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If I know nothing about rifles...

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Famine, Oct 1, 2007.

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  1. Famine

    Famine Member

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    ...where do I start?

    I'd like to learn about rifles, but I don't even know where to start. Where would be a good starting point to learn something as basic as the choice of rifles and ammo for different conditions?
     
  2. Acheron

    Acheron Member

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    Well, THR is a good place to start.

    As far as what rifle to get, that depends a lot on what you want to do with it. Plinking, hunting, target, competition, or HD? Unfortunately there is no one rifle that can do it all. Let us know what you want to do and we'll give you some suggestions/tips.
     
  3. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    read all the links in the sticky thread in rifle country
    go to rally point and ask if someone near you would like to go to the range and show you around
     
  4. jlbpa

    jlbpa Member

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  5. kludge

    kludge Member

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  6. Famine

    Famine Member

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    I'm not a hunter, but I'd like to start within the next few years. I would also like to target shoot long distances in the meantime.

    I'd like a gun with a scope, maybe even one that comes together so it takes the guess work out of the equation.

    I like dependable guns, ones that work out of the box and have already stood the test of time.

    The bigger the better.

    I can't spend more than $600.




    Now even though I gave a list of requirements, I'd still like to learn about rifles. Two years ago when I asked about shotguns, someone suggested "Shotgunning, The Art and the Science." I ebayed that the next day and read it cover to cover. It was very dry, but it gave me a wealth of information. Is there anything like that for rifles?
     
  7. Famine

    Famine Member

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    Ahh...I see some of you have already posted links while I was posting my previous message. Thanks. I'll check them out right now.
     
  8. Slugless

    Slugless Member

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    Jeff Cooper

    How about the Art of the Rifle by Jeff Cooper?
     
  9. Famine

    Famine Member

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    I checked out the NRA site. I don't think it's for me. It's very basic. I own a handgun and shotguns, and I know the basics. I just don't know about rifles.
     
  10. Famine

    Famine Member

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    This looks good. Has anyone read it? In other words, did you just Google it or have you actually read it and found it to be useful?
     
  11. Famine

    Famine Member

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    This book is over 40 years old. I'm not knocking it, but will it be able to give modern rifles any justice?
     
  12. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    famine, even though big guns are lots of fun, you would be much better off starting out with a 22lr and learning marksmanship. once you can hit targets at will with the super-cheap 22 ammo, then you can move on to bigger rifles.

    seriously, if you have a $600 budget, you're not going to get more than a halfway decent rifle and a very low quality scope. you'll have no money left over for ammo, which means you won't get to have much fun.
     
  13. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    I agree with taliv. With only $600 to spend, a great starting point with rifles would be a CZ 452 or 453 rifle, a quality .22 rimfire scope, and many thousands of rounds of .22lr ammo.

    http://www.cz-usa.com/product_detail.php?id=1
     
  14. jpwilly

    jpwilly Member

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    No, there are plenty of good rifles and scopes that will do their job just fine for under $600 you just won't be able to impress the gun snobs with them.
     
  15. Slugless

    Slugless Member

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    Beginners

    Famine,

    Okay, you got me but I googled it days ago and I do own a copy. My copy is in transit, being delivered. I've been wanting it for years now.

    Some reviewers say it's only suited for beginners but my experience is that one is always working on the basics. And I've been shooting rifles, off and on, for 25 years. I finally broke down and ordered Cooper's book.

    I also own a "The Basics of Rifle Shooting" which I've read cover to cover, many sections several times. It's an NRA publication, my copy from 1987.

    I agree with Taliv that it's best to start with .22 lr, go to the range, shoot lots and ask other people what they've got and what they use it for. But it's fun to have something that goes BOOM. I shot .22 as a kid but the first rifle I bought was an SKS paratrooper carbine that takes AK mags. If you can afford it, buy both (in the same action type, eg lever + lever, auto + auto, bolt + bolt, pump + pump).

    It's addictive.
     
  16. Famine

    Famine Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, honest, but I really don't understand why I'm told time and time again to start small.

    Years ago I wanted a shotgun. I was told to start plinking with a .22 until I got good...learn how to hold the gun, etc. Instead I got a 12 gauge (870). Same day, I was hitting 8-9 of 10 skeet consistently. When I use slugs, I'm dead on.

    Then I wanted to buy a handgun. Everyone said start small. Get a .22 and practice they said. Again, I didn't listen. My first handgun was a Glock 21. The first day at the range I was lucky to stay within the 1' target at 25 feet. Only days later, I was down to a quarter size at 25 feet. And a few months after that, I was down to a quarter size at 50 feet.

    I understand that when a guy gets on a G&A forum and asks for a "big" gun that you instantly think "idiot." I don't know what to tell you. I don't see any point to buying a small plinker to practice when all it takes is a few rounds to hit exactly what you want. I see a lot of folks on here who have 10, 20, or 30 guns. And a lot of folks give them all the respect in the world just because they own all those guns. Can they shoot them? I'd really like to know, because I have all kinds of friends and family that own guns, and when we go out shooting, which isn't often, I typically shoot their gun better than they do, and I had never even held their gun before that day.

