First rifle for my son

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Crunchmeister, Nov 27, 2015.

  1. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I guess it depends on what you call a decent quantity on the 22LR. It is available.

    If he doesn't have a 22LR already, I would start with 22LR. I can't see plinking with a bolt action 223 rifle.
  2. GingivitisKahn


    Jun 8, 2010
    My Ruger American Rimfire has been a delight and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

  3. vanslem6


    Oct 4, 2014
    I must have misunderstood the question! I thought he wanted a cheap bolt-gun that was a bit more robust than a .22. I have a 10/22 takedown, and it's great! I misread though, no doubt. I thought he was coming from a .22 and wanted something a little more potent. I'm still new to this stuff myself, but I'm interested in a Mosin, as well as an SKS - which would probably be really cool too, though it's semi-auto. I plan on picking up one of each, myself. :D They're priced right, shoot really cool calibers, and will likely go up in value.

    As far as bolt action .22's, I'd probably look into a Ruger American or CZ of some sort.

  4. Shoki


    Apr 10, 2007
    Though I don't have a Mosin or SKS currently, I recommend them wholeheartedly. The SKS is an especially good rifle and so much fun to shoot.
  5. Crunchmeister


    Feb 17, 2013
    Again, thanks for all the input. To clarify, this will be his first firearm. Every one of my family and friends that shoots has at least one .22 from their childhood. Is the ammo for the Mosins as cheap as .22 rounds? I had seen the Mosins at Cabela's for about $100. But I think it's in the ammo where you end up spending the real money. But if the .22 is cheap enough, maybe he should get both. When I was a kid my older brother and his friends were all about surplus 303's. Now people talk about .308's a lot. The .22 is just a starter and for plinking. But is it a waste of money? I think I have some great info here, thanks to all of you. Lord help us if he loves guns as much as I love sharp pointy objects, lol. Hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving. I have the flu but still much to be thankful for!
  6. bflying

    bflying Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 4, 2014
    Personally I don't see a .22lr as a waste of money. They are fun, and "used to be" cheap. [emoji51]. When they were $15 per brick instead of $20 per hundred anyway. But still most likely the least expensive.

    I feel fortunate to have added reloading to my shooting hobby. I can load .223 for just a few pennies more per round than I can still find LR for in my area. So my family does use this caliber for plinking. Once my kids hit the teens, they were excited to start moving up in caliber. Two two three is the perfect step up that the whole family can enjoy all day without the possible shoulder discomfort of large calibers.

    But only you would know what your son might like most. And what you can afford. My advice would be to find a range with rifle rentals and spend an afternoon trying out a few models in a couple of calibers. It will cost a few bucks, but could save money in the long run by helping you know that you'll enjoy the model and/or caliber chosen. Shooting sports are not exactly a "cheap" hobby, especially target shooting. But can bring a lifetime of enjoyment.

  7. Converge


    Oct 4, 2014
    22lr is not a waste of money, they're great fun. Also they are the perfect starting point for shooting, absolutely fine for his first rifle. I really like the Ruger 10/22, they are pretty much the standard best buy. I would ask him what his favorite action is in a rifle. Semi auto, bolt action, lever, etc.... Once you know what he would enjoy then you can go for a rifle. That was what my dad did for me when he got me my first .22. I was really getting into history and WW2 era firearms so I said I wanted a bolt action. It was .22lr of course. Nothing wrong with that. A mosin nagant is a great piece of history but with its large round it will not be something he will enjoy shooting a lot. He will love the thing, but after 10 rounds it's probably going to start to hurt unless he's huge. Just saying.
  8. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I misunderstood (I think) what you were really asking at the beginning. He basically wants a "bolt action 22 rifle" and not some special high end rifle that we 22 guys love. The CZ 455 (or 452 or 453) or the Savage Mark II are probably the two most accurate and cost effective 22 rifles available. I have not tried the newish Ruger bolt action. I sort of gravitated away from the starter rifle unless they were old and interesting.

    At 18, I had been shooting 22 rifles for years.

    Mosin... like all center fire ammo, it is not cheap relative to 22LR. They have substantial recoil also. Personally I view them as a novelty item that you buy for cheap, take to the range and blow 20 rounds or so away, and park it for another year. That is not what you do with a 22 rifle that you shoot.

    A 22 rifle is the perfect rifle to learn to shoot on. The two most recommended starter rifles are the semi auto Ruger 10/22 and the Marlin Model 60. Of the two, out of the box, the Marlin is probably more accurate. Even at my older age, I still enjoy blowing away tin cans with many fast fired rounds, just because. But I shoot my bolt actions more now. I have only a slight need to blast away quickly these days and I do have the Ruger 10/22 and others for that purpose.

    On the bolt action side, it is hard to go wrong with a CZ or Savage Mark II. Getting mags are easier for the Savage. I don't know a lot about the Ruger American. As mentioned, I have sort of moved to the more expensive 22 rifles and have not really even handled one of the newish Rugers.

