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Shopping For My First Rifle :)

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by NCDuck, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. NCDuck

    NCDuck Portland, Oregon Member

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    I'm going to admit that my knowledge of rifles is at a beginners level. I thought I'd reach out and tap your guys' collective knowledge on semi-automatic rifles and see which one or ones you may suggest.

    Budget: $500-800.
    Ammo: Stopping power, but popular enough that I can stock up and practice somewhat cost efficiently.
    Aim: Something a beginner could shoot relatively easily and still place a decent pattern at a good distance.

    My friend is a huge proponent for the AK-47, but for some reason, it seems like a meat cleaver, rather than a precision targeting weapon. The AR-15 seems like a good middle ground for cost, reliability, and effectiveness. However, there are so many models out there, that I'm not sure what the criteria are to make a decision.

    Any suggestions and knowledge granted will be much appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. deweyjoe

    deweyjoe sherwood New Member

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    There is a large proponent of companies that fit this price range. Aero Precision is a good starter. I was just at the Gun Broker in tigard and they had a few standard ARs in stock. For your price range you could easily piece together a rifle.
     
  3. speedtriple

    speedtriple Vancouver, Washington, United States Member

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    You might look at a .308 bolt action rifle. Remington 700 or several of the Savage models are very accurate. Lots of ammo available and east to reload if you want to go that direction someday. .308 Remington and Savage rifles also have lots of parts available if you want to slowly but surely improve them over time.

    I have both a .308 Model 700 and a AR-15. For shooting off a bench, the .308 is way more fun to me. The AR is great to burn through lots of ammo with though.
     
  4. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    AR's are great if you want to burn through a ton of ammo (money) really fast. The remington and savage guns are good if you want to build skills. Don't think there aren't others out there, check out the weatherby vanguard synthetic models, if you want wood buy a stock from Boyd's. All factory wood is getting too pricey.

    The ruger M77, and the older push feed Winchester M70's are also great guns, and affordable on the used market.

    They all have their own advantages.
    Weatherby vanguard- nicely adjustable trigger, better extractor than the remington(in my opinion)
    Ruger M77- "Heck It's A Ruger" nice extractor, had one in 243 a while back could shoot twigs off of tree branches with it, but others say they have accuracy problems with them. Another nice adjustable factory trigger.
    Winchester M70 push feed- Often overlooked in the used market and they sell pretty cheap, still has a good extractor, better than remington, flat bottomed more rigid reciever than most and an integral recoil lug on the bottom of the reciever.
    Also comes with one of the most easy to adjust triggers out there.

    Just my opinion, after many years of buying, selling, shooting, fixing, bolt actions.
     
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  5. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    Very first rifle? if so i'd have to say a 22lr, 10/22 or a quality bolt action. That way you can take advantage of cheap ammo and really work on the fundamentals with out going to the poor house. And if you still want some fire power pick up a used rifle like mentioned above. 10/22 $200 + used M77 $400 + glass $200 = $800.

    Keep the old 22 in mind, they are fun and cheap!
    Good luck
     
  6. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    These are my findings (a 2-3 months old gun shooter newbie - so add your own judgement), hopefully they'll be useful. I bought a S & W M&P 15-22 (22LR) MOE, mostly for the fun factor + cheap ammo. I mostly shoot using iron sights @ 25 yards. The gun is a ton of fun, ammo is cheap and you can burn through loads of ammo in no time. However, because I am newbie and because I want to work on my skills (target shooting), I am now (after 3 months) looking at a bolt-action target rifle (again looking at 22LR). What I am now finding out is that I want a consistent rifle with consistent performance that would allow me to work on my skills and muscle memory for precision shooting.
    So my advice to you is, if you want your decent pattern at a good distance to be a tight group you may want to go the bolt action way. The semi-autos have a coolness factor, but if want to perfect your shooting, I would suggest an accurate bolt action.
    As to the price/availability of ammo I've found the most common to be 22 LR > 223 Rem > 308. 22LR is cheap. 223 is probably around 0.30/round (for good quality ammo), russian reloaded is about $0.20. 308 is about $0.60+ (.60 for Federal bulk). So if you're looking at shooting 50 rounds/visit to the range (which you will go through in NO TIME with a semi-auto) ammo does need to be factored in.
    Also a few other things to consider, if you want to do precision shooting, you will probably need a spotting scope, and you may need a scope if you're not going to use iron sights. Sorry for my long post..I was trying to convey the experience of a fellow newbie after 3 months :)
     
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  7. Iceman04503

    Iceman04503 Portland, or Active Member

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    My first rifle was a s&w m&p 15-22. I had a cheap primary arms 3x9 scope on it and it shot very accurate at 50yds. I loved it. Sold it to my cousin and just picked up a aero precision ar15. Ill be mounting a redfield 4x12 scope and a backup red dot on it.
     
