The Original CZ Forum

GENERAL => Hunting => Topic started by: Cali Crash on January 06, 2014, 08:41:57 PM

Title: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Cali Crash on January 06, 2014, 08:41:57 PM
Granted that's a loaded question. But as I'm getting more into firearms we are purchasing a house and with it a full sized gun safe. So there goes the handgun only rule from the wife! She's more incline to me spending money on a rifle next for hunting, versus a shotgun for home defense. They're both coming, just depending on cost and other things is in what order. Anyways, I've never hunted before and need to know everything I can to make the best decision on how to proceed. But me and the wife like gamey and exotic (at least for California that is) meats. Had a hell of a time trying to find a venue that would do elk or whatever else is was the wife wanted for the wedding. Anyways, what is the best thing to hunt to get into hunting? What's the best inexpensive starter weapon to do it with? Or at least something that can be decent upgraded in the future. Growing up in California my old fashioned values didn't correspond well with a lot of people I grew up around. Still don't have anyone near by that can break me into the sport. Just glad my wife is all for it and backs me up on all of this. Anyways, any info suggestions, ideas or recommendations you make will all be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Slimdog71 on January 06, 2014, 09:04:47 PM
All depends on what you plan to hunt! In the part of PA I'm in (no rifles) my best option was a shotgun with both a smooth bore barrel and a slug barrel, that combo fits just about all the hunting you can do around here from rabbits, squirrels and birds to waterfowl and turkey, right up to deer and bear. I chose a Remington 870 combo (25years ago), it's still my go to gun!
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Cali Crash on January 06, 2014, 09:21:10 PM
I realized that after putting up te post. I've never been hunting and don't know what to hunt, where to start or what. I can tell you the wife liked quail, and we both like duck, turkey, rabbit, deer, elk, boar, bison, buffalo, not sure what else. I wish I knew someone that hunted that I could get together with and try out everything. I'll be more into hunting for something we'd eat if that helps. I started all this on the shotgun forum looking for home defense/hunting. A mossberg, Winchester and Remi all came highly recommended. So far personally I'm favoring the mossberg combo same set up as what you've got plus an 18.5" for H/D. But like the post states, the wife is leaning on me to pick something more for hunting them home defense. So figured do my homework first before jumping on the shotgun and make sure there wasn't a good rifle I could be starting out with instead. I live in California, so I won't be surprised to run across areas where rifles aren't premised. Part of why I wa leaning towards a shotgun first, but the wife is more interested in something that provides a cleaner kill ad less potential of feeding our daughters pellets.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: jameslovesjammie on January 06, 2014, 09:31:34 PM
You need a shotgun for birds (a 12 gauge is almost required for the waterfowl listed).  You'll need a rifle for deer/elk.  Elk are tougher and I would recommend a .270 Winchester at a minimum, although shot placement is ALWAYS key.  Bison require something in another class...I'd probably choose a modern .45-70 load with a heavy, hard cast bullet.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: armed hiker on January 06, 2014, 09:57:27 PM
My suggestion is you first need a good hunting buddy/mentor.  I would seek one out they are probably around you but often shooters do not hang a sign due to it not being in vogue everywhere. Once you have someone to show you the ropes locally they will show you what game you will probably be hunting for and the range you will need to shoot at. Then you pick your caliber.

We all know what you should buy for brand of rifle ... right?   lol

Some on this forum shoot at ranges that I have never had to shoot at due to terrain. In New England hunting is often in thick woods and shots often under 100 yards so historically brush guns are used (slow fat bullets). Your terrain may be similar or you might need something that reaches out to greater than 400 yards and those slow fat bullets just are not as good.

Shotguns are great and you might start with one because it gets you covered on many levels. I would suggest against it because if you do that it will be harder to convince the wife you now need another, get the rife and it does not work so well for fowl. Gee honey we need something for birds now.................... Get the shotgun and she will just hand you the ammo for about anything. At close range anyway. Shot guns are not going to be your bet bet for those loooong shots.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: cntrydawwwg on January 06, 2014, 11:22:08 PM
  I live in California, so I won't be surprised to run across areas where rifles aren't premised. Part of why I wa leaning towards a shotgun first, but the wife is more interested in something that provides a cleaner kill ad less potential of feeding our daughters pellets.


Cali-- sorry if we gave you too much info all at once on the other thread. ;) Just so you know, if you use sabot slugs with the sabot barrel in a shotgun for larger game, there wont be any "pellets" to feed your daughter.  ;D Not trying to steer you towards a shotgun just FYI.

