Choosing a first rifle.

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I recently obtained my FID and am looking into getting my first firearm. I'm deciding between a Marlin 336c which is a 30-30 lever action or a SkS. I am looking into going deer hunting eventually and the SKS is definitely better priced and ammo is cheap but I am not sure about it's hunting capabilities. So any help would be very helpful thanks in advance.
 

whatluck

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I don't think too many people use x39 for deer hunting. .30-06 might be a better choice. Rem 700 is a great choice. I have one in .308 i got for $350 and it holds 1 moa with cheap ammo.
 
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Where are you going to be hunting?.....can't hunt deer in MA with a Rifle.....but I have a 30-06 rem 700 and love the thing with my reloads I get less then 1/2 MOA and use it on deer in NY. If your going to be hunting in MA pick up a rem 870 or a semi auto shotgun. If your deer hunting in Maine I'd get a lever action or semi auto because most deer are killed while a hunter is walking around; not a lot of people that hunt in tree stands up there. If your in NH i couldn't help you out never been hunting up there. I do love a 30-30 round for a deer though.

30-06 will kill just about any north american animal.
 
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What those guys said. And a shameless self promotion that I am selling a brand new never fired Smith and Wesson IBOLT 30-06 for $350. However, if you are a MA person, the shot gun is the safer and more useful bet.
 
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All Depends on where you are going to hunt with the rifle and what sort of accuracy you need at what distances. Both the SKS and Marlin will be great guns but I wouldn't push them out past 250-300 yards. Anything less and either will work. Some states will not allow more than 5 rounds in a semi-auto rifle so something to be aware of with the SKS. If you want a great all around rifle that can do pretty much anything in North America, I would recommend either 30-06 or even a 7mm mag. 308 is another option. If you do want to hunt in MA, rifles won't fly so as others have said, shotgun is the way to go. If you think you will be a 1 gun guy for a while, one of the new bolt action shotguns from savage would be my recommendation. Accurate out to 200+ yards with a slug will cover most MA, NH, NY, VT, and parts of ME.
 

strangenh

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I think t-town assassin pretty much said it right. If you're hunting whitetail in the northeast (in rifle-allowing areas), well, the .30-30 has pretty much been a go-to deer round for generations with good reason.
 

GunGrey

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Im trying to get rid of a Howa 1500 in .30-06 check it out in the classifieds



For mass nothing beats a mossy shotgun with both a turkey and a smoothbore rifled sight barrel. i have one and it downs turkey like nothing and will do pie plates with slugs at 100yds
 
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I'm with Steve on the mossy. My own research keeps going back to a setup like that.

Where I'm from the go to is .30-06 for mulies, elk, antelope, cougar, bear, pig, goat. It gives you the ability to reach out a far stretch and give a little touch with some power.

Here in Mass. though, strictly shotgun.

WRT a level action .30-30, never used one of those for deer or elk, but they can be effective for cat and bear. The lever is nice, does well with groundhogs as well as marmots.

I'm in the market for a rifle myself, and was curious as to the capabilities of the .308 in magnum for Moose and immediately dropping a deer. No idea if it's good though.
 

mac1911

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My very first rifle I purchased other than a 22 was a russian SKS. I purchased/sold many since. They can be more than accurate for hunting. 7.62x39 has its limits.
SKS, Personally I would not use one hunting unless its a known shooter. I would also limit the max shot taken to about 150 yards. Personal max distance.
A good pump be it a Remington/mossy or what ever else is out there with ease of barrel change. My 870 express has taken more creatures than all the guns I,dad heck my entire family have put together... 870, smooth bore slug barrel, riffled barrel, 26" rem choke, 30" rem choke covered...pick game, choose barrel and ammo go.
When I did go hunting where rifle is ok my goto gun was a marlin 35 remington...sadly its long gone.
7.62x39 vs 30-30 I dont see a heck of a lot of difference in knock down power. You may gain a bit because you can run 30-30 with a slight heavier bullet. SKS I have seems to really like the 150 grain area. I tried some remington soft points a while back and was very happy with the accuracy....Its all about what you are comfortable with.

I have a variety to choose from but I always seemed to goto the 35rem or 870....mind you I never lived or hunted anywhere where 150yd + shots comon? I think all but some rabit/small varmit hunting I have not shot anything beyound 100 yards. Especially dear, there hard to see in the woods @ 75 yards.
 
