New rifles

watty85

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

I shoot clays and air rifles. Going for my FAC soon and recently joined a club where I’ve shot some various disciplines and rifles. They have some access to full bore ranges that I will visit shortly too. I only planned to do rimfire but after speaking to club members it’s obvious I’ll end up getting 1-2 full bores too as well as 1-2 rimfires.

Since then I’ve been diving into reviews and YouTube about first rifles and calibres etc….

I’ll be selling of a few air rifles and shotguns which will leave me one of each and space for 5 rifles in my cabinet when the time comes. I know how it works when you try and buy one or two 😂

But as always that’s how I aim to start out, I’ve settled on a bergara B14r .22lr and I also want to get the big brother of this in fullbore in the future.


Full bore and calibre questions

1) My issue is I don’t know enough yet about the full bore stuff. I will get info from club members too but wanted to start gathering information.

Currently I see people chatting a lot about 6.5 creedmore and PrC are these the go to now? A club member suggested the .300 win?

Can people please give me some advice on this please.

2) I want to get the B14 HMR i like the look of the wilderness version but I’ve read reviews the premium is the better option. Looking for views on this and if anyone has these rifles please.

Budget wise I think once I’ve sold some stuff I’ll be able to purchase both the 22lr and the higher spec HMR but if I can save money with the wilderness version then brilliant/new scope lol

3) scope wise I have some decent scopes when I did shoot rifles that will do me / might be fit for purpose. If not I can sell them and get some good optics. What is the go to magnification and spec for full bore? Moa mil etc….


Ammo

1) should o be sorting and storing ammo in those plastic boxes you see? Currently I keep my 12g cartridges in their cardboard boxes within an ammo safe with silica. If I do need them what’s the best options
 
I did much the same as you over the last 18 months.

Get as big a safe for your scoped rifles and keep your existing one for shotguns, and a separate ammo safe as you will be dealing with multiple calibres.

I bought a RD7+ rifle safe (very deep for scoped rifles), a PD7 ammo safe, and have just added a ST5 to move the shotguns into (all from Brattonsound)

Much the same as you, joined a small bore club, that occasionally shoots full bore at Bisley (about 6-8 times a year) so my initial grant was for 4 x .22LR, and 1 x 7.62x51/.308Win

6 months later a variation went in for a 2nd 7.62/.308, and a Sec1 target shotgun.

I'd probably say go for a fairly cheap used .308Win as your first full bore. Easy to get a range of factory ammo, and plenty of options for reloading as well.

Do you want it to be 100% target usage, or would you go stalking later?

I've started accumulating reloading kit. Currently harvesting and cleaning brass, and practising resizing the empty cases, and fitting and removing projectiles from unprimed cases. Not fitting primers or powder at the moment, just getting used to the process.

As I shoot at Bisley, I just find it far easier to use a MOA scope, gets my head around the adjustments needed.

Seems that most popular scope mag is 6-24x or 5-25X, something in that range. I'm trying a 5-25X Vortex & just got a Sightron 8-32X on my second rifle, so will see how I get on with that.
 
Too general a question really. The question of calibre is infinite and nuanced as it depends on what you want to do

What disciplines can you shoot? That can dictate calibre as can the maximum range available to you. Also depends whether you plan on being competitive or taking part.

A 5.5/223 or a 308/7.62 will get you into some specific competition classes so should be considered. 5.56 has the benefit of being cheaper to shoot and low recoil. 7.62 is again cheaper than many calibres to shoot but sadly for you not as cheap as it used to be. It has a bit more recoil which actually i think is a good thing as it teaches you to manage it which is better for your long term shooting abilities. It also has a bit more drop and a bit more drift which again is good training. That is a bit of a minority view though.

65CM is popular as it is low recoil and has less drift so is easier to shoot. It is truly capable of 1000yards shooting. 7.62 can do it too but not as well. Having said that a 65CM is not going to be competitive out there. Depends what you want to do.

Do not buy a 300WM as your first centre fire. You will learn to flinch properly if you do.
 
.308 is a good option. Lots of second hand options so a range of choi e if purchasing second hand and a high availability of ammo.
 
I did much the same as you over the last 18 months.

Get as big a safe for your scoped rifles and keep your existing one for shotguns, and a separate ammo safe as you will be dealing with multiple calibres.

