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View Full Version : New to hunting, looking for suggestions


Chris M
01-29-2007, 11:27 AM
Hopefully soon, I'll be purchasing my first gun. I'm probably going to start out with a 30-06 rifle for Deer & Wild Pig. Probably something along the lines of:
Remington 710 or 7400
Ruger Mark II
Weatherby Vanguard

Then I'm going to get a couple of shotguns - 1 for Turkey, and one for Duck...unless I get one with adjustable choke for a decent price (any recommendations?)

And of course, I've got to have a .22 rifle (probably a Ruger 10-22) for Squirrel, Rabbit, target shooting for my wife, etc.

Eventually I may save the 30-06 for pigs only (and black bear & elk, if I ever decide to target them), and get something smaller like a .243 or 7mm for deer.

Any recommendations from hunters on here would be much appreciated. I'm trying to keep the cost on the lower side, but want to have gear that'll last...I couldn't care less what it looks like. I'd much rather have a few very versitile guns as opposed to many special-use guns.

I live just outside San Jose, and will be hunting mostly northern and central CA.

C.G.
01-29-2007, 12:10 PM
See this thread:
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=47518

anotherone
01-29-2007, 12:24 PM
Go cheap for your first hunting guns. There is a TON of gear you'll need to buy (GPS, decoys, camo, blinds, etc) so you'll want to have cash for the gear for your first season. After that you can save up for better guns. Because Turkey season is comming up in March and in many spots you're required to use slugs to hunt pigs I would buy a shotgun first.

Get a Remington 870 Express from Big 5. I've seen more ducks and turkeys killed with 870s than anything else. If you have a little extra cash get a Stoeger semi-auto. BE SURE you get a 28 inch barrel because 26 and 24 inches are no good for ducks, doves, and most birds you'll be shooting in flight. Use a modified chock for ducks and doves and use a full or extra-full choke for Turkey. While many folks are now using 24 inch barrels to hunt Turkeys the only real advantage is the weight savings and easier maneuverability. 28 inch barrels kill just as many turkeys.

Use a skeet choke and Federal Tru Ball slugs to kill pigs. If you have the cash for a rifle get a Remington 700 in .30-06 and use 180 grain bullets to take pigs and 150 grain to take deer. Put at least a 8 power scope on it (I use a variable 2 x 14 on mine).

Before you do anything else: Get a Turkey call, duck call, and your other calling aids and start practicing your calls. It can take some time to really master them and you can master shooting trap, etc much faster than you can master calls.

Chris M
01-29-2007, 1:06 PM
Go cheap for your first hunting guns. There is a TON of gear you'll need to buy (GPS, decoys, camo, blinds, etc) so you'll want to have cash for the gear for your first season. After that you can save up for better guns. Because Turkey season is comming up in March and in many spots you're required to use slugs to hunt pigs I would buy a shotgun first.

Get a Remington 870 Express from Big 5. I've seen more ducks and turkeys killed with 870s than anything else. If you have a little extra cash get a Stoeger semi-auto. BE SURE you get a 28 inch barrel because 26 and 24 inches are no good for ducks, doves, and most birds you'll be shooting in flight. Use a modified chock for ducks and doves and use a full or extra-full choke for Turkey. While many folks are now using 24 inch barrels to hunt Turkeys the only real advantage is the weight savings and easier maneuverability. 28 inch barrels kill just as many turkeys.

Use a skeet choke and Federal Tru Ball slugs to kill pigs. If you have the cash for a rifle get a Remington 700 in .30-06 and use 180 grain bullets to take pigs and 150 grain to take deer. Put at least a 8 power scope on it (I use a variable 2 x 14 on mine).

Before you do anything else: Get a Turkey call, duck call, and your other calling aids and start practicing your calls. It can take some time to really master them and you can master shooting trap, etc much faster than you can master calls.

That helps a bunch. I wasn't even really thinking about all the calls, decoys, blinds and other stuff. I've already got a handheld GPS, some gloves, and a buck knife...but that's the extent of my hunting gear so far. I'm going to be working with a $1,500 budget to start.

Hunter
01-29-2007, 1:20 PM
... BE SURE you get a 28 inch barrel because 26 and 24 inches are no good for ducks, doves, and most birds you'll be shooting in flight. ...

I think a lot of wing shooters would take exception to this statement ....I know I do.

Fjold
01-29-2007, 1:21 PM
For your first bolt action deer/pig gun the 30.06 will work fine for everything here in the lower 48 states. I would recommend the Remington 700 over the the 710 as it is a much better platform to add extras to later. The 710 is the economy grade gun that has a pressed in barrel rather than the screwed in one of most other makers. If price is the major consideration look at the Savage and Stevens rifles as they will get you a very accurate rifle at a starter price level. The Howa rifle are also a very good choice along with the Vanguard and the Ruger 77's.

