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Seeking advice on my first purchase

BrianJBrianJ Posts: 2 New Member
Hi everyone! I’ve decided that it’s finally time for me to buy my first gun. I’ve been to firing ranges a few times with an army vet buddy of mine, who was kind enough to let me try out his ar-15, single-barrel shotgun, and pistol. I’m no marksman, but I held my own.
Anyway, I thought I should ask some enthusiasts for recommendations on where to start. The variety of brands and calibers is a bit overwhelming. I’m looking for a reliable, general-purpose hunting gun( I keep going back to the idea of getting a combination gun for the convenience, but the fact that I don’t see them everywhere makes me think there’s something wrong with them).

Replies

  • JunkCollectorJunkCollector Posts: 552 Senior Member
    edited July 13 #2
    First off welcome.
    A lot of us hunt.
    Myself included. 

    To back up a bit.
    To hunt what animals and where/ local will help get a better start.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Yep.
    What ya gonna hunt???
  • AlleyCatAlleyCat Posts: 360 Member
    edited July 13 #4
    BrianJ said:
     I’m looking for a reliable, general-purpose hunting gun( I keep going back to the idea of getting a combination gun for the convenience, but the fact that I don’t see them everywhere makes me think there’s something wrong with them).

    If you are thinking of hunting deer (from a blind) and doves,




    a combination gun (Drilling) would be a good choice.













  • JunkCollectorJunkCollector Posts: 552 Senior Member
    AlleyCat said:
    BrianJ said:
     I’m looking for a reliable, general-purpose hunting gun( I keep going back to the idea of getting a combination gun for the convenience, but the fact that I don’t see them everywhere makes me think there’s something wrong with them).

    If you are thinking of hunting deer (from a blind) and doves,




    a combination gun (Drilling) would be a good choice.













    Not if it's not legal where he is.
    Hunting laws not only vary by state but even by county. 

    Need to know the where and what.
  • AlleyCatAlleyCat Posts: 360 Member
    AlleyCat said:
    BrianJ said:
     I’m looking for a reliable, general-purpose hunting gun( I keep going back to the idea of getting a combination gun for the convenience, but the fact that I don’t see them everywhere makes me think there’s something wrong with them).

    If you are thinking of hunting deer (from a blind) and doves,




    a combination gun (Drilling) would be a good choice.













    Not if it's not legal where he is.
    Hunting laws not only vary by state but even by county. 

    Need to know the where and what.

    I have a feeling we may never get the "where and what"
    I could be wrong, I hope I am.


  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,682 Senior Member
    Try to swing a heavy drilling on a dove for a humbling experience.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 7,847 Senior Member
    Gene L said:
    Try to swing a heavy drilling on a dove for a humbling experience.
    Try finding one and paying for it.  That would be a heck of a cash outlay for a newbie.

    Does Savage still make a 222/20 gauge over under?  Depending on where and what one hunts, something like that might fit the bill.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • JunkCollectorJunkCollector Posts: 552 Senior Member
    JBC I don't think so...it was a model 24.
    Pretty neat guns with all sorts of combinations.
    The 410 22mag I always liked.
    The one you mentioned would make a nice coyote gun.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 20,991 Senior Member
    edited July 13 #10
    The "what and where", as previously asked, makes a HUGE difference. 
    "Good" for whitetail deer in the east (normally trees and shorter distances) vs "good" for antelope out west can be completely different things.

    A good compromise is probably something based off a 308 class case in a bolt action with a 20-22" barrel and something along the lines of a 2-7x or 3-9x scope.

    Just a few of the cartridges, 243Win, 260Rem/6.5CM, 7-08, 308Win, 338Fed.

    Yeah, I know the 6.5CM isn't actually based off the 308, but performance and capacity wise, it might as well be

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • AlleyCatAlleyCat Posts: 360 Member
    edited July 13 #11
    Try finding one and paying for it.  That would be a heck of a cash outlay for a newbie.

    Does Savage still make a 222/20 gauge over under?  Depending on where and what one hunts, something like that might fit the bill.

