Complete Newbie

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by homesteader, May 29, 2008.

  1. homesteader

    homesteader Guest

    So, I'm wanting to get into shooting, the only problem is that nobody in my family (or my in-laws) shoots. I have an Uncle who bow hunts occasionally, but that's about as close as it gets. I was not raised around guns and haven't ever fired anything besides a BB gun. I'm about as green as anyone can get. So where do I start?

    My main interest is for hunting, ultimately, small game and deer, but I could definitely see enjoying honing my skills-to-be at the range. My wife and I plan on having our own ranch/homestead with livestock, so for butchering as well. Then there's the self defense portion, but for me that's lower on my list than my wife's. As far as budget, that's pretty flexible, I'd rather go with quality for both instruction and firearm.

    From reading forums and articles on the internet, I'm thinking it's a .22LR, probably bolt-action for starters. My main question is how do I begin, take a class (may need to purchase a rifle first), buy a rifle, visit a range? I'm kind of lost. It seems most of the 'newbie' threads are written by people who already know someone, and have gone to a range, but I'm not even there yet.

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  2. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    An excellent way to begin is to take the local "Hunter Safety Course". A call to your local Sheriff Department should get you the contact info.
    Visit the range and talk to some guys - find out who seems to know their stuff - a bunch of us at my outdoor publlic range enjoy introducing new shooters to the sport.
    I am very into shooting the rimfires (.22LR, .22MAG and .17HMR) myself. I usually have a couple small-bore rifles along to get the new guys some 'trigger time'.
    The local LEOs should have contact info for more structured training too.

    Best of luck with your new sport! :)


    HARDERTR Guest

    Welcome to our world!

    I would suggest you educate, equip, then practice.

    Like Big Dog said, a hunter's safety course would be an excellent way to start. You don't need a gun for it, and you will learn a lot about the state laws, and even the basic concept of hunting and hunter safety. Probably the biggest danger in the field is OTHER HUNTERS, especially the folks who didn't bother to take the time to start out right. You doing research and asking questions shows you won't be one of "them". Who knows, you may even meet folks in the class that will take you under their wing.

    The 22 bolt action is also a great way to start. Small game and paper don't stand a chance. I've seen too many guys start out with a 30-06 or equivalent, only to become "gun shy" from the begining. They never really turned into decent shooters. I'm not saying that happens to everybody, I'm just sayin..... I'm sure you'll get a lot of responses to buy a deer rifle or shotgun for a first gun. I don't suggest it, but to each his own.

    Once again, WELCOME, and thank you for taking the time to get into the sport the right way!
  4. Another suggestion I'd make is go to a range and ask if they have an instructor or someone on site that could help out? Where in Illinois are you? I only ask because I'd be willing to help you maybe find a range near you.

    Either way, allow me to say hello and welcome you to the G&G forums.
  5. homesteader see'in how your go'in to be a farmer and rancher, check out this 22 rim fire rifle.
    Model Golden 39A

    The incomparable Marlin Golden 39A represents the oldest shoulder firearm design still being made anywhere in the world. In fact, the 39's great grandfather, the Model 1891, was the first repeating rifle to be chambered for the 22 Long Rifle cartridge. And over the years, Marlin 22's have become legendary among people who know rifles. The fact is, the Model 39 is still the standard by which all other 22 sporting rifles are judged. Understandable when you consider the clean, flat, solid top receiver, and an action machined from solid steel forgings, which are then heat-treated for greater strength. The Model 39A also features a rebounding hammer, a hammer block safety, and it disassembles in seconds with only a coin. And the stock is crafted from genuine American black walnut and features fine cut-checkering. Thanks to Micro-Groove® rifling, a special process that produces less bullet distortion and a better gas seal, the 39A gives you the kind of accuracy most other 22's can't touch.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Caliber22 Short, Long or Long RifleCapacityTubular magazine, with patented closure system, holds 26 Short, 21 Long or 19 Long Rifle Cartridges.ActionLever action; side ejection; solid top receiver; rebounding hammer; hammer block safety; one-step takedown; deeply blued metal surfaces;gold plated steel trigger.StockGenuine American black walnut with fluted comb; cut checkering; full pistol grip and fore-end; blued steel fore-end cap; swivel studs; grip cap; rubber rifle butt pad; tough Mar-Shield® finish.Barrel24" with Micro-Groove® rifling (16 grooves).Twist Rate 1:16" r.h.SightsAdjustable semi-buckhorn folding rear, ramp front sight with brass bead and Wide-Scan™ hood. Solid top receiver tapped for scope mount; scope adaptor base; offset hammer spur (right or left hand) for scope use.Overall Length40"Weight6.5 lbs. Owner's Manual
    Download Owner's Manual

    homesteader due to sue happy folks out there the owners manuals are very easy to read and understand and for the most part no stone is left unturned.
  6. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

    ^+1. Excellent choice Mike!
  7. Cyrano

    Cyrano Resident Curmudgeon Forum Contributor

    New York
    I'd suggest A) going through a NRA firearms safety course - talk to your local gun dealer or gun club to find out when the next one is scheduled; and B) starting out with a bolt action .22 rifle. Not necessarily a single-shot, but one with a detachable magazine rather than a tubular magazine.

