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Hey all,
My name is Roger I'm new to the board, came over fomr shotgunworld.com Anyway, I'm a college junior getting ready to hopefully go to OCS in a year and half. I love shotting but I've never had a rifle before, just shotgun and handguns. I'm looking for something to develope my rifle shooting skills with cheap ammo or semi-cheap ammo available. I was told to consider either a Ruger 10/22 or Mini-14. I'm planning on using the rifle for plinking around and basic skills aquisitions. Let me know what you guys think. I'd like to keep my cost under $400. Thanks,
Roger
 

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A 10/22 is probably the most bang for the buck. Shooting a rifle is completely different than shooting a shotgun. A shotgun is more "instinct" while a rifle is all technique. If you're a handgun shooter, a rifle is pretty much the same (as long as you're not one of those guys who practices "spray 'n' pray").

Relax, take a deep breath, let half of it out, and slowly squeeze the trigger. When refining your shooting positions, remember that bone is steadier than muscle - use your skeleton as much as possible, and your muscles as little as possible. Strive for accuracy first and speed later.
 

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10/22's are great rifles and fun to shoot, but I agree with moontroll and would go with a bolt action .22 to learn with.

My personal preference are Marlin bolt actions, very accurate for the price. I picked up a new one with a 4X scope for $222 a few years ago for my son. He can pick off paint balls at 50yds with this thing. I would also recommend the 981T model (tubular magazine) holds more cartriges and is easier to reload than the clips.

Here's a link to one:

http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/boltAction22/981T.htm

However, you won't go wrong with any of the suggestions made.
 

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Since you are going to ocs I would recomend a .223 caliber rifle. keeping cost down is tough if you want to buy new. (I say this because I prefer new whenever possible) As much as I like ruger, the mini 14 is not a rifle to develop your accuracy skills, especially for under $400. a savage bolt action would be the best new one to get IMO. however, the most advantageous for developing your skill and preparing you for ocs would be a gas operated semi-automatic- to familiarize you with cleaning it. .223 caliber to get a feel for where the bullet will go, and ballistics. also make sure what you purchase has aperature sights like on an AR, learn how to use them and adjust them. and finally you want something accurate. So your best bet IMO would be to find a used AR rifle IN GOOD CONDITION. Best of luck
 

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If you're going to OCS, I wouldn't bother getting a rifle for your marksmanship skills specifically for that. You never fire live ammo in USMC OCS (and since the Corps doesn't make you, I'm pretty sure none of the others would). OCS is nothing but a 10-week long, 24/7 job interview. The only times you'll fire your weapon are with a BFA and blanks (and whatever you do, DON'T LOSE THE BFA or you will be FUBAR). You'll carry it a lot, clean it even more, and have it tossed across the squad bay once a week if it's not spotless.

If you want to prepare for OCS, the only thing you'll want to do is run, run, run. Do some pushups and pullups, and run some more. If you can't do 6 miles and countless pullups, you're gonna be in trouble down there.

If you feel you must get a rifle to prepare yourself for down there, spend the extra cash for an AR-15 and learn every nook and cranny of it. If you're just getting a first rifle for the sake of getting a first rifle to enjoy, a .22LR bolt action is one of the best ways to go. Accurate, and the ammo is cheaper than dirt.

Anyway, congrats on going down there. It is definately a good experience. If you don't find it challenging in some way, nothing will ever challenge you. It's a life-changing experience. The food freakin rocks, too. The blueberry pie will knock your socks off. Too bad you don't get any time to eat it.
 
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