 I agree with "slim", "J L J" and "armed"  and I might add that even though you've been around guns, there is nothing wrong with taking a hunter safety class for first time hunters. No matter what the age.( hunting and range time are two different things in my opinion ;) ) You may even meet a mentor at a class. In fact, check with your local Fish and Wildlife Dept., they may be able to point you towards clubs or groups that help people like yourself that are new to hunting.  Hopefully others that have been in your situation will post more ideas. Hope this helped a little.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Cali Crash on January 07, 2014, 06:38:25 PM
Thanks again, one of the good thing about controlling te finances is being able to set aside money for what I want. I know she won't have an issue with me having a rifle and shotgun, but I know she'd rather have me spend the money on a good rifle or two that will cover most game we are interested in and get only one inexpensive shotgun combo like you guys recommended. So far I'm still leaning towards the mossberg 500, but I still haven't had the chance to check out the Winchester. Prefer the mossberg controls over the Remington, but I guess since I'll be getting into rifles I may want to go with the Remi so the controls are similar. I could see spending the $400 for the mossberg with all three barrels and having the 18.5 HD 24 sabot (good to know no pellets that way) and 28 standard then spending more on a good rifle or two. Trying to get a hold of an uncle south of me that hunts, figure first try the family, sadly only one family member hunts. Then I'll definitely check with the local fish and wildlife dept and see about a hunting class and hopefully I'll come across someone that way. One of these days I'll get onto the Calguns forum, maybe I can find someone on there that can help out in this aspect.

What can you hunt with the sabot?

Current funds are first going to P09 upgrades once they're available. Then hopefully a stainless CZ while I can still bring it into cali. The safe will be once we buy a house, so I've still got a while to go before I can consider purchasing. But if I can find a screaming deal on a shotgun combo I may jump on it sooner then later. Either way I want to make sure I make the most educated choice for a decent rifle when I'm ready to make that purchase. The wife's already talking about getting a deep freezer in the new garage for the game meat!
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: jwc007 on January 07, 2014, 06:46:42 PM
A good 12 gauge Shotgun, with Field Barrel and Short Rifle Sight Barrel (for Home Defense or Slug Hunting), and a .30/06 Bolt Actioned Rifle, and you've got most of it covered in the Firearm Department.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: cntrydawwwg on January 07, 2014, 08:13:37 PM
What can you hunt with the sabot?



Pretty much any larger animal you'd shoot with a rifle,  for example deer, antelope, elk, hog........ boy I wish we had hogs here. ;)  It's a slug, like a over sized bullet. Makes a bigger hole, shoots out of a barrel with rifling to give it accuracy, just like a rifle. Just doesn't have the distance. I think most people shoot at 100 yards or less. That's the reason for shotgun only areas. They don't want a person out there with a rifle that shoots 300, 400, 500, etc. yards. Usually there's a bunch of houses or livestock in shotgun only areas, so for safety they make it shotgun only. That doesn't mean you have to shoot shot shells, you just have to use a shotgun so that you can't shoot long distance.

 Regular shot shells are for birds. You'd have to check your local laws but typically  steel shot for waterfowl : ducks, geese, etc. Lead shot for upland : pheasant, grouse, quail, turkey, etc. In most if not all states it's illegal to shoot birds with a rifle.



A good 12 gauge Shotgun, with Field Barrel and Short Rifle Sight Barrel (for Home Defense or Slug Hunting), and a .30/06 Bolt Actioned Rifle, and you've got most of it covered in the Firearm Department.

   Some people will debate about the .30/06 but I totally agree with jwc... I may have old school thinking but I believe the .06 is the best all around rifle round. It has a heck of a knock down for large game, and it's  a fairly flat shooter for distance. My .06 is sighted 1" high at 100 yards, and shooting a 165 gr. bullet is dead on at 300. People will debate the math.. trajectory, bullet mass, etc. Hey all guns shoot differently this is what works for me.   :P
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Slimdog71 on January 08, 2014, 09:43:25 PM
What can you shoot with a slug? ANYTHING, I use 1oz Federal Barnes Expanders, usually the whitetails don't go more than 3' (strait down!) 1 oz of copper at over 1200fps I can pick off soda cans at 100 yards all day, or at least till I'm tired of the recoil!
After archery, the slug is my next favorite way to take deer.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Cali Crash on January 10, 2014, 02:01:14 PM
Don't see many .30-06 options on rifles on CZ site. But it is hard to look through on my cell phone since the work computer has a firewall that won't let us look at anything interesting. Did run across the now discontinued BRNO 13ga/.30-06 combo though. Priced so bleep high though if and when you do find them though.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: sirgilligan on January 10, 2014, 05:57:13 PM
If you can have only one rifle, .30-06.
If you can have only one shotgun, 12 gauge.

