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First Rifle recommendations

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by blinkjr, Oct 17, 2013.

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  1. gdcpony

    gdcpony Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Sherrodsville, OH
    Coming from OH myself, I am now HIGHLY recommending a lighter .243-.264 non magnum round. You could use it dually as a varmint gun. If your proposed scenario comes to pass and you are hunting for survival, a ground hog tastes as good as a deer. You would have the ability to take either.

    Have you thought of a single shot? An H&R with an SB2 receiver would give you a rifle you can have swapped to shotgun or another caliber. Mount sight of your choice on each and you are seconds away from a different gun on the spot. Just a thought.

    If defense survival is high on your list as well as being able to take a deer reliably I would look at a DPMS in .243Win.

    A bit of advice: The rule there currently is shotgun only for deer. If you plan to be able to hunt to live, you may want to try hunting when you don't need to first. Processing a deer is a bit of a chore the first time. My family's meat source is 90% venison so I have to put away about 6-12 (NC deer are tiny) per season to feed us. Learn to hunt and learn to prepare it. It isn't easy or neat, but to survive on it, you'd better learn to do it.

    Plus, my daughter love backstraps!
  2. 35Remfan

    35Remfan Member

    Nov 22, 2012
    Northern Michigan
    Classic 30-06 Bolt

    A first rifle should be something that is easy and relatively cheap to supply ammo for. It should be versatile. And it should be a do it all gun until other rifles are added.

    I think that very easily describes a 30-06 and by all accounts a bolt action as well( although a pump or semi-auto 30-06 would work to).

    Versatile in that it can handle 100 to 220 grain ammo. It can be charged to take predators all the way to brownies. Its sweet spot is white tail deer and elk.

    Ammo is easy to find and it is great to build for in the reloading department.

    Lastly, a 308 or 30-30 would be the other alternatives. Either can do almost what the '06 can do. I personally love the standard lever in 30-30. I just think the classic '06 fills the bill better for a first rifle. My son is getting his first rifle next week and it is a 30-06 Ruger American bolt action rifle.
  3. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    If you don't hunt now, you won't be very good at it when when the world goes to hell in a handbasket and what type of rifle you have won't matter two fiqs when all the game has been runn of or killed by everyone else trying to put meat on the table.

    Before asking what your first rifle should be, answer this question- What kind of rifle do you want?

    BADUNAME2 Member

    Apr 22, 2003
    Alger, OH
    First centerfire? Get a quality bolt gun you like, in .243 Winchester. Sight it in, then step away from the bench. Learn to shoot it. The moderate recoil is your friend, in this. It's enough that it'll point up errors in technique that the .22 may not, but not ingrain bad habits the way bigger calibers might.

    When you've shot it for a while, heck, I'll say when youve worn out your first barrel, you'll probably know what you want in your next rifle.
  5. solman

    solman Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    First rifle you say...
    I am guessing you don't have much long gun experience.
    First purpose of the rifle - target.
    second purpose -hunting if need be.
    If you are new to rifle shooting get a good .22 bolt action like a CZ 452/455.
    A great gun to learn on. Lots of accurate shooting practice. You can always put meat in the pot with a 22.
    I always thought that when things get real bad out there, the large game would disappear pretty quick and you would be left mostly with the smaller stuff anyway. After a while when you are ready you can get a centerfire when the funds permit. A 22 is still the cheapest practice ammo out there.

    EDIT: oops; I missed the part where you already had a .22
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2013
  6. akodo

    akodo Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    Okay, you already have a 22LR

    You want a gun for punching holes in paper at longer range, and could be used in an emergency to harvest game.

    You want a 223.

    223 is 10x the gun that your 22LR is, but it is still very light recoiling. The ammo is generally cheaper than all the other centerfire cartridges. These two factors will allow for much more shooting. This is why it is loved by paper punchers.

    For hunting, some states allow the 223 to be used for deer, others do not. If stuff goes enough wrong that you need to hunt to survive I suspect that the game wardens won't be writing tickets and even if they were the courts won't be in session. Again, discussing unlikely SHTF, a couple 223 rounds into the vitals will put a deer or an escaped milk cow, feral hog, or large dog in the meat cellar. If you end up having to shoot rabbits, cats, raccoons, possums, and whatever else there will be a lot more of the critter left to eat than the same animal hit with a 30-06.

    Budget will dictate which exact gun you choose.

    Note that a heavy barrel 'varmint model' is a good choice for paper punching as the heavier barrel will heat up less quickly.
  7. heavydluxe

    heavydluxe Member

    Feb 5, 2011
    Cartridge Assumptions (checking my 'maths')

    Removed... Sorry!
  8. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    I second what akodo said. A very good bolt action maybe a varmint rifle will give you what you want and .223 would be the best choice for accurate and pleasant target shooting. A step up in power would be a .243. An AR would be a good choice as well. Avoid a lever action or AK type rifle or Mosin Nagant for target shooting. They are terrible unless your standards are really low. I have all of them. Get a good scope. Use good stuff and enjoy your shooting.
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