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Welcome to NES! I agree with most of the above. If you've never owned or shot a firearm before, I might suggest a .22 first and some practice/training/classes so you can get real good at it first. The last thing you want is to wound an animal and leave it to die a slow painful death from a gut infection or with a broken shoulder or something.
 

SAV

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New to shooting? May even join a club? Would like to share with others?

Buy a $125 .22 semi-auto rifle from Dick's ($100 if on sale), and look for the two barrell shotgun everyone mentioned (Mossbergs are good, and the Remington 870's are better and the prices reflect that). Hunting seasons are winding down so look for bargains. Kittery Trading Post is overwhelming, but awesome.

With those two you can:
Have fun
Hunt most anything in New England
Even Home Defense if pressed
Branch out later into .22 handguns
 
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Thanks guys! I have inherited a .22 Mossberg semi Auto which i will plink with until i can afford something bigger. I'll be hunting in VT so i decided to go with the SKS because i wont be shooting more then 100-150 yards. Also I feel that semi-Auto is a good choice thanks again for all the help!
 

mac1911

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If your end use is hunting....Find something better than a SKS you could find a semi auto savage,browning,remington used for about what the SKS are going for. PLEASE do not rely on a dust cover scope mount for hunting... Yes hunting can be done with a SKS but the time and effort finding a decent shooter and ammo can be defeating the purpose of a SKS, cheap shooting with cheap ammo.
I have purchased many SKS's which where good for about minute of broad side of barn..
Remember alot of SKSs have been in this country a long time.....abused and buba'd up. I have done this myself......thousands and thousands of corrossive ammo through some and did not clean them very well to boot....mind you I was buying and shooting them like this when they could be had for 75.00
Not the best choice IMHO for first hunting rifle.....heck there are plenty of marlin lever actions that can be had a great bargins used at most gun shops...there are not many new/newer shooters looking for used lever guns.

I THINK YOUR 1st choice Marlin 366 is a great choice.....

other option hunt down a ruger M77 in 7.62x39, CZ made one also and Remington was importing a russian bolty also.
there is no real need for a semi auto for hunting

http://www.raacfirearms.com/Bars_4-1.htm might want to consider this if shooting less expensive 762x39 is a decideing factor ?

or a remington http://www.auctionarms.com/search/auctions.aspx
 
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hillman

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KTMRew and I have discussed it a few times. One of the reasons he's deciding to go with the SKS is the inexpensive ammo. He's relatively new to shooting, and wants to become really comfortable with the rifle before he heads out into the woods. So cheap ammo was a factor, at least for his first real rifle (the .22 not withstanding).

We also discussed other options, most were lever action or semi-auto, as those are what he prefers, and wants to keep it in the same price range of $350 - $400.
.30-.30 which is his second choice
.44 mag lever
.35 (found ammo to be harder to find and a bit more expensive)
.308 (again, more expensive ammo and the rifle is more expensive)
.32 (ammo was hard to find)

I'm not sure if there is anything else in that price range that fits the lever-action or semi-auto criteria with ammo cheap enough for him to shoot a lot of. And like he said, he'll be hunting in VT, maybe NH and Maine later on, but not Mass.
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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Thanks guys! I have inherited a .22 Mossberg semi Auto which i will plink with until i can afford something bigger. I'll be hunting in VT so i decided to go with the SKS because i wont be shooting more then 100-150 yards. Also I feel that semi-Auto is a good choice thanks again for all the help!

good choice.

check out nite sighters for your sks. They are very cheap, and you just glue them on your SKS night sights. (extremely bright too)

do not use American Eagle. I found they are worse than the wolf surplus on my Yugo SKS. Wolf makes some hunting rounds, they come in a white box (not the green box, or the camo box, the white one), they are really good.

