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General purpose rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Hunter125, Nov 30, 2012.

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  1. jeeptim

    jeeptim Member

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    SKS IS with out question the best all around gun,(for the money) yeah I know you can buy a better rifle that dose one thing really well but an sks dose all pretty well cheap ammo low cost and fun fun fun.
     
  2. Manny

    Manny Member

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    I live in Ohio which only allows slugs, muzzleloaders or straightwalled handgun cartridges of .357 mag or larger with a 5" or longer barrel. The rifle that gives me the most use is an AR. I have a Rock River national match flattop that I can use for CMP shoots, defensive use, fun shooting and also put an optic on for distance or hunting if I want. It would cover all the parameters you list and even these days is still not too expensive to feed, especially in comparison to larger calibers. If you don't like an AR a bolt gun or Mini 14 would be terrific as well.
     
  3. mortablunt

    mortablunt Member

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    308 is very far removed from 30-30. Do you want a near-full sized rifle round or a true intermediate round? Here are my recommendations based on what I think you're asking for.

    High caliber:

    Mauser 98K (7.92x57)
    Mosin-Nagant 31/30 (7.62x54R)
    M1 Garand (30-06)
    FN FAL (7.62x51)
    Browning A-bolt (270 Win)
    Lee-Enfield (303 British)


    Low caliber:

    SKS (7.62x39)
    AR15 (5.56x45)
    AK74 (5.45x39)
    Marin 336C (30-30)

    Few of these guns are great plinkers. Either the recoil would make your shoulder sore and/or the price of the ammunition would be prohibitive. Out of the high caliber guns, only the Mosin-Nagant 91/30 has ammunition affordable enough for heavy plinking and practice. Out of all the low caliber guns, they can all be used for plinkin. However, the AK-74 is the best suited for plinking, as the ammunition is very cheap and recoil is almost nonexistent.
     
  4. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    I would disagree with not using anything above a .223 for SD. It depends on the situation of course but if you live in the right area a good 7.62 x 39 or a 5.45×39 are extremely effective. I personally have a 7.62 x 39 that I've had since the time a good AR would cost a person upwards of $1500 while a SKS cost $100 or less. My SKS has served me extremely well. And it's effective range is about 300 yards too. It's also a great rifle for plinking because the ammo is still cheap compared to everything else.

    I know lots of people enjoy lever action rifles but IMO they are bordering on being obsolete. Sure they still work but nothing beats being able to fire a round every time you pull the trigger.

    If you have your heart set on a lever gun then go for it. But for SD I would at least consider a SKS or an AK variant. There's a reason so many of them have been built and sold.

    If you're wondering about accuracy it's true that these rifles aren't great target rifles by any means. But they are accurate enough to be effective at 300 yards. The thing is that a situation where you would need to shoot 300 yards for SD is rarely going to come up. It is possible but it's rare.

    My second choice would most likely be a shotgun to be honest. With a rifled barrel and sabot slugs the range of a shotgun gets out past 200 yards and nothing beats a shotgun for SD. They are extremely versatile firearms and allow you to do SD really well, slug hunting very well, and they can be fairly economical for just plinking. 100 rounds of 12 ga. target ammo is only about $22 at Walmart the last I looked. I'll admit it's been a while since I looked but not that long. I bought up so much I'll probably die before I can shoot it all to be honest. I did see it for $65 a case online. That's 250 rounds.

    With the right shotgun you can go from playing shotgun golf around the yard (one of my favorites - I used a boot and could "shoot" a par 5 pretty often going after a 40 yard hole :) ), to HD to deer hunting to duck hunting to quail hunting to squirrel hunting to rabbits and all sorts of other critters. For example if you get the Swiss army knife of shotguns, the Remington 870, you can change barrels in 30 seconds and chokes in about a minute and your one weapon can do a very wide variety of things. Short barrels for HD, long barrels for skeet and trap and waterfowl, slugs for deer, etc. etc. etc.. You can go fro 2 3/4" to 3.5" ammo with some slugs powerful enough tokill an elephant and some that shoot so soft you can let your 7 year old kid shoot it. That's how old I was when I started shooting a 16 ga. shotgun.

