Skip to comments.Best all-purpose rifle -- when I can afford only one?
Posted on 12/05/2010 2:59:58 PM PST by NewJerseyJoe
Hello fellow banglisters. I know I'm going to open a can of worms with this thread -- as does every "What is the best [gun type]" thread -- but I don't know a better-informed group of people to ask.
After enduring three years of the very worst of the bad economic times (unemployment, temp jobs, etc.), I'm finally in a position to increase my personal armory, in the next few months. I need a rifle -- I have only a Henry .22 survival rifle. Not bad for what it does, but it's not the same as a "real" rifle.
The catch is that I can afford one and only one -- and I want to get the most bang for my buck. My considerations are:
If, in your opinion, I can't "have it all" with only one purchase, please tell me so.
Oh, and I should mention -- I live in New Jersey. Rifles that you would pick up at the corner store are ones that I might have to jump through hoops to get. :-(
I’d go with a bolt-action 30.06
My opinion? A Remington model 700 in 30-06. Bolt action, no hangups no worries. You could go a bit hotter and get one in 7mm ultra mag. That’s if you want to shoot elk across a three mile canyon.
Don’t disparage a .22 as not being a real rifle. You can do a lot with it that you apparently aren’t doing now. In any case, I would recommend a 12 ga. shotgun as your next purchase instead of a rifle. Not what you wanted to hear, but I stand by that recommendation.
Rifle -- not shotgun. I already have a Remington 870.
Prepare to be overwhelmed with advice.
W/ a Henry .22 in currently hand, Joe might now need a shotgun more than another rifle.
Ruger Mini 14 in .223.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't disparaging the .22 -- but stating that a .22 versus, say, a 30-06 have different uses.
I know. I've hesitated for two months to post this message. :-)
You might consider a Ruger M77 in .308 cal - an all-round reliable rifle, and the ammunition is pretty standard.
Yep, if I could pick only one of my rifles that would be the one that I'd take.
The brand really doesn't make a big difference, and since you said money is a factor, go to Wal-Mart and buy a Savage for around $4-500.
It's not the only rifle in that range, but it's a solid gun and it will save you $3-500.
Model 700 30-06 fits the bill.
Unless you find a nice old Winchester Model 70 say in .243.
Ruger M-77 in variuos calibers. .308 is a good all around caliber that is easy to get.
Winchester 94 3030 or AR 15 in 223.
You have a NJ fireams card, you can buy long guns out of state ya know. Cabella’s, Dunkelburgers... etc in Pa have pretty good selection. They’ll do the NICS check.
I’m looking at model 700’s myself - just trying to decide on caliber
On second thought Post 3 had it right.
We think alike! And, the M-77 fits well within his budget whick leaves room for a scope!
If you are considering the Remington 700 read this:
Petzal: CNBCs Remington 700 Trigger Coverage A Clean Miss
I don't hunt.
Live in an area with no problems. Haven't locked my doors for 30 years.
Am I missing something?
Winchester 30-30. It worked last time and it will work this time...
.308 is a favorite of many military snipers.
Remington 700 VTR in .308 is a great choice. I’ve also had some luck with the Savage GXP3 in 30-06.
“Why do I need a rifle?
I don’t hunt.
Live in an area with no problems. Haven’t locked my doors for 30 years.
Am I missing something?”
You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.
That being said, IF all you could have was ONE gun, there is nothing wrong with a .22, especially if you're talking having a rifle AND hand gun. The same bullets can be used by both, as long as the pistol shoots .22 lr.
Granted, for home defense, a 22 doesn't have the knock down power of a 45, but I'd rather have a 22 than nothing at all. They can still kill someone dead. A 22 rifle can be used for hunting. If you're talking survivalist, you're not always going to be hunting deer. Rabbits and squirrels are more plentiful, and no need to destroy half the animal with a 30-06. You can also hunt deer with them, you just need to be closer and make the shot count. Forget elk or bear, then you need a larger gun.
And when it comes to ammo, 22's are pennies per shot vs dimes or quarters.
Just in the savings in ammo alone, you could get another Henry 22. If one goes down you have the other. If that breaks, you have a second for scavaging parts.
On that line, going back to the Remington 700, because it is so popular, in the event TTSHTF, parts for the Rem would probably be easier to find rhan any other gun.
I'm not trying to say that the 22 is the all around best gun, just think outside the box a little, don't discount it, and look at all it does have to offer.
The 30-06 is a great caliber found all over the globe. Hunting ammunition readily available and much cheaper than the exotics.
However, .308 has lots of surplus military ammo available as well as readily available hunting ammo. The 06 seems to have dried up in the mil surplus area. Hornady Light Magnum .308 ammo will put you up to 30-06 power while the same in o6 will equate to .300 Win Mag.
