The real basics... new to guns how to learn

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by CleanShot, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    Hello

    I'm new to hunting. I started out with a bow. I'm about to start looking into guns but I'd like to learn about different kinds of guns and ammo. There is a lot to learn so I was hoping to get some direction on reading material so I can get started. I know the real basics but that's about all.

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Sam
     
  2. obaro

    obaro Member

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    It would help if you could give an idea what kind of hunting you are looking into. Small game, varmints, waterfowl, big game? This will help narrow down what kind of guns would be most beneficial for you to study up. To get you started I guess Guns and Ammo magazine or Shooting Illustrated would be good reads for you.
     

  3. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    Good point. I'm mainly hunting for deer, turkey, and waterfowl in NJ. I might venture out west to hunt big game there at some point for hogs, deer, and elk.

    I know the differences between shotguns, rifles, etc but what I don't understand is twist, bullet trajectory, necking, different systems like gas vs inertia, and different kinds of triggers and weights of them. Maybe understanding how fps and mass of bullets play into my choice of gun would be helpful. I'm pretty green...
     
  4. PowellSixO

    PowellSixO Well-Known Member

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    How much time do you have? LOL. Here is a good series put together that will take you through the majority of it. Start at #1 and work your way through. They do a pretty decent job imho.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwG-D0HjCBQ&list=PLJUaiRIEduNXoal2_PkBZi0vDCIcEPxUn]SNIPER 101 Part 1 - Introduction - Rex Reviews - YouTube[/ame]
     
  5. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. I'll check them out.
     
  6. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

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    Most topics you are curious about are things that won't even come into play until you get an itch for some long range shooting. Whether whitetail and bears back east or elk and mule deer out west, if your shots stay under 300-400 yds, then twist rates, trajectories, triggers, etc. won't make much of a difference at these short distances.

    There's book learning and then there is learning by experience. LRH can take you a long ways with the book learning, but at some point you will have to get out there and pull a trigger or two. The same can be said of hunting. Learn what you can by reading and talking, but eventually you have to get out in the field and make some mistakes.

    Getting started is easy. Buy a Savage bolt action. They tend to be inexpensive and most are accurate out of the box. Try a couple different boxes of ammo to see what works best in your rifle. Get a moderately priced scope (maybe a Vortex Viper?). As a general rule, think small caliber for small game and big caliber for big game. Deer can be anything from .243 on up to the 30 cals. IMO, a Rem 7mm magnum is the best all-around caliber that is "off-the-shelf", but can also transition you into long rang shooting when the time comes.

    While you are learning to shoot your new rig at 200 -400 yds, you can begin to explore the wonderful world of twist rates and trajectories as you go.
     
  7. FEENIX

    FEENIX Well-Known Member

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    Take your time in the learning process and enjoy!
     

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  8. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. What book reading do you recommend?

    I've been going through this video series (I'm on Part 22) but like you said this is about really long range and frankly I don't think I even have a place to practice this in the Northeast. I've definitely don't think my average hunts will even be 300-400 yards.

    Also which savage are your recommending?
     
  9. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 Well-Known Member

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    The NRA has two monthly publications that can help in the book learning department, American Rifleman and American Hunter, either of them are available with a membership. American Rifleman will be more focused towards rifle shooting with articles here and there on pistol and shotgun shooting, not heavy on hunting.
    American Hunter will focus on hunting and the guns used to hunt, this magazine would be beneficial. When I was in grade school and junior high I absolutely hated reading, my dad would try and get me to read, even begged me to read something. I could read well, retention was a different story and of course only comes with practice. He brought home a Field and Stream magazine one day and I read every page and wouldn't keep quiet about it. He later joined the NRA and every month I'd wear the pages out on every issue of American Hunter. You coudl say I speak from experience that the booksmart on this game of shooting and hunting for me came from American Hunter.... but other magazines helped too.

    Magazines like this that are general 'hunting' magazines will typically follow seasonal hunting, in the spring it will be more turkey oriented, summer maybe more towards anything that wasn't written during hunting season, fall will be more deer, upland, waterfowl. Go to Barnes N Noble some afternoon and breeze through many magazines on the shelf, find one that covers many different types of hunting that you'd like to do and subscribe.
     
  10. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

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    I really like the Savage Axis for the beginner. There aren't aftermarket upgrades for this rifle as it is their entry level gun. But they are shooters. I don't see much point in spending much until you know it is something you like and will stick with it. Again, 7mm Rem Mag is a great all-around cartridge, but it is not offered in the Axis line. So my choice would then be the 7mm-08. It can easily double as an intermediate/long range rig to get you down the road.

    As far as book learning, I would focus on the magazines. The NRA's Rifleman/Hunter mags are OK. I also like Peterson's Hunting Journal and for western hunting: Eastman's. This site has some great reads on both shooting and hunting.

    Try to find some guys at work, the local bar or neighborhood who hunt. They will be glad to give you their old mags. Spend a little time with them and they will probably be willing to take you hunting. From there, your contacts will grow to where you will be invited to ranges that have extended shooting capabilities. Use this site to find who lives in the area. Send them a PM. Most will be happy to take someone new under their wing.
     
  11. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    thanks gents
     
  12. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Do they allow rifle in hunting in NJ? Some highly populated states like IL and IN do not. If not, it sounds like the only reason you would need a rifle would be for recreational/competitive shooting or hunting out of state. I'm originally from PA BTW.

    A lot of the members here can offer you good advice but if you are only looking into short range shooting and hunting you might consider another site like 24 hr campfire as this is a more specialized site dealing with precision long range equipment and techniques and that's the type of advise you get, i.e. the Long Range youtube series you were pointed to which is not what you need. Although you can learn some good basic marksmanship techniques from it. There are also some good videos on this site for marksmanship basics.

    That said, for entry level basic short range deer hunting I would recommend a good basic bolt action rifle like a Weatherby Vanguard S2 or Winchester M70.

    Chamberings to consider would be 25-06, 260 Rem, 270 Win, 7mm-08, 308 Win, and 30-06. You really don't need anything larger than any of those cartridges for what you're looking for. For all around practicality, the 308 Win is probably the best choice.

    As mentioned, try to get together with someone you know who knows something about guns, marksmanship and hunting which will be a big help for you.

    Hope that helps and welcome to the fun world of guns!
     
  13. CleanShot

    CleanShot Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely not allowed to hunt with rifles in NJ. However I want to gain as much knowledge as I can. It seems to me that learning long range would making learning shorter ranges easier. Probably information overload. I'd love to eventually get out West to hunt as well. I'm happy to check out other resources including 24hourcampfire but frankly I have a lot of respect for the guys on this forum so I think there is still a lot to learn here.
     
  14. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    Well then, welcome to LRH. You might catch the Long Range bug if you hang out enough.