Which Rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Opinions' started by Anonymous, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    I'm looking for a good, all-round rifle. I want a reliable, accurate, cheap to shoot rifle. I'm going to use it for plinking, varmit hunting, and possibly deer hunting. Which rifle would you guys recommend?
    I don't care if it's semi-automatic, bolt action, what ever.
     
  2. wired

    wired Guest

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    You'll get as many answers to that question as there are members on this forum. The only thing I can reccomend is that you spend some time in a good gun shop handling some hardware. Whatever feels best is what you should get, but don't skimp just to save money. Get what you like, and you'll love it forever.

    Having said that, here's my take on what you should look for:
    My all-around rifle is a Ruger M77 Mark II in .308 Winchester with a 4X scope and a Hogue overmolded stock. The Mauser action is exceptionally reliable, and is quite smooth. The balance is quite nice, though the Hogue stock adds a bit of weight to it (it feels good enough that this is not a bad thing at all). The trigger, while in need of some fine-tuning, is quite acceptable for everything but serious target shooting. For your all-around rifle, just hit the gun shop and start fondling.

    .308 ammo is RELATIVELY inexpensive (and plenty big enough for deer). The cartridge is very accurate, but it wouldn't be my first choice for plinking (it would either be .223 or .22LR). If you're varmint hunting with it, don't expect to have much of a pelt left. If deer hunting is a "maybe" and plinking is a "definate", then you might want to go something smaller. The same rifle in .243 would be excellent for varmints, quite sufficient for deer, and more fun to plink with than .308 (unless you like recoil). If varminting and plinking is what you mainly want to do with the rifle, go for .223 Remington and save up for a deer rifle.

    To decide on your cartridge (AFTER you pick your rifle... this is important), you have to weigh what your priorities are. The better it is for taking down larger game (like deer), the less suitable it will be for plinking, and vice-versa.
     

  3. wwb

    wwb Super Member

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    Most of the members here would probably say that 3 rifles is the bare minimum.... a .22LR, a .223 or something similar, and a .30-'06 or something similar.

    You will soon reach the same conclusion - "plinking" with a .308 or an '06 gets old real fast. A .22 centerfire is inadequate for deer, and is, in fact, illegal for deer in some states. A .22LR is great for plinking, rabbits, and squirrels, but is inadequate for large varmints.

    There just isn't a one-size-fits-all rifle.
     
  4. wired

    wired Guest

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    I would have to agree with this guy. Like I was saying, you'll have to weigh your needs if you just get one rifle, and pick something suitable for what you'll be most likely to use it for. More rifles means you can do more (and gives you an excuse to buy new toys :D ).
     
  5. mountainview

    mountainview Super Member

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    wwb makes some very good points. I got a 223 b/c it is relatively cheap to shoot but not suitable for deer, hence I got the 30-06. A 22 LR is in the works since it is the cheapest plinker and low noise. I'll also add that I have a lot more enjoyment shooting being able to tailor the gun to the job. That and the fact that I just enjoy owning more than one firearm.

    Safe shooting.
     
  6. wired

    wired Guest

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    If you own any firearms at all, a .22LR should be one of them. They're cheap to shoot, fun to shoot, good for small game hunting (they're THE squirrel rifle) and plinking, and most of them can be customized like crazy. It's excellent for practicing trigger pull and other general marksmanship principles. It'll most likely be the one you'd shoot the most. Don't skimp on a .22LR rifle, due to this very reason. Get a good one, and you'll get more than enough use out of it.

    Then, just get a rifle suitable for deer and other larger game, and you'll have a basic hunting collection. From there, then you can get more specialized rifles if you so desire.
     
  7. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

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    I all for buying the NEW TOYS!!!! So many choices and so little money!

    Confuse ed

    Do ya hunt very often? There are some of the single shot rifles out that are inexpensively priced. The New England is a good choice. You may be able to buy a deer gun(larger caliber) and a varmit/plinker(223 or...?). For an all around rifle,I feel that a 243 will do most anythng that I need to do. Of course that applies to Va and may not pertain to your local game.

    HWD
     
  8. Irish Setter

    Irish Setter Guest

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    Everyone has some good ideas, especially about the 22 cal., but I think that HWD has a point. The 243 or even 270 is a great choice.
     
  9. wired

    wired Guest

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    I suppose the short answer for ONE general use rifle would be:

    Bolt action .243 or lever action .30-30 of your choice.

    The cartridge is big enough for deer, and the recoil will be light enough that plinking and target shooting will be quite bearable (and probably even fun). Good for 'yotes at pretty much any distance. Relatively inexpensive ammo that you can find pretty much anywhere.

    I'd still spring for a nice .22LR at some point, though.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    which rifle

    Savages are good shopoters, especially with their new trigger........good all around calibers........7mm-08, 260, and 25-06................and of course, the 270......... 8)
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    On this board the 30-06 reigns supreme.
     
