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    What's the best gun for 19 years old boy, complete noob

  • #2
    A lever action thutty thutty with aperture iron sights.


    • #3

      We have so many fine cartridges that picking one can be tough. I can suggest a couple that have worked great for me and my use of a rifle. I like the flexibility to hunt forest, dense cover and also over large open spaces and the prairie where game can be distant and often running. I did a lot of varmint hunting for prairie dogs, foxes and coyotes but also consistently hunted white tail, mule deer and antelope. I tried 30-06, .270, .243, 6.5mm Carcano, .308, .220 Swift, 30-30 and .35 Remington over the years. I tried a few of the magnums and learned quickly that they had terrible recoil and a high cost of operation. If this is going to be his only rifle, a big magnum would not be a good choice unless he only intends to shoot animals the size of elk. Finally, although it was a wild cat when I first used it, I tried a 25-06. That was a unique experience that I still remember well. I started hitting shots that I previously didn't even try. I also discovered that I really had no need for tracking skills because almost everything I shot was right where it was when I shot.

      These were all fine rifles, especially if your hunting is of a specific type and each of these cartridges has its sweet spot. After I used the .25-06, all my other choices tended to stay in the closet, regardless of the application. The 25-06 was simply better and more predictable regardless of my use. It worked well for everything. It had the light recoil and blazing speed of the 22-250 that I needed for varmints, surpassing even the venerable .220 Swift between 400 and 1000 yards for varmints. I learned that the speed and flat trajectory made shooting distant and running game highly predictable. I my many years of shooting, I rate the knockdown power on medium sized game to be similar, if not better than the 30-06 or .270. As a matter of fact, I've had more than a dozen onlookers transition to a 25-06 after seeing just how devastating it was on deer, coyotes and antelope. The bullets do deflect when penetrating brush but as we all know, none of these cartridges work predictably unless you avoid brush on the shot.

      About a decade ago, I began shooting Creedmoor (CM) cartridges and I really like every one of them. I shoot the 22 CM, 6mm CM, 25 CM and the 6.5mm CM. Because of the fast twist barrels available today, they can all shoot large for caliber bullets for top performance with the 6mm CM and the 25 CM performing a lot like the 25-06. I'm shooting a custom 25 CM with 131g bullets in a fast twist barrel (1:7.25) and that one rifle covers varmint bullets from 75g up to 131g for elk out to 400 yards at about .270 speed. Its currently still a wild cat so I would not recommend it for your son unless he wants to reload and you are willing to install a custom barrel. The 209g bullet out of the 6mm CM shoots just like the 25-06 on deer out to about 500 yards and I have yet to shoot a better 1000 yard P-dog cartridge (well maybe the 25 CM as they are both amazing at this range). I'd reserve the 22 CM with a 1:7 twist barrel for varmints and light deer hunting with its speed. The 6.5 CM moves slower than any of these but is just a great all around hunting cartridge within 400 yards of anything. Because of the variety of light to heavy bullets, it hunts varmints, deer and elk, but at lower speeds than the other CMs.

      Of all these, I would still have to recommend the 25-06 as one of the best all around rifles a person could own unless they elk hunt. My 100g deer load travels at 3350 fps. If he intends to hunt elk, I'd recommend the 6.5 CM. It's about like a .308 as far as recoil is concerned but gives you about half again more range than the .308. It is a thumper on deer in almost any conditions but at a lower velocity (about 2750 fps) than the 25-06. I don't use something that slow on running game beyond about 100 yards. I like speed though so I myself would only use that if medium range elk are on the menu.

      I don't hunt elk much so later in life I invested in a .300 Magnum for that but I don't shoot that at anything else except targets.
      Last edited by DakotaMan; 03-24-2020, 04:24 PM.


      • #4
        Well sir, kinda depends on whether you're hunting heavy timber, prairies, mountains, creek bottom thickets or senderos.

        Are you still hunting, stand hunting or spot and stalk?

        Being a 19 year old, I presume you're not a "boy".

        Budget? You can get started for +/- $300 up to $crooge McDuck.
        Anything from a simple .30-30 to a mountain howitzer.

        Bolt? Lever? Single shot? Semi Auto? AR?

        Between the .30-30 Win and it's venerable brethren, the .30-06 Spgfld have taken more deer than any 5 other cartridges combined. Brain rattling, shoulder shattering, belted "mangram" Mountain Movers are available if you're into that sorta thing.

        So read through, think about it and throw us a little context.


