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  #1  
Old 05-28-2012, 04:43 PM
Eagles1911 Eagles1911 is offline
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New rifle suggestions




Hey guys, I'm going to be buying a new rifle in a month or two and I am tied between three guns. I just want it to plink with and maybe get rid of a few little critters if need be. It wont be home defense, or a precision rifle. Here are my 3:
1. Savage .308 or 30-06 with accutrigger
2. palmetto state armory and bcm AR
3. Marlin 30-30 lever gun
My problem is I dont know which would be more easy to shoot, cheap to shoot, and as effective at a range. I hope to shoot out to maybe 2-300 yards but that wont be until I can get a nice scope. Any imput?
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2012, 05:12 PM
mil spec mil spec is offline
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IMO, for what you want it for, I would suggest an AR in .223 / 5.56. Ammo is cheap. My next choice would be .308 for the option of deer size game.
30-30 is a fun gun to have, but for the distance of 2-300 yards I wouldn't want it. 30-06 is over kill for critters and ammo cost more.
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Last edited by mil spec; 05-28-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2012, 05:15 PM
Black Jack Black Jack is offline
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Well, At 200 – 300 yards, you are most likely not looking at a .30-30. At 200 yards it has almost 10 inches of drop and at 300 yards it has 25 – 30 inches of drop.

As for the other two options you are considering… What do you enjoy more? Bolt action or semi-auto?

How little are the critters that you are looking at getting rid of?

The AR is typically in 5.56mm, but is available in other calibers. Both of your options are good choices, depending on what will be at the other end of the 200 – 300 yards. For me, it comes down to the size of the critters and personal preference.
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2012, 05:20 PM
BYJO4 BYJO4 is offline
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Based on your choices, I would go with the AR. For plinking, I don't care for much recoil. The AR can be very accurate at 200 to 300 yards and least expensive for ammo.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2012, 07:19 PM
cobrabubbles cobrabubbles is offline
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I'll buck the trend and recommend a Marlin 336. Mainly on quality vs. price. You can walk into any pawn shop, or used gun store and find a lovely 30/30 336 somebody "outgrew" for a ridiculously cheap price.

You say you don't need a precision rifle but you want to shoot 200 to 300 yds? A lever gun like a 336 is not a distance gun. But at 50 to 100 it's a blast. And it's more than adequate for any critter you're talking about. But you need to figure out what you really want. You need a "precision" gun for targets out to 300 yds. I'm a member at a 100 to 300 yd range. I've never shot the 300.


Now if you really want to shoot that far on a budget, I'd look at a savage. The bolt may not feel as nice as a more expensive gun, but they offer great accuracy for the price. Another choice would be a Ruger 77 with iron sights. Very versatile, and they make them in 223 and 308. If you aren't going deer hunting a 223 bolt gun is a pleasure to shoot for your 200 to 300 shot, and the iron sights will let you have a really fun, and challenging time at 50 and 100 yds until you get your scope. The gun WILL be accurate. And there's very little more satisfying than a tight group with Iron Sights.

But first of all figure out what you really want. Are you really going to shoot out to 300 yds? If yes, than the lever gun is out. But if you're going to shoot 35 to 100 yds, and just wish you could shoot out to 300 (do you even have place?) it's a great choice.
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  #6  
Old 05-28-2012, 09:22 PM
Eagles1911 Eagles1911 is offline
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by shooting out that far I mean shooting at an old car or something, so accuracy isnt too big of a deal. I didn't know about how bad the 30/30 was at a range though, so i might cross that out. My primary distance would probably be 50-100 yds but I kind of want something that i can learn and go out further if possible
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  #7  
Old 05-28-2012, 10:23 PM
BadaBing11 BadaBing11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobrabubbles View Post
I'll buck the trend and recommend a Marlin 336. Mainly on quality vs. price. You can walk into any pawn shop, or used gun store and find a lovely 30/30 336 somebody "outgrew" for a ridiculously cheap price.