    .30/30 over a 12 gauge  also.



    edit

    I recall an article on five different chambering in a 24, using chamber adapters,

    .32 ACP in the 30-30 WCF

    .410 in the 12 gauge

     .22lr in the 12 gauge also, I think

    Neat idea





  • AlleyCatAlleyCat Posts: 360 Member


    Gene L said:
    Try to swing a heavy drilling on a dove for a humbling experience.
    Try finding one and paying for it.  That would be a heck of a cash outlay for a newbie.

    Does Savage still make a 222/20 gauge over under?  Depending on where and what one hunts, something like that might fit the bill.

    Some here;

    Also found this,




    L. C. Smith Maker of Baker Three Barrel Gun  12 x12 x 44 WCF.

    Very cool.







  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,688 Senior Member
    edited July 14 #13
    As stated, what are you going to be hunting? If a true all-purpose hunting gun is needed, then a switch barrel (slug/shot) 12 gauge would fill that.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,209 Senior Member
    Combo guns are good for survival purposes or areas where numbers of guns you can own is legislated.  Outside of those limitations, they can't compete with a dedicated tool.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 11,682 Senior Member
    There is no Universal hunting gun that I know of.  The OP said "First", he didn't say "Only."  I can only fall back to my roots; a .22 rifle and a single barrel shotgun.  Shouldn't break most budgets and you can hunt almost anything except big game at longer range.  It's what I grew up on and probably most of us. did.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,375 Senior Member
    edited July 14 #16
    welcome,

    some disclosures...

     > i dont hunt.

    But you may want to figure out what you want to hunt first.  That may dictate what you buy or what calibers you can buy (and use)

    Then i would check on what hunting laws are there where you live.  A friend that was a hunting/fishing feen, was doing his best to get ANY weapon so he could do as much hunting for as long as it was possible.   

    From there, you maybe able to narrow down your selection.

    Also, i say that Guns are a DO-OVER.   

    If there was 1 gun in the world that could do it all, thats all you would find.  But having so many choices to choose from tells you other wise.

    Something else to consider.  Not everyone is the same.  So for someone that may want artillery to hunt, doesnt mean you need to do the same.  You may find that someone or many will say you need XYZ to hunt.  It maybe true, but there maybe other options.  

    another comment.

    if you have any hunting friends, especially those that will hunt what you want, ask them about it.  Ask them if they will take you out and see what its all about.  You may need to find a gun, but that may not be a problem.

    I know of some fiends that are really picky on who they bring along such as no alcoholics.  but if you can spend some time doing what you think you want to do, it may shed some light on what you may want to buy.  Noting that everyone has different size bank accounts. 


    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • BrianJBrianJ Posts: 2 New Member
    Wow, sorry I didn’t get back sooner. I wasn’t expecting so many comments!

    So yeah, I should have been a more specific. I live in southwest Ohio, and I will be sure to read up on local laws.
    As for what I would be hunting, I have to admit I’m not sure. I’ve been easing into this survivalist/prepper thing for a while now (off-grid utilities, greenhouses and chicken coops, that sort of stuff). I’m not one of those kind of guys who calls his home The Compound and secretly hopes for the apocalypse; I just want to know I’d be able to provide for and defend my loved ones if disaster ever comes.

    Thank you all for throwing in your two cents, especially AlleyCat.
  • AlleyCatAlleyCat Posts: 360 Member
    edited July 14 #18

    Do you fish much, comes in useful when off-grid living.





  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 23,781 Senior Member
    BrianJ said:
    Wow, sorry I didn’t get back sooner. I wasn’t expecting so many comments!

    So yeah, I should have been a more specific. I live in southwest Ohio, and I will be sure to read up on local laws.
    As for what I would be hunting, I have to admit I’m not sure. I’ve been easing into this survivalist/prepper thing for a while now (off-grid utilities, greenhouses and chicken coops, that sort of stuff). I’m not one of those kind of guys who calls his home The Compound and secretly hopes for the apocalypse; I just want to know I’d be able to provide for and defend my loved ones if disaster ever comes.

    Thank you all for throwing in your two cents, especially AlleyCat.
    So, is your main goal hunting or defense, or a jack of all trades?
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,375 Senior Member
    edited July 14 #20
    BrianJ said:
    Wow, sorry I didn’t get back sooner. I wasn’t expecting so many comments!

