recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

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recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by MackDaddy » 23 Jan 2019, 2:05 pm

G'day comrades!

I am looking at getting my first all-round centerfire rifle however I don't know where to begin. I prefer bolt-action.
What calibre and make would you recommend and why? I am looking to spend between $750-$1250.

Thanks
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Ziad » 23 Jan 2019, 8:38 pm

Hmm we need more info... but there is a recommend me a 223 thread if you search its quite good and....ironically funny
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by solarpak » 23 Jan 2019, 9:01 pm

Yep - what are you intending to use it for - target, hunting?
That aside, you cant go wrong with makes such as the Savage Axis, Howa M1500, Tikka t3x (lite model only) Mauser M18 , Ruger American and probably a few more i have missed.

Just depends what you need it for and that will dictate the specification if the rifle you will look at.

My favourites in this price range - Howa M1500, Tikka T3x Lite and the Mauser M18.... but any reputable make with dealer back-up and a decent warranty is what you want.

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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by MackDaddy » 23 Jan 2019, 10:01 pm

I want it for both target shooting and hunting.

Prepared to go to $1500 if need be
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Bruiser64 » 24 Jan 2019, 12:07 am

What are you hunting and where? If hunting on private properties, what is the size range? The more information you can provide, the better the advice that can be offered.
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Diamond Jim » 24 Jan 2019, 1:56 am

My first centrefire rifle was a SMLE in .303 - I wouldn't recommend that if you're not into open sights and all that nostalgia stuff.
My next, and most often used rifle is a CZ in .223 - it shoots like a laser, cheap for factory ammo and easy to reload. Before that we had/have a Slazenger (SMLE conversion) .22 Hornet in the family for ever and it still works but the CZ was a revelation. Brother has a Howa in .223 and it is fantastic value for money. It/he consistently outshoots me/mine.
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by JimTom » 24 Jan 2019, 5:09 am

If you want something for target and hunting then I would recommend a Lithgow LA102. They’re a crossover. As for calibre, .243 is a good “all rounder”, otherwise a .223 if you’re just chasing smaller game.
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by JimTom » 24 Jan 2019, 5:10 am

If you don’t like the idea of the Lithgow then I would say it’s hard to go past a Tikka T3x.
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Kelsey Cooter » 24 Jan 2019, 5:16 am

Since its your 1st rifle I'd say howa 223. Well within your price range so you've got plenty to spend on a good scope. The howas shoot the ADI/OSA factory rounds great.

Howa 223 was my 1st rifle, now I have 308 and 300wm to go with it. The little howa is always my preferred choice
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by bladeracer » 24 Jan 2019, 5:40 am

.223Rem Ruger American Predator is my pick. 8"-twist barrel so you get to play with bullets up to 80gn.
Or if you're wanting something you can use for everything from Varmints to deer, try 7mm-08.
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by SCJ429 » 24 Jan 2019, 6:48 am

The Ruger #1 is a beautiful rifle and a single shot helps slow new shooters down. You may find one secondhand within your budget.
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Kumaabear » 24 Jan 2019, 7:37 am

It really heavily depends what you see yourself hunting, and where you will do said hunting.

- Personally I would avoid .223 for hunting if its your only rifle and you don't see yourself getting another one anytime soon, its a great cartridge but it is a bit limiting and you might find yourself looking for something a bit more potent pretty quickly once you start wanting to go after larger pigs and deer.

- .243 is a great intermediate cartridge that will work well on everything up to probably Fallow deer if you chose quality hunting projectiles and hunt at a sensible range within about 200yd. It will be "overkill" on small stuff if you are just going after varmints but nobody will say that its ineffective haha.

- If you are after deer in VIC then there is a minimum caliber requirement of .270 or higher. In this case your best bet would probably be .308 , 7mm-08 (ammo supply can be a touch hard but its around and is a sweet cartridge) , .270 or 30-06

- Of the above for VIC .308 is the obvious choice imo if you are hunting within 300-400 yd, any rifle you want will come in it, ammo choice is plentiful and everywhere, ample power.