The chances of drawing a tag for a bison can't be high.
The easiest and most common game to hunt in the west would be mule deer and antelope. A .30-06 is great for either. During the ammo rush of 2013 I was often able to find .30-06. If I had chosen .308 as my go to gun, I would have been out of luck.

After a .30-06, for hunting game you might eat, my second rifle would be a .243 an my third rifle would be a 300 Win Mag, and that would be sufficient. All common calibers, everybody makes one, lots of choices, as inexpensive as it gets. IMO.

If you want a hunting rifle and a varmint rifle, then I have to say a .30-06 for hunting food game, and a .223 for shooting varmints is a pretty good choice.

CZ makes a .30-06.

Go to your local gun store and see if you can find ammo in any of the following:
.30-06
.243
.270
300 Win Mag

See how much they have and then consider what each round costs and are you willing to spend that type of money. By yourself 200 rounds of ammo, then by a nice rifle that shoots it. :-) Then of course you have to get a scope, etc. You will be a busy boy for a while.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: armed hiker on January 10, 2014, 10:11:58 PM
Just a thought,  how about a vote for a .22lr. cheaper to practice with and good for small game. You can learn to hunt and shoot rifles without it being big game or expensive to shoot.

CZ makes some great .22 bolt guns that would be great for the whole family someday.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: jwc007 on January 11, 2014, 02:34:38 AM
Just a thought,  how about a vote for a .22lr. cheaper to practice with and good for small game.

Normally, this would be a great idea, but given the state of the .22LR ammunition market, I'm not so sure.  Hopefully, the Ammunition Market will continue to sort itself out and things will get back to the good old days of cheap .22LR. I just don't know when.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Cali Crash on January 13, 2014, 08:40:31 PM
I can relate it to the fact that the bulk of our guns are 9mm and ammo was a pain in the ass to find. But when I bought the 97 it was so easy to find 45 rounds. I'd rather start larger and work my way down like sirgilligan suggested. Looks like the new house will be more then I budgeted for so after the wife's new grips the only firearm spending will be the safe probably forte rest if the year. At least I stocked up on some good toys in the mean time. And managed CGW upgrades for two more firearms in the process. Just gives me more time to do the homework.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Artist on January 14, 2014, 02:16:01 PM
Another vote and point for the 30-06. Anyone that has ever hand loaded for rifle can tell you that the 30-06 is the most versatile rifle round out there. Most calibers have a quarter page or a half page at most in the reloading manual. The 30-06 has PAGES of load combinations and the largest spread of bullet weights out there. It's easy to tailor a round for just about anything from javelina to moose and anything in between.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: bobanddog on January 21, 2014, 03:43:26 PM
I've hunted with .30-06 or it's derivatives (.280, .270) most of my adult life.  The beauty of the '06 is that you not only can find any load for it, but also any rifle for it, from most makers and in most action types... One is bound to fit you and suit your preferences.     

That said, I've also use rifles ranging from .22 to .45-70, and shotguns from .410 to 12 gage.  Reason being, there is no magic bullet or one-gun for everything answer out there.  You don't need a dozen guns to hunt, but you will find that some are great at many things but overkill or underpowered for others.  I would suggest start by not spending too much money on the hardware until you learn more about your needs and wants.  Consider used guns, and/or try loaners from friends if possible.  Some ranges and sports clubs offer rentals.  Get yourself a .22 for target practice and small game, and a hunting shotgun (not a street sweeper or home defender), and work your way into hunting from there.  You'll figure out what rifle is right for you eventually.

Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Cali Crash on January 28, 2014, 12:50:03 PM
Well I came across a used Remi 870 express for $250 with a 28" barrel. Found 18.5" for $100 so going to pick this up Saturday when I pick up my P09. This will get my foot in the door, just bought our new house so next is start shopping for a decent large gun safe for all the toys. After we recover from all that spending I will start looking into hunting with either the uncle if and when he comes up to or towards Northern California. If no time soon I'll probably do as you all suggested and go to te local fish and game and take a hunting class and try to find someone there. I'll also check out the CalGuns forum, finally signed up there, and see if there's anything going on I can get into with the shotgun for now or if someone had a loaner rifle I can use. Either way we are moving forward and the wife is excite about te prospect of having a freezer loaded with meat!
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: jwc007 on January 28, 2014, 02:47:45 PM
Well I came across a used Remi 870 express for $250 with a 28" barrel. Found 18.5" for $100 so going to pick this up Saturday when I pick up my P09.

