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I've been toying with the idea of selling my USPc to fund my first bolt rifle. The only rifles I've ever owned are my AR (5.56) and a .22. I'd like to get into hunting someday (don't know what I would shoot, but a buddy said he'd take me deer hunting sometime), or at least have fun shooting at the range. We have an indoor range that is 100 yds, and I believe an outdoor of the same distance, but maybe further. Where I'm at kinda sucks for any distance, but that's fine because I need to learn the basics first.

I know absolutely zip about what to look for in terms of rifles, scopes, or ammo choice. .308 sounds fun, but how pricey is it? Is there another caliber I should consider in terms of affordability vs a good all-around caliber? I always hear not to skimp on glass, but I don't know how much money I'd be able to sink into a decent optic. I'm not looking for an uber fancy rifle- just something that would shoot fine out to.....200-300yds? Definitely something that won't break the bank. Am I being unrealistic? What should I look into?

This is all really overwhelming and, when I start thinking about actually shooting and knowing how to adjust the windage/elevation and make corrections, it makes it all seem too intimidating. :confused: Maybe throw out a couple rifle/caliber and optic suggestions so that I can research it a bit? Thanks!
 

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think about a mosin nagant. they are really inexpensive and the surplus rounds are between 20 and 40 cents a piece.

i just bought one and am very happy. it is a 1939 russian 1891/30 in 7.62 x 54 of course. very clean, matching numbers and it cost me $150.

i will be buying at least 1 more of these beauties.

you don't even need to sell your uspc to buy one of these
 

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i too am about too (well by begining of next year) buy a bolt rifle.. heres the one i'm looking at right now..
remington 700 SPS Tactical

i used to shoot my friends .308, and have been itching for one for awhile.
check out that website its got a lot of good info on rifles and ammo, and their strong points and weaknesses.
keep in mind this rifle only has a 4 round internal box, also a .308 is pretty comfy to shoot, but your probably not going to take 500 rounds with you to the range like you do your handguns hehe.
as for optics yeah get some nice glass for sure, the rifle above with match grade ammo is good to about 600 yards:)

now if you dont want all black rifle.. heres a weatherby i wouldnt mind checking out myself
Weatherby Vanguard Varmint Special
shoots .223 or .308 (depending on the model you purchase, its not a dual caliber gun)

and last but not least the savage:
Savage 110FP & 10FP Tactical
lots of stuff you can do to it after purchase if you find you dont like something about it, but they come out of the box very accurate from what that article states (i've never shot one so cant tell you personally).

all three of these rifles are affordable. ~$500, and allow you to spend some coin either at the time or purchase, or down the road on a decent scope...

cheers
 

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My vote goes to the Remington 700 tactical in .308. I had one in .223 and it was a tack driver. Budsgunshop has em' for the best price I've seen.
 

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I vote for the Weatherby. This thing is really accurate and can be had for ~$399

Mine is a Weatherby Vanguard 30.06 but there are other calibers.

it is the only production rifle that comes with a factory-shot target as your assurance of guaranteed accuracy.


 

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Start with a 223, cheaper to shoot, and you won't learn any bad habits due to recoil. I've got a Savage Model 12 in 223 with a 1-7 twist, and I don't think I'm giving anything up when I compete with 308s @ 600. Shoots Black Hills 77g SMKs really well for factory ammo.
 

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I would rather have a $400 rifle and $1,500 optic than a $2,000 rifle and a $200 optic.

The Optic makes the rifle, not the other way around. Save the money, buy a good optic.

Do you have any experience with Mueller optics?

Mueller used to work for Night Force. He makes a VERY fine scope with all the frills attached. Just because it's a $300 scope doesn't make it crap....

The price of optics is god-awfully inflated because people with fat wallets are willing to drop $1500 on a scope.

Quit drinking the Kool-Aid and TRY the scope before you bash it.
 

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Walmart.com: Savage Package Series 111FCXP3 270: Hunting


After much research, I ended up with this rifle from Walmart.
I believe I paid in the $400 range for it.
The scope is not the best in the world, but certainly not the worst.

I opted for the .270 because it is a very flat shooter and will take pretty much any north American game animal you can name...and at the distances necessary to take some large game.

My first kill with it was a 285 pound hog. It was a shoulder shot and the animal dropped instantly...well, it did go a bit forward, but only because it was at a dead run when I shot it...so inertia did its part!

 

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I would rather have a $400 rifle and $1,500 optic than a $2,000 rifle and a $200 optic.

The Optic makes the rifle, not the other way around. Save the money, buy a good optic.
X2

My Leupold Mk4 LR/T TMR with First Focal Plane retailed for $1289, but with the LE discount was less than $900 ... lifetime no questions asked warranty. I can beat nails in with it, ship it back to them and get a new one, no questions asked. Well worth the coin
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the tips, guys. Definitely some good stuff to read up on. When I get home from my trip I'm gonna head to one or two shops in town and see what they have and for how much. :)
 

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The Remington 700 action is practically legendary, as is the Winchester Model 70. These day's though, most big name rifles will be accurate enough for your "every day" applications.
 

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Won't vote for a particular rifle since there are so many good ones out there. As far as caliber goes, it used to be carved in stone that the 30-06 was the best all around hunting round for North American game. But, for bullet weights under 180 grains the .308 will do anything the 30-06 will do and do it cheaper.
 

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X2

My Leupold Mk4 LR/T TMR with First Focal Plane retailed for $1289, but with the LE discount was less than $900 ... lifetime no questions asked warranty. I can beat nails in with it, ship it back to them and get a new one, no questions asked. Well worth the coin
I know what rifle I want buy not what optic. The Mk4 is definitely up at the top of the list. I've only heard praises.
 

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Most any modern centerfire rifle will be plenty accurate out of the box for shooting at 200-300 yards. If you're thinking you might go deer hunting one day, buy something at least .243 or bigger,.260 and 7mm-08 are good, as-is .308.

The Savage Stevens line might be a good place to start. The rifles can be had for under $300 and they shoot. If you start to outgrow it, you can replace most everything on it (trigger, stock, barrel, etc).

I wouldn't plunk down too much money on glass for your first rifle. Get a good set of bases and rings, but stick to a scope in the $300 range. For that money, you could get a Bushnell Elite, Mueller, Super Sniper, Falcon, etc. Any of the aforementioned scopes will be PLENTY for shooting 200-300 yards (or more, but you said 200-300, so that's what I'm going on).

All of the short action stuff based on the .308 case shoots fast enough and flat enough that doping wind, calculating hold-over, etc will be moot at the ranges you're talking about. Sight it in 2" high at 100 yards and just hold dead-on out to 300 yards.
 
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