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#124826 - 02/22/08 04:28 PM Buying my first rifle...looking for advice
Hacksaw
Unregistered


I hope you're all happy!!! When I joined this forum the last thing I thought I'd ever buy would be a gun.

Yesterday I passed my government safety test and I'll be submitting my paperwork to get a posession and aquisition license on Monday.

Suddenly many doors of recreation have opened up to me. My dad has recently wanted to get into hunting at the age ove 65 and now he doesn't have to go alone! During the training I learned about skeet shooting, bird hunting, and all the other fun things you can do...but I have a problem...

I don't know what to buy and I don't have a deep enough wallet to buy one of everything (nor would my wife approve of my suddenly picking up 5 rifles). I'll be going to check out some options today after work but I figured I'd get some advice from the opinions I respect the most...yours.

I'm thinking that the best way to go would be find a single choice which can cover as many bases as possible without breaking the bank. One option which caught my eye was a Mossberg 535 ATS Deer combo with the regular and rifled barrels. I can't find any other option that can do so much for the money. What do you folks recommend?

Where's Taurus when you need him? This is partially his fault! wink

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#124829 - 02/22/08 04:39 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
GarlyDog Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
I don't have any advice on type or caliber, but I suggest
finding a large gun store and look at their stock of used guns. My first guns were all used in order to save some money. A well cared for gun will last almost forever. I still own every gun I have ever purchased and most of my favorites were purchased used.


Edited by GarlyDog (02/22/08 04:42 PM)
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Gary








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#124831 - 02/22/08 04:41 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
What do you want to do, hunting (and hunt what?) plinking, home defense. Its hard to say what gun to buy when you dont say what you want to do.


Also it depends on likes. Most people like a given style of gun over another.

I like single shot handguns and bolt action rifles. My son loves to rip through ammo and likes semi autos.
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You can run, but you'll only die tired.


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#124832 - 02/22/08 04:43 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
SwampDonkey Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada
Hi Hacksaw,

Welcome to the Dark Side!

A 12ga. repeating shotgun is a good all-around choice for a first gun (but you will never stop at just one), I set-up my do-it-all shotgun on the Remington 870 Pump action and use it often.
If you get into Big Game hunting you will want a centrefire rifle, and everyone needs a .22 rimfire also.

I would love to discuss gun selection at length with you but I am taking the kids (30) camping for the weekend and am scrambling to pack. I will give you LOTS of input (as I am sure many ETS's Forum members will), on Sunday night.

Later Brother,

Mike

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#124834 - 02/22/08 04:45 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
MoBOB Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1219
Loc: here
Get a .308 or .30-06 for your rifle and a 12-gauge with a Modified Choke pump shotgun. The need of a .22 goes without saying. So, you are now at three firearms, not five. That should encourage your wife....

I agree, go used if you can...


Edited by MoBOB (02/22/08 04:46 PM)
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#124837 - 02/22/08 04:50 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
billym Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/01/05
Posts: 616
Loc: Oakland, California
Like a few said a 12Ga pump with changeable barrels is a great first or only gun. Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 are both inexpensive and very reliable.
With a 12ga you have all types of bird shot, buck shot (OO is good) as well as slugs. You can also modify it to a folding stock or pistol grip depending on your local laws.
The 12Ga pump is very versatile and VERY effective except for great distances.
Good luck getting only one gun.....
Bill

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#124838 - 02/22/08 04:52 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: GarlyDog]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
I think a shotgun is a good choice, if you are only going to have one firearm, because of it's flexibility. A good friend has and really likes his Mossberg, although I think he has the 500. I doubt there is a much of a difference in how it works.

The other shotgun you might consider that is similar is the Remington 870. It's probably the most popular shotgun ever made. So, lots of them are around and lots of parts for them are around. And it simply works. When it is cold and wet and not taken care of, it still seems to work. When it doesn't work, it's not tough to take down and fix. I bought a Remington 870 Wingmaster used for about $250.

If you are shooting skeet, it's tough to shoot the doubles with a pump. A double is when targets are launched from both houses, probably less than a second apart. You need to hit one, then shoot the other. With an autoloader, you pull the trigger once then twice. With a pump, you'd need to find time to pump in between. Your other option are just don't shoot the doubles, shoot the targets flying single for fun and enjoy or get an autoloader from the range when you want to try to shoot doubles. I've done both. My wife has an autoloader, but so far I have not shot her 20 gauge youth model.