        • #5
          Originally posted by saiyan View Post
          What's the best gun for 19 years old boy, complete noob
          Actually, that is a very opened ended question and hard to answer without more information. Here's some considerations:

          1) Where does the young man live? In some locations one needs to be at least 21 years old to legally possess a firearm..

          2) What is the purpose of the firearm?
          > Recreation? If so, is there a safe and legal place to shoot?
          > Self-protection? If so, would this just be in the home or would it be for concealed carry?
          > Hunting? If so, what species?

          3) Is someone available to train / mentor the young man? This is extremely critical for safety purposes.

          4) Many of us started out with .22 rimfire rifles. The advantage is low costs, low recoil, and lower muzzle blast. A great one made by Ruger is the model 10/22 semi-automatic chambered in .22 long rifle.


          • #6
            This question was posted in the "Deer Hunting" forum.


            • #7
              I think that the .308 is the best all around deer rifle. I loaded reduced loads for my grandson when he was 11. At 12 I stepped up to full loads. He and my son both shoot Tikka T3 lite in .308 shooting 125 grain Nosler ballistic Tip bullets traveling about 3300 FPS. My Grandson shot probably the best deer he may ever shoot 3 years ago at 410 yards. His Dad ranged the deer and asked him if he realized how far it was. He said "no problem" Pop Pop ran my loads on the ballistic calculator and I have the chart memorized. One shot and down goes the deer, the same year he shot a doe at 390 yards. I shoot 125 grain Nosler Accubonds in my Tikka T3. That is as far as I think are ethical shots. I know of very few guns that are 1000 deer guns and they start with 30 or 33.


              • #8
                The best gun is the gun he likes.


                • #9
                  Thanks for all the suggestions


                  • #10
                    For deer I recommend a bolt action in .308 Win or 6.5 Creedmoor with threaded barrel. Suppressors are becoming more popular and may one day be lower cost and required.
                    Last edited by PigHunter; 03-25-2020, 04:36 PM.


                    • #11
                      I concur with Dakota on the 25-06. I suggest this caliber based on 70 years big game hunting around the world while using numerous different rounds. For a first rifle you cannot go wrong with the selection.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Happy Myles View Post
                        I concur with Dakota on the 25-06. I suggest this caliber based on 70 years big game hunting around the world while using numerous different rounds. For a first rifle you cannot go wrong with the selection.
                        I never got around to a .25-06, but paused at .250-3000 and .257 Roberts. All the quarter bores are great deer cartridges. Happy Trails


                        • #13
                          Could go .260 rem or 7mm-08.
                          If you want to not go .308 win like a lot of others.

                          I like short action bolt guns better than long action.

                          But will proly end up w a .25-06....... in a Ruger #1B.


                          • #14
                            CD2:"I like short action bolt guns better than long action."

                            You bring up an interesting point CD. I've heard that often and I can understand competition target shooters where a short action may make .010" improvement in your 100 yard group size but what is it that you notice?

                            I've shot both and almost need a tape measure to recognize what receiver size I am shooting if I don't already know. A long action weighs a few ounces more than a short action but I can never detect that, even on my 5.5 pound 25-06.

                            Some say that recoil is more but I have no doubt that my long action 25-06 loads have less recoil than a .308 150g or 7mm/08 hunting loads... more like a 90g .243. I also have a 22-6mm that is a puppy.

                            Finally, I've heard that the bolt stroke is faster with the short action. That may be physically true but I can't detect the difference in practice. I have no trouble reloading my 25-06. As a matter of fact, on two separate occasions, I've had comments from observers who thought I was shooting an automatic rifle at distant running coyotes. I also had a 25-06 with a firing pin problem that created misfires. My nephew said I must have had four loaded rounds hanging in the air at a time as I cycled through the magazine on a running antelope.

                            What comes to your mind as you think through your preference? This is an interesting subject.
                            Last edited by DakotaMan; 03-29-2020, 11:01 PM.


                            • #15
                              I find it curious also DM, I get the short rounds 260 , 7mm08, 308 , CM’s and the short mags but I find short action mostly a non factor but sometimes a detractor to cartridge development . The short magazine does not allow lengthening the round to full capacity because of feeding problems. With faster twist and longer bullets all the rage , the short action does not allow for full cartridge development . I find no discernible advantage to a short action . I don’t want to sound as though I’m calling out CD2 because we all have our preferences and right now I have 3 short action 700’s . A 260 rem, 270 wsm and a sweet little 6.5 rem mag. . The cartridge I like the action not so much.




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