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Out of curiosity, I went to my LGS, and looked online at some rifles (Remington's site, as well as Savage since those are the two I've heard of). I'm sure Springfield makes some, but didn't look. I haven't been a big fan of rifles until recently because of threads on this board getting me interested.

I found myself extremely confused and over-whelmed. I know I wanted a lever-action because I like the way they look, feel, and work. And a .30-.30 is an old, but proven round, so no brainer. .357 Mag is pretty dang cool too.

But bolt actions, I'm a lost cause. I know I don't want a Russian rifle. I don't care if they are cheap, my dad had some, and they were garbage. Sorry Mosin fans. No offense intended. A $1,000 rifle is out of the question since my budget is pretty tight. I can buy one, but I'd rather not since I don't know if I'll be making as much money next year. I may get a .22lr, but that will be in Lever.

What I want is an all-around good bolt gun. By all around, I mean "all around". I'm not a hunter, but you never know, that may change. I'm looking for a good, all-purpose caliber for both 4 legged, and 2 legged critters. Reliable, of course.

It seems that a lot of Savage rifles hold only 4 rounds? Is that generally the case with civilian rifles? My Savage Enfield No 4 Mark 1 holds 10 rounds. Garands hold 8 I believe. Aren't there any non-Enfield or Garand rifles that hold more than 4 rounds? Or does it matter? Another thing is I am left-eye dominant. So would a left-handed gun be better for me? Or does it even matter?

The second part is Shotgun. I know I want a Remington 870 Express. But there are a bunch of variations of that model. I don't want super-expensive fancy-shmancy, but I don't want super cheap either. I do want low cost as I am more concerned with function rather than prettyness.

Thanks in advance.
 

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How about a nice 8mm Mauser? I think you are allowed in the "occupied states" to own a 5 shot K98k Mauser bolt gun..aren't you?

There are lots of nice Russian capture K98ks out there in the 250-300 dollar range. Very tough rifles, fast to operate, accurate, very well made and there is still cheap 8mm surplus ammo out there.

I'd look around for a nice 98k Mauser and stock up on 8mm ammo, if you don't have a Mauser. Historically important, too. Powerful enough if you ever go deer or pig hunting - the 8mm has alot going for it.

Careful, because one Mauser usually leads to more...currently, I have about 6 of these things from various countries in my safe!

- Brickboy240
 

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A lot of these questions will depend on what you are trying to do. Its like buying a vehicle... Do you want or need to buy a Lic. Nav to go 4 wheelin'..a.. no. does you terrain let you shoot LONG range or brushy?? Hunting sometimes only allows you to carry 5 rounds or less.
Are you hunting Moose or Black tail deer?
Once you have answered these types of questions, you then can narrow it down. The final decision of yours...
 

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For a lever action 30-30 your only real choice is gonna be a Marlin 336, unless you can find a used winchester 94 somewhere, neither should be more than $400. Both are great little rifles and will do just fine for deer, but I wouldnt try to hunt anything bigger with a 30-30.

As far as a bolt action rifle, well, thats a tough one. First off, if your going for a hunting/sporting rifle, not a military surplus, than 4 rounds is gonna be the limit your gonna find for most.

Some good calibers to look at are .308, .30-06, .270, .243, .223, .22-250 and 7mm08. All of these are the most common hunting/target calibers, without getting into the magnum calibers which are generally too harsh to shoot for fun.

.308, .30-06, and .270 are the high end as far as power for these rounds. All are easy to find ammo for, any respectable sporting goods store will have plenty of all three in stock. Obviously these are probably your best bet if you want to take up hunting. You'll get alot of opinions on which is the best of these three, but generally speaking, on deer sized game all are equally as effective. I've got a .270 myself.

.243 and 7mm08 are both good rounds for target shooting, as they arent gonna knock you around as much as the first three I mentioned will. And at the same time, they are very capable deer killers as well. Although if you want to try larger game, like elk or bear, these two fall short in the power department. That said, my next rifle is gonna be in 7mm08.

.223 and .22-250 are both pretty popular "varmint" cartridges. Great little rounds for range shooting, but generally pretty useless when hunting any big game. Of course there are gonna be people that hunt deer with them, but its generally not recommended.