You say you don't need a precision rifle but you want to shoot 200 to 300 yds? A lever gun like a 336 is not a distance gun. But at 50 to 100 it's a blast. And it's more than adequate for any critter you're talking about. But you need to figure out what you really want. You need a "precision" gun for targets out to 300 yds. I'm a member at a 100 to 300 yd range. I've never shot the 300.


Now if you really want to shoot that far on a budget, I'd look at a savage. The bolt may not feel as nice as a more expensive gun, but they offer great accuracy for the price. Another choice would be a Ruger 77 with iron sights. Very versatile, and they make them in 223 and 308. If you aren't going deer hunting a 223 bolt gun is a pleasure to shoot for your 200 to 300 shot, and the iron sights will let you have a really fun, and challenging time at 50 and 100 yds until you get your scope. The gun WILL be accurate. And there's very little more satisfying than a tight group with Iron Sights.

But first of all figure out what you really want. Are you really going to shoot out to 300 yds? If yes, than the lever gun is out. But if you're going to shoot 35 to 100 yds, and just wish you could shoot out to 300 (do you even have place?) it's a great choice.
I agree. You could get the Marlin for a great price. If it didn't do what you wanted, you would have an excuse to buy another Rifle. But from what I'm hearing from you, I think it would be a good 1
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  #8  
Old 05-28-2012, 10:29 PM
jupiter7 jupiter7 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagles1911 View Post
Hey guys, I'm going to be buying a new rifle in a month or two and I am tied between three guns. I just want it to plink with and maybe get rid of a few little critters if need be. It wont be home defense, or a precision rifle. Here are my 3:
1. Savage .308 or 30-06 with accutrigger
2. palmetto state armory and bcm AR
3. Marlin 30-30 lever gun
My problem is I dont know which would be more easy to shoot, cheap to shoot, and as effective at a range. I hope to shoot out to maybe 2-300 yards but that wont be until I can get a nice scope. Any imput?
Of the 3, the AR is the cheapest to shoot. The other 2 will run you $0.50 a round for brass cased(even surplus). Accuracy of the AR properly set up can rival the bolt gun, almost.

The marlin 30-30 model 336 is a whitetail classic and within 150 yards deadly.
Plinker? Yes. Target gun? No.

If not hunting large game, I'd rule out 30 caliber rifles. You can get a really nice savage for $600-$800. Have you considered a savage in .223?
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2012, 08:44 AM
Eagles1911 Eagles1911 is offline
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yeah a savage in .223 is a good idea. I guess I've been listening too much to my friends on this. Theyve told me that .223 maxes out at 150 yards and thats pushing it, so .308 would be much better if I wanted to go further. The biggest game I would kill is maybe a few coyotes. In Indiana ya can't hunt deer with a rifle
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  #10  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:29 AM
Seve Seve is offline
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my father in law was looking at getting a savage 223 but ended up getting a 308. We put about 200 rds threw it. I will say i'm impressed with the savages. Has me scratching my head why I spent more on a rem 700
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  #11  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:30 AM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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Hard to beat the AR for fun & affordability to shoot.
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  #12  
Old 05-29-2012, 09:54 AM
jonconsiglio jonconsiglio is offline
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I can make clean hits all day long at 500 yards with any one of my ARs on silhouettes. My BCM 14.5" with a standard barrel holds 2 MOA with average ammo and better with match ammo.

5.56 at 150 is silly. I know a guy that has a few confirmed kills near 350 meters with a 10.5" and mk262 mod 1.
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  #13  
Old 05-29-2012, 11:15 AM
cobrabubbles cobrabubbles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagles1911 View Post
Theyve told me that .223 maxes out at 150 yards and thats pushing it, so .308 would be much better if I wanted to go further. The biggest game I would kill is maybe a few coyotes. In Indiana ya can't hunt deer with a rifle
Your friends aren't too far off base. If you're hunting "the most dangerous game"... AKA humans who can shoot back. Not saying a 223 won't work beyond 150 on a so called "75 kilo" target beyond that, but yes a 308 will work better. But my plans don't EVER involve shooting at people. None of my plans do. Ever. A 223 is a very accurate round out of a good gun. As others have said, it's cheaper to shoot.

