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#259864 - 04/25/13 12:42 AM Choosing the Right Gun
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
OK, we've already ventured into dangerous territory by discussing guns, but we're handling it well so I thought I'd start a new thread, rather than continue to sidetrack and risking the other one.

Our family is in the early stages of buying a gun. (And taking Hunter's education courses, licensing, FA/CPR recertification, etc...) Hubby grew up in the country, and hunting and guns were part and parcel of that. One of his buddies has just rediscovered hunting and that's moved our own gun purchase up the priority list. One of our primary goals of getting a gun is subsistence hunting. We have no intention of shooting animals for sport, but rather to help put food on the table.

In addition to hunting in the forests and fields around his home, hubby also grew up going target shooting at the gun club. That's definitely something we want us all to do together and purpose number two for this gun.

Based on hubby's experience and what little I've learned so far, we're thinking about a 410/22 combo or a straight 22. It's my understanding that a 22 is a good beginners gun, and a 410 for more accomplished shooters going after slightly bigger game. We've got a very tight budget, which makes the combo appealing, but I understand that it might be too much gun, at least for us beginners and little guys.

What say you?

Let's stay on topic. We're talking guns for beginner and families, to be used for legal and responsible subsistence hunting. That's it. No ethics, politics or social commentary, OK? I really want your help with this so le's not make the mods do their job, OK?
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

#259868 - 04/25/13 12:55 AM Re: Choosing the Right Gun [Re: bacpacjac]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2776
Loc: Alberta, Canada
In another thread, Byrd_Huntr said: "For the price of a new double gun, you could probably get a nice used .22 AND a used 20ga."

I completely agree. The price of over/unders is insane. I'd be scared to take it out of the display case. What good is that?

Much better to go with an individual .22 and a shotgun. These are the firearms that were found in every pioneer household in Canada. I would bet that if you make some contacts, you could get a pair of perfectly serviceable used items for a couple hundred bucks or so, total. There's nothing wrong with single shots either; they're simple and robust, and in fact I prefer them. I doubt you're planning to go to war anytime soon.

You'll pay through the nose for those boutique shotgun gauges. Go for a 12 ga. and tailor the shells you buy to your needs (and tolerance for recoil). You can get low report 12 ga. shells that are quite inexpensive and have much less recoil.

My 5c.

#259870 - 04/25/13 01:03 AM Re: Choosing the Right Gun [Re: dougwalkabout]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2114
Loc: Colorado
If you are on an extremely limited budget, and decide you really do want a .22/.410, then here's one for you:

It is shown above with the .22 barrel installed, it came with a .410 barrel also (not shown in the pictures). This is my "car kit" survival rifle. Only cost me $69 two years ago (granted, that was a VERY good sale price!) I added the rear aperature sight and the sling.

It's a Rossi Youth Combo gun. Single shot. It's available as .22/.410, and also as .22/12ga (or is that .22/20ga? - I can't remember). The thing only weighs 3-1/2 lbs with the .22 barrel in place. And you'd be surprised how accurate this little inexpensive thing is. Not a competative target gun, but perfectly fine for a survival gun.

Some people that use this for a survival gun remove the buttplate on the rear of the stock (which is hollow), stuff the stock full of their survival gear (and ammo), then use a slip-on rubber recoil pad to close it all back up and hold everything inside. You obviously don't need a recoil pad for a .22, but in this case it is serving as a simple closure to hold stuff inside. It also increases the "length of pull" of the rifle so it becomes adult sized. Some day I will do this with my rifle, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet. There is no pressing need for me to store gear inside the stock, since I have it adequately stored elsewhere in my kit. And I am already adept at shooting a rifle with a short LOP.

#259871 - 04/25/13 01:08 AM Re: Choosing the Right Gun [Re: haertig]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2114
Loc: Colorado
From the other thread, now moved here:

Originally Posted By: Montanero
And a .410 will not knock down anything large. Good for birds and squirrels, but not deer.

While deer CAN be taken with .410 slugs (it's legal in some states, illegal in others), I would consider it only in a survival situation, for someone who is experienced with their firearm, is a good shot, and knows where to place the shot. .410's are generally used by either: 1) experts, or 2) children and recoil sensitive adults.

#259872 - 04/25/13 01:19 AM Re: Choosing the Right Gun [Re: bacpacjac]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks guys. Keep it coming. As I said, we're in the very early stages of this process. Early as in we agreed a long time ago that our son's tenth birthday would be about the right time to consider it and, after much contemplation, I've finally decided that, yes, this is something I want us to do. Hubby's been answering my gazillion questions, letting me guide the conversation, and waiting patiently for me to come around. (We never did start that marriage advice thread, did we? LOL!) Now it's decisions and financing time.
Mom & Adventurer

You can find me on YouTube here:

#259873 - 04/25/13 01:28 AM Re: Choosing the Right Gun [Re: bacpacjac]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2818
Loc: La-USA
Tight budget....

