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Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

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Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

Old 01-25-2005, 07:22 PM
  #1  
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Default Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

Hello there,
I'm currently considering purchasing a rifle for target practice at the range. I don't have any kind of intentions of going hunting in the near future, but everything is a possibility I suppose. The primary purpose of this rifle would be for target practice and having a good time at the range on the weekends.

Currently I only own/shoot shotguns and shoot trap on the weekends. I Believe I know a decent amount about good quality shotguns, however, my knowledge with rifles is rather limited.

I am lost on what brand, type, and calibur rifle's I should be looking at. Some of the names I have come across are Remington 700's, M1 Garands, 1903 Springfields.

I love the idea of an m1 garand, however I would like to toy around with something that has a scope. This brings the idea of the 1903 springfield to the picture, a WW2 firearm sounds interesting, but I am not sure what I am getting myself into.

So would a 1903 springfield be a wise choice to buy or should I be looking at other rifles, if so, what should I be looking at?

I appreciate any kind of advice,
Thanks
Jason
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Old 01-25-2005, 07:29 PM
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Default RE: Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

If you are just going to play ,That meens many rounds though it :}I would say buy just about any typ of 223.You can buy a cheep one for around $300 .The shells are very cheep.You can buy them in bulk.

There are many good guyns out there ,I like a bolt action but I hunt.If you are looking to shot a lot of rounds fast go for a mini 15 or ar15 they are not the best down range guns but they are fun to shoot.
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Old 01-25-2005, 07:34 PM
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Default RE: Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

ORIGINAL: ELKINMTCWB

If you are just going to play ,That meens many rounds though it :}I would say buy just about any typ of 223.You can buy a cheep one for around $300 .The shells are very cheep.You can buy them in bulk.

There are many good guyns out there ,I like a bolt action but I hunt.If you are looking to shot a lot of rounds fast go for a mini 15 or ar15 they are not the best down range guns but they are fun to shoot.
Thank you for the advice, any particular .223 bolt action rifles you would recommend?

An Ar-15 would be fun, but *sigh* im in california lol.
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Old 01-25-2005, 08:08 PM
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Default RE: Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

The primary purpose of this rifle would be for target practice and having a good time at the range on the weekends.
First off, I'd look into getting a 22LR semi-auto like one of the Ruger 10/22 models.
Maybe even look into a used one in good shape with a scope (4x Weaver is good if
you need one). Rimfire ammo such as the 22LR is very inexpensive. You can shoot a
lot, and even get into target shooting if you want though you may have to upgrade the
gun/scope to be competitive. I enjoy an occasional trip to the range with mine, and
shoot targets, pop cans, plastic bottle caps, old shotgun shells, clays, etc. (no glass objects & clean up after, ok).
If you want to, you can get a 10/22 in a target model (heavy barrel, laminate stock).
Very accurate.

For a centerfire rifle, as noted, you might want to look into a gun chambered for the
223Remington. Again, ammo is relatively inexpensive. There's lots of guns available, from semi-auto to bolt action target rifles. I believe both Remington & Ruger make
target rifles for the 223Rem. Both make nice light sporters also, such as the Remington
Mod.7, or the Ruger Ultra-Light.

Good luck & have fun.
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:04 PM
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Default RE: Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

You can also take a look at the packages put together and sold by Savage. The scopes aren't great, but they'll get you started.
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Old 01-25-2005, 11:20 PM
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Default RE: Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

for just playing around w/ I agree that a Ruger 10/22 would be great. Ammo is dirt cheap, lots of after market add ons.
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Old 01-26-2005, 03:34 PM
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Default RE: Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

jasonwinn,
What will be the most important thing to you after the fun target part? Cost of ammo?....or practicality if you decide to hunt?
For fun at the range and easy on the pocket book the advice of the .223 is perfect. However, a .223 wil leave you a bit handcuffed when you decide to hunt. There will be a bunch af game you'd be better off chasing with something bigger.
Do you handload?
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:38 PM
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Default RE: Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

ORIGINAL: 8mm/06

jasonwinn,
What will be the most important thing to you after the fun target part? Cost of ammo?....or practicality if you decide to hunt?
For fun at the range and easy on the pocket book the advice of the .223 is perfect. However, a .223 wil leave you a bit handcuffed when you decide to hunt. There will be a bunch af game you'd be better off chasing with something bigger.
Do you handload?
Good point, I think eventually I would end up hunting, just not anytime soon. I think I would rather spend a little bit more money on ammo now, then having to buy a whole new gun in a higher calibur later on.

Nope I do not handload.

Approx how much more would I be spending buy upgrading to say 30-06 or 7mm?
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Old 01-26-2005, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

Jason, welcome to the forum. Let me just say, EVERYBODY needs a .30-06, no matter what other guns you have. Ya just do.

