Saturday, June 22, 2013

Firearms Advice bleg

My birthday is coming up is a bit, and it's been more than a year since I've added to the Borepatch firearms collection.  And so I'd like to ask your advice on what to look for.

Here is what I have in mind: I want something in .22 lr that I can use to introduce new shooters.  I'm thinking maybe a single shot bolt action rifle or maybe a revolver (say, a Ruger New Model Single Six).  I'd like to keep the price below $400 if at all possible.

It's times like this that I really miss Kim du Toit's blog - his gun list had hours of interesting and useful reviews.  Alas, it's gone.  So help me Obi-wan Reader, you're my only hope.

UPDATE: it seems that someone has Kim's gun list here.


Dave H said...

My first rifle (bought all of 2.5 years ago) was a Savage Mk. II. Bolt-action .22lr, takes a magazine but you can load singles by hand if you want. Mine was a cheaper version (cost all of $200 bundled with a cheap scope from Dick's) but they come in many different flavors and prices. I hear tell the ones with Accutriggers are the bee's knees. It's as much fun as my Ruger 10/22 but a box of ammo lasts a lot longer.

Arthur said...

If you're looking for a pistol, the newish Ruger SR22 doesn't suck. You'd have to pry the stainless 22/45 out of my cold dead hands, but my boss and his son-in-law picked up SR22s and they are surprisingly well made. The safety is the wrong way, and unless you love SIGs the trigger has a long takeup.

But we've put 500 rounds of Remington Golden Bullets though both of them with zero malfs. I consider Rem ammo to be the true torture test of crappy ammo and even with low powered(check to make sure the bullet cleared the bore)rounds it never failed.

And after stripping the gun you couldn't even tell it was fired. The CnC work on the thing is flawless inside and out.

I always recommend the MK series Rugers, but if you want something that more closely resembles the mouse gun most people end up carrying at some point the SR22 is pretty sweet.

Bob said...

You can buy used single-shot .22 rifles all day long for less than $200. Our local gun shop has three of them: a Springfield 53A, a Winchester 67, and a Winchester 1902. Another nice old single-shot pattern is the Stevens Favorite falling block, which was made by Savage until a year or so ago.

Hat Trick said...

CMP has Kimber .22 LR single shot bolt action target rifles. I think an aperture rear sight is easier for beginners to learn. The rifle would be a suitable starter for smallbore competition too.

TOTWTYTR said...

The first decision is rifle or handgun?

If a rifle, then there are any number of bolt action 22 caliber rifles to choose from. If you want something semi auto, then a 10/22 is the way to go.

For a handgun, I'd suggest a .22 revolver. Look at single action pistols, they are easy to shoot and easy to teach.

Then do what I did. Take the NRA Basic Pistol Instructor course. If we are going to introduce people to shooting, then we have the responsibility to do it correctly.

Oh, many of the major manufacturers offer substantial discounts on firearms, ammunition, and accessories to NRA certified instructors.

Overload in Colorado said...

Browning 1911-22. An 85% sized 1911, weighing only 16oz. Good for small hands and fun to shoot. It has an extra safety, a mag disconnect.

Sdv1949 said...

Or a GSG 1911-22 for the full size experience.

My friends and I have about a dozen of them and they are a hoot and very easy to shoot.

Glenn B said...

If you are in the market for a bolt action rifle in .22 LR allow me to suggest that you do not purchase a single shot model. Chances are that any new shooter whom you teach, even youngsters, will soon progress beyond a single shot both in level of proficiency and as to what they will want to shoot. If you are going to go with a bolt actin then, consider buying one that is fed by a detachable box magazine. That way you can effectively use it as a single shot by only loading one bullet at a time into the magazine and you can later make progress by loading two, three, four or five at time (to capacity) as you desire.

Unless you specifically want to train young shooter under about 12 years old, stay away from most youth models and get a full sized version. The full sized models can be used with some pre-teens all the way up to adults.

