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Best beginner rifle (Vanity)
Vanity ^ | 10-18-03 | Me

Posted on 10/18/2003 11:37:40 AM PDT by dogbyte12

I am about to finally leave the urban jungle of Los Angeles and move down to both Louisiana and South Carolina. While I do fish out here, I have only gone hunting a few times with borrowed equipment.

I am interested in starting to hunt, and would love for any freepers to give me recommendations on a good beginner rifle, something that isn't so pricey, but reliable, as well as any other gear that I will need as a beginner.

I am not a stranger to handguns, or to military rifles, I qualified expert on both a .45 and an M16, so I am not starting from scratch, but I am looking for a rifle for deer hunting basically that will not set me back too much money, yet still be a decent value. I plan to not spend that much money so it can be economical. I do know how to fabricate a carcass, and would love to hunt for meat, without the cost of hunting making it more expensive than going to the supermarket.

Any help in this regard, web sites, consumer reports, etc, would be much appreciated. Thanks all.


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; rifle; shooting
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1 posted on 10/18/2003 11:37:40 AM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: mewzilla; scottlang; Dan from Michigan; Quilla; CollegeRepublican; new cruelty
Ping to those I found in an old hunting thread.
2 posted on 10/18/2003 11:46:55 AM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: dogbyte12
Most of Louisiana is short shots in dense undergrowth, so a heavy bullet at low velocity has some advantages. Have seen people do very well with a Winchester model 94 30-30 scoped with a two power scope.

The high velocity light rounds, like a .243, are better suited for west Texas.

Don't know what So Carolina is like.
3 posted on 10/18/2003 11:47:01 AM PDT by LOC1
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To: dogbyte12
What game do you plan to hunt?
4 posted on 10/18/2003 11:47:57 AM PDT by Bubba_Leroy
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To: dogbyte12
If you want a bolt-action, the Savage 110 is reputed to be an excellent bargain - inexpensive, quite accurate, and with an excellent, adjustable trigger. (I do not have personal experience with this one).

Of course, you probably won't go wrong with any used, name-brand rifle so long as it was not abused. Avoid older Rugers (bad barrels), but the newer ones are great.

As a general rule, you are looking a three things in a rifle:

1) It fits you. It should balence well, and feel steady in your hands. It should place your eye right in line with your sights or scope when you aim it. The trigger reach should be correct for you, and the safety should be in a handy place.

2) The trigger must break cleanly. Note that some triggers (such as the Rem 700) can be inexpensivly adjusted by any good gunsmith.

3) The saftey and sling swivels on a hunting arm must be silent.

If you want a good book on the topic, try Cooper's Art Of The Rifle.

Good luck!

5 posted on 10/18/2003 11:49:30 AM PDT by MikeJ
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To: dogbyte12
There are a number of low priced synthetic stock, bolt action "package guns" from Remington (model 710), Savage, etc. available for around $400 including scope. You can't go wrong with a versatile time tested cartridge like a 30-06, .270 or .308. The .308 has the added advantage of very cheap military surplus ammo so you can parctice a lot. I would probably go with the .308 for that reason.
6 posted on 10/18/2003 11:53:44 AM PDT by Hugin
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To: humblegunner; Eaker; TexasCowboy; Flyer
PING for those who can give some real good advice here...
7 posted on 10/18/2003 11:54:22 AM PDT by Allegra (There is no tagline within 100 miles of here! -Baghdad Bob)
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To: dogbyte12
Lose the idea that the gun you have to buy has to be the perfect gun. Whatever you get, you'll find some reason to buy another, a few years later.

John Ross (of "Unexpected Consequences") has some advice I think is really good, for those who've never really done much shooting: http://www.john-ross.net/newbies.htm

[...]

Go to a real gunshop.

Buy a Ruger 10/22 rifle with twenty spare magazines (they'll have to order them) and a Smith & Wesson .22 revolver. There are several models of S&W .22s; go to a gun shop and handle them all. Get the one that feels best in your hand. If you have large or small hands, ask the salesman about aftermarket grips (I like the wooden Hogue Monogrip) and try them out.

Buy one full case (Five THOUSAND rounds) of .22 long rifle ammo. Make sure you get ammo with 40 grain PLATED bullets--some of the cheapest promo ammo is unplated and will lead-foul your barrel.

Get hearing and eye protection, and some good gun lube, like Break-Free CLP.

All the above stuff should cost you about $1000.

Find an outdoor spot with a hillside where you can safely and legally shoot.

