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  1. #1
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    Purchasing First Rifle - Looking for Advice

    Hey Guys,

    I just got a new job that pays better than the last, and judging from the hours I'll be working I figure I can make roughly around $400 in a month, maybe a bit more. Anyhow, I'm looking to buy a rifle with that money, but I don't know much about rifles. I'd sooner get a handgun but I can't legally take it to the range so there's no point in getting another handgun.

    Now, I have one rifle but It's a plinkin' rifle (.22) and I didn't purchase it. I also already have four of my six firearms chambered for .22 anyway, so I'm not looking for another one. I'm looking for a good quality, new, larger caliber rifle for target practice and maybe hunting further down the road, but mostly target practice and working on my accuracy. Maybe a Winchester or Remington? I'm thinking bolt-action but I suppose a semi-auto would be alright (those tend to be more $, correct me if I'm wrong). M4 or that new Sig 5.56 rifle would be real nice but those are pricey from what I gather.

    So I'm thinking a Winchester or Remington, bolt-action and larger caliber for somewhere in the $400-$750 price range (please tell me if that's not reasonable). Any help you could offer or advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks Guys,
    Marcus

    P.S. Judging from what I'll make at work I'm hoping to have this at latest by late June so I can enjoy using it during the summer. I think that's a reasonable time frame to aim for.

  2. #2
    kev74's Avatar
    kev74 is offline Member
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    How about a shotgun? You can shoot at moving targets (skeet) at the range, make holes in paper with either slugs or shot, and its good for home defense if thats what you're looking for. Also good for hunting....

  3. #3
    PanaDP's Avatar
    PanaDP is offline Member
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    If it were me, I would get a ruger or remington bolt action rifle in 30-06 or .308.

    They'll be great hunting rifles and fun to target shoot out to several hundred yards.

  4. #4
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Remington 700 is going to my my choice when I get a bolt action eventually. Probably in .308.

    An AR type rifle is definitely beyond what you want to spend, and also a big no-no there in Massachusetts. Yet another reason why I'll never move back there, I couldn't bear to part with mine.

  5. #5
    220combat's Avatar
    220combat is offline Member
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    I'm a big fan of the .270WIN You can get a wide range of loads, cheaper ammo than a .30-06, and is very flat shooting. More than capable for most North American game. Also, recoil is lighter than most of the 30's. It is basically a necked down .30-06 case

  6. #6
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    In that price range, I'd look very closely at a Savage bolt gun in .308 or .30-06.

    I do not know of any factory .270 ammo that is less expensive than the surplus .30-06 sold by the CMP.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

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  7. #7
    220combat's Avatar
    220combat is offline Member
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    You're right Mike, I am only considering factory new ammo, not surplus.

  8. #8
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    I own a Ruger M77, but I've also owned Remingtons in the past, in both 308 and 30-06, and 243. Both are great rifles. Do your research on ammo choices, and down the road hunting expectations.

    30-06 is nasty for extended range work, but will take virtually anything in the Mainland US. 308 is plenty for most everything, and can go hot, or mild, depending on the load. Some of the most accurate guns on earth are in 308. 243 is great for varmint shooting and lighter game, deer, antelope, etc... Under 200lb.

    Price your ammo. Test a few if you can, and shop away. Under $750 is a good number. Under $400 will get you junk... Get a good used (under-used) Ruger or Remington, and you'll be very happy, and it will last you for ever.

    PS... I got my Ruger from my Mom!!! It/she has taken 6 whitetail deer, and one 56" North Cape Caribou... with 8 total shots. She needed 2 on one of the deer. The first one through the lungs didn't drop it... Never knew it was dead in its tracks. The second shot took the left shoulder. It does not miss... Either that, or Mom does not miss... LOL

    JeffWard

  9. #9
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    Remington 700 is going to my my choice when I get a bolt action eventually. Probably in .308.
    I think we're on the same page Todd. I've been looking at Remington's and the 700 that you're talking about is a bit beyond what I want to spend, but the 715 ($350), 770 ($450) and the 798 ($650). I'm liking the 770 because it doesn't seem too expensive and from what I've read on the Internet it's a solid and good rifle. Judging from my work schedule I could afford it by the end of May or the beginning of June, so I could have it for the summer too.

    How is Remington? I know that they're an old, established company, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they make good rifles today. Does the 770 Remington look good, and what caliber would you recommend of what they offer (243, 270 and 308 Win as well as the .30x06 and a few other oddball rounds)?

    Please keep in mind that I haven't been shooting nearly as long as many of you have, I've only got six years under my belt while some of you guys seem to have decades. I don't need something of top-notch quality, just something that's good quality and I can have fun with until I get older and finish up with college and can afford some of what you guys are buying. I'm also looking for a caliber that's common and preferably one that they sell at Walmart so I don't have to spend a lot, although I do understand that typical rifle ammo is pricey (the .30x06 seems to fit this bill).