Sweet deal!  8)  Congratulations!  :)  That's a great start for you!  :)
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: bobanddog on January 28, 2014, 05:22:24 PM
Glad you're off to a good start.  A freezer and a good gun safe were two of the best investments I ever made.  Have fun filling them both!
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: cntrydawwwg on January 28, 2014, 07:21:47 PM
Glad you're off to a good start.  A freezer and a good gun safe were two of the best investments I ever made.  Have fun filling them both!

             +1 Congrats and enjoy.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: jameslovesjammie on January 28, 2014, 08:32:03 PM
Glad you're off to a good start.  A freezer and a good gun safe were two of the best investments I ever made.  Have fun filling them both!

I agree!  But now that you've got a nice big house, get a BIGGER freezer than you think you'll need.  Mine tend to get filled with popcicles and ice cream for some reason unbeknownst to me.   :o
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: steerclr on January 28, 2014, 08:42:28 PM
All good replies.  But as I've seen posted before, if I could only have one gun I would suggest a shotgun with interchangeable choke tubes.  You could hunt anything from doves, ducks, squirrels, rabbits, deer, turkey, etc. by simply changing ammo and chokes.  If you want a rifle however a 30-06 is a good choice.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Cali Crash on January 31, 2014, 12:18:37 PM
Glad you're off to a good start.  A freezer and a good gun safe were two of the best investments I ever made.  Have fun filling them both!

I agree!  But now that you've got a nice big house, get a BIGGER freezer than you think you'll need.  Mine tend to get filled with popcicles and ice cream for some reason unbeknownst to me.   :o
I'll be doing that for sure, freezer question for you guys actually. The house we are purchasing is actually a new build, break ground march with a scheduled completion of July. So we can add or change things right now before they start building. Got me a three car garage, or really it's a two car with a third tandem space which will be my shop/work area. Anyways added a 208v 50a receptacle to the garage for a Lincoln 211 weilder I'll be buying down the line. Would the standard 110v 15-20a receptacles be sufficient for most of these decent sized dedicated freezers? Or should i put in something larger? I want one large enough that if I bring home a boar, deer, or elk I can fit it all into the one freezer once the butcher has broken it down.

All good replies.  But as I've seen posted before, if I could only have one gun I would suggest a shotgun with interchangeable choke tubes.  You could hunt anything from doves, ducks, squirrels, rabbits, deer, turkey, etc. by simply changing ammo and chokes.  If you want a rifle however a 30-06 is a good choice.
That's my plan. A lot of great suggestions all led to that decision. And since the wife is all for the rifle I can spend some money on it later. With the shotgun I needed to keep it budget friendly so getting a Remmington 870 express with a 28" barrel and I'll be shopping for the HD and rifled barrel once I can pull the shotgun out of hiding and put it in our own safe once the home is done. Can't pass up a almost new 870 for $250 especially when they're driving it to my LGS for the transfer. Down the line I'll start looking at some variant of a CZ 550 .30-06 most likely.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: bobanddog on January 31, 2014, 01:47:28 PM
Cali, the best suggestion I can make about the freezer is to ensure it has a dedicated circuit.  That way, if something else trips a breaker or GFCI and you're not aware of it, you won't wind up having everything defrost (since the freezer is in the garage and you might not notice if it's been quiet for a long time).  Plugging in a low-draw but permanently illuminated light or electric clock or something can also serve as a more visible indicator if that circuit goes out.  Knock wood-I've never had a problem or lost meat yet, but it's better to be safe than sorry.     
A good chest-style freezer may take up more floor space than an upright, but is roomier, way more efficient and will stay cold for longer if the power goes out.  They sell cheap but small ones new, but often you can find a bigger used one on craigslist or garage sales, etc for even less.