    So yeah, I should have been a more specific. I live in southwest Ohio, and I will be sure to read up on local laws.
    As for what I would be hunting, I have to admit I’m not sure. I’ve been easing into this survivalist/prepper thing for a while now (off-grid utilities, greenhouses and chicken coops, that sort of stuff). I’m not one of those kind of guys who calls his home The Compound and secretly hopes for the apocalypse; I just want to know I’d be able to provide for and defend my loved ones if disaster ever comes.

    Thank you all for throwing in your two cents, especially AlleyCat.
    fwiw, others will do the naming for you.  what you THINK and what others THINK are 2 different things.

    preparing for ANY disaster is good.  But you may want to consider on how far you will go.  Such as killing some neighbors to keep what you have or ?  will your loved ones do it?  I know you or others may not see it that way, but to me, you need to go there.  how far will you go to protect your loved ones and they you?.  many people say it but few think about it.

    Also, disaster means many things to many people... from an earthquake to the zombie apocalypse.

    last comment.  what you want to do is great/commendable.  But what i see is more important , teaching your loved ones on what to do too.  If you are THE protector/provider, all someone needs to do is to take you out, and then everyone and everything is theirs.  even an accident could incapacitate you or worse.   Do they understand all anyone needs to survive is Food, water and shelter?.  Can they fend for themselves or hunt, fish, dress the game? Do they all know how to shoot and handle any gun that maybe in your safe?   can they chop wood, make kindling and start a fire with wood if they needed to? Can you identify any of the various native plants/foods you maybe able to eat/gather/store?

    There are many scenarios you can go over too, but its something you need to figure out.

    I also see it as you wont be the only one doing what you are thinking.  




    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • AlleyCatAlleyCat Posts: 360 Member
    edited July 14 #21
    ilove22s said:
    BrianJ said:
    Wow, sorry I didn’t get back sooner. I wasn’t expecting so many comments!

    So yeah, I should have been a more specific. I live in southwest Ohio, and I will be sure to read up on local laws.
    As for what I would be hunting, I have to admit I’m not sure. I’ve been easing into this survivalist/prepper thing for a while now (off-grid utilities, greenhouses and chicken coops, that sort of stuff). I’m not one of those kind of guys who calls his home The Compound and secretly hopes for the apocalypse; I just want to know I’d be able to provide for and defend my loved ones if disaster ever comes.

    Thank you all for throwing in your two cents, especially AlleyCat.
    fwiw, others will do the naming for you.  what you THINK and what others THINK are 2 different things.

    preparing for ANY disaster is good.  But you may want to consider on how far you will go.  Such as killing some neighbors to keep what you have or ?  will your loved ones do it?  I know you or others may not see it that way, but to me, you need to go there.  how far will you go to protect your loved ones and they you?.  many people say it but few think about it.

    Also, disaster means many things to many people... from an earthquake to the zombie apocalypse.

    last comment.  what you want to do is great/commendable.  But what i see is more important , teaching your loved ones on what to do too.  If you are THE protector/provider, all someone needs to do is to take you out, and then everyone and everything is theirs.  even an accident could incapacitate you or worse.   Do they understand all anyone needs to survive is Food, water and shelter?.  Can they fend for themselves or hunt, fish, dress the game? Do they all know how to shoot and handle any gun that maybe in your safe?   can they chop wood, make kindling and start a fire with wood if they needed to? Can you identify any of the various native plants/foods you maybe able to eat/gather/store?

    There are many scenarios you can go over too, but its something you need to figure out.

    I also see it as you wont be the only one doing what you are thinking.  





    And also the medications you and your family may need to survive, day to day.

