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Joined: 05/08/2006
Posts: 3
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

Hi there, 21, 6'2" 170 lbs. Live in PA and plan on hunting this season.

Buddy took me to a range with his german 1939 mauser 98 and his brothers cheap 30/30 with an aftermarket scope rigged on.

I was fairly accurate with both considering it was my first time. Missed the paper at 50 yards twice then hit it in the third to fifth circle (of 6 circle maybe 12" diameter target paper) for the next 5 or 6 shots. Hit a little tighter at 100 yards for the next 4 shots. Hit one bullseye (100 yard with the mauser) which buddy claimed was his even though he hadn't shot since we last checked the paper. I actually was better with the mauser then the 30/30... mostly because the 30/30 had obstructed sights and the scope was about 3" too far back which combined with the table being so low made it almost impossible for me to shoot using a handrest on the table because I'd have to slouch and put my eye right up to the scope which resulted in a nasty welt above my eye.

Anyhow. The whole point is Im learning to shoot to hunt deer this fall. I need my own gun. I'd be happy with a mauser if I could get one cheap (I'd say 350$ is the most I can spend, cheaper would be better if I didn't sacrifice accuracy) and if I could find affordable ammo... my buddy pays ~ $1.50/shot and I will need to shoot a lot as I'll want to practice with my first gun quite a bit before I go hunting. Every advice article I read says a scope is near, required though.... but My buddy says he's never had the chance to take a shot over 100 yards in 8 years hunting... so although I'd LIKE to keep my achievable range at 300 or better, if it means less accuracy at 150 or less, then I'd much rather have a quality bolt like a mauser. Oh and if it does have a scope I'd really prefer if it was offset with quality sights as well.

I'm not even decided on ammunition yet, 7mm, 8mm, .308, 30-30, 30-06, 270... I've had lots of recommendations and in truth I don't know enough to decide. Recoil on the mauser wasn't a problem for me, but I don't know that I'd like much more than that. From what I've held, I like guns that are lighter in the front and heavier in the back (IE I dont like synthetic stocks). And as I said, the mauser seems quite expensive to shoot, so anything cheaper/shot would be nice or if someone knows a good place to get surplus/cheap ammo...

Also, please dont recommend that I learn on a .22 or .243 or something like that, I wouldn't feel comfortable hunting deer with a round that small considering my lack of experience and I dont want to have to buy two guns.

Thank you for any help or recommendations.

And finally, my work schedual is very very very intense, so gun shows are almost impossible for me to attend. Any recommendations on where to shop for/buy guns... I am willing to get whatever licenses needed to buy online if you have links to good online shops where I can get a gun cheaper then retail after I've checked it out in the store and decided on it.

cowgal's picture
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Location: Colorado
Joined: 03/10/2002
Posts: 1787
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

I would recommend visiting your local gun/sporting goods store. Many of the smaller shops take trade-ins on guns and you may be able to find a good quality used rifle. If they don't have what you want immediately, just let them know that you're looking & they'll give you a call if anything comes in.

Some pawn shops carry guns too.

Online, I would only buy new. Its hard to determine the condition of a used firearm when buying online. If you do buy online, go with a seller that has a good reputation. There are several sites that run auctions and sell outright.

If you stick with a more common caliber, your ammo will be less costly.

Personally I would recommend a 30-06 or 270, and yes even a 243 would do well on deer.

Good luck shopping. Let us know what you decide on.

Oh yes, and welcome to the BGH forums! Big smile

Offline
Location: Washington's Back Country
Joined: 06/25/2005
Posts: 316
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

I'm with Cowgal....hit your local gun dealer up....I would have to say either the .308, 30/06 or the .270 would do just dandy....the .243 is awsome choice also... Thumbs up

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

If you're stricktly only going to hunt deer or deer sized game, you don't need a large overbored cartridge. Anything like the .243 Win, .250-3000 Savage, 6mm Remington, .25-06 Rem, .30-30, or .308 Win, just to name a few all are great deer cartridges.

If you plan on hunting a mix bag of deer and elk later on, then cartridges like .270 Win. .280 Rem, , 7mm Rem Mag, .30-06 Sprgfld, .300 Win Mag are something to consider.