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#124839 - 02/22/08 04:52 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4999
Loc: SOCAL
My shotgun recommendations always go the same way, Remington 870 Wingmaster Magnum (the Express line took some shortcuts to reduce price I don't like). I like the magnum because it gives you the option of shooting 3" shells but handles 2 3/4" just as well as the 2 3/4" guns do. I'm not sold on the 3 1/2" Super Magnum, if you need that much payload, get something in 10 gauge.

The thing that's great about Rem 870's is the aftermarket. You can get extra barrels (swapping barrels on an 870 is way easy) and stock sets to make the gun fit you. I had no need or desire to get extended magazines or any of the other tacticool BS that folks like to hang on their guns; it just screws up the balance. One of the better guns I own was a used 870 field gun (2 3/4") that I bought a new barrel and stock set for to use at Trap and Skeet.

After you've broken it in you can give it to your grandson.

Quote:
. . .If you are shooting skeet, it's tough to shoot the doubles with a pump. A double is when targets are launched from both houses, probably less than a second apart. You need to hit one, then shoot the other. With an autoloader, you pull the trigger once then twice. With a pump, you'd need to find time to pump in between. . . .
I've shot Skeet doubles with an 870 pump grin It's a challenge but it can be done and it's a huge confidence builder knowing you can shoot, swing/pump and shoot. Do not baby the 870, pump it hard as you swing and concentrate on the second bird.

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#124845 - 02/22/08 05:26 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
GarlyDog Offline

Old Hand

Registered: 04/05/07
Posts: 776
Loc: The People's Republic of IL
One more thing. Guns are alot like golf clubs in that spending more money doesn't usually make you better golfer or a better shot. I guess my advice is to start with a modest purchase and shoot often.

Learn what you like and don't like about your first gun. Proceed from there.

BTW, my first gun and rifle was a used .22 Mossberg model 140b. I still have it, and it is still my favorite for recreational shooting among many choices.


Edited by GarlyDog (02/22/08 05:51 PM)
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Gary








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#124850 - 02/22/08 05:54 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: MoBOB]
Paul810 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 1428
Loc: NJ, USA
I think the first rifle everyone should have is a small bore (like .22LR). Ammo is so cheap and plentiful and it's fun and easy to shoot. Lets you get in plenty of practice.

After that, I'd go with a 12-gauge and then .308 like MoBob said. Then you've got pretty much all bases covered.

If you really want to cover everything I would pick up a small frame pistol (either in .357 [which would shoot .38 as well] or 9mm) and a semi-automatic rifle in .223 or 7.62x39. But, that depends on the legalities in your area and how far you (and your wife) want to go. wink

On a side note: My paternal grandfather and my great-uncle on my mothers side (who never met each other) both chose a semi-auto .22LR and a smooth bore pump 12ga shotgun as their only firearms. Which I thought was very interesting.

After some questioning and thought, I figured out why. A shotgun loaded with slugs can take out deer at 50 yards pretty easily, can take out birds in the sky with bird shot, and if someone comes in your house unannounced, hearing that slide rack is enough to make most of them do an abrupt about-face.

The semi-auto .22 was more for shooting practice and varmint control, but it also was easy and fun for just about anyone to fire, from kids to the elderly. My grandmother used it quite a few times to get rid of small rodents tearing up her garden.

Therefore, between the two firearms they could take care of just about any normal task on their property. To them it had nothing to do with survival or bugging out, these were more or less just tools for use around their homes.

When I think about it, if I could only choose two I would choose the same they did, a semi-auto .22LR (like a Ruger 10/22) and a smooth bore pump 12ga shotgun in 2 3/4" or 3".

Now, if I could choose five, I would pick the .22LR, the shotgun, a good .308, a good pocket-able .357, and an AR or Mini-14.

After that, just for fun, a good .45 (probably a 1911), a lever action rifle in .357, and one of those awesome S&W .460 revolvers. But, that's just me.

err....I better stop before I get way off topic. grin

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