It can be a bit of a pain to reload in case prep, so if that's your intention I would go .308, but for just plain plinking where deer isn't an option (where I live we do use rifles, but 223 is illegal based on its size), it's one of the best out there.

At the recent "Savage Days" where the reps come out to my club, I shot the 223 varmint gun they just put out. It's really incredible what that gun can do.

For full disclosure, I should say I don't currently own a savage. I have, but I've gotten into Garands, and even for deer hunting, that's what I carry (they make 5 shot clips )
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  #14  
Old 05-29-2012, 11:50 AM
jonconsiglio jonconsiglio is offline
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If you run TSX 70gr or 50gr for hunting, you'll be able to take game that previously required a 308. There are plenty of pics of 300 to 400 pound hogs, which in my experience are harder killing than most other game, taken at 200 to 300 yards with TSX and a 16" AR. If you search Texas Gun Forum's hunting section, or that other Texas hunting forum, you'll see countless large hogs and Buck taken with 5.56 TSX with them dropping dead in very short order.

As for accuracy, like I said, my 14.5" chf chrome lined BCM barrel will shoot 2 MOA with m193 and a good bit better with mk262 or TAP. If you go with a stainless barrel, they're easily capable of 1 MOA with good ammo. Knowing your holds, you can ring steel consistently at 750 meters, just don't expect a lot of power at that range. With a 200 yard zero, we're looking at roughly 8" of drop at 300 yards. With a 100 yard zero, it's closer to 12". If you have a good optic, it's easy to dial it in. If you have a red dot, you just need to know your holds. I shoot at 300 quite often with my Aimpoints, sometimes with the Aimpoint 3x and sometimes without.

My SCAR H is a little more accurate and will drop game easier, but if I had to choose, I'd go with my 5.56 rifles.

This was the first time I zeroed this rifle. I was using the magazine as a rest and an Aimpoint T1 without the magnifier. Ammo was Federal m193. Wind was light with mo more than 10 mph gusts. With match grade ammo, the groups would be a little bit tighter. With my ACOG 4x32 or my S&B and match ammo, the groups would be a good bit tighter.

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Last edited by jonconsiglio; 05-29-2012 at 11:54 AM.
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  #15  
Old 05-29-2012, 11:51 AM
Eagles1911 Eagles1911 is offline
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I probably won't reload for years if ever so I'm not that worried. but I wont be using at all for defense so accuracy isn't as important to me. I may try renting a bolt gun and an AR to see which I like better
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  #16  
Old 05-29-2012, 12:09 PM
Eagles1911 Eagles1911 is offline
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If I were to go the AR route, is all I would need a complete lower
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...c-edition.html
a complete upper
http://palmettostatearmory.com/index...ng-handle.html
and a bolt/carrier group and charging handle? And plenty of mags/ammo of course
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  #17  
Old 05-29-2012, 12:57 PM
Bigapple828 Bigapple828 is offline
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If you choose to start reloading, you could always get an upper in 6.8 SPC for your AR. A .270 bullet traveling around 2600fps is good for a variety of mid range game. But if you don't handload, these rounds are pretty expensive.

I think you'd get a lot of joy and practicality out of an AR. A bolt .223 is probably a good gun, but I can get amazing accuracy out of my AR already with a higher rate of fire that's soft on my shoulder. That's plenty good enough for me.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:20 PM
jonconsiglio jonconsiglio is offline
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I should probably expand on the distance stuff for a moment. If I needed a rifle for defensive use, patrol use, hunting and range time for 300 yards and closer, with a majority of my work being closer, I'd be perfectly content with the 5.56 as long as I had my choice of ammo for whatever role the rifle filled.