Find someone who is known as a competent and safe shooter to help you get started and keep you from learning bad habits, like putting your finger in the triggerguard when you pick up the gun. Call the local NRA office for a list of certified instructors.

Get an array of ecologically-sound targets that will move or break when hit. I like Ritz crackers because they're cheap, biodegradable, and break when hit. Acorns and pinecones are good, too. So are scrap chunks of pine 2x2s and 2x4s.

On a weeknight, while watching television, load all 20 of the Ruger rifle magazines. They hold ten rounds each. On Saturday or Sunday, shoot one carton (500 rounds) through the rifle and another carton through the pistol, always at targets that do something (like break or hop) when you hit them. Switch between the guns every 20-50 rounds. If you start in the morning, you will finish by late afternoon. If you prefer, shoot 250 rounds through each gun on Saturday and then again on Sunday. If you can't go through 500 rounds before lunch, you're not trying.

Place your targets no farther than fifteen feet away for the rifle, eight feet for the revolver. When you get so you never miss a fist-sized target at this range, don't change the distance, change the speed. See how quickly you can hit ten or six targets. If you start missing, slow down a little. After you've shot half your quota, take some more deliberate shots at 30-50 feet. Notice how the bullet hits in a different spot at different distances. Go back to closer targets. NOTE: DO NOT always cock the revolver to shoot it; pull the trigger double action at least half the time. It is definitely harder to shoot accurately this way, but this is how you will be shooting a revolver in a defensive situation with a close-in assailant, so this is the way you want to do a lot of your practice.

Repeat the above exercise on the next four weekends.

In one month you will almost certainly be several orders of magnitude more proficient than you were before you walked into the gunshop, and a better shot than a sizable fraction of the police officers in this country.

If, after the first week or two, you find this effort a chore, take your guns, spare magazines, and remaining ammo back to the gunshop. You will lose about $250.

If you finish the month excited about your newly earned skills, looking forward to your next shooting outing, and needing more ammo, congratulations. You are now a member of the gun culture. Revise your budget to include $20-$400 per month for ammunition, depending on how much of it is low-cost .22s and how much is more expensive calibers. You are now ready to include more powerful centerfire arms appropriate for defense in your shooting education.


8 posted on 10/18/2003 11:55:10 AM PDT by jdege
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To: Bubba_Leroy
Plan on hunting deer for meat to begin with here.

So, the rifle doesn't have to be too utilitarian. If I get really into it, then I will want to buy something more expensive.

9 posted on 10/18/2003 11:55:39 AM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: dogbyte12
My first sugestion would be to get a .22lr. Walmart sales the Marlin M-60 for right around $100.00. The reason for this sugestion is that if you are not use to using a rifle you can practice cheap. For a higher power one I would choose a Savage 110 in .308 Win (caliber is a personal choice this is one I already stock). If you do not plan on shooting pass 100 yards the lever action .30-30 would serve you well also.
10 posted on 10/18/2003 11:58:46 AM PDT by Kadric
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To: dogbyte12
If you are in Louisiana, you might try duck hunting. My Dad did that when I was a kid, and we had plenty of great duck gumbo. He and Mom grew the okra and tomatoes in a garden in our back yard.
11 posted on 10/18/2003 11:59:24 AM PDT by Tired_of_the_Lies
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To: LOC1; dogbyte12
I was about to write something similar what LOC1 posted. It depends on what the conditions are where you plan to hunt. I hunt an area in So. Calif. that's got some pretty thick cover. I use a Marlin 1894 in .44 mag. It's easy to handle in such tight spaces, but it's not a good choice for more open areas with longer shots. On the other end of the scale is a friend of mine who hunts in more open areas in UT and MT. He swears by his .270. Do you know anything about the terrain where you'll be hunting? (Beyond the disturbing lack of Eucalyptus and palm trees, that is. :)
12 posted on 10/18/2003 12:01:45 PM PDT by Redcloak (I was going to write something clever here.)
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To: Allegra; dogbyte12
"PING for those who can give some real good advice here..."

To shoot anything, anywhere, anytime and through any obstruction!

