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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Andy,

Sight your .357 rifle in 2" high at 100. You'll be dead on at close to 125 yards, and 3-4" low at 150 yards, most likely.

Not a long range gun, but a little flatter than most folks think.
 

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lol yeah thanks! I gotta say Im kinda proud of myself all the research is paying out. I found a marlin 357 mag at a local gunshot for only $575, I was ready to buy it in the spot, upon some closer inspection the allegedly NEW marlin had a few problems. Im not sure if this problems are serious, maybe it would've been worth buying it and just fixing them. For what I had read online you wanna stay away from wobbling triggers; the trigger in this rifle was all over the place (even for someone with no experience, it didn't feel right) it had about a quarter of an inch of loose movement before it'll get firm and shoot. I found signs of rust in the barrel (on a second gun shop they told me this can happen to new rifles if they are store for more than 6 months) but at the time I thought that was really dubious on a new gun. The action of the lever would get jam and it had a scratch on the receiver. I was shocked after asking 3 times to hear that it was new, I decided to pass. I just ordered a gorgeous henry .22 with the octagonal barrel at budsgunshop.com for only $350, I think this is going to be the best option for me to start shooting; I played around with some henrys at the store and the action felt super smooth, only reason I didn't buy was it had the brass receiver and so It was $500 which I thought wasn't worth it. I had a couple of friends criticize the .22 and call it a strong bb gun, but since Im new to the shooting scene Im really not ashamed, also I do see it as a useful rifle if you wanna hunt small game and not pick up the pieces of meet from nearby trees as It would probably happen with a 357 or 30.30. The .22 is also quieter, and like many mention in this thread is THE intro rifle. It will allow me to practice a lot and well... is beautiful lol. Next one will probably be a marlin 30.30! but who knows, too soon to tell
Marlin triggers flop normally when not cocked. That isn't a defect.
 

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new to shooting

The first thing you need to do is find a shooter's safety course to attend that will cover the fundamentals of firearm safety and handling. It would be great if you had a seasoned mentor available to get you started shooting and be there for all the questions you will have without all the hype about their favorite zombie killer or getting ahead of themselves and you with advice about advanced things like reloading when you haven't even shot a gun before.
As far as the best starter firearm, a .22 rimfire in whatever action you prefer is preferable for a number of reasons to a heavier caliber rifle. Things such as cost of ammo, recoil and noise, finding a place to shoot, etc. recommend the choice of a .22 over anything else for the beginner. For that matter, a .22 can be used to teach you every technique and principle involved in becoming a consummate rifleman. You are young and there will be plenty of time for a heavier rifle once you get to know your .22 like the back of your hand. You will do yourself a favor having just the one rifle and get to know and shoot it well before moving up. Like the old saying goes, "beware of the man that owns just one rifle, he will know how to shoot it well".
Good luck to you as you grow into the sport we all love so much.
 

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the .30/30 is a better gun and less recoil then the .357 but if you want a gun to learn to shoot with a 22 cal or a sks as both are good for frist time shooters and are cheap also the sks is a better rifle for light bush and more open feild shots then the 30-30 but the 336 marlin is good for bush and lighter then the sks by a few pounds so thats my 2 cents worth and i have both rifles and im able to take heads off of ruffed grouse with the336 and sks so hopefuly it helps you out in the endevors to come


P.S. Always remeber to shoot for the head when the zombies come
 

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Just food foe thought....the old "weak kneed" 30-30 has more energy at 100 yards than the " mighty" 44 mag has at the muzzle. 1000 ft/lbs at 100 for the 30-30. 550-600 ft/lbs at the muzzle for the 44 mag..... These are factory loads there is going to be big differences with hand loadsBUT the 3030 will have more energy.
 

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I have both .357 Mag & .30-30 lever guns . .357 is a barrel of fun as a plinking gun . Probably OK for hunting out to , maybe 75 - 100 yards , with accurate bullet placement . Inexpensive to reload , especially with Unique and home cast bullets .

.30-30 is a more powerful hunting caliber , effective out to at least 150 yards . Moderate recoil . Also economical to reload for ( but not as cheap as .357 Mag ) with home cast bullets .

God bless
Wyr
 

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I have seen and used the .357 magnum on animals up to and including deer, and IMO its not a very good killer of any kind of game, albeit its an impressive man killer with the right bullets..

For any kind of hunting a 30-30 is a darn good killer of deer size animals up to my personal limit of 250 yards under ideal conditions...200 yards is more realistic for a clean kill IMO..

As many guns as I have and as much as I have hunted world wide, I still like to slip out behind my house if I get a draw, and hunt deer horseback with a 30-30 Win or my old 25-35..My cowboy grandson and son in law liked my straight grip Marlin 336 with a 2.5X Leupold Alaskan on it in weaver low mounts and its a shooter for sure. so do the rest of the family, so I have to make reservations or trade them my Sav. 99E in 250-3000. We still love the lever guns, it would be unAmerican not to..
 

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I'll be 75 in July and have owned guns in many calibers.

I highly recommend any new shooter start out with a quality .22 rifle and handgun if your state laws allow.

The .22 is a gun that can be used all year, for target, plinking or small game hunting. It's pretty quiet and almost non-existant recoil allows you to perfect your shooting skills and not develop a flinch from shooting high power centerfires.

Ammunition prices have been going up but .22 is the winner for those of us on a budget. You can buy Federal 550 bulk .22 for much less than centerfire ammo.

