Guns Like firearms themselves, there's a wide variety of opinions on what's the best gun.

first gun

Old 10-01-2010, 01:28 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default first gun

Hi, I am an avid fisherman but I have no experience in hunting or fire arms. I would like to do some deer hunting here in Florida so I am in need of a rifle I have about $500 to spend can I get a reliable rifle for that price? what would you recommend?
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:48 PM
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You can get a great rifle for that price. My suggestion would be the Savage Model 10 or 110 depending on if you want a caliber that's in a long action or short action. They run between $387 and 397 at Walmart depending on which one you go to. They have the famous accu trigger and even come with a Simmons scope as well as a sling. It's just a great all around rifle. The scopes serviceable, but not the best, but it should work fine. It's really a great gun, and that would leave you $100 left over. In a couple of years you may or may not want to replace the scope with something a little better depending on how you like the scope on it. I know lots of guys that never replace them and never have issues, but others like me like nicer scopes. If you ever do change the scope, I'd change the rings too.

The next choice I'd look at is the Marlin XL-7 for the long actions and XS-7 for the short actions. These have a trigger similar to the accu trigger, and seem to be getting really good reviews. You can often find these for around $300, but they don't come with a scope so you would have to add a scope. You could go with a Burris FFII or Vortex Viper and still be in your budget.

There are also other good choices like the Stevens 200 which is basically the old Savage Model 10. The only reason I'd hesitate to recommend these is they are often around $300 with no scope. IMO it's well worth the extra $100 to go to Walmart and get the Savage Model 10 and get the accu trigger and a scope. Heck imo the accu trigger is worth the price difference alone.

These are all inexpensive but not cheap rifles. By that I mean they are inexpensive in price, but not cheap in quality.

The guns to stay away from in this price range are the Remington 710/770 models. These are just pure crap.
The other one that's not as bad, but I'd still stay away from is the Mossberg ATR. There have been reports of a bolt flaw that's ended in some people getting seriously hurt. I'm not sure if they fixed this or not, but I'd not be willing to take a chance. That topped with the fact that you can get a much better gun for a similar price leads me away from this gun.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:51 PM
  #3  
Spike
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Thanks this probably sound stupid but what is long action or short action?
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:02 PM
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Nothing can replace shouldering them !

Here is a short list;

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=117270

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=117249

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=113410

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=87768

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=99595

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=90826

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=86358

http://www.ableammo.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=86703
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:17 PM
  #5  
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A "long action" will typically be necessary to chamber any cartridge similar in length or longer than the .30-06. A "short action" generally chambers cartridges similar in length to the .308.

The advantage of the long action is probably obvious - you've access to more powerful cartridges. The disadvantage is extra weight, though not a lot unless you're hunting something like bighorn sheep where every ounce counts.

One can rarely go wrong in North America with a .30-06. However, if Florida deer (not Montana elk) are all you see yourself hunting frequently, you might consider short-action calibers like the .308, 7mm-08, or .243. However, it should be noted also that in addition to deer, the .308 and 7mm-08 are respectable elk/moose calibers in their own right. Again, considering Florida as your home range, I would avoid most, if not all, "magnum" calibers.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:23 PM
  #6  
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The long actions are usually the same as most of them were originally chambered for. Examples would be the .30 caliber and up range, 30-06, .308, .270, .338, .300's and .400's and up. Shooters have been coming up with new calibers, often based on existing calibers, but have sometimes fattened the case as well as shortened it. Little if anything is lost in power and range and accuracy, but it allows the action on the rifle to be made shorter than the standard long action. The manufacturers claim that it makes for a stronger action, which it may, but that alone shouldn't be a factor in your choice, the standard length actions are plenty strong enough. Another advantage with the shorter action is that it makes for a better brush country gun as the overall length of the rifle is shorter. I've owned two .300 Winchester short magnums and both were easy to shoot and very accurate--I'll leave it to the more experienced members of the forum to suggest calibers------
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:29 PM
  #7  
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I stand corrected, I've never owned or shot a .308 and didn't realize they were a short action cartridge----nor have I ever had the chance to hunt in Florida, but the above suggestions make good sense----
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:53 PM
  #8  
Spike
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Thanks everyone. I pretty much see myself hunting Florida deer wild boar and eventually bear
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:59 PM
  #9  
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Hey Bowhunter and welcome to the forum.

Your question is a good question and deserves a good answer.

As is - if I was going to sell you a new automobile, so it is with buying your first rifle. If a person has a large family, he would need to buy a large automobile or a mini van. If a person is a single person - he can buy a two seater Corvette if he wants.

That is how it is with buying a rifle.

You want to buy the right rifle to do the job. I don't think that anyone here has asked you yet what you want to do, or where you want to do it.

If all you were going to hunt was Whitetail deer in Florida, about all the rifle you would ever need would be a .243 Winchester.

If you were going to hunt Alberta Whitetail deer, you might want a 30-06 or a .300 Winchester Magnum.

For a Florida deer, a .270 Winchester would be about the largest - most powerful gun that you would want to use.

My opinion is - if all you have is $500, you are better off to find a used gun shop and find a nice used gun over buying a brand new rifle and a cheap scope. There are some real good deals out there right now if you know where to look and what to look for.

If a person could find a used - (pre 1980) Model 700 Remington or a used Model 70 Winchester rifle - they would be better off in my opinion to buy it over buying a brand new rifle.

I would suggest that you do some research on each caliber that you was thinking about buying before you buy it.
You don't need a Magnum caliber to hunt a little old small whitetail deer.

Any gun in the area of a .300 Savage, 308 Winchester, .270 Winchester, .243 Winchester, 25-06 would all be a good choice for what you want to do.
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Old 10-01-2010, 07:52 PM
  #10  
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if you have little to pretty much no experience shooting a gun you should probably start out with a small caliber like a 22.
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