First rifle

AntlerHunter

Well-Known Member
Hi all,
Going to be applying for my firearms. Already passed DSC1 and have recently been offered land on which I can shoot. Wanting to know what rifle to apply for as a good high seat rifle yet also a good stalking rifle, Majority of stalking will be in dense woodland so hopefully not one too long or heavy?

Currently a uni student but got a few quid saved up so money isn't a huge restriction as it is with most students, but not wanting to spend more than needed for a first rifle and optics (nothing fancy, just needs to do the job). I'll be stalking mainly red and the odd fallow or roe, really clued up on my deer and the hunting aspects of it all just new to picking rifles and what to look for.

Any advice would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks
Harry
 
Wanting to eventually use it for one of every species in the UK and with some of the land I'll be shooting on i doubt a .308 will be acceptable, .243 is more likely the best for me, just wondering what rifles are best. (sorry shouldve said this in the post)
 
Most rifles will shoot better than most shooters so you will have many to choose. Tikka T3 is a really good starter put on top of this a secondhand 8x56 scope (Schmidt, Zeiss, Swarovski ) you will have a really good set up.

not sure why you reject a 308, with a mod they make just the same noise and the 243 is just as dangerous.

BE
 
As above the T3 is the obvious answer if they feel right when you handle one. I too would not rule out a 308. It is the consummate all rounder, especially if you are after large deer. It is not the calibre that makes a shot safe or unsafe, it's the backstop!
 
A Tikka T-3 in 308 or 7mm 08 would be hard to beat , on either side of the pond .

AB
I agree with AB but if the restriction set is .243 A Tikka would still be the best bet. The Super varmint comes with a rail as Standard, just the scope and rings, I use "Third eye Tactical" and You can't beat a 8x56 scope, my favourites are Docter. Just the moderator, about £200 buys a "Wildcat Evo" they are strippable and you can easily change the baffles and bridge between calibers and threads.
Hope this helps.
Cheers Steve.
 
A Tikka T-3 in 308 or 7mm 08 would be hard to beat , on either side of the pond .

AB

+1
The T3 or the new improved T3x comes threaded in a 20" barrel making it shorter for carrying around and using in woodland equally both the 7mm-08 and 308 work well out of 20" barrels.

You say you're shooting Reds so why go for a 243 which at distance is a 'only just can do' calibre when the 7mm-08 and 308 will be more suitable?! There is nothing wrong with the 243 and I've shot enough Reds with one to know but I also know the 7mm-08 and 308 are better performers. More or less they have the same energy at 175 yards that a 243 has at the muzzle.

No doubt you'll hear how it's where you place your shot but not every shot is perfect and the extra 'oomph' counts! Lets face it the 243 was designed as a varmint round capable of shooting deer with the correct bullet the other two are out and out deer calibres.
 
Wanting to eventually use it for one of every species in the UK and with some of the land I'll be shooting on i doubt a .308 will be acceptable, .243 is more likely the best for me, just wondering what rifles are best. (sorry shouldve said this in the post)

Don't know where you got that from because as my FLO told me most land cleared for deer is cleared up to 308 calibre these days. That would include the likes of 270, 7x64, 7mmRM all more powerful than the 308 but included because their calibres are smaller! Yep, our firearms laws make no sense! If you have an open ticket then you take responsibility for the calibre you use on the land where you have permission to shoot irrespective of what Firearms Licencing have cleared it for.

Having said that if the land you will be on is cleared only for 243 it is no big deal for it to be cleared to 308 or more but you need to challenge that. Historically you may find that land only cleared up to 243 was because when originally applied for clearance the shooter only had a 243, nothing more complicated than that.
 
Don't know where you got that from because as my FLO told me most land cleared for deer is cleared up to 308 calibre these days. That would include the likes of 270, 7x64, 7mmRM all more powerful than the 308 but included because their calibres are smaller! Yep, our firearms laws make no sense! If you have an open ticket then you take responsibility for the calibre you use on the land where you have permission to shoot irrespective of what Firearms Licencing have cleared it for.

Having said that if the land you will be on is cleared only for 243 it is no big deal for it to be cleared to 308 or more but you need to challenge that. Historically you may find that land only cleared up to 243 was because when originally applied for clearance the shooter only had a 243, nothing more complicated than that.


^^ I would agree with this! I would challenge the land clearance, and TBH I'm not sure I'd want to be shooting red deer with a .243. I know it can be done and it will kill them, but personally I'd want a bit more wallop to hand especially if you're shooting them just before or early on in the rut when they have a good level of fat on them.

