First rifle - advice and suggestions
I'm finally in a position to start spending some money on some firearms. I got some help on my first pistol purchase, but now I'd like some help with a rifle. I've never been hunting, so no extensive prior rifle experience. I've shot more rounds through a variety of .22's. I've shot my buddies Remington 30-06 (he called it a 30 ot 6), I don't remember that well, but I enjoyed shooting that one. And I've shot random rifles here and there that belonged to friends (sks I think), but I couldn't tell you what the others were.
I'd like something with more range than a .22, but doesn't need to be a .50. It'll be a recreational rifle, strictly target shooting. I'd like to stay under $400 for my first rifle, and I'd like to keep my ammo reasonable.
So what are my options?
Semi auto or bolt action?
Hahahahah, I know that this question could bring 1000 variations, but based on my criteria, whats a good rifle to learn on and build my skills?
I bought one of my grandsons a rifle a Savage Hunter package in 223 for the same purpose. Cost was close to $400 including scope. Not much of a scope though. The Savage 223's have a 1/9 twist which makes them more suitable for 55 gr bullets than the 1/12 twist on a lot of the 223 rifles. Prices on ammo have come down and commercial 55 gr 223 loads are readily available. Hard to beat Walmart on ammo prices. His has the accutrigger and is very accurate. He outshoots his Dads 700 Rem which his Dad is not too happy about. The 223 is an excellent varmint caliber if you should decide to start hunting.
Some of the questions you have asked you will need to answer yourself. Bolt/semi and iron sights/scopes are pretty much personal preference. There are so many options. You could go the route of a military surplus rifle, such as a Mosin-Nagant. These are great for just going out shooting, because there is currently so much cheap surplus ammo available (won't last forever). For about $200 (or less) you can have a Mosin-Nagant and 440 rounds of surplus ammo.
There are also numerous manufacturers producing very nice entry level bolt guns today. As mentioned above, Savage guns are a great value. The entry model, the Axis, is available for around $300.
Check out some of the stickies at the top of the general rifle discussion page for more info to help you figure out what you want/are looking for.
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