    Thank you very much guys, I appreciate this help,
    Marcus

  10. #10
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    Sucks you've got the whole MA-state issue to deal with, otherwise... Don't let an AR price tag disappoint you. If you want one, have you thought about building one? You could easily build one from a kit for about $600 or less. Sounds like these guys have you squared away with other rifles, but thought I'd throw my $.02 out there. Building an AR from a kit is incredibly easy, and you don't have to be anywhere near a mechanical genius or anything to do it! I built mine, so I'm proof of that, LOL. (And all you'd assemble is the lower, the upper comes assembled in a kit.) Let me know if you'd want to learn more...I'll point you in the right direction.

  11. #11
    Liko81 is offline Member
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    I think a Remington 700 SPS, somewhere between .243Win and .30-06, would fit the bill as a good centerfire rifle, and they run about $475-$550 depending on the store. You will also need to figure in the price of a scope; if you follow conventional wisdom and put a scope of equal cost to the rifle on, you're talking more like a grand for a new rifle, but you can probably make due with a $150-$200 scope, putting the price at about $700.

    As far as caliber, it all depends on what you want to shoot. .243 is kinda wimpy for big bucks or other large trophy game (though better then the .223), but there's probably nothing better for taking down 'yotes at distance without pounding your shoulder, and a clean heart or head shot will take a deer if you don't mind a little walking (the deer will still bolt on anything other than a CNS shot, and the round will probably not do enough bone/joint damage to cripple).

    Slightly stronger at .270 is what I would bring if I expected to take a 200-300 yard shot. It's a good distance round, with a higher muzzle than most other common rounds except .223 and better retention of velocity and energy than any other round (meaning it has the flattest trajectory of any of the above). Ballistics are generally comparable to the .308 in velocity and energy; the 30-06 has better energy over the entire flight path. Both of these bullets have better terminal ballistics than the .270 however.

    .308 is a big bullet, and very common so prices are reasonable. Like I said, it's similar in performance to the .270, with lower velocity but practically the same energy curve, but it's a much bigger bullet so terminal ballistics will be different. It's a very good deer bullet for most situations, meant to make a big hole and do a lot of other damage besides and certainly accurate enough up to 150 yards, though it has the most drop of any of these rounds.

    30-06 is the granddaddy. Big bullet + high muzzle velocity means one hell of a kick, but it's got the most foot-pounds of any bullet here. It's what you take if you want that deer to drop where it stands, or if you're hunting anything bigger than a whitetail.

  12. #12
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingAirDriver View Post
    Don't let an AR price tag disappoint you. If you want one, have you thought about building one? You could easily build one from a kit for about $600
    Even if price wasn't an issue, he can't have an AR until he gets out of that state. It's kind of a moot point unless his parents move or he finds a place to keep one out of state.

  13. #13
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    I can't believe these comments about how the .30-06 kicks so hard. It might kick a little more than is desirable for a raw beginner, but it's not like it's a super magnum or something, especially in the typical over-scoped sporter that probably weighs 8.5-9.0 pounds loaded.

    Last time I was at the range, I shot about 40 full-charge rounds (most of it from the bench) though my Steyr Scout, a 7-pound .308 that kicks way more than a heavier .30-06. I'm not a big guy or anything, and I was only wearing a light t-shirt, but I was totally fine and didn't walk away bruised or flinching.

    Good thing our great grandfathers didn't know a .30-06 was such a hurter when they took their 1903 Springfields to war!

    Ballistic differences between .308 and .30-06 are pretty minimal. I'd just buy the one that shot cheaper ammo (I have no objections to surplus as practice ammo). Unfortunately, prices have been fluctuating a lot lately.
    Last edited by Mike Barham; 05-01-2008 at 02:07 PM.
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  14. #14
    submoa is offline Member
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    You really can't go terribly wrong with a Remington 700. The Remington 700 is a proven design and forms the basis of 7.62x51 (aka .308Win) sniper rifiles in use by USMC M40A3 (short action) and M24 SWS used by US Army and IDF (long action.. convertible to .300WinMag).

    One of the advantages of a rifle design that has been in continuous production for a number of years is the wealth of knowledge available from owners and users for reliability testimony and tweaks... plus availability of options in the aftermarket.

    IE. you can find a good basic 700 at a reasonable price... and frankenstein it to where you need/want later.

  15. #15
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    Whew, so much Info.

    Regarding a semi-auto rifle, that isn't really something I want since I already have five semi-automatic firearms and I'd like something different. I've used a few different bolt-action rifles down at the range and I really liked them. The semi-auto's that I saw looked real mean and I like them, but as already stated they are too mean for MA. I could keep them up in NH but even so. I think when I start making a bit more money and invest more time into the sport I'll take a closer look at them.

