Newb looking for first Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Talk' started by FortyFiveCal, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. FortyFiveCal

    FortyFiveCal Guest

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    Hello all,

    I'm a newb here and I'm looking for some advice. I'm trying to figure out what would be a good first rifle. I want to start out shooting with iron sights and move to a scope later on. I have a budget of roughly $1500 and I don't want to skip on quality. I'm not opposed to semi, bolt action, and lever action but I definitely do not want a single shot. I'm not recoil sensitive but I don't want to spend whole lot of money on ammo, for instance, $20.00 for 20 rounds of .308win. I've been thinking about a .22 but I've shot a 10/22 and it feels like shooting a pellet rifle, despite that, I find the Remington 504's attractive but i'm not sure if they come with iron sights or not. Like I said, I don't want to use a scope because I want to learn to shoot accurately with regular sights first. What do you guys think? I'm open to any suggestions or comments. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. wired

    wired Guest

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    If you're looking for something cheap and fun to shoot, you can go with a .22LR and be the happiest guy on the planet. Keep in mind that none of the .22LR rifles are going to have much kick to them, so expect all of them to feel like an air rifle. If you want something with useable oomph, go with a .223 (it's almost as dirt cheap as .22LR). It's one of my personal favorites because of the cost, variety of ammo, and the versatility of this great cartridge. Or, you could go with something like a Beretta Cx4 Carbine in 9mm. You could even go with something that fires 7.62X39, like one of the AK clones or an SKS. CZ makes a nice bolt action that fires it, too.
    Pretty much the question is this: What are you gonna use it for?
     

  3. FortyFiveCal

    FortyFiveCal Guest

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    I'm mainly going to use the rifle at the range. Just plinking and honing my skills. I forgot to mention I ive in Kalifornia so that limits me somewhat. I can't buy AK or AR variants here because they both sport pistol grips. Ironically I can buy a Springfield M1A because it precludes a pistol grip but it's still a semi-auto rifle. I would of went w/ a Colt 6920 if it were legal. I really like the M1A's but ammo is pretty expensive. I think .223 is the ideal round for me but I don't know of too many rifles that support that caliber. I like the Remington 700 PSS, but can I put iron sights on it?
     
  4. wired

    wired Guest

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    Just about every kind of rifle in existance is available in .223 Rem, from just about every manufacturer. I know what you mean about the .308 Win ammo, but those prices looked more like match grade ammo to me. With the M1A, it's chambered for the 7.62X51 NATO (VERY similar, but slightly different), so you could get surplus ammo for a lot less.
    If you're just wanting something fun and cheap to shoot at the range, but with more oomph than the .22LR, then the .223 Rem is your baby. Now you just have to decide what kinda rifle. I'm pretty sure there aren't any lever actions for it, but you can get bolt or semi. If you're wanting a nice bolt, you might want to look at CZ, Remington, Ruger, Winchester, Sako, Tikka, and a few others. I've got a CZ in .22LR and a Ruger in .308, and I love them both. I had to lock my CZ up pretty quick so my girlfriend didn't steal it from me. Semis are pretty easy to find in .223, and the most fun you can have with your clothes on, but you'll have a bit less selection down in Kalifornistan. See if you can get Mini-14s there.... they're pretty close to being an M1A in .223, if I remember correctly. Owned an M1A, but I've never owned a Mini-14 (thinking about one, though).
    Whatever you get, make sure you like it before you put the money down. If you don't like it when you pay for it, you'll never really be happy with it. Happy shopping!


    -- and as far as open sights go, I personally prefer them over scopes. If your rifle isn't available with open sights, check out New England Custom Gun Services, and you can order all kinds of different sights for any kind of rifle. I got one of their aperture sights and a front sight assembly for my Ruger M77, and it's freakin awesome.
     
  5. FortyFiveCal

    FortyFiveCal Guest

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    Thanks for the advice and comments wired. After I made my last post I went to the remington website and found that majority of the bolt actions came in .223. As far as the Ruger mini-14, I did some studying on it and it turns out that it can be notoriously inaccurate. I'd rather have a accurate rifle with expensive ammo than a inaccurate rifle and cheap ammo. So many choices out there that it's rediculous. Thanks again for your advice.
     
  6. wwb

    wwb Super Member

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    You should, by all means, get a .22LR in addition to a centerfire; with your budget, you can afford a good .22 and a good centerfire rifle. With a .22, you'll shoot more than with a centerfire.

    The Savage 11F (synthetic stock) or 11G (walnut stock) are available in .223 Rem and come with iron sights. They're drilled & tapped for a scope, so you can mount one any time. They also have the accu-trigger.

