Best beginning rifle marksman's rifle - The Liberty Training Rifle
Last time I went to the range there were a bunch of people with top of the line AR-15s with Eotechs and expensive paintjobs on their rifles, blasting away at targets at 7 yards and missing. Well, they called it 'hits' because it hit the paper and some non-vital parts of the silluette. What the ****? Why waste money on a precision instrument capable of delivering death out to 600 yards, and suck that much at shooting a rifle? Made me wonder: what sort of intel the Japanese were relying on when one of their generals said 'behind every bush will be an American and his rifle,' in regards to how difficult it would be to invade the continental US. Maybe that was true, but certainly not today!
My friends, don't let this be you. Get a proper rifle to practice with. I was there at the range putting round after round into a precise location on my hand-drawn targets, with the following rifle:
I haven't taken rifle marksmanship seriously in a few years so because I've been so into handguns. Combination of rising ammo prices and my desire to become a good marksman with the rifle caused me to build this rifle.
Inspired by the Liberty Training Rifle concept from Appleseed, I built my own version. By build, I don't mean much. My goals are to be able to make one ragged holes consistently at 25 yards and under 2 inch groups at 50 yards using iron sights.
In my teenage years I could shoot almost this well, but thats almost 10 years ago.
The Liberty Training Rifle is a largely stock rifle with peep sights and sling added. The concept in its most pure form also includes a trigger job and larger magazine release.
Benefits of a .22 rifle:
1. Ammo is cheap. If you fire 1000 rounds of .223, one of the cheapest centerfire calibers out there, you will have already paid for the price of the rifle. When you talk about rifles approaching the dollar per round range, you'll get there in less than 3rd of the rounds. You'll fire it more often.
2. Its very handy, light and points naturally. That means you will spend less time straining and focus on what matters: posture, sight alignment, sight picture, trigger manipulation and follow up. More comfortable means better accuracy.
3. There is hardly any recoil. That will help you not form bad habits in your basics stage. This is important as untraining bad habits take away a lot of time.
4. If you buy a 10/22 as I recommend, there are tons and tons of aftermarket parts available. So you won't grow out of the rifle quickly. You can build the 10/22 into a 1MOA tack driver pretty easily. Or you can save money and get a out of the box 1MOA bolt action or such.
5. Its a good survival rifle, due to ammo size. It also allows you to take small game that saves you calories going out and maximizes calories coming in. Also you can store hundreds of rounds of ammo in a very small space. Did I mention the 10/22 is the only truly reliable .22LR semiauto out there?
So I wholeheartedly recommend you to build your LTR from a 10/22.
The 10/22 is an accurate rifle, but it certainly isn't the most accurate rifle out there. You can expect around 2 inch groups at 50 yards or so, depending on the rifle. 1 inch if you get lucky. Its good enough for any real-life application you expect with the 10/22, but it can be made better.
The biggest problem area is probably the factory sights. Also, if your goal is to become a better marksman and to move up to a more serious rifle, chances are that your next rifle aren't gonna come with crappy leaf sights.
The factory sights on the 10/22 are hard to use. For beginners, leaf sights may seem more intuitive because you have definite references to get your sight alignment. Unfortunately, it doesn't work out that way in real life. Unless you are very good, you'll be ever so slightly off each time you line up those sights. Furthermore, leaf sights force you to switch your focus from constantly between the target, front and rear sights. No bueno!
So switch the factory sights out to peep sights, also known as aperture sights. Aperture sights work on the human eye/brain's ability to naturally center the point of aim within the aperture. They are much faster and though counter-intuitive, much more precise than leaf sights. The rear aperture will blur out, leaving you to focus on the front sight and the target.
There are a few out there and they are all improvements over the factory sights. I bought the Tech-Sights, because they install right onto your factory receiver and closely replicate the aperture sights that are used on the current military issue rifles. More specifically, the sights are almost the same as the M16A1 sights, though they make one that are similar to the M16A2 sights.
Next item to purchase is a sling. A sling is a very important accuracy aid, that helps you especially if you are able to support your elbows on something solid. Buy a GI sling; they are around 10-15 bucks. I recommend cotton as it'll feel better around your arms and won't slip as much.
To attach a sling, you'll need to buy sling swivels. Mine came with them (mine is of 1968 vintage), but the newer rifles will come with the studs but no sling swivels. They are also around 15 bucks. 1 inch or 1.25 inch width, your choice. Note: the barrel band on the rifle decreases accuracy. A lot of people take them off. If you choose to take yours off, you'll need to drill and tap in the swivel stud for your front sling mount. I just decided to leave mine on.
Thats about it. The newer 10/22s come with the extended magazine release so you won't have to buy one. They are about 5-10 bucks if you do choose to buy one. I personally think they aren't necessary.
If you do an appleseed event, but at least 2 more magazines. Also, if you run into very old and well used 10/22 for 200 bucks and under, get it. The parts are made with better tolerances and will fetch a premium on the used market. I can sell my rifle right now and get more than what I paid for! Basically, if the rifle has its original trigger parts housing and its made of aluminum, its old enough to fetch the premium.
Now shooting my 10/22 is as fun as shooting an AR or an M1a. Well, almost. The rifle will pay for itself and you'll be a better shooter for it!
More detailed review on the tech-sights here: http://shootersquest.blogspot.com/20...ch-sights.html
I've fired 10/22s before I bought this one but I cannot understate how fun this rifle becomes with the aperture sights. Please buy one and become a crack shot :)
Damn you! Now I've got the No Rifle Blues. In theory I could budget for one, but there's no point if I can't fire it at a range.
The really sad thing is, moving to a more rural part of the state will provide fewer good places to shoot (so far as I know).
Part of the beauty of this setup is that you can shoot at simulated targets at 25 meters without looking like a dumb-ass. Though, that doesn't stop most people at my local range from shooting their rifles at 7 yards. I know this isn't the same but it is plenty challenge for me to try and consistently hit a 1 inch target at 25 meters. I know thats lame; thats about a prone sized target at 400 meters. I can do that fine from bench and prone, but can't consistantly do that standing :(
Originally Posted by Robstafarian
Are there a bad shortage of indoor ranges at richmond? my friend lives out in alexandria and frequents the NRA range, even though he has worst complaints about its patrons.
There are a couple available to me, but they become far less interesting when you look at the rifle side of things. My rifle would be either .26 or .28 caliber, probably 6.5x5mm Swedish Mauser (in which I have a mysterious interest) or 7mm-08 Remington. Then again, 30-30 Winchester and 7.62x39mm were recommended to me for the pest control uses I described in another thread. For whichever of the four calibers were used, range construction would be significantly more critical than would be the case with .22LR.
Originally Posted by dwkfym
I will be moving in August to a more rural past of the state, not far away from Virginia Tech. The closest range there is little more than a clearing and a covered firing area, with no range officer (hence I won't be using it). Skeletor has kindly invited to show me around, but I won't be able to take advantage of that until I've got my driving situation worked out (which could take years).
As a joke I like to say buying a .22 is like not spending money at all :) Get it! Shooting dinky something is better than shooting nothing.