If I needed the same type of rifle with a high likelihood it'll be used past 400 or 500 yards for hunting and range time (I guess defense or LE work, but that's a near impossibility), I'd prefer my SCAR H in 308.

For hunting hogs and deer, I'm content with TSX from a 5.56, though I'll take the 6.8 or 308 on occasion and am giving the 300blk a try this month or next. Where I hunt is a 2,000 acre ranch and a new place is a 4,000 acre ranch. We go from wide open spaces to stalking hogs through thick wooded areas so I need a rifle that will give me a few hundred yards, if needed, yet work very well at close range. So, for me, I can do just about everything I need, including using it as my work and home defense rifle with a 5.56.

Others uses will vary, of course. I wasn't trying to speak for everyone earlier, just pointing out that it's not a 150 yard rifle. More like a 300 yard rifle for general purpose use, though much more can be squeezed out of it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:10 PM
cobrabubbles cobrabubbles is offline
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Just gotta say again that those distances are not what the majority of folks shoot. I love hanging out in my LGS and seeing first time buyers go on about the 1000 yd gun they want. 500 yds? you know how few people honestly have access to that? 300 yds? Again, for the vast majority of shooters that's a luxury they don't have access to.

Just saying there's lots of long talk in this world, and few who can do it, or have a place to do it. And I honestly believe that most guns will outshoot most folks. And by most guns I mean 75%, and by most people I mean 90%

A quality AR is at the point where it's as fun and as easy to shoot as a Ruger 22. It just costs more to feed. I would never argue that it's a bad choice. It's just not the right choice for everybody.

And to the OP, please reevaluate your perception of not needing accuracy because it won't be a defense gun. It's the exact opposite. You want accuracy in a plinker, and it is less important in a defense gun. a defense gun will likely be used at distances no longer than the longest hallway in your house. If you are shooting longer than that, it better be armageddon, or the cops and the lawyers will be on you in a serious way. They probably will be anyway, but it's an argument you won't be able to win if you're picking someone off at 75 yds unless you're returning gunfire on an Arizona ranch, and even then I'm not so sure.

In fact in many cases the tight tolerances needed for accuracy cut down on reliability, which is critical in a defense gun. You can get around that by paying a bundle of cash sometimes, but off the shelf it's often true.

Remember, your friends may throw the words around, but 300 yds is 3 football fields. And some of the guns we're talking about here will put 3 bullets in one slightly large hole at 50 yds in the right hands. Shooting farther than 100 yds is more about your knowledge and ability to adjust based on the ballistics. It's the same physical skills. So the difference between a tight group at 100yds and 300 yds is your math skills and the quality of your ammo.

You do want accuracy. And the good news is that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Not with Savages and Ruger bolt guns. And from what folks are saying a stock Colt AR won't kill your wallet either and will give you good groupings and few headaches.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:47 PM
Eagles1911 Eagles1911 is offline
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My family has a bean field thats perfectly flat and 2 miles long. I can shoot as far as I can there, I understand that I will probably be the limiting factor. My only distance gun now is a 10/22 so I max out at like 100 ft. I just want the next step in distance shooting and I want to be able to grow into it. I was just trying to say that I don't need a precision rifle because I'm nowwhere near good enough for that to be the limiting factor. I just wasn't sure how accurate an AR could be especially in my price range versus a bolt rifle in my price range.
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  #21  
Old 05-29-2012, 03:44 PM
jonconsiglio jonconsiglio is offline
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A lot of people have access to a few hundred yards. Personally, I shoot my Barretts well beyond 1,000 yards quite a bit. For those without those types of rifles, still can do it by driving to a local range. Most free states I know of have at least a few hundred yard range within an hour. I don't know, I think a lot of people have access to long ranges. Most just don't have the optics, the rifle or mainly the knowledge on how to shoot at those distances. 500 yards on the other hand is not a major feet at all. We do it with an Aimpoint and a magnifier. Groups aren't great, but we're just banging steel, not trying for small groups. With my ACOG and Mk262 from my 14.5", it's not that big of a deal. We can keep 28 of 28 rounds on a full size silhouette with a little effort.

