Author Topic: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?  (Read 16079 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Cali Crash

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 855
  • Patiently waiting and saving for an ACCU shadow!
What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« 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.
22LR Kadet kit
9mm CZ75bd (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm CZ75b high polish stainless
9mm SP-01 Tactical (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm SP-01
9mm P09 (at CGW for PRO-Series "P" package and sights)
9mm P09
45acp 97b

Offline Slimdog71

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 646
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #1 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!
I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I know how to use every one of them !!
CZ 75b .40
CZ 75b SA .40 (With lots of CZ Custom work)
CZ 75b Matte with CGW magic
CZ 452 17hmr varmint
CZ 452 Ultra Lux
And a long list of non CZ'S

Offline Cali Crash

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 855
  • Patiently waiting and saving for an ACCU shadow!
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #2 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.
22LR Kadet kit
9mm CZ75bd (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm CZ75b high polish stainless
9mm SP-01 Tactical (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm SP-01
9mm P09 (at CGW for PRO-Series "P" package and sights)
9mm P09
45acp 97b

Offline jameslovesjammie

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4453
  • The Last Best Place
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #3 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.

Offline armed hiker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 906
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #4 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.

Offline cntrydawwwg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4382
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 11:24:58 PM by cntrydawwwg »
If guns are outlawed.........
 Only outlaws will have guns.

Offline Cali Crash

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 855
  • Patiently waiting and saving for an ACCU shadow!
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #6 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!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 06:49:20 PM by Cali Crash »
22LR Kadet kit
9mm CZ75bd (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm CZ75b high polish stainless
9mm SP-01 Tactical (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm SP-01
9mm P09 (at CGW for PRO-Series "P" package and sights)
9mm P09
45acp 97b

Offline jwc007

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9367
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #7 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.
"Easy is the path to wisdom for those not blinded by ego." - Yoda


For all of those killed by a 9mm: "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!"

Offline cntrydawwwg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4382
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #8 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
If guns are outlawed.........
 Only outlaws will have guns.

Offline Slimdog71

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 646
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #9 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.
I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I know how to use every one of them !!
CZ 75b .40
CZ 75b SA .40 (With lots of CZ Custom work)
CZ 75b Matte with CGW magic
CZ 452 17hmr varmint
CZ 452 Ultra Lux
And a long list of non CZ'S

Offline Cali Crash

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 855
  • Patiently waiting and saving for an ACCU shadow!
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #10 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 damn high though if and when you do find them though.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 02:02:46 PM by Cali Crash »
22LR Kadet kit
9mm CZ75bd (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm CZ75b high polish stainless
9mm SP-01 Tactical (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm SP-01
9mm P09 (at CGW for PRO-Series "P" package and sights)
9mm P09
45acp 97b

Offline sirgilligan

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 278
    • Gun Log SPC
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #11 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.
SirGilligan
iOS Apps: BallisticsGL Gun Log Gun Log SPC

Offline armed hiker

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 906
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #12 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.

Offline jwc007

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9367
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #13 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.
"Easy is the path to wisdom for those not blinded by ego." - Yoda


For all of those killed by a 9mm: "Get up! You are not dead! You were shot with a useless cartridge!"

Offline Cali Crash

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 855
  • Patiently waiting and saving for an ACCU shadow!
Re: What's a good starter rifle for hunting?
« Reply #14 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.
22LR Kadet kit
9mm CZ75bd (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm CZ75b high polish stainless
9mm SP-01 Tactical (CGW DCP, RRK and E/Z-D sight set)
9mm SP-01
9mm P09 (at CGW for PRO-Series "P" package and sights)
9mm P09
45acp 97b

 

anything