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My First Rifle / Fire Arm?

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posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 10:06 PM
Okay so I am looking at buying my first rifle. I really would like to buy just one - ever.

For hunting and god forbid protection - mostly for hunting.

I was wondering what I should start out with.

After a bit of poking around I was thinking 308 or 30-06.

Suggestions on either? On if these are the 'right' choice? Any help would be appreciated.


posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 10:23 PM
Buy something a bit more fancy than that! Im thinking AK-47. Anything you can get your hands on that is big and automatic.

You live in America for god's sake! Take advantage of the privledges you have.

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 10:24 PM
.308 and 30-06 are both good hunting rounds, but not very good for self-protection. They are typically a little heavy for swinging in close quarters.

My personal favorite would be the 30-30. It's not as powerful as the other two, but it still has plenty of punch to take down a deer with one shot, it isn't so powerful it can't be used for small game like rabbits or squirrels, and it swings a little easier in close quarters. It's also 30 caliber, which means it uses the same bullets as a host of other calibers in case you decide to ever reload.

.22 LR is a good round as well, and a lightweight firearm that still packs enough punch to do the trick if you're a good shot. The ammo is pretty cheap as well compared to centerfire rounds.

.223 (like the Mini-14, which is what I have) is an extremely accurate round with good power and penetration. You can use military ammo for it, straight out of the M-16 catalog. It's also semi-auto, so check your local hunting laws; if they are like the ones here, you have to have a clip with less than 10 rounds to hunt with it (5-round clips are easy to find). This is getting close to sniper range capability, but it's also lightweight and small for a rifle.

All that is based on only buying one firearm ever. My real advice outside of that restriction is to get one hunting rifle and one handgun. That way you're covered. Any of the 30 caliber rounds are a good choice for hunting and I love the .357 for a good all-purpose varmit/protection gun. 9mm works good too if you prefer semi-auto.

In the end though, shoot a few rounds through some different calibers and see which one you are most comfortable with. That will be your best choice. Don't judge power by the size of the hole in the end of the barrel alone; you need powder behind those boulders, or you might as well be throwing rocks.


posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 10:28 PM
reply to post by TheRedneck

are there places i can go to - to shoot different types or guns before i buy one?

that would be ideal.

other than that, thanks for the advice!

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 10:31 PM
i'd say to go and find a way to test-fire a few, see how much power they have, see how accurate they are, etc. and choose from that. words only go so far compared to the actual experience

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 10:36 PM
reply to post by Animal

Of course I am more familiar with Alabama, but here some gun dealers actually have shooting ranges out back to test out the guns. If you have a friend with the caliber you want to try, maybe ask him to let you burn some powder in it to get the feel of it. And if nothing else, I think most places have shooting ranges. You might ask your dealer to meet you there (I'll bet he knows the place well
), or just hang around and ask someone if you can plug a couple targets with their weapon. You'll probably get turned down some with that request, but I know I am always happy to let someone get the feel of a weapon, as long as they appear trustworthy and capable of handling the gun in question. I probably would think twice if a small woman asked to fire my .444 Marlin.

The key is to just ask around. You're paying good money for the weapon; no reputable dealer should have a problem with you firing it, especially under supervision.


posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 10:43 PM
Oh, and one more word of advice: I know they're pretty and shiny, but don't get a nickle-plated gun expecting it to forever remain that way. The plating can chip pretty easily. Blued guns are the cheapest, but you have to keep them dry or they will rust. The ultimate: stainless steel! It will never rust and doesn't chip off since it's solid. Of course, it's also the most expensive...

Whatever you get, there is one word to remember: RIG. RIG makes the best cleaners and oils on the market, and those chemicals are the key to keeping your weapon in good operating condition. Do not leave the dealer without a cleaning kit and a few bottles of RIG oil - your weapon will love you for it!


posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 11:12 PM

Originally posted by TheRedneck
.223 (like the Mini-14, which is what I have) is an extremely accurate round with good power and penetration.