    Regarding the Remingto 770 and scope, I wasn't aware of the fact that they came separately from Remington. I thought it was a bit of a deal to drop $450 and get all that, haha. So I'm looking at $450 for the rifle and about $300 for a good scope? I could certainly use dry sights for a while though, I wouldn't mind, but is the Remington 770 a rifle that you really are supposed to use a scope on?

    And regarding the caliber, I picked the .30x06 out as a desired one because from what I've read it's proven, durable and pretty accurate. Like I said, I don't know if I'll be using this rifle to hunt or on a longer range some point in the future, so I'd like something that's got a flat trajectory and has some stopping power. I'm not looking for a small bullet, a big, fast one is what I'm looking for, and I don't mind shelling out the money for a box of 20 of them every so often. The info you provided Liko is great, thank you.

    Thank a lot guys, please keep the advice rolling in as I'm hoping to get moving on this within the next month or so.

    EDIT: I'm looking at the Remington website for the 770 and it looks like it comes with the scope (http://www.remington.com/pdfs/m770_brochure.pdf). It even says its premounted, but I figure that Remington could be wording the ad tricky. It looks like it's ready-to-go out of the box, which is nice for me since I know practically nothing about Rifles, but I'm willing to be that you guys would look down on a out of the box mentality the way I look down on out of the box computers (I build my own)

  16. #16
    Liko81 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcus99 View Post
    Regarding the Remington 700 and scope, I wasn't aware of the fact that they came separately from Remington. I thought it was a bit of a deal to drop $450 and get all that, haha. So I'm looking at $450 for the rifle and about $300 for a good scope? I could certainly use dry sights for a while though, I wouldn't mind, but is the Remington 770 a rifle that you really are supposed to use a scope on?

    EDIT: I'm looking at the Remington website for the 770 and it looks like it comes with the scope (http://www.remington.com/pdfs/m770_brochure.pdf). It even says its premounted, but I figure that Remington could be wording the ad tricky. It looks like it's ready-to-go out of the box, which is nice for me since I know practically nothing about Rifles, but I'm willing to be that you guys would look down on a out of the box mentality the way I look down on out of the box computers (I build my own)
    Well, as with anything, what you get is dependent on the model, and on the price you pay. A Remington 700 SPS (Special Purpose Synthetic) comes scopeless and sightless, but drilled and tapped for any scope system, for about $475. And yes, a Remington 700 isn't complete without a good scope; the SPS at least does not have iron sights, and if you're sighting on a target the size of a deer's heart at 100 yards, you will want magnification of and a precise sighting on your target.

    The 700 more accurately describes the action than the rifle; similar to Ruger's M77 or other related rifles, you can get that rifle chambered in any centerfire caliber short of .50BMG, in either wood or synthetic stocks, stainless or powdercoat, scoped or just drilled and tapped. On top of that, 700s are the 10/22 of centerfire rifles; apart from the receiver, every part of the weapon can be swapped for a variety of aftermarket upgrades, and every gunsmith worth his salt knows how to work on a 700. However, you get what you pay for; a $400 Rem 700 is your basic model.

  17. #17
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liko81 View Post
    Remington 700 SPS (Special Purpose Synthetic)

    Sorry Loki, but I think I'm not understanding what you mean exactly. When you refer to the 700, are you referring to the whole series (715, 770, 798 etc.), are you referring to the 770 which is what I'm looking at, or are you talking about the Model 700? The Model 700 is a bit more than I'm looking to spend ($1,000+) compared to the 770 (less than $500).

  18. #18
    Todd is offline Banned
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  19. #19
    Marcus99 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    The 700 comes in many different "flavors". This is not counting the 770 or any other series.
    Thank you Todd, I didn't see all those when I was browsing their site before. Even so though, the 700 is still in the upper range if not above what I want to spend. I'm going to need money next year in college and over the summer to do some work on my Cadillac. Hell, I'd love some of those rifles, but I simply can't put that kind of dough out.

    Would any of you see any foreseeable mechanical problems with the Remington 770? Or any reasons at all why I shouldn't get it?

    You guys are great. Thanks a ton.

  20. #20
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    Hey Marcus,

    I don't have much advice for your choice rifle, but I want to commend you for your straight-forward and polite search/posts for help on forums like this. Being more than twice your age, I know of people my age who cannot/will not make decisions like yours without a good amount of personal prejudice (for whatever reason). Good for you, it seems like your on the right path.

    Anyhow, when you are finished with college and making more dough, check out trap and skeet shooting. Smashing 25 of 25 flying clay birds is really fun! (Turkey is pretty tasty too)

    .

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