The 30-30 is a great round for deer but you are not going to be putting much ammo through it on a yearly basis. Other than deer season most 30-30's rest in gun safes or closets.

Get a .22 (or several) for shooting and a 30-30 for hunting. I can guarantee you will be putting a lot more ammo through the .22. A .357 is a good round for Cowboy Action shooting.

I have lever, pump and auto .22 Winchester rifles and plan to add a Ruger American Rimfire .22 bolt-action soon. The Ruger ARR looks like the best deal to me.

I also have a Winchester Trapper 30-30 but it gets no use.
 

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Stop watching the walking dead & learn to walk before you run.

I take it you haven't looked at prices on 357 levers yet, especially the Winchester, be prepared for some sticker shock. You could likely find a good conditioned used Marlin lever in 22lr & 30-30 both for less than 1/2 what you would pay for a good Win 94 357. Not every gun needs a scope/laser/holographic sight either. Save your money and learn how to shoot the open sights that come with the rifle & put the $ towards ammo & practice. When you start hunting, the same walk before you run rule applies. Start with small game before large. If you hunt the thick woods, where the majority of game will be found after hunting season starts & the hunting pressure is on, you will find that the majority of shots will be very close. When someone asks if you "load", it's really do you re-load, as in make your own ammo. A lot of info all at once I know. DON'T IMPULSE BUY!!! Decide on what you want, try as many as possible to shoot, or even just hold in your hands. Look at newspaper ads, bulletin boards, online sellers like (your states) guntrader.com, etc. For a poor student save the $ on the normally higher prices of new retail + taxes, and think good conditioned used. when you decide on a brand, most mfgr's have a following & an online forum where you can ask members what to look for and out for on specific used guns. good luck and keep asking ?'s. All of us were where you are once & would be glad to help you NOT make the same mistakes we did.
 

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Dissing the 22lr

ANYONE that would knock the 22lr, doesn't know squat & their advice shouldn't be taken for more than the macho hot air it is. I've been told by many Mr Macho's that my 7mm08 is a pop gun & they believe a 300 win mag is the smallest caliber that will kill small deer. Did they teach you what fos stands for in school? A 357mag in a rifle recoiling more than a 30-30 in the same type rifle is absurd. Don't believe everything you read on the net (INCLUDING ME), try to find posters opinions that agree BEFORE you believe them. If you are thinking of a Marlin, go to the Marlin forum & read up on the Remington made guns vs the originals. GOOD FOR YOU on trusting your instincts, they are usually not wrong. Making mistakes are inevitable, that's how you learn, they never end and get more expensive the older & wiser you are, just try to not make them twice.
 

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For your first rifle - go with a 22. You can shoot hundreds of round for 8-10 cents a round. Now some of you will say that you can't get 22lr. I am fairly new to shooting and everytime i have walked into a LGS in NY state i walked out with at least 100 rounds. Most of the time a lot more.

Enjoy and welcome.
 

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Advice is sometimes like an old girl friend. Better forgotten. But then, for What it is worth it is always worth listening to. If you are a new shooter, start with a .22; and the Henry is a great little rifle. Get the basic H001 for $200+ at Walmart. I had to buy my daughter one so I could have mine back to shoot. They are a blast. The only thing better is a pump .22. Or maybe a Browning ATD, or a Ruger 10/22, or maybe a CZ 452 bolt action. See! They get habit forming. Plus pistols and revolvers from .22, .380, 9mm, .357, 40 S&W, .45 ACP, and a plethora of shotguns. But then I am 73 and I have been shooting since I was 5 years old (Red Ryder BB gun until I was 10).

I had a 336 Marlin in 30-30 when I was a senior in high school in 1959. Killed several deer with it. I moved up to a .270 a few years later when I started shooting ground hogs and moved to Montana after graduating college as a forester with the USFS. I still have the .270. It has taken deer, elk, bear, goat and antelope and a lot of crows and woodchucks. A great cartridge to hand load. I don't think I ever had to shoot anything twice. Maybe the black bear to put it down.

If you live in Florida, the land of the feral hogs, the 30-30 is good, but the .35 is even better. A deer won't really notice the difference.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and you don't need to move mountains starting out. Learn to shoot something you can afford to shoot all day. Practice, practice, practice. That is half the fun of shooting. I don't have the 336 anymore, but I do have a pair of 30-30 Mdl 94 Winchesters. I have shot the rifle, but never the carbine. Kind of just for eye candy.

You sound like you aren't too old, so enjoy. Just my thoughts of course.

Tigerbeetle
 

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I already responded to this thread suggesting a .22 as a "First Gun" but would like to add that I don't recommend a semi-automatic as your first weapon, especially for younger shooters.

The danger is the fact that every time you pull the trigger on a semi-automatic the gun goes bang. If a new shooter gets excited he/she could easily pull the trigger by accident.

Getting familiar with any gun is a must and a shooter should understand how the gun operates and it's easier to de-cock a bolt-action or a hammer-type lever-action or pump-action.

Wish I could count the times I've had a shot at a squirrel, only to have him suddenly zip out of sight and leave me with a live round in a cocked rifle. Letting the hammer off slowly on a Lever or Pump is the easiest.

I realize that a Ruger 10/22 has been one of the most popular first guns out there but I would be more inclined to get a new shooter something like the new Ruger American Rimfire .22 bolt-action or a Henry lever action. Too bad the Rossi/Taurus copy of a Winchester model-62 pump is no longer available.

By the way, I'm 75 and have many years of seeing a shooter pull the trigger on a semi-automatic by accident.
 
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