Go Back  HuntingNet.com Forums > Firearms Forum > Guns
Buying new rifle - recommendations? >

Buying new rifle - recommendations?

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

Buying new rifle - recommendations?

Old 03-18-2016, 09:57 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 5
Default Buying new rifle - recommendations?

I've been looking at purchasing a new rifle in the coming months and was wondering what some of you recommended. I've searched through numerous rifle brands and calibers and became a bit overwhelmed. A bit of history of myself first. I'm 21 and haven't been out hunting since 2009. Went out a few times with my step father, but him and my mother have since split so I've had no chance to (nor the experience like he had) to be able to get out on my own. I've been shooting numerous times but with old rifles and shotguns handed down from my family. Those just aren't making the cut anymore. I've been itching to purchase my own rifle that I can learn inside and out and feel proud of.
I did notice a rifle that was easy on the wallet but still seemed to have good quality while browsing Cabelas website. It was a rifle/scope combo from savage. The 16/116 Trophy Hunter XP if I'm correct. Cost about $700 and came in a wide variety of caliber. I was interested in the .300 Win Mag, though I've heard it's a more expensive round to buy. When I do finally get out of the house to hunt, I'd like to have that extra punch and range from the .300 Win Mag, unless it doesn't seem practical. I seriously want to drop the cash on something that takes a .338 Lapua (wouldn't we all) but I don't think taking down Bigfoot is anything I'll be doing soon, so nothing higher that the .300 for now (unless someone wants to talk me into it ). Reloading is also a serious cosiderstion I'm thinking about (step father reloaded all of his ammo).
Sorry for the long post but I'm anxious to hear what everyone here has to say.
Brandon_Lawhorn is offline  
Old 03-18-2016, 11:23 PM
Super Moderator
Bocajnala's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Trumbull County, Ohio
Posts: 9,539

Welcome to HNI Brandon. Lots of good info and members here. Hope to see you stick around. What state and what game will you mostly be hunting. That'll help us answer your question. That being said... the savage you found is a very nice rifle, and will serve you well. A .300 mag will also work on basically anything in North America(Bigger for the big bears, but would still work...) I'd probably suggest something in the .243-.30-06 range for 99% of first time rifle buyers. But if you want the .300 mag, no problem with that.

You mentioned reloading. I enjoy reloading and recommend it for anybody interested. But it will cost you some $$$ and some time to learn. There's a good reloading forum here that can help you with info for that.
Hope that all helps!
Bocajnala is offline  
Old 03-19-2016, 02:26 AM
Dominant Buck
Champlain Islander's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: On an Island in Paradise
Posts: 22,898

I agree with Bocajnala on what he posted. A .300 is a great caliber especially for elk but if you are looking for a good deer gun with some target practice and varmint hunting something a bit tamer might be a more practical purchase. Welcome to HNI.
Champlain Islander is offline  
Old 03-19-2016, 03:02 AM
Nontypical Buck
alleyyooper's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: MICHIGAN
Posts: 2,568

You left out most of the important information required for any one to pick out a rifle for you.

What is your budget for a rifle? for a scope?
Where do you plan to hunt?
What game will you be hunting? You don't need a 300mag for whistle pigs!!!!
How tall are you and weight? If you5'4" and weigh 120 You are not going to be happy with a 300 mag either.

The old tried and true 30-06, 308, 270 will take almost any north American game animal with ease. Won't cause you to develop a flinch stock out of the box either, ammo mostly is easy to find even way out in the middle of no where 2 pump gas stations too.

I also do not think to much of those big box stores for rifle buying. Places like Wal Mart, Dicks, Cabala's, Bass Pro Shop and Gander mountain and others. Most of the sales people don't know the fine points of a Remington over a Savage. Most if you have a problem after the sale your pretty much SOL and the rifle is sent out to be fixed and you wait and wait to get it back.
Find a local gun shop to buy your rifle May pay 50 to 75 dollars more but you will be dealing with some one who's soul means of support is the gun shop and GUNS & AMMO. Many have a smith working for them too who fix problems. All of the local gun shops I deal with will fit the rifle shot gun to you at no charge.

There is more to gun buying than money, Brand, caliber/gauge.


Last edited by alleyyooper; 03-19-2016 at 03:05 AM.
alleyyooper is offline  
Old 03-19-2016, 03:44 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: VA.
Posts: 1,415

I agree w/the previous posts. Don't get caught up in the "bigger is better" mentality unless you know that is what you really need/can handle. That 300 Winchester Magnum will have much greater recoil over the more standard calibers mentioned. Very important to recoil w/this caliber is the eye relief w/this scope. What amount of eye relief does the scope provide, especially at max power? Until you shoot the gun w/whatever loads you would intend to hunt with, ie, discover the amount of recoil, you don't really know completely the eye relief is adequate for you.(sarcasm: Scope eye feels really good) The previous non magnum calibers mentioned are very capable and the most practical place to start.
Game Stalker is offline  
Old 03-19-2016, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 18

Once you do finally decide on a caliber you may also want to take a look at the Ruger American. It's a very nice entry level rifle and will probably be priced within your budget. have a .243 and a .308 and both are good shooters right out of the box.

I would avoid the combo and go shopping for a scope. Get you hands on as many different scopes as you can and pick the one that suits you and the style of hunting you will be doing.

