     
  8. memphisjim

    memphisjim Member

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    Ruger 10/22
     
  9. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    Many years ago, in the early 70's, i wanted the most accurate, high quality 22, and one that's lighter than a full size centerfire rifle that i could find. I wanted it to take to Alaska with me, and i knew i would have to depend on it for many years to come!

    I ended up with an Anschutz, i still have it today and it's still just as reliable and accurate as the day i bought it! It's on my best buy ever list, as it's now worth a lot more than i paid for it all those years ago...

    I couldn't even guess how many thousands of rounds i've fired through it putting huge amounts of meat on my table and in my freezer!

    DM
     
  10. AA080

    AA080 Member

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    I would honestly take a good look at a Handi-rifle. It doesn't get any simpler than a break action to clean, shoot and reliability. Not to mention most of their guns are very cost friendly and can be very accurate. They also make 2 barrel combos that you can change out with a Philips in 357/20g and 44/12g...

    http://www.hr1871.com/default.asp
     
  11. FC

    FC Member

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    Any Savage 22 equipped with an Accu-trigger.
     
  12. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Geez....first all, if you truly want ease of maintenance, and who could blame you for that, that will necessitate the fewest possible moving parts. To my way of thinking, that eliminates ANY semi-auto (and I've owned the same Ruger 10/22 for about 35 years and love it), any fancy shmancy trigger, or for that matter, anything other than a single shot.
    Remington, Winchester, and Mossberg among others made very nice, quality bolt action single shot .22 rimfires in the 40's, 50's and 60's. Not fancy mind you, just good solid, dependable, accurate rifles. No clips to misplace, no tubular magazines to get dented or damaged. These would likely be the type our grandparents and great-grandparents kept loaded on the back porch next to the screen door to keep crows out of the garden and hawks away from the free-range chickens.
    These type rifles will fire .22 CB's, shorts, longs, or long-rifles and most any pawn or gun shop in the USA will likely have more than one of them because they're not "cool" anymore.

    If you want to take it one step further, Savage/Stevens used to make combo guns, that'd be over/unders, with a .22 rimfire barrel on top, and a .410 barrel on bottom. Pretty much a quintessential small game rifle though a good marksman with a 22 long rifle can kill at further distances than can be done with a .410. Only problem with these rifles is they've become somewhat collectible so their prices are a bit high.

    Good luck!
    35W
     
  13. FC

    FC Member

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    Is that a comment on my advice of an Accu-trigger equipped gun? If so you ought to take one apart to find out just how simple that trigger really is, amazingly so and inherently safe regardless of adjustment.
     
  14. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    one of the easiest questions I've seen. I can answer it without even thinking

    Glenfield model 60

    I believe it is the all time world's best selling firearm. Something like that. maybe world's best selling rimfire, but I think its firearm period.
     
  15. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    If you can only have one, buy the best. Don't buy a 10-22. It is a great starter rifle, but hardly end all be all rifle. Buy Anschutz. Particularly one with a model 54 action. You won't regret it. It is expensive, but you buy once, cry once. They are hands down the nicest production rimfires built today.

    Many people are suggesting these budget rifles that shoot ok and are fairly reliable. But why? You get one shot. A 10-22 or model 60 are fine enough rifles, but they are budget rifles built to a price. They are useful but rather crude. When you finish shooting one you never think "This satisfied my shooting desires, I have no interest in trying other rifles". After a few shots with an Anschutz you tend to see that thought pop into your head. The Anschutz is built to be passed down for generations. A 10-22 is built to make it out of the factory.

    And don't get me wrong. I have had plenty of fun with a 10-22 and other budget rimfires. But none of them are the type of rifle I want to own as a once and for all rifle. If you don't plan to spend the cash an Anschutz requires, a good second line option is CZ. Their rifles are built on a similar mindset with long term quality in mind rather than absolute bottom price point. I suggest the 453 line with their adjustable set triggers as they are fantastic and make the experience all the more enjoyable though they do add around $100 to the price.
     
