Help finding the best first rifle

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by Beltramo09, May 28, 2014.

  1. Beltramo09

    Beltramo09 New Member

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    I am looking into buying myself my first rifle. I have shot many types of guns before and currently own two shotguns. I decided that it's finally time to purchase my own rifle. I am looking for a rifle that won't cost me too much and possibly something that was used in a war. Any suggestions for a rifle that comes to mind after reading this?
     
  2. Franklin1995

    Franklin1995 New Member

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    Hey, welcome to the forums! Stop by the introduction section sometime so we can get to know you.

    We need to know a few more things before we can really recommend a rifle. What are your purposes? What is your budget? Are you recoil shy? Are you going to want to use a scope?

    If you want a rifle for hunting, what will you be hunting and where?

    There are a ton of different factors that go into deciding which rifle. I'm sure that once you give us some more information we will be able to recommend some good choices.


    Franklin
     

  3. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    It's pretty hard to beat a Mosin Nagant for value if you want an infantry weapon that you can use for hunting.

    There are now a plethora of Mosin Nagant upgrades, the most useful being polymer stocks and optical sight mount mechanisms.

    You can upgrade your rifle as time and money permit, or simply leave it the way it came.

    Ammunition is inexpensive and the rifle has the punch of a .308 for significantly less money.

    As accuracy goes, it's a WWII Russian rifle. Don't be too surprised if it doesn't shoot like a 5K sniping rifle.

    If you want something more modern that has seen service, you have the Remington 700 and Winchester Model 70, although both rifles cost significantly more than most variations of the Mosin Nagant.

    The Remington and Winchester rifles were used in Viet Nam as sniping weapons.

    If you greatly value accuracy and ergonomics, that costs more money. If you simply want a general purpose plinker or truck rifle, the Mosin Nagant variants are a bit more suitable.
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    first you need to define the usage of the rifle, how much of a budget you plan on wanting to spend on the rifle, if you plan on using open sights or a scope and how much of a budget for the scope if desired.

    how much shooting experiance with rifles?

    how much shooting do you plan on doing? hunting usage or target shooting?

    more information and details about you and what you desire for the usage of the rifle will help us make better suggestions that might suit your needs better.
     
  5. Beltramo09

    Beltramo09 New Member

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    I plan on buying this gun for just target shooting. I would say my budget is $1000 or less. I'm not really sure if that is a good budget, but that is just a good number that came into my head. I am willing to spend more if I need to. My friend just bought a Mosin Nagant and although I haven't had the chance to shoot, I like it a lot. It just has a real nice look to it and a bolt action rifle is always nice. I have had a bit of experience shooting rifles and shotguns so I am not recoil shy.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
  6. Franklin1995

    Franklin1995 New Member

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    Although the Mosin Nagant is a good gun for certain purposes, it is NOT a target rifle.

    If you want a target rifle, I would recommend something like a Remington 700 or maybe a Savage rifle. Howa's and weatherby's also have a good reputation for accuracy.

    You probably want to look for a .308, those are very accurate rounds and are commonly used in competition.

    A general rule for scopes is that you get what you pay for. You might need to put at least $300 in it to get one that is good enough for target shooting. How far do you plan on shooting?


    There are a lot of good choices out there for target rifles. Ultimately it's going to come down to the one that feels good in your hands and that you like the look of.
     
  7. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    milsurp rifles are not great target rifles. The few that would make good target rifles have been snapped up years ago. Combat accuracy is a 4" group at 100 yards. You can buy a $300 rifle and a $100 scope at walmart that will shoot a 2" group.

    There are milsurp rifles that are very accurate. But to find that rifle you need to have extensive experience with rifles or be willing to pay a gunsmith to go shopping with you.

    You would be much better off to buy a quality sporting rifle. Several manufacturers guarantee their rifles to shoot a .99" or smaller group with quality factory ammo.
     
  8. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

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    I'd suggest something practical..............................
     

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  9. Franklin1995

    Franklin1995 New Member

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    Don't you mean tacticool? :p
     
  10. montveil

    montveil New Member

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    You do not state if you want a high power rifle. You can target shoot with a 22 and the ammo is much less expensive. You can also shoot at shorter distances of 50-100 yards as a high power rifle is usually shot at distances out of 500 yards which will require special range facilities.
    As a beginning rifle shooter and if you have not shot high power rifles the likely hood of developing a flinch due to recoil and report is a real possibility.
    A good 22 rifle will cost much less than your budget and what you save on ammo can be accumulated towards a high power rifle in the future
     
  11. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    as mentioned, the Mosin Nagant isn't considered a target rifle. most MilSurp rifles aren't going to make a decent target rifle. they are fun to shoot and some can be shot fairly cheaply with MilSurp ammo.

    now are you looking for a rifle to target shoot with, or a target rifle? there is a difference. my father used a Winchester M70 in 243 with a sporter barrel for target shooting for many years, but it wasn't a target rifle. buying or building a target rifle means the rifle has a very specific purpose and it's use is pretty much limited to that purpose, putting very small groups on a paper target.

    budget wise, buying a varmint type rifle with a heavy barrel in a common caliber, for which there is a vast selection of factory ammo available might be the direction to go. from what i gather, you aren't reloading, so this limits you to what is availlable as factory loaded ammo. best ammo choices here are going to be 223 or 308 IMO. both are offered in rifles with heavy barrels by several rifle manufacterers. Remington, Marlin, Savage, Ruger and others all make a varmint style rifle in these calibers. all should be within your target budget, if this doesn't include the scope. most heavy barreled rifles don't have sights, so a scope is definately needed.

    several brands of rifles that you might look into, the CZ 527 Varmint, Howa 1500 Varmint, Marlin XS7VH, Mossberg MVP Varmint and Predator, Remington M700 SPS Varmint, Savage Model 12 Varmint, Model 25 Varminter, and the Savage Axis Heavy Barrel, Weatherby Vangaurd and the Browning X-Bolt Varminter for starting out.

    here's a link to GunGenie's website.

    http://www.galleryofguns.com/genie/default.aspx

    these guns are listed at MSRP, and many times that price can be beat by 20-30% off at your local retailers.
     