13 posted on 10/18/2003 12:02:35 PM PDT by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: Tired_of_the_Lies
I might try duck as well. I make a killer duck confit. Again, this is mostly about meat. I am going to live right on the bayou. Will be able to fish for catfish in the backyard. Want to start actually providing my own meat. I want to start with deer, but duck hunting would be great as well.
14 posted on 10/18/2003 12:03:00 PM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: BartMan1; Nailbiter
ping
15 posted on 10/18/2003 12:03:10 PM PDT by IncPen
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To: TexasCowboy
I believe he wants some edible meat left over. :) I've gotten to the point I just shake my head at some of the hunters around here after seeing a guy sight in in a scope mounted 7mm Mag at 30 yards getting a 6" group and saying that was good enough.
16 posted on 10/18/2003 12:07:24 PM PDT by Kadric
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To: dogbyte12
I believe if money were important, I would start off with a military surplus rifle. Some of the Mosin Nagants from the communist block countries are really good rifles. They can be had for as little as $50.

I do think I would go ahead and get a really clean one even if it costs more. For a little more you could get one of the best high powered rifles ever made, a military mauser.

I have seen some like new Yugoslavian ones for under $120. If you are lucky enough to find a good Swedish Mauser it is perhaps the best combo of accuracy and hunting caliber. They were once plentiful but are getting scarce because so many realize just how good they are. The only downside is the 6.5 ammo is not available at every Wal-Mart but is still not that hard to find.

As others have pointed out, a good .22 rifle is something you just about can't live without in the country. They are simply the single best and most useful gun you can own except for possiby a .22 pistol.

17 posted on 10/18/2003 12:09:12 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: TexasCowboy; *bang_list; Travis McGee; Squantos
Personnaly, I would go with a Savage .308
18 posted on 10/18/2003 12:09:30 PM PDT by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: dogbyte12
If you are truly a beginner - go with a Ruger 10/22 - get a cheapy scope and about a gazillion rounds of cheap ammmo - then learn learn learn. Great for squirrel and rabbit.
19 posted on 10/18/2003 12:15:19 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: dogbyte12
I would like to hear Freepers comments on buying a decent pump 12 ga. shotgun. Wal-mart and Sports Authority have a few shotguns for around $200. What brand/model do Freepers recommend in this range.
20 posted on 10/18/2003 12:17:21 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: AD from SpringBay
Ruger 10/22 are good little rifles.
21 posted on 10/18/2003 12:18:31 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: dogbyte12
As noted by others, tough question. My 19 year old daughter has broght down several large Mule Deer with her 243 -typically 150-200 yards shots. Very good flat shooting caliber. I use a 7mm Mag Sako and it also has never failed me. But in woody areas I would go with other recommendations such as 308. I would pass on any 30-30 for anything. It was my first gun and I chased more deer shot with that POS than any other round I have had. Of course there is nothing wrong with the old deer slayer 30-06. Many guns and factory ammo is still budget priced. FWIW if you qualed on M-16 then any lighter "deer" caliber will be a piece of cake. My hunting buddy uses a 6mm Sweedish and gets excellent results.

Find a gun you like and try it if it doesn't feel good you will never shot good.

Good luck and when you need venison recipes I am sure there are many available on FR.

22 posted on 10/18/2003 12:18:37 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: TexasCowboy
lol but the guy wanted some left to eat!
23 posted on 10/18/2003 12:19:53 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: Allegra; dogbyte12
I'm jist a-joshin' you, dogbyte.
Unless you're hunting terrorists, you don't need a .50 caliber.

It really depends on what part of Louisiana you intend to hunt.
In North Louisiana you'll have shots in the piney woods through some brush, but it's not as thick as it is in the marshes of South Louisiana.
I've hunted both places. I used a 30.06 in North Louisiana with a 4X12 scope for the shots between the trees, and I used a 12 gauge with double "0" buckshot for the marshes of South Louisiana.

For anyone who hasn't been carrying a rifle since they could pick one up, I personally wouldn't recommend a .22 rifle for anything bigger than a beer can.
There's been more game wounded and lost with a .22 than with any other gun.

24 posted on 10/18/2003 12:20:26 PM PDT by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: mad_as_he$$
Another question, kinda related.

What is the cost/benefit ratio to hunting, if you are being frugal, and you harvest the carcass very well. Do you actually save money when substituting venison for beef? Or are you spending more money in the long run?

25 posted on 10/18/2003 12:20:45 PM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: mad_as_he$$
sorry "SHOOT GOOD" -fingers not up to speed yet today
26 posted on 10/18/2003 12:21:32 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. Flip a coin...
27 posted on 10/18/2003 12:21:53 PM PDT by chadwimc
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To: TexasCowboy
I was quite a natural in the military with the M16. Obviously it only relates so much. I will be hunting in southern Louisiana. I will be living in Ascension parish, so I will be driving from there to where I hunt.
28 posted on 10/18/2003 12:22:19 PM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: AD from SpringBay
I agree with the .22 suggestion as far as learning how to shoot. What would you recommend as far as a good scope for a customized 10/22 Ruger with bull barrel. I'd like to know what power and what brand.

