3 Rifles Every Rifleman Should Have

“Unconsciously” is different than unconscious. Synonyms for unconsciously include automatically, instinctively, and reflexively. So, be able to automatically work the safety and bolt on a rifle. Work them without conscious thought.
Regarding Dry Firing: All Ruger rifles are safe to dry fire (read Ruger’s website). Some 22’s will be damaged if they are dry fired, however a Savage MkII (or any current production Savage 22, or the Ruger 10/22) is safe to dry fire.

Ruger’s FAQ: http://ruger.com/service/FAQs.html
Savage Technical Support: (413) 568-7001

The three rifles that every rifleman should own. A 22 LR (small), a medium, and a large rifle. All rifles should be the same type (bolt action, lever action, semi auto, etc.) If possible, every rifle should be the same model. This will ensure that the skills used in one rifle will transfer to the others.

Don’t read too much into the title. It is “3 Rifles you should have,” not “*the only*3 rifles you should have.” Big difference. Of course, other rifles are fun. My position is that these three are the foundation.

The 22 LR should always be in a rifle collection. This is the training rifle. It is inexpensive to shoot and has zero recoil. This translates into hours of training at minimal expense and no fatigue. The 22 LR is the platform to learn shooting fundamentals and the muscle memory needed to shoot and reload without conscious thought.

The medium and large rifles follow the 22 LR. These rifles teach shooting fundamentals with a centerfire rifle, which is heavier and has more recoil.

The medium rifle is a moderately powered rifle. Consider the 223 Rem, 22-250, 243 Win, or 6mm Rem. Advantages of a 223 Rem is cost per shot, which is half that of the other cartridges. The 22-250 is flat shooting. The 243 and 6mm can be used for both small game and for deer depending on bullet weight. All of these rifles would have low recoil.

The large rifle is a true hunting rifle. A 30-06 or 270 would be ideal, but not essential. Any of the 308 family (260, 7mm-08, 308) or 30-06 family (25-06, 270, 280, 30-06) will work. Any of these is effective for most hunting in the US. They are also ballistically similar for shots up to 250 yards. A magnum rifle also fits into this category, but comes with some extra recoil and extra expense. Any rifle bigger than 30 caliber does not really fit into this category because it is typically not needed for North American hunting and has added expense. If elk and bear are all that will be hunting, then maybe consider a 338 with the warning that this produce hefty recoil.

Also Check Out:

Fulton Armory Article, covers many of the priciples in this video, and advocates dry firing as a training tool.
More? Google “high power rifle dry fire”

Check out my video on setting your zero to achieve maximum point blank range: http://youtu.be/QfkGuN2fQgU

Getting Started Rifle Shooting

Low Recoil Rifles and Ammo

Field Dressing Big Game Knives to Make It Easier

Havalon Piranta Skinning Knife

Nosler Accubond Performance 130 grain 270 cal

How to Wrap Meat with Butcher Paper

Rifle Reloading Basics (Cartridges)

Reloading with Lee Precision (Playlist)

23 thoughts on “3 Rifles Every Rifleman Should Have”

  1. 1. Marlin XT-22 Bolt action 22lr
    2. Marlin 336c Lever action 30-30
    3. Ruger M77 Hawkeye Bolt action 270.
    4. Remington 870 Pump action 12ga
    5. Ruger vaquero 44mag revolver
    6. Kimber 1911 semi-auto 45acp
    7. Ruger Mark 5 semi-auto 22lr
    8. Remington 700cdl bolt action 300wm

    Best guns around. If only i had that kinda money…

  2. they don't need or should be all the same / a lever gun has many advances over a bolt rifle and vice versa depending you conditions .If i'm still hunting in thick cover I'd much rather have a Lever than a bolt / but if i'm shooting long distance – Elk /antelope etc i'd take the bolt ,as for the 22lr don't much matter a good bolt makes great squirrel gun

  3. I want to appologize in advance because I hate when people do what I am about to do. I just could not resit, not sure why. You mean Subconsciously not unconsciously, and were not where. Again, apologies.

  4. Would a .22 magnum be good for a starter bolt gun? I am new to bolt actions but not new to guns. However I am very interested in getting into the hunting game and honing my marksmanship skills. Any help would be appreciated!

  5. The 22 ! Build you a muffler,,,subsonic ammo and reap small game on a budget! And head shoot deer up to50 yrd

  6. given the Federal Fusian 60 gr softpoint, or Black Hills 60 gr Nosler Partition sp 223 ammo, the 223 will reliably take deer or hogs as well as a 30-30 ever did, ie, out to 200 yds, at most. You just can't shoot them in the butt, that's all

  7. Bowhunters take elk, moose, bears on a regular basis. So you know that they are getting inside 50m. At such ranges, it's quite easy to brain those same critters with a 223.

  8. 223 ball ammo is just 30c a shot. There's no reason not to use an autoloading rifle, guys. Why give up the rapidfire? Then your hunting rifle can also be your shtf or home-defense gun.

  9. 22 is still just 4c per shot. inflation doubles the price of nearly everything every 15 years. 15 years ago, 22's were 4x a shot, so they SHOULD cost 8c per shot. You just dont know where to look, that's all.


  10. Forming your hand in an L shape to operate the bolt action is faster than using your thumb, index and middle fingers.

  11. I learned to shoot in 1971 with a Crosman 760 Powermaster BB/pellet rifle. The skills I learned shooting tens of thousands BB's actually carried over to my first .22 cal bolt action in 1974; the point here: just practice, practice, practice. I have all three of these rifles and like the .270 the best. My 300 Win was won in a raffle. and I don't enjoy shooting it very much. Besides the expense of the ammo, it kicks like a mule!
    I will agree with your suggestions here – all three are very good choices which every rifleman should have. Thank you!

  12. I use a 300 wby mag for deer, it knocks the crap out of them, and with the right bullet placement, doesnt screw up to much meat.

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