Some advice for a centrefire newbie please

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  • Some advice for a centrefire newbie please

    Greetings to All.

    I've never owned or shot a centrefire rifle before. My price range is up to $1500 maximum, preferably less. My short list so far includes :

    Sako A7
    Tikka T3
    Weatherby Vanguard

    in 243Win or maybe 308???

    Initially i am planning to take it to the range, do a fair bit of target shooting up to say 300-400 and if my shooting is sufficiently accurate, take it hunting.

    So what do you think? I've selected these three rifles only because I got to handle them at my LGS. Is stainless worth the money?

    Kind regards
    chris

  • #2
    Originally posted by Chrisp" post=37763
    Greetings to All.

    I've never owned or shot a centrefire rifle before. My price range is up to $1500 maximum, preferably less. My short list so far includes :

    Sako A7
    Tikka T3
    Weatherby Vanguard

    in 243Win or maybe 308???

    Initially i am planning to take it to the range, do a fair bit of target shooting up to say 300-400 and if my shooting is sufficiently accurate, take it hunting.

    So what do you think? I've selected these three rifles only because I got to handle them at my LGS. Is stainless worth the money?

    Kind regards
    chris
    From what you list, the Sako A7 will be the best firearm. SS will give a greater barrel life, but not by massive amounts.

    243, light skinned game, 308, Pigs and larger.

    If you were to ask me, what the best 243 load is for pigs, I would reply, a 308 round....

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    • #3
      My mate has the tikka t3 in the 308 with a 2-10x40.. Awesome gun and very accurate. It's used off the back of a ute and is great for pigs..
      I've just purchased a tikka t3 s/s varmint in 22-250 cos I was that impressed with the 308..
      U won't regret the tikka

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      • #4
        gday Chrisp.
        without knowing what you're hunting, may I suggest the 243 out of those 2 choices.
        it will be slightly easier for a beginner to shoot (less recoil to start with always helps).
        either one of those rifle brands you mentioned will be fine. they are all good brands with no real flaws.
        it might come down to personal taste.
        stainless is better from the maintenance point of view,....but only just.
        it wont matter as long as you look after it.
        BTW, what is the main type of animal you're likely to hunt?
        this may influence advice given.

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          When I' ready for it I will mainly hunt to put meat on the table, so I guess this will narrow my game to rabbits, hares and deer. Wild pigs are not a food item, aren't they? What happens to the carcasses of all of the feral aminals like pigs, goats ect shot during hunts? Returning to the topic, bunnies can be had with my .22. I have a CZ455 LR which can be converted to .17 or a .22 magnum (Or with the light 243 loads, as I've already learned from the replies to my post) which leaves me with a requirement for a larger centrefire rifle. I am not a total newbie to shooting as we've already put through our .22LRs several thousand of rounds. BTW I do not have any problem with elimination of ferals

      • #5
        .

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          223, cheaper and easier to shoot. You will be putting a lot of rounds through it getting your head around all the factors centerfire hunting brings.

      • #6
        You should come to the forum shoot at Mudgee in January and try a few different calibers. I'm driving up from Vic. You can try my .30-06 and I have a muzzle brake for it that calms the recoil down. Then if comfortable take the brake off. Federal Fusion Lite also make Managed Recoil cartridges for a range of calibers. These have about 1/2 the recoil of a full power load and can help you get used to the noise and recoil of the things.
        I'm in love with Jennifer Hawkins and Alessandra Ambrosio

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          Hi Sambar, thank you. I appreciate your offer. I will try to attend, but I'm not sure if I can get time off work. When and where will this shoot be held?

      • #7
        Hi Chris, welcome to the forum. Have you really got your heart set on the 243 or 308? If you've shot a few centrefires before, or you do a lot of practice or range work with a 22RF, then maybe you will be right, but I think you will get a fair bit of advice to begin with a 223. The milder recoil and less muzzle blast will allow you to concentrate more on technique, and become a better shooter.

        If it has to be a 243 or 308, both are adequate for most of the feral game in Australia, goats, pigs and smaller deer for the 243. Some would argue that the 243 is fine for larger deer too, in the hands of a good stalker and careful shot placement. 308 will handle almost anything you care to hunt on this continent, and shoot targets out to 1000 yards.

        Put a few rounds downrange with some different rifles/calibres if you have the chance. Many rifle clubs will have a club rifle that you can use if you buy the ammo. Ring around.

        Cheers, Steve

        Anyway mat
        If I knew I was gonna live this long I would've taken better care of myself

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        • #8
          There is a lot of technique to learn in shooting a center fire rifle. If you have never shot one before then I have to ask how much rifle time do you have? A 308 will always be one of the best rounds there is, but its BIG and it makes a lot of noise and it kicks a bit. It can be daunting for those who have not got a good rifle shooting technique down. Don't get me wrong you can get but stock recoil pads and just a whole range of stuff to help you deal with these problems, but it comes down to technique. If you have shot a lot of 22 then you may have acquired this technique and a couple hundred rounds with your rifle will teach you the differences. I however really like the 308 over other rounds. its fun to shoot and it can drop anything. If your only going to get one I would sharpen my skills and get a 308.
          "He got the whole nine yards" - as it happens World War II (1939–1945) aircraft machine gun belts (US 50 cal) were nine yards long.