There are also many other cartridges besided the ones I listed.

Offline
Location: Ottawa
Joined: 05/07/2006
Posts: 8
Deer rifle

One choice you could consider (I just sold mine, but i loved it) is a surplus SKS with a synthetic stock and a B-square scope mount. Get the model that uses clip magazines. here in Canada, we're limited to 5 shots on a semi, but in the US, you guys might be lucky. I've owned several of these rifles. All shot quite well (groups around 3" at 100 yds - not target accuracy, but plenty for hunting). They NEVER jam, they're fairly light, the ballistics are almost identical to a 30-30. Good ammo is easy to come by, and you can get surplus stuff (hardball) for almost the same price as 22 ammo. A word of caution on the surplus stuff, some is corrosive primed, so clean the gun well after every session.

These rifles were very easy to come by, inexpensive as heck, and I loved mine. the only reason i sold them is because where I now hunt, it's shotgun and M/L only.

Offline
Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

I think you should be able to buy a used gun with a scope for $350. In Pa most shots would be under 100 yds unless hunting in open fields. Like others have said most of the common calibers will do fine. I like the .308, it's very accurate and the recoil is minimal. Shots out to 250 yards are no problem for this caliber. The 30-06 kicks quite a bit more but is still very managable and will extend your effective range to around 300 yds (with no wind). Ammo for the .308 will cost you around $15 a box and a couple dollars more for the 06 shells. Why not look into a remington bolt action. I think they are reliable, accurate and cheap.

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Joined: 05/08/2006
Posts: 3
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

My buddy says the same about no shots over 100yards in this area. So I've started looking at milsurps and use of iron sights. A few guns are rumored to regularly have MOA (<1" @ 100yards as I understand it) groups and are quite affordable while shooting right around what you'd want for deer or slightly larger game. Add to that the nice bonus of starting a collection, and almost certainly quicker appreciation in the investment if well cared for... Plus milsurp ammo for nice affordable trips to the range and I think I've got my mind made up now. I'd love a VG+-Excellent Finn M39, but the damn things sell out days after they are listed most places. I had a place with a 100% unissued sneak for only $290 all set up to buy, but it sold overnight while I "slept on it".

SKS are a great deal jabba, but I believe any form of semi is illegal for deer hunting in PA.

Offline
Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

I would put a scope on it.

Location: Northeast Pennsylvania
Joined: 02/11/2006
Posts: 85
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

hello welcome to the forums....I hunt PA and I been using 30-06 pump & bolt action and love them both....theres so many different rifles you can get into.....but thats what I use with confidence! Thumbs up

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Location: upstate New York
Joined: 06/21/2006
Posts: 140
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

Hi boy you have a lot of choices. I would say go to a local gun shop and see what " feels " right to you. Look them all over hold them up to you and try them out. Myself I am not a fan of the lever guns for a first timer. They are not the most user friendly guns. Something with a clip magazine is easier to use . I do not think you can use semi auto in PA so a bolt action or a pump would be my suggestion. Most shops have a lot of used guns and most are just as good as new but cost a little less. A 243 to 3006 range with a quality bullet is all you need . My thoughts are a scope is safer and faster to use than open sights. As far as price Remington, Winchester , Savage , Ruger are all good value guns. You should be able to pick a used one up all scoped at a savings compared to a new one. One thing to remember is that guns hold there value and in the future if you want to trade up ( which we all do ) it's not a problem to get your $ out of it. The best, ADK Jim

c j
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Joined: 06/29/2006
Posts: 1
New to shooting and hunting. help me pick a gun...

Given your circumstances, I think I would buy one of the Savage packages (scope included) in a 25-06. From your posts, it sounds like you've done quite a bit of research and I think if you do some more, you'll have a tough time finding anything bad about the 25-06 or the new Savages.

Some might say that the Savages aren't the prettiest or they use lower-quality stocks, etc. But... *very* few people argue against their accuracy. And for your $350 price range, you should be able to get a new Savage rifle/scope/sling combo. Later, if you like it enough, you can always upgrade the stock to something fancier/prettier if you want.

I also agree with the others who have placed their vote for the .270. Hard to go wrong with that one.

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