    Start with the prone position and work your way up from prone to sitting to kneeling to standing offhand, just as the Army does it. Do it with iron sights, not with a scope, you'll learn the basics properkly that way. When you can shoot straight and hit what you point at, that will be the time to think about adding another firearm to your inventory.

    You say you want to be able to take small game and deer. Well, a .22 LR shooting hollowpoint bullets will take small game in the varmint class (rabbits, squirrels, woodchucks, skunks).

    For deer, you are going to want to check the gun laws and see what the cartridge standards are for Illinois before you go and buy a second rifle. They vary from state to state. For instance, about half the states won't allow you to go after deer with 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington. Some think the 7.62x39 ComBloc round developed for the AK-47 and the SKS, which ballistically is almost the same as the classic .30-30 Winchester round, is too light for deer. You can't go wrong stepping up to a deer rifle in .30-06, 8mm Mauser, 7.62 NATO/.308 Winchester or 7.62x54R, but the performance, the recoil and the BOOM is a quantum jump over your .22 LR. You'll definitely want to practice with the heavier rifle before taking to the field in company with an experienced hunter for your first trips out after deer.

    As to which rifle is right for you in the heavier calibers, only you can decide that. Your decision will be based partly on your state gun laws, your preference for a type of action, your personal shooting skills (including your eyesight), your budget, and your prejudices. I know shooters who sneer at the Russian/Soviet Mosin Nagant as opposed to any bolt action made in the United States. I know bolt action shooters who think semi-autos are for people who can't shoot well enough to make a one shot kill. I've run across a few who regard ex-military rifles as anathema to 'proper' hunting because they don't look like works of the gunmaker's art. You see what I mean?

    Shooting is ann intensely personal sport. What you need is a rifle that works for you. It does not have to work for the big city hunting snob with his .375 Weatherby with the Leupold 20-power scope that costs as much as a new car. It does not have to work for the wily ol' hunter with fifty years of field experience, who is still shooting his Daddy's Winchester lever action over iron sights. It does not have to work for the guy who hasn't failed to take a deer for the past 20 hunting seasons. It simply has to work for you. In the circles I run in, mocking someone else's gun is considered extremely bad manners.

    That said, I'll offer a piece of advice. After you go through your safety course and get your FOID (you did say you live in Illinois, didn't you?), when you go to buy your .22 to train with, spend an extra $100 and buy yourself a Mosin-Nagant 91/30 at the same time. Awhile back, a member here named tlarkin asked what was so great about them in another thread and got a pile of responses (which eventually led to his buying one), but for your purposes what is so great about a Mosin-Nagant Model 91/30 is this: Where else can you get a rifle with inexpensive ammunition that's accurate and capable of taking any game animal in North America right out of the box for under $100? (Even if you decide to take it out of its military stock and drop the barreled action into a synthetic sporter stock, then put a scope onto it, you'll still be under $300. It's getting so you can't hardly buy a decent .22 for that any more!) If you decide you want something else, you'll be able to sell it for at least what you paid for it and put the money toward another rifle you like better. You won't lose by buying a Mosin.

    Welcome to the forum and the world of shooting. You have a definite game plan, and I hope we've been able to help you refine it some. Keep us advised as to how it's going.
  8. MrsS

    MrsS G&G Enthusiast

    Welcome to the world of firearms from someone who is fairly new to it as well...have your wife join G & G and us ladies will be more than glad to integrate her into this world!
  9. neophyte

    neophyte Wonderment :) Forum Contributor

    Simple Rules

    homesteader: Sir; Gun and Game members from Illi. just might be ?close? enough or know of a facility that will rent. :)
    A .22 will last you a lifetime with fun shooting to game gettin:) Not to be considered a ?beginners? gun. None are.
    Reading will not replace doing; Reading will of course educate. Giving the abstract of """WHAT HOW WHY""" isn't quite as daunting as perhaps you might think. :)
    should all else fail; i.e. no-one rents OR worse none of G&G member cannot help; Find a shooting range out-door or indoor. Some will allow .22 long gun shooting inside. Some will not.
    Outside shooting; a plus.
    Simple firearm rules:)

