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phaelin 09-18-2008 12:10 AM

Newbie at rifles

I just joined this site so I hope I'm in the right forum. I'm looking for some advice on what rifle to get. I'm currently living in The Netherlands, but am looking to emigrate to Sri Lanka. There I want to get a simple rifle (.303 caliber or something similar) with scope to hunt rabbits or whatever lives there I can eat.
Any advice on what to get. It has to be easy to maintain, because I'm a computer nerd and not very proficient with mechanical things. Money is not really an object. I don't want automatic fire, because I don't think that's needed for what I want. I just want a good reliable rifle with a good scope. I have been a member of a shooting club here in Holland and have participated in .22 60 meters competitions in which I did pretty well. I realize the larger caliber will have more recoil but I think I can handle that.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Dillinger 09-18-2008 12:22 AM

Welcome to the Forum phaelin - There are several hunters here who will steer you in the right direction.


h2oking 09-18-2008 02:49 AM

I have no idea what there is to hunt in Sri Lanka, but if it is just rabbits and you want to eat them the 22 you have been shooting would work fine. A large caliber rifle on rabbits would not leave you much to eat after you shot it. If there are larger game there then it would make sense to use a larger caliber.

I hope that helps,


phaelin 09-24-2008 08:43 PM

Makes good sense. I guess I'll just try to get my hands on a good .22 with a nice scope and shoot my dinner.
Thanks for the advice. I hadn't realized that shooting a .303 at a rabbit would turn it into dogfood.

thanks again.



cpttango30 09-24-2008 10:17 PM

First things first, before you even start worrying about buying a firearm Find out the gun laws in Sri Lanka. I did a quick search on google and that didn't turn up much. Either it is really easy to get one or it is beyond tough.

Call the embassy in your country and ask questions or an appointment to talk to someone about migrating to sri lanka.

matt g 09-24-2008 11:27 PM

.303 is a military round. Many countries have a ban on hunting with military calibers.

BigO01 09-25-2008 05:02 AM


A large caliber rifle on rabbits would not leave you much to eat after you shot it.
This kinda stuff is nothing but an old wives tale on small animals like rabbits and squirrels a large caliber will blow right through them leaving a hole approximately the same size as the bullet without any expansion .

Just like in big game hunting the meat damage is the area immediately around the bullet hole and if you use a small caliber designed for fast expansion you actually damage more meat then if you use a larger bullet with less expansion that may penetrate the entire body cleanly .

I always carry a pistol with me when hunting and once had knocked a rabbit down but did not kill it with my shotgun , I didn't want it to suffer so I grabbed it by it's hind legs and picked it up and drew my 357 magnum loaded with 145 grain magnum hollow points and put a round through it's head . The damage was a simple nice clean hole right through it's head that you couldn't even see as the fur covered it back up after the bullet passed through .

I also once shot a squirrel with a 30-30 , same thing , one nice clean hole where the bullet passed through without expanding .

cpttango30 09-25-2008 07:09 PM

The last time I shot a rabbit with a 308 the darn thing exploaded and there was nothign at all left but blood and fur.

BigO01 09-26-2008 03:53 AM


Originally Posted by cpttango30 (Post 42258)
The last time I shot a rabbit with a 308 the darn thing exploaded and there was nothign at all left but blood and fur.

How is it a 308 bullet expands so dramatically to do that much damage on a 2 lb rabbit yet holds together and will give a complete pass through on a 150 lb deer ?

Even a 223 or a hot 22 magnum wont cause a small animal like a ground chuck to receive damage that looks like a bomb went off inside of it .

Guns and Ammo had an article years ago on extreme reduced handloads for the major Big game rifles , those designed and chambered for Africa's big 5 to help a hunter familiarize themselves with their new Cannons suggesting they should hunt small game like rabbits with their new toys . They had plenty of pictures of small animals that had been taken with cannons like the 458 Winchester magnum 416 Rigby etc etc and there was plenty left of the bunny to eat .

If any firearm was going to cause the dramatic damage you describe it would be a shotgun at close range and since people eat tens of thousands of rabbits and quail every year that have been killed with shotguns even with them it seems highly unlikely .

Like a friend of mine loved to say "you BS your friends and I'll BS mine but don't try to BS me because I know better" .

c3shooter 09-27-2008 02:44 AM

To deal with the original question, for small game, a bolt action .22 LR will be more than adequate, simple to maintain, etc. But your first step will be to determine what the FIREARM laws are, and what the GAME laws are in the country you are moving to. The .303 Enfield with the right bullet (jacketed soft point) is suitable for large game, such as deer, moose, etc, but is too much gun for small game.

In some cases, a 12 g or 20 guage shotgun may be all local laws will allow you- which is not all bad. Low brass small shot works for bunnies, birds, etc- and buckshot or slugs will cover anything this side of elephants. And can make a pretty good self defense weapon.

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