Beginner rifle recommendations

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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,220
804
63
Florida
Arya: OK on the birds. I'll look up the Capercaillie.

Santaman: Is it not true that deer hunting in some US states is shotguns only?
I believe Ohio is shotgun (or rimfire) only but I'm not sure. I also believe they make exceptions for handguns, black powder rifles, or rifles chambered for handgun calibers)

It's definitely true that some wildlife management areas are shotgun only in several states (though now necessarily statewide) Some areas here on the Eglin AFB military reservation are archery only.
 

Klenchblaize

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 25, 2005
2,584
123
61
Greensand Ridge
Capercaille is a lovely bird!

Very tasty, herby flavor. I have never bagged one, just eaten.
also very interesting to observe during the mating season!
I shoot one every Christmas. Sometimes I use the K250 but more often a dandy little 22 Hornet.


Unfortunately it's a paper Creosote Bird at 100 yards as they are protected here in the UK. It's a great Christmas Shoot competition involving 10 rounds. I never shoot less than 3 cards as it's so challenging and fun!

K
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,251
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
They are rare in Sweden too. I am fortunate that my dad was crazy about wildlife, and took me out on his wildlife excursions since I was a little boy.

I vividly remember the first time I saw the Capercaille mating rituals. Spectacular.

I am in fact not sure I could shoot one. Nor a lynx or other exotic cats.
Fish, whales, Bambi, you name it - no problems.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,157
1,308
McBride, BC
It's so easy to compress 15 years of local wildlife into a few seconds of memories. Think I've seen every mammal that lives in this valley, even a Fisher.
Most times, the animal(s) just burst into sight, maybe sprint across a road and POOF!! disappear.
Many of them, I could buy a license and hunt them but for what reason, I don't know.
In a sustained yield sense, I think that the fur trappers are the very best stewards of the landscape.

Top three?
#3: very young porcupine on the edge of the road. We got out for a closer look and the little fellow dodged off.
But, he(?) got high-centered, trying to get over a small log which left him with all 4 feet flailing in the air!
#2: sneaking up on a couple of wolves, broad daylight, and watched them jumping on mice. Up then down with all 4 feet together, eat, search again.
#1: Motion in the grass on the edge of a logging road. A little closer to see an adult Lynx pair, supervising the play of their 3 kittens (much bigger than house cats by then).
Had visitors with me. We sat and watched for 10 minutes by the clock.

Here, I thought that the Sage Grouse or the Prairie Chicken were the biggest grousey birds. Like to add that Capercaillie.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,251
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
11 years ago we did a 'goodbye Scandinavia' trip with wife and son, brfore moving to Cayman.
Driving into Sweden from Norway, I stopped for a well deserved smoke ( you know, wife map reader and backseat driver......) . Saw a German Shepard sitting maybe 50 meters away on the edge of the forest, looking at me.
After a while I realized it was a wolf.
Magnificent animal.
Another species I could not shoot.
 

Arya

Settler
May 15, 2013
796
59
35
Norway
Wonderful stories you have! Memories for life ☺
We have both Lynx and Wolf where I live, passing by from time to time. Once in a while a bear.
A "neighboor" (10 minutes from my house) met a wolf the other day when she was out riding, and my mother once woke up hearing them howling, when she was camping in her trailer.
The horses tell me when the bigger predators are passing at night during summer. They become totally crazy, running like hell, pushing towards the fences. I wake up and hurry out to take them inside. Foals (and their mothers) are kept inside at night, even during the summer. Better safe than sorry ☺
The only time I would shoot a wolf or a lynx would be if they were attacking my horses.
I don't think that some animals are more worthy of living or dying than others. I don't discriminate, and the mouse is not worth less than the wolf (just an example), but I will not hunt animals that there are low numbers of. And I have no interest in hunting other than for food.
I'm looking forward to get a wildlife camera, to see many of the visitors we get here when we are not looking.
 

Arya

Settler
May 15, 2013
796
59
35
Norway
That's nice Janne! I hope he passes the test easily :)
Are they very different from the Scandinavian studies?

I'm trying to break in the horse as fast as I can so it can be ready for sale as soon as possible. I just have to have "is i magen" until then ;)
I like to plan ahead, and I'm super grateful for all the good advise I've received from you guys.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,251
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
In one of the Norwegian hunting magasines they thought a rifle made by Bergara was incredibly good value for money. It seems to be a US made brand, but is unknown for me.

Anybody knows more sbout this brand?
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,220
804
63
Florida
In one of the Norwegian hunting magasines they thought a rifle made by Bergara was incredibly good value for money. It seems to be a US made brand, but is unknown for me.

Anybody knows more sbout this brand?
I've never heard of it. I'll have to look it up.
 

mrostov

Nomad
Jan 2, 2006
410
53
55
Texas
If you are looking for a centerfire rifle, any of the 'budget' rifle lines from the major US manufacturers will do well (Ruger American, Savage Axis, Mossberg Patriot).