  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,209 Senior Member
    AR-15 for defense - NATO standard military cartridge that can be had cheap.
    12 gauge shotgun for small fast game - - which if purchased as a combo model with 2 barrels can also be dandy for defense.
    .22 rifle for small slower game.
    .308 for larger game - also a NATO standard military cartridge that can be had cheap.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 11,080 Senior Member
    edited July 15 #23
    One gun to do hunting, survival, areal birds, plinking and defense?  You are going to end up with a LOT of compromises and something that’s not really good at any of them.

    technically, I suppose you could buy one AR-15 in .223 (Self defense and prepping) and swap uppers for a .22 upper(plinking), a hunting upper (.450 bushmaster, 350 legend, .300 Blk, etc...) And still have ‘one gun’ do it all.

    but it would probably be a better idea to get a couple of guns-
    1- a quality AR15 with a good red-dot sight and at least 10 magazines (survival, self defense)
    2-A Ruger 10-22 with Several magazines and a low power variable scope (plinking, survival, small game)
    3- hunting rifle (save some cash here and get something like a Savage Axis or Ruger American package gun that will come with a 3-9x40 scope)
    4-Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 birding shotgun
    5- a self defense handgun of some sort (Glock 17, CZ P10C, or even a Ruger GP100 in 357)

    yep, that’s a lot of guns, and probably more money than you are planning to spend.  If you want to start off with one or two, I would start with the AR and the 10-22


    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,753 Senior Member
    Big slug has some valid points. The one thing you don't mention is budget. So lets start there. There are a number of guns, Rifle/Pistol/Muzzle loaders that might fit you bill but they come at a cost. Good quality gun would be the Thompson Encore, a break action firearm that can be rifle, pistol, ML and shotgun. The second would be the NEF Pardner or SBII. Though not a pistol it can do many things with one frame. The one I'm not familiar with is the Rossie and I believe Mossberg (SSi) also made one though I think it's out of production. 

    For anyone just starting out I suggest the more you practice the more you learn. The more you learn the better you get. That said I would suggest a used 22 cal bolt action rifle and a 22 pistol. Ammo is cheap and you'll be able to afford to shoot more. Learn to handle and shoot them well then look at a shotgun. One of the best and cheapest on the market is the Mossberg 500 pump. Its the 350 Chevy of shotguns. Any thing you want can and has been done on a budget. 

    Learn to hunt squirrels! Those little rascal's will humble you but you'll learn what it takes to become a hunter/gatherer. From how to look, walk, spot sign, shoot, field dress, prepare the meat, and cook it.

    Rule #1: You shoot it, you eat it!

    I know from personal experience its a hard rule to swallow, I shot a **** coming out of the sun thinking it was a teal.

    Welcome to the nut house!
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 6,924 Senior Member
    edited July 15 #25
    Although mainly a rifleman, and it pains me to say this.......all around versatility......12 gauge shotgun....hands down. Your choice of platform, though I'd lean toward a pump action  at first. For hunting, light dove loads to slugged deer.....it gets the job done if you limit yourself to 40-50 yards. 

    Inside the house....anything it's loaded with is gonna work. Unless you meet Superman on meth.

    Mike
    "Walking away seems to be a lost art form."
    N454casull
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 6,748 Senior Member
    Will you hunt as a licensed hunter? If so the SE Ohio regs need to be consulted.

    Or will hunting be reserved for the apocalypse? I think a 10-22 Take Down is the ulimate apocalypse rifle. 

    After that an AR in the smallest platform available. Shotguns are very versatile, but the ammo is bulky.
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 2,215 Senior Member
    I am going to buck the trend here. 

    1) A good solid 357 magnum. It can take small game with 38 special loads and a light recoil. Loaded with hot magnums, take a good sized deer and more with practice. Easy to teach anyone how to use the original point and click interface.GF, older kids can easily understand and work the action. There are 7 and 8 shot versions, just not very concealable.


    Any else on top of that would be very subjective. Hard to be a good pump 12 or 20 gauge. Just not going to reach very far. An AR would be a solid choice. Lot's of good lever and bolt actions around. 30-30 in a lever action won't impress many but it's killed more deer in this country than any other rifle and probably most combined. Except a musket. Local laws need to take precedence of course.


