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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm in a situation now where I really don't know what to do. As I'll be turning 18 soon, I'm glad I'll have the ability to purchase my first firearm, but there's a few catches. (Warning, this may turn into a stream of consciousness) First off, I live in Commufornia, and don't want a "bastardized" gun for lack of a better term. This, for the most part, leaves me with rimfires, lever, bolt, and pump action guns. I already do most of my shooting at private property, but I don't think any kind of shotgun would really be appropriate there. When it comes to quality lever action or bolt action rifles, they can cost a pretty penny (not to mention the ammo) and I'm only in the market for +-$500. Additionally, looking at rimfires, I'm stuck in that mentality of "just a .22" despite the fact they've proven perfectly functional and economical. Finally, I considered another option, reloading. Seeing as how I do most of my shooting on an AR15, I figured it may not be a bad idea to invest in some reloading equipment, as it would be nice now and help in the long run when I get into some pricier ammo. I'm kind of all over the place, so any opinions, thoughts, advice, or recommendations are welcome. Sorry for the long post, just had to get it off my mind. Thanks in advance
 

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Is a used firearm an option for you? There should be piles of good, used lever rifles out there in your price range as well as rimfires.

Whatever you decide get something you like and will enjoy, keeping in mind your tastes will probably change over the years.
 

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First, Welcome to the Forum! Reloading won't save you any money. Any money you think you might save will just be shot up, as we all know. Reloading just allows you to shoot more! You say that most of your shooting is done with an AR, so stick with that platform. You can buy an AR in the price range you want to stay with, but you will have to shop. Then later on you may want to get into reloading so you can shoot more.
 

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For semi-autos there are still a couple of viable options available here in CA. Ruger Mini 14's and mini 30's are still legal, they are super reliable and the fun factor is high. You can also get a Springfield Armory M1A1 if you want a heavier caliber gun.

To really learn to shoot, I recommend a bolt action. Tons of good choices in any caliber and at any price range. Simple to operate, generally very accurate (can't say that about many semi-autos).
 

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Is a used firearm an option for you? There should be piles of good, used lever rifles out there in your price range as well as rimfires.

Whatever you decide get something you like and will enjoy, keeping in mind your tastes will probably change over the years.
I've considered buying used, but if I do, I'd like some sort of military surplus such as the mosin that seems to have made it into every closet in America. My main deal with used is I have NO IDEA what to look for in condition besides making sure stocks aren't fractured anywhere.

First, Welcome to the Forum! Reloading won't save you any money. Any money you think you might save will just be shot up, as we all know. Reloading just allows you to shoot more! You say that most of your shooting is done with an AR, so stick with that platform. You can buy an AR in the price range you want to stay with, but you will have to shop. Then later on you may want to get into reloading so you can shoot more.
Since the AR I shoot now will be mine soon, should I just put the money into that gun? Put a new upper, trigger, stuff like that?

For semi-autos there are still a couple of viable options available here in CA. Ruger Mini 14's and mini 30's are still legal, they are super reliable and the fun factor is high. You can also get a Springfield Armory M1A1 if you want a heavier caliber gun.

To really learn to shoot, I recommend a bolt action. Tons of good choices in any caliber and at any price range. Simple to operate, generally very accurate (can't say that about many semi-autos).
I've looked into those guns, but their price tag is just about double what I can spend. It's possible I may see some extra cash come in for my birthday, but I doubt I can count on another $500. If you only had $500-$700 and wanted a cheaper caliber, what brand, caliber, or even model, would you choose?

I would always recommend a 22lr for a 1st gun. The Ruger 10-22 is a great 1st gun.
My only hesitation with Rim fire is the private property I go shooting on has been known to house mountain lions and coyotes. I know when I go out with my AR15, should I have to, I can take one down. Would a .22 be able to do that? What about a .17? I've seen those things have a bit more of a bite for the size.
 

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Would a .22 be able to do that? What about a .17? I've seen those things have a bit more of a bite for the size.
Picture this: a deranged madman swinging a machete is charging with the intention of separating your head from the rest of you. What would you feel more comfortable with, an AR-15 or a zippy rimfire? I've seen - actually more heard than seen - cats in northern Idaho, and if all I had was my 10/22 then I'd have to play the hand I was dealt, but I'd much prefer to have my 870 Police Gun loaded with 3" Mag 00 Buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Picture this: a deranged madman swinging a machete is charging with the intention of separating your head from the rest of you. What would you feel more comfortable with, an AR-15 or a zippy rimfire? I've seen - actually more heard than seen - cats in northern Idaho, and if all I had was my 10/22 then I'd have to play the hand I was dealt, but I'd much prefer to have my 870 Police Gun loaded with 3" Mag 00 Buck.
That's why I'm a bit hesitant in getting a .22. I don't plan on hunting at all, but I would like the peace of mind a center fire's power has.
 

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Will a 22 kill a lion? Absolutely. Lion hunters routinely have their dogs tree a lion, and then shoot it with a 22 pistol.

Will a 22 stop a charging lion? I'd hate to have to find out.

You said you're in Californy, and don't want a bastardized gun, and then talk about an AR, which is about the most bastardized gun in the state. I be puzzled.

If it was me, and I was looking for a gun that was fun to shoot, that I could afford to shoot, that the state wasn't likely to outlaw next week, that wasn't a wimpy 22, and stood a chance of stopping an annoyed lion - I'd look hard at a "pistol-caliber" lever. Probably a 357, for the ammo price. You can feed them 38s, and a standard 38 158 SWC out of a 20" barrel is pretty impressive.
 