I bought a RD7+ rifle safe (very deep for scoped rifles), a PD7 ammo safe, and have just added a ST5 to move the shotguns into (all from Brattonsound)

Much the same as you, joined a small bore club, that occasionally shoots full bore at Bisley (about 6-8 times a year) so my initial grant was for 4 x .22LR, and 1 x 7.62x51/.308Win

6 months later a variation went in for a 2nd 7.62/.308, and a Sec1 target shotgun.

I'd probably say go for a fairly cheap used .308Win as your first full bore. Easy to get a range of factory ammo, and plenty of options for reloading as well.

Do you want it to be 100% target usage, or would you go stalking later?

I've started accumulating reloading kit. Currently harvesting and cleaning brass, and practising resizing the empty cases, and fitting and removing projectiles from unprimed cases. Not fitting primers or powder at the moment, just getting used to the process.

As I shoot at Bisley, I just find it far easier to use a MOA scope, gets my head around the adjustments needed.

Seems that most popular scope mag is 6-24x or 5-25X, something in that range. I'm trying a 5-25X Vortex & just got a Sightron 8-32X on my second rifle, so will see how I get on with that.
Ah good to speak to someone who was in the same boat. I’m limited for space on cabinets. I have an st3 for my shotguns and just installed an rd5/7 I think it was. I’ve bolted the st3 on its back/side and the plan is that will be an ammo safe/air gun storage. I know it doesn’t need to be away but if there’s space I’ll stick it in there out the way. That leaves me an empty deep cabinet where I’ll keep one shotgun and whatever else I get. I’d imagine I’d end up with x2 rimfires and a full bore in total potentially 2 full bores but I can do the variation on that down the line.

I think 80% of my time will be at the 22 range as it’s midweek which suits family time and I’ll attend the full bore range when it’s a club day which I believe is no monthly but I’ll need to check on that.

A few people have mentioned reloading, not something I’m familiar with but that’s a few times it’s been brought up. My plan was to just buy ammo 😂

I think I’ll be mainly be target but I’m sure once I get chatting to folks I’ll get somewhere to go. I have access to two areas for my air rifle that I can do rimfire on.
 
Too general a question really. The question of calibre is infinite and nuanced as it depends on what you want to do

What disciplines can you shoot? That can dictate calibre as can the maximum range available to you. Also depends whether you plan on being competitive or taking part.

A 5.5/223 or a 308/7.62 will get you into some specific competition classes so should be considered. 5.56 has the benefit of being cheaper to shoot and low recoil. 7.62 is again cheaper than many calibres to shoot but sadly for you not as cheap as it used to be. It has a bit more recoil which actually i think is a good thing as it teaches you to manage it which is better for your long term shooting abilities. It also has a bit more drop and a bit more drift which again is good training. That is a bit of a minority view though.

65CM is popular as it is low recoil and has less drift so is easier to shoot. It is truly capable of 1000yards shooting. 7.62 can do it too but not as well. Having said that a 65CM is not going to be competitive out there. Depends what you want to do.

Do not buy a 300WM as your first centre fire. You will learn to flinch properly if you do.
In short the full bore range 300yard and 600yard but I heard chat if access to a 1000yRd. So that’s the the distance I guess I’ll be at 300-600 off occasion of 1000yard that I could use a club gun for when the time comes but I’d imagine I’ll be spending the few years between the 25-50yard rimfire range and the 300 range.

Calibre wise I guess I’m looking for something that hits them , that’s easy to find ammo, it’s easy to handle for a new rifle shooter but experienced shooter if that makes sense. Duel purpose if that’s possible….not asking much lol

I imagine my full bore will be used 5-6 times a year for targets in the above range….potentially some comps but obviously I’ll not be looking for high end for that just something that can be used .

As I said just gathering info, finding out what I should be asking and looking at
 
I think 80% of my time will be at the 22 range as it’s midweek which suits family time and I’ll attend the full bore range when it’s a club day which I believe is no monthly but I’ll need to check on that.

A few people have mentioned reloading, not something I’m familiar with but that’s a few times it’s been brought up. My plan was to just buy ammo 😂

I think I’ll be mainly be target but I’m sure once I get chatting to folks I’ll get somewhere to go. I have access to two areas for my air rifle that I can do rimfire on.
Keep hold of your empty cases, in case you do. I just buy ammo at the moment, as you are looking to do.

I asked whether you'd be going stalking because it may influence your choice of rifle, and the twist rate of the barrel. For example, an older target rifle might have a 1:12 or 1:13 twist, set up for 155gn bullets. (My first full bore rifle is like this, single load, originally with aperture sights)

I also have a Savage 12 in .308. It has a 1:10 twist barrel, and a 4 round capacity magazine, so along with a scope for target use, it should also stabilise 170gn or 180gn stuff if I want to use it for stalking later on.