  16. Remo223

    Remo223 member

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    sorry, nope. I don't think you've ever fired a model 60. 10/22 is pretty lame imo. I actually feel sorry for people who own them. They are built to sell accessories. they are for people who get their enjoyment more from accessorizing than from shooting thousands of rounds day after day. By far the funnest firearm I've ever shot is a model 60. There's no worry about marring the finish. There's no worry about breaking it. You don't ever have to clean it. Just lock open the bolt when it stops shooting and hose it out with WD40, then go back to shooting. It's extremely fast to shoot and reload and shoot some more. No detachable magazine fed rifle can keep up with it...I don't care how big your magazine is. At some point you have to stop and reload those annoying mags. Anschutz is a big clunky thing meant to be set on a rest. Boring.

    Second place goes to the browning semi auto 22. I might even put them first if I could get one with a weather proof mar resistant finish. I don't know how well they handle shorts and longs though.
     
  17. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    CZ 455. Switchable to .17, too, with little effort.
     
  18. Szymborska

    Szymborska Member

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    First off, thanks for the advice, everyone!

    I've gathered from the Anschutz owners that this seems to be the general consensus--wonderful quality, built to last. I know they are expensive, but when weighed against future purchases, the price seems more reasonable. What's a new Anschutz .22 cost, and how available are they in the US?

    Makes a whole lot of sense to me. I must say I'm intrigued by the notion of one shot--if you aren't accurate, you might not eat. That would be a damned good incentive to become a great shot.
     
  19. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    The 1710 and 1712 are great hunting rifles. Sure Anschutz makes a lot of target rifles, but their attention to detail and quality follows over spectacularly in their hunting rifles. I have shot a model 60 plenty. As I said, its a functional firearm. It is far from a rifle I would like to call my only rifle for the rest of my life. The model 60 may be the last rifle you'll ever need, but the 1712 on the other hand, is the last rifle you'll ever want. For me, this is about buying once and never turning back. A mass produced bottom dollar budget rifle isn't what I'm looking to make my one and only rifle. Ask 10 Anschutz owners if they would trade their rifle for a model 60(or 10 of them if you want to take the monetary side out) . See how many say yes. Ask 10 model 60 owners if they would trade their rifle for an Anschutz and see how many say yes. That is my point. The Anschutz is the last rifle you'll ever want.

    If you have to have a semi auto, look at the old BRNO 511. One amazing rifle that will shoot as good as most bolt rifles and last lifetimes. A far cry above anything semiauto being made today.

    EDIT:

    Just saw your most recent post. If you are looking to get into an Anschutz, Champion Shooters Supply is a good starting point. They carry, or have access to the full line of Anschutz rifles. Their prices are good, but can be beat here and there so a little extra effort hunting around may provide a better price. They are good people though so that is worth a bit. Again, they are expensive, ranging from $800 or so to $2000 or so for hunting rifles depending on exact model. The used market is a great source for Anschutz rifles. Some of the older rifles with a generation or two old trigger can be had at great discount. The updates are more applicable to their target lines rather than their hunting lines, so even the older rifles are amazing rifles leaving nothing to be desired.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  20. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Yes, but no offense intended.

    No need in that, because the OP specified: "but ALSO things like *ease of maintenance*."

    To my way of thinking, as I already stated, that would mean as few moving parts as possible. The older, heck...maybe even some of the newer, bolt rifles had (have) triggers that are one piece...the trigger and sear are one.

    I'd remind you that in the OP, Szym stated that he'd never fired or even owned a rifle before. So wouldn't a first time gun owner want to start out with something that's as foolproof and easy to operate as possible?

    I think alot of times when people seek advice on a firearm for a certain task, people don't read the OP carefully...they jump in and suggest *their* favorite firearm rather than considering what the OP specified then giving an unbiased answer.
    Ruger 10/22- Again, a fine rifle and I have 35 years of experience with it, but its internal workings are anything but simple and easy to maintain. The trigger group alone is quite complex.
    Marlin Model 60- A fairly simple, VERY time proven .22, but again, it's a magazine fed semi-auto, so there are potential maintenance problems.
    Anschutz- Seriously? They're fine, accurate rifles, but $500-$600 minimum for something with which to shoot small game within the normal ranges of under 50 yards? I love accurate rifles, but if you have a $500 budget for a .22, why not get a decent, reliable one for <$300 and spend the remainder on maybe a scope and for SURE a lifetime supply of ammunition?

