Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First Rifle

I noticed Zercool noting:  "Most people think a good first gun is a .22. Others defy logic and get a Mosin-Nagant 91/30."  And then others pipe in "Mine was an SKS" and "Mine was a SMLE".

Those are nice choices.  I can imagine people that come to rifle shooting as an adult, rather than growing up shooting, would choose something with a little more oomph.  A .22 rifle is indispensable, but...  You know.  Big serious rifle.  If you only have one rifle it's nice if it is big and serious. 

It also made me think.  The first rifle I ever had was a Springfield '03.  I learned close order drill on that model too, which is why it was gifted to me.

The first rifle I ever bought for myself was a M1 Garand.  A Navy conversion that shoots 7.62x51mm.  It was also the first rifle of mine I ever shot.  The Springfield needs the front sight adjusted.  It also takes some firm effort to close the bolt on a .30-06 round.  There are fewer issues for a lefty shooting the Garand, too, so I favored that model for that reason as well.

Before I started this blog I had the safe queen Springfield, the Garand, and a .357 revolver.  I probably could have stopped right there and been none the worse for wear ready for just about most things.  My next purchase was a Remington Model 11 12-gauge.  That's certainly a fine penultimate.  Everything after that was spares and stuff I just wanted.  Only, arguably, the snubby was 'needed' for concealability and some .22 for practice.

But you could do a lot worse than your first rifle being a Garand.  And in a caliber still fielded by the US and NATO and others.

I imagine a lot of 'first rifles' folks are getting these days are sort of a .22...  .223.  In the form of an AR.  Plus shooting regular ol' .22LR is possible.  And with only an added extra upper, that AR can also shoot deer &c. with something like .458 SOCOM rounds. 

For you folks that came to shooting late in life, what was YOUR first rifle? 


New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I just find the so-called 'atypical' possiblilities interesting.

ZerCool said...

The first rifle I shot was a single-shot bolt .22 at Scout camp. The first rifle I purchased was a Remington 597. (That thing was a POS and has since gone down the road.)

My go-to rifle at the range is STILL a .22, because they're so cheap to feed. ;-)

Balloon Goes Up said...

My 1st rifle was a Savage BTVSS .17HMR. It was the stainless steel and thumb-hole stock variant. It is now gone and my remaining rim-fire is the 10/22 in .22lr that I should have purchased in the 1st place.

Part of the reason so many people get a "Big serious rifle" 1st is that they don't know better.

A .22lr can provide you with many more trigger pulls for your training dollar and allows you to develop good marksmanship with out inducing a flinch.

The skills that are learned on a little .22lr transfer directly to a "Big serious rifle but that is not true in reverse.

Laura said...

The first rifle I bought/owned: my 1937 K98. I love that darn thing.

Oddball said...

My first rifle was a Mosin-Nagant M39. I will say that it taught me how to properly shoulder a rifle. I did buy a Marlin .22 bolt action not too long after that. While the M39 is fun and pretty darn cheap to shoot, the .22 is cheaper to shoot, much easier to clean, and allowed me to really work on the fundamentals. The Nagant ended up staying in the case more and more while at the range.

Frozen said...

First one I aquired on my own was a yugo SKS, which I proceeded to tactikool.

Now it has plenty of company in the safe from .22 up to 30-06 and several examples of American and Eastern Bloc hardware.

Steve_in_CA said...

My first rifle was a hacked up 03a3 that I cleaned up and put a decent scope on it. Ugly but accurate.

Anonymous said...

CMP Garand. Started shooting highpower with club rifles and wanted one of my own.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, since I turned 18 in Boot Camp, Uncle Sam gave me all the Long Guns I needed. I bought/sold/traded Pistols during that period, and I used a borrowed Ruger 10/22 to shoot at my Goblin, but the only Long Gun I bought while in the Navy was a Mossberg 500, and that was towards the end and I wanted something for the Family. But the First Rifle I bought was my 6.5 Swede. Still own it, and it's being worked over by My Buddy the Gun Smith for the Wife.

Anonymous said...

The first rifle I ever shot was a Marlin 336 in 30-30 owned by one of my brothers . Using a 5lb block of modeling clay as a target proved impressive as hell.

The first rifle I ever owned was a nice milled receiver AK. Similar in power but more fun.

That was quickly followed by a Ruger 10/22 :P

Bob S. said...

The First rifle I purchased was a Marlin 60- 14 round tubular magazine feed .22 LR.

The 2nd rifle I purchased was a Mosin-Nagant 91/30.

I think many people who come to rifles late willing to learn on the rifles with greater recoil because they are a.) not afraid of dealing with recoil and b.) unable in many cases to afford another rifle for a considerable amount of time.

So it makes sense to get the rifle with the greatest utility for what you will consider the most likely use -- for many that is SHTF or TEOTWAWKI; hence the Mosins or Garands.

Old NFO said...

First rifle was a .22 single shot made by Stevens... Still have it, but I wore it slap out :-)

DirtCrashr said...

My first rifle was a .30-40 Krag! Then I joined a CMP club and got me a M1 Garand, and later I bought my wife a Winchester model 90 in .22 WRF.

Bogie said...

As a late-in-life beginner shooter as well, my first rifle shot was a T/C muzzleloader. I think my shoulder is still bruised. Moved onto a Ruger 10/22 that I tricked out to look like an AR for my daughter and then got myself a Mosin-Nagant to which I completely sporterized.
Next will probably be a Garand after I shoot the next match at my range with their stock Garands.

This Jew Shoots Guns

Murphy's Law said...

My first rifle, bought when I was 18 years old, was an M1 Garand.

That Guy said...

At the tender age of 12, my first gun was a Remington 760 .30-06.

Still love the big boomers.

Anonymous said...

First rifle I shot: Ruger 10/22
First rifle I bought: Yugo SKS