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[QUOTE="JoeSalerno117, post: 1588320, member: 78806

Since the AR I shoot now will be mine soon, should I just put the money into that gun? Put a new upper, trigger, stuff like that?

If you think you need the upgrades, then go for them. But I would hate to know that an AR in .223, or 556 was all I had to fend off a mountain lion! A cheaper pump action shot gun with slugs would be a better choice. So why not carry both to the range? One for plinking, the other for SD. Probably have enough money left from the shotgun purchase to buy the new trigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Will a 22 kill a lion? Absolutely. Lion hunters routinely have their dogs tree a lion, and then shoot it with a 22 pistol.

Will a 22 stop a charging lion? I'd hate to have to find out.

You said you're in Californy, and don't want a bastardized gun, and then talk about an AR, which is about the most bastardized gun in the state. I be puzzled.

If it was me, and I was looking for a gun that was fun to shoot, that I could afford to shoot, that the state wasn't likely to outlaw next week, that wasn't a wimpy 22, and stood a chance of stopping an annoyed lion - I'd look hard at a "pistol-caliber" lever. Probably a 357, for the ammo price. You can feed them 38s, and a standard 38 158 SWC out of a 20" barrel is pretty impressive.
The only reason I have an AR is because we got it when BBs were perfectly legal. Do you have any brand or model recommendations for good levers under $700?

Yogi Berra once said, "when you come to a fork in the road, take it".
That's a good one
 

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The only reason I have an AR is because we got it when BBs were perfectly legal. Do you have any brand or model recommendations for good levers under $700?
Wait for Alpo's response. But I know that Marlin makes the .357, .44 mag, and the .45 LC in lever guns. All under $500. The .357 will shoot .38's, and the .44 mag will shoot .44 special. I have the .44 mag.
 

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I've looked into those guns, but their price tag is just about double what I can spend. It's possible I may see some extra cash come in for my birthday, but I doubt I can count on another $500. If you only had $500-$700 and wanted a cheaper caliber, what brand, caliber, or even model, would you choose?
I bought my first "real" rifle when I turned 18 - a Browning BLR in .243 Win, and I've never found a better general purpose cartridge to shoot. The BLR is out of your range right now, but I would still recommend the .243 Win for your purposes. It's good for anything from rabbits to elk (though it's a little rough on the rabbits), and has very little recoil compared to others that are more popular.

One possible gun for you might be the Savage Axis. I had one in .243, and it was a very accurate rifle out of the box. I found that I dislike bolt actions, so I gave it away, but I'd still recommend it to you. And, as Carver mentioned, look at Marlin for relatively low cost with excellent quality.
 
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Ruger American in any standard caliber. 22-250, 243, 270, 30-06/308. Around here they are going for around $350 and shoot way above their cost. You can get them standard, or in ranch or predator versions. (Short or long)

I myself, would recommend a .308win. Plenty power for anything in North America, low enough recoil to be fun to shoot, can buy surplus and steel cased ammo for cheap, or any kind of hunting ammo for reasonable, plus plenty of higher end match ammo as well. Proven gun in a proven caliber and with your budget of $500- $700 you could buy the gun, a good scope, and a big chunk of ammo in diff flavors.
 

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Everybody needs a .22LR. Don't get the first cheapie you see, though. Try to get one that you will enjoy for many years to come. The ammo is cheap enough to allow you to shoot a lot.

Skip reloading, especially if you're on a budget. That doesn't save as much as you might think after you add in all the equipment and supplies. If you ever get to shooting 500 rounds of centerfire ammo per week, then reload.
 

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Ruger American in any standard caliber. 22-250, 243, 270, 30-06/308. Around here they are going for around $350 and shoot way above their cost. You can get them standard, or in ranch or predator versions. (Short or long)

I myself, would recommend a .308win. Plenty power for anything in North America, low enough recoil to be fun to shoot, can buy surplus and steel cased ammo for cheap, or any kind of hunting ammo for reasonable, plus plenty of higher end match ammo as well. Proven gun in a proven caliber and with your budget of $500- $700 you could buy the gun, a good scope, and a big chunk of ammo in diff flavors.
It looks like the MSRP on those rifles is just under $500, so I'll have to check what my local shop has. Definitely looks like a contender though

Will a 22 kill a lion? Absolutely. Lion hunters routinely have their dogs tree a lion, and then shoot it with a 22 pistol.

Will a 22 stop a charging lion? I'd hate to have to find out.

You said you're in Californy, and don't want a bastardized gun, and then talk about an AR, which is about the most bastardized gun in the state. I be puzzled.

If it was me, and I was looking for a gun that was fun to shoot, that I could afford to shoot, that the state wasn't likely to outlaw next week, that wasn't a wimpy 22, and stood a chance of stopping an annoyed lion - I'd look hard at a "pistol-caliber" lever. Probably a 357, for the ammo price. You can feed them 38s, and a standard 38 158 SWC out of a 20" barrel is pretty impressive.
That sounds perfect, do you know any models in particular that take .357/38s off the top of your head?

Wait for Alpo's response. But I know that Marlin makes the .357, .44 mag, and the .45 LC in lever guns. All under $500. The .357 will shoot .38's, and the .44 mag will shoot .44 special. I have the .44 mag.
On Marlin's website I didn't see anything for .357/s8s, only 30-30, 35R, 44mag, and 45-70. Is the model your talking about discontinued?
 
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