  8. Garg

    Garg east of portland metro Hold my beer..... watch this Bronze Supporter

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    I don't think there is any possible way you could go wrong with a Ruger 1022 for a first rifle. For 800 doll hairs you could become very proficient.
     
  9. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Sorry to hijack the post, how accurate would you say you were with it with iron sights? standing and benchrest? I'm trying to see where I'm at as far as precision. I wear glasses and a 1" red bullseye is difficult enough to see @ 25 yards with iron sights only and I wanted to work on my skills with iron sights before finally giving in and buying a scope.
     
  10. Iceman04503

    Iceman04503 Portland, or Active Member

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    If you can get it zeroed in at 50yd it can be accurate. I fired it once with iron sights at 25yd and I did really well with it.
     
  11. NCDuck

    NCDuck Portland, Oregon Member

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    What kind of semi-automatic options are out there? Seems like there are 100 different types of AR's.

    No disrespect intended, but I'm not looking for a BB Gun. :)
     
  12. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of gun you can pull the trigger as fast as you want and waste ammo with any gun. I'd go see coctailer at the Hillsboro show and chat with him about what ya want. He should have lots of AR's there to shop and compare.
     
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  13. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    If you are not looking for a BB gun, why would you want an AR? The piston system instead of the impingement makes the AR a far better weapon, but you still have to pay for that technology. For your price range a NICE AK could be had. If you can get your hands on a Polytech M14 you should be OK. You say "semi-auto", but your posts lean toward "assault rifle". I only mention this because the Remington and Browning semi-auto "hunting rifles" could fit your criteria and price range as well. If it is in fact a 30 round semi-aouto you are looking for, AK over AR for me 9.5 times out of 10. There are AR faithful's and they have valid points. Problem is, their points are on the tips of their little, tiny bullets. Kip.
     
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  14. DingDongMF

    DingDongMF Beaverton Member

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    NW Armory has the S&W M&P Sport rifles for $650.
     
  15. NCDuck

    NCDuck Portland, Oregon Member

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    Nice interpretation, you definitely are in synch with what I'm looking for. Admittedly, I named the topic of this thread inappropriately, hence lending to my ignorance. I should have named the subject as, "My First Assault Rifle".

    I hear what you're saying about the AK, I've shot a couple of them. One was calibrated by an expert and I could hit anything at 100 yards as a newbie, the other was calibrated by an intermediate and the sighting was awful and I felt like I was just shooting a point blank meat cleaver.

    I've read that the Smith and Wesson M&P15 'Sport' AR15 Carbine is a good option for $600 and the Colt 6520 are good options for a first "assault" rifle.
     
  16. Dipstick

    Dipstick Turner, Oregon Active Member

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    I would also agree that the Ruger 10/22 is a very practical introduction to shooting! Quality gun, affordable ammo and more fun for the money than anything else in the price range. I still shoot my 10/22 more often than any other gun I own! I do not mean to make this a run on post, but if you purchase the wrong gun "for you" you will not enjoy the sport and soon someone else will benefit from your purchase. Just sayin! Oh, and for stopping power, who or what can stand up to a passel of .22 ammo coming at them really fast?
     
  17. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Were me I would get a Ruger 10/22 and lots of ammo and learn how to shoot, first. Centerfire ammo is very expensive

    If you want a good, reasonable priced new centerfire that is accurate and can be shot cheaply, look no further than the AK74 5.45 x 39 rifle.. accurate and a 500 yard weapon. Save up some dimes and buy this one, you will never regret it

    AK 74 Rifle Russian Classic
     
  18. acp

    acp Tangent Active Member

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    ruger mini in 762x 39 or 223, on budget and a great weapon!!! and Its american,plus ruger stands behind the product!!:thumbup:
     
  19. curling leaf

    curling leaf Jacksonville, OR Member

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    Marlin XT-22 bolt action .22
    Henry Classic Lever Action 22 (it takes .22 short, long, and long rifle)
    Marlin 60, semi-auto
    Ruger 10/22, semi-auto.

    Those are, in that order, my recommendation. Don't think about the looks of the rifle, or how it will look being held by you, or how it will make you look like a soldier or SWAT. Just think about what you are trying to achieve, and the actual question you asked in this forum.


    98% of what you'll read on the net about the first two rifles will be effusively positive.
    People are split 50:50, both loving their Marlin or Ruger semi. Fords vs. Chevys


    Good luck.
     
  20. WarpedWheel

    WarpedWheel Newport, OR Member

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    Agreed! I love my AR-15 and other rifles and usually go shooting at least 3 times a month. Every time I go I end up shooting my .22s more than anything else. The .22 lr is a great gun to hone your skills with and it is dirt cheap. I have more fun shooting my M&P 15-22, Ruger 10/22, and Ruger Mark III.