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Centerfire Rifles - Semiautomatic or Gas Operated Centerfire rifles, carbines and other gas operated rifles.

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  #1  
Old 07-22-2010, 10:12 AM
POWERSMOKIN POWERSMOKIN is offline
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Default First Rifle - On the cheap.

Ok, so im 18 and looking to buy my first rifle. Im moving to WY in 2 months, so i want to get a 30-06 or .308, more set on the 30-06.

I went to Bass Pro shops, and the guns there were a lot more than i intended to spend. Perhaps because they were better quality... There was a bottom of the line Thompson Center for $471 on clearance, bare rifle. The salesman there told me i would HAVE to get a one piece airtight scope, like a nikon buckmaster, and everything else is crap.

I went to Big 5 yesterday, and saw 2 rifles that I liked and were in my price range.

The first was a Savage Model 11 (no accutrigger) with a simmons scope, for $300, on sale from $400 (but only for 3 more days!). I liked the gun, and the detachable mag, but i DID NOT like the action AT ALL! the bolt was REALLY stiff to rotate it to unload, and i would have to lower the gun just to move the damn thing.

The other was a Mossberg 100 ATR with a nickel plated barrel for $300. That, i liked. The action was a lot smoother too. i could do it with one finger it was so light. unlike the savage, which was either open or closed on the bolt, the Mossberg had like, 3 stages (gun newb) where it was open, closed but halfway out so you cant fire, or closed & ready to fire. The only thing that makes me not want to get it is the fact that its an internal mag. i absolutely do not want an internal mag. I want to be able to take my magazine out and load the bullets away from the gun.



Any thoughts on the two? Im leaning towards the savage, just cause of the mag. Do the bolts loosen up over time or is there a way to make it looser? and will all bolts wobble around when there all the way out (like your loading it)?
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:20 AM
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Buying the "package" (rifle and scope), usually gets you some very cheap components.

Buy the rifle and scope seperately, spend just a little more, and will get some decent components that you can build on.

I prefer Remington 700 rifles, but Savage are very good rifles too.
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  #3  
Old 07-22-2010, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
i absolutely do not want an internal mag. I want to be able to take my magazine out and load the bullets away from the gun.
Don't stray from this. You will not be happy if you do. I have not owned either, I have shot both. I can't offer anything other then the savage I shot had smooth action. I dont know if the owner had a gunsmith work on it, or if it was easy due to years of use.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POWERSMOKIN View Post
Any thoughts on the two? Im leaning towards the savage, just cause of the mag. Do the bolts loosen up over time or is there a way to make it looser? and will all bolts wobble around when there all the way out (like your loading it)?
The bolt on my older, pre-Accutrigger 111 did loosen up after some shooting. You can also try disassembling the bolt and clean and lube it. That helped me some. Not familiar with Mossberg rifles, but I do know that all the Savages I have shot at least 1" MOA right out of the box.

If you can afford it try to get a Savage with the Accutrigger. It is well worth the extra money.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:35 AM
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Honestly you hsould wait until you move to WY to buy one, they are probably alot cheaper ta\han here in CA, and if you want a cheap rifle with a detachable mag that isn't a bucket of crap you should check out the Tikka t3 lite series, they are great rifle and balls to the wall accurate out of the box.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POWERSMOKIN View Post
Ok, so im 18 and looking to buy my first rifle. Im moving to WY in 2 months, so i want to get a 30-06 or .308, more set on the 30-06.
Why not wait until you get to WY, it'll likely be cheaper there (no CA DOJ fees and no PPT fees for FTF) and you can find out exactly what rifle you really want. Even if you have to wait for residency (does WY require that for new rifle? used rifle?), it seems better to get it there.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:38 AM
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The Weatherby Vanguard/Howa 1500 series are GREAT entry level rifles!
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:15 AM
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I shot Santa9monica's Howa 1500, and it was dead nuts accurate and very smooth. I'd probably get one of these if I wasn't such a C&R nut
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:23 AM
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from whats being said, it looks like ill be buying out there. There are some pawn shops out there too that i might be able to score in....
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:24 AM
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Check out the Marlin XS7 and XL7 too. Fairly inexpensive, and from what I read, not bad rifles..
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:51 PM
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^^ditto^^

That is a nice price on that Savage and looks like I'll be picking one up if they have it in .270 locally. If you buy that rifle (which is at a great price) plan to throw away that scope after the first season.

