Author Topic: First homestead gun  (Read 15912 times)

Offline AnnsSolo

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First homestead gun
« on: May 06, 2015, 09:46:45 PM »
New to the forums, new to firearms. As my username suggests, I'm on my own figuring this all out; DH has no interest in prepping.

We are also new to livestock keeping. We have goats now and can foresee nothing larger than a pig or sheep in the future. It has been bothering me for a while that we have no way to dispatch a suffering animal if a dog, coyote or a mountain lion maimed it. Mountain lions were right in town this winter, although the neighbors' dogs are the most likely risk. I'm ready and willing to do the work to become a responsible gun owner so I can take responsibility for my animals. I can hardly call a neighbor to ask him to do it in the middle of the night. 

I've been shooting twice handguns with a friend, former special ops guy from another highly militarized country, did surprisingly well with him shooting targets at our county range. I could imagine shooting at clay targets for fun, although I have no idea with who, where, how that could happen and don't really need another hobby. We are in a very remote part of the west. (We live on 3 acres in unincorporated county land, if that matters.) There's a guy a couple hours from here who does NRA pistol and rifle courses for beginners. DH has agreed to go, but he won't get around to setting it up. I have no idea even which one to sign up for.

Right now I'm setting aside the home defense needs. Appropriate armament will come later after we get training and comfortable with the first weapon. But where to even start?

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2015, 09:50:51 PM »
Take the course, see what you like, and talk about all this with your instructor

Also, we most likely already have threads on this topic, so search for those here and read thru them

Offline AnnsSolo

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2015, 10:07:14 PM »
Sorry, I must not have been clear on my question. Which course? Pistol or rifle? It's one or the other, not both.
(BTW, I did search the old threads but found nothing about choosing guns for livestock euthanasia.)

Offline Marinesg1012

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 11:43:21 PM »
I would suggest a bolt action rifle in 22LR, you can practice shooting with it, you can dispatch any wounded animals with it as well.

if not a bolt gun a 10/22 is a semi auto 22 LR that is pretty cheaply priced and is a good first rifle. A 22 pistol would work as well but shooting pistols is harder to learn then a rifle which is why I would suggest starting with a rifle.

endurance

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2015, 05:53:47 AM »
Rifles are definitely easier to learn on, so unless your immediate plans involve carrying concealed, I'd start with the rifle class.  Talk to the instructor before the class and let him know you don't own a gun and I'm sure he would be happy to bring one of his own.  Most of the nra instructors I know are eager to not only instruct, but also guide you on your first gun purchase.

Welcome to the forum.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2015, 06:31:19 AM »
On the other hand, skill with pistols translates better to rifles than vice versa.  When you are starting with next to no knowledge it is hard to mess up training since most everything is more than you had before.  Also remember that training is not a "check the block and done" type of thing.  Its definitely a journey where you have to decide how much you are putting into it.

I also high suggest Project Appleseed, pound for pound it is the best rifle marksmanship training you can get. If you dont possess a .22 rifle, when you find a shoot, contact the organizers of the event.  They will likely have access to a loaner rifle.
http://appleseedinfo.org/

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2015, 07:20:35 AM »
Hi All

Usually I would be one of the first to jump up and say buy a 22 rifle.

But with the supply of 22 ammo being similar to finding a unicorn I would say go to a 223 caliber bolt action.

It will kill anything the 22 will and more. Please note it is not so good as a squirrel rifle but you said you wanted it more for defense and to put down wounded animals.

223 ammo is fairly cheap, plentiful...well plentiful until someone sneezes in the Capitol and then all bets are off.

If the world goes to pot there will be lots of 223 around.

Just an opinion
Kid

Offline The Spartan Dad

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2015, 08:16:11 AM »
Any reason shotguns were excluded over pistols and rifles? For me at least, I prefer a shotgun over anything else when defending our flock from predators.

endurance

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2015, 08:22:47 AM »
Please note, at this point she's asking about which class to take, rifle or pistol, not what gun to buy.

