recomendations/advice needed.
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:01 AM   #1
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hey all,
im new to the sport of shooting, only just recently acquired my gun licence (australia), and am looking to buy my first rifle.
ive been doing a bit of research about the pro's and con's for various calibers.
im mainly going to use this gun at the range, however, when i get better at shooting, i would also like to go hunting.
ive decided i want either .22-250, .223, or .243. ive chosen these calibers because i want to learn how to properly hold and shoot a rifle without having to take into consideration massive recoil of a .308 or .30-06 (which i first wanted) for a begginer.
what do you guys think is the best all round cartridge? ballistic wise, and hunting wise?

Nik.

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Old 08-03-2010, 06:40 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum from another Aussie Nik, where are you from?

The .223 will probably be your best bet on availability and economy of ammo, and when shot out of a decent rifle will almost always out-shoot a beginner anyway. Once you step up in calibre past the .223 the price of ammunition seems to rise exponentially at the same time!

What rifle are you thinking of? I've got a Weatherby Vanguard Synthetic in this calibre, they can be found for good prices with or without a scope and are light enough to be lugged around while hunting while still being accurate enough for target shooting. The .223 will also be adequate on nearly all game ranging in size from rabbits up to pigs (just don't try to go through the shoulder on large boars though, especially with hollow points ), and the range of commercially available hunting ammo is great. Mine shoots everything from 40gr hollow points all the way up to 64gr soft points just fine, and the heavier bullets are definitely the way to go on pigs. Small deer can also be taken with this load, make sure you place your shots correctly though, or you'll have some tracking to do. Most often I use 55gr American Eagle hollow points, they're only $8.50 a box and perform spectacularly on rabbits, hares and foxes, and with the correct shot placement will also fall a goat.

Here's a pic of my Weatherby with a five shot group at 150 metres, I think that it'll be more than adequate for your needs.

a30d7419.jpg  
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:18 AM   #3
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hey AusLach,
thanks for the warm welcome and your advice. Im form the outer western suburbs of melbourne (burnside).
Ive been looking at the Tikka T3 or Sako rifle. they are a bit pricey, but i dont want to compromise for quality, id rather spend the extra bucks at first but know im getting a quality rifle that (looked after right) will last me a long time.
i also plan to reload my own rounds, to drop price/shot and ive told from many people (who have been shooting for longer then ive been alive :P) that you can get a lot better accuracy out of a quality reload then factory ammo. again, though, that takes practise and many hours of fiddling around to get the right mix, bullet weight & type to suit your needs/prefferances.
im pretty much sold on the .223, just from the balistics on paper, let alone other peoples testimonials. id just like to learn a bit more on the .22-250 and .243. as i understand, the .243 is a necked down .308 case, so theoretically it should perform better then the .223, i just havnt come across many people who shoot this round, could it be the price is too steep for the minor increase in ballistic performance? or is it just the .223 is an all round better cartridge at begginer level shooting?

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Old 08-04-2010, 03:29 AM   #4
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Welcome to the FTF community. Just for the record, the .308 and .30-06 do not have massive recoil. They just have recoil, not a big deal at all, so don't be put off.

There are a few Aussies here and they can guide you better than I can since they are more in tune with things down under.

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Old 08-04-2010, 04:59 AM   #5
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Welcome aboard, Nik!

I agree with CA357 about the .308 and .30-06 recoil. They are very manageable and with proper technique you should be able to fire either one all day.

That said, .223 is a great round.

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Old 08-04-2010, 05:28 AM   #6
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You will do just fine with a Sako or Tikka. They are owned by the same company, and each manufacture quality rifles. Remember that obtaining the best performance out of these rifles will also mean purchasing a quality scope though, so be sure to include $6-800 dollars in your budget for optics. It is for this reason that you might also want to have a look at Savage or CZ, both of which are cheaper than Sako or even Tikka, while still maintaining great accuracy and workmanship.

You are right in that the .243 is a .308 case which has been necked down to 6mm, and the .22-250 is also a necked down cartridge, based on the .250 Savage. Now that you are ready to start reloading, you can just about choose whatever calibre you want!