As for the main question I like a 30.06 for deer hunting. I learned to shoot with a .22 at school and went from that to 30.06 (old M-1)

29 posted on 10/18/2003 12:26:43 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (Liberals suck...... but it depends on what you mean by the word "suck".)
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
If I was just starting this would be my choice.
http://www.gunsamerica.com/guns/22415533.htm
30 posted on 10/18/2003 12:26:49 PM PDT by lazysob
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To: dogbyte12
Lots of good advice here.I don't hunt nearly as much as I would like but the two rifles I use cover pretty much any game I might be going after. One is a Savage, model 24 over and under-22 LR on top and 410 on the bottom. Excellent for small game as well as birds. The other is an 1873 Springfield trapdoor 45/70. Great for deer or just about anything else. Packs a big punch. I know these guns are maybe hard to find but they are what I like.
31 posted on 10/18/2003 12:27:33 PM PDT by Lee Heggy ("the basic delusion that men may be governed and yet be free."H L Menken)
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To: dogbyte12
Um, you bring up an interesting question, here...

See, I buy beef by the side. I mean, a few hundred pounds per purchase...averages out to about $2.25/lb. But thaty is 1/3 hamburger, 1/3 steaks, 1/3 roasts (as in standing rib roast).

Venison can cost as little as $1/100 lbs - if no permit is required, if you dress it yourself, etc.

Your results may vary.

32 posted on 10/18/2003 12:28:32 PM PDT by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: dogbyte12
The Outdoor Channel had a woodland duck hunt show last night. They set up in a cypress swamp, called to the ducks who then came in close and got dropped within 20-30 yards of the set up. In one set, a group of ducks landed about 30 yards out. The guys shouted, the ducks flew, and never made it more than 10' off the ground.
33 posted on 10/18/2003 12:30:19 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: patton; Eaker; spectr17
Only for Hunting in dense swamp or woods ???........Lever gun like a Marlin 336...Winchester 94 or a Ruger Number 1 . Ruger makes a stainless 45-70 I recently purchased that is an extreamly accurate hunting rig.

If just for hunting in those areas I'd also consider a Thompson Contender Rifle as the ability to swap barrels to shotgun, rifle and muzzle loader makes that pretty much a game getter for different seasons in that region.

Again theres nothing in that region IMO that can't be taken with a handgun either.

Stay Safe Patton !

34 posted on 10/18/2003 12:31:29 PM PDT by Squantos ("Ubi non accusator, ibi non judex.")
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To: dogbyte12
I am about to finally leave the urban jungle of Los Angeles and move down to
both Louisiana and South Carolina.


My apologies in advance if someone has already mentioned this...
Although I don't own one, you might think about including a 12-guage shotgun for
shooting slugs.
I wouldn't be suprised if the thick underbrush in parts of Louisiana
(the other "LA"!) and S. Carolina might make such a implement very useful
in hunting deer.

IIRC, the biggest buck taken in Oklahoma one year was done by a youngster (age 13-16?)
with a shotgun slug. I think the young shooter got the buck with a single slug that
gave an instant knock-down kill (quick and humane in this case).

Although you can probably only get decent accuracy out to 40-60 yards, at least with
a shotgun slug, you won't have a missed shot kill somebody/thing in the next county.
35 posted on 10/18/2003 12:31:41 PM PDT by VOA
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
Mossberg 500 or 590.

L

36 posted on 10/18/2003 12:32:12 PM PDT by Lurker (Some people say you shouldn't kick a man when he's down. I say there's no better time to do it.)
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To: Redcloak
One thing about buying a high (but not ultra-high) velocity round like a .270 or .308 is that it will work equally well close up or at a distance. So for a first time hunting rifle, why not get a cartridge that will do it all? Later on he could always get specialized guns for specific situations.
37 posted on 10/18/2003 12:32:43 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: Squantos
Dang stainless guns are good for about 1000 rounds. PFUII!
38 posted on 10/18/2003 12:34:12 PM PDT by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: patton
I don't know.

I've got a Colt Commander that has well over 10,000 through it and I'll I've ever had to replace was a firing pin.

I've got a Mini-14 in Stainless that has at least 10,000 rounds through it and I haven't had to do anything but clean it.

Granted it ain't the most accurate rifle in the world, but it's a hell of a lot of fun. The wife loves it.