The design of the Ruger American borrows heavily from the Tikka T3 and has a short 70 degree bolt throw, much like the bolt throw on the old Lee Enfield. It's available in blued or stainless, and with 22" full length and 18" carbine length barrels.

The others are more classic, Mauser based designs. The Savage Axis is a bare bones, budget version of their more expensive model 10 and model 110 rifles. You can build up the rifle as budget allows.

They are all made on CNC machining and are at an accuracy level that 20 or 30 years ago you would have needed to drop a new rifle off at a gunsmith to get close to. They will shoot as good as the shooter can do with the glass they put on it.

As with anything expect to pay as much or more for the glass as you did for the rifle.

Myself, I'm a fan of Savage (model 10 is the short action, model 110 is the long action). Savage, overall, is hard to beat for accuracy in a centerfire bolt action. With a few tools, it's easy for the owner to change barrels and and bolt heads, and hence calibers on one (no gunsmith needed). It's also a simple matter to take the barrel off for threading the muzzle.

For example, on a Savage model 10 short action, to switch from .308 to .22-250 or .260 Remington you simply buy the barrel you want and change the barrel. To go down to .223, you change the barrel, bolt head, and magazine (detachable magazine equipped rifles, which is most of them).

I live in a saltwater environment so my preference is for the stainless, short action, Savage model 16.

Moving up a notch in price from the budget rifles you have the short action Savage model 11 Hog Hunter (.308, .223). The 20" barrel is pre-threaded for a sound suppressor, internal 'blind' magazine, this is one of the few bolt actions made today with iron sights.

A bit higher in price you have the bolt action Mossberg MVP Patrol (.308, .223). It has a handy 16.5" barrel, iron sights, threaded muzzle, the .308 version uses both M-14 and AR-10 mags (off the shelf, unmodified magazines), while the .223 version uses AR-15/M-16 mags.

There is also the bolt action Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle (.308, .223) available in blued or stainless steel, 16.5" barrel, iron sights, pre-threaded muzzle, and uses AICS single column mags.

NOTE: Why you see a lot of 16.5" barrels on American made rifles is because 16" is legal minimum in the USA for a rifle without special papers and they always cut it a bit over.
 
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Arya

Settler
May 15, 2013
796
59
35
Norway
I finally got time to go to the shooting range yesterday, and was lucky to be offered a go with both a Sako and a Sauer in different positions :)
I really appreciated them borrowing me their weapons! Wonderful people in good spirits!

Sauer by Lykketrollet, on Flickr

_20170602_103638 by Lykketrollet, on Flickr

Sako by Lykketrollet, on Flickr

_20170602_103710 by Lykketrollet, on Flickr

I liked them both, though I liked the bolt (not really sure if that´s the proper english word?) on the Sako better.

The result was pretty much the same, even though the owner of the Sako is way taller than me, with longer arms. The Sauer was more suited for my...ahem... Compact build ;)
But I guess that´s just an issue of getting the rifle fitted to the individual?

Sako by Lykketrollet, on Flickr
Beginners luck.....
 

Leshy

Full Member
Jun 14, 2016
2,394
54
Wiltshire
That's not beginners luck. That's skill ! Multi talented Arya...
Now you just need a firearms certificate and your own rifle!!!
Well done Heiemo! 😉
 

Arya

Settler
May 15, 2013
796
59
35
Norway
That's not beginners luck. That's skill ! Multi talented Arya...
Now you just need a firearms certificate and your own rifle!!!
Well done Heiemo! 😉
Thank you Leshy! 😊
I'm horrible with the shotgun though 🙄
"And here comes the clay pigeon!.... And there it goes..."

Looks like I'll be able to borrow a cute, little 22 caliber for target practice at home now 😁
 

Arya

Settler
May 15, 2013
796
59
35
Norway
That's exceptional shooting - especially with someone else's rifle
goodjobgoodjob
Thank you very much! I loved it!
I hope I get a steady progress, but time will show. The upside of being a beginner is that there's really not a lot of expectations to live up to 😁
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,220
804
63
Florida
I finally got time to go to the shooting range yesterday, and was lucky to be offered a go with both a Sako and a Sauer in different positions :)
I really appreciated them borrowing me their weapons! Wonderful people in good spirits!

Sauer by Lykketrollet, on Flickr

_20170602_103638 by Lykketrollet, on Flickr

Sako by Lykketrollet, on Flickr

_20170602_103710 by Lykketrollet, on Flickr

I liked them both, though I liked the bolt (not really sure if that´s the proper english word?) on the Sako better.

The result was pretty much the same, even though the owner of the Sako is way taller than me, with longer arms. The Sauer was more suited for my...ahem... Compact build ;)
But I guess that´s just an issue of getting the rifle fitted to the individual?

Sako by Lykketrollet, on Flickr
Beginners luck.....
What was the range and what was your shooting position? From a rest or self supported?