    My son just got a 12F (heavy barrel, synthetic stock) in .223 Rem, and the accu-trigger really does work. It feels a little strange the first couple shots with the take-up on the safety trigger, but once it bottoms on the main trigger, it breaks light and clean with just a little overtravel.
     
  7. FortyFiveCal

    FortyFiveCal Guest

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    Re: re: Newb looking for first Rifle

     
  8. wired

    wired Guest

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    Sounds like you're getting it narrowed down pretty well. I'd recommend checking out CZ rifles, since you're doing your research. They're made quite well, and the trigger on mine was pretty sweet. I can guarantee you'd be happy with one of their rifles, for any cartridge. My next bolt action will be another CZ, either in .243 or .223. Only time would tell if I'd like it more than my Ruger.

    ....and wwb hit it right on the head. Anyone who owns firearms doesn't have a complete collection until there's a .22 in there somewhere. Get the nicest .22 you would want to write a check for, because you'll shoot it more than ANYTHING else in your cabinet. I gave about $400 for my CZ, and it was $400 well-spent. It'll spend a lot of time on my hands on the range, when the small game seasons open back up, and I'll use it to teach my kids (when I have them) how to shoot.
     
  9. FortyFiveCal

    FortyFiveCal Guest

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    As a beginner rifleman, is their any recommended reading out there? Any particular books that I should have? On another note, whats the effective distance for a .22lr from a decent rifle?
     
  10. wired

    wired Guest

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    I would recommend "The Art of the Rifle", by Jeff Cooper. Granted, his views can be seen as slightly biased, but he's been doing it long enough that his biases hold some water. Personal preferences in hardware aside, it's a really good read. That's the only book I can think of off the top of my head right now. There are lots of other good ones out there, too.
    The maximum EFFECTIVE range is about 150 yards max. 100 is more realistic. It'll go over a mile easy enough, but I wouldn't shoot at anything over 100 yards with it except paper and other plinkable targets.
     
  11. FortyFiveCal

    FortyFiveCal Guest

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    Wired,
    It seems like every question I ask you have an answer for, so while I'm here I minus well go all out. I was wondering which of these rounds has more recoil, the 30-06 springfield or the .308 winchester? Reason I ask is because if I decide to buy a rifle that supports a larger caliber it would probably be one of those two cartridges. Thanks in advance!
     
  12. wired

    wired Guest

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    The -06 will have more recoil. It's a bit more powerful than the .308, but not by a big amount. Accuracy is about the same, but the .308 has a bit of an advantage at longer ranges. If you were going to use it for big game hunting, I'd probably go with the -06 just to get a little more oomph. I've heard a lot of people that had success on elk and black bear with the .308, though. Either one would do the job, if you do your part. Selection of ammo is excellent for both cartridges (which is one of the reasons I went .308).
     
  13. FortyFiveCal

    FortyFiveCal Guest

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    I've never been hunting before but thats an adventure that I would probably eventually want to try. Sorry fo the newb questions, but if I ever went hunting for wild boar, would it be foolish to use a semi-auto rifle like an M1A or a M1 garand?
     
  14. wired

    wired Guest

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    Hell no it wouldn't be foolish. They'd be pretty good choices, in my book. Don't worry about the questions. That's what forums are for, after all.

    When I first started buying firearms, I never thought I'd really get into hunting. I just renewed my license a couple of weeks ago. A lot of my coworkers were hunters, and we talked about firearms a lot. Eventually, they invited me along on some hunts, and the bug bit me. I'm probably gonna start bowhunting before too long, too (mostly for turkey). Some of the best times I've spent lately have been strolling through old cornfields with my 12-gauge over/under in my hands, enjoying the scenery and the weather while trying to flush a few cottontails for the stewpot.

    Anyhoo, I went on a little bit of a tangent there. Either one of those rifles would be a fine hunting rifle, but they're also pretty heavy. They're a blast to shoot (literally and figuratively), and they're VERY nice rifles, but I wouldn't want to carry one in the field with me for long periods of time. That's one of the reason the majority of hunters seem to go for bolt action or lever action rifles. They're generally much lighter. As much as I liked my M1A, both for the historical appreciation and the fact that it was a real hoot to shoot, I sold it because it didn't really fit anywhere in my hunting firearm battery. Every time I wanted to use it for hunting, I ended up grabbing my Ruger M77 (both were .308) instead.
     