Personally the 7mm-08 might be my favorite but factory ammo selection can be a little small but it really is a great cartridge.

As for rifle choice - Tikka T3x Varment stainless or a Lithgow LA102 would probably be my pick for something for both range work and hunting.

Both are sort of heavy for hunting once you stick a scope on them, but wont heat up super fast at the range.
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Rod_outbak » 24 Jan 2019, 8:35 am

Given we are talking your first centrefire rifle, I'd suggest going with a .223 with a 1:8-1:9"" twist barrel or therabouts(I'd suggest 1:8" if you can do it).

.243, 7mm-08 and .308 are all great calibers(and I have them all!), but even a .243 can be intimidating for a first-time shooter.
.223 with a faster twist is plenty good enough to shoot distance on a range, and you can shoot one all day.
At this stage in the game, you need to get comfortable with shooting; first & foremost.
[Paves the way for filling the gun-safe with bigger bitier stuff in the future...]

If my first centrefire had been my Tikka 7mm-08, I'd have likely taken up chess as a hobby instead....
I love that rifle dearly , but it has taken some getting used to (and some tweaking as well)

A 75gn pill in a .223 is pretty good with wind, and hits pretty darned hard as well; out in the field.
Also; .223 ammo is really easy to source, and some of the factory stuff is pretty freaking awesome. I had a mate here the other day; sighting in his Tikka T3x .223. He was using 55gn Hornady V-Max factory ammo, and it was shooting as good as anything I've seen custom loaded for a particular rifle.
13mm groups from factory ammo is plenty good enough for hunting ammo!
We bought a .223 Howa 1500 Hunter Stainless with the synthetic stock; back in September. Damn thing shoots ~18mm groups out of the box, and has been an absolute champ.
Not the flashest rifle, and not the most high-tech, but a great, solid, reliable firearm.
The rifle cost me $880 incl though my LGS (Outback QLD - you'll likely source is cheaper than that in Victoria), and even with a rail, rings and scope, I could have the rifle set up for under your $1500 limit.

There are things on the Howa that I'll tweak over time, but the rifle shoots really well and reliably out of the box. Cant ask for more.

One point to think about; you mention wanting the rifle for both target and hunting?
Bear in mind that the ideal setup for hunting might heat up quickly on the range(which then starts to affect your grouping.).
A heavier/longer barrel might be better for target work, but will reduce how prepared you are to walk any distance with it.
If you are only likely to be hunting from a vehicle(or varminting), with the occasional short walk, but spend most of your shooting time on the range, I'd tend towards a heavier (and maybe slightly longer) barrel.

My thoughts; doubtless others will have their own point of view.
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Daddybang » 24 Jan 2019, 8:46 am

Gday MD
what type of experience do ya have with firearms?
If ya not a novice and it's more for hunting varmiting then id go .243 (lots of bullet choice)
If ya not very experienced or its more for targets then I'd agree with rod and others and look at the.22 cal cf ( .222 .223 22hornet etc).
As for model/rifle choice get to an lgs and shoulder a selection in different styles and setup etc to see what fits YOU best! :thumbsup: :drinks:
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Dossa456 » 24 Jan 2019, 5:21 pm

+1 for the Howa - cheap , shoots great straight out of the box. Few good second hand ones kicking around on the net railed and scoped and usually just run in
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Gaznazdiak » 24 Jan 2019, 5:34 pm

1:8 twist .223
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by Oldbloke » 24 Jan 2019, 5:43 pm

Where is the OP?
Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: Better to load on the mild side. :o The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: "Often the written message doesn't convey all of the information"
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Re: recommendations for first all-round centerfire rifle?

Post by TassieTiger » 24 Jan 2019, 6:53 pm

Steyr in Lapua 338 for first centrefire rifle for sure. Great for all occasions!
Will knock a lot of sense in to you and then you can sell it cheapvto me.
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