Pro tip: you are mistaken. I have shot men and animals both with the 5.56 round from an M-4 and the .308 from a 240B. Short of a head shot the 5.56 round is often not immediately incapacitating. The problem is that the 5.56 does its dirty work by fragmenting into several pieces, creating several small wound channels and increasing the odds of damage to major organs. This action is unpredictable, however; it only fragments 70% of the time and takes 13 centimeters (?) to do it, which is problematic when shooting small malnourished targets you are likely to see during a survival situation.

The 7.62x39 (ak and sks) and 7.62x51 NATO (.308, more or less) work differently, tumbling head of heels after impact with fleshy tissue. This action creates an exaggerated wound channel and happens about 90% of the time. Also, the round begins to tumble at closer to 3 centimeters, proving more effective on those skinny targets. As a bonus, these tumbling rounds tend to exit the body backwards, creating massive exit wounds that are difficult to treat.

So far as accuracy the 5.56 is inferior to the .308 and better than the 7.62x39 round. The round is very accurate, MOA wise, but does experience extreme drop at ranges beyond 300 meters. Out to 500 meters the round is nearly useless due to it being underpowered. compare this to a reliable performance of the 7.62x39 at 300 meters and the .308 at around 800-1000 meters, all based on the distance the round is likely to generate 1000 ft-lbs of energy, the limit for reliable one shot drop ratios on both deer and men.

So far as penetration goes, this is again relative to its only real competitor, the ak-47. The 7.62x39 round of the ak is notoriously underpowered and not likely to penetrate modern body armor worn by combat troops. Unfortunately, the 5.56 round is also unlikely to penetrate modern SAPI (small arms protective insert) plates used in level four body armor worn by modern military forces. The .308 and '06 are also unlikely to penetrate level 4, however they pack enough energy to cause massive damage (deep bruising and broken ribs) even though the round does not penetrate the armor and skin.

Another problem with penetration argument is that in order to achieve even modest penetration from the 5.56 you have to fire the tungsten steel core penetrater rounds. Problem is that these rounds are even LESS likely to fragment and create multiple wound channels.

Basically, if you want to be trendy and think you will do most of your fighting in hallways but don’t like shotguns, choose a .223 round. Also, if most of your hunting will be for small to medium game and will do all of your fighting within 100 yard, the 5.56 will serve you well.

If you want a cheaper, more reliable firearm, get the 7.62x39 eating ak-47 or sks.

If you want a great all around riffle that is chambered for modern military rounds and packs enough punch to take any North American game animal, double up as a sniper riffle, and comes in configurations small enough to swing around in hallways with the best m-4s and AKs, get a modernized M1-A new from a major manufacturer.

In the end though, shoot a few rounds through some different calibers and see which one you are most comfortable with. That will be your best choice.

Best advice to give a new firearms owner! Does it matter how big of caliber you pack if you cant hit anything with it?

[edit on 15-12-2009 by cavscout]

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 11:24 PM
A heavy-duty hunting rifle is not the ideal "first rifle"... You first need to acquaint yourself with proper firearm handling and become accustomed to firing a rifle, preferably one that's not going to bash you around.

A great "first rifle" is a 22 semi-automatic. Little recoil, and the ammo is so inexpensive that you can blow up several thousand rounds without breaking the bank. This will acquaint you with drawing down on a target, firing, and recovering your target rapidly.

But you don't have to buy a rifle to try it out. Just visit your local gun range and see if they rent out rifles for you to try on the range — many gun ranges rent out firearms for exactly this purpose. Spend some time on the range, blow up a few thousand rounds before you make a decision on a personal firearm.

For myself, I prefer an M4 semi-auto assault rifle. Aside from a rifle, I'd think seriously about a nice 12-gauge pump shotgun, maybe a Remington 870 Marine Magnum. Can't go wrong with a big shotgun and buckshot.

— Doc Velocity

[edit on 12/15/2009 by Doc Velocity]

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 11:35 PM
YEE HAW your first gun HYUK
. Don't forget to ask gran pappy on how to shoot possum. Never shoot while drunk on moonshine

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 11:47 PM
I personally think you can't go wrong with a good old shotgun. A 410 is good a 20 Gauge is awesome and you can never go wrong with a 12 gauge. They are in my opinion the true all purpose firearm.

posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 11:51 PM
If you're thinking about a firearm as a survival weapon in a SHTF scenario, you might want to think again. A firearm is about the last thing you need in a prolonged survival situation.

