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#125101 - 02/24/08 08:57 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: dweste]

Walmart doesn't sell firearms in Canada.

Sighting whatever I buy won't be an issue. I know more than enough people who can help me with that.

#125104 - 02/24/08 09:05 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
Why do you want a 410 shotgun? Itís the most expensive shotgun shell made and it also fires the least amount of lead. Go with a 20 or 12 gauge. A 410 slug is not that good for deer like the 20 & 12.


You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#125106 - 02/24/08 09:20 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: BobS]

I wouldn't be using a .410 to hunt deer...nor would I be using the .22LR obviously. .410 is a great caliber for hunting small game. I think that a .22LR/.410 combo is the ideal 'survival' firearm.

So far as I can tell there's no such thing as a once size fits all unless somebody made a .22LR/12ga over/under combo. I have found some rifles and shotguns from H & R which I'd be curious to check out.


The Handi Rifle/Pardner 12 Ga. Combo #2 fires 12ga, 30-06, and .22LR with interchangeable barrels.

#125107 - 02/24/08 09:34 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
I have not kept up with the most recent Savage 24 caliber choices, but the one I have is 22LR over a 20 gauge. This seems to me to be about the perfect choice of calibers for a survival gun.

Another thing that would be worth looking into is barrel inserts. A guy named Harry Owens of a company called Sport Specialties made inserts just for the Savage 24. You could buy a 357 Mag, 44 Mag 308, 3006 (lots of choices) inserts you slip into the shotgun breach and then put in the 357 round, this would turn your 20 ga into a 357. It was not uncommon for a person to have numerous inserts for several different calibers.

PS if you do go with a 410 it will also shoot a 45 Colt bullet with no modification at all. But a 410 is not a good choice at all.

Take a look at a Thompson Center Contender Carbine, itís a single shot hinge rifle that you can interchange a wide choice of barrels.


You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#125108 - 02/24/08 09:47 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: BobS]

I was told recently that it's hard to get Savage in Canada these days because they keep having their export license revoked. Plus the Savage catalog I saw only had the .22LR/.410 listed.

I'm reading a REALLY interesting article about 'switch barrel' rifles as I type this:


The more I read about these types of rifles, the more I like them. I've been considering a break action since the beginning because of the winter reliability and my lack of servicing experience should something go funky in the field.

I know there are many arguments against break action but for me I think they're a great option since they're inexpensive, simple, rugged, and break down easily...and you seem to be able to get extra barrels for some of them to cover a very wide range of ammo.

Unfortunately I think I'm going to have a hard time finding one that I can see up close.

#125109 - 02/24/08 09:56 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
raydarkhorse Offline

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 510
Loc: on the road 10-11 months out o...
The H&R, and the NEF combos are both fine rifles. Both are no frills, tough guns that like the expensive Thompson Encores, and Contenders give you a choice of any shot gun and most popular rifle, and pistol calibers. The only problem for me is that most of the barrels come without sights and require a scope, and since they are mounted on the barrels reqire sighting after they are changed out or having a dedicated scope foe each barrel
Depend on yourself, help those who are not able, and teach those that are.

#125110 - 02/24/08 10:15 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: raydarkhorse]

Since I wouldn't be mounting a scope on the 12ga or .22LR (the 22 comes with peep sights I believe and the 12ga has a bead sight), this wouldn't be an issue. Thanks for the endorsement...I'm definitely going to try and track one down.

#125112 - 02/24/08 10:33 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: ]
snoman Offline

Registered: 09/22/02
Posts: 181
I take it by the "Possession and Acquisition Licence" that you're Canadian. Obviously, check what's legal first.

I have a Mossberg 590A1 and think it's perfect (for a social shotgun). One thing I can add is the Mossberg has a sliding tang safety on the top rear of the receiver (IMHO where it should be), unlike the Remington 870, which has a pushbutton at the rear of the trigger guard. The 870 is fine, if you're right handed. As for durability, mine's been through hell and still works flawlessly (at least so far). I bought the 590A1 because it's all metal, unlike the standard 590, which has a plastic trigger guard and other pieces. I'd recommend NOT getting a shotgun with a huge magazine. They just seem to make the gun too long and heavy, and I've heard of problems with magazine springs that long. Mine has an 18.5" barrel, ghost ring sights, a Surefire forearm light and a Sidesaddle (6 spare rounds). I don't believe it will accept the longer 'sporting' barrels, so that's something else to check.

#125121 - 02/24/08 11:09 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: snoman]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
If you can get a combo gun great, but it seems the Canadian laws have you somewhat limited in choices.

Your first gun should be a 22lr, I know you (everybody) want more power then that and will dismiss the idea of buying just a 22. I have seen it happen hundreds of times at the gun shop. People will ask what gun you think they should buy as a first gun. You say a 22 and they will ask about something else and never take the advice of the gun expert.

If ever needed in a survival situation a 22 can kill a deer, you just have to shoot it in the head with solid tip bullets. Illegal, yes, but in a survival situation having food takes priority over a law.

After that get a 12 ga or 20 ga shotgun, the 410 really is useless. I have seen a several rabbits run away from a 410 because it doesnít throw enough lead to be useful.

410 cost $8.50 a box of 25
12 ga cost $3.25 a box of 25.

Buy 2 guns if you canít find the right combo, a 22 & 12 ga.

You can run, but you'll only die tired.

#125125 - 02/24/08 11:59 PM Re: Buying my first rifle...looking for advice [Re: BobS]
bigmothertrucker Offline

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 79
Loc: Alberta
anyone who would attempt to kill a deer, especially at any distance with a .22 is going to wind up with more wounded animals than any meat on the table. I have yet to shoot a deer in the head but I have tried to shoot other things of equal size in the head plenty of times with a rifle better than any .22 and it is harder that it sounds. can it be done?, absolutely. should it be done? probably not. In a true survival situ their are easier and more ethical ways to catch a deer. a good poachers snare works for all the poachers around these parts.
Get a .22 for smaller stuff but for God sake if you are going to shoot at a deer do it a favor and use a more lethal round.
"Knowledge without experience is just information" - Mark Twain

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