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          • #9
            Hi Chris
            Welcome , Mate I would go the .243w You can shoot bullets from 58gr for rabbits/foxes to 105gr for pigs, factory ammo is not that expensive , a lot cheaper once you start reloading.
            A7 or a T3 in SS would be great 1st rifle, I have a T3 in .260 and a Savage .243
            I have owned 3 x .243 over the years and love the round
            Any 308 cased round like the .243, 260 , 7/ 08, you cant go wrong!
            cheers
            tk0
            Marlin 1894 .44rem mag
            Tikka T3 Super Varmint .260rem
            Savage Axis XP Camo .260rem
            Ruger American .22wmr
            BSA SuperSport XL .22
            Adler A110 Synthetic 20" 12ga
            Boito Miura U/O 12ga

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            • #10
              I have never handled any of your 3 but own a M70 Winchester. No idea what they are worth now. Lovely slick action. Holds 5 rounds + 1 up the spout. Trouble is, you will need glass

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              • #11
                For the few guys who replied with "Dunno if you have used a C/fire before"...........Try reading his 1st line? (or maybe it was an Edit )

                Originally posted by Chrisp" post=37763
                Greetings to All.
                I've never owned or shot a centrefire rifle before.
                Originally posted by Sambar Country" post=37796
                You should come to the forum shoot at Mudgee in January and try a few different calibers.
                ^^^^^^Nice to see you come out with a constructive & helpfull comment SC^^^^^^^
                A trend I hope continues

                I'm gonna suggest you think about a .222 or .223 for a first C/fire as always.
                Much better round to start with & get a good feel for the basics without the Cost, the noise & the recoil (OK .243 is not too bad) so it will help you to become a better shooter in the long run.
                Still capable of 3-400m Target shooting in normal twist rates but will not be a championship winner, still good fun though.

                One you have left off your list Chris (because it was not in the shop at the time) is the Howa.
                The Wetherby is made by Howa & they are very similar (only really barrel length & stock type seperates them) but you will generally find the Howa is the cheaper of the two but still much more gun than the price tag that is stuck to it. A no bells & whistles, accurate workhorse.

                They will all shoot as well as each other, it's just a matter of finding a load or factory round that they like best so it really comes down to budget & which one you like the feel of.

                Cheers, Mick.

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                  Thanks Mick, i will check out Howas as well.

              • #12
                Just throwing this out there.

                I will be putting the skip duster Howa stainless varmint .223 for sale.

                No scope just rifle, rail at this stage. $750+post.

                1320 rounds down tube ( all mild hand loads ) 2206h,8208 with 55 grn pills.

                Will post a add up when I am free.

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                  Originally posted by El-Skippo " post=38039
                  Just throwing this out there.

                  I will be putting the skip duster Howa stainless varmint .223 for sale.

                  No scope just rifle, rail at this stage. $750+post.

                  1320 rounds down tube ( all mild hand loads ) 2206h,8208 with 55 grn pills.

                  Will post a add up when I am free.
                  Licence number, transferring dealers details, serial number and in the classifieds is where this belongs.

              • #13
                I'd get a Tikka, not just because I have two but because it is plenty accurate for hunting and casual target shooting and cheaper than the Sako, leaving you extra cash for good glass. I can't speak for the Weatherby but you can't go wrong with the Tikka. The bluing is outstanding, I've never had any rust in the wet when other guns have had some, so save yourself on the ss and get blued. I have one synthetic and one wooden stock, the wood is nicer but the synthetic does the job, just stuff it with a sock full of lead shot if you find it a bit nose heavy.

                As for calibre, I have 223 and 308 and love em both, but to be honest as an relatively infrequent city based hunter a 243 would have been a better choice. If I new what I knew now I would have bought a 243 and focussed on hunting goats and small deer for meat with factory ammo, as hunting more than every couple of months you don't get time to learn to use more than one firearm or learn to hunt more than one or two types of animal properly. Focus your efforts for more satisfying results.
                "Love the bush for its own sake and you will never have an unsuccessful hunt".

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                  Thank you Shotgunner, the reason why I've focuses on 243 and 308 is because the club i want to join (the Alpine) recommends these two calibers as most appropriate. This is without me actually having anything intelligent to say about this matter....I find this wide selection of calibers quite confusing.

              • #14
                I have to agree with Mick on this one, have a serious look at the Howa's I met a new shooter on the weekend at my local range and his first centrefire rifle was a Howa in a Boyds thumbhole stock topped with a Vortex scope, not sure of the model but I think it was a 4-12 power, but the calibre was something different and often forgotten about, the 6.5x55 Swede, he had been given very good advice from his LGS Possibly an ideal calibre for a newbie, low recoil, good barrel life, definitely 3-400 metre capable and will handle ferals with no problems. I would think a Howa in a similar package should fit your budget with some cash left over for ammo

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                • #15
                  then a 223 would be more than ideal.
                  you can do target,.....f-class,..........hunting,.........field-rifle events.
                  it will be easier to shoot than a 308 or similar. truly.
                  cheaper to run, and last a long time.
                  then your next gun can be a bigger one.

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                    Thanks Send-it, I will need to do a bit of balancing here as I will also have to buy a similar rifle (left hander though) for my daughter. So the costs will escalate dramatically.

                  • Shotgunner
                    Shotgunner commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Originally posted by Send-it" post=38098
                    then a 223 would be more than ideal.
                    Boss, the op is in Victoria and he wants to shoot meat animals. For a small deer that means at least a 243 to be legal.
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