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Discussion Starter #1
I want to get back into rifle shooting, but cant decide which route to go. There might be some occasional hunting in my future; but mostly I want to shoot targets...and get very good at it. Here are my considerations:

.22lr - Very cheap to shoot. I could afford to go thru massive quantities of that size and hone my skills. However, long range shooting and hunting would be out.

30.06 (bolt-action rifle) - Big POWER. Capable of clean long range kills. NOT ideal for regular (frequent) shooting because of the cost of ammo. Honestly I would rarely need this much power.

.223 (AR-15) - This is what I really want, but the cost of ammo is still way more than .22lr and hunting is still iffy with .223

I love everything about the AR-15, but I'm just concerned about how much it would cost to spend regualr time at the range. And I could buy both a .22 caliber rifle, and a 30-06 caliber rifle, with scopes, for as much as I'd spend on an AR-15.

But again...my primary interest is precision target shooting. Maybe I'm just rambling here, but some feedback from you all would be welcome.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I've also considered getting a deticated .22lr upper for the AR15, but I have no experience with that. So, again, feedback would help.
 

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What kind of hunting do you intend on doing? A .223 will do a coyote with no problem. I personally would not use it for deer hunting....in some states it is not legal for deer hunting.

You indicated precision target shooting is your primary interest. How precise is your definition of precision? What range?

You can do the math on ammo costs.....figuring it with a calculator is pretty simple. How many rounds per month do you intend on shooting?

Do you plan on reloading? That can influence what upper receiver you decide to get if you go the AR route. There are more cartridges available than just the .223 Remington.

And I could buy both a .22 caliber rifle, and a 30-06 caliber rifle, with scopes, for as much as I'd spend on an AR-15.
Not really, IMO. AR-15s may not be as much as you think. What kind of optics do you plan on putting on the rifles? What brand of rifles were you considering? I recently purchased a .308 bolt rifle that cost as much as my AR-15. The AR-15 I would buy today would cost less than my .308.

Honestly....a little more info is needed....you have far too many variables in your equation with no apparent values assigned to them from what I can see.
 

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for precision shooting more than 100 yards, a 22lr wont cut it.

a .223 shoots pretty flat, flatter than a 30-06 with the light bullets I believe, but gets knocked around by the wind more. a 308 is probably better for what you want than a 30-06 and the 2 are very similar power wise, but there is a greater supply of precision ammo for the 308.

If you are really concerned about the cost of ammo, and you want to do real precision shooting, reloading would be your best bet. a heavy long barreled .223 with 1:12" twist would probably be the second best option, with much cheaper factory loaded ammo. If you think you might ever go after deer with it, get a lighter weight gun with a tighter twist barrel, that shoots heavier and more expensive ammo.

you could always put a higher powered upper on your target AR down the road for hunting duty.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Any hunting that I do would be limited to hogs or coyote.

The longest shooting range that I have found, close enough for regular trips, is 100 yards. My goal is to be able to punch out the center bulls-eye every time. Ultimately, I'd like to be good at ranges up to 300-500 yards.

Reloading is something that I haven't looked into yet...but I will.

The AR that I'm considering is a Stag Arms model 1; for $770. Maybe further down the road I would consider a 7.62x39 upper receiver...that would take down hogs for sure.
 

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What is your budget for the firearm(s)? Not including ammo - just what you intend to spend on a rifle.



Edit:
From what I've seen elsewhere on teh innernettes, plenty of guys use .223/5.56 for hogs and coyotes.

If you're looking to "punch out the center bulls-eye every time," and ultimately "be to be good at ranges up to 300-500 yards," You may want to do a little more research if you want to go with an AR-15 type rifle. I have nothing against Stag Arms, and their Model 1 carbine is probably a decent rifle for $770. But the 5.56 NATO chamber and a 1:9 twist barrel point towards a general use, plinking rifle; and not something that is gear more towards the accuracy you want to achieve.*

That's not saying that a 5.56, 1:9 twist Stag Arms Model 1 isn't an accurate rifle, but if accuracy is what you seek, there are better choices out there. The minimum step up I'd recommend would be looking at something with a 1:7 twist barrel so you can better stabilize heavier bullets should you want to use those for hunting. From there you can maybe explore different chamber specs, and different barrel materials and/or linings/coatings/treatments; depending on your budget, of course.

Also, do not shy away from buying a complete AR-15 lower receiver locally, and then shopping for a complete upper that meets your criteria online. Piecing a complete upper and a complete lower together can possibly get you closer to what you really want while still sticking to a budget - or even stretching your budget, if you opt to not buy them at the same time. Assembling a complete upper and a complete lower is super-crazy simple, so don't be afraid of that, either.