If your end use is hunting....Find something better than a SKS you could find a semi auto savage,browning,remington used for about what the SKS are going for. PLEASE do not rely on a dust cover scope mount for hunting... Yes hunting can be done with a SKS but the time and effort finding a decent shooter and ammo can be defeating the purpose of a SKS, cheap shooting with cheap ammo.
I have purchased many SKS's which where good for about minute of broad side of barn..
Remember alot of SKSs have been in this country a long time.....abused and buba'd up. I have done this myself......thousands and thousands of corrossive ammo through some and did not clean them very well to boot
....mind you I was buying and shooting them like this when they could be had for 75.00
Not the best choice IMHO for first hunting rifle.....heck there are plenty of marlin lever actions that can be had a great bargins used at most gun shops...there are not many new/newer shooters looking for used lever guns.

I THINK YOUR 1st choice Marlin 366 is a great choice.....

other option hunt down a ruger M77 in 7.62x39, CZ made one also and Remington was importing a russian bolty also.
there is no real need for a semi auto for hunting

thats why you dont buy a POS sks that some else owned. M&M in plymouth has some nice sks that have not seen any use. and they are very accurate. They come covered in Cosmoline, so if you dont want to clean them for a fee of $20 (or a number close to 20, cant remember) they will take care of it.

also, dont get a chinese.

get a Yugo with the folding bayonet and greande launcher. They are in very good shape. (at least the ones in M&M plymouth)
 
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mac1911

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View attachment 15335 here's my romanian from century this was cheap surplus fodder and only the 2nd round of 10 shots through it. POA was 6 o'clock of the black circle 100yards iron sights. with some hornady ammo it tighten up a bit and did not have the flyers. 1 bad cartridge would not go bang. buying a yugo covered in cosmo is not a indicator of a good shooter...the russians wanted 10 rounds on a 16" square target for acceptable accuracy @ 200m just hits not groups. I do not see any of the manufactures looking for better, can the do better ABSOLUTELY
My most accurate SKS russian tula and a Romanian. I did have a norinco that shot very well on a good day with good ammo about 3" @ 100 yards. The trigger on SKS are nothing great and I believe your comfort level would be reached quicker with a gun designed to hunt...

http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php 24/7 SKS read until the sun comes up....

A few things to consider about the SKS
1. its a short rifle and tends to be a cramped shooter for extended range time....adding a aftermarket stock helps but adds to the price.
2. you need to find a ammo it really likes and then hope you can get a good amount of it and pray its consistent.
3. you most likely will want to strip off the bay and launcher sights ti lighten it up a bit..
4. do not rule out the chinese SKS the early ones and alot of the norincos in the late 80s where very good shooters.
5. the safety only locks the trigger not the hammer...should not go off but could if you fall or drop the rifle. should be #1
6. possible need for 5 round mag ?
There where millions of these made in all of the communist states and there buddies, there are good shooters and bad.

Good luck , I like the sks alot. Not so much now as the prices are a tad high for my like'n. for the 300+ sks are going for there are so many more hidden gems great for hunting waiting to have the dust knocked of of them.

for your projected cost a decent savage/stevens will do all this right out of the box and you should be on your way to minute of dear with a small investment of ammo
 
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Broccoli Iglesias

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The muzzle device on the Yugos is designed as a launcher for a very specific type of rifle grenade. It's not as if they come with an M203 attached.

^^that. they also have a nice sight for the grenades. you can literally make a plastic rocket and launch it off your sks for fun.
p1000345_thumb.jpg


if you can make it down to the Plymouth area, i will take you to the club and let you shoot mine before you get one. Just PM if that sounds good.
 
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I don't know if I am too late to reply to this topic.
But if It was me, and if it was my one chance to go hunting, I would want to buy as good of a rifle as I could afford and not the cheapest.

For 50 years, gun writers like Jack o Conner praised the .270 Winchester and to a lesser extent the 30-06 Springfield rifle.
If the goal is to have a pleasurable experience afield then the object of this whole post should be to find you a rifle which is economical to buy and shoot.
The only rifle that comes to mind - in a stock forum that will give you years of service, even if it is 50 years old to begin with would be the Savage model 110 rifle.

You can basically pick up a Savage 110 rifle for the tidy sum of about $350.00 and at this time of the year - they usually sport a decent $100 rifle scope.

As others might have already said, I would stay away from anything in the .243 or smaller range.
Northern whitetail deer tends to be on the larger side of the scale as far as whitetail deer goes and a whitetail deer is a very determined animal to stop - especially if you are a inexperienced hunting.

