Author Topic: First Rifle  (Read 8583 times)

Offline Dagny

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First Rifle
« on: July 19, 2010, 11:10:49 PM »
I am getting my first rifle. I've only shot once before and this is totally out of my comfort zone. I'm going to an Appleseed event next month and based on the feedback from folks here I opted to purchase myself a left-handed rifle because my local Appleseed instructor does not have left-handed loaners, and due to being out of my comfort zone I do not want to shoot on the opposite side.

I am leaning towards getting this bold action rifle to start: Savage Mark II GL



Any reason I should not get this? Keep in mind I am a rifle newbie and I am going to be shooting targets. I'm not looking to go hunting anytime soon, if ever. I am just looking to learn to shoot and get comfortable with a firearm.

Thanks.

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 12:04:41 AM »
Dude, I'm not going to talk you outta that.  That is one of my top recommended .22s, for anybody, for most any reason you'd need a .22.  Just FYI, they often have them in Walmart for about $130 new.

Offline Softtaco

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 04:26:52 AM »
No doubt that is a fine starter rifle that will do the trick for getting you going into the world of firearms ownership

I would mention that from what I have heard of the Appleseed events (haven't been to one ... yet) you will do alot of shooting. You said that you were out of your comfort zone here, so operating a bolt might be an added complication for you.

If you have sometime to get to a range, or even do a bunch of dry fire at home (always with an unloaded rifle and ammo out of reach) you could probably get comfortable with the action. But still be prepared for the appleseed event to wear you out.

Before you buy anything:
Go to a good gun shop, you can try it at wal-mart but you may catch some flak, and with their permission operate the action and dry fire a few dozen times.
Or even better find a range that will rent out a bolt gun to you.
Or best of all find a friend or fellow TSP'r to go out with before you buy

If you do find it to be a hassle to operate the bolt I would urge you to look at semi-autos. Many a great shooter has gotten their start on the 10/22. While you will loose a bit of accuracy and you will have to tell yourself to slow down and make the shot in the beginning, ultimately the right gun for you is the one you will shoot often.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 04:36:07 AM by Softtaco »

Offline joeinwv

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 07:37:41 AM »
Dude, I'm not going to talk you outta that.  That is one of my top recommended .22s, for anybody, for most any reason you'd need a .22.  Just FYI, they often have them in Walmart for about $130 new.

+1 - Savage makes a very nice rifle - inexpensive and will last virtually forever. I would shoot it with iron sights for a while - say the first year or 2,500 rounds - then put a nice 4*32 scope on it.

Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2010, 07:47:16 AM »
That's a fine choice.

However, DO NOT DRY FIRE IT!

'dry fire' is pulling the trigger while the gun is empty. It is normally good practice. i recommend it. But NOT on a rimfire firearm. the firing pin will hit the edge of the chamber. This can mess up both the firing pin and the edge of the chamber.
Do it once in a great while is OK. but don't make a practice of it.

I DO recommend getting a couple more magazines. As said above, you will shoot alot at Appleseed. having several magazines loaded will make things go better.

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 08:21:43 AM »
Get it, with a couple extra mags.

Offline Andy in NH

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2010, 12:11:38 PM »
I have the same rifle and love it!



However, it might not be the best tool to get the most out of your Appleseed experience.

The Appleseed Program and course of fire is structured around semi-automatic rifles with; detachable box magazines (4 - ten round magazines minimum), minute-of-angle adjustable aperture sights, and a sling.

I would mention that from what I have heard of the Appleseed events (haven't been to one ... yet) you will do alot of shooting. You said that you were out of your comfort zone here, so operating a bolt might be an added complication for you.

If you do find it to be a hassle to operate the bolt I would urge you to look at semi-autos. Many a great shooter has gotten their start on the 10/22. While you will loose a bit of accuracy and you will have to tell yourself to slow down and make the shot in the beginning, ultimately the right gun for you is the one you will shoot often.
+1 on that, but to add...

Many shooter's choose the Ruger 10/22 with Tech-sights added.  If the Shoot Boss has a 10/22 available as a loaner you might ask to use it.  Recently at an Appleseed weekend, there was a shooter who was struggling to keep up with her tube-fed Marlin.  We switched her over to a loaner 10/22 and she fired a rifleman's score at the end of the first day!

I would shoot it with iron sights for a while
I'm not against iron sights (in fact I recommend everyone start with them - like learning to drive a standard car), but the stock sights that come with the Savage are very poor sights.  The first thing I did with mine was have the iron sights replaced with aperture ones and  had a scope mounted.

I'm not saying you can't go to Appleseed with a bolt gun; I've seen two shooters fire a rifleman's score with a bolt gun.  One had a loner and another did it with only three magazines!  I personally know of at least one other person who has shot rifleman with a bolt gun.  I've seen people do well with open sights also; they just aren't the best tool for the task.

The basics and fundamentals you learn at an Appleseed weekend can (and should) be applied to any rifle / firearm.