* Try to be as realistic as possible with your accuracy expectations. I have read many accounts of people not achieving the accuracy results that they expected out of a particular rifle. These accounts range from mildly perplexed n00bs with a new base-model AR, to individuals who have spent big-time $$$ on a rifle setup and can't understand why they aren't getting ragged hole groups at 300 yards. Many factors can play into the accuracy potential of a firearm. Define your goal, determine your budget, and do your research to see how closely you can get the two to meet.


About me - I am no expert on the AR-15 platform by a long shot, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. No... Actually, I built my first rifle from parts last year, and spent a lot of time reading an researching the project. It's still somewhat fresh in my mind, so I figured I'd spew out what I learned, and maybe it could help you. Good luck, have fun, and be safe.
 

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.223 HPBT rounds do some serious damage to hogs. Just like with any other gun, its all about shot placement. Everything I've read on hogs is about shot placement, because even that big shoulder on them can stop an AK round.
 

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.308 for sure! It'll do everything you need it to do, and you won't have to worry about it later!!! You can reload it pretty cheap, or the Federal 168 gr match is about $1 a round...
 

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About $800 is my price ceiling.
What are the .22, 30-06, and scope setups that you can get for $800? Maybe that would be a more logical route than an AR-15 type rifle.

I guess the next question would be: How bad do you want an AR-15?
 

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What are the .22, 30-06, and scope setups that you can get for $800? Maybe that would be a more logical route than an AR-15 type rifle.

I guess the next question would be: How bad do you want an AR-15?
That's true!! The scope plays the biggest part of the equation when doing long range stuff, you, and the rifle are not much without it as far as optics go...... It's not uncommon to see a $700ish bolt gun with a scope that sells for well over $1k-$2k
 

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That's true!! The scope plays the biggest part of the equation when doing long range stuff, you, and the rifle are not much without it as far as optics go...... It's not uncommon to see a $700ish bolt gun with a scope that sells for well over $1k-$2k
A wise re-loader once told me that the scope you put on your rifle should be worth no less then 40% of the gun if you wish to be happy with it. Even if that's true or not, I've been happy with cheaper sights on firearms before.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What are the .22, 30-06, and scope setups that you can get for $800? Maybe that would be a more logical route than an AR-15 type rifle.

I guess the next question would be: How bad do you want an AR-15?
For .22 caliber I've been looking at Ruger 10/22. It cost around $200 and a decent scope for it can be had for another $200. For the 30.06, I've seen the Remington 770..which comes with a scope for about $300.

My reasons for wanting an AR:
High capacity magazines...for times of "chaos".
Versatility.
Ergonomics (feels good in my hands)
Availability of ammo.
Interchangeable parts: uppers, sights, grips, etc.
Not to mention the "cool" factor.

If I buy an AR first it will probably be 5.56mm. Just because thats my price range.
 

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Rereading everything, your goals and reasoning come off as sounding a bit immature. I know its easy to get way to excited about the prospect of buying a new gun, but try to hold your self in check and keep the fantasies to a minimum when looking to spend your nest egg on something.

Stick with your 22 plan (or better yet, cut both prices in half) and put the rest of your money into a rainy day fund, or spend it on a rifle down the road, after you've done more research and shot your 22 some.

Just please don't get all super tactical with your 22. I'll suggest something different than the 10/22 to make it less likely that it would happen. There is nothing that comes as close to shoving bills down a garbage disposal as a heavily modified 10/22 (save maybe having someone fix up the old rusted out muscle car for you that "you got for a steal")

an AR style 22 might be another option if you really like the AR ergos that much, or for a bit more, an AR lower and a Chiappa 22 upper.

since you are talking 100 yards, ever think of a hi-point 9mm? I've only put a few mags thought the old beater I picked up, but it seams to be decently accurate/ It would be enough for yotes and probably smallish hogs
 

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That's true!! The scope plays the biggest part of the equation when doing long range stuff, you, and the rifle are not much without it as far as optics go...... It's not uncommon to see a $700ish bolt gun with a scope that sells for well over $1k-$2k
I think you can safely be happy in the $500 range if you go with a good manufacturer.

Above that it seems like there's diminishing returns, and below that everything is made in china.


Just stay away from things marketed to the tactical crowd and your money goes a hell of a lot further. Of course if you want massive magnification, you're going to have to get spendy, unless you don't care about light transmission.
 

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For .22 caliber I've been looking at Ruger 10/22. It cost around $200 and a decent scope for it can be had for another $200. For the 30.06, I've seen the Remington 770..which comes with a scope for about $300.

