Looking at getting into shooting a cheap centerfire cartridge.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Mn Fats, Mar 15, 2019.

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  1. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    This is a little left field, but since you mentioned break-actions at one point …

    The last time I had an itch for a cheap addition to my rifle arsenal, I ended up just getting another carbine barrel for my TC Encore. .223 barrels for the Encore are relatively inexpensive, but of course your overall cost depends on whether you already have a TC frame and long gun stock. Failing that, how about a used H&R/NEF Handi Rifle? One significant factor that will contribute to overall cheapness is the one-at-a-time loading process -- that will help keep your ammo bill in check!
     
  2. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    I would second your observation regarding the typical Federal XM 5.56 loadings. They're passable for plinking large targets or hosing at close range, but not especially accurate.

    I've found Wolf Gold 55gr FMJ .223 loading to be reasonably accurate, with the advantage of being reloadable cases, as long as you're OK removing the primer crimps. My AR carbine also likes Independence AR556 55gr FMJ, it's an M193-clone loading from Israel. My CZ527 seems to shoot well with the Remington/UMC 55gr FMJ .223 loading, which I originally bought to shoot up just for the brass.

    Another advantage of the Ruger American Ranch is I believe it has a 1-8" twist barrel, which lets you use any available .224" bullets that will fit in the magazine. (It should also stabilize long 80gr match bullets, if you're OK single-loading your rounds.)
     
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  3. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I have a .223 Howa Mini that was pretty cheap. I don't know anything about factory ammo costs because I reload everything I shoot so I'll leave that alone. I can tell you this about Howa because I have two. They make a very good entry level bolt rifle. CZ is another good one but a little pricey. I have one of those also. For the price Ruger would probably be the best value but I don't own one.
     
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  4. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    I went with the Ruger American ranch 7.62x39. Around $420 plus Nikon 3x9BDC.
    20190301_145316.jpg 20190117_085208.jpg
    I am very happy with it.
    CZ has a nice one too with a detachable mag.
     
  5. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    Do they come with that muzzle break on there?
     
  6. entropy

    entropy Member

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    A Ruger Ranch or Predator in either caliber would be fine for what you want, and an extra deer gun, to boot. The .223 takes AR mags, the 7.62, Mini-Thirty mags.

    No, but they are $20 from Ruger.
     
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  7. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    Well I'm sold on the American Ranch. Might have to look in to a suppressor one day, they seem a bit pricey though :uhoh:.
    An Encore would be interesting. Though, I had a Contender thinking I could be buying brand new barrels for maybe $100- $125, just a 12-16" piece of steel after all, nope they were about $350 new IIRC and around $200 used on eBay. I liked the concept of the Contender and the accuracy but couldn't justify the barrel costs with bolt actions being so cheap nowadays.
     
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  8. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    You might also check out the CVA break actions for a cheap, fun, plinker. Mine’s in 44 Mag for deer hunting (not cheap to shoot) but they make quite a few chamberings for roughly $250.

    I own a RAP and a T/C Compass, both in 6.5CM and prefer the T/C for accuracy (and its then $170 price tag). Both good options IMO. While Mossberg doesn’t get the press time that other manufacturers pay big bucks for they have quietly continued to build and sell solid firearms at an outstanding price.

    CVA Hunter (L) pictured next to Henry .357 lever. Speaking of, for a few dollars more you might consider the new Henry single-shots with walnut stocks for a classier look.
    4C0EA492-235D-447D-823D-2C86E4D344BB.jpeg
     
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  9. Mn Fats

    Mn Fats Member

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    I finally got to handle one of the Henry's the other day. I don't know. I wasn't very impressed. Matte barrel on matte walnut. Sights seemed sub par. Pushing $400. It did seemed to be fitted well enough. I'd be a buyer at $250. Not trying to knock it or anything. I love a good break action single.
     
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  10. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    The CZs are very nice in my opinion. You could almost buy 2 of the Rugers for the cost of the 527. Which honestly hasn't stopped me from considering getting one of the 527 Carbines in 7.62x39.

    CZ 527FS in .223 Remington:
    85261.jpeg
     
  11. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    No, they come with a thread protector.
    The brake is the same for an AR10.
     
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  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    The cheapest centerfire rifles I have to shoot are all pistol caliber ones.

    Once you cast your own bullets and reuse brass, powder is the driving factor. One can use small weight charges of trailboss in rifle rounds but a “can” of it isn’t a pound and it still takes heavier charges than PCC’s would.

    I suppose it really depends on what you want to plink at and at what range.

    A golf ball at 100 yards with a good, 22 Hornet is child’s play a soda can at 25 yards with a 9mm carbine can be fun too.
     
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  13. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Good point -- much depends on where you find the barrels. I got my last one on a closeout from MGM for $300 even, but a few years ago I bought a Bergara .300 Blackout barrel from Sportsmans Guide for a little over $200.

    Probably the biggest detraction from going this route is that you only get a new barrel rather than a whole new gun to play with. :)
     
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  14. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    I haven't seen the CVAs locally yet, but I was thinking along the same line. One reason I didn't suggest one was that they didn't seem to have a .223 chambering currently available for their budget Hunter and Scout offerings -- the .44 Magnum and other choices I found at the CVA website get pretty pricey to feed with factory ammo, at least compared with .223 or 7.62x39. Once reloading is off the table, the basic question originally posed really limits things.

    BTW Skylerbone, how much shooting have you done with your CVA so far? Is the trigger decent? I'm thinking of adding one to my own want list.
     
  15. Olon

    Olon Member

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    Edit: even though you said your heart is set on the American ranch...

    Maybe a Ruger 77 in 357 mag/38 special. The 38s would be real cheap to shoot and if you're just plinking I think that would be a fun one. Could slap a cheap red dot on there.

    Not as accurate as a 223 but personally I think the idea of a bolt action in pistol caliber sounds cool.
     
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  16. Olon

    Olon Member

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    I love shooting steel which is why I wasn't in love with my AR in .223 rem. That thing destroyed my 1/4" targets. Even 357 mag from a 20" barrel doesn't hurt those plates even though it really makes em swing!
     
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  17. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    It’s only seen 100 or so rounds to date, most to get my daughters comfortable with shooting it. Worked out very well (the other needed a tripod and couldn’t get swiveled around for her shot). Trigger is far better than it ought to be for the price, a hair rougher and a pound heavier than I’d prefer but definitely useable.


    23A1F739-E3A9-431F-92FA-EA3487DACAE1.jpeg
     
  18. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Member

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    i put together a rifle with the same components :) Its a lot of fun!
     
  19. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    Thanks! Glad to hear it -- with H&R out of the game for now, I'm happy there is a viable alternative available.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  20. spazzy

    spazzy Member

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