As far as picking out a rifle, savage, remington, browning, ruger, winchester, tikka are some brands to choose from. Like a pistol, just handle each one and pick which one you feel fits you best. Try to avoid getting the cheap "package guns", they seem like good deals, but they generally lack quality. You can spend a little more (1 or 2 hundred more) and get a good quality rifle and scope that will last MUCH longer.
 

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If you're looking for a good, inexpensive bolt rifle for target shooting and (maybe) hunting, I'd say a Savage would be a good bet... Maybe even a Stevens 200 for $275ish.

As for caliber, the .243 makes a GREAT all-purpose round for everything from varmints (with light bullets) to deer-sized game (with heavier bullets). If/when you decide you need something bigger you can just swap the barrel for a different caliber. The bolt-face for the .243 matches any cartridge designed on the .308 case (.243, .260, 7mm-08, .308 and a few wildcats).

Get some decent glass for it. No need to go overboard. Although some would have you believe that a $300 gun needs $1000 glass, the reality is that you can get a nice scope for not a lot of money these days. Look into Bushnell, Mueller and Millett to start.
 

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I have this for long distance: (Savage 10FLP)


I have this for intermediate distance: (SA M1A)


I have this for close up: (Mossberg 500)


And I have a pistol for when I have messed up because if after all the above if they have gotten this close I have been very, very bad !!!

I actually only have a limited caliber range .308, 12ga and 9mm there can be no confusion during bad times.
You have to decide what round you will want to use and build your selection around that, I chose the above for several reasons I know most don't agree on the 9mm and some may not agree on the .308 but it's a choice and it's one you will have to make I reload so it's not to bad on cost but ammo goes up everyday.
 

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brickboy mentioned the mauser, i love my .308 fn hestal k98 (wasnt orginal .308 it was converted by israel)

you can get a 8mm yugo mauser for $129 all day long.

this is $149 Mauser 24/47 Excellent Condition




Classic Arms Inc.
classic arms still has them for $129

i just dont think you can get a better gun cheaper right now. thats a good deal, if you can swing $199 ish you can get a more historically significant 8mm german mauser, nazi stamps and everything captured by russia.

or a neat long barrel i think 29 inch persian mauser for $200



SMALL NEW BATCH OF M24/47 RIFLES JUST IN FROM SAMCO. THESE ARE CLEANER THAN THE CENTURY RIFLES THAT WE HAD. COSMOLINE HAS BEEN CLEANED OFF AND BLUING IS QUITE GOOD . STOCKS SHOW SOME LIGHT DINGS BUT I WOULD CALL THEM OVERALL NRA VERY GOOD. NO ACCESSORIES. BORES HAVE BEEN REALLY GOOD WITH MOST LIKE NEW. THESE MAY BE OUR LAST ONES BUT WE ARE KEEPING THE PRICE DOWN AS LONG AS WE CAN.....$129.95. HAND SELECT $139.95 - 3 OR
MORE MINUS $10.00 EACH.


good call on the 870.

i have the express super mag. it shoots 2 3/4", 3", or 3 1/2" shells, i got it used for under $200

dunhams sports sells the express super mag combo with both barrels (a smooth bore for shot, and a rifled slug barrel ) for around $379 once a month or so they are on sale.

thats allot of gun for under $400 and you arent paying for fancy stock, bling, etc.

you like lever guns?

look at marlin if you want a 30-30 , and if you want a new rifle that is very good, and fair price, look at remington 700.

you can shoot with iron sights, later add a scope, which can get expensive for scope mounts on a mauser.

the 700 is very popular, time tested, used by the military, you can option it up, the skies the limit, and you can get into one for $499 or less no problem.
 

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The second part is Shotgun. I know I want a Remington 870 Express. But there are a bunch of variations of that model. I don't want super-expensive fancy-shmancy, but I don't want super cheap either. I do want low cost as I am more concerned with function rather than prettyness.

Thanks in advance.
The 870 is a good gun. I personally like synthetic stocks. The "matte finish" on the barrel/receiver can and very likely will come off and rust. I've had a few myself and several friends have been shooting them for several years and we've all had that problem. They were getting wet, being used for duck hunting, but were cleaned and stored in a dry place each time. We buy the cheap ones because we don't baby them. I've paddled my boat in with it and used it for a walking stick in the mud.
 
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