Otherwise I would definately wait till you move. California prices are inflated.
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Old 07-22-2010, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j1133s View Post
Why not wait until you get to WY, it'll likely be cheaper there (no CA DOJ fees and no PPT fees for FTF) and you can find out exactly what rifle you really want. Even if you have to wait for residency (does WY require that for new rifle? used rifle?), it seems better to get it there.
This is worth repeating yet again. You probably have a better chance of finding something nice used there as well.
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Old 07-22-2010, 1:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POWERSMOKIN View Post
The first was a Savage Model 11 (no accutrigger) with a simmons scope, for $300, on sale from $400 (but only for 3 more days!). I liked the gun, and the detachable mag, but i DID NOT like the action AT ALL! the bolt was REALLY stiff to rotate it to unload, and i would have to lower the gun just to move the damn thing.
Savage rifles are like that.
Most people don't notice it though because they don't realize what a rifle's bolt lift SHOULD feel like.
Good on you for noticing it before you were stuck with it!

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Old 07-22-2010, 6:32 PM
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if you're concerned about cheap, i'd rethink '06. the only reasonable source of ammo is cmp. .308 surplus abounds. remember, you'll need target time before hunting.
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Old 07-24-2010, 4:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar15barrels View Post
Savage rifles are like that.
Most people don't notice it though because they don't realize what a rifle's bolt lift SHOULD feel like.
Good on you for noticing it before you were stuck with it!

I held a savage yesterday and really took notice of that as well. Is there anyway to work on it to smoothen it out? I am just getting into precision "game" and really liked how the accu-trigger broke and like the savage except for that action. It may deter me from them and start looking into Remington a lot more.
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Old 07-24-2010, 4:48 PM
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I learned as a kid on a Savage bolt action 30-30 (go figure) my dad bought used for $25 got three deer with it, still works fine...
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Old 07-24-2010, 4:54 PM
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The cost of the rifle is not half as important as what it is going to cost to feed it. That said, you NEED at least one .22lr before you get anything else. In the longrun, you will save a lot of cash and become a much better shooter if you buy a .22lr now!
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Old 07-24-2010, 5:27 PM
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I definitely agree with the ammo cost part.

I also agree with the 22lr. Fun to shoot, easy to learn, and most importantly cheap to learn.

Last edited by Adub; 07-24-2010 at 5:42 PM.. Reason: got rid of my thread high jacking
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:17 AM
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im not trying to say im a prodigy, but i can shoot pretty well. In boyscouts, wed have to shoot .22s at a 50yd target. I could group all 10 within about an inch, using iron sights and apertures. On my dads friends 30-06 at 100yds i could group 5 within the size of a CD. Now im not saying i wont have to practice, because i will. Its just that id rather not buy a .22, then a 30-06 because ill have a limited surplus of cash, because ill be in school.

I think ill just wait till i get out to Wyoming and buy it. Unless the mossberg goes on sale for $199
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Old 07-26-2010, 4:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyro3k2 View Post
Honestly you hsould wait until you move to WY to buy one, they are probably alot cheaper ta\han here in CA, and if you want a cheap rifle with a detachable mag that isn't a bucket of crap you should check out the Tikka t3 lite series, they are great rifle and balls to the wall accurate out of the box.
This. No sales tax, Buy one from Shiptons Big R for waaaaaaay less than anywhere in Cal, buy a pistol and ammo, walk out with it same day.


