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Best all-purpose rifle -- when I can afford only one?
self | 12/5/10 | NewJerseyJoe

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:

  1. Reliable
  2. Good reputation for quality and accuracy
  3. Relatively easy maintenance and cleaning
  4. Widespread availability of compatible ammo
  5. Durable under a number of different conditions and usage
  6. Versatile -- useable for hunting, security/protection, etc.
Estimated budget is $600 to $900; might be able to go a little higher, but I should be able to find something in that range. I had been looking at some of the Remington 700 series, but I don't know if they fit the bill, as I've described above.

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. :-(


TOPICS: Hobbies; Outdoors; Society; Sports
KEYWORDS: banglist; bestrifle; onerifle; rifle
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1 posted on 12/05/2010 3:00:04 PM PST by NewJerseyJoe
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Remington 870


2 posted on 12/05/2010 3:01:06 PM PST by al baby (Hi Mom REMEMBER FREE REPUBLIC IN YOUR WILL. I DID)
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To: NewJerseyJoe
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. :-(

move

3 posted on 12/05/2010 3:02:37 PM PST by Dick Vomer (democrats are like flies, whatever they don't eat, they sh#t on)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

I’d go with a bolt-action 30.06


4 posted on 12/05/2010 3:04:09 PM PST by stuartcr (When politicians politicize issues, aren't they just doing their job?)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

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.


5 posted on 12/05/2010 3:04:19 PM PST by ReverendJames (Only a lawyer and a painter can change black to white)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

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.


6 posted on 12/05/2010 3:04:19 PM PST by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: al baby
> Remington 870

Rifle -- not shotgun. I already have a Remington 870.

7 posted on 12/05/2010 3:04:46 PM PST by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Prepare to be overwhelmed with advice.


8 posted on 12/05/2010 3:05:06 PM PST by Junior_G (Funny how liberals' love affair with Muslims began on 9/11)
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To: al baby

Concur.

W/ a Henry .22 in currently hand, Joe might now need a shotgun more than another rifle.


9 posted on 12/05/2010 3:06:00 PM PST by flowerplough (Pennsylvania today - New New Jersey meets North West Virginia. Or maybe we're North Alabama.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Ruger Mini 14 in .223.


10 posted on 12/05/2010 3:06:26 PM PST by afnamvet (Patriots Rising)
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To: Kirkwood
Thanks. My current "arsenal" consists of a Remington 870, a S&W 9mm, and the Henry .22 rifle.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't disparaging the .22 -- but stating that a .22 versus, say, a 30-06 have different uses.

11 posted on 12/05/2010 3:07:13 PM PST by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: Junior_G
> Prepare to be overwhelmed with advice.

I know. I've hesitated for two months to post this message. :-)

12 posted on 12/05/2010 3:08:14 PM PST by NewJerseyJoe (Rat mantra: "Facts are meaningless! You can use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!")
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To: NewJerseyJoe

You might consider a Ruger M77 in .308 cal - an all-round reliable rifle, and the ammunition is pretty standard.


13 posted on 12/05/2010 3:10:20 PM PST by Ken522
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To: stuartcr
I’d go with a bolt-action 30.06

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.

14 posted on 12/05/2010 3:10:51 PM PST by USS Alaska
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To: NewJerseyJoe
"hunting, security/protection, etc. durability...

Model 700 30-06 fits the bill.

Unless you find a nice old Winchester Model 70 say in .243.

15 posted on 12/05/2010 3:10:53 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Ruger M-77 in variuos calibers. .308 is a good all around caliber that is easy to get.


16 posted on 12/05/2010 3:11:47 PM PST by Circle_Hook
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Winchester 94 3030 or AR 15 in 223.


17 posted on 12/05/2010 3:11:55 PM PST by Rappini ("Pro deo et Patria.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

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


18 posted on 12/05/2010 3:11:55 PM PST by whatexit
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To: NewJerseyJoe

On second thought Post 3 had it right.


19 posted on 12/05/2010 3:13:45 PM PST by Rappini ("Pro deo et Patria.)
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To: Ken522

We think alike! And, the M-77 fits well within his budget whick leaves room for a scope!


20 posted on 12/05/2010 3:13:52 PM PST by Circle_Hook
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To: NewJerseyJoe

If you are considering the Remington 700 read this:

Petzal: CNBC’s Remington 700 Trigger Coverage A Clean Miss

http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/hunting/2010/10/petzal-different-look-remington-model-700-trigger


21 posted on 12/05/2010 3:15:39 PM PST by epithermal
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To: NewJerseyJoe
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?

22 posted on 12/05/2010 3:17:04 PM PST by AGreatPer (Voting for the crazy conservative gave us Ronald Reagan....Ann Coulter)
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To: NewJerseyJoe
98bravo
23 posted on 12/05/2010 3:18:58 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Winchester 30-30. It worked last time and it will work this time...


24 posted on 12/05/2010 3:18:58 PM PST by April Lexington (Study the Constitution so you know what they are taking away!)
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To: whatexit

.308 is a favorite of many military snipers.


25 posted on 12/05/2010 3:20:07 PM PST by Randy Larsen ( BTW, If I offend you! Please let me know, I may want to offend you again!(FR #1690))
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Remington 700 VTR in .308 is a great choice. I’ve also had some luck with the Savage GXP3 in 30-06.