A lot of firearms are not much money, so might be an option to class the first one(s) as almost a cheap way of finding out what you really want when you come to replace it down the line.

I have the luxury of Bisley being just over an hour for me, and I can also hire a range of rifles from the NRA Armoury if I want to shoot something besides my own rifles. It's good to be able to hire an Accuracy International & scope for £28.50 for half day, and I don't even have to clean it before handing it back!
 
Gotcha, makes sense get somthing to get shooting then work it out from there.

That’s ace you can rent.

My club has access to some not sure what though as I’ve been mainly in the gallery range. The guys seem decent though and a few have said I can tag along and jump in with them so I’m sure I’ll be able to maybe even just borrow for a while then figure out later.

I thought this was goign to be an easy answer of X for targets and Y for hunting and Z for both lol
 
If you buy a .223 or .308 secondhand from someone who does not reload, it should have a lot of life left in the barrel, unless it has been seriously neglected.
 
If you buy a .223 or .308 secondhand from someone who does not reload, it should have a lot of life left in the barrel, unless it has been seriously neglected.
Why would a reloader's barrel have any different lifespan to someone who uses factory ammo? Unless they are intentionally running ultra hot loads?
 
I was in a similar boat to yourself. Not wishing to put a spanner in the works but a couple of shooters that I know, not friends particularly, both have Begara .22 rimfires and they have had numerous issues with their rifles. Specifics? I cannot quote exacts but feeding and extraction issues along with poor accuracy spring to mind so my advice would be to cast your net a tad further and talk to owners of varied manufacturer.

On the centrefire front I climbed that calibre/cartridge ladder. My first foray, and if you want to shoot comfortably any and all day long, was the .222 Remington. I'm not necessarily advocating you follow this particular route but it's a lovely round to shoot in a non competitive scenario and whilst it's not as fashionable a round as it once was it is nevertheless very accurate and rewarding to shoot.

Next up, the .223 Remington. There's two in my cabinet and both bear the name Tikka T3x. First up, a Varmint with a one in eight twist and this is my pseudo target rifle that I use purely for recreational target shooting, I don't compete. Second up is a straightforward T3x Lite with a one in twelve twist and this is a knock about gun. The .223 is, to me at least, a bit more pokey than my .222 but still very easy on the shoulder and whilst I'll never be a 500 yard wizard let alone 1000 yard I'm told it will handle the former.

Lastly, I have a variation in for something nice but it's taking forever, yawn!

I don't reload other than very very rarely and that's under supervision using a friends gear, only you can decide if it's for you. I decided that it wasn't for me because the limiting factor wasn't handload versus factory, it was my personal ability plus, I can walk into pretty much any RFD and pick up .222 and .223 in abundance which gives me half to three quarter MOA with all my rifles which is better than the manufacturers guarantee.

So for me the cartridge ladder is pretty much climbed, as others have said though, if you are serious then the .308 has to be considered for your ultimate goal. Everyone should have a .222 Rem though :)
 
I was in a similar boat to yourself. Not wishing to put a spanner in the works but a couple of shooters that I know, not friends particularly, both have Begara .22 rimfires and they have had numerous issues with their rifles. Specifics? I cannot quote exacts but feeding and extraction issues along with poor accuracy spring to mind so my advice would be to cast your net a tad further and talk to owners of varied manufacturer.

On the centrefire front I climbed that calibre/cartridge ladder. My first foray, and if you want to shoot comfortably any and all day long, was the .222 Remington. I'm not necessarily advocating you follow this particular route but it's a lovely round to shoot in a non competitive scenario and whilst it's not as fashionable a round as it once was it is nevertheless very accurate and rewarding to shoot.

Next up, the .223 Remington. There's two in my cabinet and both bear the name Tikka T3x. First up, a Varmint with a one in eight twist and this is my pseudo target rifle that I use purely for recreational target shooting, I don't compete. Second up is a straightforward T3x Lite with a one in twelve twist and this is a knock about gun. The .223 is, to me at least, a bit more pokey than my .222 but still very easy on the shoulder and whilst I'll never be a 500 yard wizard let alone 1000 yard I'm told it will handle the former.

Lastly, I have a variation in for something nice but it's taking forever, yawn!

