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Location: Maryland
Joined: 10/11/2006
Posts: 151
Rifle for beginner

Hello,

I'm new to this forum. I was wondering what is a good rifle for a beginner.
I would like a bolt action rifle. And something not too expensive between the range of 250-500.00's. Also, I need a rifle that is good for all kinds of game.

I'm new to this so any info is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Rifle for beginner

A used 30-06 bolt action will do the trick nicely for your budget. You may even find a new savage in that price range. Get open sights so you won't need to buy a scope if the budget doesn't allow for it.

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Location: Maryland
Joined: 10/11/2006
Posts: 151
Rifle for beginner
ChesterGolf wrote:
A used 30-06 bolt action will do the trick nicely for your budget. You may even find a new savage in that price range. Get open sights so you won't need to buy a scope if the budget doesn't allow for it.

I would get the scope later down the road. Coucl you add a scope to an open sighteed rifle? Can you hunt Turkey, duck, as well? I'm new so I dont know much about hunting.

Also, what is good game for first time hunters?

Thank you much.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Rifle for beginner
e4c4ever wrote:
ChesterGolf wrote:
A used 30-06 bolt action will do the trick nicely for your budget. You may even find a new savage in that price range. Get open sights so you won't need to buy a scope if the budget doesn't allow for it.

I would get the scope later down the road. Coucl you add a scope to an open sighteed rifle? Can you hunt Turkey, duck, as well? I'm new so I dont know much about hunting.

Also, what is good game for first time hunters?

Thank you much.

Most rifles will accept a scope no matter if they are open sight or not but since you mentioned turkey, duck, etc. I would recommend a pump action 12 gauge shotgun and if the budget allows you can also get a rifled barrel with it for the price you mentioned. I think the remington 870 express is a great gun for the price and you can get a combo set that includes a rifled slug barrel. The smooth barrel will solve your bird hunting needs and a rifled barrel is great for big game hunting.

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Location: Minnesota/South Dakota
Joined: 09/06/2006
Posts: 87
Rifle for beginner

Good quality rifles are not always the cheapest but in my opinion the Savage rifle is a cut above most 300$ guns. Accurate and functional. Solid bolt assembly. Even cheaper than 300$ is the Stevens (270$) Composite stock and 22-24 inch barrels made by Savage. I would have to say a good all around caliber choice is either the 270 Winchester or the 30-06 Springfield. These will take most any game in US. Also 308 is a good choice.
Shotguns for birds I would agree with the 870 Remington or Winchester 1300 pump, good starters.
I will also recommend to you a hunters safety course. This course is very good at teaching some basics of firearms and safety. Good luck and hope this helps.

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Location: Maryland
Joined: 10/11/2006
Posts: 151
Rifle for beginner

Thanks guys for the info. If anyone has more input thats great. I will definitly look into these rifles.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Rifle for beginner

Savage or Ruger for that price range. May even consider Reminton 700 series. All three are very good rifles for any big game in my experience.

There are a handful of cartridges that I consider good all-around big game cartridges, they are:
.270 Win (all, but grizzlies and polars)
.280 Rem (all, but grizzlies and polars)
7mm Rem Mag (all, but grizzlies and polars)
7X57 mm Mauser (deer, elk sized game)
.308 Win (all, but grizzlies and polars)
.30-06 Springfield (all N. American game animals)
.300 Win Mag (all N. American game animals)

However some of these calibers produce recoil that may intimidate a new shooter enough to not want to shoot again.

If you are a new shooter it's better to start out shooting something small and acclimate yourself to recoil. Deer calibers are good to start on, examples are
.243 Win
.250-3000 Savage (hard to come by anymore)
6mm Remington
6.5X55 Swd Mauser
.25-06 Rem
.260 Rem
7mm/08

For Turkey and Ducks....don't hunt them with a rifle. A 12 ga shotgun is appropriate for that with the proper load and shot size.
Just my input.

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Location: Maryland
Joined: 10/11/2006
Posts: 151
Rifle for beginner
WesternHunter wrote:
Savage or Ruger for that price range. May even consider Reminton 700 series. All three are very good rifles for any big game in my experience.

There are a handful of cartridges that I consider good all-around big game cartridges, they are:
.270 Win (all, but grizzlies and polars)
.280 Rem (all, but grizzlies and polars)
7mm Rem Mag (all, but grizzlies and polars)
7X57 mm Mauser (deer, elk sized game)
.308 Win (all, but grizzlies and polars)
.30-06 Springfield (all N. American game animals)
.300 Win Mag (all N. American game animals)

However some of these calibers produce recoil that may intimidate a new shooter enough to not want to shoot again.