Hope this helps.
Berettaman is offline  
Old 03-19-2016, 06:02 AM
Hummer70's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Aiken, South Carolina
Posts: 55

All the above are absolutely correct. About anything from a 260 thru 30.06 will do the job on deer sized targets. 30.06 ammo is the easiest to find most anywhere.

Another thing to consider is do you expect to do lots of shooting with your new purchase to the tune of hundreds of rounds per year or just a box of ammo a year?

Reason I say this is there are models out there now than cannot be re-barreled which to me is like buying a car and the lug nuts are welded so the wheel cannot be removed.

It is so easy to ruin a barrel as contrary to popular belief they are quite soft. One wrong pass with a jointed cleaning rod can take off or wear down the muzzle crown and you just destroyed the accuracy you had.

Tens of thousands of vets had their rifles (rodded) prior to leaving the firing line on military ranges by range personnel running rods down M16s from the muzzles. I saw this happening at Camp Perry in the Small Arms Firing School and made a report on the practice when I got back to work.

A little background, I went to work for the US Army Small Caliber Weapons Lab in the 70s and was subsequently assigned Product Engineering Responsibility for all rifles, shotguns and SMGs in the Army inventory except the M16. One guy had that by himself and when he was covered up I was assigned M16 work which was mainly conducting Catastrophic Failure Investigations on the ones that came in. Most everyone on the internet calls such KABOOMS and other terminology I have seen.

I noted the "rodding" that went on at Camp Perry and came back and reported it and it took a couple of years and thousands of ruined barrels for the Army to issue orders that there would be no more "rodding" of barrels.

As an example of how little it takes to deteriorate your barrel's accuracy I walked into a gun show in Jax,Fla and walked up to this first table and this guy was dumping a Rem 700 Varmint in 223 and sold it to the dealer for 200.00 before I caught on to the conversation. The dealer offered it to me for 250.00 and I started looking it over.

It was obvious the rifle had seen very few rounds and that told me there was something wrong with it. I looked down the bore, OK and it was straight internally. Note: just because a rifle barrel is straight on the outside doesn't mean it is straight on the inside.

It took me a bit of examination and I worked my way to the muzzle and I saw it. There was a very tiny nick on the crown. I estimate it was about .003" wide (sheet of paper thickness) and I was convinced it had happened at the factory as the little nick was blued.

I paid him and left and came home loaded up three different loads and went to range Sunday afternoon and it shot 1 1/2" at 100 yards. Monday I called my contact in Remington Engineering and asked him what the acceptance was on Varmints and he said 1 1/2" and he wanted to know what I had. I told him what I had found and was going to pull it down and recrown the muzzle. He agreed.

Got home and recrowned it and took it to the range. The exact same ammo was shot again and the worst group I had was 5/8ths inch at 100 yards ! ! ! !

The point here is some rifles have barrels to short to go through the headstock on a lathe so you are stuck with a rifle with a damaged crown because you can't remove barrel to fix it.


Give the above a read, written by a good friend Bruce Woodford who just died a couple months ago. It will give a good background on how critical damage to your muzzle can be.

Personally I would not recommend a disposable rifle, it just goes against my grain to consider such.

Last edited by Hummer70; 03-19-2016 at 07:00 AM.
Hummer70 is offline  
Old 03-19-2016, 07:57 AM
Giant Nontypical
JagMagMan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Port Neches, Texas
Posts: 5,514

Great advise from all. I would second what Game Stalker said, "don't get caught up in the bigger is better craze!" That is the #1, best advise a newer shooter can hear! If you have experience with the .300 and that's what you want, that's OK. But there are not that many critters in NA that need killing with a .300+.
Second, I would recommend buying the gun and scope separately! "Package deal" scopes are usually garbage and would be used as a trot-line weight!
Get the best glass that you can reasonably afford, good luck and welcome to the HN board!
JagMagMan is offline  
Old 03-19-2016, 08:31 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 5

Thank you for all of the replies! I did leave out some information, and I'm sorry for that. I live in Peoria, AZ. I'm 6' 2" and weigh 220lbs. As for the game I'd hunt, basically anything to start. Whether that's local coyote or if I am able to get drawn for Elk, etc. I'd go down the road to my local range to get accustomed to my rifle for a bit at first as well. Budget wise I'm a bit flexible but I'd rather not spend $1k+ (for rifle and scope combined). At least i dont want to spend more then that until i know it will be something that i will want to spend more money on im the future. That's why that Savage combo seemed decent to me. The scope on that was a Nikon 3-9x40, but I haven't checked up to see what the max distance or anything about it would be. Would it be a bad choice to look at combos or should I research them both seperately? Any recommendations on rifles and scopes would be appreciated.
As for reloading, yes I am very interested. My girlfriends, aunts, boyfriend (that's a mouth full, I know) use to reload and has all of the necessary equipment. My hope is to hopefully buy it all from her if she allows me to. Should hopefully save me some cash there. I got more questions on reloading but I'll wait and redirect them to that fourm later on.
Brandon_Lawhorn is offline  
Old 03-19-2016, 10:39 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Indiana county, Pa
Posts: 681

Brandon, the biggest thing you will be hunting in Az. is elk. 270 or 30-06 will do the job without knocking you around from recoil. also ammo is easier to find at most gun stores. I lived in Az. about 20 years ago and used to sell guns at a sporting goods store. most of the customers usually bought 270 and 06's for hunting back then.
Mr. Slim is offline  

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.