For Wyoming, I say .270 is a better round. Antelope swarm over that state like ants, long shots are the norm for Muleys too. Plenty big for elk.
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Old 07-26-2010, 4:31 PM
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If it's your first rifle, buy a used one (have it checked by a gunsmith first) and shoot the hell out of it. If this is really your first rifle of any kind get a .22 and learn how to shoot first, the low recoil will keep you from flinching and the low cost of the rifle and ammo will keep you shooting more often. 525 rounds of .22 costs $20 roughly (used to be 12.99 but whatever) 20 rounds of .30-06 costs $20 roughly, more for match-grade, at 18 you should learn to shoot basics then move up as your skills allow it. Otherwise you're could end up like my Wife's uncle with a $3,000 hand made rifle (and a $2,000 night vision scope) that he's never even shot (doesn't know how, doesn't know what ammo it takes, etc.)!
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Old 07-26-2010, 4:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POWERSMOKIN View Post
im not trying to say im a prodigy, but i can shoot pretty well. In boyscouts, wed have to shoot .22s at a 50yd target. I could group all 10 within about an inch, using iron sights and apertures. On my dads friends 30-06 at 100yds i could group 5 within the size of a CD. Now im not saying i wont have to practice, because i will. Its just that id rather not buy a .22, then a 30-06 because ill have a limited surplus of cash, because ill be in school.

I think ill just wait till i get out to Wyoming and buy it. Unless the mossberg goes on sale for $199
It sounds like you've fallen in the same boat that many new gun owners do. It does not sound like you are rich so, a .22lr will provide you with a lot of trigger time for very little cost. It will pay for itself in the first brick of .22lr ammo! If you're goal is to get a hunting rifle for hunting then, get one and a .22lr as well. I can easily go through 100-1000 rounds (I reload and I have a belt fed) of centerfire rifle ammo in one range visit and that gets expensive fast! Even just shooting bolt guns, I have shot +200 rounds in a day. So, an investment of $100-$300 for a .22lr can be a very wise one. That said, I'd wait until I moved to buy a hunting rifle. When you get there, you should think about local ammo availability as well as the type of rifle you want before selecting a centerfire caliber. It sucks when you travel a few hours from home, forget your ammo and can't find some in your caliber at the local gas station/gun shop.
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Old 07-26-2010, 4:54 PM
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If you're looking for something on the cheap, I'd wait til you're in Wyoming and then browse this website:

Main site: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=13

Rifles: http://www.ksl.com/?nid=231&cat=377

It's a Utah based site, but caters to Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah. For half of the crap I sell on that site, I always find myself in Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, or Colorado doing FTF PPTs.

Please note that there's all sorts of people selling stuff on there. If they require a background check and tax, they're a gun dealer and the prices are non-negotiable. If it's a police officer, the prices are usually non-negotiable, but if it's a private individual, then you can lowball the crap out of them. To give you an idea on how far you can lowball; I list all my AKs on there for $500-$800 and usually end up selling for $300-$500. I usually list my ARs for $1000 and sell for $650-$750.
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Old 07-26-2010, 5:14 PM
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I'll second the Weatherby/Howa 1500. They are a tad heavy but are accurate and rock solid reliable and come with an adjustable trigger. A big step up (and down in weight) would be a Tikka T3 but there is nothing wrong with the Howa.
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Old 07-26-2010, 5:24 PM
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If you're looking for something that's cheap to buy and cheap to feed, and that will bring the deer down, consider a Mosin-Nagant. I just bought one with the hex receiver for $115, and round receiver ones can be had for $95.

The 7.62x54R round is almost (not quite, but nearly) as powerful as the 30-06, and milsurp ammo is, compared to .30-06 or .308 Win, plentiful and (for now) pretty cheap. Matter of fact, it's often called the "Russian 30-06", and for good reason.

Just a thought.

Oh, and +1 to the suggestions telling you to get a .22LR to practice with. With the money you save by picking up a Mosin-Nagant + ammo, you can get a good Ruger 10/22 for $200 (stainless barrel for $250). Ruger 10/22's are great rifles for practicing, and nothing's cheaper to feed than a .22LR.
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