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Gun reccomendations?

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As a a class III FFL holder..I would have to say that anything in .308 win/ 7,62mm NATO would probably be the best bet. Contrary to a earleir post the 7,62mm NATO is loaded to LOWER pressures than SAMMI .308 Winchester specs. Now if you use "military" brass and use "civilian" loading guides you WILL get into serious trouble cause "military" brass is thicker and that means less internal volume space and HIGHER PRESSURE than "civilian" brass...just like the old .30 1906 US Gov't (aka .30'06) vs the commercial made stuff... (same goes for 5,56mm Military vs "civilian" .223 Rem) Depending upon where you are a semi-auto may or may not be legal..Here in NV we can own select fire weapons as well as silencers and all the other fun stuff...




While I basically agree about the 7.62 NATO/.308 Win, I have to fundamentally disagree about the 30.06.


While it may be a little different today, back when the 30.06 was King both in the military and commercially the commercial ammunition was loaded to the same spec ( i.e. chamber pressures ) as the military ammunition ( heck for that matter about all that was available was military brass and for a long time many of the rifles using that brass were ex-military models ) - don't forget that it was military brass that was used to make the 30.06 Match ammunition ( 180 grn @ 2800 fps ) for the first half of the 20th Century.


Some years ago, a test by Gun's & Ammo on case capacity of 30.06 showed that some commercial cases were heavier and of lower case capacity than Government cases produced, but those that had higher capacity were minimal in differences - in a nut shell, the only time anyone would get into trouble is when they went outside of reloading manual data, trying to attain .300 Win performance from the 30.06.



Lastly the 7.62 NATO, is poor performer for it's size out performed by the 30.06 on the upper end and the 6.5 Grendel on the lower end people really are better off going to one of those instead ( even the military is tending towards larger or smaller caliber except for vehicle mounted guns ) and the way congress is doing their best to limit military components getting on the civ market it's only a matter of time before that source of bullets and brass ( which has become much more limited in the last 5 yrs ) dries up completely.


Performance wise the only time 7.62 NATO can compare with the 6.5 Grendel, is under 150 yrds, after that then Grendel just starts walking away from it - by 200-250yrds, not even the 180 grn 7.62 NATO Sniper ammunition can shoot as flat or retain enough velocity to compare to the 144 grn 6.5 Grendel loading.

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Surprised nobody's even mentioned Thompson Center. If you want to enjoy shooting as a hobby, a T/C Contender is perfect. It's a single shot, break-open action, like a shotgun, & allows you to interchange barrels, stocks, & accessories. It can be set up as a rifle or a pistol, or even a shogun, in calibers from .17 HMR to .45-70, & many wildcats (custom chamberings) in between. They're still relatively inexpensive to get into if you know where to shop.

As for caliber, given what you have outlined so far, my choice for starting out - versatility, light recoil, & ammo availability - would be the .223. The biggest plus for the "poodle-shooter" in a Contender is that you can get a chamber adapter to let you shoot .22 LR in it. That would let you start with the .22 that you're familiar with, get used to the gun, then when you're ready, you can move up to the centerfire, always having the option of the rimfire still available. Next thing you know, you'll be reloading your own ammo (an engrossing hobby in & of itself!), buying more barrels in more calibers, hanging out in the T/C forums (google Greybeard Outdoors).... sorta like bladesmithing, y'know what I mean?

OTOH, if one shot at a time's not enough, I'd go with the consensus here & say Savage bolt action, prob'ly in .223 (although you don't have the adapter option). I buy all my guns used, & I spend a lot of time on Gunbroker.com & AuctionArms.com when I'm looking. Once you figure out their search process it's pretty easy to find what you're looking for. BTW, my OTHER .223 is a scoped Ruger Mini-14, so I do enjoy some "accuracy-by-volume therapy" from time to time....

Entire books have been written about the Contender, so I'm just scratching the surface. If you want more info you can check out the forums, or PM me & I'll be glad to help you out if I can.


Enjoy the research-



PS - Jim - are you looking to adopt?

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I am very much enjoying my 6.5 Grendel AR15, but it is not best for a novice shooter.


I'd suggest a .22 long rifle as a first, as many others have. .308 is a fine round for center fire, very versatile, easy ammo, lots of variety.


But you will find that buying guns and shooting is much like making knives, habit forming. One gun will not be enough. :D

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Hey guys, I just thought I'd post here to see if any of you gun owning knife makers out there could help me out.

I'm buying a rifle here quickly, and really have none to educate me in the technical stuffs regarding firearms and ammo.. I've taken safety courses.. and got my rifle safety scout Merritt badge a long long time back dime club ft ;)

I know the safety stuff, and I know our state and local gun laws. I just really need some suggestions for a gun to choose.


