Tuesday, September 15, 2009

First Rifle

Several experienced riflemen, such as Jeff the Baptist, have advised me to get a .22 as my first gun, instead of the Marlin .357 that had been my plan. I'm not thrilled about it, as I will barely be able to afford a first gun, let alone a second. But their arguments make sense, so I will heed them. Perhaps later I will be able to afford something heavier, such as a Remington 700 BDL.

I'm considering the Winchester Wildcat, but I know that the chances of walking into a gun store and finding a used model might not be good. So I'd like to know what knowledgeable readers think that I should look for in a used .22.


Ignobleone said...

You can pick up a new Remington .22for $189-$225 at many stores and not be spending much more than for a used gun. You will not have to be guessing about wear at the breech, worn rifling or other problems. You purpose for the gun is a fun to shoot plinker an inexpensive bolt action or a Ruger 10/22 (about $199) will fit the bill. If you are looking to do high accuracy target/match shooting you are going to want to spend more even used for a highly accurized tight patterning bolt action. Since you were considering a .357 lever gun I bet mathc shooting is out and plinking is in. Get an inexpensive new gun. If you are not going to be shooting much, go ahead and get the pistol cartridge lever gun and enjoy owning it.

Jeff the Baptist said...

I have a Marlin Model 60 and like it a lot. Depending on the model, you can pick it up for between $150 and $200 at any Walmart. You can probably find it for well under $70-100 used at any gun or pawnshop.

Not a fan of the Remington 597, but the Ruger 10/22 is pretty much the definitive .22 autoloader. And it's easy to modify into a format you like as cash becomes available. If you want a lever gun, then the Henry .22s are also supposed to be pretty decent.

Jeff the Baptist said...

Also keep in mind that a .22 is cheaper than the pistol caliber Marlin you want and ammo is an order of magnitude cheaper. Which means you can find the dollars you need to practice much easier.

JD said...

This could be you one day, except in blue: John's Gun


Kristopher said...

Here is my recommendation … something even more basic than a magazine bolt gun:


These are old CMP single-shot .22s, good condition, and accurate.

A good choice for an adult shooter just getting started.

As for why … the CMP rifles, although a hundred more then a 10-22, are way more accurate, and being a single-shot, you have a reason to concentrate on accuracy basics, as opposed to just blasting away a tin cans, which is fun, but doesn’t teach much.

Start here for basic marksmenship training:


Use this page, and parts 4,5, and 6 to get down the basics … Fred does rant a bit … he is into militia training mostly, but knows his stuff. After you get to the dime-sized group at 50 yards stage with your .22lr, you can take his advice and buy something bigger.

John said...

Thank you, all, for the advice. My father-in-law is also an advocate for single-shot rifles as trainers. I can understand why.