I don't reload other than very very rarely and that's under supervision using a friends gear, only you can decide if it's for you. I decided that it wasn't for me because the limiting factor wasn't handload versus factory, it was my personal ability plus, I can walk into pretty much any RFD and pick up .222 and .223 in abundance which gives me half to three quarter MOA with all my rifles which is better than the manufacturers guarantee.

So for me the cartridge ladder is pretty much climbed, as others have said though, if you are serious then the .308 has to be considered for your ultimate goal. Everyone should have a .222 Rem though :)
I’ve been looking at cz and tikka, I’ve physically shot the bergara .22 and found it very nice. I jumped ship from the cz lrp to this.

The guy that has this rifle has said bergara have a lifetime guarantee and he’s had no issues. Has a few of them. Think this is what swung me, the fact I’ve tried it and somone I know (even though just met) has them with no issue (that I know of lol)

Cheers for the input on the full bore. Maybe a 223 to start and I can vary moving up. I’m 50/50 on reloading. I’m sure I could do it after instruction but I don’t know if I can be bothered 😂😂

I do get addicted quickly though so who knows
 
6.5cm is really the best most versatile starter Center fire. Lots on here will make comments about man buns but it really is a very capable and easy to shoot rifle
Well I used to have a man bun so 😂😂

This was before they were cool though back in the late 90’s and I was about 10 lol
 
.223 centrefire is a good trainer. Very low recoil so you can shoot it all day, and relatively cheap ammunition compared to any other CF calibre if you're like me and don't reload yet. Even match ammo is only £20/20 rounds. You'll easily shoot out to 600 yards with a .223, even 8-900 (after this accuracy starts to decrease due to the bullet going transonic). I think it's a great starting point if you're shooting inside 1000 yards.

.308 still gives you cheap ammunition, but more recoil, it'll also shoot out to 1000 more easily than a .223. Also a good starting point. 300-600 yards may be boring though.

6.5 Creedmoor you'll be looking at almost double the price for ammunition. I use Hornady 147gr ELDM at £36/20 rounds. Very capable but I wouldn't have it as my only rifle.

.300 Win Mag is just ridiculously expensive for your usual distances. You'll be looking at £50-60 for 20 rounds, to do the same job any of the above calibres can do inside 1000yards.
 
If you only have 3 rifles I would advise 22 rimfire, 243 win. and any 30 cal. You will be able to hunt almost everything in the UK with the 243 and the 30 cal. will be great for Scottish hills and trips abroad. Dont get confused with marketing find a rifle you like and fits learn to shoot it and dont be afraid of second hand most of them have only shot 50 rounds (my Parker Hale is 50 years old and still puts game in the larder). I dont know if it is still there but I knew of a PH 243 that has only shot 10 rounds.
Tusker
 
.223 centrefire is a good trainer. Very low recoil so you can shoot it all day, and relatively cheap ammunition compared to any other CF calibre if you're like me and don't reload yet. Even match ammo is only £20/20 rounds. You'll easily shoot out to 600 yards with a .223, even 8-900 (after this accuracy starts to decrease due to the bullet going transonic). I think it's a great starting point if you're shooting inside 1000 yards.

.308 still gives you cheap ammunition, but more recoil, it'll also shoot out to 1000 more easily than a .223. Also a good starting point. 300-600 yards may be boring though.

6.5 Creedmoor you'll be looking at almost double the price for ammunition. I use Hornady 147gr ELDM at £36/20 rounds. Very capable but I wouldn't have it as my only rifle.

.300 Win Mag is just ridiculously expensive for your usual distances. You'll be looking at £50-60 for 20 rounds, to do the same job any of the above calibres can do inside 1000yards.
You need to be aware of twist on a .223, 1:12 is only going to good to 55 gr / 60 gr flat base and loaded to Bisley range limits this will not allow you to reach 8-900 yards.

With a faster twist and longer bullets it is achievable but wind will become a problem a lot more quickly than a heavier 6.5 or .308 bullet.

Variation in ammunition costs can be limited by reloading, bullet prices don’t vary massively so the only variable is powder, even at today’s vastly inflated powder prices the difference in powder load between .223 and .308/6.5CM is going to be sub 20p.

For a new shooter looking to stretch out to 1000 yards occasionally .308 or 6.5 creedmoor is the answer, if going to 1000 more regularly then the latter. S&B fmj in creedmoor is available at sub £30/20 or less and seems to work in everyone’s rifles.
 
Last edited:
Back
Top