Offline Carl

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2015, 08:26:20 AM »
 :popcorn:  I'm just here for the popcorn,for now.

Bonnieblue2A

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2015, 08:42:01 AM »
Please note, at this point she's asking about which class to take, rifle or pistol, not what gun to buy.
  I would suggest a women's only class through your state Dept. of Conservation/Game & Fish or through the NRA's "Women on Target" or the NSSF's "First Steps" programs.   I really think that if this is a first exposure to firearms classes, and if she is the least bit hesitant about firearms, that these programs or a similar female specific event will offer her the best opportunity at the most positive experience.

Offline AnnsSolo

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2015, 08:54:18 AM »
Cool, rifle class it is. Last month I dragged him to a CPR/basic first aid class and he liked it, this will probably turn out the same. It could even be fun.

Chemsolider - hear you about the need for continual practice.
Kid_couteau - good point about the 22 vs 223 ammo, something to discuss with the instructor.

The Spartan Dad - the NRA classes on offer in my area are for rifle or pistol only.

Carl - please explain the popcorn - it's not in the FAQ but I see it in a lot of threads.

Bonnieblue2A - I'd like to find such a thing but it's not necessary. I am usually pretty comfortable in male-dominated groups with loads of gear heads. In fact, in this case I'm actually less hesitant about introducing firearms than DH is. But after we get started, that would be a nice way to meet some other women with shared interests, who are few and far between out here.

I'm sure I will have a million questions after the class, starting with can a couple share one weapon to train with? In my field, I hate seeing couples arrive at my classes with only one set of gear. It never works out.

Offline Carl

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2015, 09:11:47 AM »
I used that to mark the tread so it is easy to find with "show new replies" link above.

A good instructor will go a long way to education on benefits and responsibilities of firearms use.
I think that while a 22 rifle is OK,you would be better served with a pistol caliber carbine,or a .223 rifle ,
or a rifle over shotgun combo gun so as to HUMANELY put down larger animals and protect the homestead
until other weapons are on the budget.

A 22 is versatile in expert or luckey hands to put down larger critters ,but a larger gun is so easy to get NOW
and later a small game 22 might fit your needs for fun and food without a lot of noise.

While a womens' instructor is a good idea ,often introduction to firearms classes are put on by local LEO's
or fish and game personnel are adequate for your basics as a defence instructor may be the better choice when
you are ready to advance...after learning basics and becoming familiar with your choice of firearm .



These are my opinions on what I would say,were you to ask.

Offline Skunkeye

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2015, 09:17:36 AM »
I'm sure I will have a million questions after the class, starting with can a couple share one weapon to train with?

Depends on the training.  If you're just practicing on your own, then absolutely.  Just take turns shooting.  If it's a formal training session, like the excellent Appleseed course that Chemsoldier recommended, then you pretty much need your own firearm to get the most out of the class.  But even then, there's no reason you couldn't each take the training separately at different times, so you still wouldn't need to buy two rifles right off the bat.

Offline Carl

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Offline danimal

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2015, 02:50:32 PM »
On the other hand, skill with pistols translates better to rifles than vice versa.  When you are starting with next to no knowledge it is hard to mess up training since most everything is more than you had before.  Also remember that training is not a "check the block and done" type of thing.  Its definitely a journey where you have to decide how much you are putting into it.

I also high suggest Project Appleseed, pound for pound it is the best rifle marksmanship training you can get. If you dont possess a .22 rifle, when you find a shoot, contact the organizers of the event.  They will likely have access to a loaner rifle.
http://appleseedinfo.org/

He speaks the truth. Train once a month. And really consider pistol first. And really consider the Project Appleseed events.

I love the Ruger 10/22 and their SR22 pistol but have fallen in love with lever actions. A lever action .22 might be handy.

Offline TheRetiredRancher

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2015, 04:53:51 PM »
I am with danimal. There is a reason Winchester and marlin lever action rifles will still be found on almost every western ranch. A good Rossi replica of a model 92 Winchester in .357 magnum (which also works for .38 special) is an almost perfect homestead gun. The Marlin equivalent is also good.  My favorite go to rifle is an original Winchester 92 in .32-20 (sort of an old timers .32 magnum)

To the original topic, take the rifle course first.