  12. primer1

    primer1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you are wanting to stick with a surplus weapon, go with a m1 garand. If you are wanting a super accurate target rifle, get a target model .22lr. There are some .22lr training rifles left out there, but you'll have to do w little searching to find one. A Russian or Chinese sks is another option.

    If you can settle for a general purpose plinking rifle, the above AR link would be nice for a semi auto. Axxe gave some direction of manufactures that make quality bolt guns for $300-500, which leaves plenty of dough for a quality scope.

    As far as calibers, .22lr or a .223 is hard to beat for a first rifle.
     
  13. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    If you have $1K to spend, then I would say a Howa, Remington, or Savage and a decent fixed magnification telescope are in your price range.

    With quality ammunition, all of the above listed makes typically shoot 1.5" or less at 100 yards and many times significantly better than that (and we're talking factory rifles with no special modifications).

    Winchester rifles are known for their smooth actions and accuracy, but they're also at the edge of your price range. I'm thinking in terms of the total package, which would be rifle, sling, quality telescopic sight, and cleaning supplies.

    A Winchester rifle is around between $700 to $1,000 by itself. A quality scope with fixed magnification can be had for less than $500.

    A Mosin Nagant is a fun weapon to shoot, but anyone who has handled a quality Howa, Remington, Savage, or Winchester knows that they're not even in the same class in terms of ergonomics, acceptance of optics, smooth operation, and weight (obviously if you put a fat enough barrel on any rifle you can make two different weapons equivalent in terms of weight, but I'm thinking in terms of normal vs heavier target contour barrels).

    If you go with any of the rifles listed above, I'll assume .308 or .30-06 as your cartridge of choice.

    Match grade .308 is around $1 to as much as $2 per cartridge. Most of the surplus .308/7.62MM NATO ammunition I see listed is about $0.65-$0.75 per cartridge.

    Match grade 7.62x54R is just as expensive, but harder to find. Off the top of my head all I can think of is Lapua, although I'm sure there are a few others. There's a Russian company that makes match grade ammunition for competition, but I forget the name and I can't recall if you can get it in the US or not. Most of the surplus 7.62x54R ammunition I see listed is between $0.25-$0.35 per cartridge.

    It shouldn't take much math to figure out that you can afford to shoot the 7.62x54R more than .308 or .30-06. Your ammunition loading choices with .308 or .30-06 are greater, but so is cost, and it can be substantial.

    If you think about it this way, no matter which rifle you select, if you buy a case of ammunition for either rifle you're over or close to the purchase price of the rifle. On that note, don't take the prices I listed at face value because they're just ballpark figures. Anyone who does enough hunting can find better and worse ammo prices and the prices are subject to constant change.
     
  14. Shoobee

    Shoobee New Member

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    For your first rifle, something in 22LR or 223 or 5.56x45 would probably be your best bet. Virtually no recoil.

    Ruger makes a great 22LR called the 22/10.

    http://www.ruger.com/products/1022Carbine/models.html

    They also make a great 223 called the 223 American.

    http://www.gunsamerica.com/blog/rug...ompact-new-gun-review-shot-show-2014-preview/

    And for a combat carbine, Ruger makes the best one called the Mini 14. See photo.
     

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  15. chloeshooter

    chloeshooter New Member

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    The best combat carbine is the Ruger Mini?

    You mean, the best combat carbine that RUGER makes, yes? I'm sure you don't mean to say the Mini 14 holds a candle to a decent AR15 M4 arrangement...because that would just be so bloody WRONG lol
     
  16. bbertram

    bbertram New Member

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    A $300 SKS will give you lots of shooting pleasure, with cheap ammo. I could be a first rifle, and after shooting it a bit, you might decide what you like and don't like for your 2d rifle.
    :)
     
  17. Franklin1995

    Franklin1995 New Member

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    Don't get me wrong, SKS is a good plinker. But it isn't one of the first things that pops into my mind when I hear "target rifle." I don't even think it's in the first 100 things! :p
     
  18. hawkguy

    hawkguy Well-Known Member

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    come on! mini 14 is a great rifle and would likely serve the needs of the OP well imo. and YES! imo it does "hold a candle" to my AR.....

    but at $1000, there sure are quite a bit of options.

    i dunno, i think everybody NEEDS a cowboy carbine, AKA a good lever rifle! :D great choice for a first rifle imo!
     
  19. TLuker

    TLuker Active Member

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    Like everyone else has said you need to think about what the rifle is going to be used for. If it's just to take out once in a while to the range to shoot at paper then something in .223 like a Ruger mini 14 will be the way to go. The Mosins are great for plinking but you will be shooting surplus ammo and you will have to spend some time cleaning it afterwards. Ammo for the mini, and AR's, is cheap and you won't have to worry too much about cleaning the mini. Plus they are fun.

    If you want something really accurate then you should consider some of the other rifles already mentioned. They could also be used for hunting later on if you ever decided to hunt.

    Then there is everything in between. I think a Lee Enfield would make a great first rifle or how about a Winchester or Marlin lever action 30-30? There are a lot of choices out there so think a little about what you want from the rifle i.e. easy maintenance, cheap ammo, extreme accuracy, and so on..... :)