  15. luvtohunt.com

    luvtohunt.com Guest

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    Wired has advised you well, young rifleman. With the budget you are looking at, you could get set up with 2 rifles such as the 22lr and a reasonabely priced M1A. If your not going to be hunting soon or often, I would go with the range guns and take the M1A on the few times you do go. If you decide it is something you come to love, save up and buy another gun for that purpose. You should be warned, this is a highly addictive sport you are getting into and gun collections have been know to spring out of them in a hurry.
    :D

    Kelsey
    www.luvtohunt.com
     
  16. wired

    wired Guest

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    luv2hunt is absolutely right. If you're going for mostly a bigger-bored range rifle, then an M1A is VERY hard to beat. In a pinch (that is, if you have the physical stamina to haul this thing around for miles) you could always use it for a hunting rifle until you get something a bit more suitable..... and believe me, you will. Collecting firearms is VERY addictive. I'm assuming you're already a pistol shooter, so you probably already know about that. My girlfriend is starting to be a bit of an enthusiast, too. She's got a soft spot for a Taurus .357mag snubby right now. I'll be getting it for her right after I pay for a ring that cost me twice what my M1A did.

    Since we're talking M1A's, I have a few pieces of advice for you if you do go with one. Same advice goes for the Garand. First thing you'll need is a decent shooting sling (military style... and learn how to use it properly). I went through a couple on mine until I found Turner Saddlery. They make damn good stuff. I got the black leather sling, and when I sold my M1A, I put the sling on my Ruger. Also, you'll want to paint a small diagonal line on the front sight post, in white for best results. This makes it easier for you to remember to focus on the front sight post. Get a muzzle protector, since you'll be cleaning it from the business end. If you want to take it hunting, get a 5-round mag. I had one that fit flush with the bottom of the rifle, which was perfect for that duty. If you ever want to put a scope on it, have a gunsmith install a permanent scope mount. The temporary ones never worked out for me. That's about it. It's hard to improve on these rifles. Hope the info helps.
     
  17. FortyFiveCal

    FortyFiveCal Guest

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    Looks like I'm now leaning more towards the M1A than any other large caliber rifle right now. I honestly like the look of the M1A over the AR-15 and it's variants. Just looks more rugged and durable for some reason. If I do end up buying an M1A (it's inevitable eventually) what type do you recommend? Springfield Armory has so many variants of the M1A, for instance, black fibergalss stocks, shorter barrel lengths, match components etc. etc. Do you recommend the classic configuration, walnut stock, metal buttplate, and mil spec sights or a more modern style configuration? As far as hunting with an M1A I could see myself hauling a 10 pound rifle around for miles and miles, as long as I have a good sling. As my high school teacher used to say "It's good for ya, puts hair on your chest". :D
     
  18. wired

    wired Guest

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    They've ALL got mil-spec sights. Some have National Match sights. If it's going to be primarily a range rifle, go with the NM sights. They're the exact same thing, but the rear aperture is smaller, the front blade is thinner, and the rear sight has more precise adjustments. If you were going more for a hunting rig, I'd go with the standard sights. Same with barrels. Go NM for range work, and standard for hunting (NM barrels are usually heavier). Which components you want to go NM or not just depends on what duty it'll be pulling the most.

    For a range rifle, I'd go with the walnut stock. It's better for appreciation of fine historical firepower, and it's a nice rifle to fondle while you're relaxing at home. Synthetic would be quite acceptable, too. For a hunting rifle, the only way to go would be synthetic.

    For range work, you'd want the longer barrel. It'll have a longer sight radius, which will help accuracy. It'll also be heavier, which will let you hold it steadier for good shooting (with the aid of a good shooting sling). When I buy my next M1A (yes, I want another one), it'll probably be either a full-on NM version or it'll be the SOCOM one (or both, if finances and the little lady will allow). The SOCOM is probably the most practical version for different uses, since it's shorter and lighter. It would do fine on the range, but it would shine line a diamond in the field (which is why I'd probably get that one). Handle them in a shop, and whichever one feels best is your baby. Give it a fine name and cherish it forever.
     
  19. FortyFiveCal

    FortyFiveCal Guest

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    It's a toss up between the Scout Squad or the M1A Standard. One question I have though is whats the differentce between NW stock and the walnut stock? Any color differences? I can't seem to find a picture of the M1A with a collector GI NW stock. I forgot to ask if their is after market synthetic stocks that I can just swap with the original stock? Reason I ask is because if I go hunting with it I would want to put on a more durable stock that I wouldn't be afraid of banging up.
     
  20. wired

    wired Guest

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    There are a lot of aftermarket stocks for the M1A. There are plenty of places to get them, but I got most of my gear from Fulton Armory. They've got some good books you may want to get, too. They've got a very cool tactical stock for it that would be excellent for range use. They've got different wooden stocks, and a couple of synthetics. I'm hoping Hogue makes a stock for it at some point. If they do, I'll be first in line to get one for the next M1A I buy.

    The M1A Standard is the one I had. For range work, I'd probably install a NM rear sight and possibly a NM trigger, though. The GI wood is just birch, I think. The walnut would be a lot prettier. Keep in mind that if you bed the receiver for even better accuracy, you won't want to swap out stocks. Just a thought.