Offline trekker111

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2015, 05:32:20 PM »
Take the rifle class. Then, as much as I want to recommend a 22lr rifle, there shouldn't be a homestead without one, my advice changes because you said mt Lion.

As I sit and think about all the guns I have, and what gun a would grab out of the cabinet if my wife yelled that there was a mt lion after our animals, I would pass over my 22s, shotguns, and ARs (including the select fire 10.5" barreled AR) and grab a center fire lever action.

A 357 lever action would make a great first rifle when the spectrum of needs is taken into account.

Offline Carl

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2015, 05:42:10 PM »
I am also a big fan of the leaver action 357/38 for a low to medium power rifle with 38 for dispatching large animals/cattle and good for small game rabbits and squirrel and 357 for man/hogs/deer at up to 150 yards.A 357 has very close to the power of the 223 (AR15) rifle and yet is not so costly for ammo ...though 223 has come down in price a bit lately.

While 22 ,can put down large cattle ,it is often not as humane as you would want .
Better you get a cover all bases for the first gun and later a 22 for small game and games
and a shotgun/rifle for larger game and birds.

My opinion and weapons choice...remember ,the fight you avoid is also a WIN..and this is why I prefer cowboy ,utility firearms to intimidating tactical weapons..just as effective without aggressive posture .

Offline Cedar

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2015, 06:04:56 PM »
These are my preferences.
Having killed animals on the farm from dogs, goats, sheep, to llamas, to hogs, cattle for 30+ years.... I prefer a .22LR with TIN bullets. This is also what every single mobile slaughter guy seems to use, minus the tin bullets. We use tin instead of lead in our meat large animals when we home process. In my experience, a .22 will take down pigs way better than a 9mm. Why? I have no idea if it was the operator of the dispatch weapon, luck of the draw, caliber size, difference in hog skull thickness that year, or what. I consider a 9mm on hogs a fail. I have seen three trainwrecks killing hogs with a 9mm. 3 out of 3. 22 will also drop horses, and what my boss (a vet) suggested when we could not get out to a farm call that day.

I use a Crossman .22 caliber CO pellet gun for rabbits to butcher. Yes those are lead, but I don't eat the heads and they don't tend to ricochet. That said, I had a couple over the years which ended up in a shoulder. 

12 ga shotgun for home defense, I am not brand happy on those.
9 mm Springfield SD as a sidearm.

Like I said these are my preferences, and not what I always own. Sometimes I am gunless, like the ten years I lived in BC. Where are you in the 'west'? If in Oregon I have a place I would recommend taking classes from. I recently took a firearm handling coarse and range time with them. It was an all day class. They have newbie classes, all women classes and so forth.

I usually stay out of the firearm threads here as I consider myself a beginner too. When I have guns, I learn how to tear that particular one down to clean and so forth, but that is about it. I honestly probably put more thought into what kitchen knife I will use for dinner, as for what gun I use. I have one, it is the tool I use. Usually at the 18" or less range. Motorcycles, airplanes and guns are the things I cannot ID just by looking at them. They fall into categories of dirtbike/streetbike, or handgun/rifle, or small plane/large plane. I usually only get the chance to shoot every couple of years, I probably should do it more. But I am usually pleased I can hit the paper target, or when drop the animal on the first shot.

Cedar

Offline AnnsSolo

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2015, 08:08:18 PM »
I hear you all about the pistol teaching better habits, will have to discuss with DH. I can turn into a gearhead pretty quick :) but I'm not sure that rushing this beyond the immediate agreed upon need is the best strategy, if you married folks know what I mean. I had a lot of fun with my soldier friend and made a lot of holes in the middle of my paper targets :) so I could see this getting out of hand once it starts.

One thing I hope to learn in the class is how to train. I'm sure there's more to it than going out and making a lot of noise.

