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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Sorry if this post is in the wrong place, it's my first one.

I'm interested in buying a rifle for potential hunting in the future and mainly for target practice and range use now. I am 22 and live in Orange County, California. I attended a military boarding prep academy in MO. I was rifle team commander and placed in the highest bracket for sharpshooting and would like to pick up the rifle again. It has been so long that I no longer know which rifle would best suit me and my desires. I am looking for an all purpose rifle under $600 preferably. Used for possible hunting in the future but mainly shooting at the range, for now to tone my skills to where they used to be.

Any and all information would be greatly appreciated from those that have better insight and experience.

Thanks!
 

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Greetings and Welcome to the Forum

...I am 22 and live in Orange County, California. I attended a military boarding prep academy in MO. I was rifle team commander and placed in the highest bracket for sharpshooting and would like to pick up the rifle again. It has been so long that I no longer know which rifle would best suit me and my desires.
You young folks give old folks like me a good laugh. You're 22 and you did something that was maybe a few years and you think was long ago.
 

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You didn't say what game you might eventually hunt. Since your primary purpose seems range time, then the purchase price is less important than the ammo cost over time. That said, pick a caliber you can afford for how many rounds a week/month you will be shooting that can also handle the game you want. Then you can get into bolt vs semi etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am not sure what kind of game as of now. I don't know much about hunting but would like to ease into it. That's why I was hoping to get a rifle that is great for all purpose. I guess more of a range rifle though. What are some good calibers for beginners? As for amount of rounds, again I am not sure. I would say maybe 100 rounds or more a month? I apologize for my lack of knowledge on the subject, hence why I am trying to get a better understanding by asking questions and seeking recommendations.

I can say that I think that semi is more what I am looking for but again there are a lot of unknown variables on my part that will influence the decision. What are some good brands of rifles and calibers I should research?
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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What kind of rifle and caliber did you use while attending a military boarding prep academy in MO?
 

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action style........
optics or irons......
hunting.....as in what?
target shooting.....distance?

to me, a very blanket general purpose all-around rifle would be a bolt action, with glass, in a caliber that wears many hats......like the 308......your needs may be different.

if hunting is currently a dream, not set in stone, and much farther in the future, then you can trim the field a tad...

if you don't have a .22 rifle, then start there. I still shoot the 22 rim fire more than all other rifle calibers combined. The skills to shoot a coke bottle cap at 25 yards with a .22 are just as relevant to me as shooting a tight group at a hundred yards with a centerfire......and just as exciting and enjoyable.
 

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With all the new and well designed econo-"rifels" available today, $600 will easily cover your planned purchase. The cartridge selection is, as they say, "the rub". For general economy, .223/5.56 NATO. That will limit the size "beasts" you can hunt, but what the hey. I ......I believe.....I see a "rifel collection" on yer horizon. A "diversity" of arms as it were. Something for application to every food group you may seek or encounter.
 

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Grand Imperial Poobah
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Does your $600 budget just for the rifle or for a scope and rifle?

Do you want a bolt action or semi-auto rifle?
 

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AZHerper
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Get a .308 (7.62x51). There's tons of fairly inexpensive ammo available and, with the right ammo choice, you can hunt anything from varmints to elk (it's a little light for bear and moose). Also, with the right rifle it would be dandy for target shooting. There an absolute plethora of rifles available in .308 including this rifle and scope package for under $600:

Savage® Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle and Nikon Scope Packages : Cabela's

Good luck and good shooting! :smile5:
 

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Genius in Training
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Ruger AR556 or DPMS Oracle are nice ARs in that range. They use 223 which is a pretty cheap round capable of deer. California makes that interesting though. Not sure but that will probly be a royal pain to get an ar in cali. That or some sort of bolt action in the same caliber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you very much for all of the insight everyone. It is proving to be very helpful. I can see myself becoming a long term gun owner as well as growing future interest in hunting and marksmanship.
 

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A .308 would be a good choice, it can used on anything up to and including Elk. You can always step up to one of the belted mags later if you feel the need for something bigger. Bolts are usually considered more accurate than semi-autos, but AR's have come a long way and maybe some of the other guys on here would be able to tell you more about that.
 

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I have a Savage Axis II in .308 tht I bought for about $400 including the scope. It shot great right out of the box. After about 20 practice rounds I was hitting coke cans at 200 yards. The .308 is a great hunting round, excellent target round and with the right scope and a good shooter it can reach distances well over 1,000 yards. The ammo is pretty reasonably priced too. I have seen it as low as $12 a box and you can always find it at Walmart around $17 a box.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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I say again

What kind of rifle and caliber did you use while attending a military boarding prep academy in MO?
 

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If you are looking for a well made rifle and an excellent trigger right out of the box. Seek out a Tikka T-3 bolt action and look no farther. They can be had for under $600 without a scope of course.
 

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I have to agree with the folks who say go with a 22LR, to start.

Lots of fun for everybody.
If you won't be hunting anytime soon a .22 LR is a great learner rifle. They are accurate, easy to handle, accurate, fun and ammo is cheap. There are many fine .22's out there. My personal favorite is a Ruger 10/22. They can be upgraded as much as you want but also shoot great right out of the box. Mine is all factory original other than a $30 Scope from Walmart.
 
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