I'd think along several lines:

The combination is a nice start with the .22cal over the .410 and a single package means a single purchase.

Unless you have a specific purpose for the .22cal, i would look at a 20ga or 16ga shotgun. That would not be too much recoil but very versatile. You pick the load for what you want to accomplish. Rifled slugs or 00 buck for large game (deer), #4buck or #6 shot for large game birds (geese, ducks, turkey) or (#6) small critters (rabbits, squirrel). #7 1/2 or #8 shot for small birds (blackbirds) or skeet.

Shotgun shells are still plentiful the last time I checked. 16ga can sometimes be hard to find at certain times of the year. I've never had problems finding .410ga or 12ga shells. I've never owned a 10ga so I don't know available those may or maynot be. I haven't owned a 20ga for 20 or 30 years either so I don't know how available those shells are.

.22cal rounds have gotten rather difficult to find in quanties larger than 50 rnd boxes. They are available but one has to search a bit for them.

The costs of ammo has now doubled.
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#259874 - 04/25/13 01:29 AM Re: Choosing the Right Gun [Re: bacpacjac]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5247
With target shooting, plinking and hunting in mind, I'd go with a .22 LR bolt action rifle. Back when I had one of the Savage .22LR/.410 combo guns, I never used the .410.

If it was going to be used exclusively for hunting I might go with the combo gun, then again, depending on the game available, I might not. For serious wingshooting, a 12 ga or 20 ga is more practical, I've just never seen the need of a .410 for small game or the usefulness for larger game. YMMV

OTOH a bolt action or semi-auto .22LR rifle can take a wide variety of small game and they give you a follow-on shot. With the over/under combo guns your follow-up shot is not another .22LR round.

There are a lot of good .22 LR rifles available from many manufacturers. With combo guns you have a much more limited selection.
Better is the Enemy of Good Enough.
Okay, what’s your point??

#259875 - 04/25/13 02:09 AM Re: Choosing the Right Gun [Re: bacpacjac]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3078

How about the CZ 453 Varmint in .17HMR


An Enfield No9 Mk1 might be a little too much of a cool rifle to handle! wink

#259877 - 04/25/13 02:36 AM Re: Choosing the Right Gun [Re: bacpacjac]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1415
My suspicion is that buying separately may be comparable to buying a combo. I'd also guess separates are more robust than combos. But you're in Canada, right? Maybe the costs there are different.

To echo wildman, yes, .22LR ammo is hard to find these days, at least in the US. But this shortage is probably temporary.

You may want to budget for accessories and additional expenses. You'd need to get a cleaning kit, a case, a gun lock (esp. if you have kids around), and probably a sling and a cheek rest to make the effective "comb height" right for you. You may want better sights, or possibly even a scope. Let's not forget safety equipment: ear muffs, glasses, and a hat (to prevent the casing from landing between your face and the glasses -- yes, that's happened to people!). Am I missing anything? Maybe a shooting mat? If you get a shotgun, you may need a dump bag for the shells. All these could cost as much as the rifle.

You may want to get a trigger job. If there is good aftermarket support for your gun, you can even do it yourself with a kit -- if you're dextrous and like putting mechanical parts together.

If you're going to end up with a collection, a gun safe is a good idea. I like having a dedicated, sturdy range bag, but you can get away with a plastic grocery bag.

Take a look at Marlin 795 and Ruger 10/22. The latter has a lot of aftermarket support, and you can modify and customize to your heart's content. The former has the reputation of being a bit more accurate out of the box. Both are fairly cheap.

I know you said you are interested in hunting. You never know what situation you'll find yourself in, but just keep in mind that .22 is not a good defense round.

Edited by Bingley (04/25/13 02:37 AM)

#259878 - 04/25/13 03:01 AM Re: Choosing the Right Gun [Re: bacpacjac]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1580
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
Jacqui...arguably the most prolific .22lr down here in the US is the Ruger 10/22 autoloader... they use a rotary magazine that holds 10 cartridges, but in .22lr (long rifle) only...there are several configurations including a take down model... you need to be more vigilant shooting an autoloader as compared to a bolt action, as shooters tend to count shots and get lax on inspecting for a round in the chamber... good training is a must... that being said, there is a lot of utility for an auto loading .22lr... I've worked with many ladies and men of smaller stature that after their first smack in the cheek bone, or black and blue bicep from incorrect hold of a shotgun... there was no way they would ever become proficient with one... the solution was a 10/22... sufficiently accurate, easy to place into action, light weight and easy to handle...and multiple shots without requiring a grip change to work the bolt, lever or slide... a loaded magazine can be stored in a separate location if that is deemed something you would want to do...I used one (with a whole lot of extra money dumped in) to shoot the Chevy Sportsman's Team Challenge for 5 years... and was one of the most fun shooting games I've played

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