    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 12,507 Senior Member
    One gun to do hunting, survival, areal birds, plinking and defense?  You are going to end up with a LOT of compromises and something that’s not really good at any of them.

    technically, I suppose you could buy one AR-15 in .223 (Self defense and prepping) and swap uppers for a .22 upper(plinking), a hunting upper (.450 bushmaster, 350 legend, .300 Blk, etc...) And still have ‘one gun’ do it all.

    but it would probably be a better idea to get a couple of guns-
    1- a quality AR15 with a good red-dot sight and at least 10 magazines (survival, self defense)
    2-A Ruger 10-22 with Several magazines and a low power variable scope (plinking, survival, small game)
    3- hunting rifle (save some cash here and get something like a Savage Axis or Ruger American package gun that will come with a 3-9x40 scope)
    4-Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 birding shotgun
    5- a self defense handgun of some sort (Glock 17, CZ P10C, or even a Ruger GP100 in 357)

    yep, that’s a lot of guns, and probably more money than you are planning to spend.  If you want to start off with one or two, I would start with the AR and the 10-22


    What you talkin bout Willis  Make a Meme
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • AntonioAntonio Senior Member Posts: 2,678 Senior Member
    Will go straight to the point. If firearms newbie, get those as simple, functional and reliable as possible.

    For hunting purposes and potential basic defensive situations I'd advice 3:

    1) CZ 452 or 455 bolt action rifle in .22LR specially a model with iron sights. Will ease learning of trigger discipline, ammo conservation, distance handling and accuracy improvement. Well-built steel rifles with excellent out of the box performance and reliability. Excellent learning tool that will allow lots of practice with cheap ammo and perfect for small game hunting.

    2) Remington 700 .308 bolt-action rifle: Decades-proven good centerfire ammo platform in a popular and available caliber with enough punch to deal with any American game animal in the proper conditions. Lots of factory options to choose from along with tons of aftermarket accessories and parts to customize it according to your needs. Will allow to transfer most skills developed with a bolt action .22LR rifle.

    3) Remington 870 shotgun: Another all-steel decades proven design that will allow to hunt anything and defend yourself if needed. There are "combo" models with long hunting barrels and short defensive ones that will allow to use almost any kind of shotshell to hunt from doves to moose under reasonable circumstances. Its pump-action will allow quick follow-up shots and with also many factory andaftermarket parts and accessories for easy and quick tailor customization.

    Hope this helps. Good luck with your search.


  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,375 Senior Member
    some other comments....

     > again, not sure of what you think will happen or what you or your family will do or not.

    But if you ever saw "Quigley Down Under" movie?   really cool.  But to me, it made me question do you NEED a handgun?   I can see where one will work and maybe better than a knife, but if you are Bruce Lee/Walker Texas Ranger, all you will need is your hands free.  If you understand the short comings of a handgun and a rifle, it comes down to what you are comfortable using and what you all can use affectively.  If the kill zone around your home is only 25 yards, then maybe a shotgun maybe better.  But if you are in the open, a rifle made better.  What will happen if you venture away from your home?  what will you carry then?  alot of scenarios to consider if you want.

    But if you can use your rifle not just as a rifle but as an extension of our body, its another option.  Its not just something to go bang.

    I also watched "the Patriot" with Mel Gibson.  The part where he has is tomahawks? in both hands.  Im sure in close quarters combat and with those weapons at the time, a person with both hands armed could be deadly.

    But you will need to figure out whats going to happen and what you all will do.  

    To me it all depends on what you are comfortable and capable of using and using well.  its makes no difference if you have the most expensive or fancy guns or a room filled with guns, if you can hit what you aim at they arent worth much.


    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • JaphyJaphy Posts: 63 Member
    My take:  Remington 12ga 870 pump shotgun. Just the ticket for quail, pheasants, ducks, geese, turkeys, doves or clay targets. There are interchangeable choke tubes to fit the game. if you wish to deer hunt there are interchangeable slug barrels available. Some states limit the use of rifles for deer Iowa for example.

    If you wish to hunt larger game at longer ranges have a look at a Savage bolt action rifle. Reasonable cost and good accuracy.  308 270 or 3006 works on about everything Deer, pigs, even elk. Ammo is readily available in a wide variety of bullet weights. 

    if you want to plink for low cost have a look at a Ruger 1022. Reasonable cost accurate. rifle and shotgun ammo costs many times more than 22. 
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