    If a person wants one firearm to start off a collection I think it's very hard to ignore a good shotgun. And there are semi-auto shotguns that are just as versatile as the 870 too. Well almost as versatile anyway. They don't work so well with very light loads.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  5. urbaneruralite

    urbaneruralite Member

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    "Purposes would be mostly plinking, possibly the occassional coyote"
    This leads you to rounds that can be purchased cheaply.

    "My ranges probably won't be more than 200-300 yards except possibly the occassional test of ability."
    This isn't the sort of thing you casually do with a revolver cartridge.

    Look at rifles that use 7.62x39, .223/5.56 and 5.45x39 or even a .22 Mag. An AR would be good. A controlled round feed rifle such as a CZ 527 would also be good. If you're already using a Remington pump slug gun for deer, a Remington 7615 is a no-brainer.
     
  6. 3twelves

    3twelves member

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  7. 3twelves

    3twelves member

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    AR10 in .308 best all around platform and caliber ever.


    ever
     
  8. mdauben

    mdauben Member

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    I love lever actions, but IMO for deer size game 200 yards is well out of range for pistol caliber lever actions and just barely in range of a .30-30 with modern (Leverevolution) ammo. Thus neither is suitable if you really want 200-300 yard range.

    Do they allow pistol caliber rifles for deer hunting in IL? I moved out years ago so I'n not sure but I don't remember that being allowed. You migth want to double check. As far as the rest of your requirements, I agree with RPRNY that a S&W M&P 15 Sport would make a good choice. The 5.56 ammo is about as cheap as you are going to get with centerfire rifle ammo, its accurate and usable for varmint size game out to 300+ yards, and its lots of fun for plinking as well as a good choice if you want a rifle for HD.
     
  9. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    Take it for what's it's worth, but for my money, I bought a Ruger Gunsite Scout. I mainly use it for hunting and fun, but it is a versatile rifle, great caliber choice, and very pleasant to shoot. All my other hunting rifles got retired after my first range trip with the scout.

    I'm the Milsurp side, i agree with whoever said the Mauser. 6.5x55 is a peach of a cartridge, and the rifles are typically very accurate. They are a bit long though.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
     
  10. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    Very close to it's 30 caliber brother, the 30.06. But I still see 30.06 in gas stations and general stores way out in the sticks and they won't have .308. That gives the 30.06 the edge IMO but they are mighty close of course. Still the 30.06 can go heavier and you can go down as far as the .308 does too. Again, advantage 30.06. Until I see a 220 gr. .308 I'm gonna think that. I know some of the roll your own guys use 220 gr. bullets in a .308 but you don't see them on store shelves made into cartridges.
     
  11. 3twelves

    3twelves member

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    30 06 is dated and overkill in most situations. That's why it was replaced by the .308, also there are not many semi auto platforms that are chambered in 30 06. The 7.62 NATO/.308 is far more available than 30 06 also.
     
  12. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    And you won't be seeing them either, the bullet is too long and can't be driven fast enough out of the .308 case.

    No matter, the 220's don't perform near as well as 200's, even out of a 30-06. I've seen more than a few 220's break up on big game, but 200NP's don't and they penetrate much deeper than 220's!

    I also like to 30-06 better as a big game HUNTING cartridge, but for other things, the .308 has the edge.

    DM
     
  13. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Fella's;

    I believe we were suggesting the 6.5 Swede as available in modern bolt guns, not mil-surps. Believe me, they are available from several manufacturers, in modern actions.

    900F
     
  14. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Yep CZ, Tikka, Howa and Sako chamber it (T/C only sells theirs overseas). Fantastic all around cartrage, as balanced as the 06 but is not a gross overkill on deer sized game. 243 is a little on the small side for my liking (on deer), 30-06 is a little too big .264-.284 are just right. To each their own though.
     
