Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Hunting > The Basics, Starting Out


First rifle: Advice needed

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 01-26-2014, 11:48 AM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,338
Re: First rifle: Advice needed

I am a left hand shooter myself. Because of childhood experience using right hand bolt actions, I refused to shoot or buy anything but a left hand bolt action for many years. During that time, I was often frustrated by the fact that the rifles I really wanted weren't available in a left handed configuration. I also found that I generally had to pay more for a left handed rifle and then usually ended up taking a bath if I sold the rifle because the market for left handed rifles is so small.

What really made me decide to swear left handed actions off for good was when I started to experiment with surplus mausers. The more I tinkered with them and shot them, the less satisfied I became with the limited choices available to me as a left handed shooter. I also started to become dissatisfied with the quality of a lot of the commercial bolt actions out there, which prompted me to develop a preference for the generally higher quality controlled feed rifles. That pushed me even more toward right hand actions because most left hand bolt actions are push feeds.

A few years ago, I bought my last left hand rifle (a beautiful little CZ 452 in 22LR), learned how to run a right hand action from the left side, and never looked back. By way of explanation, what I am trying to say is that I really don't think it is worthwhile to get hung up on left hand bolt actions. I have been a lot happier with my rifles since I stopped buying left hand actions. Ultimately, I believe you will find broader and more satisfying choices available to you in the world of right hand bolt actions.

Aside from that, my second piece of advice is to supplement your primary rifle with a .223 that has at least a 1/9 twist (1/8 is better, if you can find it). The .223 will allow cheap practice and conserve the barrel life of your primary rifle. For many years, I recommended a good quality .22LR for that purpose. However, recent rimfire ammo shortages have caused me to reconsider that. If one handloads, it is possible to load and shoot cast lead bullets from a .223 for about the same cost to shoot .22LR and sometimes for less than it costs to shoot rimfire ammo. One can load a .223 from rimfire level performance all the way to full power heavy bullet loads. That kind of versatility allows for quality, inexpensive practice of shooting fundamentals and more advanced skills like reading and compensating for wind and mirage.

In summary, my advice is this:

1. Don't allow yourself to get too hung up on LH rifles.
2. Buy a .223 for a practice rifle.
3. Plan to handload for your rifles.
Reply With Quote

Unread 01-26-2014, 03:29 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5
Re: First rifle: Advice needed

I should mention that I am in Australia and that a mk 5 is a low volume sales rifle. On top of that there are few left shooters and even fewer who want a 270 wby mag.

Also. Our guns laws are a pain so you pretty much have to buy a rifle from a local dealer unless you want all the hassle of dealing with multiple gun shops across the country.

A half price mk 5 is still twice the price of say a tikka t3 or browning x-bolt or savage and about on par with a top of the line Sako.

The rifle is at a dealer and with that comes all the consumer protection.
Reply With Quote
Unread 01-26-2014, 04:44 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 5
Re: First rifle: Advice needed

Benchracer: thanks for your advice. I too have only shot right hand rifle as to this point. I can cycle a round through fairly efficiently but requires dropping the rifle off my shoulder and then re aiming. I have been thinking a rh action may be the way to go.
Reply With Quote
Unread 01-26-2014, 10:11 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Monroe, Newhampshire
Posts: 719
Re: First rifle: Advice needed

a friend of mine has the same problem. He is left handed and uses right handed actions. He actually prefers a right handed action over a left handed because he is so used to shooting right handed actions. if you can already efficiently work a right handed action then id just stick to a right handed because then if you eventually want to sell it then you dont have to find a left handed person that happens to like the gun and caliber.
Reply With Quote
Unread 01-27-2014, 02:02 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Washington State
Posts: 491
Re: First rifle: Advice needed

Go for the 270. I have two friends with numerous elk dropped with 270's. Go for it. The 270 WBY is not a shoulder buster. Benchracer is correct on the two guns. I think even an airgun in the back yard helps keep you sharp.

Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:33 PM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC