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Ive been shooting with my dad for years but want to get my first rifle on my own for my 21st in a month, I haven't shot in about two years. I wana be able to do some target plate shooting and maybe some deer hunting with this rifle at around 300-600 yards. First gun that came to mind was an ar15 .223. I live in california and arizona so I want the gun to be legal in both states. I know california recently passed some laws about pistol grips and AR's. I wana build a full custom with optics, adjustable stock, quad attachment rail and bipod. What're some things I should look at? Good places to get my gun, what state should I get it in, and the legality of the gun.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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California laws concern 'assault rifles' are up in the air and will be for some time. If the state has its way they will be illegal to own. Court battles will be long and costly. Judges may, or may not, issue stays keeping the laws from taking effect. If the laws are overturned the legislature will enact new ones and the game starts all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat. If you don't already own one... forget about it for five years, or so (maybe forever).

Get yourself a quality bolt action rifle (Winchester Model 70, Browning X-Bolt, Remington Model 700, Savage Model 110, etc.), put a quality scope on it and practice, practice, practice. Then, practice some more. Those 300 - 600 yard shots are easy to talk about but considerably more difficult to accomplish.
 

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Popeye is right - the rifles he mentioned are all first class and with reasonable care will outlast your grandkids. But you didn't mention your budget. If you have the bucks, take Popeye's advice. My own favorite is the Remington 700.

But if money's an issue, there are lots of low-cost rifles on the market now that will shoot every bit as accurately as their pricier brethren. The Thompson-Center Compass, Ruger American, Mossberg Patriot, and similar models from all the other major manufacturers are capable of utterly reliable performance and sub-MOA accuracy. You'll have to settle for a plastic stock, but what the heck, it's going outside anyway. Maybe even spending the night out there. Anyway, I have seen these models on 'special' going for under $300, but usually for just a bit over - they're all good deals. Get one in .308. When you finally get around to buying that AR10, you'll already have the ammo.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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California laws concern 'assault rifles' are up in the air and will be for some time. If the state has its way they will be illegal to own. Court battles will be long and costly. Judges may, or may not, issue stays keeping the laws from taking effect. If the laws are overturned the legislature will enact new ones and the game starts all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat. If you don't already own one... forget about it for five years, or so (maybe forever).

Get yourself a quality bolt action rifle (Winchester Model 70, Browning X-Bolt, Remington Model 700, Savage Model 110, etc.), put a quality scope on it and practice, practice, practice. Then, practice some more. Those 300 - 600 yard shots are easy to talk about but considerably more difficult to accomplish.
Calibers to consider (without getting esoteric) are; .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester.
 

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I have a Savage Axis II in .308 that I paid just under $400 for with a 3X9 40mm scope. The scope isn't the best but it works fine out to 200 yards. I have hit a human size silhouette torso target at 400 yards but you wouldn't have called it a "Tight Grouping" by any means. A lot of it was my skills needing to be bettered but when shooting out to the 600 yard range will require a better scope and a lot of skill. Kind of like fishing. A man catches a 16 inch grouper. By the time he tells his wife it was a 24 inch Grouper. By the time he tells his son it was a 36 inch grouper. By the time he tells his buddies in the bar the next night it was a 28 foot Great White Shark. A lot of the 600 yard one shot instant kills where the deer drops where it stands are really 75 yard shots where the deer is later tracked for 1,000 yards if ever found at all.
 

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I have a Mod 8 Remington in 30 Remington (better looking twin to the 30-30 Win) that was purchased new by my Great Grandfather. He used it as a saddle gun (I still have the scabbard too) until he died. My grandfather kept it until he died and I got it. I killed my first deer with it and a few more after that. My youngest son killed his first deer with it. There is some blue left on the metal and the stock will soak up a finger dip of boiled linseed oil every year. I have an extra barrel for it just in case the original one wears out (I can't imagine when that might be).

So, the moral of the story. Save your money, buy quality, buy once. Expense does not necessarily equate directly to quality, but mostly does. Do your research and find out what is for sale. Are you buying a name or a quality rifle.

If I were a young man again, there are some things I would likely do differently than I did them the first time. One of those things involves buying firearms. Many of the firearms I have are hand-me-downs. They were purchased at a time when American firearms manufacturers made firearms differently than they do today. They were made to last in use under much harsher conditions than most firearms see today. It shows when a rifle can be carried through five generations and it still works with the precision and reliability that it did when new.

IF I were doing it all over again, I would certainly watch my money more closely and in doing so would have more of it to spend on important stuff rather than pre-piss and cigarette smoke. If I just had that back I could go on a shopping spree at James Purdey and sons. I would buy pre 64 Model 70s for my bolt guns, pre 64 Model 94s and one or two Model 95s. I would buy Parker shotguns and Colt pistols (and Smith and Wessons). If I could only buy one a year or one every two years that would be what I would do. Now, a Stevens 311 is just as good as a Parker, ….. until you carry the Parker, with the proper cast, and barrel length. Then you're done for. Now I'm not likely to be dragging a Parker down into the brackish duck marsh when I could just as well take the Stevens to do the job, but, I would if it were the only shotgun I had. That's the difference.

I don't know how much that Model 8 cost new. But it was state of the art, it worked every time and it was damn near adopted by the US Military as a battle weapon. Police forces did use it and as I have read, supposedly Frank Hammer used one to shoot Bonnie AND Clyde. Mine stood the test of use and the test of time. I would take it hunting tomorrow and have full confidence in it.

So, My advice, is, Save your money until you are absolutely sure you are getting the best quality for your bucks, then research it one more month. When you buy, take care of the firearm and it will, as Mr. Popeye and Mr. Horselips have indicated, out last your grandkids. And, they will have a story to tell about the rifle.

Alan
 

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Calibers to consider (without getting esoteric) are; .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield and .270 Winchester.
could also add 7mm mag, 7mm-08, .260., 243,
 

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I would recommend a bolt gun. Remington 700s are pretty great. Ruger Americans are decent. If you have a low budget, a savage axis will get the job done. 3-600 yards, I'm biased to .30 cal. Get a 308 or maybe even a 243. Whatever floats your boat
 

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AZHerper
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Most young guys nowadays seem to want an "AR" in .223. Also, you say that you want it for deer hunting. Never mind the 300-600 yards. Just look at the previous recommendations. Notice how nobody recommended an "AR" or .223. What you really need to do is ask yourself why all these experienced hunters didn't recommend it. Just ask yourself.
 

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Yeah, I wouldn't try to hunt with an AR-15 at 300+ yards. The terminal ballistics are just too iffy.

I like my 30-06 Ruger M77 MkII. Or get it in .308.

--Wag--
 

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Another vote for the M77-MKII, in 30.06.

What would you be doing with a quad rail, on a 600 yard gun? IMO, you are
trying to do way too much with one rifle. Figure out the attributes you want most.
Do you really want to put a bunch of tacti-crap on a hunting-rifle, even if you
did go with an AR? Do you have situations where you will be trying to shoot
a deer at over 300 yards?
 
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