I'll be target shooting pretty much exclusively, and would like a round with a bit of a greater range than a .22 LR, which I have already. Bolt action is fine with me.


and here's the tough part, I'm trying to keep it around 500$ I can buy used, no problem with that, I just don't know what to look into..


Brand suggestions, and caliber suggestions would be super helpful.


I really appreciate it guys, thanks



Do you ever plan to hunt with the new gun ? if so what will you be hunting or would it double as a home protection weapon........

You have stated that you own a 22lr so you have the plinker and now you want something a little bigger.

If I was just target shooting out to 150 yards I like mt little 22 hornet and its great for small game.

If I really want to smoke the hogs out to 500 yards I like my bull barreled Ruger 77 in 22-250.

If I wanted a all around medium center fire the Ruger all weather in 243 is a great little rifle and good out to 250 to 300 yards.

Home protection weapon, you cant beat a 12ga semi auto like the Saiga 12 and there a blast to shoot.

Or you could be like a lot of us hear and get one of everything....LOL

It really comes down to what you can afford to shoot a LOT ................ and I mean a LOT most people don't practice enough and cant shoot for shit.

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my knife making is supporting my shooting habit :) so thats about how my budget works out. right now I can afford all the 22 lr ammo I want..


anyway, heres what I'm thinking of doing.


first buy will be a short 12g, like the one posted on page one of this thread. I like how they look, and looks fun to shoot, plus will be one hell of a home defense weapon..


Then I really like the looks and performance of the Rem 700 rifles, which I'll get in a 308 caliber. but that'll be in a little while due to the price for it and the optics.


thanks for all the help guys, and keep posting up info if you want :) its really really helpful

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Another important consideration is cleaning. 22's now-a-days, minus the magnum, shoot lubricted bullets and cleaning can be put off for quite a while. Centerfire rifles on the other hand will get copper, lead and powder buildup rather quickly and need frequent cleaning. Especially if you buy a new rifle. Everyone has different voodoo practices to perform on their new rifle to "break in" the barrel. My point tho is you will need a cleaning rod, jag and brush for w/e caliber you do buy, as well as proper solvents and lubricants so it'll last more than a lifetime.

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For a short shotgun, it's hard to beat the versatility of a Mossberg 500 or Rem. 870 pump. The Mossy is very inexpensive used (my son just picked up a Maverick - Mossberg's "store" brand, without the thumb safety, for $128 online), & even if you end up buying a "standard" hunting gun for cheap & then get an 18" shorty barrel & "tactical" stock, you've got 2 different guns for still not much $$$. (If it seems like I'm a cheap bugger, well, I prefer the term "frugal". I like to get my money's worth.)

And as a bonus, the Mossberg is 100% US made. I think the 870 is, too, but don't quote me on that. With either one the aftermarket parts will let you make your shotty be whatever you want it to be. Folding stocks, pistol grips, Picatinny rails, extended mag tubes, dot- laser- & scope sights, slug barrels, interchangeable choke tube barrels.... if you can think of it, somebody is making it for those 2 guns.

Reloading for a 12 ga. is a piece of cake, too. Find yourself a Lee Load-All (MidwayUSA.com is your friend), read the instructions for some suggestions on wads, powder, & shot, buy a couple boxes of Winchester AA shells & keep the empties, & you're ready to crank out your own custom loads. Find a local place to buy powder & shot, though, to avoid the shipping & surcharges you'd get with mail-order components.

One thing to always remember is "eyes & ears", & the 12 ga. is several large steps up from the .22 in decibels, the shorty even more-so. And that goes for bystanders, too. If I'da known 40-some years ago that I'd be lstening to this constant, ringing hiss every waking moment for the rest of my life, I would have started wearing protection sooner & more often. Use it every time, all the time - you can't get it back once it's gone. (Soapbox mode [off])







Now if you want the ULTIMATE in a short 12 ga.:





Yes, that's a 12 - a specially customized Rem. 870, referred to as an AOW - Any Other Weapon - to differentiate it from other types of Federally controlled (not banned) guns like full-auto's. Meaning that it's a lot cheaper to get a license for an AOW. Looks like fun, no?


Again, enjoy the research. If I can help, let me know-


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I saw a guy give a rig like that short shotgun a try. In three shots he managed to miss a man sized sillouet at about 20 yards with all of them. I'd rather have a real pistol or a real shotgun.


Doug Lester

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Randy you are correct T/C contender or pro-hunter are good rifles. I own them both in .223 rem. The only problem with the breaker style action is its not conducive to bench style shooting. As you have to remove the rifle from the rest each time you want to load it. Free hand or off the stick it would be a good choice. Which brings me think of single shot rifles. If you have not considered it you may look into remington xr-100 rangemaster although you would have to find it used to get it in your price range.

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