I’d go for the .308
If you will have just one...Make it a Remington 700 ADL in .308 or .30-’06, with decent 3-9 x 40 glass...
Remington is very accurate out of the box, no mods necessary for general purposes...Synthetic stock, simple, and very rugged...Hunt with it, ammo is common, easy to clean and maintain, good for deer and elk with correct loading/bullet, and also takes care of your 600 yd bubble...
Avoid uncommon calibers like magnums or newer short magnums...Great cartridges for their intended purposes, but much harder to come by in SHTF scenarios...
All rounder? No such thing. Everything depends on what you plan on doing with it.
Hunting? Hunting what? Small neighborhood critters when TSHTF or elk out west?
Home defense? Defense against what? A lone prowler breaking in late at night or attack of the zombies after TSHTF.
Any home arsenal should have the basic bolt gun for long range, M4/SKS/AK Clone for the street, 12g Shotgun for the porch and basic semi auto pistol in 9mm or .45 cal. for the bedroom and hallway.
A good .22 semi auto is a handy 5th weapon. Ammo’s inexpensive and you can practice just about any drill on local ranges.
Consider a Remington 770 because they come with a scope and are retailing for around 320 or so. If you want a rifle and then get a scope, a Ruger 77 is an excellent choice as are any number of other rifles. Do not hesitate to look at a used rifle either, most of them are decent and after hunting season, normally a steal.
Now, as far as round size, there are two that are really ubiquitous: .270 and .30-06. I personally shoot a .308, but I have run into trouble finding rounds for it, even at Walmart, but the other two, never an issue.
Ultimately, it is going to depend less on your wallet and more on what is comfortable in your hand. Be sure to put some time in checking what is best to you, and then decide.
For a scope, go with a Bushnell, Nikon or a Leupold VX-II in a 3x9 40. You will be happy.
One of the best all time rifles is the Winchester Model 70. The pre 1964 is definitely not in your price range, but I bought a new one about fifteen years ago in .270 caliber and it was a fine gun, costing around $500 then. If you wanted a great gun at a good price you might want to look for a used one. You can’t go wrong with that gun.
Who, among us, doesn’t?
Here's a novel approach - Hi Point 995TS Carbine - $300 -(assuming the Smith is a pistol, you're kinda short on 100 yard-ish punch and it eats 9mm too), A Mosin Nagant 91-30 - $100 - (massive punch to at least 500 yards as long as the bore is OK) and a Walther Talon Magnum airgun in .22 -$200- (very cheap shooting, very good gun and capable of taking small to medium creatures to 50 yds or so without a lot of noise).
There, I said it...
But in Jersey, it would be great for shooting off from a rooftop at something at....oh...1000 yds.
He's a 22 shooter, he'd spend $1000 in ammo just to be proficient with the gun.
Unless of course all he shoots is at 300 yds or less.
You could shoot an elk in the chest at 600 yds, and the bullet would still come out its @$$.
Sounds like all your other needs scream for a good bolt action, but "security/protection" IMHO would be better served with some other type of action and possibly something carbine sized.
The 7.62x39 semi-auto SKS's, AK's, Mini 30's, etc. fit this bill nicely, but generally are not tack drivers and can't reach out like an '06, .308, etc.
Thats a three strike , maybe 4, no-no in The People’s Republic of New Jersey !
Good point. The Marlin 39A lever-action .22 was proseletyzed by none other than the late Jeff Cooper. Food for thought...
I have shot a Remington 700, and it was very nice. But I do like the integral scope bases on the Ruger 77. They have a reputation of being tough rifles.
The new rifles run about $500 to $700 on Auction arms.
If you have a little spare time, look into reloading your own ammunition. You can reload rifle ammo for about 1/3 the cost of factory ammo, and you can customize it to your own use. I have reloaded tens of thousands of rounds over the last 45 years, and it is a fun hobby in itself.
Thompson, fully automatic sub-machine gun.
Just kidding, everyone knows those are illegal.
Not saying you can't get something quite a bit better, but you will also spend a lot more money.
check it out. SAIGA .308 SEMI AUTO RIFLE
Just a thought,and with the budget you listed you can stock up on alot of ammo.
No, when the Zombies hear the clip eject ur a dead man.
Marlin 336 lever-action in .30-30 Winchester. A solid rifle in a caliber easy to obtain, even in states still mired in the Soviet model.
VZ-24 Czech Mauser: Dates from 1924, but the prices are relatively cheap. 8mm Mauser has a good bit of surplus ammo out there. It is a Czech version of the German 1898 Mauser- bolt action, 5 shots.
WASR-10: AK-47 Semi-auto clone. Not expensive- about $400 or so. Finish and looks suck, but you pull the trigger and it goes bang, as long as the ammo is good. Lots of 7.62x39 ammo out there.
Just a thought: think about what you want the rifle for. Guns are tools, and like a lot of tools are specialized.
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