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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let’s assume I am new to prepping which means I’m starting from scratch. This also means I’m having to spread my budget out over several aspects of prepping at one time. Assuming I have no firearms, what would you suggest as being my first rifle purchase? Take into consideration current conditions.

My personal suggestion is a semi-auto Marlin Model 60 .22 cal. They can still be found for reasonable prices, ammo is still available and can be found in both HP and ball, they are good for taking down small game (and even larger game with knowledge and practice) and they are lightweight and easy to carry. Not to mention, parts are readily available and reasonably priced. They are also easy to work on should the need arise.

Let me see your suggestions.
 

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I would suggest a .22 pump. Then a shotgun with a variety of rounds for self defense and hunting large and small game.
 

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Rather than a rifle, I'd suggest a shotgun for starters. Can be used for hunting, etc. Use slugs and you can take larger animals. The big diameter of a shotgum barrel has a certain intimidation factor. Just my opinion, obviously.
 

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Lever,bolt or pump 22lr of your choice. Accuracy would be the driving factor. No semi auto or magazine fed weapons.

Breaking my own rules I prefer a CZ 22lr bolt. Some of the best made, accurate 22's on the market IMHO.
 

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When we first moved to the country, we rented a late 1800’s farm house on the edge of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
We lived at 40th and Plum.
As in “40 miles out plum in the middle of nowhere.”
Due to a divorce my gun collection was gone, except for a Colt 45 Automatic. This would be good for the bears that came around after dark, but useless for a racoon after our chickens.
My very first homestead gun was a Marlin Model 60 I bought at K-Mart.
Being financially challenged, the next gun was a well used single shot 12 gauge. Back then they were plentiful in pawn shops for around $75.

In the 35 years since, my collection was rebuilt to where I can grab a gun to fit any job.
But, for the first timer, I would strongly suggest a 22 rifle of some sort to start with.
Then a shotgun.
 

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Get a remington 700 cheap and you can upgrade them to match grade as you go. Rifle will grow with you and parts are easily accessible.


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My recommendation is a Ruger American in 22LR then the 10/22. Sharing mags is nice, the bolt is for precision work, the Semi-Auto is for quick work. Both are standard items that is easy to get parts for and easy to upgrade or modify.

Next would be a pump shotgun, for new owners I usually recommend a 20 gauge, less recoil, good ammo selection, and readily available. My suggestions are either a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870. Both are prolific so parts and upgrades are easily acquired. They are good for getting food or protecting the home.

After that I recommend a pistol, I don't care about caliber, 380 to 500, pick what every member of the household can work with. Semi-Auto or revolver, it doesn't matter. Brand, doesn't matter. What matters is that everyone can work it, everyone can shoot it, and everyone knows that it is there to get you to the shotgun. The only consideration is that it points naturally for the users. I have people pick up the pistol at the counter, they pick out a target, close their eyes and then point the weapon at the target, if it is close to the target then it works, if the pistol is pointing at the wrong place and they are holding the pistol correctly then they need to keep shopping. My wife and I are not even close in our natural point, I would be a foot low at 25 yards with her pistols and she is a foot high with mine.

After this I finally start advising to get a medium game rifle. Now they are ready for deer season. By this time they should understand most of the technologies that they need to understand and can makes some good decisions.

Then after that is when I start recommending MSR's, black powder, and other such rifles. I know a few folks who stopped at deer rifle and revisited the squirrel/rabbit rifles and shotguns and have never left that arena. I know a few folks who found that birds were their passion and stayed with shotguns and even do deer with shotguns. Of course I have friends who are big black powder buffs as fell as friends who are super into archery. Luckily, I play with a little of everything until I work my problems out and then start adding new technologies into my mix again.

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And forget the AR and get an AK
 

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I had a "civilian" AR, and asked my buddies and the guy at the sporting goods store for lots of magazines, it was actually a "hunting store," and not many guys dropped by for FMJs and Kevlar. I got a lot of battered 20-round magazine and a few of the "curved" magazines that held 30 rounds. Fortunately I have been a handloader for many years, but feeding an AR required periodic soaking the rounds in oil and then checking for dents and neck cracks. And trimming, there was always trimming...

The reason? A former soldier told me to always check the head-stamp. If I saw two initials and a date there was a good chance those brass casings had been pounded to death at government range. I did as I was told, always checked the magazines' springs any old oil and dust. And BTW, military brass is longer than civilian brass. That brass was loaded and the necks rolled down tight. I got a hand lathe and trimmed all my brass to civilian specs.

Like anything else, all that work and tedious scrounging finally got to me. I bought a really fine .22 rifle in stainless (which I still have) and I could still hit beer cans at 100 yards. I no longer make military brass into "civilian brass." Life is way to short...
 

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I’m disappointed in you for saying that.
Why? For a combat rifle I want one that will not fail. Under any circumstances.
Life is not always a sunny day at the range.
Mud, sand, monsoon rain, conditions that are unimaginable to most Americans.
In fact, in Basic Training, one day the range was so muddy, and rolling around in it going through the various firing positions, my M14 got clogged with enough mud that would have stopped my later M16 cold. Yet that old 14 kept firing, even when the peep sight was so clogged I had to look AROUND it to get a bead on the target.
 
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In combat rifles I have 2 Mosin Nagants, 3 Mausers (two 98’s, one Turkish), 2 M1 Carbines, Springfield M1903A3, M1 Garand, SA M1A, Romanian AK, Chinese SKS.
For my pea shooter I have a Mini 14.

But no AR. Just a personal preference.
 

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Why? For a combat rifle I want one that will not fail. Under any circumstances.
Life is not always a sunny day at the range.
Mud, sand, monsoon rain, conditions that are unimaginable to most Americans.
In fact, in Basic Training, one day the range was so muddy, and rolling around in it going through the various firing positions, my M14 got clogged with enough mud that would have stopped my later M16 cold. Yet that old 14 kept firing, even when the peep sight was so clogged I had to look AROUND it to get a bead on the target.
At your age, I don’t think you are going to be crawling through mud anymore but if you did, just close the dust guard on the AR. It keeps stuff out pretty good.

You would benefit from an accurate rifle that could be used to snipe with if needed. That AK might be good at laying down cover fire and hitting pie plates in the back yard but that’s about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
At your age, I don’t think you are going to be crawling through mud anymore but if you did, just close the dust guard on the AR. It keeps stuff out pretty good.

You would benefit from an accurate rifle that could be used to snipe with if needed. That AK might be good at laying down cover fire and hitting pie plates in the back yard but that’s about it.
I’ve heard the AK-74 is a straight shooter.
 

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