    Just my 2¢...don't anyone get their Fruit of the Looms twisted up....

    35W
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  21. benzy2

    benzy2 Member

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    It's a simple choice for me. If I have one rifle to ever own, it won't be a beginner budget rifle. If I wanted a starter rifle, I'd be all for a starter rifle. This is a last rifle. The last rifle is something with amazing quality built to last forever. That is an Anschutz. If the question was posed to buy the cheapest rifle that will get the job done, I'd have a totally different tune. The question is one and final rifle. I couldn't think of a single rifle I'd rather call my only rifle than an Anschutz. Extremely well built, attention to detail at every corner. Nothing is skipped over on these rifles. A 10-22 out of the box is small game accurate inside 50 yards. That certainly doesn't mean I would look for it to be the only rifle I would ever buy.

    It really comes down to how you view this purchase. I place a lot of value in quality. If I were picking a rifle to start on that I planned to grow out of or move on from, a lot of other rifles come to mind first. If I were choosing a midgrade rifle to grow out of the beginner level, a lot of other rifles come to mind first. Ask me what I want to use for the rest of my life, Anschutz is there first and foremost. Think of what you spend in ammo in a lifetime. Say you are a casual shooter. 1 box of $3 ammo per month. You plan to keep the rifle 50 years. That's $1800 in ammo. Say you get the bug and like shooting and want to shoot a bit more, maybe half a brick a month. That's $9,000 in ammo over the life of the rifle. If I'm planning on feeding a single rifle $9k worth of ammo, I'm going to be willing to spend an extra $500-$1000 in the rifle itself to make it the one I enjoy the most.

    I know I look at this from the shooters point of view, but fine tools are something to appreciate. The Anschutz is a fine tool. One you should never need to replace. I personally shoot a brick or two of .22lr a month. Most of which is mid grade ammo in the $5~ a box range. At $50-$100 a month in .22lr ammo, I shoot enough that the difference between a budget rifle and a budgetless rifle is clear and often warranted. That isn't to say all or even most of my rifles were bought with budget not in mind. In fact, most of my rifles are of the budget variety. It's just to say I really appreciate what an Anschutz is and would pick it as my only rifle if I were to have to pick one and only one for the rest of my days.
     
  22. FC

    FC Member

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    No offense but you could have simplified your statement there into "I have never seen an Accu trigger"..lol Seriously they are really simple and trick, you should check them out and shoot one if you get the chance.

    There is really two moving parts, the trigger safety and the trigger. The trigger safety is pretty much incapable of doing anything it wasn't designed to as is the trigger. I'm not sure what kind of maintenance you are thinking of there but I've never heard of a problem with an Accu-trigger and Savage is well known for accuracy.

    I thought i stuck to the OP's question pretty well actually, those Accu trigger Savage 22's are accurate, reliable and dependable. Wipe off the outside and the bolt and give the bore a quick scrub every so often and it will probably last a few lifetimes.

    FWIW the Anschutz rifles are very nice but a bit on the heavy and expensive side.
     
  23. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Understood and respected. But re-read the OP. It's a rifle for him, a beginner....not you a man with lots of shooting experience.

    I liken a new, inexperienced shooter spending several hundred dollars....or more...on a .22 LR to a buying a newly licensed, 16 year old driver a Lamborghini or a Mercedes. Someday, the 16 year old may be able to get the most out of one of these automobiles, but certainly not as a new driver.

    Am I up to 3¢ worth?:D

    35W
     
  24. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    No offense taken, and I have seen the AccuTrigger many times as I have coached our local 4-H Smallbore team. We provide the rifles to most of the kids on the team and as such, we have a safe full of a variety of rifles. Everything from Crickets for the smallest shooters, to Savages, old school Remington target rifles, Mossberg target rifles, et al. Without hesitation, I'll say that we have the least trouble, and by that I mean the least failures to feed and extract, out of the older rifles. We've tested alot of different ammunition (we provide that too for a nominal fee)for accuracy and some rifles, again, seems to always be the later models, refuse to extract some ammo. Very frustrating.

    35W
     
  25. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    One of the Savage Mark II series bolt action rifles. Decent price, reliable and accurate. No I don't own one, I tend to the higher priced single shot match rifles.
     
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