The shotgun plan makes sense, and they've only been cranking out 870s for over half a century.  There are plenty of new and used sources for barrels, chokes, and accessories.  Same goes for the .30-06 cartridge, not exotic enough for some, but it helped us win two world wars and has put food on the table and trophies on the wall for generations.  Happy Hunting!
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Timbikeride on February 02, 2014, 09:25:26 PM
There isn't enough difference between so many rounds to even make a difference. I wouldn't feel over or under gunned for anything in North America with a 270, 280, 30-06, or 308.  But I'll agree the 30-06 makes a lot of sense for someone limited to one all around rifle. Anyplace that sells ammo will carry 30-06. And if you handload, there are a ton of great bullets and powders that will work in the 30-06.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Cali Crash on February 12, 2014, 01:52:04 PM
There isn't enough difference between so many rounds to even make a difference. I wouldn't feel over or under gunned for anything in North America with a 270, 280, 30-06, or 308.  But I'll agree the 30-06 makes a lot of sense for someone limited to one all around rifle. Anyplace that sells ammo will carry 30-06. And if you handload, there are a ton of great bullets and powders that will work in the 30-06.
They're starting the build on the new house next week. I've got my garage and shop started! Only managed one dedicated circuit for a Lincoln 211 welder. Figured I'll add some kind of monitoring device or indicator to the receptacle powering the freezer. I'll be in there a couple times a day so hopefully I won't miss it dying and kill all the meat. Once I get my shop going I'll look into starting to reload. Until then I've got about 1500+ rounds of 9 to keep me occupied. Picking up the Remi from it's 10 day hold on Saturday and starting the 10 day wait on the stainless CZ.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: mkd on February 26, 2014, 02:43:33 PM
cali ! talk to the electrician and tell him your plans for a freezer. depending on how far the freezer is from the breaker box you may want to go up one size in wire. best to be on it's own circuit and you probably will need a ground fault indicator instead of a standard trip breaker. here in wisconsin anything outside or wired in the bathrooms have to have a gfi.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: 25knots on October 27, 2014, 11:40:22 PM
+1 for a 12 gauge. Its by far the most versatile firearm you can get.
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: oldRed on November 04, 2014, 12:57:37 AM
The most versatile thing you can get is a over and under with a 12 gauge shotgun under a 6.5 x 55mm. A well placed shot with right bullet from the 6.5 and it's long bullet will stop anything on Earth. With the right load a 12 Gauge Shotgun isn't a bad backup for almost anything short of the really nasty stuff in Africa.

If I was limited to buying ammo over the counter I would choose from 22 long rifle (well stocked gun stores have it, for a price.), 6.5mm Swedish Mauser or 6.5 x 55mm ,5.56×45mm NATO, .270, 7mm Mauser, 7.62X49 Russian, 7.62x54R, 308 Winchester/ 7.62 NATO, 30-06  and other common calibers that can be found almost anywhere in the world.

The .223 Remington/5.56x45 NATO has loadings that work for  one of the best home defense rounds in regards to both over penetration and stopping power and it a capable hunting round for for varmints, deer and hogs with the proper bullet. Next to the 22 Long Rifle the 7.62X49 Russian for the AK 47 is the cheapest ammo out there and some of the ammo it accurate in bolt action rifles.

If you seriously planing to reload I would stick to bolt action rifles to make brass recovery easy and not have to worry about having to make the rifle function. I would look hard at a Weatherby Vanguard in 6.5 Creedmoor,  .223 Remington, .25-06 Remington, .270 Winchester, .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield  or .375 H&H Mag. One of those will work for most anything on Earth. You have a choice of lot more Weatherby Magnum calibers but I wouldn't send a beginning reloader to any of them. The brass is expensive and has a short life.

 I would really rather have a rifle chambered for 5.56 x45mm NATO than 223 Remington as the .223 shoots fine in 5.56 chamber but the 5.56 can be over pressure in a .223 chamber.

Good luck
Red

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. -Seneca
Title: Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
Post by: Franz Maurer on November 17, 2014, 07:39:56 PM
please keep in mind the Lead Ammo Ban for hunting big game goes into effect soon in Cali so choose your caliber based on availability and selection of lead free projectiles.
Yes, while most 'normal' people were asleep or partying governor moonbeam caved to the haters and didn't veto that one.
so after you have your equipment picked out and your hunters safety certificate in hand you will get your hunting license and start the fun of trying to comprehend the rules and regulations pertaining to hunting in Cali
The zones, the seasons, the tag system , the drawing of special tags, the countless contradictorily worded laws of where how and when
plan on spending several days on just that and try to refrain from assuming the DFW is there to help you or facilitate anything in any way or refrain from asking yourself why this, that and the other just makes no sense.
you will have many questions...
If you don't have access to private land and /or are not willing to spend the big$$ on guides finding public land available to hunting is an undertaking as well. I suggest a GPS map from http://www.huntinggpsmaps.com/ (for example)
but even that will not save you from walking into a booby trapped grow field deep in the wilderness...
 ;) I'll cut that off now.  All I'm saying is that there is some leg work to do both figuratively and literally so having a good hunting buddy or two does help.