If you are a new shooter it's better to start out shooting something small and acclimate yourself to recoil. Deer calibers are good to start on, examples are
.243 Win
.250-3000 Savage (hard to come by anymore)
6mm Remington
6.5X55 Swd Mauser
.25-06 Rem
.260 Rem
7mm/08

For Turkey and Ducks....don't hunt them with a rifle. A 12 ga shotgun is appropriate for that with the proper load and shot size.
Just my input.

Great info as well.

Thanks guys!!!

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 11/09/2005
Posts: 166
Rifle for beginner

I would look for a used .270 or .30-06 (giving the .30-06 a very slight preference for a do-it-all rifle). I would avoid the newer, more obscure, and/or "super-magnum" calibers for the simple reason of ammunition availability and cost. There are literally hundreds of different loads available over the counter for the .270 and .30-06 and it is just about the least expensive ammunition available.

In general, I think you need to budget as much for a good quality scope as you do for the rifle you're putting it on. Cheap scopes are worse than no scope at all. Especially for a newbie, you shouldn't be trying to take 500 yard (or even 300 yard!) shots and so open sights should be perfectly adequate until you can afford a quality scope.

I didn't notice if you mentioned where you live, or where you plan to hunt, but that will really determine what you'll be hunting for. If you can find an experienced hunter who will take you along on a hunt or two, that is the very best way to get introduced to the sport.

Good luck!

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Location: Maryland
Joined: 10/11/2006
Posts: 151
Rifle for beginner
denverd0n wrote:
I would look for a used .270 or .30-06 (giving the .30-06 a very slight preference for a do-it-all rifle). I would avoid the newer, more obscure, and/or "super-magnum" calibers for the simple reason of ammunition availability and cost. There are literally hundreds of different loads available over the counter for the .270 and .30-06 and it is just about the least expensive ammunition available.

In general, I think you need to budget as much for a good quality scope as you do for the rifle you're putting it on. Cheap scopes are worse than no scope at all. Especially for a newbie, you shouldn't be trying to take 500 yard (or even 300 yard!) shots and so open sights should be perfectly adequate until you can afford a quality scope.

I didn't notice if you mentioned where you live, or where you plan to hunt, but that will really determine what you'll be hunting for. If you can find an experienced hunter who will take you along on a hunt or two, that is the very best way to get introduced to the sport.

Good luck!

I will be buying a good scope later down the road. As for hunting: Texas and Maryland. What do you think about those 2 states? Btw, I think i'm set for .30-06

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Rifle for beginner

Tell us exactly what it is that you want to know about those two states.

The .30-06 is an excellent choice. Spend a lot of time getting to know that rifle. Adhere to all gun safety rules. Be competent with a firearm, both in handling, firing, and cleaning. Shooting from a bench at the range is good for zeroing and re-zeroing your scope, sighting-in the rifle with your chosen load of factory ammo and testing new loads if you ever plan on reloading your own ammo (many of us reload). That's about all a bench is good for.

Once you have the rifle sighted-in spend some time shooting off hand in various shooting positions at different distances, this is the only way to know how far you are capable of shooting (as the rifle is plenty capable on it's own). Get to know your limitations with that rifle (how far you can accuratley shoot) and don't exceed them.

Many new hunters buy way too much scope, more than they'll ever need for hunting. A hunting scope should be simple and uncomplicated. Reticle should be simple and uncluttered, a duplex or wide duplex is all you'll need. My advise is to go with a good quality (I like Leupold) fixed 6X power scope with a 32mm to 40mm objective lense. Or, if you want a viariable power scope, go with a 2-7X33mm or 3-9X40mm. That should give you all the magnification you'll ever need for a hunting rifle.

Remember that no matter how far you can shoot or how accurate your rifle is at distance, you will not need to take shots beyond 300 yrds when hunting. All my game has been cleanly killed inside of 200 yrds.

Not sure how you feel about cosmetics on a hunting rifle, but you may want to choose one that has either a satin or matte non-shiny walnut wood stock or a matte synthetic stock. A highly glossed shiny polyurethane finished stock has absolutley no place on a hunting rifle or shotgun. Good luck!!

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