    And if the $600 mark is too low, then go ahead and go to $1000. I just through that number out because I saw a Remington 770 for less than $400.

    If this is coming off in a negative way, I'm sorry. I'm just so tired of people telling me to go small.
     
  17. Andrewsky

    Andrewsky Member

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    Get a Romanian M70 AK clone. They're about $550.

    You might also like an AR15. Bushmaster's website might be a good place to start.
     
  18. Samuraigg

    Samuraigg Member

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    Well if you are trying to stay cheap but looking for a decent rifle, a Saiga or SKS would definitely fit the bill. Either would be well under 600 bucks with cash left over. A Saiga even has the side rail for mounting scopes, though I don't know how well it works.

    Don't be discouraged by the advice to start small. Folks are just trying to help out. Starting off big will not make you a terrible shooter. I'm learning to shoot handguns with my .45 Sig, and exploring rifle shooting with my Saiga and Garand, so I'm right there with you.
     
  19. jdc1244

    jdc1244 Member

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    Start small?

    Heck, most of us stay with .22LR after years of rifle shooting. My CZ American .22LR and CZ Varmint .17HMR – both with Mueller 8.5 – 25x44AO scopes - will always get the bulk of my range time. As noted correctly above, rifles are about marksmanship and accuracy. I have a great time chasing that perfect group. :D

    I have centerfire rifles I enjoy shooting as well but they’re just not practical for long-term bench and bag target work.
     
  20. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Stay away from those, unless you're talking used. The gun/scope combo packages are either a decent gun with a crappy scope (Savage) or a crappy gun with a crappy scope (Remington 710).

    You should be able to find a decent used rifle with an OK scope for under $600. You'r not going to drive tacks at 500 yards with it, but it'll be good enough to put a deer down at 2 or 3 football fields distance or make some decent groups at the 100 yard mark. I've seen plenty of scoped Remington 700's, Ruger 77's, Winchester 70's, Weatherby Vanguaurds and Savages on the used rack in your pricerange. For new, that $600 will barely get the rifle. Even the Ruger 77's and Savages have crept up there. The local Big R and Sportman's Warehouse have been getting them out the door at about $550. Remington has been hovering around the $700 mark for a couple years now.
     
  21. Mauserguy

    Mauserguy Member

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    I would get a good bolt action rifle in 308 or 30-06 if I were you. For between $400 and $500 you can get a good quality, though basic, hunting rifle with an adequate scope. It will serve you well as a hunting arm, and allow you hit targets consistently out to 400 yards. My suggestion would be to get one of the package deals by:

    Howa 1500
    Weatherby Vangard (a rebranded Howa)
    Stevens (the budbet branded Savage)
    or a
    Mossberg

    These package guns will not impress the any snobs, but they will drop a deer and blast paint cans. Have fun.
    Mauserguy
     
  22. bvchurch

    bvchurch Member

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    I thought I would kind of post my quick story. I know I had never really been into firearms. Then I played Call of Duty and that got me some what interested into WW II firearms. Though I was still not interested completely in them. It took me a few more years, receiving the makarov, and then just eventually wanting to know more about the Mosin Nagant to get me into firearms. I guess my thing is find a weapon that you are interested in, preferably something cheap at first I guess one could say. I guessed that you knew pistols in some sense, as you did not specify that you are new to them, but find a weapon that interests and maybe go from there. I know now that I have my "collection" underway, my next weapon will probably a 22.lr based rifle, something that is easy and cheap to shoot. Of course I am not going for a Ruger 10/22 or Marlin model rifle, instead my somewhat love of the value of Russian firearms has brought me to the Toz series of weapons.

    So in closing,

    find a rifle that interests you for some reason, maybe choose a region of the world first then narrow it down.
     
  23. Never No More

    Never No More Member

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    I have to concur, a Mosin Nagant at a gun show is a cheap and good way to start. Buy 500 rounds and get the manual for it (in english).

    After you have taken it apart and cleaned it and put it back together.

    Go out the range and have a ball.
     
  24. JimmerJammerMrK

    JimmerJammerMrK Member

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  25. Danny Creasy

    Danny Creasy Member

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    Famine, I would have suggested the .22 rifle route also. But, since you want to dive into the deeper end and have done so successfully before, I second what Mauserguy suggested. I have recently seen brand new rifle scope combos in the local WalMart, Dick's, K-Mart, and three local gun/pawn shops that all cost well below your price ceiling. Chamberings were .243, .270, .308, and .30-06.

    And, if you really want to learn a new craft as well, then buy a reasonably priced press and set of dies and start handloading your own ammo. Some folks take to reloading and others don't. Just a thought.

    Danny
     
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