For Turkeys and Ducks one good shotgun with screw in chokes will work fine. Most shotguns offer screw in chokes on their barrels, the Remington pumps (870) and autos (1100 & 1187) are great choices as is the Mossberg 500 pump, the Winchester pump and autos along with others. The longer barrels will give you a longer sight radius but will not change the ballistics of the cartridge, the load and chokes determine range. Duck hunters like longer barrels for pass shooting and turkey hunter usually like a shorter barrel to make manuverability easier. I like 22-24 inch barrels on pumps and autos and 26" barrels on doubles.

Generally you choke the shotgun tighter for longer range (passing ducks) and tighter patterning in close (turkey head shots). And have a more open choke for calling in ducks over decoys, upland bird shooting at closer ranges, etc.

10/22 is a great all around plinker and really easy to customize. It's a great start to build hyper accurate playtoys with if you want to do that later.

Anything from 243 and up will do for deer around here, the 7-08 and 308 also are great but like I said earlier the 30.06 is a great all around rifle. The problem with the 30.06 is that you never need another rifle for medium and big game hunting, so it's hard to use that as an excuse.

Hunter
01-29-2007, 1:25 PM
.... I like 22-24 inch barrels on pumps and autos and 26" barrels on doubles...


+1:D

pieeater
01-29-2007, 4:37 PM
I'm trying to keep the cost on the lower side,

Good luck! Hunting is more expensive than BRD.

ivanimal
01-29-2007, 5:28 PM
I'm trying to keep the cost on the lower side,

Good luck! Hunting is more expensive than BRD.


Thats how I started, wait till you own 3 - 4 wheel drives for different types of hunting. Then you know your over the top.:eek:

Chris M
01-29-2007, 5:35 PM
I'm trying to keep the cost on the lower side,

Good luck! Hunting is more expensive than BRD.


That's true...I don't think I have any inexpensive hobbies...Fishing (by far the most expensive so far), Camping, Car Stereo, Electronics, etc. I had a 1973 Nova project car for a few years, but I realized I would have just dumped way too much money into it, and I'd rather 'invest' it in one of my other hobbies.

BTW, what's BRD?

pieeater
01-29-2007, 6:09 PM
That's true...I don't think I have any inexpensive hobbies...Fishing (by far the most expensive so far), Camping, Car Stereo, Electronics, etc. I had a 1973 Nova project car for a few years, but I realized I would have just dumped way too much money into it, and I'd rather 'invest' it in one of my other hobbies.

BTW, what's BRD? Black Rifle Disease.You cant own enough black rifles and just keep buying them. I go back and forth, some years I spend all my money on guns the next year it is hunting.

I'm going to Africa in a few months so this year it is definately hunting. But I still have a very large wishlist of black rifles.

If only I was wealthy like Ivanimal.

anotherone
01-29-2007, 6:13 PM
I think a lot of wing shooters would take exception to this statement ....I know I do.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words:

http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e7/kphga1977/P1010066.jpg

I don't know about where you live but we all use 28+ inch barrels up here. In fact 28 inches is rather short, most folks are using 30 and 32 inch barrels. I often choke mine off to 30 inches. The birds must be landing on your barrel where you hunt.

Chris M
01-29-2007, 6:17 PM
I don't know about where you live but we all use 28+ inch barrels up here. In fact 28 inches is rather short, most folks are using 30 and 32 inch barrels. I often choke mine off to 30 inches. The birds must be landing on your barrel where you hunt.

I live just outside San Jose. Where are you at?

[edit]

Sorry, just noticed that you were talking to "hunter", not me.

Hunter
01-29-2007, 7:02 PM
They say a picture is worth a thousand words:
What does that bag have to do with a 30" barrel?? Are you saying a person with a 26" barrel could not have killed those same ducks?

I don't know about where you live but we all use 28+ inch barrels up here.
I hunt and have hunted the same ground as you, for many decades. I see the same type of hunters every year and for every successful hunter with a 30" gun, I can show you one shooting a 26" barrel just as well (hmm, maybe that is why the average is 28")

In fact 28 inches is rather short, most folks are using 30 and 32 inch barrels. I often choke mine off to 30 inches.
I would say the average length is 28", not 30" and certainly not 32". Will you find guys shooting 32"? Yes, just like you might find a guy with a 34" marlin "goose gun".... but it is not the norm ......but instead far to the rightside of the bell curve.

The birds must be landing on your barrel where you hunt.
The length of your barrel has essentially minimal impact on your shotshell performance once you are past 24-25 inches. By then, all of the powder that is going to burn has done it. Velocity will increase about 2-3% from 22" to 28". Now for your 30" tube, the velocity actually DROPS over that out of the 28" tube and you will find it equal to that from a 26" barrel!

Therefore, the extra length of the barrel (after 24") ONLY increases the sight radius and some shooters may find it helps with the balance of some guns.

On the other hand, take a Browning 3.5" BPS w/26" tube....did you know that it has equal sight radius to a 30" barrel on a double? So which one is better?? Same velocity, same sight radius.....

As for sight radius, it doesn't kill birds. The shooter kills the birds and that depends on the shooter's skill level...not on the length of the barrel.