26 posted on 12/05/2010 3:21:06 PM PST by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2013: Change we can look forward to.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe
I have a Ruger Mini 39 (7.62x39) and the Mini 14 (.223) is also a great choice. You know what they say; beware the man who only owns one gun, ‘cause he probably knows how to use it very well.
27 posted on 12/05/2010 3:21:09 PM PST by Heman11 (the truth is not relative)
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To: AGreatPer

“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?”

1. Zombies
2. SHTF
2. TEOTWAWKI


28 posted on 12/05/2010 3:21:14 PM PST by SVTCobra03 (You can never have enough friends, horsepower or ammunition.)
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To: Heman11

mini 30


29 posted on 12/05/2010 3:22:59 PM PST by Heman11 (the truth is not relative)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.


30 posted on 12/05/2010 3:24:38 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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To: NewJerseyJoe
As far as reliability and durability, the marine sniper rifles have been based on the Remington 700, but then worked over by their armorers. It is a good gun in every sense. The 30-.06 and 308 are probably the most abundant cartridges, and very similar in balistics.

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.

31 posted on 12/05/2010 3:24:55 PM PST by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

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


32 posted on 12/05/2010 3:25:54 PM PST by Cold Heart
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To: NewJerseyJoe

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...


33 posted on 12/05/2010 3:26:58 PM PST by elteemike (Cogito! Ergo armatum sum!)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

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.


34 posted on 12/05/2010 3:27:11 PM PST by PeteB570 (Islam is the sea in which the terrorist shark swims. It aids & comforts the shark on it's journey.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

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.


35 posted on 12/05/2010 3:28:27 PM PST by shag377 (Illegitimis nil carborundum sunt!)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

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.


36 posted on 12/05/2010 3:31:24 PM PST by billhilly
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To: ReverendJames

Who, among us, doesn’t?


37 posted on 12/05/2010 3:31:24 PM PST by rabidralph
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To: NewJerseyJoe
My current "arsenal" consists of a Remington 870, a S&W 9mm, and the Henry .22 rifle.

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...

38 posted on 12/05/2010 3:31:47 PM PST by ProfoundMan (Time to finish the Reagan Revolution! - RightyPics.com)
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To: SVTCobra03
I think that blows threw the $600-$900 price range.

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 @$$.

39 posted on 12/05/2010 3:33:44 PM PST by mountn man (The pleasure you get from life, is equal to the attitude you put into it.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe
Versatile -- useable for hunting, security/protection, etc.

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.

40 posted on 12/05/2010 3:34:18 PM PST by umgud
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To: NewJerseyJoe
M-1 Garand. Might stretch your budget a bit, but you'll thank yourself for it. It will shoot, and shoot, and shoot, and shoot...

http://www.odcmp.com/

41 posted on 12/05/2010 3:34:29 PM PST by OKSooner (Obama confessed "his muslim faith" on the George Stephanopolous show on September 7th, 2008.)
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To: USS Alaska

I agree


42 posted on 12/05/2010 3:34:56 PM PST by stuartcr (When politicians politicize issues, aren't they just doing their job?)
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To: SVTCobra03

Thats a three strike , maybe 4, no-no in The People’s Republic of New Jersey !


43 posted on 12/05/2010 3:36:05 PM PST by Renegade
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To: Kirkwood

Good point. The Marlin 39A lever-action .22 was proseletyzed by none other than the late Jeff Cooper. Food for thought...


44 posted on 12/05/2010 3:36:13 PM PST by OKSooner (Obama confessed "his muslim faith" on the George Stephanopolous show on September 7th, 2008.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe
The Remington is a good rifle, but I would also recommend the Ruger 77 in stainless with a composite stock in .308. .308 is essentially the same cartridge as 7.62X51, and they can both be fired in that rifle. .308 or 7.62X51 is more commonly available than .30-06 because it has been the military caliber for about 50 years. Ballistics are so close to a 30-06 as to make no practical difference.

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.

45 posted on 12/05/2010 3:37:14 PM PST by marktwain
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Thompson, fully automatic sub-machine gun.

Just kidding, everyone knows those are illegal.


46 posted on 12/05/2010 3:37:20 PM PST by 23 Everest (A gun in hand is better than a cop on the phone.)
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To: NewJerseyJoe
A Saiga carbine in .308 would be a good all around gun, and you can't beat the price. $450.

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

47 posted on 12/05/2010 3:38:00 PM PST by smokingfrog ( ><{{{{{(0>)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

http://www.the-armory.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/Mosin_Nagant.html

http://www.mosinnagant.net/global%20mosin%20nagants/mosin_nagant_m9138_carbine.asp

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/russia/mosin-nagant.htm

Just a thought,and with the budget you listed you can stock up on alot of ammo.


48 posted on 12/05/2010 3:46:29 PM PST by silentreignofheroes
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To: OKSooner
"M-1 Garand."

No, when the Zombies hear the clip eject ur a dead man.

49 posted on 12/05/2010 3:47:13 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: NewJerseyJoe

Consider these:
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.


50 posted on 12/05/2010 3:47:35 PM PST by GenXteacher (He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart!)
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