That does not mean that if you cannot shoot that you can compensate for a lack of skill with a magnum rifle and still be successful.
All it means to me is that if you buy the rifle that I have described - you can enjoy years of good fortune.
Nothing sucks worse then going hunting, enduring all the trials and tribulations - only to have your firearm let you down and go home empty handed.

Since the day I sold my 35 Remington - 760 Gamemaster pump, there has never been a day where I said - I feel under-gunned with a .270 or a .30 Caliber rifle.
 

mac1911

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dont forget you will have to swap out the 10 round mag on the SKS also...just another added cost.

and if you must scope it http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews/choatesksscope/index.asp one of these. or a scope mount that replaces the rear sight.
The dust cover ones are for range fun only.

Yugo SKS 350.00(about as cheap I have seen them)
after market stock cheapest about 75.00 If you are small frame person the original may fit ok,
Scope mount 35-100.....with some skill and careful placement you can install a AK style side rail and use the pb-02 low mount more money though
scope ? 100+
5 round mags 8.00 plus most likely need to modify the rifle to fit.
If you have a short distance from your cheek weld to eye ball like me you will need a wrapid comb or some type of comb riser 30+

Cheap is always more when you try to make something it is not...

on sksboards there's a section on hunting http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?board=11.0

europe and russians use the 7.62x39 cartridge for hunting but not in a sks.
 
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Broccoli Iglesias

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dont forget you will have to swap out the 10 round mag on the SKS also...just another added cost.

and if you must scope it http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews/choatesksscope/index.asp one of these. or a scope mount that replaces the rear sight.
The dust cover ones are for range fun only.

Yugo SKS 350.00(about as cheap I have seen them)
after market stock cheapest about 75.00 If you are small frame person the original may fit ok,
Scope mount 35-100.....with some skill and careful placement you can install a AK style side rail and use the pb-02 low mount more money though
scope ? 100+
5 round mags 8.00 plus most likely need to modify the rifle to fit.
If you have a short distance from your cheek weld to eye ball like me you will need a wrapid comb or some type of comb riser 30+

Cheap is always more when you try to make something it is not...

on sksboards there's a section on hunting http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?board=11.0

europe and russians use the 7.62x39 cartridge for hunting but not in a sks.


all the black highlighted stuff doesnt need to be done.

why would you change the mag?
why would you mount a scope in a gun that is not made to have a scope? most places where you can mount one need to be removed to clean the gun, defeating the purpose of having a scope.
why would you want an aftermarket stock? I am too big to use lever atcion rifles (they seem too small for me) but the SKS stock is just fine. if you need an extra inch, just add a some padding.
 
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I've become pretty set on the yugo SKS but i do plan on putting a scope on it, nothing big but a scope none the less. And maybe a dragunov style stock but thats down the road. And my reason for choosing the sks is the price and the cheep ammo(for practice). And maybe when i come up with more money i'll gt a 30-30 also.
 

mac1911

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KTM are youuseing cheap ammo for practice and then switching to a different ammo for hunting ? You may need to adjust your sights again if you choose to shoot another ammo..?
I was under the impression NH had a 5 round capacity for semi autos ? Been a long time since I hunted NH. So if that is the case you would need a 5 rounder or some sort of limiter installed, no
SO SO SO many people want to put scopes on sks's SO if you do you should use a decent one installed by someone who can do it right.. http://www.surplusrifle.com/reviews/...cope/index.asp this is the best opption I have used.
The sks is cheap but once you spend 40.00 here 90.00 there couple bucks on this and that you are now shooting a cheap gun with accessories that can out value the gun itself....
I have done just about everything to a sks includeing the full blown tactical with more rail mount than anyone could possible need....
I have since come 180' and buy and shoot my sks's as they come.

If I where to try another scope option I would try one of these http://www.sksboards.com/smf/index.php?topic=24464.0
Still not really a hunting set up
 
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Broccoli Iglesias

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I've become pretty set on the yugo SKS but i do plan on putting a scope on it, nothing big but a scope none the less. And maybe a dragunov style stock but thats down the road. And my reason for choosing the sks is the price and the cheep ammo(for practice). And maybe when i come up with more money i'll gt a 30-30 also.

check out SAIGA rifles. They also fire 7.62x39mm ammo, and cost just a couple hundred dollars more. fun too shoot, light, and accurate.
 
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