Thinking about a first rifle

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by athousandtimes, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. athousandtimes

    athousandtimes New Member


    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?
  2. TXnorton

    TXnorton New Member

    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.

  3. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

  4. jbshoots

    jbshoots New Member

    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.
  5. dteed4094

    dteed4094 Member

    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.

    Attached Files:

  6. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    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.
  7. Slayer-72

    Slayer-72 New Member

    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...
  8. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    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
  9. Shooter girl

    Shooter girl New Member

    Are you set on hunting with a rifle?
  10. ItsmeShane

    ItsmeShane New Member

    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.
  11. hdwrench

    hdwrench New Member

    the 22 issue . i guess its up to you . do you need to re-familareize yourself to shooting ?
    if so a 22 is a great way to do it .

    good calibers to choose from are 243 , 270 , 308 and 30-06. these are very common calibers and will serve you well . a good reason to choose one of the above calibers is ammo availabilty . you can find a good selection of loads at a good price almost anywhere they sell ammo . the 308 can be purchased extra cheap in mil-surplus .ammo can be expensive but most guns can be shot for less then a doller a trigger pull .to compare prices go to ""

    what action gun will you choose ? semi auto loading , lever , pump ,bolt ,single shot are most of your choices and will help decide what brands to look for . you stated your on a budget so maybe a used gun is a good choice . remington 770 and savage 110 are also being offered new from the factory in package guns at good prices .

    for tons of good reading on hunting and shooting go to "" then click guns and shooting.

    hope this helps ,good luck .
  12. Dcomf

    Dcomf New Member

    Do not get a Mosin for your purposes. Given your experience at this point you would be putting yourself at a disadvantage with it. The choice of ammo for hunting is limited and the price high. It is not the ideal gun to learn to shoot with due to recoil which can be intimidating. Eventually you may want a scope on the rifle which leaves you with two options, a long eye relief scope mounted to the rear sight base or having someone do a D&T to the receiver to mount it traditionally which requires a bent bolt to use. Does any of this sound like fun learning? If cost is your biggest factor consider the Savage Package rifle in 243. It comes with a scope already boresighted for around $400. The 243 will kill deer, be easier to learn with and be cheaper to shoot than most rounds.
  13. ShadowLID

    ShadowLID New Member

    Well this is just an idea but you can buy one of those rossi rifles and you get 3 barrels with it. One is a 22lr the other is a 20ga, and the 3rd is a .243win.
    Solves all of your problems and adds a shotgun. :D And they only run around $250.
  14. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    I'd recommend staying as far away from the Remington model 770 as possible. The model 770 is simply a "revamped" version of the POS model 710.

  15. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    The 710 had a major recall and then discontinued. Wally World carries the 770 pretty heavily with Bushnell scope attached. Not going there myself when there are much better rifles out there for a decent price.