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Moving into centerfire target. Suggestions please

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Old 11-01-2011, 03:57 PM   #1
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Default Moving into centerfire target. Suggestions please

I've been lurking around for a while and reading other posts. Found many to be quite helpful. This topic has been addressed a bit before but wanted to ask based on my situation.

Having gotten proficient with .22LR range shooting I am looking to move up to next level towards centerfire rifle. Am an occasional shooter - about once a month these days. My local range is about 200 yards maximum. For now would prefer open sights. Chance of hunting is very slim - but we do get the occasional coyote and recently had to shoot a rabid raccoon (12 gauge - that was a mess). About one or twice a year get the opportunity to shoot at a longer range.

I prefer wooden stock and "old school" rifle - 22LR is a CZ bolt with Mannlicher stock. I have limited access to good firearm stores (southern New York State). I like the Browning A-Bolt & BLR (like the look of lever action). Shouldered a Sako 85 in .308 - WOW - but $1,800. Want to stay in the no-more-than $1000ish range. Leaning towards .243 but am open to other caliber suggestions.

So, long story short - for mid-range target, at that price-point, suggestions about what else I should be looking at? Thanks.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:04 PM   #2
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Hi Ruby, when you get a chance, stop by the intro section and say hello!

Well, my suggestion is go ahead and get yourself an M91/30, can be had for 80-115 bucks, cheap ammo, good quality rifle. You can still shop for something new and have your bank acct relatively intact.
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:05 PM   #3
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Unless you are absolutely sure this is where you're headed why don't you stick your toe in the pool and test the water with a low cost first step.

The Savage rifle is has incredibly accuracy out of the box and is a inexpensive first step.

Buy a good scope because it can be transferred to your next gun.

Savage AXIS 243 $280.00 SHIPS FREE

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Old 11-01-2011, 04:08 PM   #4
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Since you're looking for a more "Old School" rifle I would suggest a Mosin Nagant or Mauser. Ammunition is cheap, abundant, and the rifles are very very affordable.
"It's a gun you loaded on Sunday, and shot all week."
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Old 11-01-2011, 04:10 PM   #5
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The 243 Winchester Cal. Is a great little centerfire caliber. Great for some good target shooting at 200 yards. Great on Coyotes and large enough to do a little deer hunting. Low recoil, very accurate in the right rifle and ammunition is readily available at most stores. You can probably find you a nice used 243 rifle for around $450.00 sometimes with a decent scope on it. I recently purchased a Remington 700 ADL in 243 at a gun show with a TASCO 3X9 Scope for $450.00. Not the best scope compared to my Leupolds but it will work and would do just fine for doing a little target shooting and hunting. And the rifle had been used very little if any for hunting. Wood Stock also! As Cane stated the Savages are hard to beat!

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Old 11-01-2011, 11:32 PM   #6
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I'd suggest buying a used rifle from someone you can trust. I get warranties from the mom and pop gun shops I deal with. It's way better than buying on the word of someone you don't know. Of course buying from someone you do know is always best.

I bought a used Savage 110 with a decent scope for $225. It's a very accurate rifle too but it's old enough it doesn't have the AccuTrigger. The thing about a Savage is you can upgrade one part at a time and end up with an extremely accurate rifle that's just the way you want it. The one exception to this is the Axis line. You might even want to buy a Stevens 200 which sells for about $300 brand new and comes with those nice factory warranties. It is made by Savage of course so you can move up along the Savage upgrade path if that's what you want. But to be honest your rifle will shoot pretty accurate out of the box. It just won't have an AT either. But you can add a better trigger at any time. Or you could start with a Savage that does have an AccuTrigger for not that much more money. Savage has been known as the cheapest route to really good accuracy for a long while. But other rifles are certainly very accurate too.

It really depends on just how much you want to spend. Other factors include the price of ammo, whether you will eventually want to shoot longer distances, and w how much recoil are you willing to put up with.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:56 PM   #7
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Unless you were hoping for a bolt action the Ruger mini-14 ranch is an awesome gun at a good price. It has that old style to it because it was modeled off of the M14 that the military still uses today. It shoots 223 Remington so ammo is cheap and has decent open sights on it. You can always add a scope to it later.

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Old 11-02-2011, 12:40 AM   #8
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All good suggestions. My first centerfire rifle (from earlier this year) was a Mosin-Nagant bought from a friend on (Being in New York, you may want to check the site out.) After that I got a Hi-Point 9mm carbine, then I built a PSL, then I bought a Mini-14. And three shotguns too. And two pistols.

I guess I got a little carried away. (grin)

Anyway, if I were to do it over again I'd probably have bought something like the Savage in .308 first. I love my Mosin but more for the historical value than the shootability. (Operating the bolt on my Mosin is like trying to kick start a bulldozer. Mounting a scope on it takes some fiddling too.) The Savage or most other modern rifles will let you spend more time shooting and less time babysitting.

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Old 11-02-2011, 01:05 AM   #9
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If iron sights are a must have it does limit your choices. I can comment that the BLR in .308 has a great deal of felt recoil. It may not be the best for a 1st center fire. As far as surplus rifles, for true accuracy you can't beat a K31 Swiss or 1896/1938 Swedish Mauser. You can find others, but not with the consistency of the Swiss or Swedes. $300.00 will buy a nice rifle and you can use the rest for good ammo. Both 7.5x55 and 6.5x55 are easy on the shoulder and very accurate. You can always buy a new rig later after you master open sights on a medium bore rifle. If reloading is in your future, the 7.5 may be a better option as it uses .308 bullets. You could get a .308 later and use the same bullets to reload. Powder and primers will work also. The K31 can also be fitted w/ a St. Marie no smith mount. They work fine but you need to sight slightly off to the right of the stock. I had the mount and a decent scope that I sold as the rifle was as accurate without it. So many toys, so little time. If you want to start w/ a smaller caliber, maybe a CZ527 in .223 would fit the bill. Be careful though, only the varminter has a 1:9 twist, the others have a 1:12, 1:14 twist, so 55gr maybe the heaviest bullets they will stablize. I only shoot 65gr as the heavy bullets in my varminter, 90% are 55gr, so it may not be a factor for you.
Best of luck in your search.
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Last edited by jpattersonnh; 11-02-2011 at 01:12 AM.
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