    Sermon over.. Follow up with your thinking. Thanks
  10. Hey Homesteader welcome to G&G. All of the above is great advice. Just wanted to say if you get something fun to shoot you are more likely to practice. My 2 cents is the Ruger 10/22. I think it is one of the most fun .22's I have. The other is the Winchester Fieldmaster .22 pump.
    But I find part of the fun of firearms is going to the local gunshows and seeing what is out there. My first rifle that I purchased myself is a 7x57 Mauser. I loved it so much I purchased a few more rifles after that. If you have any more questions just ask here these guys are smarts.
  11. Fairly new here myself. When I started I found that people at the range are always happy to talk and offer advice. Play on the natural human ego. Compliment them for knowing more than you and information will flow. Ask people who shoot what gun they like and why. Take everything you like about each answer to form your own opinion. 22 is a great starter because it is easy and much cheaper to shoot. More ammo means more practice which means more skill learned.
  12. Windwalker

    Windwalker G&G Newbie

    Welcome to G&G. We have a nice bunch of folks here who are willing to help eachother. Its a pleasure to welcome a new shooter who wants to take the time to learn. Several have offered good advice. Enjoy the site and ask any questions that come up.
  13. crazyivan.1

    crazyivan.1 Guest

    I also like the Ruger 10/22, Plus after you have some time at the range and get good at it you can trick out a 10/22 with all kinds of after market stuff.
  14. Dude

    Dude Guest

    I'd highly recommend reading some NRA publications like "The Basics of Rifle Shooting" The Basics of Rifle Shooting: Education & Training Division NRA: Books
    and enrolling in a basic riflery course like this one - NRA Basic Rifle Shooting Course The NRA book is probably provided in most such courses. I took Riflery as a PE class at the University of Florida and got instruction from an Army Sgt with the school's ROTC program.

    My first personal firearm was a Marlin 512N bolt-action .22 caliber rifle. It is very similar to the one shown here:
    Marlin Firearms
    It has proven to be a very user-friendly, simple, and accurate firearm.
  15. billy

    billy G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    a gun safety course and a bolt action .22lr
    in my opinion 10-22's are ok
    bolts are better

    p.s. i own and shoot both.
  16. Iron_Colonel

    Iron_Colonel G&G Enthusiast

    Well my very first gun was a Springfield Armory 1911 Mil-Spec pistol in .45 cal. I have had a blast shooting it ever since. My skills have improved so much since I first got it. It has been a great shooter for me. As far as what guns you might like to pick up, a .22 cal is going to be a cheap shooter. Might be a good idea to start there if you don't have a lot of experience. As far as recoil goes, pretty much the bigger you get in caliber is going to be bigger recoil. Of course there are compensators and muzzle brakes here and there, but there will always be recoil. If you like revolvers, a .357 mag isn't a bad guy for self defense, considering you can shoot a normal .38 load out of your .357 mag gun. You pretty much have bottomless options. Let us know what you decide on.

    Definitely opt for a Mosin Nagant in some kind of configuration as cyrano suggested. They are cheap, and can be set up with scopes, and are reasonably accurate. The common arsenal models 91/30, M44, M38 are pretty cheap around $100-150 at most. Plus, they are a good way to learn too. As ammo prices are going up, they are still pretty cheap to shoot military surplus ammo. Any questions do ask. Lots of knowledgeable people here.
  17. FS00008

    FS00008 Сергей Иванович Мосин. Forum Contributor

    My first gun was an old Marlin .22S/L/LR bolt action with a tube mag. I loved it. Then I got an H&R .22 revolver. From there went to an Smith and Wesson M640J, and so on and so on.

    My point is, the Marlin .22 still gets the most rounds through it in a trip to the range/day/whatever out of any of my guns. It's just one of those rifles that I always go back to. Some people may say .17 Rimfire, but I still say .22 LR. You can't beat the ammo price and they're so dang fun to shoot haha.
  18. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera G&G Newbie

    *Points and laughs* N00b!

    Okay, enough of that.

    What's been said before is great, and also, try and find a range or shooting park that lets you rent firearms. This will help you start slow and low caliber and get a good feel for the various types of firearms that are out there.

    Once you have a better idea what you like and are comfortable with, you can make a more informed purchase based on your needs, desires, and budget, with some friendly help from us here at G&G.

    - Coeloptera
  19. DMGUY33

    DMGUY33 Guest

    This was also my first gun, its cheap, reliable, and SEMI-AUTO. When your out plinking or shooting rabbits you dont want to mess with the bolt action crap when the bullets cost 2 cents each. When you get your big game gun one day, .270, 308. 30-06 whatever then get the bolt action.
  20. tippmann7

    tippmann7 G&G Enthusiast

    the .22 is an excellent gun for starters, it will teach you to be accurate other than rate of fire. and i was in the EXACT same boat as you, no one in my family hunts but i have an uncle that does some bow hunting and thats it but he took me turkey hunting once during youth. i bought a 20ga as my first gun but i shot a .22lr before that. i took a hunters saftey course so i could get my hunting license and went from there. shot when i got the chance and hunted with who ever i could. once u get started you will never stop, its an addiction lol. every one has there own way of getting into it. have fun