Can the longer barrel help some shooters? Yes, the longer barrel does help some shooters, especially inexperience ones. The benefit comes in helping the shooter follow thru more and the longer sight radius helps for longer/higher up shots, like one might take at geese. But again, it really is the experience level of the shooter that comes into play even here, not how long the gun is.

pieeater
01-29-2007, 7:31 PM
But again, it really is the experience level of the shooter that comes into play even here, not how long the gun is.
__________________

We are still talking about hunting here right?:D

ecmckean
01-30-2007, 2:05 PM
This thread makes it so apparent how some of us (or at least ME) take for granted that our fathers hunted, and their fathers before them. All the guns I hunt with are handmedowns, along with all the cleaning supplies, etc. I have ammo thats older than I am.

It never occured to me the actual cost of someone just starting out scratch.

Kudos to Chris M

Chris M
01-30-2007, 3:34 PM
This thread makes it so apparent how some of us (or at least ME) take for granted that our fathers hunted, and their fathers before them. All the guns I hunt with are handmedowns, along with all the cleaning supplies, etc. I have ammo thats older than I am.

It never occured to me the actual cost of someone just starting out scratch.

Kudos to Chris M

My dad's actually an avid hunter. Never took me though. I never understood why...But I never bothered to ask, either. He's got a collection of well over 100 guns...he's got an entire room in his house with nothing but his gun collection in it. He's never offered any of his guns to me, and I've never asked for any.

Last time I visited him was about 15 years ago, back in NY State, when I was about 14-15 years old. He let me shoot his .22 rifles from his porch at some targets in a field about 100 yards away.

The one time he attempted to take me hunting was when I spotted a bunch of white tails from his porch, crossing a stream a few hundred yards away. He told me to run inside and grab a couple of his guns. I got them, ran back outside, and started into the woods. His wife (I won't even call her my step-mother), ran out after us, and started yelling "You're going to shoot your dad!" and took the gun from me, and told me to get back in the house.

ecmckean
01-30-2007, 3:38 PM
Sorry Chris. Sounds like your dad is a f'n a/hole.
-
With that said. Get a 30-06. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. A nice used one should do you good, unless you HAVE to have new.

Chris M
01-30-2007, 4:17 PM
Sorry Chris. Sounds like your dad is a f'n a/hole.
-
With that said. Get a 30-06. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise. A nice used one should do you good, unless you HAVE to have new.

Where are some places I can look for used rifles and/or shotguns? Anything I should look out for when it comes to used guns?

Rob454
01-30-2007, 4:52 PM
Some pawn shops and some/most gun stores usually have a rack of used or consignment guns. I hunted with a 30-06 because thats what I started with and Im comfortable with that round. I shot deer pigs and elk. I knwo there are a lot of newer better faster stornger calibers out there but I never had a problem with a 30-06. besides you can get ammo pretty cheap if you jasut wanna shoot it and even hunting ammo is decent priced. My buddy has a 7mm mag and he said the ammo for it was 40$ a box. Shoots very nicely but its way too powerful a round for deer. The way i see it I want the deer to drop with minimal damage. i dont want to shoot it and destroy the meat.
I have a remington 710 and a savage. Both 30-06. Both very accurate.
The 710 is really accurate to about 350-400 yards but i cant get past that accurately because Im using some crappy greek ammo. i can still hit a deer sized target just not exactly where I want it to go.

For shotguns I jsut picked up a Mossberg silver edition for 360$ at Big 5. very nice shotgun. before that I used a mossberg 500. it was another big 5 dela. its the one that came with the two barells. One long one short. I usually lend that out if i go with someone who doesnt have a shotgun.

As for what to look for Im not a gun smith or anything nor am I a gun expert. I woudl look at the overall condition of the gun. How is the stock? scratched chipped or does it have stains? any of those things can mean anything from lots of use to plain negligence. I have scratches on my guns. either from going through the brush or jsut plain whoops. banged it against the tailgate taking it out. Look at the barell rifling. Shine a light in it. Should be shiny in there no crappies sticking to the walls.
I would go get a Savage rifle. They may bot be the best out there but they are reliable, wont break the bank, and very accurate
Rob

ecmckean
01-30-2007, 5:56 PM
My dad hunts with a Savage Super Sporter in 30-06. Light, good looking, and shoots nice.

dxh369
01-30-2007, 7:26 PM
Chris, Markleys over in watsonville has alot of good used guns at good prices

robairto
01-30-2007, 10:07 PM
BE SURE you get a 28 inch barrel because 26 and 24 inches are no good for ducks, doves, and most birds you'll be shooting in flight. Use a modified chock for ducks and doves and use a full or extra-full choke for Turkey.
No flame intended but this statement is an opinion only since ballistics don't
substantiate this nor has there been any quantifiable data as to what barrel lengths kill the most game. It is true that most water fowlers prefer the longer barrels but most upland hunters prefer fast shouldering and swinging
shotguns in the shorter lengths. I personally shoot ducks and geese with a 26" semi and sold my numerous 28" shot guns. I prefer shooting doves with a fast swinging O/U as well as I use it for quail and pheasant. My point in all this is to shoulder as many firearms as possible before you buy. A best seller may not be your best fella if it doesn't fit! Good luck and stay with quality firearms. If you buy the best the only place left to improve is yourself!