90% of my shooting is drills within 100 yards. I stretch out now and then for the hell of it, but I do it for fun. My work rifle is a 10.5" and I can't foresee an engagement beyond 50 yards, and much likely closer than that. With my 10.5" and 50gr TSX (my carry load), I can keep 10 rounds in 1". That's more than I need, but good to have.

Most outdoor ranges I have been too have at least a 200 yard range.

The real problem is that people will spend thousands on rifles and optics, but never spend $500 for a quality precision class.
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Last edited by jonconsiglio; 05-29-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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  #22  
Old 05-29-2012, 03:54 PM
JGus JGus is offline
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The Marlin 336 30-30 is a very fun gun to shoot that can be used for a lot of applications. Anyone that has ever shot a lever action rifle will agree they are a lot of fun to shoot. I love my lever action rifles and have not scoped them. I like using the iron sights on a lever action. But, for hunting purposes you really don't want to shoot much past 150 yards with the 30-30.

But as others have stated the cheapest ammo to buy is .223 vs 30-30 or .308. I love my AR's, but for a very inexpensive, yet good quality rifle you can buy a Howa 1500 which comes with a decent scope and Hogue grip in several different calibers for about $500. Both Farm & Home Supply and Scheels in my area are selling them for $499 with scope. I've got a Howa 1500 in both .223 and .204 ruger. Both excellent guns for the money.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:19 PM
L.E. L.E. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonconsiglio View Post
I think a lot of people have access to long ranges. Most just don't have the optics, the rifle or mainly the knowledge on how to shoot at those distances. 500 yards on the other hand is not a major feet at all.
Jon, with all due respect, I believe what most people don't have is the inclination and desire. It's a casual hobby for most, not a pastime that they are compelled to work at in a serious manner. As far as long range shooting goes, the distance isn't the challenge. As you point out, it's relatively easy to make consistent hits at known yardages once you're dialed in. The problem with long range shooting in a real world scenario (hunting), is that without an accurate range-finder, judging the yardage is very problematic, due to variations in terrain, light conditions, etc. If you misjudge the range at 1000 yards by 100 yards, you will not hit a house.
L.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:57 PM
jonconsiglio jonconsiglio is offline
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Originally Posted by L.E. View Post
Jon, with all due respect, I believe what most people don't have is the inclination and desire. It's a casual hobby for most, not a pastime that they are compelled to work at in a serious manner. As far as long range shooting goes, the distance isn't the challenge. As you point out, it's relatively easy to make consistent hits at known yardages once you're dialed in. The problem with long range shooting in a real world scenario (hunting), is that without an accurate range-finder, judging the yardage is very problematic, due to variations in terrain, light conditions, etc. If you misjudge the range at 1000 yards by 100 yards, you will not hit a house.
L.
That's a good point and where I'm at a serious disadvantage. I cannot read distances to save my life. Luckily, we usually have a rangefinder or someone that knows what the heck they're doing.

I agree too that many just don't bother. I guess my point was the ability to do it with .56, not so much the desire or how common it is.
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:36 PM
L.E. L.E. is offline
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I understood what you were getting at, Jon. In my last career, I was a surveyor. We did a lot of work for the U.S.F.S. in eastern Oregon, a mix of desert, juniper scrub, and pine forest. We covered a lot of ground every day. Each station we measured horizontal and vertical angles, and then measured the distance (to the hundredth of a foot) with a laser. The shots ranged from less than a hundred feet to over 20,000 feet, but most fell between 400-2000 ft. Did it nearly a hundred times a day. I usually always had an idea how far i thought it was before I hit the button on the laser. Sometimes, I wasn't even in the ballpark. The best part of the job was that we always had our rifles in the rig. (We might forget a lot of things, but the guns always made it to the truck ) It didn't pay to be a carefree coyote.
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