My reasons for wanting an AR:
High capacity magazines...for times of "chaos".
Versatility.
Ergonomics (feels good in my hands)
Availability of ammo.
Interchangeable parts: uppers, sights, grips, etc.
Not to mention the "cool" factor.

If I buy an AR first it will probably be 5.56mm. Just because thats my price range.
If you decide to go the .30 caliber route and you're looking for something with good accuracy/dependability then definitely do NOT get a Remington 770. Just search around a little and you'll see why. Its extremely cheap from cutting corners. Much better to get a Remington 700 (maybe even used?) and some decent glass and you'll get much better results.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Rereading everything, your goals and reasoning come off as sounding a bit immature. I know its easy to get way to excited about the prospect of buying a new gun, but try to hold your self in check and keep the fantasies to a minimum when looking to spend your nest egg on something.

C'mon, I'm not 16. How is my reasoning different from everyone elses?

Stick with your 22 plan (or better yet, cut both prices in half) and put the rest of your money into a rainy day fund, or spend it on a rifle down the road, after you've done more research and shot your 22 some.

I have a LOT of range time with .22s...just that my old hand-me-down is retired now, so I've been shooting other peoples rifles. I want my own.

Just please don't get all super tactical with your 22. I'll suggest something different than the 10/22 to make it less likely that it would happen. There is nothing that comes as close to shoving bills down a garbage disposal as a heavily modified 10/22 (save maybe having someone fix up the old rusted out muscle car for you that "you got for a steal")

Haha. Dont worry I already have a (paid for) muscle car. And I like the Ruger 10/22 just the way it is; no need for anything custom beyond maybe a lighter trigger.

an AR style 22 might be another option if you really like the AR ergos that much, or for a bit more, an AR lower and a Chiappa 22 upper.

I'm too cheap to spend that much on an "out of the box" .22; but I am looking more into a deticated .22lr upper for an AR-15.

since you are talking 100 yards, ever think of a hi-point 9mm? I've only put a few mags thought the old beater I picked up, but it seams to be decently accurate/ It would be enough for yotes and probably smallish hogs

I've owned a Hi-Point once before and all I can say is: NEVER AGAIN
I have just about decided to pass on the 30.06 bolt action. I think that later on I could change the upper receiver assembly, on an AR15, to a 6.8 or 7.62x39 if I need a little more punch.

One way or another, though, I do want .22 caliber. So I'm trying to decide between a .22 cal upper on an AR-15....or just buying a seperate .22 rifle.
 

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The immature comment was over the top. I was going to change it, but you got to it first. It must have been the recent Billee threads that got my inner troll fired up.

You were coming off as a bit over eager at the concept of getting a rifle, and a bit clueless as to the cost of equipment with your comment that you'd stick a $200 scope on a 10/22, but suggested a $300 scope and gun combo in 30-06 was fine for precision shooting. I guess that is what I was trying to point out.

Was your hi-point experience in a carbine or a handgun? I've heard plenty of bad stories about the handguns, but few for the carbines.
 

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Cheap .22LR Marlin 795 = $100 after rebate

The AR lower with the Chippewa 22 upper sounds like a good starting point. Just add uppers as you go.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The immature comment was over the top. I was going to change it, but you got to it first. It must have been the recent Billee threads that got my inner troll fired up.

You were coming off as a bit over eager at the concept of getting a rifle, and a bit clueless as to the cost of equipment with your comment that you'd stick a $200 scope on a 10/22, but suggested a $300 scope and gun combo in 30-06 was fine for precision shooting. I guess that is what I was trying to point out.

Was your hi-point experience in a carbine or a handgun? I've heard plenty of bad stories about the handguns, but few for the carbines.
I actually saw a scope at that price that had all the right features, including 12x magnification. I'm sure that in the end, though, I wouldnt actually spend that much. I've always preferred iron sights but the other day I was sighting in my relatives' Marlin 60 with a cheap (?x) scope and found myself trying to punch out the scoring numbers on the paper target; that sparked my interest in a scoped set-up because I wouldnt have been able to even see the numbers otherwise. The deal with the Remington combo is that the scope is alreadly included.

Before the Springfield XD9, I had a Hi-Point C9 9mm handgun. Regardless of cleaning, lubrication, magazines, it was JAM CITY! Then there was the sheer weight of that boat anchor...and the limited capacity of the single stack magazine. My friend bought the same gun, except in .45 cal, and he had complaints as well. Apparently Hi-Point has hit-n-miss quality, from what I've read.
 
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