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athousandtimes 11-24-2009 09:29 AM

Thinking about a first rifle

First of all i'm new to the forum, from central california and interested in purchasing my first rifle. I've got a little bit of experience with guns, having fired .22's, 12 gauges, and a Garand. I guess you guys get threads like this a lot so I'll try to be specific in terms of what I want and what my concerns are.

I'd like to use it hunting, not so much in range/target shooting. I would like something that can take down a deer, but I don't see myself going after anything larger in the near future. I'm also on a budget and would like to spend under $350-ish if possible.

Someone suggested to me that I start out with .22 to improve shooting skill before moving up. Other's suggested .243, .250-300, and .257 as appropriate calibers for deer hunting. Another factor that came up was cost of ammo(again, on a budget.) How much more can ammo run for a larger caliber gun as compared to a .22?

What do you guys think from the information I have provided? Where sort of rifles should I be researching?

TXnorton 11-24-2009 11:13 AM

Centerfire ammo will cost a lot more than .22LR. Just go down to your local gunstore or Academy/Walmart and check prices. If ammo cost is a deciding factor, then that may discourage your spending a lot of time at a gun range practicing, which then defeats the intent of becoming proficient at any firearm that you own before you go hunting with it. If this is the case, then stick with a .22 until you can afford to shoot a centerfire.

As far as a centerfire caliber for hunting deer, anything in .243 or larger would work fine.

cpttango30 11-24-2009 11:14 AM

Look at the Marling XL7 in 25-06 or the Savage/Stephens Model 200 in 25-06.

Also hop on over to the introduction section and introduce yourself.

jbshoots 11-24-2009 11:43 AM

just my opinion here, but i think if you can only really afford one gun, then the .22lr just to learn on might kind of limit you.

i know starting small and cheap is usually better for the new shooter to get practice but hear me out here. my thoughts are that is money is a factor that means you can only really afford one gun. therefore, if you get that .22 you will get good with it and then have to buy a whole other gun for the hunting you want to do later.

since you have fired rifles before up to .30-06 cal in that garand you said you've shot, it's not like you're starting at the very beginning, you do know what shooting is like.

and like i was saying, once you master that .22 then you're kind of stuck until you can afford your hunting rifle.

just my two cents there.

the calibers talked about here are not too burly to practice and get good with and you can probably find one with reasonably priced ammo that you can get a decent amount of to practice with.

my personal feeling however is this, if money is a factor and you can only get one gun period, get a 12 gauge shotgun because of the variety and cheapness of the ammo it shoots, but that's just me.

if you just have to go rifle, i would get something .243 or higher. whatever you can afford to shoot a bunch.

dteed4094 11-24-2009 02:16 PM

1 Attachment(s)
You can consider a Mosin Nagant for cost purposes only. You can pick up a 91/30 for around $100.00 or even less. You can buy ammo to use on the range for about $6.00 a box. The down side is you have to be selective when you pick one out because some of the bores look like sewer pipes. They are relatively heavy. If kick is a factor,they kick like a mule. They have no safety to speak of. Mounting a scope is possible but sketchy.
If you are handy, you can begin your love affair with firearms by refurbishing what ever needs done cosmetically to it. More than likely you will want to update to a more modern gun in the future but it is a cheap place to start.

JonM 11-24-2009 02:19 PM

if you can only afford one gun.

308 would be a good choice. wide variety of hunting loads. it is able of taking medium game animals. wide availabilty of cheap surplus type ammo to practice with.

Slayer-72 11-26-2009 03:27 AM

i would actually recomend the same as dteed4094. we got our Nagant for 80$, and 2 military surplus ammo cans of 440 rounds for another 80$ each. watch out though, i think the rounds we got steel core penetrators, which would not be very ideal for hunting what with over penetration. probubly good for bear hunting though...

skullcrusher 11-26-2009 03:52 AM

Tango had good suggestions. Cabela's had the Marlin XL-7 on sale recently for about $250. Wide variety of calibers available and it does not weigh 120 pounds like the Nagant. (just kidding, I know it does not weigh 120 #'s) For deer, the suggestion of larger than .243 is right on. Good luck. Let us know what you decide. :D

Shooter girl 11-26-2009 04:21 AM

Are you set on hunting with a rifle?

ItsmeShane 11-26-2009 09:46 AM

I dont know about California, but here in redneck country, you can get Remington 700's at walmart for right around your price range. They have the ADL and BDL models there. think the ADL is 250 and BDL is 300.

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