A .223 is not a bad thing to have either nor is a .308. You can usually find surplus ammo for these cheaply, not so easily for the .30-06 anymore though. If you hunt deer sized game a .30-06 or .308 will have more than enough power; they can take anything in North America, although if you hunt big nasty bears in Alaska you'd want something bigger. I could start a real fun argument on this thread if I expressed an opinion one way or another about whether the .223 has enough power for deer hunting, so I'm keeping that opnion to myself. Better to argue about politics, religion, Ford or Chevy.

If you are thinking of hunting someday, and especially if you are thinking of mounting a scope on your rifle, I would recommend NOT getting a Springfield or an M1 Garand. These are fine milsurp rifles and are capable of excellent accuracy, but by the time you spend the money to have a gunsmith drill and tap them for a scope you'd be better off buying a rifle made for hunting anyway. Besides, these rifles are getting scarce and are valuable as collectors items, not just as shooters. If money's an object look for a good quality used rifle made by Remington, Winchester, Ruger, Browning, Savage, CZ, or some of the other makers. I prefer bolt actions myself. My personal favorites are Remington 700, Winchester Model 70, and CZ 550, but that's just my tastes. The important thing is that you get one that fits you well and that you like.

If you like semi-auto hunting rifles I would avoid the Remington 7400 and stick with the Browning BAR. The 7400 is not a terribly accurate rifle and lots of guys on this forum complain that they jam. I've got an older 742 that seems reliable but it can be counted on for fairly wide groups, about 3" at 100 yards. The BAR is much more accurate. Both guns reduce felt recoil substantially by virtue of their gas operated action. There are other semi-auto hunting rifles out there too, but I'm not familiar with hthem.

Another choice if you need a quick second shot is the pump action Remington 7600. Unlike the older 760 the 7600 is reasonably accurate owing to a fully free floated barrel.
You don't get the recoil reduction like you would from a semi-auto though. If recoil bothers you get a strap on shoulder pad like the PAST Recoil Shield. They work great.

SInce you say you don't reload, you might want to stick with the calibers that you find at KMart and WalMart, the .223, .270, .308, .30-06 or 7mm Remington Magnum. There are a whole lot of really great rifle calibers out there that are often not readily available, and unless you reload you're better off sticking with the common stuff.

When you buy a scope, you may wonder why anyone would pay so much for a Leupold or a Zeiss Conquest when one can get a Simmons or a Bushnelll Sportview for thirty bucks at WalMart. Cheap scopes have come a LOOOOONG way in the last 30 years, and unless you make the mistake of looking through cheapies and quality scopes side by side you may be perfectly happy with an inexpensive scope. I made the mistake of looking through a Zeiss Conquest once and now I am spoiled. Good optics are worth what you pay for them, but an inexpensive scope isn't nearly so bad as some folks say they are. I've had a cheapie Bushnell on my Remington 742 for decades and the scope is capable of anything the rifle is, and it hasn't broken yet either. Just make sure you've got an extra five or six hundred bucks in your wallet if you want to look through a Zeiss or Leupold, because once you do there ain't no going backwards.

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 01-27-2005, 06:54 AM
  #10  
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Default RE: Wise Choice's for First time rifle owners?

If you are looking for a gun just to punch holes with and aren't going to do any sort of specialized competition with it, I would stay away from '03 springfields. one in good condition is going to cost more than a new remington 700, and you will destroy the value of it by drilling it for a scope, and there is no guarentee that you will get it to shoot as good as a factory rifle.. They also will kick much harder than a remington, because of the stock design. On the other hand, the '03 and 03A3s do have sights on them already that are excellent for target shooting. I have an 03A3 that I worked over for competition, it has a new surplus barrel, I had the action trued up and bolt lapped to the receiver and it is an absolute tack driver, but I put more money into that rifle than it will ever be worth.

If you want to shoot Service rifle High Power and didn't live in kooifornia, I would advise against a M1 in favor of an AR. An M1 is a good rifle and is by far my favorite rifle to shoot, but there isn't any guarantee that they will be accurate. They are finicky about ammo, most 30-06 ammo will function in them, but there is a very narrow selection of ammo you can use that won't damage the rifle, and most of that ammo is surplus, and expensive surplus at that. M1s can be made to shoot very accurately, for the price of accurization, you could buy a M1A. It migth be worhwhile to buy a Greek barrelled action from CMP which sells for around $300, spend another $200 to have it rebarelled to .308, then another $100 for a stock, for $~700 you would have a great shooter that can shoot very cheap surplus ammo, but you still wouldn't have a scope. M1's have the best sights of any military rifle ever made, the sights on M14s and M-16s are nothing but updated copies, with practice, a person can shoot using these sights just as well as anyone who uses a scope.
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