I recommend getting a used .22 rifle with iron sights. If it has a scope make sure it also still has the original sights; if no scope - remember you can always add one later. You probably can pick one up for well under $150 for a decent one. I have seen some available for as low as $75 and that has been within the past 6 months.

Remington, Winchester, Marlin, Savage all have lots of models of bolt action, box magazine fed, 22 rifles out there.

I believe there is no better firearm with which to learn how to shoot than a 22 bolt action rifle. They are inherently safer than most others of differing action types. They can last almost forever or so it seems. They are hard to break if from reputable manufacturers (an older models were probably built better and stronger than many of today's). They are versatile and can be readily used as a single shot I so desired and then you can progress to using it as a repeater.

Of course, you can probably buy a new one for around $200 too.

That would leave you with enough left over, from your $400, to buy a some ammo, a scope and rings, and a sling or whatever.

All the best,
Glenn B

Old NFO said...

So many choices, it's really up to you and YOUR situation... Sorry, but I can't really give you a better answer.

Six said...

If you can find an old Remington 41 you can pick up a good one for under 200. I'm starting the kids out on my Ruger 77/22 (bolt with irons) and Lu's MkI.

Robert McDonald said...

I've got a Browning Buckmark that I use for new shooters and it was under $400 new. Fun gun to shoot too.

MSgt B said...

When I bought the first one for my son, I picked up an old Romanian trainer for $50.
Before he ever shot it, we spent hours of work (fun) rebuilding the thing. Cleaning all the cosmoline off, refinishing the stock, etc,.

The scope mounting "rail" on the top of the receiver is too slim. The only scope rings that will fit are for an air rifle.
Since I was teaching him shooting, it was a non-event. Kids should learn iron sights first anyway before being spoiled with scopes.

After all the work he put into that rifle, he really cares about it, even to this day.
When he comes home on leave, he makes me pull it out of the back of the safe so he can clean it and function check it.

Anonymous said...
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instinct said...

I got the Ruger SR22 for the wife (well, she picked it and I just gave the guy money) but it is very fun to shoot and easy to learn.

YMMV though, so take it for what it's worth.

Brad_in_IL said...

Picking up where Glenn left off, I too would recommend a bolt gun with a detachable box magazine. One of the great advantages of a bolt gun is you can use really low powered .22 ammo such as CCI Quiet for reduced noise & reduced recoil. The CCI Quiet is so quiet from a rifle that it can be safely shot without wearing ears. Of course I don't recommend that because shooting without ears is bad juju, but just in case someone forgets . . . well, you get my meaning.

Last year I bought my first .22 rifle -- a tube fed Marlin 60 which I picked up for $75. I then later traded some Mosin Nagant ammo for a used 4x scope.

Anyway . . . for a beginning I think the real issue is to KEEP THINGS SIMPLE so the student can focus on FUNDAMENTALS.

And lastly, do please have Your Lovely and Linguistic Bride take a look at the Russian Mosin M44 book I sent over. For good measure, I'll resend it today.

- Brad

Glenn B said...

I actually read the complete comment left by Mark Flowers expecting him to unveil a Divine revelation as to which rifle would be best suited to your purposes and to hitting the mark. No soap!

MSgt B said...


Glenn, I did the same thing.
I kept waiting for him to get to the part where his divine savior suggested he buy a Ruger 10/22 with a synthetic stock.

Unknown said...

If you decide to go the revolver route, I'd like to put in a good word for the Smith and Wesson K-22 series revolvers.

S&W is still making the Model 17 in the "Classics" line with the 6" barrel length. A gun shop near me has an early Model 17 with the diamond magnas for $650, which I think is reasonable (and it has been there for a while, so there may be some room on the price). I'm hoping they don't sell that before I get a job...

I love my K-22s. I think they're fun to shoot, the 4" one is an eminently practical field gun, and the 6" is a good gun for new shooters, IMHO.

Weetabix said...

I think the eastern European Mosin-looking trainers seem interesting. Once they progress, you could let them shoot the higher-caliber version.