Cedar and Carl and RetiredRancher, thanks for sharing your real experience.

Cedar, the middle of the Colorado Plateau. An hour+ to a Walmart and a hospital. The closest courses I can find will involve an overnight stay, which means finding someone to feed and water, and planned around irrigation turns. Maybe I can travel further  in the late fall/winter.

I'll report back when the training's over, before making a purchase. It could be a bit, we are into the heavy workload right now on the place.

Offline Carl

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2015, 08:13:00 PM »
Karma,cause you deserve it...

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2015, 08:50:11 PM »
All of the hypothetical advice aside I have been a homesteader for decades.  I hunt small and large game and defend the homestead from all sorts of predators from coyotes to raccoons and what appears to be the occasional sasquatch judging by the size of the piles of poo it leaves.

I own rifles of all types, calibers and descriptions. I own pistols in the "one of everything" range.

What sits by the back door, waiting to hit whatever it is that is chasing the pigs, chickens or goats is a 12 gauge shotgun.

I find that when the feathers are flying and the birds are shrieking the target you are after is not standing still so you can take a good aim.  Most of these ventures take place when it is dark and they are always fast and frantic.  The sights on anything you are using will be useless.

In the world of been there and done that;

Take the rifle course as a safety measure, then buy a shotgun

Offline Cedar

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2015, 08:53:45 PM »
and what appears to be the occasional sasquatch judging by the size of the piles of poo it leaves.

 :rofl:

Cedar

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2015, 10:38:39 PM »
Sorry, I must not have been clear on my question. Which course? Pistol or rifle? It's one or the other, not both.
(BTW, I did search the old threads but found nothing about choosing guns for livestock euthanasia.)

yes, sorry I missunderstood you needed to pick one or the other course ( being that 2 is one an all, would be so nice to take both -- but money and time, I know), and then, you have gotten so MUCH advice, I didnt jump back in.

What my dd and I did was go to learn rifle first, then get one and go to project appleseed

Offline Sturla Snorrison

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2015, 04:20:25 PM »
We are working on the homesteading thing with goats, chickens, permaculture, etc. Must have firearms for me are a Ruger 10/22, some variation of .30 caliber (I like to keep both a Winchester Model 94 .30-.30 and a .308 or .30-06), a Remington 870 12 gauge pump, and .45 automatic pistol.

At the very least I would want the .30 caliber and the shotgun.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2015, 07:22:17 PM »
Count this as another vote for rifle course and specifically a two-day Appleseed.  In my opinion they are the best courses for ingraining safe firearm handling skills which is priority number one.   In fact it is getting common around here for NRA and other instructors to recommend Appleseed prior to their own courses as it allows them a firm base on which they can build.   See here for review by Massad Ayoob, one of the country's most well known "instructor of firearm instructors":

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob123.html

Offline bdhutier

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2015, 04:36:49 AM »
I think I'd lean towards the rifle class as well, because it'll give you a good foundation for both rifles and shotguns. 

My first purchase recommendation would be a 12 gauge shotgun (Remington 870 or clone), followed by a .22LR rifle.  Both are cheap, and invaluable for rural homesteads.  Yes, .22 is hard to find in bulk still, but it's easy to find in smaller boxes.  It's the capability I'm after here.

Offline xxdabroxx

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2015, 04:25:34 PM »
I'd recommend a shotgun and the rifle class first.  But don't be afraid to watch some online videos and maybe even get an airsoft gun to practice safe handling with.  There is lots of good info out there for free, you just have to sort thru and find the good stuff. 

Offline DoctorWho0077

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Re: First homestead gun
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2015, 11:38:19 AM »
I'd recommend a shotgun and the rifle class first.  But don't be afraid to watch some online videos and maybe even get an airsoft gun to practice safe handling with.  There is lots of good info out there for free, you just have to sort thru and find the good stuff.

A better idea is a reputable certified firearms Instructor and training with real firearms, I was trained by LE Instructors and sacrificed much to learn what I know, I never made any money teaching, it was however, very rewarding, and quite amazing.