I didn't say you don't need it, I'm saying it's the last thing you need to survive, a tool of last resort.

I mean, you can catch all the game you need to survive without resorting to firearms. Snares, traps, stone bows, bow and arrows, and fishing tackle can feed you well without bringing out the heavy guns.

Plus, the gun is going to give away your position every time. The worst thing you have to worry about when TSHTF is drawing attention to yourself.

Ask the infantryman who was separated from his platoon behind enemy lines, or ask the pilot shot down in hostile territory.

Ask him and he'll tell you that goddamned gun he was carrying didn't get fired the whole time he was trying to make it back. He lived on grubs and snakes and bird eggs and dirty water, but he didn't fire his weapon for game. It would've been suicide.

Same thing in a SHTF scenario. Save that gun for the main adversary. You can feed yourself (and your family) without pulling a trigger every time.

— Doc Velocity

[edit on 12/15/2009 by Doc Velocity]

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 12:01 AM
This is easily demonstrated in shooting games.. You may hit your target, but you just fired a gun.. Everyone knows where you are now.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 12:03 AM
shtf / protection are only the smallest aspect of my interest. hunting for food is the primary rational. just fyi.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 01:14 AM
As far as hunting, I'm fairly partial to a .308, the favorite out of my rifles is my winchester model 88. Very nice stopping power and accuracy enough to reach out and really touch something. For home defense, not so much tho, thats what the SKS is for. Basically when it comes down to it, 2 separate weapons for 2 separate purposes. Luckily you can get an sks for pretty cheap or the semi-auto versions of the AK-47, such as the MAK-90 I believe it is. I could be mistaken. Just as has been said the 7.62X39 is a fantastic round.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 01:46 AM
A .22lr, as others have said, is my suggestion. I would start at a Ruger 10/22. For the most part, there are minimal problems with this gun out of the box. Accurate, fairly lightweight, and customizable.

Also, Marlin makes good .22 rifles.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:05 AM
Hey neighbor, I live in Las Cruces!

For your first rifle, get a Mosin Nagant M44. They cost less than 100$. You can get 440 rounds of ammo for like 89$. So for 200$ you can get a decently accurate rifle and enough ammo to figure out what shooting a rifle is all about.

It is 7.62x54r caliber which is almost identical performance wise to a .308. You can easily kill deer elk, and 2- legged varmints from extreme range.

The m44 is a carbine version of the longer barreled rifle the m91.

Simo Hayha, who was the most devastating sniper in the history of the world used a really similar rifle. No scope. He is known as "the white death".

[edit on 16-12-2009 by downtown436]

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 02:35 AM
One problem with the mosin(not performance wise, I own an m91 and absolutely love it), is this will be his first rifle and they kick like one angry mule. Although I did recommend a .308 which kicks pretty hard too. Hrm, well crap.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:42 AM
Hey Animal, for hunting I would suggest getting a Ruger 10/22. MOST hunting you can do is for small game, it is easier to stay fed in a SHTF scenario that way.
Don't underestimate the power of a 10/22 for self defense either. The .22 lr cartridge really does a number on you after penetration. You can actually hunt deer with it if need be. Ask SemperFortis, I think he;ll back me up on that.
Cost with scope, sling and 1000 rounds of ammo - less than $300.
In a survival situation I would carry the .22 and leave my AK at home, thats how much I like it.

posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 06:52 AM
First rifle get something rimfire. Anything rimfire. If you really want to hunt with it go for a .22 WMR or a .17 HMR.

If you'll spend most of your time just punching holes through paper and the occasional errant tin can grab the least expensive 22 you can find.

Being your first firearm the fundamentals are the most important thing you should be concerned with. Safety, alignment, picture, breathing, trigger pull.

Get comfortable with the rifle, safe with the rifle, be able to put the bullet where you want it. Then we can talk about that .30-06.

Not to mention, in my experience as a shooting instructor, it's a terrible shame to come across a person who's first experience with a firearm was something high-power and held and fired improperly. There are all sorts of bad habits like fear and flinching that I have to work to get rid of and it's often a long and drawn out process. Dont do that to yourself.

Get used to taking one step and a time before you head off to a marathon.

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