  12. TXVAshooter

    TXVAshooter Guest

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    Guest,

    On this board, any caliber liked by that person reigns supreme. Just happens the 06 seems to be in high demand! :D
     
  13. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    TXVAshooter is right,plinking with even 125 gr loads gets old fast,too much gun for plinking for this old guy,others may find it just right.I own several 22 rifles and a 3 22 pistols,I like shooting them.I don't own a ruger bolt action 22 but I have shot one and they are both accurate and fun.For plinking,a 357 lever rifle is sweet to me,almost no kick and accurate enough to take varmits at 50 yards,smaller varmits like prarie dogs to 75 yards.After that my lever is not as accurate.45 LC rifles are nice and don't kick too much and ammo is not too expensive.Those are my choices for plinking and light killing,deer might require 44 mag which don't kick too bad in a good rifle.Ask wwb about his 44 semi carbine,it will kill deer and plink well enough.Drop-Shot
     
  14. Logjam

    Logjam Super Member

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    A rifle for plinking and deer hunting is kind of tough. You'll probably do more plinking than deer hunting. If you have to have just one rifle I'd get a used one of medium caliber, that is if you really want to hunt deer.

    You are going to have to reload to keep it cheap though.

    I'd get a .243, or a .257 Roberts. I'd look for an old Remington 700 or a Ruger Mod 77. But there are others.

    But what'd I really do is to get a old .22; you can buy those cheap. Go to a pawn shop and get an nice used one...I'd suggest an old Remington model 34 or something like that, maybe a Model 541. If you are lucky you can find an old Winchester model 67...they are small, single shot and fun guns to plink with.

    Then go after your deer/varmint rifle....I'd still get the .243 or the .257 Roberts. Both are good varmint rifles and bang up deer rifles as well. Ammos pretty cheap, but I'd get a Lee Loader and reload.
     
  15. mike .308

    mike .308 Well-Known Member

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    Well, for varmints and deer I'd go with a 243. But there not to good for target shooting. So I'd go with a 44 mag.
     
  16. moontroll

    moontroll Guest

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    Does any manufacturer make an over and under rifle,thats a .22 and a heavier rifle caliber? Do you think it would sell?It seems thats what he needs,I think alot of people would need something like this.
     
  17. wired

    wired Guest

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    I think you can get them, but they won't be cheap. May want to look at Heym or Krieghoff to try to find something like that, but I don't think they have anything rimfire (I looked for a .22LR/.410 combo, and they said they weren't making them). Problem with over/under rifles (particularly with two different rifle cartridges) is that you'll only be able to sight in for one barrel, and the elevation on the other will be quite a bit off. You'll hafta have 2 ballistics charts taped to the buttstock showing bullet drop.
     
  18. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Hey Wired,have you tried any of the 130 gr bullets in your 308?I ordered some barnes 130 gr and want to find out if they will shoot well through the 308 or 30/06.Drop-Shot
     
  19. wired

    wired Guest

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    Nope, haven't tried the 130s yet. Might have to sometime for coyotes or something. I mostly just shoot the 180s, though I think I'm going to try the 150s for a while. I've heard from a few reloaders that the 180s aren't all that efficient in .308, mostly due to case capacity or something.
     
  20. treelogger

    treelogger Guest

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    I'll recommend starting with a good .22LR rifle. Why? Two reasons. First, good practice, without so much recoil, weight, noise. You can learn and always practice the fundamentals of shooting. Those fundamentals apply independent of caliber. Second, cost cost and more cost. This allows you to practice much more.

    Let's go into the detail of cost savings. Ammo for practicing and plinking with a .22LR costs nearly nothing. Boxes of 500 rounds go for $9 at Walmart; that works out to about 2cents/round. Those are plenty accurate enough for anything a beginner can do off-hand. If you want ammo for accurate target shooting in .22LR, you are looking at $5/box, or 10cents/round. Now lets compare that with a 30-06: The cheapest ammo I can find quickly at cheaperthandirt.com is $8/box of 20 rounds, or 20cents a round. For high-quality ammo you have to spend around $20/box, or $1/round.

    Now let's say you go practicing / plinking every week, and go through 50 rounds each time (I wish I had enough time to do this consistenly). That's 2500 rounds per year. With a .22LR rifle, this will cost you (in round numbers) $50/year with cheap plinking ammo, and $250/year with accurate target shooting ammo. With a 30-06, it will cost you $500/year with cheap plinking ammo, and $2500/year with accurate hunting/target ammo.

    For comparison, a decent .22LR rifle costs about $300 to $400 (the Cz 452 is a fine bolt-action, quite accurate out of the box; the Ruger 10-22 is wonderfully upgradeable, but not always accurate from the get-go).

    So buying a .22LR and using it for plinking saves you enough money on ammo to pay for the gun itself in at most 2 years or so!

    Here's my favorite setup: First, get a .22LR rifle, to start with, and to always practice with. Not useful for hunting with, unless you are into squirrels and such. Then get a hunting gun. If you are after varmint (groundhogs, feral cats, coyotes), the .223 is the best bet from an ammo cost point of view, and perfectly accurate rifles are available in it. If you want to shoot varmint at very large distances (several hundred yards), there are flatter-shooting calibers, but the cost goes way up, and it requires a highly skilled shooter to make any use of that. If you are after larger animals (deer and such), you really should use a larger caliber. I don't really see the point of .243 or .270; if you have only a few guns, you might as well jump right to a .30-caliber gun. In those, the .30-06 has the advantage of a large range of available guns and ammo, at very reasonable prices, so it should probably be the first choice for an intermediate shooter (no longer a beginner). There are other calibers in the same range that have many interesting ballistic advantages, but those might be better left to experts that can really get something out of them.