.308 is very much considered an all-rounder so definitely worth looking in to.

Either way, whether you go for a .243 or .308 I would have a look at the Schultz and Larsen rifles (either the Classic or the Victory). They run about the same price as a Sako but have cut rifled barrels rather than hammer forged and are exceptionally good quality for the money and very accurate.
 
Thanks everyone one, really appreciate the help. As I said im not too clued up on rifles themselves which is why I love any feedback and appreciate the help. I'll be sharing the rifle with my dad and hes already applied for .243 so I think that's what I'll be doing mostly. Obviously the backstop is the most important part regarding stopping the bullet safely. I'm pretty knowledgeable about the safety aspects, as I said just the rifle to go for. I'm doing some research and all feedback is making a huge difference thanks very much ladies n gents. Helping me get on my feet in the stalking world !!
 
Nowt wrong in shooting Reds with a .243 Thats if you can shoot to start with. Very popular calibre in Scotland. seems to be the soft southern lads need big calibres to make up for the lack of manliness. :stir: Now seriously you dont relay hear calibres being discussed as much up here, because we are too busy shooting deer.:norty:
 
Don't rule out "cheaper" brands; Howa; Remington, Ruger; Savage; Bergara all give you options of buying utterly solid rifles. I'd have loved to be able to buy a Sako, Tikka, S&L or Saur, but none of them make the deer deader than the other

Don't get hung up on calibre. Don't be bullied into getting a calibe you don't want (albeit I wouldn't buy a 243 - but you go for your life. Just remember that it was not designed to shoot deer, for example in Scotland you'll need 100+ gn to shoot fallow and Red, and that limits your ammo choice in 243) - also heavier bullets will behave more predictably in the heavily wooded land you talk about, but I digress..

Fit and handling of the rifle matters more than anything else. Glass probably deserves a greater investment than the rifle, and mounts shouldn't be overlooked either (stupid to spend a lot of money on top notch German glass, then lash it up to your rifle with cheesy aluminium mounts/rings that may cause you to lose zero, and lose confidence)

Go to the dealers and handle as many as you can - manipulate and dry fire (ask first though) and don't buy anything where your cheek weld is uncomfortable. If dealers won't let you handle the firearms, take your business to those who will.
 
Don't rule out "cheaper" brands; Howa; Remington, Ruger; Savage; Bergara all give you options of buying utterly solid rifles. I'd have loved to be able to buy a Sako, Tikka, S&L or Saur, but none of them make the deer deader than the other

Exactly, at the moment I use a old ZKK in .308 for every game here in Germany. But since silencers are allowed in my state I'm looking for a new rifle because the costs of cutting a thread into it would exceed the value of the rifle. So I recently touched on a big hunting fair in Dortmund every rifle that I could afford as a student, after saving a few months. My favorite ones where the rifles from Savage. Even the better ones with accustock aren't that expensive and precision shall be very good (what I could hear from other hunters).
Now I fell in love withe the Hog hunter in .308, it fitted perfectly to me, the size ist just a little bit more than a meter, so perfectly for silencers and driven hunts. Only thing that I could mention as negative is, that the hog hunter doesn't have a detachable magazine.
 
To my way of thinking your first rifle should always be a .22lr. Go away and practise, practise and practise then when you can shoot get your second rifle which if you want the most versatile should be a .308win. :D
 
Nowt wrong in shooting Reds with a .243 Thats if you can shoot to start with. Very popular calibre in Scotland. seems to be the soft southern lads need big calibres to make up for the lack of manliness. :stir: Now seriously you dont relay hear calibres being discussed as much up here, because we are too busy shooting deer.:norty:

You seem to forget our lowland Reds are much bigger and tougher than your wee wimpy highland crossbreeds! :D
 
. . .I'll be sharing the rifle with my dad and hes already applied for .243 . . .

I wouldn't worry about whats on your/Dad's ticket. It's a very simple change to another calibre called a "one for one" and Firearms Licencing quite often take no more than a couple of days or even whilst you wait to make the swap.
 
You seem to forget our lowland Reds are much bigger and tougher than your wee wimpy highland crossbreeds! :D
HA ha you mean your lowland Red mite. plays havoc on the chickens. And for that i use red mite powder. nae rifle required just good Hen husbandry:rofl:
ATB Tommy
 
Have a look at my thread "Dan'l Fraser". Still for sale, but might be too expensive.
 
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