Keep them clean and there's no reason any modern firearm won't last you a lifetime.

L

39 posted on 10/18/2003 12:38:51 PM PDT by Lurker (Some people say you shouldn't kick a man when he's down. I say there's no better time to do it.)
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To: dogbyte12
Rossi makes a bunch of matched pair interchangable barrels in various calibers. http://www.rossiusa.com/ I think these are made in Brazil.
40 posted on 10/18/2003 12:38:55 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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To: TexasCowboy
Death to Al-Clayda!

We need a fall shoot somewhere, Cobby.

Cheers down there.
41 posted on 10/18/2003 12:41:02 PM PDT by lodwick
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To: ItisaReligionofPeace
I've had a Winchester 97 16guage since I was fourteen, and recently acquired one in 12guage from the local daily classifieds.

If you're looking for a defensive weapon, there's nothing quite like the sound of a 97 chambering a round to get the bad guy's attention.

With the local economy imploding, lots of folks are selling their toys so they can hang on to their homes and buy food.
42 posted on 10/18/2003 12:45:48 PM PDT by lodwick
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To: Rebelbase
Went to the rossi site. Thanks. That is exactly what I am looking for to start with here. Might go for this, and get a matched pair. If I order by the end of the year, I get a free carrying case. Woohoo!

Not looking for anything fancy. Just something that will take down deer, and be cheaper than hunting for meat at the Kroegers.

43 posted on 10/18/2003 12:46:09 PM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: Lurker
What kind of shot groups do you get out of it?
44 posted on 10/18/2003 12:46:38 PM PDT by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: dogbyte12
I agree with others on this thread who recommend the Savage bolt rifle. Don't own one, but have always read it's a good shooter at a bargain price. .308 is a "boring" round, but hard to beat for N. America. You could take on anything but brown bear at reasonable ranges. If you're a recoil wimp like me, that new .260 Remington round looks like the ultimate. Tremendous penetration, especially with 140-grain bullets. I own a .243, and while it's ok for deer, it's really a bit smallish for that purpose, and no-go for bigger stuff like moose, elk, and black bear. A lot of people like these new lightweight rifles with the short barrels, but keep in mind you lose a lot of velocity as compared to a 24" barrel. For instance, my .243 has an 18 1/2" barrel, and I've chronographed it around 2600 fps with a 100-grain bullet. A 24" barrel would do much better, around 2950 fps, significantly more range and power.
45 posted on 10/18/2003 12:46:44 PM PDT by FlyVet
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To: patton
Huh ??? My old stainless 1911 Commander has a gazillion rounds thru it. Revolvers ...stainless or not have lasted me a loooooong time. Whatcha talkin bout Patton ???

Stay Safe !

46 posted on 10/18/2003 12:47:20 PM PDT by Squantos ("Ubi non accusator, ibi non judex.")
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To: Rebelbase
Wow! All three for $350? What a deal!
47 posted on 10/18/2003 12:49:19 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: dogbyte12
You have already stated that you were familiar with guns, so starting with a 22lr. handgun or rifle to learn to shoot is not really needed, although they are fun.

I would recommend a Marlin 336 in 30/30 or 35 Remington with a good 4x fixed or 3x-9x variable scope of good quality. Don't buy low end scopes as they are not worth the trouble. This rifle/scope combo will cost approx. $550 and will last as long as you do. It also will deliver more than enough accuracy for making shots out to 150 yards.

I once worked at a shooting range sighting in customers rifles that they had bought. I've never seen the combo above produce groups bigger than 2" at 100 yards if you can do your part.

If you decide to hunt in areas where the ranges exceed 150 yards, I would recommend just about any of the currently produced bolt guns by Remington, Ruger, Winchester, Browning... They are all of good quality and very accurate as a whole. I would stick to 308 Win., .270 Win. or 30-06 in a bolt gun for all around hunting in the Southern US.

48 posted on 10/18/2003 12:51:03 PM PDT by Double Tap
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To: Squantos
Stainless X wrong powder = slop.

Big time.

Your milage may vary... And I covet your .45's.

\ But you knew that.

49 posted on 10/18/2003 12:51:48 PM PDT by patton (I wish we could all look at the evil of abortion with the pure, honest heart of a child.)
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To: dogbyte12
I bought my son the youth model 22/410 matched pair. It breaks down into the small carrying case which IMO is more convenient to carry around than a full size gun case.

50 posted on 10/18/2003 12:52:11 PM PDT by Rebelbase
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