The .22-250 will shoot comparable bullets about 80-100 yards further than the .223 and the trajectory will be slighty flatter. Quality brass is easy to find and the recoil is only marginally more than from the .223, although the report is noticably louder. When reloaded, the price per round should not be all that different from the .223 but you are right, unless you are really pushing the envelope of the .22 centrefire's capabilities, the '250 doesn't really offer that much more over the .223.

With the .243 you will be able to shoot heavier bullets in the 60-110gr range, and this allows much more flexibility when transitioning from the range to the feild. Loads using 60-80 grainers can be loaded to be very accurate for the range and the heavier loads from 80-110gr will cleanly take all game you are likely to encounter, up to and including red deer. Brass is more than plentiful, and there are many different powders catering for all bullet weights that you will need. Commercial ammunition in a range of configurations is also readily available, probably for about the same price as .22-250.

Basic components for a reloading kit will set you back maybe $6-700, so depending on how much shooting you are planning on doing, it may take you quite some time to recover your costs over buying commercial ammo, especially if you decide on a .223. Take this into consideration.

As CA357 said, the .308 and .30-06 will not recoil overly hard, but seeing as though you are new to the sport it will definitely be easier to learn the fundamentals such as breathing, body positioning and trigger control using a calibre that you feel comfortable with. Any of the three you are looking at will be suitable. As always though, be sure to seek the advice of an experienced reloader before you start and to guide you through the first few batches of reloads that you make. This will lead to a much easier and safer transition into the activity and is more likely to see you hitting the bullseye more often!

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Old 08-04-2010, 06:28 AM   #7
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Thank you AusLach, you've been a great help and i thank you for your time with your detailed responces. as much as ive read and spoken about various calibers, i still cant make a deffinate decision. i guess ill just have to go to the range, make friends with some shooters and try the calibers for my self.

M14sRock & CA357,
i know that the .308 and the '06 dont have THAT much recoil, but i think they have a bit too much for my current skill & experiance level (which is very minimal). im sure those calibers in the hands of an experianced shooter are devistating in the field, and supurb for the range, but as AusLach said aswell, i want to learn the fundamentals of shooting first on a lighter recoiling rifle where i can controll is a lot better (physically im not that big) so what might seem little recoil for someone is a bit bigger for myself.

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Old 08-04-2010, 01:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n_andonovski View Post
Thank you AusLach, you've been a great help and i thank you for your time with your detailed responces. as much as ive read and spoken about various calibers, i still cant make a deffinate decision. i guess ill just have to go to the range, make friends with some shooters and try the calibers for my self.

M14sRock & CA357,
i know that the .308 and the '06 dont have THAT much recoil, but i think they have a bit too much for my current skill & experiance level (which is very minimal). im sure those calibers in the hands of an experianced shooter are devistating in the field, and supurb for the range, but as AusLach said aswell, i want to learn the fundamentals of shooting first on a lighter recoiling rifle where i can controll is a lot better (physically im not that big) so what might seem little recoil for someone is a bit bigger for myself.
No arguments from me, Nik. The .223 is a versatile round, and will serve you well. But if you have the chance to try a .308 before you buy a rifle, do it. You may be pleasantly surprised. I was a 120lb rail thin kid when I git my first .308 for my 16th birthday.

But the .223 works far more efficiently on many small(er) animals than the .308 does.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:21 PM   #9
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thanks everyone for your advice.
ive put a deposit down on a Tikka T3 Lite .308, and paying it off on layby (layaway).
i decided to go with the .308 because the round has a lot more potential then the .223. not right away, but eventually when im a better shooter, id like to shoot targets further then the reach of a .223.
furthermore, in Australia its a legal requirment for hunting deer, that your using a .270 caliber weapon or bigger. since i plan to hunt deer the .308 was the logical choise, without having to buy a secondary 'deer gun'.

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Old 08-10-2010, 04:41 PM   #10
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Would love to see some pics and a range report when you get it!

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