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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I trying to help a friend pick out a rifle. We're looking at something in .223 or similar, semi-auto, accurate and fairly inexpensive. I have suggested an AR 15, but I'd like to see what else is out there. What she's looking for is something lightweight and compact. What do y'all think of the mini-14's? We've looked at the ranch rifles but have heard some bad things about their accuracy.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Light and accurate in a semi-auto is pretty much an oxymoron. Ruger is making a "target" Mini-14 you might look at if spooked by previous reports of the standard rifle. Anything in the black rifle catagory will weigh in at 8+ pounds or so, especially when using the 20 to 30 round magazine. Start adding all the aftermarket gizmos and the weight goes up from there.

OK - all your black gun owners jump in here with the tales of your "wonder gun" that shoots cloverleafs at 400 yds and weighs a mere 5 lbs. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know that light and accurate usually don't mix. But as far as accuracy is concerned she's only shooting out to 150 to 200yrds max, most of it being under 100yrds. I believe that she is scared of not being able to handle a bigger gun. Up to now all she has shot has been a Ruger 22 carbine. Her first time shooting a "Big gun" was my Reminton 700 in 270win. Scared her pretty badly but not enough to stop shooting. She wants to go hog and varmint hunting with me, but she only has that 22 and my guns are a little too big for her. I'm trying to not "break the bank" on my suggestions as well.
I'm waiting on the wonder gun my self.
 

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.243 IMO... small enough for varmits, big enough for hogs. Light recoil. Personally, I'd get two separate rifles (or two barrels at least) for varmits and hogs... .223 for varmits and something like .260 Remington or 6.5x55SE for hogs. I know .223 can kill a hog but I would personally want something a little bigger.
 

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Why not a High Point carbine in 9MM? They may not be real pretty, but they only cost a few hundred $ new and I have yet to read anything bad about them. They tend to be quite accurate and 9mm ammo isn't nearly as expensive as .223.
 

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Mini 14s are plenty accurate for plinking, and the new ones (580 series and up) are pretty refined and should easily shoot inside of 2" at 100 yards. They have a lot thicker barrels and they have been tuned by Ruger to handle a lot better than the old ones. I have an old one the shoots just fine for what I use it for.

The Hi Point Carbines are pretty popular and fun and cheap to shoot.
 

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For an aspiring shooter that is a bit concerned about recoil and budget-conscious, I think it would be hard to beat the H&R in 7mm-08. If you handload, put together some lighter weight bullets with moderate charges and let her enjoy shooting. For hunting loads, buy/load 140gr bullets of good construction and have her sight them in and get used to them with a lead sled. Once she's confident in her ability to shoot the gun, have her work her way up to shooting a few from the shoulder. When the time comes to drop the hammer on a hog, she won't notice it and should be able to shoot accurately, with confidence.

You could buy this gun and send the gun to their factory for a second barrel (.223?) to give a lot of versatility for less than most bolt-guns offer.

http://www.galleryofguns.com/genie/default.aspx?item=sb2-708

Just my .02.
 

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ARs prices are coming down as I understand it. Not all ARs are that heavy. A standard M4 Carbine is 5.9 lbs unloaded and a full 30rd mag adds one pound. They are accurate enough for me to use is All Army Competition with irons sights to 500 yds. This is the same carbine I used for three tours in Iraq and 3 days prior to the match, jumped out of a C130 with it.



A flat top model will allow the use of adding a scope much more effeciently then mounting on top of carrying handle.

I haven't shot a Mini14 in over 20yrs but here Ruger really worked on getting the accuracy up. You might want to look at the KelTec 16 carbine in 5.56 also. Another caliber would be the 7.62x39 for plinking in either a AK type, SKS or Saiga. Good advice also given on the NEF rifle and order additional barrels as needed. With a proper bullet and shot placement 5.56 will kill deer and hogs, same with the 7.62x39.

CD
 

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+1 to what Combat Diver said,

BUT. Economical? Not in my opinion. What I mean is that most any semi-auto tends to have folks shoot way faster than a *LEARNER* really should. Now for some one with a fair bit of experience, or if Good Discipline can be maintained while training, then sure!

That being said: http://www.ruger.com/products/m77HawkeyeLaminateCompact/models.html
These are Dang Hard To Beat for your stated criteria. Any of them are relatively mild in recoil. All can be taken hunting.

Good Shooting,
Gary
 

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The important thing to do first, is to get used to the noise and recoil of a gun. That's where the High point in 9mm can be helpful. Cheap to shoot and it would give a new shooter the confidence to move up to a centerfire rifle cartridge for hunting without laying out large chunks of money.
 

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does he have basic 22lr training.. if not thats the direction id point you in..
also i agree start with a bolt action..i got 22 semi.. but i know how to use it..one shot at a time like a bolt action..yes ive sprayed bullets before..but the only way id ever shoot at anything like that would be in the case of me being sure it was a burgler,,an no lights to see by..
one shot one kill ..just the way i think..good luck in your search..slim
ps don t have much long guns anymore ..just too shaky to use them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
She has quite a few years experience with a ruger 10/22. She has good control and is a good shot. She is just can't handle a heavy gun or heavy recoil. She's a lightweight. We looked at the Kel-Tec's, she doesn't like the looks but she likes the weight and some of the chamberings. She saw the sub-2000, I think she likes the fact that it is light, shoots pistol ammo and the price is hard to beat at $409. Don't know too much about them, but I have heard good things. What do y'all think?
 

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Piney Woods Moderator
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How about a Marlin 1894 in 357 mag. Light weight, light recoil and shoots pistol ammo, 38 special or 357 magnum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Jodum, that's the gun I'm after, I'd get too jealous if she got that before me. lol. I told her about that one first, I don't think she'd shoot it if she had to cycle the action for each shot. She's wanting a semi-auto. We're trying to stay under about $600 including tax and shipping. The lowest price I've come across for the Marlin 1894c puts this just over this mark.
 

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For a Plinker and all around Beater, throw in the truck 223, I dont think you can beat a Mini-14
 

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Wolfen, in the price range you describe and the requirements, semi auto, .223 caliber-ish and light weight, it really does look like the Mini 14 in the synthetic stock fits best.

There are tweaks for even the older ones that will only shoot 3 inches at 100 to make them nearly halve that grouping.

Now, if you had a .243 and she shot that... depending on what she felt about the recoil there, maybe a Remington semi in .243? They are fairly light and compact.

Or maybe a 10/22 Magnum? Add in .17 HMR barrel and bolt kit. Little more zip and zap there but still in a rifle she knows and shoots well.

The hog hunting makes this tough. .22 magnum or .17 HMR would work for varmints to 150 but not hogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Michael, she shot my 270win. It was a bit too much for her right now. How do the 243's kick? I've only been showing her calibers I've shot before, unfortunately that's not much on light weight rifles.
Diriel, Don't the M1 carbines kick hard? I don't think she could deal with that. But I may look into one for me though.
I think I'll try talking her into the mini 14. I may see if I can get it modified to a larger caliber.
 

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M1 Carbines are pretty light kickers, they shoot 30 Carbine, which is roughly equivalent to .357 Magnum.
 
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