    A 22LR rifle will remain the best starting point for new shooters whether it be a handgun or rifle. You can buy ammunition. Sometimes you should plan ahead a bit and not assume that when you walk in your local big box, that they will have any in stock. So, you buy it when you see it and build up a bit of a cache so ammunition is not a problem when you feel like shooting.
  9. 300Six


    Aug 29, 2013
    I grew up with 22 single shots. Beauty of singles is you learn very early on to have patience and to make your shots count, and a box (major expense when you're a youngster) of plinking ammo can easily last for an afternoon. Whereas with something like a 10/22 you can burn through a brick in a matter of an hour and have learned nothing.
  10. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I was poor as a kid. Feel pretty poor these days as well. But my first 22 rifle was a Mossberg semi-auto that ran something like $52 new. Loved that rifle even though the trigger sucked. A typical outing was shooting about 50 rounds. Sometimes shot it fast and sometimes slow and careful. I couldn't afford to feed it as I had little money. So a brick of ammo lasted a a while. Now folks blast away a bulk pack (often 500 rounds) or several in an afternoon. Things have changed. The ammunition manufacturers started packaging loose in bulk packs most likely to save money. People looked at the "one box" and shot them up in an afternoon plinking just like I did with a 50 ct box. This is not to say that you couldn't shoot that much packaged in 50 ct or 100 ct boxes, it just feels different when you dig into a carton of loose ammunition as far as how much you actually shoot. People disagree with me on this point. It is much like learning to shoot with a single shot rifle versus a Ruger 10/22 with a 30 round mag.

    You can learn to shoot well with a semi-auto 22 rifle. It is the shooters choice about the rate of fire. My second 22 rifle was a Weatherby Mark XXII semi auto. That rifle really shot well. Fine rifle then and now.
  11. tholiver


    Feb 22, 2003
    Very nice. This will be my next .22, eventually. Would pair up nicely with my old Ruger 77 (mark 1) in .308. The Savages are tempting but i'm one of those 'oddballs' that wants iron sights and likes tang safeties,lol!
  12. gadgetgeek


    May 19, 2007
    The Lee stand alone dies are really effective for handloading. Yes, I know you won't be doing lots of production with them, but its not hard to do 20-30 in under an hour. Granted, better for the single-shot shooter, but a good way to bring your costs down. Lots of good options given so far.
  13. DanH45


    Feb 12, 2015
    Centerfire rifle ammo is always going to be expensive.

    Hard to go wrong with a Henry lever. 22lr, 17hmr, etc

    Or 357 mag. Pistol ammo is always less expensive than rifle ammo.
  14. Crunchmeister


    Feb 17, 2013
    Great stuff. I think I'm going to do some homework. He and I both believe he should get a .22 and something for larger game as soon as he can afford it. I'm pretty sure his uncle shoots a 30.06 for deer. Not sure about elk. Dang! It is like knives! I can't imagine what a customized rifle costs, lol! But I digress. His enjoyment is less about number of rounds and more about groupings and accuracy at distance. He is not big by any means, but he is strong and surprisingly patient.
  15. NH Hunter

    NH Hunter

    Nov 6, 2015
    Based on your last post, I'd recommend a used bolt action 22, and when he's ready a used bolt 308. Less recoil, and if he's going to reload, less powder in each cases.
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    My larger game rifle is a Remington Model 700 BDL in 270 win. I bought it many moons ago to replace a 243 that was in fact my first center fire rifle I purchased at age 16 after working my first summer job. Something in the 30-06 > 270 > 308 would work okay for elk, deer, antelope, and black bear. Elk is pretty much the kicker for me.... I would probably acquire a larger caliber in addition to the 270 win if elk and moose were in my future. I want to be comfortable making 300 yd killing shots.
  17. Converge


    Oct 4, 2014
    Id go .308 over 30.06 as well, just generally speaking. I know you're not looking for that right now. But they have very similar ballistics and 308 is a standard action opposed to 30.06 larger action.

    Savage 10 and Remington 700 are both top notch. Back in the day I'd say the rem 700 owns all but now a days the savage has the upper hand, aside from the stocks. The barrels are top notch.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
  18. footballplayerchris


    Jan 1, 2011
    I bought myself a .22lr Cricket to teach my younger siblings how to shoot since my father is not into guns at all. My brother quickly grew out of 22lr and graduated to a .223 that I bought him for Christmas one year. My sisters however, are content to stick with the 22lr. Just food for thought.
  19. EricV


    Nov 19, 2008
    My first firearms (non-gun family) was a tube fed savage bolt .22, eventually sold it towards a marlin model 60 which I still have but rarely get to shoot since its at my brother in law's house. Eventually paired that with Ruger Mk3 target pistol and its a fantastic combo. The tube feds are cool as they take all the forms of 22 where as most mag feds will not and 22 shorts or cb caps are incredibly cheap, though they don't have enough guts to cycle my model 60 reliably they were great in the bolt action. I've also had a few .357 and .45 revolvers and pistols, but when funds got tight everything got sold but the rimfires, which have the added benefit of unlikely to ever be banned which is a concern in my current state.
  20. GingivitisKahn


    Jun 8, 2010
    Yes it would. It gets along just fine w/ my Ruger Gunsite Scout and my 77/357 so your 77 in .308 ought to be a particular favorite. :D

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