Be sure to check out the Appleseed web page: http://www.appleseedinfo.org/as_prepare.html] How to prepare and what to bring[/url]

It may benefit you to Google: “Liberty Training Rifle” and review some of the links.

There is a lot of hype placed on shooting a rifleman's score; don't let it bother you.  Judge your experience on how much you  learn, not by anyone else's performance.

In my humble opinion, if you are a newbie and going to an Appleseed for your initial marksmanship instruction, you should shoot a rifle that complements the course of fire.  There is not sense in placing unecessary obstacles in your path.  Then go back and apply what you have learned to other rifles - like that sweet Savage!

Live free, Andy (part-time Appleseed instructor)

Offline Dagny

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2010, 04:49:58 PM »
Thanks for all the feedback and information everyone!

I can't articulate why, but whatever rifle I get, I wanted it to be a bolt-action. There's something satisfying about it I can't explain? I did shoot once with a semi-automatic rifle it was fine, but the bolt-action feels more comfortable to me. Maybe it's because of my discomfort that I am more comfortable with a weapon where I can feel more concisely what is happening with it mechanically?

I am not remotely attached to the idea of getting a "Rifleman score". For me, actually going out and shooting for 2 days will be an achievement.

What would be a consideration is if having the bolt-action for the duration of the event might be more *physically* exhausting? Is that the case?  I am a woman so.. reduced upper body strength to start with here. I was surprised while shooting how quickly my arms got tired, but I think in Appleseed you are spending most of your time shooting prone so that may not be an issue? I have recently started doing daily mild weightlifting and push-ups to increase upper body strength but nothing real intense. If it just slows me down because, I think I'm OK with that because I'm more comfortable right now taking my time.

Any insights? Sounds like if I do go with this rifle I should at least get new sights for it. What kind of sights do you get for it and if I take it to a gun shop will someone there be able to put them on right? (I was just going to order the rifle online.)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 04:55:08 PM by Dagny »

Offline joeinwv

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2010, 11:03:11 AM »
Get the rifle and use the sights it has now. They will be more than adequate. The only reason the Appleseed folks like the Tech sights, is because they closely approximate the same site picture as an M4 (US Army machine gun, based on the older M16).

Bolt action is good to start with - things happen more slowly. Again, for Appleseed purposes, some of the courses of fire are timed. With a bolt gun you have to manually cycle the action - which is not a bad thing - it is just not as fast as a semi auto.

More important to have a weapon you are comfortable with, get some good foundation / basics in place and take it from there.

Then, in a few months / year - you will know your rifle well and be in a position to determine if you need or want to make any modifications. Probably the 3 things that you will want to get soonest: extra magazines, a good sling, a decent scope. But get comfortable with the irons first.  For a 22, you don't need to spend more than $50 on a scope. Bushnell and Simmons have good options - a decent shop will likely mount the scope for free or minimal charge if you buy if from them.

Offline Andy in NH

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2010, 08:37:59 PM »
The only reason the Appleseed folks like the Tech sights, is because they closely approximate the same site picture as an M4 (US Army machine gun, based on the older M16).

That's not true.

Aperture sights - also known as "peep" sights, give the shooter a more defined sight picture when compared to open sights.

Many aperture sights have accurate and repeatable adjustments.  Sight adjustments are made by turning the sight itself (or a knob) a specific number of number of "clicks." Unlike the OEM sights on the Ruger 10/22 and the Savage MKII, which are crude and hard to adjust.

Most aperture sights extend the sight radius of the rifle enhancing the potential accuracy of the rifle.  The rear sights that are stock on the Ruger and Savage are located forward of the action.  After market aperture sights installed on the rear of the action increases the distance between the sights, therefore increasing intrinsic accuracy.

The purpose of shooting is hitting - if you are knocking tin cans off a log at ten paces, then OEM sights will suffice.  If you are attempting to accomplish something more, you shouldn't give yourself an unnecessary handicap.


Offline Dagny

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2010, 04:36:22 PM »
Thanks guys. I just ordered this rifle, and am going to try to get the aperture sights installed if it's not too pricey to do so.

Offline Andy in NH

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2010, 05:39:21 PM »
Savage offers an aperture sight on their Cub Rifle, but not the MK II.   ???

The Cub:


I called Savage and ordered the sight for the Cub and had a gunsmith* install the sight on my rifle as a back up for the scope.  The adjustments are crude and imprecise, but they have a great sight picture.

There may be a more appropriate sight out there that offer better click adjustable sights.

A gunsmith, IMO is different than the guy at the local gun shop who just exchanges parts, mounts scopes, and installs recoil pads.  A true gunsmith (again IMO) actually machines firearms and / or can build their own parts and tools.  They are usually a combination artist and true craftsman.  Many gun shops sent their more complex work out to these craftsmen.  Find out who the local gun shop sends their work out to - they are the person you want to deal directly with.


Offline CaptainRW

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Re: First Rifle
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2010, 02:52:05 PM »
+1 good choice no doubt, I agree get a few spare mag's and practice, practice and.. oh practice.. :-)