  15. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    Most people get around to agreeing that the differences aren't that great between the cartridges. Yes there are more semi-auto .308's but that is about the rifle and not the cartridge. The thing I hear most people say about the heavier 30.06 bullets is that they hold their own against the wind farther out than the .308 does. I am no expert on this. I just know what I've read in posts from people who seem to know something about it.

    BTW as for the 30.06 being overkill, there are a lot of downsized bullet and load combinations being sold over the counter in cartridges now. The 30.06 was always a favorite of those that liked to load their cartridges light for hunting smaller game. It made it possible for one rifle to do many more jobs. Now those that don't roll their own can have the same advantages with the low power / small bullet cartridges on the market. Have a look at these cartridges and then we'll talk about overkill. Those days are over it seems. A 125 gr. bullet travelling 2600 fps from a 30.06 is not overkill. That's just slightly stronger than what my SKS shoots.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  16. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    As much as I would like to own an AR 10 in .308, my budget will probably not allow it for quite some time as both my wife and I are still in grad school. I'm not opposed to something more expensive, it will just take me longer to get it. I could probably swing something in the <$500 range within the next year or so.

    Anyone know why the Savage Scout is $200+ more than the Mod 11?
     
  17. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Hunter, I have no gun suggestions for you but would suggest that you consider more of a purpose built rifle. Sure, most of the guns that have been suggested would make good all purpose rifles... BUT... If you just select based on the most likely use... but to fit that need, then move down the line and continue to fill the needs for various rifles. I have lever actions (30/30 and .35) for brush hunting, AR for plinking, .308 Remington 700 for bench shooting, .243 and 30.06 for deer hunting from a stand, a couple of milsurps and other odd ball rifles....

    Your all purpose approach is fine, if you intend to only purchase one rifle.
     
  18. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag Member

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    What about a mini-30?
     
  19. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    It is certainly true that a purpose built rifle will do that one thing it's built for very, very well (for the most part anyway). But I remember a time when I could only afford one centerfire rifle. That time lasted a lot longer than I would have liked too. For me a general purpose rifle was the best choice for several years. Now I can afford to buy a rifle for every use I can think of. But that gets me to this point too. What rifle do I take with me when I might want more than one type of rifle for whatever reason? I know that there are the main reasons for carrying a specific type of gun but if you get to the point where you have a dozen rimfire rifles all setup for different things then it becomes a real question whether I take the rifle with the scope for those long shots at tree rats or do I take one without a scope for those squirrels on the run. And what type of scope might I want to use? If I have a rimfire with a fixed, wide angle scope that is maybe 4X do I take that or do I take a 3-9X40 or do I want to just sit under a tree and pick off squirrels from a distance with an 18X scope? Specialization can go too far even though for the most part this is not something most people have to face. But if you become a gun nut like many of us then specialization can go way too far.

    I always managed to get by with 1 shotgun, 1 pistol, 1 rimfire and 1 centerfire. Believe it or not I had trouble picking which firearm to take with me at times. I grew up hunting with a shotgun but switched to a .22 before I was 15. But still I had to decide which of those guns to take.
     
  20. mcdonl

    mcdonl Member

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    Point well taken. I have gotten to the place where I am looking for composite stock versions of guns I already own with a wooden stock, and visa-versa

    .243 or .308, bolt action and reloading equipment would be pretty all purpose. Both rounds have enough flexibility to be appropriate from Coyote - Elk and any type of paper in between.

    Savage and Remington both make nice sub $500 versions to get into the game with too.
     
  21. T.R.

    T.R. Member

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    .308 is a solid choice. I'm a huge fan of the 30-30 cartridge but it does its BEST work at 175 yards or less (with common ammo).

    .243 is another very good low recoil hunting cartridge.

    TR
     
  22. scotjute

    scotjute Member

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    I use a .22 mag rifle, lever-action for general plinking/all-round carry. That has its limits.

    For larger stuff, I have bolt-action 6.5 x 55 mauser with 20" barrell. Light weight, easy to carry, and precise with sufficient knock-down and penetration for about anything. It will reach out and touch something if you do your part. This comes closest to meeting your wide range of objectives.

    Also have .357 lever gun, but don't really use it much as .22 mag is lighter to carry and I'd rather have the 6.5 if I'm really serious about killing something.
    Just how it worked out for me.

    Suppose just about any deer-rifle cartridge should do, but for everyday carry /all-round rifle get it in light-weight version with 18 - 20" barrell.
     
  23. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    As far as the 308 vs 30-06 debate goes I side with the 308 for general purpose, smaller, lighter, and more compact by nature, the 308 can effectively handle bullets up to 180gr making it a an appropriate rifle for game up to elk. Granted the 06 is the better elk rifle with it's faster 180gr bullets and lets not forget it's 200-220gr loads if you want to go bigger. The 06 has other advantages, it is the second easiest cartrage I have ever reloaded for, 150gr bullets atop any charge of RL19 or 57gr of H4350 pushing a 165gr slug. Both live up to the hype and shot remarkably well in my Savage. I don't know how but the RL19 work up loads ALL shot tight, I have no idea how that combination shot well all the way from 2600-3000fps without missing a beat.
    So the way I see it is 308 for deer up to close up elk, and 30-06 for anything larger.
     
  24. Hunter125

    Hunter125 Member

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    That is exactly where I am. My wife and I are both still in grad school and money is tight right now. One day I'll be able to get specialized guns, but for now I need to stick to the basics and it may be some time before I can buy a second rifle. I'll probably end up with an AR someday, but I feel like a bolt might be my best course of action right now. Keep the advice coming though, being new to centerfire rifles I'm soaking it all in.
     
  25. Cee Zee

    Cee Zee member

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    Bolt action rifles certainly have their place in life secured. They are the accurate rifles. Other designs can be made exceptionally accurate but they usually aren't. They are also economical. You get a lot of rifle for your money.

    But I still think a semi-auto could be in your near future. A good mil-surp rifle can give a person a lot of rifle for the money too. In fact they provide close to the biggest bang for the buck IMO. The only thing better in the bang for the buck category would be the mil-surp bolt action rifles. I just know what I did when I was looking for a general purpose centerfire rifle. I bought an SKS and I still have it. People will tell you they aren't accurate. They aren't bolt action accurate it's true. But they are more accurate than some people seem to think. And nothing beats spraying a hail storm of lead for self defense. I'm not saying a person can fire machine gun levels of lead but a one trigger pull, one shot method can give a person a big advantage over a person trying to wreak havoc in their lives. For example during the LA riots when businesses were being burnt to the ground the business owner with an SKS or an AK was pretty much the only business owner that kept their business standing. Sometimes it does appear civilization is about to collapse. I was really surprised things didn't get bad after Sandy like they did after Katrina. And I've seen situations where I live when law enforcement was crippled by weather conditions. For example an ice storm made roads impassable for several days because of all the downed trees and power lines around my very rural home. I'm talking surrounded by national forest for dozens of miles rural. We were on our own at that time and I lived in a neighborhood with a gang of drug dealers who could turn violent in a hurry for very little reason. But they knew what to expect if they came to my house. I made sure they did. They didn't like me very much and they still don't but they didn't bother me as much as they would have if I had been armed with a less effective firearm.

    I don't know where you live or what your needs are. I just know that for some of us nothing beats a high capacity, semi-auto. Yes I converted my SKS to take 30 round mags and it works like a dream. It always has. I wouldn't suggest that for most people though because most conversions aren't that successful. But there are weapons that don't need to be converted like an AK variant. Basically you get AR firepower for bolt action prices. For me that combination was extremely hard to pass up but you know what you need better than we do. Good luck with your search. I can bet one thing will be true. You'll have lots of fun with whatever you choose.
     
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